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Organic Weed Control Intensive

 July 24 , 2022 

Join Kat Becker from Cattail Organics and Sam Tilton from Lakeshore Technical College to re-envision weed control on your vegetable farm. In this full day, workshop-style event you will build your knowledge of weed management systems, view and try a wide variety of tools, and learn from Kat, Sam, and other experienced farmer peers right in the field. You will leave with the strategies you need to develop a detailed, comprehensive, and actionable plan for managing weeds into the future.

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Event Highlights

  • Examine many, adjust some, and operate a selection of tools in the field including

    • walk-behind tractors and implements from BCS, Planet Junior and Tilmor

    • 4-wheel Tilmor tractor and implements including finger weeder, basket weeder, tine weeder, a wide variety of knives and sweeps, spyders, and cut-away discs

    • plus raised bed makers, hilling discs, and mowers

  • Discuss and see examples of weed control techniques including stale seedbeds, cover crops, occultation with silage plastic, mulching with landscape fabric, and reduced-tillage systems

  • Learn strategies to exploit the biological weaknesses of your problem weeds with the right tools, cover crops, and tillage in both tunnels and the field

  • Compare systems in the field including white ag plastic vs hiling, reduced-tillage vs conventional tillage; variable row spacing, and more at both Cattail Organics and neighboring Red Door Family Farm

 

When: 24 July, 9am - 4pm

Where: Cattail Organics: 247011 Baldwin Creek Road. Athens, WI 54411

Who:

  • Growers with a minimum of 3 years vegetable farming experience (as owner or manager) 

  • Growers working at any scale from .5 acre to 200 acres

  • Limited to 20 participants

 

Included

  • Breakfast, lunch, and end-of-day rootbeer floats (vegetarian options available)

  • SARE’s new book Manage Weeds on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies

  • A detailed weed management plan template and a weed management resource list

  • 30-minute post-event consultation with Sam or Kat

 

Expectations

  • Complete a pre-course survey

  • Complete a post-course evaluation

 

Cost

  • $150 up front

  • $50 will be reimbursed to each attendee at the event

 

Some scholarships may be available through MOSES, deadline is 5/31. 

Questions?  Call Sam at 414-213-5337

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 PRESENTERS 

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Kat Becker of Cattail Organics in Athens WI, is in her 18th season as an organic vegetable farmer.  Kat brings a particular perspective to weed control after transitioning from Stoney Acres (2006-2017) to Cattail Organics (2017- Present). In the transition, she downsized from 14 acres in vegetables to 5, increased total gross sales and profitability, and used the lessons and limitations from her first farm business to develop new integrated systems.  At Cattail, Kat farms with her husband and 2-4 employees.  Her approach is based on a lean labor model dependent on lower weed pressure. Cattail has built a highly profitable system using a mixture of tillage (and reduced tillage) regimes, raised beds, extensive covered production, consistent rotations, synthetic mulches, and cover crops to limit weeding labor, address disease concerns, and reduce weed seed banks. Weed control systems are planned independently according to crop profitability, length of cropping season, and specific weed pressures in a given field. 


Sam Oschwald Tilton is a horticulture instructor at Lakeshore Technical College near Sheboygan, WI. He has a background in vegetable farming and a master’s degree from Michigan State University with a focus on precision weeding tools. Sam has designed weeding machines for KULT-Kress; visited farms throughout Europe and the U.S.; and worked on and managed vegetable farms in WI.  He also organizes the Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day.

This field day is supported by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant

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