2024 CALS Field Days

Summer is field day season at the UW–Madison CALS Agricultural Research Stations. Over the course of the growing season, the stations host more than a dozen public events to share research updates and educational information with agricultural professionals, home gardeners and others.

Below is a list of some of this season’s field day offerings. Events are free unless otherwise noted. This page will be updated frequently throughout the season with the latest information.

Stations will make a reasonable effort to provide accommodations for field day participants with disabilities when notified in advance. To request a disability accommodation, please contact ars_accommodation@cals.wisc.edu or call (608) 846-3750 ext. 3 at least 10 days in advance of the event. Efforts will be made to meet same-day requests to the extent possible.

Upcoming events

UW Potato Research Field Day – Hancock
July 11, 2024, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Hancock Agricultural Research Station, N3909 County Road V, Hancock, WI
This field day provides opportunities for growers and industry representatives to network and get research updates on potato projects. A hosted dinner will be provided by the WPVGA. To request a disability accommodation, please contact Jane Cahoon at 608-286-8424 or at ars_accomodation@cals.wisc.edu at least 10 days in advance of event. For more information, contact hancock@cals.wisc.edu.

Organic Grain Equipment Showcase
July 11, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Arlington Agricultural Research Station, N695 Hopkins Road, Arlington, WI
Explore equipment options and best practices for weed management at this field day. See mechanical weed management demonstrations first-hand in trial plots, join the discussion on many weed control options, and talk with representatives from several companies. Lunch is included. Please register in advance here, and find additional information on the OGRAIN website.

Table Grape Field Day
July 19, 2024, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
West Madison Agricultural Research Station, 8502 Mineral Point Road, Verona, WI
Learn about exciting new seedless table grape varieties for the Upper Midwest and take a look at the station’s field trials. Amaya Atucha, UW fruit crop specialist and faculty in the Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences will lead this field day. Please register in advance here.

Rhinelander Field Day
July 31, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station, 4181 Camp Bryn Afon Rd, Rhinelander, WI
At this summer’s field day, the station is partnering with LifeLink III, who will be flying in a helicopter (weather permitting) to give the audience a short presentation on their mission. In addition, speakers will share updates on potato breeding research, managing potato insects, seed certification, and the station’s phytoremediation and pollinator projects.
Contact becky.eddy@wisc.edu with questions.

Commercial Growers of Wisconsin Ornamental Field Day
August 1, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
West Madison Agricultural Research Station, 8502 Mineral Point Rd, Verona, WI
This field day, organized by the Commercial Growers of Wisconsin, features morning sessions on plant diseases and insect updates for the 2024 season and the station’s field trials. Enjoy a complimentary lunch from BFG and Carlin Sales and wander the gardens. After lunch, learn about the plant selection and evaluation process and tour the trial garden beds. Find additional information here.

Wisconsin Turfgrass Association Summer Field Day – Verona
August 6, 2024, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Education Facility, 2502 S. Pleasant View Road, Verona, WI
This field day, organized by the Wisconsin Turfgrass Association and the station, features morning sessions and tours focused on lawn care and general turf management. After a trade show and lunch, the focus shifts to golf turf management. Click here to register and to find more information. Please register by July 30. Contact ojnoer@cals.wisc.edu with questions.

Garden Open House and Tour – Hancock
August 15, 2024, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Hancock Agricultural Research Station, N3909 County Road V, Hancock, WI
Enjoy the pond and babbling brook, garden and new additions at this garden open house. The event will include a wagon tour of the station where you can learn more about research projects and activities. For more information, contact hancock@cals.wisc.edu.

Cover Crop Conversations at Hoffman Organic Farm
August 20, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Hoffman Organic Farm, 622 S. Grant Street, Earlville, IL 60518
This field day is co-hosted by theIDEA Farm Network and The Land Connection, and will include field walks of organic field crops, vegetables, and grass-fed lamb and beef. Discussions will focus on the farm’s use of cover crops, including frost seeded red clover, buckwheat, pearl millet and sunn hemp. Field walks will include the use of wide-row corn interseeded with winter squash. Mentorship programs for new and transitioning organic farmers will also be highlighted. Lunch is included. Please register in advance here, and find additional information on the OGRAIN website.

Hemp Research Field Day – Arlington
August 20, 2024, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Arlington Agricultural Research Station, N695 Hopkins Road, Arlington, WI
The Ellison Lab in the Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences invites you to a field day about the latest hemp research being conducted at UW. Presentations will be given in a “speed run” format by UW faculty, staff, and members of Extension. Topics include industrial hemp variety trials, high cannabinoid hemp variety trials, feral hemp germplasm, companion cropping in hemp, hemp fiber quality and more. Attendees will be shuttled to trials/presenters across the research station. Please register here. For more information, contact Phil Alberti at palberti@wisc.edu.

Twilight Garden Tour – Spooner
August 20, 2024, 4:00 pm. – dusk
Spooner Agricultural Research Station, 780 Orchard Lane, Spooner, WI
Details for this field day are still being finalized.

UW Organic Agriculture Research Field Day – Arlington
August 26, 2024, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Arlington Agricultural Research Station, N695 Hopkins Road, Arlington, WI
Get a look at organic research conducted at the University of Wisconsin as well as an introduction to opportunities for farmers to grow climate-smart commodities. Lunch is included. Please register here, and find additional information on the OGRAIN website.

UW Agronomy and Soils Field Day – Arlington
August 28, 2024, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Arlington Agricultural Research Station, N695 Hopkins Road, Arlington, WI
This field day highlights crops and soils research conducted by UW–Madison faculty experts and researchers, including field plot tours of current research projects. This year’s theme is “From Data to Action: Transforming Big Data into Informed Agronomic Decisions” and will feature rotating talks on crop management, pest management, alfalfa production systems, and manure management. Lunch is available for $10, sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Professional Agricultural Consultants. Please register using this form by August 15. More information can be found here.

Pasture Walk with Marathon County – Marshfield
September 19, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, 208356 Drake Ave, Stratford, WI 54484
Discussion topics will showcase innovative ideas and will include forages, nutrient quality, management of animals on pasture and growth performance, and ways to cost share or programs that offset the costs of grazing. Scientists will be on hand to talk about their grazing research. 

Fungi Fest – Woodruff
September 27-28, 2024
Kemp Natural Resources Station, 9161 Kemp Road, Woodruff, WI
Whether you are new to the fabulous world of fungi, or have been studying it for years, this event will have something for you! Join us Friday evening for indoor presentations. Saturday morning will begin with a foray, followed by extensive discussion about the morning’s collections. Limited lodging is available for visitors coming a distance at a rate of $21 per person, per night. Contact Karla for details, kemp@cals.wisc.edu or (715) 358-5667. When available, information can be found on the Kemp website.

The following outreach opportunities are available at Kemp Natural Resources Station, 9161 Kemp Road, Woodruff, WI:

Fish Up Close
July 10, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Park at the Outdoor Pavilion – displays at the Lab & Boat Launch area
Kids of all ages will enjoy this close up look at fish! Members of the Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit of UW-Stevens Point will be on hand to teach you about the life history, unique characteristics, anatomy and the environment in which fish live. Learn how scientists determine the age of a fish. Various specimens will be available to view and touch, along with special equipment used to study fish. You may come anytime during the event and visit the different displays.

Taxonomy, Natural History and Conservation of Wisconsin Fireflies
July 22, 2024, 6:30 p.m.
So, what is the difference between a fire beetle and a firefly (not a fly) – and, for that matter, a glowworm (not a worm)? Come learn about Wisconsin’s firefly biodiversity, the natural history of our species and some significant conservation concerns. We will also have an “illuminating” introduction into bioluminescence! Oh, and by all means – bring along any of your beetle questions (including specimens you are wondering about), as well.

The Science of Wood: Trees to Products
July 29, 2024, 7:00 p.m.
When hiking in a forest, a variety of tree species are seen, each with their own unique features. You enjoy and appreciate their beauty and what they contribute to the environment, but do you ever think about the science in the tree itself? The property of wood is influenced by how the tree grows and those characteristics impact the end use of that tree. Come learn about all of the different products made from trees! Discover why we use sugar maple trees for bowling pins, white oak for wine barrels and so much more.

Seven Things You May Not Know about Loons
July 31, 2024, 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Walter Piper has studied the Common Loon since 1993, focusing on territory defense, habitat selection and breeding behavior. In 2019, recognizing a decline in survival rates for chicks and young adults, his study emphasis has shifted to investigating what factors impact survival rates. Join him for a deep dive into the fascinating world of loons and maybe learn something new about this unique bird.

Introduction to Bryophyte Ecology and Identification
(with a focus on peat mosses and other field-identifiable taxa)
August 10, 2024, 9:00 a.m.
We will discuss some basic morphology, growth habits, substrates, and the ecology of mosses that we encounter at Kemp Natural Resources Station. This workshop will begin with a short (roughly 30 minutes) indoor presentation, and then proceed with a hike along Kemp’s nature trail – including some time on the bog! The hike will be about 1 mile and includes some moderately strenuous terrain, though we will pause often for discussion as we encounter interesting bryos. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring water bottle and snacks as appropriate for you. The hike portion will last up to 2.5 hours, with early departures understood.

Clearcut: Friend OR Foe?
August 19, 2024, 7:00 p.m.
From a boots-on-the-ground perspective, this discussion will tackle the word “clearcut” head-on. Matt Carothers is a local forestry practitioner and landowner rooted in a conservation ethos. Ride along as he discusses that clearcuts are often misunderstood. Come learn how you, too, can be a friend of forestry through enlightening your understanding of the silviculture you see around our Northwoods.

Wolves & CWD in White-tailed Deer
August 26, 2024, 7:00 p.m.
Join us for an update on an ongoing study that asks the question: “Can wolves help control the spread of CWD in white-tailed deer?” The study is investigating if wolves selectively predate on infected deer, how effectively wolves remove a carcass with CWD from the landscape and monitors whether wolves keep other scavengers away from the kill site. This collaboration between UW-Madison and the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission blends traditional ecological knowledge with scientific ecological knowledge to seek answers to many questions about the role the wolf plays with CWD.

Past eventsexpand_more

Insects Are Cool!
June 6, 10:00 am
Location:  Kemp Natural Resources Station Outdoor Pavilion, 9161 Kemp Road, Woodruff, WI
Join us on an exciting journey into the world of insects! We will explore insect habitats, behaviors, and the important roles insects play in our world. Learn some of the basics of insect identification and how to create your very own insect collection. Whether you’re a budding entomologist or simply curious about the buzzing world around you, come connect with nature and appreciate the beauty and diversity of insects in our ecosystems.

Cover Crop Termination and No-Till Vegetable Transplanting Field Day
June 12, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
West Madison Agricultural Research Station, 8502 Mineral Point Rd, Verona, WI
Join the UW–Madison Department of Horticulture’s Urban and Regional Food Systems program for a demonstration of two new equipment prototypes and discussions about soil health and vegetable production in reduced tillage systems. Registration is optional but is preferred. To register, click here.

Wisconsin’s Boreal Birds in the Midst of a Changing Climate
Monday, June 24, 7:00 pm
The southern-most extent of the boreal forest reaches the northern third of Wisconsin, where uniform conifer forests transition into hardwoods interlaced with lowland black spruce swamps. Within these swamps live a suite of boreal bird species which are year-round residents. These charismatic species include Canada jays, spruce grouse, black-backed woodpeckers, and boreal chickadees. Over the past decade, these species’ populations have steeply declined, with boreal chickadees becoming nearly non-existent. Join UW-Madison PhD Candidate, Janelle Taylor, for a look at her study of these species, their habitat needs, and how her research will inform current and future conservation importance for the survival of these species.

Orchard and Vineyard Walk – Peninsular
June 26, 2024, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Peninsular Agricultural Research Station, 4312 WI-42 Hwy, Sturgeon Bay, WI
Join the UW Fruit Team to discuss plant, pest, and disease updates while walking the vineyards and orchards at the Peninsular Ag Research Station. The discussion will focus on the current season’s progress and ongoing research from UW’s Fruit pathology, entomology and horticulture labs.
For more information, contact (920) 743-5406 or peninsular@cals.wisc.edu.