Date: July 27, 2018, 9:20am
Location: Spring Green, WI
Date: August 3-4, 2018
Location: Spring Grove, MN and Coon Valley, WI
Date: August 8, 2018, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Tour begins in Madison
As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more
CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more
CIAS research focuses on the sustainability of diverse crop and livestock systems. Our work includes pasture-based livestock production, fresh fruit and vegetable production and marketing, specialty crops, integrated farming systems and other topics.
Ovsynch results variable on grass-based dairy farms (Research Brief #61)
To take maximum advantage of pasture growth, dairy farmers using rotational grazing often have a short (less than 3 month) spring calving window as a goal. But this is difficult to achieve. CIAS-supported research on a Wisconsin grazing farm shows that the Ovsynch breeding program, while successful on confinement dairy farms, can be problematic on grazing dairy farms.
Building Soil Organic Matter with Organic Amendments
If you follow practices that build and maintain soil organic matter, especially through the addition of organic amendments, you will improve the quality of your soil, reducing compaction and crusting, and increasing drainage and water holding capacity. Plants will be healthier, may yield more, and will be more tolerant of drought, insects and diseases. You […] more
The Art and Science of Composting
Composting is controlled decomposition, the natural breakdown process of organic residues. Composting transforms raw organic waste materials into biologically stable, humic substances that make excellent soil amendments. Compost is easier to handle than manure and other raw organic materials, stores well and is odor-free. This paper describes the composting process, general guidelines for pile management, […] more
Apple disease control alternatives (Research Brief #60)
Sooty blotch and flyspeck are fungal diseases that can reduce the economic value of fresh market apples. While these diseases don't affect yield or quality below the surface, they can badly discolor apple skin. These diseases are especially serious for growers using integrated pest management (IPM) and organic practices.
Holstein steers show good gains on kura clover (Research Brief #59)
Is kura clover a good legume choice in rotationally grazed pastures? A study conducted at the UW Lancaster Agricultural Research Station says yes, with excellent beef production on kura clover/grass pastures. Kura's persistence and leafy growth led to higher Holstein steer growth rates on kura/grass pastures than red clover/grass pastures.
New Zealand internships provide eye-opening experience
“I must say it was the hardest I’ve ever worked for free, but somehow I really didn’t mind. I knew that the knowledge I gained was priceless.” Those are the words of Mike Tomandl who recently completed a dairy farm internship in New Zealand. He and fellow intern Joe Heimerl went to New Zealand in […] more
Starting your own dairy farm (Research Brief #58)
Despite volatile milk prices, hundreds of new farmers get started in dairying each year. Compared to other types of livestock farming, dairying can provide a higher income per animal, monthly paychecks, and, in many areas, more markets.
Nurturing the Next Generation of Wisconsin’s Dairy Farmers
New dairy farmers often face high start-up costs for land, equipment and facilities. Volatile milk prices, long hours and hard work reduce the appeal of a career in dairy farming. To better understand the start-up strategies used by beginning dairy farmers, a research team surveyed 321 beginning dairy farmers in 1996. They also conducted in […] more