By Erica Gentry, UW-Madison Division of Extension Discovery Farms Program
Are you interested in learning what other farmer-led watershed groups are doing around the state? The Producer-Led Webinar Series: Planting new ideas, growing conservation, was started in March with the goal to facilitate farmer exchange to problem solve, try new things and innovate. It also provides a space for farmers and partners of their watershed groups to share conservation success stories and answer questions. Since March, there have been 10 webinars, occurring on the second Tuesday of each month. Webinars last about one hour each.
These are the topics we covered so far with plenty more to come:
● Interseeding rye into standing soybeans
● Planting corn into standing rye
● Alternative forages
● Increasing profitability with precision agriculture
● Hosting virtual events and other planning tools
● No-tilling into heavy red clays
● Nitrogen management, N crediting from irrigation and cover crops
● No-till, 60-inch corn, and grazing covers
● Fall and winter grazing techniques
● Soil Health Partnership
The idea for these webinars came about pre-pandemic and it has turned out to be an excellent resource for farmers and watershed groups to share their efforts with a large audience, especially now when in-person gatherings are limited. The webinars are hosted by the DATCP Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants Program, the UW-Madison Division of Extension Natural Resources Institute and the Discovery Farms Program.
“Hearing a farmer perspective helps us know what results are in field conditions in our areas. Large conferences tend to bring speakers from southern latitudes, where the dates and condition have little correlation for us,” was a comment made by a webinar participant. The webinars have provided honest learning opportunities for Wisconsin farmers and conservation professionals. Practice specifics, planter setup, economics and challenges are addressed. No questions are off limits during these webinars.
All webinars are recorded and posted on the UW Discovery Farms YouTube channel. Watch them at YouTube.com and search UW Discovery Farms. Watch them here.
If you have a topic idea or would like to be involved in the Producer-Led Webinar Series, contact email@example.com. To participate in the live webinars, register here.
Webinars are also live streamed on the Discovery Farms Facebook page.