Loading
Search
TOP STORY

Study shows Wisconsin farmers heavily use potentially deadly weed treatment chemical Submitted: 05/20/2019

Play Video
SUGAR CAMP - To prepare their fields for planting, many Wisconsin farmers use a harsh weed killer called glyphosate; it's the same active-ingredient found in Roundup. 

In a recent lawsuit, a California couple was awarded more than $2 billion after a jury found that same chemical gave them cancer. Bayer, the parent company of Roundup maker Monsanto, was found at fault.

The potential dangers of herbicides have led at least one local farmer to avoid them. He feels his crops can thrive without them.

At his home in Sugar Camp, Brendan Tuckey practices what he calls "regenerative agriculture."

"We've never wanted to use chemicals on our crops so weeds have been an issue," said Tuckey.

To manage those unwanted plants, Tuckey says he doesn't till his soil and covers it when it's not being used. 

"Because you're not turning over the soil you're not bringing up weeds seeds from underneath," said Tuckey. "Weed seeds that are in your soil kind of keep getting covered up."

Tuckey believes his natural methods are better than using harsh weed killers, but he knows they're widely used elsewhere.

"Unfortunately it's very integrated into our farming systems," said Tuckey.

A new survey from the National Agricultural Statistics Service found that 97% of corn and 98% of soybean crops across Wisconsin were treated with chemical herbicides in 2018. NASS reported that 42% of corn and 67% of soybean crops in the state were specifically treated with glyphosate. 

UW-Extension Agricultural Development Educator Dan Marzu says state laws regulating herbicides can be strict and that user instructions always come with clear warnings. 

"Some pesticides we can't use at all, others we just follow whatever's on the label," said Marzu.
According to Marzu, there's little chance those harmful chemicals could end up in your food.

"So there are an amount of days the pesticide actually breaks down, the active ingredient actually breaks down," said Marzu.

However, the more those chemicals are used, the more people like Tuckey worry negative side-effects will appear. He's made it his goal to show people farming can still be done the "natural" way.

"Just show that you can produce food without these chemicals … and it's much better for your family, it's much better for your customers," said Tuckey. 

In his role with UW-Extension, Marzu said he teaches farmers preventative methods for fighting weeds and insects naturally but he still recommends using chemicals as a secondary treatment method.


Story By: Stephen Goin

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story






 LOCAL NEWS

Play Video

CONOVER - After 34 years working as a Chicago police homicide detective, Joe Danzl got used to carrying a gun.

"I don't want to say it's second nature, but I'm pretty relaxed when I'm shooting," Danzl said.

Ten years into retirement and living in Eagle River, Danzl now has a concealed carry permit for his 9mm Beretta.  The permit works all around the state of Wisconsin, but traveling is a different story.

"I just want to exercise my right to be armed when I choose to be," Danzl said.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - The Ace Hardware store in Merrill employs a few veterans on its 17-person staff.

But it plans to do even more for veterans this Saturday.

It will give away American flags to the first 240 customers to its store. Ace will also donate 200 flags to the local VFW post, something it did last year for the first time.

"It was really gratifying to see how much the VFW post was really honored by it and just thanked us so profusely," said Merrill Ace Hardware owner Tim Haight. "Ace is all about honoring American veterans."

The Merrill store will join Ace stores across the country on Saturday. Together, they intend to give away one million American flags.

The Flying Aces fighter pilots in World War I inspired the name for Ace stores.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk's Main Street organization thinks a big part of making its downtown beautiful is the flower baskets that hang every summer.

But the 32 baskets take a lot of volunteer power to keep watered.

This year, the downtown will display flowers in new, self-watering baskets. They'll only need to be watered every three or four days, instead of every day.

"Beautification is always a focal point of any great downtown. You want to bring in something that's very inviting, very community-orientated, and who doesn't love flowers?" said Tomahawk Main Street Executive Director Aimee Dickrell.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER -
UPDATE: Passengers who were supposed to arrive in Rhinelander at 3:15 p.m. will be able to take a flight out of Minneapolis that will arrive late Monday evening. 

A broken underground power cable at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport delayed a flight set to arrive in Rhinelander from Minneapolis Monday afternoon. 

Around 1:30 p.m., workers noticed malfunctioning equipment in the weather station at the airport, which affects navigation. 

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Police think a man caused a deadly crash while driving high in Vilas County this winter.  He now faces homicide and drug possession felonies.

Prosecutors filed charges against Tyler Metz, 19, on May 14.

Metz, who lives in Douglas County, was involved in a head-on crash on Highway 51 at Bakken Road in the township of Boulder Junction on Jan. 23.

+ Read More
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/20/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


A recent lawsuit in California where two people say they now have cancer due to herbicides has led to concerns about herbicides used by farmers. We talk to a local farmer who uses no chemicals on his farm to get his thoughts on the issue.

Plus, we'll show you how some former officers in Vilas County are taking a free weapons course even after they've retired.


We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - At a class in Rhinelander Sunday, people learned that gardening is something the whole family, even pets, can enjoy.

+ Read More
+ More Local News
Search: