Monitoring timeline

Special Project farm for the buffer initiative 2003-2005
Special Project farm for the Sand County Foundation 2005-present

Family

Al, Jim and Dave Koepke (brothers) and Jim's son John Koepke

Location

Koepke Farms is located northeast of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin in both Waukesha and Dodge counties

Enterprises

Dairy and Grain
The farm is a confinement dairy operation with approximately 340 cows, 285 dairy heifers and 25 bulls or steers. The cows and heifers are housed in a freestall environment. The bulls and steers are run on a bedded-pack system. The farm operates approximately 1000 acres, both owned and rented.

Koepke Farms Wins 2011 Leopold Conservation Award

Koepke Farms wins 2011 Dairymen of the Year at World Dairy Expo

Koepke Farms begins making LaBelle Cheese

Research Opportunities

The Koepke farm was selected as a special project with the Sand County Foundation to determine how much nitrogen and phosphorus from manure and fertilizers are entering the stream system through surface water runoff (waterways) and tile systems. The monitoring equipment consists of two tile-line monitoring stations and one surface water runoff station. The surface water runoff station will also evaluate the losses of sediment.

The Koepke farm has an extensive tile-line system in combination with long-term, no-till on a conventional dairy farm. Manure is spread throughout the year, which allowed us to look at nutrient losses under a wide vatiety of environmental conditions.

Conservation Practices

The Koepkes have been practicing no-till for more than 20 years. They apply commercial fertilizer and manure based on a nutrient mangement plan prepared annually. Soil tests are taken every four years on a five-acre per sample basis. They follow a typical crop rotation of corn-soybeans-corn-alfalfa-alfalfa-alfalfa.