EVENTS

6th Annual Perennial Farm Gathering

Date: December 7-8, 2018
Location: Lussier Family Heritage Center, Madison
details

Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers

Date: January 11-13, 2019
Location: UW-Madison campus
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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



Lancaster Kernza and Silvopasture Field Day

Date: October 5, 2018, 9:45am-1pm

Location: Lancaster Agricultural Research Station

Posted July 2018

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Lancaster Agricultural Research Station will host a fall field day highlighting innovative grazing practices: managed grazing of Kernza, a perennial grain and forage crop, and silvopasture, where trees are intensively managed with pasture. This field day will take place on October 5 from 9:45am to 1pm.

“These grazing innovations can add to a farm’s resilience by providing forage diversity and shelter for animals in extreme weather,” said Diane Mayerfeld, UW-Extension sustainable agriculture coordinator. “Kernza and silvopasture also offer farmers the opportunity to harvest crops and graze animals on the same land.”

The Lancaster Ag Research Station is home to six multi-year experiments on Kernza, spread over 23 acres. Kernza is a forage grass that has been conventionally bred for increased seed yield, resulting in the first commercially available perennial grain crop. Following the August harvest of grain for human consumption, the plant regrows and produces a leafy, nutritious forage that can be grazed at the end of the growing season.

The tour will highlight best management practices for Kernza in southwestern Wisconsin, including optimum planting and harvesting dates, post-harvest management to maintain grain and forage yield and nutritive value, and response to grazing. Participants will learn about the latest advances in Kernza research and watch beef heifers grazing a mixture of Kernza and alfalfa in a rotational grazing system.

Lancaster also hosts research on silvopasture, the intensively managed integration of trees with pasture. Farmers using this practice reap multiple benefits from having trees and grass on their farms. Grazing provides regular income, and the forage layer protects the soil. Trees provide shade and shelter for livestock and, over time, may provide income from wood, nuts, or other products.

Researchers at Lancaster converted sections of woodland at the research station to silvopasture by removing some trees and planting a forage mix. The field day will cover forage growth and utilization in silvopasture and grazed woods plots, the effects of shade on livestock, and management challenges and recommendations for silvopasture.

This event is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be provided to participants who register before October 1. The Lancaster Ag Research Station is located at 7396 State Hwy 35/81. To register call 608-723-2580 or sign up on-line at https://go.wisc.edu/0w8g3v