Author: Amy Garrett, Lucas Nebert, and Teagan Moran, Oregon State University Small Farms Program
Publish Date: Fall 2019
Some of the research projects with the DFC featured at the field days this year included:
- Variety Trials: 10 sites hosted potato, tomato, melon, and/or dry bean trials to assess how varieties perform dry farmed in our bioregion (led by A. Garrett, L. Nebert, and C. Homanics).
- Site Suitability Study: 20 sites participated in the 2nd year of this study assessing what site characteristics are suitable for dry farming vegetable crops with support from Western SARE (led by A. Stone, A. Gallagher, and M. Davis).
- Fungal Inoculant Study: 13 sites participated in the 2nd year of this study assessing the efficacy of fungal inoculants in enhancing drought tolerance of corn, beans, and squash with support from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (led by L. Nebert).
- Exploratory trials are also ongoing and being hosted on many DFC sites assessing different planting densities, mulching, grafted vs. ungrafted tomatoes, and a range of other techniques and crop varietals. Results from these trials are often shared at the DFC winter meeting and FaceBook group and inform what approaches are trialed next growing season as well as the focus of collaborative grant proposals.
More produce is showing up at the farmers market and grocery stores labeled ‘dry farmed’ since 2016, and excitement is building in the marketplace around the enhanced flavor of dry-farmed produce. Also, farmer success stories have been featured in local newspapers and picked up by multiple media sources including the Daily Astorian, the Albany Democrat-Herald, the Eugene Register-Guard, the Tribune News, the Capital Press, and OPB is airing a story on dry farming in October of 2019. The DFC continues to grow and will be having its 4th annual winter meeting in January 2020 to share and discuss the results of this year's trials and plan for 2020 trials. Join the Dry Farming Collaborative Facebook group, or for more information on dry farming visit: https://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/smallfarms/projects/dry-farming.