2014 Recipient: Riddle-Edwards Farm

Gerald Riddle, Riddle-Edwards Farm

$3,000—Sweet Potato and Corn Expansion

Gerald has added 1.5 acres of Honey Select sweet corn and Hernandez and Bouregard sweet potatoes, using raised bed plastic mulching methods. The improved methods have increased his sweet potato production by 35 percent. He has also installed drip irrigation to help mitigate drought situations.

The additions to the farm help minimize nitrogen leeching from rainwater, control weed growth and maintain soil moisture. Gerald grows sweet potatoes without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides. “Raising them under plastic will be something new to our area and may provide insight for farmers on how to best use their cropland,” he said.

Yancey County

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