• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 LS88-1: Low-input and organic pest...
 LS88-2: Whole-farm low/reduced...
 LS88-3: Planning grant: Development...
 LS88-4: Planning grant: Development...
 LS88-5: Planning funds for a proposal...
 LS88-6: Planning grant: On-farm...
 LS88-7: Low-input reduced tillage...
 LS88-8: Development, implementation...
 LS88-8.2: Low-input crop and livestock...
 LS88-9: A comparison of cropping...
 LS88-10: Solarization and living...
 LS88-11: Developing and extending...
 LS88-11.2: Developing and extending...
 LS89-12: Enhancing farmer adoption...
 LS89-13: Substitution of cultural...
 LS89-14: On-farm demonstrations...
 LS89-15: Enhancement of the stability...
 LS89-16: Development of a low-input...
 LS89-17: Communication and information...
 LS89-18: Composing poultry litter...
 LS89-19: Development of a plan...
 LS90-20: Effective nitrogen for...
 LS90-21: An educational program...
 LS90-22: Influence of integrated...
 LS90-23: A mid-south conference...
 LS90-24: Development of an environmentally...
 LS90-25: Development of fractionation...
 LS90-26: Swine waste -- low-cost...
 LS90-27: A low-input manure management...
 LS90-28: Substitution of cultural...
 LS90-29: An expert crop rotation...
 LS90-30: There is no project associated...
 LS91-31(139): Biological control...
 LS91-32(185): Economically viable...
 LS91-33(51): Reference manual of...
 LS91-34(97): Total resource budgeting...
 LS91-35(20): Improved nitrogen...
 LS91-36(63): Pest management and...
 LS91-37(120): Low-input crop and...
 LS91-38(53): Developing and extending...
 LS91-39(27): Use of poultry litter...
 LS91-40(44): Utilization of winter...
 LS91-41(43): Uniform spray deposits...
 LS91-42(1): Intensive short course...
 LS91-43(40): Cover crops for clean...
 LS91-44(189): SMART -- sustaining...
 LS92-45: Use of organic nitrogen...
 LS92-46: Development of corpping...
 LS92-47: Farm scale evaluation...
 LS92-48: Developing environmentally...
 LS92-49: Organic soil amendments...
 Index
 State index






Title: Southern region. Sustainable agriculture research and education. Project funded 1988-1992
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054297/00001
 Material Information
Title: Southern region. Sustainable agriculture research and education. Project funded 1988-1992
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Brown, William H.
Publisher: University of California, USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
Publication Date: 1992
 Subjects
Subject: Farming   ( lcsh )
Agriculture   ( lcsh )
Farm life   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00054297
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 1a
        Page 1b
        Page 1c
        Page 1d
    LS88-1: Low-input and organic pest management for apples and peaches using mating disruption and ground cover management
        Page 2
    LS88-2: Whole-farm low/reduced input farming systems and educational program
        Page 3
        Page 4
    LS88-3: Planning grant: Development of low-input agricultural technology demonstrations at the sunbelt agricultural exposition demonstration farm
        Page 5
    LS88-4: Planning grant: Development of a farmer/extension/research network and farming systems data bases for low-input agriculture
        Page 6
        Page 7
    LS88-5: Planning funds for a proposal on extending the issue of sustainable agriculture to small farms in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    LS88-6: Planning grant: On-farm demonstration of low-input farming
        Page 11
        Page 12
    LS88-7: Low-input reduced tillage crop production systems for the southern United States (88-108-1)
        Page 13
    LS88-8: Development, implementation and evaluation of low-input crop and livestock systems for the southern region (88-96-2)
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    LS88-8.2: Low-input crop and livestock systems for the southeastern United States
        Page 17
        Page 18
    LS88-9: A comparison of cropping systems managed conventionally or with reduced chemical input (88-32-3)
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    LS88-10: Solarization and living mulch to optimize low-input production systems for small fruits (88-87-4)
        Page 26
        Page 27
    LS88-11: Developing and extending minimum input strategies for weed control in agronomic and horticultural crops
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    LS88-11.2: Developing and extending minimum input strategies for weed control in agronomic and horticultural crops
        Page 31
    LS89-12: Enhancing farmer adoption and refining of a low-input intercropping soybean-wheat system (89-55-1)
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    LS89-13: Substitution of cultural practices for herbicides to control annual rye grass and cheat in small grains
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    LS89-14: On-farm demonstrations and research of low-input sustainable farming
        Page 45
        Page 46
    LS89-15: Enhancement of the stability of southern region agroecosystems through profitable transition to sustainable agriculture
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    LS89-16: Development of a low-input multiple cropping system for small-scale farms (89-70-5)
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    LS89-17: Communication and information system for low-input sustainable agriculture (89-21-6)
        Page 62
        Page 63
    LS89-18: Composing poultry litter -- economics and market potential of a renewable resource (89-9P-1)
        Page 64
    LS89-19: Development of a plan for implementing a low-input sustainable forage production system in the Oklahoma-Arkansas Ozark highland region and similar land areas (89-56P-2)
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
    LS90-20: Effective nitrogen for low-input forage and grain production in a thermicudic region
        Page 68
        Page 69
    LS90-21: An educational program in low-input sustainable agriculture production technology and philosophy
        Page 70
        Page 71
    LS90-22: Influence of integrated pest management (IPM) on low-input sustainable agriculture (LISA) in the southern region
        Page 72
    LS90-23: A mid-south conference on LISA-related agroforestry practices and policies
        Page 73
        Page 74
    LS90-24: Development of an environmentally safe and economically sustainable year-round minimum tillage forage production system using farm animal manure as the only fertilizer
        Page 75
        Page 76
    LS90-25: Development of fractionation and treatment systems for poultry litter to enhance utilization and reduce environmental impact
        Page 77
    LS90-26: Swine waste -- low-cost alternative to commercial fertilizer for production of forage for grazing cattle
        Page 78
    LS90-27: A low-input manure management system in animal housing for housefly control, waste reduction and feed
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    LS90-28: Substitution of cultural practices for herbicides to control annual rye grass and cheat in small grains
        Page 82
        Page 83
    LS90-29: An expert crop rotation planning system (CROPS) for implementing and evaluating low-input crop and live-stock systems
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    LS90-30: There is no project associated with this number
        Page 88
    LS91-31(139): Biological control and its economics in the southern United States
        Page 89
    LS91-32(185): Economically viable production of vegetables in the southern region using low-input and sustainable techniques: A data base
        Page 90
        Page 91
    LS91-33(51): Reference manual of LISA resource management strategy budgets for the mid-south region
        Page 92
    LS91-34(97): Total resource budgeting of LISA related management strategies
        Page 93
    LS91-35(20): Improved nitrogen use-efficiency in cover crop based production systems
        Page 94
    LS91-36(63): Pest management and orchard floor management strategies to reduce pesticide and nitrogen inputs
        Page 95
    LS91-37(120): Low-input crop and livestock systems for the southeastern United States
        Page 96
    LS91-38(53): Developing and extending minimum input strategies for weed control in agronomic and horticultural crops
        Page 96
    LS91-39(27): Use of poultry litter as a soil amendment in southern row crop agriculture: A feasibility study based on agronomic, environmental, and economic factors
        Page 97
    LS91-40(44): Utilization of winter legume cover crops for pest and fertility management in cotton
        Page 98
        Page 99
    LS91-41(43): Uniform spray deposits for reduced pesticide use in weed and insect control operations
        Page 100
    LS91-42(1): Intensive short course on grant preparation for future applicants to the LISA competitive grants program
        Page 101
        Page 102
    LS91-43(40): Cover crops for clean water: A national conference on the role of cover crops in improving water quality
        Page 103
        Page 104
    LS91-44(189): SMART -- sustaining and managing agricultural resources for tomorrow: Training for the southern region
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    LS92-45: Use of organic nitrogen sources for sweetpotatoes: Production potential and economic feasibility
        Page 111
        Page 112
    LS92-46: Development of corpping systems for nematode management on agronomic and horticultural crops
        Page 113
        Page 114
    LS92-47: Farm scale evaluation of alternative cotton production systems
        Page 115
        Page 116
    LS92-48: Developing environmentally sound poultry litter management practices for sustainable cropping systems
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    LS92-49: Organic soil amendments of agricultural by-products for vegetable production systems in the Mississippi Delta region
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    Index
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    State index
        Page 130
Full Text
97, /77
SUSTAINABLE
SAGRICULTURE
Eb RESEARCH
00 and
EDUCATION
PROGRAM







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SOUTHERN REGION

Sustaiable Agriculture Research and Education
Projects Funded 1988-92

Assembled by

William H. Brown
Regional Program Coordinator
Agriucltural Experiment Station, Drawer E
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5055

and

J. Patrick Madden, Associate Director
USDA Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education Program
University of California
P.O. Box 10338
Glendale, CA 91209

with editorial assistance from
Kimetra P. Flowers










April 1993













SOUTHERN REGION

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

PROJECTS FUNDED 1988-1992






Assembled by

William H. Brown
Regional Program Coordinator
Agricultural Experiment Station, Drawer E
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5055

and

J. Patrick Madden
Associate Director
USDA Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education Program
University of California
P.O. Box 10338
Glendale, CA 91209




January 30, 1993









TABLE OF CONTENTS


LS88-1: LOW-INPUT AND ORGANIC PEST MANAGEMENT FOR APPLES
AND PEACHES USING MATING DISRUPTION AND GROUND COVER
MANAGEMENT ........................................ 2

LS88-2: WHOLE-FARM LOW/REDUCED INPUT FARMING SYSTEMS AND
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM ................................ 3

LS88-3: PLANNING GRANT: DEVELOPMENT OF LOW-INPUT AGRICUL-
TURAL TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE SUNBELT AGRI-
CULTURAL EXPOSITION DEMONSTRATION FARM .............. 5

LS88-4: PLANNING GRANT: DEVELOPMENT OF A FARM-
ER/EXTENSION/RESEARCH NETWORK AND FARMING SYSTEMS
DATA BASES FOR LOW-INPUT AGRICULTURE .................. 6

LS88-5: PLANNING FUNDS FOR A PROPOSAL ON EXTENDING THE ISSUE
OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE TO SMALL FARMS IN NORTH
CAROLINA, TENNESSEE AND VIRGINIA ...................... 8

LS88-6: PLANNING GRANT: ON-FARM DEMONSTRATION OF LOW-INPUT
FARMING ................... ..........................11

LS88-7: LOW-INPUT REDUCED TILLAGE CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
FOR THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES (88-108-1) ................. 13

LS88-8: DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION OF LOW-
INPUT CROP AND LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTHERN
REGION (88-96-2) ........................................14

LS88-8.2: LOW-INPUT CROP AND LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTH-
EASTERN UNITED STATES ................................ 17

LS88-9: A COMPARISON OF CROPPING SYSTEMS MANAGED CONVEN-
TIONALLY OR WITH REDUCED CHEMICAL INPUT (88-32-3) ......... 19

LS88-10: SOLARIZATION AND LIVING'MULCH TO OPTIMIZE LOW-INPUT
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SMALL FRUITS (88-87-4) ............. 26

LS88-11: DEVELOPING AND EXTENDING MINIMUM INPUT STRATEGIES
FOR WEED CONTROL IN AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL
CROPS .............................................. 28









LS88-11.2: DEVELOPING AND EXTENDING MINIMUM INPUT STRATEGIES
FOR WEED CONTROL IN AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL
CROPS ...............................................31

LS89-12: ENHANCING FARMER ADOPTION AND REFINING OF A LOW-
INPUT INTERCROPPING SOYBEAN-WHEAT SYSTEM (89-55-1) ........ 32

LS89-13: SUBSTITUTION OF CULTURAL PRACTICES FOR HERBICIDES TO
CONTROL ANNUAL RYE GRASS AND CHEAT IN SMALL GRAINS ..... 41

LS89-14: ON-FARM DEMONSTRATIONS AND RESEARCH OF LOW-INPUT
SUSTAINABLE FARMING ................................. 45

LS89-15: ENHANCEMENT OF THE STABILITY OF SOUTHERN REGION
AGROECOSYSTEMS THROUGH PROFITABLE TRANSITION TO SUS-
TAINABLE AGRICULTURE ................................ 47

LS89-16: DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW-INPUT MULTIPLE CROPPING SYSTEM
FOR SMALL-SCALE FARMS (89-70-5) ......................... 58

LS89-17: COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR LOW-INPUT
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE (89-21-6) ....................... 62

LS89-18: COMPOSTING POULTRY LITTER -- ECONOMICS AND MARKET
POTENTIAL OF A RENEWABLE RESOURCE (89-9P-1) .............. 64

LS89-19: DEVELOPMENT OF A PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTING A LOW-INPUT
SUSTAINABLE FORAGE PRODUCTION SYSTEM IN THE OKLAHOMA-
ARKANSAS OZARK HIGHLAND REGION AND SIMILAR LAND AREAS
(89-56P-2) ..................................... ...... 65

LS90-20: EFFECTIVE NITROGEN FOR LOW-INPUT FORAGE AND GRAIN
PRODUCTION IN A THERMICUDIC REGION ................... 68

LS90-21: AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM IN LOW-INPUT SUSTAINABLE
AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY ..... 70

LS90-22: INFLUENCE OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM) ON
LOW-INPUT SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE (LISA) IN THE SOUTH-
ERN REGION ......................................... 72

LS90-23: A MID-SOUTH CONFERENCE ON LISA-RELATED AGROFORESTRY
PRACTICES AND POLICIES ................................ 73









LS90-24: DEVELOPMENT OF AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE AND ECO-
NOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE YEAR-ROUND MINIMUM TILLAGE
FORAGE PRODUCTION SYSTEM USING FARM ANIMAL MANURE AS
THE ONLY FERTILIZER .................................. 75

LS90-25: DEVELOPMENT OF FRACTIONATION AND TREATMENT SYS-
TEMS FOR POULTRY LITTER TO ENHANCE UTILIZATION AND
REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ......................... 77

LS90-26: SWINE WASTE -- LOW-COST ALTERNATIVE TO COMMERCIAL
FERTILIZER FOR PRODUCTION OF FORAGE FOR GRAZING CATTLE .. 78

LS90-27: A LOW-INPUT MANURE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN ANIMAL
HOUSING FOR HOUSEFLY CONTROL, WASTE REDUCTION AND
FEED ........................ ........................79

LS90-28: SUBSTITUTION OF CULTURAL PRACTICES FOR HERBICIDES TO
CONTROL ANNUAL RYE GRASS AND CHEAT IN SMALL GRAINS ..... 82

LS90-29: AN EXPERT CROP ROTATION PLANNING SYSTEM (CROPS) FOR
IMPLEMENTING AND EVALUATING LOW-INPUT CROP AND LIVE-
STOCK SYSTEMS ...................................... 84

LS90-30: There is no project associated with this number. ................... 88

LS91-31(139): BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AND ITS ECONOMICS IN THE SO-
UTHERN UNITED STATES ................................ 89

LS91-32(185): ECONOMICALLY VIABLE PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLES IN
THE SOUTHERN REGION USING LOW-INPUT AND SUSTAINABLE
TECHNIQUES: A DATA BASE .............................. 90

LS91-33(51): REFERENCE MANUAL OF LISA RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
STRATEGY BUDGETS FOR THE MID-SOUTH REGION ............. 92

LS91-34(97): TOTAL RESOURCE BUDGETING OF LISA RELATED MANAGE-
MENT STRATEGIES ..................................... 93

LS91-35(20): IMPROVED NITROGEN USE-EFFICIENCY IN COVER CROP
BASED PRODUCTION SYSTEMS ............................ 94

LS91-36(63): PEST MANAGEMENT AND ORCHARD FLOOR MANAGEMENT
STRATEGIES TO REDUCE PESTICIDE AND NITROGEN INPUTS ....... 95

LS91-37(120): LOW-INPUT CROP AND LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS FOR THE
SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES ........................... 96









LS91-38(53): DEVELOPING AND EXTENDING MINIMUM INPUT STRATE-
GIES FOR WEED CONTROL IN AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL
CROPS ................................................96

LS91-39(27): USE OF POULTRY LITTER AS A SOIL AMENDMENT IN SO-
UTHERN ROW CROP AGRICULTURE: A FEASIBILITY STUDY BASED
ON AGRONOMIC, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND ECONOMIC FACTORS .... 97

LS91-40(44): UTILIZATION OF WINTER LEGUME COVER CROPS FOR PEST
AND FERTILITY MANAGEMENT IN COTTON ................... 98

LS91-41(43): UNIFORM SPRAY DEPOSITS FOR REDUCED PESTICIDE USE
IN WEED AND INSECT CONTROL OPERATIONS ................ 100

LS91-42(1): INTENSIVE SHORT COURSE ON GRANT PREPARATION FOR
FUTURE APPLICANTS TO THE LISA COMPETITIVE GRANTS PRO-
GRAM .................. .......................... 101

LS91-43(40): COVER CROPS FOR CLEAN WATER: A NATIONAL CONFER-
ENCE ON THE ROLE OF COVER CROPS IN IMPROVING WATER
QUALITY ........................................... 103

LS91-44(189): SMART -- SUSTAINING AND MANAGING AGRICULTURAL
RESOURCES FOR TOMORROW: TRAINING FOR THE SOUTHERN
REGION ............................................ 105

LS92-45: USE OF ORGANIC NITROGEN SOURCES FOR S-
WEETPOTATOES: PRODUCTION POTENTIAL AND ECONOMIC
FEASIBILITY .................................... 111

LS92-46: DEVELOPMENT OF CROPPING SYSTEMS FOR NEMATODE
MANAGEMENT ON AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL
CROPS ........................................ 113

LS92-47: FARM SCALE EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE COTTON
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS ............................ 115

LS92-48: DEVELOPING ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND POULTRY LITTER
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR SUSTAINABLE CROPPING
SYSTEM S ............. .......................... 117

LS92-49: ORGANIC SOIL AMENDMENTS OF AGRICULTURAL BY-PROD-
UCTS FOR VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS IN THE MIS-
SISSIPPI DELTA REGION ............................ 120

NDEX .................. ................................ 123









STATE INDEX ................................. .130









LS88-1: LOW-INPUT AND ORGANIC PEST MANAGEMENT FOR APPLES AND
PEACHES USING MATING DISRUPTION AND GROUND COVER MANAGE-
MENT

Major Participants:

University of Georgia: F.F. Hendrix (Project Coordinator), Plant Pathology, Professor of
Peach and Apple Disease, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Don Horton,
Entomology, Georgia Extension Service; Norman McGlohon, Plant Pathology,
Georgia Extension Service.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Douglas Pfeiffer, Entomology; Richard
P. Marini, Horticulture; Jeffrey F. Derr, Weed Science.

Mary Washington College: Joella C. Killiam, Biological Sciences.

Overview

In view of consumer alarm over pesticide residues on fruits, a team of scientists (led
by Dan Horton and Floyd Hendrix in Georgia and Douglas Pfeiffer in Virginia) have
developed altemative methods of controlling fungus diseases and insect pests. Instead of
relying on heavy preventive spraying to control the fungus diseases called sooty blotch and
flyspeck, these scientists have developed post-harvest techniques for dipping the fruit in a
household bleach solution. Post-harvest chlorine bleach treatment of fruit allows growers to
ignore two important fungus diseases, sooty blotch and flyspeck. The concentration of
sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient in household bleach) found to be 94% effective in
removing sooty blotch from fruit (post-harvest) is 500 parts per million if the fruit is just
dipped, 200 ppm if the fruit is dipped and brushed. While 94% reduction is considered
successful, a dip with 940 ppm achieved a 100% reduction. The chlorine volatilizes rapidly,
leaving no residue. This ingredient is exempted from food tolerances by EPA due to its low
risk. In addition, a 500 ppm dip completely removed the residue of fungicides Captan and
Maneb, and removed all but 0.2 ppm of Phosmet.

These scientists have also found that most major post-bloom insect pests are effective-.
ly controlled by pheromone mating disruption plus a single well-timed spray. This method
involves tying to the branches of the trees hundreds of little "twisties" that emit a certain
pheromone or a mating attractant, like a chemical given off by the female at mating time.
Males become completely confused. They fly throughout the orchard trying to find the
females. It disrupts the whole reproductive process, and greatly reduces the population of
the pest.

In addition to mating disruption, alternate-row spraying and ground cover manage-
ment help conserve natural enemies of the pests and reduce the number of sprays. The
overall LISA pest control system developed in this study achieves equal or better control of
insect and disease injury as compared with the standard practice used in these states.
Meanwhile the number of sprays is reduced from 19 per season to an average of 9.5, thereby









3

reducing the pest control costs from $247 per acre to $99 per acre, with no reduction in
yield. Profit is significantly increasing.

Objectives

(1) Control coding moth and variegated leafroller through mating disruption achieved by
pheromone permeation.

(2) Determine ground cover management practices, contrasting conventional and biologi-
cal farmers, and effects on the mite system, tree growth and yield.

(3) Determine toxicity of a broad range of herbicides to Neoseiulus fallacis (Garman).

(4) Disseminate to conventional and organic growers the current information on reduced
pesticide input and organic pest management systems.

(5) Develop new methods for controlling pests using reduced input and organic tech-
niques.

Project Duration: Two years (June 1, 1988 May 31, 1990)

Funding: $100,000 in 1988. Matching, $223,882.


Sustainable Matching
Agri. Funds Funds
University of Georgia $50,000 $223,882
VPI $50,000 --
Totals $100,000 $223,882


Organization
LS88-2: WHOLE-FARM LOW/REDUCED INPUT FARMING SYSTEMS AND EDU-
CATIONAL PROGRAM

Major Participants:

Prairie View A & M University: Hoover Carden (Project Coordinator), Administrator of
Cooperative Extension Service, Prairie View A & M University, Agriculture Exten-
sion Program, Prairie View, TX 77446. Alden Reines, Director, Cooperative
Research Center; Alfred Wade, Asst. Adm., Cooperative Extension Program; Bennie
L. Lockett, Asst. Adm., Cooperative Extension Program; Terry Menges, Cooperative









4
Extension Program; Arthur Mangaroo, Cooperative Research Center; Juanito Reyes,
Cooperative Research Center; Billy Higginbotham, Cooperative Extension Program.

Texas A & M University: Garland McIlveen, Agricultural Extension.

Texas Department of Agriculture: Gus Townes, Marketing Director, Austin, Texas.

Farmer Participation:

Maurice Owens, Waller County, Texas; Ralph Lindsey, Cherokee County, Texas; Perry
Leutge, Milam County, Texas.

Overview

Most small farmers are producing only one or two major enterprises, without
choosing among efficient and profitable alternatives. Most farmers fail to take the time to
analyze the potential profitability that can be gained through adoption of low/reduced input
agricultural concepts. There exists a need for a comprehensive resource management
program designed to address these issues in which the generated data are documented
through research/demonstration, in a realistic production situation, i.e., on the farm.

This project will consist of a coordinated multi-agency effort in providing educational
and technical assistance to Texas farmers through the implementation to whole-farm low- or
reduced-input agricultural research and demonstrations, both on the Prairie View A & M
campus and within two hundred miles of campus through field days, seminars, staff training
and clientele workshops.

This project will include comprehensive investigations into reducing farmer reliance
on off-farm purchased inputs, thereby minimizing environmental impacts, while maintaining
productivity through soil management, conservation and utilization of natural resources in
improved farming systems.

Objectives

(1) Implement research projects addressing "low/reduced input" farm resource manage-
ment practices. Projects will include crop rotation, intercropping systems, soil
management practices, specialty crops (oriental vegetables, low-chill apples, etc.) and
reduced levels of fertilizers in combination with legumes and cover crops.

(2) Investigate crop resistance to common pests that may be prevalent in this type of
farming system.

(3) Investigate the affect of spray solution pH on the efficacy of various common
chemicals in an attempt to reduce pesticide applications where use is necessary.









5

(4) Implement small-farm, whole-farm demonstrations in various geographic areas across
Texas to evaluate low/reduced input resource utilization and conservation systems.

(5) Assist small-scale farm producers in analyzing existing operations and identifying
potential areas for improvement in resource utilization and conservation. This will
include such areas as farm pond management, Christmas tree production on non-
producing land areas, and evaluation of the potential for wildlife management for
profit.

(6) Develop and evaluate strategies and materials necessary for converting from high
input to low/reduced input farming systems.

(7) Make available technical assistance to aid producers and Cooperative Extension
personnel in understanding, disseminating and adapting the technology from the data
base generated in this project.

Project Duration: Three years (June 1, 1988-May 31, 1991)

Funding: $90,000 in 1988. Matching, $40,345.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Prairie View A & M University $90,000 $40,345
Totals $90,000 $40,345



LS88-3: PLANNING GRANT: DEVELOPMENT OF LOW-INPUT AGRICULTURAL
TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE SUNBELT AGRICULTURAL
EXPOSITION DEMONSTRATION FARM

Major Participants:

University of Georgia: John Beasley (Project Coordinator), Extension Specialist, Rural
Development Center, Department of Agronomy, Tifton, GA 31793. Charles
Douglas, Agronomy Department, Coastal Plain Experiment Station.

Overview

A comprehensive approach to the selection, screening and development of demonstra-
tions of low-input agricultural systems. The annual agricultural exposition operates a 540
acre farm, on which over 160 demonstrations are conducted each year. This planning









6

project will assemble a Council of Advisors comprised of researchers, educators and farmers
from eight southeastern states (VA, NC, SC, GA, TN, FL, AL, MS) to identify and screen
low-input agricultural technology and systems. Furthermore, this Council of Advisors will
provide direction for successful on-farm demonstrations of that technology or those agricul-
tural systems most effective in reducing use of off-farm input resources.

Objectives

(1) Identify research with potential for rapid application to low-input farming systems for
southern farmers.

(2) Screen identified research for its relevance to southeaster farming systems and
evaluate the research on its ability to be readily adopted by farmers.

(3) Develop demonstration methodologies for application of selected low-input research at
the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition Demonstration Farm.

Project Duration: One Year Planning Grant starting June 1, 1988

Funding: $14,700 in 1988. Matching, $33,900.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Georgia $14,700 $33,900
Totals $14,700 $33,900


LS88-4: PLANNING GRANT: DEVELOPMENT OF A FARM-
ER/EXTENSION/RESEARCH NETWORK AND FARMING SYSTEMS DATA
BASES FOR LOW-INPUT AGRICULTURE

Major Participants:

Winrock Interational Institute For Agricultural Development: Frank H. Baker, Regional
Director. Robert Havener, President.

University of Arkansas: Ted Jones, Director, Cooperative Extension Service; Gerald
Musick, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director, Agricultural Experiment
Station; Ron Johnson, Associate Director, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
and Agricultural Experiment Station.









7

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Ann Sinclair, Program
Manager.

Small Farm and Technical Assistance Center: Corbet Lampkin, Head.

East Arkansas Produce Marketing Association: Leroy S. Lacy, Director.

Heifer Project International: Armin Schmidt, Director of Programs, Global Services.

Ozark Small Farm Viability Project: Gordon Watkins, President.

Meadowcreek Project: Jim Lukens (formerly Agricultural Director; now with ATTRA).

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture: James Horne, Vice President.

Arkansas Land and Farm Development CorporatioW: Calvin R. King, Executive Director.

Arkansas Land Stewardship Project: Nick Brown, Director.

Arkansas South Central States Representative: Janet Bachmann, Rodale Institute.

Intemational Agricultural Programs: Tom W. Westing, Associate Dean.

Overview

This proposal requests funding for the implementation of a planning process which
will develop plans for two major comprehensive project components, or sets of components:
1) a farmer/extension/research network, and 2) necessary data bases concerned with low-
input agriculture in Arkansas, Oklahoma and appropriate adjacent areas. The network will
serve as a mechanism for communication among farmers, extension workers and researchers
and, as such, will be the major mechanismn for data accumulation and information dissemi-
nation, as well as for identification of high priority research questions.

Data base development will use an analytic inventory of existing data bases and data
base methodology to determine how to prepare and store new data bases. A farm manage-
ment data base focusing upon costs and retums of actual practices in use will be the first
developed. The process outlined, which will follow key elements of the Farming Systems
Research/Extension approach, represents a cooperative effort of university researchers and
extension personnel, farmers and public/private sector organizations, some of whom are
already heavily committed to low-input and sustainable agriculture. Lead responsibility for
implementing the planning project will be taken by Winrock International Institute for
Agricultureal Development. Completion of the planning process will result in specific
implementation plans for the establishment of the farmer/extension/research network and









8

low-input data bases, as well as the creation of an ongoing planning and coordinating
mechanism for low-input research and extension activitiies in the target region.

Objectives

(1) Bring together interested organizations, agencies and persons in the region composed
of Arkansas, Oklahoma and appropriate adjacent areas to engage in the planning
process for the identification, elaboration and developemnt of low-input agricultural
techniques and production in the region.

(2) Produce a detailed plan for the cooperative achievement of the above, using a
Farming Systems Research/Extension (FSR/E) approach, which emphasizes farmer
involvement together with multi-disciplinary and multi-agency collaboration.

(3) Produce:

(a) comprehensive project proposal(s) for multi-year funding, which will be
implemented cooperatively by the planning group, and/or by individual
agencies or groups from the planning group; and

(b) a mechanism for identifying, prioritizing and funding individual component
project phases that are proposed.

Project Duration: One year: June 1, 1988 through May 31, 1989 (Project Completed)

Funding: $15,000. Matching, $34,858.

LS88-5: PLANNING FUNDS FOR A PROPOSAL ON EXTENDING THE ISSUE OF
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE TO SMALL FARMS IN NORTH CAROLINA,
TENNESSEE AND VIRGINIA

(Revised 3/6/91)

Major Participants:

North Carolina A & T State University: M. Ray McKinnie (Project Coordinator), Agricul-
tural and Natural Resources, P.O. Box 21928, Greensboro, NC 27420, Phone:
(919) 334-7957, assisted with state conference and primary coordinator for proposal
development. Daniel D. Godfrey, Associate Dean & Extension Administrator; John
M. O'Sullivan, Greensboro, NC 27411, state conference coordinator, assisted in the
development of proposal.

Virginia State University: Clinton V. Tumer, Associate Vice President for Agriculture and
Extension; Lorenza Lyons, Assistant Extension Administrator, actively involved in









9

development of proposal; Mitchell Patterson, Petersburg, VA 23803, project director
(Virginia) and an active participant in proposal development.

Tennessee State University: James E. Farrell, Extension Administrator; Richard J. Winston,
project co-director (Tennessee) and an active participant in proposal development;
Alvin E. Wade, Nashville, TN 37203.

Overview

The present proposal requests funds to develop a multi-institutional Extension project
to promote the use of sustainable agriculture methods on small farms in North Carolina,
Tennessee and Virginia. Successful implementation of a sustainable agricultural program in
the southem United States will need to include the small and part-time audience which are
the traditional audiences of the 1890 Land-Grant universities. Small farmers may not be
aware of present research efforts in this area, or of consumer interest in bio-organic low-
input vegetables and other commodities. For that matter, Extension professionals and
paraprofessionals working with this audience may not know of or be on the cutting edge of
present research in sustainable agricultural practices.

Initial expenditures were used to involve 1890 state-level Research and Extension
staffs in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and county Extension professionals and
paraprofessionals in.those states in formulating appropriate ways to achieve the project's goal
of extending the issue of low-input sustainable agriculture (LISA) to the 1890 Land-Grant
universities and their audiences. To that end, two major objectives were outlined for the
project. They were:

(1) To develop a multi-year, multi-discipline, Extension-based, applied research proposal
that will permit the 1890 institutions in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to
involve small and part-time farmers in their respective states in sustainable agricultur-
al endeavors.

Rationale for this objective -- Successful implementation of a sustainable agriculture
program in the southern United States will need to include the small and part-time
audience which is the traditional audience of the 1890 land-grant universities.

(2) Conduct two planning meetings and a conference in each state to involve interested
staff, farmers and other individuals in the issues of sustainable agriculture.

Rationale for this objective -- Small farmers and local Extension staffs working with
this audience need educational programs and discussion of the issues and terminology
involved in order to "buy in". They need to be able to express their views and make
suggestions on the appropriate ways of establishing relevant and meaningful programs
in sustainable agriculture.









10

Project participants conducted and/or participated in a series of activities relative to
the project's two main objectives. Towards Objective # 1, representatives of North Carolina
A & T, Virginia State and Tennessee State attended the International Conference on
Sustainable Agricultural Systems held in Columbus, Ohio to better acquaint themselves with
the emerging issues of LISA and their implications for small/limited-resource farmers. A
visit was also made to the Rodale Research Center in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, to view and
discuss agronomic research involving the reduced use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and
pesticides and the increased use of green/animal manures, and conservation tillage practices.


Having armed themselves with information and techniques relative to LISA practices,
representatives of the three institutions met face-to-face and corresponded to develop a major
multi-state-discipline applied research proposal entitled "The Issue of Low-Input Sustainable
Agriculture: Its Relevance, Importance, and Applicability to 1890 Land-Grant University
Research and Extension Programs with Small and Limited Resource Farm Operators." The
proposal's primary focus was the introduction of low-input agronomic practices, such as soil
amendments, green manures and no-till planting, and biological insect control into traditional
cultural practices for the production of sweet cor and vegetables. Additionally, the proposal
provided for an educational and informational exchange and dissemination effort among 1890
program personnel and their clientele. The proposal was submitted and received some
favorable comments. However, due to the highly competitive nature of the review process,
funds were granted only to a few select proposals.

Towards completion of Objective # 2, North Carolina A & T and Virginia State
universities hosted state conferences that addressed the potential application of LISA
technology to the establishment of viable low-input sustainable production systems for small-
scale agriculture. North Carolina A & T's state conference, held in March 1989, focused on
the issue of LISA, offering an overview of its purpose and intent, site visits to research
projects, and production information on the LISA agenda in the areas of water quality,
animal/forage production systems, organic vegetable production and biological insect control.
The conference agenda was designed to appeal to both professional and paraprofessional
Extension workers as well as to other persons interested in LISA.

Virginia State University hosted a state conference in July 1989 entitled "Income
Opportunities for Small and Part-Time Farmers Through Ecological Management of Natural
Resources." Conference participants were treated to informative talks on shiitake mushroom
production, medicinal herbs and dried flowers, ginseng and garlic production and ani-
mal/forage production featuring controlled grazing. Additionally, conference participants
were given a tour of various agronomic research practices and alternative crops, some
involving LISA techniques, being conducted at the university's research farm. Approximate-
ly 100 people attended the conference and received up-to-date information on LISA and
alternative agricultural enterprises.










Project personnel at Tennessee State University chose not to host a state conference.
Instead, the Extension Program provided travel for its specialists, researchers and field staff
to attend the state conferences in North Carolina, Virginia and other related conferences and
meetings. As a result of their attendance of various conferences and meetings, numerous
low-input sustainable agricultural concepts and techniques have been incorporated into
ongoing Extension and Research programs which benefit hundreds of small and part-time
farmers.

In summary, North Carolina A & T, Virginia State and Tennessee State universities
achieved their main objectives and overall goal of extending the issue of Iow-input sustain-
able agriculture (LISA) to the 1890 Land-Grant universities and audiences. It is estimated
that hundreds of small and part-time farmers, across the three states, have benefitted from
their exposure to information and research technologies given out by these universities. This
project has had a definite impact on 1890 institutional awareness of the issue of LISA and its
application to day-to-day small scale agricultural practices in North Carolina, Virginia and
Tennessee.

Project Duration: One year (June 1, 1988 May 31, 1989)

Funding: $15,000 in 1988. No matching funds.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Planning Grant $15,000 --
Totals $15,000 --



LS88-6: PLANNING GRANT: ON-FARM DEMONSTRATION OF LOW-INPUT
FARMING

Major Participants:

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association: William W. Dow (Project Coordinator), Carolina
Farm Stewardship Association, Route 3, Box 333, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Mollie
Anderson (Project Coordinator), Rt. 3, Box 333, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Overview

The methods of low-input, sustainable agriculture and the positive results of new
research must be successfully demonstrated on actual working farms in order to be widely









12

adopted. A process is needed whereby other farmers interested in changing their practices
can see and lear from successful practical applications by farmers like themselves.

This is a proposal for a one-year planning grant to set up a program for on-farm
demonstration of low-input agriculture in North Carolina. Farms would be chosen from each
region of the state to reflect a diversity of agricultural enterprises, including horticultural
crops, agronomic crops, and mixed farming. Because new methods may require new crops
and markets or offer the possibility of premium prices, appropriate alternative marketing
channels will be researched to assist farmers. An effort will be made to involve Extension
personnel and vocational agriculture teachers working in the counties of participating
farmers.

Objectives

(1) Plan and begin to implement a program for creating on-farm demonstrations of low-
input farming systems at several locations throughout North Carolina. The on-site
part of this project will be accompanied and enhanced by marketing and educational
components.

(2) Demonstrate methods of facilitating the transition from conventional agriculture to
alternative methods through emphasizing the on-farm demonstration of low-input
methods, recruiting Extension personnel and Vocational Agriculture teachers for low-
input presentations, and identifying consultants to advise the project demonstration
and farmers in transitions to low-input agriculture.

(3) Develop a three-year project proposal, in conjunction with the participating farmers
and those who have been identified as advisors and consultants.

Project Duration: One year Planning Proposal (August 1, 1988 to July 31, 1989)

Funding: $15,000 in 1988. Matching, $5,500.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Planning Grant $15,000 $5,500
Totals $15,000 $5,500









13

LS88-7: LOW-INPUT REDUCED TILLAGE CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR
THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES (88-108-1)

Major Participants:

University of Georgia: W.L. Hargrove, Agronomy Department, Georgia Agricultural
Experiment Station, University of Georgia, Griffmn, GA 30223-1797. J.R. Allison,
Agricultural Economics Department, Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station;
D.C. Coleman, Institute of Ecology.

Clemson University: J.H. Palmer, Agronomy Department, South Carolina Cooperative
Extension Service.

Overview

Reduced tillage potentially can play a key role in sustainable agriculture production
systems by reducing soil erosion, decreasing fossil fuel use, decreasing weed pressure
through maintenance of surface mulch, and enhancing soil productivity through crop residue
and organic matter maintenance. Reduced tillage technologies have not been incorporated
into low-input cropping systems. The overall thrust of this project is to develop low-input
wheat/soybean/com production systems which incorporate reduced tillage technologies.

Objectives

(1) Evaluate combinations of three levels of three important factors in sustainable,
low-input production systems, namely tillage, nitrogen fertilizer, and herbicides.

(2) Determine the profitability of the systems evaluated in the field.

(3) Demonstrate profitable low-input, reduced tillage production systems on a field-scale.


(4) Optimize relay intercropping technologies, including weed management.

(5) Evaluate crop rotation benefits with respect to pest management and control.

(6) Evaluate legume germ plasm for use as nitrogen-supplying cover crops.

Project Duration: Three years (June 1, 1988 May 31, 1991)

Funding: $147,000 in 1988; $68,000 in 1989. Matching, $628,176.









14

Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Georgia $147,000 $404,818
Clemson University 68,000 223,358
Totals $215,000 $628,176



LS88-8: DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION OF LOW-
INPUT CROP AND LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTHERN REGION
(88-96-2)

Major Participants:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: John Luna (Project Coordinator), Dept.
of Entomology, Blacksburg, VA 24061. Lee Daniels, David Parrish and Vivien
Allen, Dept. of Agronomy; Joe Fontenot, Dept. of Animal Science; Gordon Groover
and Dan Taylor, Dept. of Agricultural Economics; David Vaughan, Dept. of Agricul-
tural Engineering; Nicholas Stone, Dept. of Entomology; Scott Hagood, Dept. of
Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science.

Cooperators:

Extension: Mr. Harold Roller, Rockingham County; Joe Derting, Washington County

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Chuck Miller, Manager, Dairy Center;
Dan Brann, Extension Agronomist; Erik Stomberg, Extension Plant Pathologist.

Farmer Participation:

Floyd Childress, Beef Producer, Christiansburg, VA; C.E. Allison, Dairyman, Glade Spring,
VA; Dale Heatwole, Dairyman, Harrisonburg, VA; Kyle Bishop, Dairyman, Riner,
VA.

Overview

This ongoing project, coordinated by John Luna of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
State University, consists of three parts: (1) a long-term whole-farm systems study involving
crops and livestock, (2) on-farm grazing systems demonstrations, and (3) the development
and implementation of a low-input cor production system.










Part 1 is a farm-scale experiment designed to compare a conventional crop/livestock
system with an experimental, low-input system to produce beef cattle. Involving 48
steers on 80 acres of crop and pasture land, this is the largest low-input farming
system comparison study in the US. Conventional livestock production systems in the
Souther region rely heavily on harvested forage (mostly alfalfa) and com produced
with heavy dependence on purchased inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. Findings of
this study indicate that (1) spring and fall grazing of alfalfa have reduced the need for
insecticides to control alfalfa weevil, (2) growing millet before alfalfa reduces the
need for herbicides and insecticides, (3) first year cor following alfalfa does not
require insecticides for corn rootworm or armyworm control and has reduced N
fertilizer needs, and (4) planting alfalfa into tall fescue reduces the need for N
fertilizer.

Part 2 is an on-farm grazing systems demonstration project established on a coopera-
tor farm in Southwestern Virginia. Two forage/beef systems are being compared.
The first involves rotational and continuous grazing, the use of legumes vs. nitrogen
fertilizer. The second involves sequencing of various forage species for year-round
grazing. Each system uses 30 cows with their calves and continues the calves beyond
weaning through the stocker phase. Four replications of pastures were established in
the summer and fall of 1989, including various combinations of tall fescue, alfalfa,
and red clover, with and without chemical inputs.

Part 3 involves the development and demonstration of low-input com production
practices, including the use of conservation tillage systems, winter legume cover crops
and integrated pest management practices for weeds and insect pests. These on-farm
demonstrations will be conducted on 14 farms in 1991-1992. Cor production
systems being compared include treatments such as use of a rye cover crop mulch, a
mixture of hairy vetch and bigflower vetch cover crops, and various levels of N
fertilizer application under alternative tillage systems. The no-till system earned a
$44 greater net return per acre than that of the disk tillage system. Within the no-till
system, the hairy vetch cover crop with no added N fertilizer earned about $22 more
net returns per acre than did a rye cover crop with 125 lbs of N fertilizer per acre.
These findings augment a growing body of published literature confirming the
economic advantages of using winter legume cover crops in cor and other cropping
systems.

An experiment involving low-input com systems evaluated alternative management
practices for rye cover crops in no-till cor. Comparisons were made between mowing and
conventional herbicide to suppress the rye. Densities of armyworm larvae were estimated
from the time of cor seedling emergence until armyworm larvae were no longer found. In
four of the five fields in both years, mowing significantly reduced armyworm population
densities in the early stages of cor growth. Mowing also adequately suppressed rye cover
crop regrowth in all fields. Costs of the cover crop management methods are calculated to
be about $6 per acre for mowing versus $10 per acre for paraquat spraying. Averaged









16

across all plots in both years, fields where the cover crop was mowed earned $40/acre more
net income than fields where paraquat was used to kill the rye cover crop.

Over the past few decades, "expert systems" computer software has made major
contributions in industries like medicine and defense. An expert system is being designed for
this project. A prototype computer-aided decision support system called CROPS (Crop
Rotation Planning System) has been developed for farm-level planning. This program uses
artificial intelligence techniques to generate crop rotation plans for individual farms,
implementing low-input sustainable practices and comparing these plans with conventional
altematives. The final version will not only generate crop rotation plans that implement low- -
input practices; it will also analyze the plans generated and allow the farmer-user to compare
the generated plans with an alternative. The system includes simulation models for estimat-
ing soil erosion and analysis of the financial status of the farm under various alternative
combinations of crop mixes, farm program participation and machinery.

Objectives

(1) Develop and evaluate crop/livestock farming systems that minimize reliance on non-
renewable inputs while maintaining or improving profitability, improving long-term
soil productivity, and minimizing undesirable environmental impact.

(2) On four cooperating farms, evaluate and demonstrate the role of winter-annual
legume/small grain polyculture cover crops in reducing nitrogen fertilizer, herbicide,
and insecticide inputs in cor production.

(3) Evaluate the potential of ridge-till systems for com production in the southeaster
United States.

(4) Develop and implement Extension educational programs to promote the adoption of
low-input farming technologies, practices, and systems.

Project Duration: June 1, 1988 May 31, 1991

Funding: $90,000 in 1988; $120,000 in 1989; $180,000 in 1991. Matching, $447,071.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
VPI $390,000 $372,071
Tennessee Valley Authority -- $10,000
Farmers Cooperating -- $65,000
Totals $390,000 $447,071









17



1991 Continuation

LS88-8.2: LOW-INPUT CROP AND LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTH-
EASTERN UNITED STATES (Second continuation of project LS88-8; also known
as LS91-37(120).)

Major Participants:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Dr. John M. Luna (Project Coordinator),
Dept. of Entomology, Blacksburg, VA 24061, Phone: (703) 231-4823. Nicholas D.
Stone, Department of Entomology; Dr. John Roach, Department of Computer
Science; Dr. Rosalind D. Buick, Department of Entomology; Dr. James W. Pease,
Department of Agricultural Economics; Dr. Lee Daniels, Department of Crop & Soil
Environmental Sciences.

Cooperators:

USDA: Dr. Bruce Julian, State Resource Conservationist, Soil Conservation Service,
Richmond, VA; Neal Vines, Extension, Area Farm Management Agent and Computer
Resource Specialist, Fauquier County, Warrenton, VA; Dr. Charles R. Meyer,
Programmer/Analyst, USDA/ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, Purdue
University, West Lafayette, IN; Dr. Dan Yoder, Programmer/Analyst, USDA/ARS
National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Farmer Participants:

Mr. Floyd Childress III, Crop/Livestock Operation, Christiansburg, VA; Mr. Sandy Fisher,
Sabot Hill Farm, Manakin/Sabot, VA.

Overview

Widespread adoption of low-input, sustainable agricultural practices may be the only
practical solution to the multifaceted crisis of American agriculture. Although low-input
farming systems are increasingly recognized as economically viable and environmentally
preferable to conventional, petrochemically based agriculture, the practical problems involved
in whole-farm planning have largely not been addressed. Implementing low-input, biologi-
cally based farming systems may involve growing new crops, growing old crops in new
rotations and with different tillage practices, and learning new techniques for improving soil
tilth and ecological pest management. Because of the new management skills and knowledge
required, the transition from conventional to low-input farming is generally perceived as an
uncertain and risky venture. Furthermore, federal farm programs, and the interdependencies









18

of farming operations often make impractical the adoption of component practices that may
appear attractive in isolation.

The Research and Extension project proposed here involves the use of artificial
intelligence and expert systems to continue the development of a computer-based planning
tool to help farmers choose whole-farm crop rotations, tillage and pest management practices
that help achieve a more sustainable agriculture. Expert systems are excellent tools to deal
with complex problems which require the synthesis and application of a broad knowledge
base. The proposed system is call CROPS (Crop ROtation Planning System) and is a unique
tool for farm-level planning. It is the only system that develops coordinated, whole-farm
plans for specific farms. CROPS develops crop rotation plans for each field in a farming
operation and then tests and compares the expected economic and environmental performance
of the generated plans with alternatives presented by the farmer or alternative plans generated
by the system. These evaluations will be based on simulation models of whole farm profits
and soil erosion.

The system is being developed in cooperation with two farmers operating diverse crop
and livestock farms in the Coastal Plain and the Appalachian mountain areas. The farmers
will provide design advice, will test the feasibility of the system on their farms, and will
cooperate with County Extension Agents and the Project Coordinators in designing the
system, documentation, and training materials.

Obiectives

CROPS is a computer program that selects crop rotations for each field on individual
farms, ensuring that the combined crop rotations, i.e. the whole-farm plan, meets the
production and financial needs of farmers, while also implementing low-input, sustainable
practices. Development of the CROPS system was initiated in August of 1990 with funding
from the Southern Region LSA program. That grant (LS90-29) supported the first year of a
three-year project. This proposed research would continue the development of the CROPS
farm-level planning system for a second year. Specific tasks to be undertaken in year two
are described below in the methodology section. The following objectives are the entire
project.

(1) Continue development of CROPS, a computer-based expert system to devise whole-
farm crop rotation plans and integrate low-input farming practices.









19

(2) Incorporate the soil erosion prediction models identified by the Soil Conservation
Service (SCS) as their standards (RUSLE and WEPPI) to analyze the effects of crop
rotation plans developed in Objective 1 on soil erosion.

(3) Incorporate an economic model of a farming operation (FLIPSIM-V2) to evaluate the
economic effects of potential farm plans developed.

(4) Evaluate the feasibility of whole-farm plans developed in Objective 1 on two Virginia
crop/lifestock operations.

Project Duration: Two years

Funding: $180,000 in 1991; $180,000 in 1992. Matching, $95,180, for funding year 1191
only. (Included in budget table for project LS88-8.)

LS88-9: A COMPARISON OF CROPPING SYSTEMS MANAGED CONVENTIONAL-
LY OR WITH REDUCED CHEMICAL INPUT (88-32-3)

(Revised 5/2/91)

Major Participants:

North Carolina State University: Larry King (Project Coordinator), Soil Science, Soil
Science Department, Box 7619, Raleigh, NC 27695-7619. Keith Cassel, Soil
Science; Maurice Cook, Soil Science; Udo Blum, Botany; Dana Hoag, Economics
and Business; Donald P. Schmitt, Plant Pathology; Arthur G. Wollum, Soil Science;
A. Douglas Warsham, Crop Science.

Overview

This project expands an ongoing experiment on reduced chemical input cropping
systems. The long-term study was started in the Fall 1985 on a 6-hectare site in the
Piedmont near Raleigh, NC. Continuous com, continuous grain sorghum, corn-wheat-
soybeans, and corn-wheat-soybean-corn-red clover cropping systems are managed conven-
tionally (recommended rates of commercial fertilizer and pesticides) and with reduced


S RUSLE stands for Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation. It
is a set of algorithms for more accurately estimating the
parameters that are currently used in the USLE model.
WEPP stands for Water Erosion Prediction Project and is
a process-based simulation model of soil erosion and
deposition across a topographical profile.
2 FLIPSIM-V is the fifth revision of the Firm-Level Income
tax and Policy SImulation Model (FLIPSIM).









20

chemical inputs (legumes for N, cultivation for weed control, no insecticide). The study is
envisioned as an outdoor laboratory in which investigators from various disciplines monitor
specific aspects of the experiment.

Objectives

(1) In an ongoing field experiment, maintain four cropping systems managed conven-
tionally or managed with reduced rates of commercial fertilizer and pesticides
(hereafter referred to as "low-input"). Monitor crop yield, cycling of N, P, and C in
the soil-plant system; concentration of allelopathic compounds (phenolic acids) in soil;
shifts in composition and number of soil arthropods and nematodes; microbial
population and activity; soil infiltration capacity and recharge of plant available water;
and economic viability of each cropping system.

(2) For conservation tillage and natural reseeding systems, develop or adapt equipment to
mechanically kill strips in winter green manure crop, no-till plant into kill strip, or
allow green manure to mature seed and then cultivate through green manure residue
to control weeds, leaving as much residue as possible on the soil surface.

(3) Develop response functions based on various inputs (legumes, reduced fertilizer rates,
cultivation, soil properties, etc.) and apply them to actual North Carolina farms to
determine the effect of low-input methods on crop yields.

(4) Determine the economic impact of various reduced low-input methods on farm
profitability.

(5) Develop extension programs to increase awareness of Extension agents and specialists
regarding the scope and purposes of low-input agricultural systems; provide Extension
agents and specialists with current and applicable research information on low-input
agriculture from other studies.

Narrative

A long-term rotation study was started in the fall of 1985 in the Piedmont area of
North Carolina near Raleigh to determine the agronomic and economic feasibility of cropping
systems using reduced rates of chemical inputs. Four basic cropping systems are being used:

* continuous com;
* continuous grain sorghum;
* two-year rotation: corn-wheat-soybeans; and
* two-year rotation: corn-wheat-soybeans-corn-red clover.

Two management systems are being used:









21

* Conventional: no-till planting, recommended rates of fertilizer and pesticides, and

* Reduced chemical input (RCI): chisel plow/disk for primary tillage, cultivation for
weed control and N from crimson or red clover green manures or reduced rates of N
fertilizer

The research area is located on a Cecil gravelly sandy loam soil (Typic Kanhaplu-
dult). Plots are 8 x 30 m and treatments are arranged in a randomized complete block design
with four replications. My technician, graduate students and I conduct all the agronomic
procedures and collect data on crop yields and crop and soil nutrient content. Other phases
of the experiment include: Allelopathy: Dr. Udo Blum, Botany; Dr. Doug Worsham, Crop
Science; Insects and Nematodes: Dr. Gerald Burst (1989-1990), Entomology; Dr. Donald
Schmitt (1988-1989), Plant Pathology; Soil microbial populations and activity: Dr. Art
Wollum and Mike Kirchner, MS graduate student, Soil Science; Soil moisture: Dr. Keith
Cassel, Soil Science; Economics: Dr. Dana Hoag, Agricultural and Resource Economics;
Extension: Dr. Maurice Cook and Dr. Joe Zublena, Soil Science.

Green Manure Crops:

The quantity of green manure biomass that accumulates prior to plowing in the spring
has varied annually. Crimson clover biomass has ranged from 2500 to 7200 kg/ha. Low
values were a result.of winter-kill in 1989. Generally, biomass produced each year has been
comparable for the three seeding methods used: drilling after cor, overseeding into
soybeans, or natural reseeding. Red clover biomass has ranged from 1600 to 6100.
Nitrogen contained in the clovers has ranged from 70 to 210 kg/ha.

Corn:

Season-long droughts or droughts during the critical pollination and grain filling
stages have occurred each year except 1989. Consequently, grain yields have been low (800-
2600 kg/ha) and RCI management resulted in yields equal to or less than yields with
conventional management. With adequate to excessive rainfall in 1989 yields ranged from
1000 to 8000 kg/ha. Yields with RCI management were approximately half yields with
conventional management. Lower yields were due to inadequate N supply and less effective
weed control in the RCI treatments. Nitrogen supplied by crimson was lower in 1989 than
in other years because of stand reduction due to winter kill. Weed pressure (mainly Johnson
grass) had been similar with conventional and RCI management in previous years, but in
1989 we used Accent, a post-emergent herbicide that provided excellent control of Johnson
grass.

In 1988 a treatment was added in which the green manure crop was plowed two
weeks earlier than normal to determine the trade-off between earlier cor planting and less
accumulation of green manure biomass and N. Results were mixed -- in 1988 late planting









22

was superior, in 1989 differences were not significant, and in 1990 early planting was
superior.

In 1989 a treatment was added in which a strip of crimson clover was killed mechani-
cally (sweep or disk) or with herbicides, and cor was planted directly into the strip. This
practice allowed clover in the row middles to mature seed and naturally reseed the plot. In
1989 these methods produced yields comparable to those where seedbeds were prepared by
chisel plowing and disking. However, in 1990 the mechanically strip-killed treatment was
inferior to the other treatments because of our inability to control weeds via cultivation due
to the large amount of residue in the row middles.

In 1990 we added a medium-input treatment consisting of 35 kg/ha fertilizer N
applied at planting and herbicide banded over the row at first cultivation. This treatment did
not improve yields -- probably because of the dry weather in 1990.

One of the original treatments allowed comparison of yields with and without a soil
insecticide dropped with the seed at planting. Cor responded to the insecticide one year out
of five.

Grain Sorghum & Soybeans:

Generally, yields of both sorghum and soybeans have been slightly less with RCI
management.

Wheat:

In the two-year rotation, yields with RCI management have been lower than yields
with conventional management because of inadequate N. In the four-year rotation conven-
tional management is still superior but RCI yields are higher than those in the two-year
rotation.

Red Clover Hay:

Management system has had no effect on hay yield.

Crop Budgets:

Crop budgets have been developed for each treatment. Retum over operating
expenses (hereinafter called "profit") was negative for cor in the dry years. Losses were
less with RCI management in those years. In 1989 (adequate rainfall) profits were greater
with conventional management with one exception: highest profit was produced by the
treatment in which N fertilizer was used but weed control was via cultivation rather than via
herbicide use. Profit has been greater with conventional management of wheat and sorghum









23

but profit has been much greater with RCI management of soybeans. Herbicide costs are the
major factor in profit difference in soybeans.

Allelopathy:

Soil samples were assayed for seven phenolic acids. p-coumaric was found in the
greatest concentration (4 mg/kg). Phenolic acids were much more concentrated in the 0-
2.5 cm zone than in deeper zones. Concentrations were higher in no-till treatments than
where plowing and disking had occurred. Data suggest that the major source of phenolic
acids is from the action of microbes on plant litter and organic residue. Preliminary
germination studies have shown that several phenolic acids inhibit germination of pigweed,
crimson clover and soybeans.

Entomology/Nematology:

A summary of two-years' data provides evidence that long rotations (four years) using
RCI practices in cor are beneficial for crop production by increasing the predatory arthro-
pods while decreasing pest populations and crop damage compared with conventional
practices. When conventional practices include primary tillage, the differences between RCI
and conventional management are much more dramatic. Conventional management with soil
insecticide and primary tillage greatly increased the potential for pest damage but RCI
management significantly reduced the potential for damage. In soybeans, pests and crop
damage with RCI management were either lower or equivalent to pest and damage with
conventional management. A tentative conclusion can be made that RCI management does
not increase pest problems which have the potential of increasing crop damage and yield
loss. All RCI treatments either decreased pest populations and crop damage or had equiva-
lent levels of both compared with conventional treatments.

Lesion, stunt and spiral nematodes were the dominant nematodes in the experimental
site. Relatively few root-knot, stubby-root, dagger, and ring nematodes were recovered and
they occurred sporadically over the site. Lesion and stunt nematodes may have slight and
subtle effects on plant response. Spiral probably has no effect. These three nematode
species occurred in lower population densities in RCI plots than in conventional plots.

Soil Microbiologv:

Soil samples were analyzed to determine the effect of treatments on microbial
populations and extracellular enzyme activity. Generally, RCI management in continuous
cor resulted in greater enzyme activity than did conventional management. Activity was
also higher in rotations than in monoculture but management system had little effect within
the rotation. Increased numbers of most organisms were noted with RCI management in
continuous com. With conventional management, the effect of cropping system (mono-
culture vs. rotation) was not consistent. However, within the rotation, RCI management
generally resulted in higher biomass and microbial numbers. The largest increase in microbe









24

numbers was noted with Bacillus spp. in the RCI treatments (crimson clover used as a green
manure crop). However, inclusion of clover did not result in a striking trend of increased
microbial biomass.

Soil Water:

Due to plentiful rainfall during 1989, differences in soil moisture due to treatments
were found only in June when water content was higher in the conventionally managed two-
year rotation the wheat had matured and recent rainfall infiltrated the soil and was
conserved due to the mulching effect of the wheat straw. The influence of position (row vs.
trafficked interrow) was noted and was primarily due to compaction of soil in the trafficked
interrow position thus decreasing infiltration and enhancing runoff. Significant differences in
soil water content were found on several dates in 1990 because rainfall was more limited
than in 1989.

Sorptivity and infiltration rates were measured in the crop row and the trafficked
interrow. Sorptivity is directly related to infiltration rate at early times in the infiltration
process. In general, sorptivity becomes greater as soil water content decreases. Sorptivity
in the trafficked interrow was significantly lower than in the row position for three of the
four treatments sampled. Treatments did not affect the ability of the soil to infiltrate water in
the row position, but sorptivity in the trafficked position was significantly lower for the
continuous cor treatment.

The time domain reflectometer (a new device for measuring soil moisture) was
purchased and considerable effort and resources were expended to construct the TDR probes
which will be used in the 1991 field season.

Economics:

Soils and cropping data have been collected and mapped for approximately 160 farms
in seven North Carolina counties. The data have been input into spreadsheets indicating
farm size, number of fields, size of fields, portion of each field in each soil mapping unit,
average crop productivity of each field, participation in commodity programs, and crops
produced in 1985, 1986, and 1987. Preliminary crop budgets have been developed based on
research from this project, discussions with crop specialists, and Extension agents. Ground-
water and surface water models are being evaluated as sources to rank each cropp-
ing/management system's potential effect on water quality.

An article using this information was published: D.L. Hoag and K.E. Jack, 1990.
"Low-Input Farming Systems Under Conservation Compliance", Journal of Soil and Water
Conservation, 45(1):71-74. Results showed that conservation compliance can provide both
consistent and conflicting incentives for LISA adoption but that the negative incentives could
be reduced in many cases.









25

During 1990 crop and livestock budgets were developed as part of a pilot software
program, PLANATOR, for sustainable agriculture. The software was developed by the
Sustainable Management of Agricultural Resources for Tomorrow (SMART) team to help
farmers compare economic and water quality tradeoffs of crop rotations. Overall, 123 crop
budgets and 9 livestock budgets were developed and the PLANATOR program was tested
with 8 Extension agents in Piedmont counties. The data were also written up in a profes-
sional meetings paper to compare the economic tradeoffs of cropping choices with leaching
of pesticides into groundwater, runoff of pesticides into surface water, soil erosion and
excess N (D. Hoag, M. Doherty, and F. Roka, 1991, "Farm Costs and Environmental
Tradeoffs of LISA" presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Agricultural Economics
Association).

This project developed a comprehensive program to collect and distribute existing
information about sustainable systems in real farm situations. This demonstrated what is
known, exposed data gaps, and indicated how to develop and disseminate information once it
becomes more meaningful.

Extension:

During the early stages of the project, Extension activities focused on developing and
presenting agent and producer training sessions on the concept and potential for LISA in
North Carolina. Recently a Soil Science Fact Sheet, "USA: Current Status and Future
Outlook" was published and distributed to County Extension offices, Soil Conservation
Service field offices, and Vocational Agriculture teachers. Response to the fact sheet has
been excellent.

Dr. Cook presented a paper, "Reduced Chemical Input Cropping Systems in North
Carolina" at the National Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Lincoln, NE and presented
about 12 other talks on LSA with particular emphasis on the North Carolina Project.

We have included waste utilization as a component of the LISA Extension educational
program since we view it as a renewable resource that can reduce off-farm purchases of
fertilizers. In addition to education, a study of the distribution of manure and manure
nutrients was conducted to:

* Assess the current manure generation by county in North Carolina;

* Determine the amount of nutrients that could be recovered and made available to
agronomic crops;

* Determine the quantity of nutrients required in each county;
* Determine the quantity of nutrients purchased in each county;









26
Calculate the percent of agronomic crop nutrients that could be supplied by animal
manures; and

Determine the nutrient balance in each county considering both purchased and manure
nutrients.

Results of the study indicated that 35% of the counties had surplus quantities of N, P,
and K.

Project Duration: June 1990 June 1992

Funding: $190,000 in 1988; $65,000 in 1989. Matching, $405,464.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
North Carolina State University $190,000 $405,464
Totals $190,000 $405,464



LS88-10: SOLARIZATION AND LIVING MULCH TO OPTIMIZE LOW-INPUT
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SMALL FRUITS (88-87-4)

(Revised 3/12/91)

Major Participants:

Texas Agricultural Experimental Station: Kim Patten (Project Coordinator), Fruit Research,
Overton, Texas A & M University, Agriculture Research and Extension Center,
Drawer E, Overton, TX 75684, Phone: (214) 834-6191. Ray Smith, Legume
Breeder, Overton, Cover Crops; Vince Haby, Soil Fertility, Overton, Fertilization
and Soil Interaction; Jim Starr, Plant Pathologist, College Station, Nematology;
David Bender, Vegetable Research, Lubbock, Strawberry Solarization.

Texas Agricultural Extension: Calvin Lyons, Fruit Extension Specialist, College Station,
Grower Education; Marty Baker, Horticultural Extension Specialist, Overton, Grower
Education.

USDA/Agricultural Research Service: Barbara Smith, Small Fruit Plant Pathologist, USDA
Small Fruit Research Station, Poplarville, MS, Strawberry Solarization.

University of Georgia: Gerard Krewer, Fruit Extension Specialist, Living Mulch.









27

Overview

Disease, insect and weed pressures can be major limiting factors to successful fruit
production in the South. Production of most horticultural crops in the South is chemical and
labor-intensive. Some fruit crops like blueberries and strawberries, however, may lend
themselves to altemative farming systems. For blueberries, disease and insect pressures are
minimal. The crop could be grown free of chemical inputs if suitable management alterna-
tives to soil fertility and weed controls were available. One altemative is the use of living
mulches. By proper selection of living mulch cover crops, weed competition could be
eliminated through both a smothering of the weeds and an allelopathic effect. Nutrient inputs
could also be supplied by the decomposing mulch.

When the efficacy of living mulch systems for blueberries was evaluated by Kim
Patten and his colleagues in growers' fields in Texas and Georgia, rye and annual rye grass
resulted in the highest mulch production and most consistent stands of mulch crops in the
winter. In producing blueberries, it is absolutely essential to have a ground cover or a
mulch, to protect the plants in the winter. This is a very expensive operation when farmers
buy and distribute straw or some other kind of mulch in their blueberry fields.

Farmers in this project are growing their own mulch right in the fields. Pearl millet
was the most successful cover in the summer. Crimson clover was the only legume tested
that was found to be suitable for a living mulch crop. Several crops, especially pearl millet,
exhibited allelopathic weed control. The estimated cost of using cover crops twice a year for
living mulch is $130 per acre for blueberries, approximately the same cost encountered with
the conventional blueberry fertilizer and herbicide program. However, the living mulch
provides many advantages farmers don't get from chemicals -- advantages that are being
tested over several years to protect growers against false "successes" that may fail after a
year or two.

Objectives

(1) Investigate the feasibility of eliminating fertilizer and herbicide input on blueberries
grown in the South through the use of a combination of legumes and annual summer
forage crops as living mulch systems.

(2) Evaluate solarization as a replacement for fumigation and cover crop production as a
replacement for synthetic chemical herbicides and fertilizers in growing strawberries.

Project Duration: Three years (June 1, 1988-May 31, 1992)

Funding: $40,000 in 1988; $40,000 in 1989. Matching, $81,197.









28

Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Texas Agricultural Experimental Station
$80,000 $81,197
Totals $80,000 $81,197



LS88-11: DEVELOPING AND EXTENDING MINIMUM INPUT STRATEGIES FOR
WEED CONTROL IN AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL CROPS

(Revised 1/30/91)

Major Participants:

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Ford L. Baldwin (Project Coordina-
tor), Extension Weed Scientist, Section Leader -- Pest Management, P.O. Box 391,
Little Rock, AR 72203. John W. Boyd, Extension Weed Scientist; T.L. Dillon;
T.W. Dillon; K.L. Van Pelt.

Overview

The coordinator of this project is Ford Baldwin, Arkansas Cooperative Extension
Service. A grower advisory panel, consisting of one soybean/cotton and wheat grower and
one soybean/vegetable grower have helped with planning, conducting and evaluating the
project. This project is a major component of Baldwin's ongoing research program consist-
ing of about 50 studies annually.

Findings of this project show that reduced herbicide programs are both possible and
practical with no loss in weed control and crop yield in many locations and crops in
Arkansas. Major findings have shown that herbicide inputs can be greatly reduced by
substituting mechanical weed control, spraying herbicide in narrow bands, targeting herbi-
cides to most susceptible weed species, and making very early applications.

For example, use of band application and new cultivator equipment have reduced
herbicide costs in cotton from $21 to $2.30 per acre. Likewise, soybean herbicide costs can
be reduced from $20 to less than $5 per acre. Survey results indicate that approximately one
third of the Arkansas soybean producers have adopted this herbicide-reduction technology, at
a cost savings of $7 million annually. Some of the concepts developed for soybeans are
being adapted to other agronomic and horticultural crops in this project, including vegetables.
Research in wheat has shown that rates as low as one-fourth the labeled herbicide rates can
be used.









29
Investigators have concluded that further reduction in herbicide inputs can best be
accomplished by an integrated program of crop rotation, cover cropping, living mulches and
tillage methods such as ridge till.

This study indicates the potential exists for reducing herbicide costs to well below
$10/A through the use of reduced rates and band applications. In addition, the precision
cultivator appears to have potential for making it easier to spray and cultivate narrow bands.
The experiment is being repeated in 1990 with several additional modifications. Cultivator
will be used on an as-needed basis by treatment instead of treating all plots the same. Its
possible broadcast applications may require less cultivation. Narrow rows will be compared
to 30" rows. Herbicide costs may be higher but tillage costs should be less. Next year the
costs of both the herbicides and post-plant tillage will be figured.

Cover Crops for Weed Suppression

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of crimson clover for
weed suppression between rows of cantaloupes grown on photodegradable plastic mulch.

The experiment was located on the Craig Farm near Scott in Pulaski County,
Arkansas. The soil was a well drained, sandy loam with a pH of 5.1 and less than 0.5%
organic matter.

Crimson clover was planted as a cover crop on October 10, 1989 using a seeding rate
of 20 Ib/A. Soil preparation was four passes with a Ber-Vac with 400 lb/A 13-13-13
incorporated on the last pass. Clover was then seeded and one pass was made with a Do-All
to cover the seed. The first significant rain fell on October 16. By March 22, 1990, clover
was not growing well, and on the farmer's advice that the soil was sulfur deficient, 200 Ib/A
ammonium sulfate was applied. The clover responded well and grew rapidly.

On April 5, 1990, strips 5 ft wide were mowed on 10 ft centers for the cantaloupe
rows. On April 9, 1990 the mowed strips were tilled by 3 passes with a 5 ft rototiller.
Lime was tilled into the row middle on the last pass. One thousand pounds of lime were
used on 2,400 ft of row. Plastic mulch and drip irrigation were laid the same day with a
Mechanical Transplanter Model 90 Mulch Layer. The plastic used was Lecofilm, brown,
1.5 mil, 36 in wide, photodegradable. The irrigation line was 10 mil, T-Tape, a lay-flat type
line.

On May 9, cantaloupe: Careo (2 rows), Mission (3 rows), and Magnum 45 (3
rows), were seeded in 300 ft rows. Planting holes were formed 24 in apart with a sharpened
piece of 2 in pipe. The holes were backfilled with vermiculite.

The first cantaloupe were harvested on July 12, 1990 and commercial harvesting
ended July 26. Harvesting and weighing was done by the farmer. The average yield was









30

7.4 tons/A. The only disease or insect problem was striped cucumber beetles which did not
cause significant damage.

The crimson clover and plastic did a satisfactory job of controlling weeds. Weeds did
not compete with crop or interfere with the harvest. The plastic was laid too far in advance
and thus began disintegrating before the season was over. Weeds were able to exploit the
openings in the plastic. Nutsedge, as would be expected, penetrated the plastic. Not
surprisingly, weeds tended to invade the bare strip between the crimson clover and the plastic
mulch. The major weeds in the clover were horseweed and tickseed coreopsis. The bare
areas were invaded by pigweed, broadleaf signal grass, spotted spurge, smartweed, and
eclipta.

The farmer was very pleased with the results of this study. The Craigs typically
grow about 80 acres of dryland watermelons and cantaloupes using no cover crops, infre-
quent liming and relying on machine cultivation, hoeing and herbicides for weed control.
The farmer has already limed 10 acres and planted it in crimson clover for melon and
cantaloupe production in 1991 with plans to use plastic mulch and drip irrigation as part of
his program.

This study will be repeated in 1991 incorporating a rye/crimson clover mix cover
crop, paper mulch, lightly tinted mulch, conventional and no-till planting compared to the
same methods used last year.

Objectives

(1) Develop a data base for the minimum herbicide rates required to control broadleaf
and grass weeds causing the major economic losses in the major agronomic and
horticultural crops in the South.

(2) Integrate the minimum herbicide rates with non-chemical methods of weed control.

(3) Develop minimum input weed control programs for multispecies weed situations in
the major crops using combinations from (1) and (2) above.

(4) Develop written information and computer programs to facilitate the minimum input
weed control technology adoption.

(5) Conduct extensive on-farm test demonstrations to facilitate adoption.

(6) Develop research guidelines and in-service training package for use in the states
desiring to implement similar programs.

Project Duration: Three years (June 1, 1988 to May 31, 1992)









31

Funding: $50,000 in 1988; $40,000 in 1989; $100,000 in 1991. Matching, $110,000 in
1988; $112,250 in 1989; $109,571 in 1991.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Arkansas $190,000 $331,821
Totals $190,000 $331,821



1991 Continuation

LS88-11.2: DEVELOPING AND EXTENDING MINIMUM INPUT STRATEGIES FOR
WEED CONTROL IN AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL CROPS (Second
continuation of project LS88-11; also known as LS91-38(53).)

Major Participants:

University of Arkansas: Ford L. Baldwin (Project Coordinator), Extension Weed Scientist,
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock, AR 72203,
Phone: (501) 671-2221; John W. Boyd, Extension Weed Scientist.

Farmer Participants:

Grower-Advisors: Steele Craig; Boyce Johnson.

Overview

Weed Control in Agronomic and Horticultural Crops with Greatly Reduced Rates of
Herbicide

The Coordinator of this project (number LS91-38(53)) is Ford Baldwin, Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service. A grower advisory panel, consisting of one soybean/cotton
and wheat grower and one soybean/vegetable grower have helped with planning, conducting
and evaluating the project. This project is about one-fifth of an ongoing research program
consisting of about 50 studies annually.

Findings of this project show that reduced herbicide programs are both possible and
practical with no loss in weed control and crop yield in many locations and crops in
Arkansas. Major findings have shown that herbicide inputs can be greatly reduced by
substituting mechanical weed control, spraying herbicide in narrow bands, targeting herbicide
to most susceptible weed species, and making very early application.









32

For example, use of band application and new cultivator equipment have reduced
herbicide costs in cotton from $21 to $2.30 per acre. Survey results indicate that approxi-
mately one- third of the Arkansas soybean producers have adopted this herbicide-reduction
technology, at a cost savings of $7 million annually. Some of the concepts developed for
soybeans are being adapted to other agronomic and horticultural crops in this project,
including vegetables. Research in wheat has shown that rates as low as one-fourth the
labeled herbicide rates can be used.

Investigators have concluded that further reduction of herbicide inputs can best be
accomplished by an integrated program of crop rotation, cover cropping, living mulches and
tillage methods such as ridge till.

Project Duration: Two years

Funding: $100,000 in 1991. Matching, $109,571. (Included in budget table for project
LS88-11.)



LS89-12: ENHANCING FARMER ADOPTION AND REFINING OF A LOW-INPUT
INTERCROPPING SOYBEAN-WHEAT SYSTEM (89-55-1)

(Revised 3/12/91)

Major Participants:

Mississippi State University: Normie W. Buehring, (Project Coordinator), Senior Agrono-
mist, Miss. Ag. & Forestry, North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, P.O.
Box 456, Verona, MS 38879, Phone: (601) 566-2201. Serves as project coordina-
tor, assimilates all farm input and crop yield data for appropriate economic analysis --
also assists in establishment and management of this system on farms and research
plots. Alan Blaine, Area Agronomist, Cooperative Extension Service, establishes
initial contact with interested farmers through local county agents and provides
technical planting and harvesting assistance to farmer cooperators; Stan R. Spurlock,
Department of Agricultural Economics, develops selected farm treatment cost and
retur budgets from treatment cost input and crop yield data supplied by project
coordinator.

Cooperators: Mississippi

Innovative Mississippi farmers who were interested in the LISA project evaluating the
wheat-soybean intercropping system (relay planting system) on their farm were contacted by
the County Extension Agent and MCES Area Agronomist. The project coordinator (N.W.
Buehring), Area Agronomist (M.A. Blain), and local County Agent usually met with the









33

interested farmers to discuss their role in the project. The farmers who agreed to participate
as cooperators in the LISA project provided the land, equipment and labor for land prepara-
tion, herbicide application and harvesting (Table 1). The LISA project leader and Area
Agronomist (currently Extension soybean specialist) provided technical assistance in all
phases of production. The County Agents (Table 1) assisted in obtaining yield data and
cultural practices data.

The local USDA/SCS (Summers) unit was involved in estimating soil loss for the
different systems and locations. Mississippi State University's Agricultural Economics
Department (Spurlock) is involved in doing the economic analysis for this project.

Cooperators: Arkansas

Two Arkansas farmers (Table 1) in cooperation with L.O. Ashlock (Arkansas
Extension Service) agreed to participate in the LISA project in 1990 by establishing Exten-
sion demonstrations. These farmers provided the land and equipment to prepare the wheat
seedbed, plant, harvest and apply pesticides on both wheat and soybeans. These demonstra-
tions consisted of planting wheat in a prepared seedbed with solid row and skip row patter
(intercropping system) in the fall of 1989, followed by relay planting soybeans into the wheat
in the spring of 1990. Farmer cooperators were Mr. Bill Weaver of Crittenden County and
Mr. Ralph Greenwalt and Sons of Prairie County. In each county, the county Extension
staffs cooperated very effectively with appropriate Extension specialist(s). Specifically, Mr.
Steve Rodery, county Extension agent/agriculture of Crittenden County and Mr. Hank
Chaney, county Extension agent/staff chairman of Prairie County have worked very closely
with this project.

Overview

Research and Extension personnel at Mississippi State University have developed a
low-input soybean-wheat intercropping system which involves mechanically planting soybeans
between standing rows of wheat spaced 15-16 inches apart at the time the wheat grain is in
the medium-soft dough stage. The year 1988 was the sixth year of research and development
work on this system for planting soybeans into wheat using an established tractor wheel track
skip (30-inch skips 2/20 ft. planter swath) the system reduces soil erosion potential, tillage
and herbicide input costs, increases soybean yield and results in higher net returns than
conventional monocrop soybeans and other soybean-wheat double-cropping systems. The
system has practical application to small and medium-sized farms through improved net
retuns on the same land area without increasing acreage farmed.

This project involves the USDA/Agricultural Research Service, Soil Conservation
Service, farmers, Extension and Research personnel in Mississippi, and farmers and
Extension personnel in Arkansas. The purpose is to enhance the adoption of this low-input
intercropping system and participate in further refinement of this system for small to
medium-sized farms in these two states. Information on this technology will be presented









34
through field days, video production, and published bulletins by Arkansas and Mississippi
Extension personnel, developed and made available to farmers and Extension personnel in
Mississippi, Arkansas and other states desiring to develop similar intercropping systems.

Objectives

(1) Enhance small and medium-sized farm adoption of a low-input reduced-tillage
intercropping system for relay interplanting of soybeans in wheat.

(2) Refine this system by evaluating narrow wheat row spacings alone and in combination-
with reduced herbicide inputs and cultivation for enhanced wheat yield and weed
control.

(3) Demonstrate lower input costs and enhanced profitability for low-input soybean-wheat
intercropping system.

(4) Evaluate this system on soils with poor surface drainage using a wide-bed system.

Objective 1

1989 Mississippi

In 1989 at the Hernando farm, weed control in winter wheat was more effective with
the 7.5-inch row spacings than 15-inch rows. However, both 7.5-inch and 15-inch wheat
rows in the relay soybean planted system produced 48 bu/a, 81% of the wheat yield from
7.5-inch rows with no skips. Soybean monocrop (full-season) yield was 42 bu/a, 15 bu/a
more than both conventional no-till doublecrop soybean planted June 20 in wheat stubble and
soybeans relay planted May 29 into standing wheat. Soybean relay planted yield was the
same as planted in wheat stubble.

On the bottomland site at Plantersville, although there was no significant difference
between 7.5- and 15-inch wheat rows in the relay systems the 7.5-inch rows on wide raised
beds produced 5 bu/a more and was 92% of the wheat yield in 7.5-inch rows without any
skips. However, the raised bed system did not significantly enhance wheat yield as expect-
ed. This was probably due to excessive rains and flooded field conditions during the early
spring and in May and June. Monocrop soybean yield was 31 bu/a more than relay planted.
However, the relay planted soybean produced 21 bu/a, 14 bu/a more than planted August 7
in wheat stubble. The soybean planting in wheat stubble had to be delayed until August due
to wet soil conditions in June and July.

Soil loss estimates by SCS personnel indicated no difference between either doublecr-
opping system (intercropped soybeans and conventional no-till beans in wheat stubble).
However, in contrast to the monocrop system both doublecropping systems reduced soil loss
by 50% at both locations.









35

1990 Mississippi

On all six farms in 1990 the intercropping system was either compared to monocrop
soybeans or soybeans planted into wheat stubble after wheat harvest. Wheat, however, was
lost due to flooding on three of six farms in the spring of this year. On the three farms
where soybeans were relay planted into the wheat (soft to medium dough stage), wheat yield
was generally fair to poor and the soybean yields were generally poor. On the farm at
Nettleton the wheat in the relay system produced 28 bu/a, 90% of the monocrop wheat
planted in 10-inch rows without skips. Soybean yield at Nettleton was very low due to the
extremely dry growing season. The relay planted Centennial soybeans planted May 25
became infected with stem canker disease and produced 9 bu/a in comparison to monocrop
bean yield of 20 bu/a. The mid-June no-till planting stubble was not infected with stem
canker and produced 13 bu/a. The late June no-till planting in wheat stubble produced no
harvestable yield due to the dry weather in July, August and September.

Wheat yield in the relay (intercropping) system on the farm at Hernando produced 23
bu/a, 72% of monocrop wheat planted in 7.5-inch rows without skips. Soybean yield on this
farm for the intercropping system was 14 bu/a, 56% of the monocrop soybean. On the
Oxford farm, the wheat in the relay planted system produced 28 bu/a. The monocrop wheat
stand was lost due to flooding. Soybean yield for the relay system was about 13 bu/a in
contrast to 23 bu/a for monocrop beans.

One of the major problems noted on the three 1990 farm sites was that relay planted
soybeans at all locations had moderate to severe infestations of either common ragweed,
marestail, or Johnson grass. Delayed timely farmer applications of appropriate herbicides,
immediately following wheat harvest, may have been a factor in weed control and yield
reduction. Previous research observations indicated this is very critical for the success of
this system.

Soil loss estimates by SCS personnel indicated no difference between conventional
doublecropped soybean and intercropped wheat-soybean systems. However, in contrast to
monocrop soybeans both doublecropped systems reduced soil loss by 25 to 30% at all 3
locations.

1990 Arkansas, Crittenden County

The monocrop wheat yielded 41 bu/a in contrast to 33 bu/a (20% less than solid
seeded wheat) for the wheat in the intercropping system. The relay-planted soybean yield
was 37 bu/a, 66% of the monocrop soybean yield and 70% of the conventional no-till
doublecrop bean yield. It was observed that early soybean growth rate was slowed in the
relay-planting patter compared to monocrop (full-season soybeans). There was some
additional weed pressure noticed in the relay-planted (intercropping) soybeans requiring an
over-the-top herbicide application. The overall vigor of the relay-planted soybeans was
depressed in relation to the monocrop and doublecropped soybeans.









36
1990 Arkansas, Prairie County

The wheat in the wheat-soybean intercropping system produced 57 bu/a, 86% of the
monocrop wheat (solid seeded). Soybean yields for the intercropping system was 24 bu/a,
60% of monocrop (full-season) bean yield.

We did not obtain a satisfactory stand of soybean in Prairie County. The narrow
gauge wheels used to reduce the width gauge wheel relay planting did not adequately control
planter unit depth in moist soil and was at least partially responsible for the poor stands.
Considerable soybean etiolation was observed in the relay-planted field.

Although the initial results of our wheat-soybean intercropping demonstrations have
not been impressive from the standpoint of yield, there have been some positive aspects of
this effort.

1. This is our first attempt at utilizing the relay (intercropping) planting technology. We
did learn that additional modification on the soybean planter is necessary to ensure a
uniform stand at the Prairie County location. Although minor, the additional equip-
ment modification will be needed to control the soybean planter depth-control settings.


2. It is not clear regarding the total amount of herbicide that will be needed to ensure
success. The use of over-the-top herbicide for the relay planting system when
compared to the conventional production system will probably increase, but no soil-
applied herbicide is required.

3. In a dry year, which did not exist at the Crittenden County location in 1990, yield
may actually be enhanced by the relay planting system.

Objective 2

1990 Mississippi

Wheat row spacing had no effect on grass and broadleaf soybean weed control.
However, it was observed that the narrower rows with good stands and adequate tillering
showed good ground shading and weed control. On the contrary, where poor tillering
occurred even in the narrower rows, ground shading was inadequate for good weed control.
Therefore, in addition to narrower rows, tillering can influence weed control. Broadcast
over-top (OT) applications of Fusilade + Reflex and Fusilade + Classic immediately after
wheat harvest gave better grass and broadleaf weed control and higher yield than Fusilade
followed by 2, 4-DB, Fusilade + Reflex (band application) + cultivation and the cultivated
check. Cultivation alone and in combination with Fusilade + Reflex (band application)
severely injured soybean plants. In the cultivation operation the wheat stubble (15-16 inches
tall) was moved in the soybean row and blocked the cultivator which dragged down the









37

soybean plants. Therefore yields from cultivation and with Fusilade + Reflex (band
application) were affected.

1989 Mississippi

The economic analysis of input costs and yield data (reported in Results and Discus-
sion of Objective 1) of the two 1989 farm sites indicated that the intercropping system had
$20 to $30/acre lower direct costs than conventional no-till doublecropped wheat and beans.
Net returns data indicated no difference for the Hernando, MS farm when conventional no-
till doublecropped beans planted in mid-June were compared to the relay-planted soybeans
into standing wheat. At the Plantersville farm, however, the intercropped system showed net
returns of $45/acre more than conventional no-till beans planted into wheat stubble in early
August (delayed due to excessive rain in June and July).

Objective 3

1990 Mississippi

The 1990 economic analysis for selected three farms has not been completed for this
report.

1988-90 Mississippi.

Wheat row spacing as a monocrop or in a wheat-soybean intercropping system
showed no difference in yield 1988-90. Wheat row spacing, however interacted with the
raised bed and flat systems. The 60-inch wheat rows in the soybean relay-planted system
showed no yield response to raised wide beds. However, the 7.5- and 15-inch wheat rows in
the relay system produced 47.5 bu/a, three year average (1988-90) on the raised wide beds.
This is in contrast to 41.5 bu/a average for wheat planted flat, about 13% less than the raised
bed system. Soybean yields, however, were not affected by the raised bed system. The
relay-planted soybean yields were highly variable across years and were greatly influenced by
soil moisture and diseases during the growing season. In 1988, delayed rainfall and
irrigation favored the soybeans planted no-till into wheat stubble with a 62% higher yield
than relay-planted soybeans. In contrast in 1989 excessive rainfall in June and July favored
the relay-planted (intercrop) soybeans by about 200% more yield than soybeans planted no-
till in wheat. In 1990 there was no difference in either relay-planted soybeans or convention-
al doublecropped beans. However, all three years both doublecropped systems produced
lower yields than monocropped beans. This is in contrast to previous research which showed
intercropped soybeans were equal to monocrop (full-season) soybeans and higher than
doublecrop soybeans planted in wheat stubble.

Field Tours and Training Sessions









38

Field tours were held on two sites and two area County Agent in-service training
workshops were conducted in Mississippi in 1990. Two field tours were held in Arkansas in
1990.

Publications

A video of this relay intercropping production system has been under development in
cooperation with MCES since 1989. Progress is being made and plans are to release this
video in August 1991 to farmers and scientists interested in learing about this method of
intercropping wheat and soybeans. Papers related to this LISA project were presented at two
regional and one national professional meeting in 1990.

Table 1
1990 Farmer Cooperators

Mississippi

Farmer Description/Approximate Acreage

1. Mr. Jimmy Sneed 3500 acre cotton and grain farm with about
Clifton Land Gin Company 40% in cotton and about 60% in wheat-
207 Clifton Road soybean doublecropping system.
Hernando, MS 38362
(601) 368-7029
Location: Northwest MS
County: Desoto
Co. Ext. Agent: Art Smith
2. Mr. Kenneth Oswalt 600 acre diversified grain crops and beef
Route 1, Box 473 cattle farm.
Plantersville, MS 38862
(601) 963-2730
Location: Northeast MS
County: Lee
Co. Ext. Agent:
Jackie Courson

3000 acre diversified cotton-grain crops and
beef cattle farm with about 50% in cotton
and 50% in a mixture of monocrop soy-
beans, cor, and wheat-soybean double
crop.









39

3. Briscoe & Sons Farm 1500 acre grain crops and beef cattle farm
1802 Fillmore with 90% in soybeans and 10% in wheat.
Tupelo, MS 38801
(601) 844-1996
Location: Northwest MS
County: Lafayette
Co. Ext. Agent:
Dickie Rhea 1000 acre cotton-grain crops farm with
about 70% in cotton, 20% in soybeans and
4. Mr. Buddy Coggin 10% in wheat.
Nettleton, MS 38858
(601) 963-3398
Location: Northeast MS
County: Monroe
Co. Ext. Agent:
David Roberts 2500 acre diversified cotton-grain crop farm
with about 20% cotton, 45% soybeans, 15%
5. Mr. Danny Murphy cor, 10% wheat-soybean double crop, and
Route 3, Box 402 10% in other crops.
Canton, MS 39046
(601) 859-5124
Location: Central MS
County: Madison
Co. Ext. Agent:
Frank Carter

6. Mr. Butch Scipper
Belen Planting Company
Post Office Box 98
Belen, MS 38609
(601) 326-5309
Location: Northwest MS
County: Quitman
Co. Ext. Agent:
Stanley Wise









40

Arkansas

Farmer Description/Approximate Acreage

1. Mr. Bill Weaver 2000 acre cotton and grain crops farm with
Post Office Box A about 25% in soybeans, 50% in wheat-
Edmondson, AR 72332 soybean double crop and 25% in cotton.
(501) 735-5056
Location: East Central AR
County: Crittenden
Co. Ext. Agent:
Steve Rodery
700 acre grain crop farm with 28% in rice,
2. Mr. Ralph & Eric Greenwalt 36% in wheat-soybean double crop, 21% in
Route 1, Box 24 monocrop soybeans, and 15% in com.
Hazen, AR 72064
(501) 255-3301
Location: Central AR
County: Prairie
Co. Ext. Agent:
Hank Chaney

Project Duration: Twenty-eight months starting March 1, 1989

Funding: $120,000 in 1988. Matching, $244,883.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Mississippi State University $86,250 $211,133
University of Arkansas 33,750 33,750
Totals $120,000 $244,883









41

LS89-13: SUBSTITUTION OF CULTURAL PRACTICES FOR HERBICIDES TO
CONTROL ANNUAL RYE GRASS AND CHEAT IN SMALL GRAINS

(Revised 2/1/91)

Major Participants:

Oklahoma State University: John B. Solie, Agricultural Engineering Department, 112 Ag
Hall, Stillwater, OK 74708, responsible for implementing Objectives 1, 2, and 3. H.
Willard Downs, Agricultural Engineering Department, 216 Ag Hall, responsible for
implementing Objectives 1 and 3; Thomas F. Peeper, Agronomy Department, 278 Ag
Hall, responsible for implementing Objectives 1, 2 and 3; Francis M. Epplin,
Agricultural Economics Department, 416 Ag Hall, responsible for implementing
Objective 4.

Farmer Participation:

Robert Harschman, Stillwater, Payne County, OK; Don Kirby, Lamont, Grant County, OK;
Earl Marshal, Hennessey, Kingfisher County, OK; Ray Nelson, Carrier, Garfield
County, OK; Joseph Peeper, Enid, Garfield County, OK; Don Schieber, Kildare, Kay
County, OK; Al Westfal, Lahoma, Garfield County, OK.

Overview

Winter wheat is grown continuously on a large portion of the acreage dedicated to
crop production in the entire Souther Region of the United States. Attempts to introduce
conservation tillage practices have always led to rapidly increasing infestations of weedy
Bromus, Lolium and Hordeum species. Farmers are increasingly abandoning conservation
tillage practices or are turning to herbicides to control these weeds. The introduction of new
cultural practices including the modification of existing harvesting and planting equipment is
a viable alternative to herbicides for controlling light seeded weedy grasses in small grains.

The proposed research and extension project will develop and demonstrate quickly
adoptable cultural methods with substantial potential for preventing pandemic infestations of
cheat and annual rye grass, two of the most common grassy weeds found in the Southern
Region. Practices include: 1) preventing the retur of annual rye grass and cheat seeds to
fields during harvesting, 2) increasing the natural ability of wheat to compete against annual
rye grass and cheat by using new seeding techniques, 3) identifying wheat cultivars with
greater natural abilities to compete against weedy grasses. A complete economic analysis
will be performed to evaluate the economic feasiblity of the proposed practices. Farmers
have been included in the planning, research and on-farm demonstration phases of the
project.









42
In April 1989, a LISA research and extension project was initiated to develop and
introduce to farmers new equipment and cultural practices that reduce or eliminate their
dependence on herbicides for weed control in small grains. The 1990 objectives were: 1)
Use 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 research results to demonstrate the advantages of using more
competitive wheat cultivars, increased seeding rates, and ultranarrow row spacing for annual
rye grass and cheat suppression in wheat, and continue research to optimize the competitive-
ness of the more competitive cultivars; 2) Refine the ultranarrow row grain drill opener,
designed and tested in 1989, to improve seeding depth uniformity, and clod and crop residue
clearance; 3) Provide on-farm demonstrations of the decreases in cheat and annual rye grass
populations attainable by catching and removing material discharged from the chaffer (lower
cleaning unit) of small grain combines; 4) Estimate the impact of the alternative weed control
methods on per unit production costs, family resource use, machinery investment, and net
retur to a representative farm family, and compare results with corresponding estimates for
farming systems which rely upon conventional weed control methods.

During the last year and one half, we have concentrated our efforts on equipment
development and on field research to secure agronomic data needed to develop cultural
practices to reduce or eliminate the dependence on herbicides for weed control. Although we
have worked extensively with farmers, we are only now securing the replicated data needed
to recommend and demonstrate these practices and to conduct economic analyses. Progress
on this project during grant year 1990 is outlined by objective in this report.

Objectives

(1) Use 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 research results to demonstrate the advantages of using
more competitive wheat cultivars, increased seeding rates, and ultranarrow row
spacing for annual rye grass and cheat suppression in wheat, and continue research to
optimize the competitiveness of more competitive cultivars.

(2) Refine the ultranarrow row grain drill opener, designed and tested in 1989, to
improve seeding depth uniformity, and clod and crop residue clearance.

(3) Provide on-farm demonstrations of the decreases in cheat and annual rye grass
populations attainable by catching the removing material discharged from the chaffer
(low cleaning unit) of small grains combines.

(4) Estimate the impact of the alternative weed control methods on per unit production
costs, family resource use, machinery investment, and net return to a representative
farm family, and compare results with corresponding estimates for farming systems
which rely on conventional weed control methods.









43

Progress

1. In the fall of 1989, five major experiments were established to determine the effects
of row spacing, wheat seeding rate, weed seed density, and date of planting on wheat
grain yield and weed seed yield. Results of these experiments, harvested in June
1990, show that narrowing row spacing significantly increases grain yield and can
reduce by half the dockage attributable to weed seed. Grain yield increases were as
great as 455 lbs/ac in weed free treatments and 410 lbs/ac in weed infested treatments
when row spacing was reduced from 9 to 3 inches. Increasing wheat seeding rate in
weed infested fields will reduce weed seed and significantly increase grain yield.
These benefits occur independent of the weed seed density at planting. Grain yield
increases as date of planting is delayed.

In the fall of 1990, we established three sets of experiments to: a) determine if the
combine weed seed collector, the ultranarrow row grain drill, and appropriate cultural
practices could be integrated into a single system to reduce or eliminate dependence
on herbicides; b) evaluate the performance of the ultranarrow row grain drill under
field conditions and to compare that drill with a conventional 8 inch grain drill; c)
compare wheat grain yield and weed seed yield when no herbicides are used and
when two grass herbicides are used with reduced row spacing. At two locations,
when we had collected weed seed at harvest (Objective 3) we used the ultranarrow
row grain drill (developed in Objective 2) to plant wheat. Seeding rates were 75 and
120 lbs/ac, and row spacings were 3, 6, and 9 inches. The experiments are designed
to determine the effects of the combination of weed seed collection at harvest and
ultranarrow row seeding with increased seeding rate on wheat grain and weed seed
yield. We will harvest these experiments in June 1991.

To evaluate the ultranarrow row grain drills, we established experiments on six
farmers' fields to compare the two ultranarrow row grain drills with a conventional 8
inch row spacing drill, and with broadcast seeding. Tillage systems were typical of
those used in Oklahoma and left zero to 50 percent residue cover at planting. Data
are being collected on depth of planting, stand, grain yield, and weed seed yield. We
have also planted large areas (up to 8 acres) with these grain drills on farmers' fields.


We have established four experiments to compare ultranarrow row seeding for weed
suppression with seeding at conventional and ultranarrow row spacings and using a
grass herbicide. Herbicides used in these tests are Glean and Sencor (herbicides
labeled for use on cheat and used by conventional farmers). These experiments were
established at three experiment stations and on a farmer's field. These experiments
will generate data needed for economic analyses outlined in Objective 4.

2. During 1990, we designed and tested two grain drill openers capable of placing seed
in three inch rows while operating successfully in a wide range of tillage conditions.









44

The opener designs were based on distinctly different concepts. Twenty four units of
each design were constructed and mounted on grain drills designed for the specific
opener. These grain drills were extensively field tested on six farmer cooperator
fields in the fall (see Objective 1).

One of the designs met the initial design criteria: it can be operated in a wide range
of tillage systems, it is simple, and it should be less expensive than conventional grain
drill openers. This design uses a floating knife opener and spring loaded press wheel
to place seed in newly tilled soil. Precision of seed placement depth is similar to
current designs. The opener can handle large amounts of crop residue. The grain
drill, constructed in 1990, used an air seeder metering unit. If funding is granted for
the third year, a conventional box drill will be retrofitted with these openers.

3. During the spring of 1990, we designed and constructed a pneumatic collector and
conveying system and mounted it on a Gleaner M-2 combine. This device collected
weed seed, chaff, and shriveled wheat discharged over the combine shoe and con-
veyed the material to a trailing wagon. The modified silage wagon could hold all
material collected while harvesting two combined bins of clean grain.

We established experiments in seven farmers' fields containing moderate to severe
infestations of annual rye grass or cheat. The weed seed collector worked as de-
signed. The.collector removed up to 410 lbs/ac of annual rye grass seed and 180
lbs/ac of cheat. At two.locations, we used the ultranarrow row grain drill (developed
in Objective 2) to plant wheat. Seeding rates were 75 and 120 lbs/ac, and row
spacings were 3, 6, and 9 inches. There were no significant problems with the weed
seed collector.

4. We have initiated data collection for economic analyses of the proposed cultural
practices, including cooperating farmer surveys. We are making economic assess-
ments based on data collected to this point and are developing mathematical models to
assist in these analyses.

We are working closely with farmers to develop and assess the equipment, cultural
practices and production systems. We plan to conduct field days during the next crop
year. Experiments and field plantings are available this year for inspection by
interested farmers and small group tours.

Project Duration: One year (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1991)

Funding: $80,000 in 1989; $60,000 in 1990. Matching, $67,876.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds









45

Oklahoma State University $140,000 $67,876
Totals $140,000 $67,876



LS89-14: ON-FARM DEMONSTRATIONS AND RESEARCH OF LOW-INPUT SUS-
TAINABLE FARMING

(Revised 2/4/91)

Major Participants:

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, On-Farm Demonstrations and Research: William
W. Dow (Project Coordinator), Route 3, Box 333, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Farmer Participants:

Bert Moss, Lenior County, Fruit and Vegetable Grower, raises 7 acres of peaches, 5 acres of
strawberries, 2 acres of blueberries, 15 acres of juice grapes, 3 acres of melons and
varying acreage of vegetables. A majority of his marketing is pick-your-own and
roadside stand. He wants to reduce or eliminate the use of methyl bromide as a
fumigant on annual strawberry production and possibly organic strawberry production.
In addition, his goal is to reduce total production costs and increase overall profitabili-
ty.

Leonard Wood, Johnston County, Vegetable Producer, raises 10 acres of various vegetables.
He also operates a U-Pick and roadside stand. He would like to try experimenting
with legumes as a source of Nitrogen and as a weed suppressor in irrigated sweet
cor. Dutch white clover (Trifolium repens L.) has been tried elsewhere. Under-
sowing and intercropping will be compared.

Jim and Bill Wallace, Wake County, Intensive Grazing Livestock Operators, are developing
a registered Angus cow/calf operation using Voisin methods. At present they have 40
cows and sell at feeder and stocker auctions. One goal is to clean up and plant cut-
over areas. Establishing warm season forages was discussed. Three long-term goals
are to expand the carrying capacity and herd to 50 cows, improve genetic base, and
develop a better market for cull calves. The possibility of contracting with an H & A
producer was discussed. They will establish native switchgrass (Alamo, Kanlow or
Cave-in-Rock cultivars) at 10lb/A and Sericea lespedesas (AU Lotan or AU Donnelly
cultivars) at 301b/A. A comparison will monitor cost and method of establishment,
forage quality, and grazing time/day. Rainfall will also be recorded.









46

Murray Cohen, Chatham County, Organic Grain and Livestock Operator, recently purchased
100 acres that has been chemically farmed for over 50 years. He will use his
management techniques to convert this land into organic production. Soil samples
will be taken to monitor the biological and chemical changes. Yield, production and
economic data will also be collected.

Ken Dawson, Orange County, Organic Vegetable Producer, recently purchased land and
plans to put 9.5 acres into a legume cover and develop only .5 acre for vegetable
production next year. Soil samples will be taken and yield, production, and economic
data will also be collected.

Steve White, Buncombe County, Transitional Organic Vegetable Grower, is experimenting
with red clover and Quailhaven soybeans in green peppers. He will look at inter-
cropping green manures with vegetable crops.

Chris Holder, Randolph County, Grain and Livestock Producer, experimented with reducing
post-emergence herbicide (poast) on no-till soybeans in 1990 and plans to design a no-
till cultivar to reduce his use of post-emergence herbicides in both com and soybeans.


Overview

Most farmers in North Carolina (NC) are interested in decreasing their dependence on
chemical inputs, but do not know what alternatives are available to replace synthetic
fertilizers and pesticides without reducing farm profitability. They need to see how these
alternatives work on actual farms with constraints similar to their own before they are willing
to risk their time and resources to make changes from conventional to lower-input practices.


The proposed project will encourage growers with small to medium-sized farms to
substitute more sustainable, lower-input practices for heavy use of synthetic chemicals.
Project staff and consultants will work with demonstration farmers to plan appropriate
reduced-input transition sequences for their farms, established on-farm demonstrations and
applied research of alternative farming systems, and coordinate outreach programs to help
other farmers adopt low-input practices. Networks of farmers, researchers, agricultural
educators, and technical and marketing consultants will support demonstrations and outreach
programs. This project will build on groundwork already established with a 1988-89
Planning Grant from the USDA Low/Input Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Program, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA)'s working relationship
with other agricultural organizations and institutions. It will integrate with ongoing NC
projects in sustainable agriculture to maximize its educational impact.









47

Objectives

(1) On-farm demonstrations and applied experiments of sustainable low-input farming
practices will be established.

(2) Farm-specific transition sequences from conventional to sustainable low-input farming
will be documented.

(3) Marketing resources needed by farmer participants for crops raised with less or no
synthetic pesticides or fertilizer will be developed.

(4) Interaction between farm participants and technical advisors who can help growers
draft farm plans and solve specific farming or marketing problems will be coordinat-
ed.

(5) Outreach programs to publicize demonstration farms and disseminate information
about possible transition methods will be administered.

Project Duration: 35 months starting March 1, 1989

Funding: $100,000 in 1989. Matching, $100,000.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
$100,000 $100,000
Totals $100,000 $100,000



LS89-15: ENHANCEMENT OF THE STABILITY OF SOUTHERN REGION
AGROECOSYSTEMS THROUGH PROFITABLE TRANSITION TO SUSTAIN-
ABLE AGRICULTURE

(Revised 2/4/91)

Major Participants:

Texas Department of Agriculture: Keith Jones (Project Coordinator), Sustainable Agricul-
ture, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, TX 78711, Phone:
(512) 463-1033.









48

Winrock International: F.E. Busby, Director, US Programs, Morrilton, AR. Reduction in
input approach to vegetable production: infrastructure for low-input sustainable
agriculture/financing.

University of Arkansas: Gail Lee, Extension Horticulturist-Vegetables, Arkansas Coopera-
tive Extension Service, Little Rock, AR. Reduction in input approach to vegetable
production: diversified vegetable systems.

Oklahoma State University: Bob Cartwright, Assistant Professor, Wes Watkins Agricultural
Research and Education Cnter, Lane, OK. Reduction of input approach to vegeta-
ble production of crucifer and sweet com systems.

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture: Teresa Maurer, Associate Director, Research,
Poteau, OK. Reduction of input approach to vegetable production: farmer directed
on-farm research.

Texas A & M University: Alton N. Sparks, Jr., Extension Entomologist, Texas Cooperative
Extension Service, Weslaco, TX. Reduction input approach to vegetable production:
onion systems.

Farmer Participants:

Practitioners, who provided cropland, equipment, supplies and labor. (Those in Oklahoma
were also involved in scouting their crops and maintaining records for the project, as
well as planning and developing the project.)

Arkansas: Stuart Fulbright, Northwest AR; Jay Fulbright, Southwest AR; Gordon Watkins,
Parthenon, AR.

Oklahoma: Linn Shanks, Bixby, OK; Bill Sears, Talihina, OK; Bob Constein, Perkins, OK;
Betty Carter and Charles Puckette, Poteau, OK; L.D. Roller, Wister, OK.

Texas: Julio and Ricardo Castilleja, San Juan, TX; Jimmy Carlson, LaVilla, TX; Andy
Scott, Edinburgh, TX.

Overview

Cooperators from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas including farmers, researchers, and
marketing, financial and extension specialists are working on a transitional approach to low-
input sustainable agriculture focused on IPM in onions, sweet cor, crucifers and other
vegetables in whole farming systems. Informational searches are being undertaken by the
Texas Department of Agriculture in collaboration with farmers, Winrock International
Institute for Agricultural Development, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Land
Grant Universities in respective states. Research cooperators, including farmers, have been









49
investigating various IPM tactics on small plots and will choose the most promising methods
for larger on-farm demonstrations. Critical analyses by farmers help to ensure that the
methods selected to lower inputs, sustain soil and other resources and maintain product
quality, will also be practical for on-farm application. Inputs have been closely monitored
and managed. TDA's marketing staff and Oklahoma State University have been investigating
innovative mechanisms of financing LISA farming systems. And information developed in
this project is being distributed to producers and consumers.

Milestones for this project have been:

* Initiation of some innovative demonstration research involving cover crops, economic
thresholds for pests and weeds, alternatives to hard conventional pesticides, and slow
release fertilizers.

* Development of on-farm demonstrations of scouting schemes and appropriate pest
controls, with producers being involved as peer participants in all stages including
planning.

* Documentation of action others are taking to establish alternative agricultural financ-
ing organizations and programs. (This will serve as a catalog of ideas and help
identify principles upon which other organizations can build.)

* Undertaking of several farm community focus groups to better understand existing
financing infrastructure and needs.

* Some insightful results from consumer and retail buyer-surveys into consumer
attitudes.

In addition, some results from demonstration research have been reported and/or
published. Also, cooperators have had several field days and farm tours. And a video,
which will provide an overview and results of this project, is currently being prepared.

On the whole, this has been a project with extremely positive results. There have
been spin-off benefits which include stimulation of non-vegetable grower interest in LISA,
increased communication with other private and public entities which should be involved in
LISA, increased networking above and beyond the scope of this project, increased knowledge
about farming systems research and extension for some of the individual and organization
cooperators, and a probable project in conservation and sustainable community development.

Objectives

(1) Identify and evaluate current information relevant to profitable transition to LISA
vegetable production in the southem region.









50

This information is being generated by the various cooperators as they complete their
work on objectives 2-4 and will be reported more comprehensively in the final report
projected for late 1991. Some of this information is an inherent part of the work plan for the
specific objective, and has been presented in previous reports or is presented herein [e.g., the
research into financing options for sustainable agriculture by Busby and Bejarano (Winrock)
and Muller and Perez (TDA)]. Also, the literature reviews in the progress reports being
generated are providing this information. For instance Roberts and Cartwright (1990)
published an experiment station report P-911, "A Reduced Input Approach to Cabbage
Production: Managing Erosion, Fertility, and Pests" which provided a brief review of the
role of cover crops and mulches in sustainable vegetable production systems.

(2) Develop on-farm tests to determine the agroecological effects of various pest and
fertility management approaches in LISA production systems for onions, sweet cor
and cabbage.

In Oklahoma, soil covers of hairy vetch and rye resulted in less pest pressure. Also
there was a positive correlation of problematic pest densities and increasing amounts of
applied synthetic nitrogen. Fewer insecticide applications were needed using a threshold base
control program.

During the 1990 growing season, numerous on-farm experiments and demonstrations
of low-input horticulture were conducted at seven locations in Oklahoma. Participating
farmer-cooperators were identified early in 1989 and apprised of the progress of related
research and development during that year in advance of any work done on-farm. These
cooperators had expressed enthusiasm, and interest in such involvement as early as 1988
when public meetings to highlight sustainable agriculture were held in the region.

All cooperators had some experience in the growing of vegetable crops, though that
experience ranged from non-commercial gardening to large-scale commercial production for
the wholesale market. Of the seven cooperators, only one was not already involved in
vegetable production for commercial marketing. Another, Eastem Oklahoma State College,
was also an experimental substation and teaching unit. The crops focused on in this work
were cabbage, sweet com and onions.

Three trials were conducted in cabbage fields combining both detailed scouting, use of
an economic threshold and a biological "agent", Bacillus thuringiensis as the only insecticide.
This was contrasted to plots sprayed on a calendar routine, but with the same biorationale.
In the first of these trials, scouted plots required the same number of applications as the
calendar-plots. The second and third trials however resulted in savings of one spraying at
one location and seven sprayings at a second. Evaluations of pest damage and percent
marketable heads did not suggest any consistent differences between treatments.

Another trial contrasted the use of Bacillus thuringiensis in conjunction with the
synthetic insecticide methomyl and without it. Scouting was employed; however, the grower










used his own threshold to determine the schedule of applications. No clear differences in
marketable heads or insect damage could be detected. A fifth trial, underway at the time of
this writing, employs the use of scouting and economic thresholds on both cabbage and
cauliflower.

One of the greatest challenges to the grower in this project was the adjustment of the
novice "scout" to the visual perspective necessary for accurate counting. To be effective,
worms must be detected in early stages (instars) of growth. At this time, they are "almost"
microscopic, and most are similar in color to the crop. While difficult, all cooperators still
learned the skills within the first few weeks.

It was of interest to note that most cooperators, when asked what value they acquired
from this work, indicated that it was the increased understanding of "what goes on in the
field" that they appreciated the most. Growers had little difficulty accepting the use of a
biorational and understanding its mode of action. Several, who began using the material
without a surfactant at season's onset, quickly adopted one and reported better performance.
In one case however, it was believed to be the cause of leaf burn where the cabbage was
sprayed during the summer heat. When asked if they were likely to continue using one or
more of these low-input procedures in the future, cooperators were generally positive in
response, though they suggested they might cut corners on the scouting procedure by
sampling fewer plants.

In onion trials a very light crop stand was obtained in the study, and while scouting
procedures were followed, populations of onion thrips never approached threshold levels
requiring treatments. Because routine applications of pesticides were not made, input costs
were reduced by the use of an economic threshold to trigger treatments.

The results of all the applied oil trials in sweet com taken together suggest the
following generalizations:

* The application of mineral or vegetable oils and oil/pesticide mixtures directly to the
sweet com ears can function to reduce damage to the tip area by cor earworm;

* Such applications tend to suppress pollination in the ear tip; however, the area
affected is generally small and does not appear to affect marketability;

* There appears to be no clear advantage to either mineral or vegetable oil, though the
viscosity of either may make a difference;

* The inclusion of pesticides in the oil, specifically the biological Bacillus thuringiensis
or the botanical pyrethrum, is often more efficacious than oil materials alone; and









52
Initiation of treatments as early as 48 hrs after full-brush appears appropriate. (It
should be noted that this timing was suggested as optimal by OSU researchers at Lane
following the 1989 season.)

While the suggestion that treating individual ears with an oil-can might sound
ludicrous to some growers, it was viewed with considerable interest and enthusiasm by most
project cooperators. This appeared in part due to the interest in non-synthetic alteratives,
and in part to the adaptability of the technique to their scale of operations.

In Arkansas tests for organic production systems, the poorest broccoli cultivars for
setting heads were Samurai (28%), Pirate (36%), Raab (47%) and Eureka (48%) at Fayette-
ville and Samurai (9%), Green Valiant (32%), and Eureka (53%) at Arkadelphia. The
significantly smaller heads were grown on Samurai, Pirate, Green Valiant, Raab, Eureka and
Futura at both locations. Yet Fusarium Yellows (Fusarium oxysporum conglutinans) ratings
showed the poorest cultivars for setting heads and head size with the lowest incidence of
disease.

In work on micronutrient application on broccoli and cabbage to prevent nutritional
disorders in organic systems, preliminary analysis of the results of this study shows that
earliness of marketable yield seems to be dependent on both the availability of micronutrients
and the timing of applying micronutrients. Statistical analysis showed that the level of
preplant fertilizer and the interaction of preplant fertilizer and micronutrient timing was not
significant for marketable yield at each harvest and cumulative yield at each harvest. The
timing of micronutrient applications was significant for the first two cumulative harvests for
both total yield and marketable yield. By the third harvest the cumulative yield was not
significant at the 5% level.

Results of these preliminary studies indicate the importance of timing micronutrient
applications when using broccoli transplants in soils with potentially limiting levels of these
necessary nutrients.

Production results from Texas are currently being summarized and analyzed. A
progress report is forthcoming.

(3) Evaluate market/economic viability of LISA vegetable production.

OSU is finalizing the analysis and reporting the results of a carefully designed survey
of consumer purchasing preferences for vegetables grown under a conventional vs. a reduced
input approach with untreated product as a "check." Preliminary results indicated that
without treatment-history bias, there was a significant preference for the conventional
product. However, when the treatment history was explained, a majority of the consumers
chose the untreated or reduced-input products when surveyed in supermarkets.








53

In late summer of 1989, the Texas Department of Agriculture conducted a study to
evaluate the market for LISA products from the perspective of produce buyers. The study
was implemented in the form of personal interviews, conducted by TDA direct marketing
personnel in seven of the Department's fourteen districts.

The sample included 91 respondents, almost equally distributed between urban and
rural markets. The survey was stratified by whether the firm was part of a chain (such as
HEB Food Stores or Safeway) or whether the store was an independent operation. In
addition, respondents were asked about their annual produce sales volumes to determine the
size of the firm with specific respect to produce. Finally, the respondents were asked to
provide information regarding their experience as produce buyers to determine any possible
difference in attitude according to this variable.

Respondent Characteristics. Close to three-fifths (58%) of the firms were from urban
areas with the remainder (42%) from rural parts of the state. Close to the same numbers
were found when looking at differences between chain stores (57%) and independents (43%).
Most buyers surveyed (49%) were with large frms, i.e., with sales over $250,000. One-
third (37%) were medium-sized with sales between $50,000 and $250,000, and the remainder
(14%) were small firms -- sales of less than $50,000. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the
survey's respondents had been produce buyers for more than six years. Close to one-fourth
(23%) had been in the business from between three to six years. The rest (13%) had spent
less than three years as buyers.

Familiaritv with Produce Terms. Almost everyone surveyed (95%) said they were
familiar with the term "conventional" produce. About the same number (93%) also said they
knew what kind of produce was referred to by the term "organic." However, "low chemical
input" references were not as familiar. Still, seven of ten (69%) said they knew about this
type of growing method, while 31% did not.

When asked about how they learned of these terms, most (70%) attributed their
knowledge to reading, less than one in ten (7%) ascribed learning to watching T.V., and a
very few (4%) had heard of the terms from listening to radio. Almost one-fifth (19%)
reported hearing these terms from other sources including friends and co-workers.

Produce Buying Habits. As expected, every buyer (100%) had purchased convention-
ally grown produce. Two-thirds (61%) also said they had purchased organic produce. And,
close to the same number (65%) reported buying low-input produce. There was unanimous
agreement on a current demand for conventional produce. However, only about one-third
were as adamant about the demand for either organic produce (35%) or produce grown with
low inputs (33%).

Important Factors for Produce Buvers. Freshness and appearance were the two most
important factors noted by produce buyers making purchasing decisions for their stores.
Almost everyone agreed that these two were "very" important. Price and size were also









54
recognized as being of importance, though not quite as adamantly. Finally, product labeling
received reserved notice as being important, although 18% admitted that labeling was "not
important" at all.

Current Market for Organics. A slight majority of the buyers surveyed (55%) stated
that there was a current demand for organic produce. Unfortunately, the remainder that
answered the question (45%) were not as confident about the market. However, when asked
about the future of the organic market, the positive response was more enthusiastic. In fact,
almost seven in ten (69%) said they believed the demand for organic produce would increase
with time, while an additional fourth (25%) said that, at the very least, demand would
remain the same. When asked about factors that influence the organic market, the most
common response (44%) was the educational level of the consumer. According to the
buyers, the more consumers know about organic produce, the more they buy. In fact, this
factor ranked higher among buyers than even price (2%) and product freshness.

Current Market for Low-Input Produce. Almost seven of ten (69%) surveyed
reported a current demand for low-input produce. Interestingly enough, this was a higher
percentage than those saying organics were in demand. Furthermore, the future of low-input
produce is expected to be brighter, as 78% thought demand would increase and another one-
fifth (19%) said it would at least stay the same. As with organic produce sales, the consum-
er's knowledge was ranked highest (44%) among factors influencing the low-input market.
Price (22%), product freshness (16%) and appearance (15%) were also noted.

Produce Buying Factors. Survey respondents were asked to rate the following factors
according to their importance when buying produce overall, regardless of growing method.
Buyers overwhelmingly (98%) stated that freshness was of the utmost importance. In
addition, the appearance of the produce was also rated very important by the vast majority
(93%). The price of the goods was given considerable weight, with three-fifths (60%)
saying it was very important and another third (37%) rating it at least somewhat important.

Consumer Awareness of Growing Methods. "Consumers need more information
regarding the differences between methods of growing produce," is the message buyers
related through the survey results. Most felt that consumers had an adequate grasp of
conventional growing methods with three-fourths (77%) saying consumers were either very
or somewhat aware.

However, buyers perceived consumers' awareness of organic and low-input growing
methods to be weak at best. More than half (58%) in the case of organic produce and seven
of ten (71%) in the case of low-input produce, said more education was required to support
increased demand.

Effectiveness of Labeling. In general, produce buyers said that labeling produce is an
effective means of educating consumers. Regardless of the method of labeling, more than
nine of ten (95%) said that labeling is either very or somewhat effective. There was a slight









55
preference for display labeling over labeling on packages. And, labeling on the product itself
was rated least effective of the three methods listed.

Benefit of Certification Program. A certification program was noted as having
somewhat of a benefit to organic produce sales. Three of five buyers (60%) stated this
improved their sales. The remainder (40%) were not as adamant about such a program.

Buvers' Personal Produce Consumption. Nine of ten (91%) of buyers said they
purchase conventionally grown produce for their own consumption. Less than half of that
number (42%) said they purchased organic produce for their own tables. But, more than
half (57%) reported that they bought low-input produce for this pupose. However, less than
three-fifths (58%) said they actually preferred conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
The remainder (42%) admitted to preferring either organic or low-input produce.

Produce Sales Percentages. Conventionally grown produce remains the mainstay of
all produce sales. While there was some variability in the percentages of sales of each type
of produce, buyers indicated that conventional produce accounts for an average of 92% of
their sales. Ovwerall, organic produce sales averaged only 4% of total sales. However,
while organic sales are currently just a small percentage of total produce sales, there is some
optimism regarding their future. Close to half of those surveyed (49%) said they expected
the percentage of organic sales to rise in the future. And, an even greater number (56%)
said the same for low-input produce.

(4) Identify and evaluate financial management strategies to help vegetable producers
make the transition to the use of LISA production methods.

The following provides a brief look at the operation of rural micro-enterprise
programs in three different states which have potential for financing and otherwise supporting
sustainable agriculture. The programs incorporate different ideas that specifically apply to
the areas which they serve.

Case One: Micro Industry Credit Rural Organization. Tucson. Arizona. Frank Ballesteros,
Director.

The purpose of this micro-enterprise development project is to create a revolving loan
fund to extend credit and management assistance to micro-enterprises that do not have access
to traditional credit mechanisms. The main objectives of the program are to increase the
incomes and standards of living of program participants, decrease underemployment and
create new jobs, and to reach a large number of informal sector/micro-enterprises for the
poor.

Micro Industry Credit Rural Organization (MICRO), completed two full years of
operation as of December 31, 1988, with technical assistance from ACCION International,
an independent non-profit organization whose business development programs create









56

employment opportunities and a better quality of life for low income families in Latin
America. MICRO has followed the same strategies in rural border communities in the
southwestem United States.

MICRO has a distinctive economical and cost effective method of providing essential
management, credit and organizational assistance to self employed businesses in four target
areas. Operating in Douglas, Nogales, Patagonia, San Luis, Arizona and in Calexico,
California, MICRO is breathing life to micro businesses through (1) credit assistance through
an innovative revolving loan fund; (2) training workshops and business seminars; and (3)
micro enterprise associations.

In delivering the economic base of micro-enterprises in the targeted rural towns,
MICRO is providing the missing ingredients that can transform a rural micro enterprise into
a valuable business, creating job opportunities and increasing the economic base of the rural
town. The difference between success or failure in many cases, translates to two very
important factors, credit and management assistance. For 75% of the micro enterprises in
the Southwester United States, operating capital and lack of management assistance remain
the two major obstacles to future self-sufficiency.

Case Two: Iowa Department of Economic Development. Des Moines. Iowa. Burt Powley.
Training Liaison.

Self-Employment Loan Program -- the purpose of the Self-Employment Loan Program
(SELP) is to provide loans to low-income persons to establish or expand small business
ventures. Individual loans of up to $5,000 are available at rates that will not exceed 5
percent simple interest per year. Applications must also list a local sponsor; someone who
can assist the applicant with their business plan and provide valuable, ongoing business
consultation. Appropriate local sponsors may include the Small Business Development
Centers, Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), Women's Economic Development Group
Enterprises (WEDGE), Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED), local
chambers of commerce, or other organizations approved by SELF staff.

Appropriate technical assistance provided may include but is not limited to consulting;
training and apprenticeship; professional services; assistance in furnishing information about
available financial or technical assistance; evaluating small business venture proposals;
completing viable start-up or expansion plans; and completing applications for financial or
technical assistance. In most circumstances these services are provided at no expense to the
individual.

Case Three: North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center. Inc., Raleigh, North
Carolina. William Bynum. Director.

The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, Inc. is conducting a
demonstration project examining the use of micro-enterprise loan funds to generate employ-









57

ment, enhance incomes and spur economic development in rural areas. The major focus of
the Rural Center's work during its first year was financing for small and medium-sized
businesses in rural areas. A survey of hundreds of rural leaders and rural residents across
North Carolina identified small business financing as the leading perceived barrier to
economic development. North Carolina has, however, a strong commercial banking system
and several quasi-public develoment finance institutions. The history of public business
financing initiatives has also been mixed, with a tendency to either displace market financing
or make bad investment decisions. The center therefore decided to undertake the first
comprehensive capital needs analysis in the state's history to determine if a problem existed
and, if so, the exact nature of the problem.

The study found that in North Carolina, as in other states, small business plays an
important job generation role. North Carolina generally lagged behind the nation in the rate
of small business formation, particularly those owned by women and minorities. A major
barrier is the lack of equity and near equity financing for small and medium-sized businesses,
particularly in rural areas. The report also found a lack of higher risk financing to finance
growing firms with little collateral. The central recommendation of the report was the
creation of a comprehensive finance system in North Carolina to solve these capital gaps.

(5) Develop and implement educational programs to transfer LISA production and
marketing technology to growers and promote products grown in LISA production
systems to consumers.

The Oklahoma cooperators provide the best example of diffusion of information.
However, other cooperators are also implementing educational programs in a similar manner.

Cooperators in Oklahoma have submitted a manuscript to the American Journal of
Alternative Agriculture which includes results from this project. And they have presented
results in professional meetings. And as mentioned previously, Roberts and Cartwright
(1990) published an Experiment Station report P-911, "A Reduced Input Approach to
Cabbage Production: Managing Erosion, Fertility and Pests." Other such reports which are
available to the public are being generated.

Wes Watkins Agricultural Research and Extension Center also has had several field
days for producers, and other interested parties, from the surrounding region. Associated
tours demonstrated the results of our cooperative LISA vegetable systems project. Finally,
and most important, in a collaborative effort with the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agricul-
ture, producers of the region conducted on-farm demonstrations based upon applied research
from this project conducted at the Wes Watkins Center.

Project Duration: Eighteen months starting March 1, 1989

Funding: $121,989 in 1989. Matching, $67,500.









58

Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Oklahoma State University $24,700 $8,500
Kerr Center for Sus. Ag. 16,500 9,250
Texas Ag. Ext. Service 25,200 22,750
Texas Dept. of Agriculture 22,900 16,500
University of Arkansas 22,800 4,750
Winrock International 7,900 5,750
Totals $121,989 $67,500


LS89-16: DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW-INPUT MULTIPLE CROPPING SYSTEM
FOR SMALL-SCALE FARMS (89-70-5)

(Revised 3/6/91)

Major Participants:

Southem University, Louisiana: Owusu Bandele (Co-Project Coordinator, Overall Coordina-
tor), Horticulturist, Center for Small Farm Research, Agriculture and Mechanical
College, P.O. Box 10010, Baton Rouge, LA 70813, Phone: (505) 771-2011,
responsible for all plant-related aspects of the project including supervision of plot
establishment and maintenance, data collection, statistical analyses of yield data; Adell
Brown, Jr. (Co-Project Coordinator), Extension Agricultural Economist, Cooperative
Extension Service, responsible for all economic analyses, also responsible for
supervision of the extension component; Yemane Ghebreiyessus, Soil Scientist,
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, co-investigator, responsible for soil fertility
aspects of the project and responsible for quantifying soil losses from erosion.

Southem Development Foundation: Wilbert Guillory, Farm Manager, SDF Farm, supervises
land preparation, plot maintenance, irrigation, and related duties at the research site
on the SDF Farm and assists in contacting local growers relative to the project.

Farmer Participation:

Mr. Wilbert Guillory, farm manager of the SDF's 350-acre farm, has been involved in the
project since its inception. Currently, ten small-scale African-American farmers
utilize the farm for the production of a variety of vegetables. As noted above, Mr.
Guillory supervises land preparation and plot maintenance for the LISA project









59

component located on the SDF Farm. Through his efforts, SDF has provided land,
farm equipment (tractors, disks, sprayers, etc.), irrigation, and manpower to the
project. Because he is well-known and respected through central Louisiana for his
efforts to assist small-scale producers, he has been instrumental in bringing this
project to the attention of both producers and professional agricultural personnel in the
area.

Mr. Clarence Audoin is a small-scale vegetable farmer at SDF who is responsible for the
day-to-day maintenance and production practices carried out at the LISA site located
on the SDF farm. He assists in all operations including land preparation, planting,
irrigation, spraying, and harvesting/grading.

Dr. Gary Simon, a former extension agent, is a part-time farmer in St. Landry Parish. He
has been consulted on numerous occasions concerning the project, and has provided
invaluable input regarding crop selection, marketing potential, and cultural practices
of the area's small-scale producers. Dr. Simon is also well-known in the area, and
has attempted to assist local farmers with both management and marketing. He has
also been instrumental in bringing attention to the project.

Note: All three farmers can be reached at the following address: Care of Southern Develop-
ment Foundation, Route 4, Box 331, Opelousas, LA 70570.

Overview

A cropping system will be developed in which various vegetable crops are planted
sequentially with legumes strategically placed within the sequence to build up soil nitrogen
(N) and allow for low-inputs of expensive N fertilizer. Austrian winter pea, common vetch
and crimson clover will be used as cover/green manure crops. Control plots will not be
seeded with a winter legume. N applications will vary from zero to the full recommended
rate. Control plots will be given high-input herbicides, insecticides and other necessary
pesticides while the other sequences will not. Insect populations, diseases, and weed
infestation will be monitored within each sequence as well as soil loss resulting from erosion.
An agricultural economist will monitor all economic inputs and retums to determine the
economic feasibility of each system. In addition, Extension personnel will be involved in all
aspects of the project to help disseminate technology to farmers through field days and
workshops.

Objectives

(1) To develop viable vegetable sequential cropping systems that are ecologically sound
and that minimize the use of agricultural chemicals.

(2) To determine the economic feasibility of selected low-input vegetable cropping
sequences for small-scale farmers.









60

(3) To facilitate low-input technology transfer to small-scale producers by coordinating
research and extension efforts through existing small farm organizations.

Progress to Date on Proposed Objectives

Cover crop treatments (Austrian winter pea, crimson clover, hairy vetch, and bare
ground) were established in December, 1988 at both the Souther University Horticultural
Farm and the Southem Development Foundation Farm. Extremely cold winter temperatures
led to a poor initial stand and cover crops were re-established in March, 1989, and incorpo-
rated in May, 1989. Wet conditions prevented an earlier replanting. Generally, no
significant differences were noted among yields of vegetable crops (Squash, cucumber)
immediately following the different cover crop treatments or in yields of vegetables planted
subsequently (mustard, collard). The complete elimination of inorganic nitrogen (N)
fertilizer resulted in reduced yields regardless of cover crop treatment. In general however,
no differences existed between yields of vegetables receiving one half versus the full
recommended N rate regardless of cover crop treatment. Thus the potential for reduced N
rates in our area appears rather promising. Additionally, insect damage to all crops planted
at the SU site was minimal, in spite of reduced applications of insecticides.

The economic feasibility of selected cropping sequences is still being assessed.
Economic variables being analyzed include differences in yields, input costs (labor, pesti-
cides, fertilizers, etc.), and economic returns. The goal is to determine profit potential of
each system. Additional data are needed before recommendations based on research results
can be made to farmers. Preliminary findings suggest that reduced chemical inputs did not
significantly reduce yields. This development could be of economic importance to area
producers.

The establishment of cover crops and vegetable cropping sequences at the SDF Farm
has sparked much interest among area farmers and has increased interaction among them.
The county Extension agent in St. Landry Parish is actively involved with the project. As
useful information is derived from the project it will be transferred to farmers in the
community. In addition, because of newspaper coverage that was received in the initial
stages of the project, approximately 35 farmers, 4 youth groups, and 20 professional
agricultural personnel have visited the SDF site to observe the ongoing research project.

New or Revised Objectives

The general objectives of the study have not been altered. However, three co-
investigators have left the university since the inception of the project. This has reduced our
capacity to carry out the entomology and soil erosion components of the project. Dr.
Yemane Ghebreiyessus, a soil scientist, has joined our faculty, effective January 2, 1991,
and has agreed to lend his expertise in quantifying soil erosion losses from the various
sequences. Dr. Ghebreiyessus will also assist in the soil fertility aspects of the project.









61

The original cropping sequences have been modified. Initially, we have planned to
plant vegetable legumes following the first non-leguminous vegetable crop and before
planting the second. We have found that this would cause too great of a delay in cover crop
establishment. Therefore, we have instituted the following sequences:
1989- 1990

cover crop---------cucumber----------collard
cover crop----------squash-----------mustard

1990- 1991

cover crop----------collard--------cucumber
cover crop---------mustard---------squash

Thus, we will be able to evaluate leguminous and non-leguminous previous crop
effects on four vegetable crops.

Research Plans and Goals for the Year

Objective 1

(A) There will be a continuation of the planting sequences mentioned above.

(B) N determination of plant and soil samples will be conducted.

(C) Soil erosion data will be collected.

(D) Weed infestation of treatments will be monitored.

Objective 2

(A) Labor coefficients for farming operations will be established.

(B) Analyses of other economic inputs will be conducted.

(C) Price analyses of crops will be conducted.

(D) Economic feasibility of cropping sequences will be assessed.

Objective 3

(A) A Research/Extension Field Day is planned for early summer, 1991 for area
farmers. LISA research will be highlighted at the field day.









62

(B) An extension-type bulletin will be prepared in the fall, 1991 which will be
based on our research results to date.

(C) Presentations of research results will be made at appropriate professional
meetings, and articles will be submitted to professional journals for publi-
cations.

Project Duration: Thirty months starting March 1, 1989

Funding: $100,000 in 1989. Matching, $73,000.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Southern University $100,000 $73,000
Totals $100,000 $73,000



LS89-17: COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR LOW-INPUT
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE (89-21-6)

Major Participants:

Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development: F.E. Busby, Regional
Director, Route 3, Petit Jean Mountain, Morrilton, AR 72110.

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension: Gail S. Lee, Extension Horticulturalist.

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): Jim Lukens, Program Manag-
er.

Small Farm and Technical Assistance Center (SFTAC): Corbet Lamkin, Head.

East Arkansas Produce Marketing Association (EAPMA): Earl Farr, Administrator.

Ozark Small Farm Viability Project (OSFVP): Gordon Watkins, President.

Meadowcreek Project (MC): Jeff Dickenson, Chairman, Agriculture Department.

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture (KCSA): Teresa A. Maurer, Research Coordinator.









63

Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corporation (ALFDC): Calvin R. King, Executive
Director.

Rodale Institute: Janet Bachmann, Arkansas/South Central States Representative (RI).

Texas Department of Agriculture: Paul B. Martin, Coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture.

Overview

This project will develop a communication and information system for low-input
sustainable agriculture (LISA) to serve Arkansas, Oklahoma, and appropriate adjacent areas.
The communication and information system will link 18 or more farmer organizations and
farmer-supporting institutions and agencies. It will provide communication and coordination
among groups and individuals involved in farming extension, technical assistance, and
research to facilitate (1) transfer of existing and new LSA information to and from farmers
and (2) accumulation of reliable and useful new data on LISA methods. Development will
include how to prepare, store, link, and access electronic bulletin boards, print media, and
data bases. The project will evaluate the opportunity for including the entire souther
region.

Objectives

(1) Implement the linkages for a LISA communication and information coordination
system for this area (ACES, ATTRA, WI, OCES, KCSA, RI).

(2) Develop and maintain mechanisms of communicating LISA information to farmers,
research and extension workers, and technical assistance specialists for the network
(WI, ACES, OCES, ATTRA).

(3) Develop and test a plan for adapting and expanding the network concept and informa-
tion system to the total southem region (WI, ATTRA).

Project Duration: Fifteen months starting March 1, 1989

Funding: $31,000 in 1989. Matching, $92,973.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Winrock International $31,000 $92,973
Totals $31,000 $92,973









64

LS89-18: COMPOSTING POULTRY LITTER -- ECONOMICS AND MARKET
POTENTIAL OF A RENEWABLE RESOURCE (89-9P-1)

(Revised 1/9/91)

Major Participants:

North Carolina State University: L.M. Safley, Jr. (Project Coordinator), Biological and
Agricultural Engineering, Box 7625, Raleigh, NC 27695-7625. James C. Barker,
Biological and Agricultural Engineering; S.L. Warren, Horticultural Science; T.A.
Carter, Poultry Science; Philip Westerman, Biological and Agricultural Engineering;
C.D. Safley, Economics and Business; J.P. Zublena, Soil Science.

Overview

Broiler and turkey production are major agricultural industries in the Southeaster
region of the United States. Production facilities are typically concentrated within a
reasonable haul distance of a processing facility. Frequently, production facilities are located
on farms or in areas with insufficient crop land to assimilate all of the nutrients in the litter.
Unless an economical alternative is developed, the nutrient surplus generated in these areas
will likely impact the environment in a negative way.

The intent of this project is to conduct a marketing analysis to determine the potential
of utilizing composted poultry litter as a renewable fertilizer resource. It is anticipated that
properly composted poultry litter will generate considerable demand outside the area of
concentrated broiler and turkey production particularly with increasing interests in organic
fertilizer. Successful migration of compost outside of the concentrated growing areas will
directly reduce pollution and environmental degradation as well as providing an altemative
economic enterprise to increase net profitability in the region. If successful this low-input
technology could be readily transferred to other broiler and turkey production areas of the
country.

Objectives

(1) To evaluate the economics, engineering and environmental impact of composting
poultry litter.

(2) To determine the potential market for composted poultry litter.

Project Duration: Fifteen months (March 1, 1989 to June 30, 1990)

Funding: $15,000 in 1989. Matching, $14,343.









65

Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
North Carolina State University
$15,000 $14,343
Totals $15,000 $14,343



LS89-19: DEVELOPMENT OF A PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTING A LOW-INPUT
SUSTAINABLE FORAGE PRODUCTION SYSTEM IN THE OKLAHOMA-
ARKANSAS OZARK HIGHLAND REGION AND SIMILAR LAND AREAS (89-
56P-2)

Major Participants:

Soil Conservation Service: Mark L. Kennedy (Project Coordinator), P.O. Box 335, Salem,
AR 72576, Phone: (501) 895-3201. Doug Butts, RC & D Coordinator; Jerry
Mitchell; Frank Rowlett; Larry Farris.

Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission: Bill McMurry.

Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts: Don Richardson.

Ozark Foothills RC & D Council: Roy Hayden.

University of Arkansas: Tom Riley, Cooperative Extension Service.

Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development: F.E. Busby.

Rodale Institute: Janet Bauchman.

Cooperating Agencies and Organizations:

Sponsors: Ozark Foothills RC & D Council; Arkansas Association of Conservation Dis-
tricts.

Cooperating Institutions and Organizations: AG-Renewal, Inc., Weatherford, OK; Arkansas
Cattlemen's Association; Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation; Arkansas Forage and
Grassland Council; Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission; Heifer
Project International; Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Poteau, OK; Noble
Foundation, Ardmore, OK; Rodale Institute; University of Arkansas Cooperative
Extension Service; University of Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station; USDA









66

Soil Conservation Service; USDA Agricultural Research Service, Booneville, AR;
Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development; District Directors for
Nine Conservation Districts in the Arkansas Ozark Mountain Region.

Farmer Participants:

Cooperating Livestock Producers/Demonstration Farms: James Rhein, Baxter County; Jim
Tumbo, Baxter County; Bill Hunt, Cleburne; Darrell Logan, Cleburne; M.L.
Humphries, Fulton County; Lindell McCullough, Fulton County; Roye Scribner,
Fulton County; Frank Oliver, Fulton County; Charles Swanson, Fulton County;
Harold Ellison, Independence County; Larry Hamilton, Independence County; Tom
Williams, Independence County; Mitchell Dobson, Izard County; C. Edward Tudor,
Searcy County; Pat Conner, Searcy County; Randy Long, Sharp County; Pete Rose,
Sharp County; Charles Wiles, Sharp County; Dean Himschoot, Sharp County; Roy
Hayden, Stone County; Andy Andregg, Van Buren County; L.D. Cox, Van Buren
County; Henry Housley, Van Buren County.

Overview

This project is still in the planning phase due to lack of funding for project develop-
ment. The project team met ten times in 1990. They spent many long hours drafting and
revising a pre-proposal project plan for funding. The survey questionnaires from 300
farmers were tabulated and analyzed. The results were used to develop the project plan.
Our objective was to tie intensive grazing management, nutrient management and alternative
brush control methods into a whole farm demonstration project in each of the nine counties.
Twenty-three farmers from nine county areas have been selected for on-farm demonstrations.
However, this plan was not selected to be funded. The sponsors and project team are
scheduling a meeting to decide a course of action for the project. Although we have not
received full funding, we have had a few activities this year.

A good grassland conference was again held in Salem, Arkansas. About 150 farmers
participated in the all day workshop. Noted resource professionals and farmers compared
continuous and controlled rotation grazing with steers on fescue and bermuda; gave results of
seven year study of grazing systems/animal performance/ profits, discussed matching cows
and resources for profit. Speakers were Dr. A.H. Brown, University of Arkansas; Jim
Gerrish, University of Missouri Forage Systems Research Center; Dr. Lance Tharel,
Agricultural Research Service; Rhett Johnson, Soil Conservation Service; Dr. George Davis,
Cooperative Extension Service and Don Proffitt, a local rancher. Two other follow-up
conferences were held at different locations in the nine county areas. Approximately 75
farmers attended each of these conferences.

Proceedings of the conferences were published and mailed to all persons in atten-
dance. Extra copies were distributed in all nine counties.









67

Two people from the project attended a three-day intensive grazing workshop at the
Forage Systems Research Center in Linneus, Missouri. The purpose of this was to get
advanced training in grazing systems to help cooperators in the project set up intensive
grazing systems and to see how a similar project in north Missouri was set up and being
maintained. It also added to our network of professionals and farmers involved in alternative
grassland management strategies.

Five farmers, two county extension agents and three district conservationists toured
the Agricultural Research Service -- Small Family Farm Research Center and the Soil
Conservation Plant Materials Center in Booneville, Arkansas. They viewed ongoing
research, low-input native grass species, and grazing systems. This same group then
attended the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture Field Day. They viewed ongoing
research and studies in the field that were similar and pertinent to management practices in
our project. It gave the farmers a chance to see firsthand the types of systems they would be
implementing and the type of information they would be keeping. One district conservation-
ist and ten farmers from the project area attended a one day workshop on grazing systems
and low-input grassland agriculture at the Meadow Creek Project in Fox, Arkansas.

Mailing lists have been developed and are being used for questionnaires, informa-
tional materials and notices of workshops, conferences and field days.

In 1989, one of our cooperating organizations, AG-Renewal, Inc., donated the use of
a bluestem seeder for demonstration and to aid in getting some stands of alternate warm
season grass species established for seed production. A field day was held to demonstrate
proper seedbed preparation and proper seeding techniques. Later a follow-up field day was
held on the same farms to show success of planting, growth, forage and seed production
potential. Approximately 450 acres of Caucasian Bluestem, one of our target species, was
planted in the project area using these seeders in 1989. As a result of this, two districts,
Fulton County and Buffalo River, each purchased a seeder for use by farmers. This year
these seeders were used to plant approximately 600 acres of Caucasian Bluestem and 40
acres of Switchgrass in the project area. An additional 350 acres of Caucasian Bluestem and
150 acres of Plains Bluestem was planted using other methods. We have also initiated two
field studies of fall seeding of warm season grasses. This is patterned after work in Missouri
and natural reseeding. We hope this will prove successful, as often we have adverse weather
conditions during the recommended seeding dates. We will continue to monitor this method
of establishment.

Plans have been finalized for grassland conference/workshops in Salem, Mountain
Home and Marshall this spring.

Response from landowners and resource personnel has been very favorable regarding
improved management techniques and alternate grass species to lower inputs and production
costs, allowing greater economic return while at the same time protecting and enhancing the
environment for future generations. Grassland agriculture is sustainable agriculture.









68

Objectives

(1) Establish a plan for implementing the project.

(2) Obtain the necessary funding.

(3) Set in place a mechanism for implementation.

Project Duration: Fifteen months starting March 1, 1989

Funding: $15,000 in 1989. Matching, $38,600.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Planning Grant $15,000 $38,600
Totals $15,000 $38,600



LS90-20: EFFECTIVE NITROGEN FOR LOW-INPUT FORAGE AND GRAIN PRO-
DUCTION IN A THERMICUDIC REGION

(Revised 1/25/91)

Major Participants:

USDA/ARS, Souther Piedmont Conservation Research Center: R. Russell Bruce (Project
Coordinator), Box 555, Watkinsville, GA 30677, characterization of physical
conditions of soil; L.A. Harper, describing nitrogen dynamics in the production
systems; G.W. Langdale, conservation tillage assessment; W.M. Snyder, analysis of
hydrologic data and modeling interpretive analysis of data; J.A. Stuedemann, planning
and execution of animal aspects of project and assisting in preparation of experimental
sites; S.R. Wilkinson, forage management and characteristics of nutrient cycling in
forage systems.

University of Georgia: D.A. Crossley, Bio Sciences Building, Athens, GA 30602, charac-
terization of soil biota; N.R. French, Conner Hall, economic analysis; P.F. Hendrix,
Ecology Building, nitrogen analysis and nitrogen partitioning in production system,
soil biological analysis.

Oconee River Resource Conservation and Development Council: Mac Hayes, Coordinator,
Watkinsville, GA. Coordinates activities between the group, farmers, RC & D









69

council and Oconee River Soil and Water Conservation District, sponsors of this
project. He will also assist in tours of the project.

Cooperative Extension Service: W.I. Segars, Water Quality Coordinator, Athens, GA.
Developing communication techniques to transfer research technology with farmers
and other clientele.

Farmer Participants:

Advisory Role: C.D. Dawson, Bishop, GA; G.A. Hilsman, Watkinsville, GA; W. Mont-
gomery, Watkinsville, GA.

Overview

Effective and economical alternatives for meeting nitrogen (N) requirements in crop
production are crucial for low-input agricultural systems on thermic Udult soils which
comprise the 15.3 x 106 ha Southem Piedmont region. Organic N from animal manure and
winter legumes are potential sources for the region; however, management, effectiveness,
and economics of these sources are uncertain and merit study. It is proposed that the
efficacy of N supplied by these organic sources for grain and forage production be described
and compared with a conventional inorganic N source and a combination of organic and
inorganic sources. This will be done over a 3-year period on small watershed and farm field
scales enabling a sampling of daily rainfall distribution and its impact on N efficacy of the
sources, as well as assessment of cumulative treatment effects and economic performace.
Experiments will focus on N supply to small grain and forage crops, both animal- and
machine-harvested. Effects of animals on water quality in low-input systems will be assessed
in a gauged watershed. N inputs will be accounted for and their availability and synchroni-
zation with crop needs will be described.

A diverse team of participants will be involved, including farmers, technology and
information transfer persons, commercial producers, and research scientists. All participants
are committed to accomplishment of all project objectives, from planning experiments to
technology transfer.

Objectives

(1) Describe the efficacy of organic and inorganic sources of N in forage production with
animal and machine harvesting in intensive studies at experimental watershed and
farm field scales.

(2) Evaluate the potential for surface and groundwater contamination by the systems
studied in Objective 1.

(3) Describe the economic characteristics of the various N management systems.









70

(4) Through farm scale research and communication with farmers and technology transfer
agencies, conduct technology transfer programs for efficient N management systems.

Project Duration: Three years (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1993)

Funding: $195,000 in 1990. Matching, $538,200.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
USDA/ARS $73,044 $358,000
University of Georgia 121,956 180,200
Totals $195,000 $538,200



LS90-21: AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM IN LOW-INPUT SUSTAINABLE AGRI-
CULTURE PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

Major Participants:

University of Florida: Stephen A. Ford, Food and Resource Economics Department, 1109
McCarty Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Clemson University: Jere Brittain, IPM Coordinator, 265 Poole Agricultural Center,
Clemson, SC 29634.

Auburn University: Jerry Crews, Department of Agricultural Economics, Auburn Universi-
ty, AL 36849-5639.

Georgia Experiment Station: William Hargrove, Griffi, GA 30223-1797.

Overview

There is a wide variety of perceptions of the meaning of low-input, sustainable
agriculture among agricultural industry leaders. Consequently, there is an obvious need for
an educational program directed at agricultural leaders from all sectors in agriculture in
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The clientele would include agricultural
policy makers, leaders of farmer organizations and commodity groups, university administra-
tors, researchers, and extension workers. This proposal suggests holding a two-day
conference to introduce this clientele to current LISA technology and its uses in order to








71
enhance the possible adoption of this technology and the support (both monetary and
legislative) it receives from the agricultural industry.

Objectives

The overall objective of this proposed educational program is to promote a beter
understanding of LISA technology and philosophy and to foster the formation of new
research and extension interest in this area through a conference for agricultural industry
leaders. The intended audience includes industry leaders in the private sector, agricultural
researchers and extension specialists at universities, county extension faculty, and govern-
ment officials responsible for public policy decision.

(1) To educate agricultural industry leaders of the Southeast in the specific technology
and philosophy behind low-input, sustainable agriculture.

(2) To provide a forum for the sharing of research and extension information about LISA
technological developments that are currently available to farmers or in development.


(3) To provide an opportunity for people involved in agriculture to interact on both a
formal and informal basis in order to discuss and develop mutual research and
extension interests that may lead to future cooperative work.

(4) To continue the extension and educational facets of this project through the dissemina-
tion of printed proceedings of the educational program.

Project Duration: One year (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1991)

Funding: $18,000 in 1990. Matching, $24,311.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Florida $18,000 $24,311
Totals $18,000 $24,311









72

LS90-22: INFLUENCE OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM) ON LOW-
INPUT SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE (LISA) IN THE SOUTHERN REGION

(Revised 1/25/91)

Major Participants:

University of Tennessee: Charles H. Hadden (Project Coordinator), Extension Entomology
and Plant Pathology, P.O. Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071. Richard E.
Caron, 605 Airways Blvd., Jackson, TN 38301, State IPM Coordinator and LISA
Project Proposal Committee Chairperson.

Oklahoma State University: Gerrit W. Cuperus, 523 LSW, Stillwater, OK 74078, state
IPM Coordinator and LISA Project Teleconference Committee Chairperson.

North Carolina State University: Michael H. Linker, P.O. Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695,
state IPM Coordinator and LISA Project Publication Committee Chairperson.

Overview

An educational project is proposed wherein the Southern Regional IPM Coordinators
develop a plan to merge Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Low-Input Sustainable
Agriculture (LISA) concepts into a practical program which will meet the social, environ-
mental, and economic needs of growers and citizens of the region. Producers will have
direct input into this program. Once the plan has taken form, a campaign will be undertaken
to make other producers of the region aware of both the philosophy and the methodology of
the resulting system.

IPM and LISA systems share a philosophy of farming. LISA systems have a holistic
management philosophy and include an agronomic systems background. IPM has a rich
history of impacting producers, reducing pesticide inputs and improving profitability. An
integrated program can result in a system which can strengthen both. But the farming
community must be made aware of the two systems and the objectives of the integration. To
accomplish this, an educational publication and video teleconference are proposed. The
publication will give growers and others background reading material. A video conference
will provide them with examples that will make them more receptive to the idea of farm
stewardship.

Objectives

(1) To plan an educational program incorporating IPM concepts into LISA programs of
the Southern Region.









73

(2) To assemble and publish region-wide information on the merger of IPM and LISA
systems.

(3) To conduct a nationwide satellite video conference on the incorporation of IPM and
LISA systems (with the completion of objectives 1 and 2).

Project Duration: One year (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1991)

Funding: $25,000 in 1990. Matching, $55,500.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Tennessee $25,000 $55,500
Totals $25,000 $55,500



LS90-23: A MID-SOUTH CONFERENCE ON LISA-RELATED AGROFORESTRY
PRACTICES AND POLICIES

Major Participants:

Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development: Douglas Henderson and F.E.
Busby, Route 3, Box 376, Morrilton, AR 72110.

Overview

Agroforestry systems offer farmers practical land-use alternatives for marginal
agricultural lands beyond high-input agriculture and low-output forestry systems. Agro-
forestry technologies help farmers diversify production, improve ecological sustainability,
and increase economic productivity. Agroforestry concepts and practices need to be
encouraged in the mid-South as part of mainstream agricultural practice, research, and
extension.

To accomplish this, Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development
convened a 3-day conference in October 1990 on agroforestry practices and policies for the
mid-South states. The confenece will bring together innovative farmers, researchers, and
extension personnel from public and private institutions in the mid-South to discuss opportu-
nities and mechanisms for strengthening LISA-related agroforestry strategies by agricultural
extension and foestry landowner assistance agencies. Participants will share state-of-the-art
agroforestry information and examine policies for encouraging development and adoption of
LISA-compatible agroforestry technologies and programs.









74

The conference will result in the establishment of a mid-South Agroforestry Network,
and the published conference proceedings will contain the most current available information
on agroforestry technologies, research, and extension activites within the mid-South states.
A regional directory of practitioners and researchers in agroforestry and related activities will
also be prepared. Both the conference proceedings and directory will be distributed to
participants and to state, federal, and private organizations.

Objectives

Winrock International proposes to plan and conduct a 3-day conference on agrofore-
stry practices, research, and policies related to low-input, sustainable agriculture (LISA) in
the mid-South states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. This conference will give innovative farmers, research-
ers, extension personnel and specialists from public and private institutions opportunities to:

(1) Share state-of-the-art information on LISA-related agroforestry concepts, research,
and practices for the coastal plain, Mississippi Delta, and upland regions of the mid-
South US.

(2) Promote agroforestry research and extension strategies, emphasizing multidisciplinary
and collaborative activities.
(3) Discuss the economic and environmental benefits that low-input agroforestry strategies
bring to farmers and rural environments.

(4) Examine policies affecting the development and adoption of LISA-compatible agro-
forestry technologies and programs.

(5) Encourage stronger programmatic emphasis on LISA-related agroforestry strategies by
agricultural extension and forestry landowner assistance agencies in the mid-South
states.

(6) Establish a mid-South Agroforestry Network to link farmers, researchers, extension
personnel, non-governmental advisory agents, and policy makers involved in agro-
forestry.

(7) Improve communication through participation in a directory of agroforestry practititio-
ners and researchers produced in association with the conference.

Project Duration: One year (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1991)

Funding: $18,000 in 1990. Matching, $46,495.









75

Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Winrock Intemational Institute
$18,000 $46,495
Totals $18,000 $46,495



LS90-24: DEVELOPMENT OF AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE AND ECONOMI-
CALLY SUSTAINABLE YEAR-ROUND MINIMUM TILLAGE FORAGE PRO-
DUCTION SYSTEM USING FARM ANIMAL MANURE AS THE ONLY FER-
TILIZER

Major Participants:

University of Georgia, Coastal Plain Experiment Station: Joseph C. Johnson, Jr. (Project
Coordinator), Coastal Plain Experiment Station, P.O. Box 748, Tifton, GA 31793.
G. Larry Newton; Jessica G. Davis-Carter; George Vellidis. Dale H. Carley,
Georgia Experiment Station, Griffin, GA 30223-1797; William A. Thomas, Coopera-
tive Extension Service, Coliseum, Athens, GA 30602; Randall D. Hudson, Coopera-
tive Extension Service, Rural Development Center, P.O. Box 1209, Tifton, GA
31792.

USDA/ARS: Robert Hubbard; Richard Lowrance; James L. Butler; Adrain W. Thomas;
Alva W. Johnson, P.O. Box 748, Tifton, GA 31793.

University of Florida: Del Bottcher, Agricultural Engineering Department, Gainesville, FL
32611.

Overview

This project proposes to identify, develop and demonstrate some techniques, methods,
and systems which can be used to recycle manure to animals through production and
consumption of forage crops without negatively impacting the environment. Liquid manure
resulting from flush cleaning of dairy cow facilities will be irrigated at four rates each at
intervals of 7 to 14 days onto crops grown on land typical of a new dairy site. The crops
will include com and rye seeded into a bermuda grass sod in order to have an actively
growing plant cover year-round. Sensitive monitoring and analytical instrumentation will be
used to determine the fate of manure nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na) in soil and
groundwater when different amounts are applied onto crops. Nutrient utilization efficiencies
will be determined for each crop and the total system. Changes in soil nutrient content and
soil invertebrate populations will be related to manure application rates and examined for any









76

cumulative effects on sustainability of crop production. Data from all segments of the
proposed research will be evaluated and results used to identify manure utilization procedures
and crop production systems which have economical soundness, low-input sustainability, and
are environmentally safe.

Most research, demonstration and dissemination of information will be carried out at
the Coastal Plain Experiment Station; however, important contributions to the project will be
made at Anthony's Dairy, Americus, GA, and Masstock Diary, Montezuma, GA. Partic-
pants in this project include both University and USDA research scientists, Cooperative
Extension Service specialists from a broad array of disciplines, and farmers from two
successful dairies.

Objectives

(1) Determine nutrient (N, P, K, Ca, Mg) use efficiency and forage production from
various rates of manure application and determine the nutritional value and quality of
resultant crops.

(2) Determine nutrient (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na) fate in soil and groundwater, and the
relationship of the water wetting front to nutrient movement associated with various
rates of liquid manure application.

(3) Determine the response of soil invertebrates to application rates of manure and to
management practices required in the minimum tillage system.

(4) Determine rates of liquid manure applications which are economically and environ-
mentally sustainable in a year-round system of crop production, develop benefit-cost
analyses for the system, and make economic comparisons with alternative methods of
producing forage crops.

Project Duration: Three years (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1993)

Funding: $195,000 in 1990. Matching, $686,258.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Georgia $195,000 $686,258
Totals $195,000 $686,258









77

LS90-25: DEVELOPMENT OF FRACTIONATION AND TREATMENT SYSTEMS
FOR POULTRY LITTER TO ENHANCE UTILIZATION AND REDUCE
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Major Participants:

University of Georgia: William C. Merka, Extension Poultry Science Department, Four
Towers, Athens, GA 30602. Oscar Pancarbo, Environmental Health Program, Food
Science and Technology Department; Sidney Thompson, Agricultural Engineering
Department; Ronald Atkinson, Extension Agriculture Economics Department,
Coliseum.

Overview

The poultry industry is a major agricultural industry in the southeaster United States.
It generates more than 25 percent of the agricultural income of Arkansas, Mississippi,
Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. To increase
efficiency, this industry has a tendency to concentrate itself. Production concentration
generates more poultry waste than can be safely applied to cropland without environmental
degradation. Valuable nutrients are also lost.

This study will be conducted to determine more efficient methods of poultry waste
utilization in cropping and livestock feeding systems. Preliminary work has shown that
fractionation will recover litter material for subsequent reuse in poultry houses and will
produce a fine material with improved handling qualities and increased nutrient concen-
trations. This study will evaluate the economic potential of litter fractionation for reuse of
the coarse material in poultry production and use of the concentrated fines for crop produc-
tion and ruminant feeding.

Objectives

(1) Develop a simple, efficient and economical method to separate litter into coarse and
fine fractions.

(2) Evaluate the reuse potential of the coarse fraction in broiler houses as litter; this
would involve testing the coarse fraction for the presence of important microbial
pathogens (bacteria and viruses) and toxicants (metals, pesticides and synthetic
organic compounds such as PCBs), and development of a treatment system to
eliminate residual pathogens.

(3) Evaluate the use of the fine fraction as a more concentrated fertilizer for crop
production; this would include the use of commerical equipment for accurate applica-
tion, and assessment of production parameters and environmental impact. This









78

fraction will also be thoroughly tested for the toxic elements and compounds, and
pathogenic microorganisms discussed above for the coarse fraction.

(4) Compare the economic value of this material and system to conventional commerical
fertilizer application methods.

(5) Establish extension education programs through publications, seminars, plot demon-
strations, and field days to promote adoption of efficient litter use systems.

Project Duration: Two years (Mrch 1, 1990 February 28, 1992)

Funding: $141,000 in 1990. Matching, $251,370.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Georgia $141,000 $251,370
Totals $141,000 $251,370



LS90-26: SWINE WASTE LOW-COST ALTERNATIVE TO COMMERCIAL
FERTILIZER FOR PRODUCTION OF FORAGE FOR GRAZING CATTLE

Major Participants:

North Carolina State University: J.P. Mueller, Crop Science, Box 7620, Raleigh, NC
27695-7620. R.G. Crickenberger, Animal Science; J.T. Green, Crop Science;
J.C. Barker, Biological and Agricultural Engineering; J.P. Zublena, Soil Science.

Overview

Swine production is a major agricultural enterprise in North Carolina and the
southeastern United States. Swine waste is traditionally applied to land without regard to
nutrient availability or environmental impacts. In recent years, there has been a proliferation
of farms on which animals are concentrated and waste is produced year-round. Land for.
waste disposal must be integrated into an efficient and environmentally sound waste manage-
ment system. Hog farming operations may be enhanced by including a cattle grazing
component, resulting in efficient forage use and additional revenue to farms.

This proposal contains a systems approach to improving agricultural profitability and
maintaining environmental quality. A swine waste management-cattle grazing system will be









79

evaluated for its impacts on farm purchased fertilizer needs, on forage quantity and quality,
on soil productivity, on animal health and performance, and on environmental quality.

Objectives

(1) Implement the system on at least two farms where interactions of low-input grass
production and controlled, rotational grazing will be monitored.

(2) Monitor groundwater, soil and plant nutrient status as influenced by waste water
application.

(3) Develop and document a budget model that considers nitrogen applied, evaporated,
unavailable, and recovered in animal weight gain.

(4) Generate producer and public support for implementing the system at additional sites.


(5) Develop educational materials and training programs for use by educational pro-
fesionals and farmers in implementing the system.

Project Duration: Three years (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1993)

Funding: $50,000 in 1990. Matching, $126,276.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
North Carolina State University
$50,000 $126,276
Totals $50,000 $126,276



LS90-27: A LOW-INPUT MANURE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN ANIMAL HOUS-
ING FOR HOUSEFLY CONTROL, WASTE REDUCTION AND FEED

(Revised 1990)

Major Participants:

University of Georgia: D. Craig Sheppard (Project Coordinator and Entomologist), Depart-
ment of Entomology, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, P.O. Box 748, Tifton, GA
31793. Sidney A. Thompson, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Athens, GA









80

30602, Engineer; G. Larry Newton, Department of Animal Science, Coastal Plain
Experiment Station, Animal Scientist.
Farmer Participant:

Arnold Brogdon, Route 1, Box 24, Alapaha, GA 31622, Egg Producer.

Overview

Manure in caged layer houses poses problems. Two of these are dense housefly
populations and manure disposal. Currently, caged layer manure is periodically spread on
pastures, or a relatively expensive system is needed to scrape the manure and pump it to a
lagoon. The large numbers of flies produced are a nuisance which can bring litigation from
neighbors and result in facility closures. Fly control with insecticides is expensive and short-
lived. Houseflies rapidly develop resistance to any insecticide widely used. Current pest
management systems call for drying the manure. This approach was first developed in
California and is not practical in the humid southeast.

The proposed study is necessary prior to on-farm testing of a low-input system that
will reduce the bulk of manure by half, essentially eliminate housefly breeding and produce a
high quality feedstuff. This system could save a 60,000 hen operation $6,000 for fly control
and $5,000 or more in manure hauling each year. The native black soldier fly has shown the
potential to accomplish these benefits in experimental and practical situations. We plan to
test the engineering principles involved in this system to avoid major problems in a subse-
quent on-farm test. This system may have application in housing designed for other farm
animals.

Objectives

(1) Determine manure pit design compatible with:

a. periodic manure removal with existing equipment;
b. self harvest of mature soldier fly larvae for feedstuff;
c. preventing larval access to walkways; and
d. shallow flooding for early season housefly control.

(2) Develop an effective low-energy storage system for the larval feedstuff.

(3) Determine the palatability of this larval feedstuff to swine.

Progress

The 600-hen experimental layer facility was fully operational by August 31. The hens
were held over a manure pit 12' deep, with the wall towards the outside of the house sloped
at about 40 degrees to encourage mature soldier fly larvae (prepupae) to exit in that direc-









81

tion. This worked well, not only in the self harvesting of these larvae, but it kept nearly all
of them off the walkways where they could be a problem.

A 4" PVC pipe with a 1" slit on one side was fastened at the top of this sloped wall.
The slit was tured to the top of the slope so that larvae climbing up could enter directly into
the pipe. This collection system worked very well and over 100 lb. of larvae were self
collected in about 2 months. Periodic flushing of the pipe had been anticipated, but was not
necessary. The larvae continued to crawl until they exited the end of the pipe into a
collection container. This was a pleasant surprise because the dry larvae will be easier to
handle.

Larvae were frozen and held for chemical preservation trials. Swine feeding trials
will follow.

Our first push-out of manure with the specially designed scraper went well. This
system should easily transfer to a commercial facility.

Initial establishment of a black soldier fly population was not listed as an objective in
this study, but was, of course, necessary. This population was easily established by a one-
time inoculation of about 20 gallons of soldier fly larvae. These were collected in one day
by two workers from a deep manure pit below a beef housing unit.

Testing of the shallow flooding capability for early season housefly control will be
tested this spring.

In summary, this manure management system seems to be working well. Self-
collection of larvae for use as a feed stuff was foreseen as a possible problem, with the initial
design requiring several modifications. In fact, our first design worked better than our best
envisionment. We anticipate being able to design a commercial scale caged layer house with
this general waste management system in the near future.

Project Duration: One year (March 1, 1990 February 28, 1991 extended through August.
1991)

Funding: $18,000 in 1990. Matching, $37,442.


Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
University of Georgia $18,000 $37,442
Totals $18,000 $37,442









82

LS90-28: SUBSTITUTION OF CULTURAL PRACTICES FOR HERBICIDES TO
CONTROL ANNUAL RYE GRASS AND CHEAT IN SMALL GRAINS

Major Participants:

Oklahoma State University: John B. Solie (Project Coordinator), Agricultural Engineering
Department. H. Willard Downs and Francis M. Epplin, Agricultural Engineering
Department; Thomas F. Peeper, Agronomy Department.

Farmer Participants:

Willard Fox, Rt. 1, Box 26A, Washington, OK. Crops include wheat, cotton, alfalfa and
cattle on a medium-sized farm in south central Oklahoma.

Robert Harshman, Rt. 6, Box 178, Stillwater, OK 74074. Wheat and cattle raised on a
small, part-time farm.

Don Kirby, Rt. 1, Lamont, OK 74643. Progressive farmer on 3,000 acres produces wheat
and uses about 1,000 stocker calves each year in norther Oklahoma.

Ray E. Nelson, RR, Carrier, OK 73727. North central Oklahoma wheat producer with a
few cattle.

Don and Cecelia Schieber, Rt. 1, Box 75, Kildare, OK 74642. Northem Oklahoma
medium- to large-scale wheat farmers.

H.G. Spivey, Rt. 1, Box 114, Ringling, OK 73456. Southem Oklahoma wheat farmer who
uses stocker cattle during the winter.

Al and Harold Westfal, Rt. 1, Box 87, Lahoma, OK 73754. Large-scale wheat and stocker
cattle farmers in north central Oklahoma.

Overview

Winter wheat is grown continuously on a large portion of the acreage dedicated to
crop production in the entire Southem Region of the United States. Attempts to introduce
conservation tillage practices have always led to rapidly increasing infestations of weedy
Bromus, Lolium, and Hordeum species. Farmers are increasingly abandoning conservation
tillage practices or are turing to herbicides to control these weeds. The introduction of new
cultural practices including the modification of existing harvesting and planting equipment is
a viable alternative to herbicides for controlling light seeded weedy grasses in small grains.

The proposed research and extension project continues and expands a one-year low-
input sustainable agriculture project to develop and demonstrate quickly adoptable cultural









83

methods with substantial potential for preventing pandemic infestations of cheat and annual
rye grass, two of the most common grassy weeds found in the Southern Region. Practices
include: (1) preventing the return of annual rye grass and cheat seeds to fields during
harvesting, (2) increasing the natural ability of wheat to compete against annual rye grass and
cheat by using new seeding techniques, and (3) identifying wheat cultivars with greater
natural abilities to compete against weedy grasses. A complete economic analysis will be
performed to evaluate the economic feasibility of the proposed practices. Farmers have been
included in the planning, research and on-farm demonstration phases of the project.

Objectives

(1) Use 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 research results to demonstrate the advantages of using
more competitive wheat cultivars, increased seeding rates, and ultranarrow row
spacing for annual rye grass and cheat suppression in wheat, and continue research to
optimize the competitiveness of more competitive cultivars.

(2) Refine the ultranarrow row grain drill opener, designed and tested in 1989, to
improve seeding depth uniformity and clod and crop residue clearance.

(3) Provide on-farm demonstrations of the decreases in cheat and annual rye grass
populations attainable by catching and removing material discharged from the chaffer
(lower cleaning unit) of small grains combines.

(4) Estimate the impact of the alternative weed control methods on per unit production
costs, family resource use, machinery investment and net retum to a representative
farm family, and compare results with corresponding estimates for farming sytesms
which rely on conventional methods.

Project Duration: One year (July 1, 1990 June 30, 1992)

Funding: $60,000. Matching, $59,320.



Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
Oklahoma State University $60,000 $59,320
Totals $60,000 $59,320









84

LS90-29: AN EXPERT CROP ROTATION PLANNING SYSTEM (CROPS) FOR
IMPLEMENTING AND EVALUATING LOW-INPUT CROP AND LIVESTOCK
SYSTEMS

Major Participants:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University: Nicholas D. Stone (Project Coordinator),
Department of Entomology, Blacksburg, VA 24061, Phone: (703) 231-6341.
Project leader responsible for overall system design and coordination. Also contrib-
utes expertise in the application of systems science and artificial intelligence methods -
to agricultural problems. John M. Luna, Department of Entomology, coordinates
farmer participation in the program and provides expertise in system-level implemen-
tation of sustainable agricultural practices; James W. Pease, Department of Agricul-
tural Economics, responsible for the integration of farm-level economics into the
system, oversees the integration of economic simulation models into CROPS; Lee
Daniels, Department of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, primarily responsible
for the incorporation of soil erosion models and estimation into the planning system;
John Roach, Department of Computer Science, provides expertise in artificial
intelligence and in particular in applying knowledge-based techniques to problems of
planning and scheduling.

Overview

Widespread adoption of low-input, sustainable agricultural practices may be the only
practical solution to the multifaceted crisis of American agriculture. Although low-input
farming systems are increasingly recognized as economically viable and environmentally
preferable to conventional, petrochemically based agriculture, the practical problems involved
in whole-farm planning have largely not been addressed. Implementing low-input, biologi-
cally based farming systems may involve growing new crops, growing old crops in new
rotation and with different tillage practices, and learning new techniques for improving soil
tilth and ecological pest management. Because of the new management skills and knowledge
required, the transition from conventional to low-input farming is generally perceived as an
uncertain and risky venture. Furthermore, federal farm programs, and the interdependencies
of farming operation often make impractical the adoption of component practices that appear
attractive in isolation.

The Research and Extension project proposed here involves the use of artificial
intelligence and expert systems to create a computer-based planning tool to help farmers
choose whole-farm crop rotations, tillage and pest management practices that help achieve a
more sustainable agriculture. Expert systems are excellent tools to deal with complex
problems which require the synthesis and application of a broad knowledge base. The
proposed system is based on a prototype system called CROPS (Crop Rotation Planning
System). It will develop whole-farm crop rotation plans for specific crop/livestock opera-
tions. The system will then test and compare the expected economic and environmental









85

performance of the generated plans with alternatives presented by the farmer or alternative
plans generated by the system. These evaluations will be based on simulation models of
whole farm economics and soil erosion.

The system will be developed in cooperation with two farmers operating diverse crop
and livestock farms in the coastal plain and the Appalachian mountain areas. The farmers
will provide design advice, will test the feasibility of the system on their farms, and will
cooperate with a county extension agent and the project coordinators in designing a farmer
training manual and workshop.

Objectives

(1) Develop a computer-based expert system to devise whole-farm crop rotation plans and
integrate low-input farming practices.

(2) Incorporate the WEPP soil erosion prediction model to analyze the effects of crop
rotation plans developed in Objective 1 on soil erosion.

(3) Incorporate an economic model of a farming operation (FLIPSIM-V) to evaluate the
economic effects of potential farm plans developed in Objective 1.

(4) Evaluate the feasibility of whole-farm plans developed in Objective 1 on two Virginia
crop/livestock operations.

Progress And Future Goals For Proposed Obiectives

Progress toward the tasks required to achieve each objective is described below.

(1) Develop a computer-based expert system to devise whole-farm crop rotation plans and
integrate low-input farming practices.

We are using a knowledge-based approach similar to that used in some expert
systems. This knowledge-based approach relies on qualitative descriptions of goals and
relationships but can also incorporate quantitative information when available. Producing a
working farm planning tool from the prototype requires the following steps:

Task 1: Compiling a knowledge base to represent low-input and conventional crop
production strategies and practices. Knowledge-base entries describing crops in rotation
schemes and under specific tillage practices have been developed for com (for grain and
silage), alfalfa, sorghum (for grain and silage), wheat grain, and barley silage. Information
included are each crop's requirements for growth, time windows for planting and harvest,


3 FLIPSIM-V is the fifth revision of the Firm-Level Income
tax and Policy SImulation Model (FLIPSIM).









86
expected yields by soil type, and cropping sequences in which the crop can be developed.
This knowledge base will be added to throughout the project.

Task 2: Developing a computer representation scheme for individual farms. A
graphical and data base representation for farms has been developed which includes (a) user-
defined goals, preferences, and constraints on the farming operation; (b) financial informa-
tion about the farming operation; (c) livestock information: requirements for grain, silage
hay, and pasture; (d) farm machinery and labor availability; (e) field maps and data on:
locations, sizes, topologies, soil types, crop and pest histories.

Task 3: Developing a planning algorithm to construct potential crop rotations and
practices for each field of the farm. This algorithm requires knowledge and information
described in Tasks 1 and 2 to develop an overall farm plan that satisfies the requirements of
the livestock operation and any financial, production, and operational constraints. The
procedure is described by computer scientists as a constraint-based planning algorithm. It
puts an overall plan together from smaller pieces (macro-operators), at each step checking
that no constraints of the system (e.g., estimates of soil erosion for a sloped field in a corn-
small grain-winter legume rotation) have been violated.

Currently, CROPS includes a constraint-based planning algorithm that allows users to
specify target acreages for specific crops and ensures that soil erosion estimates are below
the maximum soil erosion limits set by the Soil Conservation Service for highly erodible
land. The algorithm uses the revised universal soil loss equation model, RUSLE. Work
currently near completion will incorporate nutrient management considerations into the
planner, as well as economic evaluations. During the 18 months we will refine the planner,
incorporating more complexity and improving the system's performance.

(2) Incorporate the WEPP soil erosion prediction model to analyze the effects of crop
rotation plans developed in Objective 1 on soil erosion.

The CROPS system has been constructed to provide all the needed inputs for the
RUSLE model, and we have initiated the incorporation of computer code from RUSLE to
enable CROPS to calculate automatically the required soil erosion parameters to estimate
sheet and rill erosion based on crop rotation, soil type, field topology, and tillage practices.
The knowledge-base entries defined above (Task 1) will be augmented with all the input
requirements for the RUSLE model. These modifications have been designed, but are not
yet implemented.

Linkage of CROPS to the WEPP (Water Erosion Prediction Project) model has also
begun. WEPP is a process model of soil erosion, able to simulate the erosion or deposition
occurring at any point in a field. It is coded in about 12,500 lines of Fortran code, provided
to us by cooperators at the USDA National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory. By compari-
son, the RUSLE equation could be coded in one line. As a result, the WEPP model will be
run only once, after a whole-farm plan has been generated. Execution time will therefore be









87

increased by only a minute or so. Most of the data needed to run WEPP are contained in
standard SCS soil data bases. However, additional data will have to be obtained from on-site
soil samples on our cooperating farms. This will be accomplished later this year. Incorpora-
tion of the WEPP model will continue into the second year of the project, and perhaps into
the third if substantial changes are made in the code.

(3) Incorporate an economic model of a farming operation (FLIPSIM-V) to evaluate the
economic effects of potential farm plans developed in Objective 1.

Work on this objective will begin in the second year of the project. However work to
develop the economic data bases has been initiated recently.

The FLIPSIM-V model developed by J. Richardson & C. Nixon (Texas A & M) will
be linked to the CROPS system in the same way it was linked to the COTFLEX system
developed by the PC (Stone), Richardson, and colleagues at Texas A & M University. Data
describing the user's farm finances will be entered into a financial data base. Inputs required
for the FLIPSIM modes include machinery complement, debt structure, labor costs, farm
program information, and crop production budgets. FLIPSIM also requires information that
will be contained already in the map-oriented field data base or that will be generated as part
of the planning process: e.g., number and size of fields and expected yields for specific
crops in specific fields.

FLIPSIM will be used to compare alternative farm-level, multi-year plans and will
produce a probability estimate of farm survival, and gross and net cash farm income.
FLIPSIM includes a function that ranks alternative farm plans based on the probability of
receiving different levels of net cash farm income. This ranking and the program's financial
comparisons of the alternative farm-level plans will be used by the program and by the user
to evaluate the plans generated by the CROPS system.

Incorporation of FLIPSIM will involve initially a series of interviews with our
cooperating farmers to develop datasets needed to run the model (Tasks 4 and 5). As
described below, these interviews will be completed in the first year of the project.

(4) Evaluate the feasibility of whole-farm plans developed in Objective 1 on two Virginia
crop/livestock operations.

Tasks 4 and 5: Two farm data bases will be developed in a series of interviews
during the first year of the project to describe the two farm operations owned by the
cooperating farmers. The farm data bases will include fiancial data as described above, as
well as map-based field information, buildings and facilities, and a description of the
livestock operation. An aerial photograph or similar farm map will be digitized into
computer format. In some cases, soil types and topology will be determined from soil
samples and surveying conducted on site.









88

Interviews have been conducted with one cooperator, Floyd Childress, III. His farm
fields have been digitized and data on soil types have been entered into the computer.
Interviews will continue this winter.

Tasks 7-8, 10-11: Evaluation of the CROPS system on the farm and its potential
delivery to farmers will be accomplished through the participation of two farmers and one
Extension County agent. All three will be integral members of a project design team that
will meet regularly to supervise the development of the program, its interface, and to
evaluate its progress and utility.

The three cooperators will be provided with a computer (MacIntosh IIsi) to run the
software, and will meet during the winter of each year of the project for a demonstration and
training session. A working prototype of the system will be demonstrated and subsequently
delivered in year two, along with a user's guide and technical documentation. This alpha-test
version will be used to detect both programming errors (bugs) and design errors that must be
corrected in the next (beta-test) version, to be demonstrated and delivered in the middle of
the third year. A final version will be released with revised documentation at the end of the
project.

In the third year of the project, demonstration and training sessions will be scheduled
for potential users in at least two locations within the Souther Region.

Project Duration: Three years (March 1 February 28, 1993)

Funding: $60,000 in 1990. Matching, $76,281. Funding was received from the LISA
program for only the first year.

Sustainable Matching
Organization Agri. Funds Funds
VPI and State University $60,000 $76,281
Totals $60,000 $76,281



LS90-30: There is no project associated with this number.








89

LS91-31(139): BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AND ITS ECONOMICS IN THE SOUTH-
ERN UNITED STATES

Major Participants:

University of Florida: J. Howard Frank (Project Coordinator), Entomology & Nematology
Department, Bldg 970, Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611-0740, Phone: (904) 392-
1901 x128. Richard N. Weldon (Co-project coordinator), Economics of Biological
Control, Food & Resource Economics Department, 1157 McCarthy Hall, 32611-
0141, Phone: (904) 392-1848; Frederick D. Bennett (Co-project coordinator),
Biological Control Information, Entomology & Nematology Department, Phone:
(904) 392-1901 x127.

Overview

Classical biological control (otherwise known as inoculative biocontrol) is the ultimate
low-input form of pest and weed control in low-input sustainable agriculture. However,
economists have not usually participated in biocontrol research projects, whose advantages,
thus, have seldom been proclaimed except by biocontrol researchers. This probably is the
main cause of the weak link between extension and biocontrol research. The weak link has
prevented benefits of biocontrol research from being brought to their full potential.

In December 1990 a thorough review of classical biological control research in the
southem United States was published. Because it is printed, it cannot include results of
current and future research. Also, it lacks economic analysis and is not in a form directly
usable by extension specialists.

This proposal will supply current and future biocontrol information to extension
specialists throughout the Southern Region by means of a computerized data base. Informa-
tion which extension specialists will be able to obtain directly from the data base by
computer-modem link will be in a form usable to them: it will include economic analyses to
be derived from existing, published and unpublished data, by economists. The data base will
also provide information to researchers in economics and in biocontrol, generating interdisci-
plinary collaboration in an ongoing effort to make the available information more complete
(it should also promote training opportunities for graduate students).

Obiectives

(1) To use partial budgeting to analyze the economics of classical biocontrol researched
and developed in the Southern Region.

(2) To expand an existing computerized data base on biocontrol so that all available
information from or relevant to the Southern Region is entered, including the results
of the economic analyses.









90

(3) To make this information available to potential users throughout the Southem Region
on a read-only basis by computer-modem link, and keep it updated.

Project Duration: Three years

Funding: $49,970. Matching, $180,869.



LS91-32(185): ECONOMICALLY VIABLE PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLES IN
THE SOUTHERN REGION USING LOW-INPUT AND SUSTAINABLE
TECHNIQUES: A DATA BASE

Major Participants:

North Carolina State University: M.M. Peet (Project Coordinator), Dept. of Horticultural
Science, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609, Phone: (919) 737-3167.

Cooperators:

Extension: Dr. Mike Linker, IPM Coordinator

Mountain Horticultural Research Station: Dr. Greg Hoyt, Assoc. Prof. Soil Science (Re-
search), Fletcher, NC.

Overview

There are few publications available for farmers, extension workers, teachers,
researchers or students who need technical information on commercial vegetable production
in the southeastem US using reduced-input or organic methods.. In order to produce this type
of publication, we propose to compile a data base of information on fertilizers, cover crops,
rotations, cultivar resistances and IPM (Integrated Pest Managment) protocols. This
information will be made available as a Manual on vegetable production. In order to make
the content and format of the Manual useful and accessible to farmers as well as the other
potential users, in the first year of the proposed project grower groups will be canvassed for
their input. Individual farmers will be identified as resources for experiential information,
reviewers and possible candidates for inclusion in a later companion volume of case studies
(not included in this proposal). The bibliography and data base used to compile the Manual
will also be made available.

Data base information will come from: 1) computerized searches of The Alternative
Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) at the National Agriculture Library and
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), 2) a bibliography compiled
several years ago at NCSU, 3) popular gardening literature, 4) older vegetable production









91

literature, 5) descriptions of reduced-input vegetable production in non-westem countries, and
6) visits to research and educational centers specializing in alternative methods of vegetable
production and attendance at meetings on sustainable agriculture. Material collected will be
edited for relevance and reliability and organized by crop.

Final development of the data base, publication and distribution will be coordinated
with the LISA Information Delivery Network and LISA Subject Matter Committees.
Preliminary work will begin on a companion case-study volume to the Manual, but funds are
not requested here for full development of this publication.

Objectives

(1) Determine the best content and format to make a Manual on reduced-input vegetable
production useful to farmers and extension workers as well as researchers, teachers
and students. Identify particular farmers as resources and/or reviewers for the
Manual.
Timetable: 0-6 months.

(2) Compile data base of information on commercial production of vegetables in the
southeastern US using reduced-input and organic techniques such as organic fertiliz-
ers, cover crops, rotations, cultivar resistances and IPM protocols.
Timetable: 0-18 months.

(3) Evaluate the material compiled for usefulness and reliability and organize into a
production Manual for the major vegetable crops grown in the southeastem US.
Timetable: 6-20 months

(4) Disseminate data base electronically, as prescribed by the LISA Information Delivery
Network, standardizing language and descriptors. Recipients include the National
Agricultural Library Altemative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) and
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA). Timetable: 18-24
months.

(5) Disseminate data base in hard copy form through the publication of an annotated
bibliography and through a Vegetable Production Manual.
Timetable: 20-24 months.

Project Duration: Two years

Funding: $37,000. Matching, $39,770.









92

LS91-33(51): REFERENCE MANUAL OF LISA RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
STRATEGY BUDGETS FOR THE MID-SOUTH REGION

Major Participants:

University of Tennessee: Larry A. Johnson (Project Coordinator), Agricultural Economics
& Resource Development, Agricultural Extension Service, Phone: (615) 974-7271;
Clark D. Garland.

University Representatives: Aubur University, University of Georgia, Mississippi State
University.

Participating Extension Agents: Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Farmer Participants:

Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Overview

Conventional agriculture requires specialized, capital intensive systems that are
dependent upon high levels of purchased inputs. Excessive use of many of these inputs can
have detrimental effects upon the environment, raise food safety issues and often result in
lower returns to farmers and increased risk levels. Environmental and food safety improve-
ments can be made and farmers would gain financially from reduced cost levels associated
with the incorporation of proven low-input farming methods.

Objective

The objective of this LISA proposal is to develop LISA-related Resource Management
Strategy (RMS) budgets for selected agricultural enterprises and systems located in the mid-
south region. The budgets would provide sound economic information on LISA management
practices to farmers, Extension personnel, ASCS and SCS offices and other interested
individuals and organizations.

Project Duration: Two years

Funding: $50,000. Matching $50,000.









93

LS91-34(97): TOTAL RESOURCE BUDGETING OF LISA RELATED MANAGE-
MENT STRATEGIES

Major Participants:

Auburn University, AL: Jerry R. Crews (Project Coordinator), Assoc. Professor, Extension
Economist-Farm Management, Phone: (205) 844-3506. Robert Goodman, Asst.
Professor, Extension Economist-Resource Use; James L. Novac, Asst. Professor,
Extension Economist-Risk Management. Agronomy and Soils Department: Don M.
Ball, Professor, Extension Agronomist-Forages; John W. Everest, Assoc. Professor,
Extension Weed Scientist; James E. Hairston, Assoc. Professor, Extension Water
Quality Scientist; Paul Mask, Asst. Professor, Extension Agronomist-Crops; Charles
C. Mitchell, Jr. Animal And Dairy Sciences Department: B.G. Ruffin, Assoc.
Professor, Extension Animal Scientist. Entomology Department: Ronald H. Smith,
Professor, Extension Entomologist.

Farmer Participants:

Producers/Cooperators: Jimmy Blythe, Lawrence County, AL; John Boutwell, Autauga
County, AL; Gerald Croweley, Houston County, AL.

Overview

American Agriculture is an industry still in transition. Substitution of capital for
labor may no longer be the answer to increased productivity. Higher yields alone may not
be sufficient to increase production efficiency. Increased projection efficiency may no longer
hold the key to short-run profits and long-run financial survival.

Farmers now are more aware of the marketing and financial aspects of their farm
businesses. They are seeking ways to integrate financial, market, production and institutional
risks into comprehensive, long-term risk management strategies. They are looking for ways
to realize their individual comparative advantages in farming. They are seeking systems
which will maintain, even enhance, their productive resource base on time. They are
beginning to think in terms of long-run strategies for financial survival sustainability rather
than one-time decisions for short-run profits.

Alternative technologies can be integrated into a common decision-making framework
by reducing each decision to its potential impact on profitability, feasibility and its corre-
sponding risk of loss or threat of survival. This approach (total resource budgeting) allows
integration of physical and economic data from a variety of disciplines into a unified,
comprehensive synthesis.




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