Like all farmers, Harry Cope is an innovator who struggles to reduce costs while raising cattle and sheep on his Missouri farm. Cope wondered if forage production could be increased by planting a cover crop into standing corn for fall grazing. But establishing a cover crop is challenging when little sunlight reaches the soil surface. So Cope decided to conduct research to test whether skipping some rows when planting corn would allow more light to reach the soil and establish the cover crop more effectively.
On-farm research revealed that the extra space and light made no difference in the amount of forage produced. Although research is challenging and time consuming, it helped Cope refine his ideas about cover crop management. Now, SARE’s newly revised How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch is available to help more experimenting farmers like Cope succeed.
How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch
provides detailed instructions for crop and livestock producers, as well as educators, on how to conduct research at the farm level using practical strategies and peer-reviewed research findings. How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch also includes a comprehensive list of in-depth resources and real-life examples—from a Missouri crop and livestock farmer testing the effect of additional cover cropping on forage available to his animals to a West Virginia organic producer experimenting with an integrated trap crop and pheromone trap system for ecological management of stink bugs.
Download or order your free print copy of How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch at sare.org/research or by calling (301) 779-1007. How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch is also available to educators in quantity for use in educational workshops, classes or tours.