Home » Field Notes Podcast
About the Podcast
Two regional crop educators with UW-Madison Extension in Wisconsin, specialist guests, and farmers combine their skills, knowledge, and experience to help farmers and agronomists develop research-based solutions to issues facing agriculture in Wisconsin. Subscribe where you listen to podcasts or check out the episodes below!
Meet the Field Notes Team
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Field Notes brings you an episode all about cranberries. Wisconsin’s state fruit for a reason; we produce the majority of the world’s supply, and who better to dig into the details, or the peat, than UW-Madison Extension Cranberry Outreach Specialist Allison Jonjak?
Surrounded by the peak autumn colors of Wisconsin, we thought we’d take a turn to talking about trees, specifically about integrating trees and crops in a system called agroforestry. We call up Jacob Grace of the Savanna Institute and Eric Wolske of Canopy Farm Management to chat about the many benefits of trees in cropland and some of the challenges.
Field Notes reporting from the field, well, the bar. We sit down with Mark Keller of Kellercrest Holsteins of Mt. Horeb and Chelsea Zegler, Outreach Specialist with Extension’s Ag Water Quality Program, at the Mt. Vernon Tap to talk phosphorus and how farmers can work to draw down excessive levels and save money in the meantime.
There is a lot of solar being sited in Wisconsin with some projects reaching a pretty massive scale. The traditional narrative has been hello solar, goodbye agriculture, however a new crop of farmers, researchers, and solar companies are thinking differently: how can we continue to farm this land between, under, and around solar panels?
Drought affects pasture as well as crops. During these dry times, what are the considerations that graziers need to keep in mind to optimize forage, and what are the advantages that a rotationally grazed system gives us when we’re short on water? We talk with Mary C Anderson, Wisconsin DNR Grazing Specialist, retired dairy farmer, and current grass-fed/finished beef farmer and Kevin Mahalko from the Gilman, WI area, a grass-fed dairy farmer and president of Grassworks.
No digg-it-y. No doubt? On this episode of Field Notes we dig into the question: to till, or not to till, or somewhere in between? Strip tillage is not as common in Wisconsin as full width tillage or no till, but it presents an opportunity to reduce soil disturbance and improve soil aggregation, while also gaining some of the benefits of full width tillage like early season soil warming and fertilizer incorporation.
Guest host Guolong Liang, outreach specialist for the Agriculture Water Quality Program of Extension in the Central Sands of Wisconsin, talks with UW-Madison Horticulture Professor and Extension Specialist Jed Colquhoun, John Ruzicka of Guth Farms in Bancroft, Wisconsin and Dylan Moore, a Seneca Foods Field Representative, about the use of cover crops and no-till to reduce nutrient runoff in canning and processing vegetables.
When we think of nitrogen leaving the fields, we often think of nitrates leached down to groundwater, but the mobility of nitrogen is not just downwards. Nitrogen can also leave the field and be lost to the atmosphere in the form of nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas. But this is no laughing matter.
March is mud month in Wisconsin. While this season may not be particularly pretty on the eyes, the freeze and thaw of the soil presents farmers with an opportunity to seed small-seeded plants like clovers into a fall-established wheat crop.
Data is the currency of the future. What does this look like for farmers? We sit down with Drs. Emily Bick, Extension-funded field and forage crop entomologist with University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Jim Eckberg, a scientist with General Mills, to find out. We talk on how sensors and imaging can help build back biodiversity and soils as well as how industry is working to spur the transition along.
Everyone is talking about soil health, so we thought we should too. We chat a bit about what exactly is soil health with Jamie Patton of UW-Madison’s Nutrient and Pest Management program and Brendon Blank, a farmer and Byron Seeds rep from Ixonia, WI, and importantly, how do you measure progress?
With winter on the horizon, ensuring that your bags, bunkers, and silos are full to brim is a ready solution for easing worries about winter feed supply. But, for some farmers, the solution to winter feeding and storage is out in the field. We talk bale grazing with Jason Cavadini who, in addition to being the state grazing specialist with Extension, grazes beef cattle near Marshfield and Lynn Johnson a farmer and grazing consultant with the Northwest Grazing Network.
As fall arrives, farmers turn to harvest. Once the dust settles, some fields lay bare while others show signs of life heading into winter. We talk with Kevin Shelley of UW-Madison’s Nutrient and Pest Management program and Scott Carlson, a farmer in northwestern Wisconsin, about the benefits, challenges, and choices of planting winter cover crops.
In this, the first episode of Field Notes, we dive headlong into the practice of interseeding cover crops into standing corn, a practice becoming more popular in Wisconsin.