What is Regenerative Farming?
Wallendal Farms has a rich history with research and development. It started with Pete before becoming a farmer. He worked with the NRCS in Wisconsin, testing and mapping for the original soil type maps of Wisconsin. Pete incorporated Strip-tilling and cover cropping starting in the 1960’s. The farm did the first grid sampling in the area with researchers in the mid-1980’s. In 1988, the farm worked with NASA to ground truth and assist with the development of NDVI.
Wallendal Farms has worked with the University of Wisconsin for over 40 years. We have maintained a 20-year root rot research plot and have UW researchers on the farm for various studies every year. Our farm was a site of many research projects that generated 40 Master’s degrees and several Ph.D.s. Dr. Alfred Hartemink of UW Madison conducted ground-breaking carbon content soil research on our farm over several years starting in 2013.
Wallendal Farms also conducts their own research to learn from their own (and others) practices, cropping methods, and crop mixes.
How do we use it on our farm?
Healthy soil = healthy plants and crops. We use cover crops like winter wheat, barley, radish, winter peas, and multi-species mixes in our cover crop rotation. Commonly cover crops are reserved for winter, we use inter-seeding and use cover crops year round to help promote a healthy soils and improve yields.
We follow the NRCS standard for our pollinator mixes, where over 60% of the mix has to be specific flowering species to your region. We add additional flowering plants to increase the pollinators and the beauty of our habitats. Currently, we have one bee hive and plan on capturing more. We use Layens Horizontal hives to promote pollinator health. We currently rent hives for our crops that need pollination. We hope to keep increasing our captured hives and reduce our need to rent by 50% in 5 years.
Crop and Tech Focuses
Wallendal Farms has had research values instilled in our history through Pete Wallendal. We strive to research different crops and cropping practices. Some of these include, planting into a living cover, interseeding, conventional corn versus stacked varieties of corn, variable rate truth checking, organic practices, and research on a variety of different products. With our organic production, we are influencing and changing our conventional practices. "How can we do better?" is a question that drives us. We are doing exciting research with valuable partners including an independent bean breeder. This includes working on dry bean varieties better suited for our climate and a specialty french bean.