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Field Crops

This webinar discusses conservation practices available to cotton farmers. It outlines weed control benefits, water use efficiency, and reduction of chemical fertilizers. If you are interested in reducing costs while maintaining yields, this webinar is for you....

In this video, Colin Mitchell and Lindsey Richards from the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative lay out how to plant, maintain, and terminate Sunn Hemp in the hot subtropical climate of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Sunn Hemp (Crotalaria juncea) is a warm season nitrogen fixing species that can reach over six feet tall. This upright legume creates substantial biomass that can outcompete weeds, can be grazed as a high protein forage, and is resistant to root rot nematodes. It can be terminated with a crimper-roller, making it a good option for organic systems that are not allowed to use herbicides....

This podcast is part of a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project for integrating livestock with crops. In this episode, Dave Scott, livestock specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West Office in Butte, Montana, has a conversation with Roy Benjamin, a farmer of nearly 20,000 acres in Devon, Montana. For the past few years, Roy has been integrating livestock with his crops. In this episode, you'll hear about his experience with his operation and lessons he has learned. Before we get started, I’d like to point out that towards the end of the podcast, when Roy is talking about his water sources, he...

Dave Scott, a livestock specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and co-owner of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana, discusses the operation's composting system....

Gabe Brown: Farming in Nature's Image Gabe Brown speaking at the Connecting Soils and Profits: No-till, Cover Crops, Soil Health, & Grazing Conference held in Danville, PA, March 18, 2015. *Featuring Gabe Brown, A Local Producer Panel, NCAT & Extension Specialists* Gabe is a nationally renowned speaker and pioneer in the soil health movement that is currently creating quite a buzz among producers. Gabe & his family operate a 5000 acre diversified operation, near Bismarck, ND, that includes crops, pasture, and beef cattle. His operation focuses on regeneration of soils and farm resources using a systems approach which includes no-till, diverse crop rotations, diverse species...

Dr. Michel Cavigelli, a soil scientist at the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Maryland, talks on "Organic Research and Needs: Cover Crops, Crop Rotation, and Soil Health" at the 2013 Montana Organic Association meeting at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. He is lead scientist of a long-term cropping systems project evaluating the sustainability of organic and conventional methods....

Doug Crabtree and partner Anna Jones-Crabtree operate Vilicus Farms, a diverse dryland crop farm based 36 miles northwest of Havre. Growing certified organic heirloom and specialty crops within a 5-year rotation of small grains, oilseeds, broadleaf, and legume crops, Vilicus Farms practices advanced land stewardship at a scale that matters. Doug and intern Nathan Austin-Powell spoke about the operation during the 2013 Montana Farmers Union annual meeting in Great Falls, Montana....

During the October 2013 Montana Farmers Union state meeting in Great Falls, Montana, Dr. Clain Jones of Montana State University discusses past and ongoing research projects in the state on the effectiveness of cover crops....

Janie Burns raises grass-fed lamb and pastured poultry on her 10 - acre Meadowlark Farm south of Nampa, Idaho. Over the past 24 years, she also has raised a wide variety of crops and sold to restaurants CSDs and retail stores. In 2003, she and a business partner began HomeGrown Poultry, LLC, a poultry-processing business in New Plymouth, Idaho. In addition to her faming and business ventures, Janie is on the board of the Treasure Valley Food Coalition and the advisory committee of the University of Idaho's Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. She has previously served on the board...

This webinar, broadcast October 25, 2012, focuses on tools and techniques for small-scale crop production. National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Agriculture Specialist Andy Pressman discusses the importance of investing in good quality and well-designed tools, their different purposes, and how to use them to properly plant and maintain crops....

This webinar addresses multi-species cover crops that can be used to improve soil health, increase biological diversity, and benefit the bottom line in no-till grain operations. An increasing number of grain farmers are experimenting with these "cocktails" of cover crops such as legumes, grasses, and companion crops to keep the soil covered year-round. During this webinar, Jay Fuhrer, District Conservationist with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Bismarck, North Dakota, shared his experience with this innovative no-till approach. Fuhrer presented four on-farm case studies to illustrate how to successfully use cover crop "cocktails" to enhance crop production and livestock forage...

In this podcast, we hear from Tammy Howard, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana, and David Wise, certified Produce Safety trainer and consultant. They talk about a new tool to help farmers navigate the complicated food safety regulatory environment. The Farmer Regulatory Toolkit helps farmers understand the different regulations that might apply to them based on their size and markets. It also provides an additional tool to conduct a quick food safety self-assessment. This innovative tool will create a document that can be used to present to buyers or any markets that may be requiring...

In this episode, Rockiell Woods, director of NCAT's Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, begins an occasional series on scaling up agriculture operations with Bill Evans, director of horticulture with Up in Farms Food Hub in Jackson. Rockiell and Bill talk about when scaling up – increasing production or investing in ways to reduce costs – is appropriate. They also set the stage for discussing other issues a small producer considering scaling up would need to address, such as marketing, finance, and labor costs. For more information on this subject, you can contact Rockiell Woods directly via email at rockw@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Food...

In this episode, Omar Rodriguez, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation about biostimulants with Meerae Park, a master’s degree student in the Plant Sciences Department at the University of California Davis. Omar, who works out of NCAT’s Western Regional Office in Davis, California, and Meerae give an overview of biostimulants – which are generally described as substances that aren’t fertilizers, pesticides, or growth regulators but can affect plants’ yield, quality, and vigor. They discuss categories of biostimulants, how they may affect plants, the sometimes difficult task of defining which substances are biostimulants, how farmers can...

In this episode, John Wallace, manager of NCAT's SIFT farm, talks with Robin Kelson of the Good Seed Company in Whitefish, Montana. Robin and John discuss questions that beginning seed savers often have as well as resources that are available for those who want to get into the subject in more depth.
By John Wallace, NCAT Agriculture Specialist...

Down in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Hilltop Gardens Farm Manager Andy Cruz discusses using sorghum-sudangrass as a cover crop in subtropical climates. Andy explains how to plant sorghum-sudangrass, its benefits, and how it positively affects the soil health on the farm. This video is part of NCAT's Subtropical Soil Health Initiative funded by USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant #69-3A75-17-281. For more on cover crop use in subtropical climates, read the NCAT publication: Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas...

In this episode, NCAT community foods outreach specialist Daniel Prial, and Andy Pressman, director of NCAT’s Northeast Regional office in Keene, New Hampshire, talk to Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, a 2013 Minnesota Book Award winner. Both Andy and Daniel work with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Atina is a Minnesota organic farmer and public speaker. Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works is a memoir based on Atina’s life running the Gardens of Eagan organic vegetable farm. Her advocacy has addressed the pressures of suburban development, and she successfully led a legal and citizen campaign...

In this episode, Jeff Schahczenski, agricultural and natural resource economist for NCAT's ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – who works at NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks about the current and future development of organic field-crop markets with Jessie Bovay and Ryan Koory. Jessie and Ryan work with Mercaris, a national data service company that explores organic, transitional organic, and non-GMO field-crop prices and performs market analytics and trade identity preserved field-crop production studies. Ryan is a senior economist with Mercaris, and Jessie is director of business development. Organic field-crop markets are often referred to as "thin" markets, which...

In this series of podcasts, Thomas Schroeder, Sustainable Ag Specialist in NCAT's Southwest reginal office sat down with Pedro Schambon, owner/operator of My Father's Farm, to talk about food safety and scaling up to wholesale markets. My Father's Farm is a certified organic farm situated on 52 acres in Seguin, Texas, growing year-round both in-field and in greenhouse settings. Pedro talks in depth about the changes that they needed to make to their facilities, practices and overall approach to food safety, GAP and FSMA as they made the transition from CSA/Farmer's Market grower to Wholesale producer. In this episode, he talks about changes the farm made to safely transport, package, and trace its produce as well as advice for new farmers.
In this series of podcasts, Thomas Schroeder, Sustainable Ag Specialist in NCAT's Southwest regional office sat down with Pedro Schambon, owner/operator of My Father's Farm, to talk about food safety and scaling up to wholesale markets. My Father's Farm is a certified organic farm situated on 52 acres in Seguin, Texas, growing year-round both in-field and in greenhouse settings. Pedro talks in depth about the changes that they needed to make to their facilities, practices and overall approach to food safety, GAP and FSMA as they made the transition from CSA/Farmer's Market grower to Wholesale producer. In this episode, he talks about changes the farm make in how it packs produce.
In this series of podcasts, Thomas Schroeder, Sustainable Ag Specialist in NCAT's Southwest regional office sat down with Pedro Schambon, owner/operator of My Father's Farm, to talk about food safety and scaling up to wholesale markets. My Father's Farm is a certified organic farm situated on 52 acres in Seguin, Texas, growing year-round both in-field and in greenhouse settings. Pedro talks in depth about the changes that they needed to make to their facilities, practices and overall approach to food safety, GAP and FSMA as they made the transition from CSA/Farmer's Market grower to Wholesale producer. In this episode, he addresses changes the farm made in how it harvests its crops and the value of GAP and FSMA audits in determining practices to make their produce safer.

In this episode, Internal GAP Auditor David Wise talks with Dylan Strike of Strike Farms near Bozeman, Montana, about strategies for keeping rodents out of fields....

In this episode, Judy Owsowitz, owner of Terrapin Farm near Whitefish, Montana, discusses her certified organic operation's cover cropping and other strategies during a farm tour sponsored by USDA RMA. Her discussion also can be seen on the ATTRA Youtube Channel --> Terrapin Farm Cover Crop Tour Near Whitefish, Montana....

In this episode, Griff Bye, co-owner of a farming operation near Kevin, Montana, discusses the operation's cover cropping plans and strategies as part of a farm tour sponsored by USDA RMA. This discussion is also available on the ATTRA Youtube Channel --> Bye Farm Cover Cropping Near Kevin, Montana....

In this episode, Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree of Vilicus Farms in Hill County in northern Montana, discuss how they started the nationally recognized, first-generation, organic dryland crop farm. The farm produces a wide variety of grain, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops....

In this episode, NCAT Regional Office Director Rex Dufour talks with California farmer Chris Hay about crop planning, including pricing and labor costs....

In this episode, NCAT Program Specialist Martin Guerena interviews organic famer Luis Guevara of Rancho La Familia from Santa Maria California. It includes his biography; 38 years of farming experience; early years and markets; reasons for diversification; current markets; production challenges; climate change challenges; pest control techniques; fertilization practices; compost; cover crops; rotations and advice to new and beginning farmers....

In this episode, NCAT Program Specialist Martin Guerena interviews Martin Barnes of Capy Organics in Yolo County, California. The interview touches on the farm's early years and starting the Davis farmers market; its first crops; diversification of crops; the transition from markets to CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture); the expansion to Southern California and the Pacific Northwest; technological innovation; expanding its CSA to 50,000 customers; its pest challenges then and now; its fertilization program with compost and foliar applications; and Martin's advice to beginning farmers on land and markets....

Entrevista con Luis Guevara agricultor orgánico del Rancho La Familia de Santa María California. La Entrevista incluye: biografía, experiencia de 38 años como agricultor, principios, mercados, diversificación de productos, expansión de mercados, desafíos de producción, cambio climático, control de plagas, fertilización, rotación de cultivos y consejos para agricultores principiantes....

In this episode, Dylan Strike of Strike Farm near Bozeman, Montana, talks with internal GAP auditor David Wise about how the diversified operation traces its crops. The interview is part of a video series, "Farm-Based Approach to Food Safety – the Internal GAP Audit."...

In this episode, Andrew Coggins, Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, discusses the goals of cover cropping. He also describes the cover-cropping strategy NCAT’s SIFT demonstration farm at its headquarters in Butte, Montana....

In this episode, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Tammy Howard speaks with Betsy Miller, Montana Department of Agriculture food-safety coordinator, about new regulations coming into effect as a result of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011. In this podcast, they focus on FSMA’s produce rule....

David Wise is a farm food-safety consultant in Montana. He currently works with farmers throughout the state on helping them with their GAP certification and doing internal auditing of farmers' food-safety plans. In this episode, Tammy Howard talks with him about the internal audit program and different food safety certification programs throughout the state....

In this episode of ATTRA: Voices from the Field, John Wallace, who manages the SIFT Farm at NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks about the challenges of growing in the relatively short and cool climate at the farm. He discusses what SIFT has learned about overwintering, particularly focusing on parsnips and onion crops. John also talks about the cover crops the farm is experimenting with....

Hot humid areas need especially large and frequent inputs of organic matter to maintain soil fertility, yet standard cover crop recommendations don't always work in these locations. In this podcast drawn from his popular webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Justin Duncan uses his own organic farming experience in Texas, discusses some particular cover crops (including some unfamiliar in the United States) that can be used build soil organic matter in hot and humid areas in USDA Hardiness Zones 8,9,10 and beyond. The webinar was is a product of the Subtropical Organic Agriculture Research (SOAR) project, and is based upon work supported...

Hot humid areas need especially large and frequent inputs of organic matter to maintain soil fertility, yet standard cover crop recommendations don't always work in these locations. In this podcast drawn from his popular webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Justin Duncan uses his own organic farming experience in Texas, explains how to choose cover crops (including some unfamiliar in the United States) to build soil organic matter in hot and humid areas in USDA Hardiness Zones 8,9,10 and beyond. The webinar was is a product of the Subtropical Organic Agriculture Research (SOAR) project, and is based upon work supported by the...

Hot humid areas need especially large and frequent inputs of organic matter to maintain soil fertility, yet standard cover crop recommendations don't always work in these locations. In this podcast drawn from his popular webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Justin Duncan uses his own organic farming experience in Texas, explains how to build soil organic matter in hot and humid areas in USDA Hardiness Zones 8, 9, 10, and beyond. The webinar was is a product of the Subtropical Organic Agriculture Research (SOAR) project, and is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of...

In this episode, Tammy Howard, an agronomy specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, speaks at a USDA Risk Management Agency sponsored tour of Terrapin Farm near Whitefish, Montana. She discusses the uses of cover crops for various purposes, including fertility, weed management, and increasing biomass. She also discusses crop rotation and termination....

Randy and Lisa Hinebauch explain farming strategies on their 10,000-acre certified organic grain farm in Chinook, MT....

Learn how Duane and Chantra Boehm make organic small grains work on their 4,000-acre farm in Richardton, ND....