- Evaluate a range of specialty/alternative crops, including hemp for farm production and market feasibility.
- Evaluate existing and emerging marketing systems that can facilitate crop enterprises, specifically Farm to School.
- Evaluate production management systems that focus on sustainable production to increase soil health and economic security.
- Improve accessibility to USDA and other agency support/resources
Leadership Team Members
Team Leader: Vonda Richardson, Florida A & M University
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Tennessee State University
Kentucky State University
Florida A & M University
Jason de Koff
Activities and Results
KSU is leading a hemp project evaluating the levels of cannabinoids within fiber and grain crops. The stability of cannabinoid levels in plants grown in different regions is being determined. A hemp trial for testing varieties for the presence of high CBD and low THC levels was implemented at KSU (Dr. Shawn Lucas/Kirk Pomper/Avinash Tope) and collaborator sites at Central State University (Dr. Schluttenhofer), Delaware State University (Dr. Elavarthi), Tuskegee University (Dr. Mortley), and Virginia State University (Dr. Dhakal).
FAMU/New North Florida Cooperative/Holmes County Food Hub leveraged on-station and on- farm demonstrations with collard, greens, butternut squash and sweet corn prior to the initiation of this project for Winter – Summer 2020. Specific evaluation include organic and conventional production, harvesting practices, scheduling, irrigation, post-harvest handling and value-added processing. Marketing and distribution demonstrations are planned for September – October to evaluate economic feasibility and cost-effectiveness of facilitating these market outlets.
TSU is focused is utilizing the Cooperative Extension System to identify priority areas for research and extension training programs related to sustainable agriculture. A survey will be distributed to all Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension specialists in states with 1890 LGUs. This will focus on multiple sustainable crop production methods such as organic, conventional, no-till production, cover crop systems, irrigation management, crop rotation/diversification, integrated pest management, and soil health factors along with yield, overall economic returns and marketing.
UAPB continued education of farmers on FSA and NRCS opportunities. They also focus on record keeping to document farming experience and develop income projections for the 2021 season. Advised 20 Socially Disadvantaged Producers (SDPs) with EQIP and CSP recommendations and applications. Advised SDPs to annually update their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Form to participate in USDA Programs. Through office appointments and telephone calls, multiple conservation practices were recommended for SDPs with the UAPB EQIP Conservation Practices Forms. The staff made 5 site visits to forestry producers to provide EQIP or CSP recommendations for their