What to consider when spreading manure this November

Even in normal years the most ideal window for spreading stored manure can feel brief. And this year has been anything but normal. With a wet spring delaying planting and ultimately corn harvest, along with the arrival of an early winter, it seems the prime time to spread manure has all but disappeared.  In many […]


Watch Runoff During Snowmelt for Best Waterway Locations

February 28, 2014 Right now, the winter snow pack continues to accumulate.  Sometime into March winter will transition to spring and the snow will melt.  Some years snowmelts are spectacular with all the snow leaving in a week; other years they are slow and drawn out.  UW-Discovery Farms research has shown that extreme caution needs […]

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 […]

Jersey Valley Lake Sampling, August 2013

Jersey Valley Lake Sampling

August 13, 2013 UW Discovery Farms started the Jersey Valley Discovery Watershed project in October 2010 with five edge-of-field sites and two stream sites. In the spring of 2011, two sampling sites within Jersey Valley Lake and one site at the edge of the city were added to get a more holistic view of the […]


Feed storage leachate study up and running

November 19, 2012 The Discovery Farms Program recently began work on a new project to evaluate silage leachate systems.  This topic was highly ranked as an area of needed research by the Discovery Farms Steering Committee and is partially funded by a grant request from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR): “The DNR’s Watershed […]


Karst landscapes – Wisconsin and other states working to better understand land management challenges

December 2, 2011 The term “karst” is defined as a geologic formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite, producing fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.  The dissolution of bedrock from percolating water can enlarge the fractures/bedding planes or form underground caverns […]


Changes to Protect Water Quality

November 15, 2011 After a meeting where information on nutrient and sediment losses coming from a variety of agricultural systems was presented, a producer approached us to request a farm visit.  This farmer was concerned that his farm had exactly the same circumstances as one of our past Discovery Farms and he wanted to reduce […]


Understanding Concentrations, Loads, and Yields

November 1, 2011 Surface runoff monitoring performed by the Discovery Farms Program measures both the concentration of various constituents (sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen, etc.) and volume of runoff for individual runoff events.  Measured concentrations are usually reported in milligrams/liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm) and are used to describe the amount or mass of a […]