Grass waterway near Cashton, Wis.

Identifying Critical Sites and Verifying Land Management Practices

October 11, 2013 Did you ever stop and think about the difference between planning and accomplishing?  We all have plans, like losing a few pounds, saving more money or becoming more sustainable.  There is no question that planning is important.  But while developing a plan can be a challenge, accomplishing your plans are where the […]

Spreading manure

Take soil temperature into account when spreading fall manure

October 1, 2013 Although we are entering week 5 of the NFL regular season football schedule, the unseasonably warm temperatures haven’t made it feel much like football season so far.  Cooler temperatures are predicted later this week, but if the warm trends experienced in recent weeks continue, soils may take awhile to cool down this […]

Radish Cover Crop

Q&A on Cover Crops with Matt Ruark

August 30, 2013 1) Are there any drawbacks to a rye cover crop in no-till? Preliminary research at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station shows little to no drawback to no-till corn silage yields (data here). However, there is tremendous benefit to soil by having this soil cover after a corn silage harvest. The key to good management […]

Corn field

Will my corn reach maturity prior to first frost?

August 16, 2013 A common question in parts of Wisconsin this year is: ““Will my corn reach maturity prior to the first killing frost?”  No one knows for sure, but looking at historical data can help identify reasonable expectations for this fall. The average first fall frost date in most of Wisconsin is the last […]

Photo: Red Root Pigweed

Weeds Compete with Crops for Water

July 22, 2013 Summer heat has finally arrived.  In Wisconsin, our wet May and June (2013) caused an extended and delayed crop planting and hay harvest season.  As a result, it is not uncommon to see a wide range of crop maturities within the same neighborhood, and on individual farms.  The current heat has advanced […]


Wacky Weather

May 21, 2013 This coming Thursday will be my 20th birthday. Even though I may not be as seasoned as some individuals, I know the importance of the weather and the implications it has on farming. The weather determines planting time, harvesting time, crop yields, and the cost of feeding livestock. Unfortunately, past growing seasons […]


Corn Silage, Soil and Forage Nutrients, and Cover Crops

August 28, 2012  Our 2012 Wisconsin corn silage season is upon us.  The lack of rain this season will cause many producers to harvest more corn silage than usual.   This season’s drought has limited corn   vegetative growth and grain formation.  Even though all the correct nutrients were applied for 150+ bushel corn grain, many […]


Consider Legume N Credits, Even Now

October 20, 2011 As the 2011 crop year winds down, it is wise to consider next year’s nitrogen (N) management, even now.  We know our Dairy State grows alfalfa in rotation with corn (grain and silage) and, livestock manure is often involved. Consider the fields you plan to rotate out of alfalfa and into corn […]


Controlling compaction in agricultural fields

September 27, 2011 As we come into the fall season once again, the days get shorter and the rain becomes more frequent.  The increase in precipitation and lower evapotranspiration from less daylight and lack of growing crops typically results in high soil moisture levels in fall.  Soil compaction is a year round issue, but management during […]


Management considerations for late summer manure application

September 20, 2011 Did you see our article in the Agri-View a few weeks ago about management considerations for late summer manure application? The article contains information on macropore flow through soil, the impact large storms can have, added water through liquid manure application, late summer soil temperature and nitrogen availability, and cover crop use. […]