Live Broadcast: Organic Soil Health Research Special Session at the Tri-Societies Conference

Organic Agriculture October 04, 2017 Print Friendly and PDF

eOrganic is partnering with the Organic Farming Research Foundation to bring you a live online broadcast of the Special Session on Organic Soil Health Research at the Tri-Societies (ASA, CSSA and SSSA) Annual Meeting on October 25, 2017. The session lasts 2.5 hours, and takes place on Wednesday, October 25, 2017: 9:30 AM-11:35 AM Eastern Time (830AM Central, 730AM Mountain, 630AM Pacific Time).

The session will also be recorded and archived at and on the eOrganic YouTube channel. The online broadcast is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. Because this takes place at an in-person conference, the exact program, speakers and start times may be subject to change! 

Register for the online broadcast at:

Organic Soil Health Research Special Session Program

Interest in and research results related to understanding soil health and management has been identified by researchers and farmers as the highest priority by the OFRF and other surveys conducted in the last two years. (National Organic Research Agenda, 2016) Soil erosion costs $400 billion/year globally and decreases productivity by $37.6 billion/year in the U.S. Excessive tillage and use of synthetic materials can destroy soil structure and interfere with microbial and root exudates. Nutrient retention and soil carbon improves soil organic matter and plant growth. There is a critical need to improve soil health in all agricultural systems and at a minimum maintain and decrease soil loss and increase ecosystem services provided by healthy soils. This symposium will bring together researchers, extension, farmers and other organic agriculture stakeholders to provide current information on applicable research results. Nine issues have been identified ranging from effects of cover corps, compost and rotation, insect and disease management interactions with soil biology, urban environments, to influence of soil management practices on economic returns and best ways to disseminate information to producers. Research results are applicable to organic and conventional production systems to improve sustainability and profit. This Special Session is being organized by Diana Jerkins of the OFRF, and will be presented in conjunction with co-sponsors Organic Management Systems Community and Soil Health Community, and co-project leaders, Danielle Treadwell, University of Florida and Marty Mesh, Florida Organic Growers.

930AM (Note: all times listed here are Eastern Time)
Introductory Remarks

9:35 AM
Setting and Exceeding Benchmarks for Soil Health on Diversified Organic Vegetable Farms. Abstract
John Franklin Egan, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture; Helen Kollar-McArthur, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture; Dan Dalton, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture; Kristy Borrelli, The Pennsylvania State University; Charlie White, Pennsylvania State University

9:50 AM
Comparison of Reduced Tillage Practices for Small-Scale Organic Vegetable Production. Abstract
Ryan Maher, Cornell University; Anu Rangarajan, Cornell University; Mark Hutton, University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Brian Caldwell, Cornell University; Mark L. Hutchinson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Nicholas Rowley, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

10:05 AM
Using Mycorrhizal Fungi to Improve Soil Health and Increase Yield in Organic Vegetable Farms. Abstract
Pushpa Soti, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Alexis Racelis, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

10:20 AM
Effects of Soil Balancing Treatments on Soils, Crops and Pests in Organically Managed Farms. Abstract
Andrea Leiva Soto, The Ohio State University; Steve Culman, Ohio State University; Warren A Dick, Ohio State University; Matthew Kleinhenz, The Ohio State University; Catherine Herms, The Ohio State University; Douglas Doohan, The Ohio State University

10:35 AM
Organic Agriculture's Ongoing Contribution to Soil Health and the Oeconomy. Abstract
Michelle Wander, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

10:50 AM
Optimizing Nitrogen Management on Organic and Biologically-Intensive Farms. Abstract
Douglas P. Collins, Washington State University; Andy Bary, Washington State University

11:05 AM
Soil Health and Organic: Lessons Learned. Abstract
Ben Bowell, Oregon Tilth; Jennifer Kucera, USDA-NRCS

11:20 AM
Influence of Long-Term Organic Cropping Systems on Soil Microbial Population Size and Structure. Abstract
Lea Vereecke, UW Madison; Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Josephine Peigne, ISARA-Lyon

11:35 AM

If you would like to attend the Tri-Societies Annual Meeting in person, find out more and register here.

Funding for this live broadcast is provided by USDA NIFA OREI.

System Requirements

View detailed system requirements here. Please connect to the webinar 10 minutes in advance, as the webinar program will require you to download software. To test your connection in advance, go here. You can either listen via your computer speakers or call in by phone (toll call). Java needs to be installed and working on your computer to join the webinar. If you are running Mac OSU with Safari, please test your Java at prior to joining the webinar, and if it isn't working, try Firefox or Chrome.

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.