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Cover Crop Economics Report Now Available in Print

Cover Crops Offer Options in Wet Soil As more farmers across the nation begin to incorporate covers into their rotations, they find that this valuable conservation practice pays in more ways than one. Many farmers in states suffering from oversaturated fields that prevented or delayed planting are considering cover crops. To help farmers evaluate the […]

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When Do Cover Crops Pay? New USDA-SARE Report Addresses the Question

Farmers around the country are planting cover crops on millions of acres to protect and improve the soil, and the more that farmers use cover crops, the more they value this conservation practice. Cover Crop Economics, a new report published by USDA-SARE looks at the economics of cover crops to help farmers answer that big […]

Dean Baas and Alan Sundermeier

Podcast Series Finale: Why On-Farm Research Matters

The final episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast series features Michigan State University Extension educator Dean Baas, who serves as the SARE co-coordinator for his state. Baas speaks with Alan Sundermeier, a fellow Extension educator with The Ohio State University and a former SARE co-coordinator in Ohio, about the importance of farmer participation in on-farm […]

JP Knobloch and Tim Hydar

Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Aquaponics

The latest episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast series features JP Knobloch, co-owner of Straw Hat Aquaponics in Ferguson, Missouri. Knobloch speaks with his fellow co-owner Tim Hydar about growing food indoors while saving water and minimizing waste. Listen to or download the episode now. Aquaponics allows Straw Hat to raise high-quality, pesticide-free produce within […]

New Release: Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy

Missouri fruit grower Dan West hated seeing so much wasted fruit littering his orchard floor, and he worried about how the supply and price of fossil fuel affected his profitability. Seemingly unrelated problems, West found one solution to both. He began fermenting the waste fruit into wine and converting some of that wine into ethanol […]

Donn Teske and Laura Lengnick

Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Building Resilience

The latest episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast series features Laura Lengnick, a soil scientist and founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC, a consulting firm that offers ecosystem-based climate risk management and planning services. Lengnick speaks with Donn Teske, a fifth-generation farmer in northeastern Kansas who is currently transitioning from cropping to cattle grazing on his […]

Rachel Coventry and Eric Lee-Mader

Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Protecting our Pollinators

The latest episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast series features Eric Lee-Mader, co-director of the Xerces Society pollinator program speaking with Rachel Coventry, beekeeper at Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in Illinois, about the relationships between crops and pollinator conservation in agriculture.  Listen to or download the episode now. “We’ve seen this ongoing trend of both hard years […]

SARE Funding in Your State

Since 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has been a go-to USDA grant and outreach program for farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators who want to develop innovations that improve farm profitability, protect water and land, and revitalize communities. SARE has awarded nearly $273 million to more than 6,800 projects. Learn more about […]

Becca Jablonski and Charlie Jackson

Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide

The latest episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast features Becca Jablonski, assistant professor and food systems extension economist at Colorado State University, speaking with Charlie Jackson, the executive director of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) in North Carolina, about diverse market channels and the impacts of interactions between farmers and consumers within […]

Sami Tellatin and Elizabeth Reaves

Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Finding a Catalyst for Change in Agriculture

Catapulting the sustainable agriculture movement into the mainstream takes more than telling corporations, communities and producers that being sustainable is the right thing to do. It requires demonstrating how sustainable practices can be scaled to improve the resilience and profitability of agriculture as a whole. On the latest episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future […]

New Video: Improving the Management of Rangeland Ecosystems

From invasive species to the effects of climate change, ranchers in California, like many parts of the West, face a raft of environmental challenges as they strive to remain both profitable and good stewards of their land and water. "It's incredibly important that scientists and ranchers and policymakers work together, because the problems that we […]

New Video: Building a Local Food Movement

When Congress ended its tobacco support programs in 2000, thousands of tobacco growers in western North Carolina who depended on them were left without a viable way to make a living. “There wasn’t a real future for the farms in our region if we didn’t come up with something new,” says Charlie Jackson, the executive […]

New Video: Bringing Independent Farmers into the Marketplace

Access to profitable retail and wholesale markets is a challenge for small- to mid-scale family farmers. “The days of showing up with your cantaloupes in the back of the pickup are no longer a way to make a living,” says Diana Endicott of Kansas City, Mo. “So you have to be willing to make a […]

Screenshot of an animated farm landscape

What is Soil Health?

Soil health plays an essential role in raising healthy, productive crops and livestock. With this interactive infographic, learn how practices such as cover crops, no-till, crop rotation and the integration of livestock work in concert to improve soil health.

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Cover Crop Economics

Cover crops can build soil health, control weeds, conserve moisture, provide grazing opportunities and more. But when do they start to pay for themselves? This analysis looks at the economics behind different management scenarios to determine if cover crops are likely to improve profitability in one, three or five years of use in corn and soybean rotations. 

Cover of Report from the Field 2019-2020

2019/2020 Report from the Field

Stories of how recent SARE grantees are improving the sustainability of U.S. agriculture, plus a snapshot of our total investment in research and education projects since 1988.

New Video: Improving Soil Through Cover Crops

Like many farmers, Jeff Frey sees the soil as his livelihood, so he does what he can to protect and improve this vital resource beneath his feet. "I remember one afternoon we had a thunderstorm that washed mud out into the road and I could actually see some of my freshly planted soybeans in with […]

Hannah Smith-Brubaker and Jim Freeburn

Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Nourishing Communities

Sustainable agriculture is a way of life for rancher Jim Freeburn and farmer Hannah Smith-Brubaker. On this episode of SARE's Our Farms, Our Future podcast they talk about what sustainable agriculture means to them and the impact it has on local communities and economies. Listen to or download the episode now Freeburn, who ranches in Wyoming, stresses […]

New Video: How SARE Supports Farmer-Driven Sustainability

There is no universal vision for agricultural sustainability in the United States—every region, every farm may require a different approach to improving livelihoods, protecting the nation’s land and water resources, and strengthening communities. Since its inception in 1988, the SARE program has supported a broad range of innovations in sustainability through its grassroots, farmer-driven grants […]

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Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: The Fight for Equal Rights in Agriculture

Barbara Norman and Savi Horne The latest episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast features Savi Horne, the executive director of the Land Loss Prevention Project in North Carolina in conversation with third-generation Michigan blueberry farmer Barbara Norman on breaking down barriers of entry for farmers of color as they fight for access to […]