Production Systems

Showing 1-20 of 33 results

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 […]

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 […]

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.

Amid Natural Disasters, Pandemic Training Program Helps Small Farmers

On the Northern coast of Puerto Rico, 50 miles west of San Juan, the city of Arecibo and surrounding area is home to some of the world’s most fertile soil and diverse farmland. A series of earthquakes and hurricanes have struck the island in recent years, damaging critical farming infrastructure like buildings, roads, irrigation equipment […]

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.

New University of Georgia Bulletin Focuses on Cool-Season Organic Vegetable Production

ATHENS, Georgia – In the Southeast, where pests, diseases and weed pressures in the summer make organic vegetable production difficult, more efficient productivity and profitability may be found in shifting cash crop production to the fall. Cool-season vegetable production, combined with warm-season cover crop rotations for soil health, can set growers up for successful production […]

Texas Producer Finds Asparagus Can Be Viable in the South Nearly Year-Round

LYFORD, Texas -- A south Texas producer, interested in increasing the diversity of crop production for local farmers, has found that asparagus can be grown in the Texas heat practically year-round by mimicking the “die-back” that occurs in the plants during dormancy in colder climates. With a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Producer […]

Innovations in Large-Scale Trap Cropping for Reducing Insect Pests

Trap cropping is a unique pest prevention system that uses insect behavior to deter pest feeding. Benefits of trap cropping not only include effective pest management, but trap crops can also increase biodiversity, conserve natural enemies and reduce wind damage to main crops.

Sun-Baked Virginia Farm Blooms Under a Berm and Swale Permaculture System

KENBRIDGE, Virginia -- It’s 90 degrees, but feels like 105 on the empty white road cutting across Virginia’s flat, coastal plains. There hasn’t been rain in a month and the fields of corn clicking past are curled to grey spikes. The soil between the rows looks like powdered rust. But it’s here, hidden behind pine […]

Getting a Glimpse of Sustainable Agriculture in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Sustainable agriculture is growing in Tennessee and members of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program got a glimpse recently of the innovations, research, and marketing and productions methods driving that growth. Nearly 50 SSARE staff, members of the Administrative Council, and state ag coordinators were treated to a daylong […]

Video: How a Farmer Used SARE to Develop Virginia's Organic Ginger Market

The Virginia’s craft brewing industry is bubbling – 58 breweries in 2013 - 103 today. The beverage industry and Asian restaurants both value locally sourced ginger. While a great deal is known about growing this tropical in the warmer eastern coastal plains, Virginia's Piedmont farmers cannot access these markets. On a December morning, it’s 27 […]

Berries Thrive in High Tunnels, But Be Aware of Pests, According to University of Arkansas Study

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – A University of Arkansas study has found that using high tunnels in berry production can increase yields, extend the harvest season, and improve fruit quality compared to field production. However, care must be taken to manage pests. In the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded project (LS12-250), “Extending the Market Season […]

Cover Crops Acting as Trap Crops Protect Vegetables from Pests

LIVE OAK, Florida – For farmers in central Florida, planting cover crops in strips as a trap crop alongside cash crops is proving to be a highly effective method for attracting beneficial insects and controlling pests. Farmers have been so pleased with the results that they have fully adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy […]

Perennial Peanuts Shine as N Fertilizer Alternatives in Forage Production

MARIANNA, Florida – Perennial peanuts incorporated in forage grass production, such as bermudagrass and bahiagrass, continue to shine as nitrogen fertilizer alternatives to commercial inputs, according to University of Florida research. Based on the results of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant, warm-season perennial legumes, in some cases, reduced nitrogen […]

Prototype Farm Machine Expands Applications in Organic Vegetable Crop Production

LEXINGTON, Kentucky – University of Kentucky researchers have designed, built and tested a low-cost, mechanized system for organic vegetable production to help small-scale growers reduce their labor costs, increase their scale of operations, reduce input costs and increase production compared to conventional organic production practices. In a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm […]

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 […]

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.