Kristen Kordet was working as a restaurant server when she founded a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in 2004. Since then, Kordet’s Blue Moon Community Farm has supplied that restaurant, L’Etoile, with the seasonal vegetables left over after filling CSA members’ share boxes.
L’Etoile, established in Madison, Wisconsin in 1976, is a fine-dining meets farm-to-table establishment, among the first in the Midwest to consciously build its menu around local, seasonal food. French for star, L’Etoile remains a beacon for sustainably oriented restaurants.
With farmers searching for new ways to increase yields, they’re looking more closely at nutrients and minerals. Gone are the days when it was all about N-P-K. Today, growers are learning how to enhance fertilizer performance, soil health, and plant nutrition.
Ag scientists are providing new information on the benefits of applying natural inputs like calcium to get better results.
“Calcium kicks soil into high gear,” says Leroy Stuecker, a Midwestern BioAg customer who farms in Lee County, Iowa.
Farmers all over the Midwest are looking to farm cover crops to fill several niches — soil conservation, soil nutrient management, and production of an extra forage crop. Whether planted in late summer or after fall harvest, now is an excellent time to start researching cover crop applications and seed varieties.
Kevin Shelley, outreach manager for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW Extension’s Nutrient and Pest Management program, says farmers are increasingly using cover crops after relatively short-season crops like wheat or small grains.
Todd Schroeder set a goal to win the World Dairy Expo’s Forage Analysis Superbowl contest in 10 years. With the help of the Midwestern BioAg soil fertility program and his sales consultant Travis Klinkner, Schroeder achieved that goal last fall. It took the Cashton, Wisconsin, farmer only a few years.
In last year’s contest, the cash crop and beef farmer won the Grand Champion prize for first-time entrants and a cash award of $1,500.
Each year at the Forage Analysis Superbowl, more than $22,000 in cash …