From the Field Profiles

Showing 81-100 of 172 results

Optimal Flock Size for Pasture Raised Layers

A number of growers, especially those on small or mid-scale diversified farms, are choosing to raise poultry in alternative ways, many of them reliant upon pasture. Aaron Brower, along with his wife Mary, own and operate Bluestem Farm, a diversified, 4-season farm in Northern lower Michigan. They raise certified organic vegetables on 10 acres. They […]

Feasibility, Planning, and Purchase of Mobile Processing Unit (MPU)

Pasture poultry, with its quick turn-around and minimal equipment needs can be attractive to small farmers looking to diversify their farming operations. Chris Sramek is a pasture poultry producer and a member of the High Plains Food Co-op (HPFC); in 2013, customer interest in their poultry was so high that the producer members were unable […]

Evaluating the Roller-Crimper for Cover Crops in Corn and Soybean Terraced Ground

The beauty of the rolling hills in Northwestern Missouri can be downright dazzling. But these rolling hills, which captivate with their natural grace, also present a unique set of challenges for the producers who live and work there. Many farmers utilize a practice known as terracing to prevent erosion and surface runoff in their fields. […]

Building Community and Growing Food with the Next Generation

Greeting parishioners alongside a church parking lot, a four-acre parcel with the accessibility of an urban farm and the mission of a non-profit has been quietly producing and providing food to community members. Sola Gratia Farm is a community-based farm in Urbana, Illinois that is dedicated to producing locally grown, high-quality, natural produce. The community […]

Cover Crop-based Reduced Tillage for Fall Production of Cabbage,Cauliflower and Broccoli Using a Roller-Crimper and No-Till Planting Aid

Cover crops can reduce erosion, improve soil health, slow weeds, enhance nutrient and moisture availability, control pests, and offer other benefits to vegetable producers. After vegetable grower, Thomas Ruggieri, planted cover crops on his farm in rural Clay County, Missouri in 2004, he noticed dramatic improvement in soil fertility and plant health. Ruggieri and Rebecca […]

Economics of Grazing and Haying Cover Crops in North Central Kansas

Grown on an estimated 10 million acres across the country, cover crops are becoming an indispensable part of crop rotations. To maintain this momentum, the development of reliable information at the local level—how to craft a diversified rotation that pays—needs to keep pace with growth in farmers’ interest. That is what motivated Josh Roe to […]

Apples for Artisanal Cider: Understanding the Characteristics of Single Varietals

In 55 B.C., when the Romans reached England, they noticed villagers drinking an alcoholic apple drink. Many years and pints later, in the United States alone, hard cider production increased from 0.8 million gallons in 2007 to 5.2 million gallons in 2012 (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 2013). A couple of the producers who  […]

Development of Cost and Labor Effective Produce Sanitation Methods for Small Farms

With programs like Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Handling Practices (GHP), and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), producers have a more proactive role in minimizing food safety hazards potentially associated with fresh produce. Cucumber producer Carloyn Orr says increasingly, local grocery stores are requiring wash and sanitizing of produce, regardless of farm size.  Orr […]

Marcoot Jersey Creamery Comprehensive Food Safety Program

When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed in 2011, farmers across the country recognized a need to develop a food safety plan. Marcoot Jersey Creamery in Greenville, Illinois was no exception. In 2013, Marcoot family member, Beth Marcoot, applied for and received a $7,495 NCRSARE Farmer Rancher grant to develop a food safety […]

Growing Mushrooms on Local Agricultural Byproducts

Mushroom-growing seems to be increasing in popularity for producers who are looking to diversify their crop production strategy. The value of sales for commercially-grown specialty mushrooms in 2015-2016 totaled $95 million, an increase of 30 percent from the 2014-2015 season (USDA-NASS, 2016). Wakarusa Valley Farm is a family farm that cultivates organic vegetables, fruits, and […]

The Viability of Small Scale Aquaponics in Urban and Rural Underserved Communities

Combining concepts from both aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponics systems produce both fish and plants. The practice dates as far back as sixth century China, where duck pens were placed over fish ponds that eventually connected to rice paddies and fields (Tonya Sawyer, 2014). More recently, Nebraska aquaponics expert, Greg Fripp has been building closed, recirculating […]

Tomato Variety Trials for Flavor, Quality, and Agronomic Performance

From farmers markets to sandwich shops, tomatoes have a ubiquitous presence in America’s food landscape; in fact, the United States is the second-most leading producer of tomatoes in the world (only China produces more). In terms of annual farm cash receipts, fresh and processed tomatoes account for more than $2 billion, and tomatoes are the […]

Urban Farmers Focus on Soil Health for Sustainable Intensification

Developing and maintaining healthy soils is a vital activity for producers. For urban producers, issues such as soil contamination and compaction are major concerns, but soil productivity is also a primary focus for growers who aim to intensify production on a small plot of land. Simply put, sustainable intensification optimizes resource utilization and management. On the […]

Tribal Educators Gather for Sustainable Agriculture Workshops

In 1987, just before the SARE program funded its first grant, the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) was founded to provide a unified effort to promote change in Indian agriculture for the benefit of American Indian people. For more than thirty years, the IAC has been conducting a range of programs designed to further the goal of improving American Indian […]

Non-Profit and Producers Partner Up Around Agroforestry

Agroforestry helps farmers diversify products and income. Trees can produce an annual fruit or nut crop or a future timber harvest. Shrubs can be grown instead of, or with, trees and can produce a yearly crop. Forages and other fruit, vegetable, or specialty crops can be harvested for market or grazed by livestock. In addition to these harvests, tree and shrub crops can […]