Crop Production

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mississippi State University Leading Efforts to Help Landowners Implement Conservation Practices on the Farm

STARKVILLE, Mississippi – Mississippi State University is leading by example when it comes to adopting and implementing conservation land practices. Leslie Burger, a conservation education specialist with the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, along with Extension professor Beth Baker, are part of a large team of university scientists who are leading efforts to improve […]

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 […]

Integrating Legumes with Grass to Improve Forage-Livestock Systems

In a Southern SARE-funded Research and Education Grant (LS14-261), "Long-term Agroecosystems Research and Adoption in the Texas Southern High Plains -- Phase III," Texas Tech University researchers conducted a steer grazing trial comparing a grass only system to a grass-legume system for animal productivity and water use efficiency.

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.

Improving Pawpaw Production with Grafting

FRANKFORT, Kentucky – Kentucky State University researchers, through a grafting technique common in apple production, have been successful in producing higher-yielding, higher-quality fruit in pawpaws. The results help promote a low-input system to boost small-scale pawpaw production for small farmers. Through a $203,395 Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Grant, horticulturist Kirk Pomper and his […]

Using Multispectral Imaging Technologies to Maximize Yields in Sugarcane

HOUMA, Louisiana – When it comes to profitable sugarcane, the goal of every grower is to achieve the highest possible sucrose yield at the lowest production cost possible. Sugarcane yields correlate with nitrogen application, and as producers continue to get squeezed between decreasing acreage and higher input costs, such as fertilization, they are looking for […]

Texas Farmers Learn to Build Soil Health Through No-till and Cover Crops

VERNON, Texas – It’s a hot, dry, windy summer day on the plains of North Texas, and a group of farmers are standing in the middle of a field to learn how techniques to build soil health benefit their cash crops in Texas’ harsh environmental conditions. “This is what no-till looks like in the first […]

University of Florida Researchers Expanding the Cover Crop Toolbox for Farmers

HAWTHORNE, Florida – Several new cover crop varieties that have the potential to overcome the limitations of their commercial counterparts are being targeted for use in Florida to provide farmers with a more diverse selection of plants that excel in soil health, weed suppression and pest management. A small group of farmers, Extension agents and […]