IPM Enhancement Grant projects examine agricultural, urban issues

The Southern IPM Center will spend $309,653 to address agricultural and urban issues during the next year with its IPM Enhancement Grant. Out of 32 proposals submitted to the program, a review panel outside of the region selected 11 for funding.

IPM Enhancement Grants are relatively small grants (up to $30,000 for most) to address an integrated pest management issue. Most publicly funded organizations are eligible to apply as long as they reside in one of the 13 states or territories covered by the Southern IPM Center. Continue reading

UTIA research finds cover crops benefit no-till cotton systems

by Doug Edlund, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

It isn’t often that researchers have the luxury to examine data from a long-term research project. While most research projects last from three to five years, scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently published a study that covered a 29-year period to find the benefits of cover crops on no-till cotton fields.

After harvesting cotton there is very little residual biomass. Without a crop covering the ground, there is an increased amount of soil exposure that can lead to erosion from winter rains and runoff. Continue reading

IPM is good but gets a bad rap

I love it when another writer does my job for me–defining integrated pest management in the broad scheme of agriculture and analyzing why the general public still has trouble with the concept. In her essay in The New Food Economy, writer Sophia Mendelson discusses what IPM is, suggests that it should be called integrated crop management and muses about why the general public suddenly jumped on the organic bandwagon in 1990.

Read the article.

Organic grain, soybean study establishes early production recommendations

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

After one year of studying organic grain and soybean cropping systems, Texas A&M AgriLife scientists say they know more about what not to do moving forward.

Three Texas A&M researchers are using a $475,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to study organic grain and soybean cropping systems over a three-year period. Continue reading

Are You Interested in Cover Crops and Soil Health?

Pre-registration is ending next week for the Second National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health, being held December 7-8 in Indianapolis, IN. The pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, November 7th. 

After November 7th, the conference registration price goes from $150 to $200 for ag professionals (including university, agency, NGO and agribusiness staff). The farmer pre-registration fee is $90 and student fee is $50. Each of those will increase by $25 after November 7th. Continue reading

Conference on cover crops and soil health

Pre-registration is ending next week for the Second National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health, being held December 7-8 in Indianapolis, IN.  The pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, November 7th. 

After November 7th, the conference registration price goes from $150 to $200 for ag professionals (including university, agency, NGO and agribusiness staff).  The farmer pre-registration fee is $90 and student fee is $50.  Each of those will increase by $25 after November 7th. Continue reading

ATTRA Publication Offers Advice on Cover Crops

The type of cover crop best suited for you can vary depending on your climate, soil, and other needs. ATTRA’s recent publication, “Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas,” provides insight into the characteristics of cover crops that are better suited for areas with hot, humid summers, like the southern portions of Texas and Florida and along the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and points beyond with similar climatic conditions.

The publication addresses the challenge of organic crop production in hot, humid places through proper cover-crop selection and management. Which covers are most appropriate? Which can take the heat? You can find the answers free online at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=570. Continue reading