Research

Impact of Disease Suppressive Composts on Organic Vegetable Quality Composition and Yield

The goal of this research was to initiate studies on compost effects on severity of common soil borne diseases and to characterize changes plant growth due to improved nutrient availability and soil microbial activity with compost application in organic production systems. 

Project Objectives

-Analyze several animal manure-based, organic-approved compost products for suppression of important soil-borne pathogens of vegetable crops in the Northeast

-Determine applicability of a farmer-based test kit for assessment of compost maturity to predict suppressiveness

Soil Nutrient Balancing in Sustainable Vegetable Production

The purpose of this project is to determine whether an unfavorable balance among soil 

A comparison of antibiotic susceptibility patterns for Staphylococcus aureus in organic and conventional dairy herds

Mastitis is considered to be the most costly disease affecting the dairy industry with annual losses in the United States exceeding $2 billion (Philpot, 1984). Losses stem from milk discard, drug costs, veterinary care, increased labor, and premature- culling. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important pathogens causing intramammary infections in dairy cattle (Gonzalez et al.,1988) and continues to be one of the major causes of mastitis in dairy herds worldwide (Barkema et al. 1998, Gonzalez et al. 1988, Nickerson et al. 1999, Osteras et al. 1999, Sol et al.

Evaluation of Alternative Cultivators for Vegetable Production

The brush hoe cultivator (Bartchi Fobro Co., Switzerland) was evaluated for weed control cool-season vegetables in the Salinas Valley. The brush hoe was compared with conventional vegetable cultivators in seven on-farm trials. The brush hoe cultivated closer to the seed row than the conventional cultivators used by the growers. It left uncultivated strips 2 7/8 inch wide while conventional cultivators generally left uncultivated strips four inches wide. The brush hoe provided comparable or improved weed control over conventional cultivation.

A grower-managed biorational program for artichoke pests (BIORAPP) on the north central California coast

A native egg parasite, Trichogramma thalense, was mass-reared in the laboratory and released a maximum of thirteen times against the eggs of the artichoke plume moth (Platyptilia carduidactyla) in three 5-acre biointensive artichoke production fields on the northern Santa Cruz/San Mateo County coast in 1998 and again in 1999-2000.

Evaluation of kaolin-based particle film coatings on insect and disease suppression in apples

The Organic Farming Research Foundation of Santa Cruz, CA generously provided a grant of $3,479 in 1999 to initiate this study at the Southwest Research Center, Mt. Vernon, MO. The 2000 growing season was completed September 28, 2000, and I am pleased to submit this final summary of our results. A proposal for the funding of the second year's research has been submitted to OFRF. The particle film technology tested in this study appears to offer tremendous potential in safely suppressing both insects and disease in Midwestern apple production.

Organic Management of Garden Symphylans (Scutigerella immaculata) in Annual Cropping Systems

The garden symphylan is an increasingly common problem on organic farms. Symphylans have a diverse diet, feeding on decaying organic matter and on the roots of a very wide range of crops and other plants, including many weeds. Heavy symphylan populations can severely stunt, and even kill, most annual

Effectiveness of compost extracts as disease suppressants in fresh market crops in BC

One of the major challenges facing organic producers is disease management. The losses in vegetable production due to disease can be significant and in some, cases, can devastate entire crops. Cultural methods of disease  control are commonly used on organic farms. The application of organic chemicals for disease control is often a

Evaluation of summer cover crops as weed suppressive mulches

The objectives of this project were to:
 
1. Evaluate several different cover crops and cover crop mixtures for quick establishment, contribution of N for subsequent crops, minimal immobilization of N after cover crop kill, susceptibility to being mechanically killed by mechanical methods, and weed control potential at three North Carolina
 

Controlling weeds in organic crops through the use of flame weeders

Several recent developments have resulted in the need for a new examination of flaming as a nonchemical method of weed control. First, there has been an increase in the number of soybean producers growing organic soybeans for the edible soybean market. These producers need a method of weed control that does not rely on chemicals. Second, new technologies in burner design and the use of water shields have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of flame weeders in destroying weeds while at the same time decreasing the harmful effects of heat on the crop plant.

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