From the Field

From the Field

From the Field

Short profiles of SARE-funded research and education projects in action.

Curious about a particular topic? Search all SARE products in the Learning Center.

Bringing Velvet Bean Back as a Grazing Forage

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Georgia livestock farmer Lynn Barber is reviving a crop not regularly seen in the state as grazing forage since World War II.

Some Invasive Trees are Good for Mushroom Production

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

USDA-ARS looking for ways to manage invasive species while providing additional income for landowners or small farmers.

Wildflowers Draw Native Pollinators to Georgia Apple Orchard, Yields Increase

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Georgia farmer plants wildflowers in his apple orchard to draw native pollinators to his farm and see his yields increase 30 percent.

Paper or Pesticides? Bagging Peaches Protects from Insects and Diseases, Increases Yields

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Fruit bagging an option in both conventional and organic peach production.

SARE Fellows Tour, a Look at Sustainable Ag Across the Country, Makes a Stop in Texas

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

SARE/NACAA program provides county agents snapshot of regional sustainable ag practices.

Berries Thrive in High Tunnels, But Be Aware of Pests, According to University of Arkansas Study

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

A University of Arkansas study has found that using high tunnels in berry production can increase yields, extend the harvest season, and improve fruit quality compared to field production. However, care must be taken to manage pests.

Cover Crops Acting as Trap Crops Protect Vegetables from Pests

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

For farmers in central Florida, planting cover crops in strips as a trap crop alongside cash crops is proving to be a highly effective method for attracting beneficial insects and controlling pests.

A Natural Method of Reducing Post-Harvest Fruit Decay Found

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

In a SSARE Graduate Student Grant study, researchers found that essential oils, specifically carvacrol and thymol, significantly decrease ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit natural decay, weight loss and chilling injury during storage while not affecting internal fruit quality.

Cover Crops Reduce Pest Numbers and Improve Cash Crop Yields

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Preliminary research from University of Florida has found that incorporating root-knot nematode-resistant cover crops in a perennial peanut rotation reduces pest numbers in the cash crop and improves yields.

North Carolina Study Shows Local Foods a Driver for Economic Development, Especially in Rural Areas

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

North Carolina farms that sell directly to consumers are more interconnected with their local economies than non-direct-to-consumer farms, and have a greater multiplier effect of generated revenue.

Perennial Peanuts Shine as N Fertilizer Alternatives in Forage Production

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

University of Florida study finds perennial peanuts play a role in reducing input costs, while increasing forage quality.

Artificial Light Sources in Chicken Houses Increase Egg Laying in Hens During Fall and Winter

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Artificial light added to coops mimics long days during periods of decreasing daylight.

Breeding Organic Corn Varieties to Resist GMO Contamination

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Breeders with the University of Tennessee are developing organic corn varieties that cannot be contaminated by GMO corn (genetically modified organisms) via cross-pollination.

Physical Pest Exclusion with Shade Cloth

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Alabama farmer Will Mastin describes his experience using shade cloth on a high tunnel to protect crops from some pests. 

Integrated Pest Management in Alabama

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Organic vegetable growers in the Deep South face a constant battle with pests. In Alabama, new information is leading to better crop protection and more profitability, thanks to the work of Ayanava Majumdar, Alabama Extension entomologist and Southern SARE state coordinator. As a SARE state coordinator, Majumdar is tasked with bringing sustainable agriculture information to fellow Extension colleagues and local farmers.

Charleston Food Hub Brings Efficiency to the Market

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

With only 10 percent of produce eaten by South Carolinians grown in the state, the local market for farmers and food hubs like GrowFood Carolina is considerable.

Southeastern Georgia Farmer, Partnering with Extension, Shows the Way to Better Soil

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Farmer Jonny Harris and University of Georgia researchers are validating what he has known for years, that cover crops improve his soil and his bottom line.

Multi-State Resource Tool Addresses Small Ruminant Production Needs

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

A comprehensive small ruminant resource tool covering all manners of production, planning, marketing, health, and facilities has been developed to aid producers and the Extension agents who work with them in improving sheep and goat profitability and sustainability.

The Lucrative Sweet Potato Takes Root

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Extension agents in two states are helping farmers cash in on sweet potatoes: in Kentucky, by diversifying to include the high-value specialty crop, and in Mississippi, by pursuing organic production.

Thousands Trained in Renewable Energy and Efficiency

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Information shared during a three-day training for Extension professionals on renewable energy topics—including biofuels, energy efficiency, and wind and solar energy—has benefited thousands of farmers in the South.

Much-Needed Help for Georgia's Growing Pasture-Based Dairy Industry

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

University of Georgia researchers are developing a wealth of resources—on nutrient management, forage selection, rotational strategies and other topics—for the state's pasture-based dairies.

Food Hubs: The Next Evolution in Local Markets?

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

If you think the local foods movement is just a fad, think again.

Experimental Farm Helps North Carolina Farmers

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems has produced a wealth of valuable data through its farm systems research units.

A Toolbox of Innovations to Control Small Ruminant Parasites

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Inexpensive, highly effective methods for controlling parasites, including FAMACHA, a tool for diagnosing anemia in small ruminants.

Bringing Viable Pastured Poultry to the South

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Organizations are providing invaluable training and resources to help small-scale commercial poultry farmers establish profitable operations.

Farmer/Researcher Team Makes Organic Peanut Breakthrough

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Overcoming weed challenges, Georgia farmer Relinda Walker brings the Southeast's first crop of certified organic peanuts to market.

Helping Appalachian Farmers Tap New Markets

Type: Southern SARE From the Field Profile

Hundreds of farmers in Appalachia making the switch to sustainable methods have received vital help from SARE-supported Appalachian Sustainable Development.