Knowing Your Roots

Posts tagged ‘wetlands’

Water is the Most Precious Resource for Wisconsin’s Potato and Vegetable Growers

Blog 30

Water use is a critical issue in central Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), as well as its grower members are committed to the judicious use of this most precious resource.

WPVGA formed The Water Task Force in 2009 to bring together resources and expertise to foster the sustainable use of water resources in the Central Sands. The committee was also formed to develop and promote responsible water use practices that will protect the groundwater aquifer of the Central Sands and its associated streams, lakes and wetlands.

The goal of the Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers is to do this in a way that ensures a sustainable agricultural industry for future generations, fosters vibrant rural communities and respects the needs of all its citizens.

The WPVGA Water Task Force has already made remarkable progress in advancing all of its objectives. For example, to increase understanding of the hydrology of the Central Sands, the Task Force has initiated a program to measure groundwater depths in privately-owned irrigation wells across space and time. They have purchased and installed equipment to continuously monitor groundwater in four areas designated as high risk for surface water impacts. They have also commissioned and funded a study by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey to expand understanding of tunnel channel lakes in high risk areas and their interaction with groundwater–this study has since expanded into a significant modeling project funded by NRCS.   (more…)

Behind the Scenes: Healthy Farms Restoring Natural Ecosystems

 

Blog 18Spring, beautiful springtime has arrived and we are moving quickly into summer.  Flowers are blooming and color has returned to our landscapes.  In farming regions, crop color has returned and also the diverse habitats of native landscapes.  In an effort to restore natural ecosystems, Wisconsin potato farmers along with the International Crane Foundation of Baraboo, WI have formed a collaboration to manage participating farms as whole ecosystems.

Each spring growers identify areas on their farms that have restoration potential.  Farmers document areas where the restoration of natural ecosystems, including grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands, can be achieved.  This typically occurs on field edges, unproductive areas, or in areas of existing remnants of native plant communities.  In Central Wisconsin, this work is often focused on re-establishing native grassland with perennial flowers and native grasses.  The dry sand prairies with short grasses were the original grass cover of the Central Sands region.

If done correctly, native restorations can conserve rare plants, improve habitat for declining grassland birds (such as meadowlark, bobolink, and grasshopper sparrows), and provide habitat for Wisconsin’s prairie-associated reptiles and amphibians. Perennial plant communities also benefit the soil, water, and the aesthetics of the local region.   (more…)

Tag Cloud