Innovative Cropping Systems SARE-PDP Project, Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2001: $49,913.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $49,913.00
Region: Southern
State: Virginia
Principal Investigator:
Brian Noyes
Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Agronomic: barley, corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat


  • Animal Production: manure management
  • Crop Production: continuous cropping, cover crops, double cropping, foliar feeding, multiple cropping, municipal wastes, no-till, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers, stubble mulching, tissue analysis, conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, agricultural finance, risk management
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, mulches - killed, mulches - living, cultivation, smother crops, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: earthworms, green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, public participation, social capital, social networks, sustainability measures


    The Innovative Cropping System Incentive Program (ICS) was enhanced by SARE-PDP Funds to support a two-day training session held on May 21& 22, 2002. Attending professionals had an opportunity to learn detailed information concerning state of the art agricultural management systems. ICS methods, such as Continuous No-Till combined with intensive biomass rotations and nuttrient management, are primary tools utilized for soil quality improvement. Information was provided to raise awareness and confidence for professional support of ICS. Resource conservation and crop production efficiencies were presented. The participating speakers and topics presented a diverse program providing local, state and national perspectives. The second day provided access to numerous field research and demonstration plots. The program accommodated approximately 200 individuals. Virginia Tech designated the session as required in service training for Cooperative Extension. Certified Crop Consultant and Nutrient Management Certification Credits were offered. Materials, such as the ICS national award winning video, research data and informational publications were made available to all that attended and are attached to this report as hard copies.

    Project objectives:

    The use of the SARE PDP Grant was critcal to understanding the far reaching implications and recognition of the applied success of ICS. SARE PDP Funds brought this understanding to a multitude of the most important individuals who can best transfer the ideology of soil quality. Some of the most respected academics and authorities in the nation participated on the agenda to share the scientific precedence that supports the unparalleled potential of soil quality.

    Information was provided and demonstrated concerning the use of soil quality test kits as a tool to measure soil improvement. Collected field data from soil quality testing on long term ICS fields was presented and made available. Prescribed practices and system alterantives to address field variables where presented in the general program and during the field tour.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.