2015 UWEX Midwest Manure Summit


University of Wisconsin Extension is hosting the 2015 Midwest Manure Summit on February 24 and 25 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. New to the summit for 2015 are on-farm tours and an Anaerobic Digestion pre-conference session. Additional information and registration is available at www.midwestmanure.com.

Event- 2015 Wisconsin Crop Management Conference

The 2015 Wisconsin Crop Management conference will be held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin from January 13 until January 15. To save on advance registration, make sure to submit your form and payment by December 19, 2014.

To access the conference programming, go here for a complete list of events and the registration form. Also, online registration is available here.

Vince Davis, Thomas Butts, and Dan Smith will be presenting at this year’s conference. During the Weed Management section on Wednesday January 14, Vince will be talking about “Efficacy of “new” herbicides and program approaches for resistance management.” Tommy will be discussing his latest research results, “Herbicide-resistant pigweeds (Amaranthus spp.) are in Wisconsin, how serious is it?” Dan will be presenting his research on “Cover crop establishment following commonly applied corn and soybean herbicides in Wisconsin.”

Calling All Farmer Innovators

The organizers of the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days are looking for farmer innovators and inventors. For more information, keep reading.

The 2015 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days to be held at the Statz Bros. Farm in Dane County will feature an “Innovation Square” which will be located in the center of “Tent City”. Farmer innovators are invited to submit their inventions/innovations for consideration as part of “Innovation Square”.

Innovations may range from modifications to an existing piece of machinery to a completely new invention. Anything that would make a specific operation easier , more efficient, or more effective would likely qualify. A panel of judges from University Agricultural Engineering Departments around the country will evaluate the entries on predetermined criteria (see evaluation criteria at www.wifarmtechnologydays.com under “Exhibitors”). A total of 4-5 farmer innovations will be chosen for exhibit in “Innovation Square” each year along with a similar number from agribusiness firms and universities.

There will be no cost to those chosen to be part of “Innovation Square”. Exhibit space will be flexible, based on the amount of room needed to adequately display/demonstrate each invention. Exhibits will need to be accompanied by a farm representative during a significant portion of each day of the three-day show.

Application forms for “Innovation Square” may be found at www.wifarmtechnologydays.com under “Exhibitors”. The application deadline is January 15, 2015.

Legal and Business Structure Workshop

Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is offering a workshop for farm and food businesses to discuss different types of business structures, property and employment law, and liability insurance issues. For more information, their press release is below:

Media Contact: Ann Marie Ames
608-224-5041 annmarie.ames@wi.gov

Jim Dick, Communications Director
608-224-5020 jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON – Those who want to learn more about legal issues involved with starting and successfully maintaining farms and food businesses should register for next month’s Legal and Business Structure Workshop, which will take place in four locations around Wisconsin. The workshop is part of the annual Local Food Business Seminar Series, designed to help farmers and food business owners improve business practices.

The workshop speakers are Rachel Armstrong from Farm Commons and Courtney Berner of the UW Center for Cooperatives. This highly informative and interactive workshop will benefit those who are planning to start a food business, have recently done so, or who have been running a successful food business for some time.

Topics will include:

● The pros and cons of different business types including non-profit, S corporation or C corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC and cooperative.

● Property and employment law including short- and long-term farmland leases, incubator kitchen leases, workman’s compensation and laws regarding the hiring of employees and interns.

● Liability insurance issues including those regarding food safety and agritourism.

Armstrong and Berner will travel to four sites to deliver the workshop on four dates from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6. They will be in Waukesha on Nov. 3, Stevens Point on Nov. 4, Gays Mills on Nov. 5 and Madison on Nov. 6. The Madison seminar will be available online as a free webinar.

No matter the location, the cost of the seminar is $15 for the first person from any organization and $10 for any additional participants from the same organization. Something Special from Wisconsin members get a $5 discount.

Each seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Check-in starts at 8:45 a.m. Lunch is included in the cost of the seminar.

To learn the addresses of the seminar site nearest you, to find a complete agenda or to sign up, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

To request a link for the webinar or if you have other questions, contact Kietra Olson at (608) 224-5112 or Kietra.olson@wisconsin.gov.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, along with a number of partner organizations, plan the annual Local Business Seminar Series, which will continue monthly through March. The next in the series is food safety from Dec. 1 to Nov. 4. For a complete list, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

Hurry! Register for Pest Management Update Meetings

Hopefully, you will have finished or nearing the end of harvest by mid-November and will be ready to attend Extension’s Pest Management Update series. County Extension agents across Wisconsin will be hosting Pest Management Update Meetings during the second and third weeks in November. The purpose of each meeting is to review the past growing season and provide updates on research that can be applied to your farm. The speakers are Extension State Specialists including:

  • Bryan Jensen, Entomologist
  • Damon Smith, Field Crops Pathologist
  • Dan Heider, IPM Specialist
  • Mark Renz, Weed Scientist for Perennial Cropping Systems
  • Vince Davis, Weed Scientist for Annual Cropping Systems

Please register one week prior to the event. For a complete schedule of meetings including county agent contact information, please go here. Registration includes lunch, an information packet, and a copy of the 2015 Pest Management in Wisconsin Field Crops book. Four hours of CEU pest management credits will be available at each location. The registration fee is $40.

Learn How to Apply for Agricultural Grants


Farmers and value-added food entrepreneurs can get expert advice from USDA, USDA-SARE, and WI DATCP grant managers on how to apply for grants to improve their food production operations. For more information, see the University of Wisconsin Extension press release below.

Contact: Andrew Bernhardt, 608-890-0097, andrew.bernhardt@ces.uwex.edu

Workshops provide information about applying for agricultural grants
Madison, Wis. – Farmers and other value-added food entrepreneurs can learn strategies to access state and federal grants by attending workshops sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension in partnership with Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, DATCP, SARE, USDA Rural Development, FSA, NRCS and several farm credit agency banks.
The workshops, being held during October in Janesville and Montello and during November in Ashland and Shawano, will provide information about potential grants, the basics on putting together a strong grant proposal, cost share programs and other financing options.
Each workshop consists of five main components:

  1. An overview to agricultural grants, grant writing and what makes a strong grant proposal.
  2. A lunch-time presentation from a local grant awardee talking about his/her grant experience.
  3. Description and overview of Ag Grants from grant managers for USDA Value Added Producer Grant, USDA-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant, USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, and WI-DATCP Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant.
  4. A group exercise that allows participants to review actual proposals and gain hands-on experience at grant-writing.
  5. Specific info on other financial options (such as FSA loans, traditional bank loans and NRCS cost share programs) specific to Wisconsin.

Dates, locations and registration:
Oct. 28, 2014 – Janesville; contact: Kim Mork kim.mork@ces.uwex.edu or 608-757-5696
Nov. 4, 2014 – Montello; contact: Lyssa Seefeldt lyssa.seefeldt@ces.uwex.edu or 608-297-3136
Nov. 5, 2014 – Ashland; contact: Jason Fischbach jason.fischbach@ces.uwex.edu or 715-373-6104 ext. 5
Nov. 12, 2014 – Shawano; contact: Jamie Patton jamie.patton@ces.uwex.edu or 715-526-6136

A registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of lunch and materials. Please register at least one week in advance.
For more information about:
VAPG, please go to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vapg.htm
ADD, please go to: http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/marketing/val-add/add/index.jsp
SARE, please go to: http://www.northcentralsare.org/
SCBG, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Crops_and_Specialty_Crops/index.aspx
BLBW, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Grants/index.aspx

Winners Announced from the Biggest Weed Contest


The Department of Agronomy’s Mark Renz announces this year’s winners of the Biggest Weed Contest at the Farm Technology Days, August 12-14, 2014.

2014 Contest Winner

This giant ragweed, submitted by Ken McGwin of Montello, was the Day 1 winner of the Biggest Weed contest at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Measuring 12’6” x 4’, its overall size wasn’t big enough though to beat the grand champion – another giant ragweed measuring over 10 feet tall and seven feet wide.

Here is Mark’s press release:

Contact: Mark Renz, UW-Extension weed specialist, 608-263-7437, mrenz@wisc.edu

Biggest Weed contest winners announced

Madison, Wis. – Despite the cool summer, plenty of weeds were entered in the ‘Biggest Weed’ contest sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension/Madison Weed Experts at the recent Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Of the many samples brought in for identification, eight participants submitted nine weeds they felt deserved the title of Biggest Weed.

“While none of the samples topped the 13 foot mark like last year, several were quite wide, making up for the lack of height,” said Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin-Extension/Madison weed specialist. “Of the nine samples submitted, four were annuals, four biennials, and only one perennial plant – common milkweed.”

Typically the biennial and perennial plants take the prize, but this year a giant ragweed was the grand champion. Wayne Greeler from Neillsville, Wisconsin brought in this specimen that was over 10 feet tall and seven feet wide. The overall size of the plant is determined by multiplying the weed’s height by the maximum width when held in its normal growth form.

Renz said, “It is uncommon for a giant ragweed to get this wide but the extra girth allowed it to take the grand prize.”

Tuesday’s winner was another giant ragweed submitted by Ken McGwin from Montello. It was much taller than the grand champion, more than 12 feet, but only four feet wide. Wednesday’s winner Mary Jane Fry from Pittsville did bring in a massive bull thistle, but its dimensions couldn’t match the winners from Tuesday or Thursday.

“All submissions were found next to a barn, shed, fence, or tree,” Renz noted, “So apparently having a structure nearby helps. Remember this tip when we hold the event next year at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Dane County.”

All daily winners will receive a weed identification book, as thanks for hauling these winning specimens to Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Anyone who has tried to bring in one of these plants can attest that it is no easy task.

For more information about identifying and controlling weeds in your field or yard, contact your local county Extension agent or visit the University of Wisconsin Weed Science website at http://fyi.uwex.edu/weedsci


Next Week: Agronomy and Soils Field Day

Don’t miss the 2014 Agronomy and Soils Field Day next week!

On Wednesday, August 27th, the Arlington Agricultural Research Station will host the Agronomy/Soils Field Day from 8:00am-3:00pm. Join us on four separate tours throughout the day as UW-Extension and Agronomists share current research developments in grains, soils, forages, and greenhouse gases. Presenters include: Vince Davis, Bryan Jensen, Joe Lauer, Matt Ruark, Randy Jackson, Francisco Arriaga, Erin Silva, Gregg Sanford, Dan Undersander, Mark Renz, and Damon Smith. During lunch, enjoy exhibits such as: UAV aerial photography, Apps for Ag, Nutrient and Pest Management Programs, Integrated Pest Management Program, SnapPlus, and more. Agronomy/Soils Field Day is open to the public, does not require registration, and will be held rain or shine.

Click here for the official event flyer.

Author: Steven Gruber

Steven Gruber will be a junior in the fall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing his undergraduate degree in Microbiology through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This summer, he is currently an undergraduate research assistant for the Agronomy-Weed Science department and hopes to further his research experience in plant-microbe interactions.