Wisconsin farmers are sharing how they use cover crops and helping to improve cover cropping for farmers all around the state.
A state wide network of collaborating citizen science farmers fill out a survey about their cover crop practices, take photos of cover crop growth, and provide biomass samples. We pay participants an honorarium, and share personalized cover crop nutrient analysis data in addition to total biomass production and forage quality information. We also incorporate farmer feedback in research and outreach programming, including the Wisconsin Water and Soil Health Conference in December.
See below for our research reports and articles. Questions? Contact Dan Smith, UW-Madison Nutrient and Pest Management Program, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-219-5170; or Ricardo Costa Silva, Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, email@example.com, 573 639-8971.
- Original research article: “Building cover crop expertise with citizen science in the upper Midwest: supporting farmer innovation in a time of change,” Front. Sustain. Food Syst., 19 May 2023, M. Ingram, Participatory Action Research Scientist, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.
- Read the 2022 Season Report
- Read the 2021 Season Report
- Read the 2020 Season Report
Funding and support provided by: The Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin USDA-NRCS
Citizen Science project collaborators include:
- Mrill Ingram, Participatory Action Research Scientist, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, project lead and social scientist
- Daniel H. Smith, Nutrient and Pest Management Agronomist and Southwest Regional Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison NPM program
- Ricardo Costa-Silva, Agronomist and Agricultural Strategy Manager at The Nature Conservancy, Wisconsin Chapter
- Greg Sanford, Associate Scientist, UW Madison Agronomy Department and Manager, Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST)
- Jose Franco, Research Agronomist/Agroecologist, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, USDA-ARS
- Margaret Krome, Policy Program Director, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
- David Evans, interactive data visualization, Evans Geospatial
Soil Health Collaborative partners include:
Special thanks to participating farmers!