Officials with the Oregon State Department of Forestry will send a bill for $37 million to two men alleged to have started last year’s Stouts Creek fire that burned 26,000 acres. The two men, Dominic Decarlo, 70, of Days Creek, and Cloyd Deardorff, 64, of Yuma, Ariz., started the fire that burned for a month by mowing their lawns. Fire restrictions at the time barred any mowing between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. The tally includes the cost of firefighting crews, the helicopters and bulldozers they use, even the food for the firefighters.

Milk replacer

Does drinking a glass of milk make you feel guilty? (We don’t either, btw.) A startup hopes their claims of guilt-free will help spur demand for their replica milk.

Bioengineers Perumal Gandhi and Ryan Pandya developed animal-free dairy products to woo environmentally-conscious consumers who want better alternatives to milk. The two claim their milk replacer tastes and can be used like real milk, with the same (if not improved) nutrient profile. Their milk will be sold under the brand name “Perfect Day.”

In support of dairies, however, is new research by USDA that is developing an environmentally friendly film made of the milk protein casein. These casein-based films are up to 500 times better than plastics at keeping oxygen away from food and, because they are derived from milk, are biodegradable, sustainable and edible.

Fall feeder cattle market prospects

Changes in feeder cattle prices recently have potential impacts for cow-calf and stocker producers this fall, says Oklahoma State University economist Derrell Peel. Through July and August, prices for heavy feeder cattle have increased relative to lighter weight feeder cattle.  Several factors appear to be impacting feeder cattle price relationships.

Wolf removal authorized

We predict some backlash for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. That’s because they have received authorization to ‘remove’ a wolf pack in Ferry County after two calf carcasses and an injured calf were found in a grazing area. “The injured calf was classified as the subject of a confirmed wolf attack and the dead calves as subjects of probable wolf attacks,” the department said in a news release. “Since mid-July, WDFW has confirmed that wolves have killed or injured six cattle and probably five others, based on staff investigations.” WDFW Director Jim Unsworth authorized field staff to remove the remaining members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack to prevent additional attacks on cattle in the grazing lands between Republic and Kettle Falls.