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Pioneering Discoveries R e a l Wo r k i n g Fa r m s

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R e a l Wo r l d S o l u t i o n s

Vol.3, Issue 2

Summer 2011

zz WATERSHED-SCALE PROJECTS: LESSONS SO FAR by Amber Radatz, UW Discovery Farms

The UW-Discovery Farms watershed projects are about a year and a half old, and significant lessons have already been learned that have little to do with the actual water quality monitored, and are much more about the dynamics of involving and working with producers, community members, and other interested parties on projects like this. We began the watershed projects with specific goals that haven’t changed, but the methods and routes

taken to achieve these goals continue to be modified and adapted as we learn more about coordinating these projects. Local involvement In previous Discovery Farms projects, core farms were selected and several monitoring stations were placed on that singular farm to monitor nutrient and sediment loss through surface water and tile lines. The dynamics of focusing on one farm in a region of the state compared to many farms in a small community are totally continued on page 6

zz UW-PLATTEVILLE PIONEER FARM: NEWS & NOTES by Gretchen Kamps, UW Pioneer Farm

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he last few months have proven to be very busy at Pioneer Farm. This is just a quick dose of a few key events that took place. Check out our website for additional photos and comments: www.uwplatt. edu/PioneerFarm At the end of April, we were lucky to have Wisconsin’s Secretary of Agriculture, Ben Brancel visit Pioneer Farm. He toured continued on page 3

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER:

Welcome to Pioneering Discoveries, with a unified format combining news and research from Discovery Farms and Pioneer Farm. Look for the dot for stories from Discovery Farms and this dot for stories from Pioneer Farm.

Dennis Busch of Pioneer Farm (left) with WI Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel.


Director’s Columns

During the past couple of months there have been a significant number of retirements in the university system and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has been no exception. Some of these retirements will have a significant impact on Pioneer Farm. Duane Ford has left UW-Platteville to become the new President of Southwest Technical College in Fennimore. Dr. Ford had served as the Dean of the College of Business, Industry, Life Science, and Agriculture at UWPlatteville since 1999, and was a member of the Discovery Farms / Pioneer Farm Joint Steering Committee. Dr. Wayne Weber, chair of UW-Platteville’s Biology Department from 2002-2008, has taken over as Dean of BILSA.

As I read through this newsletter there were a number of activities, programs and changes that have taken place over the past few months. Many of the programs show how data and information collected through Discovery Farms or on the Pioneer Farm are helping provide education/training for new or existing staff in government agencies. The information is also used to help farmers better understand how their farming systems can impact the environment and makes them better managers both environmentally and economically. That was the vision for this program when a group of ten traveled over to the Netherlands in September of 1999. The group consisted of three people from UW–Extension and seven from the Pioneer Farm. Fred Madison and I drafted a paper for UW–Extension and UW–CALS that had the following paragraph:

After 20 years of teaching Dairy Science in UW-Platteville’s School of Agriculture, Dr. Michael Mee has retired. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Mee has advised student organizations, coached the Dairy Cattle Judging Team, and served on the Pioneer Farm Research Advisory Group. On a personal note, Dr. Mee was my Master’s Thesis advisor and I am very grateful for the guidance and support he provided to me at that time.

Guiding Principles: There seems to be a few guiding principles that have improved the relationships between farmers, non-farmers and government agencies. One of these principles is open and honest communications about the problems and possible solutions to environmental and economic issues. The farmers unions have farmer representatives who work closely with the university identifying research, and the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of the environment to solve the environmental issues. Farmers are involved in the development of environmental benchmarks and have an opportunity to determine the effects of these regulations by trying to implement them on the DeMarke farm. It appears that farmers are involved in the process and understand the need to protect water supplies. It also appears that the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of the environment understand that farmers must remain profitable and that farming is an important part of the economy and the landscape.

Long-time Pioneer Farm Equipment Operator, Fred Koeller, has also retired. Fred began working at Pioneer Farm in 1981 and has been involved with livestock and cropping enterprises as well as the general maintenance and upkeep of all the equipment on the farm. Last but not least, Pioneer Farm Director, Phil Wyse, has retired after 40-years of service to UW-Platteville. Much has changed at the farm during Phil’s tenure, not the least of which has been the addition of our research program in 2001. In my opinion, Phil has done an excellent job of balancing the sometimes competing needs of efficient farm operations and the requirements imposed by strict protocols for the research program. I am also grateful for Phil’s participation on the Discovery Farms / Pioneer Farm Joint Steering Committee and the School of Agriculture’s Research Advisory Group. Thanks for your service, and best wishes on your retirement.

Ok, so I drafted that paragraph over 12 years ago, but the vision and guiding principles hold true today just as much as they did then. Discovery Farms was based on just a few guiding principles: open and honest communications about problems and solutions; engagement of producers in all aspects of the projects; and the need to keep farmers profitable and in business.

Dennis Busch, Research Manager, Pioneer Farm

I want to say thank you to those people who helped create and guide the Wisconsin Discovery Farms Program. As I see other states develop programs based on what was created here, I know that our guiding principles will continue to hold true.

Dennis Frame, Co-director, Discovery Farms 2 Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


continued from UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm: News & Notes on page 1 the current livestock facilities at Pioneer Farm as well as taking some time in the hydraulics laboratory to learn more about our current projects.

17-19. This year, our presentation was titled, Producer Perspectives. It was a 90 minute symposium, moderated by Gretchen Kamps, that allowed three producers from Lafayette County, Leon Wolfe, Mark Riechers, and Josh Kamps, to share their views regarding why they put conservation into practice on their farms and what the driving forces behind those decisions are. It was a great opportunity for the members of SWCS to ask questions directly to the producer in an open forum. Additionally Justin Daugherty presented a poster titled ‘Pioneer Farm Surface and Groundwater Infrastructure.’ Dennis Busch and Gretchen Kamps also attended the conference. §

Pioneer Farm is still working in partnership with USDAARS on a pasture monitoring project. The lack of rain in Southwest Wisconsin during the summer months hasn’t led to any runoff events, but the cattle are grazing the areas and vegetative cover is being monitored. We are continuing our baseline data study and will begin treatments in the fall if the basins have enough calibration data. Finally, Pioneer Farm was again lucky to be selected as a presenter at the National Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS)Meeting held in Washington DC July

zz DISCOVERY FARMS INTERNS

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y name is Jordan Simonson and I’m part of the UW Discovery Farms team this summer as the communications intern. I just completed my sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I am majoring in Life Sciences Communication and Agricultural and Applied Economics. The main reason I chose these majors is to help improve profitability and effectiveness of farming operations. I grew up near Taylor, Wisconsin, where my parents run a small hobby farm and cash cropping operation. I’ve enjoyed the adventures this summer has offered me and all the new people I’ve met along the way.

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y name is John Frame and this is my second year as a summer intern at UW-Extension Discovery Farms. I recently graduated from Osseo-Fairchild High School. I have been active in 4-H, FFA, sports and musicals during my high school career. This fall I will be attending the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities to complete a 4-year degree in Bio Products and Biological Systems Engineering (Agricultural Engineering). The Discovery Farms Program keeps me busy working on the installation and maintenance of the monitoring sites. In my free time I like to play disc golf, guitar, and fish for muskies.

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y name is Haily Henderson, and I am from Galesville, Wisconsin, but I’m currently living in River Falls, where I have been an intern working with Paul Kivlin of UW-Discovery Farms since January of 2010. I am currently a junior attending UW-River Falls, majoring in Soil Science, with a minor in Crop science, Hydrogeology, and GIS.  Many of my duties are associated with the Willow River Watershed project, where I assist in site installation activities, Nutrient Management review and updating, soil sampling, and site management.  I have also been making maps and writing articles for the project.  In my free time, I show swine at the Trempealeau County Fair and Wisconsin State Fair.  I also love anything outdoors, from biking, hiking, fishing boating, traveling, and especially hunting! § 3 Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


zz CONGRATULATIONS: DISCOVERY FARMS RETIREMENTS Congratulations and thank you to one of the cofounders and directors of the program, Dr Fred Madison, on his retirement this summer. Fred was one of three people on the initial trip to the Netherlands in September of 1999, where the vision for the development of the Discovery Farms Program was born. Early in the trip Fred and Dennis Frame were traveling between farms in the back of a van drawing organograms of how this program could be developed and managed in Wisconsin. They continued working on this vision for the remainder of the trip and were asked to present the concept at a meeting with the dean’s of the UW–College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS). With Fred’s assistance the leaders of UW–Extension, UW-CALS, DNR and DATCP developed and began the program in 2000.

Congratulations and thank you to Nancy Drummy, one of our Discovery Farms Outreach Educators, as she also retired this summer, 2011. Nancy began her work with UW-Extension in 1991 as Watershed Educator with the Beaver Dam River Priority Watershed Project. She ultimately joined the Discovery Farms Program staff in 2004. Nancy’s expertise and outreach has focused on providing farmers with information about conservation tillage, cover crops and nutrient management. Through her career, Nancy helped hundreds of Wisconsin farmers develop their own nutrient management plan through farm visits and workshops using the UWEX Nutrient Management Farmer Education Curriculum. Nancy and her husband, Neil, continue to farm 600 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and canning crops near Waupun, WI. §

Fred was the link between the UW–CALS, UW–Extension and UW–Discovery Farms. Over the years Fred has provided valuable leadership, vision and scientific direction for the program. His ideas and recommendations helped shape the program and are certainly a major factor in the success of UW–Discovery Farms!

zz PRE-VET CAMP 2011

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he 2011 Pre-Vet Camp was held on June 23rd and 24th at Pioneer Farm. Twenty-four high school students from around the Midwest spent both days in sessions interacting with local practicing veterinarians, current veterinary students, and the livestock at Pioneer Farm. The sessions included but were not limited to observing the spaying and neutering of cats, administering vaccinations to piglets, and handling and moving beef cattle properly. They also had the chance to participate in a panel discussion related to career paths. §

Cory Weigel, dairy enterprise manager, assists pre-vet camp attendee.

4 Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


zz NORTH DAKOTA DISCOVERY FARMS HOST SUMMER TOUR by Teresa Pierson, North Dakota Discovery Farms

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he North Dakota Discovery Farms Program welcomed researchers and farmers from throughout the state, as well as from Discovery Farms and other similar programs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, during its summer tour July 13-14.

Researchers from four states witness onsite water quality monitoring July 13-14.

In all four states, Discovery Farms are working farms or ranches. The owners have offered their operations as working research sites to evaluate the effectiveness of various practices to minimize environmental effects while maintaining farm profitability.

To date, the North Dakota Discovery Farms program consists of three sites: Johannes Farm and Feedlot, Underwood; Amann Family Ranch, Dazey; and Bartholomay Brothers Family Farms, Sheldon. Water quality topics, including edge-of-feedlot runoff and tile drainage, are the current focus of studies at those sites. Tour participants viewed water quality monitoring equipment and learned about program developments from the farms’ owners and Ron Wiederholt, a North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service nutrient management specialist and the North Dakota Discovery Farms program coordinator. “Visiting North Dakota Discovery Farms was a great opportunity to see how monitoring programs operate in different states,” says Dennis Busch, research manager of the University of Wisconsin – Platteville Pioneer Farm. “It was also a great way to network with other professionals regarding their programs and to see firsthand the progress that North Dakota is making related to water monitoring.” Wiederholt found the tour equally beneficial. “I was pleased to get a lot of feedback from our audience,” he says. “We had open discussions about site design, water collection, data analysis and management. Some of the researchers have been running similar programs for several years; their insight will be invaluable as our program moves forward.” The North Dakota Discovery Farms program officially began in 2007 and is in a data collection phase. Once data is analyzed and interpreted, producers will coordinate with resource managers to implement the most feasible management practices for their respective operations.

Ron Wiederholt, Discovery Farms program coordinator, Carrington; Kent Bartholomay of Sheldon, one of the producers in the program; and Dennis Busch, tour attendee, Platteville, WI.

The programs in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Arkansas are all based on the concept started in 2001 in Wisconsin. All programs involve producer-led research that occurs on working farms in the respective states and a strong emphasis on education and outreach to producers, researchers, policy-makers and citizens. “Ultimately, the program will help decision makers strike a balance between profitable agricultural production and protection of natural resources,” Wiederholt says. The North Dakota Discovery Farms program is a cooperative effort involving NDSU, the North Dakota Department of Health and U.S. Geological Survey. For more information, contact Wiederholt at (701) 652-2951 or ron.wiederholt@ ndsu.edu. § 5 Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


continued from Watershed-Scale Projects: Lessons So Far on page 1

different. We’ve spent a great deal of time trying to create trusting relationships based in honesty and openness. We knew local involvement and ownership was critical, but we didn’t understand how a project could take on a local life of its own based on these relationships. One of the most enjoyable parts of the projects has been interacting with the people involved and being welcomed not only onto farms, but into a community.

than were originally planned, but we are confident that this approach will lead to improvements in whole farm management and ultimately better water quality. Monitoring and understanding all sources of nutrient and sediment loss While agriculture is a contributor to non-point source pollution, there are also other possible sources on a watershed scale that are important to understand. Within each watershed, we are monitoring non-agricultural settings to understand the nutrient and sediment contributions from these areas. This has given producers confidence that our research is fairly investigating all sources, and has given community members an opportunity to be engaged in a way that may not normally be possible if agriculture was the only piece of the puzzle that was given any attention. Our approach to watershed scale research is to be as wide-ranging as possible, as is evidenced by our method of whole farm evaluation and monitoring of agricultural and non-agricultural land areas.

Critical site identification One of the goals of the watershed project was identifying areas that may contribute the majority of nutrient or sediment loss within the watershed. The initial intention for identifying these sites was to use values derived from nutrient management plans, the Wisconsin Phosphorus Index and LiDAR (high resolution topographic maps). I can’t speak for others, but I naively thought that these sites with a high risk for loss would jump off the page and identify themselves. This isn’t the case. Discovery Farms’ previous research has shown that any area can be at a risk for nutrient and sediment loss when inappropriate decisions are made, and these watershed projects are no exception. The identification of critical sites will take time, experience, and careful deliberation, but once identified, solutions that improve water quality can be more accurately suggested.

Importance of underlying soil and bedrock characteristics In setting up the study design for the watershed projects, we were anticipating comparing nearby sites on the basis of management only. Our assumption was that underlying soil and bedrock characteristics would be similar since the sites were in such close proximity to each other. In one particular instance, we quickly found this to be wrong. Runoff characteristics (how much and when water flows from the surface) are totally different between the two sites because of a layer of clay near the surface at one of the sites. This has reminded us once again that prescribing management practices to blanket across a region is not appropriate, and management on a field-by-field and day-to-day basis is critical.§

Whole-farm evaluation of all farms participating As eluded to with the issue of identifying critical sites, we’ve determined that whole farm evaluation is essential. Not only does this evaluation include land within and outside of the delineated watershed boundary, it also means working with each farmer that operates land within the watershed. These two components of whole farm evaluation for critical sites means extra oneon-one work with each farmer and work on more acres 6

Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


zz UW-PLATTEVILLE PIONEER FARM HOSTS CONFERENCE FOR NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE By Sarah Miller, UW-Platteville Office of Public Relations

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LATTEVILLE – “Where can you find such a diverse group of people with so much in common?” asked Josh Kamps of Pleasant View Farm in Darlington, during a visit from U.S. National Resources Conservation Service employees hosted by the University of WisconsinPlatteville Pioneer Farm. The visit – one stop on a fivefarm tour of Southwestern Wisconsin – was only a part of the four-day “Pioneer Production Challenge,” a conference hosted by Pioneer Farm each summer. The conference is one example of the university farm’s effort to support the educational needs of regional NRCS employees. According to the NRCS website, the agency works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance to benefit the soil, water, air, plants and animals for productive lands and healthy ecosystems. “We’re here to give a basic farm experience to those employees who work with production agriculturalists,” said Gretchen Kamps, program coordinator at Pioneer Farm. “We’re able to tailor our programs to fit the needs of the NRCS, to increase the general farm knowledge of people who will be working with producers every day.”

of Agriculture and Pioneer Farm, the UW-Extension and UW Discovery Farms Program, and Southwest Technical College, as well as a representative from the Wisconsin Pork Association. Through tours like the one to Pleasant View Farm, NRCS employees are able to meet owners and producers on local farms, where they have behind-the-scenes access and are given information like that offered by Jim Digangi of Darlington Ridge Farms, who said, “The number one function of a cow is maintenance. Cows are creatures of habit, so keep it simple and consistent.”

Attendees of the annual conference are exposed to a wide variety of lectures, small group activities and hands-on workshops, covering topics from soils, dairy, beef and manure, including but not limited to safety and biosecurity, livestock production, plant identification, surface water monitoring and equipment operation. Sessions are taught by various faculty and staff from the UW-Platteville School

According to Chris Miller, an NRCS district conservationist for the Darlington Service Center, Pioneer Farm offers the new NRCS employees unique, on-farm experiences they’ve never had. “This program gives them a broad-spectrum view of farming, as well as many hands-on activities,” he said. “It really helps them understand why we do what we do.”§

zz USING SOIL TEST RESULTS FOR MORE THAN JUST NUTRIENT RECOMMENDATIONS By Amber Radatz and Dennis Frame, UW Discovery Farms,and John Peters and Matt Ruark, Department of Soil Science, UW Madison

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esults from soil tests continue to be one of the most important indicators of current soil fertility and a great source of information when determining nutrient recommendations for an upcoming crop. Recently, soil test results are being used as a way for a renter to show the landlord positive change or maintenance in soil fertility levels throughout the life of a land lease. It’s important to be very careful when using soil tests for these situations. An acre of soil to a 6-inch depth weighs about 1,000 tons, yet less than 1 ounce of soil is used for each test in the laboratory. Therefore, it is very important that the soil sample is representative of the entire field. Variability can result from a 7 Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


number of factors including: from the number of cores taken, the depth cores are taken from, time of year, and field moisture conditions. Even though soil tests remain one of the most useful and basic crop and soil management tools we have, it is important to understand the limitations of the results for both accuracy and potential uses. Soil tests effectively distinguish soils with low and high probabilities of crop response for most nutrients (Bruulsema, 2004). The actual number presented to you on your soil test results sheet should be used to gauge that probability of crop response, and not necessarily as a finite value where one number is tremendously better or worse than another. Here are some links to helpful resources with further information on the variability that might be present in your soil test results. (If you receive a paper copy of this newsletter and would like the actual web addresses of the links, please contact us at Discovery Farms.) § Effect of sampling time on soil test potassium levels, presented at 2010 Wisconsin Crop Management Conference, Vitko, Laboski, Andraski Why are soil test potassium levels so variable over time in the Corn Belt?, International Plant Nutrition Institute website, Murrell Seasonal variability in soil test potassium, presented at 2005 Wisconsin Crop Management Conference, Laboski Understanding the science behind fertilizer recommendations, International Plant Nutrition Institute website, Bruulsema An excerpt from “Agronomic and Environmental Implication of Phosphorus Management Practices”, Mallarino, Bundy Sampling soils for testing, UW Extension Publication #A2100, Peters, Laboski, Bundy

zz MACROPORES REDUCE CAPACITY OF SOIL TO FILTER AND RETAIN NUTRIENTS by Eric Cooley, UW Discovery Farms

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resource soil scientist in northwest Ohio) suggests that greater numbers of worms live around tile lines because of the optimum environmental conditions created near tiles due to limited saturated conditions, thus increasing potential for preferential flow to tile drainage systems.

acropores are preferential flow paths through the soil created from worm holes, old root channels, shrinkage cracks, and structural porosity. Macropores can be direct conduits though the soil, thus reducing the “filter effect” of the soil as the water moves through the soil profile. In soils where macropores are well developed, material from the surface of the soil can be transferred deep into the soil profile with little to no filtration. Preferential flow through macropores is of high concern in tile-drained landscapes and areas that have a shallow depth to bedrock.

Old root channels can also result in the formation of macropores. The decay of crops with deep taproots can leave a void in the soil where the root once resided. Shrinkage cracks found in soils, especially in soils with a higher clay content, can form deep into the soil. In Fond du Lac County, these cracks were observed to transfer material from the surface to a depth of 17 feet. On the surface, these cracks can open to diameters greater than one inch. Dependent on soil type, the structural porosity of the soil formed from the natural aggregation of

The common night crawler often burrows to depths of six feet and deeper. Research conducted by Martin Shipitalo (USDA-ARS, North Appalachian Experimental Watershed, Coshocton, OH) and Frank Gibbs (NRCS 8

Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


soil particles can also result in cracks and voids in the soil profile.

nutrients to tile or groundwater. Pre-tillage or concurrent tillage for liquid manure applications can disrupt macropores and impede preferential flow through soil. Research on manure movement into tile systems indicates that manure with a higher percentage of solids (less water), is more viscous which lowers the potential for rapid movement through the soil profile. Practices which increase the solid content in liquid manure or decrease the moisture can reduce the potential of macropore flow. Soils that are high in moisture content, whether they are known to have macropores or not, have limited moisture holding capacity so liquid manure application during wet conditions or impending precipitation should be avoided. ยง

Material from the surface of the soil can utilize multiple macropore pathways to travel through the soil profile. At a field day in Wisconsin, dye was applied to the soil surface to show how material can be transferred. The dye was shown to follow structural porosity or shrinkage cracks at the surface, hit the plow layer and traveled laterally until it found an earthworm hole, then traveled down again until it intercepted a shrinkage crack and continued downward. Fields containing high numbers of preferential flow pathways need to be managed using appropriate management practices to reduce the potential release of

zz PIONEER RUNOFF MONITORING STATIONS PROVIDE UNIQUE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES by Randy Mentz, UW Pioneer Farm

Pioneer Farm runoff monitoring stations 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26 were installed at the beginning of WY2010 with the intent to collect runoff data to calibrate the basins for paired research. Our producer-led Project Advisory Group met last year and decided that sites 21-26 should be used to study various risk mitigation strategies for applying manure on frozen ground. A statistical analysis was conducted after the 2010 data was summarized to determine how well suited these six stations are for paired-basin research.

Site 22 during the last day of snowmelt runoff in 2010.

The WY 2010 dataset is characterized by 15 total runoff events, 6 of which were major (runoff greater than one mm at most of the six stations). The majority (80%) of the total runoff occurred while the ground was frozen. Linear regression analysis indicates that r-squared values are quite good for most pairs that exclude S21, especially for phosphorus constituents. Site 21 did not runoff as much as the other stations, thus the poor correlations. Suspended sediment and nitrate correlations are somewhat weak; however, sediment runoff would be inconsequential to a study looking at the influence of manure management in the winter months, and nitrate runoff is of secondary importance as compared to phosphorus. It looks as though at least five of the six stations will be calibrated rather tightly, providing a unique opportunity to measure the water quality impact of specific management practices. These stations are still in the calibration phase for 2011 and this additional year of calibration data will be available prior to the implementation of any studies. ยง

9 Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


zz NEW REPORT RELEASED: USGS SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS

zz UW-PLATTEVILLE PIONEER FARM INTERNS 2011

by Eric Cooley, UW Discovery Farms

This summer UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm has 4 interns hired to assist with various research projects. Please read on for a description of their work and a little bit about each of them.

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he USGS Scientific Investigations Report, Precipitation-Runoff and Water-Quality Characteristics at Edge-of-Field Stations, Discovery Farms and Pioneer Farm, Wisconsin, 2003—08, is now available. This document summarizes hydrologic and water-quality data collected year-round at 23 edge-of-field monitoring stations on five privately owned Discovery Farms and on Pioneer Farm during water years 2003–8, totaling 84 site-years of data.

Erica Mukand-Cerro, from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is a senior majoring in Environmental Engineering. She is a summer intern at Pioneer Farm analyzing precipitationrunoff and determining similar relationships between the runoff monitoring stations. Erica enjoys horseback-riding and kayaking. Hannah Wisth is a junior from Rubicon, Wisconsin majoring in Soil/Crop Science. She is a summer intern for the edge-of-field water research program. Hannah maintains the runoff monitoring stations as well as other tasks around the farm. She likes learning random facts. For example, polar bears are left-handed.

This report establishes the relationship of precipitation and runoff in different physical settings and varying farming systems. This document also identifies typical ranges and magnitudes of sediment and nutrients in runoff from agricultural fields. In addition, field conditions and the timing of field-management activities are correlated to variances in concentration and yield of sediment and nutrients at an edge-of-field scale.

Riley Mondloch, from Prescott, Wisconsin, is a senior majoring in Environmental Engineering. He is a summer intern for the edge-of-field surface water runoff program. Riley is currently working on a passive sampler project in the hydraulics lab as well as the effects of flume tilt. Riley enjoys mountain biking.

The studied farms represented different geographic regions and farming systems in southern and eastern Wisconsin. Analysis of runoff timing, quantity, and quality, compared to environmental factors and on-farm field activities, identified conditions in which runoff, sediment loss, and nutrient loss were most likely to occur. This information can be utilized to better understand the mechanisms for sediment and nutrient loss to aid agricultural producers on making more informed management decisions. §

Dustin deFelice is a senior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin majoring in Environmental Engineering. He is a summer intern for the edge-of-field surface water runoff program. He is performing experimental testing related to flume tilt with H-flumes in the hydraulics lab at Pioneer Farm as well as working with the passive samplers. Dustin is an avid sailor; last year he finished 2nd in his class at the North American NACRA National Championships. §

The full report is available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5008/

Front Row : Erica MukandCerro and Hannah Wisth Back Row: Riley Mondloch and Dustin deFelice

10 Pioneering Discoveries -Summer 2011


Pioneering Discoveries - Summer 2011

Director Dennis Frame
 715-983-2257
 drframe@wisc.edu

Program Assistant Judy Goplin
 715-983-5668
 jgoplin@wisc.edu

Outreach Specialists Kevan Klingberg
 715-983-2240
 kevan.klingberg@ces.uwex.edu Eric Cooley
 608-235-5259
 etcooley@wisc.edu Paul Kivlin 715-425-3112 paul.t.kivlin@uwrf.edu Amber Radatz 608-235-5182 aradatz@wisc.edu

Data/Information Systems Susan Frame
 715-983-5668 susan.frame@ces.uwex.edu Research Specialist Aaron Wunderlin 920-839-5431 aaron.wunderlin@ces.uwex.edu

This newsletter can be found on the web at: www.uwdiscoveryfarms.org Regarding the mailing list, call/e-mail 715-983-5668 or jgoplin@wisc.edu. UW Discovery Farms is a producer-led research and outreach program based out of the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The program is unique in that it conducts research on working farms located throughout Wisconsin, seeking to identify the impacts of production agriculture on water quality. The program is managed by faculty from the University of Wisconsin, along with oversight from a steering committee of producers, citizens and agency personnel representing a wide variety of non-profit and government organizations. Funding has been provided by the State of Wisconsin, UW-Extension, as well as a number of annual grants from producer groups and our federal partners. An EEO/Affirmative Action employer, University of Wisconsin-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA requirements. Request for reasonable accommodation for disabilities or limitations should be made prior to the date of the program or activity for which it is needed. Publications are available in alternative formats upon request. Please make such requests as early as possible by contacting the Discovery Farms office at 715-983-5668 so proper arrangements can be made.

Director Phil Wyse Assistant Director Alicia Prill-Adams

PRODUCTION STAFF: Dairy Enterprise Manager Cory Weigel

RESEARCH STAFF: Research Manager Dennis Busch

Equipment Operator Fred Koeller

Research Coordinator Gretchen Kamps

Farm Laborer Mark Tranel

Research Specialist Randy Mentz Research Technicians Justin Daugherty Rob Crubel

Please visit our website at: www.uwplatt.edu/pioneerfarm Please send correspondence to Pioneer Farm Research Specialist via e-mail, mentzr@uwplatt.edu, or phone, 608-342-1819.


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Pioneering Discoveries Vol. 3, Issue 2 INSIDE Watershed-Scale Projects: Lessons So Far........................... 1 UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm: News & Notes....................... 1 Director’s Column....................................................................2 Discovery Farms Interns......................................................... 3 Congratulations: Discovery Farms Retirements................. 4 Pre-Vet Camp 2011.................................................................. 4 North Dakota Discovery Farms Host Summer Tour........... 5 UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm Hosts Conference for Natural Resources Conservation Service........................................... 7 Using Soil Test Results for More than Just Nutrient Recommendations.................................................................. 7 Macropores Reduce Capacity of Soil to Filter and Retain Nutrients................................................................................... 8 Pioneer Runoff Monitoring Stations Provide Unique Research Opportunities......................................................... 9 UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm Interns 2011......................... 10 New Report Released: USGS Scientific Investigations........ 10

A newsletter from UW Discovery Farms and UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm


2011 Summer Pioneering Discoveries Newsletter  

UW Discovery Farms 2011 Summer Newsletter, Pioneering Discoveries.

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