Tractor fuel efficiency among topics at Agronomy/Soils field day Aug. 25 at Arlington

With fuel costs continuing to grind away at the bottom line, finding ways to improve fuel management make as much sense for the person growing food as it does for the commuter driving to work. Managing your tractor to save fuel is the special topic at the 2010 Agronomy/Soils Field Day, Wednesday, August 25 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Arlington Agricultural Research Station.

Matt Digman, Assistant Professor of Biological Systems Engineering, will demonstrate tractor fuel-saving strategies during the 1 p.m. special session. The demonstration will include instruction on the proper use of the continuously variable transmission, or CVT, which can improve fuel efficiency at rates that may approach 50 percent under certain conditions

“The CVT is a premium transmission so it costs more. But it can help you manage speed, power requirements and fuel use,” Digman says. Visitors will need to spend most of the day to take in all of the presentations on this year’s field day schedule. The event will feature three tours, each of which will leave the Public Events Facility at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

• A soil science tour will include a discussion of corn stalk residue management in the light of new Bt hybrids, soil potassium, and cover crops.
• An agronomy tour will look at crop rotations, soybean yield improvements, reducing N requirements and establishing alfalfa/grass stands.
• A pest management tour will include presentations on potato leafhoppers, foliar pathogens of corn, volunteer wheat in alfalfa plantings and herbicide management.

Lunch will available on the site for a nominal fee. During lunch, Molly Jahn, Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, will speak on “The Road Ahead.”
In the event of rain, all presentations will be held indoors. The Arlington station is located on Hwy. 51, about 5 miles south of Arlington and 15 miles north of Madison. Watch for field day signs. For more information contact the UW-Madison Department of Agronomy at (608) 262-1390 or the Department of Soil Science (608) 262-0485.