Commodities

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Texas Beekeeper Rethinking Bee Hive Boxes for More Honey and Better Bee Health

MABANK, Texas – Texas beekeeper Daniel Brantner has a simple and economical solution for increasing honey production and improving the health of honey bees: redesigning the industry-standard bee hive boxes. Brantner, owner of Texas Honey Company and a certified Texas master beekeeper, is using his skills as an architect to turn the typical standard 16”X22” […]

Warm Season Limpograss Bridges the Forage Gap for Fall Grazing in Florida

MARIANNA, Florida – For Southeast ranchers interested in grazing their beef cattle year-round, winter is the most challenging season for finding supplementing feed after warm-season grasses, like bahiagrass, decline in the fall, but before cool-season forages (oats or rye) are ready in the winter. University of Florida researchers have found a perennial grass that will […]

Studying the Impact of Conservation Plantings on Insect Pests and Their Predators

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Conservation plantings, through various stewardship programs, do well to provide a myriad of benefits. These range from controlling erosion, to improving water quality, to promoting healthy soils. However, the impacts of such strategies on cash crop pests and the natural enemies that target them is less known. Louisiana State University researchers, […]

Farmers Testing Elderberry Varieties for Florida Cultivation

CHIEFLAND, Florida – Elderberry, internationally utilized and popular for centuries for its perceived medicinal and health benefits, may have potential as an alternative crop in Florida. Farmers Heather Martin and David Jarnagin of Hyldemoer + Co. in north central Florida have been testing elderberry (Sambucus spp.) varieties for the past several years for commercial production. […]

Diversifying Small Farms with Cereal Grains

FOREST, Virginia – Virginia farmer Michael Grantz is testing what it takes to incorporate cereal grains into a small-scale, diversified vegetable and cut flower farm for soil health as a cover crop and a value-added product for local markets. Grantz has managed a quarter acre plot of wheat and rye on he and his wife’s […]

Mississippi Farmer Optimizing Animal/Crop Production in a Unique Integrated System

KILN, Mississippi – The damage brought about by Hurricane Ida in 2021 was a light bulb moment for Mississippi farmer Stephen Wyatt, who was looking for ways to maximize production of his two high-demand cash crops: strawberries and rabbits. With the storm came massive flooding, disease and predators. In less than one season, most of […]

Louisiana Farmer Using Drone Technology to Maximize Nitrogen Efficiency in Row Crops

LAKE PROVIDENCE, Louisiana – Corn and cotton crop producer Nolan Parker is taking to the skies to decrease nitrogen runoff from commodity farms along the Mississippi River. The young farmer, who is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified remote pilot and works routinely with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), combined drone technology with variable rate nitrogen […]

Exploring Warm Season Grasses for Parasite Control and Performance in Sheep

HIDDENITE, North Carolina – A North Carolina livestock producer is exploring the use of native warm season grasses as forage for Katahdin Hair sheep as a way quickly bring the animals to market weight, and for better parasite control. Lee Holcomb of LeeDer Farm, situated in a rural area just north of Charlotte, is establishing […]

Adding Livestock Farm Diversification with Yaks

MOREHEAD, Kentucky – On a frigid January morning at Morehead State University, Kentucky farmer Greg Dike keeps his fingers crossed for good news as MSU veterinary technology professor Philip Prater completes the pregnancy tests of four yak heifers from Dike’s farm. Yes, you read that right…yaks. Dike has been championing yaks since 2013 as an […]

Farmer Studies the Effects of a Biostimulant on Tomato Vigor and Yields

JOHNS ISLAND, South Carolina – Applying a green microalga, in combination with compost, to tomato plants appears to improve plant vigor and increase crop yields, according to the results of a one-year Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Producer Grant. Farm managers Dale Snyder, Jennifer Wicker and George Taylor of Sweetgrass Garden were interested […]

Breeding a Better Butternut

LOUISA, Virginia – Virginia farmer Edmund Frost is on a mission to develop the ideal butternut squash: a disease-resistant prolific producer of consistent shape and size with unparalleled taste. Or maybe a few ideal varieties. Since 2013, Frost, who started the seed company Common Wealth Seed Growers in 2014, has received funding from the Southern […]

Recycling Mushroom Waste for Value-added Structure in Rural Tennessee

JOELTON, Tennessee – David Wells’ long-time interest in bioremediation through mycology (the study of fungi), has mushroomed into a farming operation whose foundations are balanced on building diverse ecosystems, while growing healthy foods. Henosis, located in the small rural town of Joelton just west of Nashville, utilizes local by-products from wood mills and coffee shops […]

Sunn Hemp Effective for Weed Control in Fall Crops, Producer Grant Research Finds

CHESTER, South Carolina – Farmers with a certified organic diversified vegetable farm in South Carolina are seeing some success with using sunn hemp as a crimped cover crop to suppress weeds in fall brassica crops. Wild Hope Farm, located in Chester, S.C., received a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Producer Grant to explore […]

Intercropping Cowpea with Vegetables Can Increase Yields

GREENSBORO, North Carolina- Intercropping cowpea with vegetable crops can increase yields up to 50% according to a new report from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Cowpea is a nitrogen-fixing legume originally domesticated in Africa. Known for its black-eyed peas that are common in southern cooking, it has a high tolerance for sandy, […]

Organic Control of White Mold in High Tunnels

The fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum infects many of the cool-season crops produced in Kentucky. This SARE-funded video presents information on the high tunnel production system most commonly used in Kentucky; the disease cycle of S. sclerotiorum; and two control tactics compatible with national organic standards, solarization and biofumigation.

FAMACHA

FAMACHA is a diagnostic tool to help farmers identify parasite infection in small ruminants, allowing them to cut the cost of deworming agents by targeting treatments only to infected animals. Training is required before purchase.

Southern SARE Awards $1M Grant to Explore Regenerative Agriculture

Griffin, GA- The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program has announced a $1,000,000 Research and Education Grant, the largest awarded since the program launched in 1988.   The National Center for Appropriate Technology, the project lead, selected a systems research approach to identify practical and regionally-appropriate methods of regenerative grazing that can be implemented […]

Imidacloprid Residue in the Soil Harms Wild Bees

ATHENS, Georgia- New research funded by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and conducted at the University of Georgia shows that imidacloprid residue harms wild bees. In a first-of-its-kind study, Christine Fortuin, now a post-doctorate researcher at the University of Georgia, developed a more accurate understanding of the lethal and sublethal effects of […]

Making Fish Waste Compost

Dale Snyder, co-owner of Sweetgrass Garden Co-op on Johns Island, S.C., discusses the process used to make fish waste compost. The co-op conducted a Southern SARE-funded study over the summer to determine if fish waste makes a good organic compost for vegetable production. Dale Snyder with Sweetgrass Garden Co-op in South Carolina discusses the results […]