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Farmers Test Whether Cardboard Can Keep Bindweed at Bay
Bindweed can be the bane of farmers’ existence. The climbing vine spreads easily by seed and rigorous root system, choking off crops and other plants along the way. “Even when we till in the spring, we spend a huge amount of time hand weeding throughout the season to manage bindweed,” explained Jonah Sloven, who grows […]
Utah Vegetable Production & Pest Management Guide
Partially funded by Western SARE, the Utah Vegetable Production and Pest Management Guide is inclusive to all growers, whether commercial or hobbyist. Although content is specific to Utah, most content applies to the Intermountain West states. The book includes twelve chapters of specific production methods and comprehensive pest and treatment recommendations for crops representing brassicas, […]
Growing Vegetables in Non-Circulating Hydroponic Beds
Growing vegetables hydroponically, such as bok choy or lettuce, can improve access to fresh produce in remote communities dependent on imported food. Additionally, the quality of locally grown produce can be higher than imported produce that can wilt during shipping. Download PDF
Photosynthesis & Hydroponics Lesson & Demonstration
Mt. Lata Farm in America Samoa created a Teachers' Resource Tool Kit with lesson plans on growing vegetables using hydroponics. This is one sample. For more information, contact the Project Leader .
Wireworms in Western Washington
Christine Langley has successfully run Lopez Harvest organic farm on Lopez Island in Washington state’s famed San Juan Islands for more than two decades. But for most of that, she wasn’t fighting wireworms. Those showed up about a dozen years ago, and have made her job a lot harder. “I grow a lot of lettuce […]
Specialty Crop Production in High Tunnels
A three-year, SARE-funded project focused on developing fruit and vegetable systems suited to high tunnel production in the high-elevation arid Intermountain West. Successful systems were developed for lettuce, tomato, squash and strawberry production. Work with brambles showed that methods suited to other regions were not locally appropriate. The following Utah State University Cooperative Extension fact […]
Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems Project
Public concerns regarding pesticide misuse, food safety, water use and contamination, and depletion of non-renewable resources have motivated the reevaluation of some of the practices of conventional agriculture and the exploration of alternative, more sustainable approaches to growing food. In 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) project was established at the University of California’s […]
Integrating Small Goat Herd Production with Fruits and Vegetable Production
Most small family farms produce and market more than a single crop from their farm. Growing multiple crops promotes benefits coming from both biologic and economic diversification. This report resulted from a project in Hawaii with the purpose to develop a diversified production system by integrating the farm’s goat production enterprise into a crop production […]
Grower Track and Trace Handbook and Videos
Circle Fresh Farms is a network of small- to medium-sized greenhouses producing certified organic fresh vegetables. In order to remain competitive and compliant with emerging expectations to provide farm-to-consumer product tracking systems, Circle Fresh needed to create a product track and trace system that was compatible with industry standards and also accessible in cost and […]
Good Agricultural Practices Program for New Mexico
The goal of the Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program for New Mexico is to provide educational materials to food producers and educational professionals associated with agriculture in order to reduce microbial risks in fruits and vegetables. The project's website includes examples of on-farm forms and signs, workshop/training information, and background information and resources on GAPs.
Putting the Winter Back in Winter Squash
For growers, it doesn’t matter how much you harvest. What matters is what you sell! A good example of that came out of Oregon recently, but applies broadly. Growers were having trouble producing and storing a crop they for sale in the winter into the early spring. “We heard from farmers that they weren't making […]
On-Farm Internship Training Binder
The Placer Ag Futures Project was conceived as a response to critical issues affecting local agricultural sustainability. This project was intended to help grow a new crop of agricultural professionals that are trained in sustainable agricultural practices. One part of the Ag Futures Project was the on-farm internship training. The summer internship program consisted of […]
Onion Systems Management Strategies for Crop Nutrition, Weeds, Thrips, and Iris Yellow Spot Virus
Seven videos demonstrating project results and showcasing sustainable crop and pest management practices for onions were developed.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Supporting Agriculture in the Pacific Islands
Western SARE's 2019 Extension Project
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 […]
How Well Does Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Degrade in Compost and Soil?
Biodegradable plastic mulches are now commercially available, and they are designed so that they can be tilled directly into the soil to degrade. Their adoption could alleviate the disposal problem of polyethylene mulch, but there is the need to evaluate how well they degrade under different environmental conditions.