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All Farmers Invited To Attend a Research Field Day

Dr. Erin Silva, an organic production scientist at UW-Madison, will talk about cover-cropping at a research field day sponsored by Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.
Dr. Erin Silva, an organic production scientist at UW-Madison, will talk about cover-cropping at a research field day sponsored by Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.
August 26, 2013

EAST TROY, Wis. - All farmers and producers, both conventional and organic, are invited to learn more about cover-cropping at a research field day to be hosted by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. The field day will be Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 12 noon to 3 p.m., near East Troy.

Dr. Erin Silva, an organic production scientist at UW-Madison, will be one of the presenters. She said she will discuss the many benefits of cover-cropping.

"They help with weed management by suppressing weeds, by smothering weeds, and they also offer benefits with respect to pollinators, providing pollinator habitat to cropping systems," Silva said. "They really do offer multiple ecosystem benefits."

Silva emphasized the versatility of cover-cropping.

"Because they're not harvested for a yield and for sale, they can fit pretty much wherever the farmer sees opportunity," she explained. "They could fit in a short window before a cash crop is planted; they could fit into short windows after a small cereal grain is harvested; they could be planted after a corn or soybean harvest."

Farmers also will learn what kinds of funding are available for cover-cropping and get a look at some of the research programs being conducted at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. More information and registration are available at the Institute's website, www.michaelfields.org.

Attendees will get a first-hand look at several cover-crop demonstration plots and visit a field where soybeans were planted into winter wheat. Silva noted many benefits to the practice of cover-cropping, particularly in Wisconsin.

"Cover crops help the entire cropping system maintain resiliency, particularly in challenging weather conditions like we've seen over the past two years," she said, "with the extreme dry conditions of last year as well as the wetter conditions we experienced this spring."

Lunch will be served at noon to begin the field day. It will take place at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute North Farm on County Road ES.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI