“Lessons Learned on the Fox Demo Farms”
The Fox Demo Farms has teamed up with Mike Austin’s Ag Report on WTAQ 1360 AM and 97.5FM. Tune in every other Friday morning at 5:00 AM to hear from participating producers and project partners to learn more about the project and the lessons we have learned along the way. Not an early riser? No problem, we’ve got you covered.
Week 1: Introduction Week
- Hear from the Fox Demo Farms project manager, Brent Petersen. He provides an overview of the project, the practices being implemented, and what to do look forward to during the 2017 growing season. Air date: April 21, 2017
Week 2: Planting Into Green
- Dan Brick discussed what it means to “plant into green” and how this practice is used to maximize the amount of nutrients captured in the soil. Having a living and growing cover crop on the field now, helps keep the soil alive and the biology going. Air date: May 5, 2017
Week 3: Frost Seeding
- Greg Nettekoven discussed what it means to “frost seed” and how he uses this practice to improve soil health at his farm. Greg’s experience is with red clover into wheat; however, because of the benefits he has seen on his land, he would recommend other producers to try it with any small seed. Air date: May 19, 2017
Week 4: Soil Stability and Spring Manure
- Derek Van De Hey from New Horizons Dairy shares his insight on conservation practices and their impact on soil health and stability. Having cover crops established in early fall helps to increase soil biology and infiltration rates, which ultimately supports a more stable soil structure. Despite the wet spring this year, New Horizons Dairy has seen the benefits of cover crop and no-till, which has allowed them to plant earlier and surface-apply spring manure. Air date: June 2, 2017
Week 5: Fox Demo Farms Field Day
- Mike Austin interviews Barry Bubolz, the NRCS Area Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Coordinator, about the highlights of the Fox Demo Farms’ Summer Field Day. The field day included six different farms and their work with cover crops, no-till planting, and grazing. Barry describes the importance and value of not disturbing the soil profile, especially during a wet spring. Air date: June 16, 2017.
Ag Report: Conservation Efforts
- Great coverage from WFRV-TV Channel 5 on the dedication of the 6-row InterSeeder to Brown County Land & Water Conservation Department. Thank you to NEW Water and Fund for Lake Michigan for partnering for water quality. A BIG thanks to our hosts Diederich Farm LLC and for their continued efforts to implement cover crops and no-till practices. Keep up the great work, guys!
Week 6: Manure Applicators
- Mike Austin interviewed Jesse Dvorachek from Dvorachek farm & industry, who described their new and exciting manure applicators! Jesse explained how cover crops and no-till practices help create more windows for applying manure. Despite the extremely wet June, fields with conservation practices dried out quicker, which allowed for opportunities to apply manure. Contact Jesse if you’re interested in learning more about their services! Air date: June 30, 2017
Week 7: ZRX Roller/Crimper Lessons
- Andy Kiefer, Outagamie County Land Conservation Department talks about the ZRX roller/crimper, the benefits of using this equipment, and the lessons we have learned this summer. For example, when using the ZRX to plant corn, Andy says that it’s critical to apply nitrogen when planting. Nitrogen is the main nutrient needed for healthy corn. Air date: July 21, 2017
- Derek Van De Hey from New Horizons Dairy talked about planting cover crops early and the importance of thinking ahead for the next year. The fields they planted in August will be corn fields in 2018; therefore, they planted covers that will help build heir nitrogen credit (winter peas, beseem, red and crimson clover). Air date: August 4, 2017
Week 9: Managed Rotational Grazing
- NRCS’s Adam Abel talked about managed rotational grazing and the many benefits of this practice. Some of the top benefits are reduction in labor, financial savings, and soil health benefits (increased microbial activity, increased infiltration rates, and reduced soil erosion). Air date: August 18, 2017
Week 10: Preparing for Cover Crops
- Dan Brick of Brickstead Dairy discusses his preparation for cover crops and the important factors to consider when planting after corn silage. Timing of planting, as well as the next year’s seeding are among some items to consider. Air date: September 1, 2017
Week 11: Conservation Field Day
- On September 15, 2017 Congressman Gallagher and the Fox Demo Farms teamed up for a field day. Fox Demo Farm’s producers Greg Nettekoven, host of the field day, and Dan Brick discussed their experiences with conservation agriculture and the benefits they are having with these practices. Air Date: September 15, 2017
Fox 11 News: Cover Crop Field Signs
Brickstead Dairy was featured in a story about the importance of planting covers, while promoting our new cover crop field signs! If you or someone you know is planting cover crops or is no-till planting cover crops, let us know and we’ll get them a sign! Help us spread the word about the positive change producers are making throughout the Lower Fox River Watershed!
Save the Bay:
Mission: Save the Bay is a northeast Wisconsin collaborative initiative in which agriculture, academia, industry, government and nonprofit leaders identify, share and promote conservation practices to reduce phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment flowing into the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. The Fox Demo Farms is an active member of the Save the Bay initiative, which was initiated by Congressman Reid Ribble and is continued by his successor, Congressman Mike Gallagher.
Check out this great article describing the initiative and the importance of a taking a collaborative, nonpartisan approach to addressing the issue of water quality in northeast Wisconsin. The Peninsula Pride highlighted stories from each of the four producers participating in the initiative, including Dan Brick of Brickstead Dairy.
- Brickstead Dairy was recognized as the 2017 “NEW Watershed Champion” for demonstrating innovation and leadership in their sustainable farming practices. A very well deserved honor! Thank you to Dan and his family for their hard work and dedication to our watershed!
- The Watershed Heroes Impact Awards are presented by the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance. We are thrilled to be selected as one of this year’s award winners. Thank you for this honor and for recognizing the hard work and dedication that our six producers and staff have demonstrated over the last three years. Congratulations to everyone involved, we couldn’t do it without you!