January 2018

Organic Agriculture January 09, 2018 Print Friendly and PDF

eOrganic Winter-Spring Webinar Schedule

Learn about the latest organic farming research with these free learning opportunities from eOrganic. We have a great lineup of webinars coming up this year, and they are open to everyone. We've added two new ones since our last newsletter: an update on the latest research on organic spotted wing drosophila management, and a webinar on how to use various tools for farm biodiversity! Register now to reserve your spot!

Jan 30, 2018: Organic Tomato Seed Production

Jan 31, 2018: Melon Medley: Organic Production Practices, Microbial Safety and Consumer Preferences of various Melon Varieties

Feb 14, 2018: Live Broadcast of the Seed Economics Intensive from the Organic Seed Growers Conference

Feb 27, 2018 (1PM Eastern): Tools for Farm Biodiversity

Feb 27 2018: (3PM Eastern) Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila Using Organically Approved Strategies: An Update

March 20 and April 11, 2018: Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Manage Risk to Organic and Specialty Crop Producers

March 21, 2018: Organic Tomato Foliar Pathogen IPM Webinar

March 29, 2018: Abrasive Weeding: Efficiency, Multifunctionality and Profitability

New Bulletin on Roasted Barley Tea from the Multi-use Naked Barley for Organic Systems Project

eOrganic works with various organic research projects to help spread the word about their activities and findings. One of the newest of these projects is the Multi-use Naked Barley for Organic Systems project, which is breeding and experimenting with different uses for hull-less barley varieties used in food, baked goods, beer, and as an animal feed. Their website contains recipes, research updates, and most recently, a bulletin on roasted barley tea, which has been enjoyed in Asia for centuries!

Comments Sought on USDA Livestock and Poultry Rules until January 17

In April, 2016, the USDA proposed amending the organic livestock and poultry production requirements, in order to ensure consistent application of the USDA organic regulations for organic livestock and poultry operations and maintain confidence in organically labeled products. The proposed changes were based on recommendations by the National Organic Standards Board and incorporated years of public comment and suggestions by stakeholders. According to the USDA AMS website, the rule would:

  • Clarify how producers and handlers must treat livestock and poultry to ensure their health and wellbeing throughout life, including transport and slaughter.
  • Specify which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production.
  • Establish minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry.

After several extensions, the rule was set to go into effect in May, but the USDA is now proposing to withdraw the rule, and public comments are being sought on this proposal until January 17, 2018. Submit public comments here.

Organic Research Funding Opportunities

The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. The purpose of this program is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics. The OREI is particularly interested in projects that emphasize research, education and outreach that assist farmers and ranchers with whole farm planning by delivering practical research-based information. Projects should plan to deliver applied production information to producers. Fieldwork must be done on certified organic land or on land in transition to organic certification, as appropriate to project goals and objectives. Learn more and apply here

The Organic Transitions Program:The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming. Eligible applicants include land-grant, Hispanic-serving, and private and state institutions. Program priority areas shall address: documentation of the effects of organic practices; development of technologies, methods, and metrics for ecosystem services and climate adaptation and mitigation ability of organic crop, livestock, and integrated crop-livestock production systems; establishment of cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. Learn more and apply here

If you are applying for a grant and would like to partner with eOrganic, please contact us.

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.

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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.