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

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

UGA’s annual Organic Farm Twilight Tour slated for June 29

By Merritt Melancon

In its sixth year, UGA’s Organic Farm Twilight Tour is a chance to stroll around UGA’s 90-acre organic research and horticulture farm and learn about the latest in organic growing methods.

The tour will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Durham Horticulture Farm at 1221 Hog Mountain Road in Watkinsville, Georgia. Continue reading

Making Cover Crops Work in No-Till Vegetable Production – workshop in South Carolina

Join our cover crop specialists for a practical look at using cover crops for no-till production. We’ll start in the classroom for an update on our USDA cover crop research project, and a discussion on nuts and bolts information like varieties, seeding methods, seeding rates, termination methods, planting vegetables into residue, and lessons learned related to all those things. Then we’ll head to the field (Student Organic Farm in Clemson and CREC Research Farm in Charleston) to look at plots, cover crop termination, and depending on timing we could observe planting vegetables into residue. We’ll finish with lunch and Q&A. We’ll also have some print resources available.  Each participant will receive a copy of the Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program’s publication “Managing Cover Crops Profitably”. Continue reading

Making Cover Crops Work in No-Till Vegetable Production

Join Clemson University cover crop specialists for a practical look at using cover crops for no-till production. We’ll start in the classroom for an update on our USDA cover crop research project, and a discussion on nuts and bolts information like varieties, seeding methods, seeding rates, termination methods, planting vegetables into residue, and lessons learned related to all those things. Then we’ll head to the field (Student Organic Farm in Clemson and CREC Research Farm in Charleston) to look at plots, cover crop termination, and depending on timing we could observe planting vegetables into residue. We’ll finish with lunch and Q&A. We’ll also have some print resources available.  Each participant will receive a copy of the Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program’s publication “Managing Cover Crops Profitably”.

Charleston, SC, April 19th

Coastal Research and Education Center

2700 Savannah Hwy

Clemson, SC, May 11th

Madren Conference Center

230 Madren Center Dr. Continue reading

Cover crops can be beneficial with informed decisions

In Southwest Farm Press

A cover crop used in conjunction with a conservation tillage system may help conserve soil and improve soil health, fertility, water quality, weed/disease/pest control, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat.

But it requires “educated management decisions,” says Paul DeLaune, Texas AgriLife Research agronomist at Vernon, Texas. He discussed ongoing cover crop research on the Texas Rolling Plains during the Red River Crops Conference. Continue reading

Interest in no-till is increasing in Texas

in Southwest Farm Press

by Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press

Texas cotton farmers are beginning to show more interest in no-till production, says Bobbie McMichael, and he advises that keeping residue on fields will improve soil health.

The Texas Tech University biology professor, speaking at the recent Beltwide Cotton Conferences in Dallas, said residue from cover crops and from previous plantings with no-till and reduced tillage systems, offers numerous benefits to the soil, including reducing water runoff, improving infiltration, and limiting soil erosion. It also benefits the soil and crop in a less visible way, improving microbial activity, especially fungi, which he says are more beneficial to soil and plant health than bacteria.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.