SARE and ARS: Southern Region
The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) conducts interdisciplinary research to enhance profit and stewardship on American farms of all sizes. SARE researchers are invited to participate in several ongoing research projects around the country.
USDA-ARS Systems Projects in the Southern Region That Could Benefit from SARE Partnerships
Watkinsville, GA, Harry Schomberg, J. Phil Campbell Sr., Natural Resource Conservation Center. This unit is developing strategies for sustainable integrated crop and animal production systems suitable for the southeast U.S., particularly in the Piedmont region around Atlanta. Focus is on horizontal integration of crop and livestock components. They also emphasize watershed level interpretations for looking at the impacts of crops and livestock on water and air quality. Part of the conceptualized Orono-Beltsville-Watkinsville partnership addressing regional food production and security for the eastern seaboard. There is a priority to introduce organic production components into their research portfolio. The Center has a long-standing partnership with SARE projects. For more information see J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center or contact J. Phil Campbell Sr. (706) 769-5631.
Auburn, AL, Randy Raper, National Soil Dynamic Laboratory. Conservation systems research for improving environmental quality and producer profitability. Has one of the five ARS economists on staff looking at production economics, impacts of conservation policy on producer behavior related to conservation. Significant impact on soil management with conservation tillage and cover crops to overcome production limitation due to seasonal drought. The laboratory is getting into the arena of developing cover crops for dual use as biomass in bio-based energy production and conservation. Also, have ties to small and disadvantaged farmers in Mississippi and Alabama producing high-value vegetables. Raper is member of Southern SARE Executive Committee. A new partnership is developing between Auburn and the Mississippi State, MS, Johnie Jenkins, Genetics and Precision Agriculture Research Unit, and Stoneville, MS, Ray Williford, Application and Production Technology Research Unit to address the economic sustainability of cotton production in the Midsouth region. Strong partnership with Auburn University. For more information see National Soil Dynamics Laboratory or contact Randy Raper, (334) 844-4654.
Dawson, GA, Marshall Lamb, U.S. National Peanut Research Laboratory. Research is focused on irrigated and non-irrigated peanut-based cropping systems including cotton and corn rotation components for optimal economic and pest management benefits. Research is conducted under conventional and organic production conditions. This unit has one of five ARS production economists. Their research is providing whole-farm economic analysis tools for determining how to optimally incorporate agricultural-based energy production components into existing production systems without disrupting food and fiber production. Peanut genetics research is also directed to provide high-oil content cultivars suited for bioenergy use. The technology and management systems developed provide support that helps farmers in the Coastal Plain gain access to USDA Farm Bill Conservation Title programs. For more information, see U.S. National Peanut Research Laboratory or contact Marshall C. Lamb; (229) 995-7417.