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Protecting Water Quality through Agricultural Practices

Water is a shared resource and is depended on by Wisconsinites for a variety of daily needs including drinking, power generation, growing food, and more. However, agriculture is the dominant land use in Wisconsin, and current farming practices have a significant impact on soil and nutrients loss to surface and groundwater. The majority of water […]

Practical Strategies to Protect Pollinators

Pollinators play a critical role in the world’s ecosystems, facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants and ensuring the production of fruits and vegetables. In North America, insect pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, birds, beetles, and wasps are essential contributors to this process. These pollinators are essential for the proper functioning of the natural systems […]

Business Planning for Profitable, Safe Farms

Record high farm income in 2022 drove Wisconsin farm businesses’ interest in new revenue streams, markets and technology. However, in 2023 producers encountered increased interest expense, increasing debt and reduction in working capital due to lower than expected prices, increase in overall production costs, and a decline in USDA assistance. As a result, producers must […]

Livestock Biosecurity to Prevent Disease

Biosecurity affects the economic sustainability and viability of livestock producers as disease outbreaks can be exceedingly expensive for producers. Disease outbreaks can cause catastrophic livestock losses including the depopulation of whole herds or loss of newborn animals. For example, a recent US disease outbreak, the 2013 porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), spread across 13 states […]

Responding to Drought

While early 2023 Wisconsin weather was characterized by typical average temperatures and precipitation, wide variability and erratic weather created cool, wet early spring field conditions. In May, much of the state experienced a rapid shift to hot, dry weather. The speed with which the drought came on led to the designation of “flash drought” for […]

Improving the Value of Wisconsin’s Beef through Management Decisions

Wisconsin’s beef cattle and calves represent the state’s second- largest agricultural commodity with $1.7 billion in cash receipts. Even though the industry is large and remains viable, market volatility has increased the need for management decisions that increase animal efficiencies, improve production, and allow beef producers to remain economically viable. Breeding decisions are the first […]

Providing Timely Research to Help Dairy Farmers Innovate

It should come as no surprise that Wisconsin’s largest agricultural commodity is milk totaling $5.7 billion in cash receipts, after all, Wisconsin is known as the Dairy State. Wisconsin’s dairy industry encompasses over 6,500 farms across the state. These farms are continually searching for new management strategies that will help them be both innovative and […]

Responding to Wisconsin’s Soil Health Degradation

It has been estimated that each acre of Wisconsin cropland is losing approximately 4.5 tons per acre per year of soil to erosion. At the current soil erosion rate, we are losing the thickness of a dime of soil per year. Over 20 years, that equates to about an inch of topsoil lost. It is […]

Planning to Ensure a Viable Business

Many Wisconsin farmers are approaching retirement age and are considering a succession plan — identifying the individual(s) who will take over the farm’s operations — to protect their farm and their legacy. UW–Madison Extension provides agriculture service providers with the resources they need to address farmers’ challenges around succession planning. These resources are designed to […]

Economic Viability for Beef Producers

To remain viable, beef producers must use strategies to set their animals apart from the rest. To do so, they need to better understand how purebred and “beef × dairy” crossbred cattle grow. However, there is a gap in research-based information surrounding the growth and performance of beef × dairy crossbred cattle. Cow-calf producers need […]

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