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Breeding Organic Corn Varieties to Resist GMO Contamination

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Breeders with the University of Tennessee are developing organic corn varieties that cannot be contaminated by GMO corn (genetically modified organisms) via cross-pollination. A corn ear from a Ga1s line pollinated with pollen from a GMO corn hybrid (upper ear with no seeds) and the same line pollinated with pollen from a […]

UGA Studying Biocontrol Method to Control Cucurbit Diseases

ATHENS, Georgia – Some species of naturally occurring bacteria, when applied to the flowers of watermelon plants, can reduce the spread of bacterial fruit blotch – a cucurbit disease that causes fruit rot and economic losses. The technique of applying bacteria to the stigmas of female flowers to slow the spread of bacterial fruit blotch […]

Expanding the IPM Toolbox to Fight Spotted Wing Drosophila

GAINESVILLE, Florida – University of Florida researchers are expanding the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) toolbox for blueberry growers fighting the spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) – a destructive pest of small fruit crops. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant (GS12-114), entomology graduate student Lindsy Iglesias, along with professor Oscar […]

High Tunnel Pest Exclusion System

Insect pests are one of the major problems in organic production systems. Organic IPM practice consists of a three-tiered approach consisting of systems-based practices, mechanical tactics, and biorational insecticides. Mechanical tactics encourage the use of physical barriers for pest exclusion. This bulletin provides preliminary research data and field observations about the success of shade cloths, or high tunnel pest exclusion (HTPE) systems, as a more permanent barrier system around the high tunnels.

Whole-Farm Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Video Series

If you want to know the best ways to manage pests via integrated pest management, you can find all of the information you need in a series of video modules created by University of Florida IFAS Extension faculty. These IPM strategy modules are targeted for those looking to implement IPM strategies either on a whole-farm or whole-landscape level.

Cover Crops and Soil Biology: What Do We Know?

Investigating soil biology is a wild, unpredictable zoological ride. From the smallest organisms on Earth (viruses) to earthworms, cover crop selection and management is affected by and influences soil biology in ways we cannot completely predict.

Cover Crop Establishment and Residue Management

Benefits associated with cover crops that may include erosion control, increased organic matter, increased water infiltration, and weed suppression are all typically enhanced as biomass levels increase. In order to ensure adequate levels of biomass, growers should recognize the importance of cover crop establishment.

Evaluating Nutrient, Soil Health, and Economic Benefits of Compost Additions to Summer Cover Crops for Strawberries in North Carolina

Over the past 8 years, a team of multidisciplinary faculty and students at NC State University have conducted various field-based studies at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and on-farm research examining the impact of summer cover crops, compost additions and applications of beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and vermicompost on soil health, nutrient availability, and yields in conventional and organic strawberry production systems.

Cover Crops for Weed Management in Row Crops

The use of cover crops for weed control can help conventional producers combat herbicide-resistant weeds and organic producers reduce dependency on cultivation as their primary weed control mechanism.

Economics of Cover Crops II (Part 2): Benefits of Cover Crops and No-Till Vegetable Production in North Alabama

While the benefits of cover crops are similar regardless of cash crop, there are a number of benefits that are particularly important to vegetable producers. The main benefits of cover crops in vegetable production include increased organic matter; additional N through the use of legumes; suppressing disease, nematodes, and weeds; reducing soil erosion; providing habitat for beneficial insects; and improving soil tilth.

Equipment Demonstration and Conservation Systems Overview

Conservation tillage combined with high residue cover crops (Conservation Systems) can maximize residue production and minimize residue decomposition to promote the increase in organic matter across degraded soils of the Southeast, despite climatic conditions.

Grazing Cover Crops in Cropland

For some producers with extensive experience using cover crops, grazing can be a ‘next step’ in obtaining additional economic value while achieving environmental stewardship.

Introducing Annuals in Grazed Pastures

Annual cover crops provide ecosystem benefits to perennial-based pasture systems by introducing quality forage at opportune times of the year, creating a more diverse farm habitat, and providing opportunities to renovate overused or underutilized areas of the farm.

NRCS Campaign Overview: Unlocks Secrets in the Soil

Since the official launch of the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil Campaign” in October of 2012, the soil health movement has continued to grow, with cover crop and soil health management system adoption rates climbing and stakeholder interest increasing throughout the nation.

Soil Biology: Cover Crops and Disease Suppression

Cover crops provide several benefits to soil health such as improving soil structure, reducing the need for synthetic chemicals by decreasing weed biomass, increasing soil organic matter, contributing nutrients to the soil, retaining soil moisture, and decreasing soil erosion. In addition, the integration of cover crops into crop production often leads to soils that are suppressive to plant diseases (i.e. have less potential for disease development).

Soil Management Using Cover Crops in Organically Managed High Tunnels

In southern climates, high tunnels are typically used for season extension in the spring, fall, and winter. In the hot summer months, if no shade cloth is used to cover high tunnels, it can be difficult to grow anything but the most heat tolerant crops, and it can be uncomfortable to work in tunnels due to the heat. This is an excellent time to incorporate a cover crop, between the late spring and early fall crops. Many cover crops species are adapted to hot southern summers and perform well in high tunnels.