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

S'abonner à flux Modifier eXtension Articles,News,Faqs,Events- organic production (anglais)
Mis à jour : il y a 6 heures 38 min

May 2015

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

In this issue:

New eOrganic Articles New Recordings from Organic Conferences

We're taking a summer break from our webinar series and will return for our 6th season in the fall, but our extensive archive of recordings is now organized by topic here.  Also, some of you may have attended live broadcasts from the Organicology and Organic Agriculture Research Symposium this past February. Recently, we've uploaded additional recordings from more of the sessions at those conferences that were not broadcast live online. Find the recordings in our achive and on our YouTube channel, organized by playlist. 

NACAA Super Seminar in July 2015

If you are an Extension educator and are planning to attend the NACAA meeting in Sioux Falls, Idaho from July 12-16, eOrganic will be conducting a Super Seminar in partnership with Betsy Rakola of the USDA Organic Literacy Initiative. The seminar will focus on organic certification requirements and transitioning to organic, and provide an introduction to USDA and eOrganic resources for Extension agents. In addition to Betsy Rakola, speakers will include eOrganic leadership team members Fabian Menalled and Alex Stone, and organic producer Carmen Fernholz. Please stop by the eOrganic conference booth as well! For more information on registering for the conference, see the NACAA website.

Using Sheep to Terminate Cover Crops

Using domestic sheep rather than traditional farming equipment to manage fallow and terminate cover crops may enable farmers who grow organic crops to save money, reduce tillage, manage weeds and pests, and reduce the risk of soil erosion, according to Montana State University and North Dakota State University researchers who are working on a USDA NIFA funded project: Reducing Tillage in Organic Crop Systems: Ecological and Economic Impacts of Targeted Sheep Grazing on Cover Crops and Weed management, Soil Health and Stability, Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. To learn more about the project, read this article on the Montana State University website.  The project team has also created a video about their project which is available at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5w25UgWMTs&feature=youtu.be

New Ancient Wheats Article

Steve Zwinger and Elizabeth Dyck of the NIFA OREI funded research project Value Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems recently published an article in the MOSES Organic Broadcaster: High Consumer Demand Makes Ancient Wheats Hot Commodities. The article discusses consumer interest in ancient wheats, along with some production and dehulling considerations and links to recent trial results from New York and North Dakota. For additional information, Watch the eOrganic webinar on ancient wheats, which was presented by members of the project team in April 2015.

New Pennsylvania Organic Crop Production Guide

Penn State has published a comprehensive new Organic Crop Production Guide which details organic farming practices in the mid-Atlantic region. It includes case studies of successful organic crop farmers in the Northeast, and incorporates recent Penn State research in weed management, cover crop mixtures, the economics of feed and forage production, and reduced-tillage grain production. It also contains sections covering soil health and management, soil fertility, cover crops, insect and disease management, marketing organic crops, planning crop rotations, organic field-crop budgets and other topics. A press release with additional information is available here, and and more information on ordering the guide and a sample pdf can be found here. The print publication costs $35.00, and a pdf version is available for $15.00.

New Website: Principles for Transitioning to Organic Farming

The Principles for Transitioning to Organic Farming website describes an ongoing NIFA ORG research project based at the University of Minnesota, which is developing interactive educational resources to increase understanding of the organic transition process and in the Upper Midwest region. The project will be creating online learning modules and decision case studies, and organizing educational events. The materials will be used by Extension educators and university instructors in their work with transitioning farmers as well as undergraduate students. To learn more, visit the website at http://eorganic.info/transitioning/about, and if you are located in Minnesota or western Wisconsin and are interested in participating in the project's upcoming transitioning-to-organic workshops or listening sessions, please contact Jill Sackett (sacke032@umn.edu or 507-389-5541) to be added to their email list for future events.

Opportunity to Comment on the Regulation of Genetically Engineered Crops

The USDA Animal and Health Protection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comments on questions related to the regulation of genetically engineered crops by June 22, 2015. In March 2015, APHIS announced that they were withdrawing a proposed rule which would have amended regulations for certain genetically engineered organisms, and planned "to begin fresh stakeholder engagement aimed at exploring alternative policy approaches". Find background information on this issue here, and to post a comment on the following questions, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0036

1. Should APHIS regulate based on the characteristics of biotechnology products and the potential risks they may pose, or by the process by which they were created? In either case, what criteria should be used to determine what APHIS regulates? Are there products and processes APHIS should not regulate?

2. The Plant Protection Act gives APHIS the authority to protect plant health through regulatory programs. APHIS has implemented the plant pest authority as part of their biotechnology regulations. Should APHIS add noxious weed provisions to their biotechnology regulations and if so, how? What protection goals should APHIS consider?

3. Are there legal authorities given to USDA outside the Plant Protection Act that APHIS should examine to regulate or oversee the products of biotechnology? What are they, and how would they be used?

4. What non-regulatory solutions or policy alternatives could or should be considered to complement APHIS’s regulatory program?

 eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

 

 

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 13026

April 2017

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22
In this Issue 
  • Upcoming eOrganic webinars
  • Where to learn about organic research
  • Sustainable agriculture scientists survey
  • Call for organic soil health and management abstracts
  • Comment period extended on organic check-off program
  • Videos about organic soybean and dry bean breeding
  • New spotted wing drosophila bulletin
  • Spotted wing drosophila videos
  • New report on CSA farms
  • Missed an Organic Farming Conference this Winter? Catch a Keynote
  • eOrganic mission and resources
Upcoming eOrganic Webinars April 6, 2017: Taking Stock of Organic Research Investments

This webinar will present the findings from the report by the Organic Farming Research Foundation:Taking Stock: Analyzing and Reporting Organic Research Investments: 2002-2014. This report provides information on the progress USDA funded organic research projects have made in addressing critical research needs. We will describe the types, locations, and impacts of USDA funded research, as well as research gaps and topics that require greater attention. The webinar will conclude with a set of recommendations for strengthening organic research in the US to best support the needs of organic farmers. Presenters are Diana Jerkins, Joanna Ory and Mark Schonbeck. Register

April 11, 2017: Use of High Glucosinolate Mustard as an Organic Biofumigant in Vegetable Crops

Brassica plants, including mustards, contain glucosinolates that, when broken down, produce compounds that can reduce weed pressure, insect pests, populations of parasitic nematodes, and soil-borne pathogens such as Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinia, Verticillium, and Phytophthora. In this webinar, we’ll address the use of mustard cover crops that have been bred specifically to have high glucosinolate concentrations and act as a biofumigant in crops like potatoes, peppers, carrots, black beans, and strawberries.Webinar presenters include Heather Darby and Abha Gupta, University of Vermont Extension; and Katie Campbell-Nelson, University of Massachusetts. Register

Find all upcoming and archived eOrganic webinars at http://articles.extension.org/pages/25242/webinars-by-eorganic

Where to Learn about Organic Research

At conferences this past winter, we’ve spoken with farmers who tell me how much they enjoy learning about organic research through our webinars. However, there is still a feeling that it is hard to find information about organic research, especially since it is sometimes challenging to take time off the farm to meet researchers at a conference or field day, and online digging can be a hassle.

There is a great deal of free information about organic research available online. We’re listing some good sources in this list, including some free searchable databases, conference proceedings and recordings, and just a selection of the many university websites that have posted information on their organic research activities. Download it here: Where to Find Organic Research Information

Sustainable Agriculture Scientists Survey

The Union of Concerned Scientists is seeking information from experts to learn about their experience in sustainable agriculture research. This survey is intended for researchers or other professionals with an advanced degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) and with academic or professional experience that is relevant to sustainable agricultural systems. If you have questions about the survey or its use, please contact Tali Robbins at trobbins@ucsusa.org.

If you would like to take 15-20 minutes to fill out this voluntary survey, you can find it here

Call for Abstracts on Organic Soil Health and Management

The Organic Farming Research Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Florida-IFAS and the Florida Organic Growers & Consumers Association, invites submissions to the Organic Agriculture Soil Health Symposium (OASHS) for proposed research, education, and extension papers and posters.

The Symposium will take place during the Annual Tri-Societies Conference in Tampa, Florida in October 2017. The symposium invites researchers, extension, and educators from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards.

Find out more information about the symposium, as well as the topics and submission requirements here: http://www.ofrf.org/news/call-soil-health-management-abstracts

Comment Period on Organic Check-Off Program Extended to April 19th

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extending the comment period for the proposed establishment of an industry-funded research, promotion, and information program for certified organic products by 30 days, to April 19th, 2017. You can submit comments by going to Regulations.gov, and searching for "Organic Research, Promotion and Information Order", or by going to this direct link: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=AMS-SC-16-0112. You can learn more about the proposed program and some of the arguments both for and against it in the following articles from the MOSES Organic Broadcaster and NOFA Vermont Blog.

Videos about Organic Soybean and Dry Bean Breeding

Have you ever been curious about what goes on behind the scenes in organic field research? The University of Minnesota has created a series of videos, produced by Michael Winikoff and videography by Eve Daniels, that provides a unique perspective on recent research to improve organic soybean and dry bean production in the Upper Midwest. This research was part of the project Improving Soybean and Dry Bean Varieties and Rhizobia for Organic Systems funded through USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Grant Number 2011-51300-30743). The specific research objectives included:

  • Developing soybean varieties for organic systems
  • Developing improved varieties of dry bean for organic systems
  • Selecting improved strains of rhizobia for soybean and dry bean for organic systems
  • Evaluating the interactive effects of organic management practices with soybean and dry bean varieties

Learn more and watch the videos here.

New Organic Spotted Wing Drosophila Extension Bulletin for Michigan

A new Extension bulletin by Heather Leach, Matthew Grieshop and Rufus Isaacs of the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University details SWD biology along with recommendations on monitoring, cultivar selection, sanitation and exclusion, just to name a few! You can find the bulletin and read more updates from the NIFA OREI funded Spotted Wing Drosophila research project at http://eorganic.info/Spotted%20Wing%20Drosophila%20Project%20Updates

NCAP Spotted Wing Drosophila Videos

The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides hosted a webinar last year on Spotted Wing Drosophila management, and video clips from the webinar have been posted in both English and Spanish. Dr. Amy Dreves of Oregon State University presents important components to effective SWD management including: biology, identification, life cycle, early detection, and monitoring pest pressure. Multiple management approaches for each season are presented, with emphasis on preventative measures and cultural practices to minimize SWD population pressure. Find the videos here.

Note: We haven't reviewed these videos for organic certification compliance, so make sure, before using any pest control product in your organic farming system, to read the label to be sure that the product is labeled for the crop and pest you intend to control, and make sure it is legal to use in the stateor other location where it will be applied,and make sure that the brand name product is listed in your Organic System Plan and approved by your USDA-approved certifier.

New Report on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms

The Agricultural Marketing Service has produced a new report on CSA farms. highlighting six case studies of farmers using the community supported agriculture (CSA) direct-to-consumer business model and how that model has changed since the 1980s. Many CSAs use the traditional business model of a farmer or network of farmers offering consumers regular (usually weekly) deliveries of locally-grown farm products, particularly fruit and vegetables, during the growing season on a subscription or membership basis. The report shows that some CSAs have modified this model to include new products, partnerships and technology to create sustainable local food businesses. The report was prepared through a cooperative research agreement between USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the University of Kentucky. In addition to preparing the case studies, University of Kentucky researchers, led by principal investigators Timothy Woods and Matthew Ernst, conducted a national survey of CSA managers and operators and convened focus groups in the six states where the CSAs highlighted in the case studies are located.Find the report here.

Missed an Organic Farming Conference this Winter? Catch a Keynote

Many organic farming associations and groups across the U.S. offer annual conferences for a wide range of participants from commercial growers and ranchers to enthusiastic gardeners and homesteaders. Several conferences conducted over the past few months included internationally recognized and otherwise topnotch keynote presenters – here are just a few presentations available on YouTube:

  • Why We Need an Organic Future by Vandana Shiva. Delivered at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Annual Winter Conference: https://youtu.be/gof7vdQI6OM
  • Farming Like We're Here to Stay by Fernando Funes-Monzote. Delivered at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Annual Winter Conference: https://youtu.be/Ne5HNYGIt40
  • Organic Farming: The Next Generation by Mas Masumoto. Delivered at the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Farming Conference: https://youtu.be/kChOgyLYd78
  • Respect the Seed: Genetic Diversity by Matthew Dillon. Delivered at Eco Farm: https://youtu.be/Zc_b1YoLlBM
  • Food Justice: Challenges & Opportunities by Malik Yakini. Delivered at Eco Farm: https://youtu.be/duVs0uaPHPk

Many additional farmers, researchers, educators, and activists—like Liz Carlisle, Ricardo Salvador, K. Rashid Nuri, Eric Holt-Giménez, Donald Wyse, Fred Iutzi, and others--provided keynotes around the country to inform and inspire us as we enter the growing season.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

eOrganic logo

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

eOrganic 22172

May 2013

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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In this Issue Recently Published eOrganic Articles

Current and Future Prospects For Biodegradable Plastic Mulch in Certified Organic Production Systems, by Andrew T. Corbin, Carol A. Miles, Jeremy Cowan and Debra A. Inglis of Washington State University;  Douglas G. Hayes of the University of Tennessee, and  Jennifer Moore-Kucera of Texas Tech University. This article explains how biodegradable plastic mulches are made; how biodegradability is measured; current techniques on evaluating biodegradable mulches; and research and policy progress to date. The purpose is to inform agricultural professionals, farmers, and policy makers about the suitability of biodegradable plastic mulches for use in certified organic agriculture.Read more at http://www.extension.org/pages/67951

Producer Profiles in Organic Dairy, published by the eOrganic Dairy Team, is a series of farm case studies which track financials as farms transitioned to certified organic production. The case studies were originally written as part of a multi-year study led by University of Vermont economists Robert Parsons and Qingbin Wang that focused on the profitability of New England organic dairy farms. Three farm case studies are provided; they can be found at: http://www.extension.org/pages/59468

Records Needed for Organic Poultry Certification, by Devon Patillo of CCOF and Jacquie Jacob of the University of Kentucky. This is the first in a series of upcoming eOrganic articles on organic poultry production. This article provides an introduction to poultry recordkeeping requirements for compliance with National Organic Program rules. Find the article at http://www.extension.org/pages/67936

Using Cover Crops in Organic Systems: Resources and Research from SARE by Andy Zieminski, SARE. This article provides information on some of the many free online resources on cover crops available from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which 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. Find the article at http://www.extension.org/pages/67876

New eOrganic Dairy Webinars

Organic Dairy Forages: Focus on Summer Annuals by Heather Darby, University of Vermont Extension and Rick Kersbergen, University of Maine Extension. May 23 at 2PM Eastern (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). Join us for this free webinar on summer annual forages--including millet, sorghums, sorghum-sudans, and teff. These grains can be important complements to pastures during the summer slump as well as harvested for stored feed. The presenters will discuss strategies for planting, harvesting, and feeding these forages to organic dairy cattle. Register in advance at http://www.extension.org/pages/68106

Amending Soils in the Organic Dairy Pasture, by Cindy Daley, California State University, Chico. June 27th at 2PM Eastern (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time).  In this free webinar, Dr. Daley will describe a long-term soil remediation field trial designed at the University Farm to study the effects of a basic soil amendment program on forage quality and yield, with an emphasis on the economic return that would result from added milk production. Register in advance at http://www.extension.org/pages/68131

More dairy webinars will be offered over the summer, and our main webinar season will start up again in the fall. Meanwhile, feel free to listen to any of the many webinars on organic farming and research in our archive at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242  You can also browse the recordings by topic here.

Organic News

CERES Trust Report on Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region

CERES Trust has issued a new report on Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region, which includes information on organic programs and research in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The report contains brief descriptions of recent and current organic research projects, peer-reviewed papers, and extension publications, dating back to 2002 when US National Organic Program (NOP) regulations took effect. In addition, the report lists key contact people and describes academic courses, degree programs, and hands-on learning opportunities, such as student organic farms, and much more. Find the report on the CERES Trust website, where it will be updated annually. It has also been published on eXtension.org.

NOP News

On April 2nd, The National Organic Program (NOP) announced the availability of draft guidance on Classification of Materials (NOP 5033) and Materials for Organic Crop Production (NOP 5034).  These guidances are intended as tools for material reviewers and growers to help determine which substances are allowed in organic production and products. Public comments on these materials are being accepted until June 3, 2013. Links to these and other proposed guidances which are currently open to public comment can be found on the NOP website where you can also find direct links to online comment forms. Subscribe to the NOP Organic Insider to stay current on NOP news and activities.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

 

 

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 8741

May 2016

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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In this issue: Webinars in late May and early June

We're taking a break from our own webinar series, but you may be interested in attending some of these organic farming webinars presented by other organizations within the next month! Please consult the links below for additonal information and instructions on how to register or join.

May 26, 2016: Introducing the NRCS National Organic Handbook Webinar
Presenters Lindsey Hains and Ben Bowell will discuss the handbook, and include a description of organic farming principles and relevant USDA organic regulations. The presentation will describe considerations and resources for planning conservation practices on organic operations such as cover crops, nutrient management, crop rotations, and livestock management. This webinar is organized by NRCS and Oregon Tilth. Find more information here

June 1, 2016: Organic Integrity Database Webinar
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service  is delivering a webinar on June 1 about their Organic Integrity Database. In the webinar, the presenters will discuss the development of the database and feature demos of search and reporting capabilities. They will also review tips on using data from the system and capabilities scheduled for release this year. Find more information here.

June 2, 2016: Organic Recordkeeping for Growers Webinar
This event is a co-production of the Farmer Veteran Coalition and CCOF with support from the USDA Risk Management Agency’s Risk Management Education Program. Presenters Thea Rittenhouse and Aaron Magill will discuss processes to make on-farm organic recordkeeping easier, as well as a framework to assist you in developing a recordkeeping system for your operation that maintains the records needed for organic certification. This webinar is ideal for growers looking to improve their recordkeeping infrastructure, growers new to organic certification, or growers interested becoming certified organic. Find out more here. The registration link is at the bottom of that page!

June 7, 2016: Organic Weed Management Webinar
This webinar will discuss the primary weed control strategies for organic systems: the role of prevention, cultural and mechanical control, crop rotation, crop competition, and cultivation. Experts from Penn State will also introduce the Organic Crop Production guide that includes weed management as well as many other organic topics and case studies of successful organic crop farmers. Organized by the NRCS and Oregon Tilth, this webinar will be presented by Bill Curran and Dave Mortensen of Penn State University. CEUs are available. Find more information here

June 16, 2016: Organic Produce Labeling Webinar
CCOF and the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) are presenting a webinar on labeling your organic produce with twist ties, clamshells and more! Attend this webinar to learn about different organic labeling techniques for growers. This online training will provide a step-by-step process for developing labels that comply with the USDA National Organic Program standards for produce packaging. They will also explore labeling requirements for wholesale organic agricultural products and organic direct-to-consumer sales. Presenters are Krista Wanser, Patti Bursten-Deutsch and Matt Smiley. Find out more here. The registration link is at the bottom of that page!

Organic Certification Cost Share Funds Available

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Organic Certification Cost Share Programs Fiscal Year 2016 Request for Applications (pdf) is now available. Two organic certification cost share programs are offered in 2016, which assist certified organic operations in defraying the costs associated with organic certification. Organic operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid during October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016; not to exceed $750 per certification scope. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 5, 2016, through grants.gov. Find out more information about this program at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/occsp

Risk Management Education Funding Available

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced $8.7 million in cooperative agreements for risk management education and training programs. The funding would give universities, county cooperative extension offices, nonprofit organizations, and other partners needed resources to develop training and education tools to help farmers and ranchers, especially those traditionally underserved or with limited resources, learn how to effectively managing long-term risks and challenges. Find out more information about the grant here, and you can also find out how to attend the next webinar about the grant here, which takes place on June 3rd.

New Know Your Farmer Website

For additional USDA funding opportunities and marketing information related to local food initiatives such as farmers markets, farm to school programs, and urban agriculture, you may want to check out the redesigned Know Your Farmer Know Your Food website, which was rolled out in late April. Find the home page here, and find funding opportunities and toolkits for starting local food initiatives here.

New Cucumber, Melon and Summer Squash Trial Reports from ESOCuc

The Eastern Sustainable Organic Cucurbit project just shared the results of their cucumber, melon and summer squash trial reports from 2014 and 2015 on the Organic Variety Trial Database. Trials were conducted on research farms at Cornell University (NY), Auburn University (AL), Clemson University (SC) and North Carolina State University (NC) as well as on commercial farms in New York, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Members of this research project, funded by NIFA OREI, are seeking solutions for some of the many production challenges organic growers face in growing these crops, and they are also breeding downy mildew resistant varieties! Find out more about their project  and new varieties on their website at http://eorganic.info/cucurbits.

If you conduct organic seed trials and would like to share your reports in the Organic Variety Trial Database, you can upload them here.

Sustainable Agriculture Education Conference

If you are involved in agricultural education for adults, registration is still open for the 7th national conference on sustainable agriculture education, organized by the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association, which takes place at the University of California Santa Cruz, CA on July 29-31, 2016. This conference invites participants from across the agriculture and food system who are engaged in adult education: students, teachers, farmers, cooks, community organizers, from a wide range of educational, professional and nonprofit organizations.  Find out more information and read the preliminary schedule at http://sustainableaged.org/conferences/2016-santa-cruz-ca/ 

Farmer Surveys

If you are a farmer, your opinion and experience is in great demand, and organizers of the following surveys are requesting your input!

NSAC Use of manure survey (until June 3rd)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and its members are surveying produce farmers to better understand how they use and apply untreated or raw manure on their farms. Between now and June 3, 2016, they are collecting anonymous information to develop comments for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to aid in their development of a risk assessment model. This model will be used to pursue an appropriate standard for the application of raw manure as part of the Produce Safety Rule. Find out more here.

Survey of needs of small-scale and urban livestock and poultry farms in the western US
Cooperative Extension specialists are trying to identify the needs of small-scale farms and urban animal agriculture in the western United States.  Alda Pires, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, requests your help in reaching livestock and poultry owners to complete a survey. “This survey aims to identify the needs of livestock and poultry owners related to animal health, animal husbandry and food safety; and the role that veterinarians play on small farms,” Pires said. “This study will serve as a benchmark for designing effective educational programs to train farmers, backyard producers and veterinarians working within this sector.” Find out more and access the survey here.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

eOrganic logo

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

eOrganic 18489

November 2017

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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New eOrganic Article: Spotted Wing Drosophila: Biology, Behavior and Organic Management 

This article, by Andrew Petran of the University of Minnesota examines the biology and management of spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, within organic farming systems. Read the most up-to-date information on SWD management strategies from a multi-university study funded by NIFA OREI. Read the article here

New Video: Managing Cucurbit Downy Mildew on Organic Farms:

This new video will help you identify cucurbit downy mildew, learn which cultivars provide you with protection and which organic chemical controls might be appropriate for your production. It will also provide some tips on how to grow cucumbers under high tunnels and link to some blueprints for high tunnel design. The video was .created by Rachel Hultengren of Cornell University is from the NIFA OREI funded Eastern Sustainable Organic Cucurbit Project, led by Michael Mazourek. Watch the video here

2016 Cucurbit Trial Results Available

The Eastern Sustainable Organic Cucurbit Project has also published its trial results for 2016, from research farms in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and New York. Researchers looked at the yield and resistance to various diseases of a variety of cucumbers, melons and summer squash. Find the 2016 report here, and find the report from 2014-15 here

New Organic Melon Webinar

Join eOrganic for a webinar on organic melon production: best practices, microbial safety and consumer preferences, by Shirley Micallef and Kathryne Everts of the University of Maryland. The webinar takes place on January 31 2017 at 2PM Eastern Time, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time. Find out more and register at http://articles.extension.org/pages/74584

Take our Online Organic Information Survey

If you didn't take this survey last month, please click the link below! We, the eOrganic staff and leadership team, are interested in learning more about your interests in certified organic agriculture to guide the development of eOrganic content. The survey will take about 3-5 minutes. Please give us your recommendations for future development of eOrganic online resources by answering the questions below. Please answer thoroughly, and honestly, to help us improve our information resources. There are no foreseeable risks associated with participation. Your participation is entirely voluntary; there will be no penalty if you choose not to participate or not to answer specific questions. Completion of the survey indicates that you have read and understood this description and agree to participate. Funding for this survey is provided by NIFA grants awarded to Oregon State University, Cornell University, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, Purdue University, University of Georgia, Utah State University, Washington State University, Tuskegee University, the USDA-ARS, and the Organic Seed Alliance. Take the survey here!

Recordings available: Organic Soil Health Special Session

Recordings from the recent Special Session at the Tri-Societies Conference on organic soil health are now conveniently available as a YouTube playlist here. The following presentations are available:

Organic Seed Growers Conference

Registration is now open for the 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference, which is the largest organic seed event in the U.S. You’ll hear the latest in cutting-edge research and policy advocacy, and trade knowledge, techniques, and ideas with other seedheads from around the world. The conference, which takes place from February 14-17, provides a full agenda of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events. The first two days include farm tours and short courses prior to the full conference. The theme for 2018 is Synergy that Sustains, reflecting an emphasis on developing networks for research, education, and advocacy, and supporting a diversity of approaches to advancing organic seed systems. Find out more and register here

Our Farms, Our Future Conference

hosted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the National Center for Appropriate Technology ATTRA program will be held on April 3-5, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. This national event will bring together a diverse agricultural community including farmers and ranchers, agribusiness stakeholders, students, researchers, scientists, agency representatives and nonprofit leaders. Every decade SARE hosts a conference to look at the progress of sustainability in agriculture and to understand its  trajectory for the future. Find out more and register here

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

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

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April 2014

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In this issue

New eOrganic Dairy Forage and Organic Seed Webinars

Birdsfoot Trefoil as a Forage on Organic Dairy Farms: Join eOrganic for a webinar on Birdsfoot Trefoil as a forage on organic dairy farms with Dr. Jennifer MacAdam, Utah State University, on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 2 PM Eastern Time (1 PM Central, 12 PM Mountain, 11 AM Pacific Time). The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required. Attendees will be able to type in questions for the speaker. Find out more and register at http://www.extension.org/pages/70506.

Save the Date June 6, 2014: Need Clarity on the NOP Seed Requirement? The Organic Seed Alliance will host a webinar through eOrganic that educates certifiers and certified operations on the topic of organic seed availability and sourcing. The webinar will cover the organic seed regulatory requirement, including the National Organic Program's (NOP) 2013 guidance that aimed to clarify this requirement. Perspectives on enforcement and sourcing challenges will be shared, as well as recommendations for improving organic seed sourcing. This project is supported by a contract from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's National Organic Program. Registration will be opening in the next few weeks on our webinar page at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242.

Plant Breeding and Genomics Webinar Series. This webinar series is not specifically about organic plant breeding, but organic plant breeders might be interested in attending this webinar series on the breeding of specific fruit and vegetable crops: salsa tomatoes, stringless snap peas, cucurbits, potatoes, dry beans, peppers, and apples. The series is sponsored by The National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) in partnership with the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee and the eXtension Plant Breeding and Genomics Community of Practice. Find out more and register at http://www.extension.org/pages/60426.

Organic Grower Survey on Spotted Wing Drosophila

Attention organic fruit producers!  From Dr. Ashfaq Sial and Dr. Mary Rogers of the University of Georgia: We are soliciting organic grower input on the impacts of the invasive Spotted Wing Drosophila in nationwide fruit production. This short survey will help us estimate the magnitude of damage from this pest and help direct applied, multi-state research aimed at improving management tactics for organic producers. Your input is valuable and this survey will just take 5 minutes of your time. Find the survey at https://docs.google.com/a/umn.edu/forms/d/17hpm5HscAU3-LSy-1BeXfRXqmysaUEZZxVTCxiHN-mc/edit.

Organic Seed Alliance Seed Producers Database Survey

OSA is in the process of evaluating, and potentially upgrading, their Seed Producers Database. Whether you've used this online tool before or not, please take two minutes to answer this short survey to help them determine the value of this database by May 1, 2014. As background, this tool was established to serve organic seed producers in search of new contracts and markets for their products and seed companies in search of organic seed producers. Organic farmers looking for bulk quantities of organic seed have also used the database as have growers looking to network with other seed producers in their region or crop focus.

Call for Papers: Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

A call for papers is now open for the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium February 25-26, 2015 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium invites submissions for proposed research papers to be presented. The Symposium will take place immediately before the Organic Farming Conference organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Co-sponsored by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS), the conference invites researchers from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards.

Researchers are asked to submit an abstract not to exceed 500 words that includes names of the co-authors, contact information, a working title, the topic area, an introduction that explains the context and purpose of the research, the methods used, and a brief summary of the results and conclusions. Cross-disciplinary papers are encouraged. Works in progress may be considered, but the paper for the proceedings will need to be completed by December 31, 2014.

The symposium will be held in La Crosse, WI on February 25 and 26, with plans to broadcast by live streaming on eOrganic. The intent of the symposium is to provide current information to farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals and others interested in organic agriculture, held in conjunction with a meeting that is regularly attended by organic producers and processors.The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2014. Abstracts should be sent to Brian Baker at bpb33@cornell.edu. Researchers with questions about the conference can call 541-228-0876.

Publications on Supporting Pollinators on Organic Farms

Concerned about pollinators on your organic farm? The Xerces Society recently released a new manual on Pollinator Management for Organic Seed Producers. This new publication aids organic seed producers in understanding the role and diversity of seed crop pollinators, as well as strategies for reducing pollen movement between organic and conventional farms. Profiles of common pollinators, strategies for managing pollination, and guidelines for specific crops are all included. You can download the publication here.

Visit the Xerces Society website for more publications on creating and conserving pollinators on organic farms which are available for download including:

  • Pollinator Habitat Assessment Form and Guide for Organic Farms
  • Organic Farming for Bees Toolkit
  • Organic Farming Practices: Reducing Harm to Pollinators
  • Organic-Approved Pesticides: Minimizing Risk to Pollinators
  • Farming for Bees
  • Biodiversity Conservation: An Organic Farmer’s Guide,  by the Wild Farm Alliance
National Organic Program News

Comments Sought on Post Harvest Handling Guidance

Today, the Federal Register published a notice to announce the public comment period for draft guidance on post harvest handling. This draft guidance helps organic certifiers, farms, and businesses understand which substances may be used to wash, sort, cool, and sort (or otherwise "handle") raw agricultural products post-harvest. Comments are due by June 24, 2014.

Read the draft Post Harvest Handling Guidance here, and submit comments at regulations.gov.

USDA Updating the National Farmers Market Directory

Do you sell your products at one of the 8,000+ farmers markets across the country? If so, AMS needs your help updating the National Farmers Market Directory. The Directory relies on self-reported input from farmers market stakeholders. The Directory is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date sources of information about farmers markets nationwide. If you are part of a farmers market, encourage your market manager to add or update their listings in time for the peak market season. The complete Directory will be released the first week of August. Market listings can be added and updated at www.usdadirectoryupdate.com.

Recruiting NOSB Members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pleased to invite nominations from qualified individuals to serve on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from January 2015 to January 2020. Applications are due by May 15, 2014.

In the Federal Register Notice for this announcement, USDA announces its intent to renew the NOSB's charter, and seeks nominations for the following seats on the NOSB:

  • Individual with expertise in areas of environmental protection and resource conservation
  • Organic Producer who owns or operates an organic operation
  • Organic Handler who owns or operates an organic handling operation
  • Retailer with significant trade in organic products

Find out more information in the press release.

Updated List of Certified Organic Operators Available 

As of the end of 2013, 18,513 organic farms and processing facilities in the United States were certified to the USDA organic standards. Worldwide, there are now more than 25,000 certified organic operators in more than 120 countries. The certified operations list allows buyers, sellers and the public to identify and connect with organic stakeholders across the supply chain. This list provides information such as operation name, location, the scope of organic certification (crops, livestock, wild crops, handling), the operation's certifier, and a listing of products. Find it here.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

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

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Growing the eOrganic Community: Annual Report 2014

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Contents

Download a pdf of this annual report here or view this report online here.

eOrganic Annual Report 2014

eOrganic is the Organic Agriculture Community of Practice at http://www.extension.org. Our goals are to engage farmers, agricultural professionals and other members of the organic agriculture community with timely and relevant science-, experience-, and regulation-based information in a variety of formats, and to foster a national organic research and outreach community. 2014 marked the sixth year since the initial launch of our website in 2009.

More than 300 eOrganic members and collaborators have actively contributed to eOrganic by authoring and/or reviewing articles, producing or reviewing videos, answering Ask an Expert (AaE) questions, presenting webinars, or attending outreach and leadership events. Read on to learn about our accomplishments in 2014 and our upcoming plans for the 2015 season.

Changes at eXtension.org

In 2014, Extension Directors and Administrators nearly unanimously decided to replace the mandatory eXtension assessments from all land-grant institutions (that had been in place since 2004) with a voluntary membership system.  In 2015, 58 institutions will be members of the "new" eXtension: 38 at the premium level and 20 at the basic level. The new model and vision includes a greater focus on professional development for Extension educators as they work to adopt new or emerging technologies in the development and delivery educational programs. Communities of Practice such as eOrganic will remain important components of the overall eXtension program; eOrganic will continue to offer articles, videos, online courses and webinars from its eXtension.org website at http://www.extension.org/organic_production. Find out more about the "new" eXtension business model here.

Outreach to Farmers and Agricultural Information Providers

 

Representatives from eOrganic attended the MOSES organic farm conference in February 2014. Additional booths, workshops and presentations about eOrganic were given at the following events:

  • NOFA Vermont Conference, February 14-15, 2014
  • Oregon Small Farms Conference, February 22, 2014
  • National eXtension meeting, Sacramento California, March 2014
  • Innovations in Organic Food Systems, Long Beach, CA, Nov 1-2, 2014

Please stop by and say hello at the eOrganic tables and presentations at EcoFarm, the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium, MOSES, Oregon Small Farms, NOFA Vermont and Organicology in early 2015! Fabian Menalled will also be presenting at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (http://www.ofvc.ca/) and National Science Teachers Association Conference (http://www.nsta.org/conferences/).

eOrganic maintains an active presence on social media sites such as Facebook, where we have 3,535 likes, and Twitter, where we have 2,828 followers. We also publish a bi-monthly newsletter which reaches 9,000 subscribers.

eOrganic Content Views

 

In 2014, eOrganic pages at extension.org attracted over 381,000 page views, and our YouTube channel received more than 378,000 views. Our most popular articles in 2014 were those focused on cover crops and insect management, weed identification, potting mixes, and tomato production.

Our most popular webinar recordings on YouTube in 2014 were: Starting up Small-Scale Hops Production, by Rob Sirrine, with 33,289 views, followed by Grafting for Disease Management in Organic Tomato Production, by Frank Loews and Cary Rivard (12,455 views) and Organic Quinoa Production in the Pacific Northwest by Kevin Murphy (10,886 views).

eOrganic Webinars and Live Conference Broadcasts

 

Since December 2009, when we offered our first webinar on late blight management, many farmers, Extension educators, researchers, organic inspectors and certifiers, Master Gardeners and agriculture professionals regularly attend our winter webinar series on organic farming and research. A webinar allows people from all over the world to hear a presentation, view the presentation slides, and type in questions - without having to leave their farms or office computers. Presentations are recorded and are made available for viewing at any time from eOrganic's YouTube channel. To date, eOrganic has delivered more than 120 webinars attended by over 15,000 attendees, of which, on average, 26% were farmers. In addition, eOrganic broadcasts selected presentations from national organic conferences live online and archives the presentations on YouTube.

The 2014 season featured live presentations from the Organic Seed Growers Conference and 23 webinars on diverse topics such as insect and disease management, cover crop mixutes, permaculture, ancient grains, blackberry production and preventing dairy pasture problems. Many of the webinars were based on new research from USDA NIFA Organic Research and Extention Initiative and Organic Transitions Program projects. Find all eOrganic upcoming and archived webinars and live broadcasts at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242.

Highlights of the 2014 Webinar and Broadcast Season Webinar Evaluation

In 2014, 3222 people attended eOrganic webinars and live conference broadcasts. Across all webinars, 49% responded to post-webinar evaluation surveys. Of these, approximately 32% were farmers, 8% were Extension personnel, 11% were researchers, 3% were from nonprofits, 11% were agriculture professionals, 11% worked for government agencies, 5% were organic inspectors or certifiers, and 19% were others. Survey respondents' geographic affiliations were: 28% Northeast, 19% Central, 11% South, 24% West and 17% other named region or country. Across all webinars, 78% said the webinars significantly or moderately improved their understanding of the topic, 19% said "a little improved" and 3% said "not improved". 77% of respondents planned to apply the knowledge they gained in the webinars a lot or somewhat, 18% said "a little" and 5% said "not at all". 83% said the technical level of the webinars was "just right". 5% thought they were too technical, and 12% thought they were too basic. 78% would recommend the webinars to others, 18% might recommend them, and 4% would not. 87% of respondents thought access to the webinars was very easy, 10% said it was somewhat easy, 2 said it was somewhat difficult and less than 1% said "very difficult".

In August, 2014, the Journal of Extension featured an eOrganic webinar evaluation article that can be accessed at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2014august/a5.php. Evaluation results showed that eOrganic webinars reached their target audience of farmers, Extension educators, researchers and agricultural professionals. An average of 97% of respondents indicated that the webinars improved their understanding of the topics to some degree, and 96% intended to apply information to their work. Follow-up surveys on a subset of webinars revealed that they influenced changes in farming and advisory practices.

Webinar Participant Feedback in 2014

"I just wanted to say that your webinars are wonderful. They are informative, well done, and have really helped me in my farming. It is so helpful to be able to participate in a top notch lecture series without having to leave home, especially in winter."

"I participated in the Webinar for the seed conference and I look forward to the questionnaire. In case I am not able to receive it, I would like to pass on my thanks to all who helped and supported the Webinar. I was going to attend the conference but had to have surgery. I was delighted to attend via the internet! The Webinar was well done and I can't say enough to those who were so thoughtful to those of us who could not attend."

"The webinar was a great way to reach a lot of people with our results, and it has been a starting point for several conversations here at the conference. Thanks for helping us with all the outreach through eOrganic."

eOrganic Online Courses

 

Introduction to Organic Dairy Production Course

The eOrganic Dairy Team continues to offer its asynchronous online course, "An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production" as part of "Development of Technical Training and Support for Agricultural Service Providers and Farmers in Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems" USDA NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) project. Course developers and instructors included: Cindy Daley and Audrey Denney, California State University-Chico; Heather Darby and Deb Heleba, University of Vermont Extension; Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting; Sid Bosworth, University of Vermont; and Karen Hoffman, USDA NRCS. The course is composed of 10 modules addressing a range of topics related to certified organic dairy production, including certification, soil health, pasture and forages, herd health and nutrition, milk quality, and calf management. Each module has required readings, a narrated powerpoint presentation from an expert on the topic, and recommended additional resources. CCA CEUs are available. In 2014, 13 farmers and service providers participated in the course. A second, advanced course is in the works for 2015.  Find a full description and a link to the course at http://www.extension.org/pages/69299.

eOrganic also continues to offer the Organic Seed Production course, in which approximately 250 people have enrolled. The course consists of a set of tutorials which cover the fundamentals of seed production for onions, beets and chard, brassicas, carrots, and wet seeded crops, as well as climatic requirements for seed crops, important diseases, and seed quality. Find this free course on the eXtension Moodle campus site at http://campus.extension.org/enrol/index.php?id=377.

eOrganic Articles

 

All eOrganic articles can be found at www.extension.org/organic_production. Before publication, every article is subject to two anonymous peer reviews and National Organic Program compliance review. In 2014, eOrganic published many new articles on organic poultry production authored by Jacquie Jacob of the University of Kentucky.

eOrganic Videos

 

The eOrganic YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/eOrganic houses eOrganic's 464 videos. The channel has over 3800 subscribers and over 1.7 million views.

In March 2014, eOrganic conducted a third annual online course on How to Make a Video, attended by participants from 4 funded NIFA OREI and ORG projects. The instructors taught the basics of video planning, storyboard development, filming, and creating production plans; students completing the course have the skills they need to develop videos about their research for publication on eXtension.org and eOrganic's Youtube channel. Materials from the course are publicly available on the eOrganic website at http://eorganic.info/video.

Members of the Organic Cucurbit Production OREI Project produced the video Assessing Critical Pest Management Challenges in Organic Cucurbit Production in 2014, and additional research project videos are in the works for 2015.

Organic Farming Research Websites

 

eOrganic is currently supporting 20 NIFA-funded research and outreach projects. eOrganic supports these group in diverse ways: technical support for the development of articles and videos, peer refereed and NOP compliance review, video production training and editing, webconferencing, conference broadcasting, workspaces for project management, and public websites. Learn about some of these projects by visiting their project websites hosted by eOrganic:

Ask An Expert

 

The Ask an Expert service is a way for our stakeholders to get answers from Land Grant University (LGU) and Extension professionals through eXtension.org. Ask your question at https://ask.extension.org/groups/1668/ask - you can even submit an image to help with a diagnosis.

eOrganic provides oversight of all questions tagged with "organic production" within the Ask-an-Expert system. Our staff finds an answer by either answering the question directly or by soliciting the best response possible from our eOrganic members. In 2014, community members answered approximately 75 questions, and more than 1200 organic agriculture questions have been answered through the service since its inception. We encourage you to use this free and underutilized service for answers to your organic farming questions. Find it at https://ask.extension.org/groups/1668/ask

Get Involved with eOrganic

 

eOrganic is a Community of Practice, which means it relies on community members like you to help it grow and better serve our farmer and agricultural professional stakeholders by developing and delivering critical and timely resources. If you are a researcher or Extension educator with expertise in organic agriculture, eOrganic wants you to write an article, shoot a video, deliver a webinar, or develop and teach an online course. All of our articles and videos undergo NOP compliance and peer review before publication. For more information on how to get involved with eOrganic, join eOrganic at http://eorganic.info or contact Alice Formiga at alice.formiga@hort.oregonstate.edu

Write eOrganic into Your Next Grant Proposal

For complete information on the diverse opportunities eOrganic offers project groups and how to write eOrganic into your proposal, visit http://eOrganic.info/proposal. During the past year, eOrganic received subawards from 20 ongoing OREI and ORG projects. We can also partner with you on regional IPM, AFRI, SARE, NRCS-CIG and proposals from other funding sources. A 2-page handout describing our services to funded projects which can be distributed at meetings can be found here.

eOrganic can offer your project:

  • Webconferencing with the option of online or toll-free phone audio
  • Webinars and webinar series to stakeholders and the public
  • eXtension publication editing, and peer and NOP compliance review
  • Video training, editing, review, and posting to the web
  • Online course development and support
  • Outreach for your publications, videos, webinars and websites to our established network of 9,000 farmers, extension personnel, ag professionals, and researchers from around the country and the globe - at conferences and through our newsletters and social networking activities
  • Ask an Expert support
  • Project workspace at eOrganic.info to facilitate project communication and management
  • Project websites that are easily managed by your project members from eOrganic.info (see http://eorganic.info/novic)
  • Analytics information for reporting on your articles, videos, webinars and courses. Evaluation including impact evaluation for webinars and conference broadcasts.
Stay in touch!

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

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In this Issue New Cucurbit Project Video
  • Addressing Critical Pest Management Challenges in Organic Cucurbit Production. This video introduces the Eastern Sustainable Organic Cucurbit Project (EsoCuc), a NIFA-OREI project led by Michael Mazourek of Cornell University. The project aims to evaluate popular cucurbit varieties, breed new varieties with improved resistance to pests and diseases, and determine the best management practices for growing cucurbits in the Eastern United States. Find out more about the project at http://eorganic.info/cucurbits
What Apps Do You Use on Your Organic Farm?

As mobile technology becomes more accessible to rural areas and more farmers are adopting this technology, mobile applications for agriculture are becoming increasingly popular. We asked some of our farmer friends and collaborators which apps they use on farms. What apps do use on your organic farm or in your work with farmers? Send us an email at joineorganic@gmail.com – we’ll compile and send out the results in our next update.

Several farmers commented about their use of Google Docs and Sheets to record information and for note taking. One farmer reported using a separate email account that workers can email to report activity for issues on the farm. Still popular is taking hand written notes and transfering that information to Excel later. 

Josh Volk of Our Table Cooperative writes about his use of a smartphone, "I use DropBox sometimes to look up some of my planning sheets, but it’s rare. I use the calendar a lot for record keeping noting what I do when and more details in the notes where needed. I use the note pad mostly for short term notes that need to be transferred somewhere else. I occasionally use reminders to create to do lists and remind me of things that need to be done at a specific time. I use the timer on the clock to remind me to turn off water and the stopwatch for time trials in the field."

Some eOrganic member researchers and educators have either been involved in developing apps, or use them in their work with farmers. Examples include the following:

goCrop

Heather Darby, University of Vermont Extension agronomist and eOrganic's Dairy Team leader, has recently developed a nutrient management app called goCrop™ The app helps dairy farmers develop nutrient management plans used to monitor crop nutrient demands as well as meet state and federal regulations. Learn more at: https://gocrop.com. Heather is currently working on expanding the app to specifically address the needs of organic livestock operations.

Evernote

One of the most difficult farm tasks is collecting field data. What was planted where? Where was the broccoli with clubroot last year? How weedy is the carrot field?  How long did it take to harvest potato field number two?  What is damaging the lettuce in field 10? Alex Stone of Oregon State University works with some farmers who use Evernote to track and photograph what goes on in the field from soil prep to planting, weeding, pest scouting, and harvest. Using smartphones or tablets, farm personnel document field activities and crop problems and successes in a single note (for example, one for each field or crop) while out in the field.  Farm staff can also share information such as maps, pesticide and fertilizer labels, equipment calibration protocols, and seeding rates. To organize and find information, notes can be organized into notebooks and tagged with keywords. In addition, all of the text in notes is searchable.

APS Plant Health/Tomato MD

The Plant Health app from the American Phytopathological Society (APS) has a Tomato MD component, which is an interactive reference that helps gardeners, professional growers, and consultants identify and manage more than 35 key diseases, insects, and physiological disorders of tomatoes. Tomato experts have peer-reviewed all content to ensure the images and information are accurate, but it is published in an easy-to-use, non-scientific format. After you download the free Plant Health app, the Tomato MD app is available for $1.99. Learn more about the app here. Note: Since some of the control methods in this app may not be compliant with organic regulations, always check with your certifier before applying any inputs and read the eOrganic article Can I Use this Product for Disease Management on My Organic Farm?

NRCS SoilWeb

SoilWeb, which was developed by UC Davis and the NRCS provides GPS based, real-time access to USDA-NRCS soil survey data, formatted for mobile devices. It retrieves graphical summaries of soil types associated with the user's current geographic location. Images are linked to detailed information on the named soils. The app is available for iPhone and Android users, and Google Maps and Google Earth also interface with this application. More NRCS online maps and and apps can be found at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/home/?cid=stelprdb1049255

On-Farm Organic Dairy Workshops This Summer in Vermont and Minnesota

Summer is a great time for on-farm workshops, tours, field days! Our eOrganic dairy team members are offering some of these events to highlight results from their USDA OREI and other projects.

Brad Heins, University of Minnesota, is spearheading the Minnesota Organic Dairy Day to be held in Morris, Minnesota at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center on 8/12. The day will include tours and presentations on cover crops and summer annuals for grazing, dairy fodder systems, walk-through fly traps and summer fly control, and animal health.

Heather Darby, University of Vermont, has organized an organic dairy workshop series, in partnership with the Northeast Organic Dairy Farming Association of Vermont. Four on-farm workshops will be held on certified organic dairy farms on focusing on: grazing, summer annuals and no grain organic dairy production (7/18); summer annuals, pasture pod irrigation, and animal health (8/19); soils, foliar sprays, and nutrient dense forages (8/28); and crop diversification, hay-in-a-day, and robotic milkers & grazing (9/9). Learn more at http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/.

If you have upcoming events you'd like to post, feel free post calendar items in your eOrganic group or contact eOrganic staff member Deb Heleba.

Plant Breeding Recordings

The Plant Breeding and Genomics Community of Practice with eXtension.org conducted a series of webinars by researchers about breeding vegetable and fruit crops. Find all the recordings here. Although not all the webinars in the series dealt specifically with organic production, they may still be of interest to organic plant breeders, and the following webinars highlighted the work of projects that are partnering with eOrganic:

Organic Seed Survey

The Organic Seed Alliance announced the distribution of their 2014 organic producer seed survey. This national survey is conducted every five years to monitor organic seed availability and use, challenges in sourcing organic seed, and organic plant breeding needs, among other important topics. Findings from this survey will be included in an updated version of our State of Organic Seed report (first published in 2011). If you are a certified organic crop producer, your participation is essential to this national assessment, even if you do not currently use organic seed. Take the survey here.

New Publication on Pest Management in Greenhouses

SARE has recently released a new publication: Pest Management for Sustainable Season Extension, which is available for download here. It describes the results of a SARE-funded study conducted by Cornell University researchers on the efficacy of biological insect control in minimally heated greenhouses and high tunnels. Researchers conducted 23 case studies involving tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, winter greens and peppers grown in greenhouses and high tunnels at nine locations in upstate New York from 2007 to 2009. This fact sheet reports the results and provides detailed advice on how growers can use natural enemies to manage insect pests in minimally heated greenhouses and unheated high tunnels.

Job Announcements
  • The USDA ARS Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research Unit in University Park, PA is seeking a 2-year postdoctoral research associate (Research Animal Scientist/Research Agronomist) for a two year appointment. Ph.D. is required.  Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. U.S. Citizenship is required. The assigned research area deals with developing practical strategies for organic dairy farmers in the Northeast to improve farm viability by evaluating advanced pasture production and supplementation strategies. For more information, contact Kathy Soder at Kathy.Soder@ARS.USDA.GOV.
  • Dean of the College of Agriculture: California State University Chico. For more information, see http://csucareers.calstate.edu/Detail.aspx?pid=40987#
  • The Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University is hiring an Assistant Professor – Sustainable Horticultural Energy Management (application reviews start 8/15/14). Learn more at: https://jobs.ncsu.edu (reference position number 00104010)
eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

 

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 11097

November 2013

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In this issue:

New Online Course: An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production

An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production is a self-directed online course designed by the eOrganic Dairy Team for Extension educators and other agriculture service providers, as well as farmers and students who want to better understand certified organic dairy farming. Each of the ten modules combines readings, narrated lessons, optional homework exercises and recommended resources, and end-of-module quizzes. The peer reviewed course has also been checked for compliance with National Organic Program regulations to ensure high quality, accurate organic information. The course cost is $150, and CCA CEUs are available: 17.0 units for those who successfully complete the course.

Find a sneak preview of the course, descriptions of the topics, and instructions on how to enroll at http://www.extension.org/pages/69299

Winter Organic Farming and Research Webinars

The following eOrganic webinars are currently open for registration. Find all upcoming and archived webinars on organic farming, research and extension at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

Upcoming Organic Farming Webinars Nov 12, 2013 Organic Dry Bean Production Systems and Cultivar Choices Thomas Michaels, University of Minnesota Nov 14, 2013 Behavior Based Grazing Management: A Plant-Herbivore Interaction Webinar Darrell Emmick, USDA NRCS (emeritus) Dec 3, 2013 Trap Cropping in Organic Strawberries to Manage Lygus Bugs in California Diego Nieto, University of California Santa Cruz Jan 16, 2014 NRCS EQIP Organic Initiative and Organic Dairy Farms Sarah Brown, Oregon Tilth; Sam Skemp, USDA NRCS, Wisconsin Jan 21, 2014 Using Contans (Coniothyrium minitans) for White Mold Management on Organic Farms Webinar Alex Stone, Oregon State University Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Comment Deadline: November 15

The deadline to comment on the draft regulations for the FSMA is fast approaching. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has produced detailed instructions on how to submit comments, as well as information on how the draft regulations affect organic and small farmers, food processors and manufacturers. NSAC also provides information on issues such as the effects of the rules on organic farmers' use of manure and compost, livestock integration, and wildlife conservation practices. They have also included suggestions for comments. Find the NSAC food safety resources at http://sustainableagriculture.net/fsma/

To make sure your voice is heard, submit your comments by the deadline on November 15!

Recently Published Organic Poultry Articles

The following articles on organic poultry nutrition and pest and disease management by Jacquie Jacob, Poultry Extension Associate at the University of Kentucky, have been published on the eXtension.org website:

For additional information on organic poultry nutrition, see also the recording of the recent webinar by Mike Lilburn of the Ohio State University on A Novel Nutritional Approach to Rearing Organic Pastured Broiler Chickens.

Recent National Organic Program News

According to new estimates, certified organic acreage in the U.S. rebounded in 2011. The U.S. had 3.1 million acres of certified organic cropland and 2.3 million acres of certified organic pasture and rangeland in 2011. Between 2008 and 2010, certified cropland and pasture had dipped as sluggish growth in consumer demand during the recession dampened the short-term outlook for organic producers. However, the growth in certified acreage of both cropland and pastureland has more than recovered those losses and has reestablished its upward trajectory. This continues the long-term growth trend in this sector.

USDA's Economic Research Service has tracked the amount of certified organic acreage and livestock in the U.S. since 1997. Throughout this period, they have identified State-level adoption patterns for over 40 commodities based on information from State and private organic certifiers.

Read an article about the report: Growth Patterns in the U.S. Organic Industry by Catherine Greene, USDA/ERS, and download organic data from the report.

Subscribe to the NOP Organic Insider to stay current on NOP news and activities.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

eOrganic logo

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

eOrganic 10160

September 2013

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In this issue:

Fall Organic Farming and Extension Webinars

This fall, eOrganic presents a new series of webinars entitled Excellence in Organic Extension organized by Julie Grossman, Alan Meijer and JiJy Sooksa-nguan at North Carolina State University. This 4-session webinar series will provide training to enable graduate students and others who work directly with farmers in their jobs, an opportunity to learn what works, and what doesn’t from national experts in organic agriculture extension. Register or watch recordings at the links below:

We've also launched our 4th season of webinars on organic farming based on the latest research and practitioner experience. You can register now for the following webinars, and more will be added, so check our schedule often!

Quinoa Conference Recordings Available

In August, eOrganic attended the International Quinoa Research Symposium in Pullman, Washington, which presented research in quinoa breeding and the adoption potential of this nutritious crop across the globe. Recordings of selected presentations from this conference are now available as a playlist on the eOrganic YouTube channel. Find recordings of all our past webinars and conference broadcasts at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

Recently Published eOrganic Articles

Requirements for Organic Poultry Production, by Jim Riddle, Organic Independents LLP

Synthetic Methionine and Organic Poultry Diets, by Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Organic News

An article about using radishes as cover crops by Joel Gruver, Ray R. Weil, Charles White and Yvonne Lawley which was based on an eOrganic article by the same authors, was published in the Organic Broadcaster, the bimonthly publication of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Read the article, and others from the current issue at http://www.mosesorganic.org/attachments/broadcaster/Obonline215.html#9

Jim Riddle's and Joyce Ford's Blue Fruit Farm near Winona, MN was featured on KSMQ Public Television's Garden Connections show. Watch the farm tour and learn about their approach to organic production by watching the episode on YouTube at this link

The Organic Center is working with the National Soil Project (NSP) at Northeastern University to look at humic acid content in organic farm soils, and they are seeking soil samples from organic farms. The goal of the study is to quantify the improved health of organically managed soils in comparison to conventionally managed soils and create a reference database to help organic farmers maintain and improve their soil. More information about the project can be found on the Organic Center website at http://organic-center.org/uncategorized/soil-health-in-organic-farms/

Recent National Organic Program (NOP) News

Based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, the NOP is proposing allowing three substances in organic crops and handling:

  1. Biodegradable biobased mulch film:
    • Farmers wouldn't need to remove the biodegradable mulch at the end of the growing season, reducing waste and farm worker labor costs.
    • Mulch couldn't contain genetically modified ingredients and would need to meet other requirements.
  2. Nonorganic curry leaves (Murraya koenigii)*
  3. Nonorganic Citrus hystrix leaves and fruit*

*Allows handlers to use the non-organic form of the ingredient only if organic form isn't commercially available in the appropriate form, quality or quantity to replace its use.

View Proposed Rule. Submit Public Comments. Deadline: October 21, 2013

A recently published Instruction addresses Organic Certificates, and describes what elements are necessary on an organic certificate to accurately communicate a certified operation's organic status. It also clarifies that only one operation may be listed on the organic certificate. This document clarifies the NOP's expectations of its certifiers in this area, will support increased consistency in certificates across certifiers. View NOP 2603: Organic Certificates

Subscribe to the NOP Organic Insider to stay current on NOP news and activities.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

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

eOrganic 9827

August 2016

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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In this issue New  Webinars on Seed Production, Cucurbit Diseases and Conservation

August 16, 2016: Organic Seed Production Six Webinar Series Part 3: Pests and Diseases

Tomorrow (August 16th) is the third webinar in our monthly Organic Seed Production Six Webinar Series, organized by the Organic Seed Alliance and MESA. You're welcome to attend even if you missed the first two presentations, which are archived on the eOrganic YouTube channel. One registration allows you attend any or all of the webinars in the series. This month's session, by Jared Zystro of the Organic Seed Alliance and Shannon Carmody of Washington State University, focuses on the management of pests and diseases in organic seed production. Find the full description and register here

October 5, 2016: How to Implement and Verify Biodiversity Conservation Activities in Organic Production

Organic operations must follow the National Organic Program’s (NOP) regulations. The NOP Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance, which interprets these regulations, helps organic producers and their certification personnel determine which conservation practices are appropriate. Biodiversity conservation in organic agriculture varies in a continuum from simple to complex stewardship practices. Opportunities for USDA NRCS to support producers with putting in many of these conservation practices will be discussed. Examples from Wild Farm Alliance that suggest compliance, and minor and major issues related to the Guidance, will be shared. This webinar will also feature presenter, Assistant Professor John Quinn, who will discuss components and issues around biodiversity. Organic producers will learn how to implement conservation practices, and certification personnel will become skilled on how to observe and verify organic operation’s biodiversity conservation practices. Register here

October 19, 2016: Viral Diseases in Cucurbits: Identification and Management Strategies

Presented by Dr. John Murphy of Auburn University, this presentation will focus on four commonly occurring aphid-borne viruses that infect cucurbits. We will describe these viruses, how they spread in the field and why they are particularly difficult to manage. We will discuss approaches to diagnose their occurrence in cucurbits and various approaches used to reduce losses caused by these viruses, for example genetic resistance and integration of various production practices such as use of UV-reflective plastic mulch and inter-row living ground covers. This webinar, as well as the following one, is being organized by the NIFA-OREI funded Eastern Sustainable Cucurbit Project, which is a collaboration of growers, researchers and extension agents working to find solutions for the many challenges facing organic cucurbit producers. Register here

December 6, 2016: Managing Cucurbit Downy Mildew in Organic Systems in the Northeast

Downy mildew of cucumber, pumpkin and other cucurbits occurs annually in the Northeastern US causing severe losses in yield.  This presentation will discuss when the pathogen first arrives in and area and how the pathogen spreads.  Additionally, methods for controlling cucurbit downy mildew will be discussed including resistant varieties and cultural controls. Results from studies on the use and effectiveness of organically approved commercially available products for controlling downy mildew will also be presented. Register here

We'll be adding more webinars as fall approaches, and you can find them all along with links to our archive at http://articles.extension.org/pages/25242. All webinars are free and open to the public, and unless otherwise specified, they take place at 2PM Eastern Time (1 Central, 12 Mountain, 11 Pacific).

Spotted Wing Drosophila Research Project Updates

The multi-state Organic Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila research project, funded by NIFA OREI, has been posting updates about their research activities this summer, which highlight some of the many challenges researchers face in conducting experiments with the goal of finding solutions to this troublesome pest, including hailstorms and unexpected predators! Learn about ongoing experiments in mulching, exclusion, and pruning and their effects on Spotted Wing Drosophila, as well as the overall objectives of this project at http://eorganic.info/node/12848.

New Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Publications

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Organic Systems research project, also funded by the NIFA OREI, recently published several new journal articles and other resources on their findings and listed them on their website, with links to the journal article abstracts. Find them here: http://eorganic.info/brown-marmorated-stink-bug-organic/resources

New Video: CalCORE Research: Controlling Soilborne Diseases in California's Strawberry Industry with Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD)

The NIFA OREI funded CalCORE Research project has produced a new short video about their work using Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) to control diseases in organic strawberry production, which is available here on the eOrganic YouTube channel. To learn more about ASD in greater depth, view the archived webinars they have presented on this technique:

New Fact Sheet on Integrated Pest Management and Organic Production

Organic agriculture and integrated pest management (IPM) systems and proponents share many of the same goals to address environmental and human health concerns. However, key commonalities and differences between these systems are not always clearly understood. The Organic and IPM Working Group developed a fact sheet summarizing these two systems, including ways to tell if products were produced using organic and/or IPM practices. You can find and download the fact sheet on the working group’s website (organicipmwg.wordpress.com) or by clicking here. The Organic and IPM Working Group is comprised of over 60 industry professionals, practitioners, researchers, Extension agents, educators and policy makers working together to synergize these two communities. Their work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, North Central IPM Center. This summary was submitted to eOrganic by Jaime Pinero, Assistant Professor and IPM Specialist at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium 2017 Call for Abstracts

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University invite the submission of research abstracts for presentation at the 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), taking place on January 25-26, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky, immediately preceding the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference (SAWG). The symposium will feature researchers from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards.The intent of the symposium is to provide current information to farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals and others interested in organic agriculture.

Based on the results of the 2015 OFRF survey with organic farmers in the Southern region, we especially encourage conference participation related to the following priority topic areas. (For additional topic areas and more information, click here)

• Biological and cultural practices to manage insects, diseases and weeds
• Market entry and transition to organic production systems
• Adaptations to climate change in the Southern region.

Presentations will be selected based on their innovative excellence, relevance to the research needs and priorities of organic farmers and ranchers, soundness of the methodology used, and the overall scientific quality.

The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2016. Abstracts should be sent to Dr. Joanna Ory at joanna@ofrf.org.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute Seeks Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin seeks a new Executive Director. Read detailed information on the requirements and responsibilities of this position as well as contact information on their website at http://michaelfields.org/executive-director-michael-fields-agricultural-institute/. The Michael Fields Institute is a public, nonprofit organization dedicate to sustainable agriculture education, research and policy. 

National Organic Program News: Roundtable on Consumer Perception of "Organic" Claims for Non-Agricultural Products

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will co-host a roundtable in Washington, D.C. on October 20, 2016, to help the agencies better understand how consumers perceive “organic” claims for non-agricultural products, such as personal care products.

At the roundtable, invited panelists, including consumer advocates, industry representatives, and academics, will discuss the following topics:

  • Consumers’ interpretations of “organic” claims for products and services that generally fall outside the scope of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program
  • A recent FTC-USDA study on organic claims, including its methods, limitations and conclusions
  • Approaches to address potential deception, including consumer education. 

The roundtable is open to the public, and the FTC welcomes written comments, including further evidence of consumer perception. Interested parties may file a comment electronically. Paper comments may be mailed to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or they may be delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024.

Commenters should write "Green Guides--Organic Roundtable, Project No. P954501" on their submission. The public comment period will remain open until Dec 1, 2016. Comments will be posted on the roundtable's public webpage.

The roundtable is free and open to the public. It will be held at the FTC’s Constitution Center Building, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. The Commission will publish a detailed agenda at a later date. 

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

eOrganic logo

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

eOrganic 20093

Growing the eOrganic Community - Annual Report 2012

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

eOrganic logo

2012 marked eOrganic’s fourth year of offering information on organic farming and research to the public. Our eXtension Community of Practice now has approximately 1,000 members, including researchers, Extension educators, agency personnel, organic certifiers and inspectors, farmers, and other agriculture professionals. More than 200 members have actively contributed to eOrganic by authoring and/or reviewing articles and FAQs, producing or reviewing videos, answering Ask an Expert (AaE) questions, presenting webinars, and/or attending outreach and leadership events. Read on to learn about our accomplishments in 2012 and upcoming plans for 2013.

Download this report as a pdf file

Big Gains in Content Views

In 2012, eOrganic articles, news, and FAQs received 26% more hits compared with 2011. A total of 191,732 unique visitors resulted in 409,820 pageviews. The most popular page was Webinars by eOrganic, followed by the eOrganic Home Page, and the following articles:  Weed identification Tools and Techniques, by Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association of Biological Farming;  Use of Tillage in Organic Farming Systems: The Basics by Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University and Michelle Wander, University of Illinois; and Training Systems and Pruning in Organic Tomato Production by Bonnie Cox, Oregon Tilth. Our bimonthly newsletter, eOrganic Updates, that features newly published articles, upcoming and archived webinars, and important organic news, now reaches more than 6,400 subscribers.

Expanding our Reach with Webinars and Broadcasts

Starting in late 2009, eOrganic started offering free web-based presentations, or "webinars." A webinar allows people from all over the world to hear a presentation, view the presentation slides, and type in questions--all while sitting at their computer. The presentation is recorded and available for viewing at any time from eOrganic's YouTube channel. To date, eOrganic has delivered more than 65 webinars attended by over 7,300 attendees, of which, on average, over 25% were farmers. Our webinar topics range from practical farming methods to the latest in organic research.

Highlights of the 2012 Webinar Season

In 2012, 20 webinars were presented on a range of topics from seed sourcing and cover crops to dairy feeding systems and organic weed management. Highlights of our 2012 season included the following presentations:

eOrganic conference broadcasts expand the reach of in-person presentations to online viewers. In 2012, 550 people listened online to 5 conference broadcasts. Many of the broadcasts included multiple presentations, resulting in 79 recordings available on eOrganic’s YouTube channel (which were viewed 2599 times). In 2012, eOrganic broadcast presentations from the following in-person conferences.

Webinar Evaluation

An evaluation is sent to each participant immediately following each webinar to assess whether or not the participants liked the quality, utility, and accessibility of the webinar, and whether they would recommend the webinar to others. For select webinars, an impact survey is sent the following winter to evaluate any participant behavior change as a result of attending the webinar. Read eOrganic's complete evaluation report at http://eorganic.info/evaluation.

Across all topic areas, feedback from participants of 2012 eOrganic webinars was positive. In surveys administered immediately after the webinars, 97% of participants agreed that their understanding of the topic had been improved to some degree, and 96% reported that they intended to apply the knowledge they gained in the webinars in their work. The technical level of the webinars was viewed as appropriate by 82% of participants, and 85% of participants reported that webinars were very easy to access. In all surveys, 82% of participants stated that they would recommend the eOrganic webinars they attended to others.

In follow-up surveys conducted 9 to 16 months after the webinars, 88% of respondents reported that they had applied the knowledge gained from webinars in their work to some degree during the subsequent months. When farmers, in particular, were asked whether the webinar contributed to changes in their farming practices, 57% answered "Yes." eOrganic webinars influenced changes in farming practices and the ability of advisers to better inform their constituents on a wide variety of subjects.

Webinar Participant Feedback

“Thanks to eOrganic, this knowledge is now available to anyone with a computer. This is the state of organic science: we didn't have this knowledge ten years ago, nor the technology to disseminate it, anyway. Now we have both and this is encouraging.”

“eOrganic provides an invaluable service. I have worked in this field for many years in federal government, land grant system and non-profit world. Great to have cutting edge research like this available straight from the experts.”

“I liked that the speaker was someone who used their system every day and had first hand knowledge of the things that work or could go wrong.”

“What I liked best about this program...and a couple of others I've seen...is good visuals that help the audience see what the presenter actually did or how they did it. The presenters have been very knowledgeable in their subject matter and are capable of answering important follow up questions from the audience.”

"Obviously the presenter had a very thorough knowledge of the topic...I especially appreciate the information about new tools for weed management for small scale farmers -- this is the kind of info we are all hungry for! Other than some minor technical problems which were resolved quickly, I thought it was excellent! I appreciate that I was able to hear this webinar from the comfort of my home, without having to travel anywhere, and will definitely check on the other webinars in your archive."

“The things you folks are doing well include....making it very easy to access the webinar; then archiving it for future use; keeping the program to a defined time period without it rambling on. The email announcements from eOrganic are also good communications tools for upcoming programs.”

Looking Ahead to Webinars in 2013

Upcoming webinars in 2013 include presentations on ancient grains, pest and disease management in pecan and peach, climate change research, crucifer production, pasture management, and brown marmorated stink bugs. Register for upcoming webinars, and find our complete archive of webinars and broadcast recordings at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242.

eOrganic Online Courses Introduction to Organic Dairy Production Course

Members of the eOrganic Dairy Team have been working on online course and other content development as part of "Development of Technical Training and Support for Agricultural Service Providers and Farmers in Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems," a USDA NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) project. In 2012, "An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production" online course was developed under the leadership of Cindy Daley and Audrey Denney at California State University-Chico, Sarah Flack of Sarah Flack Consulting, and Heather Darby and Deb Heleba at University of Vermont Extension. The course is composed of 10 modules addressing a range of topics related to certified organic dairy production, including certification, soil health, pasture and forages, herd health and nutrition, milk quality, and calf management. Each module has required readings, a narrated powerpoint presentation from an expert on the topic, and recommended additional resources.

During the 2012 fall semester, the course was piloted with a group of 57 undergraduate students at Chico State. Students took the course either entirely online, or online with supplemental in-person instruction. An end-of-course survey revealed that all students gained knowledge on all topics covered through the course. All but one indicated they would use the information learned in the future, mostly as they prepare for their careers in agriculture. One student said, "One of the best online classes I have taken." Another said, "The information is solid. Being that I am headed back to my dairy, I will certainly use the knowledge I gained from this course." Still another said, "Having this knowledge will really give me a "one-up" on a lot of other people in the industry, as the organic side of things is becoming more prevalent in farming. Whatever direction I may go in, I can always use this information to try to better operations and educate other farmers."

The course will be offered through eXtension's Moodle campus in early 2013 for farmers, Extension educators, and agriculture service providers.

Organic Seed Production Course

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

Video Production Course

In January to March of 2012, eOrganic conducted an online Introduction to Video Production course on the eXtension Moodle campus. There were 12 participants, who were researchers and Extension educators who are supporting eOrganic with project funds from USDA NIFA OREI and ORG grants. The instructors, Lane Selman and Jeff Hino of Oregon State University, taught the basics of video planning, making storyboards, filming, and creating production plans so that participants can create videos about their research results for posting on eXtension.org and eOrganic’s YouTube channel. Materials from the course are now publicly available at http://eorganic.info/video. eOrganic will offer the course again in 2013. The course was developed by Lane Selman, Jeff Hino, John McQueen, Alex Stone and Alice Formiga of OSU, and Deb Heleba and Amanda Gervais of the University of Vermont.

In an evaluation following the completion of the class, the course was viewed positively by participants. 75% of class attendees responded to an evaluation survey. Of those, 100% agreed that, as a result of the class, they know how to write a storyboard and a production plan; 100% agreed that they know when it’s a good idea to capture video separately from audio, and 100% gained knowledge on how to avoid common mistakes.

eOrganic Articles

All of eOrganic's 260+ published articles can be found at www.extension.org/organic_production. Before publication, every article is subject to two anonymous, peer reviews and National Organic Program compliance review.

Notable articles published in 2012 include the following.

eOrganic Videos

Find eOrganic's 212 videos (including webinar recordings) on eXtension at http://www.extension.org/pages/18726 and on the eOrganic YouTube channel, where we have more than 1300 subscribers and over 968,000 views.

Videos published in 2012 including the following.

Ask An Expert

The Ask-an-Expert service is a way for our stakeholders to get answers from Land Grant University (LGU) and Extension professionals through eXtension.org. Ask your question at https://ask.extension.org/groups/1668/ask -- you can even submit an image to help with a diagnosis.

eOrganic provides oversight of all questions tagged with "organic production" within the Ask-an-Expert system. Our staff finds an answer by either answering the question directly or by soliciting the best response possible from our eOrganic members. In 2012, community members answered approximately 150 questions, and more than 1,000 organic agriculture questions have been answered through the service since its inception in 2007.

Outreach to Farmers and the General Public

Representatives from eOrganic attended three major organic farming conferences in early 2012: The Ecological Farming Conference (Eco-Farm) in California, the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in Wisconsin, and the PASA conference in Pennsylvania. eOrganic had booths at these conferences and ads in the conference programs. eOrganic also had a presence at the Oregon State University Small Farms Conference, the Illinois Specialty Growers’ Association, and the NOFA Northeast Organic Farming Association Conference in Vermont.

In 2012, presentations about eOrganic were given at the American Society of Agronomy, and the American Society of Horticultural Science meetings. Jim Riddle gave a presentation on "Using eOrganic to Create Collaborate and Educate" at the NOFA Organic Research Symposium, and Annette Wszelaki represented eOrganic during an eXtension panel discussion at the Tennessee State Small Farms Conference. Articles about eOrganic were published in HortTechnology journal (Stone, et al. 2012), as well as the Tilth Producers Quarterly journal. eOrganic also advertised in the monthly periodical Growing for Market.

eOrganic maintains an active presence on the social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which have been experiencing steady growth. With 968,000 video views and over 1300 subscribers on YouTube, 1600 Twitter followers and over 1200 Facebook likes, eOrganic is growing its presence in social media channels. As a result, these channels resulted in over 5,000 pageviews for eOrganic content on eXension.org from 2,400 unique visitors.

eOrganic Revisioning Meeting

In November 2012, eOrganic convened a revisioning meeting in Portland, Oregon, attended by eOrganic leaders, staff, and members as well as current and potential project partners. The goals of the meeting were to discuss ways to improve eOrganic's current programs and brainstorm new partnerships, opportunities, and programs. eOrganic leaders and staff are using the great ideas from this meeting in crafting a plan to guide eOrganic’s work over the next five years. As always, we welcome any and all thoughts from eOrganic members and participants to improve our content and programming! Contact us with your ideas at joineorganic@gmail.com.

Get Involved with eOrganic

eOrganic is a Community of Practice, which means it relies on community members like you to help it grow and better serve our farmer and agricultural professional stakeholders by developing and delivering critical and timely resources. eOrganic wants YOU to write an article, shoot a video, deliver a webinar, or develop and teach an online course. All of our articles and videos undergo NOP compliance and peer review before publication. Contact Alice Formiga at formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu for more information on how to contribute content to eOrganic, or visit our website at http://eorganic.info.

Write eOrganic into Your Next Grant Proposal

For complete information on the diverse opportunities eOrganic offers project groups and how to write eOrganic into your proposal, visit http://eOrganic.info/proposal. In 2012, 4 OREI projects were funded which included a plan of work and subaward for eOrganic. During the past year, eOrganic received subawards from 20 previously funded ongoing OREI and ORG projects.
We can also partner with you on regional IPM, AFRI, SARE, NRCS-CIG and proposals to other funding sources. A 2 page handout describing our services to funded projects which can be distributed at meetings can be found here.

eOrganic can offer your project:

  • Web conferencing
  • Webinars and webinar series to stakeholders and community members
  • eXtension publication editing, and peer and NOP compliance review
  • Video capture training, editing, review, and posting to the web
  • Online course development and support
  • Outreach for your articles, videos and webinars to our established network of farmers, extension personnel, ag professionals, and researchers from around the country and the globe - at conferences and through our newsletters and social networking activities
  • Project workspace at eOrganic.info to facilitate project communication and management
  • Project websites that are easily managed by your project members from eOrganic.info (see http://eorganic.info/novic)
  • Ask-an-Expert support
References
  • Heleba, D., Flack, S., Daley, C. Developing On-Line Training and National Support Networks on Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems Through eOrganic. Poster. American Society of Agronomy Meeting. October 21-24, 2012.
  • Heleba, D., H. Darby, A. Gervais, C. Daley, H. Behar, M. Day, S. Flack, A. Formiga, J. McQueen and A. Stone. 2012. eOrganic Dairy: Developing National Online Training and Support Networks on Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems. Abstract. Northeast Organic Research Symposium. January 19-20, 2012.
  • Marose,B.H. et al. Growing the Organic Grains CoP. Poster. American Society of Agronomy Meeting. October 21-24, 2012.
  • Riddle, J. and A. Stone. 2012. How to Use eOrganic for Research and Outreach. Abstract. Northeast Organic Research Symposium. January 19-20, 2012.
  • Stone, A., Wander, M. Darby, H. and Cavigelli, M. eOrganic, the Organic Agriculture Community of Practice for eXtension. Poster. American Society of Agronomy Meeting. October 21-24, 2012.
  • Stone, A.G., D.D. Treadwell, A.K. Formiga, J.P.G. McQueen, M. Wander, J. Riddle, H.M. Darby, D. Heleba. 2012. eOrganic: The Organic Agriculture Community for eXtension. HortTechnology. 22:583-588.  Available at http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/22/5/583.abstract
  • Treadwell, D., A. Stone, M. Wander, H. Darby, J. Riddle. 2012. eOrganic Builds Information Networks for the Organic Agriculture Community. Abstract. American Society for Horticultural Science Meeting. July 31, 2012.
  • Wander, M. Highlights from eOrganic’s Soils and Climate Change Communities. Poster. American Society of Agronomy Meeting. October 21-24, 2012.

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 8547

April 2016

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

In this issue:

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Archived Conference Recordings

In addition to our ongoing webinars, we provided live broadcasts from the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium and the Organic Seed Growers Conference this winter. We recorded several presentations from these conferences that are now available in our archive and as playlists on the eOrganic YouTube channel. The seed conference recordings include sessions from a day-long seed production intensive class, as well as a presentation on the State of Organic Seed by Kristina Hubbard and Jared Zystro of the Organic Seed Alliance. The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium recordings include sessions on biosolarization, the importance of organic research, organic dairy forages, organic education, and many more. Find the recordings here:

All the webinars from this past winter and spring are also available in our archive. Since we have so many recordings, it may be easier for you to find the ones that interest you by topic here. In the coming months, we'll be offering additional monthly webinars, mainly focused on dairy and seed production, and we'll start doing weekly webinars again in the fall.

May 12th: Supplementing the Organic Dairy Herd Diet with Flaxseed

Join us on May 12 for a webinar with Andre Brito of the University of New Hampshire and Heather Darby of the University of Vermont. The webinar takes place at 2 PM Eastern Time (1 Central, 12 Mountain, 11 Pacific). It's free and open to the public, and registration is required. Dr. Darby will start the webinar by sharing results of field trials she’s conducted in northern Vermont looking at the performance of flax varieties, planting dates, and weed management. Dr. Brito will then describe his work on feeding flaxseed to organic dairy cows. Find out more and register here.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Survey for Organic Growers

Attention organic berry growers! If soft-fruited berries (cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.) are part of your farm operation, organizers of a NIFA OREI project would like some information on your knowledge of and experience with this invasive small fruit pest that primarily attacks raspberries, blackberries and blueberries but may also infest strawberries, grapes, and stone fruit. The survey will take 10 minutes to complete and will be open through June, 2016. Here is the link to the survey (after the introductory text, click on the arrows below it to get to the survey): https://umn.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cDeLcgAST6GsQo5

The project is Development and Implementation of Systems-based Organic Management Strategies for Spotted Wing Drosophila. For questions about this survey, contact Ash Sial of the University of Georgia or Mary Rogers of the University of Minnesota.

Organic Confluences Summit: May 23rd, 2016

On May 23, the Organic Center is holding its first Organic Confluences Summit, which aims to turn research-based environmental benefits of organic agriculture into policy practice. This conference will bring together scientific experts, farmers, policy makers, and organic stakeholders to review the most up-to-date research on the environmental benefits of organic farming practices and assess the availability and efficacy of existing public sector programs designed to incentivize the adoption of environmentally friendly organic farming techniques. The conference takes place in conjunction with the Organic Trade Association's Organic Week DC, and there is a registration discount for those who are attending both events. Find out more information and register here: https://www.organic-center.org/programs/organic-confluences/

New eOrganic Videos and Articles National Organic Program and USDA News

New Organic Livestock and Poultry Proposed Rules: The USDA is proposing rules to amend livestock and poultry practices for organic farms, which include sections on:

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

You can view the proposed rule here, and then once it is published in the federal register, you will be able to submit comments.The link above provides instructions.

NOSB Seeking Nominations: The National Organic Standards Board is accepting nominations to fill five vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) as well as nominations for a pool of candidates to fill future unexpected vacancies in any of the position categories, should that occur. Appointees will serve a 5-year term starting on January 24, 2017. The deadline is June 3, 2016, and you can find more information on the vacancies and how to apply here.

Organic Integrity Database: In February, the USDA launched the new Organic Integrity Database. This new searchable database is a user-friendly tool that can help you findup-to-date information on certified organic operations. Using the database, you can find things like the certified organic operations in your state and what they provide, check on the certification status of a particular farm, or learn how many certified organic farms there are in the US. Learn more about the database here.

Organic Conservation Resources The USDA NRCS has a webpage with information on organic production and conservation, which includes success stories from producers who have implemented conservation practices. You can also find fact sheets on cover crops and conservation buffers and practices produced by Oregon Tilth, and a link about a series of webinars in 2016 on weed management and reduced tillage. Additionally, you can find out about the EQIP program and how you can take advantage of EQIP funding. Find the NRCS organic agriculture page here.

New Spanish Resources: The Agricultural Marketing Service has translated many resources on organic farming into Spanish, for example the USDA Organic Regulations and the Program Handbook. Newly available for Spanish speakers are the Sound and Sensible initiative resources, including videos and a checklist on transitioning to organic production produced by CCOF, organic farming videos from WSDA and tip sheets on organic standards from NCAT. Find all these resources here, on the USDA blog:

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

eOrganic logo

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

eOrganic 17925

February-March 2015

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Upcoming eOrganic Webinars and Conference Broadcasts

Join eOrganic each week for webinars through the beginning of April on organic farming, research and Extension. Advance registration is required. Find links to all upcoming webinars below. Note: The recordings of the webinars will be posted to these links as well.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium: Selected Live Broadcasts various February 25 and 26, 2015 Using Participatory Variety Trials to Assess Response to Environment in Organic Vegetable Crops Alexandra Lyon, University of Wisconsin March 3, 2015 Promoting Native Bee Pollinators in Organic Farming Systems David Crowder and Elias Bloom, Washington State University March 10, 2015 Non-Antibiotic Control of Fire Blight: What Works As We Head Into a New Era Ken Johnson, Oregon State University; Rachel Elkins, University of California Extension, Tim Smith, University of Washington Extension March 17, 2015 Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture Phillip Simon, USDA ARS and University of Wisconsin; Lori Hoagland, Purdue; Philip Roberts, UC Riverside; Micaela Colley, Jared Zystro and Cathleen McCluskey, Organic Seed Alliance  March 24, 2015 Innovative Approaches to Extension in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Bruna Irene Grimberg, Fabian Menalled and Mary Burrows, Montana State University April 7, 2015 New Organic Farming Research Videos: Intercropping Alyssum and Lettuce, Legume & Cereal Cover Crops, and More!

How do organic farmers control aphids and produce high quality lettuce without pesticides? With naturally occurring beneficial insects like hoverflies that eat aphids live! Farmers attract these good bugs into the field by intercropping lettuce with flowers like alyssum. This educational and entertaining video shows how this system works, and a more efficient and novel way to achieve biological control of aphids with less land area and fewer weed problems. It is based on research by Eric Brennan at the USDA Agricultural Research Service during 9 years of commercial scale organic lettuce production in the Salinas Valley, California.USDA-ARS. View this video and others about legume cereal cover crops in organic production, and organic-conventional system comparisons at https://www.youtube.com/user/EricBrennanOrganic

Transitioning to Organic: Farmer Profiles

Visit the Tools for Transition website, created by a NIFA OREI funded research project and hosted by eOrganic, which includes profiles of  Minnesota farmers who have transitioned to organic farming. The profiles feature stories from a variety of different types of farms, and discuss why the farmers decided to transition, the strategies they used, as well as some of their challenges, achievements and words of advice! The Tools for Transition website also has links to helpful resources for transitioning farmers as well as project reports, newsletters, and results from an annual survey administered to farmers who have transitioned to organic to learn about the challenges they face.

New Organic Corn Breeding Website

Learn about a new NIFA OREI project on Breeding Non-Commodity Corn for Organic Producers (hosted by eOrganic). The long term goal of this work is to increase the profitability, sustainability and safety of organic food production systems emphasizing corn. Project members plan to increase the availability of seed for non-commodity corn varieties by way of the following objectives.

1. Breeding: Develop and release new non-commodity corn varieties and improved germplasm with traits desired by organic farmers and food producers.
2. Research: Develop new knowledge and technology that facilitates breeding corn by public and private breeders (including seed savers) for organic production systems.
3. Outreach: Show organic producers and seed companies how to use the results (information and germplasm) developed by the proposed research.

As the project progresses, the website will be posting updates and additional information. Visit the site to learn about the multi-institutional project team and their work!

2015 Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region Report Released

Ceres Trust is pleased to announce release of the new report, “Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region - 2105.” The North Central Region (NCR) includes Illinois,Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, SouthDakota, and Wisconsin. The report, provides state-specific details about current and past organic research projects; certified organic research land and animals; student organic farms; sources of organic research funding; dissemination of organic research results through field days and peer-reviewed journals; organic education efforts; and other relevant information. New in 2015, the report includes descriptions of on-farm organic research conducted by land grant university faculty and graduate students. The report also includes the titles of organic research projects, peer-reviewed papers, and extension publications, dating back to 2002, whenUS National Organic Program (NOP) regulations took effect. Read the report at http://cerestrust.org/organic-research-outreach-north-central-feb-2015/

New Oregon Tilth Webinar Series: March-December 2015

Oregon Tilth and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) have teamed up to help explain several aspects of the organic industry through their 2015 webinar series. On the first Tuesday of every month, they will cover a diverse range of topics including organic labeling, product formulations, pollinator plantings in organic systems and more. Check out the schedule and sign up for the free webinars at http://tilth.org/webinars/.

Organic Research Initiative Awards Funding for Organic Agriculture Research

Since 2009, the Ceres Trust has offered the Organic Research Initiative (ORI), an annual competition that awards grants for organic agriculture research at universities and private institutions in the 12-state North Central Region (NCR). The NCR includes Illinois,Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Each year, Ceres Trust awards up to 10 three-year ORI grants, with a $60,000 maximum per year. Special emphasis is placed on soil health and organic techniques that will benefit beginning and established organic farmers. Ceres Trust is pleased to announce the funding of over $1.75 Million to 10 ORI projects, approved in November 2014. Find the list of newly funded projects here.

eOrganic Mission and Resources

 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!

 

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 12856

October 2014

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

Having trouble viewing this? View it online here

In this Issue Join Us For New Organic Farming Research Webinars

eOrganic is excited to announce our 5th season of webinars on organic farming and research! This season's program features many regional and national research groups and farmers working on organic weed and insect management, organic grain production, and organic plant breeding.  All webinars are free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. Register for any of the webinars at the links below and check our schedule of upcoming and archived webinars regularly, because we'll be adding many more webinars and live conference broadcasts soon!

Upcoming Webinars Presenters Date

Using Cover Crop Mixtures to Achieve Multiple Goals on the Farm

Jason Kaye, Dave Mortensen, Charlie White, Mitch Hunter, Jermaine Hinds, Jim LaChance, Penn State University October 14, 2014 Diversity by Design: Using Trap Crops to Control the Cruciferous Flea Beetle Joyce Parker, EPA November 11, 2014 Dehulling Ancient Grains Brian Baker;  Nigel Tudor, Weatherbury Farm; Elizabeth Dyck, OGRIN November 18, 2014 IPM in Crucifer Crops: Focus on the Yellowmargined Leaf Beetle Rammohan Balusu and Ayanava Majumdar, Auburn University; Ron Cave, University of Florida December 2, 2014 Managing Bad Stink Bugs with Good Stink Bugs Yong-Lak Park, West Virginia University  January 22, 2015 Building Pest-Suppressive Organic Farms: Tools and Strategies Used by Five Long-Term Organic Farms Helen Atthowe and Carl Rosato, Woodleaf Farm February 10, 2015 Blasting the Competition Away: Air-propelled Abrasive Grits for Weed Management in Organic Grain and Vegetable Crops Sam Wortman, University of Illinois; Frank Forcella, USDA-ARS; Sharon Clay and Daniel Humburg, University of South Dakota February 17, 2015 Promoting Native Bee Pollinators in Organic Farming Systems David Crowder and Elias Bloom, Washington State University March 10, 2015 NOSB Seeks Comments on Organic Research Priorities and Inputs by October 7th

Public comments are being accepted through October 7, 2014 for the upcoming fall National Organic Standards Board meeting. At the meeting, board members will discuss substances that will be added or removed from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. They will also be discussing whether to forward a set of research priorities to the National Organic Program. Find the agenda here and read the meeting documents here.

To submit comments through October 7th, click this link and select "October 28-30, Louisville, KY" from the drop-down menu. That page contains a link to submit comments electronically, and it also has instructions for those who would like to register to submit comments in person, the deadline for which is also 11:59PM on October 7th. Take advantage of this opportunity to make your voice heard about how these proposals affect your farm business or organic farming research.

New Rule on Biodegradable Mulch Effective October 30, 2014

Effective October 30, 2014 is a new amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances on biodegradable biobased mulch film. This rule adds a new definition for biodegradable biobased mulch film that will be permitted in organic production that includes criteria and third-party standards for compostability, biodegradability, and biobased content. Read the rule, definitions and background information at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5109128

Food Safety Rule Update

The second public comment period for the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations on food producers and processors opened on September 29, 2014. This month, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will be posting information on the changes which were made to the rule, and instructions for submitting comments on their website. For more information and to sign up for updates, go to http://sustainableagriculture.net/fsma/overview-and-background/

New Wildlife Damage Control Handbook

A new handbook, Wildlife Damage Control for Organic Farmers describes non-chemical strategies for prevention and control of wildlife damage to gardens and crops. It covers ground squirrels, pocket gophers, voles, rabbits, woodchucks, deer, skunks, raccoons and coyotes, and there is also a general chapter on birds. The handbook was developed as part of a project funded by Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (Western SARE), and it's written by James E. Knight of Montana State University. Find it on the Montana State University Wildlife Damage Extension page at: http://animalrange.montana.edu/extension/wildlifeprevent.html.

NOTE: Before applying any wildlife control product, be sure to read and understand the safety precautions and application restrictions, and make sure that the brand name product is listed in your Organic System Plan and approved by your certifier and check your state and local wildlife regulations. For more information see Can I Use this Input on my Organic Farm?

Job Announcements

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension seeks an Assistant Professor who will develop and deliver programs to 1) increase access to healthy and affordable food and 2) improve the dietary behavior and health outcomes of Vermonters. A Ph.D. in nutrition, food sciences, public health or a closely aligned area of science is required. Experience in applied research and outreach program development, and the ability to work collaboratively and communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences are also required. Find out more at https://www.uvmjobs.com/postings/12949

The Northeastern IPM Center Is Hiring a Program Evaluation Specialist (Extension Support Specialist II - Northeastern IPM Center, Ithaca, New York). The Program Evaluation Specialist will lead the evaluation and data collection activities of the Center, assist Directors and IPM state coordinators in developing and implementing project evaluations, and participate in the grant review process by providing evaluation support to potential grantees and reviewing the evaluation plans. For full description, see: https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10164/jobdetail.ftl?job=25634

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

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 12512

Biodesign Farm Insect Management System

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

eOrganic authors:

Helen Atthowe, Biodesign Farm

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

This article is part of the Biodesign Farm Organic System Description

Introduction

Biodesign Farm's goal was to build and manage habitat for biological control organisms (insect predators and parasites, birds, bats, soil and foliar microorganisms), thereby suppressing pests, minimizing the use of insecticides, and producing high-quality crops.

Biodesign's insect pest management system (Table 1) included the following:

  • Landscape-level diversity, provided by small crop fields bordered on four sides by native grassland/pasture: pasture (75%), native grassland/dryland shrub–steppe community (15%), and riparian areas (10%)
  • Reduced tillage using seasonal (1990s) and permanent (2000s) living mulch row middles, minimum primary tillage, and no tractor-based weed cultivation. According to the results of 2006 on-farm research, reduced tillage may have enhanced survival of ground-dwelling predators, such as carabid beetles and spiders, which are rarely found in tilled vegetable crop systems. 
  • Perennial and annual living mulch groundcover in row middles to provide in-field/interspersed plant diversity, season-long pollen/nectar/seed food sources, and winter cover
  • Selective mowing of the perennial living mulch to avoid disturbance of natural enemies at key pest pressure times
  • Irrigation management to discourage certain pests
  • Organic soil amendments to maintain balanced crop growth, thus suppressing insect pests
  • Three-year crop rotation by crop family (Solanaceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae)
  • Sprays only when necessary (Table 2): From 1993 through 2000, reduced rates of organic insecticides were applied to avoid killing beneficial insect predators and parasites. No insecticides were applied from 2001 through 2010. Five percent pest damage was tolerated to maintain a food source for natural enemies.
  • Use of selective organic insecticides such as Bt and M-pede (soap)
  • Field scouting of pests, with farm-specific action thresholds
  • Pest-resistant varieties: Red cabbage was more resistant than other brassica crops to aphids and flea beetles at Biodesign.
  • Crop diversification: Solanaceous (60%), brassicas (30%), alliums (5%), other crops (5%)
  • Allowing some crops to mature and flower
  • Allowing certain weeds to grow in the living mulch to provide winter cover, early spring bloom, and summer groundcover for beneficial insects, birds, and fungi
  • Floating and hooped row covers: Used early in the season on brassicas and solanaceous crops for frost control and flea beetle protection
  • Inorganic mulches: Black plastic and paper mulch used in solanaceous crops
  • De facto beetle banks (undisturbed grassy fencerow and pasture) on four margins of both Old and New fields; one 30-ft x 600-ft undisturbed grassy beetle bank in the center of the 5-acre New field
  • 2005–2010, New field: Woody plant hedgerow on the south margin—one 600-foot hedgerow (flowering/fruiting native shrubs and small trees)
  • 2005–2010, New field: Flowering insectary—one 10-ft x 100-ft grass insectary (native, mostly perennial wildflowers) in the center of New field
Outcomes Pest Damage

Crop yield and quality losses to insects mostly decreased over 18 years, according to Helen. This observation is supported by spray records showing reduced use of insecticides 1995- 2000 (Fig. 1). Sprays for aphids, cabbageworms, and Colorado potato beetle were eliminated 2001-2010. Nonetheless, total insect damage to broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, tomato, and pepper crops averaged less than 5% from 2004 to 2010 (Fig. 2 and Fig.5). In contrast, insect damage to unsprayed brussels sprouts in a no-till 2006 experiment averaged 11.5%.

Crop Quality

Biodesign was known at local farmers markets for high-quality tomatoes and peppers. See the eOrganic video: Organic no-till living mulch introduction: Weed Em and Reap.

Lower grade tomatoes and peppers (seconds) were sold by the box at farmers markets for canning. Seconds were small, misshapen, or insect-injured fruits that generally amounted to 5—10% of the total crop yield. Only premium-grade brassica crops were counted in yield/harvest evaluations.

Biocontrol

General field monitoring in Old field (1993–2004) revealed a diversity of beneficial insects, including an abundance of ground-dwelling predators such as ground beetles (Carabidae) and several spider species (Araneae) in the living mulch. See the eOrganic video Organic no-till living mulch beneficials: Weed Em and Reap. On-farm research in 1996 recorded predator incidence in the living mulch, including damsel bugs (Nabidae), syrphid fly adults and larvae (Syrphidae), green lacewing adults and larvae (Chrysopidae), ground beetles (Carabidae), many species of spiders (Araneae), lady beetles (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae), and predaceous stink bugs (Perillus species).

In New field, monitoring from 2004 to 2010 and on-farm experiments in 2006 revealed relatively high season-long diversity and population densities among predator and parasite species (Fig. 3, Fig. 4):

  • Ground-dwelling predators such as carabid beetles (Carabidae) and several spider species (Araneae) were found in high numbers during the growing season, both in the living mulch and under crop plants (Fig. 4).
  • Predaceous stink bugs (Perillus bioculatus and Podisus maculiventris) were prevalent in the later years, feeding on Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) (Photo 1).
  • Several species of syrphid flies (Diptera:Syrphidae) were regulars all season. They seemed to prefer nectar of clover flowers and fanweed (Thlaspi arvense); both occurred in the living mulch in an interspersed pattern between crop rows.
  • Other common generalist predators observed were lady beetles (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae), lacewings (Neuroptera:Chrysopidae), assassin bugs (Reduviidae), nabid bugs (Nabis spp.), and aphid midge (Aphidoletes aphidimyza).
  • Parasites included wasps in the Aphidiidae, Braconidae, and Aphelinidae families. Specific aphid parasitoid wasps were observed attacking several species of aphids (Aphidius and Aphelinus species) and cabbage aphids (Diaeretiella rapae) (Photo 2).

Photo 1. Predaceous stink bug (Perillus bioculatus) attacking Colorado potato beetle larva (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) on Biodesign eggplant leaves. Photo credit: Helen Atthowe.

 

Photo 2. Parasitoid wasps (Aphidius and Aphelinus species) and aphid midge larvae (Aphidoletes aphidimyza) attacking green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) on Biodesign pepper leaves. Photo credit: Helen Atthowe.

Pesticide Applications

Pesticide applications were significantly reduced over 18 years (Fig. 1). Bt-K (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki) was sprayed on brassicas for cabbageworms from 1994 through 1998. M-Pede (soap) was sprayed on peppers for aphids from 1995 through 2000. Bt-SD (Bacillus thuringiensis San Diego) was sprayed on eggplant for Colorado potato beetle in 1995 and 1997. No sprays were applied on any crops from 2001 through 2010.

Key Practices Natural Enemy Habitat

Biodesign's solution to insect pest problems was to create interspersed habitat for generalist predators and parasites within crop fields. Knowledge and monitoring of ecological relationships among crops, habitat, and pests were part of the insect pest management system (Table 1).

In the early years (1993-2004), habitat building at Biodesign did not include common strategies such as installed insectary plantings, woody hedgerows, or grassy beetle banks. Instead, the farm was designed as small crop fields bordered on four sides by native grassland/pasture. Cover and food sources for beneficial organisms were distributed within fields and in close proximity to crops, using living mulches, rather than in blocks or rows on field edges.

In 2005, 5 years after pesticide spraying ceased due to decreased pest pressure, Biodesign began to add other habitat-building strategies to New field, including a native plant hedgerow and insectary. See the video Conservation Farming and Sustainability, Missoula, Montana.

Living mulch

Biodesign planted annual living mulches each year from 1993 through 2004. Between 2005 and 2010, perennial living mulches were maintained between crop rows. The living mulch was tilled each spring in Old field. In New field, it was left undisturbed from 2005 through 2010. Living mulches provided the following:

  • Cover and sequential, season-long sources of nectar, pollen, sap, and seed for beneficial organisms. The living mulch bloom sequence extended from early April (fanweed—Thlaspi arvense) through late September (grasses and clover, including flowering white and red clover).
  • Diverse above-ground habitat (different plant heights, flower shapes, and colors)
  • Diverse below-ground habitat (different rooting types and root architecture)
  • Reduced need for tillage
  • Living mulches were 50% of the total area in New field and 30% of the total area in Old field.  During field monitoring, predators and parasites were found within crop rows and in the living mulch between crops.

Certain weeds were left growing in the living mulch to provide winter cover, early spring bloom (Thlaspi arvense), and summer groundcover for beneficial insects, birds, and fungi. A specific weed, Solanum nigrum, was preferred by solanaceous flea beetles at Biodesign and acted as a de facto trap crop.

Species composition

The living mulch was a mixture dominated usually by white clover (Trifolium repens) in Old field and by red clover (Trifolium pratense) in New field. Within 2 or 3 years after first planting in both Old and New fields, the living mulch became a naturally diverse mix of clover, weeds, and grass species that was allowed to flower (Photo 3). Species included:

  • Old field: white clover (Trifolium repens), common mallow (Malva neglecta), chickweed (Stellaria media), pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), nightshade (Solanum nigrum), fanweed (Thlaspi arvense), lamb's quarter (Chenopodium berlandieri), prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola), and purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
  • New field: red clover (Trifolium pratense), fanweed (Thlaspi arvense), lamb's quarter (Chenopodium berlandieri), common mallow (Malva neglecta), white campion (Silene alba), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), and quackgrass (Agropyron repens)

Photo 3. Flowering weeds in broccoli, such as fanweed (Thlaspi arvense), provided early season nectar and pollen sources for predators and parasites. Photo credit: Helen Atthowe.

Selective mowing

Helen Atthowe's mowing practices evolved since the first living mulch planting in 1993, when she mowed the living mulch regularly to facilitate farm work and reduce competition with crops. Following experiments in 1995 and 1996, she began to let the groundcover grow taller and wilder; beginning in 1998, she allowed the living mulch to flower and produce seed in some rows before mowing.  Helen particularly avoided spring mowing in order to provide wind/cold protection for young crop transplants and to avoid disturbing predators and parasites of green peach aphid. Aphid populations were highest and most damaging to pepper transplants in the spring. Helen also managed the groundcover so that some areas (at least 50%) were undisturbed and blooming throughout the season. See the eOrganic video Organic no-till living mulch mowing: Weed Em and Reap.

Interspersed pattern

Biodesign created mostly interspersed diversification from 1994 through 2010, including living mulches between all crops, partial weediness, and reduced tillage. With interspersed habitat, cover and food sources for beneficial organisms were distributed randomly within and in close proximity to crops, rather than in blocks or rows around crops or on crop edges. Hence predators and parasites did not have to move far from cover and food sources to reach crops. Biodesign also created some aggregated or blocked diversification in New field from 2005-2010, including one non-crop insectary planting and one hedgerow.

Flowering crops

Some crops were allowed to mature and flower each year, particularly brassica crops, which made up about 30% of the cropping area. Broccoli crops usually flowered from July through November (Photo 4).

Photo 4. Mid-season broccoli in full bloom (right) as red cabbage heads begin to size. Photo credit: Helen Atthowe.

Pest-Specific Practices

Table 2 shows strategies, biological control organisms, supplemental pesticides, and outcomes for specific pests.

Aphids

No insecticides were ever applied to manage cabbage aphids. Aphids were a problem and managed with soap (M-Pede) on pepper transplants from 1995 through 2000; high populations occurred where soap was not applied. No insecticides were applied to manage aphids on peppers after 2000, due to low aphid incidence and high numbers of aphid predators and parasites (Photo 2). Nonetheless, pepper yields were stable and/or increased until the farm was sold in 2010 (Fig. 2).

Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB)

CPB feeding on eggplant transplants was a problem in the early 1990s. Field scouting records from July 1996 show CPB present on 48% of eggplant transplants, with an average of 3 larvae and 2 adults per plant (10 leaves each from 10 plants). Adult beetles were hand picked from 1993 through 1996. CPB larvae were sprayed with Bt San Diego in 1995 and 1997. No insecticides were applied to manage CPB after 1997 due to low CPB incidence and high numbers of CPB predators. Natural populations of predaceous stink bugs (Perillus spp.) were observed feeding on CPB in 1996 (Photo 1). Predaceous stink bugs (Perillus bioculatus and Podisus maculiventris) were observed feeding on CPB from 2005-2010. Lady beetles, Carabid beetles and spiders were observed near solanaceous plants during on-farm research in 2006 and 2007.

Flea Beetles (Solanaceous and Brassica)

Flea beetles were occasional problems throughout the 1990s. They were not sprayed, but all brassica and solanaceous transplants were covered with Reemay for 2 to 3 weeks following transplanting from 1993 through 2010 (mostly for frost protection).

Cabbageworms

Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki) was applied regularly from 1994 through 1998. Beginning in 1999, no insecticides were applied to control cabbageworms. By 2010, cabbageworms occurred at low levels, likely due to the presence of high numbers of worm predators.

Despite regular (although fluctuating) populations of imported cabbageworm adults, broccoli and cabbage yields were stable from 2004—2008, with less than 5% damage (Fig. 5). During 2006 on-farm research in no-till plots, unsprayed brussels sprouts produced an 88.5% marketable crop, with 0.48 pounds of sprouts harvested per plant (Fig. 6).

Analysis: Integrating Practice and Research Natural Enemy Habitat

In most biologically diverse native plant communities, natural enemies (e.g., insect predators and parasites, microorganisms, birds, and bats) regulate plant pest populations. Diverse plant landscapes, as compared to monoculture agriculture, are correlated with increased diversity and density of biological control organisms (Thies and Tscharntke, 1999).

Systems management for insect suppression aims to reintroduce into farm systems some of the ecological relationships and functions found in undisturbed plant communities. It has been hypothesized that conserved or introduced natural enemies might reduce agricultural insect pests. In some crop/farm systems, natural enemies do provide enhanced pest management (Thies et al., 2003). However, this is not always the case, since pest populations may also respond positively to landscape and farm diversity (Thies et al., 2005).

Using natural plant communities as a model, systems design for economically acceptable insect pest suppression has four components:

  • Learning about the pests and biological control organisms in a particular farm landscape
  • Building and managing habitat to shift the ecological balance toward natural enemies
  • Tolerating low levels of pests in order to support healthy populations of biological control organisms
  • Using selective pesticides only when pest populations exceed the tolerance of farm economics and ecology

Building and managing habitat includes providing food and sheltered areas for biological control organisms to mate, reproduce, and overwinter. Nectar, pollen, sap, and seed are important alternative food sources that fuel predator and parasite survival, flight, and reproduction (Wilkinson and Landis, 2005).

Biodesign built and managed habitat through a variety of practices. The primary long-term strategies included:

  • A diverse perennial and annual living mulch in an interspersed pattern between crop rows to enhance food and shelter for natural enemies. The living mulch was selectively mowed. It occupied 30—50% of the field area and thus may also have interfered with host selection by some insect pests.
  • No-till/reduced tillage
  • Wild margin habitat (native grasslands and pasture)

These practices supported an assemblage of mostly generalist natural enemies that may have contributed to lower pest damage. In 2006 on-farm research, predators and parasites were monitored over the entire growing season using sweep nets and pit-fall traps (Fig. 3 and Fig.4). Biodesign's pattern of interspersed habitat distributed within crops may have been one key to its success. Some evidence indicates that predators and parasites move no more than 60–100 meters from undisturbed habitat into crops (Morandin et al., 2014; Long et al., 1998; Thomas et al., 1991, 1992a, 1992d, 2002). Reduced tillage may also be key because at Biodesign, an undisturbed living mulch in close proximity to crops supported a large population of ground-dwelling predators (Fig.4). This theory is supported by field research in which fewer ground-dwelling predators were found as tillage increased (Halaj et al. 2000, Zehnder and Linduska 1987).

Insect problems and crop damage diminished over time, and Biodesign stopped spraying for insect pests in 2000, with no decrease in crop yields and quality.

Aphids

Specific predators and parasites, such as syrphids, spiders, lady beetles, lacewings, earwigs, parasitoid wasps (Aphidius and Aphelinus species), and aphid midge (Aphidoletes aphidomyza) were observed feeding on aphids at Biodesign (Photo 1) and may have been part of the observed suppression (Fig. 2).

There is support in the literature for these observations. All of these observed predators are listed as aphid predators in the University of California Natural Enemies Handbook (Flint and Dreistadt, 1998). Syrphids were found to be strong aphid predators in an Oregon study (Ambrosino, 2006). Greater vegetation complexity, created by allowing weeds to grow between cabbage rows, was associated with lower cabbage aphid abundance and enhanced populations of generalist natural enemies (Bryant, 2013). Both cabbage and green peach aphid populations were lower on broccoli (Costello, 1994; Costello and Altieri, 1995) and zucchini (Frank and Liburd, 2005; Hooks et al.,1998) where crops were grown with clover living mulches, as compared to clean-cultivated crops.

Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB)

Natural populations of predaceous stink bugs (Perillus species) were observed feeding on CPB in 1996 (photo 2). Predaceous stink bugs (Perillus bioculatus and Podisus maculiventris) were observed feeding on CPB larvae from 2005 through 2010. It has been reported that releases of these predators have suppressed CPB density by 62% (Biever and Chauvin, 1992), reduced defoliation by 86% (Hough-Goldstein and McPherson, 1996), and increased potato yields by 65% (Biever and Chauvin, 1992), when compared to an untreated control (no predator release).

Lady beetles, carabid beetles, and spiders were observed near solanaceous plants at Biodesign from 2005 through 2010. According to some researchers, these predators attack CPB (Hough-Goldstein et al., 1993). Fourteen species of carabid beetles, three species of lady beetles, and one spider species (Xysticus kochi) were reported to feed on CPB (Sorokin, 1976). Adult ground beetles (Lebia grandis) were shown to feed on CPB eggs and larvae, while larvae of the same species parasitize CPB pupae (Weber et al., 2006). Another ground beetle, Pterostichus chalcites, reportedly feeds on CPB (Heimpel and Hough-Goldstein, 1992). The daddy longlegs (Phalangium opilio) has been observed feeding on CPB eggs and small larvae (Drummond et al., 1990). A lady beetle (Coleomegilla maculata) reportedly consumes eggs and small larvae (Groden et al., 1990; Hazzard et al., 1991), killing up to 37.8% of eggs for the first CPB generation and up to 58.1% of eggs of the second generation (Hazzard et al., 1991).

Reduced tillage may have helped to manage CPB. Adult beetles were reduced in no-till tomatoes planted into killed ryegrass compared with tilled tomatoes (Zehnder and Linduska, 1987).

Flea Beetles (Solanaceous and Brassica)

Flea beetles were occasional problems throughout the 1990s in Old field, but were never a problem in New field, where tillage was further reduced and high populations of ground beetles and spiders were observed (Fig. 4). Flea beetles spend a large portion of their life cycle as larvae in the soil and hence may be vulnerable to ground-dwelling predators whose populations diminish with increased tillage. There is some evidence to support this theory. Flea beetle incidence and damage to broccoli foliage was lowest in strip-till/living mulch plots compared to conventionally tilled plots (Luna and Staben, 2000). Ground beetles and spiders reportedly feed on crop pests with subterranean life stages (Brust, 1994; Snyder and Wise, 2001; Halaj and Wise, 2002).

Living mulch row middles at Biodesign, and the reduced tillage they provided, may have enhanced flea beetle predators, especially carabid beetles and spiders. Plant residues increase the density of ground-active predators, both by providing cover on hot days and by providing food for detritus-feeding insects. Spiders and ground beetles in turn feed upon these insects when pests are not available (Settle et al., 1996; Landis et al., 2000; Symondson et al., 2002).

Several studies have demonstrated the negative impact of tillage on pest predators and parasites. Spring cultivation reduced the numbers of one species of carabid beetle (Pterostichus melanarius) by 80% (Cárcamo, 1995). Spider populations declined when fields were tilled (Halaj, 1998). Spider and carabid ground beetle densities increased when conservation tillage practices were adopted (House and Stinner, 1983; Kladivko, 2001; Altieri et al., 2005). Altieri and Gliessman (1983) found that populations of brassica flea beetles were greater in weed-free collard monocultures than in polycultures intercropped with beans and left weedy for 2 or 4 weeks after transplanting.

Cabbageworms

No insecticides were applied after 1999 to control cabbageworms at Biodesign. By that time, cabbageworms occurred at low levels, likely due to the suppressive system and resulting high numbers of worm predators.

Despite regular (although fluctuating) populations of imported cabbageworm adults, less than 5% damage was recorded on unsprayed broccoli and cabbage, and yields were stable over the 15 years of production, even when spraying was stopped after 1999 (Fig. 5). During 2006 on-farm research in no-till plots, unsprayed brussels sprouts produced an 88.5% marketable crop, with 4.8 pounds per plant of salable sprouts (Fig. 6), and large populations of generalist predators were observed in unsprayed treatment plots (Fig. 3) (Fig. 4.)

Possible insect pest suppression due to Biodesign's system strategies is supported by other research. A number of carabid beetles eat imported cabbageworm larvae (Allen, 1979) and reduce lepidopteran pest populations (Brust et al., 1985). The density of all taxonomic groups of soil arthropods, including carabid beetles and spiders, was higher in weedy cropping systems than in conventional tillage systems (McGrath, 2000). More carabid beetles of a specific species (P. melanarius) were caught in plots where brussels sprouts were growing in white clover living mulch than on bare ground (O'Donnell and Coaker, 1975).

Greater vegetation complexity, achieved by allowing weeds to grow between cabbage rows, was associated with lower cabbageworm abundance and enhanced populations of generalist natural enemies (Bryant, 2013). Imported cabbageworm mortality was higher in weedy plots compared to weed-free plots (Dempster, 1969). Cabbageworm egg and larval densities and damage to broccoli at harvest were significantly lower in broccoli undersown with clover living mulches compared to broccoli grown without living mulches and cultivated for weeds, and spider counts were significantly higher on broccoli in living mulch habitats than in cultivated broccoli plots. Despite competition from living mulches, total broccoli yields were not lower in living mulch plots undersown with strawberry clover (Trifolium fragiferum L.) or white clover (Trifolium repens L.). However, yields were lower in yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis L.) living mulch plots when compared to monoculture treatments (Hooks and Johnson, 2007). In two other studies, cabbageworm damage was also lower in crops grown with living mulches (Theunissen, 1994; Brandsæter et al., 1998).

This article was developed with support from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under grant number SW13-017.

 

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  • Stoner, K. A. 1993. Effects of straw and leaf mulches and trickle irrigation on the abundance of Colorado potato beetles (Coleoptera:Chrysomelidae) on potato in Connecticut. Journal of Entomological Science 28: 393–403. (Available online at: http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/19941104708.html) (verified 30 Dec 2015)

  • Sunderland, K., and F. Samu. 2000. Effects of agricultural diversification on the abundance, distribution, and pest control potential of spiders: A review. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 95(1): 1–13. (Available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1570-7458.2000.00635.x/abstract) (verified 30 Dec 2015)

  • Symondson, W.O.C., K. D. Sunderland, and M. H. Greenstone. 2002. Can generalist predators be effective biocontrol agents? Annual Review of Entomology 47: 561–594. (Available online at: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/26638/PDF) (verified 30 Dec 2015)

  • Theunissen, J. 1994. Intercropping in field vegetable crops. Pest management by agrosystem diversification: An overview. Pesticide Science 42: 65–68. (Available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ps.2780420111/abstract) (verified 30 Dec 2015)

  • Thies, C., I. Roschewitz, and T. Tscharntke. 2005. The landscape context of cereal aphid–parasitoid interactions. p. 203–210. In Proceedings of the Royal Society London, Series B, Biological Sciences, Published online 2005 Jan 19. doi:  10.1098/rspb.2004.2902. (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Thies, C., I. Steffan-Dewenter, and T. Tscharntke. 2003. Effects of landscape context on herbivory and parasitism at different spatial scales. Oikos 101: 18–25. (Available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.12567.x/abstract) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Thies, C. I., and T. Tscharntke. 1999. Landscape structure and biological control in agroecosystems. Science 285: 893–895. (Available online at: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/285/5429/893.abstract) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Thomas, M.B., Wratten, S.D. and Sotherton, N.W. 1991. Creation of ‘island’ habitats in farmland to manipulate populations of beneficial arthropods: predator densities and emigration. Journal of Applied Ecology 28: 906–917. (Available online at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2404216?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Thomas, M., Wratten, S.D. and Sotherton, N.W. 1992. Creation of ‘island’ habitats in farmland to manipulate populations of beneficial arthropods: predator densities and species composition. Journal of Applied Ecology 29: 524–531. (Available online at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2404521?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Thomas M.B., Sotherton N.W., Coombes D.S., Wratten S.D. 1992b. Habitat factors influencing the distribution of polyphagous predatory insects between field boundaries. Ann. Appl. Biol. 120:197–202. (Available online at:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-7348.1992.tb03417.x/abstract) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Thomas, C.R., Noordhuis, R., Holland, J.M. and Goulson, D. 2002. Botanical biodiversity of beetle banks: effects of age and comparison with conventional arable field margins in southern UK. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 93 (1–3): 403–412. (Available at:  https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=thomas-et-al-agric-eco-env-2002.pdf&site=411) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Weber, D. C., D. L. Rowley, M. H. Greenstone, and M. M. Athanas. 2006. Prey preference and host suitability of the predatory and parasitoid carabid beetle, Lebia grandis, for several species of Leptinotarsa beetles. Journal of Insect Science 6(1): 9. (Available online at: http://jinsectscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/1/9)  (verified 30 Dec 2015)

  • Wilkinson, T. K., and D. A. Landis. 2005. Habitat diversification in biological control: The role of plant resources. p. 305-325 In F. L. Wackers, P.C.J. van Rijn, and J. Bruin. (ed.). Plant provided food and plant–carnivore mutualism. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

  • Zehnder, G. W., and J .J. Linduska. 1987. Influence of conservation tillage practices on populations of Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera:Chrysomelidae) in rotated and non-rotated tomato fields. Environmental Entomology 16: 135–139. (Available online at: http://ee.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/1/135) (verified 30 Dec 2015)

Additional Resources

This article is part of the Biodesign Farm Organic Systems Description.

Table of Contents:

 

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 15584

Growing the eOrganic Community: Annual Report 2013

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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Contents

Download this report as a pdf file

Annual Report 2013

2013 marked eOrganic’s fifth year of providing information on organic farming and research to the public. Our eXtension Community of Practice now has approximately 1,000 members, including researchers, Extension educators, agency personnel, organic certifiers and inspectors, farmers, and other agriculture professionals. More than 200 members have actively contributed to eOrganic by authoring and/or reviewing articles and FAQs, producing or reviewing videos, answering Ask an Expert (AaE) questions, presenting webinars, and/or attending outreach and leadership events. Read on to learn about our accomplishments in 2013 and upcoming plans for 2014.

Download a pdf of this annual report here

Views of eOrganic Content

eOrganic did a great job in attracting visitors to our websites in 2013. On pages published to our public website at http://www.eXtension.org/organic_production there were 175,000 unique visitors who generated a total of 328,500 page hits. The eOrganic.info website, the home of our project and host of various research project websites, recorded 51,000 page hits by 10,914 visitors. The eOrganic YouTube channel surpassed 1.4 million total views on the 400 videos hosted there and now boasts 2,600 subscribers. There are 7,500 subscribers to our monthly newsletter. In the social media realm, eOrganic has roughly 2,400 followers and likes on Twitter and Facebook

Outreach to Farmers and the General Public

eOrganic showcased its available articles, videos, and other content at exhibits at organic farming conferences in 2013, including the annual MOSES and PASA conferences, NOFA-Vermont winter conference, the Oregon Small Farms Conference, and the Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference held in Des Moines, Iowa. Special thanks to conference workshop presenters and exhibit volunteers: Lily Calderwood, Sonja Lallemand, Betty Marose,Jim Riddle, and Ingrid West!

The following workshops and presentations were given about eOrganic at the American Society for Horticultural Science on July 22-25, 2013:

  • Daley, C., H. Darby, S. Flack, A. Denney and D. Heleba. 2013. Development of Technical Training and Support for Agricultural Service Providers and Farmers in Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems through eOrganic. Abstract. American Society of Horticultural Science Meeting, July 22-25, 2013. Available at http://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2013/webprogram/Paper15797.html
  • Stone, A. (Coordinator) eXtension/Ecampus/On Campus: Synergies in Curriculum Development. Workshop. American Society of Horticultural Science Meeting, July 22-25, 2013. Available at http://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2013/webprogram/Session5932.html
  • Stone, A., A. Azarenko, H. Atthowe. 2013. Problem- and Planning-based Learning in Organic and Ecological Agroecosystems: An Eorganic and OSU Ecampus Partnership. Abstract. American Society of Horticultural Science Meeting, July 22-25, 2013. Available at http://ashs.org/abstracts/2013/abstracts13/abstract_id_15804.html

Betty Marose gave an invited talk about eXtension at Chesapeake College, and Jim Riddle promoted eOrganic in his keynote speech at the Ecofarm conference, as well as at the MOSES conference, and farming conferences, farmer training classes, and Master Gardener meetings in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Expanding our Reach with Webinars and Broadcasts

Starting in late 2009, eOrganic began offering free web-based presentations, or "webinars." A webinar allows people from all over the world to hear a presentation, view the presentation slides, and type in questions--all while sitting at their computer. The presentation is recorded and available for viewing at any time from eOrganic's YouTube channel. To date, eOrganic has delivered more than 100 webinars attended by over 10,000 attendees, of which, on average, about 27% were farmers. Our webinar topics range from practical farming methods to the latest in organic research.

Highlights of the 2013 Webinar Season

In 2013, 31 eOrganic webinars were presented on a range of topics, including how to develop an organic systems plan, ancient grains production, pest and disease management, organic dairy nutrition, pasture management and economics, and the performance of organic in long term systems trials. Many of the webinars showcased current NIFA funded research projects. A series of four webinars was presented in collaboration with North Carolina State University Extension on Excellence in Organic Extension, attended live by a total of 618 people. eOrganic also hosted Miles McEvoy who presented a National Organic Program Update on their recent activities. Some of the highlights of our 2013 season included the following presentations:

eOrganic live conference broadcasts expand the reach of in-person presentations to online viewers. In 2013, 107 people listened online to the International Quinoa Research Symposium, held at Washington State University. Fifteen presentations from the conference were recorded and archived in a playlist which is available on eOrganic’s YouTube channel (which were viewed over 2100 times). eOrganic also broadcast a live presentation from the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference by Lynn Clarkson of Clarkson Grain entitled How Can Organic, non-GMO and GMO Crops Coexist?

Webinar Evaluation

An evaluation is sent to each participant immediately following each webinar to assess whether or not the participants liked the quality, utility, and accessibility of the webinar, and whether they would recommend the webinar to others. For select webinars, an impact survey is sent the following winter to evaluate any participant behavior change as a result of attending the webinar. Read eOrganic's complete evaluation report at http://eorganic.info/evaluation.

Across all topic areas, feedback from participants of 2013 eOrganic webinars was positive. In surveys administered immediately after the webinars, an average of 97%  of participants agreed that their understanding of the topic had been improved to some degree, and 96% reported that they intended to apply the knowledge they gained in the webinars in their work. The technical level of the webinars was viewed as 'just right" by 80% of participants, and 78% of participants reported that webinars were" very easy" to access. Averaged across all webinars, 79%  participants stated that they would recommend the eOrganic webinars they attended to others, and 17% said they might recommend them.

Webinar Participant Feedback in 2013
  • "This was timely and useful information as we are launching an educational project for dairy farmers on transitioning to organic"
  • "This was really well done! Did not realize why some of my strawberries look the way they do."
  • "A very great detailed description of grazing behavior and ways to take advantage of grazing behavior."
  • "Great adult education content and delivery; a very effective presentation about delivering effective presentations! I appreciated that the presentation team made an effort to engage the audience and to provide opportunity for participants to interact despite some of the limitations of the environment."
  • "Another quality presentation. Glad to see organic work of this quality gaining a presence in the land grants."
  • "Very interesting research. I've not followed projects like this in many years and am impressed with new analytical tools (for me, anyway) that are being used in the field to understand complex relationships between variables in a farm setting."
  • "Just a little bit too technical for me, but only because I'm pretty new on the block and just getting started in orchards. But, the info surely opened up the view to organic possibilities that I can learn more about and use in the orchard."
Looking Ahead to Webinars in 2014

Scheduled webinars in 2014 include an update of recent occurences of Late Blight of Tomato and Potato, 2 days of live broadcasts from the Organic Seed Grower's Conference, a series of webinars on research about food safety in orgaic production. More webinars from USDA funded research projects will also take place: examples include webinars on organic blackberry production, spotted wing drosophila, greenhouse gases, and aneaerobic soil disinfestation. Find our complete schedule of upcoming and archived webinars at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

eOrganic Online Courses Introduction to Organic Dairy Production Course

Members of the eOrganic Dairy Team have launched an asynchronous online course, "An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production" as part of "Development of Technical Training and Support for Agricultural Service Providers and Farmers in Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems," USDA NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) project. Course developers and instructors include: Cindy Daley and Audrey Denney, California State University-Chico; Heather Darby and Deb Heleba, University of Vermont Extension; Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting; Sid Bosworth, University of Vermont; and Karen Hoffman, USDA NRCS. The course is composed of 10 modules addressing a range of topics related to certified organic dairy production, including certification, soil health, pasture and forages, herd health and nutrition, milk quality, and calf management. Each module has required readings, a narrated powerpoint presentation from an expert on the topic, and recommended additional resources. CCA CEUs are available. Find a full description and a link to the course at http://www.extension.org/pages/69299

Video Production Course

In March, 2013, eOrganic conducted a second annual online Introduction to Video Production course. There were 16 participants, who were researchers and Extension educators who are supporting eOrganic with project funds from USDA NIFA OREI and ORG grants. The instructors, Lane Selman and Jeff Hino of Oregon State University, taught the basics of video planning, making storyboards, filming, and creating production plans so that participants can create videos about their research results for posting on eXtension.org and eOrganic’s YouTube channel. Materials from the course are now publicly available at http://eorganic.info/video.

In an evaluation following the completion of the class filled out by 9 participants, 71% of respondents said they “strongly agree” that they know how to write a storyboard, and 29% said they “agree”. 43% said they “strongly agree” that they know how to develop a production plan, and 57% said they “agree”; 29% of respondents “strongly agree” that they know when it’s a good idea to record audio separately from video and 71% said they “agree”. 14% said they “strongly agree” that they gained knowledge on how to avoid common mistakes and 86% said they “agree”. 100% said there was nothing that they hoped to learn from the course that wasn’t covered.

eOrganic Articles

All of eOrganic's published articles can be found at www.extension.org/organic_production. Before publication, every article is subject to two anonymous, peer reviews and National Organic Program compliance review. eOrganic published 90 articles in 2013, of which 20 were on organic poultry health, nutrition and recordkeeping, and 29 were on organic dairy production.

Notable articles published in 2013 include the following:

eOrganic Videos

Find eOrganic's 400 videos (including webinar recordings) on eXtension at http://www.extension.org/pages/18726 and on the eOrganic YouTube channel, where we have more than 2500 subscribers and over 1.4 million views.

New videos published in 2013 including the following:

Ask An Expert

The Ask an Expert service is a way for our stakeholders to get answers from Land Grant University (LGU) and Extension professionals through eXtension.org. Ask your question at https://ask.extension.org/groups/1668/ask--you can even submit an image to help with a diagnosis.

eOrganic provides oversight of all questions tagged with "organic production" within the Ask-an-Expert system. Our staff finds an answer by either answering the question directly or by soliciting the best response possible from our eOrganic members. In 2013, community members answered approximately 172 questions, and more than 1127 organic agriculture questions have been answered through the service since its inception in 2007.

Research Project Public Websites

eOrganic was funded by 20 NIFA funded research and outreach groups in 2013, for the provision of editorial support for and review for publishing articles and webinars to eXtension, video instruction and editing, webconferencing for meetings and broadcasts, workspaces for project management, and the hosting and creation of public websites. Public websites hosted by eOrganic for research and outreach projects include:

Letter from Fabian Menalled: New eOrganic CoP Leader

Dear eOrganic Community,

Starting January 1st 2014, I replaced Alex Stone as the eOrganic CoP leader. First and foremost, I would like to thank Alex for 7 years of hard work. Since its inception and under Alex’s leadership, eOrganic grew up and became a nationwide source of information to engage farmers and ag professionals in research and outreach activities in organic agriculture.

I am particularly excited about my new role as the eOrganic CoP leader. Currently, I am an Associate Professor in Weed Ecology and Management at the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University with a research and extension appointment. I received a BS in Ecology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a PhD in forest ecology from the University of Massachusetts. Before moving to Montana in 2004, I worked for almost ten years at Michigan State University and Iowa State University.

My current research focuses on understanding the ecological basis of sustainable agriculture and integrated weed management. This program embraces a multi-disciplinary approach to address both basic and applied problems facing the agricultural communities of Montana. Core areas of research include 1) Patterns and functional importance of weed diversity 2) Development of integrated weed management practices, 3) Role of wheat variety, weed biotype, and stress on virus transmission and crop-weed competitive interactions, and 4) Evaluation of new and existing herbicides for weed management and crop safety. The overall goal of my off-campus teaching program is to develop and deliver a research-based educational program addressing local, regional, and national concerns associated with the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the agricultural enterprise.

As the eOrganic CoP leader, it is my goal to follow in Alex’s footsteps. To do so, I will heavily rely on Alex, the rest of the eOrganic team, and most importantly the whole eOrganic community. Please do not hesitate in contacting me to let me know how we can push eOrganic forward.

Fabian Menalled  

Letter from Alex Stone, outgoing eOrganic CoP Leader

eOrganic is going on 7 years old!

eOrganic is an eXtension Community of Practice, and as such it is led by a land grant university faculty member with an extension appointment. I have acted as the Community of Practice leader of eOrganic since eOrganic’s inception in 2007. Being a CoP leader isn’t a job, it is a volunteer professional service role. I am the vegetable specialist (research and extension) at Oregon State University, and I have filled the CoP leader role as part of those job responsibilities.

The eOrganic CoP leader role has expanded over the years as eOrganic grew up into what it is today--a national organic agriculture information service. I have led the Leadership Team and the staff group, acted as the liaison to eXtension, developed funding processes with eXtension and NIFA, raised grant dollars, provided oversight over the activities of the OSU staff (John McQueen, Alice Formiga, Lane Selman and Roger Leigh, who coordinate/staff eOrganic.info, webinar and broadcast series, editorial process, video course and editing, outreach), and led the vegetable and vegetable disease groups. The role has expanded greatly over time and can no longer be filled by a single professional volunteer. So, after lengthy discussion, the eOrganic Leadership Team decided to expand the leadership base by recruiting a new CoP Leader.

The Leadership Team convened a search committee (Anita Azarenko, Brian Baker, Deb Heleba, John McQueen, Mathieu Ngouajio, Erin Silva, and Michelle Wander) in September 2013 that conducted a formal search for a new CoP Leader.

Fabian Menalled, the weed ecologist and extension specialist at Montana State University, stepped into the role of eOrganic CoP Leader as of January 1, 2014. He will lead the CoP and Leadership Team. I am very much looking forward to working with Fabian in his new role. I am not leaving eOrganic--I will continue to serve as a member of the Leadership Team, provide oversight over OSU staff and their activities, and focus more of my efforts on developing eOrganic’s vegetable cropping systems content.

Get Involved with eOrganic

eOrganic is a Community of Practice, which means it relies on community members like you to help it grow and better serve our farmer and agricultural professional stakeholders by developing and delivering critical and timely resources. If you are a researcher or Extension educator with expertise in organic agriculture, eOrganic wants you to write an article, shoot a video, deliver a webinar, or develop and teach an online course. All of our articles and videos undergo NOP compliance and peer review before publication. For more information on how to get involved with eOrganic, join eOrganic at http://eorganic.info or contact Alice Formiga at formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu

Write eOrganic into Your Next Grant Proposal

For complete information on the diverse opportunities eOrganic offers project groups and how to write eOrganic into your proposal, visit http://eOrganic.info/proposal. During the past year, eOrganic received subawards from 20 ongoing OREI and ORG projects. We can also partner with you on regional IPM, AFRI, SARE, NRCS-CIG and proposals from other funding sources. A 2-page handout describing our services to funded projects which can be distributed at meetings can be found here.

eOrganic can offer your project:

  • Webconferencing
  • Webinars and webinar series to stakeholders and community members
  • eXtension publication editing, and peer and NOP compliance review
  • Video capture training, editing, review, and posting to the web
  • Online course development and support
  • Outreach for your articles, videos and webinars to our established network of farmers, extension personnel, ag professionals, and researchers from around the country and the globe - at conferences and through our newsletters and social networking activities
  • Ask an Expert support
  • Project workspace at eOrganic.info to facilitate project communication and management
  • Project websites that are easily managed by your project members from eOrganic.info (see http://eorganic.info/novic)
Stay in touch!

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

eOrganic 10437

February 2014

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

Having trouble viewing this? Read it online here

In this issue

  • Upcoming eOrganic farming and research webinars
  • Organic farming and research webinars from other organizations
  • New Organic publications
  • Recent NOP news
  • eOrganic mission and resources
Upcoming eOrganic Farming and Research Webinars Feb 25, 2014 and Feb 27, 2014 2 Part Webinar Series on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems Ann-Marie Fortuna, North Dakota State University, Craig Cogger and Doug Collins, Washington State University Puyallup March 4, 2014 Using Contans (Coniothyrium minitans) for White Mold Management on Organic Farms Webinar Alex Stone, Oregon State University March 13, 2014 Organic Blackberry Production Webinar Bernadine Strik, Luis Valenzuela, Oregon State; David Bryla, USDA-ARS Corvallis, O March 25, 2014 Breeding efforts and cover
crop choices for improved organic dry bean production systems in Michigan
Erin Hill and Jim Heinig, Michigan State University

Recordings of all eOrganic webinars and live conference broadcasts are available in our archive at http://www.extension.org/organic_production, and on the eOrganic YouTube channel. If you missed our live broadcast of selected presentations of the Organic Seed Growers Conference, you can find them on our YouTube channel as a playlist

Weed Management Webinars, NRCS Organic Webinars

Other organizations offering webinars on organic farming and research include the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which is holding an organic farming webinar series in partnership with Oregon Tilth. Also, the Organic Thinking group, a multi-institutional weed management research project led by Douglas Doohan of Ohio State University has organized a series of webinars on organic weed management. Find out more about these programs and register at the links below:

New Organic Publications
  • Fire Blight Control Program in Organic Fruit. Harold Ostenson, Tree Fruit Consulting and David Granatstein, Washington State University have written a report on grower lessons and emerging research for developing an integrated non-antibiotic fire blight control program in organic fruit. The publication was funded by the Organic Center and is available at this link, and it will also be published on the Organic Center website.
  • Oregon Tilth has produced a series of documents which provide technical guidance to conservation planners working with organic producers. This project is the result of a partnership between Oregon Tilth’s Organic Conservation Program, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the Xerces Society and NRCS; it is funded by a grant from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE).
    Available at: tilth.org/education-research/organic-conservation-program/wsare-project
    • Resources for Conservation Planning on Organic and Transitioning-to-Organic Operations
    • Common NRCS Practices Related to Pest Management on Organic Farms
    • Cover Crop in Organic Systems
    • Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems
    • Nutrient Management
  • The CERES Trust has issued its 2014 report on Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region, which identifies and catalogs organic research and outreach activities at the thirteen Land Grant Universities in the North Central Region. The report contains brief descriptions of recent and current organic research projects, peer-reviewed papers, and extension publications, dating back to 2002, when US National Organic Program (NOP) regulations took effect. In addition, the report lists key contact people and describes academic courses, degree programs, and hands-on learning opportunities, such as student organic farms, and gives the number of acres and animals used for organic research in each state. Read and download the report at http://cerestrust.org/organic-research-outreach-north-central-feb-2014/
Recent National Organic Program News

Who Needs to Be Certified Organic

The NOP has released a new instruction on who needs to be certified organic to remind certifiers that organic agricultural products must be produced and handled exclusively at certified organic farms and handling operations to ensure organic integrity throughout the product's lifecycle. The new instruction can be found here: NOP 409: Who needs to be certified and Questions and Answers

Apply for Improved Crop Insurance by March 15

Federal crop insurance provides the risk management tools necessary for American farmers to protect themselves against unexpected difficult years. To better support the growing organic agriculture sector, USDA's Risk Management Agency has taken steps to offer more options for organic producers under the Federal crop insurance program for the 2014 crop year:

  • Elimination of 5 percent surcharge for all crops insured under organic farming practices.
  • Organic price elections for 8 additional crops (now 16 total): oats, peppermint, apricots, apples, blueberries, almonds, pears, and grapes for juice.
  • New contract price option for organic producers who grow crops under guaranteed contracts (available for 62 organic crops).
  • Phased in changes to organic transitional yields (t-yields) to better reflect the actual organic farming experience.

Learn More + Apply

Deadline for Most Programs is March 15, 2014. The sales closing date is the last day to buy a new policy or change an existing policy's coverage level. For most crops, the sales closing date is March 15, 2014. View Deadlines in Your State

Subscribe to the NOP Organic Insider to stay current on NOP news and activities. To find out more about the NOP, go to the NOP Homepage, the Organic Literacy Initiative, and the Organic Agriculture Web Resource Center on the USDA website.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

eOrganic logo

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

eOrganic 10528

Video: Growing and Dehulling the Ancient Grains Einkorn, Emmer and Spelt

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

This eOrganic video was created by members of a project of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (NIFA OREI) entitled Value Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems. Information was provided by Elizabeth Dyck of the Organic Growers Research and Information Sharing Network (OGRIN), Frank Kutka of the Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society (NPSAS), and Steve Zwinger of North Dakota State University.

Video Transcript

The ancient hulled wheats spelt, emmer, and einkorn are sought by consumers and chefs alike for their distinct flavor, nutritional properties, and the intrigue of eating a meal that has sustained humans since ancient times.

Einkorn, emmer, and spelt differ from modern wheat in that they largely do not thresh free of their hulls in the combining process. An additional step called dehulling is needed to remove hulls.

Chapter 1: Why Grow These Ancient Hulled Wheats?

Through direct marketing, farmers are able to sell wheat kernels and flours from these hulled wheats at a high price per pound to chefs, bakers, and consumers. Additionally, hulled wheat still in the hull can be marketed as animal feed, while empty hulls can be sold as animal bedding.

The hulled wheats also have characteristics that make them highly compatible with sustainable and organic production.

The hulled wheats have traditionally been grown under lower fertility conditions than modern wheat. In fact, high nitrogen fertility can cause lodging in these crops. Although more research is needed, a good rule of thumb is to plant einkorn and emmer with no more than 50%–75% of the nitrogen required for modern wheat. Winter spelt can be fertilized as winter modern wheat without the additional spring topdressing.

The hulled wheats also show tolerance to environmental stresses. Winter spelt has shown cold tolerance, and some einkorn varieties have salinity tolerance. Emmer tends to be more drought tolerant than modern wheat, and spring emmer more competitive against weeds. Emmer germplasm also contains many genes that are valuable in breeding for disease resistance.

In terms of production, spelt yields in the hull are comparable to or slightly lower than that of modern wheat. Recent research on spring emmer and einkorn suggests that yields can vary by location and management. In North Dakota, research shows that spring emmer and einkorn yields in the hull can be higher than modern spring wheat yields. In contrast, in research trials conducted in New York and Pennsylvania, yield of spring emmer and einkorn in the hull varied from 35%–93% of modern spring wheat.

Chapter 2: How to Grow Hulled Wheats

As with modern wheat, there are spring and winter varieties of spelt, emmer, and einkorn. A good starting point to grow hulled wheats is to use best management practices for modern wheat in your region, including good seedbed preparation, timely planting, and timely harvest to preserve grain quality. These hulled wheats tend to be taller and have higher rates of lodging than modern wheat. In addition to avoiding excessive nitrogen, to reduce lodging use lower planting rates for emmer and einkorn than for modern wheat.

Emmer and einkorn need to be planted in their hulls to get adequate germination. Spelt can be planted in or out of the hull. Research trials have shown a rate of 100 pounds per acre to be suitable for spring emmer and einkorn. Research is needed to determine rates for winter emmer and einkorn, although farmer experience suggests that even lower planting rates, such as 80 pounds per acre or lower, may be used. Spelt planting rate depends on whether it is planted in or out of the hull. For example, in Pennsylvania, farmers plant spelt at about 120 pounds per acre when dehulled, and about 150 pounds per acre when in the hull.

Chapter 3: Special Planting Considerations

Planting einkorn, emmer, and spelt in their hulls has challenges. The hulled seeds can clog seeding equipment, which results in skips in the field. This is due to the hairs and awns on the hulls, along with the larger size of the seed in the hull.

There are various ways to accommodate these seed characteristics in planting. Well-executed combining can remove most of the awns from the seeds. A debearder can be used to remove the hairs and awns and break up doubles before seeding. Seeding equipment may be modified to accommodate the seed characteristics, or the seed can be broadcast.

Certain varieties, such as winter emmer, have very large seeds. These larger seeds may require broadcast seeding or double planting.

Chapter 4: Dehulling Systems

A percent of the harvest of hulled wheats will dehull in the combine or thresher, but an additional dehulling and cleaning process is required to extract maximum yield and to create an edible and marketable product.

The ease of dehulling will vary depending on the species, variety, and growing conditions. For example, spelt tends to be easier to dehull than emmer or einkorn. The spelt variety Maverick is easier to dehull than others, such as Oberkulmer. Well-dried grain and low humidity are required for highest dehulling efficiency.

There are two main types of dehullers, impact and friction. In an impact dehuller, the hulled grain is thrown at high speed against a hard surface or impact ring. As the grain hits the surface, the kernel is separated from the hull. Several commercial impact dehullers are available.

In friction dehullers, the kernel is rubbed loose from the hull using one of several mechanisms. One method is to rub the grain against a rubber surface. Farmers have made very low-cost friction dehullers by replacing one or both of the metal plates in a burr mill with a rubber disk. Another farmer-built dehuller uses sections of combine rasp bars mounted on a drum to dehull grains. Yet another method of friction dehulling is to force the hulled grain through a mesh screen.

In addition to the dehuller an air column, or aspirator, is used to blow off empty hulls. A separator is used to sort dehulled kernels from those still in the hull. A commonly used separator is a gravity table. Both a separator and an aspirator are necessary to achieve a high-quality product. Some dehullers such as the Nigel Tudor model include an aspirator. The Horn friction dehuller includes both an aspirator and a gravity table.

The ancient hulled wheats, spelt, emmer, and einkorn are potentially high-value food crops that could fit well into an organic farming system. They require careful management and an extra processing step called dehulling to ready them for market.

To learn more about growing, processing, and marketing the ancient hulled wheats, visit these sites: http://www.ogrin.org, http://www.npsas.org, and https://www.grownyc.org/grains.

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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