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Modifier eXtension Articles,News,Faqs,Events- organic production (anglais)

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Mis à jour : il y a 1 heure 28 min

Identifying Birds on the Farm

mar, 2018/10/16 - 18:50

Join eOrganic for a webinar on identifying birds on the farm, by Olivia Smith of Washington State University! Like all eOrganic webinars, this one is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. It takes place on January 15 at 2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain and 11AM Pacific Time. 

Register now at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BRNN_4RxT7eIRr4nuzA4_Q

About the Webinar

Wild birds are common inhabitants on every organic farm, but identification can be tricky. Participants will learn how to identify common farmland birds, their primary diets, and what their habitat requirements are. Learning to identify and attract beneficial insectivores and identify and discourage pests can help to maximize the benefits of wild birds while minimizing risks. The webinar will conclude by providing additional resources for wild bird identification and management for participants interested in continued education. North America holds over 400 breeding bird species, so the webinar will only cover the most common found in agricultural settings.

About the Presenter

Olivia Smith is a PhD candidate at Washington State University. Her research is focused on the role of wild birds in organic agriculture, with an emphasis on how farm management and the habitat around a farm shape the functional role of the bird community.

Funding for this webinar was provided by the NIFA OREI grant Avian Biodiversity: Impacts, Risks And Descriptive Survey.

 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 28044

Organic Dairy Production Systems

jeu, 2018/10/11 - 16:00

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic T880

Herd Health on Organic Dairy Farms

jeu, 2018/10/11 - 16:00

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic T906

Molasses as the Primary Energy Source for Grazing Dairy Cows

jeu, 2018/10/11 - 15:43

 Please join eOrganic for a webinar on Molasses as the Primary Energy Source for Grazing Dairy Cows, which will take place on December 11, 2019 at 11AM Pacific Time, 12PM Mountain, 1PM Central, and 2PM Eastern Time. The webinar is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. 

Register now at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KHJJ75h3RzifWYceaynfKQ

About the Webinar

Grassfed dairy farms often seek alternative energy sources to maintain or improve cow health and productivity, and farm profitability. Molasses is one of the few energy sources allowed under grassfed labels; however, few recommendations were available for farmers. This webinar will present a summary of research from the USDA-ARS, USDA-NRCS, and the University of New Hampshire that evaluated the use of molasses in grassfed dairy systems that was conducted as a result of farmer questions regarding molasses supplementation.

About the Presenter

Dr. Kathy Soder is an animal scientist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit in University Park, Pennsylvania. There, she conducts a variety of research projects to evaluate the effects of diverse pasture systems on grazing behavior of ruminants, and how farmers can use these systems to optimize forage and animal productivity.

System Requirements

This webinar will be conducted using Zoom. You can watch and listen in via your computer or call in by phone (pay call). Zoom works well on most computers, tablets and smartphones, but if you would like more details, please see https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=system+requirements

 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 27739

Organic Farming and Soil Health in the Western U.S. Webinar Series

mar, 2018/10/09 - 17:59

Please join the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic for a series of eight free webinar trainings on organic farming and soil health in the Western U.S. The webinar trainings will target agricultural professionals including Extension personnel, other agency personnel, and agricultural consultants in an effort to increase expertise in organic practices that promote soil health. This series is a perfect complement to the farmer guides OFRF has produced on organic soil health practices, as the webinars will highlight soil health research and practices specific to the Western Region. The goal of the trainings is to address the need for region-specific resources and knowledgeable Extension services related to organic soil health, biology, nutrient cycling, and more!  All webinars take place at 11AM Pacific Time (12PM Mountain, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern).

Register now for the entire series at this one link You can attend all or as many of the webinars in the series as you wish with just one registration. https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3WpTgnIeRm6hVuloGk2vGg

Dr. Mark Schonbeck of the Organic Farming Research Foundation will be joined by experts in the Western Region to review the most recent soil health research and practices relevant to the Western Region. The webinars will provide an overview of the topic, best practices for the Western Region, in-depth analysis of the latest research, and an extensive question and answer session after each presentation.

October 24, 2018: Ecological Nutrient Management for Organic Production in the Western Region.

Co-presenter: TBD
This webinar will explore the role of the soil food web in nutrient cycling and provisioning, and practical strategies for optimizing the availability of limiting nutrients, such as nitrogen, for soil health, organic crop production, and water quality. We will summarize recent research on nitrogen management for organic vegetable and strawberry production in maritime, Mediterranean, and semiarid climates.

November 21, 2018: Ecological Weed Management for the Western Region

Co-presenter: TBD
In this webinar we will focus on integrated organic weed management strategies that help desired vegetation outcompete weeds, build soil health, and reduce the need for soil disturbance. In addition, we will summarize outcomes of recent research into organic management of field bindweed and other major weeds of Western Region cropland and rangeland.

January 23, 2019: Practical Conservation Tillage for Western Region Organic Cropping Systems

Co-presenter: TBD
This webinar will discuss practical approaches to reducing the adverse impacts of tillage and cultivation on soil life and soil health. We will also cover recent research into newer tillage tools and minimum-till strategies for Western Region organic vegetable, fruit, and field crop production.

February 27, 2019: Selecting and Managing Cover Crops for Organic Crop Rotations in the Western Region

Co-presenter: TBD
This webinar will discuss best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for optimum soil health and organic cash crop production in the Western Region. We will explore in greater depth the special challenges that farmers face in adding cover crops to dryland cereal grain rotations and other moisture-limited cropping systems.

March 27, 2019: Breeding New Cultivars for Soil-enhancing Organic Cropping Systems in the Western Region.

Co-presenter: TBD
This webinar will summarize plant breeding endeavors toward improved vegetable, specialty grain, and other crop cultivars for organic producers in the Western Region, and practical resources to help organic producers obtain the best available seed varieties for their needs. We will also explore emerging opportunities to develop new cultivars for nutrient and moisture use efficiency, competitiveness toward weeds, and enhanced interactions with beneficial soil biota.

April 17, 2019: Preparing for Drought: The Role of Soil Health in Water Management in Organic Production

Co-presenter: TBD
With climate change exacerbating water scarcity issues throughout the Western U.S., organic producers urgently need practical information on best irrigation and soil moisture management. This webinar will explore the role of best organic soil health management in water conservation and water quality, with emphasis on practical research outcomes for the Western Region.

May 29, 2019: Meeting Weather Challenges in the Western U.S.: Organic Practices to Mitigate and Prepare for Climate Change

Co-presenter: TBD
This webinar will explore the capacity of sustainable organic systems to sequester soil carbon, minimize agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, and help organic cropping and livestock operations withstand the impacts of climate disruptions already underway. Our presentation will include a summary of recent research findings and practical implications for the Western Region.

June 12, 2019: Soil Biology for the Western Region: Organic Practices to Recruit and Nurture Beneficial Biota in the Soil

Co-presenter: TBD
This webinar will examine the roles of the soil food web and key components thereof in promoting soil health and fertility and sustainable organic crop production. Recent research conducted in organically managed soils in the Western Region will provide the basis for practical guidelines for best soil food web management in organic farming and ranching systems.

Funding for this webinar series is being provided by Western SARE. 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 27448

Performance of Organic Treatments in Long-Term Systems Trials: Organic Benefits and Challenges In the Face of Climate Change Webinar

mar, 2018/10/09 - 16:42

 

About the Webinar

Long term systems trials provide a wealth of data on the impacts of production management on crop performance and the agroecosystem. In this webinar, Dr. Erin Silva will discuss 20+ years of data from the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial, focusing on yield, economic, and soil quality data from the organic treatments. Impacts of recent flooding and drought events on organic performance will be included, as well as lessons from the data as it relates to refining the organic production system for long-term sustainability.

Handout of the slides for this webinar

Footnotes

Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial Project Website

Carbon sequestration data from the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute

About the Presenter

Dr. Silva is the Organic Production Scientist and the Associate Director of the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research and outreach program focuses on no-till organic production, cost-of-production determination for diversified vegetable growers, and variety selection for organic growers.

Find all upcoming and archived eOrganic webinars at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 8660

Options for Including Cover Crops in High Tunnel Rotations in the Northern United States

sam, 2018/10/06 - 13:00

eOrganic authors:

Elizabeth Perkus, University of Minnesota

Anne Pfeiffer, University of Minnesota

Charlotte Thurston, University of Minnesota

Fucui Li, University of Minnesota

Julie Grossman, University of Minnesota

Introduction

High tunnels are a popular tool used to extend the growing season, particularly for organic vegetable, flower, and fruit growers (Pool and Stone, 2014, 2015). Their popularity is no surprise given increased yield and quality for many kinds of produce, in addition to a price premium for fresh, local products outside of the typical growing season. Construction expenses for high tunnels can be prohibitive for some growers, but beginning in 2009, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) has funded a cost-share initiative for high-tunnel construction through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) that has resulted in over 10,000 new high tunnels since the start of the program (USDA-NRCS, 2018).

A growing number of farmers have begun to notice certain production problems unique to high tunnels; namely, an increase in some soilborne diseases, foliar diseases associated with greenhouse production, and an overall decrease in soil health (Fig. 1). The combination of these issues can decrease plant productivity over time. The soil health issues in particular include a loss of organic matter (which leads to degraded soil structure) and an increase in soil salinity from irrigation under dry conditions (eXtension Foundation, 2013; Magdoff and VanEs, 2009). Another challenging aspect is the increased growth rate of weeds due to increased heat in high tunnels (Blomgren et al., 2007). Intensive cropping cycles also require frequent fertilizer inputs, which for organic growers consist of compost, manures, or other animal byproducts. These organic inputs often provide phosphorus that exceeds plant nutritional needs (eXtension Foundation, 2016).

Many of these problems could be addressed by including cover crops in high-tunnel crop rotations. Cover crops are known to increase organic matter, disrupt disease cycles, and, in the case of legumes, add nitrogen through symbiosis with rhizobia bacteria without increasing salinity or phosphorus to the same degree as manure, compost, or fertilizers (Treadwell, 2009; Zieminski, 2018; Monfort et al., 2007; Zhou and Everts, 2007). Research exploring cover crops in high-tunnel crop rotations is relatively new, but initial findings are encouraging. The primary challenge for farmers who want to grow cover crops in their high tunnels is how to balance the time required to grow a cash crop and a cover crop. In this article, we will discuss management basics, benefits and challenges, and seasonal options for including cover crops in high-tunnel rotations in the northern United States, drawing on the combined farming and research experience of the authors in the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest.

Figure 1. High-tunnel soil showing poor soil quality with compaction and surface cracking. Photo credit: Elizabeth Perkus, University of Minnesota.

General Management Considerations

The basic operations of growing a cover crop in the high tunnel are similar to growing a cover crop in the open field: planting, growth, and termination—though some specifics are slightly different. Growers can plant larger areas by broadcasting and raking seeds in to ensure good seed-soil contact, or between rows using a walk-behind direct seeder for more uniform stands (Fig. 2). Following planting, irrigation must be supplied, as the plastic cover on the high tunnel excludes rain. Irrigating cover crops is best done with an overhead source because drip tape needs to be removed before termination. However, if high temperatures make overhead irrigation impractical or the tunnel is constructed with water-sensitive materials, such as untreated wood, the task of removing drip irrigation before termination may be worthwhile. 

Figure 2. Walk-behind six-row direct seeder. Photo credit: Emily Swanson, University of Minnesota.

Termination is a more intensive task and can be difficult in a high tunnel, especially with high biomass cover crops which may be very large by the termination date (Fig. 3). As with any cover crop, it is important to monitor each species and terminate all the cover crops before the initiation of seed set. This will provide the greatest nitrogen contribution, as nitrogen will still be stored in vegetative tissue instead of sequestered in seeds. This will also prevent cover crops from self-seeding and becoming weeds in the tunnel later. The most common method for cover crop termination in high tunnels is mowing, then tilling to incorporate biomass after a few days of drying the plant material on the soil surface. The drying period after mowing makes the cover crops easier to till into the soil. If field-scale mowing and tillage equipment is too large for the high tunnel, it is important to find a balance of machinery that will both fit into the tunnel and completely terminate the cover crops. Walk-behind flail mowers and small riding mowers work well, but smaller equipment, like a regular push lawn mower, will only work on low-biomass cover crops. Another option is to use a weed whacker to terminate taller-growing cover crops, then use the cut biomass as a surface mulch or chop the material more finely with a push lawn mower prior to incorporation. Many cover crops require tillage for complete termination, especially if they are mowed before flowering.

 



Figure 3. Overwintered cover crops in high tunnel. Photo credit: Elizabeth Perkus, University of Minnesota.

Once the cover crops have been fully incorporated, it is best to wait about 5–14 days to plant the following cash crop. During this time the fresh biomass in the soil will begin to break down, increasing soil moisture and the community of decomposers. In the first days of decomposition, nutrients may be less available for crops. Also in this environment, newly planted seedlings or germinating seeds can be subject to rot or predation (Dufour et al., 2013).

Summary: Cover Crops in High Tunnels

Benefits

Challenges

●     Increase diversity in crop rotation

●     Improve soil tilth

●     Fix nitrogen (legumes)

●     Increase soil organic matter

●     Impact soil salinity minimally

●     Shade out weeds

●     Disrupt some soilborne pests/diseases

 

●     Timing to ensure full cash crop seasons

●     Termination if field equipment does not fit in tunnel

●     Supplying soil moisture in winter if irrigation lines shut off to avoid frozen plumbing (not an issue in all zones)

●     Increased habitat for rodents, birds, and possibly insect pests

Seasonal Windows Fall-planted Winter-Kill

Fall-planted cover crops that are intended to winter-kill may be a great option after an early or main-season summer crop. These winter-kill species are chosen to put on a quick flush of biomass in the fall and then die back in late fall or winter with the arrival of freezing temperatures. In climates without prolonged freezing temperatures, a winter-kill rotation may not be possible. Winter-killed cover crops require no mowing equipment after establishment, so they work well for growers who operate with less mechanization. They are also ideal to precede an early spring crop since the winter-killed residue will provide some amount of soil cover but not require active spring termination, leaving the soil ready for early spring planting. Growers who choose to incorporate remaining residue in the spring will need to use some tillage, which could be manual or mechanized. To maximize the soil health and early-spring planting benefits of a winter-killed cover crop, it is important to choose a species with low spring residue that will not require extensive tillage nor tie up nutrients in decomposing plant material (Dupont et al., 2018).

Winter-killed cover crops can provide several benefits including fall weed control, organic matter contributions, and soil compaction mitigation (Johnson, 2016). Species selection for winter-kill cover crops is region-specific, since timing and severity of cold temperatures will vary widely by growing zone. The high tunnel buffers cold temperatures, allowing some species to survive in the tunnel where they would not survive open field conditions. In these situations, winter-kill could be achieved by opening sidewalls to lower temperature, and minimizing irrigation inputs to force senescence. Depending on timing, drought may induce cover crops to set seed quickly, so this technique should only be used before flowering.

Species selection for winter-kill cover crops will depend first on grower goals, which are typically organic matter input, weed control, pest control, or nitrogen fixation. Tillage radish (Raphanus sativus) is an excellent winter-kill cover crop choice based on its ability to reduce soil compaction, scavenge fall soil nutrients, and leave very little spring residue. However, tillage radish has been observed to survive winters in high tunnels in zones 4b and warmer, so growers in many regions will need to monitor this species closely. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is also a quick-growing, frost-sensitive crop that is effective at weed control and improving soil aggregation. Oats (Avena sativaa) are a common winter-kill grass species in cold climates, and when paired with a frost-sensitive legume like cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), they can form a mix that provides nitrogen fixation, organic matter, and weed control. 

Fall-planted Overwintered

Overwintered cover crops fit well into rotations with a winter fallow period. They are seeded in the fall, survive the winter, grow rapidly in the spring, and are terminated and incorporated in spring just before the cash crop is planted. Ideally, the cover crop should be flowering at termination. Overwintered cover crops fit best prior to a warm-season cash crop planted in the mid to late spring, such as tomatoes or peppers. Overwintered cover crops can improve soil quality and cash-crop productivity, and can increase soil microbial activity (Rudisill et al., 2015). A study in Arkansas found that high-tunnel tomato yield increased in plots following an overwintering legume cover crop compared to control plots with no cover crop (Freeman, 2016).

Timing of fall sowing and species selection for overwintered cover crops depends on the summer use of the tunnel. If tunnels are used to extend the summer growing season, growers may wish to plant cover crops fairly late in the fall. The increased daytime temperature and buffered nighttime lows in a tunnel allow later planting of fall cover crops than would be feasible in the open field. However, in cold climates, it is ideal to plant the cover crops as early as possible in the fall so they are able to establish some robust growth before temperatures become limiting. One way to have both season extension and longer cover crop growth is to interseed an overwintering cover crop into the existing summer crop (Fig. 4). The summer crop can be removed when its production is finished and the cover crop can continue to grow throughout the winter. 



Figure 4. Vetch/rye/radish mix seeded between yellow bell peppers. Photo credit: Elizabeth Perkus, University of Minnesota.

Overwintering cover crops in cold climates require special attention to moisture and temperature management. Maintaining adequate soil moisture can be a challenge during winter in high tunnels since most tunnels are not equipped with a non-freezing water source for winter irrigation. For this reason, regions with cold, dry winter weather may see rapid desiccation of unfrozen soil. To address this, cover crops should be thoroughly watered right before the water supply is shut off for winter. At this point the sides of the tunnel should be rolled down and secured, and the doors closed. These steps can help prevent water loss from evaporation and wind, though this may not be necessary in regions with warmer, more humid winters.

Dramatic winter temperature fluctuations in the tunnel create a unique temperature environment for plants. Sunny days can raise the temperature in the tunnel much higher than outside temperatures. However, due to the minimal insulation of high tunnel plastic, nighttime lows in the tunnel will be similar to outside. Unlike plants in the open field in northern regions, high tunnel cover crops do not have an insulating blanket of snow. Using row cover within the high tunnel is a management technique to combat both moisture loss and temperature extremes (Fig. 5). This insulating layer holds heat in the soil, helps retain soil moisture, and mitigates air temperature fluctuations.



Figure 5. Row cover supported by low tunnel hoops over cover crops in the high tunnel. Photo credit, Charlotte Thurston, University of Minnesota.

Since overwintering cover crops in the high tunnel will experience low temperatures similar to crops in the open field, varieties should be selected for winter hardiness. Legumes such as hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) and red clover (Trifolium pratens) and grasses like winter rye (Secale cereale) are suitable for overwintering in high tunnels across the United States. Subterranean (Trifolium subterraneum) and Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) will more reliably overwinter in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 and above (Young-Mathews, 2013.). In the spring, overwintering cover crops will grow quickly in response to higher temperatures and increasing light. If row cover is used, it can be removed as soon as night temperatures are reliably above freezing. Due to this accelerated spring growth, cover crops may be ready to terminate by March–April, depending on the region. Some cover crop species may harbor cash-crop pathogens, such as the Erysiphe genus of powdery mildew that can infect both clovers and cucurbits, so growers should consider this when choosing cover crop species (Mahr, 2016).

Spring-planted

Spring-planted cover crops could fit well into a high-tunnel rotation for growers who have a late fall crop and plan to start their summer crops in late spring. Cold-tolerant species, such as hairy vetch, red clover, field pea (Pisum sativum), winter rye, and oats, can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked and will withstand early spring frost without supplemental heat. A spring cover crop will not grow to full size or maturity before termination time. This younger plant material has more nitrogen and less carbon, so it will break down quickly in the soil. The cover crop will be approximately 1/3—1/2 the size of overwintered cover crops, but can still provide soil health benefits . Legumes can supply some nitrogen, and grasses or broadleaf species can shade out weeds. A study in Minnesota found that spring-planted red clover provided 23.7—30.8 kg N/ha, and a hairy vetch/rye mix was able to reduce weeds (Perkus, 2018). A study in Japan found that spring-planted legume and non-legume cover crops increased soil carbon, an important factor in overall soil health, without reducing tomato yield (Hajime et al., 2009). The major challenge is the reduction in early-spring cash-crop growing time, a loss which may not be feasible for growers who rely on early-spring salad greens or other early-season crops. However, spring-planted cover crops could be a good fit for growers who have one or more unheated tunnels that are not in production in the first few weeks or months of spring.

Summer-planted

Summer-planted cover crops can be a helpful tool in high tunnels where cash crops are not grown during the summer season because the tunnel environment may be too hot for other crops to grow well, or where a summer cash crop cannot earn a price premium at market. Summer covers may fit well after an overwintered or early-spring crop and before a fall-planted crop. Summer cover crops can be helpful in controlling weed growth during a summer fallow period, breaking up soil crusts, and adding organic matter to the soil.

Species used for summer cover crops, especially those planted in early summer, will need to be fast growing and heat tolerant. Buckwheat is a natural choice for a quick-summer cover crop. It puts on biomass quickly, effectively suppressing weeds and supporting soil aggregation (Bjorkman, 2018a). Buckwheat is relatively easy to manage and can be terminated inside a tunnel with minimal mechanized equipment, but needs to be carefully monitored for flowering and seed set so as not to become a weed. For nitrogen fertility, a warm-season legume such as cowpea or sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) are good options. Both do well in hot weather and can accumulate noteworthy levels of N and biomass in just 45 days. Sunn hemp may have the added advantage of interrupting the life cycles of some soilborne pathogens and nematodes (Penn State Extension, 2018). If tunnels have the large doors or removable endwalls needed to accommodate larger equipment for termination of high-biomass cover crops, grasses such as sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moenchr), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), or Japanese millet (Echinochloa esculenta) may be good options for biomass accumulation and the addition of large amounts of organic matter to soil. If planting is delayed until mid or late summer, growers may also choose cooler-season legumes or brassicas to seed in the tunnel, similar to planning for overwintering cover crops (Bjorkman, 2018b). Aside from choosing cover crop species that can be reasonably managed with the available equipment, the biggest challenge with summer cover crops is fitting them into available windows between cash crops.

Intercropping/Living mulch 

Another method for integrating cover crops into high tunnels throughout the season is to plant between cash crops spatially, rather than rotating the crops over time. The strategy of growing two crops simultaneously is called intercropping, and the cover crop is often referred to as a living mulch. Low-growing cover crops can be planted in pathways between the beds. These pathway crops can help reduce compaction, increase soil organic matter, and reduce muddiness in wet areas or when overhead irrigation is used. Pathway crops also reduce the need for weed management between crop beds (Magdoff and VanEs, 2009). After a season of growth, the beds and the pathways can be flipped, tilling in the cover crops and making that area the new beds for cash crops, while planting the previous beds to cover crops to become the pathways for the next season.

Low-growing perennial clovers and low-maintenance grasses are best for pathway crops. These species will not shade larger cash crops such as tomatoes and peppers, are shade-tolerant, and are resilient to frequent traffic. Some grass species also have the advantage of quick establishment in the spring (Curran et al., 2006). However, they may need to be mowed to prevent seed set. Though pathway crops provide benefits, there are a few potential challenges. The additional ground cover in the tunnel during cash-crop growth can encourage fungal diseases by retaining moisture, especially on heavy clay soils. The added vegetation also may create habitat for pests, leading to possible cash-crop damage. Additionally, even if maintained by mowing or frequent traffic, pathway crops may spread into cash-crop beds, becoming a weed issue.



Figure 6. Red clover seeded in a pathway. Photo credit: Elizabeth Perkus, University of Minnesota.

Suitable Cover Crop Varieties for High Tunnels   Legumes Grasses Brassicas Other Winter kill Cowpea(Vigna unguiculata) Oats (Avena sativa) Tillage radish (Raphanus sativus)   Japanese Millet (Echinocholoa esculenta) Overwintering Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) Winter rye (Secale cereale) Most Brassica cover crops are not reliably winter hardy in northern regions.   Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) Field pea (Pisum sativum)   Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum)   Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum)   Summer Planted Cowpea Sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) Tillage radish Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) Sorghum-sudangrass (Sorghum × drummondii) Spring Planted Hairy vetch Winter rye Tillage Radish   Clovers (Red, White, Sweet, Crimson, Berseem) Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum) Oats Intercrops/ Pathway Crops Clovers (Red, White, Sweet, Berseem, Crimson) Fescues (Festuca spp.)     Perennial ryegrass (Lolium spp.) Winter rye/ Cereal rye Summary

High-tunnel use is increasing in the United States and throughout the world to extend the growing season and improve produce yield and quality. Due to intensive production, the risk of declining soil health is a growing concern in high tunnels. Adding cover crops to high-tunnel rotations can improve soil quality and, in the case of legumes, decrease the need for nitrogen fertilizer inputs. Cover crops are a useful management strategy for sustainable production in high tunnels, but it is difficult to commit time in the growing season to cover crops at the expense of cash crops. There are many different options for including cover crops in high-tunnel crop rotations in different seasonal windows and as pathways between beds. Growers can choose any of the options that fit into their crop plan either yearly or in a several-year rotation. Management of cover crops is slightly different from the open field, and changes depending on region and seasonal timing, but can be a valuable part of a tunnel production system after some experimentation.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program under award number 69-3A75-14-249, and USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program under award number 2014-38640-22156.

References and Citations

 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 25214

Researcher and Farmer Innovation to Increase Nitrogen Cycling on Organic Farms Webinar

ven, 2018/09/28 - 15:27

About the Webinar

The webinar will cover the design and results of an OREI project to assess the variation in how farmers manage nitrogen differently in organic processing tomato production in California, and to learn how their management affects N cycling, soil organic matter, microbial communities, plant root genes for nitrogen assimilation, and yield. We will put these results in the context of nitrogen cycling and availability in organic systems in general and some strategies to increase nitrogen cycling and yields without minimal nitrogen losses. The intended audience is researchers, extension workers and farmers.

Louise Jackson is Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at University of California Davis. She has a long-term interest in participatory research to understand soil and root ecology. Tim Bowles is a PhD candidate in the same department, and has developed expertise in a diverse set of methods of assessing the heterogeneity amongst farms in plant-soil interactions.

Louise Jackson and Tim Bowles, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources University of California Davis
http://ucanr.edu/sites/Jackson_Lab/
 

Find all upcoming and archived eOrganic webinars at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

 

 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 8677

Organic Vegetable Production Systems, Marketing and Food Systems in Organic Production

ven, 2018/09/28 - 15:20

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic T879,874

Marketing and Food Systems in Organic Production

ven, 2018/09/28 - 15:20

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic T874

Food Hub Feasibility in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley: Interviews with Conventional and Organic Small and Mid-Sized Farmers

ven, 2018/09/28 - 14:59

eOrganic authors:

Eliza Smith, Oregon State University

Javier Fernandez-Salvador, Oregon State University

Introduction

A food hub is a centralized location, either brick and mortar or online-based, that connects farmers and food buyers. Food hubs are becoming an increasingly common model for producers to sell their products in local markets (Colasanti et al., 2018). Food hubs may be a website where farmers post their products for sale, or a physical location that provides services to growers such as aggregation and distribution management, a commercial kitchen, or a USDA meat-processing facility (Colasanti et al., 2018). Food hubs may also be a vehicle to educate the community on the value of buying products from local producers (Cantrell and Heuer, 2014). Food hubs can be especially beneficial to small growers because they provide infrastructure and services that those growers may not have the means to provide on their farms (Conner et al., 2017). In fact, the 2017 Food Hub Survey showed that over 90% of food hubs had “increasing small and mid-sized producers’ access to markets” included in their mission (Colasanti et al., 2018). A previous study showed that food hubs are most successful in metropolitan areas because of their accessibility to growers, wholesale buyers, and retail consumers (Fischer et al., 2013). For example, in Portland, Oregon the nonprofit Ecotrust organizes both an online and physical location food hub. The physical food hub is The Redd on Salmon Street and the online food hub is located at food-hub.org.

Introduction to the Food Hub Feasibility Survey

Salem is the capital of Oregon with a population of 168,000. It is the second-largest city in Oregon, behind Portland. In 2016, the City of Salem proposed a food hub as one option to revitalize a low-income area that was slated for improvement with urban renewal dollars. The city collaborated with ECONorthwest consultants and the local OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program to develop, conduct, analyze, and present the results of a survey of small and mid-sized farmers (both organic and conventional) in the Salem area to assess their interest in a potential food hub. 

The survey consisted of two sections with both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The first section included general questions about the farming operation (location, acreage, what products they sell, when the products are available for sale, and where they currently sell their products). The second section was designed to assess the farmers' interest in a food hub in Salem, and included questions about farmers' interest in increasing local sales, whether they thought a food hub was needed in the Mid-Willamette Valley, and their top farming challenges. The second section also asked what services a food hub could provide that would benefit them, as well as whether they would be interested in participating in a food hub, where they would ideally like it to be located, and barriers they see to their participation in a food hub. Since this survey was only an initial inquiry to see whether the farmers were interested in a food hub, more specific questions like what farmers would pay for services provided by the food hub were not included.

A total of 19 small and mid-sized farmers (10.5% of the estimated total in the region) were interviewed for the survey, from September 2016 to March 2017; 18 on-site at their farms and one over the phone. While the survey was being developed, a database of small farmers in Oregon's Mid-Willamette Valley was compiled from internet searches, extension contact lists, and county tax assessor data. Survey participants were contacted from this database. As in most research that includes interviews or surveys, the data was limited to responses from farmers that chose to participate. Many of the farmers who responded to the request for an interview had been previously involved with the OSU Extension Service (participated in research, answered surveys, hosted workshops, etc.). A breakdown of what crops/products the survey participants grew or produced is shown in Table 1. 

Table 1. Number and percentage of participants that farm and sell various products 

Sales outlet On-farm Farmers' Market CSA Restaurant Grocery (retail) Institutions Wholesale Online  Other Number of participants that sell via that outlet 7 5 7 6 4 0 8 0 2

Seven of the farmers interviewed were certified organic and the remaining 12 were not. The non-organic farmers were a mix of six conventional farms and six farms that were practicing alternative agriculture (no-spray, ecological, etc.) but were not certified organic. 

The same interviewer conducted the interviews with producers for consistency of data collection. Data were analyzed in one and two-way tables by breaking the participants into sub-groups based on farm location, years of farming experience, farmed acreage, products farmed and sold, and organic certification status.

Key Findings from the Survey
  • Three-quarters of the farmer participants had heard the term food hub before the survey. It was important to ensure that all of the survey participants had a common understanding of a food hub, as that would affect their responses.
  • Participants sold their products through a variety of outlets, ranging from farmers' markets to wholesale (Table 2).

    Table 2. Sales outlets that participants use to sell their products

Service the food hub could provide Responded that it would be helpful Community Education 84% Value added processing  74% Aggregation 68% Direct Sales 68%

  • All but one of the farmers interviewed for the survey were interested in participating in a food hub in Salem, Oregon. The producer that was not interested in participating had a variety of long term wholesale buyers and was not looking to expand farm sales.
  • Community education was the most common option chosen by all participants interested in a food hub when asked what services they would like a food hub to provide (Table 3). Value-added processing, direct sales, distribution, and aggregation were of secondary interest to participants (Table 3).

Table 3. Services that farmers said would be helpful as part of a food hub, ranked from highest to lowest percentage of respondents. 

Service the food hub could provide Responded that it would be helpful Community Education 84% Value added processing  74% Aggregation 68% Direct Sales 68% Distribution 63% Transportation 58% Cold Storage  58% Marketing Support 58% Local label 53% GAP/food safety cert. assistance 47% USDA meat processing facility 42% Organic certification assistant 37% Freezer storage  26% Light processing 26% Dry product handling 21%

  • All of the certified organic farmers grew mixed vegetables, which shaped many of their responses from product availability to services they want the food hub to provide. Only 58% of the non-organic farmers grew mixed vegetables.
  • All of the meat producers surveyed said processing is their primary farming challenge because of the limited number of USDA meat-processing facilities in the region that will work with small producers. All seven meat producers surveyed said a USDA meat-processing facility was their top priority for a service the food hub could provide. Two of the seven meat producers surveyed were certified organic. For their meats to be sold as organic after processing, the facility would have to be certified organic in addition to being USDA-certified.  
Farmer Concerns about a Food Hub
  • Three main concerns that emerged from the interviews with both organic and non-organic farmers about participating in the food hub were: 1) they would need to set their prices too low, 2) lack of consumer demand for their products in the geographical area around the food hub, and 3) too much competition from larger farms who would also participate in a food hub.
  • Both organic and non-organic farmers were concerned that end-consumers and/or buyers would not go to the food hub to buy their products. Considering that, they requested that the food hub provide community education about the value of buying local agricultural products.
  • The participant with one of the largest farms in the survey (100+ acres) that has robust transportation and wholesale distribution systems for their organic produce, expressed concern that the transportation limitations of smaller farmers due to fewer vehicles and employees (regardless of certification status) would limit large-volume accounts at the food hub.
  • Large-volume buyers (wholesale) commonly have an interest in purchasing goods at rates lower than direct-to-consumer prices. This decrease in profit margin would not prove sustainable or enticing for small and mid-sized farm operations, causing many of the survey participants to doubt or question the implementation of a similar business model, as reported in the ECONorthwest writeup of the survey results for the City of Salem (ECONorthwest, 2017).
Comparing Organic and Non-organic Survey Participants

It is important to compare the responses from these two groups of participants because organic and non-organic products command different prices, which we expected may affect the farmers' responses.

  • On average, the organic growers had been farming more years than the non-organic farmers surveyed.
  • A much higher percentage of organic farmers did not think a food hub was necessary in the Mid-Willamette Valley (29%) as compared to non-organic farmers (8%). Many of the organic farmers said that they would gladly participate in a food hub, but were worried that there wouldn't be enough people or companies in Salem to buy their products. A lot of the organic farmers take their products to Portland, the largest metropolitan area in the state, to sell them where the demand for organic foods is more mainstream and verified by existing organic sales in the city. Producers surveyed were concerned that it would be more difficult to sell their organic products in Salem and get the price they need for them.
Consumer Demand
  • The report presented by ECONorthwest stressed that overall, consumer energy for the local foods movement is not as strong in Salem as in other parts of the Mid-Willamette Valley (2017). This demonstrates a need for end-consumer education about buying local agricultural products, which was a point that all of the farmers mentioned and considered important.
  • Our study supported this finding, as many survey participants cited a potential lack of demand for locally produced foods by consumers as a factor that could contribute towards hesitation about building a food hub.
Conclusion

Food hubs may be useful and important resources for farmers looking for new local outlets to sell their products. This survey indicated a great interest from small and mid-sized farmers in participating in a food hub. It also collected a variety of concerns from the farmers about price point, consumer education, and competition from larger farms. As backed by other studies and farmer responses, we determined that for a food hub to be successful, farmers' interest in participating must be met by sufficient consumer demand for local agricultural products, and this may be particularly true for organic products. Establishing a food hub is a large undertaking and conducting preliminary surveys to gauge interest from both farmers and consumers is an important first step before investing in more comprehensive assessments. When farmers are considering participation in a food hub, it is important to ask many of the same questions that a survey like this would pose, such as: What services will the food hub provide? What are your price requirements to sell at a food hub? Is the food hub in a convenient location? And, do you see any potential barriers to your participation in a food hub?

Additional Resources
  • National Good Food Network Food Hub Center (The Wallace Center). Provides a variety of resources, including: webinars about existing food hubs, a link to the USDA food hub directory, a food hub consultant database, funding sources for food hubs, and research about food hubs.
  • USDA Regional Food Hub Resource Guide. Summary of what a food hub is, its impacts, economic viability, potential barriers to growth and possible solutions to those barriers. Starting on page 29, there are listings of various funding sources available to help establish a food hub.
  • USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. General information about food hubs and links to resources. The USDA AMS Food Hub Map is a visual representation of the USDA food hub directory.
  • A Food Hub Facility Design Case Study. A case study of the establishment of the Tuscarora Organic Growers food hub in Pennsylvania, focusing on the physical building of the food hub. Includes building dimensions and operational expenses.
  • Healthy Food Access Portal: Food Hubs. This webpage provides an overview of food hubs, including resources, strategies, challenges and food hub success stories from all over the U.S.
References and Citations

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 25213

Finding a Pasture Stick in Your Area for Your Organic Dairy Farm

ven, 2018/09/21 - 15:59

eOrganic author:

Debra Heleba, University of Vermont Extension

In the video, "Calculating Dry Matter Intake in Organic Pastures Using a Pasture Stick," speaker Sarah Flack demonstrates how to measure dry matter available from pasture using or pasture or grazing stick.

Sources of Pasture Sticks by State

It is important to note that not all pasture sticks are exactly the same. Sticks from each state and/or region may vary based on different forage species, production, and growth stages  due to climate, elevation, and other factors. Most states and/or regions that have pasture sticks customize them to specifically address their growing conditions.

To find a pasture stick in your state, you can try contacting your local Cooperative Extension grazing educator or local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office, your local affiliate of the American Forage and Grassland Council (if your state has one), or the national Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative.

 

 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 5429

September 2018

mer, 2018/09/19 - 11:34
New eOrganic articles

In August, eOrganic sponsored a student article competition for a planned oral session at the American Horticultural Society Conference The students presented their research at the session, and their articles were peer reviewed and checked for organic certification compliance, Three of these articles are now available on our public website, and two more will appear in our October newsletter issue:

Solarization and Tarping for Weed Management on Organic Vegetable Farms in the Northeast USA, submitted by Sonja Birthisel of the University of Maine. Learn about the results of a study on solarization and tarping to reduce weed pressure, the differences between these techniques, and some tips for increased effectiveness.

Reusable Black Tarps Suppress Weeds and Make Organic Reduced Tillage More Viable, submitted by Haley Rylander of Cornell University.  The use of black, impermeable, plastic tarps placed on the soil surface prior to planting could reduce weed pressure, decompose crop residue, and preserve prepared soil for several weeks. This article assesses the potential uses of tarps in organic vegetable systems to reduce or even replace tillage by controlling weeds and decomposing crop residue.

How to Use Paper Bags to Protect Organic Peaches from Insects and Diseases in the Southeastern United States, submitted by David Campbell of the University of Florida. Researchers in the southeastern United States are currently evaluating bagging as a potential pest and disease management technique. Learn how the technique works with a description of the study, photos and a short video.

New eOrganic research project websites

Participatory Breeding and Testing Networks: A Maize Based Case Study for Organic Systems. This NIFA-OREI project is a collaboration between plant breeders and researchers from the University of Illinois, independent plant breeders from Wisconsin and Illinois, farmers across the Midwest region, processors and contractors, as well as end users to improve cultivars for organic corn farmers. The project members are also interested in increasing their understanding of how management and site specific factors influence crop fitness and grain quality and how plant-soil interactions influence crop performance, nitrogen use efficiency and weed competitiveness.Learn about their project at http://eorganic.info/CASH which stands for Corn And Soil Health.

Strengthening Organic Farming in the Southeast. This NIFA-OREI project, led at Tuskegee University aims to facilitate the development of a vibrant organic farming industry in the Southeast. The project partnership is working with collaborators at North Carolina State University, Mississippi State University, Auburn University and the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network as well as participating farmers to conduct multi-state on-farm trials of southern pea, sweet potato, tomato and squash, develop pest management recommendations, educate consumers on the benefits of organic production, and create educational tools for cooperative extension personnel, consumers, and agricultural professionals. Lean more at https://eorganic.info/southeast. the group has been holding "lunchbox" meetings for the last few months, and posting recordings on their YouTube channel, for example the most recent one by Casey Barickman of Mississippi State University about the benefits of cover crops and which ones have done well in his trials.

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Resources for Hurricane Florence

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has posted a list of resources for farmers in North and South Carolina affected by Hurricane Florence.on storm cleanup, animal relocation, flooding, shelters and more. Find them at https://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/hurricane-florence-resources/. Additional resources have been posted by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) at https://www.ssawg.org/disaster-resources

New reduced tillage handbook available

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has provided a 108-page handbook from their recent field day on reduced tillage on their website, which is filled with information on reduced tillage tools, research and experience based information on soil health, compaction, zone tillage, and roller crimpers. The field day was was a collaboration of the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Cornell Cooperative Extension team, Willsboro Research Farm, North Country Regional Ag CCE team, CCE Essex, Cornell Small Farms program, NYS IPM program, University of Vermont, and Champlain Basin Program. Expert guest speakers included Jean-Paul Cortens of Roxbury Farm and Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm. Find the handbook at http://www.nnyagdev.org/index.php/2018/08/29/reduced-tillage-resource-now-available/.

Hops power hour recordings available

The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops & Soils (NWCS) Team has been working on a Northeast on our NE-SARE funded project to advance pest and nutrient management strategies for Northeast hop production. Recordings of their Hops Power Hour webinars are now available at the UVM Northwest Crops & Soils YouTube channel along with many other recordings on small grains and other crops. Find them at https://www.youtube.com/user/cropsoilsvteam/videos

Organic Carrot Breeding Intensive in Washington

Organic Seed Alliance and special guest Dr. Phil Simon from USDA-ARS and University of Wisconsin-Madison will host a daylong intensive on breeding carrots in organic systems for resilience and flavor this October in Chimacum, Washington. Dr. Simon leads the Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project and will join OSA’s Micaela Colley and Laurie McKenzie to share insights, knowledge, and experience in breeding carrots for organic systems from seed to root. Come learn about carrot history and genetics, pollination requirements and population maintenance, and conducting breeding projects with hybrid and open-pollinated carrots. Participants in this daylong intensive will get hands-on experience with seed cleaning, root selections, and quality evaluations.

The workshop will be held on October 9th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OSA’s Research Farm at Finnriver Farm & Cidery located at 124 Center Road in Chimacum, Washington. The training is intended for farmers, seed producers, and agricultural students with basic knowledge of crop and seed biology. The event is being offered free of charge and includes lunch. We encourage participants to review materials from OSA’s publication library prior to the training.

This event is made possible thanks to funding from the Sustainable Path Foundation and an Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) grant, part of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Award # 2016-51300-25721: CIOA 2 – Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture With Added Growers and Consumer Value. Register at: https://seedalliance.org/2018/organic-carrot-breeding-intensive-washington-october/

NOSB Fall 2018 Meeting and Comment Opportunity

The National Organic Standards Board will meet on October 24, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota to discuss: substances petitioned for addition to or deletion from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), substances due to sunset from the National List in 2020, and guidance on organic policies. The specific proposals and materials which will be discussed are available here, and include topics such as organic inspector training and oversight, genetic integrity transparency of seed grown on organic land, and organic research priorities. The public can submit written comments and/or provide oral comments at its Fall 2018 meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The comment period will close on October 4, 2018. Please note: In order to be considered during the Fall 2018 meeting, written public comments or requests for oral comment speaking slots must be received by 11:59 p.m. October 4, 2018. Written comments must be submitted here. Register for in-person comments here. The NOSB will also be holding 2 webinars on October 16 and 18 from 1-4PM Eastern Time: you can register to submit a comment at the webinars here, also by October 4 at 11:59 PM. Additional information and contact information can be found here

Publicize Your Organic Research in the eOrganic Newsletter

Our newsletter reaches approximately 12,000 subscribers, many of whom are actively involved in organic production, research, education and agricultural services. Our goal is to foster information sharing within the organic research and outreach community, so if you have organic farming research and extension publications that are publicly available, that you would like to share with a wider audience please let us know. We also publish articles on our public website at http://extension.org/organic_production and videos on our YouTube channel that are peer reviewed and checked for organic certification compliance. If you are interested in submitting an article, please contact us

eOrganic Mission

eOrganic is a web community where organic agriculture farmers, researchers, and educators network; exchange objective, research- and experience-based information; learn together; and communicate regionally, nationally, and internationally. If you have expertise in organic agriculture and would like to develop U.S. certified organic agriculture information, join us at http://eorganic.info

eOrganic Resources

Find all eOrganic articles, videos and webinars at http://extension.org/organic_production

Connect with eOrganic on;Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Have a question about organic farming? Use the eXtension Ask an Expert service to connect with the eOrganic community to get an answer!

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 26894

Organic Fruit Production Systems

sam, 2018/09/15 - 17:00

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic T1129

How to Use Paper Bags to Protect Organic Peaches from Insects and Diseases in the Southeastern United States

sam, 2018/09/15 - 16:45

eOrganic authors:

David Campbell, University of Florida

Danielle Treadwell, University of Florida

Juan Carlos Melgar, Clemson University

Dario Chavez, University of Georgia

Introduction

Peaches represent the largest increase in organic fruit acreage in the United States (Perez and Plattner, 2013). California, Washington, and Oregon currently supply the majority of domestic organic fresh market peaches (Hallberg, 2016). In 2014, 16,875 tons of organic peaches were produced in the United States, with over 79% of the total originating in California and Oregon (Perez and Plattner, 2013). Data from organic peach producers in the southeastern United States is largely unavailable due to USDA Agricultural Census reporting privacy policies and low production, but South Carolina and Georgia rank as the second and third largest conventional and organic peach-producing states behind California (USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017). Nationwide, producers select peach varieties based on chill requirements that range from less than 100 to over 1,000 hours and full-bloom dates that occur after the last potential freeze. In the Southeast, peach producers harvest fruit up to two months before West Coast producers, and meet market demands from April through September.

Organic peach production in the Southeast has been difficult due to the prevalence of insect and disease pests, as well as the lack of effective organically-approved pesticides (Horton et al, 2005; Blaauw et al., 2017). In addition, many of the compliant, commercially-available pesticides contain copper and other ingredients that may negatively impact soil health with overuse (USDA National Organic Standards Board, 2017). Pests and diseases can affect fruit quality throughout the entire growing season and at postharvest. For example, the insect pests green stinkbug (Chinavia halaris) feed, and plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar) oviposit in fruit during initial growth development. Bacterial spot (Xanthomonas arboricola) and peach scab (Cladosporium carpophilum) cause unmarketable skin blemishes and spread when the humidity and temperature are optimum for growth. The most prevalent end-of-season and postharvest fungal diseases include brown rot (Monilinia fructicola) and rhizopus (Rhizopus nigricans).

Organic fruit producers in the United States, Spain, Japan, and China have been installing paper bags on fruitlets to provide a physical barrier from both pests and pathogens (Sharma et al., 2014). Research has shown that bagged fruit, as compared to a non-bagged control, can increase fruit quality and yield for a variety of crop-pest complexes (Table 1), but have shown mixed results for other characteristics (Table 2). Based on these results, researchers in the southeastern United States are currently evaluating bagging as a potential pest and disease management technique. In a pilot study funded by the Southern IPM Center, J. Melgar and G. Schnabel (publication forthcoming) demonstrated that bagging peaches increased the amount of marketable peaches in an organic orchard, and customers were willing to pay more for bagged peach fruit. Furthermore, preliminary calculations indicate that grower costs may increase around 10 to 15 cents per pound produced to cover the extra bagging cost (Hallberg, 2016).

Table 1. Insects and diseases that are controlled by bagging in conventional operations 

Fruit

Insect or Disease

Percent Controlled

Bag Type

Reference

Guava

Fruit fly (Anastrepha spp.), and Guava weevil (Conotrachelus psidii)

51-70%

Bags constructed of biodegradable film

 Blick et al., 2011

Pomegranate

Anar butterfly (Deudorix Virachola)

90%

Bag constructed of brown paper

 Bagle, 2011

Litchi

Stalk-end borer (Conopomorpha cramerella) and stone borer (Platypepla spp. and Conogethes spp.)

80-97%

Bags of different color constructed of cellophane, brown paper and double-sided newspaper

Debnath and Mitra, 2008

Mango

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.)

50-96%

Bags constructed of white paper

 Hofman et al., 1997

Table 2. Influence of bagging on various fruit quality characteristics in conventional operations

Fruit

Quality

Effect

Reference

Guava

Acidity

Increased

Blick et al., 2011

Peach and Mango

Acidity

No effect

Jai et al., 2005 and Hofman et al., 1997

Peach and Guava

Total soluble solids

Increased

Kim et al., 2008 and Singh et al., 2007

Pear and plum

Total soluble solids

Decreased

Lin et al., 2008 and Murray et al., 2005

Peach, Guava, and Mango

Total soluble solids

No effect

Blick et al., 2011; Jia et al., 2005; and Hofman et al., 1997

Bagging Protocol 

In the Southeast, low-chill cultivars set fruit as early as February in Florida and as late as May in North Carolina. After the last potential frost event, flowers and fruitlets are removed, also referred to as thinned, to lower the fruit-to-leaf shoot ratio and promote larger sized fruits (Costa and Vizzotto, 2000). The bagging practice under current investigation is conducted after thinning and includes one or more applications of organic-approved pesticides to reduce insect damage and pathogen growth on fruitlets prior to bagging. Organic peach growers in the Southeast follow a variety of pest and disease management practices, including rotating sprays of pyganic acid and Keyplex Ecotrol® Plus along with other foliar fertilizers, or applying sulfur-based sprays and kaolin clay to control pathogens and deter pests. Currently, bagging (Video 1) is recommended within three days of an organic-approved pesticide application, or as early as the re-entry period starts, to maintain a lower pathogen count on the fruitlet surface.

On-farm bagging research trials with certified USDA organic or transitioning organic farmers in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida were initiated in 2018, but only the Florida location is discussed below. In Florida, fruits were bagged 35 days after full bloom with a white paper bag impregnated with water-resistant wax (Fig. 1). After identifying the fruitlet (Fig. 2), the paper bag is opened and placed over the fruitlet with the notch straddling the branch (Video 1). At this time, the fruitlet should be completely enclosed in the bag, the branch should be snug with the notch, and the bag should extend past the fruiting branch. Next, the portion of the bag that is extending on the opposite side of the branch as the fruitlet is cinched in an accordion-like fashion and secured by a twist tie that is part of the bag. Next, the twist tie is rotated at least 360 degrees around the cinched paper and the secured bag should not rotate around the branch when slightly agitated (Fig. 3). The bag will remain on the branch for the duration of the growing season and removed or ripped open to increase light penetration and promote blush development (Kataoka and Beppu, 2004) at the end of the season. Depending on the bag material, the bags can be recycled after removing the twist tie.

 Video 1: Peach Bagging. Video credit: David Campbell, University of Florida.

https://eorganic.info/sites/eorganic.info/files/u461/Campbell%20Fig%201.png

Figure 1. Fruit bag. Photo credit: Guido Schnabel, Clemson University.

https://eorganic.info/sites/eorganic.info/files/u461/Campbell%20Fig%202_0.jpg

Figure 2. Size of fruit relative to fruit bag. Photo credit: David Campbell, University of Florida.

https://eorganic.info/sites/eorganic.info/files/u461/Campbell%20Fig%203A_0.jpghttps://eorganic.info/sites/eorganic.info/files/u461/Campbell%20Fig%203B_0.jpghttps://eorganic.info/sites/eorganic.info/files/u461/Campbell%20Fig%203C_0.jpg

Figure 3. Fruit bag properly installed. Photo credit: David Campbell, University of Florida.

Florida Research Methods and Preliminary Results

The UF/IFAS research team partnered with the USDA certified organic U-Pick McLean Family Farm in Central Florida. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block design that tested two factors—bagging (all fruit were bagged on a tree or not bagged) and tree ordinance (north, south, east, and west quadrants of the canopy). Twenty-four trees were divided into four replications based on trunk diameter. During the growing season, insect traps were installed, tree phenology was assessed, and disease assessments were conducted. Postharvest evaluations included fruit size, weight, insect damage, and postharvest rot progression. Postharvest data were analyzed using the glimmix procedure in SAS (version 9.4, Cary, NC) for main effects and interactions at a=0.05. The ordinance factor and all interactions were not significant. Bagging did not reduce yield and the average yield of 4,668 kg/ha (p = 0.739) were acceptable for this farm. Bagged fruit had less insect injury (p = 0.025), scab-like lesions (p < 0.001), and brown rot at three days postharvest (p = 0.017), and brown rot at 7 days postharvest p < 0.001). The experiment will be repeated and additional quality characteristics will be evaluated. 

Funding: This paper was developed in part with funding from the USDA-OREI Project Number 2016-51300-25726. 

Additional Resources

Clemson fruit bags are available at https://www.clemson.edu/extension/peach/commercial/diseases/clemsonfruitbags.html

References and Citations

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 25727

Partnering with eOrganic in a Research Project

ven, 2018/09/14 - 12:15
What is eOrganic? eOrganic (at eXtension.org/organic_production) is the eXtension Resource Area for Organic Agriculture

You can find eOrganic’s resources for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture at eXtension.org (pronounced e-extension). eOrganic’s initial content focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production, but eOrganic members are now developing content on other farming systems and topics. All content is collaboratively authored and peer-reviewed by eOrganic’s community of University researchers and Extension personnel, other agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture.

eOrganic Goals
  1. To engage farmers, agricultural professionals and other members of the organic agriculture community with timely and relevant science-, experience-and regulation-based information in a variety of media and educational formats
  2. To facilitate project management, communication, and publication to eXtension.org
  3. To foster a national organic research and outreach community
Read a 2012 HortTechnology article about eOrganic and the 2014 eOrganic Annual Report Find all our published content at www.eXtension.org/organic_production Articles

eOrganic’s articles cover everything from the nuts and bolts of organic production for beginners to the latest information and technology for advanced producers. Find our articles http://extension.org/organic_production or download a publication list at http://eorganic.info/publications.

Videos

Short video segments highlighting organic practices are featured at eOrganic. Producers and researchers demonstrate innovative cover cropping, reduced tillage, cultivation, soil management, pest management and marketing strategies. You can find eOrganic’s videos at eXtension and at eOrganic’s YouTube channel.

Webinars

Our webinar series allows farmers, agricultural professionals and others to participate in live presentations by researchers, educators and farmers. To ask a question, participants type a question in the chat box. Find over 200 archived presentations and upcoming webinar information at http://www.extension.org/25242

Ask-an-Expert

People need answers to questions that aren’t currently answered in eOrganic’s content. To get an answer, eOrganic supports eXtension’s Ask-an-Expert. Users submit questions at eXtension.org and a community member or members with appropriate expertise reply to the request via email. Find Ask-an-Expert at http://www.extension.org/ask

eOrganic (at eOrganic.info) is a developing virtual organic agriculture research/outreach community

You can participate in a national organic agriculture research/outreach community at eOrganic.info, eOrganic’s virtual workspace and community hub. eOrganic community members convene at eOrganic.info to network, discuss, learn together, collaborate, manage research/outreach projects, and publish peer-reviewed articles, videos, and other content to eXtension.org. 


Take a tour of eOrganic's public content and its community hub at http://eorganic.info/tour

Why would I want to include eOrganic in my proposal?

Increasingly, funders are asking for proposals with

  • A significant extension component including stakeholder engagement
  • Integration of research and extension
  • A partnership with an eXtension Community of Practice. An eOrganic partnership can help your project deliver all three.

eOrganic offers tools to facilitate your project’s delivery of high quality, peer-reviewed resources to a growing national audience of farmers, extension and other agricultural professionals, certifiers, educators, and researchers. eOrganic’s pages at eXtension.org have received more than 2 million page views since January 2009, and its YouTube videos have been viewed over 2.8 million times. eOrganic’s community has answered more than 1,000 Ask-an-Expert questions. Over 20,000 people from all over the country have attended more than 150 webinars hosted by eOrganic. eOrganic communicates bi-monthly with its more than 12,000 newsletter subscribers and keeps in frequent touch with its 4,000 Facebook fans, 2,900 Twitter followers, and 7,000 Youtube subscribers. eOrganic also reaches out to farmers and agricultural professionals through booths and other activities at organic farming and research conferences each year.

Since 2011, eOrganic has partnered with 62 funded NIFA OREI and ORG research projects. In 2017, 60% of OREI projects and 100% of ORG projects with a subaward for eOrganic were awarded funding.

eOrganic is also a virtual community and workspace at eOrganic.info – there, your group has the use of project and group management tools, the opportunity to manage a public project website with interactive tools, easy publication of resources to eXtension, and access to eOrganic’s webinars, Ask-an-Expert, and other engagement tools - all of these strategies facilitate integration of research and extension as well as collaborator and stakeholder engagement.

Why NOT partner with eOrganic?

What can my research/outreach project do with eOrganic?

As member groups of eOrganic, research/outreach projects can:

Engage farmers and the agricultural professionals supporting them
  • Develop and publish articles, learning lessons, manuals, resource guides, research reports, or other text and image-based resources to eXtension.org
  • Develop and publish videos to eOrganic’s YouTube site and eXtension.org
  • Coordinate/deliver webinars and webinar series
    • deliver a webinar on your project to farmers (Planning for Flexibility in Effective Crop Rotations at http://www.extension.org/pages/26734)
    • coordinate a webinar series on a timely topic for farmers -- your group can present the first webinar; invite 3 other research/outreach groups or farmers to present the others. Consider pairing up researchers and farmers as presenters, or farmers as sole presenters (Planning Your Organic Farm for Profit at http://www.extension.org/pages/26410).
  • Broadcast a live presentation through eOrganic as in Healthy Soils for a Healthy Dairy Farm from the NOFA NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference
  • Broadcast presentations from a conference through eOrganic as in the 2014 Organic Seed Growers Conference or the USDA 2011 Organic Farming Systems Conference in Washington, D.C., found at http://www.extension.org/pages/33545.
  • Develop course materials and coordinate courses through eXtension's Moodle Campus  - see the Organic Seed Production course developed by Organic Seed Alliance as an example (you must register as a user of the Moodle Campus to access the course). Resources developed for non-credit courses can also be used in online or campus-based credit courses.
  • Describe your project and engage your cooperators and stakeholders through a public website that you manage through eOrganic.info. As examples, see:  Tools for Transition and NOVIC
Develop a course
  • Introduction to Organic Dairy Production Course

Members of the eOrganic Dairy Team received a NIFA OREI grant "Development of Technical Training and Support for Agricultural Service Providers and Farmers in Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems" in 2010. Cindy Daley and Audrey Denney at California State University-Chico, Sarah Flack of Sarah Flack Consulting, and Heather Darby and Deb Heleba at University of Vermont Extension developed "An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production" online course composed of 10 modules addressing certification, soil health, pasture and forages, herd health and nutrition, milk quality, and calf management. Each module has required readings, a narrated powerpoint presentation from an expert on the topic, and recommended additional resources. The course was piloted in fall 2012 with a group of 57 undergraduate students at Chico State. Students took the course either entirely online, or online with supplemental in-person instruction. An end-of-course survey revealed that all students gained knowledge on all topics covered through the course. One student said, "The information is solid. Being that I am headed back to my dairy, I will certainly use the knowledge I gained from this course." Still another said, "Having this knowledge will really give me a "one-up" on a lot of other people in the industry, as the organic side of things is becoming more prevalent in farming. Whatever direction I may go in, I can always use this information to try to better operations and educate other farmers." The course will be offered through eXtension's Moodle campus in early 2013 for farmers, Extension educators, and agriculture service providers. Find the course at http://www.extension.org/pages/69299

  • Organic Seed Production Course

An eOrganic course on Organic Seed Production was developed by Jared Zystro and collaborators at the Organic Seed Alliance. The course covers the fundamentals of seed production for onions, beets and chard, brassicas, carrots, and wet seeded crops, as well as climatic requirements for seed crops, important diseases, and seed quality. After having been peer-reviewed and checked for organic certification compliance, the course is now available on the eXtension Moodle campus site at http://campus.extension.org/enrol/index.php?id=377.

  • Video Production Course

eOrganic trained members in video storyboarding, filming, and production planning through its Introduction to Video Production course. Materials from the course are available at http://eorganic.info/node/7345.

Manage your project and engage geographically-distributed project members:
  • Manage your project, participate in eOrganic.info, and publish to eXtension through a project-specific group workspace at eOrganic.info. Here your group can use project and group management and publication tools including:
    • file and image sharing
    • group pages, for meeting notes and other collaborative documents such as proposals and reports
    • discussion forum
    • article collaboration, editing, review, and publication to eXtension
    • publication of other types of content to eXtension
    • webconferencing
    • calendar
    • technical support for eOrganic.info and other web 2.0 tools
  • Engage your project members and collaborators, including researchers, educators, farmers and agricultural professionals
    • collaborate more effectively with collaborators from other institutions or locations by including them as members of your group workspace
    • develop a project-specific public website where vetted project members can upload files and share ideas in a discussion forum
    • extend your in-person meetings or workshops through webconferencing and broadcasting tools supported by eOrganic
Evaluate your eOrganic content

All eOrganic evaluation activities maintain participant confidentiality and are coordinated with IRB oversight and approval.

  • Evaluation of eOrganic WebinarsWebinar participants must provide contact information, allowing eOrganic to contact them subsequently to ask them about the webinar as well as other eOrganic content.
    • Polling during the webinars. The “polling” system within GoToWebinar can be used by webinar presenters to ask participants a small number of questions during the webinar. Responses are automatically recorded in the GoToWebinar data, and poll results can be shown to participants during the webinar.
    • Post-webinar surveys: During the webinar registration process participants are notified they will be asked to complete a very brief survey after the webinar. At the end of the webinar, the importance of the survey is emphasized and participants are told to expect an email invitation. Post-webinar surveys also include questions about participant experiences with eOrganic articles, videos, other live or recorded webinars, Ask an Expert, or any other specific content related to the webinar (for example, other project-specific content or activities).
    • Surveys of webinar participants the following year: To assess the impact of the webinar on participant practices, a survey can be sent to webinar participants the yearfollowing webinar delivery. Webinar presenters identify practices that could have been changed as the result of that specific webinar. Questions are crafted to solicit impact feedback from farmers as well as the agricultural professionals supporting farmers, or any other audience group.
      Example:
      As the result of attending the eOrganic late blight webinar, in the summer of 2010 I (select all that apply):
      1. destroyed potato cull piles
      2. planted and managed my tomatoes and potatoes to maximize air flow and leaf drying
      3. scouted my fields regularly for late blight symptoms
      4. carefully managed my irrigation to minimize leaf wetness (timing of overhead irrigation, use of drip irrigation)
      5. planted late blight resistant varieties
      6. prophylactically applied copper or other materials
      7. other (please describe _____________________________________)

  • Evaluation of eOrganic articles and other content:

eOrganic can work with each project group to identify stakeholders from whom to solicit feedback on the quality and utility of the project’s eOrganic content. The project group will identify individuals and their contact information. eOrganic will send these individuals surveys by email (and/or mail), and follow up with emails and phone calls to improve response rate. Surveys will ask the individual to select one or more articles or videos from a list and fill out a survey about that specific article or video. Surveys will include questions including: Which of the following best describes your work? Where do you work? How much did this article or video improve your understanding of the topic? Do you intend to apply the knowledge you gained from this article or video to your work? Would you recommend this article or video to others? Additional questions can be crafted, including questions about changes in intentions or practices.

How can I include eOrganic in my proposal?

Just like with any other collaborative effort, an effective eOrganic plan of work takes time to develop. Please contact us early in the proposal development process so we can work with you to develop your proposal’s eOrganic plan of work and budget. eOrganic will be written in as a subaward in your project’s budget.

Why is eOrganic asking that proposals include subawards to support eOrganic?

eOrganic requires funding to support the following eOrganic Core Services to your project and other groups and members of the organic research/outreach community.

eOrganic Core Services
  • Editorial management and publication to eXtension and Youtube for all public content (including copy editing, peer-refereed review and NOP compliance review)
  • Coordination of Ask-an-Expert
  • Coordination and technical support for webinars
  • Support for webconferencing and other networking tools and strategies
  • Development and member/group support for eOrganic.info, the community hub and publication workspace, including tools and support for project management and engagement
  • Evaluation of webinars
  • Outreach to farmers, extension and other agricultural professionals, researchers, and others through booths and presentations at farmer conferences, ads in farmer publications, activities at professional meetings, eOrganic’s public and community newsletters, and eOrganic’s Facebook and Twitter sites
What are the steps to eOrganic collaboration?

To include eOrganic in your project proposal, an eOrganic plan of work and budget must be included in the project proposal with eOrganic written in as a subaward. Contact eOrganic at least 2 weeks before your proposal is due to allow time to develop a project-specific eOrganic plan of work and budget and the subaward paperwork.

Contact eOrganic: For more information or to discuss a proposal, contact Alice Formiga at alice.formiga@oregonstate.edu. Email is preferred so we can quickly answer your questions.

Contact eXtension:  Contact Ann Adrian at eXtension.org for a letter of support (eOrganic can help you with this--after we write our letter of support, we ask eXtension to send you one).

eOrganic Sample Plans of Work and Budgets

Core Plan of Work for an Integrated Research/Outreach Project

This is a model plan of work; your project can adapt this plan as appropriate. Please contact us with your content development ideas.

eOrganic Plan of Work for “ORG INTEGRATED PROJECT”

eOrganic will provide the group with a project workspace at eOrganic.info so the project can:
• use the workspace tools for more efficient project management, communication, and publication
• develop a simple public project website hosted at eOrganic.info through that workspace
• easily publish to eXtension.org/organic_production
eOrganic will also provide support for webconferencing so the project can communicate with its dispersed project personnel as well as project collaborators/stakeholders via web meetings.

eOrganic staff will provide training materials for project members in video capture; videos captured following video capture guidelines will be edited by eOrganic staff, moved through peer and NOP compliance review, and posted to eOrganic’s YouTube channel (from there they can be embedded in other websites, eOrganic articles, etc).

eOrganic will support the project with technical support and peer and NOP compliance review for the publication of:

  • a webinar describing the project in year 1
  • 3 articles on organic management of XX
  • a 3-5 minute informative how-to video on farming or research practices to be made in the first and second project years to be embedded into websites and articles (eOrganic provides training materials for video capture; eOrganic staff edit, transcribe, manage review, and publish to YouTube).
  • a 3-webinar series on XX (for example: farmer/researcher teams describe specific strategies, and how to integrate those into a whole-farm plan)
  • a Moodle-based course on XX, utilizing all project information and publications - the resources and curricula developed can also be used in online and campus-based undergraduate and graduate courses

eOrganic will evaluate the quality and utility of webinars immediately following the webinar, and the impact of the webinar on participant practices and understanding in the winter following webinar delivery.

Core eOrganic Subaward Budget for an Integrated Research/Outreach Project:

New for 2017-8:

  • Reduced rates for eOrganic core budgets (see below)
  • New additional video production options here

eOranic has reduced our rates for subawards and is offering new video production options for integrated NIFA OREI proposals. 

  (See end of document for model subaward budget narrative)

Project Total DIRECT Costs: eOrganic Core Subaward DIRECT Costs  (add indirect costs to the costs listed below)

<150K (project DIRECT costs): $4000 in first year only (direct costs)
150-250K (project DIRECT costs):  $7500 (direct costs)
251-499K (project DIRECT costs):  10K (direct costs)
500K-750K (project DIRECT costs): 16K (direct costs)
751K-1M (project DIRECT costs):  25K (direct costs)
1M - 2M+ (project DIRECT costs):  40K (direct costs)

These core budgets provide direct support of your project activities as well as support for general eOrganic core functions including outreach, evaluation, Ask-an-Expert, and web platform development and support.

Plans of work and associated budgets will vary project-by-project. For more information on how to include eOrganic in your proposal and budgets, contact eOrganic.

Contact eOrganic: For more information or to discuss a proposal, contact Alice Formiga at alice.formiga@oregonstate.edu. Email is preferred so we can quickly answer your questions.

Budget Allocation and Narrative for eOrganic Subaward

For each project year, eOrganic will allocate your project's eOrganic subaward DIRECT costs as described below. eOrganic will then add appropriate indirect costs:

Each year

A. Key Personnel: Personnel funds will support staff time for the coordination of the following core functions:
webinar series, content peer and NOP compliance review,eOrganic.info/eXtension/Youtube/Facebook/Twitter site support and development, Ask-an-expert, outreach, content development and content quality and utility evaluation. 
B. Other Personnel:
Personnel funds will support staff time for the coordination of the following core functions:
website maintenance, video and copy editing, outreach.

D. Travel:
Travel funds will support eOrganic staff and CoP members to attend eXtension, professional society, and organic farming conferences to communicate about and market eOrganic to members and stakeholders.

F. Other Direct Costs

F.1. Materials and supplies:

Outreach Materials funds purchase outreach materials and conference fees (bookmarks, brochures, banners, ads in conference brochures, booth fees).

Telecommunications fees support eOrganic’s webconferencing and webinar services (currently, GoToMeeting, Open Voice, FreeConference and GoToWebinar).

Computers and video-audio/IT supplies funds contribute to the purchase of staff computers, headsets, microphones, adapters and other IT supplies. 

Contracting for video editing and production services for the production of videos for outreach and education.

Contracting for other innovative web content types

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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May 2017

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Upcoming Events

The Organic Confluences Summit: Making Research Count, organized by the Organic Center, is just around the corner on May 22-23, 2017. The conference, which will be held in Washington, DC, features speakers including farmers, policy makers, industry members, researchers, certifiers and more as they explore case studies of current and past research and communication pathways. They will also hold participant conversations to identify challenges and recommendations for research needs identification, research project design development, and results dissemination. Registration is still open here.

Market News Organic Reporting Webinar: The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites you to a live, interactive webinar on Organic Reporting within multiple Market News divisions. Join them to learn about how the Specialty Crops, Dairy, Livestock, Poultry & Seed, and Cotton & Tobacco Market News programs provide you with free access to market information about organic products. The webinar  takes place on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 2PM Eastern Time, and it will cover areas such as:

  • The scope of AMS’s Organic reporting capabilities
  • Our new Organic's landing page
  • The easy to use AMS Market News Portal for timely, accurate information
  • Highlighting the Organic Grain & Feedstuff report
  • How you can put Market News Organic reports to work for your business

Presenters are Kimberly Mercer, Assistant to the Director, Specialty Crops Market News Division; Eric Graf Senior Market News Reporter of the Dairy Program Market News Division; and Russell Avalos, Market News Reporter for the the Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division. Register here.

Oregon Tilth Webinar Series: Oregon Tilth is running a  webinar series this year in partnership with the NRCS. Upcoming topics in June include the results of an organic transition survey, Bee Better certification, and  innovative cover cropping techniques. Check out the entire series and register for the webinars here.

Comments Sought on the Organic Livestock and Poultry Rule

On January 19, 2017, the USDA published the final rule on animal welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry in the Federal Register. According to a press release, the rule would ensure consistent application of the USDA organic regulations for organic livestock and poultry operations and maintain confidence in organically labeled products. Based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board and stakeholder suggestions, the final rule:

  • Establishes minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry
  • Clarifies how producers and handlers must treat livestock and chickens for their health and welfare
  • Specifies which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production.

Implementation of the rule has been delayed until November, 14th 2017, and the USDA recently announced that it is asking for comments on whether to implement the rule on the planned date, suspend the rule indefinitely and possibly change or withdraw it, delay the implementation further, or withdraw it altogether. Comments are being accepted until June 9, 2017 here.

Organic Farming Shows Continued Growth

Last month the USDA announced new data showing that the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with 24,650 certified organic operations in the United States, and 37,032 around the world. The 2016 count of U.S. certified organic farms and businesses reflects a 13 percent increase between the end of 2015 and 2016, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the organic sector. The number of certified operations has increased since the count began in 2002 and this is the highest growth rate since 2008. Find out more here.

Also, to be counted in this year's Census of Agriculture, you can sign up to receive a mailed form until the end of June, 2017 at this link, where you can also fill it out electronically by scrolling down and clicking on the yellow button that says "Make Sure You Are Counted". This census is done every 5 years, and the National Agriculture Statistics service considers farms to be places where $1,000 or more of fruits, vegetables and some animals are raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.

eOrganic Mission

eOrganic is a web community where organic agriculture farmers, researchers, and educators network; exchange objective, research- and experience-based information; learn together; and communicate regionally, nationally, and internationally. If you have expertise in organic agriculture and would like to develop U.S. certified organic agriculture information, join us at http://eorganic.info.

eOrganic Resources

Find all eOrganic articles, videos and webinars at http://extension.org/organic_production

Connect with eOrganic on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Have a question about organic farming? Use the eXtension Ask an Expert service to connect with the eOrganic community!

eOrganic logo

 

 

 

 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 22710

June 2017

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22
New eOrganic Video on Ancient Grains: Emmer, Einkorn and Spelt

Learn about growing and dehulling the "ancient" grains emmer, einkorn and spelt in this new video created by members of the NIFA OREI funded research project Value Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems. Learn about planting rates and nutrient requirements, as well as seeding and dehulling equipment. Watch the video here, and check out additional archived webinars about ancient grains on the eOrganic YouTube channel.

New Spotted Wing Drosophila Publications

New publications on the organic management of Spotted Wing Drosophila are available from a multi-state NIFA OREI research project that is researching ways to control this invasive pest. Many of these publications are open-access, so you can read them in full without a journal subscription. Learn about using high tunnels and exclusion netting to reduce SWD in raspberries,  the effect of non-nutritive sugars, the effect of border sprays and between-row tillage, and more here. Find the publications at https://eorganic.info/spottedwingorganic/resources.

New Soil Health, Weed Management and Conservation Tillage Guides

The Organic Farming Research Foundation offers three new and informative guides on soil health, weed management  and conservation tillage in organic farming systems. Topics covered include how to enhance soil organic matter, weed management tools that reduce the need for soil disturbance, and soil-friendly tillage practices. They also include reviews of USDA funded organic research, future research priorities, and scientific literature references. All three guides will download free of charge at this link, and additional guides on cover crops, plant breeding, water management and quality, and nutrient management will be available soon.

Farm Volunteers and Interns Guide

A new guide--published by Farm Commons, a non-profit that provides farmers and the agricultural community with legal education—provides insights and strategies to help farmers reduce liability risks related to interns and volunteers. “Managing the Risks of Interns and Volunteers,” is available for free download on the Farm Commons website at: https://farmcommons.org/resources-search. You will need to create an account first in order to download the guide. The Farm Commons site also has state-specific guides for Pennsylvania, Vermont, and New Hampshire that discuss intern and volunteer issues specific to those states.

Organic Seed Trials and Selection Webinar

The second webinar in this year's Organic Seed Production Webinar Series will take place on June 16th. This webinar will cover the basics of conducting on-farm variety trials including sourcing germplasm, field plot design, trial evaluation, and making sense of the data. Presenters will also cover basics of field selection or roguing to improve performance of open pollinated seed crops. Register once for this free webinar and you can attend any or all of the webinars in the series which take place once a month through October. The series is organized by the Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture. Register here.

New SARE Toolkit Helps Plan On-Farm Field Days

‘Tis the season for on-farm field days, demonstrations, and other farm events. To help researchers, educators, and farmers alike plan and conduct on-farm events, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) has developed a new publication, the Farmer Field Day Toolkit. The Toolkit is an online, comprehensive resource of step-by-step instructions, timelines, and downloadable tools and templates for planning and hosting a successful event. Plus, users will learn the ins and outs of working with the media, creating press releases and PSAs, generating public interest, capturing the event with video and sharing it online. Learn more and/or download a free copy of the Farmer Field Day Toolkit at: http://www.sare.org/Grants/Farmer-Field-Day-Toolkit.

Farm Field Days

The farm field day season is underway, and many land grant universities and organic education and certification organizations offer a variety of opportunities to learn about organic farming in person. Here is a very small sampling of some of the many field days that are happening around the country:

Training Webinar for Organic Certified Handlers

On June 14, 2017 at 1-2PM Eastern Time, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is holding a one-hour training webinar for organic handlers. The topic is Organic Integrity in the Supply Chain. Organic handlers play a vital role in the global organic control system, which includes strict production standards; accreditation of certifiers; certification of farmers, processors and handlers; and enforcement. AMS has identified violations of organic regulations involving shipments of soybeans and corn entering the U.S. and enforcement actions are underway. We are investigating other evidence related to other shipments of soybeans and corn. To help guard the integrity of organic imports, this training webinar focuses on the role of organic system plans and recordkeeping systems in ensuring organic integrity of imports, and highlights critical control points that will be audited during inspections. Register at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/wdqfaqcl01c2&eom

eOrganic Mission

eOrganic is a web community where organic agriculture farmers, researchers, and educators network; exchange objective, research- and experience-based information; learn together; and communicate regionally, nationally, and internationally. If you have expertise in organic agriculture and would like to develop U.S. certified organic agriculture information, join us at http://eorganic.info.

eOrganic Resources

Find all eOrganic articles, videos and webinars at http://extension.org/organic_production

Connect with eOrganic on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Have a question about organic farming? Use the eXtension Ask an Expert service to connect with the eOrganic community!

 

eOrganic logo 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

eOrganic 22815

July 2017

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22
New Fire Blight Management Article

This new eOrganic article contains the most up-to-date information on managing Fire Blight organically in the western U.S. Learn how to identify the disease, how it spreads on fruit trees, which cultivars of apple and pear are more or less susceptible, and how to manage the disease with an integrated program. This article was produced by members of a NIFA OREI funded research project entitled Implementation of Non-Antibiotic Programs for Fire Blight Control in Organic Apple and Pear in the Western United States. Read the article here.

New Video on Identifying Syrphid Fly Larvae

A new eOrganic video can help you identify syrphid flies and distinguish the larvae of these important aphid predators from caterpillars. It will also give you some tips on how to make your farm more hospitable to syrphids (also known as hoverflies), each of whom can consume hundreds of aphids. This video was created as part of the NIFA OREI funded project entitled Biodiversity and Natural Pest Suppression (BAN-PestS) led at Washington State University. Watch the video here.

New Webinar Explains Different Types of Corn

On September 27th at 10AM Pacific Time, eOrganic will host a webinar entitled Hybrid, F1, Double Cross, and Open-pollinated Corn: What Does it All Mean? Intended Audience: Anybody with an interest in different types of corn varieties and their relative merits. In the webinar, presenters Margaret Smith of Cornell and Richard Pratt of New Mexico State University will explain what different types of corn varieties are, how uniform or variable each type is, and highlight the relative advantages and disadvantages of the different variety types.This presentation is part of the NIFA OREI funded project Breeding Non-Commodity Corn for Organic Production Systems. Register for the webinar here.

Survey on Post-harvest Quality and Food Safety of Organic Produce

A group of researchers from Purdue and other U.S. universities is conducting a project to study best management practices for enhancing post-harvest quality and safety of organic produce/vegetables. The goal of this study is to identify the needs and issues associated with organic produce/vegetables and their quality and safety. Subsequently, this will help identify the research and extension priorities associated with safety and quality of organic produce. This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, grant project #1007457. This information will not only be useful to you and your business entity, it will also be useful to other organic stakeholders including researchers and policymakers. This study has been approved by Purdue’s Institutional Review Board. The entire survey is designed to take approximately 25 - 30 minutes. Your participation is strictly voluntary and your response to the survey will be anonymous. Responses to the survey will be aggregated to prevent the disclosure of organization or farm specific data. Please visit this link below or scan the QR code to go to the survey. If needed, you may also copy and paste the link in your web browser. https://purdue.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_01hJsknL95IIgM5

Submit Your Ideas for the Organic Seed Growers Conference Today

The Organic Seed Alliance invites you to help shape the 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference by providing proposals for content. This is your opportunity to share important research and ask timely questions related to organic seed. The conference is the largest organic seed event in the U.S. and provides two days of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events. We welcome your proposals for presentations, workshops, posters, panels, and roundtables. The deadline is today July 24, 2017. The conference will take place from February 14-17, 2018 in Corvallis, Oregon. Find out more information here.

Bee Better Certification Program

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has partnered with Oregon Tilth to develop and launch the Bee Better Certified™ program, a new certification program that enables agricultural producers to let consumers know they are farming in ways that benefit bees. Bee Better Certified™ works with farmers and food companies to conserve bees and other pollinators in agricultural lands. Our work advances more resilient pollinator populations and sustainable crop production. The Bee Better Certified seal identifies and celebrates farmers and businesses that adopt farm management practices that support pollinators, and gives consumers confidence that their purchasing decisions benefit pollinators and the farmers working to protect them.To find out more about this program, visit the Bee Better Certified website.

Organic Certification Cost Share Still Open

You can still apply for 2017 Organic Certification Cost Share funds until October 31, 2017 if your organic operation is in the United States and you applied for organic certification from October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017, you may receive up to 75 percent of certification costs, not to exceed $750 per certification scope.Find out more about this program by contacting the responsible agency in your state which you can find here

NOSB Web Meeting on Hydroponics

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet via conference on August 14, 2017 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern to discuss hydroponics in organic food production. The NOSB will not be voting on a recommendation during this web conference. A transcript will be available approximately two weeks after the event. The NOSB is a federal advisory committee established by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and administered through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The NOSB recommends whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production, handling, and processing, and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on other aspects of the organic regulations.Register for the web meeting  at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3itgag2r7btt&eom

Recent Organic Research Articles

Kissing Kucek, L. et al. 2017. Evaluation of wheat and emmer varieties for artisanal baking, pasta making, and sensory quality. Journal of Cereal Science Volume 74, March 2017, pp. 19–27. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2016.12.010.

Lehnhoff, E.; Z. Miller, Z., P. Miller, S. Johnson, T. Scott, P. Hatfield, F. D. Menalled. Organic Agriculture and the Quest for the Holy Grail in Water-Limited Ecosystems: Managing Weeds and Reducing Tillage Intensity. Agriculture 2017, 7, 33. Available online at: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/7/4/33?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&u...

Martina, L. S. Symanczik; P, Mäder, G. de Deyn,  and A. Gattinger. 2017. Organic farming enhances soil microbial abundance and activity: A meta-analysis and meta-regression. PLoS ONE, 12 (7), pp. 1-25. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180442

Silva, E.M.; K. Delate. 2017. A Decade of Progress in Organic Cover Crop-Based Reduced Tillage Practices in the Upper Midwestern USA. Agriculture 7, 44. Available online at: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/7/5/44/htm

Organic Mission

eOrganic is a web community where organic agriculture farmers, researchers, and educators network; exchange objective, research- and experience-based information; learn together; and communicate regionally, nationally, and internationally. If you have expertise in organic agriculture and would like to develop U.S. certified organic agriculture information, join us at http://eorganic.info.

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This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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