“Knee high by the 4th of July”
Hard to know how long this idiom has been in our American language. It refers to a healthy corn crop looking towards a healthy harvest, but is no longer accurate in our part of the country. In our fields, by July 4th, many of our hybrids are chest to neck high. In the North Country, […]
What’s eating our research?
Also known as a natural history of the ground squirrel: Upon visiting our newly planted fields of research corn, we encountered something a little peculiar with the young sprouts. Our four inch corn was systematically dug out of the soil with the remainder of the plant lying next to a careful hole. We investigated, discussed, […]
A Soil Science Must Read for Everyone
Earlier this month, the journal Science published an article entitled “Soil and human security in the 21st century”, a must read for everyone, not just those already concerned about agricultural sustainability. In the article, the authors spell out the effects of soil “domestication” for agricultural production and the interactions with climate change forces, discuss the […]
Long term farming – Protect a crop for generations
Spring is almost here and just about every farmer is making decisions! Some decisions are short term – what will I plant this year? When will I plant this year? When will I cultivate? Where will I purchase my seeds from? Other decisions are long term – what will I follow this year’s planting with […]
Wisconsin Cover Crop User Featured Prominently in No-Till Farmer Article
Jeff Gaska, long-time no-till farmer and cover crop user is featured prominently is a recent article entitled “Protect Soil, Produce More N with Frost Seeded Red Clover”. Gaska, who farms near Beaver Dam outlines his production practices, provides tips for success and talks about the benefits of cover crop use including the corn yield increase […]
Rethinking Red Clover as a Cover Crop
Frost seeding red clover into wheat has become a popular cover crop system in the upper mid-west and rightfully so. It’s cheaper to establish than other cover crop options in wheat, “Tillage” radish for example; its reliable year in and out because success is not dependent on highly variable August rainfall; the system is “Shovel […]
MFAI Celebrates 30th Anniversary and Field Day
Celebrate MFAI’s 30th Anniversary in Sustainable Agriculture with featured speaker Fred Kirschenmann & founder Christopher Mann. Cover Crops Field Day held prior to the celebration!
2014 Cover Crops Field Day Rescheduled
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute rescheduled 2014 Cover Crops Field Day to Tuesday, September 30, 2014, from 11 am to 2:30 pm. Key speakers from NRCS, UW Soil Science & MFAI. Register Today!
New Research Director chosen for Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Dr. Jim Stute, formerly with UW Extension has been chosen to lead the Research Program at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
What is the Food Safety Modernization Act and Why Does it Matter?
Successful cover crop field day at the Institute
Local farmers, both conventional and organic, as well as, people from as far away as Chicago, spent a recent afternoon at a cover crops field day at the MFAI Research Farm. Dr. Erin Silva, an Organic Production Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was one of the presenters. She discussed the many benefits of cover-cropping. […]
Promotional video about Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Trials on vegetables at Stella Gardens
MFAI Welcomes Lilli Sydänmaa to Research Program
Lilli Sydänmaa is a new intern who recently arrived from Helsinki, Finland. She will be at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute through the end of December working in the corn breeding program. Lilli studied forestry at the University of Helsinki and is working to complete a master degree in this same specialty. Although she has a […]
Michael Fields will join researchers in Cuba!
In collaboration with Witness for Peace, Crop & Soil Researcher Allison Pratt-Szeliga will join a delegation of Sustainable Agriculture researchers in Cuba. In Cuba, 80% of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, and medicinal plants are consumed locally by urban residents. In 2006, Cuba was designated by the World Wildlife Fund as the only “sustainably developed” country […]
Corn Breeding Program, The Movie
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute conducts corn research and development to provide nutrient dense, GMO-free varieties adapted to organic and biodynamic crop production systems. This video briefly captures our corn breeding nursery and variety yield trails at harvest by hand and with a small plot combine.
2012 Spring Corn Breeding Update
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute’s current corn breeding objectives remain in alignment with the historical work focus.
Massive Deregulation of Genetically-Engineered Crops
The USDA is considering allowing the release of 2, 4-D tolerant corn, while biotech giants battle for control of the seed industry in a panic over intellectual property rights.
Bacillus Thuringiensis, Bugs, and Humans
Insects are building resistance to genetically-modified crops, and bio-pesticides are found in the human bloodstream. What’s Next? …
The Importance of Organic Seed
Do you realize the importance of organic seed and the support it gives? Support for a healthy community, farm and the future of agriculture are just a few…
Making Hay with GM Alfalfa
Uncertainty surrounds the effects of genetically-modified crops and glyphosate on the health of soils, plants, livestock, and people.
MFAI’s Research In The Press
Institute Promotes Sustainable Agriculture People are taking notice of our research programs here at MFAI, and liking what they see. From plants with higher nutrition to diverse crop rotations, research here at MFAI could change the way we farm. Read what the Janesville Gazette had to say.
MFAI Corn Breeding Program Update
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute enters a new growing season with new staff and hybrid seed that was grown under organic conditions in Puerto Rico. Research continues to breed corn combining high nutrional value and yield […]
MFAI seeds in Puerto Rico
Funding by USDA-ARS and by USDA-NIFA-OREI is accelerating our work in the development of high methionine and nitrogen efficient corn.
The Social and Environmental Context
Neither Good for Farmers nor Consumers
Corn is the highest yielding, best-adapted cereal crop, and the most lucrative seed business in the country. There used to be many small companies that bred corn. However, in the last two decades there have been major consolidations as a few large companies struggle to dominate the supply of elite corn seed.