Production Systems

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Edible Landscaping with Matthew Lebon

NCAT Horticulture Specialist Guy Ames talks with Matthew Lebon about edible landscaping or the practice of integrating edible plants into ornamental landscaping

Attracting Beneficial Insects to Urban Farms

Always seeking ways to improve the sustainability of their farm, EarthDance Farm in Ferguson, Missouri used a SARE Farmer Rancher grant to incorporate both permaculture and IPM practices.

Exploring Hydroponics with Youth

With support from an NCR-SARE Youth Educator grant, University of Missouri Extension Horticulture Specialist Donna Aufdenberg developed resources to teach sustainable approaches to hydroponic growing methods.

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 […]

Pioneer Agroforestry Farm Tour Video Series

A new video series on Midwest agroforestry is available from the Savanna Institute and North Central SARE. The six-part Pioneer Agroforestry Farm Tour Video Series features brief, detailed interviews with farmers who are advancing agroforestry in the Midwest. 

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

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, purchased the […]

Evaluating Microbecontaining Crop Stimulants (MCCSs)

The decomposition of organic matter relies on bacteria and fungi that are commonly referred to as soil microbes. Matthew Kleinhenz, The Ohio State University professor and extension specialist, says many microbes are included as leading components of microbecontaining crop stimulants (MCCSs) advertised to enhance soil and crop health, accelerate soil nutrient cycling, and improve crop […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Managing Drought Risk On the Ranch

Producers throughout the nation continue to grow increasingly concerned about water scarcity. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural educators are exploring new approaches to the challenges associated with water shortage and drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center, (NDMC) based in Lincoln, NE, has a mission of “helping people and institutions develop and implement measures to reduce societal […]

Aquaculture and Aquaponics

Aquaculture is the cultivation of fish, aquatic animals, and plants. Aquaponics is a bio-integrated system that links recirculating aquaculture with hydroponic vegetable, flower, and/or herb production. In aquaponics, nutrient-rich effluent from fish tanks is used to fertigate hydroponic production beds. SARE has supported advances by producers, researchers, and educators that are helping to advance aquaculture and aquaponics into working models of sustainable production.

Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture is a whole-farm management system that replaces synthetic inputs with methods that mimic natural ecological processes. Demand for organic food is far outpacing supply, as U.S. sales in this dynamic sector have nearly quadrupled in the last decade. NCR-SARE has invested in more than 100 projects to help achieve the sustainability and well-being of all aspects of organic agriculture and those communities that support organic producers.