Farmer awarded grant to make rolled bales of mulch
Tony Ends of Scotch Hill Farm will receive $6,854 from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, according to a news release from the organization.
Ends hopes to adapt vegetable transplant devices into rolled bales of switch grass and small grains straw. The bales, when unrolled, will serve as mulch to reduce weeding and preserve soil moisture.
In addition, the system will reduce the use of black plastic mulch, increase soil fertility, cut labor costs and diversify farm income through the sale of bale mulch and hay sales, according to the news release.
The goal is to enhance small farm sustainability and improve the ecology of the area.
The grant was awarded as part of Farmer Rancher Grant Program, a competitive program for producers who want to find sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration and education projects.