September 2013

Organic Agriculture September 25, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

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In this issue:

Fall Organic Farming and Extension Webinars

This fall, eOrganic presents a new series of webinars entitled Excellence in Organic Extension organized by Julie Grossman, Alan Meijer and JiJy Sooksa-nguan at North Carolina State University. This 4-session webinar series will provide training to enable graduate students and others who work directly with farmers in their jobs, an opportunity to learn what works, and what doesn’t from national experts in organic agriculture extension. Register or watch recordings at the links below:

We've also launched our 4th season of webinars on organic farming based on the latest research and practitioner experience. You can register now for the following webinars, and more will be added, so check our schedule often!

Quinoa Conference Recordings Available

In August, eOrganic attended the International Quinoa Research Symposium in Pullman, Washington, which presented research in quinoa breeding and the adoption potential of this nutritious crop across the globe. Recordings of selected presentations from this conference are now available as a playlist on the eOrganic YouTube channel. Find recordings of all our past webinars and conference broadcasts at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

Recently Published eOrganic Articles

Requirements for Organic Poultry Production, by Jim Riddle, Organic Independents LLP

Synthetic Methionine and Organic Poultry Diets, by Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Organic News

An article about using radishes as cover crops by Joel Gruver, Ray R. Weil, Charles White and Yvonne Lawley which was based on an eOrganic article by the same authors, was published in the Organic Broadcaster, the bimonthly publication of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Read the article, and others from the current issue at http://www.mosesorganic.org/attachments/broadcaster/Obonline215.html#9

Jim Riddle's and Joyce Ford's Blue Fruit Farm near Winona, MN was featured on KSMQ Public Television's Garden Connections show. Watch the farm tour and learn about their approach to organic production by watching the episode on YouTube at this link

The Organic Center is working with the National Soil Project (NSP) at Northeastern University to look at humic acid content in organic farm soils, and they are seeking soil samples from organic farms. The goal of the study is to quantify the improved health of organically managed soils in comparison to conventionally managed soils and create a reference database to help organic farmers maintain and improve their soil. More information about the project can be found on the Organic Center website at http://organic-center.org/uncategorized/soil-health-in-organic-farms/

Recent National Organic Program (NOP) News

Based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, the NOP is proposing allowing three substances in organic crops and handling:

  1. Biodegradable biobased mulch film:
    • Farmers wouldn't need to remove the biodegradable mulch at the end of the growing season, reducing waste and farm worker labor costs.
    • Mulch couldn't contain genetically modified ingredients and would need to meet other requirements.
  2. Nonorganic curry leaves (Murraya koenigii)*
  3. Nonorganic Citrus hystrix leaves and fruit*

*Allows handlers to use the non-organic form of the ingredient only if organic form isn't commercially available in the appropriate form, quality or quantity to replace its use.

View Proposed Rule. Submit Public Comments. Deadline: October 21, 2013

A recently published Instruction addresses Organic Certificates, and describes what elements are necessary on an organic certificate to accurately communicate a certified operation's organic status. It also clarifies that only one operation may be listed on the organic certificate. This document clarifies the NOP's expectations of its certifiers in this area, will support increased consistency in certificates across certifiers. View NOP 2603: Organic Certificates

Subscribe to the NOP Organic Insider to stay current on NOP news and activities.

eOrganic Mission

eOrganic is a web community where organic agriculture farmers, researchers, and educators network; exchange objective, research- and experience-based information; learn together; and communicate regionally, nationally, and internationally. If you have expertise in organic agriculture and would like to develop U.S. certified organic agriculture information, join us at http://eorganic.info.

eOrganic Resources

Find all eOrganic articles, videos and webinars at http://extension.org/organic_production

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This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.