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SARE's mission is to advanceto the whole of American agricultureinnovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in.

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Presentation on theme: "SARE's mission is to advanceto the whole of American agricultureinnovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in."— Presentation transcript:

1 SARE's mission is to advanceto the whole of American agricultureinnovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. With an office located in the BBE building on the U of M campus, North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) is one of four regional offices of the National SARE Program. NCR-SARE has awarded more than $40 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, youth, youth educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture in 12 states. North Central Region SARE administers several grant programs, each with specific priorities, audiences and timelines. The focus for all of NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Each year NCR-SARE awards grants to…. …RESEARCHERS, to conduct experiments that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems. …EDUCATORS, to train agricultural educators in extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, private, and not-for-profit sectors, using farmers as educators, and addressing emerging issues in the farm community. …GRADUATE STUDENTS, to support projects by graduate students that address sustainable agriculture issues and are part of the students degree program. … FARMERS AND RANCHERS, to research or demonstrate innovative production and marketing practices. North Central Region SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION Research at Iowa State University (ISU) may be good news for swine producers who have been facing high grain prices. Coordinated by Jim Fawcett, the teams recent research at ISU has demonstrated that field peas can be utilized as a partial substitute for soybean meal or corn in swine diets. Shaun Greiner, a local swine producer, and Tom Miller, an ISU Extension Swine Specialist, approached Fawcett because they were interested in using field peas for swine diets. Greiner was looking for a more affordable source of feed and had heard that some farmers were having success raising field peas in Illinois. According to Fawcett, a simple financial formula which producers can use when determining whether field peas should be used in their rations is: (corn price $/ bu X 420 lbs/56 + SBM price $/ton X 180 lbs/2000)/10 = price which can be paid for field peas. This is a 30% inclusion rate of field peas replacing corn and soybean meal in the ration. Inclusion rates this high showed no performance difference in any of the trials. It is likely that until adequate access to field peas is available, Iowas swine producers will not be able to fully adopt field peas as a source for feed. Many greenhouse growers are looking for options to reduce their energy costs but they dont always understand which options will provide the greatest return on investment. For his project, Scott Sanford developed curriculum materials, extension bulletins, resource lists and a spreadsheet model with the intention that educators could use the materials in full or part to deliver programming on energy management and conservation for greenhouse production. Through his project, Sanford conducted an workshop and programs, and developed presentation materials, articles and fact sheets on greenhouse energy conservation and alternative fuels for heating greenhouses. The Greenhouse Energy Conservation Strategies and Alternative Fuels online tool includes curriculum materials, extension bulletins, resource lists, and a greenhouse energy model that were developed. An experiment was conducted at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) for three years to assess varieties of hairy vetch and red clover for beneficial characteristics and to make specific genotypic combinations that buffer changing winter conditions. Understanding of the botany of red clover and hairy vetch under controlled research conditions and in real farm situations will allow us to effectively manage these winter cover crops, which are essential for NCR grain farmers using low input methods. Through experimenting with hairy vetch/rye cover crops, a Nebraska farmer discovered that August seeded cereal rye provided substantial amounts of feed for cattle via grazing in the winter: Three hairy vetch varieties were identified as winter hardy in the North Central Region, including AU Early Cover, which flowers earlier in the spring than other varieties and may be easily killed using organic no-till management. October hairy vetch plantings reduced nitrogen fertilizer needs by an average of 36% during a drought year. Mixing hairy vetch varieties reduced variability in cover crop growth, and one mixture outyielded the respective hairy vetch monocultures. Now that they have characterized several hairy vetch varieties in the greenhouse and field, farmers have information to help match hairy vetch varieties to specific functions in crop fields, such as early flowering and low soil water depletion. Brook Wilke completed his PhD and is now in the process of publishing research papers based on these findings, including one paper published in J. Sci. Food Agric. 88: In Kingsville, MO, a native and turf seed grower has been developing and processing energy crops and agricultural residues into biomass engineered fiber fuel, and now he and other producers in MO could help decide the fate of cellulosic-based biofuels. As a producer, Steve Flick grows several hundred thousand pounds of seed in western Missouri. In addition, he is Chairman of the Board of Show Me Energy Cooperative, where a cellulosic biomass facility owned by 600 farmers is trying to establish an innovative, profitable, leading model for production of biomass-based fuels. Flick said that planting Miscanthus rhizomes was labor intensive, and suspects farmers will adopt small fields (less than 10 acres) to harvest. He thinks giant miscanthus is most likely to be of interest to young, beginning farmers; displaced tobacco farmers; and truck gardeners. Small-city farmers might also be interested. Results achieved were measured by harvesting biomass tons/acre. Miscanthus biomass harvested per acre was 6.7 tons in 2008 and 11.7 tons in Flick says this is more than the traditional Switchgrass that is grown in the area. He learned that Miscanthus handled abundant rainfall and heat well. In fact, Flick suggested growing Miscanthus in very heavy wet soils, and not on hill ground. In May 2011, the USDA announced that it would award $15 million to help producers in 38 Missouri and Kansas counties establish biograss plots to provide alternative fuel to the Show Me Energy cooperative under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Flicks Show Me Energy project aims to reduce dependence on foreign oil and create jobs domestically, while at the same time demonstrating the sustainability gains of energy biomass. Want more information? See the related SARE grant LNC05-257, Cover Crop Water Usage and Affect on Yield in No-Till Dryland Cropping Systems at Want more information? See the related SARE grant ENC07-098, Greenhouse Energy Conservation Strategies and Alternative Fuels at Want more information? See the related SARE grant ENC07-098, Development of Winter Cover Crop Varieties and Complementary Mixtures for North Central Region Grain Systems at Want more information? See the related SARE grant FNC07-692, Planting and Growing Miscanthus Giganteus as a BioEnergy Crop in Missouri at


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