UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IFAS INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
GAINESVILLE. FLORIDA 32611
FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
OFFICE OF THE DEAN FOR RESEARCH
1022 MCCARTY HALL
TELEPHONE: 904-392-1784 August 23, 1983
Dr. C. I. Harris, Acting Director
Cooperative State Research Service
U. S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D. C. 20250
Dear Dr. Harris:
Enclosed are CRIS AD-416 and 417 forms from the Departments of Food &
Resource Economics and Agronomy as well as the Live Oak Agriculture
Research Center and a copy of the Project Statement to document as a
cooperative State project "Technology Generation for Enterprises on Small
Farms in North Florida" (2260).
The beginning date is August 23, 1983 and the termination date is
December 31, 1988.
Neal P. Thompson
Assistant Dean for Research
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
CENTER FOR TROPICAL AGRICULTURE
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research,
educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, or national origin.
A i .
FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
DATE rir n or Ceteriector
DATE -Chairman Cnt Director
DAtE Chairman or Center Director
DATE Chairman or Center Director
I*TEI Dean for RGarch
Department(s): Food and Resource Economics, Agronomy and Live Oak-ARC
Project Type: State
Project Number: FRE-02260, AGR-02260, LIO-02260
ProjectTitle: Technology generation for enterprises on small farms in north Florida.
Investigatorss: P.E.Hildebrand, E. C. French, M.Swisher
Cooperators: G.Clough, J. Dean,O.Schmidt, W.Ocumpaugh, G.Prine,F.Gardner,H.Luke, C.Heibsch
A.H.Van Horn, T.Van Sickle, D.Baltensperger, R.Ortiz, F.Romero, B.Dehm,J.Wake (GNV).J.R.Rich
Location: C.E.White, (LO).
Gainesville, Live Oak ARC; Suwannee and Columbia Counties A !
Duration: 5 years Start Date:l.a //le Termination Date:
Objectives: Characterize the agro-socioecofomic environment of small, diversified, limited
resource farmers of north Florida. 2. Generate technology for the solution of the scale-
specific problems faced by these farmers. 3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the recently
developed Farming System Research and Extension (FSR/E) Methods as a means of reaching
small farmers in Florida. These methods include technology evaluation on farms, under
true farm conditions and with farmer management and input in evaluation.
NOTE: Complete the following three headings on additional pages.
Previous Work and Present Outlook:
Method of Procedure:
AES FORM 2122, REV. 6/1/82
Importance: The primary target of the project is the small, usually
diversified, and frequently part-time farmers in the state who may
not be reached by existing research and extension efforts. Approximately
77% of the farms in Florida grossed no more than $20,000 in 1978 and
84% grossed under $40,000 (1978 Census of Agriculture, State and County
Data, Florida, Volume 1, pt.9 Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing
Office, 1978). In Suwannee County, 79% and in Columbia County, 87% of
the farmers grossed no more than $40,000 in .1978 (1978 Census of Agriculturel.
Many of this number of farmers will be among the.clients of the FSR/E
In the target area of Suwannee and Columbia counties, 85% of all
farms in 1974 were between 10 and 500 acres in size, the approximate
range of small family farms (1974 Census of Agriculture, State and
County Data, Volume 1, pt. 9 Washington, D.C.). These family farmers
operate in an environment which encourages large commercial and specialized
farm firms and discourages small scale operations. Included in this
environment are increasing input prices and declining product prices which
squeeze profit margins making limited production unprofitable. Further,
the ever increasing complexities of agricultural technology requires more
management, also 'deficient for small scale farmers who mostly have off-
farm jobs. Although much research is purported to be scale neutral,
(equally productive on large and small farms), a large proportion may not
be applicable to the conditions found on small farms because small farms
differ from large farms in more than size. Small farmers frequently do
not do as much land preparation, fertilization, plant protection and
irrigation as large, commercial farmers. Hence the same genetic material,
for example, will not be as productive on a small as on a large farm.
Partly because the research product they have to offer small farmers
is not appropriate to their conditions and constraints and partly because
they are already over-employed serving large-scale, commercial farmers
who have the economic and political status to demand their attention,
extension personnel have also found it difficult to adequately serve the
small, family farmer.
This project is designed specifically to address the problems of
the small farmer based on methods successfully employed in developing
countries to contact the large number of producers not reached by conventional
research and extension programs.
Previous Work and Present Outlook: The Farming Systems Research and
Extension approach developed over the last decade has only recently
received attention in the literature (Gilbert et al. 1980. Farming Systems
Research: A critical appraisal. MSU Development Report, Paper No. 6.
Michigan State University, East Lansing; Shaner et al 1982. Farming Systems
Research and Development: Guidelines for developing countries. Westview
Press), One of the most widely cited cases of a successful country-wide
program is that of ICTA, the Gualemalan Institute of Agricultural
Science and Technology, (Hildebrand. 1979. Incorporating the social
sciences into agrtcultrual research: The formation of a national farm
systems research institute. ICTA, Guatemala and the Rockefeller
Foundation, New York: Gostyla and Whyte. 1980, ICTA in Guatemala.
The evolution of a new model for agricultural research and development.
Cornell University, Rural Development Committee, ARE no. 3. Ithaca).
The method is based on a thorough understanding of the site-specific
conditions of farmers in each target area and the generation of technology
or solutions for these specific conditions. Initial activities involve
a rapid survey or "Sondeo" (Hildebrand. 1981. Combining disciplines in
rapid appraisal: The sondeo approach. Agricultural Administration.
8:423-432.), enterprise records (Hildebrand,.1979. The ICTA farm record
project with small farmers--four years of experience. ICTA, Guatemala),
and on-farm evaluation with farmer participation.
A sondeo has recently been conducted in a two-county area, providing
an insight into conditions on the small, family farms in Suwannee and
Columbia counties. The most difficult families with respect to technology
generation are those classified as "old-line" families who represent two
or more generations on the land and have established kin/social networks.
As compared with "recently established" farm families, they have slightly
smaller farms (average in sample: 184 acres vs 196) which were frequently
inherited or purchased from family. They also use more family labor,
have lower indebtedness and cash flow and minimize costs as a means of
reducing risks (North Florida FSR/E Team, 1981. Sondeo report, north
Florida farming systems research and extension program, Suwannee and
Columbia counties. Unpublished. Florida Agricultural Experiment Station).
Old-line farmers represented nearly 80% of the sample, although this does
not necessarily mean that 4 of 5 small, family farms are old-line farms.
Forty percent of the old-line farmers were black, with a tendency toward
crops rather than livestock. White farmers tended to be more livestock
oriented. However 60% of all old-line farmers in the sample had mixed
and diversified crop-livestock farms.
Most farmers interviewed in the Sondeo stressed the importance of
risk, low capital, low labor and low management farm operations. To be
acceptable to them, any innovations must address most of these factors.
High management time and skills or unlimited capital resources cannot
be assumed to be available. Diversification on a scale and with crops
and/or livestock acceptable and appropriate to small farmers will have
to be part of any innovations studied. It is anticipated that this
project will be able to provide acceptable innovations for these conditions.
By the nature of the FSR/E approach, it is not possible to specify
5 years of research effort. The following area is an indication of initial
activities and possible future- direction.
Methods of Procedure:
A. General Information Transfer
This is a continuing activity and involves a constant interaction
with area farmers, primarily by the anthropologist, but with active
participation of all members of the inter-disciplinary team. Infor-
mation flow is both to and from the farmers.
In order to more completely identify resources and constraints
found in the various farmer groups, information transfer studies will
include 1) comparison of black and white kin and social networks and
2) information transfer mechanisms. 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 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
Studies of marketing alternatives available to area farmers,
particularly in conjuction with modular vegetable production systems,
will provide a guide for further directions of research and extension.
One example will be to identify market windows for appropriate crops.
II. Generation of Technology
A. Cropping Studies
1. Low Input Intercropping Systems
Intercropping 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 intercropptng and reduced
use of pesticides upon nematodes and other pests will be monitored.
Simple and inexpensive equipment will be designed around a
30-40 hp tractor similar to that used by many small farmers in the
area. The equipment will be designed for the intercropping systems,
but will be flexible so it can be adapted to conventional systems
should that prove more appropriate low cost, reduced tillage with
smaller equipment and parts readily available on farms will be
included in the study.
3. Nutrient Recycling
This project will be conducted both at Gatnesville and Live
Oak Research Center in cooperation with several departments. It is
a continuation of a general exploratory study with perennial peanut
(Arachis glaborata), initiated in late 1980. Emphasis will be shifted
to study nitrogen effects of the living mulch on intercrop mixes.
4. On-Farm Trials
Several trials will be conducted each year, mostly in the
specific study area, but some may be on farms in surrounding counties
to obtain broader regional response information. The nature of the
trials remains to be determined, but may include some of the following:
a. The use of alternate feed crops such as sorghum and
pigeon peas as a means of penetrating compaction layers.
Probable design: Non-replicated trials on a number
of farms in fields with compaction problems. Requires
a 2-crop cycle.
b. Establishment of perennial peanut on farms.
c. Intercropping into previously established perennial
Probable design: Both non-replicated trials on farms
and randomized blocks on farms and Live.OakVARC.
d. Variety trials under specific small farm conditions.
Probable design; Randomized blocks on several farms.
e. Soil type and farming systems.
For the farming systems chosen for study, the soils will
be classified 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 livestock 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 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 subsoiling, fixed traffic lanes, and pigeon
pea/sorghum mixed cropping.
B. Livestock Studies
1. Cattle Systems
a. 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.
Probable design: Use of exclosures in randomized block
designs either on-station or on-farms.
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.
a. Management. In many cases swine production techniques
and facilities are rustic. The FSR/E team will work
with county Extension personnel to test a means of
disseminating available information to this unique tar-
get group as well as the acceptability of recommended
b. Alternative 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, including sorghum,
wheat, soybeans, pigeon pea, and others will be conducted.
Nutrition studies will be conducted in conjunction with the
Swine Unit at Live Oak Research Center.
C. Evaluation of FSR/E Methods
One of the basic requirements of the FSR/E methods is a sufficiently
large number of farmers in a homogeneous group- so that the method
can be cost effective. A preliminary evaluation of this criterion
was made by the team during and following the sondeo with the conclusion
that this element appears favorable for a cost effective project,
Annual evaluation workshops will be held by the team members
and collaborators from within IFAS to consider progress being
made in technology development and methodologies and to plan the
next year's work. Some of these workshops will coincide with other
project evaluation, below.
A preliminary evaluation by personnel within IFAS and from other
institutions will be made two years after the initiation of the project.
At this time, the nature of the solutions of the farmer's problems
being worked on by the team, the enthusiasm of the
tegration of research and extension activities and
infrastructure within which the team operates will
any modifications suggested.
farmers, the in-
be evaluated and
The most important evaluation criterion in the long-run will be
the number and proportion of small, family farmers using the innovations
or technology developed or validated by the team. Three years after
the first evaluation, a second one will be made. The same criteria
used in the first evaluation will be included in the second, but
more important, the criterion of the farmer-use will be evaluated.
rorm AD4l )9/ li U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DATE Day,.Mo..?)
S RESEARCH WORK UNIT/PROJECT DESCRIPTION PROGRESS REPORT
U.S. DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE, STATE AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS
1. ACCESSION NO. AGENCY IDENTIFICATION NO. 5. WORK UNIT / PROJECT NO. 22-23. REGIONAL. TYPE / GRANT NO.
2. 3. 4. PROJECT NO.
8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION 12. INVESTIGATOR NAMES)
6. STATUS 30. ESTIMATED TERMINATION 84 PERIOD COVERED iM ,. Ir
TERMINATED DATE FROM: THRU:
85. PROGRESS REPORT
MSee reverse side for Instructions)