Crops and Livestock


OGrain Field Day: Adding Organic to Large-Scale Farms

Date: August 24, 2017, 9am-3pm
Location: Wallendal Farms, Grand Marsh, WI

UW Organic Vegetable Variety Trials Field Day

Date: August 24, 2017, 2-5:30pm
Location: West Madison Ag Research Station

Farm and Sea Conservation Dinner: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Date: August 25, 2017, 6-8pm
Location: Michael Fields, East Troy, WI

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The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

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 Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

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


UW-Madison Highlights Partnership with Stoney Acres Farm

Kat Becker and Tony Schultz, who own and operate Stoney Acres Farm in Marathon County, are featured in a UW-Madison campaign to show how partnerships with citizens and businesses are furthering the Wisconsin Idea in each of the state's 72 counties. more

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Reducing Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico

Posted May 2015


Despite more than 40 years of largely voluntary efforts by federal, state, and local government, and tens of billions of US dollars of investment in conservation, nationwide progress on nutrient control has not yet been achieved. Concentrations of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in streams and groundwater are 2 to 10 times higher than recommended to protect aquatic life, and contamination of drinking water is still widespread, especially in rural areas (Dubrovsky et al. 2010). Complicating the matter, federal policies to protect water quality are at times at odds with policies designed to maximize commodity production and global exports (USEPA 2007).

The consequences of agricultural non-point source pollution are particularly evident where the Mississippi River enters the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf’s hypoxic, or “dead zone” is the largest hypoxic region in the United States and the second largest in the world (Rabalais et al. 1991). In 2014 the Gulf’s hypoxic zone, measured annually by scientists at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, was 13,080 km2 (5,052 mi2). No environmental phenomenon of such ecological importance to coastal marine systems has changed so drastically in such a short time, threatening to “inexorably change the biology of the region,” including its US$2.8 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry (Diaz and Rosenberg 1995; USEPA 2008).

Porter, PA; RB Mitchell and KJ Moore. 2015. “Reducing hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico: Reimagining a more resilient agricultural landscape in the Mississippi River Watershed.” Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 70(3):63A-68A.

Read the full paper (links to the JSWC website)