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Farming Full Circle

Farming Full Circle

  Farming Full Circle
“Farming Full Circle” is a term coined by the Wysocki family to describe its integrated dairy and animal husbandry practices with traditional vegetable production agriculture.  The concept was developed with the purpose of protecting water resources in the agricultural regions of the Central Sands area of Wisconsin.  The objective is to apply nutrients to actively growing crops and remove the plants (nitrogen) in the off season (winter) to eliminate nitrogen leaching.  From its initial inception, Farming Full Circle has been expanded to utilize an anaerobic digester to kill bacteria and utilize the methane gas to produce all the electricity the dairy needs, and to make available to the local electric grid any excess electricity generated.  Adding organic matter from the manure to the soils improves the water and nitrogen holding capacity of the soil; which, in turn, reduces the need for irrigation.  This concept, combined with more traditional environmental practices (such as planting winter cover crops, installing vegetative wind breaks and cover crops to minimize soil erosion, and maintaining buffer strips to prevent run off) comprise the basic elements of a solid environmental stewardship program.
More Information On Farming Full Circle and...

Nutrient & Pesticide
Loss Prevention

The “Farming Full Circle” principles that will be followed at the Golden Sands Family Farm will ensure that nutrient and pesticides losses to groundwater and surface water are significantly reduced relative to those that occur with conventional unregulated agricultural practices that dominate in the Central Sands.
Numerous measures that are not required by law or any nutrient management planning standard but are part of the Farming Full Circle concept, will be followed to minimize nutrient and pesticide losses.
These measures go far beyond the requirements of conventional NMPs and are consistent with recommendation of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board (USEPA, 2011) for management practices to reduce nitrogen leaching to groundwater.
These measures include:
  • Rotate crops from year to year and include crops in the rotation that have minimal nutrient requirements (alfalfa, peas, beans);
  • Minimize fall applications of manure/fertilizers;
  • Maximize multiple in-season application of nutrients such that nutrients are supplied as needed by the crops;
  • Analyze plant tissue from crops frequently during growing season to determine nutrient requirements;
  • Plant fall cover crops for additional nutrient uptake and to minimize wind erosion;
  • Raise crops, to the extent practicable, in which the harvest removes most of the plant matter (silage, alfalfa);
  • Raise crops, to the extent practicable, that are deep rooted (corn and alfalfa);
  • Manage crops for high yield and uniform stand conditions (single soil type, uniform irrigation application, uniform tillage, uniform nutrient application); and
  • Use manure to increase soil water and nutrient retention capacities and to stimulate microbial activity that increases crop resistance to pathogens and decreases need for pesticides.
A recent study conducted at a research farm operated by Iowa State University indicated that multi-year crop rotation, such as will be practiced by the Golden Sands Family Farm, and the use of animal manure to provide some of the needed nutrients, such as will be practiced, can reduce the amounts of pollutants in groundwater by 200 fold over conventional agricultural practices using inorganic nutrients and no crop rotation (Bittman, 2012; Davis and others, 2012). 
The installation of an anaerobic digester at the Golden Sands Family Farm dairy will eliminate 95-98% or more of pathogens found in manure (Saunders and Harrison, 2012)

Renewable Energy Generation

The Golden Sands Family Farm dairy will utilize an anaerobic digester not only to reduce odor, but also to produce renewable energy for the dairy and the local energy grid.
The digester will generate approximately 11,500 kilowatt-hours (KWHs) of energy per day. 
The energy consumption at the dairy is expected to be less than the amount of energy produced, and the surplus energy produced will be sold back to the utility.  Thus, Golden Sands Family Farm will be a net producer of renewable energy and will provide numerous benefits to the local rural electrical system.
The electricity produced from the digester methane qualifies as a renewable resource for utilities required by law to generate a portion of their energy from renewable resources and through voluntary programs for customers in Wisconsin and other states.
Electrical service in the Golden Sands Family Farm area is provided by Adams Columbia COOP and Alliant Energy, both of which are members of Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program that has operated since 2001 to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.


Anaerobic Digestion

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, manure digesters offer the following environmental benefits to livestock facilities: "Anaerobic digestion technologies provide air and water quality benefits including pathogen destruction, odor control, organic stability, greenhouse gas (methane) and hydrogen sulfide emissions reductions, and some nutirent management benefits."
Golden Sands Family Farm will be installing an anaerobic digester on site at the dairy. The digester will be fully integrated into the manure handling and processing facilities.
The digester will reduce by 95-98% pathogens from manure generated at the dairy and will have significant odor-reduction benefits for the dairy and at fields receiving land applied manure.

Farming Full Circle

  Project Updates
The intent of this section is to keep everyone up to date with accurate and timely information regarding each stage of our development. We thank you for taking the time to keep up to date with our new farm!
Our Lastest Updates
Irrigation Management &
Precision Planting
Precision Planting &
Nutrient Management
Introduction to Golden Sands Family
Farm Online Tool
About the Golden Sands Family Farm
Environmental Impact Report
About the Plum Creek Land for the Golden
Sands Family Farm
Previous Updates

About Our Family Operations

Farming Full Circle

  Project Maps
(the images below have been reduced to accomodate mobile devices. If you would like to view larger images, please click here.)
Golden Sands Family Farm Project Area

Regional Location Map for Golden Sands Family Farm

Farming Full Circle