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Julia W. Gaskin Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator Crop & Soil Science Dept College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Julia W. Gaskin Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator Crop & Soil Science Dept College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Julia W. Gaskin Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator Crop & Soil Science Dept College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

2  NRC 2010 Report – “Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21 st Century” —Feeding increasing world population —Limits on natural resources that support ag CAES 2020 Strategic Plan strengthening goal —Sustainable food production systems Increased public interest in “local food” and agriculture Why Sustainable Ag?

3   Public Service Associate 2008 80% Extension 20% Research  Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator  State Co-Coordinator for USDA SARE Professional Development Program What Do I Do?

4   Respond to needs identified by public or county agents  Work with CAES faculty to develop programs or research to meet those needs Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator

5  Sustainable Agriculture Website & Newsletter Soils and Soil Quality Management Intensive Grazing Organic Production Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conservation Tillage Nutrient Management Pollinators Local Foods/Marketing

6  Organic Production Systems County agents receiving more questions about organic Extension not perceived as responsive to this clientele Obtained grant funding from Southern SARE to form Sustainable and Organic Production Team

7  Agents from each district to serve as resource (UGA and FVSU) Seven in-service trainings Given scholarships for conferences Example – Cover Crop Nitrogen Management Workshop N cycle, using cover crops for N, how to predict N release 18 Extension Agents, 10 NRCS personnel Agents report used information: ―Answer client questions (64); ―In regular county programming (3); ―In consultation with farmers (33); ―Delivered new programming (1) Sustainable & Organic Production Team

8  Organic Production Systems Major update of “How to Convert an Inorganic Fertilizer Recommendation to an Organic One” Organic Fact Sheet that client receives when check organic crop code on soil test submission Working with Drs. Cabrera and Kissel to incorporate data from organically managed soils and alternative cover crops into MinImob N prediction model

9   Worked with Food Science, FACS and obtained multi-state USDA National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Grant  Developed checklist, factsheets, curriculum and videos for farmers and farmer’s market managers Food Safety for Small Farms


11   Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium UGA, FVSU, GA Dept of Ag, Farm Bureau, Georgia Organics Food Hubs

12  Baseline survey identified: - 8 organizations - 11 projects Farmers needs assessment survey - 220 responses - 72% small fruit & vegetable growers - Strong interest in working together, cooling facilities, marketing & sales help Farms Responding to Needs Assessment Survey

13  Current Research and Extension Grant- Funded Projects Cool season organic vegetable rotation – Southern SARE — Cover crop management — Soil quality evaluation – Active C and PMN with routine soils analysis — Leading extension efforts Incorporating sunflowers in organic grain rotation – Southern SARE — Soil quality and extension subcontract from USDA ARS

14  Other Current Research - Biochar Pyrolysis of biomass to produce energy (bio- oil and syn-gas) Charred by-product returned to soil to sequester C Potential benefits – increased yields, CEC, water holding capacity, microbial biomass Evaluating effects in Ultisols of SE Pine chip biochar Poultry litter biochar SEM

15  Other Current Research - Biochar Effect of low-temperature pyrolysis conditions on biochar for agricultural use. ( Gaskin et al. 2008. ASABE 51:2061-2069 ) —Feedstock had greatest influence on nutrient content, but nutrient increased with increasing pyrolysis temp Effect of peanut hull and pine chip biochar on soil nutrients, corn nutrient status, and yield. ( Gaskin et al. 2010 Agronomy Journal 102(2): 623-633) —No effect on yield Impact of two different biochars on earthworm growth and survival. ( Liesch et al. 2010. Annals of Env. Sci. 4:1-9 ) —Poultry litter biochar caused earthworm mortality at rates used for C sequestration —Pine chip biochar not different from control Influence of biochar on nitrogen fractions in a Coastal Plain soil. ( Schomberg et al. 2012. J. Environ. Qual. ) —High ash biochars caused NH 4 -N volatilization of applied fertilizer

16  Thanks! Julia Gaskin Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator Crop & Soil Science Dept. University of Georgia

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