Exploration and Implementation of Sustainable Ag Practices and Outreach on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation for the Protection of Groundwater

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2000: $103,913.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Federal Funds: $44,520.00
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $75,844.00
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
John Helsel
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: potatoes


  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Soil Management: green manures, soil analysis, soil quality/health


    This demonstration project indicates there are viable alternatives to the continuous use of fumigants in potato production on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The mustard green manure amended area produced yields higher than the metam sodium treated areas. The mustard area returned more US #1 potatoes than all other treatments. On an economic return basis, the mustard, control and carbofuran areas returned more net dollar per acre than the metam sodium. In comparison, the radish treated area performed poorly on yields and economic returns. The reason for this weak performance is not known. Additional monitoring of the effects of green manure crops on potato yields in future years is needed to determine if these patterns represent a real difference..

    Project objectives:

    The objectives for this project are to:

    Manage, monitor and assess progress on the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ sustainable agriculture demonstration project;

    Begin to Assess Economic Issues/Impacts of Management Changes for the Tribes and leaseholders.

    Assess the applicability of World Wildlife Fund and Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association IPM program to the management of Shoshone-Bannock agricultural lands;

    Conduct an outreach program that will reach Tribal members and leaseholders, as well as the broader community, with information about the demonstration project and sustainable agriculture;

    Continue to identify potato farmers on and off the Reservation who are using sustainable practices and highlight those practices; and

    Secure continued funding for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ sustainable agriculture demonstration project.

    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.