Data is the currency of the future. What does this look like for farmers? We sit down with Drs. Emily Bick, Extension-funded field and forage crop entomologist with University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Jim Eckberg, a scientist with General Mills, to find out. We talk on how sensors and imaging can help build back biodiversity and soils as well as how industry is working to spur the transition along.
Image adapted from USDA photo by Peggy Greb under creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode
Monday, April 24, 2023
Ag, Water, and Processing Vegetables
Guolong Liang, outreach specialist for the Agriculture Water Quality Program of Extension in the Central Sands of Wisconsin, guest hosts this episode of Field Notes. Guolong talks with UW-Madison Horticulture Professor and Extension Specialist Jed Colquhoun about the use of cover crops to reduce nutrient runoff in canning and processing vegetables. For the farmer perspective, he chats with John Ruzicka of Guth Farms in Bancroft, Wisconsin and Dylan Moore, a Seneca Foods Field Representative, about Guth Farm's journey in integrating no-till and cover crops into their processing vegetable rotations.
Friday, March 31, 2023
Nitrogen Management and Climate Change
When we think of nitrogen leaving the fields, we often think of nitrates leached down to groundwater, but the mobility of nitrogen is not just downwards. Nitrogen can also leave the field and be lost to the atmosphere in the form of nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas. But this is no laughing matter. Nitrous oxide is almost 300 times as warming as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and 80% of our nitrous oxide emissions in Wisconsin come from agriculture. We talk with Diane Mayerfeld, the Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator with UW-Madison Extension to break down the science and discuss what farmers can do about it, and how it might have positive effects in their own operations.
Monday, February 27, 2023
Frost Seeding Red Clover
March is mud month in Wisconsin. While this season may not be particularly pretty on the eyes, the freeze and thaw of the soil presents farmers with an opportunity to seed small-seeded plants like clovers into a fall-established wheat crop. The benefits are numerous: weed control, diversity, nitrogen for the following corn crop, forage and grazing opportunities. We cover it all with Jefferson County farmer Scott Schultz.
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Evaluating Soil Health
Everyone is talking about soil health, so we thought we should too. We chat a bit about what exactly is soil health with Jamie Patton of UW-Madison's Nutrient and Pest Management program and Brendon Blank, a farmer and Byron Seeds rep from Ixonia, WI, and importantly, how do you measure progress?
Thursday, October 27, 2022
With winter on the horizon, ensuring that your bags, bunkers, and silos are full to brim is a ready solution for easing worries about winter feed supply. But, for some farmers, the solution to winter feeding and storage is out in the field. We talk bale grazing with Jason Cavadini who, in addition to being the state grazing specialist with Extension, grazes beef cattle near Marshfield and Lynn Johnson a farmer and grazing consultant with the Northwest Grazing Network.View the Transcript
Monday, September 26, 2022
Winter Cover Crops
As fall arrives, farmers turn to harvest. Once the dust settles, some fields lay bare while others show signs of life heading into winter. We talk with Kevin Shelley of UW-Madison's Nutrient and Pest Management program and Scott Carlson, a farmer in northwestern Wisconsin, about the benefits, challenges, and choices of planting winter cover crops.View the Transcript
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
In this, the first episode of Field Notes, we dive headlong into the practice of interseeding cover crops into standing corn, a practice becoming more and more popular in Wisconsin. To help us out, we talk with Anne Pfeiffer, program manager for UW-Madison's on-farm research research network, and Marty Weiss, a farmer in Dodge County and the vice-president of Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soils Healthy Waters farmer-led watershed group.View the transcript