Sustainable Agriculture at The University of Georgia

Sustainable Agriculture at The University of Georgia Sustainable Agriculture in the College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences aims to educate and provide information related to sustainable agriculture in Georgia and the Southeast.

Sustainable agriculture means the practice of growing food, fiber, feed and fuel in systems that meet the needs of both the present and future generations. Sustainable agriculture emphasizes production and marketing practices that are profitable, environmentally sound, and that improve the quality of life for farmers, farm workers and the community. Sustainable agriculture systems rely on building healthy soils and crops, enhancing biodiversity, and minimizing the use of non-renewable resources.

As the market for organic products grows, relevant organic research has to keep up. Our colleagues in UGA's Horticulture...
02/21/2020
A Comparison of 13 Sweet Pepper Varieties under an Organic Farming System in: HortTechnology Volume 30 Issue 1 (2020)

As the market for organic products grows, relevant organic research has to keep up. Our colleagues in UGA's Horticulture Department are answering that call with a recent study of organic pepper varieties and their yields. 🌶

https://journals.ashs.org/horttech/view/journals/horttech/30/1/article-p135.xml

There is a dearth of information on pepper (Capsicum annuum) variety production under organic conditions; therefore, a randomized complete block designed experiment of 13 pepper varieties were evaluated in 2016 and 2017 using organic production practices on land managed organically for the 6 previou...

The Cherokee Nation will become the first tribe in the U.S. to catalog seeds in Norway's Svalbard Global Seed Vault.  Th...
02/10/2020
Cherokee Nation first tribe in U.S. to send heirloom seeds to global seed vault in Norway - Anadisgoi

The Cherokee Nation will become the first tribe in the U.S. to catalog seeds in Norway's Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The nine heirloom seed varieties have been culturally and agriculturally important to the tribe for centuries and include beans, squash, and corn.

"Generations from now, these seeds will still hold our history and there will always be a part of the Cherokee Nation in the world." - Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

https://anadisgoi.com/archive/2756-cherokee-nation-first-tribe-in-u-s-to-send-heirloom-seeds-to-global-seed-vault-in-norway?fbclid=IwAR3DA4EzyufN-Ab-1bHK2LwOlIuVkOx2jZF6S-Ac7v8JWhJBZk3C2p4aHOM

The official news source of the Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Businesses and Cherokee Nation Entertainment.

02/06/2020

The Georgia Organics Conference and Expo starts tomorrow! If you are attending, make sure to stop by the UGA Sustainable Ag table in the Expo Hall to say hello and grab some fantastic farming resources! 🌿👩‍🌾

The Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program is a comprehensive training program designed by UGA Extension and its partners...
01/07/2020

The Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program is a comprehensive training program designed by UGA Extension and its partners to prepare new farmers to enter the world of agriculture. These programs are hosted by local Extension offices, and the Gwinnett County Extension office is offering one this upcoming February and March! See the flyer below for more information and to register. Happy Farming! 🌾

Happy New Year from the Sustainable Ag team at UGA! 🎉 Check out this write-up about North Dakota State University's rese...
01/02/2020
Is intercropping a way to increase your profit margin?

Happy New Year from the Sustainable Ag team at UGA! 🎉

Check out this write-up about North Dakota State University's research on how with strategic planning and proper equipment, intercropping can improve soil health, increase yield, AND increase farmers' profits. It is a good reminder that sustainability is multifaceted.

https://www.agupdate.com/farmandranchguide/news/crop/is-intercropping-a-way-to-increase-your-profit-margin/article_ea65d98c-29ed-11ea-b670-cf0bab142781.html

CARRINGTON, N.D. – The growing of two companion cash crops in the same field might be a way to increase total productivity for that unit of ground, according to Mike

Our very own Dr. Tim Coolong will be presenting his research at the Georgia Organics Conference and Expo this upcoming F...
12/23/2019

Our very own Dr. Tim Coolong will be presenting his research at the Georgia Organics Conference and Expo this upcoming February!

🌱Tim Coolong earned his bachelor, master, and PhD in horticulture from UGA.
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Now as a UGA extension vegetable specialist, he spends his days researching practical techniques for growers. Coolong will be speaking about his research at three different Georgia Organics conference sessions.
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Click the link to learn more about Tim and our 2020 Conference & Expo in Visit Athens, Georgia: https://thedirt.georgiaorganics.org/stories/coolong

Researchers at the University of Florida analyze current and future potential for urban agriculture production systems, ...
12/09/2019
Controlled Environment Food Production for Urban Agriculture in: HortScience Volume 54 Issue 9 (2019)

Researchers at the University of Florida analyze current and future potential for urban agriculture production systems, markets, resource management, technologies, and financial and social environments. 🌱

https://journals.ashs.org/hortsci/view/journals/hortsci/54/9/article-p1448.xml

The recent increased market demand for locally grown produce is generating interest in the application of techniques developed for controlled environment agriculture (CEA) to urban agriculture (UA). Controlled environments have great potential to revolutionize urban food systems, as they offer uniqu...

"Traditional foods are embedded in our tribal creation stories and have remained at the heart of our survival and now ou...
11/25/2019
Native Leaders Help Tribal Communities Achieve Traditional Food Goals — Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group

"Traditional foods are embedded in our tribal creation stories and have remained at the heart of our survival and now our revitalization. Adopting a comprehensive food code begins the process of strengthening each tribe’s sustainability for future generations and serves as an example for others to follow."

Read more about the amazing work Janie Hipp and her team at the University of Arkansas are doing to restore and preserve food sovereignty in tribal communities.

https://www.ssawg.org/ssawg-blawg/2019/11/16/native-leaders-help-tribal-communities-achieve-traditional-food-goals-while-engaging-in-new-agricultural-opportunities

The revitalization of traditional foods and agricultural systems in tribal communities is taking hold across Indian Country. This movement’s influence is revealed by many national Native gatherings discussing food systems, a renewed focus on serving healthy and traditional foods, and that “food ...

IIASA researchers publish study showing that crop diversification is not only beneficial to the environment, but also ma...
11/21/2019
Beyond the green revolution - 2019 - IIASA

IIASA researchers publish study showing that crop diversification is not only beneficial to the environment, but also makes the food supply more nutritious. 🌾

'“To make agriculture more sustainable, it’s important that we think beyond just increasing food supply and also find solutions that can benefit nutrition, farmers, and the environment. This study shows that there are real opportunities to do just that."'

https://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/news/191119-beyond-the-green-revolution.html

There has been a substantial increase in food production over the last 50 years, but it has been accompanied by a narrowing in the diversity of cultivated crops. New research shows that diversifying crop production can make food supply more nutritious, reduce resource demand and greenhouse gas emiss...

Results of a 20-year long study by Iowa State show that replacing commercial fertilizers with chicken manure benefits bo...
11/14/2019
Long-term Iowa State Research Shows Poultry Manure Improves Profits, Soil Health

Results of a 20-year long study by Iowa State show that replacing commercial fertilizers with chicken manure benefits both the soil and farmers' profits. 🌱

https://www.cals.iastate.edu/news/releases/long-term-iowa-state-research-shows-poultry-manure-improves-profits-soil-health

AMES, Iowa — A 20-year study by Iowa State University researchers shows fertilizing cropland with poultry manure can benefit soil health and farm profits when compared to a commercial fertilizer. The study looked at long-term impacts of poultry manure on soil quality, crop yield, production costs ...

Remote Sensing Documents Conservation Practices"Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS), a tool that analyzes rem...
08/30/2019
Remote Sensing Technology Drives Conservation Solutions

Remote Sensing Documents Conservation Practices

"Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS), a tool that analyzes remotely sensed images of the landscape, provides conservation-practice adoption data on a regional scale. Developed by Applied GeoSolutions, the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), OpTIS identifies and quantifies the proportion of cropland that is managed with various types of conservation tillage practices and winter cover crops each year. An initial data release in early July provided information on conservation practice adoption in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa from 2005 to 2018, with data for the entire Corn Belt to be released soon. The first release showed that adoption of winter cover crops in the region is growing, and use of conservation tillage practices for corn and soybeans remained fairly steady at around 45% through the period."

To read more, visit: https://www.nature.org/en-us/explore/newsroom/remote-sensing-technology-drives-conservation-solutions/

New data show soil health practices on Iowa, Illinois and Indiana farmland is moving in the right direction.

Portable Sniffer Technology Identifies Plant Diseases"North Carolina State University announced that researchers there h...
08/28/2019
Portable Tech Sniffs Out Plant Disease In The Field

Portable Sniffer Technology Identifies Plant Diseases

"North Carolina State University announced that researchers there have developed portable sniffing technology that plugs into a smartphone to detect plant diseases in the field. The device works by sampling the airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that plants release through their leaves. The type and concentration of VOCs changes when a plant is sick, so the device can tell when plants are sick and which disease they have. The tool could help farmers quickly differentiate between plant diseases with similar symptoms, right in the field."

To read more, visit: https://news.ncsu.edu/2019/07/handheld-tech-sniffs-plant-disease/

Researchers have developed portable technology that allows farmers to identify plant diseases in the field. The handheld device, which is plugged into a smartphone, works by sampling the airborne volatile organic compounds that plants release through their leaves.

CAES Sustainable Agriculture Summer 2019 Newsletter!Articles Include:- Hemp Industry in Georgia- Working Farms Fund- Pro...
08/26/2019

CAES Sustainable Agriculture Summer 2019 Newsletter!

Articles Include:
- Hemp Industry in Georgia
- Working Farms Fund
- Proper Selection and Timing of Organic Fertilizer Ammendments
- Georgia Agriculture Tour with USDA Economic Research Service
- Georgia Organics Conference Returns to Athens, GA in 2020

To read the newsletter, visit:https://sustainagga.caes.uga.edu/content/dam/caes-subsite/sustainable-agriculture/documents/Summer2019Newsletter.2.pdf

Soil Health Practices Increase Farm Profitability"American Farmland Trust (AFT), in partnership with USDA’s Natural Reso...
08/23/2019
New American Farmland Trust-NRCS case studies show soil health practices increase farm profitability - American Farmland Trust

Soil Health Practices Increase Farm Profitability

"American Farmland Trust (AFT), in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has released four case studies showing that healthier soil on farmland brings economic benefits to farmers and environmental benefits to society. The two-page case studies focus on corn-soybean production in Illinois and Ohio, almond production in California, and a diversified rotation (sweet corn, alfalfa, corn for silage or grain) in New York. Featured farmers implemented soil health practices including no-till or strip-till, nutrient management, cover crops, compost, and mulching. The case studies were developed as part of a 2018 NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) project, and they are available on AFT’s “Accelerating Soil Health” webpage."

To read more, visit: https://farmland.org/new-american-farmland-trust-nrcs-case-studies-show-soil-health-practices-increase-farm-profitability/

Today, American Farmland Trust (AFT), the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®, is releasing four case studies that show that healthier soil on farmland brings economic benefits to farmers and environmental benefits to society. These case studies were developed in partnership...

Predictive Model Improves Irrigation Efficiency"Engineers at Cornell University have developed a predictive model for ir...
08/19/2019
Smart irrigation model predicts rainfall to conserve water | Cornell Chronicle

Predictive Model Improves Irrigation Efficiency

"Engineers at Cornell University have developed a predictive model for irrigation that combines plant physiology, real-time soil conditions, and weather forecasts. They predict that using this information to decide how and when to irrigate could save 40% of the water consumed by traditional irrigation practices. In addition, this “smart irrigation” could help improve the quality of specialty crops such as grapes, by ensuring that they receive the right amount of water. Researchers conducted a case study using this model for irrigation of grass crops in Iowa, and they are preparing to test it on apples in New York. The research includes an assessment of the costs and benefits of switching from a model based on human decisions to an automated one."

To read more, visit: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/07/smart-irrigation-model-predicts-rainfall-conserve-water

A predictive model combining information about plant physiology, real-time soil conditions and weather forecasts can save 40% of the water consumed by traditional irrigation strategies, according to new Cornell research.

Georgia's Peach Crop in Good Shape After Two Down Years"Georgia peach farmers are feeling “peachy” about the outlook for...
08/16/2019
Georgia's peach crop in good shape after two down years

Georgia's Peach Crop in Good Shape After Two Down Years

"Georgia peach farmers are feeling “peachy” about the outlook for this season’s crop, which is expected to more than double last year’s volume, according to Jeff Cook, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Peach and Taylor counties. The state’s three biggest peach growers, all located in middle Georgia, are projected to sell more than 2.5 million boxes this year, compared to just 1 million in 2018, Cook said."

To read the full Newswire story, visit: https://newswire.caes.uga.edu/story.html?storyid=8055

Georgia peach farmers are feeling “peachy” about the outlook for this season’s crop, which is expected to more than double last year’s volume, according to Jeff Cook, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Peach and Taylor counties.

REAP Loan Guarantees Available for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy"USDA Rural Development is reminding farmers, r...
08/14/2019
USDA Has More Than $400 Million Still Available for Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees

REAP Loan Guarantees Available for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

"USDA Rural Development is reminding farmers, rural small businesses, and agricultural producers that $400 million is available in loan guarantees through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP funding can be used for renewable-energy systems such as anaerobic digesters, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind, and solar. It also can be used to make energy-efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation, and cooling systems; insulation; lighting; and refrigeration. USDA accepts applications for REAP funding year-round. Potential applicants should contact their state USDA Rural Development offices for additional information."

To learn more, visit: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2019/07/18/usda-has-more-400-million-still-available-renewable-energy-system

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2019– Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today encouraged farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that provides loan guarantees to help rural small...

Rodale Institute to Launch Southeast Organic Center"The Rodale Institute has announced that it will launch the Southeast...
08/12/2019
Rodale Institute to Open Southeast Organic Center - Rodale Institute

Rodale Institute to Launch Southeast Organic Center

"The Rodale Institute has announced that it will launch the Southeast Organic Center, a new regional resource center focused on the unique challenges of farmers in the southeast United States. The center will open in fall of 2019 at 300-acre Many Fold Farm in Georgia’s Chattahoochee Hills. “Scientific research and high-quality farmer education conducted by the Southeast Organic Center will validate and expand truly sustainable agricultural practices in order to save our food system, our planet, and ourselves,” says Many Fold Farm’s Rebecca Williams. The Southeast Organic Center will focus on increasing the number of farms and acres in organic production in the region; establishing a long-term research trial to determine changes in soil health, yields, economic models, and more; solving challenges for organic farmers in the region, including pests, disease, weed management; and farmer training and pathways to market."

To learn more, visit: https://rodaleinstitute.org/blog/rodale-institute-to-open-southeast-organic-center/

When Rebecca and Ross Williams shuttered their cheesehouse at Many Fold Farm, about an hour outside of Atlanta, in 2017, it was with a heavy heart but a

Success with Supplementation of Beneficial Insects Depends on Surroundings"A study by Cornell University explored farmer...
08/09/2019
Do ladybugs help your garden grow? Depends on surroundings | Cornell Chronicle

Success with Supplementation of Beneficial Insects Depends on Surroundings

"A study by Cornell University explored farmers’ success with release of natural enemies on cabbage crops in New York. Researchers found that releasing pest predators led to fewer pests, less plant damage, and increased crop biomass on farms that were surrounded by more forest and natural areas and less agricultural land. However, on farms predominantly surrounded by other farms, there were more pests and plant damage and reduced crop biomass, in spite of added predators. In simpler agricultural landscapes, insect predators may prey on other predators, and there can be more competition for prey. The researchers say more study is needed before they can make specific recommendations to growers."

To read more, visit: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/07/do-ladybugs-help-your-garden-grow-depends-surroundings

A new study of cabbage crops in New York reports for the first time that the effectiveness of releasing natural enemies to combat pests depends on the landscape surrounding the field.

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