South

New Online Training Tool is Available Free to Farmers

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, 85% of new farm businesses fail within their first five years of production. Despite this, few programs exist to help develop the business and financial management skills needed to establish a successful farm business. After receiving feedback about the need for a program like […]

Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant Call for Proposals Released

GRIFFIN, Georgia — The 2021 On-Farm Research Grants Call for Proposals has been released by the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program. On-Farm Research Grants are intended for agricultural professionals in the Southern region who regularly work with farmers/ranchers. The proposal submission deadline is Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 at 12 p.m. EST. […]

Southern SARE Awards Graduate Students Grants for 2020

GRIFFIN, Georgia – The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SSARE) has announced the funded projects for the 2020 Graduate Student Grants program. The Graduate Student Grant program is one of the only sustainable agriculture research funding opportunities for master’s and PhD students enrolled at accredited institutions in the southern region. In 2020, the […]

Southern SARE Producer Grant Calls for Proposals Released

GRIFFIN, Georgia – The Call for Proposals for the 2021 Producer Grant Program is now available from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program. The Producer Grant program is intended for farmers and ranchers, or farmer and rancher organizations in the Southern region. The proposal submission deadline is November 13, 2020 at 12 […]

Researchers Study How to Prevent Cover Crops from Failing to Fix Nitrogen

EDINBURG, Texas- Known for their ability to produce nitrogen, legumes actually partner with rhizobium bacteria to create or fix nitrogen through specialized organs in their roots called nodules. This unique relationship adds nitrogen back to the soil so it can be used as fertilizer by future crops. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, researchers […]

Cover Crops and Biodegradable Mulches for Weed Control

AUBURN, Alabama – High biomass cover crops are effective in controlling weeds in vegetable production, while contributing to higher produce yields, Auburn University researchers have found. In addition, pre-emergence herbicide applications can be eliminated from weed management programs in the presence of heavy residues from cover crop mixtures. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and […]

Cover Crops and Soil Solarization Proven Effective in Controlling Soil-borne Diseases

MCMINNVILLE, Tennessee – Some cover crops, coupled with soil solarization, can control soil-borne diseases in nursery field production of woody ornamentals, according to the results of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE)-funded Tennessee State University study. Through a $15,000 SSARE On-Farm Research Grant, Fulya Baysal-Gurel of TSU’s Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center, […]

Researchers Integrate Renewable Energy into Greenhouses to Make Farms More Sustainable

BOONE, North Carolina- With limited land and shortened growing seasons in the mountains of North Carolina, Ok-Youn Yu, an associate professor and assistant chair of Appalachian State University’s Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, saw potential in using greenhouses to combat hunger while increasing farmer’s profits and sustainability. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture […]

North Carolina Researchers Find New Ways to Control Pest Mites in Tomatoes

MILLS RIVER, North Carolina – Predatory mites can control two-spotted spider mites in vegetable crops under the right management plan, according to a North Carolina State University researcher. James Walgenbach studied Phytoseiulus persimilis, a predatory mite, and its ability to control two-spotted spider mites in the tomato fields of North Carolina through a Southern Sustainable […]

Researchers Recommend New Strategies to Suppress Southern Potato Blight

PAINTER, Virginia – Earlier planting dates coupled with disease-tolerant cultivars of potatoes are recommended strategies to suppress southern potato blight, according to Virginia Tech researchers. The fungal disease, caused by the soil born pathogen Sclerotium rolfsii, affects the stems of the plants and produces lesions on the tubers, impacting quality and yields. In a Southern […]

How Soils Behave When We Grow Cover Crops

BELLE GLADE, Florida – Florida vegetable farmers who grow cover crops as a green manure between their cash crops anecdotally tout the health benefits, but a two-year study by University of Florida has provided the research to back it up. In a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, University of Florida […]

Agroforestry an Alternative for Farmers Transitioning Away from Tobacco Production

BEREA, Kentucky – A Kentucky farmer, exploring alternatives for tobacco production, has found that elements of an agroforestry system may prove viable to increasing farm profitability and providing environmental benefits. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Producer Grant, Matthew Wilson of Rindlewood Farm studied the feasibility of incorporating sweet sorghum and pasture […]

Exploring Alternative Methods for Controlling A Major Pest in Sweet Sorghum

LEXINGTON, Kentucky – University of Kentucky researchers are exploring alternative methods for controlling sugarcane aphid in sweet sorghum, a major crop for farmers in the state. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, entomologist Nathan Mercer and his colleagues are studying a combination of parasitoids and insecticidal soaps as a […]

Cover Crops Improve Soil Quality in Plaintain Production Systems

GURABO, Puerto Rico — In humid, tropical environments where soil organic matter decomposes at a rapid rate, efforts are being made to maintain and improve soil health using cover crops, specifically in high intensive cropping systems like plantain production. In a Producer Grant project, farmer Duamed Colon-Carrion studied the potential benefits of cover crops on […]

Using Row Covers to Protect Squash from Insect Pests

DURANT, Oklahoma — Using row covers on squash protects the vegetable crop from insect pests such as the squash bug, but timing of their removal can impact pollination and subsequent plant yields, according to Oklahoma State University research. In a two-year study, horticulturist Jim Shrefler analyzed pest and pollinator incidences and measured squash yields using […]

Preparing Producers for the Grass-fed Beef Industry

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Mississippi — Livestock producers in the Southeast are getting the educational resources and training they need to meet the consumer demand for grass-fed beef. In states like Mississippi and Alabama, where production and marketing materials, field events, enterprise budgets, and training programs in forage-finished beef are lacking, researchers at Mississippi State University, Auburn […]

Using Mineral Clay to Manage Pests and Increase Fruit Quality and Yield in Blackberries

SEARCY, Arkansas — Primocane blackberries, which can extend the fruiting season by months over traditional plant varieties, are changing the way farmers are growing berries. But they don’t come without their pest and production challenges, which University of Arkansas researchers are trying to solve with a naturally occurring soil mineral. In a Research and Education […]

The Effects of Probiotics on the Survival Rate of Farmed Shrimp

BOLIGEE, Alabama — In an effort to reduce incidences of disease and increase the survival rate, and subsequent yields, of farmed shrimp, an aquaculture farmer received a Southern SARE Producer Grant to determine if probiotics could be a sustainble way to boost the health of the animals. Probiotics are commonly used in hatcheries, but their […]

Transforming Existing Forested Land into Silvopasture Systems

GREENVILLE, South Carolina – Livestock producers with patches of established forested land on their farm can turn to agroforestry practices as an option to increase economic stability while enhancing environmental quality. Researchers at Furman University, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) grant, studied the feasibility of transforming forested land on farms in […]