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

Southern SARE awards over $2.4M in grants

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program has awarded over $2.4 million in Research & Education Grants to further sustainable agriculture research across the Southern region for FY2018.

Systems research-based funded projects include cover crops in woody ornamental production, managing plant-parasitic nematodes through sod-based crop rotation, tea production in Florida, and expanding marketing opportunities for small-scale ruminant farmers. Continue reading

Artificial Nesting Sites Attract Native Pollinators

from Southern SARE

Artificial nesting sites for pollinators placed in apple orchards have shown to boost native bee populations, according to results of a Georgia Gwinnett College study.

In a Southern SARE-funded On-Farm Research Grant project, researchers focused on nesting sites for mason bees and mining bees – the workhorses of the native bee world when it comes to pollinating apple blossoms. Continue reading

2018 Southern SARE Graduate Student Grant Call for Proposals Open

Proposal submission deadline for Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Graduate Student Grants is May 4, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST .  Download the Call for Proposals and carefully read the proposal application instructions. All of the guidelines, program goals, review criteria, and the submission process to apply for a Southern SARE Graduate Student Grant can be found within the Call for Proposals.

Wildflowers Draw Native Pollinators to Georgia Apple Orchard, Yields Increase

In Southern SARE newsletter

Joe Dickey’s curiosity about bees nearly matches his affinity for birds.

“I’ve loved birds ever since I was a kid because of all their different colors,” said Dickey, as he watches yellow finches fly around three 100X100-foot wildflower plots at his farm, Mountain View Orchards. But it’s the bees that are capturing his attention lately, and the wildflowers were planted for them. 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

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.