National Survey to Guide Organic Farming Research Priorities

October 14, 2015—The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is pleased to report that more than 1,000 farmers from across the US participated in their National Survey of Organic Farmers, which gave farmers and ranchers the opportunity to provide input on challenges affecting the organic community.

Preliminary results show that research on weed control (especially field bindweed and Canada thistle), building soil health and fertility, and coping with water management during drought and flooding are major priorities for US organic farmers.

Survey results will be used to update OFRF’s National Organic Research Agenda, an influential roadmap for the USDA and other research institutions, identifying the issues most critical to the success of organic farmers.

All survey respondents were entered in a drawing for an iPad and Turner Farm in Cincinnati, Ohio was the lucky winner. Turner Farm is both a working farm and a nonprofit organization.

“The land can only be farmed organically because it is in a land trust," explained Melinda O’Briant of Turner Farms. “We are very involved with monarch butterfly conservation, and the farm is a stop over for the migrating butterflies. It is important to not use pesticides for the butterflies, and also our health.”

O’Briant adds, “We want more organic research done. All farmers can benefit from organic research, including conventional farmers.”

OFRF would like to thank all of the farmers who participated in the survey and we look forward to sharing the results. We are committed to using the information from the survey to help guide policy decisions that will meet the needs of organic farmers.

Horsedrawn roller crimper at Turner Farm
Photo courtesy of Megan Gambrill

Brise Tencer, OFRF Executive Director
Diana Jerkins, OFRF Research Director
(831) 426-6606