University of Wisconsin
Forage Research and Extension

Wisconsin Forage Council
The Wisconsin Forage Council has merged with Forage Councils in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to form the Midwest Forage Association to provide better service to its members. The new address and contact information is:

Midwest Forage Association
4630 Churchill St., Suite #1
St. Paul, MN 55126

Ph: (651) 484-3888 Fax: (651) 638-0756



Membership Form

Board of Directors

10 Years Goals

WFC Projects

Newsletters and Proceedings

Future Meetings

2000 WFC Award Winners

2001 WFC Award Winners

2002 WFC Award Winners

1999 Pacesetters

2000 Pacesetters

2001 Pacesetters

2002 Pacesetters


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The Wisconsin Forage Council is a nonprofit organization of forage producers, educators and industry with the following mission and vision:

Vision The Wisconsin Forage Council will be a strong, visible force representing the forage industry. The Wisconsin Forage Council will be a leader in the latest educational techniques and resources. It will be the leader in stimulating and implementing applied research.

The Wisconsin Forage Council will be viewed as a viable representative of forage producers and suppliers and be a clearing house of the latest information. The combinations of educators, producers and industry are strongly linked and recognized as working closely together in both education and political arenas.

Membership will include a majority of forage producers and they will look to the forage council for developing and disseminating information. The organization will provide profitable information to producers. Finally, the organization will be recognized as a leader in change.

Mission Statement

  • To research and promote profitable forages, linking producers, educators and industry.
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Tom Braun (02-04)

15908 San Rd

Reedsville WI 54230

(920) 754-4076


David Fischer (02-04)

1 Fen Oak Ct

Madison WI 53718

(608) 224-3700




Dan Undersander

Department of Agronomy

1575 Linden Drive

Madison WI 53717

(608) 263-5070 (work)

(608) 836-1392 (home)

(608) 265-3437 (fax)



Doug Bastian –

Treasurer (02-04)

Olds Seed Solutions

PO Box 7790

Madison WI 53707

(608) 249-9291



Joe Tiry (01-03)

34111 Co Hwy O

Stanley WI 54768


Randy W. Brunn (03-05))

903 Tower Drive

Marathon WI 54448

(715) 443-3351 (home)


Stuart Sorenson (02-04)

O & S Harvesting

205 W South St

Bonduel WI 54107

715-758-7990 or 715-758-7991



Richard Vine (01-03)

W4070 Hill Rd

Granton WI 54436

(715) 743-3956


Mike Fischer (03-05)

1825 Esker Rd

Hatley WI 54440

(715) 446-3658

Jerry Clark – Secretary (01-03)

711 N Bridge St Rm 13

Chippewa Falls WI 54729

(715) 726-7950


Randy Welch (01-03)

9 Jason Circle

Madison WI 53719

(608) 206-3859


Tina Struyk (03-05)

UWEX-Sheboygan County
Forest Ave

Sheboygan Fall, WI  53085

(920) 467-5742


Ron Wiskerchen (03-05)

W1036 Hwy N

Rubicon WI 53078

(262) 673-4604




Bob Meyer (01-03)

PO Box 630

Marshfield WI 54449

(715) 384-2191



Keith Kelling

Soils Department

139A Soils - King Hall


Madison WI 53706

(608) 263-2795




Dennis Cosgrove

Dept of Plant & Earth Science

UW-River Falls

River Falls WI 54022

(715) 425-3345 (phone)

(715) 425-3785 (fax)


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1. Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to improve the visibility of the

    Forage Council.


a) Develop a promotional program to inform Deans and Political Representatives about the Forage Council.

            b) Consider organized events for promotions ‑ Dairy Expo, Beef, Expo, Farm Progress, etc.

            c) Network with other organized events.

            d) Update/Redo brochure.

            e) Develop promotional items.

            f) Develop inserts and press releases for farm publications and newspapers.



2. Develop a clearinghouse for information on research, new technologies and

    on‑farm demos.


a) Conduct four demonstrations trials in ten counties each year.

            b) Collect and consolidate information from trials by December 31.

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Wisconsin Forage Council Projects

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Newsletter and Proceedings

Forager Newsletters




Winter 1996 Forager

Spring 1997 Forager

Summer 1997 Forager

Fall 1997 Forager

Winter 1997 Forager

Spring 1998 Forager

Summer 1998 Forager

Fall 1998 Forager

Winter 1998 Forager

Spring 1999 Forager

Summer 1999 Forager

Fall 1999 Forager

Winter 1999 Forager

Spring 2000 Forager

Summer 2000 Forager

Fall 2000 Forager

Winter 2000 Forager

Spring 2001 Forager

Summer 2001 Forager

Fall 2001 Forager

Winter 2001 Forager



1999 WFC Proceedings

2000 WFC Proceedings

2001 WFC Proceedings

2002 WFC Proceedings

2003 WFC Proceedings

Can’t find it…then search newsletters and proceedings


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Future Events

Wisconsin Forage Council Annual Symposium

The Plaza Hotel

1202 W. Clairemont Ave.
Eau Claire, WI  54701

Phone: 715-834-3181/800-482-7829

January 27-28, 2004





For excellence in forage management practices

on a farming operation


Darlington, WI




For educational activities encouraging good forage management

and soil and water conservation practices


Chippewa County



Eau Claire County




For leadership in activities relating to forage quality analysis in Wisconsin


Madison, WI




For research in design of forage harvesting equipment


Madison, WI





For excellence in forage management practices

on a farming operation


Bonduel, WI



For strong educational program in weed management

for forage fields and pastures


Madison, WI



For leadership in activities relating to forage quality analysis in Wisconsin


Bonduel, WI



For research relating to silage management


Madison, WI



For excellence in forage management practices

on a farming operation


Granton, WI



For educational activities encouraging good forage management,

and soil and water conservation practices


Sheboygan, WI



For leadership in activities enhancing forage production

and use in Wisconsin


Eau Claire, WI



For recognition of outstanding research and career-long support of

improved forage production practices and Wisconsin Forage Council activities


Madison, WI



Dodge County
 Ron and Mary Wiskerchen

Ron and Mary farm 216 acres and milk 50 Holstein cows.  They seed alfalfa on soybean ground as they believe the extra nitrogen helps get alfalfa off to a good start.  They seed the alfalfa with oats and Italian ryegrass.  The oat ryegrass is harvested as hay, if possible, so they can get two more crops of alfalfa/ryegrass in the seeding year.  After the seeding year, they harvest alfalfa when scissors clip and PEAQ dictate.  Ron takes three cuttings by September 1st and then a fourth in late fall if extra hay is needed.  They have started making some baleage which they feel helped them put up forage without rain damage and helped them raise their yields.

Eau Claire County
 Dan & Annette Lindeman & Family

Dan and Annette farm 415 acres near Osseo, WI.  They milk 62 cows with a 21,900 lb herd average.  They establish the majority of alfalfa by notill, using minimum tillage on the remaining acres.  They use manure to supply most of their nutrient needs.  Their goal is to harvest 150 RFV alfalfa and put up high quality silage.  To achieve this, they participate in the scissors clip program and the corn burn down demonstrations.

Fond du Lac County
 John and Linda Diederichs

John and Linda milk 74 cows with a 27,100 herd average.  They grow 150 acres of legume on the 280 acre farm.  Established stands are harvested either three or four times by September 1st.  Production costs are kept low by an unusual machinery sharing agreement with John’s two brothers and another non-related dairy farmer.  The four own all machinery equally and help each other during harvest periods.

Green County
 Jim and Teresa Schlappi

Jim and Teresa farm 249 acres and milk 135 cows.  They purchase premium quality alfalfa seed and seed it with orchardgrass and barley as a cover crop.  Jim feels that the alfalfa-orchardgrass mixture is better for erosion control, field dry down, yield and animal health.  He takes four cuttings per year, and has four years of hay in the rotation.  His yields have been as high as 6.8 tons per acre.

Manitowoc County
  Tom and Pam Braun

 Tom and Pam farm 4397 acres growing 944 acres of alfalfa and 495 acres of corn silage.  They feed this forage to 1310 cows and young stock and 325 Holstein steers.  They seed most of the alfalfa notill and grow it in a three-year rotation with corn silage.  Tom believes strongly in rotations, feeling that they reduce costs of production.  They began using GPS in 1998 and are looking forward to seeing it available for manure application and forage yield.

Outagamie County
 Jeff and Cindy Jentz
 J-CIN Dairy

Jeff and Cindy farm 362 acres with 200 in alfalfa and 50 in corn silage.  They have 186 cattle with 24,000 herd average.  Jeff would rather get higher quality forage than high yield.  To this end, he fertilizes alfalfa according to soil test recommendations, sprays when insects threaten, and harvests using the scissors clip and PEAQ results.  Jeff selects corn hybrids for silage based on high milk per acre and past experience with high yielding varieties.  Jeff and Cindy were early adapters of kernel processing.

Outagamie County
 Randy and Karen Strey

Randy and Karen farm 1144 acres near Hortonville.  They grow corn, sweet corn, peas, soybeans and winter wheat as cash crops.  They grow over 200 acres of forage crops believing that high quality haylage is the backbone of a successful dairy enterprise.  Alfalfa is seeded notill into wheat stubble and harvested at late bud stage on a three-cut system.  Corn silage varieties are selected for digestibility.  Legume credits from alfalfa and soybeans are the basis of fertilizer for this crop.  Yields consistently exceed 20 tons per acre.

Shawano County
 Allard and Tammy Meverden

Allard and Tammy farm 264 acres and milk 55 cows.  Alfalfa is seeded with peas and oats which is harvested at the boot stage for heifers and dry cows.  Corn silage is custom planted following application and incorporation of 10 tons of manure.  Corn silage types used are waxy corn, high oil corn and highly digestible silage. The high oil corn is put in a vertical silo and used for dairy cows.  The waxy and highly digestible corn is put into a pile pack, covered and fed to heifers and dry cows.  He determines when to chop corn silage based on moisture analysis from samples sent to AgSource Soil and Forage Testing Laboratory.

Sheboygan County
 Joseph and Nancy Breunig

Joseph and Nancy farm 500 acres and milk 415 cows with a herd average of 25,673 lb milk in partnership with their son, Mark. They produce high quality forage for the dairy ration by seeding varieties with good winterhardiness and HR resistance to both phytophthora root rot and aphanomyces.  They feel the most important part of their ration is alfalfa above 135 RFV.  Corn is planted in 15-inch rows using 99 to 107 day varieties with high digestibility ratings.  They use liquid manure on most corn acres and adjust nitrogen rates accordingly.  Corn silage is chopped and rolled using a 3/4 inch cut.





Chippewa County

Joe and Diane Tiry


Joe and Diane Tiry farm 253 acres near Stanley Wisconsin.  They milk 60 cows and have a herd average of 22,000 lbs.  They grow all feed for cattle except some of concentrates.  They grow alfalfa and clover depending on soil type.  Haylage comprises about 70% of ration, corn silage about 25% and the remaining 5% is grain and other concentrates (for dairy cows).  Youngstock receive 90% legume haylage and oat-pea silage and the remainder concentrates.  First cutting forage is harvested by scissors clip results.


Clark County

Brad and Pam Wolf


The Wolf’s farm 240 acres near Dorchester, milk 50 cows and raise youngstock.  They grow 150 acres of red clover/alfalfa mixtures.  They have fall-killed forage stands with Round-up and spring reseeded legume mixtures but either solo seeding or with a companion crop.  No-till establishment is being used on an increasing basis.  Pest control has been less of an issue with the red clover/alfalfa mixture since the red clover is less desirable to most alfalfa insect pests.  No row crops are grown so soil erosion risks are greatly decreased.  The grain portion of the dairy ration is comprised of a hominy, bakery meal, and barley mix.  The grain mix costs $0.75 cow per day.


Fond du Lac County

John and Karen Ruedinger


The Ruedingers farm 740 acres and milk 480 cows near the town of Van dyne in norther Fond du Lac county.  They have been farming full-time for 25 years.  They grow about 400 acres of alfalfa and 150 acres of corn silage. That is harvested and stored in 3 upright and 3 bunker silos.  Alfalfa is cut either 3 or 4 times a year.  Corn silage is harvested with a large pull-type chopper equipped with a kernel processor.  Forage comprises about 53% of the dairy ration with alfalfa and corn silage fed at nearly a 50:50 ration.  In addition to John’s many civic involvements, he has participated in the Fond du Lac county green gold program and has hosted the forage council field day.


Green County

Mike Sulzer


Mike and his partner farm 540 acres, maintain 125 beef cows and raise 100 feeder cattle annually.  They grow 250 acres of alfalfa-bromegrass mixtures and 50 acres small grain haylage.  They also manage 130 acres of pasture.  Hay is made as round bales and stored inside on pallets or outside on pallets and covered with tarps.  Permanent pasture is divided into paddocks and rotationally grazed.  The pasture is fertilized with manure and interseeded with birdsfoot trefoil.



Manitowoc County

Joseph Holschbach


Joe and Julie Holschbach farm 800 acres and milk 370 cows in partnership.  They grow 250 acres of alfalfa and 250 acres of corn silage.  The first crop of alfalfa is cut for heifers at 120 RFV.  Second and third cutting are taken on 30 to 35 day intervals and harvested for dairy cattle.  Fourth cutting is taken is heat units permit.  Corn silage is contract harvested.  The heard average is 23,126 lbs milk.  Cattle are fed a TMR of 10 lbs shelled corn, 17 lbs commodities, 10 lbs haylage, and 17 lbs corn silage.  They report that quality haylage and corn silage keep ration costs to $4.50/cwt.  The Holschbachs hosted the WFC Summer Expo this past summer.


Jerome and Mona Jaeger


The Jaegers farm near Cleveland milking 170 Holstein cows.  They prepare seedbeds for alfalfa using a chisel plow.  All alfalfa is direct seeded.  A consultant monitors all fields for pests and advises when to spray.  Hay is cut so RFV is 155 or greater.  Most haylage is stored in ag bags.  Corn silage is packed  on black top with a loader tractor.  Yield is 11 to 14 tons per acre.


Outagamie County

Allen and Jean Timm


Allen and Jean Timm farm 303 acres near Seymour and milk 65 cows.  Alfalfa is direct seeded in the spring.  It is sprayed for weeds and insects as needed.  They harvest on a four cutting system using PEAQ to determine when to cut for 170 RFV.  Half of the alfalfa is for haylage stored in upright silo.  The other half is harvested for big square bales, stored in sheds.  Corn is processed and stored in upright silo.  They use all home grown feeds for the herd, purchasing only the mineral mix and some distillers grain.  This allows them to feed the dairy cows for $4/hd/day.


Sheboygan County

Brian and Jeanne Goeser


The Groesers make top quality forage a priority on all 620 acres of cropland.  Grain is purchased off farm.  Alfalfa is harvested 3 times a year based on scissors clip results.  New fields are direct seeded and sprayed with Pursuit.  Corn for silage is planted on 15 inch rows.  They state that “Forage RFV is crucial and dictates the whole feeding program.”  High quality forage has been the basis for the feeding program as the dairy has grown from 90 cow to 505 over the last 11 years.  



2001 Pacesetters


Chippewa Valley Forage Council

Kenneth Risler, Huntsinger Farms, Inc


Ken is a manager of Huntsinger Farms which operates 4,600 acres cropland (of which 1,100 is in alfalfa) and 1,000 acres of pasture.  They maintain a herd of 500 beef cows.  The plant alfalfa with some bromegrass.  Haylage is stored in two bunkers silos and hay is stored as wrapped large round bales under roof.  Their permanent pasture is reed canarygrass, alfalfa and bromegrass.  They utilize rotational grazing with the beef cow herd moving cows and calves every four day.  Cows are rotationally grazed in summer and fed large round bales in winter.  Calves are born in March and April and weaned in September, then finished in feedlot with TMR mix of haylage and rolled corn.


Clark County

Dave and Marilyn Mayenschein


Dave and Marilyn graze 85 Holsteins on 150 of the 310 acres they own south of Thorp.  They switched to grazing and have seen steady increases in forage yield, quality, and farm profits every since.  They do an excellent job of monitoring the forage growth on their farm to ensure that cows are always consuming top-notch forage without going too fast or too slow in the rotation and running out of feed or letting pasture get ahead of them.  They are diversifying in 2001 to begin contract backgrounding beef steers on grass.  Dave and Marilyn are currently in the process of restructuring their farm business to allow their son, Mike, to become a full partner.


Fond du Lac County

John and Jeff Pickart


John and Jeff Pickart farm 460 acres and milk 240 Holstein cows in northeast Fond du Lac county.  John purchased the farm 31 years ago and recently formed a limited liability corporation with son, Jeff.  They grown and harvest 220 acres of alfalfa and 125 acres of corn silage.  They utilize a neighboring farm operation to custom harvest their forages.  Alfalfa is direct seeded and harvested four times per year.  Fifteen-inch corn rows have been used the past two years on silage fields.  A nutrition consultant develops rations where the forage portion has been half alfalfa and half corn silage.  Their rolling herd average is 24,043 lb milk.  They hosted the Fond du Lac Field Day this past summer.


Green County

Mega-Care Dairy


Jerry and Tina Mau farm 240 acres and milk 65 cows near Browntown, WI.  They have 157 acres in forage of several types.  Alfalfa is seeded with oats or barley which is taken as silage.  Established first cutting alfalfa is harvested at 160 to 180 RFV and put in silo with inoculants.  Second and third cuttings are baled with preservative.  Fourth cutting is chopped into silo and then 20 t/a manure is spread on fields.  Corn silage is contract chopped into bags.  Heifers are grazed on pasture on back part of farm.


Manitowoc County

Sunnyside Dairy Farms, LLC


Roger, William and Todd Borgwardt operate 618 acres with 160 in alfalfa, 130 in corn silage and 17 in oat/peas nurse crop.  They milk 270 cows with a 25986 lb herd average.  They manage alfalfa to maximize pounds of milk per acre.  They plant varieties that mature at different times to maintain higher quality at harvest.  They generally seed in the fall or if conditions do not permit, seed in spring with oat/pea cover crop.  They harvest their own haylage into tower silos, including a new 24 ft x100 ft built in 1999.  Fields are kept in production 3 to 4 years based on stem counts.  Corn silage was planted in 15-inch rows at 36,000 seeds per acre last year and yielded 18-20 tons rather than 15-18 tons they have previously gotten with 30,000 seeds per acre and wider row spacing.


Habeck Homestead Farms


Gerald and Yvonne Habeck farm 600 acres near Maribel, WI.  They milk 240 cows with a 25,000 lb herd average.  They plant top of the line varieties, fertilize according to soil test recommendations and try to get 4 cutting per year.  Most of the alfalfa is harvested as haylage and stored in silos and silo bags.  Yields were 7.42 t/a in 1998 and 6.75 t/a in 1999.  Their feed cost is $3.10 per cow per day for the high milking group.  They plan to begin using corn silage in 2001.  They use notill on some corn, winter wheat and soybean acres.


Outagamie County

David McCarthy


David and Rosanne McCarthy farm 560 acres near Appleton.  They milk185 cows and are expanding to 240.  The cows are fed 2/3 haylage, 1/3 corn silage, and 4 lbs dry hay.  They have gradually switched to 100% zone till corn and notill soybeans and alfalfa.  This gives great erosion control, improves soil texture, and gives better water absorption.  Manure is applied with notill liquid manure injection spreader.  Alfalfa is harvested by scissors clip to obtain 150 to 200 RFV.  High quality haylage keeps ration costs low at $3.89 per cow per day for high production group and $2.56 per day for low production group.


Shawano County

Charles and Mary Lou Kugel


Charles and Mary Lou farm 142 acres of cropland and milk 50 cows with a heard average of 24,919 lb milk.  They also raise 60 herd replacements.  All alfalfa is direct seeded with the majority ensiled.  They plant corn silage at 30 –32,000 seeds/acre and have been harvesting 25-30 ton/acre.  All feed grown on farm is fed to dairy.  Herd is fed TMR ration consisting of forage (50% alfalfa, 50% corn silage), baled hay, concentrated, and high moisture corn.  Chuck is currently a director of Shawano County Forage Council and Farm Credit Services of Northeast WI.  Mary Lou is President of Shawano County Dairy Promotions, and a 4-H project leader. 



2002 Pacesetters


Chippewa Valley Forage Council

Paul and Deb Sedlacek


Paul and Deb farm 244 acres near Cadot, WI with 75 acres in alfalfa, 20 in other hay, 20 in corn silage, 20 in pasture and 15 to 20 in oatlage.  They milk 44 cows with a 23,400 lb herd average.  They use a 4-year hay, 2-year corn rotation.  Fields are moldboard plowed the first year out of alfalfa and chiseled thereafter.  Hay yields average around 4.5 t/a.  Corn silage is produced using a high oil, waxy corn variety which they feel results in better milk production, milk test and body condition. Corn silage yields have been between 15 and 18 tons/acre.  Cows are also rotationally grazed during summer at night on 7 paddocks spending 3 to 4 nights on each paddock.


Dodge County

Mark and Judy F. Hall


Mark and family milk 65 cows and raise 86 heifers.  They use a crop consultant who monitors all crops and they act accordingly.  They harvest high quality forage, which is used for all animals.  Last year, they tried some of the hybrid alfalfa.  Dairy cows are fed 2.5 lb dry hay in the morning and a TMR mix of 15 lb haylage, 35 lb corn silage, 16 lb HMSC, 7.3 lb protein mix, 4.3 lb cottonseed and mineral mix.  Heifers are fed 121 lbs haylage, 9 lbs corn, 1 lb chopped wheat straw and mineral mix.  Wheat straw was added because heifers were becoming over-conditioned.  This past year 30 acres of alfalfa were planted no-till after wheat.


Fond du Lac County

Jeff Riedeman


Jeff Riedeman farms 300 acres and milks 35 Holstein cows near Rosendale in Fond du Lac County.  He grows and harvests 50 acres of alfalfa and 20 acres of corn silage.  Alfalfa is direct seeded and harvested four times per year.  Jeff has been a multiple-year participant in the Fond du Lac Co. Forage Council Green Gold Program and has had measured yields of up to 5.3 tons of dry matter per acre.  Forage is stored in three upright silos.  He also makes a limited number of large round bales each year.  Fertilizer applications are based on soil tests and appropriate manure and legume nutrient credits.  Although he owns no highly erodable land, a soil conservation plan is maintained on all acres.  The dairy herd maintains a rolling herd average of about 22,000M, 3.5%F and 3.0%P.  Cows are fed a ration that is 50 percent forage.  Along with haylage and corn silage, the ration includes homegrown roasted soybeans, shelled corn and a pelleted protein mix.  Jeff has served on the Fond du Lac County Forage Council board of directors during the past six years and served as treasurer the past three years.  He and his wife, Nancy, have two children.


Green County

Bruce and Karen Dickman


Bruce and Karen farm near Argyle, WI.  They grow approximately 200 acres of forage on their 250 acres of pasture and cropland.  They milk 90 cows and raise 100 heifers. They have been seeding leaf hopper resistant alfalfa varieties for the last four years, and have been using oats and peas as a cover crop.  The winter dairy ration haylage-HMSC, where the forage is 50% haylage, 30% corn silage, 20% oats and peas. Alfalfa is cut at 160 to 180 using a forage quality stick.  Cows are rotated among three different pastures during the summer. Bred heifers are raised on grass over summer with 3 to 5 lbs corn and minerals.  The Dickman’s extracurricular activities include running kids to cattle shows in the summer and school activities in the winter.


Marathon County

Larry Myszka


Larry farms 206 acres near Athens.  He grows 100 acres of alfalfa that is established by direct seeding and treating with Pursuit to control weeds. Insects are monitored and sprayed with Warrior T if necessary.  Leaf hopper resistant varieties have been used.  First cutting is taken 30 days after Pursuit is applied.  Larry monitors first cutting in the spring with the forage quality stick to harvest high quality forage.  Succeeding cuttings are harvested by flower stage.  All fields are soil tested and fertilizer applied as needed.


Outagamie County

Larry and Ruth Luedtke


Larry farms 370 acres near Hortonville.  He makes high quality hay using scissors clip in the spring and high quality corn silage using silage drydown information.  This year Larry wrapped round bales of hay at high moisture to produce silage.  He has a conservation plan and manages runoff with filter strips.



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