Soil Management

Soil Management

Soil Management

2012 Cover Crop Survey Analysis

Type: North Central SARE Presentation

Cover crop adoption has been increasing rapidly in the last 5 years, with an estimated 1.5 to 2.0 million acres of cover crops planted in the U.S. in 2012. To learn more about this trend, during the winter of 2012-13, the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) carried out an NCR-SARE-funded survey of farmers who have grown cover crops. This analysis includes results from that survey.

PDF Icon Download File (1.78 MB)

2013-14 Cover Crops Survey Analysis

Cover Crop Report Documents Yield Boost, Soil Benefits and Ag Retailer Roles

Type: North Central SARE Presentation

For the second year in a row, a national survey of farmers has documented a yield boost from the use of cover crops in corn and soybeans, as well as a wide variety of other benefits. This analysis includes results from that survey, conducted by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and funded by NCR-SARE.

PDF Icon Download File (4.31 MB)

A Biocontrol Fungus that Colonizes Roots Better: From Concept to Organic Production

New American Farm Conference Poster

Type: Poster

A Biocontrol Fungus that Colonizes Roots Better: From Concept to Organic Production, presented by Thomas Bjorkman (New York).

PDF Icon Download File (206.97 kB)

A Sunn Hemp Cover Crop for Soil Health and Nematode Management

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

These University of Hawaii fact sheets and virtual field day explain how to use sunn hemp as a cover crop to control weeds, nematodes and other pests, add soil nutrients, prevent erosion, and contribute to a more robust and complex community of beneficial nematodes.

Adding Cover Crops to a No-Till System

Dan Forgey

Type: Multimedia

South Dakota farm manager Dan Forgey has improved soil quality and the bottom line by successfully introducing cover crops to his long-term no-till system.

Agricultural Composting and Water Quality Fact Sheet

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This publication is designed to assist farmers in conducting efficient, cost-effective, on-farm composting that presents reduced risk to surface and groundwater quality. It was written for operators of small to medium-size on-farm composting enterprises who handle about 100 to 5,000 tons of raw organic material per year.

Alfalfa Sulfur Test

Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Sulfur is an essential plant nutrient for processes such as photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation. In recent studies, some alfalfa fields have shown an economic yield response to sulfur addition. This fact sheet discusses tissue testing for sulfur for alfalfa management, and introduces a new soil test for sulfur assessment for alfalfa.

PDF Icon Download File (205.87 kB)

Alternative Continuous-Cover Dairy Forage System for Profitability, Flexibility and Soil Health

Type: Fact Sheet

In a SARE-funded study in New York, a team of farmers, researchers and consultants addressed economic, labor and weather constraints in dairy farm rotations by developing an alternative forage cropping system with multiple options to produce high-quality forages. This system produces forage with yields comparable to traditional cropping systems, and is based on soil health management.

PDF Icon Download File (2.39 MB)

Berry Soil and Nutrient Management

Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This manual has been designed as a comprehensive guide for educators and commercial berry growers interested in improving berry crop soil and nutrient management.

PDF Icon Download File (10.80 MB)

Beyond Black Plastic

Cover crops and no-till for organic vegetable production

Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

While the use of black plastic is allowed within organic agriculture, it is inherently unsustainable as it is a petroleum-based product and difficult to recycle.

This 24-page guide looks beyond plasticulture and evaluates the effects of different mulch systems on soil quality and fertility, weed control, yields and waste production, and profitability for small to mid-size vegetable farms.

PDF Icon Download File (1.51 MB)

Black Walnut Hulls: Turning Trash into Treasure

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Chris Chmiel is reinventing compost at his Albany, OH farm, Integration Acres Ltd.

Although Chmiel is widely known for his involvement in the Ohio Pawpaw Festival, through the help of a grant from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE), he has begun research on composting black walnut hulls for his SARE project “Black Walnut Hulls: Turning Trash into Treasure” trying to discover how useful they can be in compost, despite their bad rap.

Buckwheat Cover Crop Handbook

A precise tool for weed management on Northeastern farms

Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Buckwheat has been used to suppress weeds on Northeastern farms for 400 years. This handbook outlines how to use buckwheat as an economical weed-control tool, with recommendations based on extensive grower surveys, original research and on-farm trials.

PDF Icon Download File (458.29 kB)

Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition

Sustainable Soil Management

Type: Book

Building Soils for Better Crops is a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management, now expanded and in full color.

PDF Icon Download File (6.76 MB)
 | 
Print Version:
$20.95

Building Soils in Alaska Communities

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Many Alaska communities have stated an interest in food production but perceive that a lack of adequate soils inhibits gardening. Most Alaskan producers confront related soil problems, such as thin root zones, nutrient-poor soils with low organic material contents, and some issues with permafrost. Despite the high cost of shipping, some producers actually import all of their garden soils from the continental United States on a barge, unaware that many of the necessary soil components can be found locally. This video demonstrates soil building and raised bed construction.

Characterization of Soils Properties Associated with Suppression of Fusarium Wilt in Spinach Seed Crops and Development of a Quantitative Molecular...

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

Oregon and Washington are ideal for spinach seed production, with long summer days, dry summers, and mild summer temperatures. The area’s growers faced the challenge in spinach seed production of Fusarium wilt (caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Spinaciae) due to their acidic soils. According to Emily Gatch, graduate student at Washington State University, management tools were needed.

Comparison of Cover Crop Establishment Methods

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa presents data about a cover of hairy vetch, tillage radish and rapeseed established in strips by both aerial seeding into standing soybeans and drilling after soybean harvest.

PDF Icon Download File (935.93 kB)

Compost Training for Ag Professionals

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

Composting is an example of an ecosystems service, and one that has potential to serve a variety of needs, including: waste reduction and diversion, soil enhancement, renewable sources of organic fertility, water conservation and carbon sequestration. In spite of interest in composting over the past decade, the project leaders saw significant untapped promise for agriculture to play a role in appropriate conversion of organic matter. Furthermore, questions remain. To address these questions, the Center for Sustainability developed a successful training program integrating the award-winning Maine curriculum with Cal Poly’s range of expertise and resources and established a number of collaborative partnerships that has resulted in research and educational programs within the Cal Poly Compost Project that surpass the scope of the grant.

Considering Sustainable Agriculture on Your Rented Land

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Using sustainable agriculture practices on your rented land can help protect soil and water quality, increase income over the long term, and satisfy personal values for the landowner and/or the tenant.

PDF Icon Download File (1.25 MB)

Continuous Living Cover Manual

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Continuous Living Cover (CLC) means plant cover on the soil and roots in the ground all year long. This publication focuses on agroforestry, cover crops, and perennial forage: these practices are well-established and proven in farming systems and in markets. 

Controlling Saline Seeps

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

A fact sheet on the causes and techniques for managing saline seep, also known as alkali spots or slick spots.

Cover Cropping: On-Farm, Solar-Powered Soil Building

Type: Southern SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This information sheet gives an overview of how to use cover crops to maintain good levels of nutrients and organic matter in the soil.

PDF Icon Download File (213.88 kB)

Cover Crops Seed Selection and Planting

ASA Cover Crops Webinar Series

Type: Multimedia

Whether you are new to cover crops or an advanced user, hear from two experts on how they chose and seed their cover crops.

Cover Crops, Soil Health Principles and Maximizing Yields

ASA Cover Crops Webinar Series

Type: Multimedia

Learn about basic soil health principles and how cover crops are key to making those happen on your farm.

Cover Crops and Conservation Tillage

New American Farm Conference Breakout Session

Type: Presentation

Cover cropping and reduced tillage are core tenets of sustainable farming. Learn from one of No-Till Farmer magazine’s “No-Till” Innovator award winners—plus latest research about creative strategies for these important sustainable ag techniques.

Cover Crops do Double Duty: Cover and Grain

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

In this research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa, a variety of winter small grains were tested as cover crops in the fall of 2010 to determine if these grains could be effective cover crops and also produce a quality grain crop, even though planted at a later than optimal date for typical grain planting. Most of the winter cover crop varieties tested effectively established, overwintered, and yielded grain the following summer.

PDF Icon Download File (890.61 kB)

Cover Crops for All Seasons

Expanding the cover crop tool box for organic vegetable producers

Type: Southern SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This Virginia Association for Biological Farming information sheet provides research-based information on a cover crop “toolbox” from which growers can select cover crops most suited to their regions and production systems.

PDF Icon Download File (236.38 kB)

Cover Crops for Soil Health and Nutrient Conservation and Update on the PSU Cover Crop Interseeder

Type: Northeast SARE Multimedia

Dr. Sjoerd Duiker presents how cover crops can be used to conserve nutrients over the winter, reduce erosion, and replace nitrogen fertilizer needs in the following crop. Dr. Greg Roth presents an update on the Penn State Cover Crop Interseeder, including results from field trials testing the establishment of different cover crop species when interseeded into standing corn crop.

Cover Crops in Organic Systems

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This document provide an overview of how the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Cover Crop 340 conservation practice can be implemented on organic operations in the Western Region.

PDF Icon Download File (18.32 MB)

Cover Crops in Organic Systems: California

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This document provide an overview of how the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Cover Crop 340 conservation practice can be implemented on organic operations in California.

PDF Icon Download File (4.94 MB)

Cover Crops in Organic Systems: Idaho

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This document provide an overview of how the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Cover Crop 340 conservation practice can be implemented on organic operations in Idaho.

PDF Icon Download File (4.45 MB)

Cover Crops in Organic Systems: Oregon

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This document provide an overview of how the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Cover Crop 340 conservation practice can be implemented on organic operations in Oregon.

PDF Icon Download File (5.46 MB)

Cover Crops in Soybean Rotations

Challenges and Recommendations for the North Central Region

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

If you are a soybean farmer who plants or is thinking about planting cover crops in your rotation, or are a CCA/agronomist who is expanding cover crop services to soybean farmers, this publication has been written for you.

PDF Icon Download File (1.16 MB)

Crop Rotation

Type: North Central SARE Portfolio Brief Sheet

Crop rotation is the ancient practice of growing a wide variety of crops in a sequential system throughout a field in order to avoid a buildup of disease and pests. Strategic crop rotations can help producers promote good soil health by alternating crops with different nutrient needs and benefit overall soil structure by breaking up subsoil by alternating deep and shallow rooting plants. NCR-SARE has valued research and education projects that study the applications of crop rotation-including improving soil quality and health, and managing pest, diseases, and weeds.

PDF Icon Download File (110.51 kB)

Crop Rotation on Organic Farms

A Planning Manual

Type: Book

Crop rotation strategies that can be applied under various field conditions for conventional or organic crops to improve soil quality and health, and manage pests, diseases, and weeds

PDF Icon Download File (2.96 MB)
 | 
Print Version:
$24.00

Dakota Farmer's Success Catches On

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Dan Forgey uses no-till, cover crops and crop rotations to build soil health, manage weeds and maximize rainfall.

Diversifying Cropping Systems

Type: Bulletin

This bulletin describes some of the many agronomic crop alternatives to use in rotations, with plentiful examples of on-farm successes.

PDF Icon Download File (418.78 kB)
 | 

Diversity & Intensity of Cover Crop Systems: Managing Weed Seed Bank & Soil Health

New American Farm Conference Poster

Type: Poster

Diversity & Intensity of Cover Crop Systems: Managing Weed Seed Bank & Soil Health, presented by Ellen Mallory (Maine).

PDF Icon Download File (980.22 kB)

Dryland Cover Cropping Boosts Yields

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Nebraska farmers Keith and Brian Berns found they could use cover crops in dryland farming to increase corn yields, and now are sharing their knowledge.

Estimating Plant-Available Nitrogen Release from Cover Crops

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This Oregon State University fact sheet explains the basics of plant-available nitrogen (PAN); when to kill cover crops for the maximum PAN benefit; step-by-step instructions on how to perform site-specific measurements to predict PAN from your cover crop; and case studies from the Willamette Valley.

Farm Scale Variation of Soil Quality Indices and Association with Edaphic Properties

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Soil organisms can be used as indicators of dynamic soil quality because their community structure and population density are sensitive to management changes. However, edaphic properties can also affect soil organisms and spatial variability can confound their utility for soil evaluation.

PDF Icon Download File (1.48 MB)

Farmer Incorporates Movable Coops for Multiple Benefits

Hoeing Hens

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Wil Farm, owned by Pieter Los, consists of 18 acres near Hermann, Missouri — approximately 2 acres are used to raise flowers, produce, strawberries, and laying hens.

Los incorporated movable coops for laying hens into this sustainable farming system to reduce weeds, tillage, and nutrient losses, and to increase income soil fertility, and farm diversity.

PDF Icon Download File (1.50 MB)

Farmers Study Multiple Benefits of Chickens and High Tunnels

Examining the Practicality of Incorporating Chickens into a Diversified High Tunnel Rotation System

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

The Neff Family Farm is on 13 acres, 10 tilled. The Neffs grow vegetables and herbs on old wheat ground. The soil was damaged and not very productive. Poultry has been part of the operation for a long time but the birds had not been incorporated into the rest of the farm in a sustainable manner.

The Neffs created six study plots, each measuring 20 ft. x 24 ft., and implemented a two-year rotation that included various combinations of herbs, vegetables, strawberries, chickens, and fallow.They wanted to explore if integrating chickens into a chemical-free high tunnel system would reduce fuel costs, as well as improve soil fertility and help control insects.

Fight Crop Disease: Soil Amendments and Biofumigation

New American Farm Conference Breakout Session

Type: Presentation

Effectively control disease through soil amendments and new biofumigation techniques using natural materials such as mustard and other brassicas. Hear the latest research and firsthand experience.

For Vegetable Farmers, a New No-Till Tool in Forage Radish

Type: Northeast SARE From the Field Profile

University of Maryland researchers are exploring the benefits of forage radish, a relatively new cover crop species that they have found fits well with no-till spring planting for organic farmers, boosting yields and profits.

GIS Applications in Agriculture: Nutrient Management for Improved Energy Efficiency

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Provides an outline of how management recommendations are developed and how a ground-based active sensor can be used. It contains 24 case studies (exercises) ranging from using historical techniques to overcome production barrier to calculating soil organic carbon maintenance requirements.  A CD containing data sets is included with the book.

Grafting Rootstocks onto Heirloom and Locally Adapted Tomato Selections to Confer Resistance to Soil Borne Diseases and Increase Nutrient Uptake for...

New American Farm Conference Poster

Type: Poster

Grafting Rootstocks onto Heirloom and Locally Adapted Tomato Selections to Confer Resistance to Soil Borne Diseases and Increase Nutrient Uptake for Market Gardeners, presented by Mary Peet (North Carolina).

PDF Icon Download File (4.63 MB)

Grant Puts (Good) Crimp in Farm Operations

Type: Northeast SARE From the Field Profile

It all began in 2002 with a $6,500 SARE grant and the seed of an idea: a no-till tractor implement that rolls, crimps and kills cover crops, creating a weed suppressing mulch.

Growing Cover Crops with a Cash Crop

Dan Forgey

Type: Multimedia

Dan Forgey describes how he grows cover crop mixes in synch with a cash crop of corn, and gets strong yields without chemical fertilizer.

Gypsum for Field Crops

Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Gypsum is a good source of readily available calcium and sulfur, and can bind with phosphorus. Misconceptions exist about gypsum’s ability to adjust soil pH or improve soil structure. This fact sheet describes the benefits of using gypsum, and explains why gypsum does not change soil pH or alleviate compaction problems in agricultural fields in New York.

PDF Icon Download File (192.82 kB)

Habitat Management in Vineyards

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This manual explores practical steps to restore agricultural biodiversity at the field and landscape level, thus breaking the monoculture nature of vineyards and  reducing their ecological vulnerability. The most obvious advantage of diversification is a reduced risk of crop failure due to invasions by unwanted species and  subsequent pest infestations. The manual focuses on ways in which increased plant biodiversity can contribute to stabilizing pest population by creating an appropriate ecological infrastructure within and around vineyards.

PDF Icon Download File (14.61 MB)

Illinois Researchers Explore Use of Sorghum-Sudangrass In the Battle Against Weeds

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Researchers at the University of Illinois are using sorghum-sudangrass as a summer smother crop in the battle against aggressive perennial weeds.

Improving Pasture Quality with Cover Crops in North Dakota

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Donnie and Trisha Feiring at Feiring’s Cattle Company in Beach, North Dakota are utilizing techniques such as cover crops, bale grazing, and high stock density grazing to improve their pasture land without tilling and replanting.

PDF Icon Download File (700.93 kB)

Improving Rangeland in the Semi-Arid West

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

Research by geneticist Dr. Blair Waldron, USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Lab in Logan, Utah, has led to a better understanding of the positive uses of perennial shrubs (such as Forage Kochia) and grass-legume mixes in managing rangeland in the semi-arid west. His research will assist ranchers and land managers in decreasing invasive species, lessen damage from wildfires, reduce nitrogen fertilizer use and feeding costs, and increase environmental stewardship.

Influence of Cover Crops on Insect Pests and Predators in Conservation Tillage Cotton

Type: Southern SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Results of a two-year research project to determine the impact of several cover crops on pest and predator insects in conservation tillage cotton.

Invertebrate Pests and Their Natural Enemies in Conservation Tillage Cropping Systems

Type: Northeast SARE Multimedia

In this webinar by Dr. Mary Barbercheck and Maggie Douglas, learn the basics about key early-season insect and slug pests that can pose problems in conservation tillage systems with high amounts of cover crop residues and how crop management practices can help reduce pest damage. Also, learn about ongoing research into naturally-occurring predators of early season insects and slugs and how best to conserve them.

Investigating the Legume Green Fallow Alternative on North-Central Montana No-Till Operations

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

Legume green fallowing (LGF) possibly can reduce dependence on inorganic N inputs and improve soil quality in systems with the high N demands and summer fallow practices. However, Northern Great Plains wheat producers have historically rejected LGF due to reduced yields in subsequent wheat crops from stored soil water depletion. Montana State University researchers and graduate student Justin O’Dea saw that more recent innovations of early LGF termination and no-till practices could possibly strengthen LGF viability in the region, especially given improved management of stored soil water.

Kansas State High Tunnel Video Series

Type: North Central SARE Multimedia

This video series was developed by Kansas State Research and Extension, and includes segments on the following topics related to commercial high tunnel or hoop house production:

Overview | Design | What to Plant | Basic Management Considerations | Intensive Management | Resources

Low-Till Forage Production

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

Jeff Mitchell of the University of California Kearny Agricultural Center, was awarded a Western SARE Professional + Producer Grant to evaluate and refine strip-till and no-till planting systems for corn forage production and no-till drill winter forage planting at the San Joaquin Valley in terms of crop establishment, weed control and profitability.

Management-Intensive Grazing

Type: North Central SARE Promotional Product

Management-intensive grazing (MIG) maximizes the feed potential of pasture by moving grazing animals through a series of pasture paddocks. By monitoring the growth of pasture plants, producers can control the grazing activities of the animals, ensuring that they are harvesting the forages with the best nutritional quality. NCR-SARE has supported research and educational opportunities around the topic of management-intensive grazing in order to help producers reduce costs and increase profits.

PDF Icon Download File (145.67 kB)

Management Practices and Cover Crops for Reducing Tillage, Enhancing Soil Quality, and Managing Weeds

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

When Douglas Collins, Washington State University, brought together a research and producer group, they identified a “lack of successful examples of reduced-till practices for systems similar to theirs and in the maritime Northwest climate” as a critical gap to making this system change. Producers were specifically interested in identifying species of cover crops to use in organic reduced-till systems; planting and termination timing for cover crops; weed management techniques; and field equipment necessary to adopt these systems.” Consequently, Collins and his team developed the project “Selecting Management Practices and Cover Crops for Reducing Tillage, Enhancing Soil Quality, and Managing Weeds in Western Washington” with the long-term goal to increase organic farmer economic and environmental sustainability in western Washington through soil conservation in reduced tillage systems.

Management Practices for Drip Irrigation in Baca County

FW05-309, Jim Valliant, Colorado

Type: Western SARE Project Summary

Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition

Type: Book

Managing Cover Crops Profitably explores how and why cover crops work and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation.

PDF Icon Download File (5.66 MB)
 | 
Print Version:
$19.00

Manure Management: An Essential Component of 4-H Livestock Projects

EW05-015, Jessica Davis,Colorado

Type: Western SARE Project Summary

Maximizing Profitability on Highly Erodible Land in Iowa

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Options in grass may be the most profitable for CRP land when the long term cost of erosion is considered. Get the details on six income options: CRP, two rotational grazing options, two crop options (rotational corn/soybean), and alfalfa/orchard grass hay.

PDF Icon Download File (1.63 MB)

Michigan State Graduate Student Explores the Benefits of Adding Cover Crops to Vegetable Production

Cereal-Legume Cover Crops

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Cover crops can help slow erosion, improve soil, smother weeds, enhance nutrient and moisture availability, help control many pests, and bring a host of other benefits to farms across the country. A graduate student at Michigan State University wanted to optimize seeding rates for cereal-legume cover crop mixtures and found tradeoffs in services based on treatment.

PDF Icon Download File (145.41 kB)

Mixed Cover Crops

Type: Western SARE Multimedia

An informational video on the pros and cons of planting mixed cover crops which are often used to replace fallow. Focus is on effects of cover crops on soil quality in semi-arid regions.

Mustard Green Manures for Potato Production

New American Farm Conference Poster

Type: Poster

Mustard Green Manures for Potato Production, presented by Andy McGuire (Washington).

PDF Icon Download File (205.17 kB)

NOFA Handbooks

Type: Northeast SARE Book

A series of eight handbooks for new farmers or established producers seeking to transition to organic or improve their current practices. Print only; order from Chelsea Green.

New York Cover Crops Decision Tool

Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This online tool is designed for the soil, climate, cropping practices and seed market in New York and nearby states.

Nitrogen Management with Cover Crop Mixtures

Type: Northeast SARE Multimedia

Charlie White, of Penn State Extension, presents case studies of how mixtures of different cover crop types performed at supplying nitrogen to a following corn crop and reducing nitrate leaching into the subsoil. Tools to assess nitrogen supplied by cover crops to the next cash crop are also discussed.

No-Till Farmer: Steward of the Land

Dan Forgey

Type: Multimedia

Dan Forgey has farmed for 40 years based on the belief that if you take care of the land, it will take care of you, evidenced by his commitment to no-till, cover crops and crop diversity.

No-Till Wheat Production in Oklahoma

Type: Southern SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

A fact sheet developed by Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service on management considerations when switching from conventional till to no-till wheat production.

PDF Icon Download File (3.66 MB)

No-Till and Cover Crop Innovations Increase Dairy Profits

Type: Northeast SARE From the Field Profile

To help dairy farmers optimize overall forage production and quality, SARE-funded researchers led field trials and demonstrations in three New England states to determine the benefits of cover crops, no-till and shorter-season corn silage varieties. 

No-Till and Organic

New American Farm Conference Breakout Session

Type: Presentation

No longer are no-till and organic at odds. New research efforts are developing no-till organic vegetable and field crops systems that are saving farmers tons of soil and reducing weed control costs.

North Dakota Farming Family Uses Livestock to Restore the Land

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

A group of farmers in Wimbledon, ND are working to turn a conventional chemically dependent farm into a fertile, sustainable, organic, farming unit. What started as a farm restoration project for the sake of their beef market ended by using all of the livestock to restore the soil.

Nutrient Management Boosts the Profitability, Stewardship of New York Dairies

Type: Northeast SARE From the Field Profile

A team of researchers, educators, farmers and consultants are developing and promoting a suite of on-farm assessment tools that take the guesswork out of nutrient management.

Nutrient Management Plans: California

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This document is an instruction guide for creating and implementing a nutrient management plan on certified or transitioning organic lands in California.

PDF Icon Download File (1.31 MB)

Nutrient Management Plans: Idaho

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This document is an instruction guide for creating and implementing a nutrient management plan on certified or transitioning organic lands in Idaho.

PDF Icon Download File (1.33 MB)

Nutrient Management Plans: Western Region

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This document is an instruction guide for creating and implementing a nutrient management plan on certified or transitioning organic lands in the Western Region.

PDF Icon Download File (4.26 MB)

Nutrient Management in Corn Production

Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

These Cornell University agronomy fact sheets describe soil and corn stalk testing, nitrogen use and other aspects of nutrient management in corn production.

On-Farm Internship Training Binder

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

The Placer Ag Futures Project was conceived as a response to critical issues affecting local agricultural sustainability. This project was intended to help grow a new crop of agricultural professionals that are trained in sustainable agricultural practices.

One part of the Ag Futures Project was the on-farm internship training. The summer internship program consisted of an intensive three-day pre-internship training, a training binder and a nine-week rotating internship, working with producers of different commodities. The internship started with a three-day training program developed and delivered by producers and University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors. The training included classroom sessions on the science of production and husbandry practices, as well as hands-on practical training at several of the participating operations. To augment the training, each intern received a binder of materials related to production and husbandry practices for the relevant crops and species, farm safety and other information.

PDF Icon Download File (16.59 MB)

Optimizing Weed Suppression and Nutrient Use Efficiency in Cover Crop-Based No-Till Organic Corn

Type: Northeast SARE Multimedia

In this webinar, Hanna Poffenbarger of the University of Maryland and Steven Mirsky of the USDA-ARS Sustainable Agriculture Systems Lab discuss optimizing cover crop mixture composition and manure application to achieve weed suppression and adequate, efficient nitrogen delivery in a cover crop-based no-till corn system.

Organic 101: Soil Management

New American Farm Conference Breakout Session

Type: Presentation

Feed the soil, not the plants. Although elementary, implementing this first tenet of organic ag takes creative strategies and training. Learn soil-building field techniques and training tactics from trainers, farmers and biologists.

Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This free online tool compares the nutrient value and cost of cover crops, organic and synthetic fertilizers and compost. Use this Excel Calculator to develop well balanced and cost effective nutrient management programs for your farm.

Organic Seed, Soils and Sustainable Business

Type: Western SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This project provided agricultural professionals with more knowledge of organic seed, soil management and sustainable business practices. From the trainings, a webinar and tutorial were developed.

Perennial Grass Covers Affect Long-Term Soil Quality

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This project investigated soil organic matter accumulations, soil respiration, and soil food webs in riparian grass filters on private farms in northern Story County, Iowa.

Producers and Researchers Collaborate to Improve Soil Health in North Dakota

Southwest North Dakota Soil Health Demonstration

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Soil—and whole farms—have been renewed through soil-improving practices like cover crops and no till. In the semiarid plains of western North Dakota, a team of producers and researchers are working to boost soil health for improved yield stability, farm income, and natural resource health of farms.

PDF Icon Download File (137.12 kB)

Reduced Tillage and Cover Cropping Systems for Organic Vegetable Production

Type: Southern SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This information sheet captures research by Virginia Tech and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming to develop cover crop-based, reduced-tillage systems for organic vegetable production.

PDF Icon Download File (504.52 kB)

Reducing Pacific Island Growers’ Reliance on Off-island Fertilizer Sources

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

At the Western SARE Hawaii sub-regional conference held in 2008, stakeholders identified replacing imported fertilizers with local resources as the highest research, education, and development priority. The cost of commercial fertilizer has risen along with oil prices, and thus, growers in the Pacific region are increasingly interested in obtaining locally available by-products that can be used as agricultural inputs. According to Theodore Radovich, University of Hawaii, possible inputs include commercial green-waste composts, rendered animal products (tankage), and invasive algae from coral reef remediation projects. These by-products are readily available, but bottlenecks exist that inhibit use and adoption by growers. To address the bottlenecks, Radovich developed this project to conduct a series of greenhouse and on-farm trials in cooperation with university faculty, commercial growers, and industry partners.

Rehabilitating Degraded Grasslands with Managed Grazing

Type: Western SARE From the Field Profile

Steve Van Vleet found that properly managing grasslands with mob grazing significantly helped regenerate the vegetation and improve species diversity. 

Research Seeks a Balance Between Crop Residue Removal and Soil Conservation

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Midwestern researchers are helping farmers identify crop residue removal rates that offer both soil protection and increased profitability through the ethanol market.

 

From the Field