About UW Discovery Farms
The Discovery Farms program develops on-farm and related research to determine the economic and environmental effects of agricultural practices on a diverse group of Wisconsin farms; and educates and improves communications among the agricultural community, consumers, researchers and policy-makers to better identify and implement effective environmental management practices that are compatible with profitable agriculture.
To achieve its mission, the Discovery Farms program will:
Work and communicate with a wide range of agricultural enterprises to determine the environmental impacts of production agriculture and create a reliable database of what different farms contribute in terms of environmental enhancement or degradation
Gather baseline information that includes not only environmental information, but also management practices and financial conditions that allow for the calculation of the cost of implementing environmentally sound practices
Determine the effects of environmental rules and regulations on the environment, farm profitability and farm management; and provide accurate information to producers, consumers, policy makers and agency personnel so positive steps can be made to protect both the environment and production agriculture
Work and communicate with agricultural producer groups, environmental groups, consumers, the University of Wisconsin, UW Extension, the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection, the Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, County Land Conservation Departments, and agricultural businesses and cooperatives on the importance of maintaining a viable agricultural economy
Identify the impacts — both negative and positive — that agriculture has in Wisconsin.
Manitowoc County Discovery Farms Update: March 2013
The session discussed some of the environmental challenges that the Discovery Farms Program has evaluated including the timing and recommended methods of manure applications, and manure handling options that deal with manure in a sustainable manner. The effectiveness of grassed waterways, timing of surface water runoff and tile flow, correlation between tillage and sediment and nutrient loss, and stratification of phosphorus in no-till systems were all essential information gained from data collected on the two Discovery Farms in Manitowoc County.
Monitoring at one of the farms evaluated infield sediment and nutrient movement in three different grazing paddock types: overwintered or set-stock paddocks, paddocks that have high usage in spring and fall, and paddocks that are primarily used during summer months when forage is sufficient for grazing.
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