Extension Responds – Drought Resources

Posted in Current weather conditions on July 6th, 2012 by extension.news – Comments Off

In the summer of 2012, Southern Wisconsin experienced drought conditions that rivaled those of 1988. Those conditions posed challenges for all Wisconsin residents, both urban and rural.

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To find your local county UW-Extension agriculture agent please visit www.YourCountyExtensionOffice.com

Prevented Planting Options

Posted in Crops on June 11th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

Farmers in some parts of Wisconsin have had a hard time getting crops planted and many are new to crop insurance this year.  As a result there have been many questions on late and prevented planting.  Growers should always talk to their crop insurance agent about this. Paul Mitchell, UW-Madison Agriculture and Applied Economics professor and UW-Extension crop insurance specialist explains options an insured farmer has for any acres that have not yet been planted.

Alfalfa Removal in Spring

Posted in Alfalfa Winterkill, Crop Management, Crops on May 17th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

While removal of old stands is recommended with fall applications, many fields are now slated for removal due to winter-kill. This can be challenging, but options exist depending on the situation.  In this article, Mark Renz, UW-Extension weed scientist, discusses management options for common scenarios this spring. If using herbicides, remember to read the label of the products used, as plant-back restrictions can vary between products.

Cereal forages for spring planting

Posted in Alfalfa Winterkill on May 16th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

Planting cereal crops in the spring for forage is a common practice in Wisconsin when forage supplies are short, hay prices are high, or there has been a high degree of alfalfa winterkill. This article by Mike Rankin, UW-Extension Fond du Lac County crops and soils agent, discusses management considerations for spring planted cereal crops, primarily oats, barley and triticale (wheat x rye cross.)

Alternative Crops for Forage

Posted in Alfalfa Winterkill, Crops on May 15th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

With reports of significant alfalfa stand damage due to winterkill after a year of drought and tight forage inventories, farmers may need to consider alternative crops to provide much needed forage earlier in the season. Alfalfa, oat, and pea seeds may already be in short supply.

Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension forage agronomist provides information here on alternative crops that may offer options for dairy farmers in need of forages.

Paul Mitchell, UW-Madison Agriculture and Applied Economics professor and UW-Extension crop insurance specialist reminds farmers that these options may also have crop insurance implications.

“Those who bought crop insurance by the March 15 deadline should note that crop acres planted after an early forage harvest will likely not be insurable, though your other corn and soybean acres will still be insured,” Mitchell said.

Farmers are urged to check with their crop insurance agents to clarify which acres will be insured if they are considering any of these options or considering an alternative forage plan they have not combined with crop insurance in the past.

Maximizing Forage in Winter Injured and Killed Stands, Spring of 2013

Posted in Crop Management, Crops on May 10th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off
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Frost injury to alfalfa taproot.

Dan Undersander, UW-Extension Forage Agronomist notes there are reports of significant alfalfa stand damage across Wisconsin and southern Minnesota. In this paper he provides recommendations according to various situations to maximize forage in winter injured and killed stands.

Communication skills to deal with farm or ranch stress

Posted in Families/kids, Finances on April 29th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

Farmers next to truckMost families find communication to be interesting and difficult according to Roger Williams, Consultant/Mediator and University of Wisconsin –Madison/Extension Emeritus Professor. Each of us is a unique individual with his or her own beliefs, feelings, needs and agendas. It’s not always easy to be heard or to get our unique needs and agendas met within the family setting.

Williams notes that communication can be even more difficult in farm or ranch families. One reason is because family members live and work side-by-side. There is no separation between work and family and the tensions of a farm or ranch business often spill over into the family arena. But there is another factor as well. These operations often involve intergenerational or multi-family arrangements and significant tensions can develop between father and son, between mother and daughter-in-law, or between the various families involved.

In this factsheet, Williams provides tips on communication skills.

Stress and depression in farm or ranch families

Posted in Families/kids, Finances on April 29th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

depressed personThe current drought and ongoing financial stress is not confined to the ranch or farm. As with many family run businesses, stress from the business gradually spills over into the home and affects the entire family. “In times like this, it is important for friends, members of extended families, neighbors and others to be aware of the signs that a family may be under severe stress and in need of assistance,” says Roger T. Williams, University of Wisconsin –Madison/Extension Emeritus Professor.

In this factsheet, Williams discusses signs and symptoms of stress.

Staying upbeat in times of drought: farming and ranching in a depressed environment without getting depressed

Posted in Families/kids, Finances on April 29th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

2981257_HiResExtreme climatic changes including a persistent and pervasive drought have added to multiple stressors that are challenging many ranchers and farmers across our nation according to Roger Williams, Consultant/Mediator and University of Wisconsin –Madison/Extension Emeritus Professor. Gross income has been down and expenses have escalated. Many have struggled “to stay up in a down economy” and “to farm or ranch in a depressed environment without getting depressed.”

In this factsheet, Williams provides seven specific strategies for people to use to stay up in a down economy.

Multi-family, farm or ranch families can foster resiliency during tough times

Posted in Families/kids, Finances on April 29th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

Increasingly, farm and ranch families are forming intergenerational operations (parents and adult children) or multi-family (brothers/sisters or unrelated adults) farming operations according to Roger Williams, Consultant/Mediator and University of Wisconsin –Madison/Extension Emeritus Professor. These multi-family operations—whether they are partnerships, corporations or LLCs—can be seen as ways of gaining strength, flexibility and support for the arduous task of farming or ranching. They offer: multiple skills (one good with cattle, one with crops, one with machinery, one with finances), a larger labor pool during peak seasons, flexibility in taking vacations, greater brain power for making big decisions, social and moral support during difficult times, and camaraderie for the day-to-day work of farming or ranching.

In this factsheet, Williams provides information on how multi-family operations can help to create resiliency for farm or ranch families.

Family Meetings a communication tool for multi-family farm or ranch operations

Posted in Families/kids, Finances on April 29th, 2013 by extension.news – Comments Off

family meetingReal resiliency-the ability to change, adapt and move forward during tough financial times-requires communication on a regular basis…once a month, once every two weeks or once a week according to Roger Williams, Consultant/Mediator and University of Wisconsin –Madison/Extension Emeritus Professor. You might even choose to have a brief 2-5 minute check-in on a daily basis!

In this factsheet, Williams provides simple guidelines for organizing family meetings.



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