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Field Notes


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  • 18. Dairy Heifer Grazing

    37:55
    Like gas and groceries, the cost of trucking and raising dairy heifers out West has gone up. Does this present Wisconsin farmers with an opportunity to lure these animals back to the state with low-input approaches and similar performance standards with well-managed grazing? We sit down with Jason Cavadini, UW-Madison Extension Grazing Outreach Specialist, and Mike Redetzke, a farmer custom-raising dairy heifers near Colby to discuss the nuts and bolts of getting confinement dairy operations in Wisconsin to put their heifers out on grass.

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  • 17. Notes on Using the Haney Test in Wisconsin

    43:19
    Heard about the Haney test and want to learn more about how it might be used in Wisconsin? Listen in while we chat with leading UW researchers and outreach specialists Chris Bandura, John Jones, and Andrew Stammer on this topic. We dive in deep discussing how the Haney test can be used practically on-farm, how it calculates fertility recommendations differently than other soil tests, and what that means for Wisconsin cropping systems.Photo by Chris Clark
  • 16. Specialty Grain Markets

    37:30
    Wisconsin infrastructure for grain markets and the ability to drop off grains at the nearest elevator incentivizes corn and soybean (and wheat to a lesser extent) rotations. Breaking outside that box and finding alternative grain markets can yield dividends in price premiums and extended crop rotations enhancing farm resilience to drops in commodity prices and other external shocks. We talk with Willie Hughes, an organic and conventional grain farmer in Rock County, and Alyssa Hartman of the Artisan Grain Collaborative about how they navigate finding, complying with and knitting together these differentiated markets. Photo taken by Willie Hughes
  • 15. Grazing Cover Crops Interseeded into 60" Row Corn

    36:12
    Whereas most grain farmers with a livestock grow crops to feed their cattle, Jeff Gaska a farmer between Beaver Dam and Columbus in Dodge County is trying to grow his cattle to feed his crops. One of the ways he is moving towards this goal is by grazing cover crops interseeded into 60" row corn. We talk with Jeff about this system, the results that he has had over the last couple of years, especially with drought, as well as the approach to how he is determining if it is an economically viable practice for his farm.
  • 14. Cranberry Production

    41:30
    Just in time for Thanksgiving, Field Notes brings you an episode all about cranberries. Wisconsin's state fruit for a reason; we produce the majority of the world's supply, and who better to dig into the details, or the peat, than UW-Madison Extension Cranberry Outreach Specialist Allison Jonjak? We strap on our waders and hop into the bogs to talk about Wisconsin's production of this native, perennial vine and the unique environment and highly acidic soils in which they grow.
  • 13. Agroforestry

    31:53
    Surrounded by the peak autumn colors of Wisconsin, we thought we'd take a turn to talking about trees, specifically about integrating trees and crops in a system called agroforestry. We call up Jacob Grace of the Savanna Institute, a Wisconsin non-profit focused on promoting, educating, and breeding trees for agroforestry and Eric Wolske of Canopy Farm Management, which specializing in agroforestry installation, maintenance, and management, to chat about the many benefits of trees in cropland and some of the challenges.Photo taken by Eric Wolske
  • 12. Drawing Down Soil Test Phosphorus

    32:33
    Field Notes reporting from the field, well, the bar. We sit down with Mark Keller of Kellercrest Holsteins of Mt. Horeb and Chelsea Zegler, Outreach Specialist with Extension's Ag Water Quality Program, at the Mt. Vernon Tap to talk phosphorus and how farmers can work to draw down excessive levels and save money in the meantime. Mark recounts the Pleasant Valley Watershed Project that worked with farmers in the area to adopt conservation practices like reduced tillage and cover crops for forage, which reduced soil test and water phosphorus levels by 40%, which meant big fertilizer savings. And Chelsea discusses pathways for phosphorus loss and ways to mitigate and keep the dollars in your fields.