February-March 2015

Organic Agriculture February 25, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Upcoming eOrganic Webinars and Conference Broadcasts

Join eOrganic each week for webinars through the beginning of April on organic farming, research and Extension. Advance registration is required. Find links to all upcoming webinars below. Note: The recordings of the webinars will be posted to these links as well.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium: Selected Live Broadcasts various February 25 and 26, 2015
Using Participatory Variety Trials to Assess Response to Environment in Organic Vegetable Crops Alexandra Lyon, University of Wisconsin March 3, 2015
Promoting Native Bee Pollinators in Organic Farming Systems David Crowder and Elias Bloom, Washington State University March 10, 2015
Non-Antibiotic Control of Fire Blight: What Works As We Head Into a New Era Ken Johnson, Oregon State University; Rachel Elkins, University of California Extension, Tim Smith, University of Washington Extension March 17, 2015
Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture Phillip Simon, USDA ARS and University of Wisconsin; Lori Hoagland, Purdue; Philip Roberts, UC Riverside; Micaela Colley, Jared Zystro and Cathleen McCluskey, Organic Seed Alliance  March 24, 2015
Innovative Approaches to Extension in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Bruna Irene Grimberg, Fabian Menalled and Mary Burrows, Montana State University April 7, 2015

New Organic Farming Research Videos: Intercropping Alyssum and Lettuce, Legume & Cereal Cover Crops, and More!

How do organic farmers control aphids and produce high quality lettuce without pesticides? With naturally occurring beneficial insects like hoverflies that eat aphids live! Farmers attract these good bugs into the field by intercropping lettuce with flowers like alyssum. This educational and entertaining video shows how this system works, and a more efficient and novel way to achieve biological control of aphids with less land area and fewer weed problems. It is based on research by Eric Brennan at the USDA Agricultural Research Service during 9 years of commercial scale organic lettuce production in the Salinas Valley, California.USDA-ARS. View this video and others about legume cereal cover crops in organic production, and organic-conventional system comparisons at https://www.youtube.com/user/EricBrennanOrganic

Transitioning to Organic: Farmer Profiles

Visit the Tools for Transition website, created by a NIFA OREI funded research project and hosted by eOrganic, which includes profiles of  Minnesota farmers who have transitioned to organic farming. The profiles feature stories from a variety of different types of farms, and discuss why the farmers decided to transition, the strategies they used, as well as some of their challenges, achievements and words of advice! The Tools for Transition website also has links to helpful resources for transitioning farmers as well as project reports, newsletters, and results from an annual survey administered to farmers who have transitioned to organic to learn about the challenges they face.

New Organic Corn Breeding Website

Learn about a new NIFA OREI project on Breeding Non-Commodity Corn for Organic Producers (hosted by eOrganic). The long term goal of this work is to increase the profitability, sustainability and safety of organic food production systems emphasizing corn. Project members plan to increase the availability of seed for non-commodity corn varieties by way of the following objectives.

1. Breeding: Develop and release new non-commodity corn varieties and improved germplasm with traits desired by organic farmers and food producers.
2. Research: Develop new knowledge and technology that facilitates breeding corn by public and private breeders (including seed savers) for organic production systems.
3. Outreach: Show organic producers and seed companies how to use the results (information and germplasm) developed by the proposed research.

As the project progresses, the website will be posting updates and additional information. Visit the site to learn about the multi-institutional project team and their work!

2015 Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region Report Released

Ceres Trust is pleased to announce release of the new report, “Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region - 2105.” The North Central Region (NCR) includes Illinois,Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, SouthDakota, and Wisconsin. The report, provides state-specific details about current and past organic research projects; certified organic research land and animals; student organic farms; sources of organic research funding; dissemination of organic research results through field days and peer-reviewed journals; organic education efforts; and other relevant information. New in 2015, the report includes descriptions of on-farm organic research conducted by land grant university faculty and graduate students. The report also includes the titles of organic research projects, peer-reviewed papers, and extension publications, dating back to 2002, whenUS National Organic Program (NOP) regulations took effect. Read the report at http://cerestrust.org/organic-research-outreach-north-central-feb-2015/

New Oregon Tilth Webinar Series: March-December 2015

Oregon Tilth and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) have teamed up to help explain several aspects of the organic industry through their 2015 webinar series. On the first Tuesday of every month, they will cover a diverse range of topics including organic labeling, product formulations, pollinator plantings in organic systems and more. Check out the schedule and sign up for the free webinars at http://tilth.org/webinars/.

Organic Research Initiative Awards Funding for Organic Agriculture Research

Since 2009, the Ceres Trust has offered the Organic Research Initiative (ORI), an annual competition that awards grants for organic agriculture research at universities and private institutions in the 12-state North Central Region (NCR). The NCR includes Illinois,Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Each year, Ceres Trust awards up to 10 three-year ORI grants, with a $60,000 maximum per year. Special emphasis is placed on soil health and organic techniques that will benefit beginning and established organic farmers. Ceres Trust is pleased to announce the funding of over $1.75 Million to 10 ORI projects, approved in November 2014. Find the list of newly funded projects here.

eOrganic Mission and Resources

 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.