Crops and Livestock

EVENTS

Food and the Wisconsin Idea

Date: September 20, 2017, 3-5pm
Location: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW-Madison
details

CIAS Harvest Dinner 2017

Date: October 29, 2017, 5:30pm
Location: University Club, UW-Madison
details

Edible Startup Summit

Date: November 17-18, 2017
Location: American Family Center, Madison, WI
details

more events

SUCCESS STORIES

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



Wisconsin Soil Health Scorecard

The Wisconsin Soil Health Scorecard assesses soil health as a function of soil, plant, animal and water properties identified by farmers. The scorecard is a field tool to monitor and improve soil health based on field experience and a working knowledge of a soil. While the scorecard is best completed near or just following harvest, […] more

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

Composted manures offer yield and disease resistance benefits (Research Brief #45)

Composted manures offer promise as beneficial soil amendments for vegetable growers. New research results show that composted manures can increase vegetable yield, influence crop diseases, and bring about changes in soil microbial life. These research findings are from an on-farm collaboration between vegetable growers and research scientists at UW-Madison. The project began with Richard DeWilde […] more

Outwintering dairy cattle: the fate of manure components (Research Brief #35)

Farmers who wish to outwinter their cattle to decrease facility and labor costs can do so in environmentally sound ways. In a study conducted during the winter of 1997-98, manure from outwintered cattle on three Wisconsin dairy farms retained nutrients rather than releasing them to the environment where they could pollute ground or surface water. […] more

Outwintering dairy cattle: manure management issues (Research Brief #28)

The sparkling, frozen world of Wisconsin in winter presents several challenges to its dairy farmers. One of these challenges is how to manage dairy cattle wastes so that nutrients and organic matter are added to fields and pastures instead of streams and water sources. Ed Brick, a civil and environmental engineer, has completed the first […] more

Outwintering dairy cattle: animal health issues (Research Brief #27)

Farmers are finding that dairy cattle are a lot tougher and more resourceful than they have been given credit for. —Ed Brick Can dairy cattle stay healthy and comfortable outside during a Wisconsin winter? The answer appears to be yes, with careful management, according to findings from the first year of a two-year CIAS outwintering […] more

Manure management research from an integrated perspective (Research Brief #24)

Solving complex agricultural problems like how to improve manure management systems requires strong disciplinary research combined with farmers and scientists coming together to apply adaptive, collaborative approaches to problem-solving. And existing institutional and reward structures need to be explored and developed to support long-term, collaborative research. That’s the conclusion of a CIAS-sponsored study, commissioned in […] more
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