Systems Studies

Conservation tillage and cover crop systems for organic processing tomato production (Year 2)

The production of organic processing tomatoes requires large inputs of organic sources of nitrogen. Besides the addition of compost, manure, and other organic amendments, leguminous cover crops, grown during the winter, are important sources of nitrogen for a subsequent tomato crop. Present management of cover crops for tomato production generally requires significant amounts of tillage that may retard the improvement of physical and chemical properties of the soil.

Developing testing protocols to assure the quality of fertilizer materials for organic agriculture

The organic industry is on track for a six-fold increase in the next five years, having grown from $6.1 billion in sales in 2000 to $29.2 billion in sales in 2011 (4.2% of total food sales in the U.S that year). Consumer demand continues to drive steady growth of this sector, which is indicated by average growth of 8% per year since 2002.

Measuring Active Carbon to Predict Seasonal Nitrate Mineralization on Organic Farms

Increasing organic matter in soils is one way to build soil heath. Cover cropping, compost, and manure additions increase soil organic matter and improve the soil’s ability to hold and supply nutrients, water, and air to plants and animals. Soil organic matter provides a bank of nutrients, including nitrogen, that are made available to plants through a process called mineralization.

Off-season blackberry and raspberry production to expand markets and sustain farm profitability

Growing blackberries and raspberries in high tunnels increases yields.

Organic Vegetable Manual Adds to Slate of Quality Production Guides from Canadian Organic Growers

Summary

Coordinator: Kristine Swaren, Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Stakeholders: North American organic vegetable producers
Project title: Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Producers: A Practical Skills Handbook

Evaluation of day-neutral strawberries in organic systems in Washington

Summary

Investigator: Patrick Moore, Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Puyallup, WA
Project location: Puyallup, Washington

Study Helps Steer Organic Rice Producers to New & Effective Fertilizers

Summary

Project title: Evaluation of alternative nitrogen sources for California rice systems
Investigator: Bruce Linquist, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA
Project location: Sacramento Valley, California

Optimizing mulch and fertilizer use in organic blueberries

Summary

Investigator: Eric Hanson, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Project location: southwestern Michigan and north central Indiana

Nebraska NRCS Training Boosts Farmer Enrollees in EQIP Organic Initiative

Summary

Project title: Increasing the adoption of organic farming practices through NRCS training
Coordinator: Kathie Starkweather, Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, Nebraska
Project location: Nebraska and North Dakota

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