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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATING SUNFLOWER WITH ORGANIC GRAIN PRODUCTION IN THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. To develop organic grain production systems that integrate sunflower into traditional grain rotations using either conservation or conventional tillage.

2. To determine effects of different tillage systems for organic grain production on soil quality and soil physical properties.

3. To transfer organic grain production technology to producers, technical service providers, and students.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The potential for integrating sunflower into a traditional corn–wheat–soybean rotation of organic grain production will be evaluated. More complex rotations with a greater diversity of crops results in more complex management decisions. Nutrient inputs as well as weed and pest management become more critical. We will evaluate this complexity through team research on system processes. We will evaluate insect dynamics looking at relationships between beneficial and pest insects in relationship to insect habitat. Crop productivity and quality will be assessed along with water and nutrient use efficiency. Tillage impacts on weed and soil dynamics will also be evaluated. Crop and whole farm enterprise budgets will be developed to assess the economic vigor of the production systems. An advisory team of producers, extension agents, and researchers will guide the research, provide oversight, and assist with outreach. Technology transfer will be conducted by the researchers cooperatively with University of Georgia teaching and extension faculty. We will reach students through interaction with the University of Georgia Organic Certificate Program by engaging students in the research through classroom and field activities. We will help train extension agents through interaction with the University of Georgia–Fort Valley State University Extension Organic Production Team. Project researchers and researchers from North Carolina State University will demonstrate various production practices and present research results at two workshops. To reach organic producers an extension bulletin on incorporating sunflowers into organic grains will be developed, and research results will be presented at grower meetings. To reach the scientific community, results will be presented at scientific meetings and documented in scientific publications.


3.Progress Report:

This project is linked to Objective 2 “Develop and test bio-based management systems for stink bugs that are widely adaptable to various cropping systems in the southeastern region of the United States” of the in-house project.

Over the year, researchers discussed project plans with Producer Advisory Committee via several conference calls. Grain production technology was transferred organic grain production technology to producers, researchers, and UGA county agents via an Organic Grain and Oilseed Workshop and Field Tour held on June 27, 2013 in Tifton, Georgia. Researchers with over 10 yrs of experience with working in organic grain production and organic producers were invited as speakers for the workshop. A student was hired to help with the project.


Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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