NORTH FLORIDA FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION PROGRAM
SUIANNEE AND COLUMBIA COUNTIES
September 15, 1981
The following persons contributed to this report:
Carl Amerling, Food and Resource Economics
George Clough, Vegetable Crops
James Dean, Food and Resource Economics
Bruce Dehm, Food and Resource Economics
Edwin C. French, Agronomy
Peter E. Hildebrand, Food and Resource Economics
Dwight Schmidt, Anthropology
Marilyn Swisher, Geography
Introduction. . . . . .
Farming Systems Approach . .
Preliminary Survey . . . ..
Sondeo. . . . . . . .
Results . . . . . . .
Old-line and recently establ
Black and white farmers. .
Production systems . . .
Discussion. . . . . . .
Proposed Projects as Indicated by
. . . .
Sondeo. . .
NORTH FLORIDA FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION PROJECT
Suwannee and Columbia Counties
The North Florida Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E) Project
has as objectives, 1) generate and promote scale specific technology for the
small scale farmers in the northern part of the state who lie outside
mainstream IFAS research and extension activities, and 2) test the appli-
cability and cost effectiveness of the FSR/E approach to Florida conditions.
The FSR/E procedure evolved over the last ten years in several developing
countries as a means of helping the very large number of small farmers in
those countries solve their production and marketing problems. Administra-
tors in IFAS were interested in the potential of the approach to reach the
farmers difficult to include in usual research and extension practices under
the budgetary restrictions placed upon them.
On a pilot basis, a multidisciplinary team of three full-time profes-
sionals, with part-time participation from several others, has begun activi-
ties in the northern part of the state. Initial screening narrowed the
area for the pilot project to six counties and a preliminary survey was used
to select two counties as the primary action area. Suwannee and Columbia
counties comprise the area within which a more intensive, but rapid survey
called a "Sondeo" (a Spanish term from its Central American origin) was
conducted. The Sondeo is designed to provide the initial and basic orien-
tation for research and extension activities directed to the small farm tar-
This report does not pretend to be a definitive study of small farmers
in the target area. Above all, it is not a census-type report whose aver-
ages and frequencies are meant to describe an area. Rather, it explains what
the team members feel are the salient features of the small farms visited
during the Sondeo process and which must be understood and taken into con-
sideration if appropriate and acceptable solutions to the problems of these
farmers are to be found. More complete and definitive studies will be forth-
coming after the team has had time to work with these farmers over the next
few months and years in anattempt to help them in the problem solving process.
Farming Systems Approach
A wide range of dynamic and interrelated variables including tradition,
education, credit structures, economic status, soil, weather, and market
factors shape the character of farm operations. The ability of farmers to
successfully respond to this complex of factors depends on many things, but
one key item is the farmers' resource base.
The farming systems approach views the farm as a holistic sys-
tem. Components of this system include the natural and human environments
and the links established between these through such elements as technology.
A systematic approach allows a delineation and comprehension of the nature
of resources and resource constraints associated with farm operations to
which research and appropriate technology may be directed. In addition to
constraints, a systems approach identifies the needs and interests of the
farmers themselves, under the assumption that generated technology will be
adopted when the farmers desire such innovations and directly perceive
these to be beneficial.
The complexity of external (off-farm) factors impinging upon local
farm systems, the rapidity of agricultural change, and the'increasingly high
cost of "state of the art" technology have made it difficult for many small
farmers to successfully adapt their traditional farming systems to present
conditions. Due to these factors, marginal return on many items of produc-
tion has become so low that the farmer finds fewer and fewer viable and
' 1 ,
Nonetheless, it is important to remember that traditional farming sys-
tems have been successful in the past, and that farmers have made adapta-
tions to their traditional systems when new technology proved appropriate.
An examination of the characteristics of existing systems, the requirements
of a successful farming strategy specific to North Florida, and the farmer's
own prerequisites and interests can point to the direction in which the
FSR/E Program must move.
A preliminary survey was conducted in six North Florida counties during
the six week period following March 27, 1981. The purpose of this survey
was to assess the frequency of small farms within each individual county and
to determine the location of homogeneous farming system groups large enough
to make the Farming Systems approach cost effective.
During the survey period, team members met with county extension per-
sonnel and local farmers and observed local farming practices. Additional
information sources utilized during the preliminary survey included the
Suwannee River Water Management District, the North Florida Regional Plan-
ning Office, the North Florida Association of Small Farm Cooperatives, and
various local governmental offices.
The preliminary survey permitted the team to differentiate the tradi-
tional, small, family farm from at least two other broad classes: the
large, agribusiness concern and theranchetteorsubdivision unit. The charac-
teristics of the three differ and of the three, it is the small family farmer
who has least been able to acquire needed technology from existing research
and extension structures.
The goals and aspirations of the three classes of farms are an initial
point of differentiation. As the word agribusiness implies, farming is
viewed as a business venture by the large scale, highly commercialized
farmer. He is profit and growth oriented and makes his decisions largely
on the basis described by classic economic theory. The ranchette or sub-'
division farmer has normally moved to the country for other reasons than a
desire to farm per se. While the desire to own land and grow his own food
may be important, his operation is minimally commercial and the money used
to buy land and equipment is earned off-farm. He is, in many ways, a
"hobby" farmer. In contrast to both the agribusinessman and the ranchette
farmer, the small, family farmer places a high value on farming as a way
of life. His operation is commercial and profit is one of his goals, but
maintaining the farm as a home is also critical. In the face of high
risk or the need to carry high debt loads in order to maximize profit,
he may well prefer to forego the opportunity to maximize profit if doing
so assures him of survival.
The opportunities to avail themselves of new technology are limited
for small, family farmers for other reasons as well. The large scale,
commercial farmer has a high volume of production, and has the capital
and financing that permits him to purchase "state of the art!"technology.
Much research is oriented to this scale of operation. The ranchette
farmer is more concerned with production for home consumption. The in-
formation he needs is available, and he is generally well aware of
how to utilize the public and private services available to him. It
is the small, family farmer who has been "left out" in the development
of technology for the last 20-25 years. Much of the research which
appears to be scale-neutral, in fact is not appropriate to small family
farms, so "state of the art" technology is not available to this group.1-
Further, the scale of operation has not permitted the small family.
farmer to compete successfully as profit becomes more and more a function
of high volume production.
Although small operations were found in all six counties, survey
results indicated larger numbers in Suwannee and Columbia counties. Coin-
cidentally, these counties are ideally located between Gainesville and the
Live Oak Agricultural Research Station. Because of these considerations,
Suwannee and Columbia counties were chosen as the primary areas of inter-
The primary purpose of a Sondeo or "sounding out" is the rapid compil-
ation of data necessary to orient an effective program to provide relevant
and realistic solutions to farm problems. The recent Sondeo conducted in
Suwannee and Columbia counties is the first step in the North Florida FSR/E
Project directed towards development and promotion of agricultural tech-
nology for small and/or limited resource farmers.
The strength of the Sondeo procedure is the representation of a num-
ber of disciplines; the more that are represented, the higher the proba-
bilities of unearthing real problems and generating acceptable solutions
in an efficient and timely manner.
-/Many will argue that an improved corn cultivar, for example, is scale
neutral it will grow as well on a small as ona large farm. However, it
is not the size of the field that is relevant. On small farms, irrigation
and pesticides,which are necessary for optimum growth of the corn cultivar,
are not used, so the cultivar does not produce the same as it would on a
large farm where irrigation and pesticides are available and used.
Sondeo activities in Suwannee and Columbia counties began during the
week of June 18, 1981. An average of two teams comprised of two or three
persons each was in the field three days a week until July 27, 1981. Sixty-
six farm interviews were conducted as well as interviews with county Exten-
Sion personnel, other community leaders, and persons knowledgeable about
area agriculture. Interview length averaged 2 1/2 hours.
Sondeo results led to a further differentiation among groups of small,
family farmers. Several patterns of interest emerged. A classification
system (see Figure 1) which serves to identify target groups for technol-
ogy development and transfer on the basis of both socio-economic and pro-
duction factors has been developed. There are three production systems:
"livestock-centered", "crop-centered", and "mixed". These systems repre-
sent significant social and economic differences among the farm operations
encountered, especially with respect to resources and the management of
the farm. Observations indicate these differences reflect variation in
terms of how farmers view and value their farm practices, and differences
in their social networks. Such networks represent access to labor
(especially kin-based labor), credit, land, equipment, and other variables
important to a farm operation. Kinship, neighbor, and local community
political social structures are major elements influencing the structure
of these networks.
"Old-Line" and "Recently Established" Small Farmers
The first separation in Figure 1, "old-line" versus "recently estab-
lished" farmers is the most general and cuts across racial boundaries and
production modes. A farmer is classified as old-line (Table 1) if he is
Figure 1. -- Classification of Sixty-Six Small Family Farms, Suwannee and Columbia Counties Florida (Farm
Size from 12-700 Acres)
C 9 I
10 L2 C1
(15.1%) (3,1%) (1.5%)
OLD-LINE Two or more generations on land, established
RECENTLY ESTABLISHED First generation on land, new to
L Livestock-centered enterprise
C Crop-centered enterprise
M Livestock/crop mixed enterprise
kin/social networks in area.
area, no established kin/social network.
Average Acreaqe per Farm Classification
REBL 0 REWL 221
REBM 154 REWM 367
REBC 105 REWC 104
REB 134 REW 230
RECENTLY ESTABLISHED 196
part of a local, established network of kin, has bought or inherited land
held within his/her family for two or more generations, and is socially in-
corporated within the local community. A farmer is classified as recently
established if he is an "outsider" (does not have membership in a local
established kin network), is not southern, and/or has had to obtain land
from a stranger or non-related individual.
Table 1. -- Selected Characteristics of the "Recently Established" and
Old-Line Recently Established
Land Slightly smaller (184 acres) Slightly larger (196 acres)
Frequently inherited or Purchased on open market
purchased from family
Labor and Custom Family labor Hired labor
Operations More assured availability Uncertain availability
Highly motivated Indifferent
Cash and Capital Low investment in land and High investment in land and
Low cash flow High cash flow
Low indebtedness in land High indebtedness in land and
and equipment equipment
Informal loan arrangements Institutionalized loan arrange-
Very risk averse Less risk averse
Share equipment Purchase or hire equipment
Frequency in Higher (79%) Lower (21%)
Old-line farmers (79% of the sample) tend to be part of well established
social/kinship networks. On the one hand, these networks represent a means
of access to labor; land, and equipment. If a kinship group owns irrigation
equipment, for example, the member of the group with highest need for irrigation
can have access to the equipment; it may be one member of the group who plants
all the tobacco allotments. On the other hand, these ties also bring added
responsibility; reciprocal labor in tobacco harvesting may mean a farmer is
working continuously for several weeks even though his own allotment is
small. Among the recently established group, such ties are much less devel-
oped and goods and services are supplied on a cash basis. This group has
more limited access to less expensive kin-based labor, to local community
power figures who make agricultural decisions or influence markets, and to
shared equipment than do old-line farmers. The latter exchange these re-
sources along their social networks with considerable savings.
The kinds of differences described above extend into many areas. Old-
line farmers acquire part or all their land from family members, whereas
new farmers have to purchase their land on the open market. Even when. old-line
farmers purchase land, family members may sell more cheaply to kin, and often
at lower interest rates and with flexible, non-institutional payment sched-
ules. Some land is also inherited. This both lowers the debt load of the
old-line farmer in comparison to the recently established farmer, and
gives a slight advantage in terms of farm size.
Sharing equipment similarly decreases the relative indebtedness of
the old-line farmer compared to the recently established farmer. Partly
because of this lower indebtedness and partly because of risk aversion,
cash flow is much lower for old-line farmers.
There are also differences in arrangements for labor and custom oper-
ations. Since old-line farmers often use family labor, their labor supply
is relatively well assured. Recently established farmers, must
hire labor, which may be scarce and relatively undependable. Perhaps more
important, family labor is apt to be highly motivated and work well,
whereas outside labor is often considered low quality.
Black and White Farmers
The separation in Figure 1, based on race, (Table 2), represents a
historic division in Southern culture. Some black farmers feel certain
production outlets, for example watermelons, are "white-controlled". These
perceptions may influence their evaluation of risks and opportunities to
try other production enterprises. Black farmers, in general, own older,
less specialized equipment than do white farmers. They own less land than
white farmers and are less apt to irrigate. White farmers have greater
access to capital and higher capital investments. On the other hand, black
farmers share capital much more freely within their kin units than do white
farmers. They also rely more heavily on non-paid kin labor. There may be
important constraints on black farmers based upon the bonds of obligatory ;
sharing that their culture prescribes. Sharing capital, land, labor and
equipment has permitted black farmers to maintain their farms despite the
severe constraints facing each individual farmer.
Table 2. -- Selected Characteristics of Black and White Farms
Predominantly crop centered
Small (141 acres)
Less capital availability
Greater labor availability (sharing)
High frequency of tobacco-centered
systems with small allotments
High frequency of vegetable pro-
Less specialized machinery
Skewed geographic distribution (none
in Southern Suwannee county)
Lower frequency in sample (40%)
Predominantly livestock centered
Larger (221 acres)
More capital availability
Larger tobacco acreage
High frequency of peanut-centered
More specialized machinery
Generalized geographic distribution
Higher frequency in sample (60%)
The third separation in Figure 1 delineates the production modes of
the farmers. Social networks and their influence on access to capital,
labor and other inputs are related to whether a farmer is old-line or re-
cently established, and to race. These social variables in turn, influence
the production system.
Owing to smaller acreage and, perhaps, to the historical experience
of black farmers with crops, 42% of the black farming systems are crop-
centered. White farming systems, in contrast, are primarily livestock-
centered (35%) with only a small proportion (10%) centered on crops.
Fully, half of the small farms visited, black or white operated, had
mixed crop-livestock systems.
While both black and white farmers raise tobacco, black farmers are
apt to plant small acreages, usually limited to their own allotments.
White farmers however, feel that it is not economical to plant such small
acreages and either rent out their allotments or consolidate several allot-
ments into larger acreages. Black farmers may be able to continue with
small acreages because they do not own new, expensive machinery and be-
cause they have access to kin labor.
Very few black farmers plant peanuts for commercial sale whereas many
white farmers do so. This is tied to the skewed geographic distribution
of black-owned farms. Peanuts are grown in southern Suwannee and Columbia
counties where few black farms occur. Black farms are, for the most part,
outside the peanut production zone, concentrated on and near old planta-
tion lands, especially in northern Suwannee county.
When tobacco and peanuts are grown, whatever the other characteristics
of the farm, certain special factors come into play. Both are high value,
high input crops. Even though the acreage planted in peanuts or tobacco
may be small, the high value and guaranteed market for these crops means
that disproportionate demands on the farmer and his resources are made.
The farmer must always take into consideration the needed cash flow so
that other crops that compete with them at peak cash demand receive low-
er priority. Even more important are the demands of these crops from
managerial time and labor. Because these are also scarce resources, their
demand places severe constraints on the system. Further, both tobacco and
peanuts should be planted in rotation, on different land each year. Most
peanut farmers and some tobacco farmers do so. Again, this places an
additional constraint on land use in the overall farming system.
While innovation in tobacco or peanut production per se may not be
an important part of the FSR/E Program, the importance of these crops
must be kept in mind. Innovations in other farm enterprises must take
into account the constraints imposed on the overall system by tobacco or
As shown in Table 3, hogs and associated corn production are key ele-
ments in almost all farms and offer excellent opportunities for technology
development. However, the kinds of differences in capital and labor con-
straints between black and white farmers may well require somewhat differ-
Table 3. -- Frequency of Selected Enterprises and Disposition of Product,
Small Farmers, Suwannee and Columbia Counties
Enterprise Frequency On-Farm Use Sold Off-Farm
Hogs 58%:. 58% 47%
Corn 76% 55% 33%
Vegetables 76% 76% 36%
tBased, in all cases on a sample of 66
Corn (Table 4) has traditionally been an important crop not only because
the technology for its production is relatively simple and well known, but
also because it provides alternatives and flexibility to the farmer; it can
be grazed off, fed to livestock as grain or silage, stored, or sold as a
cash crop. As the local corn market has become more and more subject to
pricing in the national and international markets, and as relative costs
of corn production have increased in Florida, corn has become less versatile
and profitable. Drought conditions over the last 4 years have exacerbated
Table 4. -- Aspects of the Corn Enterprise of Small Farmers, Suwannee and
Farm Class Type % Farms % On-Farm % Sale
(Number) With Corn Use
Old-line Black (21) 81,0 66.7 33.3
Old-line White (31) 75.2 48.4 35.5
lished Black (.5) 100.0 60.0 60.0
lished White ( 9) 55.6 44.4 11.0
Black Total (26) 84.6 65.4 38,5
White Total (40) 70.0 47.5 30.0
Overall Total (66) 75.8 54.5 33,3
Vegetable production (Table 5), both for on-farm consumption and commer-
cial sales, is very common to both black and white farming systems. Commer-
cial production however, is critical to black farmers with more than
half of this group producing vegetables for sale.
Table 5. -- Aspects of Vegetable Production on Small Farms, Suwannee and
Farm Class Type % Farms with Vegetables :% Sale
Old-line Black (21) 85.7 52.4
Old-line White (31) 67.7 22.6
lished Black ( 5) 100;0 60.0
lished White ( 9) 66.7 33.3
Black Total (26) 88.5 53.8
White Total (40) 67.5 25.0
Overall Total (66) 75.8 36.4
The number of farmers in North Florida using irrigation has risen sharply
in the last two years due to lack of rainfall. The farmers who are installing
irrigation represent a group with sufficient resource flexibility to overcome
this unpredictable variable. Limited resource farmers who cannot make this
change have experienced severe, consecutive losses.
Sondeo results show that the old-line farmer should be a major
group For emphasis within the FSR/E Program. This category predominates in
the sample group and represents that segment of the farm population which
has traditionally taken limited advantage of extension services. Recently
established farmers may well be amenable to adoption of technology generated
by the FSR/E Program under the more restricting conditions of the old-line
farmers because work done withinthe-tighter capital and labor constraints
facing those categorized as old-line will allow for easier transfer of that
technology to recently established farmers who utilize similar production
systems, but face less stringent constraints. One specific target group
indicated by the Sondeo is the old-line white farmers who are livestock
oriented, with primary emphasis on cattle production. Another is the old-
line black farmers who are primarily crop oriented with emphasis on vege-
tables. A third group, and perhaps the most important, is the old-line
mixed crop-livestock farmers, both black and white, who together comprise
nearly half the sample.
Many farmers, large and small, stress the desire and need for diver-
sification. Family farms in North Florida do exhibit diversified farming
systems with a wide variety of crop and animal combinations. Swine and
cattle play a vital role on many small farms, often even in peanut or
tobacco-centered systems. Corn production and the high acreage devoted
to hay and pasture both reflect the importance of animals. One key fac-
tor, then, is to include and increase the viability of the livestock com-
ponent within the overall farming systems.
The small family farmer stresses the importance of low risk, low cap-
ital, low labor, and low management farm operations. While it may not be
possible to devise innovations that satisfy all these concerns, any possible
solution must address a substantial number of these factors. High manage-
ment time and skills or unlimited capital resources, for example, cannot
be assumed to be available. Acceptability to the farmer is the focal point
of innovation, and acceptance will certainly be based upon innovations
appropriate to the farmer's limited human, physical, economic and technical
resources. Any innovation will have to consider diversification on a scale
and with crops and/or livestock appropriate and acceptable to small farmers.
The Sondeo has permitted us to identify appropriate target groups and
a guideline for technology development. However, the Sondeo is no more
than an introduction to the farmers and their problems and an initial basis
for orienting problem solution. The process of learning continues in the
next phase on farm research, farm records and continued contact with the
farmers. As we become acquainted on a first-hand basis with the farmers,
their problems and conditions, we will be able to modify our research acti-
vities as new knowledge is gained. The understanding of the agro-socioeconomic
complexes of the small, family farm sector we obtain by these methods, will be
even more critical as we approach the technology transfer stage.
Proposed Projects as Indicated by the Sondeo
I. Socio-Economic Studies
A. General Information Transfer
This is a continuing activity and involves a constant interaction
with area farmers, primarily by the anthropologist, but with active partici-
pationof all the members of the inter-disciplinary team. Information flow
is both to and from the farmers.
Information transfer studies will include comparison of black and
white kin and social networks and information transfer mechanisms in order
to more completely identify resources and constraints found in the various
farmer groups. The kinds of differences in capital and labor constraints
between black and white farmers, for example, may require somewhat differ-
ent approaches. Under this project, characteristics of small farmers in
other North Florida counties will also be studied to determine homogeneity
with target area (Suwannee and Columbia counties) farmers.
B. Enterprise Records
Cooperating farmers will be asked to keep records on enterprises
of specific interest to the program. These budgets will be Used as a
basis of comparison for analyzing new technology as it is being tested and
will also provide basic information for general budgeting purposes. A
graduate assistant will have primary responsibility for initiating this
C. Ad-Valorum Taxes
A study will be initiated to determine the effect of ad-valorum
taxes on the small farms in the study area. Specifically, the effects of
greenbelt assessment on the decline of small farm numbers will be studied.
Studies of marketing alternatives available to area farmers, par-
ticularly in conjunction with modular vegetable production systems, will
provide a guide for further directions of research and extension.
II. Cropping Studies
A. Modular Intercropping System
A modular system designed around 42-inch rows and a small one
row tractor will be studied at the Live Oak Research Station. Inter-crop-
ping will be utilized to increase efficiency of fertilizer use, decrease
the use of pesticides, intensify farming operations, and spread risk.
Specific vegetable crops and crop mixes which require minimal capital
investment and assume adequate labor availability will be examined.
Effects of intercropping and reduced use of pesticides upon nematodes
and other pests will be monitored.
Since 90% of old-line black farms are crop-centered or mixed, with 45%
producing vegetables for commercial sale, modular cropping system research
should be directed towards this group and should include vegetable produc-
tion as a key element. However, the technology developed should be trans-
ferable to other classifications.
Simple and inexpensive equipment will be designed around a 20 hp
tractor similar to that used by many small farmers in the area. The equip-
ment will be designed for the modular system, but will be flexible so it
can be adapted to conventional systems should that prove more appropriate.
Interest in low cost, reduced tillage agriculture suitable for
smaller equipment with parts readily available on farms was evidenced very
strongly and this will be included in the study.
Low cost, small scale irrigation systems will be studied as one
means of increasing the intensity of operations on small farms and reduc-
ing risk. Low cost, low input irrigation systems for high income crops, in
conjunction with alternate fuel sources, will be investigated.
D. Nutrient Recycling
This project will be conducted both on the campus and at Live Oak
ARC with graduate students and in cooperation with several departments. It
is a continuation of a general exploratory study with perennial peanut
(Arachis glaborata), initiated in late 1980 but will shift emphasis to study
nitrogen effects of the living mulch on intercrop mixes.
E. On-Farm Trials
At least ten on-farm trials are planned for the year. Most of
these will be in the specific study area, but some may be on farms in sur-
rounding counties to obtain broader regional response information. The
nature of the trials remains to be determined, but may include some of the
1) The use of alternate feed crops such as sorghum and
pigeon pea as a means of penetrating compaction layers
2) Establishment of perennial peanut and intercropping in
previously established stands.
3) Variety trials under specific small farm conditions. For
example, corn has traditionally been a cash crop in the
sample area. Interviews have indicated a need for testing
corn varieties under non-irrigated, low input, local condi-
4) Soil type and farming systems.
For the farming systems chosen for study, the soils will be clas-
sified to determine any specific relationships which may exist between the
systems and soil type. If small farms predominately are found on poorer
soils or on any specific type of soils, this will facilitate crop and live-
stock research efforts. Soil types versus farming systems studies will
provide a valuable tool for future recommendations. (A preliminary study
is nearing completion). In addition, the study will examine soil compac-
tion to determine to what extent compaction presents a problem to crop
production. This may lead to on-farm trials of alternative methods of
land preparation and crop establishment. Included may be sub-soiling,
fixed traffic lanes, and pigeon pea/sorghum mixed cropping.
III. Livestock Studies
A. Cattle Systems
1. Alternate forage systems. Examination of alternative forage
systems to include perennial peanut, leucaena, and others. These systems
would incorporate adaptable low cost, energy efficient concepts.
The corn-hog association is of great importance to the small farms
in the survey region. More than half the farmers surveyed produce swine and
95% of them produce feed (corn) on their own farms.
1. Management. In many cases swine production techniques and
facilities are rustic. For example, either poor or non-existent farrowing
facilities were noted at most farms which produced their own litters. This
may be a result of the lack of information available through the existing
extension service, or it may indicate the need for modifications in recom-
mended facilities to make them more appropriate to the conditions of these
producers. The FSR/E team will work with county Extension personnel to test
a means of disseminating available information to this unique target group
as well as test the acceptability of recommended facilities.
2. Corn processing. One major constraint in the corn-hog asso-
ciation has been the need for the farmer to utilize off-farm facilities for
drying, storing, grinding, and mixing his corn for feed. The resulting
negative cash-flows involved have drastically reduced the profit margin for
hog production. Investigation of high moisture grain storage as well as in-
clusion of grinding, mixing, and storage facilities within the farm bound-
aries, using low capital, appropriate technology will be included.
3. Alternate feed sources. Another alternative to the present
corn-hog complex is a change of feed crop. An examination of possible
alternate crops which could be integrated into present swine systems, in-
cluding sorghum, wheat, soybeans, pigeon pea, and others will be conducted.
4. Nutrition studies. Nutrition studies will be conducted in
conjunction with the Swine Unit at Live Oak Research Center. Specifically
studied will be the feasibility of feeding mixes of alternate feed crops
such as pigeon pea, wheat and grain sorghum.