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Sustainable Agriculture in Oklahoma

The 2008 Annual Report for
the State of Oklahoma Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education (SARE) Program
     

To access the OkSARE Annual Report for 2008 click here.

The 2007 Annual Report for
the State of Oklahoma Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education (SARE) Program

During 2006, Oklahoma SARE PDP Training supported the following: Goat Production Tour in South Central Texas; Hand-Held Sensor-Based Technology Training; Meat Goat Production; Farm to Table Conference attendees; and Cucurbit Production and Marketing Training.  It continued to benefit from previous support of Cherokee Prairie Low-Input Small Ranch Program, Wine Grape Training, Poultry Waste Management; Greenhouse Tomato Short Course; Master Cattleman; and Goat Production. Those attending training this year included: 101 Oklahoma Extension personnel and 113 individuals from other governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, schools, research programs, farms, and other private enterprise.   Also 3,385 producers attended educational programs resulting from previous trainings.

Report:  Training Efforts & Outcomes

OK goat Conference Sale 20006.jpg

Goat Study Tour of South Central Texas

On May 15-18, 2006, thirty-eight Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Educators, Area Specialists, Natural Resource Conservation Service/USDA professionals, and others attended a tour of goat operations in Uvalde and Tom Green counties in South Central Texas.  The meat goat industry is a rapidly expanding agricultural industry in Oklahoma.  South Texas and the San Angelo area are widely recognized as a leader in meat goat production for the south as well as the United States. Since the beginning of meat goat boom the producers of south Texas have been producing high quality meat goats. The success of the area producer’s has turned the goat industry into a viable ag enterprise instead of a hobby operation.  The tour was conducted with the cooperation of the Texas A&M Extension Service, Langston University Extension and OSU Cooperative Extension.

Day one was dedicated to travel to Uvalde, TX.  Day two the group met with Kenneth White Uvalde County Extension Educator and Rick Machen Area Livestock Specialist for Uvalde County. Kenneth talked about the changes that agriculture had gone through over the last decade and the challenges that agriculture was facing.  Rick Machen then discussed the importance of goat production to the area and state of Texas.  He also mentioned that Texas producers were one of the first producers to bring in the Boer goats from South Africa.  The next stop was the Turner Goat Ranch. Participants listened to Steve Turner owner/operator give a description of his operation and why he started producing meat goats. Several years ago, Mr. Turner recognized the ranch needed to find a more profitable enterprise to survive and he felt that meat goat production was that enterprise. At the Southwest Livestock Exchange participants observed sale-day operations, watched part of the goat auction and listened to Mr. Joe Hargrove owner/operator of the Exchange describe the goat auction process.  From the auction barn participants went to an exotic sheep ranch and then a purebred Boer goat farm.  The group then went to Four Canyon Ranch. Four Canyon Ranch’s main commodity is trophy deer and they also have a small herd of Boer goats.  The last stop was dinner and a meeting with Bob Duke president of the American Boer Goat Association. Bob talked about the goat industry in the U.S. and where he thinks it is headed.

On day three, participants met with Dr. Frank Craddock, Texas A&M Goat Specialist, at S&L Feeders.  The feedlot manager talked about the challenges the feedlot faced when it began to start feeding goats. Not all of the challenges have been solved, but they now have a more manageable system then when they first started. Chris talked about the seasonality of goat feeding.  The participants then visited the Norman Kohle operation - one of the first breeders to bring Boer goats from South Africa to the U.S.  Norman spoke of culling the breeding herd and his breeding program. The final stop of the day was Producer’s Lamb & Goat Processing plant. This operation was first started as a coop for producers to bring their slaughter animals for processing. The members would then receive the added value price for the processed carcasses. Participants were allowed to tour the processing facility while a group of sheep were being processed.  The next day the participants returned to Oklahoma.  This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 6, 7, 12 and Training Objectives 1, 7, 9.

 ¨       22 county extension educators, 7 area and district extension specialists

¨      3 other governmental personnel (NRCS, USDA)

¨      6 producers and one professor from regional college

Hand Held Sensor Based Training.jpg

Hand-Held Sensor-Based Technology Training

On January 19-20, 2006, a second hand-held sensor-based technology training for Extension Educators, producer-cooperators, area specialists, and several industry representatives was conducted in Stillwater.  This training centered on teaching use of Nitrogen-Rich Strips in conjunction with hand-held sensors to improve Nitrogen use efficiency in wheat.  Nitrogen-Rich Strips replace the use of yield goals as a basis for making fertilizer-N recommendations.  A newly developed nitrogen (N) management strategy addresses two conditions that greatly affect how much fertilizer N a crop will need.  They are 1) Point-to-point variability within a field (spatial variability) and 2)Year-to-year variability over time (temporal variability).  Spatial variability has been the focus of ‘precision ag’ research for the past decade and has led to development of variable rate fertilizer applicators.  Research shows an average profit of $10 to $20/acre using the N-Rich Strip and sensor readings to determine fertilizer rates compared to using yield goals.  Actual producer feedback from the first full year of implementation shows even higher returns for some producers.  Using the N-Rich Strip and sensor calculations increase the chance of using the correct rate each year, and only apply N when it is needed so nitrogen use efficiency is about doubled.  County Extension Educators each brought one producer willing to set up N-Rich strips and work with the County Educator to keep records and conduct field days.  Each county educator received a hand-held sensor (purchased from non SARE funds) to be used with producers in the educator’s county.  This year an additional workshop was conducted for NRCS personnel.  This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 5, 12 and Training Objectives 1, 2, 5, 6.

 ¨ 13 County Extension Educators and 16 producer/cooperators were trained

¨ 13 counties received hand-held sensors (non SARE funded)

¨ 11 Area and State Specialists received training (3 first time, 8 update)

¨ 73 agency (including NRCS) and industry personnel including seven from out of state

¨ 9 field days based on N-Rich strip technology were conducted with 740 producers attending

¨ Over 2000 N-Rich Strips and RAMPs were established

OKgoat conference 20007.jpg

 Oklahoma Meat Goat Conference 2006

The first Oklahoma Meat Goat conference hosted by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service was a huge success by any measurement.  Over 350 individuals attended the conference.  As part of the conference, training was provided for Extension County Educators, Area and State Specialists, as well as practicing veterinarians, agency personnel, and representatives of NGOs.   Attendees came from 12 + states, including Hawaii, California, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota, Louisiana, Arkansas, and, yes, Oklahoma.  Topics included fencing solutions, market characteristics and considerations (by a buyer for processing plants), goat nutrition and breeding, business management and marketing for meat goat enterprises, meat goat facilities and equipment, forage and browse management (lots of interest here, perhaps because of our drought), internal parasite evaluation and control, goat herd health and predator control, pharmaceuticals used in goats (prescription and OTC), and a producer panel discussion.  For more information, go to the following website: http://oklagoats.com/default.aspx.  This training addresses POW Training Topics 1, 6, 7, 12 and Training Objectives 1, 7, 9.

¨ 18 County Extension Educators and Specialists attended

¨ 6 veterinarians, 5 agency personnel (ODAFF, NRCS, Wildlife)

¨ Faculty from Langston, Tennessee State, South Dakota State Universities

¨ 6 personnel from NGOs (Noble Foundation and Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture)

market_row.jpg

 Farm to Table:  Future Farms Conference 2006

On August 25, six county extension educators and two specialists attended the Farm to Table: Future Farms 2006 Conference sponsored by the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  This conference provided training in topics such as:  farm to schools, sales to restaurants, local buying and demand for local foods. This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 7, 11 and Training Objectives 1, 3, 4, 7, 9.

 Cucurbit Production and Marketing Meeting

A statewide and regional Watermelon and Cucurbit Training and Educational Meeting was held at the Wes Watkins Research and Extension Center in Lane, Oklahoma on December 15, 2006.  This day-long events provided Extension Educators, other state and federal government agency personnel, and agricultural producers the knowledge and expertise related to cucurbit production and marketing.  The meetings addressed topics in areas such as: Farm to school programs, insect, disease and pest management, organic fertilizers, organic weed control, IPM for cucurbits, marketing to Hispanic population, production of tropical pumpkins, production in high tunnels, pumpkin and squash production, developments in new cultivar releases and industry production trends.  SARE funding was used to get extension personnel to training and bring in out-of-state speakers such as Dr. Frank Mangan from the University of Massachusetts and Dr. Lewis Jett from the University of Missouri.  This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 7, 11, 13 and Training Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9.

 ¨       Attendees included 8 county educators, 13 area/state specialists, 7 agency personnel (ARS, NRCS, FSA), 7 industry representatives, and 58 producers

 Outcomes from Previously Reported Training

Outcomes continue to accrue from on-going programs resulting from trainings previously reported.  Master Cattleman; Cherokee Prairie Low-Input, Small Ranch Program; Ecosystem Preservation; Wine Grape Training; Greenhouse Tomato Shortcourse; Poultry Waste Management Education; Organic Vegetable Production; address POW Training Topics 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 13 and Training Objectives 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9.  Outcomes from this reporting period are below.

 ¨       526 attended the “Organic Goat Production” field day held at Langston University

¨       Hand-held sensor technology was applied on 258,600 acres of wheat

¨       Producer savings through reduced Nitrogen application from sensor-based testing was estimated at $2,580,000 for 2006

¨       165 attended 5 producer meetings and the OK-ARK Horticulture Industries Show on “protected agriculture” for hoop house and greenhouse production

¨       190 meat goat producers quality assurance certified through website co-hosted by Langston University (and numerous other institutions)

¨       Greenhouse tomato and cucumber demonstration developed jointly with Tulsa Community College

¨       Trained professionals reached 1,656 poultry producers for waste management certification

¨       Poultry waste management education provided for Laotian and Mong producers

¨       Master Cattleman trained educators and specialists conducted 111 educational events in 2006

¨       Over 300 producers have completed the Master Cattleman’s Training and certification

¨       An additional 350 producers worked toward completion of the Master Cattleman’s course

Grape%20School%20(Hanes%20Farm)%202003.jpg

 Future Expectations

 ·         Conduct additional training in hand-held sensor-based technology application to reduce nitrogen applications in wheat (January 2007)

·         Conduct training in farmers’ markets and reaching limited-scale producers

·         Send numerous extension staff to Regional and National Sustainable Agriculture conferences

·         Develop training, tours and programming in growing meat goat industry

·         Look to hire faculty member in Sustainable Agriculture

·         Conduct training in organic production in wheat and vegetables

·         Renew materials and training in No-Till crop production

·         Improve sustainable agriculture website

179.jpg

The 2006 Annual Report for the

State of Oklahoma SARE

During 2006, Oklahoma SARE PDP Training supported the following: Goat Production Tour in South Central Texas; Hand-Held Sensor-Based Technology Training; Meat Goat Production; Farm to Table Conference attendees; and Cucurbit Production and Marketing Training.  It continued to benefit from previous support of Cherokee Prairie Low-Input Small Ranch Program, Wine Grape Training, Poultry Waste Management; Greenhouse Tomato Short Course; Master Cattleman; and Goat Production. Those attending training this year included: 101 Oklahoma Extension personnel and 113 individuals from other governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, schools, research programs, farms, and other private enterprise.   Also 3,385 producers attended educational programs resulting from previous trainings.

Report:  Training Efforts & Outcomes

Goat Study Tour of South Central Texas

On May 15-18, 2006, thirty-eight Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Educators, Area Specialists, Natural Resource Conservation Service/USDA professionals, and others attended a tour of goat operations in Uvalde and Tom Green counties in South Central Texas.  The meat goat industry is a rapidly expanding agricultural industry in Oklahoma.  South Texas and the San Angelo area are widely recognized as a leader in meat goat production for the south as well as the United States. Since the beginning of meat goat boom the producers of south Texas have been producing high quality meat goats. The success of the area producer’s has turned the goat industry into a viable ag enterprise instead of a hobby operation.  The tour was conducted with the cooperation of the Texas A&M Extension Service, Langston University Extension and OSU Cooperative Extension.

Day one was dedicated to travel to Uvalde, TX.  Day two the group met with Kenneth White Uvalde County Extension Educator and Rick Machen Area Livestock Specialist for Uvalde County. Kenneth talked about the changes that agriculture had gone through over the last decade and the challenges that agriculture was facing.  Rick Machen then discussed the importance of goat production to the area and state of Texas.  He also mentioned that Texas producers were one of the first producers to bring in the Boer goats from South Africa.  The next stop was the Turner Goat Ranch. Participants listened to Steve Turner owner/operator give a description of his operation and why he started producing meat goats. Several years ago, Mr. Turner recognized the ranch needed to find a more profitable enterprise to survive and he felt that meat goat production was that enterprise. At the Southwest Livestock Exchange participants observed sale-day operations, watched part of the goat auction and listened to Mr. Joe Hargrove owner/operator of the Exchange describe the goat auction process.  From the auction barn participants went to an exotic sheep ranch and then a purebred Boer goat farm.  The group then went to Four Canyon Ranch. Four Canyon Ranch’s main commodity is trophy deer and they also have a small herd of Boer goats.  The last stop was dinner and a meeting with Bob Duke president of the American Boer Goat Association. Bob talked about the goat industry in the U.S. and where he thinks it is headed.

On day three, participants met with Dr. Frank Craddock, Texas A&M Goat Specialist, at S&L Feeders.  The feedlot manager talked about the challenges the feedlot faced when it began to start feeding goats. Not all of the challenges have been solved, but they now have a more manageable system then when they first started. Chris talked about the seasonality of goat feeding.  The participants then visited the Norman Kohle operation - one of the first breeders to bring Boer goats from South Africa to the U.S.  Norman spoke of culling the breeding herd and his breeding program. The final stop of the day was Producer’s Lamb & Goat Processing plant. This operation was first started as a coop for producers to bring their slaughter animals for processing. The members would then receive the added value price for the processed carcasses. Participants were allowed to tour the processing facility while a group of sheep were being processed.  The next day the participants returned to Oklahoma.  This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 6, 7, 12 and Training Objectives 1, 7, 9.

 ¨    22 county extension educators, 7 area and district extension specialists

¨      3 other governmental personnel (NRCS, USDA)

¨      6 producers and one professor from regional college

Texas Goat Tour - Kohles Does.jpg

 Hand-Held Sensor-Based Technology Training

On January 19-20, 2006, a second hand-held sensor-based technology training for Extension Educators, producer-cooperators, area specialists, and several industry representatives was conducted in Stillwater.  This training centered on teaching use of Nitrogen-Rich Strips in conjunction with hand-held sensors to improve Nitrogen use efficiency in wheat.  Nitrogen-Rich Strips replace the use of yield goals as a basis for making fertilizer-N recommendations.  A newly developed nitrogen (N) management strategy addresses two conditions that greatly affect how much fertilizer N a crop will need.  They are 1) Point-to-point variability within a field (spatial variability) and 2)Year-to-year variability over time (temporal variability).  Spatial variability has been the focus of ‘precision ag’ research for the past decade and has led to development of variable rate fertilizer applicators.  Research shows an average profit of $10 to $20/acre using the N-Rich Strip and sensor readings to determine fertilizer rates compared to using yield goals.  Actual producer feedback from the first full year of implementation shows even higher returns for some producers.  Using the N-Rich Strip and sensor calculations increase the chance of using the correct rate each year, and only apply N when it is needed so nitrogen use efficiency is about doubled.  County Extension Educators each brought one producer willing to set up N-Rich strips and work with the County Educator to keep records and conduct field days.  Each county educator received a hand-held sensor (purchased from non SARE funds) to be used with producers in the educator’s county.  This year an additional workshop was conducted for NRCS personnel.  This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 5, 12 and Training Objectives 1, 2, 5, 6.

 ¨ 13 County Extension Educators and 16 producer/cooperators were trained

¨ 13 counties received hand-held sensors (non SARE funded)

¨ 11 Area and State Specialists received training (3 first time, 8 update)

¨ 73 agency (including NRCS) and industry personnel including seven from out of state

¨ 9 field days based on N-Rich strip technology were conducted with 740 producers attending

¨ Over 2000 N-Rich Strips and RAMPs were established

2005 Sensor-Based Workshop.jpg

 Oklahoma Meat Goat Conference 2006

The first Oklahoma Meat Goat conference hosted by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service was a huge success by any measurement.  Over 350 individuals attended the conference.  As part of the conference, training was provided for Extension County Educators, Area and State Specialists, as well as practicing veterinarians, agency personnel, and representatives of NGOs.   Attendees came from 12 + states, including Hawaii, California, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota, Louisiana, Arkansas, and, yes, Oklahoma.  Topics included fencing solutions, market characteristics and considerations (by a buyer for processing plants), goat nutrition and breeding, business management and marketing for meat goat enterprises, meat goat facilities and equipment, forage and browse management (lots of interest here, perhaps because of our drought), internal parasite evaluation and control, goat herd health and predator control, pharmaceuticals used in goats (prescription and OTC), and a producer panel discussion.  For more information, go to the following website: http://oklagoats.com/default.aspx.  This training addresses POW Training Topics 1, 6, 7, 12 and Training Objectives 1, 7, 9.

 ¨ 18 County Extension Educators and Specialists attended

¨ 6 veterinarians, 5 agency personnel (ODAFF, NRCS, Wildlife)

¨ Faculty from Langston, Tennessee State, South Dakota State Universities

¨ 6 personnel from NGOs (Noble Foundation and Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture)

farmers' market 3  Farmers' Market 2

 Farm to Table:  Future Farms Conference 2006

On August 25, six county extension educators and two specialists attended the Farm to Table: Future Farms 2006 Conference sponsored by the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  This conference provided training in topics such as:  farm to schools, sales to restaurants, local buying and demand for local foods. This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 7, 11 and Training Objectives 1, 3, 4, 7, 9.

 Cucurbit Production and Marketing Meeting

A statewide and regional Watermelon and Cucurbit Training and Educational Meeting was held at the Wes Watkins Research and Extension Center in Lane, Oklahoma on December 15, 2006.  This day-long events provided Extension Educators, other state and federal government agency personnel, and agricultural producers the knowledge and expertise related to cucurbit production and marketing.  The meetings addressed topics in areas such as: Farm to school programs, insect, disease and pest management, organic fertilizers, organic weed control, IPM for cucurbits, marketing to Hispanic population, production of tropical pumpkins, production in high tunnels, pumpkin and squash production, developments in new cultivar releases and industry production trends.  SARE funding was used to get extension personnel to training and bring in out-of-state speakers such as Dr. Frank Mangan from the University of Massachusetts and Dr. Lewis Jett from the University of Missouri.  This addresses POW Training Topics 1, 7, 11, 13 and Training Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9.

 ¨       Attendees included 8 county educators, 13 area/state specialists, 7 agency personnel (ARS, NRCS, FSA), 7 industry representatives, and 58 producers

thistle 1

 Outcomes from Previously Reported Training

Outcomes continue to accrue from on-going programs resulting from trainings previously reported.  Master Cattleman; Cherokee Prairie Low-Input, Small Ranch Program; Ecosystem Preservation; Wine Grape Training; Greenhouse Tomato Shortcourse; Poultry Waste Management Education; Organic Vegetable Production; address POW Training Topics 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 13 and Training Objectives 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9.  Outcomes from this reporting period are below.

 ¨       526 attended the “Organic Goat Production” field day held at Langston University

¨       Hand-held sensor technology was applied on 258,600 acres of wheat

¨       Producer savings through reduced Nitrogen application from sensor-based testing was estimated at $2,580,000 for 2006

¨       165 attended 5 producer meetings and the OK-ARK Horticulture Industries Show on “protected agriculture” for hoop house and greenhouse production

¨       190 meat goat producers quality assurance certified through website co-hosted by Langston University (and numerous other institutions)

¨       Greenhouse tomato and cucumber demonstration developed jointly with Tulsa Community College

¨       Trained professionals reached 1,656 poultry producers for waste management certification

¨       Poultry waste management education provided for Laotian and Mong producers

¨       Master Cattleman trained educators and specialists conducted 111 educational events in 2006

¨       Over 300 producers have completed the Master Cattleman’s Training and certification

¨       An additional 350 producers worked toward completion of the Master Cattleman’s course

serverCA9AUSSK.jpg

 Future Expectations

 ·         Conduct additional training in hand-held sensor-based technology application to reduce nitrogen applications in wheat (January 2007)

·         Conduct training in farmers’ markets and reaching limited-scale producers

·         Send numerous extension staff to Regional and National Sustainable Agriculture conferences

·         Develop training, tours and programming in growing meat goat industry

·         Look to hire faculty member in Sustainable Agriculture

·         Conduct training in organic production in wheat and vegetables

·         Renew materials and training in No-Till crop production

·         Improve sustainable agriculture website

 nramp3.jpg pasture 1