Le Réseau BIO

Plate-forme de réseautage pour les producteurs, transformateurs et commerçants d'aliments biologiques du Québec
Le Réseau BioUn site réalisé grâce à un partenariat
CETAB+ | Centre d'expertise et de transfert en agriculture biologique et de proximitéMinistère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
Bienvenue sur le Réseau BIO, une plate-forme de réseautage pour les producteurs, transformateurs et commerçants d'aliments biologiques et intervenants en agriculture biologique au Québec.

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

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Mis à jour : il y a 2 heures 14 min

Hail Can Happen! Insurance Options for Organic Farms

mer, 2018/04/25 - 16:35

Join eOrganic and the Organic Farming Research Foundation for a webinar about insurance options for organic farm, which takes place on February 6, 2019 at 11AM Pacific Time (12PM Mountain, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern Time). The webinar is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required.

Register now at https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/onstage/g.php?MTID=e456f6d6fbc634065de951fe137bd33f7

About the Webinar

Managing risk is of utmost importance for all farmers, especially organic producers. This webinar will educate organic and transitioning growers on USDA risk management programs and provide a step by step guide to enrollment in crop insurance programs. The goals of this webinar are to improve understanding of risk management among organic producers and those seeking to transition to organic. This project supports RMA’s goal of increasing access to risk management practices and programs for underserved audiences.

About the Presenter

Michael Stein is an attorney and scientist who is passionate about organic and sustainable agriculture. He has focused his career on implementing legal and policy tools to address the environmental, health, and economic impacts of our food system. He first started working to protect the health and wealth of our natural resources with Midwest Environmental Advocates, assisting family farmers in protecting their homes and communities from the negative environmental impacts of large-scale industrial agriculture. While at Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, he focused on the environmental and public health impacts of food waste, and also worked to address food sovereignty issues faced by Native American communities.

The webinar will be conducted using Webex. To try a test session, go here.

Funding for this webinar is provided by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

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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Lower Financial Risk by Increasing Soil Health

mer, 2018/04/25 - 16:26

Join eOrganic and the Organic Farming Research Foundation for a webinar on how to lower your financial risk by increasing soil health by Mark Schonbeck of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming. The webinar is free and open to the public, and takes place on January 16, 2019 at 11 AM Pacific, 12PM Mountain, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern Time. Advance registration is required.

Register now at https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/onstage/g.php?MTID=e57ae287484...

 

About the Webinar

Building soil health through improved crop rotations, cover cropping, organic soil amendments, and other organic practices can improve yield stability and reduce risks of losses to drought, temperature extremes, weeds, and other stresses. Farmer experience and research have shown that healthy soil is the best form of crop insurance. Based on organic agricultural research and producer experience, this webinar will explore how several key soil health practices can reduce risks during organic transition and organic production.

About the Presenter

Mark Schonbeck has worked for 31 years as a researcher, consultant, and educator in sustainable and organic agriculture. He has participated in on-farm research into mulching, cover crops, minimum tillage, and nutrient management for organic vegetables. For many years, he has written for the Virginia Association for Biological Farming newsletter and served as their policy liason to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He has also participated in different research projects to analyze, evaluate and improve federally funded organic and sustainable agriculture programs. In addition, Mark offers individual consulting in soil test interpretation, soil quality and nutrient management, crop rotation, cover cropping, and weed management.

The webinar will be conducted using Webex. To try a test session, go here.

Funding for this webinar is provided by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

 

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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Using Cover Crops in Organic Systems: Resources and Research from SARE

lun, 2018/04/23 - 18:29

eOrganic author:

Andy Zieminski, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has funded hundreds of research and education projects related to cover crops since 1988. SARE’s Cover Crop Topic Room features free information products (books, bulletins, webinars, etc.) and research projects relevant to both conventional and organic production.

Resources

NOTE: Some of the linked resources may also discuss non-organic production methods. Before applying any product, be sure to 1) read and understand the safety precautions and application restrictions, and 2) make sure that the brand name product is listed your Organic System Plan and approved by your organic certifier. For more information see Can I Use this Product for Disease Management on my Organic Farm?

Cover Crops and No-Till Management for Organic Systems
This Rodale Institute fact sheet reviews the use of cover crops and no-till in organic systems including selection, establishment, and mechanical termination of cover crops; crop rotations; and energy and production budgets.

Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator
This free, online tool developed by Oregon State University compares the nutrient value and cost of cover crops, organic and synthetic fertilizers, and compost. It can be used to develop well-balanced and cost-effective nutrient management programs. It is most appropriate for farmers in western Washington and western Oregon.

Cover Crops for All Seasons—Expanding the cover crop tool box for organic vegetable producers
This Virginia Association for Biological Farming information sheet, authored by Mark Schonbeck and Ron Morse, provides research-based information on a cover crop “toolbox” from which organic vegetable growers can select cover crops most suited to their regions and production systems.

Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual
This 154-page book, free to download, reviews how farmers are using crop rotations to improve soil quality and health, and manage pests, diseases, and weeds. Consulting with expert organic farmers, the authors share rotation strategies that can be applied under various field conditions and with a wide range of crops. Crop Rotation on Organic Farms is most applicable for the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, but may also be useful for other regions of the United States.

 

Managing Cover Crops Profitably
This 244-page book, free to download, explores how and why cover crops work and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation—both conventional and organic. Managing Cover Crops Profitably includes detailed management information on the most commonly used species. For Midwestern farmers: The information in Managing Cover Crops Profitably formed the foundation of the Midwest Cover Crops Council's Cover Crop Decision Tools, which are interactive, web-based systems to assist farmers in selecting cover crops to include in field crop and vegetable rotations.

Research

The Cover Crop Topic Room includes a selection of SARE-funded research conducted by farmers, scientists, Extension educators and others on these topics:

Examples of research on cover crops in organic systems include:

To discover more of SARE’s organic cover crop research portfolio, browse the Cover Crop Topic Room or visit SARE's database of projects and conduct full text or advanced keyword searches.

About SARE

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) ­program’s mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. SARE is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA. For more information, visit www.sare.org.

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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Soil Health and Organic Farming Webinar Series

jeu, 2018/04/05 - 17:08

Please join the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic for a series of 9 webinars focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.

Author Mark Schonbeck of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming and OFRF Research Program Director Diana Jerkins will review the most recent research on soil health practices and explore how organic growers can build healthy soils on their operations. The webinars will provide practical guidelines for growers, in-depth analysis of research outcomes, and an opportunity to get your questions answered.

Register now at https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/onstage/g.php?PRID=8c89e175509c9d5e881644245dd5c9d2

May 9, 2018: Building Organic Matter for Healthy Soils: An Overview

We will discuss the attributes of healthy soil, the central role of organic matter, and how to monitor and enhance soil health in organic production. The presentation will outline key organic practices for building soil organic matter and optimizing soil functions in relation to fertility, crop yield, and resource conservation.

June 13, 2018: Weed Management: An Ecological Approach

This webinar will focus on integrated organic weed management tools and practices that give crops the edge over weeds, build soil health, and reduce the need for soil disturbance.

September 19, 2018: Practical Conservation Tillage

This webinar includes the impacts of tillage on soil health, including practical, soil-friendly tillage practices for organic systems. We will discuss several newer tillage tools and approaches that reduce adverse impacts on soil life and soil structure.

October 17, 2018: Cover Crops: Selection and Management

This webinar will focus on selecting the best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for soil health, including crop rotations and cropping system biodiversity.

November 14, 2018: Plant Genetics: Plant Breeding and Variety Selection

This webinar will cover plant breeding and variety selection for performance in sustainable organic systems, including nutrient and moisture use efficiency, competitiveness toward weeds, and enhanced interactions with beneficial soil biota. We will also discuss heritable traits that could directly benefit soil biology and soil health.

January 9, 2019: Water Management and Water Quality

This webinar will focus on the role of soil health and organic soil management in water conservation and water quality.

February 20, 2019: Nutrient Management for Crops, Soil and the Environment

This webinar includes a discussion of the role of soil health and the soil food web, including practical guidelines for optimizing crop nutrition, minimizing adverse environmental impacts of organic fertility inputs, and adapting soil test-based nutrient recommendations (especially N) for organic systems.

March 20, 2019: Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration

In this webinar, we will discuss the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon, minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions during crop and livestock production, and enhance agricultural resilience to weather extremes. The presentation will include practical guidelines for optimizing the organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adaptability to climate disruptions already underway.

May 22, 2019: Understanding and Managing Soil Biology for Soil Health and Crop Production

This webinar will examine the functions of the soil food web and key components thereof in promoting soil health and fertility and sustainable organic crop production. Research-based guidance on organic practices and NOP-approved inputs for improved soil food web function will be discussed.

Thank you to the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation for supporting this project.

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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April 2018

mer, 2018/04/04 - 15:34
April 11 Webinar: Variety Trials:Trial Evaluation, Analysis and Interpreting Results

The webinar on Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Reduce Risk for Organic and Specialty Crop Producers: Trial Evaluation, Analysis and Interpreting Results is the second webinar a 2-part series on conducting variety trials to reduce risk for organic and specialty crop producers. Presenters are Julie Dawson of the University of Wisconsin Madison and Jared Zystro of the Organic Seed Alliance. The first webinar was recorded and is available here. These webinars are part of an online variety trial toolkit created by the Organic Seed Alliance and their collaborators. Also included in the toolkit are a guide to on farm variety trials and a free online variety trial tool. Find the toolkit here. Please note, to attend this free webinar, you must register here in Webex, since we have switched programs and the older Gotowebinar link will not work!

All recent eOrganic webinars and broadcast recordings available now on YouTube

Recordings are now available from the entire Fall-Spring eOrganic webinar season including all the Organic Seed Growers Conference recordings, and the webinars on tomato foliar pathogens, abrasive weeding, tools for farm biodiversity and more. Find them all at https://www.youtube.com/user/eOrganic.

April 4 at 11:59 Eastern Time: Spring NOSB meeting comments deadline

If you would like to submit comments for the Spring NOSB meeting or sign up for oral comments at their webinars or in person, the deadline is today at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.The in-person meeting takes place on April 25-27, and the two webinars take place on April 17 and 19.  The many issues, proposals and substances they will be discussing are contained in their meeting materials here. Find out more details about the meeting and webinars here, and submit written comments by tonight April 4 at 11:59 Eastern here.

NSAC Update on Food Safety Modernization Act

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition just published a helpful blog post which summarizes new information published by the FDA about how farms and processors can determine whether they qualify for various exemptions from the Food Safety Modernization Act Rules. Exemptions are determined by sales thresholds based on an average of the past 3 years' sales and adjusted for inflation. Find out more about how this works and which exemptions your farm may qualify for at http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/fsma-exemptions-update/

Seed Internship Program Accepting Applications

Are you an experienced seed grower seeking interns for your farm? Or are you an individual looking for a farm internship that would teach you how to grow seed? Then check out the Seed Internship Program, co-hosted by the Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA). The program matches host farms that produce seed with individuals interested in a farm internship that teaches these skills. The program also provides host farms seed production curriculum to support their training efforts. Click here to learn more and register as a host farm or interested intern.

Learn How to Grow Seed in California on April 7th

Join OSA’s Southern California Seed Hub, San Diego Seed Company, and Bancroft Center for Sustainability for a one-day training on incorporating organic seed production into your diversified farm plan. The workshop will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Steve Peters of OSA and Brijette Pena of the San Diego Seed Company will provide hands-on instruction to help you grow organic seed for the commercial market. This training will help participants understand seed production biology; on-farm breeding; seed harvesting and cleaning; and how to conduct variety trials and choose seed crops for a specific system and climate. Participants will also learn about the economics of seed production and how to identify markets. Learn more and register here.

NOVIC and CIOA Projects work with the University of Hawaii to Teach Plant Breeding

Two NIFA-OREI funded organic plant breeding projects: the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) and the Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project recently joined tropical plant breeders at the University of Hawaii to teach a two-day workshop on organic plant breeding for Hawaiian organic farmers. The event was co-hosted by the University of Hawaii’s Go-farm Hawaii program – an applied apprentice program that trains beginning farmers. Go-farm Hawaii trainer Jay Bost led the workshop, which included both a classroom and field component with trials of several NOVIC, CIOA and Hawaiian tropical crops. Read more about this event and view pictures here.

 

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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NEW REGISTRATION LINK: Abrasive Weeding: Efficacy, Multifunctionality, and Profitability

mer, 2018/03/21 - 15:56

Due to a change in service of our long-time webinar provider, we have had to switch to a new program: Webex. If you registered for this webinar in gotowebinar, please register again in webex! We apologize for the inconvenience, but we want to make sure that you and everyone who is interested can join, and our former program has limited the number of attendees! So please register again and join us for this informative presentation on this new organic weeding method!

Join eOrganic for a new webinar on abrasive weeding by Sam Wortman of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln The webinar takes place on March 29, 2018 at 2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain and 11AM Pacific Time. The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required.

Register now at:

https://oregonstate.webex.com/oregonstate/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7100a9abc4f647f023d7c438115748c6

About the Webinar

Small grits propelled by compressed air can be used to abrade weed seedlings within crop rows. This non-chemical weed management tactic is called abrasive weeding, and our research team has been developing new grit application technologies, exploring multifunctional grit sources, and studying effects of air-propelled grits on a diversity of weeds and crops throughout the Midwest. In this webinar, we will present results from over three years of research and development, and discuss opportunities for maximizing weed control, crop nutrition and yield, and profitability with abrasive weeding. eOrganic hosted an introductory webinar about this topic in 2015, available here, and this presentation will add new information.eOrganic also published an article and video about abrasive weeding, available here.

 

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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March 2018: Upcoming Webinars on tomatoes, variety trials, weed blasting

ven, 2018/03/16 - 15:16

View this newsletter in your browser here

Upcoming Webinars in March and April

Join us for 4 upcoming webinars in March and April on tomato foliar diseases, variety trials, and abrasive weeding. You can register at the links below for these free programs. Note: Due to a change in the service terms of the webinar provider we've used for many years, we are switching to Webex, which will also work for Linux users!

March 20: Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Manage Risk for Organic and Specialty Crop Producers Part 1: Register for parts 1 and 2
This webinar will introduce farmers to the practice of variety trialing, detailing the reasons one might choose to conduct trials and how to plan a trial with a scope, scale, and focus appropriate to the growers’ needs. This session will also cover seed sourcing, and important considerations for trial planting and management. Presenters: Micaela Colley, Jared Zystro, Kitt Healy, Organic Seed Alliance; Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin

March 21: Organic Tomato Foliar Pathogen IPM Webinar: Register
Join eOrganic for webinar on how to manage foliar pathogens organically! Effectively managing foliar pathogens is one of the biggest challenges facing organic tomato growers. This webinar will provide an overview of practices that can help synergistically address this challenge. .Presenters: Dan Egel, Lori Hoagland, and Amit-Kum Jaiswal, Purdue University

March 29: Abrasive Weeding: Efficiency, Multifunctionality and Profitability: Register
Small grits propelled by compressed air can be used to abrade weed seedlings within crp rows. This non-chemical weed management tactic is called abrasive weeding, and our research team has been developing new grit application technologies, exploring multifunctional grit sources, and studying effects of air-propelled grits on a diversity of weeds and crops throughout the Midwest. In this webinar, we will present results from over three years of research and development, and discuss opportunities for maximizing weed control, crop nutrition and yield, and profitability with abrasive weeding. A previous webinar on this topic from 2015 is available at http://articles.extension.org/pages/71257. This webinar will present new information. Read an article and watch a video about the topic at http://articles.extension.org/pages/74528. Presenter: Sam Wortman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

April 11: Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Manage Risk for Organic and Specialty Crop Producers Part 2 Register
This webinar will focus on record-keeping and trial evaluation, as well as analysis and interpretation of final results. This session will introduce participants to some intuitive techniques for keeping data organized, and user-friendly online tools to aid in analyzing information collected and drawing conclusions from trial resultsPresenters: Micaela Colley, Jared Zystro, Kitt Healy, Organic Seed Alliance; Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin

New Organic Variety Trial Toolkit and Grower's Guide to Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials

In addition to the webinars on conducting on-farm variety trials, Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, eOrganic, and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) are proud to announce the release of a new publication, The Grower’s Guide to Conducting On-farm Variety Trials, to help farmers manage risk by identifying crop varieties that are optimal for their production systems and markets. The publication is part of an online variety trial toolkit that includes webinars, workshops, and an online tool for planning and managing on-farm trials. Find the guide and the other resources in the toolkit here.

Updated Information on Late Blight Management with Resistant Varieties

Selection of resistant varieties is the most effective way to manage late blight. The eOrganic article Late Blight Management in tomato with Resistant Varieties, by Margaret McGrath of Cornell University has updated tables with current information about different late blight genotypes and which ones have been reported in different states. Read the article here.

New Extension Bulletin on Nutrient Management for Organic Farming

A new Extension bulletin from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln discusses nutrient management in organic farming and considers nutrient sources, soil availability and nutrient cycling. Authored by Sam E. Wortman, Charles S. Wortmann, Ashley L. Pine, Charles A. Shapiro, Ashley A. Thompson, and Richard S. Little, the publication can be downloaded here.

Organic Confluences Summit on May 21-22

The Organic Center, in collaboration with USDA Economic Research Service and eOrganic will bring farmers, scientists, extension agents, industry members and policy influencers together on May 21 and 22, 2018 for what will be the third annual Organic Confluences Summit to address the challenges facing organic agriculture and to share knowledge and research findings. The theme of this year’s summit is “Evaluating and Advancing Knowledge Transfer in Organic.” It will gather diverse organic stakeholders to assess the state of extension and education for organic and transitioning farmers, explore current innovations in information dissemination, and address barriers that constrain knowledge transfer within the organic sector. Find more information about the conference and registration here,

Barley Day at Oregon State June 1

Save the date for an opportunity to learn all about the multiple uses of naked (hull-less) barley at Barley Day at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon on June 1, 2018. You can also learn more about the activities of the NIFA OREI funded research project which is breeding and testing varieties of this versatile grain on their website at http://eorganic.info/barley, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Read an article from Oregon State University which includes details on the project and their variety release "Buck" naked barley here.

eOrganic ASHS Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our student competition to attend a planned oral session at the American Society for Horticultural Science conference in August 2018! Winners who will present at the conference are David Campbell of the University of Florida, Sonja Birthisel of the University of Maine, Eliza Smith of Oregon State University, Charlotte Thurston of the University of Minnesota, and Haley Rylander of Cornell University. Honorable mention is awarded to Tessa Barker of Oregon State University. Each of the winners will publish an eOrganic article about their research findings which we will make available after the conference! Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially those who sent in entries at very short notice!

Organic Seed Growers Conference Recordings Available

Recordings from the Seed Economics Intensive, as well as sessions from the Organic Seed Growers conference on crop planning, biodynamic seeds, and at the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference are now available as a playlist on the eOrganic YouTube channel. Recordings from 3 additional sessions about variety trials, microbial hitchikers on seeds, and organic hybrid seed production will also be available in the same playlist by next week!

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!

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.

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Conventional Chemical Soil Testing in Organic Farming Systems

lun, 2018/03/05 - 20:01

eOrganic author:

Ellen Phillips, University of Illinois

Introduction

Soil testing is one of several diagnostic tools used to evaluate soil quality, specifically pH, and soil nutrient and organic matter levels. Soil tests and their interpretation for fertilizer recommendations are based on decades of research to correlate the soil test numbers with the amount of fertilizer applied and the resulting crop yield. Conventional chemical soil testing depends on taking a representative sample, then using appropriate soil nutrient extraction methods that have been calibrated to fertilizer rate studies that indicate the most economic rate of fertilizer applications to maximize yields. Because of the complexity of organic systems, as well as the dependence on the biological release of nutrients, utilization of traditional soil testing methodology and interpretations may need to be reconsidered within organic systems.

What are some of the potential benefits of utilizing chemical soil tests?

  1. Gathering baseline data on nutrient levels in new fields can help in making decisions on the use fertilizers, amendments, and cover crops to improve soil quality.
  2. Some of the basic soil chemical tests such as pH and organic matter, in combination with soil texture analysis, can indicate which crops will grow best on that soil.
  3. If concerns arise about nutrient deficiency symptoms or low yields while crops are growing, chemical soil tests can add pieces to the puzzle of trying to improve soil quality so crops will thrive.
  4. Organic systems often have a heavy reliance on compost or manure. Understanding nutrient cycling within these systems is important to avoid nutrient overloads and potential pollution. Chemical soil tests become a monitoring tool to avoid excessive additions of nutrients to your farm system.
  5. You may be required by the Organic Certification process to conduct soil tests in order to apply micronutrients or other fertilizers.
Soil Sampling Methods Conventional

The first step in conventional soil testing is to take one soil sample per approximately every 10 acres of cropland. This one sample is actually made up of 3 to 10 subsamples, to a depth of 7 inches, within the sampling area to try and get a representative sample. Currently, intensive grid sampling of large fields for precision applications has become common. In doing so, many unique areas, e.g., by gravel roads or wet areas, may be left out or sampled separately. Conventional soil samples are usually taken every three to four years, depending on the state, and are typically taken in the fall.

Organic System Considerations

In many cases, organic systems require more intensive soil sampling than conventional systems, since they often have a greater diversity of crops and rotations. Sampling each unique field or garden area with different crop rotations and amendments may result in a much larger number of samples being taken than one sample for 10 acres.

Depth of sampling may need to reflect depth of tillage, depth of amendment incorporation, or perhaps depth of rooting of the predominate crop (corn vs. lettuce) within the crop rotation. If no tillage is used, shallow soil sampling of 2 to 3 inches may be best to evaluate the distribution of nutrients in the surface soil. Farmers need to decide what sampling protocols will give the most information to answer their questions about how to modify their systems to increase nutrient availability.

Timing of sample collection may not be related to calendars. Instead, samples might be collected to correlate to a crop sequence within the rotation. If significant organic materials such as manure or compost are incorporated in the fall, sampling may not take place until the spring to evaluate the amount of nutrients released.

Because the initial sampling scheme establishes the baseline for comparisons of future soil tests and interpretations of how management decisions influence soil chemical, biological, and physical properties, serious consideration should be given to the initial sampling strategy for each field. Sampling timing and depth will probably differ from traditional sampling, therefore interpretation and fertilizer recommendations from conventional systems may not be directly applicable to your organic system. Thus, the year-to-year changes in soil test values of fields, when sampled consistently in the same manner, becomes the predominate value of chemical soil tests.

Soil Testing Methods Choosing A Soil Testing Lab

Labs can run different soil tests depending on the type of soil, the chemical and physical properties of the soil, as well as the availability of calibration data for the interpretation of test results. Labs should participate in one of the available lab certification programs. The largest program is the North American Proficiency Testing (NAPT) program. It is a national program managed through the Soil Science Society of America. It is important to choose one lab that will be able to provide consistent results and services throughout the duration of your farming operation.

Conventional

Conventional chemical soil test labs are almost a century in the making. The soil test methods, field calibration research, and interpretation for fertilizer recommendations are based on an abundance of research. Particularly, the calibration data and interpretation tend to be state specific. Therefore, it is important to become familiar with the methods a lab utilizes and what data they are basing their interpretations on. Standard soil test methods vary by region.

Traditional soil testing includes analyzing for pH, phosphorus, and potassium for a nominal fee ranging from $5.00 to $15.00 per sample. Additional soil tests for calcium, magnesium, sulfur and micronutrients are generally also available. Many labs offer other soil tests as well, such as organic matter, texture, cation exchange capacity, and others. The one nutrient that is often not analyzed is nitrogen, which transforms readily within soil making it difficult to measure and interpret results. See Soil Microbial Nitrogen Cycling for Organic Farms for more information.

Organic System Considerations

Traditional chemical soil tests can be one tool for organic farmers to use to assess soil quality within their organic system. Since organic farmers often sample fields and utilize soil test results in a non-traditional manner, it is important to identify someone who can assist in interpreting changes in soil test levels through the years. Ask the lab's agronomist or horticulturalist about their background in working with organic systems. Understanding the mineralization process of organic fertilizers and amendments is crucial in interpreting changes in chemical soil tests levels over time.

Soil Testing Calibration Conventional

The soil nutrient extraction methods utilized in labs would not be very valuable if they were not calibrated with field conditions. Traditionally this has meant conducting field research utilizing varying fertilizer rates (0, 15, 150, 200 pounds of “X” nutrient). The resulting change in soil test values and economic analysis of maximum yields result in soil test interpretation information. These studies are repeated on different types of soils, with varying weather conditions, crops, etc. Most of these studies overlooked the importance of soil biological contributions to nutrient cycling, however. Studies also focused on quick release fertilizers, rather than slow release amendments and long-term changes to soil organic matter.

Organic System Considerations

Organic systems have a limited number of fertilizer products available and most of these would be considered slow release. In addition, organic systems often add large amounts of organic materials or incorporate cover crops. The organic additions result in a slow release of nutrients that is highly dependent on soil biology and weather conditions. Therefore, most studies calibrating soil chemical tests to fertilizer rates are not useful within organic systems. An abundance of research is taking place and new data sets for interpretation of soil tests for organic systems are emerging.

Soil Testing Interpretations Conventional

The interpretation of conventional soil test results relies on years of research calibrating soil test methods to specific soil types, crops, and fertilizer rates. The result are fertilizer calculators where you enter your type of soil, expected yield, and soil test level, and out comes the rate of fertilizer you should apply. There is little consideration for the type of fertilizer you will choose and how quickly the nutrients will become available in the soil or for the impacts of soil physical and biological properties or weather on nutrient availability.

In an attempt to serve the organic community, some soil test labs have offered to give fertilizer rates for organic fertilizers. These often are straight conversions based on the grade of nutrients and do not account for soil-fertilizer interactions. For additional information on converting conventional fertilizer recommendations, see How to Convert an Inorganic Fertilizer Recommendation to an Organic One from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Organic System Considerations

Developing a relationship with the agronomist or horticulturalist at the lab of your choice is important in interpreting the chemical soil tests and evaluating your options for fertilizers and amendments. Simple substitution of organic fertilizers into fertilizer calculators may not lead to similar results. Most organic fertilizers are slow release fertilizers and may be present in the soil many years longer than traditional synthetic fertilizers. Currently there are many different theories on how to interpret soil test results within organic systems:

  • Nutrient budgeting: This system focuses on what crops are removing to estimate how much nutrients should be replaced.
  • Sufficiency approach: Utilizing conventional soil tests ranges of low, medium and high, additions of fertilizers and amendments would only be added when a soil test level is low or medium.
  • Cation balance: Cation balance strategy focuses on maintaining ratios of base cations of calcium, magnesium and potassium within the soil.
Conclusion

Conventional chemical soil testing strategies were not designed to address nutrient management questions in organic production systems. Despite some limitations in the calibration and interpretation of results for organic systems, the test levels over time can be a useful tool for organic farmers to evaluate the impact of their management decisions on the chemical properties of their soils.

In addition to conventional chemical soil tests there are a growing number of other diagnostic tools to help interpret soil quality within an organic system.

Additional Resources

 

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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Organic Seed Growers Conference 2018 Live Broadcast

jeu, 2018/01/11 - 17:10

Join eOrganic at the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference for live broadcasts of the Seed Economics Intensive on Feb 14th, and 2 more days of organic seed workshops on the 16th and 17th! You can attend any or all of these presentations and come and go as you wish from wherever you are! It's free, and just one advance registration is required! See the schedule below--because it is a live conference, the exact program might be subject to change. (Please note that there are some long breaks between sessions.)

Register now at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7399072627054006018

February 14th: Seed Economics Intensive. 9-4:30 Pacific Time

Note: There will be 15-minute breaks at 10:15 and 3, and a lunch break from 1230-115 Pacific Time

Navigating the finances of growing seed commercially can be challenging and managing the risks are essential to success. Beginning and experienced seed growers are invited to join us for this one-day intensive to gain the tools needed for managing financial risk in commercial seed production. Get skilled at using budgeting tools to evaluate capital investments, expanding enterprises, and assessing market opportunities. We’ll examine real-world examples from seed growers with different marketing strategies to build knowledge of wholesale, retail, contract growing, as well as breeding and variety maintenance. Participants will have the opportunity to provide their own production examples and work with an agricultural economist to develop enterprise budgets. We’ll also hear from organic seed industry representatives about gaps in the seed supply, best practices for quality control, and projections for the future of the organic seed market.

Presenters: Sebastian Aguilar, Chickadee Farm; Travis Greenwalt, Highland Economics; Sam McCullough, Nash's Organic Produce; Tanya Murray, Oregon Tilth; Sarah Kleeger, Adaptive Seed; Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seed; Ira Wallace, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange; Pete Zuck, Johnny's Selected Seeds

Friday, February 16 Crop Planning for Organic Seed Growers: 9-10:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Daniel Brisebois, Tourne-Sol Cooperative Farm; Sebastian Aguilar, Chickadee Farm, Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance

Growing Strong Seed The Biodynamic Way: 2-3:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Thea Maria Carlson, Biodynamic Farmer and Co-Director of the Biodynamic Association; Beth Corymb, Meadowlark Hearth; Jim Fullmer, Biodynamic Farmer and Co-Director of Demeter USA; Marjory House, Biodynamic Farmer and consultant with Sero Biodynamic Seed. 

Seed Production in Cages – Challenging, Fun, and Rewarding: 4-5:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Shaina Bronstein, Vitalis Organic Seeds; Jen Jody, Growing Opportunities Farm Community Coop, Laurie McKenzie,Organic Seed Alliance; Chris Thoreau, Farmfolk Cityfolk

Saturday February 17 Leveraging Variety Trials to Advance Organic Seed Systems: 9-10:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Alex Lyon, University of British Columbia; Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance and University of Wisconsin-Madison

Microbial Hitchhikers on Seed: Friend or Foe? 1:30-3PM Pacific Time

Speakers: Dan Egel, Purdue University; Jim Myers, Oregon State University

Organic Hybrid Seed Production in the US: Methods and Case Studies: 3:30-5 Pacific Time

Speakers: Jeffrey Block, Gro Alliance; Jason Cavatorta, Earthwork Seeds; Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds; Bill Waycott, Nipomo Native Seeds.

About the Organic Seed Growers Conference

The Organic Seed Growers Conference is the largest organic seed event in the US and is organized by the Organic Seed Alliance.  It takes place in Corvallis, Oregon on February 14-17, 2018. To learn more about how to attend in person, please visit the conference website at https://seedalliance.org/conference/

System Requirements

View detailed system requirements here. Please connect to the webinar 10 minutes in advance, as the webinar program will require you to download software. To test your connection in advance, go here. You can either listen via your computer speakers or call in by phone (toll call). Java needs to be installed and working on your computer to join the webinar.  If you are running Mac OSU with Safari, please test your Java at http://java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp prior to joining the webinar, and if it isn't working, try Firefox or Chrome.

 

 

 

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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Live Broadcasts from the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference

jeu, 2018/01/11 - 12:06

Join eOrganic at the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference for live broadcasts of the Seed Economics Intensive on Feb 14th, and 2 more days of organic seed workshops on the 16th and 17th! You can attend any or all of these presentations and come and go as you wish from wherever you are! It's free, and just one advance registration is required! See the schedule below--because it is a live conference, the exact program might be subject to change. (Please note that there are some long breaks between sessions.)

Register now at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7399072627054006018

February 14th: Seed Economics Intensive. 9-4:15 Pacific Time

Note: There will be 15-minute breaks at 10:15 and 3, and a lunch break from 1230-115 Pacific Time

Navigating the finances of growing seed commercially can be challenging and managing the risks are essential to success. Beginning and experienced seed growers are invited to join us for this one-day intensive to gain the tools needed for managing financial risk in commercial seed production. Get skilled at using budgeting tools to evaluate capital investments, expanding enterprises, and assessing market opportunities. We’ll examine real-world examples from seed growers with different marketing strategies to build knowledge of wholesale, retail, contract growing, as well as breeding and variety maintenance. Participants will have the opportunity to provide their own production examples and work with an agricultural economist to develop enterprise budgets. We’ll also hear from organic seed industry representatives about gaps in the seed supply, best practices for quality control, and projections for the future of the organic seed market.

Presenters: Sebastian Aguilar, Chickadee Farm; Travis Greenwalt, Highland Economics; Sam McCullough, Nash's Organic Produce; Tanya Murray, Oregon Tilth; Sarah Kleeger, Adaptive Seed; Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seed; Ira Wallace, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange; Pete Zuck, Johnny's Selected Seeds

Friday, February 16 Crop Planning for Organic Seed Growers: 9-10:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Daniel Brisebois, Tourne-Sol Cooperative Farm; Sebastian Aguilar, Chickadee Farm, Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance

Growing Strong Seed The Biodynamic Way: 2-3:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Thea Maria Carlson, Biodynamic Farmer and Co-Director of the Biodynamic Association; Beth Corymb, Meadowlark Hearth; Jim Fullmer, Biodynamic Farmer and Co-Director of Demeter USA; Marjory House, Biodynamic Farmer and consultant with Sero Biodynamic Seed. 

Seed Production in Cages – Challenging, Fun, and Rewarding: 4-5:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Shaina Bronstein, Vitalis Organic Seeds; Jen Jody, Growing Opportunities Farm Community Coop, Laurie McKenzie,Organic Seed Alliance; Chris Thoreau, Farmfolk Cityfolk

Saturday February 17 Leveraging Variety Trials to Advance Organic Seed Systems: 9-10:30 Pacific Time

Speakers: Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Alex Lyon, University of British Columbia; Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance and University of Wisconsin-Madison

Microbial Hitchhikers on Seed: Friend or Foe? 1:30-3PM Pacific Time

Speakers: Dan Egel, Purdue University; Jim Myers, Oregon State University

Organic Hybrid Seed Production in the US: Methods and Case Studies: 3:30-5 Pacific Time

Speakers: Jeffrey Block, Gro Alliance; Jason Cavatorta, Earthwork Seeds; Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds; Bill Waycott, Nipomo Native Seeds.

About the Organic Seed Growers Conference

The Organic Seed Growers Conference is the largest organic seed event in the US and is organized by the Organic Seed Alliance.  It takes place in Corvallis, Oregon on February 14-17, 2018. To learn more about how to attend in person, please visit the conference website at https://seedalliance.org/conference/

System Requirements

View detailed system requirements here. Please connect to the webinar 10 minutes in advance, as the webinar program will require you to download software. To test your connection in advance, go here. You can either listen via your computer speakers or call in by phone (toll call). Java needs to be installed and working on your computer to join the webinar.  If you are running Mac OSU with Safari, please test your Java at http://java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp prior to joining the webinar, and if it isn't working, try Firefox or Chrome.

 

 

 

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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January 2018

mar, 2018/01/09 - 18:33
eOrganic Winter-Spring Webinar Schedule

Learn about the latest organic farming research with these free learning opportunities from eOrganic. We have a great lineup of webinars coming up this year, and they are open to everyone. We've added two new ones since our last newsletter: an update on the latest research on organic spotted wing drosophila management, and a webinar on how to use various tools for farm biodiversity! Register now to reserve your spot!

Jan 30, 2018: Organic Tomato Seed Production

Jan 31, 2018: Melon Medley: Organic Production Practices, Microbial Safety and Consumer Preferences of various Melon Varieties

Feb 14, 2018: Live Broadcast of the Seed Economics Intensive from the Organic Seed Growers Conference

Feb 27, 2018 (1PM Eastern): Tools for Farm Biodiversity

Feb 27 2018: (3PM Eastern) Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila Using Organically Approved Strategies: An Update

March 20 and April 11, 2018: Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Manage Risk to Organic and Specialty Crop Producers

March 21, 2018: Organic Tomato Foliar Pathogen IPM Webinar

March 29, 2018: Abrasive Weeding: Efficiency, Multifunctionality and Profitability

New Bulletin on Roasted Barley Tea from the Multi-use Naked Barley for Organic Systems Project

eOrganic works with various organic research projects to help spread the word about their activities and findings. One of the newest of these projects is the Multi-use Naked Barley for Organic Systems project, which is breeding and experimenting with different uses for hull-less barley varieties used in food, baked goods, beer, and as an animal feed. Their website contains recipes, research updates, and most recently, a bulletin on roasted barley tea, which has been enjoyed in Asia for centuries!

Comments Sought on USDA Livestock and Poultry Rules until January 17

In April, 2016, the USDA proposed amending the organic livestock and poultry production requirements, in order to ensure consistent application of the USDA organic regulations for organic livestock and poultry operations and maintain confidence in organically labeled products. The proposed changes were based on recommendations by the National Organic Standards Board and incorporated years of public comment and suggestions by stakeholders. According to the USDA AMS website, the rule would:

  • Clarify how producers and handlers must treat livestock and poultry to ensure their health and wellbeing throughout life, including transport and slaughter.
  • Specify which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production.
  • Establish minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry.

After several extensions, the rule was set to go into effect in May, but the USDA is now proposing to withdraw the rule, and public comments are being sought on this proposal until January 17, 2018. Submit public comments here.

Organic Research Funding Opportunities

The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. The purpose of this program is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics. The OREI is particularly interested in projects that emphasize research, education and outreach that assist farmers and ranchers with whole farm planning by delivering practical research-based information. Projects should plan to deliver applied production information to producers. Fieldwork must be done on certified organic land or on land in transition to organic certification, as appropriate to project goals and objectives. Learn more and apply here

The Organic Transitions Program:The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming. Eligible applicants include land-grant, Hispanic-serving, and private and state institutions. Program priority areas shall address: documentation of the effects of organic practices; development of technologies, methods, and metrics for ecosystem services and climate adaptation and mitigation ability of organic crop, livestock, and integrated crop-livestock production systems; establishment of cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. Learn more and apply here

If you are applying for a grant and would like to partner with eOrganic, 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

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.

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Management of spotted wing drosophila using organically approved strategies: An update

mar, 2018/01/09 - 15:24

Join eOrganic for a webinar on the organic management of Spotted Wing Drosophila by members of a multi-state research team and find out what they have learned!

The webinar takes place on February 27th at 3PM Eastern Time (2PM Central, 1PM Mountain, Noon Pacific Time). It's free and open to everyone, and advance registration is required.

Register now at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5195331367569487361

About the Webinar

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has emerged as a devastating pest of small and stone fruits worldwide. Losses due to SWD can be as high as 100% and have been valued more than $718 million annually in the U.S. The zero tolerance for SWD in fresh fruit has led conventional growers to make preventative insecticide applications when fruit are ripe. Organic management of SWD is even more challenging due to the low number of effective OMRI-approved materials and limited understanding on the biology of SWD to translate into non-chemical management tactics. In 2015, a multi-regional project was funded by USDA-NIFA through Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) to develop, evaluate and implement systems-based organic management programs for SWD. This webinar will provide a comprehensive update on organic management of spotted wing drosophila. It will cover findings of the research conducted during the first and second year of this project on organically approved strategies including behavioral, cultural, and chemical strategies to manage SWD.

Presenters
  1. Dr. Ash Sial (University of Georgia): Ash Sial is blueberry entomologist at the University of Georgia and is Project Director for the SWD Organic Management grant funded through OREI.
  2. Dr. Mary Rogers (University of Minnesota): Mary is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota specializing in sustainable and organic horticulture food production systems and Co-Project Director for the OREI project.
  3. Dr. Christelle Guedot (University of Wisconsin): Christelle is the Fruit Crop Entomologist and Extension Specialist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
  4. Dr. Matt Grieshop (Michigan State University): Matt is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Michigan State University. The primary focus of his program at MSU is developing and implementing integrated pest management programs in organic production systems.
  5. Dr. Kelly Hamby (University of Maryland): Dr. Kelly Hamby, Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park with a focus on sustainable Integrated Pest Management strategies for various insect pests.
  6. Dr. Rufus Isaacs (Michigan State University): Rufus is a fruit entomologist at Michigan State University with a focus on developing and implementing insect management programs for small fruit industries.
  7. Dr. Vaughn Walton (Oregon State University): Vaughn is a fruit entomologist at Oregon State University with a focus on providing environmentally sustainable and minimal impact pest management strategies for agriculturalists in Oregon.
     
System Requirements

View detailed system requirements here. Please connect to the webinar 10 minutes in advance, as the webinar program will require you to download software. To test your connection in advance, go here. You can either listen via your computer speakers or call in by phone (toll call). Java needs to be installed and working on your computer to join the webinar.  If you are running Mac OSU with Safari, please test your Java at http://java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp prior to joining the webinar, and if it isn't working, try Firefox or Chrome.

 

 

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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On Farm Variety Trials: Toolkit for Risk Management of Organic and Specialty Crop Producers,

ven, 2018/01/05 - 17:29

In 2018, The Organic Seed Alliance will provide training to organic and specialty crop growers in on-farm variety trial skills through four on-farm workshops, two conference workshops, a two-part series of live webinars hosted by eOrganic, and this online toolkit that will include archived webinars, an on-farm trial guide, and online trial evaluation and data analysis tools.

Two-Part Webinar: Conducting On Farm Variety Trials to Manage Risk for Organic and Speciality Crop Producers

March 20 and April 11, 2018, 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). Register here. Recordings from these webinars will be posted on this page.

The On Farm Variety Trialling Guide

Scheduled for release in February 2018, and will be posted here

The Seed to Kitchen Screening Trial Evaluation Template: Download

This template was developed by the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative at University of Wisconsin-Madison. It provides a good example for how a qualitative data sheet might be set up, and the Microsoft Excel format makes it easily customizable. 

The Organic Seed Alliance Trial Evaluation Sheet: Download

This sheet can be used for quantitative or qualitative data, and could be used either for a single data collection event, or filled in over time. A customizable version will be available shortly. 

The Seed to Kitchen Management Sheet: Download

This sheet allows growers to keep track of how they manage each trial, or each block of a trial. This is especially important for trails spanning multiple years. 

Register for the Organic Seed Growers Conference here

eOrganic will be broadcasting several workshops from the conference and we will post recordings here.

This toolkit and the related outreach events are delivered in partnership between the USDA, Risk Management Agency (RMA), Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), University Wisconsin-Madison, Oregon State Univeristy, eOrganic and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES). This publication is funded in partnership by USDA, Risk Management Agency, under award # RM17RMEPP522C027.

 

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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Organic Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila Webinar

jeu, 2018/01/04 - 13:12

Join eOrganic for a webinar on the organic management of Spotted Wing Drosophila by members of a 4-year, multi-state NIFA OREI research project and find out what they have learned!

The webinar takes place on February 27th at 3PM Eastern Time (2PM Central, 1PM Mountain, Noon Pacific Time). It's free and open to everyone, and advance registration is required.

Register now at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5195331367569487361

System Requirements

View detailed system requirements here. Please connect to the webinar 10 minutes in advance, as the webinar program will require you to download software. To test your connection in advance, go here. You can either listen via your computer speakers or call in by phone (toll call). Java needs to be installed and working on your computer to join the webinar.  If you are running Mac OSU with Safari, please test your Java at http://java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp prior to joining the webinar, and if it isn't working, try Firefox or Chrome.

 

 

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 24304

Tools for Farm Biodiversity Webinar

mer, 2018/01/03 - 11:59

 Join eOrganic for a webinar about online tools and apps that can help you manage biodiversity on organic farms. The webinar takes place on February 27, 2018 at 1PM Eastern Time, 12PM Central, 11AM Mountain, 10AM Pacific Time. It's free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. 

Register now at:https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1991049919486149377

About the Webinar

Organic growers rely on the many services biodiversity provides, but knowing where to find accessible information can be challenging. This webinar will provide an overview of three tools to help you identify and manage wildlife, with an emphasis on wild birds. Online tools covered will be the Merlin Bird ID app, the Habitat Network, and the Cool Farm Tool. There will be an extended 30 minute question and answer period at the end.

  • The Merlin Bird ID app can be used to identify common birds of North America by answering a series of questions expert birders would use when identifying species. The app is currently only available for Android and iPhone, but a desktop version will be available soon here
  • The Habitat Network is a citizen-science project that has farmers, and others, submit data through online mapping and connects them with detailed information about how to support biodiversity. Find it at http://www.content.yardmap.org
  • The Cool Farm Tool Biodiversity metric quantifies how well farm management supports biodiversity for eleven species groups in temperate areas of Europe and North America. The tool boils complexity into a series of multiple choice questions, scored according to the latest research and expert judgement. Find it at https://coolfarmtool.org/coolfarmtool/biodiversity

This webinar is brought to you by the NIFA OREI funded project: Avian Biodiversity: Impacts, Risks and Descriptive Survey (A-BIRDS).

Presenters
  • Miyoko Chu, Senior Director for Communications, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University
  • Rhiannon Crain, Project Leader, The Habitat Network, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University
  • Lynn Dicks, Cool Farm Tool, University of East Anglia
  • Amanda Edworthy, Post-doctoral Researcher , Washington State University
  • Christina Kennedy, Senior Scientist, The Nature Conservancy
  • Chris Latimer, Post-doctoral Researcher, The Nature Conservancy
  • Olivia Smith, PhD Student, Washington State University
  • Bill Snyder, Professor, Washington State University
System Requirements

View detailed system requirements here. Please connect to the webinar 10 minutes in advance, as the webinar program will require you to download software. To test your connection in advance, go here. You can either listen via your computer speakers or call in by phone (toll call). Java needs to be installed and working on your computer to join the webinar.  If you are running Mac OSU with Safari, please test your Java at http://java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp prior to joining the webinar, and if it isn't working, try Firefox or Chrome.

 

 

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 24296

Organic Agriculture is brought to you by eOrganic

mar, 2018/01/02 - 18:51
eOrganic: Organic Agriculture’s National Resource for Farmers and Ranchers

This resource, created by the eOrganic Community of Practice, is for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture, published research results, farmer experiences, and certification. Our current content is focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production. The content is collaboratively authored and reviewed by our community of University researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture.

Learn more about eOrganic Leadership

Our Goals
  • To present unbiased, science- and experience-based information in a variety of media formats.
  • To share the most current, relevant and accurate information available
  • To be a reliable resource that is responsive to the changing needs of the organic industry
  • To foster communication and collaboration among members of the organic community
eOrganic Tools You Can Use

Articles: Our articles keep you up to date in this rapidly emerging industry and cover everything from the nuts and bolts of organic production for beginners to the latest information and technology for advanced producers.

Ask an Expert: Do you need an answer to a question but can’t locate the resource online? Then visit eXtension’s Ask an Expert tool. You submit specific questions which are then directed to eOrganic’s community of organic agriculture experts. An expert will reply to your request via email. Direct access to an organic expert is one of the many benefits of visiting eXtension.

Videos: Short video segments highlighting the practices of organic agriculture are featured throughout eOrganic content. Watch producers and researchers demonstrate new and innovative cover cropping, reduced tillage, cultivation, soil management, pest management and marketing strategies for crops and livestock. Watch our videos as well as our recorded webinars on the eOrganic YouTube channel!

Webinars: eOrganic has presented over 180 webinars on organic farming and research. Please see our schedule of upcoming webinars and our archive of previous webinars at http://articles.extension.org/pages/25242/webinars-by-eorganic

Funding and Partnerships with eOrganic

eOrganic was initially funded by NIFA Integrated Organic Program (IOP) and eXtension. eOrganic is seeking funders. If you are interested in supporting eOrganic, please contact Alice Formiga at alice.formiga@oregonstate.edu. For information on partnering with eOrganic in a proposal, please go to http://eorganic.info/proposal

 

Contact Us

Please join us! If you have experience and expertise in organic agriculture and would like to join our community, contact us by joining eXtension and indicating your interest in joining eOrganic. https://people.extension.org

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 3526

eOrganic Leadership Team and Group Leaders

mar, 2018/01/02 - 16:39

eOrganic Leadership Team
  • Alice Formiga, Oregon State University: Executive Director
  • Alex Stone, Oregon State University
  • Heather Darby, University of Vermont Extension
  • Danielle Treadwell, University of Florida
  • Michelle Wander, University of Illinois
  • Chris Schreiner, Oregon Tilth
  • Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance

eOrganic Group Leaders
  • Certification - Chris Schreiner, Oregon Tilth
  • Cover Crops - Danielle Treadwell, University of Florida
  • Seeds and Plant Breeding - Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance
  • Soils - Michelle Wander, University of Illinois
  • Dairy Production Systems - Heather Darby, University of Vermont Extension; Cindy Daley, Chico State
  • Vegetable Production Systems - Alex Stone, Oregon State University
eOrganic Staff
  • Debra Heleba, University of Vermont
  • Cindy Salter, University of Illinois and Oregon State University
  • Lane Selman, Oregon State University
  • Connie Carr, Oregon Tilth

Organic Agriculture is brought to you by eOrganic

mar, 2018/01/02 - 16:37

Eorganic-v2.jpg

Organic Agriculture’s New National Resource for Farmers and Ranchers brought to you by eOrganic

This resource, created by the eOrganic Community of Practice, is for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture, published research results, farmer experiences, and certification. Our current content is focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production. The content is collaboratively authored and reviewed by our community of University researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture.

Learn more about eOrganic Leadership

Our Goals
  • To present unbiased, science- and experience-based information in a variety of media formats.
  • To share the most current, relevant and accurate information available.
  • To be a reliable resource that is responsive to the changing needs of the organic industry.
  • To foster communication and collaboration among members of the organic community.

eOrganic Tools You Can Use

Feature Articles: Our feature articles keep you up to date in this rapidly emerging industry and cover everything from the nuts and bolts of organic production for beginners to the latest information and technology for advanced producers.

Ask an Expert: Do you need an answer to a question but can’t locate the resource online? Then visit eXtension’s Ask an Expert tool. You submit specific questions which are then directed to eOrganic’s community of organic agriculture experts. An expert will reply to your request via email. Direct access to an organic expert is one of the many benefits of visiting eXtension.

Videos: Short video segments highlighting the practices of organic agriculture are featured throughout eOrganic content. Watch producers and researchers demonstrate new and innovative cover cropping, reduced tillage, cultivation, soil management, pest management and marketing strategies for crops and livestock. Watch our videos as well as our recorded webinars on the eOrganic YouTube channel!

Webinars: eOrganic has presented over 180 webinars on organic farming and research. Please see our schedule of upcoming webinars and our archive of previous webinars at http://articles.extension.org/pages/25242/webinars-by-eorganic

Funding and Partnerships with eOrganic

eOrganic was initially funded by NIFA Integrated Organic Program (IOP) and eXtension. eOrganic is seeking funders. If you are interested in supporting eOrganic, please contact Alice Formiga at alice.formiga@oregonstate.edu. For information on partnering with eOrganic in a proposal, please go to http://eorganic.info/proposal

Contact Us

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Integrating Culinary Quality Evaluation into Participatory Crop Improvement Projects

ven, 2017/12/29 - 20:50

eOrganic authors:

Lane Selman, Oregon State University

Alexandra Stone, Oregon State University

James R. Myers, Oregon State University

Introduction

Consumers expect superior flavor, texture, appearance and culinary quality from fresh produce. This is especially true when the produce is organically grown and sold through fresh markets (Bonti-Ankomah and Yiridoe, 2006). University breeders select breeding lines and evaluate commercially available cultivars to identify high performing germplasm. Breeders typically evaluate yield, appearance, pest resistance and sometimes quality variables such as brix and specific gravity. End users are not typically engaged in the evaluation process and quality traits (flavor, texture, culinary attributes) are not evaluated (Sanchez et al., 2012).

Participatory crop improvement projects (PCIPs) are integrated research and extension projects (a form of translational research, according to The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University) that engage end users (e.g. farmers, agricultural professionals, chefs) with serious professional interests in the projected outcomes of the project as full partners/collaborators. All collaborators participate in setting project goals and plans of work, discussing results, and evaluating outcomes. The goal of this approach is to seamlessly integrate research and extension so that research goals are directed by the interests of the end users, and research findings are rapidly implemented. Extension personnel are critical to these projects as they recruit end users with a professional interest in the goals of the project and rapid implementation of its outcomes, coordinate activities that productively and efficiently engage end users, and ensure that the project delivers outcomes with positive, rapid, and meaningful impact.

Qualitative sensory evaluations used by sensory scientists identify consumer preferences. In the most common qualitative approach, consumers are recruited to identify their preference for one of several raw or prepared products. In Robbins (2003), consumers at a farmers market were asked to rank the flavor and texture of specialty potato cultivars in order of preference. In this paper, we describe an alternative approach—participatory culinary quality evaluations—in which end users (farmers, agricultural professionals, and chefs) with serious professional interest in the outcomes of the project evaluate cultivars for culinary quality.

This article describes culinary quality evaluation, yield, and crop quality assessment activities from two PCIPs, with an emphasis on the tasting activities, as they are most novel.

Ospud (2005-2007)

Ospud was a USDA Western SARE-funded project in which Oregon State University and 12 organic farmers focused on improving potato quality and profitability. Project goals included identifying management strategies for tuber flea beetle (Epitrix tuberis) and late blight (Phytophthora infestans), and identifying cultivars with 1) late blight resistance, 2) better yield to replace low-yielding yellow skin/flesh potato ‘Yukon Gold’, 3) novel appearance, and 4) high culinary quality. 

Ospud Horticultural Evaluation

Cultivar yield was evaluated in seven on-farm trials in 2007. Nine potato cultivars (Table 1) were planted in March 2007.

Table 1. Potato Cultivars Evaluated in a 2007 Yield Trial on Seven Organic Farms in Western Oregon and Washington

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Cultivar Type Reasoning Colorado Rose Red skin / white flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Mountain Rose Red skin / flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Red LaSoda Red skin / white flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Sangre Red skin / white flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Jacqueline Lee (Figure 2)  Yellow skin/flesh Late blight resistant yellow cultivar  Yukon Gold (Figure 2) Yellow skin/flesh Standard late blight susceptible yellow cultivar Austrian Crescent Yellow skin/flesh fingerling  Grown by collaborating farmers Ozette Yellow skin/flesh fingerling Cultivar with regional cultural importance  AmaRosa (Figure 2) Red skin/flesh fingerling Breeding line

 

Experimental Design: On-farm trials were conducted on seven farms in the Willamette Valley, OR and Skagit Valley, WA. Fourteen seed pieces were planted one foot apart in each of two 15-foot plots on each farm.

Measurements: Marketable potatoes in each plot were weighed at harvest. Tubers were considered unmarketable if they were not of standard size.

Statistical Analysis: The between-row spacing was different on the seven farms, so yields could not be compared on a per-acre basis. Instead, yields on each farm were analyzed using a box plot, which displays the median and range in plot yields on each farm.

Ospud Yield Evaluation Results

Overall, in trials on seven farms, 'AmaRosa' yielded comparably to the other red and fingerling varieties, and 'Jacqueline Lee' yielded comparably to 'Yukon Gold' (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Box-plot representation of the yields of nine potato cultivars grown on seven organic farms in Oregon and Washington in 2007. (The dot represents the median yield across all farms. Fifty percent of the yields fall within the box. The "whiskers" represent the full range in yield.)

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation

Germplasm: A culinary quality evaluation was conducted of six commercially-available potato cultivars and eleven breeding lines (Table 2). Breeding lines came from the Oregon State University (OSU) potato breeding program.

Table 2. Potato Cultivars and Breeding Lines Evaluated in a 2006 Potato Culinary Quality Evaluation at Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, Oregon.

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Cultivar Type Reasoning All Blue Purple skin/flesh Grown by collaborating farmers All Red Red skin/flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Jacqueline Lee Yellow skin/flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Red Gold Red skin/Yellow flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Russian Banana Yellow skin/flesh fingerling Grown by collaborating farmers Yukon Gold Yellow skin/flesh Standard yellow cultivar (typically low yielding) AC97521-1R/Y Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line CO97226-2R/R Red skin/flesh Breeding line CO97232-1R/Y Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line CO97233-3R/Y Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line OR00068-11 Purple skin/flesh Breeding line OR00068-29 Purple skin/flesh Breeding line POR00PG4-1 Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line POR01PG16-1 Purple skin/flesh Breeding line POR01PG22-1 Red skin/flesh fingerling Breeding line, later released as 'AmaRosa' POR01PG45-5 Purple skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line POR03PG80-2 Purple skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line

 

Venue/Chef: The evaluation was conducted at the Gathering Together Farm restaurant in Philomath, OR. Samples were prepared by Chef Laurie Kennedy.

Sample Preparation: A representative tuber for each variety was displayed as raw (whole and halved) and steamed on a plain white plate and labeled with a random, numeric code (Fig. 2). Potatoes were sliced evenly into 1/8” pieces and steamed over boiling water for 10 minutes. One-half teaspoon of salt was added per cup of potatoes.

Jacqueline Lee, Yukon Gold, and AmaRosa

Figure 2. Tubers of 'Jacqueline Lee', 'Yukon Gold', and 'AmaRosa' (identified as POR01PG22-1 at the time of the project). Photo credit: Lane Selman, Oregon State University.

Evaluators: Forty-five farmers, potato breeders, potato seed producers, produce buyers, potato processors, researchers, and extension faculty evaluated potatoes (Fig. 3).

Evaluation Protocol: Individuals evaluated flavor, texture, and overall liking for steamed preparations of each entry. Evaluators used a 1—9 hedonic scale (1 = dislike extremely; 9 = like extremely). A comment box was included for additional remarks.

Evaluating Sensory Qualities of Potato Cultivars

Figure 3. Farmers, breeders, chefs, and agricultural professionals evaluating culinary qualities of potato cultivars at Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, Oregon, 2006. Photo credit: Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University.

Statistical Analysis: Analysis of variance was performed using the statistical software StatPlus. Fischer's protected least significant difference (LSD) at α = 0.05 was used for mean separation.

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

Table 3. Mean Ratings for Steamed Potatoes in a 2006 Culinary Quality Evaluation at Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, Oregon. (Means followed by the same letter within a column are not significantly different at P ≤ 0.05.) table { }td { padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 1px; padding-left: 1px; color: black; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; vertical-align: bottom; border: medium none; white-space: nowrap; }.xl63 { font-family: Arial; }.xl64 { color: black; font-family: Calibri; text-align: left; vertical-align: middle; padding-left: 9px; }

Variety Flavor Texture Overall Liking Yukon Gold 6.8 a 6.6 a 6.2 a Jacqueline Lee 6.7 a 7.0 a 6.7 a Russian Banana 6.1 ab 6.4 ab 5.9 ab AmaRosa 6.0 ab 6.1 ab 5.8 ab POR01PG16-1 5.6 ab 6.0 ab 5.7 ab CO97232-1R/Y 5.5 ab 6.2 ab 5.5 ab All Blue 5.5 ab 5.4 ab 4.6 b AC97521-1R/Y 5.3 ab 6.5 ab 6.0 a Red Gold 5.3 ab 5.3 b 5.3 ab All Red 5.2 ab 4.7 b 4.9 ab POR01PG45-5 5.2 ab 5.0 b 4.6 b CO97233-3R/Y 5.2 ab 5.5 ab 5.2 ab POR00PG4-1 5.0 b 5.2 b 5.4 ab POR03PG80-2 4.9 b 4.7 b 4.5 b OR00068-29 4.7 b 4.5 b 4.5 b OR00068-11 4.6 b 4.9 b 4.0 b CO97226-2R/R 4.2 b 6.2 ab 4.5 b

 

Evaluators rated 10–12 cultivars, including 'Jacqueline Lee', 'Yukon Gold' and 'AmaRosa', highly for flavor, texture and overall liking (Table 4). There was no significant difference amongst 'AmaRosa', 'Yukon Gold' and 'Jacqueline Lee' in any of the three factors. 'Yukon Gold' and 'Jacqueline Lee' were consistently ranked numerically first and second in flavor, texture, and overall liking. 'AmaRosa' was consistently ranked in the top seven. While there was not a statistically significant difference in any of the three culinary quality variables amongst 'AmaRosa' and the other two red potatoes ('All Red' and 'Red Gold'), 'AmaRosa' consistently ranked numerically higher than the other two red potatoes. Evaluators rated the textures of 'Red Gold' and 'All Red' as significantly poorer than the textures of 'Yukon Gold' and 'Jacqueline Lee', but not different from the texture of 'AmaRosa'.

Ospud Discussion

The goals described by the project's collaborating farmers were met. 'Jacqueline Lee', a waxy yellow potato with documented resistance to foliar late blight, was shown to have similar culinary quality to the standard late blight-susceptible yellow variety 'Yukon Gold', while yielding comparably on collaborating farms.

'AmaRosa', a novel red flesh/red skin fingerling potato (evaluated as the numbered breeding line POR01PG22-1 during the project) was rated highly for flavor, texture and overall liking; it yielded comparably to other fingerlings and red potatoes when grown on collaborating farms. The Oregon State University Potato Program released 'AmaRosa' in 2010. Many growers and marketers (e.g. Klamath Basin Fresh Organics, Frieda's) are now growing and/or marketing these potatoes by name and they are available as seed from at least three sources.

NOVIC (2010-2018)

The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) is a USDA-NIFA-OREI-funded collaborative project (Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, Organic Seed Alliance, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, and approximately 100 organic farmers). NOVIC's goal is to improve cultivars of six vegetable crops for organic production. This paper describes efforts in Oregon to identify an open-pollinated, early-maturing, high-yielding sweet red pepper of high culinary quality to substitute for ‘Gypsy’, a dependable red F1 hybrid for which it was increasingly difficult to source seed.

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation

Nine cultivars (Table 4) were seeded in the third week of March and transplanted in the field in the third week in May, 2011.

Table 4. Pepper Cultivars in 2011 Horticultural and Culinary Quality Evaluations

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Variety  Seed Source Rationale Gypsy Territorial Seeds  Standard variety, performs well on organic farms Gatherer's Gold  Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety Joelene's Rustic Italian Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety Little Bells Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety Stocky Red Roaster Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety King Crimson High Mowing Seeds Virus resistant, bred by Cornell University Shepherd's Ramshorn Adaptive Seeds  Locally-offered variety Symmetry Foundhorn Garden Locally-bred variety Reliably Red Foundhorn Garden Locally-bred variety


Experimental Design: A mother-daughter (or mother-baby) trial design was used (Snapp, 2002). In this trialling strategy, a replicated (at least three plots of each variety) mother trial is planted on the research station and daughter trials consisting of one or two plots of each variety are planted on several commercial farms in the region. The mother trial for peppers was located at the Oregon State University Lewis Brown Horticultural Research Farm in Corvallis, Oregon. A randomized complete block design with three plots per variety was used. Plots were ten feet long with two rows of six plants spaced eighteen inches apart for a total of twelve plants in each plot. The three daughter farms (located near Philomath, Portland, and Sauvie Island, Oregon) each planted one plot of twelve plants per variety.

 

Measurements: All plots were evaluated for total and marketable yield and plant canopy. Plant canopy was rated using a 1–5 scale (Fig. 4) developed to rate the percentage of leaf cover over fruits, where 1 is minimal cover and 5 is complete coverage of fruit by the foliage. Fruits were considered unmarketable if they were cracked, sunburned, or not of standard size. Harvest was conducted weekly until frost at the end of October, at which point all fruit was harvested, including remaining green fruit.

   

Figure 4. Plant canopy cover rating scale for the 2011 NOVIC pepper trial. Photo credit: Lane Selman, Oregon State University.

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation Results

Table 5. Mean Fruit Yield and Size and Plant Canopy Cover for Sweet Peppers at Three Organic Farms in Western Oregon in 2011.

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Variety Marketable fruit wt. (T A-1) Total fruit wt. (T A-1) Fruit size (oz) Canopy cover* Stocky Red Roaster 24.9 a 26.6 a 2.0 a 3.9 a Gatherer's Gold 19.5 ab  21.8 ab 2.9 b 2.5 de Gypsy 18.8 ab  21.0 ab 3.5 b 2.3 e Little Bells 18.2 b 20.8 ab 3.5 b 3.1 bc King Crimson 17.7 b 23.6 ab 4.9 c 3.5 ab Shepherd's Ramshorn 16.6 bc 21.1 ab 4.3 c 3.1 bcd Joelene's Rustic 15.2 bc 19.9 ab 3.3 b 3.2 bc Reliably Red 10.6 cd  17.4 b 6.2 d 3.0 bcd Symmetry 6.6 d 16.2 b 7.7 e 2.7 cde


'Stocky Red Roaster' (SRR) had the largest and most upright canopy (Table 5). Total yield for 'Stocky Red Roaster was not statistically different from 'Gatherer's Gold' and 'Gypsy' (Table 5). However, SRR generated very few unmarketable fruit, so its marketable yield was 30% higher than 'Gatherer's Gold' and 35% higher than 'Gypsy', the standard red variety. SRR had the smallest fruit of the cultivars grown in this trial (Table 5). SRR generated few culls due to its large canopy and small fruit size, both of which reduced sunscald, the primary reason for culling.

 

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation

Germplasm: The same nine bell and Italian roasting cultivars that were evaluated in the horticultural trial were evaluated in the culinary quality trial (Table 4 above). Cultivars were selected because they had performed well when grown by collaborating farmers or because they appeared in seed catalogs to have similar culinary qualities to ‘Gypsy’.

Venue/Chef: The culinary quality evaluation was performed at Table Mediterranean Bistro in Portland, Oregon. Samples were prepared by Chef Anthony Cafiero.

Sample Preparation: Raw samples were cut evenly into 1/8” strips. Sautéed samples were cut in the same manner then sautéed in a stainless steel pan over medium-high heat with a blended oil (70% canola/30% olive) for 5 minutes and sprinkled with sea salt after removal from heat. One tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt was added to every cup of peppers. Roasted peppers were roasted whole at 215°F for 30 minutes, then peeled, seeded and cut into ½” pieces. A representative fruit for each cultivar was displayed raw (whole and halved). Pepper samples for tasting were displayed on plain white dinner plates and labeled with a random, numeric code (Fig. 5).

Figure 5. Culinary quality evaluation display for sweet peppers in Portland, Oregon. In the trial, the reverse side of the label was displayed with a numerical code rather than the variety name. Photo credit: Lane Selman, Oregon State University.

Evaluators: Twenty-three plant breeders, seed producers, farmers, and chefs who frequently bought produce from local farmers’ markets participated in the culinary quality evaluation.

Evaluation Process: Individuals evaluated each cultivar for overall liking and appearance as well as its flavor when prepared raw, sautéed, and roasted. Evaluators used a 1—9 hedonic scale (1 = dislike extremely; 9 = like extremely). A comment box was included for additional remarks.

Statistical Analysis for Horticultural and Culinary Quality Evaluations: Data were analyzed in SAS 9.2 using PROC GLM (variety, farm, and variety x farm interaction, replications omitted). Fischer's protected least significant difference (LSD) at α = 0.05 was used for mean separation.

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

Table 6. Mean Ratings for Preference, Appearance, and Flavor of Sweet Peppers Grown in a Mother-Daughter Trial with Four Locations in Western Oregon in 2011.

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Variety Overall Liking Appearance Flavor (raw) Flavor (sautéed) Flavor (roasted) Joelene's Rustic 7.9 a 8.3 a 7.0 a 7.1 ab 6.4 ab Gatherer’s Gold 7.6 ab 7.9 abc 6.7 ab 7.7 a 6.3 ab Stocky Red Roaster 7.6 abc 8.1 ab 6.6 ab 7.4 ab 6.6 a Shepherd’s Ramshorn 6.6 bcd 7.3 abcd 5.9 ab 6.4 ab 6.5 ab Little Bells 6.4 d 6.3 e 6.4 ab 6.5 ab 6.2 ab King Crimson 5.7 d 4.6 f 5.4 b 5.2 c 5.2 b Gypsy 4.4 e 6.9 de 6.3 ab 6.7 ab 6.5 ab Reliably Red 3.9 ef 5.0 f 2.9 c 3.3 d 3.1 c Symmetry 2.9 f 5.1 f 2.6 c 3.4 d 2.9 c


2011 NOVIC Pepper Trials ‘Stocky Red Roaster’ compared to ‘Joelene's Rustic’

 

Figure 6. Evaluators of the 2011 NOVIC pepper trials preferred the appearance of fruits with rounded shoulders like those of 'Stocky Red Roaster' (L) compared to 'Joelene's Rustic' (R). Photo credit: Shawn Linehan, Shawn Linehan Photography.

Overall, evaluators liked 'Joelene's Rustic', 'Gatherer's Gold', 'Shepherd's Ramshorn', 'Stocky Red Roaster', 'Little Bells' and 'King Crimson' more than 'Gypsy' (Table 6). 'Joelene's Rustic', 'Gatherer's Gold' and 'Stocky Red Roaster' were rated as having better appearance than 'Gypsy' (Table 6). 'King Crimson', 'Symmetry' and 'Reliably Red' were rated as having poorer flavor than 'Gypsy' when sautéed or roasted, but no varieties had significantly better flavor than 'Gypsy,' regardless of the cooking method (Table 6). Comments on evaluation ballots indicated that evaluators preferred the appearance of 'Stocky Red Roaster' with its rounded shoulders for easier processing in the kitchen (Fig. 6).

NOVIC Discussion

Collaborating farmers initiated the pepper project to find a sweet red open-pollinated roasting pepper to replace ‘Gypsy’ F1, as its seed had become increasingly difficult to source. The ‘Stocky Red Roaster’ pepper bred by collaborating breeder Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed was identified as filling this niche. 'Stocky Red Roaster' was shown to be similar in yield to 'Gypsy' and significantly higher yielding than most other trial peppers. In addition, it was ‘liked’ and had a better appearance than 'Gypsy', and its flavor raw, sautéed and roasted was comparable to 'Gypsy'. Because of 'Stocky Red Roaster'’s high horticultural and culinary quality, collaborating farmers adopted 'Stocky Red Roaster' as a replacement for 'Gypsy.' In addition, it is now offered by more than ten seed companies and seed sales have increased by more than five hundred percent (personal communication, Frank Morton).

Conclusion

Two participatory crop-improvement projects (Ospud and NOVIC) sought to integrate culinary quality evaluation into their assessments of vegetable cultivars, as the customers of the projects’ collaborating farmers demanded high culinary quality. In both projects, culinary quality evaluations successfully differentiated varieties of high and low quality. This information, along with production data, including yield and disease resistance, identified cultivars and breeding lines of high market value that were also likely to perform well in the field. Because extension personnel successfully implemented the participatory research and extension (translational research) model, in which end users with strong professional interests in the outcomes of the project were integrated into project activities from goal-setting to evaluation, the results of these projects were immediately implemented by the end users and the projects resulted in strong and rapid impact.

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 23362

Integrating Sensory Evaluation into Participatory Crop Improvement Projects

ven, 2017/12/29 - 19:34

eOrganic authors:

Lane Selman, Oregon State University

Alexandra Stone, Oregon State University

James R. Myers, Oregon State University

Introduction

Consumers expect superior flavor, texture, appearance and culinary quality from fresh produce. This is especially true when the produce is organically grown and sold through fresh markets (Bonti-Ankomah and Yiridoe, 2006). University breeders select breeding lines and evaluate commercially available cultivars to identify high performing germplasm. Breeders typically evaluate yield, appearance, pest resistance and sometimes quality variables such as brix and specific gravity. End users are not typically engaged in the evaluation process and quality traits (flavor, texture, culinary attributes) are not evaluated (Sanchez et al., 2012).

Participatory crop improvement projects (PCIPs) are integrated research and extension projects (a form of translational research, according to The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University) that engage end users (e.g. farmers, agricultural professionals, chefs) with serious professional interests in the projected outcomes of the project as full partners/collaborators. All collaborators participate in setting project goals and plans of work, discussing results, and evaluating outcomes. The goal of this approach is to seamlessly integrate research and extension so that research goals are directed by the interests of the end users, and research findings are rapidly implemented. Extension personnel are critical to these projects as they recruit end users with a professional interest in the goals of the project and rapid implementation of its outcomes, coordinate activities that productively and efficiently engage end users, and ensure that the project delivers outcomes with positive, rapid, and meaningful impact.

Qualitative sensory evaluations used by sensory scientists identify consumer preferences. In the most common qualitative approach, consumers are recruited to identify their preference for one of several raw or prepared products. In Robbins (2003), consumers at a farmers market were asked to rank the flavor and texture of specialty potato cultivars in order of preference. In this paper, we describe an alternative approach—participatory culinary quality evaluations—in which end users (farmers, agricultural professionals, and chefs) with serious professional interest in the outcomes of the project evaluate cultivars for culinary quality.

This article describes culinary quality evaluation, yield, and crop quality assessment activities from two PCIPs, with an emphasis on the tasting activities, as they are most novel.

Ospud (2005-2007)

Ospud was a USDA Western SARE-funded project in which Oregon State University and 12 organic farmers focused on improving potato quality and profitability. Project goals included identifying management strategies for tuber flea beetle (Epitrix tuberis) and late blight (Phytophthora infestans), and identifying cultivars with 1) late blight resistance, 2) better yield to replace low-yielding yellow skin/flesh potato ‘Yukon Gold’, 3) novel appearance, and 4) high culinary quality. 

Ospud Horticultural Evaluation

Cultivar yield was evaluated in seven on-farm trials in 2007. Nine potato cultivars (Table 1) were planted in March 2007.

Table 1. Potato Cultivars Evaluated in a 2007 Yield Trial on Seven Organic Farms in Western Oregon and Washington

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Cultivar Type Reasoning Colorado Rose Red skin / white flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Mountain Rose Red skin / flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Red LaSoda Red skin / white flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Sangre Red skin / white flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Jacqueline Lee (Figure 2)  Yellow skin/flesh Late blight resistant yellow cultivar  Yukon Gold (Figure 2) Yellow skin/flesh Standard late blight susceptible yellow cultivar Austrian Crescent Yellow skin/flesh fingerling  Grown by collaborating farmers Ozette Yellow skin/flesh fingerling Cultivar with regional cultural importance  AmaRosa (Figure 2) Red skin/flesh fingerling Breeding line

Experimental Design: On-farm trials were conducted on seven farms in the Willamette Valley, OR and Skagit Valley, WA. Fourteen seed pieces were planted one foot apart in each of two 15-foot plots on each farm.

Measurements: Marketable potatoes in each plot were weighed at harvest. Tubers were considered unmarketable if they were not of standard size.

Statistical Analysis: The between-row spacing was different on the seven farms, so yields could not be compared on a per-acre basis. Instead, yields on each farm were analyzed using a box plot, which displays the median and range in plot yields on each farm.

Ospud Yield Evaluation Results

Overall, in trials on seven farms, 'AmaRosa' yielded comparably to the other red and fingerling varieties, and 'Jacqueline Lee' yielded comparably to 'Yukon Gold' (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Box-plot representation of the yields of nine potato cultivars grown on seven organic farms in Oregon and Washington in 2007. (The dot represents the median yield across all farms. Fifty percent of the yields fall within the box. The "whiskers" represent the full range in yield.)

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation

Germplasm: A culinary quality evaluation was conducted of six commercially-available potato cultivars and eleven breeding lines (Table 2). Breeding lines came from the Oregon State University (OSU) potato breeding program.

Table 2. Potato Cultivars and Breeding Lines Evaluated in a 2006 Potato Sensory Evaluation at Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, Oregon.

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Cultivar Type Reasoning All Blue Purple skin/flesh Grown by collaborating farmers All Red Red skin/flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Jacqueline Lee Yellow skin/flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Red Gold Red skin/Yellow flesh Grown by collaborating farmers Russian Banana Yellow skin/flesh fingerling Grown by collaborating farmers Yukon Gold Yellow skin/flesh Standard yellow cultivar (typically low yielding) AC97521-1R/Y Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line CO97226-2R/R Red skin/flesh Breeding line CO97232-1R/Y Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line CO97233-3R/Y Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line OR00068-11 Purple skin/flesh Breeding line OR00068-29 Purple skin/flesh Breeding line POR00PG4-1 Red skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line POR01PG16-1 Purple skin/flesh Breeding line POR01PG22-1 Red skin/flesh fingerling Breeding line, later released as 'AmaRosa' POR01PG45-5 Purple skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line POR03PG80-2 Purple skin/Yellow flesh Breeding line

Venue/Chef: The evaluation was conducted at the Gathering Together Farm restaurant in Philomath, OR. Samples were prepared by Chef Laurie Kennedy.

Sample Preparation: A representative tuber for each variety was displayed as raw (whole and halved) and steamed on a plain white plate and labeled with a random, numeric code (Fig. 2). Potatoes were sliced evenly into 1/8” pieces and steamed over boiling water for 10 minutes. One-half teaspoon of salt was added per cup of potatoes.

Jacqueline Lee, Yukon Gold, and AmaRosa

Figure 2. Tubers of 'Jacqueline Lee', 'Yukon Gold', and 'AmaRosa' (identified as POR01PG22-1 at the time of the project). Photo credit: Lane Selman, Oregon State University.

Evaluators: Forty-five farmers, potato breeders, potato seed producers, produce buyers, potato processors, researchers, and extension faculty evaluated potatoes (Fig. 3).

Evaluation Protocol: Individuals evaluated flavor, texture, and overall liking for steamed preparations of each entry. Evaluators used a 1—9 hedonic scale (1 = dislike extremely; 9 = like extremely). A comment box was included for additional remarks.

Evaluating Sensory Qualities of Potato Cultivars

Figure 3. Farmers, breeders, chefs, and agricultural professionals evaluating sensory qualities of potato cultivars at Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, Oregon, 2006. Photo credit: Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University.

Statistical Analysis: Analysis of variance was performed using the statistical software StatPlus. Fischer's protected least significant difference (LSD) at α = 0.05 was used for mean separation.

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

Table 3. Mean Ratings for Steamed Potatoes in a 2006 Sensory Evaluation at Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, Oregon. (Means followed by the same letter within a column are not significantly different at P ≤ 0.05.) table { }td { padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 1px; padding-left: 1px; color: black; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; vertical-align: bottom; border: medium none; white-space: nowrap; }.xl63 { font-family: Arial; }.xl64 { color: black; font-family: Calibri; text-align: left; vertical-align: middle; padding-left: 9px; }

Variety Flavor Texture Overall Liking Yukon Gold 6.8 a 6.6 a 6.2 a Jacqueline Lee 6.7 a 7.0 a 6.7 a Russian Banana 6.1 ab 6.4 ab 5.9 ab AmaRosa 6.0 ab 6.1 ab 5.8 ab POR01PG16-1 5.6 ab 6.0 ab 5.7 ab CO97232-1R/Y 5.5 ab 6.2 ab 5.5 ab All Blue 5.5 ab 5.4 ab 4.6 b AC97521-1R/Y 5.3 ab 6.5 ab 6.0 a Red Gold 5.3 ab 5.3 b 5.3 ab All Red 5.2 ab 4.7 b 4.9 ab POR01PG45-5 5.2 ab 5.0 b 4.6 b CO97233-3R/Y 5.2 ab 5.5 ab 5.2 ab POR00PG4-1 5.0 b 5.2 b 5.4 ab POR03PG80-2 4.9 b 4.7 b 4.5 b OR00068-29 4.7 b 4.5 b 4.5 b OR00068-11 4.6 b 4.9 b 4.0 b CO97226-2R/R 4.2 b 6.2 ab 4.5 b

Evaluators rated 10–12 cultivars, including 'Jacqueline Lee', 'Yukon Gold' and 'AmaRosa', highly for flavor, texture and overall liking (Table 4). There was no significant difference amongst 'AmaRosa', 'Yukon Gold' and 'Jacqueline Lee' in any of the three factors. 'Yukon Gold' and 'Jacqueline Lee' were consistently ranked numerically first and second in flavor, texture, and overall liking. 'AmaRosa' was consistently ranked in the top seven. While there was not a statistically significant difference in any of the three sensory variables amongst 'AmaRosa' and the other two red potatoes ('All Red' and 'Red Gold'), 'AmaRosa' consistently ranked numerically higher than the other two red potatoes. Evaluators rated the textures of 'Red Gold' and 'All Red' as significantly poorer than the textures of 'Yukon Gold' and 'Jacqueline Lee', but not different from the texture of 'AmaRosa'.

Ospud Discussion

The goals described by the project's collaborating farmers were met. 'Jacqueline Lee', a waxy yellow potato with documented resistance to foliar late blight, was shown to have similar sensory quality to the standard late blight-susceptible yellow variety 'Yukon Gold', while yielding comparably on collaborating farms.

'AmaRosa', a novel red flesh/red skin fingerling potato (evaluated as the numbered breeding line POR01PG22-1 during the project) was rated highly for flavor, texture and overall liking; it yielded comparably to other fingerlings and red potatoes when grown on collaborating farms. The Oregon State University Potato Program released 'AmaRosa' in 2010. Many growers and marketers (e.g. Klamath Basin Fresh Organics, Frieda's) are now growing and/or marketing these potatoes by name and they are available as seed from at least three sources.

NOVIC (2010-2018)

The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) is a USDA-NIFA-OREI-funded collaborative project (Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, Organic Seed Alliance, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, and approximately 100 organic farmers). NOVIC's goal is to improve cultivars of six vegetable crops for organic production. This paper describes efforts in Oregon to identify an open-pollinated, early-maturing, high-yielding sweet red pepper of high culinary quality to substitute for ‘Gypsy’, a dependable red F1 hybrid for which it was increasingly difficult to source seed.

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation

Nine cultivars (Table 4) were seeded in the third week of March and transplanted in the field in the third week in May, 2011.

Table 4. Pepper Cultivars in 2011 Horticultural and Culinary Quality Evaluations

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Variety  Seed Source Rationale Gypsy Territorial Seeds  Standard variety, performs well on organic farms Gatherer's Gold  Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety Joelene's Rustic Italian Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety Little Bells Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety Stocky Red Roaster Wild Garden Seed Locally-bred variety King Crimson High Mowing Seeds Virus resistant, bred by Cornell University Shepherd's Ramshorn Adaptive Seeds  Locally-offered variety Symmetry Foundhorn Garden Locally-bred variety Reliably Red Foundhorn Garden Locally-bred variety

Experimental Design: A mother-daughter (or mother-baby) trial design was used (Snapp, 2002). In this trialling strategy, a replicated (at least three plots of each variety) mother trial is planted on the research station and daughter trials consisting of one or two plots of each variety are planted on several commercial farms in the region. The mother trial for peppers was located at the Oregon State University Lewis Brown Horticultural Research Farm in Corvallis, Oregon. A randomized complete block design with three plots per variety was used. Plots were ten feet long with two rows of six plants spaced eighteen inches apart for a total of twelve plants in each plot. The three daughter farms (located near Philomath, Portland, and Sauvie Island, Oregon) each planted one plot of twelve plants per variety.

Measurements: All plots were evaluated for total and marketable yield and plant canopy. Plant canopy was rated using a 1–5 scale (Fig. 4) developed to rate the percentage of leaf cover over fruits, where 1 is minimal cover and 5 is complete coverage of fruit by the foliage. Fruits were considered unmarketable if they were cracked, sunburned, or not of standard size. Harvest was conducted weekly until frost at the end of October, at which point all fruit was harvested, including remaining green fruit.

   

Figure 4. Plant canopy cover rating scale for the 2011 NOVIC pepper trial. Photo credit: Lane Selman, Oregon State University.

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation Results

Table 5. Mean Fruit Yield and Size and Plant Canopy Cover for Sweet Peppers at Three Organic Farms in Western Oregon in 2011.

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Variety Marketable fruit wt. (T A-1) Total fruit wt. (T A-1) Fruit size (oz) Canopy cover* Stocky Red Roaster 24.9 a 26.6 a 2.0 a 3.9 a Gatherer's Gold 19.5 ab  21.8 ab 2.9 b 2.5 de Gypsy 18.8 ab  21.0 ab 3.5 b 2.3 e Little Bells 18.2 b 20.8 ab 3.5 b 3.1 bc King Crimson 17.7 b 23.6 ab 4.9 c 3.5 ab Shepherd's Ramshorn 16.6 bc 21.1 ab 4.3 c 3.1 bcd Joelene's Rustic 15.2 bc 19.9 ab 3.3 b 3.2 bc Reliably Red 10.6 cd  17.4 b 6.2 d 3.0 bcd Symmetry 6.6 d 16.2 b 7.7 e 2.7 cde

'Stocky Red Roaster' (SRR) had the largest and most upright canopy (Table 5). Total yield for 'Stocky Red Roaster was not statistically different from 'Gatherer's Gold' and 'Gypsy' (Table 5). However, SRR generated very few unmarketable fruit, so its marketable yield was 30% higher than 'Gatherer's Gold' and 35% higher than 'Gypsy', the standard red variety. SRR had the smallest fruit of the cultivars grown in this trial (Table 5). SRR generated few culls due to its large canopy and small fruit size, both of which reduced sunscald, the primary reason for culling.

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation

Germplasm: The same nine bell and Italian roasting cultivars that were evaluated in the horticultural trial were evaluated in the culinary quality trial (Table 4 above). Cultivars were selected because they had performed well when grown by collaborating farmers or because they appeared in seed catalogs to have similar culinary qualities to ‘Gypsy’.

Venue/Chef: The culinary quality evaluation was performed at Table Mediterranean Bistro in Portland, Oregon. Samples were prepared by Chef Anthony Cafiero.

Sample Preparation: Raw samples were cut evenly into 1/8” strips. Sautéed samples were cut in the same manner then sautéed in a stainless steel pan over medium-high heat with a blended oil (70% canola/30% olive) for 5 minutes and sprinkled with sea salt after removal from heat. One tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt was added to every cup of peppers. Roasted peppers were roasted whole at 215°F for 30 minutes, then peeled, seeded and cut into ½” pieces. A representative fruit for each cultivar was displayed raw (whole and halved). Pepper samples for tasting were displayed on plain white dinner plates and labeled with a random, numeric code (Fig. 5).

Figure 5. Culinary quality evaluation display for sweet peppers in Portland, Oregon. In the trial, the reverse side of the label was displayed with a numerical code rather than the variety name. Photo credit: Lane Selman, Oregon State University.

Evaluators: Twenty-three plant breeders, seed producers, farmers, and chefs who frequently bought produce from local farmers’ markets participated in the sensory evaluation.

Evaluation Process: Individuals evaluated each cultivar for overall liking and appearance as well as its flavor when prepared raw, sautéed, and roasted. Evaluators used a 1—9 hedonic scale (1 = dislike extremely; 9 = like extremely). A comment box was included for additional remarks.

Statistical Analysis for Horticultural and Culinary Quality Evaluations: Data were analyzed in SAS 9.2 using PROC GLM (variety, farm, and variety x farm interaction, replications omitted). Fischer's protected least significant difference (LSD) at α = 0.05 was used for mean separation.

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

Table 6. Mean Ratings for Preference, Appearance, and Flavor of Sweet Peppers Grown in a Mother-Daughter Trial with Four Locations in Western Oregon in 2011.

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Variety Overall Liking Appearance Flavor (raw) Flavor (sautéed) Flavor (roasted) Joelene's Rustic 7.9 a 8.3 a 7.0 a 7.1 ab 6.4 ab Gatherer’s Gold 7.6 ab 7.9 abc 6.7 ab 7.7 a 6.3 ab Stocky Red Roaster 7.6 abc 8.1 ab 6.6 ab 7.4 ab 6.6 a Shepherd’s Ramshorn 6.6 bcd 7.3 abcd 5.9 ab 6.4 ab 6.5 ab Little Bells 6.4 d 6.3 e 6.4 ab 6.5 ab 6.2 ab King Crimson 5.7 d 4.6 f 5.4 b 5.2 c 5.2 b Gypsy 4.4 e 6.9 de 6.3 ab 6.7 ab 6.5 ab Reliably Red 3.9 ef 5.0 f 2.9 c 3.3 d 3.1 c Symmetry 2.9 f 5.1 f 2.6 c 3.4 d 2.9 c

 2011 NOVIC Pepper Trials ‘Stocky Red Roaster’ compared to ‘Joelene's Rustic’

Figure 6. Evaluators of the 2011 NOVIC pepper trials preferred the appearance of fruits with rounded shoulders like those of 'Stocky Red Roaster' (L) compared to 'Joelene's Rustic' (R). Photo credit: Shawn Linehan, Shawn Linehan Photography.

Overall, evaluators liked 'Joelene's Rustic', 'Gatherer's Gold', 'Shepherd's Ramshorn', 'Stocky Red Roaster', 'Little Bells' and 'King Crimson' more than 'Gypsy' (Table 6). 'Joelene's Rustic', 'Gatherer's Gold' and 'Stocky Red Roaster' were rated as having better appearance than 'Gypsy' (Table 6). 'King Crimson', 'Symmetry' and 'Reliably Red' were rated as having poorer flavor than 'Gypsy' when sautéed or roasted, but no varieties had significantly better flavor than 'Gypsy,' regardless of the cooking method (Table 6). Comments on evaluation ballots indicated that evaluators preferred the appearance of 'Stocky Red Roaster' with its rounded shoulders for easier processing in the kitchen (Fig. 6).

NOVIC Discussion

Collaborating farmers initiated the pepper project to find a sweet red open-pollinated roasting pepper to replace ‘Gypsy’ F1, as its seed had become increasingly difficult to source. The ‘Stocky Red Roaster’ pepper bred by collaborating breeder Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed was identified as filling this niche. 'Stocky Red Roaster' was shown to be similar in yield to 'Gypsy' and significantly higher yielding than most other trial peppers. In addition, it was ‘liked’ and had a better appearance than 'Gypsy', and its flavor raw, sautéed and roasted was comparable to 'Gypsy'. Because of 'Stocky Red Roaster'’s high horticultural and culinary quality, collaborating farmers adopted 'Stocky Red Roaster' as a replacement for 'Gypsy.' In addition, it is now offered by more than ten seed companies and seed sales have increased by more than five hundred percent (personal communication, Frank Morton).

Conclusion

Two participatory crop-improvement projects (Ospud and NOVIC) sought to integrate culinary quality evaluation into their assessments of vegetable cultivars, as the customers of the projects’ collaborating farmers demanded high culinary quality. In both projects, culinary quality evaluations successfully differentiated varieties of high and low quality. This information, along with production data, including yield and disease resistance, identified cultivars and breeding lines of high market value that were also likely to perform well in the field. Because extension personnel successfully implemented the participatory research and extension (translational research) model, in which end users with strong professional interests in the outcomes of the project were integrated into project activities from goal-setting to evaluation, the results of these projects were immediately implemented by the end users and the projects resulted in strong and rapid impact.

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.

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