Crops and Livestock


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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


Announcing the 2019 Market Farm Madness Champion!

Hoophouse is your 2019 Market Farm Madness champion! They withstood high winds, late snow storms and controversy over cost share payments to win the tournament. 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)