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New technology for improving nitrogen management in corn

A multi-state Research and Education project, led by Cornell University’s Aaron Ristow and Harold Van Es, aimed to enhance nitrogen (N) management in corn acreage by calibrating a new tool, Adapt-N, and educating farmers about nutrient management. Adapt-N is a cloud-based computer tool that provides precise N fertilizer recommendations that account for seasonal weather conditions […]

Developing native shrubs for the green industry

University of Connecticut associate professor of ornamental horticulture Jessica Lubell explored native shrubs as replacements for invasive plants through her Northeast SARE Research and Education project. To help wholesale nursery growers looking for alternative ornamentals that perform well in the Northeast, the project combined research trials of native shrub selections with an education program to […]

Northeast pollinator conservation planning short courses

Because native bees are significant contributors to crop pollination, their integration into farm systems—through conservation or restoration of natural and semi-natural areas, as well as the protection of nest sites and prudent insecticide use—is essential to agricultural production over the long-term. Led by pollinator program co-director Eric Mader, the national environmental non-profit, The Xerces Society, […]

Maine training project focuses on interpersonal relationships for greater farm viability

Providing farmers with expert advice on production and farm management topics is the focus of much of the work conducted by Extension educators, nonprofit staff and other agricultural service providers. But what happens when the conversation with farmers veers beyond soil health, agronomy and animal husbandry to questions around communication, decision-making, goal-setting and time management? […]

Train-the-trainer program supports value-added and direct marketing education for Northeast farmers

Northeastern producers frequently consider direct marketing and value-added product development to increase revenues on the farm. Food entrepreneurship requires different skillsets than production agriculture. And, introducing value-added foods to the marketplace opens the seller to unique business liability. Therefore, it is important that farmers receive training and support to effectively set up and manage local […]

Supporting the development of agritourism in the Northeast

Northeast farmers are increasingly reliant on agritourism to expand farm income, create employment for family members, and strengthen relationships within the local community. This multi-state (NJ, VT, DE, and ME) Professional Development project, led by Brian Schilling of Rutgers University, provided training to agricultural educators to better assist the farmers with whom they work to […]

Breaking barriers: Building capacity to provide tractor education

Unskilled farm equipment operation can put farmers at serious physical and financial risk. Lack of knowledge about this equipment can limit farm scale and productivity, and therefore the farm’s ability to provide a sustainable family income. Yet new farmers (including apprentices, interns and employees) increasingly come from non-farm backgrounds and have limited experience with machinery. […]

Cornell team digs into cover crops as livestock feed

Cornell University agronomist Quirine Ketterings conducted her Northeast SARE Research and Education project to better understand the incorporation of winter cereal cover crops— triticale, winter rye and wheat—into silage corn rotations. This double crop system enables farmers to provide both corn and cover crops as livestock feed. Because growing cover crops as dairy forages means […]

RI student studies production and marketing potential of amaranth

Amaranth is a traditional leaf vegetable in over 50 countries, yet little research exists on growing this crop in temperate climates like the Northeast U.S. University of Rhode Island student Sarah Schweig saw the potential that this crop might hold for farmers looking to diversity their farms in our densely populated, ethnically diverse region. Therefore, […]

Penn State student studies poultry bedding alternatives

In the Northeast, wood shavings are the predominant bedding material on which commercial broiler chickens are raised. Because their availability and cost fluctuates and new concerns have emerged around biosecurity risks of transporting bedding to and from farms, Pennsylvania State University Master of Science student Amy Barkley used her Northeast SARE Graduate Student grant to […]

Sustainable year-round sheep milking management

The U.S. sheep dairy industry is currently a seasonal business as traditional dairy sheep breeds tend to follow an annual 180-day lactation. With her Northeast SARE Graduate Student grant, Nikola “Niko” Kochendoerfer of Cornell University, explored the possibility of year-round sheep milking management using meat breed ewes (Finn and Dorset crossbreeds). These breeds are capable […]

UMaine student explores temperature tolerances of kelp

As a sea vegetable, kelp may help Northeast acquaculturists diversify their businesses and contribute to this multibillion-dollar industry. Charlotte Quigley, a PhD student at the University of Maine, used her Northeast SARE Graduate Student grant to study Alaria esculenta, a kelp that is of interest to U.S. growers due to its market potential, nutritious and […]

Guild by association: Partnership grant organizes Maryland cheesemakers

Although consumer demand for local Maryland artisanal and farmstead cheeses is high, state regulatory hurdles have created significant barriers for this emerging industry. Working with Ginger Myers, agricultural marketing specialist with the University of Maryland Extension, a committed group of farmstead cheese producers and agriculture support specialists teamed up to form the Maryland Cheesemakers’ Guild […]

Rutgers student traces genetic trail of BMSB

Knowing that early detection is the most effective strategy to control invasive species, Rutgers University PhD student Rafael Valentin used his Northeast SARE Graduate Student grant to explore a technique using insect DNA to track the brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys). Within the past 20 years, BMSB has become a devastating pest across the […]

Food hub faces the challenges of scaling up ethnic produce

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (NESFP), led by Jennifer Hashley, has a 20-year history of training next generation farmers—including immigrant and refugee growers—to improve local food systems. A recent Northeast SARE Partnership grant supported the Project’s food hub initiative aimed at long-term economic self-reliance among farmers while expanding access of healthy, culturally-appropriate foods in […]

Geese on Pasture

Wesley Bascom of Gozzard City LLC conducted a Northeast SARE Farmer Grant project to look at pastured goose production in northern Vermont. Wesley wanted to track the impact of different levels of grain supplementation for geese on pasture. He divided the goose flock into three groups of approximately 60 each and supplemented one group with […]

Pollinator buffers improve poultry farm sustainability & neighbor relations

Like many farms across the region, Hill Farms, Inc. in Houston, Delaware has seen in increase in residential development surrounding their farm. Because maintaining positive neighbor relations is important to this poultry operation, owner Tina Hill conducted a Northeast SARE Farmer Grant project to install a mixed vegetative buffer adjacent their poultry houses. Tina was […]

Project expands leafy green production in WV’s Eastern panhandle

The Eastern Panhandle region of West Virginia is the fastest growing area in the state and is adjacent to large, diverse populations like Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. To meet the emerging demand for fresh produce from regional wholesale markets like hospitals, school districts and other institutional buyers, Lewis Jett of West Virginia University conducted a […]

Sustainable wine course goes online

In the vineyard industry, the task of communicating to customers is often left to winery sales and hospitality staff who may not know much about the farming end of the business. Whitney Beaman of Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue, NY recognized that educating winery employees who hold customer-facing roles (including tasting room, wine club and wholesale […]

Maine leads project using winter ecology to manage small ruminant parasites

For many small ruminant operations, grazing is central to farm profitability. However, grazing livestock increases risks of losses due to parasite-infested pastures. Haemonchus contortus, Barber pole worm, is a particular threat to sheep and goat farms throughout the Northeast region. Although H. contortus (as a subtropical parasite) has adapted to northern climates, Jim Weber of […]