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.
Fresh market growers share pest management strategies (Research Brief #62)
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) combines monitoring practices with cultural, physical, and biological control strategies to manage pests with a minimum of pesticides. With support from the Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction Project at CIAS, UW-Madison rural sociologist Pete Nowak and Extension IPM specialist Karen Delahaut surveyed Wisconsin fresh market vegetable and berry growers in 2001. They found that many fresh market vegetable and berry growers in Wisconsin use IPM practices.
Resource CD Provides Facts and Tools for Fresh Market Vegetable Growers
A new resource CD from the University of Wisconsin provides a wealth of production and marketing information for fresh market vegetable growers. The “Fresh Market Vegetable Resource CD” includes fact sheets, reports, power point presentations and marketing materials on a range of topics. Vegetable production. The CD includes information on integrated pest and weed management, […] more
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