The first webinar in the Soil Health and Organic Farming Webinar Series with Mark Schonbeck and Diana Jerkins of the Organic Farming Research Foundation took place on Wednesday but you can still register for the 8 remaining webinars in the series here. The next one, on Weed Management: An Ecological Approach, takes place on June 13th. By request, we've also created a new help guide for attendees who have trouble getting connected or listening in! You can find it here. The recording of the first presentation should be up on the eOrganic YouTube channel by next Thursday.
Organic and diversified farms now have a crop insurance option through USDA’s new the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program, as well as disaster assistance options through the Farm Service Agency. Join the CCOF Foundation and California FarmLink for a webinar on June 19, 2018 to find out how WFRP and other risk management programs address the needs of organic and diversified farms. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/247841306511023362
If you are farming in Oregon, Idaho or Washington, you can still sign up for the year-long Oregon Tilth farmer-to-farmer mentorship program to support peer-led, experience-based learning for new and transitioning organic practitioners. Participants in the program are paired based on several criteria — organic expertise, farm size, production type, and location — to match complimentary learning goals and skills. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and there are still slots available for the 2018 season.Find out more about this program, which offers benefits for both mentors and mentees, and fill out your application at https://tilth.org/education/farmer-mentorship-program/
On Thursday, June 7, 2018, Utah State University Extension is hosting a pasture field day at the Lewiston pasture research facility. Come get an update on research being conducted in the areas of plant identification and selection for pastures, measuring available forage, nutrient leaching, and estimating animal intake. If you are interested in going, please pre-register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/usu-pasture-field-day-heifer-development-and-pasture-management-in-grazing-systems-tickets-45490990778?utm_term=eventname_text
The lack of adequate quantities of organic seed is recognized as a weak link in organic production and has resulted in ongoing exemptions to the National Organic Program’s (NOP) organic seed requirement. While organic seed production is a developing industry and a viable economic opportunity for organic growers, there is uncertainty and risk. In particular, seed growers may desire mentorship in enterprise budgeting, record keeping, and marketing strategy. This online toolkit aims to help the industry scale up organic seed production, increase profits for growers, and build the supply of organic seed nationally through increasing growers' knowledge by making tools and examples available for enterprise budgeting, inventory management, foundation and stock seed planning, and contracting. Find links to the tools and watch the presentations from the 2018 Seed Economics Intensive at the Organic Seed Growers Conference at http://articles.extension.org/pages/74676
The Organic Farmers Association was formed in 2016 to be a voice for organic farmers at the national level. Their membership is made up of domestic, certified organic producers as well as supporting individuals and organizations. The organization is supported by the Rodale Institute, and has recruited many experienced organic farming leaders. Farming members vote on pressing policy issues, and each farm receives one vote no matter its size, and policy positions are presented to elected officials in Washington, D.C. A recent article in the MOSES Organic Broadcaster by Jim Riddle describes the organization in more detail and you can also find out more information and learn how to join at OrganicFarmersAssociation.org.
SARE has a new podcast: Our Farms, Our Future, which brings together the sustainable agriculture community for thought-provoking conversations about the state of agriculture, how we got here, and where we're headed. With each episode they hope to share different perspectives within the sustainable agriculture community while tackling such topics as building resilient farming systems, farm profitability, and fostering community through local food systems. The latest podcast features Amy Garrett and Ron Rosmann discussing water challenges and dry farming. Find the podcast here.
A new report from retired Horticulture Manager George Kuepper covers his and the Kerr Center’s decade of experience using walk-behind tractors. The report serves as a resource for people trying to decide whether two-wheel tractors are a fit for their own operations. It also works as a basic how-to manual, offering tips on the use of several implements: rototillers, crimper/rollers, hay rakes, and three types each of plows and mowers. The report is extensively illustrated, with diagrams showing plowing patterns and suggested approaches to hitching and unhitching different implements. The report is available as a downloadable PDF for $5.00. More details and information are available at http://kerrcenter.com/publication/farming-walk-behind-tractors/
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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.