Commodities

Showing 41-60 of 72 results

Cover Crops in Organic Systems

This document provide an overview of how the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Cover Crop 340 conservation practice can be implemented on organic operations in the Western Region.

Biological Soil Crusts

Cheryl McIntyre investigates the influence of biocrusts on the establishment of native perennial grasses and cheatgrass and the conditions under which biocrusts might make rangelands more resistant to exotic grass invasion, and thereby serve as a potential restoration tool for producers.

Funded Grants on Diverse Ag Topics

Western SARE funding is important for many reasons. It helps researchers develop and test new sustainable farming and ranching techniques. It helps university extension agents and other agricultural professionals get that new knowledge into the hands of producers. And it helps farmers and ranchers conduct their own research on their own land, testing out new […]

Hawaii and the Pacific Islands Face Unique Challenges During the COVID-19 Crisis

The agriculture community in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands is feeling the same impacts from COVID-19 as the mainland. But in addition, the islands face the added challenges of remoteness and having tourism-dependent economies.  The loss of tourism is a huge impact for all of the food system. Restaurants rely on tourists and the local […]

Earwigs Found to be Beneficial in Apple Orchards

Sustainable Agriculture Fact Sheet                                           April 2020 Crop: Apples                            Need: Discovering whether earwigs are pest, neutral or beneficial insects in apple orchards States: Washington                                                                                                                                    Background: Woolly apple aphids are a serious pest in apple orchards and are difficult to control with current insecticides. However, beneficial insect predators can […]

Fresh Growth Podcast

Fresh Growth: Approaches to a More Sustainable Future from Western Ag Practitioners introduces you to farmers and ranchers from around the western United States who are finding innovative sustainable practices that enrich the natural resources we all care about. These successful multi-generational operations experiment with new ideas and are making it pay. Listen in as […]

Helping Farmers Profit with Winter Squash

Sustainable Agriculture Fact Sheet                            June 2020   State: Oregon                    Commodity: Squash Need: Squash varieties that store well (and taste good) for winter sales Background: Winter squash is a delicious and nutritious vegetable. Pacific Northwest retail winter squash sales peak in October/November and decline through April when almost all the squash sold in Oregon is […]

Improving Breadfruit Production in Hawai‘i

Sustainable Agriculture Fact Sheet                       June 2020   Background: Breadfruit has an array of potential ecological, social and economic benefits for Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i’s long history with breadfruit is founded on a body of unique local knowledge, where most cultivation has traditionally taken place in diversified agroforestry settings. The Problem: Breadfruit production is changing in Hawai‘i, […]

Using Beneficial Insects to Combat Pests and Engage Growers

Sustainable Agriculture Fact Sheet                     July 2020 State: California                                Commodity: Wine grapes Need: An economical way to control leafroll virus, which is spread by vine mealybugs Summary: Leafroll virus is infecting California grapevines at an alarming rate due to an aggressive insect vector, the vine mealybug.  Leafroll virus infections reduce crop yield and quality, decrease a […]

Adapting Cut Flower Production for Utah’s Climate and Soils

Sustainable Agriculture Fact Sheet                              July 2020 State: Utah                                                                                                                         Commodity: Cut Flowers Need: Science-based fertilizer and production recommendations for a new and growing industry Summary: Growing cut flowers as a high-value crop has recently become popular across Utah because of the crop’s unmatched profitability and small space requirements, yet minimal research and cultivation information […]

Responses to COVID-19 in Western Ag

Agriculture in the Western Region has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 and its resulting Shelter in Place orders, labor and processing challenges, and strongly shifting consumer behaviors and markets. It has also become clear that our agricultural community has been responding quickly and creatively. Western SARE cares about our community and feels a responsibility to share ideas and strategies. Toward that end, we conducted a survey of our state coordinators and project leaders of grants funded in the past three years. The data and examples are listed below. We will also create a report from this information, along with ideas provided on how Western SARE itself should adapt to the crisis.

Farmer and Rancher Research in the West

Making changes on the farm or ranch involves taking risks. One or two years spent experimenting can lead to a financial hit too difficult to recover from. That’s where Western SARE’s Farmer/Rancher and Professional + Producer grants help out. Grantees, like the ones highlighted in this report, come up with the possible solution to a problem they face on their farm or ranch, propose a way to research the idea, and then Western SARE provides the critical support needed to experiment.The projects explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education. It is expected that the results are shared with other producers. The highlights you’ll read here are just a fraction of the creative projects attempting to solve real-world problems the grants programs have funded. 

IPM for Coffee Berry Borer

When the coffee berry borer arrived in Hawaii 2010, Suzanne Shriner had a hard conversation with her parents. “I sat down with them at the kitchen table and told them we might have to get out of the coffee business,” she remembered. “It was a pretty sober moment, and it wouldn’t have been a good […]

Winter 2018 Simply Sustainable

In this Issue: Building Capacity for Blackfeet Farmers Training for Micronesian Extension Agents A New Breed of Ranchers Agritourism Opportunities Benefits from Owls  And more

Students Breeds Beans for Organic Farming

Graduate students at the University of California, Davis, have begun field tests on very rare commodities: high-yield, disease-resistant bean varieties that can thrive on organic farms.    “Most crops—about 95 percent—have been bred for conventional farming and can be difficult to grow in organic systems,” said Travis Parker, a Ph.D. student in plant biology who is […]

Reducing Medusahead and Preparing the Land for Restoration

"Ranchers are hurting." That one thought is why Kip Panter, Research Animal Scientist at the USDA-ARS in Utah, is passionate about the collaborative work he, other Utah-based researchers, extension professionals, and ranchers have led to restore degraded grasslands. The inspired project team, studying at three ranches, found a “really good economical way to reduce medusahead […]