400-cow dairy supported with organic grain
MADISON — Wilson Organic Farms will host a free field day on Tuesday, July 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to showcase the operation’s organic grain production and dairy.
The farm, located near Cuba City, Wisconsin, has been organic since 1996 and currently has 400 cows and 2,900 organic acres. The Wilsons have been dedicated to soil health and pioneers in no-till organic soybeans, and they see the production of high-quality organic small grains, corn and soybeans as instrumental in supporting organic dairy herd health.
The field day, co-hosted by UW–Madison Organic Grain Resource and Information Network (OGRAIN), Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and Organic Valley, will include guided tours and discussions of a no-till system of soybeans planted into rolled and crimped rye. Participants will also explore practices the Wilsons have implemented to improve soil health, and how cereal grains have been integrated into the dairy rotation. Organic seed corn trials and tillage and cultivation equipment will also be featured.
Speakers include Keith Wilson of Wilson Organic Farms; Erin Silva, UW–Madison assistant professor of plant pathology and UW-Extension organic production systems specialist, who will discuss current organic no-till research; and Silvia Abel-Caines, dairy nutritionist with Organic Valley, who will talk about integrating small grains into organic dairy rations.
The Wilsons will join neighboring farmers and organic ag experts in two panel discussions. In the morning, the discussion will focus on using rolled rye in an organic no-till soybean system, along with how cover crops can be integrated into a dairy feed rotation. Methods, successes and challenges will offer a variety of useful strategies.
In the afternoon, a group of organic dairy operators will share their experiences incorporating small grains into rotations and rations, and how this leads to improved crop and animal health. Attendees can then drive a short distance to view a soybean seed trial before heading home.
A free noon meal with organic brats, hot dogs, sweet corn and side dishes will be hosted by Organic Valley. Regional businesses and organizations will provide information booths to explore.
Participants are asked to preregister for this free event. To register, visit mosesorganic.org/events/organic-field-days/jul-31 or call MOSES at (715) 778-5775 by July 27. For additional information or questions, contact Harriet Behar at email@example.com or (608) 872-2164.
Wilson Organic Farms is located at 10950 S. Galena Road, Cuba City, Wisconsin, 53807.
OGRAIN is a collaborative of the UW–Madison/UW-Extension Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems lab, UW–Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and MOSES.