Minnesota

Heritage Grains for Craft Brewing

With support from SARE, a Minnesota farmer learned that Conlon barley, Paul hulless oats, and Red Fife wheat could be malted with good flavor for prize-winning beers.

Entomopathogenic Nematodes for Control of the Asiatic Garden Beetle

Developed through a SARE project, this handout shows how certain naturally-occurring nematodes can kill insect pests, and how they can be isolated from the field, mass-reared, and applied back into the field for potential long-term control of Asiatic garden beetle grubs. The benefits and disadvantages of using locally-isolated nematodes for grub control are discussed. 

Goat Milk Soap Making Manual

This 38-page manual was created to be used in Goat Milk Soap Making workshops and as a tool for producers interested in making goat milk soap. It was developed by Krista Duval of Creekside Farms in 2017, as part of a SARE-supported project to amplify specialty dairy opportunities for local producers and food entrepreneurs in Appalachia Ohio.

Immigrant and Minority Farmers Inspire Soil Health Collaboration

When Julie Grossman was an undergraduate, she had no idea that a single economic development course was going to change the trajectory of her life’s work. In that course, and during her international PhD research in Latin America, she learned how biology, and specifically agroecology, could be used to help grow food in regions of […]

Come and Get it! On-Farm Food Service Manual

Come & Get It:  What you need to know to serve food on your farm uniquely supports farmers interested in understanding regulations and learning from other farmers seasoned in on-farm food service operations.

Does Open-Pollinated Corn Have a Place on Today’s Organic Farm?

On 205 acres near the picturesque bluffs of the On 205 acres near the picturesque bluffs of the Mississippi River, Stanley Smith raises beef cows and grows organic corn in southeastern Minnesota. He grew up on this small farm in the rolling hills of Winona County, and worked in partnership with his dad until his dad retired. Smith and his wife, Vickie, […]

Peer-to-Peer Food Safety Education Fruitful for Hmong-American Farmers in Minnesota

When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2015, it included new provisions that regulate food safety requirements for some fruit and vegetable farms. This new federal food safety legislation, along with market-based audit programs like Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), can seem daunting to small-scale or diversified farmers. As a statewide Extension Educator for farm food safety at the University of […]

Maximizing Pollinator Protection and Natural Pest Suppression in Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Crops

Eric Middleton knows that beneficial insects can provide ecosystem services to agriculture, ranging from pollination to pest suppression. As a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Middleton received a $12,000 NCR-SARE Graduate Student grant to compare how floral plantings in the margins of conventionally managed potato fields affect pollinator and predator abundance and richness, as […]

U of MN to Continue as NCR-SARE Host Institution

On February 9th, 2018, USDA-NIFA announced that U of MN will continue to serve as a host institution for NCR-SARE. The story was covered by the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). ———— U of M Continues as NCR-SARE Host Institution CFANS News, Feb. 13 The U.S. Department of […]

Minnesota Researchers Spill the Beans on Pulses

When the United Nations announced that 2016 would be the “International Year of Pulses,” Craig Sheaffer wasn’t surprised. An agronomist with a bent toward organics, Sheaffer researches perennial native and introduced legumes, grasses, and woody species at the University of Minnesota (U of MN). He was well aware that pulses (also known as grain legumes), such […]

Adjusting your Farm Plan to Avoid the Bumps in the Road

The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA) supports the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through farmer-to-farmer networking, innovation, demonstration, and education. In 2012, SFA received a $165,294 NCR-SARE Research and Education grant to work on two programs, Adjust 2015 and the New Farm Reality Check™. Through paid surveys and interviews with beginning farmers, […]

Promoting Sustainable Biological Control of Soybean Aphid by Examining the Effect of Biodiversity and Releases of Parasitoid Wasps

George Heimpel and his research group at the University of Minnesota have been working on biological control of the soybean aphid since 2001. They have used a number of methods, including releases of specialized aphid parasitoids from Asia, and promoting native biological control through plant diversification strategies.  Heimpel applied for an NCR-SARE Research  and Education […]

Adapting Cover Crops to Northern Climate Conventional Cropping Systems

Northeast Minnesota is home to a large beef cow-calf sector, several dairy farms, and an increasing amount of cash grain farming. In each of these types of operations, annual cultivation of corn, soybeans, oats, and barley is common.  Annual cultivation of these crops can lead to high rates of nutrient leaching and soil erosion, decreased […]

Developing Commercial Elderberry Production in Minnesota

Elderberries are a rapidly growing specialty crop in the Midwest. They have multiple functions in a cropping system because they are perennial, ornamental, a wildlife food source, and they can be planted in low-lying wet areas as a buffer. They can be used to produce value-added products like jams, jellies, wines, and juices. Christopher Patton […]

Finishing Time and Weights of Grass-fed Beef Animals

For more than 20 years, Jane Jewett has owned WillowSedge Farm near Palisade, Minneosta. She and her family raise and direct-market pork, poultry, lamb, and grass-fed beef on 113 acres. An increasing interest in grass-fed beef operations led Jewett to make the transition to grass-fed beef in 2008. Her interest in applying for an NCR-SARE […]

Management of the Spotted Wing Drosophila Using High Tunnels

Scenic Valley Farms is a family owned farm in Rosemount, Minnesota that uses 15 climate controlled high tunnels to produce organically certified tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, blackberries, strawberries, herbs, ginger, turmeric, and garlic. They also design and manage high tunnels, computerized climate control systems, and subterranean solar thermal heating systems. Erik Gundacker helps manage the high […]