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Organic Ag Field Day on July 28 Will Feature Vegetable Varieties and Research

MADISON – Organic vegetables will be the focus when the University of
Wisconsin-Madison holds its fourth annual Organic Agriculture Field
Day on 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. The 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 Rd,
just west of the U.S Hwy. 12/14 interchange.

If you plan to attend, please register in advance by contacting Silva
at 608-890-1503 or via email at emsilva@wisc.edu. Pre-registration is
not required but is appreciated.