Farming Success Stories on the Red Cedar River Basin
Many farmers in the Red Cedar watershed are adopting and adapting soil health principles on their farms. This session will offer the opportunity to hear how Jim and Logan are managing their farms to increase soil health and profitability.
Presenter: Jim Kusilek
Four Mile Creek Dairy, LLC
Jim and his wife Audrey purchased Four Mile Creek Dairy in 1998 after meeting at UW River Falls and enjoying 15-year careers as commercial bankers. This 2700 animal dairy farm (1500 adult cows, 1200 heifers) is located five miles north of Ridgeland. The operation has grown from 300 cows, 600 acres in 1992 to 2300 acres of owned and rented land.
The dairy prides itself on exceptional animal and land husbandry practices. The operation moves nearly 90% of its liquid manure via an underground manure pipeline and above ground hoses. Manure is applied at a maximum depth of 7” using a minimal disturbance application implement. Corn silage varieties are chosen with a target harvest date of September 10th, which allows a cover crop of winter rye to be planted while the corn harvesting equipment is still in the field. Arguably the dairy has a growing green crop on 90% of its acres year around. Of the 2300 acres, 300 acres of the most highly erodible land is planted to perennial grass, with 800 acres planted to alfalfa, 900 acres in corn silage, and the balance in corn for grain. Management maintains grass headlands on many row crop fields and invests heavily in the maintenance of grassed field waterways.
Jim and Audrey are believers in regenerative agriculture as the land management practices they utilize match the regenerative agriculture recommended practices. Minimum disturbance/no-till farming practices with cover crops, crop diversity, and using animal manure applications for 80% to 90% of their crop nutrient needs.
Presenter: Logan Dwyer
Havin Hills Rolling Acres
Logan and Amber Dwyer own and operate Havin Hills Rolling Acres near Chetek, Wisconsin. Logan and Amber farm about 400 acres of wheat, rye, corn, soybeans, sunflowers, hay, pumpkins, squash, and cover crops to graze. There are 35 cows and numerous heifers and calves, totaling just over 75 animals. We utilize many different farming techniques on our farm. No-till farming techniques and cover crops play a vital role in our operation. By utilizing no-till techniques we believe it helps us maintain soil structure and preserve organic matter. Cover crops help hold soil in place, build organic matter, recycle nutrients and provide a great source of grazing. By grazing the cover crops we have seen huge benefits to the soil and yields in the fields.
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm