Country Today in Eau-Claire, Wisconsin
29 Sep 1982

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Country Today in Eau-Claire, Wisconsin
29 Sep 1982

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Eau Claire Country Today (Newspaper) - September 29, 1982, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Wed. September 29, 1982 the country today Page 3area farms growing marijuana again but ifs illegal now eau Claire Corn and soybeans Arentt the Only crops being harvested in West Central Wisconsin this time of year. Area Law enforcement agents Are Busy combing Fields throughout the Region in search of the magic Weed that fetches $1,200 a Pound in town. But this crop won t be found at Roadside stands or Farmers markets in full fall profusion with Squash apples and melons. The Weed in question which not Only grows wild in most parts of West Central Wisconsin but which was actually planted and harvested a legally and on purpose during world War ii a is marijuana. Many residents throughout this part of Wisconsin May be justified in asking whether West Central Wisconsin will become the marijuana capital of the Midwest. After All in just the last two weeks the following marijuana Harvest figures were recorded in the following area counties Dunn a an estimated 4,000 pounds. Jackson a approximately 1,700 pounds. Trempealeau nearly 2,000 pounds. Now a fall Harvest of Only 7,700 pounds May not appear to be much of a crop but when the going rate for this marijuana is from $500 to $1,200 a Pound the crop seized by Law enforcement agents in just these three counties alone is Worth an estimated $3vi million to $6 million. Aud what makes this an attractive crop to Plant even when considering the Trade off of an arrest is that All 4 tons that have been seized burned or doubled sked into the ground so far this fall in West Central Wisconsin were grown on less than too acres of land. So $30,000 to $60,000 an acre Isnit a bad Harvest. Because it is illegal in Wisconsin to possess marijuana it is illegal to grow it. Therefore when Law enforcement agents discover marijuana growing they destroy it after securing some As evidence. It is not difficult to grow marijuana in West Central Wisconsin even though most of the publicity in recent years has led the average citizen to conclude that it is a tropical crop inasmuch As so much of it enters the . From Colombia in South America and from Mexico. However Many Plant and agronomy manuals describe in rather simple terms the information needed to grow it. Here in West Central Wisconsin Ordinary Field Corn is used As a a nurse crop by marijuana growers who fear their illegal crop May be discovered. Marijuana seeds which Are about the size of ragweed seeds simply Are planted in rows of Corn after the Corn has emerged from the ground. For most of the summer the Corn simply hides the growing marijuana but by fall the Green Wavy stems of marijuana can far outstrip the companion stalks of Corn by two to three feet it can reach to feet tall under Good growing conditions. All the marijuana found in Dunn Jackson and Trempealeau counties was growing in Cornfields but in Dunn county the most sophisticated methods were used. Sheriff Richard Risler had been watching the farm near Boyceville since last year. He and his deputies had just missed making arrests in the fall of 1981 because the crop had been harvested shortly before they arrived at the farm owned by Daniel Dickel 32, a Minneapolis investment broker. So he simply waited another year and stepped in just before this years Harvest began. Marijuana was found growing on one of the three Dickel farms in a Field within too feet of the Boyceville Village limits. On this farm 15 to 20 rows of Field Corn were planted on the outside of the Field shielding the pure stand of marijuana inside the 20-Row perimeter. But on one end of the Field of pot was a smaller stand where both the male and female plants of marijuana were allowed to mature. This was believed to be a seed plot pollinated plants would provide next years marijuana seed for the Northern Dunn county farms officials believe. In the most sophisticated Mari Juana growing operations Only the female Plant is harvested. This Means that All male plants must be pulled out during summer so there can be no pollination. Also at the Boyceville farms owned by or. Dickel were several pots of pot growing inside the farmhouse where hybridization apparently was taking place. Carefully marked plants each evidently a different variety of marijuana were being cultured. Sheriff Risler and his undersheriff Robert Zebro said the marijuana grown in the Boyceville area of Northern Dunn county was perhaps the Best Quality on the Market. A it was judged by state Justice department officials As better than any from South America a undersheriff Zebro said. In fact on the Street it was known As a Boyceville Gold a he added and this name eventually led officers to believe that it was indeed being grown and harvested in the Boyceville area. According to sheriff Risler and undersheriff Zebro Only the leaves Are used. Marijuana actually is harvested much like tobacco is Cut and Hung to dry generally in Small Bunches containing Only the leaves. A i guess this explains Why Dickel was always around his Boyceville area farms during Deer Hunting season a or. Zebro said. According to the undersheriff or. Dickel a became quite hostile during the Deer season. Head let people Hunt his Woods and Fields but he chased them away from his buildings. In fact he let anyone get near the barn and other buildings. He evidently had the marijuana hanging to on one of the Dickel farms in the town of Hay River deputies found a Corn dryer that apparently had been converted to dry marijuana sheriff Risler said. Two deputies spent an entire night cutting All marijuana from one 20-acre Corn Field harvesting an estimated ton of the crop. The second Field was destroyed sheriff Risler hired three area Farmers to disk the Field including the Corn twice and then fall plow it leaving no Trace of either the Corn cover crop or the illegally growing marijuana. Also the sheriff used a helicopter from Waco radio in the twin cities. According to undersheriff Zebro the Pilot also is an officer with the St. Paul police department. A so it was easy to coordinate this the Pilot flew almost at the height of the Corn plants Over All farms known to be owned by Daniel Dickel although officials told the country today that he has had All his land registered under a variety of corporate names. A search of All corporation papers currently is under Way at the Wisconsin Secretary of states office at Madison to determine if or. Dickel has an interest in any other West Central Wisconsin Farmland. The Boyceville area farms were believed to have been purchased by or. Dickel in the last five years. It is possible that or. Dickel observed officers swarming around his farms in the Boyceville area because this newspaper Learned that on the second Day of the major marijuana confiscation operation carried out by sheriff Risler or. Dickel was in Boyceville he Drew out Large sums of Money from his account in a Boyceville Bank sources have told the country today. Or. Lee Hardman an agronomist at the University of Minnesota told the country today that West Central Wisconsin is not necessarily being selected by marijuana growers As the site for their growing operations because it is better than other areas. Several Fields of pot also growing in disguise in Cornfields have been found in Southern Minnesota. A a it a a common Weed actually a or. Herdman said. A it can grow in any soil Type but it is just like any legitimate farm crop in that it responds positively to Good growing conditions such As fertilizer. You know what fertilizer does to Corn Well marijuana responds the same Way so when they grow Well fertilized Corn and pot together they get a pretty Good marijuana was planted deliberately during world War ii on Many West Central Wisconsin farms. Marijuana stems provide hemp and its stems were used to provide a source of hemp or jute to make Baler twine when the . Supply of hemp was Cut off by German submarines during world War ii or. Hardman said. That is partly Why so much marijuana grows wild in this area As Well As in much of the Midwest where the Weed was grown As a Cash crop nearly 40 years ago. Marijuana a a basically is an annual Weed or. Hardman said that grows often to to feet and it has a very Large tap Root. A even though it is a Weed put it in a place where it gets sufficient water and give it some fertilizer and it obtains very Good growth a the agronomist said. The chances of carefully planted and harvested pot crops being detected Are not overwhelming police admit and with markets for marijuana close at hand in the twin cities area University towns and even the Mil Waukee Madison Chicago Triangle not that far away the lofty returns from growing marijuana make it an attractive crop to some persons. Moreover the penalties Are not that severe. Or. Dickel has been charged with Possession with intent to deliver marijuana the maximum penalty is 5 years in jail or prison and $15,000 Fine. That compares to perhaps a Hal million dollars from one years crop of marijuana grown on 40 acres. Photo by the country today scientific Dunn county undersheriff Robert Zebro holds a string of drying marijuana Leaf Heads and he observes different varieties of marijuana confiscated from a Rural Boyceville farm where the illegal Weed was being cultivated. Photo by the country today close up this is a close up View of marijuana leaves. Up in smoke photo by Bill bluer Dunn county sheriff Richard Risler watches As part of a haul of 2 tons of marijuana is burned. He also ordered some Fields risked and slowed. Photo by the country Toda big crop Roxann Peterson a Dunn county Deputy shows that marijuana plants seized near Boyceville Tower Over her head

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