Knowing Your Roots

Posts tagged ‘cover crops’

Behind the Scenes: Central Sands Crop Diversity

BeautyFinalLR

Wisconsin’s Central Sands provides a great diversity of food crops. It is one of our country’s most important vegetable production areas, and also one of our most diverse. Our farmers do grow USDA program crops like field corn and soybeans, but the Central Sands acreage is overwhelmed by a broad mixture of vegetables and specialty crops. We grow potatoes of all kinds—russets for baking and fries, reds and yellows for salads and many other purposes (yes baking too), round whites for chips, even sweet potatoes are grown in the Central Sands. Sweet corn, green beans, peas, carrots, peppers, cucumbers and beets dot the landscape. Most of our vegetable crops are bound for processing plants (canned and frozen) within Wisconsin then distributed across the US and to other countries around the globe. Fresh vegetables are also available to you at local farmer markets and grocery stores. We are working on expanding this area of production as the market calls for them. This crop diversity provides consumers everything from crunchy pickles and spicy relish, cranberry sauces and juices to fresh table potatoes for every meal event, locally grown in Central Wisconsin. Did you know that Wisconsin is also the nation’s largest supplier of cranberries?   (more…)

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Thoughts for Food: The Season is Winding Down

Blog 40

Fall is here in Wisconsin’s Central Sands!  Highlights of yellow and orange are popping up in the hardwoods that mingle with the cropland of this uniquely productive area that is so important to the nation’s supply of potatoes and vegetables.  The harvested fields are taking on an emerald sheen as the rye cover crops become established to protect and nourish the soil for next season.  It’s time to rest the land for a spell, to recharge the groundwater that drives the system, and recharge the spirits of this remarkable group of growers who will use this time to learn and digest what worked and what still needs more work.

We hope that you have enjoyed the “Thoughts for Food” series of articles.  Over the past 6 months, we have introduced you to the Central Sands region and its unique growers by taking you through the potato growing season.  We have looked at the challenges faced each year in growing the crops, introduced you to innovations made by the industry, and explained the business of agriculture in a realistic, yet simple manner.  This important industry, which is one of the economic engines of central Wisconsin, works hard to preserve the natural resources of the area for future generations.  For a full re-cap of the season, you can journey back in time and check out any of the topic areas at your leisure (search the archives for the “Thoughts for Food” series on the new family farm blog posts).   (more…)

Farm Perspectives: What the Wind Throws Our Way

WindThe Central Sands can get pretty windy, and wind is one of many natural forces farmers have to contend with every day. Wind presents two main problems for farmland: it displaces irrigation water and can cause wind erosion to fields. As a result, farms must adjust their practices to address these issues.

When it comes to irrigation, wind can blow water away from the field and crops. Using new technology is the easiest way to avoid applying excess water that will only be blown off the fields and wasted. (more…)

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