Wills Leads $600K Alt. Prod. Systems Grant

Jim Wills will serve as lead investigator for a $600,000 study of alternative production systems for Mid-South fruit and vegetable growers. Participating with Jim on the project will be Mike Buschermohle, as well as Craig Canaday, David Coffey, Allen Straw and Jim Wyatt of Plant Sciences and Landscape Systems, and cooperators Jeanine Davis of North Carolina State University and Brent Rowell of the University of Kentucky. The team will also work with Tennessee State University to install research plots and distribute information.

The three-year program is significant, in part, because over 95% of the farms in the Mid-South region are small or medium in size, and are searching for alternative, sustainable crops to create or supplement farm income. Opportunity for expanded fruit and vegetable production exists and is aided by growing consumer interest in organic produce, the availability of plastic greenhouses formerly used to produce tobacco transplants and the growing use of conservation-tillage, double cropping, and interseeding. All of these factors will be investigated in the three-year program, and, at its conclusion, findings will be disseminated by short courses and other means.

Source: UT Institute of Agriculture's Third Thursday newsletter
Joel Lown
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