Bragger Family Dairy was selected as the first participating farm because it represents the challenges of farming in the driftless region of Wisconsin. The study at this farm consisted of a North site (corn and alfalfa rotation next to the stream) and a South site (pasture and woodland with cropped acres further from the stream) in a comparison of cropped acres and perennial grassland and woodland.
Breneman farm was chosen to represent medium-sized, grass-based dairies in Wisconsin that out-winter dairy cattle. One edge-of-field surface water monitoring station was placed at the lower end of a set of paddocks used to graze and out-winter dairy cattle. Monitoring measured the amount of soil and nutrients in runoff water from these paddocks.
Pagel's Ponderosa was chosen to represent conventional, total confinement large-scale dairy operations that have associated cropland. Edge-of-field surface and tile-line water monitoring stations were placed at the lower end of grassed waterways. Monitoring measured the amount of soil and nutrients in runoff water from fields with a history of corn and alfalfa, with liquid and solid dairy manure.
E & L Harrison Enterprises was chosen to represent confinement swine and row crop operations in Wisconsin. This is the only farm where air quality was monitored. Air quality samples were gathered from five swine finishing barns to measure ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and odor.
Soaring Eagle Dairy was selected to represent conventional, total confinement large-scale dairy operations that have associated cropland. Monitoring measured the amount of soil and nutrients in runoff coming from corn and alfalfa fields with liquid dairy manure applications.
Heisner Dairy was chosen to represent medium-sized organic dairy operations that have associated cropland devoted to corn grain, corn silage, small grain and new seeding alfalfa/grass hay. Suface water monitoring measured nutrient and soil loss due to runoff from organic crop production, with and without livestock manure. An in-stream monitoring site measured the influence of managed intensive rotational grazing on stream water quality where cattle have limited access.
This farm was chosen to represent medium-sized beef feedlot operations that have associated cropland devoted to row crops. Edge-of-field surface water monitoring stations were placed at the lower end of grassed waterways to measure soil and nutrient loss from a true no-till system, with and without livestock manure.
Saxon Homestead was chosen to represent rotational grazing, medium-scale dairy operations that have associated cropland. Edge-of-field surface and tile monitoring sites measured nutrients and soil in runoff from fields with grazing manure deposition and liquid dairy manure applications.
Koepke Farms is a confinement dairy operation with approximately 340 cows, 285 dairy heifers and 25 bulls or steers. This farm was selected to help determine how much nitrogen and phosphorus from manure and fertlizers was entering the stream system through surface water runoff and tile systems. The farm has an extensive tile-line system in combination with long-term, no-till on a conventional dairy.