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OFRF Awards Grant to Develop Integrated Pest and Pollinator Strategies for Organic Strawberries

Although strawberry production is an important industry in Florida, with 11,000 acres and a production value of over $300 million (USDA 2014), the state lags behind other regions in certified organic acreage. In an effort to support more organic production, OFRF has awarded a grant to researchers from the University of Florida to develop integrated pest and pollinator management strategies on certified organic land.

New Report Highlights Need for Organic Seed Breeding

The fresh produce from your local grocery store or farmers’ market may be certified organic, but anywhere from 25-80 percent of it might not have started out that way. A recent report from the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) reveals that the organic seed industry is far from keeping pace with the growth in demand for organic products. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), organic’s market share grew by eleven percent (or $43 billion) between 2014 and 2015.

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.

Help Support Organic Research

Thank you to the many individuals and organizations that support OFRF. Your generous donations allow us to continue funding innnovative research that helps both new and transitioning organic farmers increase their success.

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.

OFRF is Seeking a Policy Associate

OFRF is seeking a Policy Associate to coordinate legislative and regulatory campaigns that support the needs of organic farmers. This high-profile position offers great opportunity for the right candidate to interact with federal agencies' staff and political officials, and to help shape the future of food and agriculture throughout the U.S.

New Report on GE Crops Released by the National Academies of Sciences

The National Academies of Sciences has released a comprehensive report on genetically engineered (GE) crops titled Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects. This report evaluates scientific research related to the safety and possible environmental, economic, and social impacts of GE crops.

OFRF Awards Six New Research Grants

May 23, 2016 - OFRF is pleased to announce its research grant awards for 2016. Determinations were made by OFRF's Board of Directors, which is made up of organic agriculture researchers, industry leaders, and farmers. Six projects were chosen from the many highly credible and relevant research grant proposals submitted.

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