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Resilient Farmer Project

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  • 1. Resilience: the ability to recover quickly...
  • 2. ...from setbacks such as drought
  • 3. In 2011, the Kerr Center received a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG)...
  • 4. ...from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • 5. ...to train organic, transitioning, and sustainable vegetable farmers...
  • 6. ...in production systems design and techniques...
  • 7. ...that will make their farms less dependent on off-farm inputs...
  • 8. ...and, in the case of weed management, reduce labor costs.
  • 9. The key elements of this organic, bio- intensive production system...
  • 10. ...are winter cover crops...
  • 11. ...green fallow (summer) cover crops...
  • 12. ...and planned crop rotations.
  • 13. This system trades land (production area) for the labor, energy, and other external inputs usually invested in weed control.
  • 14. It relies on biology, rather than off-farm inputs, to manage the long-term fertility of the soil.
  • 15. Its extended rotations and enhanced soil biology suppress many of the diseases and insect pests that are problematic with more intensive systems.
  • 16. The system also controls erosion and prevents nutrient leaching...
  • 17. ...provides mulch...
  • 18. ...and attracts beneficial insects.
  • 19. Supporting practices include biochar...
  • 20. ...compost...
  • 21. ...(including vermicompost)...
  • 22. ...compost teas and compost extracts...
  • 23. ...and plant-based foliar fertilizers.
  • 24. Six farmer cooperators are receiving intensive training...
  • 25. ...and selecting techniques from among these to implement on their own farms.
  • 26. Large public field days to demonstrate the bioextensive system...
  • 27. ...were held in 2012...
  • 28. ...and again in 2013.