Wisconsin briefs - Conservation Stewardship apps due

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


USDA Conservation Program deadline approaching

The agricultural non-profit Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) is urging farmers interested in receiving compensation for existing and additional conservation efforts to apply to USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) by Feb. 3 for consideration in 2017.

The theory of the CSP’s design is to both reward farmers for existing conservation and help them improve or create new conservation practices on their land.  CSP contracts require a five year commitment with the option to renew. Payments are based on maintaining existing conservation operations on the land and/or implementing additional activities.

Changes in the program include new tools to assess farmers’ eligibility and rank applications, a new minimum payment of $1,500, added flexibility for mid-contract changes, expanded options for enhancements, practices, and bundles of practices, and a redesigned payment structure.

The Institute encourages farmers to visit their local NRCS office soon or fill out this form by the cut-off date. Farmers who do not submit an application before this deadline will have to wait until 2018 for their application to be considered.


Grain Marketing series begins

Area farmers are welcome to attend the upcoming grain marketing meeting series hosted by UW-Extension and area agribusiness.

The first session will be held on Thursday Jan. 19 at the Melrose American Legion Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Brenda Boetel of UW-River Falls will discuss the grain and livestock market, providing an update of market forces – domestic and international, and outlook for 2017. Kristine Johnson of Badgerland Financial and Julie Dokkestul will share updates for 2017 crop insurance and USDA Farm Service Agency programs.

The second session will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, where the topics of discussion will be 2017 Market outlook for corn/soybean, 2017 Agronomics and nutrient management.

For more information, contact the Jackson County UW Extension office at 715-284-4257.


CAFO Conference set

This year’s CAFO Conference for Burnett, Washburn and Sawyer counties is entitled “Reducing Your Risk” and will be held on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 at the WITC Conference Center in Rice Lake. This is an update meeting for WPDES permitted CAFO owners and managers, manure haulers, nutrient management plan writers and engineers.  Session goals include improving nutrient management plan implementation and providing other information on regulations that may affect large farming operations.

Early bird sessions will begin at 10:30 a.m. and includes discussion with WDNR and county staff on specific concerns including recycling silo bags and covers. The conference will begin at noon following lunch with presentations on town road regulation and farm implement changes; production site - staying in compliance with your permit; runoff control/collection from feed storage areas and animal lots; monitoring and reporting and nutrient management. The conference will conclude with a DNR Q&A.

Registration is $15 in advance (by Feb 1st) or $20 at the door. Advance payment can be made in check or credit card (credit cards cannot be accepted at the door). To register, contact Kim at Barron County UW-Extension, 715-537-6250 x6.


Learning to hire and retain the right employees

Many owners are tasked with the challenge of communicating beyond language and cultural differences to bring out the best in their people. PDPW is holding a series of H.R. workshops to equip managers with hiring tools, retention tips and employee engagement techniques that will make life easier and take the guesswork out of hiring, retaining and engaging eagle employees.

The daylong workshop with also help attendees gain a better understanding of communication across cultural and language differences. This training provides a basis for creating an effective, productive hiring and onboarding system that will retain top talent and repel the rest. The workshop will also include a producer panel so attendees can learn firsthand how fellow dairy producers develop and grow their employees. The Wisconsin production panel include Marty Hallock, Mark Diederichs, and Doug Bock.

In state workshops will be held at the following locations: Tuesday, Jan. 31, La Sure’s Hall 3125 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh;  Wednesday, Feb. 1, Holiday Inn, 4751 Owen Ayres Ct, Eau Claire. Registration fee covers workshop materials and lunch. Member rate $125/person; $75 additional person from same dairy, Non member rate $250 per person. Register online at or call 800-947-7379.