Organic Conservation Training
The following guides were created by Oregon Tilth for use by NRCS staff in the Western Region. Specific states covered are Idaho, Nevada, California, and Oregon.
Free Fact Sheets Identify Broad Benefits of Cover Crops
Along with cutting costs and increasing crop productivity, cover crops provide various ecosystem services that benefit the environment both on and off the farm. For instance, adding cover crops to a rotation can significantly increase the portion of the year when living roots are present for soil organisms to feed on, which can have a […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
The Power of Data: Improving the Management of Rangeland Ecosystems
California's rangelands face a wide range of challenges, from invasive species and pests to flooding and drought. Much of the knowledge of how to manage rangelands effectively resides in the personal experience of land managers. To capitalize on this collective wisdom, University of California Davis researchers partnered with ranchers around the region to compile a database of site-specific management information that can help everybody take better care of the land.
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.
Growing the Field for Organic Conservation
As producers work to meet regulations under the National Organic Program (NOP) and become certified organic, they often apply conservation practices that align well with the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) conservation activities, such as green manures, buffer strips, and rotational grazing. NRCS assistance is being sought by both new and established organic farmers to […]
Researchers Say Hill-Climbing Cows May Bring Big Benefits for Western Ranchers
Conventional wisdom says cows don’t go up steep slopes. They don’t climb hills and don’t travel very far from water. But some cows never got that memo. “I’ve been watching cattle for years, and there are always some cows that just take off for the hills, like they didn’t know they weren’t elk,” said Derek […]
Capitalize on the booming organic industry. This topic room has resources on organic systems, pest management, animal production, marketing, certification, conservation and much more.
Biological Soil Crusts
Cheryl McIntyre investigates the influence of biocrusts on the establishment of native perennial grasses and cheatgrass and the conditions under which biocrusts might make rangelands more resistant to exotic grass invasion, and thereby serve as a potential restoration tool for producers.
Economic and Environmental Aspects of Cover Crops
- Economics of Cover Crops
- Business Opportunities with Cover Crops and Soil Health
- Environmental Impacts of Cover Crop Systems
2015/2016 Report from the Field
Read about SARE-funded work in the areas of sustainable dairy cropping systems, soil health assessments, nutrient management, cover crops, beginning farmers, pollinators, technical assistance programs for women farmers, and more. This edition includes highlights of projects funded through the graduate student program, and the highly regarded Sustainable Agriculture Fellowship, a professional development program coordinated by SARE and NACAA.
Planting Flower Strips for Native Bees
Montana State University researchers discuss flower strips of nine native plants that provide habitat for native bees and an additional income source for farmers who can collect and sell the flower seeds.
Visualizing Soil Properties
This series of videos illustrating soil processes such erosion, runoff, and infiltration, as well as soil sampling procedures, can be used as a model for demonstrations in a classroom.
The Colorado River irrigates 15 percent of the nation’s crops, making the conservation efforts of Western producers crucial to the American food system. Conservation Generation is a new short film by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) about four young farmers and ranchers in the arid West who are committed to conservation practices that conserve water and promote soil health.
Managing Cover Crops for Ecosystem Services in Vegetable Systems
Natalie Lounsbury (University of New Hampshire) discusses how to manage cover crops for such ecosystem services as: suppressing weeds, attracting pollinators, cycling nutrients, promoting biological diversity and controlling erosion.
Collaborative Grazing for Sage-Grouse: Centennial Valley
This video portrays the Collaborative Grazing for Sage-Grouse Project in the Centennial Valley focusing on understanding how grazing management affects sage-grouse survival. Better understanding will be important to increasing sage-grouse populations.
Training in Marine Ornamental Farming for Extension Professionals in Micronesia
The Challenge The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) are fledgling sovereign nations. Both nations have low per capita GDP and high unemployment. Like many developing small island nations, the FSM and RMI are economically marginalized. The people of FSM and RMI have skills and resources for aquaculture, […]