New Cover Crops and Water Quality Fact Sheets, Infographics and Slide Set Now Available

Barges carrying agricultural products aren’t the only traffic on the Mississippi River. Nutrients and sediment from across the Mississippi River Basin travel down the river until reaching the Gulf, where they linger and create low oxygen “dead zones” in which many fish cannot survive.

Monitoring of the Gulf hypoxic zone has shed some light on the important connections between agricultural practices and water quality. Although some practices contribute to the problem, other practices – like cover crops – provide a much needed solution. Continue reading

Cover crops help with weeds in high tunnels

by Candice Pollock-Moore, Southern SARE

Barley and hairy vetch growing vigorously in a high tunnel at Lola’s Organic Farm in southeast Georgia were going to seed. It was mid-April. Time to mow and prepare the soil for the summer’s cash crops: ginger and turmeric.

Since last year, couple Jennifer Taylor and Ron Gilmore – USDA certified organic farmers – have been playing around with growing cover crops in high tunnels, following the positive results of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded Producer Grant project that showed cover crops grown in the field ahead of a cash crop can suppress weeds and build soil health. Continue reading

SARE State Summaries and Grants Lists Available

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has been a go-to USDA grants and outreach program for farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators who develop innovations that improve farm profitability, protect water and land, and revitalize communities. SARE has awarded over $251 million to more than 6,300 projects. Learn more about funded grants, project highlights and a breakdown of funding in your state using NIFA’s newly updated portfolio summaries and grant lists.

The New Our Farms, Our Future Podcast Series: Voices in Sustainable Agriculture

From coast to coast, a diverse community of farmers, ranchers, scientists and educators is working to shape a sustainable future for our food system. Listen to the new Our Farms, Our Future podcast series and join this community for intimate conversations about the state of agriculture, how we got here and where we’re headed. Continue reading

NIFA announces partners for SARE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced partners to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO) and as the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE). NIFA’s SARE program supports farmer-focused solutions that boost production, increase profitability, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance quality of life in rural communities.

The NRCCO for the SARE program and the four regional SARE host institutions will serve for five years from Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 through 2022. The NRCCO works with NIFA and the national SARE Operations Committee to administer national reporting, coordination, and communications. Each regional host institution collaborates with NIFA to implement regional competitive grant and outreach programs as guided by the Regional Administrative Council (AC). Continue reading

“Our Farms, Our Futures” Conference Explores Sustainable Ag

On April 3-5, NCAT and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will bring the nation’s leading farmers, ranchers, researchers, and educators to St. Louis to take on that question during the Our Farms, Our Future Conference.

They will address major food sustainability trends with presentations by a diverse group of farmers and ranchers using a wide range of innovative systems to sustainably produce vegetables, grains, fruit, cattle, hogs, poultry and other livestock.

The conference will feature plenary sessions and workshops for grain, livestock and specialty crop producers, along with cutting-edge material for researchers, educators, agency leaders, and non-profit representatives.  Continue reading

Our Farms, Our Future Conference: Crafting a Vision for Sustainable Agriculture

What’s your vision for the future of sustainable agriculture? Join our nation’s leading farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators in St. Louis on April 3-5, 2018 to explore a wide range of innovative, sustainable solutions to agriculture’s most pressing dilemmas.

The Our Farms, Our Future Conference will address major food sustainability trends with presentations by a diverse group of farmers and ranchers using a wide range of systems to produce vegetables, grains, fruit, cattle, hogs, poultry and other livestock sustainably.

Please join us! Register now. 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

Our Farms, Our Future Conference: Crafting a Vision for Sustainable Agriculture

Modern agriculture faces daunting challenges that affect us all—meeting growing demand for food, fuel and fiber while improving the quality of rural life and conserving vital natural resources. Now more than ever it’s important to find sustainable solutions to these challenges. You can participate by joining us at Our Farms, Our Future: The Next 30 Years of Sustainable Agriculture, a once-in-a-decade conference for those interested in the future of our food system. 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