Countryside and Landmark Cooperatives merge
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Two of Wisconsin’s largest agriculture-based cooperatives become one today. The merger takes effect today between Countryside Cooperative, which is based in Durand and has locations throughout much of our region, and the Cottage Grove-based Landmark Cooperative. The cooperative’s boards and administration have been working on the merger throughout the past year, and it was approved after Countryside members voted in favor of the merger in August. No new name for the merged cooperative has been announced. The new cooperative has more than 26,000 members and employs more than 800 people, with annual sales of more than $600 million. Countryside, which has been operating since 1907, had more than 15,000 members in west-central Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, and employed more than 400 people with annual sales of more than $234 million. The newly formed cooperative is headquartered in Cottage Grove, with operations and staff continuing to work at multiple locations.
Reuters is reporting that more variants of African swine fever have been found in China’s hog herd. The report says the variants are more difficult to detect than the base virus, but that they’re less deadly to hogs. African swine fever decimated China’s hog herd in 2018 and 2019, and continues to kill hogs there. China is the world’s largest hog-producer.
Farmers are reminded that March 15 is the deadline to apply for or make changes to federal crop insurance for many crops that will be planted in the spring. The insurance is offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency through local crop insurance agents. Some extra flexibilities are being offered in this year’s insurance offerings because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Applications are available for the latest round of grants available from the Wisconsin Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program. Requests of $5,000 to $50,000 in producer or processor projects will be considered. Applicants must show a matching cash or in-kind funding for their proposals. The state grants are available through the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; March 26 is the application deadline.
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