New use for alfalfa, feeding yellow perch

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:13 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - It turns out that yellow perch might like alfalfa. U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded research is showing that farm-raised yellow perch are doing well when being fed pellets made with a protein concentrate made from the legume’s protein-rich leaves. Deborah Samac, who leads the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Plant Science Research Unit in St. Paul, said formulating aquafeeds and with plant-based proteins could help reduce the need for fishmeal in aquafeeds - reducing aquaculture’s effects on aquatic natural resources. Aquaculture is agriculture’s fastest-growing sector, generating $1.4 billion in annual U.S. sales. There are concerns that such growth in demand would outpace the ocean’s wild-caught stock of sardine, anchovy, menhaden and other small forage fish used as aquafeed fishmeal.

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin has scheduled three calf-care seminars across Wisconsin, with two of them in this area. The Calf Care Connection workshops will be Nov. 10 in Menomonie, Nov. 11 in Stratford and Nov. 12 in Hilbert. Each day’s workshop will be 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program and registration information is available at

Wisconsin’s hunter education program has gone virtual. State Department of Natural Resources officials said hunters of all ages can earn their Wisconsin hunter education safety certification through a single, online-only hunter education course developed as a temporary change by the state Department of Natural Resources. The online course is available through Dec. 31; information is available on the state DNR’s Web site.

This is Forest Products Week in Wisconsin, as proclaimed by Gov. Tony Evers, to recognize the people who work in and care for woodlands and wood products in Wisconsin. State agriculture officials said forest products annually contribute $24.3 billion to Wisconsin’s economy, providing more than 63,000 jobs in the state, with a $4.2 billion annual payroll. Those statistics also show that each forestry job in Wisconsin supports 1.7 additional jobs.

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