Crop Production

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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. […]

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 […]

Common Ground Podcast

Welcome to Common Ground from the University of Georgia's Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Sustainable agriculture stories from the Southern USA, introducing farmers, ranchers, and those who support them as well as innovative practices from around the Southern United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Listen in as they tell their stories […]

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 […]

UF/IFAS Investigates Sorrel as a New Crop for Florida

Sorrel is a leafy green plant with reddish-pink flowers. It’s hardy, fast growing, has a variety of uses and UF/IFAS is investigating its potential as a new crop for Florida. A recent field day revealed preliminary findings and input from farmers growing the crop. UF/IFAS Extension agents, in collaboration with the University of the Virgin […]

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.

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 […]

Sweetpotato Production for Kentucky

This 16-page guidebook, produced by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, covers all aspects of sweetpotato production in Kentucky. Topics include variety selection, production techniques, insect and disease management, harvesting, storage, marketing, and budgets. Full of colorful photos and helpful charts, this publication is designed to be a comprehensive guide for […]

Cucumber Anthracnose in Florida

A fact sheet developed by University of Florida on the symptoms, causal organism, disease cycle and management of cucumber anthracnose. The publication was developed from the results of a SSARE-funded study that addressed plant diseases in organic farming systems by targeting soil health as a fundamental principle in achieving a healthy cucumber crop.

Texas A&M Researchers Identify Ideal Cover Crop Species for Southeast Texas

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Under the right conditions, cover crops are a tool for improvement. After harvesting a crop like cotton or grain sorghum, a cover crop rotation can increase soil organic matter, recycle nutrients, prevent erosion and suppress weeds. Even though farmers and ranchers across the Southeast have seen these benefits and moved towards […]

Closed Loop Mushroom Production on Waste Substrate

Asheville Fungi is a mycological supply, sterile lab and grow facility whose goal is to grow edible and medicinal mushrooms on waste substrates that would otherwise end up in landfills. In a SSARE-funded Producer Grant project, the company compared four waste substrates (coffee grounds, cacao shells, soy dust and husks and malt grain fines and […]

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 […]