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Organic ag field days on August 12 and 13

University of Wisconsin-Madison agricultural researchers will host two organic field days in the Madison area this month.

The first will be held at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station on August 12 from 1–4 p.m. and will focus on organic vegetable production. The second will take place at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station on August 13 from 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and will focus on crops and pastures.

“UW continues to expand its organic research and outreach activities, and this is a great opportunity to see what we’re learning,” says Erin Silva, organic production specialist in the UW-Madison’s Department of Agronomy. “Much of the research we feature at the field days is conducted on certified organic land at our research stations, and most of it is conducted in partnership with organic farmers.”

Among topics covered at both field days will be the use of cover crops to improve soils and manage weeds.  Research plots will feature no-till vegetable and soybean production, intercropping cover crops with vegetable crops, and cover crop mixes.

West Madison field tours will offer a look at several organic vegetable variety trials, including carrots, sweet corn, snap peas, potatoes and leafy greens.  The afternoon tour will also include a look at organic raspberries grown under a high tunnel greenhouse.

Fields tours at the Arlington event will cover organic no-till soybeans, use of mob grazing in pasture weed management, the impact of fertility balance on insect feeding in row crops and alfalfa, and organic production performance in the long-term Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial. After lunch—furnished by Willy St. Co-op for $8—UW extension dairy scientist Victor Cabrera will discuss strategies for supplementing pastures on organic and conventional grazing dairies.

The West Madison station is at 8052 Mineral Point Road, about a mile west of the Beltline. The Arlington Research Station is located on Highway 51, about five miles south of Arlington and 15 miles north of Madison.

RSVP’s are not required, but are appreciated.  Please contact Erin Silva, emsilva@wisc.edu, to RSVP.