Organic Field Day

Diversified Organic Grain Rotations

Friday, July 21, 2017 

 

Bickford Organics
Ridgeway, Wis.

 

Farmers Paul Bickford and John Wepking explained their organic systems, which protect not only local watersheds, but also Gulf Coast fisheries at the other end of the country. The also talked about designing a crop rotation, large-scale small grain production, processing, marketing your whole rotation, on-farm storage, growing organic seed corn, and mentorship models and farm transfer.

This field day was co-sponsored by Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and Iowa County Farmer Led Watershed Initiative.

 

Recap:

There was a great turnout (more than 140 people) for this all-day event about growing organic small grains, corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay in rotation. Here are some highlights:

  • Lynn Clarkson of Clarkson Grain delved into the many factors one needs to consider when storing grain.
  • Jeff Block of GroAlliance discussed the methods and challenges of growing hybrid seed corn. Currently farmers are planting their male rows separately and cultivating them with an International 140 tractor one-row cultivator.
  • Harriet Behar of MOSES showed how a new Farm Production Recordkeeping Workbook can help farmers keep one set of records for both crop insurance and organic certification.
  • Julie Dawson, Lucia Gutierrez, and Lisa Kissing Kucek reviewed the methods they are using to breed regionally adapted varieties of wheat at the University of Wisconsin.
  • Gene Schriefer of Iowa County Land Conservation discussed how improved agricultural practices can contribute to improved water quality both here and throughout the Mississippi river watershed.

 

Lunch included shrimp from gulf coast fisherman, who are building relationships with Iowa County farmers, to improve our environment for all. Improved agricultural practices in the Midwest provide for a healthier gulf of Mexico.

 

John Wepking explains organic spring wheat production

 

See other MOSES Field Days

 

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