Vermont farmers have been growing grains for animal feed on dairy farms for years. Our goal is to give them the information they need to be able to grow higher yielding and quality grains. It is our hope that the information generated will result in the production of more nutritious feed for livestock and/or the ability for farmers to produce grains for human consumption.
Over the past few years there has been increasing demand for locally grown grains of all types. Vermont has not been a hub for grain production since the 1800s. Therefore, much of the local knowledge and infrastructure has been lost. The UVM Extension Crops and Soils Team has been collaborating with the Northern Grain Growers Association to rebuild a grain industry in Vermont. Many applied research and outreach programs are being developed to meet the needs of both commercial farmers and small scale homesteaders. Our Cereal Grain Quality Testing Laboratory helps farmers assess and maintain the quality of their grains.
Growing Organic Small Grains in the Northeast (pdf) by R. Kersbergen, E. Mallory, & T. Molloy
2012 Reports – NEW!
2012 Oat Variety Report (pdf)
Oat Variety Trial, 2011 (pdf)
GOING THE WHOLE GRAIN 2010 NGGA CONFERENCE
Keynote : Health Trinity: Healthy Soil=Healthy Plants=Healthy Planet (pdf) by Paul Hepperly, Fulbright Scholar
From Field to Glass: Brewing Beer with Local Grains (pdf) by Andrea and Christian Stanley, Valley Malt
Mycotoxin Analysis, a Resource for Vermont Grain Growers by Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Plant Diagnostic Clinic
The demand for local organic food is increasing throughout Vermont. Vermont millers and bakers cannot find enough locally grown organic wheat to meet the rising demand, and that which is available often does not meet the higher quality standards for bread production. Our area farmers have long grown grains for animal feed on dairy farms, but they lack local knowledge and research information on how to produce grains for the bread market using organic methods. We aim to enhance the capacity of farmers to produce high quality organic wheat to meet the increasing demand from local millers, bakers, and ultimately consumers. Over a three year period, beginning October 2009, we will conduct research that will explore the affects of planting and harvest dates on disease and weed incidence as well as wheat yield and flour quality. In addition, a variety of outreach materials and programs will be developed to transfer new knowledge to producers. This project will increase farmers’ ability to produce bread wheat for an expanding high-value market. In doing so, it will contribute to the long-term profitability and sustainability of organic agriculture and farms in areas like Vermont where farmers do not have the land base to compete on the commodity scale.
HEIRLOOM WHEAT PROJECT
In 2007 Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm, in collaboration with Dr. Darby, received a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer partnership grant in order to develop a Vermont Farmers Breeding Club.
This project had two major components:
1. To determine which of the heirloom spring wheat varieties out of the 18 obtained grew well in Vermont and to increase seed populations for these varieties.
2. To acquire wheat breeding skills and techniques in order to cross different varieties to create new wheat breeds.
READ THE HEIRLOOM WHEAT REPORT (Link to Jack Lazor’s Report)
VERMONT SOY PROJECT
Recently several new value-added soy businesses have opened in Vermont. These food ventures are looking to purchase high quality food-grade soybeans for tofu, tempeh, and soymilk production. In the past most soybeans grown in Vermont have been used for cattle feed. The need for evaluating potential food-grade soybean varieties for our region was addressed in the hopes of finding a variety that can cope with our climate, while balancing yield and quality. Also studied were cultivation variations or specific requirements pertaining to food-grade production. Variety trials have been conducted around the state of Vermont for the last 3 years.
Please see our soybean reports from 2007, 2008, and 2009:
Vermont farmers have been growing grains for animal feed on dairy farms for years. Our goal has been to give them the information they need to be able to grow higher yielding and quality grains. It is our hope that the information generated will result in the production of more nutritious feed for livestock and/or the ability for farmers to produce grains for human consumption.
We have been asked on many occasions by local brewers and distillers whether barley grown in Vermont could meet malting quality standards. This growing season we decided to try. We planted several varieties of winter and spring malting barley in a random block replicated trial at Borderview Farm in Alburgh VT. Take a look at the 2011 Winter Barley Variety Trial Report (pdf).
Southern Oregon Extension and Research Center- Growing Grains on a Small Farm
Click here to listen to “Vermont Grains”, an interview with Jack Lazor & Heather Darby aired on VPR’s Vermont Edition on August 18, 2009.
Click here to listen to “Farmers work to bring grains back to Vermont”, an interview with Heather Darby and Jack Lazor aired on VPR News on August 18, 2009.
Click here to listen to “Farmers learn about different crops”, VPR’s John Dillon reports from our Research Field Days on August 7, 2009.