Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College accepting applications

Ready to learn more about the Principles and Practices of Regenerative Agriculture? The Sustainable Agriculture Program at CCCC in Pittsboro is accepting applications NOW for Fall 2018.

Apply online: http://www.cccc.edu/admissions/apply/

At CCCC’s sustainable agriculture program students have the opportunity for “Real Farming- Right Now”. The Pittsboro-based program has an on-campus, year-round certified organic farm that is an integral part of teaching and learning. A commitment to building and stewarding healthy soil through regenerative practices is at the heart of this entrepreneurial focused program. Continue reading

Center for Environmental Farming Systems is seeking a temporary program assistant

This position will support the general Business Office work of the North Carolina Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This position will be part of the Events Logistics Team and will participate in the logistics of all CEFS events (about 25 small to medium sized events per year and 3-4 being over 500 participants). This position will be part of the Administrative Working Group and will support the CEFS Business Manager in supporting all the business functions of CEFS and the 50+ CEFS employees. This position is critical in keeping all aspects of CEFS running smoothly. 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

Integrated Pest Management Tip Sheet Helps Keep Gophers Under Control

Gophers are more than simple nuisances. The burrowing rodents that can cause significant damage on agricultural operations.

“Gophers: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet” by NCAT Agriculture Specialist Martin Guerena briefly discusses management options, including habitat modification, exclusion, repellents, predators, traps, baiting, and crop rotation. Continue reading

Evaluating soil health

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), which is charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement, has released the initial methods cooperating scientists will use to assess soil health indicators as they move toward standardization of soil health measurements.

According to Dr. Steven Shafer, Chief Scientific Officer of SHI, the lack of widely-applicable measurements and methods for assessing soil health are significant barriers to adopting soil health practices and systems. Continue reading

AFRI Sustainable Agricultural Systems Webinar May 10

New in 2018, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program. SAS promotes the sustainable supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food and other agricultural products, while enhancing economic opportunities and improving the long-term health and well-being of all Americans. The program requires a Letter of Intent, due June 27, 2018, after which applications are due October 10, 2018.

Approximately $80 million will be available to fund non-renewable grants up to $10 million for fully integrated (including research, education, and extension) Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) and Strengthening CAPs using transdisciplinary approaches. Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Cover Cropping for No-till Vegetable & Row Crop Production

Pros and Cons of Cover Cropping for No-till Vegetable & Row Crop Production: Making sense of current research and past experiences

May 17TH, 2018, 8:45 AM – 4:30 PM, Madren Conference Center & Clemson Student Organic Farm, Clemson, SC

No-till vegetable production offers a more sustainable approach to weed management than the frequent use of herbicides and tillage, and promotes soil health. Because cover crop based no-till vegetable production involves a different approach to management, growers may be reluctant to transition from conventional tillage without seeing the system in action and knowing its costs and benefits compared with conventional tillage. Row crop farmers often have a concern whether cover crops, will deplete soil moisture and cause water stress for the next cash crop. In this workshop we will discuss the pros and cons of cover cropping in no-till vegetable and row crop systems based on current research and our experiences in the field over the past decade. A “Lunch and Learn” session will include demonstrations of weed ID techniques and the effectiveness of organic herbicides. Field tours of cover crop research plots at the Clemson Organic Farm (for vegetable production) and at nearby Millam Farm (row crop production) will be conducted following the Lunch and Learn session.   Continue reading