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

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.

U of Florida research finds a natural method to reduce post-harvest fruit decay

University of Florida researchers, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education grant, have found a natural method of reducing post-harvest citrus fruit decay.

In a SSARE Graduate Student Grant study, researchers found that essential oils, specifically carvacrol and thymol, significantly decrease ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit natural decay, weight loss and chilling injury during storage while not affecting internal fruit quality.  In addition, the essential oils also help control diplodia stem end rot (Lasiodiplodia theobromae), a fungal disease of ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit. The results point to more sustainable alternatives of fungicide use in the industry. Continue reading

Southern SARE research shows cover crops reduce pest populations

Preliminary research from University of Florida has found that incorporating root-knot nematode-resistant cover crops in a perennial peanut rotation reduces pest numbers in the cash crop and improves yields.

The results may be helpful for producers who choose top-yielding, yet susceptible, peanut cultivars, as well as resistant cultivars that historically carry a lower yield. Root-knot nematodes, soil parasites predominant in areas with hot climates and short winters, can reduce perennial peanut yields and affect plant health by feeding on plant roots. Continue reading

Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant AND Producer Grant Call for Proposals Released

Please see below for two funding opportunities, one targeted at Agricultural Professionals and the other for Farmers and Ranchers.  Proposal submission deadline is Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at 5 p.m. EST for both opportunities.  The following information is provided by the Southern Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Southern SARE operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture to offer competitive grants to advance sustainable agriculture in America’s Southern region. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Continue reading

Two Southern SARE grant opportunities coming in September

Producer Grant and On-farm Research Grant RFAs for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program are being released in September. Check their website starting next month.

The Producer Grant is for farmers/ranchers interested in conducting a sustainable ag research project. The On-farm Research Grant is for ag professionals who work directly with farmers, and are interested in sustainable ag research.

If you’re not familiar with Southern SARE’s grants or granting process, read “How It Works” for more information. The link to the PDF document is on their home page.

Scholarships available for the Southern Cover Crop Conference

USDA’s Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SSARE) has announced the availability of travel scholarships for producers, Extension agents and other agriculture professionals to attend the Southern Cover Crop Conference.

The Conference will take place on July 18 and 19, 2016 in Mount Olive and Goldsboro, NC.  Monday July 18 is a day of workshops at the University of Mount Olive focusing on cover crop research and extension priorities throughout the region. On Tuesday, July 19, cover crop field demonstrations will be showcased at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Research Program at Cherry Research Farm in Goldsboro. The conference will culminate in the formation of a Southern Cover Crop Council. The Council will help identify and prioritize research and education needs and facilitate networking and collaboration to enhance cover crop use in the region. Continue reading