Research Focuses on Improving Soil Health and Resiliency

While the majority of carrots are cultivated in California, recent droughts and water use restrictions may impact the success of future crops. Even in states such as Wisconsin, where water is more abundant, crops must overcome fluctuating soil moisture regimes due to differences in soil drainage, water-holding capacity, and microclimate conditions. Organic vegetable crops can also be challenged by more slowly available soil nutrients, especially in newly organic land.

Grant Continues Support for Weed Suppression Research

OFRF has awarded Dr. Gladis Zinati, an Associate Research Scientist at the Rodale Institute, a grant for her project, Field Evaluation of Designed Compost Extracts for Organic Weed Suppression.

This is the second grant awarded to Zinati for her work with designed compost extracts (DCE). Through her laboratory research in 2013-2014,  Zinati determined how certain compost extracts vary in their ability to suppress weeds, and also in the undesirable effect of suppressing crop germination. This new OFRF grant will enable Zinati to test those results in the field.

Organic Sector Thrives in 2015

“America’s organic industry is booming, creating important opportunities for farmers and ranchers and adding to the vibrancy of rural America.” Those were the words of USDA's Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, after reviewing the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) report that showed the organic sector posted its largest-ever dollar gain in 2015, with total organic product sales growing by $4.2 billion, reaching $43.3 billion.

 

Reports