Steve Zwinger (left), a research specialist at NDSU's Carrington Research Extension Center, and Frank Kutka, of the Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society NDSU
FARMER RESEARCH: Steve Zwinger (left), a research specialist at NDSU's Carrington Research Extension Center, and Frank Kutka, of the Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society, evaluate plants for seed production in the Farmer-Breeder Project.

Sustainable agriculture research from A to Z

Research projects funded in the North Central Region involve a wide variety of crops and livestock.

It’s interesting to see all the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grants that were awarded for 2017.

There are projects involving:

• open-pollinated corn
• pasture-raised hogs
• cover crops in a wide variety of situations
• grafting cucumbers (I’ve heard of grafting apple trees, but cucumbers?)
• mushrooms
• hops
• stock dogs
• guineas (My grandmother had these. Very entertaining birds.)
• fiber flax linens
• grain-free pasture eggs
• sorghum syrup
• composted horse and donkey manure as a bio control for lavender root rot
• conversion of abandoned livestock manure pits into aquaculture ponds
• use of ground heat to reduce grain-drying costs

There’s some significant money available for these projects — more than $463,000 for farmers and ranchers and $412,000 to universities and Extension services.

Individuals in the Dakotas who received grants for projects in 2017 included:

• Ross Lockhart, of Heart and Soil Farm in Grandin, N.D., was awarded $7,500 for the project “Controlling Imported Cabbage Worm and Cabbage Looper Damage in Brassicaceae Crops in an Organic Production System.”

• Clint Severance, of From the Ground Up Farm in Hunter, N.D., was awarded $15,000 for the project “Improving Soil Health by Rotationally Grazing Cattle on Full-Season Cover Crop Cocktails on a No-till Farm in the Red River Valley of North Dakota.”

• Yvonne Hines of Hines Hops Farm in Martin, S.D., was awarded $7,500 for the project “Research of Methods to Improve the Processing of Hops.”

• Abbey Wick, with North Dakota State University in Fargo, was awarded $29,488 for the project “Adoption of Cover Crops to Build Soil Health in the Northern Plains.”

• Melanie Caffe-Treml, with South Dakota State University in Brookings, was awarded $30,000 for the project “Oat Variety Trial under Organic Management: Increasing Profitability for Organic Producers in the North Central Region.”

You can see more details about the projects at the NCR SARE website. You might find something that you can use yourself, or get some ideas on what you may write a grant proposal for next year.

TAGS: Conservation
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