Organic News

Research Abstracts for 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Due October 15th

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University, invite the submission of research abstracts for presentation at the 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), taking place on January 25-26, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky, immediately preceding the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference (SAWG).

OFRF Workshop at Sustainable Agriculture Conference

On July 31, Joanna Ory, a Research Associate at OFRF, ran a workshop at the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference on the education and research needs of organic farmers. The conference, hosted by University of California, Santa Cruz, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, was a dynamic convergence of educators, activists, students, farmers, and other leaders working to create a more sustainable and equitable food system. The theme this year was, “The Ecology of Food Systems: Engaging Interdisciplinary and Applied Education for a Just and Sustainable Agriculture.” Several powerful speakers and presenters led the effort to discuss issues such as the importance of learning from indigenous knowledge regarding food production and healthy diets.

A New Way to Protect Fruit from Pests and Disease

Growing organic peaches is extremely difficult in the Southeast due to high pest and disease pressures and the lack of effective, organically approved pesticides. As a result, very few growers have taken the risk and transitioned into organic peach farming.

Using Bacteria for Crop Fertilization

A major challenge for organic farmers lies in determining the right amount of nitrogen (N) to add to crops and the best time to do it. Farmers using organic nitrogen fertilizers such as manure and compost face serious limitations because these fertilizers, which often come from off the farm, are low in N content, often hauled long distances, and can contribute to soil salinization.

Support Organic Farming

 

Techniques and findings from OFRF-funded research have been widely implemented by organic farmers over the years, with information disseminated online, in sponsored publications, and at farming conferences and field days.

Researchers Help Farmers Improve Soil Health with Green Manures

OFRF has awarded a grant to Iris Vaisman and Dr. Martin Entz at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg to help increase the use of green manures (GMs), which play an essential role in organic grain-based systems on the Canadian prairies by contributing to soil health, cash crop yield, and grain quality.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Proceedings Now Available

Summaries of presentations from the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium are now available online at http://eorganic.info/node/16778. Many of the workshops and keynote presentations were recorded live and may be viewed via the eOrganic YouTube channel.

Help Support Organic Research

 

Thank you to the many individuals and organizations that support OFRF's grant-making program.

OFRF Funds Researchers Looking to Improve Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency

Although California has weathered many droughts, the current multi-year spell has been more widespread than most and includes the driest and hottest three-year stretch in 120 years of recordkeeping. Deliveries of surface water have decreased by a third in California’s Central Valley and numerous growers received less or no irrigation water in 2015.

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.

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