Sustainable Vegetable Production in Rural Mississippi

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2001: $133,187.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Franklin Chukwuma
Alcorn State University

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: greens (leafy), tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: herbs


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: mulching - plastic
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures


    Conventional monocropping system supports higher yields of bell pepper, collard green, sweet potato and tomato crops compared to transitional and organic intercropping systems. However, sales from the herb companion (sweet basil, sage and dill) when considered made transitional and organic cropping systems more comparative to conventional monocropping. Compared to other treatments the organic cropping system indicated (a) significant reduction in nitrate-nitrogen and orthophosphate level and (b) increased fruit K, Ca, Fe and Zn and soil extractable P, K, and Mg.

    Project objectives:

    1. To determine the growth, yield potential, and nutritive quality of fresh vegetable crops grown in a sustainable farming system.

      To determine the effect of sustainable crop production practices on the soil, physical and chemical properties and water quality.

      To determine the requirements, costs and returns for vegetables produced in a low-input sustainable farming system and to compare these costs and returns with those conventionally grown.

    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.