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Title: Sondeo report
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Creator: North Florida Farming Systems Research and Extension Program (Suwannee and Columbia counties)
Publisher: North Florida Farming Systems Research and Extension Program
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Table of Contents
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        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Main
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        Page 3
        Page 4
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Full Text

















SONDEO REPORT

NORTH FLORIDA FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION PROGRAM

SUWANNEE AND COLUMBIA COUNTIES


September 15, 1981





















FINAL SONDEO REPORT
North Florida Farming Systems Program


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SONDEO REPORT

NORTH FLORIDA FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION PROJECT


Introduction

The North Florida Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E) Project

as objectives, 1) generate and promote scale specific technology for the small

scale farmers in the northern part of the state who lie outside the mainstream

of IFSD research and extension activities, and 2) test the applicability and

cost effectiveness of the FSR/E approach to Florida conditions. The FSR/E pro-

cedure 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. Administrators in IFAS were

interested in the potential of the approach to reach the farmers which it

has been difficult for them to include in usual research and extension prac-

tices 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 coun-

ties 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 orientation for re-

search and extension activities directed to the small farm target group.

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 ment to describe an area. Rather, it explains what

the team members feel are the salient features of the small farms visited







-2-


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 over the next few

months and years as they attempt 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 farmer's resource base.

The farming systems research 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

appropriate alternatives.












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. The following offer a general set of guiding ob-

servations based upon the Sondeo fieldwork.


Preliminary Survey

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 homogenous farming system groups large enough

to make the Farming Systems Approach cost effective.

During the survey period, team members met with County Extension Person-

nel and local farmers and observed local farming practices. Additional in-

formation sources utilized during the preliminary survey included the Suwannee

River Water Management District, the North Florida Regional Planning Office,

the North Florida Association of Small Farm Cooperatives, and various local

governmental offices.

The preliminary survey permitted the team to distinguish the traditional,

small, family farm from at least two other broad groupings; the large, agri-

business concern and the ranchette or subdivision unit. The characteristics

of the three differ and it is the small family farmer, of the three, who has

least been able to acquire needed technology from existing reserach and ex-

tension structures.










To begin with, the goals and aspirations of the three are different.

So 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 hargely on the basis described by classic

economic theory. The ranchette or subdivision 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 barley

commercial, if at all, and the money used to buy land and equipment is

earned off the farm. He is, in many senses, a "hobby" farmer. In contrast

to both the agribusinessman and the ranchette farmer, the small, family

farmer places a high value on farming per se, as a way of life. His opera-

tion 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 under-

take high debt loads in order to maximize profit, for example, he may well

prefer to forego the opportunity to maximize profit if doing so assures him

of survival.

The opportunities to adopt new technology and maximize profit are

limited for small, family farmers for other reasons as well. The large

scale commercial farmer has a high volume of production, which makes it

possible for him to succeed even where unit profit is low. He has the re-

sources in terms of capital and access to financing that permits him to

purchase "state of the art" technology. Much research is oriented to this

scale of operation. Irrigation is one obvious example, but a great deal

of research that appears to be scale-neutral is in fact scale-specific.

the rainchette farmer is generally concerned with production for home consump-

tion. The information they need is available, and they are generally well

aware of how to utilize the services, extension and private, available to

them. Thus, it is the small, family farmer who has been "left out" in the











development of technology for the last 20-25 years. Further, his scale of

operation has not permitted him to compete successfully as profit becomes

more and more a function of high volume production.

Although small operations were found in all counties in the survey

area, survey results indicated that larger numbers were present in Suwannee

and Columbia counties. Coincidentally, these countries are ideally located

between the University and the Live Oak Agricultural Research Station. Be-

cause of these considerations, Suwannee and Columbia counties were chosen as

the primary areas of interest.


Sondeo

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

Wuwannee and Columbia counties is the first step in the FSR/E North Florida

Project directed towards development and promotion of agricultural technology

for small and/or limited resource farmers.

The strength of the Sondeo procedure is the representation of a number

of disciplines; the more that are represented, the higher the probabilies

of unearthing real problems and generating acceptable solutions in an effi-

cient and timely manner.

Sondeo activities in Suwannee and Columbia counties began during the

week of June 18, 1981. An average of two teams comprised of two 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 Extension

personnel, other community leaders, and persons knowledgeable about area

agriculture. Interview length averaged 2 1/2 hours.





Figure 1 Survey of Sixty-six Suwannee and Columbia County Farmers
With Farm Size Ranging from 12 700 Acres


FARMER


NEW


BLACK 5
(7.6%)


(2
(3.1%)


3
(4.5%)


14
(21.2%)


WH I TE



3(4
(4.5%)


9
(13.6%)


43 L 3
(4.5%) (4.5%)


BLACK


(9
(13.6%)


~1'


21
(31.8%)


1 10
(15.1%)


52
(78.8%)


WHITE 31
(47%)


L 2
(3.1%) (1.5%)


h 19
(28.8%)


OLD Two or more generations on land, established kin/social networks in area.

NEW First generation on land, new to area, no established kin/social network.

L Livestock-centered enterprise
C Crop-centered enterprise
M Livestock/crop mixed enterprise


Average Acreage per farm classification


OBL -200
OBM -161
OBC -110


OB 143

OLD -184

BLACK 141


OWL 222
OWM 226
OWC 53


OW 219


NBL 0
NBM 154
NBC 105


NB 134

NEW 196

WHITE 221


NWL 221
NWM 367
NWC 104


NW 230


August 21, 1981


(116
(16.7%)


--I
"^~~--~---~II-----------~----~-----~


--- --- - ______


--


--










Results

The Sondeo results led to an even further differentiation between groups

within the small, family farmers. Several patterns of interest emerged. A

classification system (see Figure 1) has been developed. Table 1 and 2 indi-

cate some of the more salient characteristics of the major categories. The

classification serves to identify target groups for technology development

and transfer on the basis of both soci-economic and production factors.

Figure 1 is a classification scheme of major social and economic traits

characterizing the farmers surveyed in the Sondeo. There are three classifi-

catory breakdowns: "old-new", "black-white", and type of production system:

"livestock-centered", "crop-centered", and "mixed". These classifications

represent significant social and economic differences between the farm oper-

ations encountered, especially with respect to resources and the management

of the farm. Observations indicate that these differences reflect variation

in terms of how farmers view and value their farm practices, and differences

in the social networks farmers have. 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 and

political social structures are major elements influencing the structure

of these networks,

The first classification breakdown, "old-new", (Table 1) is the most

general and cuts across racial boundaries and production modes. A farmer

is classified as "old" if he/she is 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 incorporated within the local community.

A farmer is classified as "new" if he/she 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.






-8-


Table 1. -- Selected Characteristics of the "New" and "Oldline" Farm Groupings



Characteristics Farm Group


Kin/Social Networks

Land



Labor and Custom
Operations


Cash and Capital








Frequency in Sample


Oldline


Strong

Larger farms
Frequently inherited or
purchased from family

Family labor
More assured availbility
Highly motivated

Low investment in land
and equipment
Low indebtedness in
land and equipment
Informal loan arrange-
ments
Very risk averse
Low cash flow
Shared equipment

Higher


New


Weak

Smaller farms
Purchased on open market


Hired labor
Uncertain availability
Indifferent

High investment in land and
equipment
High indebtedness in land
and equipment
Institutionalized loan arrange-
ments
Less risk averse
High cash flow
Purchase or hire equipment

Lower


The oldline farmers 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 an irrigation rig, for

example, that member of the group with highest need for irrigation can have

access to the rig; it may be one member of the group who plants all of the

groups tobacco allotment. On the other hand, these ties also bring added

responsibility; reciprocal labor in tobacco harvesting may mean that a

farmer is working virtually continuously for several weeks even though his

own allotment is small. Among the "new" group, such ties are much less

developed and goods and services are supplied on a cash basis. The "new"

group has limited access to less expensive kin-based labor, to local com-

munity power figures who make agricultural decisionson influence markets,

and to shared equipment than do oldline farmers, who exchange these re-

sources along their social networks with considerable savings.








-9-


The kinds of differences described above extend into many areas. Old-

line farmers acquire part or all of their land from family members, whereas

new farmers have to purchase their land on the open market. Even when the

land is purchased, family members may sell more cheaply to kin, and often

at lower interest rates and with lax payment schedules where financing is

non-institutional. Some land is also inherited. This both lowers the debt

load of the oldline farmer in comparison to the "new" farmer, and gives a

slight advantage in terms of farm size. Although, in a macro sense, land

is a constraining factor on the overall systems found (large acreage mono-

crop vs. diversified production); once the system has been initiated capi-

tal and other resources become the micro constraints which define the parti-

culars of the individual systems.

Sharing equipment similarly decreases the relative indebtedness of the

oldline farmer compared to the "new" farmer. Partly because of this lower

indebtedness, and partly because of high level of risk aversion, cash flow

is much lower for oldline farmers than for the "new" group.

There are also differences in arrangements for labor and custom opera-

tions. Since oldline farmers often use family labor, their labor supply is

relatively well assured. "New" farmers, however, 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 as low quality labor.

As Table 1 inditates, the oldeline group had a higher frequency in the

sample. In fact, Figure 1 shows that they constituted 80% of the sample.

The second breakdown (Table 2), based on race, represents a historic

division in Southern culture. Some blacks feel certain production outlets,

for example watermelons, are "white-controlled". These perceptions may






-10-


influence their evaluation of risks and opportunities to try other production

enterprises. Blacks in general own older, less specialized equipment than do

whites. They own less land than white farmers and are less apt to irrigate.

Whites have greater access to capital and higher capital investments. On

the other hand, blacks share capital much more freely within their kin units

than do whites. They also rely more heavily on non-paid kin labor. There

may be important constraints on black farmers based upon the bonds of obli-

gatory 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.

The third breakdown delineates the production modes of the farmers.

The structure of social networks and how these influence access to capital,

labor and other inputs are based upon whether a farmer is old or new, and

by race. These social variables generate resources constraints which in-

fluence the mode of production.


Table 2. -- Selected Characteristics of Black and White Farms


Black Farms


Predominantly crop centered

Less land

Less capital availability

Great labor availability (Sharing)

High frequency of tobacco-centered
systems with small allotments

High frequency of vegetable pro-
duction

Less irrigation

Lower frequency in sample

Less specialized machinery
Skewed geographic distribution (none
in Southern Suwannee county)


White Farms


Predominantly livestock centered

More land

More capital availability

Labor limiting

Larger tobacco allotments


High frequency of peanut-centered sys-
tems

More irrigation

Higher frequency in sample

More specialized machinery
Generalized geographic distribution






-11-

In past beacuse of their limited acreage and perhaps due to the histor-

ical experience of blacks who traditionally have worked with crops, 42% of

the farming systems are crop-centered, while only 8% oare predominantly

livestock-centered. White farming systems, in contrast, are primarily live-

stock-centered (35%) with only a small proportation (10%) center on crops.

Whilte both black and white farmers raise tobacco, blacks are apt to

plant small acreages, usually limited to their allotments. Whites however,

feel that that it is not economical to plant such small acreages and either

rent out their allotments or consolidate several allotments into larger

acreages. Blacks may be able to continue with small acreages because they

don't own new, expensive machinery and because they have access to kin labor.

Very few black farmers plant peanuts for commercial sale whereas many

whites 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 plantation lands,

especially in northern Suwannee county.

Swine production enterprises are a key element in many farming systems.

As Table 3 shows, hogs and associated corn production are key elements in

almost all farms, black or white, "old" or "new", and offer excellent op-

portunities for technology development. However, the kinds of differences

in capital and labor constraints between black and white farmers, as indi-

cated in Table 2, may well require somewhat different approaches.






-12-


Table 3. -- Frequency of Selected Farm Enterprises and Disposition of Product



Disposition

Enterprise Frequency On-Farm Use Sold Off Farm


Hogs

Corn

Vegetables


58% (38)

76%

76%


58%

55%2 (36)

76%


47%

33%

36%


Based, in all cases, on a sample of 66

2Used as animal feed on farm


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 or fed to livestock as gran or silage, stored, or sold as a

cash crop. As the local corn market has become more and more subject to

procing 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

these problems.


Table 4. -- Aspects of Corn Enterprise for Farmers in
Columbia Counties


the Sondeo Suwannee and


Farm Class Type % Farms % On-Farm % Sale
(Number) With Corn Use

Old Black (21) 81.0 66.7 33.3
Old White (31) 75.2 48.4 35.5
New Black (5) 100.0 60.0 60.0
New 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








-13-


Vegetable production (Table 5), both for on-farm consumption and com-

mercial sales, is very common to both black and white farming systems.

Commercial production however, is critical to the black farmers with more

than half of this group producing vegetables for sale.

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. Eventhough 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.

This is particularly true in the case of tobacco, but is also the case with

peanuts.

The farmer must invest a great deal to plant these crops. He much al-

ways take into consideration the cash needed to plant his tobacco or peanuts.

Other crops that compete with tobacco or peanuts at the peak period for cash

demand are apt to receive lower priority.

Even more important are the demands that these crops place on the farm-

er for both managerial time and labor. Because these are scare resources,

their demand places severe constraints on the farmer. In tobacco and peanut

centered systems, the high demand for labor and management associated with

these crops is the critical factor. Again, other crops will probably re-

ceive lower priority.

Further, both tobacco and peanuts should be planted in rotation, that

is, 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 nust be

kept in mind. Innovations in other farm enterprises mush take into








-14-


account the constraints imposed on the overall system by tobacco or peanut

production.

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 can-

not make this change have experienced severe, consecutive losses.


Table 5. -- Aspects of Vegetable Production for Farms in the Sondeo Suwannee
and Columbia Counties


Farm Class Type % Farms with Vegetables % Sale

Old Black (21) 85.7 52.4
Old White (31) 67.7 22.6
New Black ( 5) 100.0 60.0
New White ( 9) 66.7 33.3

Black Total (26) 88.5 53.8
White Total (40) 67.5 25.0

Overal Total (66) 75.8 36.4


Discussion

Sondeo results show that the "old" farmer category 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.

New farmers may well be amenable to adoption of technology generated by

the FSR/E Program under the more restricting conditions of the "ol4" farm-

ers because work doen within the tight capital and labor constraints facing

those categorized as "old" will allow for easier transfer of that technology

to "new" farmers who utilzie similar production systems, but face less

stringent constraints, As Figure 1 illustrates, one specific target group









-15-


indicated by the Sondeo results is the "old", white group, who are livestock

oriented, with primary emphasis on cattle production.

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 system.

Finally, the family farmer stresses the importance of low risk, low

capital, low labor, and low management farm operations. While it may not

be possible to devise innovations that satisfy all of these concerns, any

possible solution much address a substantial number of these factors. High

management 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 diversifi-

cation on a scale and with crops and/or livestock appropriate and accep-

table to small farmers.

Our research to date, then, has permitted us to identify appropriate

target groups for technology development. As we approach the stage of

technology transfer, an even more intimate understandingof the socio-

economic complexes at work will be critical. Nonetheless, the current

schemes, developed on the basis of the Sondeo results, clearly indicate

the most immediate path for the FSR/E Program.







-16-


Proposed Projects as Indicated by 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-

pation of 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 different

approaches. Under this project, characteristics of small farmers in other

North Florida counties will also be studied to determine homogeneity with

the target area (Suwannee and Columbia Counties) farmers. As we approach

the stage of technology transfer, an even more intimate understanding of

the socio-economic complexes at work will be critical.

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 project.

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.






-17-


D. Marketing

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 or

two row tractor will be studied at the Live Oak Research Station. Inter-

cropping will be utilized to increase efficiency of fertilizer use, de-

crease the use of pesticides, intensify farming operations, and spread

risk. Specific vegetable crops and crop mixes which require minimal cap-

ital 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 42% of all black farms are crop-centered, with 54% producing

vegetables for commercial sale, modular cropping system research should

be directed towards the black, crop-centered group, and should include

vegetable production as a key element. Again, the technology developed

should be transferable to other classifications.








- 18 -


B. Machinery

Simple and inexpensive equipment will be designed around a 20 hp

tractor which is similar to that used by many small farmers in the area.

The equipment will be designed for the modular system, but will be flexible

so it can be adapted to conventional systems should that prove more appro-

priate.

Interest in low cost, reduced tillage agriculture suitable for

smaller equipment with parts readily available on farms was evidenced

very strongly in Suwannee County and this will be included in the study.


C. Irrigation

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

following:








- 19 -


1) The use of alternate feed crops such as sorghum and pigeon

pea as a means of penetrating compaction layers of soil will

be examined

2) Establishment of perennial peanut and intercropping in pre-

viously established stands.

3) Variety trials under specific small farm conditions. For ex-

ample, corn has traditionally been a cash crop in the sample

area. Interviews have indicated a need for testing of corn

varieties under non-irrigated, low input, local conditions.

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 completionS. In addition, the study will examine soil compaction

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 System


1. Alternate forage systems. Examination of alternative forage

systems to include: alfalfa, perennial peanut, leucaena, and others. These

systems would incorporate adaptable low cost, energy efficient concepts.









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B., Swine Survey

The corn-hog association is of great importance to the small

farms in the survey region. As Table 3 (Page 12) indicates, 58% of the

farmers surveyed produce swine and 36 of those 38 farmers who do so, or

95%, produce the needed hog feed (corn) on their own farms. As additional

4 farmers interviewed said that they are only temporarily "out" of hog pro-

duction due to the low market prices in the recent past, while many indi-

cated that their current number of swine is reduced for the same reason

and that these numbers will increase in the near future.

1. Management. In many cases swine production techniques and

facilities were 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 lack of the type of information is readily available

through the existing extension service, because 82% of the farms which

produce swine fall into the "old" category which is infrequently reached

by extension (Table 6). Thus, a definite need exists for a new approach

to reach this potential cleintele group. It is therefore suggested that

the FSR/E team work with County Extension personnel to test a means of

disseminating available information to this unique target group.

2. Corn processing, One major constraint in the corn-hog

association found has been the need for the farmer to utilize off-farm

facilities for drying, storing, grinding, and mixing the 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 inclusion of grinding and mixing facilities within the

farm boundaries, using low capital, appropriate technology will be

included in this study.






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Table 6. -- Aspects of Hog Enterprise for Farmers in the Sondeo Survey,
Swuannee and Columbia Counties.


Farm Class Type % Farms with Hogs % Sale

Old Black (21) 71.4 52.4
Old White (31) 51.6 48.4
New Black ( 5) 60.0 40.0
New White ( 9) 44.4 33,3

Black Total (26) 69.2 50,0
.White Total (40) 50.0 45.0

Overall Total (66) 57.6 47.0


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-

cludeing sorghum, wheat, soybeans, pigeon pea, and others, will be con-

ducted.

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 and grain sorghum.