Save money and get cleaner water by correctly utilizing manure

A common misconception about livestock manure is that it is simply a waste product of the farm. However, manure is rich in many nutrients and is a valuable resource when applied back onto fields that can benefit from manure application. Research has demonstrated positive impacts to soil quality/health, crop production, and overall farm management when manure is managed effectively.

Weighing the impacts of tile drains on nutrient losses

The use of tile drainage is becoming more popular in Wisconsin. Installing a tile drain system can be a great tool to dry soil out faster, improving the timeliness of field operations throughout the cropping season. However, how do tile systems influence water movement off of the field, and what are the water quality implications?

Field Notes Episode 8: 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.

Phosphorus losses can occur under low erosion rates

Historically, reduced tillage, defined here as tillage that maintains plant surface residue and where nutrients are surface applied (i.e. no-till, zone, strip, or vertical tillage), were touted as the solution for phosphorus loss from agricultural fields.

▶ Watch: Soil Test Phosphorus: An important risk factor for water quality

Winter Webinar Series 2 of 3 – “Soil test phosphorus: an important risk factor for water quality.” This webinar had two speakers, Chelsea Zegler (an outreach specialist in UW-Extension’s Ag water quality program) and Dr. Jamie Patton (regional specialist with UW-Madison’s Nutrient and Pest Management Program). This webinar went into depth about the phosphorus (P) cycle, analyzing soil test phosphorus and how it is an important tool to use on farms to limit P losses.

▶Watch: Manure and water quality: Why looking at the calendar matters

Presenters Laura Paletta (an outreach specialist in UW-Extension’s Ag water quality program) and Dr. Francisco Arriaga (assistant professor in the Dept. of Soil Science at UW-Madison) go into depth looking at the best and worst times to spread manure, why it’s important for water quality, and offer recommendations to help limit soil and nutrient losses.

Stacking conservation practices for water quality

Amber Radatz, program director for UW-Madison Extension’s Ag water quality program, talks about the positive impacts utilizing multiple best management practices can have on a landscape. It typically takes more than just one conservation practice to make a significant impact. The ultimate goal is to keep soil and nutrients on the field rather than erode […]

The best times to spread manure and why

This short video shares the best times to spread manure throughout the year, why it’s important to consider various field and weather conditions and offers best management practices to install to reduce soil and nutrient losses.

Bouncing between frozen and thawed

Over the years, the University of Wisconsin Division of Extension Discovery Farms Program has shared lessons learned from nutrient applications on frozen soil. The main takeaway is that applying nutrients, such as manure, to frozen ground shortly before runoff occurs leads to greater losses.

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