Organic News

Organic Sales Soared in 2016

Consumers used their wallets to show their increasing preference for organically grown food in 2016, and there’s every reason to believe this promising trend will continue. Results from the 2016 Certified Organic Survey conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), show that sales were up 23 percent from $6.2B in 2015 to $7.6B in 2016.

At the same time, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11 percent to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15 percent to 5.0M.

Call for Abstracts: 2018 Organic Farming Research Conference

OFRF, in partnership with Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey and Rutgers University, invite the submission of research abstracts for presentation at the 2018 Organic Farming Research Conference, taking place on Friday January 26, 2018 at Rutgers University immediately preceding the NOFA-NJ Annual Winter Conference. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November

OFRF Now Accepting Research Proposals

OFRF is pleased to release our Request for Proposals (RFP) for 2018 research grants. Applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States are eligible to apply. In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding. The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2017. OFRF will notify applicants about funding decisions in spring 2018.
 

Scholarships Available for Tri-Societies Meeting

OFRF is pleased to announce the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend the Organic Agriculture Soil Health Research special session at this year's meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of AmericaStudents, farmers, and researchers who would like to apply for a scholarship of up to $300 should submit a letter of interest to grants@ofrf.org by Monday, October 2, 2017.

OFRF to Address Soil Health at Tri-Societies Annual Meeting

There is a critical need to improve soil health in all agricultural systems. At this year’s meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, OFRF’s Research Program Director, Dr. Diana Jerkins will be holding a Special Session Symposium on Organic Agriculture Soil Health Research to discuss best practices for building healthy soils. OFRF also secured presenters for several soil health focused sessions throughout the conference.

New Technique Shown to Increase Marketable Yield of Organic Peaches

Organic peach production is extremely difficult in the humid conditions of the Southeast due to high pest and disease pressures, and the lack of effective, organically approved pesticides. Few growers have taken the risk and transitioned to organic peach farming. Currently, there is only one certified organic peach producer in South Carolina and none in Georgia (one grower is in the process of transition). In 2016, OFRF funded a project aimed at providing growers in the Southeast with a new tool to reduce the risk of transitioning to organic production of peaches.

OFRF Outlines Research Priorities with NIFA

With the Farm Bill debate happening across the country, much of OFRF’s policy work has been focused on Congressional outreach on critical issues facing organic farmers. However, just as important as the legislation are the implementation, regulation, and administration of key organic programs. Among those are the organic research programs administered by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Soil Health Webinar Now Available to View

OFRF, in collaboration with the CCOF Foundation, is pleased to announce the availability of a recorded webinar that focuses on information from Soil Health and Organic Farming, a series of educational guides recently published by OFRF. In the webinar, authors Joanna Ory and Mark Schonbeck review the most recent research on different practices—such as cover cropping, tillage strategies, and the use of soil amendments—to explore how organic growers can build healthy soils on their operations. This webinar provides practical guidelines for growers, as well as more in-depth analysis of research.

Mandaamin Institute Breeding Nutrient Efficient Corn Naturally

From the Great Lakes through the Great Plains, nothing dominates the American agricultural landscape like corn. Thanks to breeding and technology, American farmers are incredibly efficient at growing corn. Last season, corn yields averaged a whopping 175 bushels per acre, and American farmers grew a record 15.2 billion bushels, or 853 billion pounds of corn. 

NSAC Visits Organic Farmers & Researchers in Madison

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and over 100 member organizations descended on Madison, Wisconsin for the annual NSAC summer meeting August 6th – 9th. NSAC policy covers a wide variety of issues, from crop insurance, to plant breeding, to conservation. Organic production was front and center at the meeting. Madison, home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a hotbed of organic research and the surrounding area has hundreds of organic farms. (Pictured right: R&G Miller and Sons, Inc.)

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