Boom in clover blamed for high cow deaths

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- An explosion of clover in Kentucky's cow pastures this spring has proved deadly for cows, prompting the state's agriculture commissioner to seek a federal disaster declaration.

Richie Farmer has asked Gov. Steve Beshear to request the declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farmer said in a news release last week that the cattle are dying of a weather-related condition called primary ruminal tympany, commonly known as frothy bloat.

Hardin County extension agent Doug Shepherd told The News-Enterprise of Elizabethtown that when a cow has frothy bloat, gas swells up in one of its stomach chambers, putting pressure on the lungs and causing it to suffocate.

Farmer says Kentucky cattle producers take in about $600 million in cash receipts from the sale of cattle and calves in a normal year.

Experts at the University of Kentucky say some producers have lost 25 to 30 percent of their herds.

Judge delays ruling in raw milk case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has postponed a ruling in a case that could blow a hole through Wisconsin's ban on raw milk sales.

Dane County Circuit Judge Patrick Fiedler was scheduled to rule in the case on June 15 involving Grassway Organic Farm's claim that the state has no right to stop them from selling raw milk to customers who have become part-owners of the farm.

But a similar case from Walworth County was sent to Dane County last week, so the judge has delayed a ruling due to a pending motion to consolidate the two.

A telephone hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 10.

The cases pose a threat to Wisconsin law that bans all but incidental sales of raw milk. Gov. Jim Doyle earlier this year vetoed a bill that would have allowed on-farm sales of raw milk.

Missouri county prohibits sale of raw milk

OZARK, Mo. (AP) -- You won't be able to buy raw milk at farmers' markets in southwest Missouri's Christian County.

The board of directors of the county's Health Department voted unanimously June 10 to prohibit raw milk from farmers' markets. The department had previously allowed dairy farmers to distribute raw milk at such markets.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit against a Laclede County couple for selling raw milk.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Christian County officials were concerned their previous policy conflicted with state law, which Koster says prohibits farmers from distributing unprocessed milk or selling it at a market.

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