Rotations for Reduced Tillage & Resilience

February 27, 2020  |  10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  |  La Crosse, Wis.


Erin Silva, OGRAIN-University of Wisconsin Extension
Brian Luck, University of Wisconsin Extension
Dave Campbell, Lily Lake Organic Farm
John Wepking, Meadowlark Organics



  • Reducing soil disturbance in crop rotations
  • Reducing weed and pest pressure
  • Nitrogen cycling
  • Best farm machinery and practices
  • Increasing soil resiliency in the face of extreme weather patterns



Sound and strategic crop rotation plans set the foundation for successful organic grain production. Creating a purposeful crop sequence that integrates cash crops, cover crops, and soil-building phases can minimize the need for tillage while reducing weed and pest pressure and improving soil fertility and health. Get expert advice to help you plan your organic grain rotation.

Erin Silva is an Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist in organic cropping systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and leads the OGRAIN program. Brian Luck is an Assistant Professor and State Extension Specialist at UW-Madison, specializing in farm machinery. Dave Campbell is a longtime organic farmer from Illinois. John Wepking produces organic food-grade cereal grains in rotation with corn, soybean, and hay with his wife Halee and business partner Paul Bickford in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.

This group of experienced professionals will walk you through strategies for creating resilient and functional rotations that build soil while maximizing ecosystem function. They’ll address crop selection, cover crops, and the equipment that can help you reach your goals.


About the Presenters:

Erin Silva
Erin is an Associate Professor of Organic Cropping Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her program focuses on sustainable and organic cropping systems, including cover crops and cover crop-based no-till production, variety selection in organic environments, and the impact of organic management on soil health. Erin has launched a comprehensive organic grain training program for farmers in the upper Midwest, “OGRAIN”. Erin works closely with organic farmers and throughout the upper Midwest and serves on the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council

Brian Luck
Brian earned his B.S. at the University of Kentucky in 2005, his M.S. in 2009 and a Ph.D. at Mississippi State University in 2013. He is an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Student Branch Faculty Advisor, a Professional Member, and a Wisconsin Section of ASABE Professional Member. A Faculty Advisor for the ¼ Scale Tractor Team and an International Society of Precision Agriculture Professional Member.  

Dave Campbell
Dave and his wife Mary own and operate Lily Lake Organic Farm, a certified organic grain farm located in northern IL. Their entire farm has been certified organic for the past 30 years. Dave has served as Vice-President of OCIA – IL, was founding Board Chair of Midwest Organic Farmer’s (grain) Co-op and served on the Exec. Council of OFARM. Dave served a 4 year term on the NCR-SARE Council, Midwest Cover Crops Council and has presented numerous times at organic farming conferences throughout the Midwest. He has also just completed a 7 year term on the MOSES Board.

John Wepking
John is a farmer at Bickford Organics / Meadowlark Organics in Ridgeway, a 700+ acre organic farm owned by Paul Bickford. Though originally from a farm family in Grant County, John and Halee spent years in New York City working as bakers and chefs before working for Paul. In recent years, John has helped to shift the focus of the farm enterprise from organic feed to organic food grade grains, as well as forages, feed, and grassfed beef. This winter, they are constructing a food grade cleaning and dehulling facility on-farm that will help directly directly reach regional customers.





Back to main Organic University page


Comments are closed.