As fossil fuel supplies deplete and prices rise, demand for biofuel substitutes has increased. This growing demand for the development of renewable energy has even caused some to propose converting Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands to agricultural production to boost availability of such crops as corn and soybean for use as feedstock.
However, a recent study conducted by Michigan State University researchers found that converting these CRP lands to bioenergy production would negatively impact the environment as a result of the increased levels of C02 and greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated.
Professors and students at New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) College of Engineering are joining forces with University Agricultural Extension officers to demonstrate how state farmers and ranchers can make use of alternative energy sources such as solar power.
Long-term droughts are an increasingly urgent concern for farmers and ranchers, particularly in the Southwest where a record-setting drought occurred this year. Compounding this, electrical power isn’t readily available at more than 25,000 farms across New Mexico.
Facing a reorganization due to budget cuts, South Dakota State University’s (SDSU) Agricultural Extension Service is increasing its use of iGrow, an online information system that SDSU Extension field and research staff use to provide “reliable, ethical and unbiased” information that helps farmers and ranchers with marketing and production decisions.
Establishing direct connections between local farmers and residents, community supported agriculture (CSA) has been a growing form of direct marketing in California’s Central Valley, with the number of California CSAs growing steadily since the early 1990s.
Researchers at the University of California at Davis’s Agricultural Sustainability Institute conducted a wide-ranging and in-depth study of CSAs in and around California’s Central Valley.
Mary Hendrickson, a University of Missouri, Columbia Extension professor of rural sociology has been awarded a $20,000 from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network to survey urban agriculture activities around the nation and use the information compiled to build an online database that will serve as a shared information resource for groups and individuals looking to undertake urban agriculture projects around Missouri, as well as farther afield.