Wisconsin Dairy News: Cashton Farm Works to Preserve Land For Fu - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Wisconsin Dairy News: Cashton Farm Works to Preserve Land For Future Generations

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For over a decade the UW Discovery Farms program has been helping farmers implement the best environmental management practices suitable for their particular situation to get the best value from their farming operations. In this segment of Wisconsin Dairy News we visit the Herricks Farm to see what they're doing to preserve their land for future generations.

Farming on sloped land can be a challenge, and when staff from the Discovery Farms program approached Jack Herricks, he soon saw the benefit.

“Discovery Farms helped me to be more aware of what we're doing,” said Jack Herricks, Dairy Farmer at Herricks Dairy Farm in Cashton, WI, “and it's helped us to raise the conservation practices that we were doing to a whole new level.”

The Discovery Farms Program conducts research on working Wisconsin farms to help identify the impact of production agriculture on water quality.

“They're our ally because the documentation that they're assembling is for our benefit,” said Herricks. “And it's proof that what we're doing is working.”

For the past few years the Herricks have been working with the programs' co-director Amber Radatz to help improve erosion and runoff on their farm.

“One of the practices that's really popular here in this landscape where we have really steep slopes is to put in a retention pond,” said Amber Radatz, Co-Director of UW Discovery Farms in Pigeon Falls, WI, “and so that can be kind of at the bottom of a water way or a place where water flows, and that's put in to help slow water down.”

“They need to be designed for what I'm going to call a “big” event,” said Herricks. “You know, when we get an inordinate amount of rain that they can withstand that and that the sod in the waterway stays in place that the dams stay and can hold back the water.”

Along with water management, the Herricks also use no-till, contour and cover cropping as well as reinforcing equipment roads to hold soil in place to prevent erosion and runoff.

“Here in the Jersey Valley watershed and on the Herrick's Farm conservation is so important to them,” said Radatz, “and they're doing a great Job with conservation.”

The Discovery Farm Program began in 2001 and has completed numerous projects since then, sharing results to help other farmers. For more information about the program, log on to www.uwdiscoveryfarms.org.

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