Project Explores Cereal Crop Rotations for Small Farms
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A project funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Producer Grant explored how cereal grains could be incorporated into the crop rotation for diversified small farms. Virginia farmer Michael Grantz scaled heirloom wheat and rye production to one-acre plots for use as cover crops on a five-acre vegetable farm and is creating enterprise budgets that take into consideration the labor and expenses of growing the crop, as well as the price the market will bear. Cereal grains can be beneficial for soil health, but very small farmers face particular challenges with production timing, as well as equipment and labor needs. Grantz believes that value-added cereal grains may be a viable product that would help further diversify small farm incomes.