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Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

Green Lands Blue Waters Conference a Success

The 2017 conference, co-sponsored by the Institute, was held in late November in Madison. This year’s theme was “continuous living cover: bridging the gaps with livestock” and participants enjoyed numerous related general and breakout presentations delivered by a range of speakers from farmers to researchers. Subthemes of continuous living cover included perennial forage, perennial grains, perennial biomass, cover crops and a agro-forestry.

To tie the theme of continuous living cover to impacts on the environment, Chris Kucharik, Professor of Agronomy and environmental at UW-Madison presented his work in the Yahara River watershed, examining the impact of increasing green cover in the face of climate change. The watershed receives a lot of attention because it contains the Madison area lakes and a concentrated area of dairy production upstream. The models show that in the face of increased rainfall frequency and intensity, more green cover can significantly reduce downstream effects including soil and nutrient movement. The take home message was that, while we’ll probably won’t achieve the goal of 100 percent continuous living cover, incremental increases will have a positive impact on the Madison Lakes.

Copies of conference presentations will be available on the Green Lands Blue Waters website soon, http://greenlandsbluewaters.net/

Jim Stute presenting MFAI research results at a break out session.  144 people attended the conference.