Agricultural diversification is a hot topic right now. Faced with an ongoing stretch of depressed commodity prices, growers are looking for other cropping options. To meet the need, UW-Extension has launched a new podcast to provide growers with research-based information on new and alternative crops.

Each episode of The Cutting Edge: A Podcast in Search of New Crops for Wisconsin focuses on a single crop by interviewing researchers, growers, and movers and shakers behind each crop. Jason Fischbach, agriculture agent for Ashland/Bayfield counties and one of the organizers and co-hosts for the podcast, said, “The goal of the podcast is two-fold. First, we want to give growers in-depth knowledge and information about emerging and alternative crops to help growers decide whether to pursue the opportunity. Second, we want to provide growers and stakeholders an inside look at what it takes to develop new crops and markets for these crops”.

Jerry Clark, agriculture educator for Chippewa County, said “Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations it’s placing on our in-person programming, we felt a podcast was a great way to connect with our growers across the state. Plus, we’re finding many of our clientele are listening to podcasts more and more these days. Whether in the tractor or in the field hoeing carrots, growers are tuning into podcasts to do some learning and to be entertained.”

The first four episodes are available for listening and feature hazelnuts, hops, industrial hemp, and Kernza. New episodes will be posted roughly every two weeks with episodes on aronia, malting barley, and native prairie seed currently in the works.

More information about The Cutting Edge podcast can be found at: fyi.extension.wisc.edu/grain/cutting-edge. You can also subscribe to the podcast through Google Podcasts by searching for The Cutting Edge: A Podcast In Search of New Crops For Wisconsin.