Commodities

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Bale Grazing to Build Soil Health

Erin and Drew Gaugler are exploring and documenting the impact of bale grazing on their North Dakota farm. Outreach activities like their "mailbox tour" are helping the siblings share their findings with neighboring producers.

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.

Planning for a Farmer-to-Farmer Butcher Shop

Liz and Nate Brownlee teamed up with specialists at Indiana University to conduct a feasibility study on creating a small-scale butcher shop capable of serving producers who focus on direct sales in their area of Indiana.

From Fallow to Field Peas

As farmers in western Nebraska face higher cash rents and property taxes, many want a more profitable, sustainable alternative to fallow for crop rotation. Strahinja Stepanovic, a University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension educator, received a SARE grant to find suitable crops for the mix. “Farmers in the semi-arid regions of western Nebraska (14–19 inches of […]

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. 

Scaling Up Specialty Dairy in Ohio’s Appalachian Region

The beautiful vistas of Ohio’s Appalachian region delight visitors with ancient forested foothills, winding creeks, and unglaciated terrain. In the late 19th century, extraction industries like the coal industry also discovered value in this landscape, but as coal resources declined, local economies deteriorated. Today, scaling up local foods is one way these historic communities are […]

Spring-Grazing Cover Crops with Nebraska’s Knuth Farms

When a fourth-generation farm in Mead, Nebraska began to diversify their primarily cash crop operation in 2012, they gave some thought to cover crops and livestock. Knuth Farms didn’t want to buy cattle or become beef producers, but they did want to diversify their income stream, capture some of the soil benefits of cover crops, […]

Developing a Woman and Farmer-Led Meat Processing Cooperative

Wisconsin needs more butchers. That’s what April Prusia, Betty Anderson, and Bethany Emond Storms determined during their farmer-led research project in 2017. The three livestock producers raise beef, pork, poultry, and goats in south central Wisconsin. While they all have big dreams of charcuterie plates made with their meat, they lack processing options in the […]

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.

Illinois Farmer Builds Precision Seeder to Maximize Cover Crop Advantage

Ralph “Junior” Upton is no novice when it comes to no-till and cover crops. His grain farm in the northeast corner of Hamilton county Illinois is 100% no-till with 1,800 acres of corn, beans, and wheat, and approximately 1,200 acres in cover crops. Upton has been farming more than 50 years, and the farm has […]

Traditional Fertilizer, Modern Applications for Iroquois White Corn

Farmers have long relied on liquid fish fertilizers because they are a source burn-free nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Traditional Native American growers were well aware of the benefits that decaying fish could bring to their soil; they buried fish under mounded soil and planted the 3 Sisters (corn, beans, and squash) directly on top of […]

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 […]

Building Resilience and Flexibility into Midwest Organic Potato Production

When Maria Carter’s parents emigrated to America from the Netherlands in 1956, they brought along a knowledge of growing seed potatoes. Shortly after they put down roots in North Dakota, they put down tubers to start their new seed potato farm. They knew potato growers needed healthy seed potatoes, and they knew how to grow […]

Ohio Farmer Develops Mobile Hops Dryer

In a state that boasts 300 craft breweries, David Volkman is one of many craft beer enthusiasts in Ohio. But Volkman, with 12 acres of land in Warren County, is not only supporting Ohio’s craft brewing industry through consumption; he’s also contributing to its production. In 2012, he and his wife, Nina, started transitioning some […]

Building a Mobile Hops Dryer

With support from an NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant, David Volkman of Ohio Valley Hops built a mobile hop dryer that incorporates best drying practices for small-scale hop growers. 

The American Kestrel: an IPM Friend for Michigan’s Fruit Growers

Cherry producers across the region are all too familiar with starlings, finches, voles, pocket gophers, and other animals that can wreak havoc on a cherry orchard by feeding on ripening fruit and developing roots or shoots. These little pests can be a big problem for Michigan’s cherry growers, who grow 75 percent of all tart cherries and 20 percent of sweet cherries in […]