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News from Around the Farm World - Aug. 14, 2013
Farmer dies after trapped by tractor for 10 hours
HETTICK, Ill. (AP) — A west-central Illinois farmer has died after he was pinned under a tractor for 10 hours.

WICS-TV in Springfield reported the Macoupin County coroner said 66-year-old Ronald Releford died the morning of Aug. 5 at a Springfield hospital from his injuries. He was found late Aug. 4. Macoupin County Sheriff Don Albrecht said Releford was on farm property in a rural area.

Authorities said Releford was spraying weeds on a hillside when the tractor and sprayer overturned and pinned him.  Releford’s wife called for help when she couldn’t contact him by cell phone.
Ambulances, a medical helicopter and an extrication team responded. Releford was freed from under the tractor, stabilized and taken to a Springfield hospital for treatment. He was responsive when deputies found him.

Body on Indiana farm identified as Louisville man
BORDEN, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a body found Aug. 7 on a southern Indiana horse farm has been identified as that of a Louisville, Ky., man who worked at the farm until recently.

Clark County Coroner Terry Conway said 43-year-old Clement D. Yelverton appears to have been dead 3-5 hours before his body was found along a private driveway on the farm. He told the News and Tribune Yelverton’s cause of death remains under investigation, but officials don’t suspect foul play played a role in his death.

Conway said Yelverton had previously been an employee of the farm about 20 miles north of Louisville, but he was terminated more than a month ago when the farm changed ownership.

Tyson to stop buying cattle fed Merck supplement

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Tyson Foods, Inc. said it will no longer buy cattle fed a supplement that’s designed to bulk them up before slaughter, citing experts who suggest the drug may be causing animals to become lame.

The decision has raised concerns that less beef will be available, which would drive up consumer prices. Tyson told cattle feeders last week it’s concerned about the incidences of cattle at its processing plants that had difficulty walking or moving.

Some experts have suggested the use of Merck Animal Health feed supplement Zilmax, or zipaterol, is a possible cause. The company said it will suspend purchases of Zilmax-fed cattle, effective Sept. 6.
Merck contends it is confident Zilmax isn’t causing Tyson’s problems. Tyson said this is not a food safety issue, but about animal well-being.

Kudzu bugs worry South, but a fix may be in sight

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — After just one year in Mississippi, invasive kudzu bugs are becoming a management headache in soybeans and a pest in houses. And the pea-sized bugs made their way into Louisiana this year, probably as hitchhikers.

Farmers and entomologists in both states had been watching for an invasion since July 2012, when kudzu bugs were spotted in Vicksburg, about 270 miles west of the nearest Alabama county where they’d been seen.

In June, the LSU AgCenter confirmed its arrival in a soybean field in Madison Parish. By the end of July, it had been found in 17 Mississippi counties, and in soybean fields in seven of those counties.

A researcher with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service says she has discovered a local egg-parasitic wasp that she believes could be the answer for controlling the pesky bug. Xing Ping Hu said the wasp she discovered deposits its eggs inside the kudzu bug’s eggs, and “has demonstrated a high capacity to reduce significantly the populations of kudzu bugs in soybean fields.”

The discovery was made by Hu’s research assistant, Auburn University graduate student Julian Golec, during a routine investigation of kudzu bug damage in a soybean field. She said before the discovery of the wasps, the bugs existed mostly without natural predators.

Hu said the extension service has sent letters to farmers asking them not to spray pesticide during the wasps’ egg-laying season in July and August. Hu’s announcement comes shortly after researchers discovered an insect that preys on adult kudzu bugs.

Nebraska raises number of stomach bug cases to 86

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska has raised the number of confirmed cyclospora cases in the state to 86, as of Aug. 10.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said eight cases had been confirmed since July 30, when 78 were listed. The infections started in June, and officials say none of those identified lately is believed to be from a new outbreak.

The stomach illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska have been linked to salad mix served at local Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants and supplied by a Mexican farm. Officials said the outbreak of cyclospora infections numbers nearly 470 people in 16 states.