Extension

Create Two Open-Pollinated, Sugary Enhanced Sweet Corn Varieties--Year 4

Very little sweet corn grown commercially today is open pollinated. Farmers who wish to save their own seed have few if any good choices of varieties to grow. And the hybrids of today have been developed for conditions that are different from those found on most organic farms, as they were selected to rely on fungicides and pesticides, and to effectively utilize soluble synthetic fertilizers in large quantities.

Developing testing protocols to assure the quality of fertilizer materials for organic agriculture

The organic industry is on track for a six-fold increase in the next five years, having grown from $6.1 billion in sales in 2000 to $29.2 billion in sales in 2011 (4.2% of total food sales in the U.S that year). Consumer demand continues to drive steady growth of this sector, which is indicated by average growth of 8% per year since 2002.

Snap Beans With Enhanced Nitrogen-Use Efficiency for Organic Production -Year 1

The snap bean is a vegetable in the Fabaceae family and does have the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium spp. Historically, easy access to nitrate-based soil amendments at a relatively low cost has precluded the need to develop cultivars with improved nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE). Excessive fertilizer applications containing 40 to over 100 lbs. of N / acre have resulted in leaching and the contamination of ground and surface water.

Participatory Screening of Broccoli Varieties for Organic Systems in Western North Carolina

Identifying appropriate varieties for organic production in the mountains of Western North Carolina is considered a research priority by local growers.

Grafting Vegetables for Soil-Borne Disease Resistance

Organic tomato, eggplant and watermelon production in Washington is limited by soilborne diseases such as Verticillium wilt. This project explores the efficacy and costs of grafting tomato, eggplant and watermelon in Washington and explores inexpensive and small-scale appropriate greenhouse grafting techniques.

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