Commodities

The 2020 Southern SARE Large Systems Grant is Released.

The Southern Sustainable Research and Education Program has announced its 2020 Large Systems Grant award. The project will create a group of 1890 Universities and farmer cooperators to conduct large systems research on sustainable meat goat production and marketing. Large systems research is designed to increase our understanding of the complex relationships between parts in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Southern SARE Releases Grant Call for Proposals on Sustainable Meat Goat Production and Marketing

GRIFFIN, Georgia – The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program is soliciting grant Calls for Proposals for sustainable meat goat production and marketing across the Southern region. The 2020 Large Systems Research Grant Program on Sustainable Meat Goat Production and Marketing in the Southeast United States must include both components of production and […]

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 […]

Cover Crops Incorporated into Rotational Grazing Improves Soil Health

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Over-seeding a diverse cool-season cover crop mix into a rotationally grazed warm-season grass pasture appears to improve soil health, especially when the system is managed over a longer period of time. In a limited study, funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant, Louisiana State University […]

Grafting Can Help Control Diseases in Organic High Tunnel Tomatoes

GAINESVILLE, Florida – Grafting can help control diseases in organically grown high tunnel tomatoes, according to the results of a University of Florida study. In the study, funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, specialty tomatoes grafted onto two disease-resistant rootstocks effectively managed Fusarium wilt and improved the overall […]

The Performance of Cover Crops in Minimally Tilled Forage-based Grazing Systems

In a Southern SARE-funded Graduate Student Grant (GS15-152), “Evaluation of Winter Annual Cover Crops Under Multiple Residue Management: Impacts on land management, soil water depletion, and cash crop productivity,” Texas Tech University researchers investigated five cover crops species as potential complements to a warm-season beef-stocker grazing system. The impact of the project was two-fold: Stabilize the soil surface from excessive wind erosion and desiccation; and strengthen rural communities by ensuring the persistence of profitable agriculture in the region.