Community based collaborative effort to aid farmers in battling climate change.
County Extension Director
Cover crops aid in carbon sequestration, prevent soil erosion and run off, and help conserve nutrients for succeeding crops. The goal of this effort is to break down knowledge and financial barriers limiting implementation of cover crops. Gadsden County, Florida, USA, uses a collaborative approach through coordination with many agencies, to help farmers implement on farm cover cropping. Collaborators include UF/IFAS and FAMU Extension Gadsden County, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Gadsden County Soil and Water Board, Northwest Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Ag and Consumer Services (FDACS), Office of Ag Water Policy, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Activities include educating famers on the use of cover crops, instruction on cover crop selections, based, in part, on Extension field demonstrations, providing cost-share for best management farming practices (BMP), and providing access to three no-till seed/grain drills for farmers via low-cost rental. The drill rentals allow over 1000 acres (400 ha), in small land holdings, which would normally have been left fallow, to be seeded in cover crops each year. Additionally, a BMP cost share program through FDACS, Office of Ag Water Policy, allows large scale farms to purchase no-till grain drills to implement conservation BMP’s. These implements account for a portion of the around 6000 acres (2400 ha) (2017 USDA Census of Agriculture) of cover crops planted each year. This collaborative team works closely to influence a greater number of farmers to understand the value of cover cropping for their farm operation, and to implement another useful climate-smart tool for their toolbox.
Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC
This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.
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Authors: Robbie Jones, Donna Arnold, Ann Blount, Cheryl Mackowiak
Jones, R. County Extension Director, UF/IFAS Extension, Florida, 32351
Arnold, D. Small Farms and Residential Horticulture Agent, FAMU Extension, Florida, 32351
Blount, A. Emeritus Professor of Agronomy , UF/IFAS , Florida, 32351
Mackowiak, C. Extension Soil Specialist, Associate Professor of Soil Science, UF/IFAS, Florida, 32351