Organic vegetables will be the focus when the University of Wisconsin-Madison holds its fourth annual Organic Agriculture Field Day on Wednesday, July 28, at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station.
Field tours will offer a look at organic vegetable variety development, no-till vegetable production using killed buckwheat mulch and sweet corn density. The program will also include late blight updates, cucumber beetle management, fertility management using cover crops and a demonstration of VeggieCompass farm management software.
The field day offers growers a chance to compare the performance of a wide array of organic vegetable varieties.
UW-Madison is part of an organic variety trial network that also includes researchers and farmers in Oregon, Washington and New York. This partnership allows comparisons across a range of regions, farm sizes and farming systems, explains Erin Silva, organic research coordinator at the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
“We will be able to determine, for example, whether a specific variety might offer advantages to a one-acre, CSA-type farm versus a 50-acre farm that grows primarily for the wholesale market,” Silva explains.
Researchers will also talk about the UW-Madison’s own organic variety breeding program.
An indoor session will focus on VeggieCompass, a software-based system that allows a diversified vegetable farm business to track costs and profitability of individual crops and market channels. The system, which was developed by the UW-Madison in partnership with organic producer Jim Munsch, is available online.
Registration will begin at 1 p.m. Demonstrations and tours will run from 1:15-5:30 p.m. The station is located at 8502 Mineral Point Road, just west of the U.S. Highway 12/14 interchange.
Anyone planning to attend should register by contacting Silva at 608-890-1503 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Pre-registration is not required but is much appreciated.