Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

WI Ag Researchers Lift the Cover on Cover Crops

Play

Friday, September 17, 2021   

EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research project to measure the effectiveness of this form of sustainable farming.

Cover crops are designed to prevent harmful runoff and improve soil health on the farm. Researchers with the University of Wisconsin and the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute want to connect with producers this fall to see what works best for them.

Dan Smith, southwest regional specialist for the Nutrient and Pest Management Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said it's great that farmers are spreading the word about the practice, but added that reliable data needs to go along with that messaging.

"Cover crops are not free to plant," he said, "so we have to have a return, and in order to have a return, we have to be producing above-ground and below-ground biomass."

The more biomass produced through cover crops means a farmer has healthier soil to work with. This is the second year these partners have gathered data from farmland. Last year's initial run saw 15 participants, and Smith said they're on pace to more than double that number in 2021. The sign-up deadline is Oct. 1.

Smith said the overall goal is to ensure farmers who want to adopt this profitable and environmentally friendly practice have the best cover-crop recommendations for Wisconsin's climate. While a lot of methods have worked, he said their initial research has shown flexibility is sometimes needed.

"If we have really wet fall conditions when we're harvesting," he said, "it's really tough to plant a cover crop. So, can we look to other tools, such as interseeding a cover crop in June?"

He said it's about developing "workable science" for which types of cover crops to use, and when it's best to apply them. The state Department of Agriculture said through its Producer-Led Program, more than 83,000 farm acres in Wisconsin had cover crops in use last year, a 19% increase from the previous year.

Disclosure: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute contributes to our fund for reporting on Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Rural/Farming, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021