Pasture walk highlights research results on organic pastures

Mark Renz, Associate Professor and Extension Weed Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Forage from pastures is critical for organic milk production, however many farms are not maximizing the potential of their pastures. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Extension, and USDA ARS Dairy Forage set out to identify common factors associated with high and low milk production on forty paddocks across twenty farms throughout Wisconsin.

Initial results of the study will be presented during a pasture walk at Don and Sam Frei’s farm (N3808 Duncan Hill Rd Argyle, WI 53504) on Aug. 12 from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Pasture walk attendees will also learn how to apply this information to improve pasture performance. The host farmers will share some of their experiences on grazing sorghum during the summer slump as well as benefits from new lane construction.

“We wanted to focus broadly across Wisconsin to try to identify common issues found across the state,” said Mark Renz, UW-Extension weed scientist at UW-Madison and the project leader. “Results will allow us to not only identify problems but allow farmers to prioritize which should be resolved first and have the largest return on investment.”

With funding from CERES Trust this team of researchers have been collecting data from forty paddocks over the last two years.

“Support from Organic Valley has been crucial in helping to identify farms that were willing to be involved in this project”, said Erin Silva, assistant professor and UW-Extension organic specialist at UW-Madison.

Attendees are invited to a lunch which is provided through a generous donation from Organic Valley.

Contact: Mark Renz, 608-263-7437, mrenz@wisc.edu

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