Organic Soil Health Special Session Program at Tri-Societies

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The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies) collectively represent more than 12,000 individual members around the world. Last week the societies held an International Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida to discuss Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future. Overall, the goal of the meeting is for the scientific societies to build collaborating partnerships in the agronomy, crops, and soils science fields for the advancement of agricultural knowledge. OFRF, along with many organic researchers from around the world, attended the meeting to showcase how organic agriculture can play a key role in managing global resources for a secure future.

Overall, research into organic agriculture systems was well represented. There were several stand-alone sessions on organic agriculture at the meeting, including sessions on engineering and mechanical solutions in organic agriculture, organic management systems, organic nutrients, and organic soil health. There were over 40 research presentations and poster sessions on organic agriculture, including a presentation on organic research and the Farm Bill by OFRF’s Policy Associate, Michael Stein, and a special session on organic systems and soil health facilitated by Dr. Diana Jerkins, Research Director at OFRF, and presented in conjunction with co-sponsors Danielle Treadwell, University of Florida and Marty Mesh, Florida Organic Growers.

“It is encouraging that organics has a key role at the Tri-Societies science meeting.” said Marty Mesh. “I was very impressed to see the robust and diverse organic research taking place around the country.”

The special session facilitated by OFRF brought together scientists, extension agents, farmers and other organic agriculture stakeholders to provide current information on applicable research results. Researchers presented on different issues ranging from effects of cover corps, compost and rotation, insect and disease management interactions with soil biology, urban environments, to influence of soil management practices on economic returns and best ways to disseminate information to producers.

All of the organic research results discussed at the tri-societies meeting are applicable to organic and conventional production systems to improve sustainability and profit. In addition to the organic specific research, there were also several interesting session on soil health, agroforestry, cover crops, and agroecology that presented interesting information that help advance agricultural knowledge.

Recordings from the Organic Soil Health Session are available to view here.

OFRF was pleased to be a part of the Tri-Societies meeting, and looks forward to our continued interaction with the scientists of the Tri-Societies.  We hope that organic research will continue to play an expanding role within the organizations, and look forward to attending the event again next year.

OFRF would like to thank USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) program and the Soil Health Institute for their support.