Twilight, Cover Crops, and Robots – What do they have in common?

Seventy-four producers attended the annual joint Fond du Lac and Dodge County Forage Council Twilight meeting on June 14. This event was held at Dodger Acres, a farm owned and operated by Kevin & Patti Madigan and Justin & Kathryn Madigan. Dodger Acres is a 4th generation farm in the Rosendale area that milks 160 cows and crops 750 acres.  The forage crops grown include alfalfa, winter rye, and Sudan grass. Corn, soybeans, winter wheat, and canning peas are also grown.

Participants were able to tour the farm and view the Dairy Robots. After the tour, Dr. Loretta Ortiz-Ribbing, Area Crops & Soils Agent, UW-Extension-Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties, provided a short crop update and gave a brief introduction to cover crops by sharing some of her research results showing that cover crops may decrease some soil-borne diseases. Kevin and Justin Madigan spoke about their farm, philosophy, practices, and cover crops used.  Dr. Heidi Johnson, UW-Extension-Dane County, addressed using cover crops in corn silage rotations, and lastly farmer John Hiemstra (just featured in AgriView) shared his experiences with using cover crops after silage and for holding manure.  The Q&A period was followed by a light supper from the grill.

This event was hosted by the Fond du Lac/Dodge County Forage Councils, UW-Extension, and Midwest Forage Association with financial support provided by the following area agri-businesses: Agromatic/Schmidt Building, Agri-Nutrition Consulting, Grande Cheese, Cedar Valley Cheese, Badgerland Financial, Waupun Equipment, and John O’Brien Auctioneer LLC.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Breuer

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