Knowing Your Roots

Posts tagged ‘irrigation scheduling program’

The delights and challenges of growing food in Wisconsin

Blog 54
It’s mid-June already! Summer is officially here and with temperatures in the 80s, it’s hard to think back even a few months and remember that in mid-March we were all wondering if life in the land of living plants was ever going to start again!  Imagine if you can, the last 3 weeks of March when we averaged 43 degrees F for a high and a frigid 24 for a low—with snow everywhere to boot. Now, fast forward to June 1st, the last 3 weeks have blessed us with 74 and 51 for the highs and lows! This is surely why we love living in Wisconsin, it’s an adventure!

Our farmers love this climate and thrive on battling the odds and defeating what Mother Nature throws at them. When the remnants of March blew in the Central Sands, the tractors were ready, the potato growers were primed with new knowledge and ideas from their winter meetings, and the sheds were full of healthy seed potatoes ready to be lovingly inserted into that rich soil for another crop year. But a peek outside revealed their fields as a bleak, snow-covered artic landscape with no end in sight. They waited, as farmers do so well, through most of April this year, and their patience was rewarded with a sunny and warm May that brought blossoms to the wind breaks protecting their fields and allowed them to show the world just how good they are at getting close to 50,000 acres of potatoes planted in a few short weeks!   (more…)

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Thoughts for Food: Using WISDOM to Manage Potatoes and Preserve Our Environment

Blog 30

When we look back at the last thirty years of the potato industry in Central Wisconsin, we marvel at the advances growers have made and wonder how much further they can go! Major changes in practices, technologies, and tools—driven by engaged and innovative growers, working side by side with other growers and UW researchers—have occurred to solve challenging production and environmental issues.  This has enabled the industry to increase productivity by over 25% in the last decade alone.  Due to these advances, the acreage of the potato crop has been reduced from 84,000 to 61,000 acres; inputs like water, energy and pesticides have also been reduced, and yet we produce as many potatoes now (we rank 3rd in the US) as we did a decade ago.   (more…)

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