The second annual meeting for the Farmers of the Sugar River was held on March 5 at the Albany Lions Club. Over 50 people attended the meeting. Jim Leverich, retired from UWEX, gave a talk on “Intergrading Management with Precision Farming to Achieve High Yields and Profitability in a No-Till System”. Ted Bay, also retired UWEX ag agent, gave an over view of cover crop use in southwest WI. After a delicious lunch catered by the Albany Lions Club, Susan Lehnhardt gave a presentation for the group on behalf of the Lower Sugar River Watershed Association on “Monitoring Changes in the Watershed”. The final presentation was done by Ted Bay- “Save Money, Time and Soil: The Economics of No-Till” to help put a dollar amount on the costs of tillage versus no-till. Farmers were then given the opportunity to share different practices they were trying. Some were successful, others were waiting to see what the spring would bring.
The second annual Shop Talk organized by the Farmers of the Sugar River was held on Tuesday, March 26 at Helena Agri, north of Monroe. Learning and discussion was centered around herbicides, residual effect of herbicides impeding fall cover crop establishment, sprayers and nozzles. Presenters from Helena, BASF, Corteva and Midstate Equipment educated and answered questions for the nearly two dozen farmers in attendance.
Demonstrations on using different surfactants, oils and adjuvants helped farmers understand how they were different and how they could be used together. The spray table made it easy to see the difference in droplet size and dispersion from various nozzles even with the same volume of water being put out. There are nozzles that help reduce the finer mist and give better drift reduction. In maintaining sprayers, it was highly suggested to run water through the system to make sure all nozzles and hoses are operating correctly before putting in chemicals and then having an issue. Considering and possibly tweaking your herbicide programs is critical to ensuring cover crop establishment in the fall.
Farmers of the Sugar River is a producer led watershed group of farmers that are working to encourage other farmers to adopt conservation practices like no till and cover crops that reduce sedimentation in our streams and rivers. They host events to educate producers on how to adopt these practices. They receive funding and support from DATCP and other local business partners, like Helena.
Follow this link to Farmers of the Sugar River page to see presentations and handouts provided at these events.