On July 20, Discovery Farms Minnesota & UW Discovery Farms held a farmer field day at Spring Creek Farms, a 1,400-acre soybean and corn operation in Chisago County near the St. Croix River. Spring Creek Farms has been a participant in the project for the past 6 years. This is the Peterson family’s last year participating and holding events. John Peterson emphasized that working with Discovery Farms “is a good way to learn and give at the same time. It’s been a good learning experience, better than what we expected.” Discovery Farms cannot thank John and his family enough for all of their help and their willingness to try new ideas.
The event started at 5 pm and even with the hot temperature, 30 farmers and advisers from Wisconsin and Minnesota attended the event. The evening started with a brief introduction of the event and an overview of Discovery Farms. After that, Tim Radatz, Minnesota Discovery Farms Coordinator and Amber Radatz, UW Discovery Farms Co-Director discussed results from the Spring Creek Farms monitoring site and two other farm monitoring sites that are part of UW Discovery Farms Dry Run Watershed project just across the St. Croix River. Amber explained how John’s system does a very good job at keeping the soil in place, which results in very little soil loss on his fields. John, owner of Spring Creek Farms, talked about his participation with Discovery Farms and the different types of equipment he uses on his fields.
Before dinner, John and his wife Jewell were presented a plaque for their participation in Discovery Farms. Dinner allowed the attendees to have an open discussion with one another and ask John questions about his no-till equipment. After dinner, attendees took on the heat and walked to the monitoring site located at the bottom of a no-till soybean field. While out in the field, Tim gave a quick recap on what the monitoring site is and how it works. The monitoring site brought out great questions. John talked about cover crops and more about his no-till equipment with the group. John expressed that “We chose no-till because it was different, it was a challenge and you could still make money.” This event was a great way for young farmers to connect with a seasoned no-till; John has been using no-till equipment for 20 years and continues to perfect his equipment set up. Thank you again to everyone who came out to Spring Creek Farms for the event. If you are interested in more events put on by Discovery Farms go to www.uwdiscoveryfarms.org or www.discoveryfarmsmn.org for more information.