Webinar: High Tunnel Systems

What will you learn?

Participants will learn about techniques used in high tunnel cropping systems to address issues with salinity, nutrient management, and pest management. Learn more…

Sponsored by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – Science and Technology Continue reading

Cover Crops Acting as Trap Crops Protect Vegetables from Pests

From Southern SARE

For farmers in central Florida, planting cover crops in strips as a trap crop alongside cash crops is proving to be a highly effective method for attracting beneficial insects and controlling pests. Farmers have been so pleased with the results that they have fully adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy as an alternative to using chemical insecticides.

In a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, two small organic farms teamed up with the University of Florida to test the prevalence of beneficial and predatory insects in strip plantings of selected annual cover crops, such as sunflower, rye, triticale, sunn hemp and buckwheat. 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

Now is the time to plan your spring garden

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

December is the time to plan and prepare for spring gardens, said Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service small-acreage vegetable specialist, Overton.

East Texas spring gardens are finished producing and the fall garden should be in full swing, he said. So in down months like December, it’s best to get organized and ready for spring planting. Continue reading

Study shows importance of sustainable agriculture in preserving Gulf ecosystem

By Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Dissolved organic carbon that enters the ocean through river runoff is a necessary food for aquatic microbes that are vital to water quality and health. However, too much dissolved organic carbon is not a good thing for water quality or for aquatic life.

From 1901 to 2010, the amount of dissolved organic carbon entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River increased by 40 percent. A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment researcher led a study that shows the increase is mainly due to human activity but sustainable agricultural practices are slowing the increase compared to previous ones. Continue reading

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces up to $8.6 Million in Available Funding for Community Food Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced up to $8.6 million in available funding to assist low-income individuals and communities in developing local and self-reliant food systems. This funding is available through NIFA’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Community food projects enable low-income communities to address food insecurity and hunger by creating and strengthening local food systems,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Recent USDA data shows that because of programs like this, we are making progress addressing food shortages, decreasing food insecurity and promoting healthy diets and nutrition education.” Continue reading

Annual Open Forum on Sustainable Agriculture

Sponsored by the South Carolina Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

You’re invited to the annual Open Forum on Sustainable Agriculture to discuss critical issues, challenges and needs related to Sustainable Agriculture development in South Carolina. The meeting is open to all South Carolina farmers, educators, policy makers, state and federal government and non-governmental agricultural agency personnel, and other South Carolina citizens with an interest in sustainable agriculture. Input from this public meeting will be used to prioritize critical issues and needs and to formulate plans for statewide sustainable agriculture training and education programs in 2017.
 
The Open Forum meeting will be held on the 2nd of December, 2016 at the Lake House at Sandhill Research and Education Center on Clemson Rd. in Columbia, SC. Continue reading