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Protect the Farm, Protect the Environment

Nearly three dozen farmers in southwest Wisconsin are showing the area’s non-farm population how no-till, strip-till, cover crops and nutrient management are improving soil and water quality — and boosting farm income at the same time

With financial help from The Nature Conservancy, Farmers for Sustainable Food and other partners, conservation practices used by these 35 farmers has increased dramatically in the past half dozen years.

The Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance’s sixth annual conservation practice survey in 2023 delivered an important message to area non-farm folks who are more interested in protecting the environment than ever before. 

By the Numbers

In 2023, these 35 farmers used no-till and strip-till on 29,022 acres, seeded 11,793 acres of cover crops, planted green into 1,052 acres of cover crops and measured the impact of nutrient management on 32,761 acres. Cost sharing of up to $80 per acre was available on up to 50 acres.

“35 farmers saved the equivalent of 8,789 dump trucks of soil…”

The environmental benefits of these practices in 2023 included:

1. A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 9,018 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. That’s equal to greenhouse gas emissions produced by 2,146 cars driven for a year.

2. A reduction in sediment loss of 87,898 tons, which would fill 8,789 dump trucks with saved soil.

3. A reduction of phosphorus runoff by 144,202 pounds in the county’s river and lakes likely prevented the growth of 72.1 million pounds of algae.

Extra Profit, Too

When conservation practices were…

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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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