Pioneer farm welcomes nutrient management experts

October 8, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE-In a time of growing environmental concerns, farmers are searching for ways to help protect the environment. To help farmers, experts from around the state have been studying these issues. Last week, experts convened at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm to discuss results and areas of need.

Nearly 50 professionals from UW-Extension, Department of Natural Resources, Discovery Farms, the Wisconsin Ag Stewardship Initiative, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Land Conservation Departments gathered at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm to exchange ideas and information. The major topic for the day was nutrient management.

The group discussed national and state nutrient management plans and regulations. Participants also learned about the latest research at the Pioneer Farm and Discovery Farms. The research included developing comprehensive nutrient management plans, monitoring field run-off and work with methane digesters.

Pioneer Farm Director Tom Hunt stressed the farm's "dedication to educating everyone from students to producers."

"The project has provided an interesting opportunity to sit down and talk with farmers," said Fred Madison, co-director of the Discovery Farms, who was excited to see what the farmers' needs and concerns were and to "partner with the farmers and work with them to help solve their problems."

Meeting organizers, Doug Knox of Pioneer Farm, and Ron Wiederholt, UW-Extension crops and soils agent, were pleased with the participation from all areas and groups in the state.

"This meeting shows the interconnectedness of various groups and how we can get together and get the information to producers," Wiederholt said, acknowledging that helping farmers with environmental issues is too much for one group alone to work on, so the teamwork shown at the meeting is essential for success.

The day concluded with a tour of Pioneer Farm to view the new projects, including the field water run-off monitors, in-stream gauging station and stream cattle crossings.

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