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Curwen, David; Kraft, George J.; Osborne, Thomas; Shaw, Byron H. / Demonstration of low input strategies for potato/vegetable production on irrigated sands
[DNR-059] (1989)

Site characteristics,   pp. 1-3 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 1

Water Resources Center   Pr oj   Ct
University of Wisconsin - MSN
1975 Willow Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Final Report
WDATCP Sustainable Agricultural Demonstration Project #8810
David Curwen, George Kraft, Thomas Osborne and Byron Shawl.
Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of processing
vegetables and is sixth, nationally in potato production. Over 50% of
the state's potato and processing snap bean production is located in
Wisconsin's Central Sands Area. Such production results in a
significant economic base for that area. The Central Sands has the
climate and soils that favor potato and processing vegetable
production. However, these same light, sandy soils coupled with
shallow depths to groundwater, make the area sensitive to groundwater
contamination with nitrates and pesticides commonly used in the
production of these crops, particularly potatoes.
During the past decade, UW-CALS and CES faculty have conducted
research to develop production practices which would protect
groundwater resources while maintaining crop productivity and
profitability. Much of this research has focused on techniques which
reduce nitrogen, pesticide and -irrigation inputs. Lowering such
inputs can significantly reduce energy use and costs, reduce
groundwater contamination and improve net returns (profits) while
maintaining crop productivity. It was this research that provided the
basis for developing a program of "best management practices" (BMPs)
for potato and processing vegetable production on irrigated sands.
To demonstrate these BMPs, a team of CES extension specialists
developed an "on farm" demonstration project. This two-year project
was supported with WDATCP Sustainable Ag Program, WDNR and research
gift funds. The CES team included UW-Madison extension specialists
from Horticulture, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Soil Science.
Staff from the Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center, College of
Natural Rersources - UW Stevens Point also cooperated in this
demonstration effort.
Site Characteristics
Three potato/vegetable growers participated in this BMIP
demonstration project. Growers A and B were located in the Central
1. Extension Horticulturist - UWEX-CES, Director - Central Wisconsin
Groundwater Center, Former Director - Central Wisconsin Groundwater
Center and Professor - 1W-Stevens Point respectively.

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