CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Department of Agriculture at Southeast Missouri State University has been awarded a $15,741 Organic Fertilizer and Soil Health Management for Specialty Crops grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
The grant will help evaluate polysulfate as an organic fertilizer for selected early-season and full-season vegetables and as a soil conditioner to improve soil health.
Polysulfate is an emerging fertilizer suitable for organic row crop and cover crop usage. The study will evaluate its effectiveness both with and without cover crops on several key vegetables, including sweet corn and various legumes.
Missouri has received more than $374,000 to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.
The three-year project, which began last summer, will continue during the 2018 and 2019 growing seasons in collaboration with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) and the University of Missouri Extension.
"Our collective hope is to create a completely sustainable vegetable production system that supports soil enrichment and producer profitability," said Dr. Mike Aide, professor of agriculture at Southeast. "We also hope to advance small acreage entrepreneurship understanding using the extension outreach of our partners."