Wisconsin Farmers Making Progress

An annual conservation survey found Wisconsin farmers are making progress in sustainable farming practices.

The report, supported by Farmers for Sustainable Food, captures farmers’ conservation efforts statewide. This report marks the sixth consecutive year of documenting conservation practices with farmer-led conservation groups.

In 2023, 254 farmers from six different farmer-led groups supported by Farmers for Sustainable Food participated in the annual survey. This encompasses 249,628 acres and 353,037 head of livestock.

The sustainable practices measured and recorded in the survey include soil sampling, nutrient management planning, cover cropping, reduced tillage, no-tillage, low disturbance manure application, variable rate fertilizer application, split nitrogen application, nitrogen stabilizer, and planting green.

Results show potential environmental improvements due to sustainable farming practices. These conservation efforts provide valuable benefits to climate health, soil health, and water quality throughout the state:

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 33,617 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. Equivalent to the emissions produced by 8,001 cars in a year.
  • Prevention of sediment loss from farm fields of 338,391 tons, equivalent to 33,839 dump trucks’ worth of soil.
  • Reduction of phosphorus runoff by 423,958 pounds of phosphorus, potentially preventing 211.9 million pounds of algae growth in local water bodies.

Data was analyzed and verified by FSF and the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

“Farmers are making remarkable progress in sustainable farming and the data demonstrates their commitment is working,” says FSF Managing Director Lauren Brey. “We are proud to partner with the farmer-led groups in their conservation efforts and recognize the extraordinary impact they have on improving the environment and their local communities.”

The farmer-led groups participating in the survey include Calumet County Ag Stewardship Alliance, Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil Healthy Water, Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance, Peninsula Pride Farms, Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers, and Western Wisconsin Conservation Council.

See recent stories about these groups: