Cover Crops Boost Yields and Weed Control, National Farmer Survey Says

Following the use of cover crops, farmers reported increased yields of corn, soybeans and wheat, and improved control of herbicide-resistant weeds, according to a nationwide survey. In addition, the survey of 2,012 farmers showed acreage planted in cover crops has nearly doubled over the past five years.

Survey participants—88 percent of whom use cover crops—reported that after cover crops:

  • Corn yields increased an average of 2.3 bushels per acre, or 1.3 percent;
  • Soybean yields increased 2.1 bushels per acre, or 3.8 percent;
  • Wheat yields increased 1.9 bushels per acre, or 2.8 percent.

A full summary and the complete 2017 Cover Crop Survey Report are available online at: www.sare.org/2017CoverCropSurvey Continue reading

SARE discusses cover crop survey results tomorrow in webinar

Tomorrow at noon EDT representatives from SARE, Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) will host a media call following the rollout of the 2017 cover crop survey report. This marks the fifth consecutive year of the national survey which asks farmers about their views and experiences with cover crops.

Join us to hear about key findings from this survey of 2,012 farmers and to participate in a Q&A with survey organizers. Continue reading

Free SARE Books, Bulletins Available to Nonprofit Educators

Looking for educational materials to supplement your next farm tour, workshop or conference program? SARE books, bulletins and promotional materials are available at no cost to nonprofit organizations hosting sustainable agriculture educational programs for 10 or more farmers, ranchers or agricultural educators. A limit of 25 free books per organization per year applies.

Materials available in print may be requested for domestic, nonprofit use only and may not be resold. Please allow six weeks for your request to be reviewed and materials to be delivered. Limited quantities are available, and SARE reserves the right to limit orders, reject a request or modify these terms at any time.  Continue reading

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Regional Host Institution

The purpose of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program is to encourage research and outreach designed to increase knowledge concerning agricultural production systems that:

  1. maintain and enhance the quality and productivity of the soil;
  2. conserve soil, water, energy, natural resources, and fish and wildlife habitat;
  3. maintain and enhance the quality of surface and ground water;
  4. protect the health and safety of persons involved in the food and farm system;
  5. promote the well-being of animals; and
  6. increase employment opportunities in agriculture (7 U.S.C. 5801 and 5811).

Continue reading

NIFA Seeks Partners for SARE National Coordinating Office and Regional Hosts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced a new competitive opportunity to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office or as one of the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE).

SARE’s four regions offer competitive grants for farmers and ranchers, researchers, agricultural educators, and graduate students in the United States. Grants invest in applied research and education on the core components of sustainable agriculture: productivity, profitability, environmental stewardship and quality of life. In particular, research and outreach projects seek to increase knowledge of sustainable agricultural production systems that increase employment opportunities and profitability in agriculture; maintain soil quality, conserve water, natural resources, and wildlife habitat; preserve the quality of surface and ground water; protect the health and safety of people involved in the food and farm system; and promote the well-being of farm animals. Continue reading

University of Kentucky resources help growers manage diseases sustainably

by Candace Pollock-Moore, Southern SARE

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, has developed a series of outreach materials for small fruit producers to aid in disease management.

“Like many diseases of small fruit, they are best managed using cultural practices, such as sanitation. Thus, we developed outreach materials to assist fruit growers with virus and disease management,” said Nicole Ward Gauthier, University of Kentucky Extension plant pathologist. Continue reading

Southern SARE Research & Education Grants Call for Proposals for FY2018 Now Open

The Southern region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released its Call for Proposals for the 2018 Research & Education Grants program.

This year, applicants have a choice of whether they want to submit a systems research-based pre-proposal, or an education-based pre-proposal. Education pre-proposals allow applicants to focus on educational activities, in which their cooperating partners and intended audiences would be involved. Education proposals provide a synopsis of the proposed educational approach to mitigate or solve a problem and encourage farmer adoption of recommended practices or strategies. SSARE is looking for Education pre-proposals of around $50,000.