Organic News

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.

OFRF Presents Research Results in Washington, D.C.

Diana Jerkins, Research Program Director at OFRF, presented the results of our National Organic Research Agenda at the Organic Confluences Summit on May 23rd in Washington, D.C. The conference was put on by the Organic Center and was the first of many events taking place during Organic Week.

OFRF Research Helps Farmers in Southeast Meet Year-Round Demand for Organic Broccoli

Jeanine Davis and her team of researchers at North Carolina University have submitted their final report on a four-year participatory organic broccoli project funded by OFRF.

OFRF Publishes Soil Educational Guide

OFRF is pleased to announce the publication of its new educational guide titled, Soil Microbial Interactions and Organic Farming. This resource explores the role of microorganisms, like bacteria, in creating healthy soil ecosystems that benefit organic farms. Microorganisms help create healthy soil, remove soil contaminants through bioremediation, and improve plant health by controlling weeds and plant disease.
 
In 2015, OFRF surveyed organic farmers to find out about their most pressing challenges and research needs. They rated research and information on soil health as the highest priority. The guide addresses this need and provides information for organic farmers on how to build healthy soils through incorporating the benefits of a diverse soil microbiome. 
 
Download the guide here.

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