Connecting the Dots Between Farmers and Rural Refrigeration
University of Minnesota researcher, Ren Olive, is exploring opportunities for small and medium-size produce farmers to utilize excess refrigeration in rural grocery stores.
Producing Quinoa in North Dakota
Two North Dakota producers looked at quinoa production and marketing in North Dakota.
Cottage Food: Launch a Bakery from Your Farm Kitchen
A farmer-led team in Wisconsin created resources to help farmers diversify their income by selling baked goods.
lntercropping Kernza® with Legumes
Growers in the North Central region are exploring the benefits of intercropping legumes with the intermediate wheatgrass Kernza®.
Grazing Livestock on Cover Crops in Double or Relay Cropping Systems, Post-Weaning
Mike Ostlie received SARE-support to seed cover crops into an existing crop rotation for fall and winter grazing as an alternative to drylot backgrounding.
Using Cover Crops to Reduce Plasticulture
Dana and Karin Jokela are working to reduce their use of plasticulture with cover crops.
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Incorporating Cover Crops in North Dakota
In a short growing season like North Dakota's, effectively using cover crops can seem like a challenge. Establishing a specific on-farm goal is key to utilizing cover crops successfully. Getting familiar with and then fine-tuning approaches is important to achieve desired outcomes. In this publication, NDSU soil health researchers, Abbey Wick, Caley Gasch, and Marisol Berti provide a starting point.
Iowa Farmers Seek Sustainability with Cover Crops and No-Till
In 2002, a $6,500 SARE grant funded an idea for a new tool at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. The tool was a roller-crimper, a steel drum with blades that was mounted to a tractor and used to roll down cover crops. The idea was that the mat of dead cover crops would act as mulch, which researchers hoped no-till farmers […]
Overwintering Bees for Increased Apiary Sustainability
Our $20-billion-a-year crop industry relies on insect pollination, but diseases, pests, and colony collapse disorder are knocking out 30 percent of beekeepers’ colonies every growing season. There are as many as 125,000 beekeepers in the country. And while 2.77 million honey-producing colonies generated 161.8 million pounds of raw honey in 2016, the annual value of […]
Selecting a New Array of Crisp Apples for Increased Consumer Demand and Grower Profit
Apples are the most consumed fruit in the U.S. The United States has 7,500 apple producers who grow, on average, 240 million bushels of apples each year. These producers grow the apples on an approximated 322 thousand acres of land (U.S. Apple Association, 2018). Two of those apple producers are Steven and Connie Doud, who own […]
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 […]
Developing a Method to Capture and Authenticate Single Varietal Honey on Diverse Landscapes
Between April and May the apple orchards and fields at Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in Champaign, Illinois boast plenty of blossoms for hungry pollinators. Curtis is part of an Illinois centennial farm, founded in 1873, offering apples, pumpkins, honey, and a variety of agritourism adventures. All fun aside, they’re quite serious about sustaining their […]
Missouri Beekeeper Uses Horizontal Hives and Local Bees for Increased Sustainability
With SARE support, Leo Sharashkin has been able to share information about starting an apiary with wild local bee stock, using bee-friendly, do-it-yourself hive models, and simple, accessible management techniques.
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 […]
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 […]