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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.
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.
NAC Index of SARE-Funded Agroforestry Projects Now Online
Photo credit: Shibu Jose, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry Valuable SARE-funded agroforestry research is now even more accessible to producers and educators across the country thanks to a new online index created by the National Agroforestry Center (NAC) using data from the SARE project database. The NAC index allows users to search SARE-funded agroforestry […]
Using Flowering Insectary Borders to Boost Natural Enemies
Beneficial insects play an important role in managing insect pests and pollinating crops, but they struggle to thrive in and around farms that have low plant diversity and rely mainly on tillage. Routine soil disturbances and low plant diversity can mean fewer prey, shelter and plant-based resources available to support natural enemies, especially early in […]
Cultivating Partnerships: Building Farm-Research Networks for Improved Physical Weed Control
Managing and controlling weeds can be a challenge and a frustration for farmers, no matter the farm size or crop. Associate professor of horticulture at Michigan State University, Daniel Brainard, knows that weed management represents a major barrier to sustainable production of both field and vegetable crops. Brainard has been researching new tools and techniques […]
New Release: Cultivating Climate Resilience
Texas ranchers Gary and Sue Price began noticing disruptive changes in the weather about 10 years ago, with dry periods getting drier and hot periods getting hotter. So they began making management decisions that would help their ranch adapt. As a result, when the crippling drought of 2011–2012 arrived, they were able to get by. […]
Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Water Challenges
Water rarely cooperates when it comes to growing crops – sometimes we have too much of it, while other times there just isn’t enough. For Amy Garrett in western Oregon, summer months often bring almost no rainfall. In Iowa, Ron Rosmann sees growing seasons with heavy downpours that increase water quality risks associated with lost […]
Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches
This bulletin outlines the new challenges that changing weather patterns pose in agriculture throughout the United States, and what you can do to make your farm more resilient.
30 Years of SARE: Our Farms, Our Future
30 Years of SARE: Our Farms, Our Future tells the story of thousands of men and women who have led SARE and received SARE grants. They have one objective in common: making American agriculture stronger, more sustainable and better equipped to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.
10 Ways Cover Crops Enhance Soil HealthSoil health is a hot topic these days, one that is justifiably receiving considerable attention from farmers and their farm advisors. This short fact sheet highlights some of the key ways that cover crops improve soil health by influencing the biological and physical characteristics of the soil.
Improving Soil Health Through Cover Crops
Farmers around the country are discovering the power of cover crops to curb erosion and improve soil health. This video is from Pennsylvania, where a Penn State researcher and a grain farmer are partnering to spread the word.
Investing in the Future of Agriculture: How SARE Supports Farmer-Driven Sustainability
The most pressing challenges that face U.S. agriculture today require science-based solutions developed by partnerships of farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators. Discover how the SARE program enables such partnerships to flourish and meet the needs of agricultural communities across the country.
Often, farmers are willing to make changes in their growing practices to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their climate impact. Whether conventional or organic, agriculture can be a source of GHG emissions. Those farmers eager to modify their practices may lack the knowledge and tools to make effective choices. According to graduate student […]
How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch
This 32-page bulletin outlines how to conduct research at the farm level, offering practical tips for both crop and livestock producers, as well as a comprehensive list of more in-depth resources.
Capitalize on the booming organic industry. This topic room has resources on organic systems, pest management, animal production, marketing, certification, conservation and much more.
Cottage Food Success: A Labeling Guide and Toolkit for Creating Canned Food Products that Sell
Ideas and step-by-step instructions to increase sales of canned products made in your home kitchen under your state’s cottage food law.
Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy
Using solar or wind energy or producing biofuels from crop feedstocks and anaerobic digestion helps farmers achieve energy independence while improving profitability and reducing fossil fuel emissions.
2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health
Session recordings are available from the second National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health. The event served as an opportunity to learn recent developments in how cover crops are being used by innovative farmers across the country and gain important insights on improving soil health from producers, conservation leaders and scientists. It was held December 7-8, 2017 in Indianapolis.
Recordings of General Sessions
- Opening remarks by Jane Hardisty (USDA-NRCS Indiana) with video message Bill Northey (Iowa Secretary of Agriculture)
- Keynote: Growing a Revolution - Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, by David Montgomery (University of Washington)
- Farmer panel: Experiences with Cover Crops and Soil Health, with Dan DeSutter (Ind.), Trey Hill (Md.) and Jimmy Emmons (Okla.)
- Top 10 Ways Cover Crops Build Soil Health, by Rob Myers (North Central SARE)
- Plenary session: Carbonomics, by Keith Berns (Neb. farmer and Green Cover Seed)
Basics of Cover Cropping
- Introduction to Cover Crops
- Selecting and Establishing Cover Crops
- Terminating Cover Crops Plus Strategies for Planting a Cash Crop Following Cover Crops