Resource: Wisconsin Farm Center

Wisconsin Farm Center, another resource from the state of Wisconsin and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, releases quarterly newsletters with a wide array of topics. If you are too busy during the growing season, winter may be a great time to catch up on Farm Center newsletters. Another great way to stay up-to-date is to subscribe to their email newsletter.

The Farm Center offers a variety of services to Wisconsin farmers.

University of Wisconsin Offers Six MOOCs

University of Wisconsin-Madison is going global this winter with six new MOOCs, not a cow moo with a cough, but Massive Open Online Courses. These are free, non-credit courses taught by UW-Madison faculty. To access the courses or read more about them, go to moocs.wisc.edu. The course schedule is as follows:

  • January 26 to February 22, The Land Ethic Reclaimed: Perceptive Hunting, Aldo Leopold and Conservation
  • February 23 to March 31, Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region
  • April 26 to May 23, Shakespeare in Community
  • June 21 to July 18, Energy and the Earth
  • September 30 to December 28, Forests and Humans: From the Midwest to Madagascar
  • November 9 to December 4, Climate Change Policy and Public Health

2015 UWEX Midwest Manure Summit

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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.

UWEX Crop Budget Analyzer

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Ken Williams, an Extension agent in Waushara county has released an updated Crop Budget Analyzer for corn, soybeans, wheat, seeding alfalfa, and established alfalfa. The Budget Analyzer is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet, which can generate handy one page print-outs.

Other UWEX and USDA resources are available to help with pricing and budgeting.

UW Returning to the Farm Workshop

From Joy Kirkpatrick at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability:

Returning to the Farm workshop helps farm families plan for farm succession

Madison, Wis. – UW Center for Dairy Profitability, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-Extension are offering a workshop to help farm families plan for a son, daughter or partner to return to the farm and eventually take over the farm business. The four-day workshop will be offered on the UW-Platteville campus. The dates are Jan. 16 and 17 and Feb. 13 and 14, 2015.

Families looking toward the future of their farming operations have many issues to consider. Two issues of extreme importance to the future life of the business are the development of a son, daughter, or partner to be the future manager of the business and the creation of a succession plan. The Returning to the Farm workshop helps families make these plans.

Returning to the Farm is open to all farm families who want to learn more about planning for farm succession. Families are expected to participate in both sessions. At the end of the February session, families will have action steps to move forward with a plan.

Through this program, farm businesses will:
Determine if an existing operation is large enough to support an additional partner.
Uncover alternatives for the transfer of farm assets.
Recognize personalities and learn to work with each individual’s strengths.
Write long- and short-term business and family goals.
Learn how to address issues in a multiple generation farm business.
Hear the current issues and information on the tax implications of farm transfer.
Understand the tools of estate planning and business succession planning.
Receive business succession and estate planning resources.
The registration fee for this four-day program is $300 per farming unit (up to four people per farm). This includes materials, meeting room costs, refreshment breaks and lunches. The registration deadline is January 9, 2014. If more than four people attend from a farming unit, $75 will be charged for each participant over four.

For more information about the program or to register contact Joy Kirkpatrick, UW Center for Dairy Profitability Outreach Specialist at 608-263-3485 or by email joy.kirkpatrick@ces.uwex.edu . Returning to the Farm is funded by UW-Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Platteville, and UW-Extension.

On the Bookshelf: 2015 Pest Management in Wisconsin Field Crops

Don’t miss this year’s “Pest Management in Wisconsin Field Crops” from University of Wisconsin Extension. This is a comprehensive guide to insect, weed, and plant disease management in corn, soybean, forage, and stored grain crops.

To obtain a print copy of the guide, go here. For a free electronic copy in pdf format, go here for the download. For mobile access, go to University of Wisconsin Extension’s Pest Management Mobile.

Resource: AgrAbility of Wisconsin

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Do you know a farmer with a physical, cognitive, or illness-related disability that needs help? University of Wisconsin Extension and Easter Seals Wisconsin sponsor the AgrAbility program that provides free services. For example, they will conduct “on-site assessments to identify barriers to completing tasks both in the agricultural workplace and the home”. Also, they will recommend appropriate “assistive technologies (equipments/tools/devices), modified work practices, and/or other possible solutions to overcoming disability-related limitations.”

Agri-View recently featured an AgrAbility client. The program has a 98% success rate over the past 23 years.

They are currently in the process of re-designing their website but in the meantime, check out their Facebook page. A Facebook account is not required to access most of the content.

More Winter Reading, the 2014 WCWS Research Report

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Yep, it is that time of year. Winter is setting in and the 2014 WCWS Research Report is here to chase away the winter blues. Print copies will be distributed at the Pest Management Update meetings and at the Wisconsin Crop Management conference. Check out our Documents page again in December for an updated report with yield data.

More Winter Reading, the 2014 WCWS Research Report

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Yep, it is that time of year. Winter is setting in and the 2014 WCWS Research Report is here to chase away the winter blues. Print copies will be distributed at the Pest Management Update meetings and at the Wisconsin Crop Management conference. Check out our Documents page again in December for an updated report with yield data.

Resource: Wisconsin Farm Center Newsletter

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has released the Fall issue of the Wisconsin Farm Center newsletter. This issue contains articles on farm succession planning, harvest concerns, and an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill.

For an archive and to sign-up for email updates, go to this web page, the subscription icon is in the left-hand column.