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

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Mis à jour : il y a 7 heures 59 min

July 2014

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22
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

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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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

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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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:

Having trouble viewing this? View it online here

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

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22
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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  • Heimpel, G. E., and J. A. Hough-Goldstein. 1992. A survey of arthropod predators of Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) in Delaware potato fields. Journal of Agricultural Entomology 9: 137–142.

  • Hooks, C., and M. Johnson. 2004. Using undersown clovers as living mulches: Effects on yields, lepidopterous pest infestations, and spider densities in a Hawaiian broccoli agroecosystem. International Journal of Pest Management 50(2): 115–120. (Available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09670870410001663462?src=recsys) (verified 29 Dec 2015)

  • Hooks, C. R., H. R. Valenzuela, and J. Defrank. 1998. Incidence of pests and arthropod natural enemies in zucchini grown with living mulches. Agricultural Ecosystems and the Environment 69: 217–231.

  • Hough-Goldstein, J. A., G. E. Heimpel, H. E. Bechmann, and C. E. Mason. 1993. Arthropod natural enemies of the Colorado potato beetle. Crop Protection 12: 324–334.

  • Hough-Goldstein, J. A., and D. McPherson. 1996. Comparison of Perillus bioculatus and Podisus maculiventris (Hemiptera:Pentatomidae) as potential control agents of the Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera:Chrysomelidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 89: 1116–1123. (Available online at: http://jee.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/5/1116) (verified 29 Dec 2015)

  • House, G. J., and B. R. Stinner. 1983. Arthropods in no-tillage soybean agroecosystems: Community composition and ecosystem interactions. Environ. Mgt. 7: 23-28. (Available online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01867037#page-1) (verified 29 Dec 2015)

  • Kladivko, E. J. 2001. Tillage systems and soil ecology. Soil and Tillage Research 61: 61–76.

  • Kremen, C. 2005. Managing ecosystem services: What do we need to know about their ecology? Ecology Letters 8: 468–479. (Available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00751.x/abstract) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Landis, D. A., S. D. Wratten, and G. M. Gurr. 2000. Habitat management to conserve natural enemies of arthropod pests in agriculture. Annual Review of Entomology 45: 175–201. (Available online at: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev.ento.45.1.175) (verified 23 Dec 2015)
  • Logan, P. A. 1990. Summary of biological control activities, University of Rhode Island, 1989–1990. Natural Enemy News Vol. 2, No. 10.

  • Long, R., Corbett, A., Lamb, C., Reberg-Horton, C., Chandler, J. and Stimman, M. 1998. Beneficial insects move from flowering plants to nearby crops. California Agriculture, Volume 52, Number 5. (available at: http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.org/landingpage.cfm?article=ca.v052n05p23&fulltext=yes) (verified 23 Dec 2015)
  • Luna, J. and M. Staben. 2000.  Development and evaluation of an integrated vegetable production system to protect groundwater. Final Project Report to the Oregon Department of Agriculture Groundwater Research and Development Fund. (Available online at: http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/system/files/1999-2000.DevelopmentAndEvaluation.pdf) (verified July 5, 2016)

  • McGrath, D. 2000. Conservation of arthropod natural enemies in broccoli with relay strip-cropping. PhD dissertation. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. (available at: https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/20782?show=full) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Morandin, L., Long, R., & Kremmen, C. 2014. Hedgerows enhance beneficial insects on adjacent tomato fields in an intensive agricultural landscape. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 189 (2014) 164–170. (available at: http://food.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Hedgerows-enhance-beneficial-insects-on-adjacent-tomato-fields-in-an-intensive-agriculture-landscape.pdf) (verified 23 Dec 2015)
  • O'Donnell, M. S., and T. H. Coaker. 1975. Potential of intra-crop diversity for the control of Brassica pests, pp. 101-105. In Proceedings, 8th British Insecticide and Fungicide Conference. Brighton, UK.

  • Settle, W. H., H. Ariawan, E. T. Astuti, W. Cahyana, A. L. Hakim, D. Hindayana, A. S. Lestari, and S. Pajarningsih. 1996. Managing tropical rice pests through conservation of generalist natural enemies and alternative prey. Ecology 77: 1975–1988. (Available online at: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.2307/2265694) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Snyder, W. E., and A. R. Ives. 2001. Generalist predators disrupt biological control by a specialist parasitoid. Ecology 82: 705–716. (Available online at: https://www.agroparistech.fr/IMG/pdf/Snyder_Ecology_2001a-2.pdf) (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Snyder, W. E., and D. H. Wise. 2000. Antipredator behavior of spotted cucumber beetles (Coleoptera:Chrysomelidae) in response to predators that pose varying risks. Environmental Entomology 29: 35–42. (Available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0046-225X-29.1.35) (verified 11 March 2012).

  • Snyder, W. E., and D. H. Wise. 2001. Contrasting trophic cascades generated by a community of generalist predators. Ecology 82: 1571–1583. (Available online at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2679801) (verified 30 Dec 2015)

  • Steinbauer, M., M. Short, and M. Schmidt. 2006. The influence of architectural and vegetational complexity in eucalypt plantations on communities of native wasp parasitoids: Towards silviculture for sustainable pest management. Forest Ecology and Management 233(1): 153–164. (Available online at: https://www.mendeley.com/research/influence-architectural-vegetational-complexity-eucalypt-plantations-communities-native-wasp-parasit/)  (verified 23 Dec 2015)

  • Sorokin, N. S. 1976. The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) and its entomophages in the Rostov Region. Biull. Vses. Nauchno. Issled. Inst. Zashch. Rast. 37: 22–27.

  • Stinner, B. R., and G. J. House. 1990. Arthropods and other invertebrates in conservation tillage agriculture. Annual Review of Entomology 35: 299–318. (Available online at: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.en.35.010190.001503) (verified 30 Dec 2015)

  • 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

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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.

eOrganic 22170

September 2015

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

View this newsletter online here

In this issue:

USDA NASS Organic Survey Results on September 17

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will publish the 2014 Organic Survey report on Thursday, September 17, at Noon ET. The 2014 Organic Survey results will be accessible online in several formats, including NASS’ searchable Quick Stats database, a full PDF publication, and summary data Highlights. For more information about the Organic Survey, visit http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Organic_Survey/.

Organic Farming Research Foundation Farmer Survey Deadline September 14

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) 2015 National Survey of Organic Farmers asks farmers and ranchers to share their experiences, and let the scientific and policy communities know what areas of research are most important to advance organic farming. The survey will remain available online until September 14, 2015. With only days left to take the survey, the OFRF asks all organic farmers who have not yet completed the survey to join the effort and participate at this link: http://opinion.wsu.edu/agresearch/

Corn Breeding Field Days on September 15 and 18

The Breeding Non-Commodity Corn for for Organic Production Systems NIFA OREI project has two announcements for field days on their website. The first, held by Practical Farmers of Iowa is on September 15 in Luther, IA from 9:30AM-1PM. The day will consist of presentations made by various experts in the field of specialty corn, visual displays of products, and a field tour followed by a meal using specialty corns. For more information on attending and the location, contact Practical Farmers of Iowa: http://practicalfarmers.org/about/contact/

On September 18, the Mandaamin Institute will host a field day on Breeding Corn for Organic Farmers with Organic Farmers. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Biodynamic Association of North America, Pounder Bros Farm, Rohrer Enterprises, and Pendragon Specialties. Find out more by downloading this flyer about the event or visiting this link. Register in advance for the event and lunch by contacting Walter Goldstein (262-248-1533), W2331 Kniep Road, Elkhorn, WI 53121; wgoldstein@mandaamin.org.

New Recordings from the 2015 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

Recordings for most of the presentations from the 2015 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (including many sessions that were not broadcast as live webinars) are now available on this website hosted by eOrganic: http://eorganic.info/oars2015. Newly uploaded recordings include the following topics: holistic livestock care, plant breeding, biological control, and the economics of organics. The symposium took place in February 2015 in conjunction with the MOSES conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The recordings are also available as a playlist on the eOrganic YouTube channel.

The 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium will take place on January 20, 2016 in Pacific Grove, CA, immediately before the Ecological Farming Association’s annual EcoFarm Conference. 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. Registration isn't open yet as of early September 2015, but we'll keep you posted!

Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture Webinar Series

The USDA Science and Technology Training Library Webinar Portal for Conservation of Natural Resources offers live and recorded webinars on topics related to organic farming, natural resources conservation and climate change. Listings include a series on the environmental benefits of organic agriculture, presented by the USDA NRCS in partnership with Oregon Tilth. The final webinar in this series, on water quality, takes place on September 23, 2015, and registration information is available here. Find all upcoming and archived organic NRCS webinars at this link.

ASA Organic Webinars

The American Society of Agronomy is running a series of webinars on organic agriculture. Topics include yields, pest management and nutrient management on organic farms. The webinars cost $25 each and continuing education credits are available. To find more information on registration, go to the following link and scroll down to the Revisiting Organic Agriculture webinar information: http://agronomy.peachnewmedia.com/store/provider/custompage.php?pageid=2.

Discussing Climate Change in Rural Montana Webinar Recording

Fabian Menalled of Montana State University recently presented a webinar on Discussing Climate Change in Rural Montana, which is archived here, and followed by a presentation by Paul LaChapelle, also of MSU, on the upcoming Bozeman Extension Climate Science Conference on December 8-10, 2015. The webinar was organized by ANREP Climate Science Initiative, an official initiative of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. More information about the Bozeman Extension Climate Science Conference can be found here.

New Organic Tomato Breeding Research Project Website

eOrganic hosts websites for a growing number of organic research projects. Our latest addition is TOMI, also known as the Tomato Organic Management and Improvement Project  TOMI is a multi-state, interdisciplinary NIFA OREI project with the goal of developing an integrated approach to managing foliar pathogens while allowing growers to deliver tomatoes with exceptional flavor to the local marketplace. Find out about their objectives and collaborators at http://eorganic.info/tomi and check back for updates as the project progresses.

New Article on Trap Cropping of Yellowmargined Leaf Beetles

Researchers from Auburn University and the University of Florida recently published an article about their ongoing research on trap cropping of yellowmargined leaf beetles. Read about the article in Entomology Today: Trap Cropping May Offer Growers an Alternative to Pesticides. Researchers in this group presented a webinar on this subject in December 2014, the recording of which is available here.

Online Course in Ecological Soil Management

The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign is offering an 8-week online course in Ecological Soil Management, from October 19-December 9, 2015 at 630-830PM Central Time. The course includes:

  • Theory and practice underpinning soil management for organic and sustainable farming systems.
  • Why and how soil health and its stewardship are the foundation of organic and sustainable production.
  • Blended course draws on farmer and researcher strategies, data, and experiences and, uses farm case studies developed with support from Organic Valley and content developed for National eXtension’s eOrganic.community of practice.

For non-credit students, see http://citl.illinois.edu/courses/section/120158/99972.  For 3 credits degree or non-degree students, see http://citl.illinois.edu/courses/section/120158/65807.

National Organic Program News

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will have a public meeting in Stowe, Vermont from October 26-29, 2015. The agenda of topics and current proposals are available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/event/nosb-meeting-2015-vt. In advance of the meeting, the NOSB is accepting public comments at the meeting and on 2 webinars, for which advance registration is required. Find more information at this link.

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 13784

July 2013

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 03:22

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In this Issue Recently Published eOrganic Articles and Videos

Decoding Organic Dairy Healthcare Product Labels, by Cheryl Cesario, University of Vermont Extension. Learn how to review dairy healthcare product labels for compliance with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Rule can help you easily weed out the products that are prohibited and narrow down the list of what is permitted for use in certified organic production. As always, be sure to check with your certifier before using any product.

Redroot Pigweed, Smooth Pigweed, and Powell Amarath, by Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Assocication of Biological Farming. Read about the biology and management of these three closely-related amaranths, which have become serious cropland weeds throughout the United States and southern Canada.

Adoption Potential and Perceptions of Reduced Tillage among Organic Farmers in the Maritime Pacific Northwest, by Andrew Corbin, Douglas Collins, Rose Krebill-Prather, Chris Benedict, and Danna Moore of Washington State University.  Washington State University Researchers conducted focus groups with vegetable producers in western Washington to find about their knowledge, attitudes, practices, and the perceived benefits and risks of implementing reduced tillage technologies. Read the article to find out what they learned about the barriers to implementing reduced tillage in that region, as well as their ideas for future research opportunities based on the focus group results.

Topdressing Organic Hard Winter Wheat to Enhance Grain Protein Topdressing, an in-season application of nitrogen, is used by some organic growers to increase grain yield and enhance protein. This article introduces recent research and resources on topdressing hard winter wheat which can help growers decide when and if to use this strategy on their farms.

Organic ePrints: An Information Resource for Organic Agriculture, by Brian Baker, Independent Consultant. Interested in organic research information from around the world, or sharing your research with an international audience? This brief article describes Organic ePrints, a growing online archive of open access articles on organic farming and food systems.

Video: Weed Control in Organic Spring Cereals, by Lauren Kolb, University of Maine. Watch this video from the University of Maine Weed Ecology Group, which highlights the results of four years of research on weed management in organic spring cereals.

Video: Identifying and Scouting for Late Blight on Organic Farms by Abby Seaman, Cornell University and the Reducing Losses to Late Blight project, funded by USDA NIFA. Learn about the damage late blight can cause and how to identify and look for this disease on your farm.

New Webinar Recordings Available

In case you missed the recent webinars from the eOrganic Dairy Team on Organic Dairy Forages: Focus on Summer Annuals and Amending Soils in Organic Dairy Pastures, the recordings are now available in our archive. Find these and our many other organic farming and research webinars at Webinars by eOrganic, or browse the recordings by topic here. We're taking a summer break from our free webinar series, but many more will be coming this coming fall and winter!

Organic News

How much time do you spend complying with the documentation requirements in the USDA organic regulations? Every 3 years, the National Organic Program (NOP) must estimate the amount of time organic stakeholders spend developing and maintaining required documentation. The NOP is now requesting public comments from growers, processers, organic certifiers, inspectors, and National List petitioners to better estimate the time required to meet these requirements. Submit public comments by August 27, 2013 and view the Federal Register Notice.

As part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) strategy to successfully implement the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), NIFA intends to initiate a new challenge area within AFRI in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to address water issues. NIFA will be holding a web-based listening session on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) at .  It is open to the public, and the focus of the listening session is to gather stakeholder input that will be used in developing the Request for Applications (RFA) in FY 2014. NIFA is particularly interested in input on how best to achieve the most impact, within budget constraints, in the early years of this new challenge area. The public can submit comments by July 30, 2013, and find details of how to attend the listening session and submit comments  here.

All comments must be received by close of business on July 30, 2013, to be considered in the initial drafting of the FY 2014 AFRI Water program RFA.

The National Organic Program (NOP) has announced a new fact sheet summarizing allowed and prohibited substances in organic production and handling. Read the fact sheet at here

Learn about a University of Minnesota organic dairy study led by Brad Heins, in which organic dairy farmers and University of Minnesota experts are working to improve dairies’ profitability through improved pasture production, best management practices for animal comfort and more milk production. Read the article 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

Subscribe to this newsletter

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 9740

June 2012 eOrganic Newsletter

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 02:05

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In this Issue

  • Organic Dairy Herd Health Webinar
  • Recently Published eOrganic Articles
  • New Pesticide Drift Publication
  • NOFA-NY Organic Research Symposium Videos Available
  • 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium

July 16th: Organic Dairy Herd Health Webinar by Dr. Hubert Karreman

Join eOrganic for a new webinar on Your Organic Dairy Herd Health Toolbox, by Dr. Hubert Karreman on Monday, July 16, 2012 from 2 pm to 3:15 pm ET (1 - 2:15 pm Central, 12 - 1:15 pm Mountain, 11 am - 12:15 pm Pacific time). In this free presentation, Dr. Karreman will discuss organic dairy herd health considerations, approaches to organic dairy cattle treatment currently allowed by the National Organic Program, and how best to work with your local veterinarian. Find out more information and register at http://www.extension.org/pages/64442.

Recently Published eOrganic Articles

Radishes: A New Cover Crop for Organic Farming Systems, by Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University; Ray Weil, University of Maryland; Charles White, Penn State University; and Yvonne Lawley, University of Manitoba

Legume Inoculation for Organic Farming Systems, by Julie Grossman, North Carolina State University

Managing Cucumber Beetles in Organic Farming Systems, by William Snyder, Washington State University

New Publication Available on Pesticide Drift and Organic Production

The requirements for organic certification are time-consuming and expensive. And if a neighbor applies a pesticide that drifts onto an organic field, the economic losses can be high. The publication, “Driftwatch: Watch Out for Pesticide Drift and Organic Production,” by Elizabeth Maynard, Purdue University; Jim Riddle, University of Minnesota; and Bryan Overstreet, Purdue University, describes the consequences of pesticide drift onto organic farms, and steps that pesticide applicators and organic producers can take to reduce the risk of damage from drift. You can download the free publication at: https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?itemID=20611#.T-NpIe1uGFI

NOFA NY Organic Research Symposium Videos now available on YouTube

Videos of the NOFA-NY Organic Research Symposium, held in January 2012, are now available on YouTube. The inaugural event took place in Saratoga Springs in January 2012, in conjunction with NOFA’s Winter Conference and by all accounts, was a great success. Each of the fifteen sessions was videotaped and now all 45 presenters, as well as each Q&A session, are available for viewing on the NOFA-NY YouTube channel. Each Symposium session appears as a 'playlist.' The channel can be searched by topic, keyword, or speaker’s name. Most of the videos are under 20 minutes. Click on any or all and enjoy the streamed video at https://www.youtube.com/user/nofany2012/videos?view=1. To see Organic Research Symposium videos, photos, proceedings, and lists of presenters/papers, go to: http://www.nofany.org/symposium.

eOrganic Broadcasts 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium

On June 19th and 21st, 2012, eOrganic broadcast select live presentations from the 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium which was held in Leavenworth, Washington. eOrganic also recorded all the conference presentations, which covered everything from disease and insect management to soil fertility management, genomics and markets for organic fruit. We will send a notification as soon as the recordings become available within the next few weeks!

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.

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 tool to connect with eOrganic. Tag your question as "organic production" to make sure it reachs our members.

Spread the word! If you would like eOrganic literature to hand out at your next conference or workshop, please get in touch, and use our online form to request materials.

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 8016

May 2012 eOrganic Newsletter

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 02:05
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eOrganic
 The National Online Information, Training and      Networking System for Organic Agriculture

In this Issue

New eOrganic Dairy Webinars in May and June
International Organic Fruit Symposium
Use of eOrganic's Resources
eOrganic Video Production Course
Grains Group News
Project Websites on eOrganic
CCOF Organic Labelling Webinar

New eOrganic Dairy Webinars in May and June

Want to learn about weed management and breeding and genetics on organic dairy farms? If so, join the eOrganic Dairy Team for 2 new webinars which are free and open to the public. Advance resgistration is required:

Organic Weed Management on Livestock Pastures by Sid Bosworth of the University of Vermont. The webinar will take place on May 15, 2012 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time. Find out more and register at http://www.extension.org/pages/63411

Breeding and Genetics: Considerations for Organic Dairy Farms by Brad Heins of the University of Minnesota. The webinar will take place on June 19, 2012 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time. Find out more and register at http://www.extension.org/pages/63504

If you were unable to attend the recent live broadcast of the workshop on Fly Management in Your Organic Dairy, the recording is now available at http://www.extension.org/pages/63269. Presenters are Roger Moon of the University of Minnesota, J. Keith Waldron of Cornell University, and Wes Watson of NCSU.

Find all eOrganic upcoming and archived webinars on organic farming and research topics at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

International Organic Fruit Symposium June 18-21, Leavenworth, WA

Come learn and share your research and experience on the current and future state of organic fruit production and marketing at the International Organic Fruit Symposium. Participation is encouraged for all types of organic fruit – pome and stone, berries, grapes and citrus, temperate to tropical.The symposium is for researchers, extension professionals, growers and consultants, suppliers, and retailers who wish to share the latest developments in the world-wide organic fruit supply chain. Research presentations will predominate (through oral and poster sessions) along with discussion periods and networking opportunities. eOrganic will  be broadcasting presentations live from the conference and we will be sending more information on that soon.

Register now to attend the conference on the symposium website at http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/organicfruit2012/. For more information, contact David Granatstein, Washington State University granats@wsu.edu .

Use of eOrganic's Resources

According to Google Analytics, February 2012 was the highest month ever in terms of eOrganic public content page views, at 42,801 with an average of 2 minutes and 43 seconds time spent on each page! The most popular articles and webinars that month were the upcoming and archived webinar page, our public home page, 2 articles on How Cover Crops Suppress Weeds and Organic Potting Mix Basics, and the recorded webinar by Eric Gallandt of the University of Maine on Cultivation and Weed Seedbank Management. Thank you to everyone who has helped contribute to eOrganic's contintued success!

eOrganic Video Production Course Materials Available Online

Are you interested in learning how to create videos about organic farming and research? In March and April, Lane Selman of the eOrganic staff conducted a pilot video production class for team members of NIFA OREI and ORG projects that are partnering with eOrganic. Reading materials and sample videos from the course, Introduction to Video Storyboards, Filming, and Production has now been made publicly available. Find the free course at http://campus.extension.org/course/view.php?id=625

eOrganic Grains Group News

Coordinators and 7 members of the eOrganic Grains CoP met in late February in Stevensville, MD to set goals and begin development of organic grain production resources for publication on eXtension.org. The group currently has 7 articles and a video in progress and is planning a series of webinars for the fall and winter of 2012-3. If you are an eOrganic member and you would be interested in participating in the Organic Grains CoP as an author, reviewer, or webinar presenter, please contact Betty Marose at Betty.Marose@ars.usda.gov or Michel Cavigelli at Michel.Cavigelli@ars.usda.gov.

New public project websites on eOrganic

Check out the new websites of two organic seed breeding OREI projects that provided funding to eOrganic for the development of public websites linked to eOrganic that describe their research on breeding for organic systems:

The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) brings together researchers and organic farmers in Northern US states to address their seed and plant breeding needs. The collaborative includes researchers and educators from four universities, Organic Seed Alliance, and the USDA. NOVIC is partnering with organic farmers to breed new varieties, identify the best performing existing varieties for organic agriculture, and educate farmers on organic seed production and plant variety improvement. The website includes an interactive trial database.

Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) is a long-term breeding project that addresses the critical needs of organic carrot farmers by developing novel colored carrots with improved disease and nematode resistance, improved weed competitiveness, and improved nutritional value and flavor. This four-year project will also compare the relative performance of breeding material in organic versus conventional environments and investigate whether some carrot varieties perform better under organic soil conditions.

CCOF Organic Labelling Webinar

California Certified Organic Farmers is offering a webinar on organic labeling, which will clarify confusing requirements and define a step-by-step process for developing labels that comply with the USDA National Organic Program. Attend on Wednesday, May 16, 9:00-11:00 a.m. PST. The cost is $35.00, and advance registration is required. Find out more and register at http://ccof.org/programs.php

Organic farming articles
http://www.eXtension.org/
Organic_Production

Spread the Word

bullhornIf you would like eOrganic literature to hand out at your next conference/workshop/house party, please get in touch. We have bookmarks, factsheets, brochures, and even displays you can use! Use our online form to request materials

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.

Ask an Expert

Have a question about organic farming? Use the eXtension Ask an Expert tool to connect with eOrganic. Tag your question as "organic production" to make sure it reachs our members.

Ask an Expert button

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Visit us at http://eOrganic.info

 

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 2011

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eOrganic 

eOrganic, the eXtension Community of Practice for organic agriculture, is now three years old and well on its way to becoming the national online source for science-based, practice-based, and NOP compliant organic information. This is our first annual report. Read on to learn about our accomplishments in 2011, and about the work we are doing in 2012. 

Download this report as a pdf file

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 50 webinars attended by over 4,500 attendees.

In 2011, eOrganic held 20 webinars attended by a total of 2,313 participants. The average number of attendees per webinar was 116, up from 80 attendees in 2010 (and mean attendance in 2012 is 143!)

Popular Webinars in 2011
  • GMO Contamination: What's an Organic Farmer To Do? Jim Riddle, University of Minnesota - Watch
  • The Evolution, Status and Future of Organic To-Till in the Northeast US. William Curran, Penn State University, Steven Mirsky, USDA-ARS, and Bill Mason, Mason's Heritage Farm - Watch
  • A Novel Strategy for Soil-borne Disease Management. Carol Shennan, University of California-Santa Cruz and David Butler, University of Tennessee-Knoxville - Watch
  • Starting Up Small Scale Organic Hops Production. Rob Sirrine, Michigan State University - Watch
  • Reduced Tillage in Organic Vegetable Production. Helen Atthowe - Watch
  • Shades of Green Dairy Farm Calculator. Charles Benbrook, The Organic Center - Watch
  • Using Small Grains as Forages on Your Organic Dairy. Heather Darby, University of Vermont Extension - Watch
  • Fly Management in the Organic Dairy Pasture. Donald Rutz and Keith Waldron, NYS IPM Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension - Watch
  • Stockpiling Forages to Extend the Grazing Season on Your Organic Dairy. Laura Paine, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection - Watch

eOrganic is now hosting "broadcasts." A broadcast is a webinar of a live presentation delivered at an in-person conference. In 2011, eOrganic broadcast:

  • The USDA ERS Organic Farming Systems Conference - Watch
  • Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium from the Washington Tilth Conference - Watch
  • NOFA-NY's Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference - Watch

Webinar Evaluation

An evaluation is sent to participants 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 how the participant's practices or recommendations changed as the result of attending the webinar. Read eOrganic's complete evaluation report at http://eorganic.info/evaluation.

Eighty percent of participants in eOrganic dairy webinars delivered between September 2010 and August 2011 said they had a better understanding of the topic addressed and 65% said they would make changes to their farming practices or how they advise farmers as the result of their participation in the webinar. Specifically, 78% of respondents said they better understand the inter-relationships between pasture management, feeding, and animal behavior as a result of the webinar; 88% learned how to avoid problems in their grazing system during the webinar; 44% will change the way they feed concentrates to their cows during the non-grazing season; and 85% said they will add grains into their livestock operation or change how they advise farmers based on what they learned at the webinar.

Farmer Feedback

“I just wanted to say that I really love your webinars. They are the perfect way to learn- I don't have to take time off the farm to travel, if the information is not applicable, I can leave, and the topics are pertinent. Today was perfect -- a cold, rainy day here -- and I got to come in for an hour and a half, have a cup of coffee, and watch the webinar. Right after the webinar on pastures, I was inspired to head back out and make some changes to my grazing system. Thanks for inspiring and informing me!”

“The kind of research reported in the webinar provides very practical answers that are pertinent to dairy farmers with small and mid-size operations. I see that some of these findings might also apply to beef cattle, sheep, and goat producers. It is what researchers in Land Grant Universities should be doing and should be rewarded for doing.”

“Thank you very much for providing this great service. As a busy farmer, I find it very difficult to attend on farm trainings. Webinars are great because it the experts are able to come to me.”

“I just want to thank you for the FABULOUS webinars! What an amazing resource. I hate to miss any of them. I guess I date myself by saying this, but I think back to not too long ago when farmers would ask us technical questions and there was no one to turn to for help. In fact, Extension would roll their eyes and make derogatory comments about organic. To have this great resource created by Extension is phenomenal. The webinar technology is working GREAT, and the research and information is invaluable. THANK YOU!”

Looking Ahead to Webinars in 2012

In early 2012 eOrganic hosted webinars on ecological farm design, organic apple production, participatory on-farm research, weed management, and profit management. In addition, eOrganic has presented more live conference broadcasts including Jim Riddle's presentation "Why Eat Organic?" at the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference, 3 presentations on organic grains and organic transitions from the Carolina Organic Conference, and 6 workshops from the Organic Seed Grower's Conference in Washington. 284 people attended Jim Riddle's presentation and 225 attended the seed workshops. More webinars are planned through the end of March, including a series on cover crops and webinars on organic management of stink bugs and fire blight of apple and pear. Find our webinar schedule at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242/webinars-by-eorganic. Sign up to give a webinar next fall or winter by contacting Alice Formiga at formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu.

eOrganic Articles

All of eOrganic's 240+ published articles can be found at http://www.extension.org/organic_production. Before publication, they are subject to two anonymous (peer) reviews and National Organic Program compliance review.
Notable articles published in 2011: 

eOrganic Videos

Find eOrganic's 212 videos on eXtension at http://www.extension.org/pages/18726 and on the eOrganic YouTube channel, where we have more than 850 subscribers and over 655,000 views.

New videos published in 2011 include:

  • Why we are Studying Blueberry Roots. Luis Valenzuela-Estrada, Oregon State University. Filmed by John McQueen, Oregon State University - Watch
  • Organic Blueberry Research at Oregon State University. Bernadine Strik, Oregon State University. Filmed by John McQueen, Oregon State University - Watch
  • Innovations on an Organic Dairy: "The Fly Barrel". Kevin Jahnke. Filmed by Harriet Behar, Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Education Service - Watch
Looking Ahead to Video Capture Training 2012

eOrganic is offering its first online video capture training course in March-April 2012! Participants will learn the basics of video planning, storyboarding, filming and production. The course will provide the students with the skills they need to deliver their video project, from writing scripts, storyboards and production plans, to filming basics. Once students complete the course, they will submit their storyboard, clips, and still images to the eOrganic staff. The staff will edit the materials into a video, run it through eOrganic's review process, and publish it to YouTube and eOrganic. If you are a member of a project working with eOrganic and interested in participating in this course, sign up with Lane Selman, eOrganic's video coordinator, at laneselman [at] gmail [dot] com. eOrganic hopes to offer this course to additional eOrganic members in the future.

Online Courses 2012

eOrganic is gearing up to offer online courses via eXtension's Moodle campus at http://campus.extension.org. eXtension uses Moodle for its online course development. Moodle or “Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment” is a popular, free, open-source software platform used by than 1.2 million educators in 206 countries to offer more than 3 million courses (http://moodle.org/stats).

The Organic Seed Alliance created an Organic Seed Production Course, which is currently undergoing eOrganic's peer and NOP compliance review process. Organic Seed Production is a self-directed course designed for producers with some seed production experience, seed industry professionals, and extension professionals. This course provides practical field-based knowledge and current research on organic seed production practices. It covers the fundamentals of seed production for onions, beets and chard, brassicas, carrots, and wet-seeded crops. It also addresses climatic requirements for seed crops, important diseases, and seed quality.

The eOrganic Dairy Team received an OREI grant to develop organic dairy production courses. The introductory course will be available through eOrganic this fall, and the advanced course in summer 2013. Service providers who complete the courses will be eligible to receive Continuing Education Credit, and the courses will also be used in curricula of emerging academic organic dairy programs, educating undergraduates and thereby a new generation of organic dairy farmers and service providers.

The two online, asynchronous courses include: 1) An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production Systems, and 2) Advanced Organic Dairy Production. The courses are being designed as content modules; each module follows a particular topic or theme that will be accompanied by a narrated PowerPoint to serve as the learning guide. In addition, each module will contain an outline of course content and learning objectives, at least one webinar, a video clip, a reading assignment, study questions, a homework assignment and a content assessment survey. At the conclusion of each module, the participant will be asked to complete an on-line quiz to evaluate mastery of the material, as well as a content assessment survey to establish if the material was relevant and the platform was user-friendly.

eOrganic Engagement Ask-an-Expert

The Ask-an-Expert service is a way for our stakeholders to get an answer - about anything - from Land Grant University (LGU) and Extension professionals through eXtension.org. Ask your question at http://www.extension.org/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 2011, community members answered 214 questions, and more than 1,000 organic agriculture questions have been answered through the service since its inception in 2007.

eOrganic and Social Media

eOrganic remains committed to interacting with people through social networking services. We maintain a Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/eorganic_cp), a Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/eorganic), and a YouTube account (https://www.youtube.com/user/eorganic). 2011 has brought steady growth in our fans, followers, and subscribers. Please visit us in one of those spaces to learn more about our work there.

eOrganic Outreach to Stakeholders and Community Members

eOrganic staffed booths at annual conference sponsored by EcoFarm, PASA, and MOSES in 2011 to get the word out to farmers and others about eOrganic's public content. The eOrganic dairy team promoted eOrganic dairy content with booths/presentations at a variety of events in Vermont and the NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference, from which a presentation by Heather Darby and Cindy Daley was broadcast nationally. 

Alex Stone and Danielle Treadwell gave a workshop and presentations about eOrganic the American Society for Horticultural Science meetings in September, 2011 and Alex gave a workshop and poster on eOrganic at the American Society for Agronomy/Soil Science Society of American meetings in October. John McQueen and Alice Formiga gave a webinar and a presentation through eXtension about eOrganic's evaluation program.  Alice Formiga and Jim Riddle conducted a workshop about eOrganic for faculty at the University of Minnesota St. Paul, and Michelle Wander gave a presentation about eOrganic at an organic training day at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Looking Ahead to Outreach 2012

Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant will coordinate the eOrganic booth at the Organic Farming Conference this week in Wisconsin. If you will be there, stop by eOrganic's booth to say hello (and volunteer to staff it for a few hours this or next year)!  If you go to an organic farming conference, consider bringing eOrganic outreach materials or giving a presentation. Contact Alice Formiga at formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu for more information on how to get involved with eOrganic outreach.

Alex Stone, Sally Miller and Meg McGrath will lead a workshop on eOrganic and how to get involved at the International IPM Symposium in Memphis in March. Contact Alex Stone at stonea@hort.oregonstate.edu if you will be attending that meeting and would like to participate in the workshop.  eOrganic will participate in an eXtension workshop at the ASHS meetings in Miami this summer, and will have a presence at ASA/CSSA/SSSA this fall. If you would like to bring eOrganic to your next professional society meeting contact Alex Stone.

eOrganic Staff

eOrganic is supported by a talented group of part-time staff.

Micaela Colley (Organic Seed Alliance) leads the Plant Breeding and Seeds Groups.

Alice Formiga (Oregon State University) coordinates membership, webinars, evaluation, article review for most content and project groups, and assists with outreach and grant proposal support.

Debra Heleba (University of Vermont) coordinates the Dairy Group providing support for content development, review, outreach, webinars, and broadcasts.

Roger Leigh (Oregon State University) is the programmer for the eOrganic.info website and eOrganic project websites and manages the technical link to www.extension.org.

Betty Marose (USDA-ARS Beltsville) coordinates the Grains Group.

John McQueen (Oregon State University) handles social media and provides technical support, management, and post-production for webinars, broadcasts, and the eOrganic.info and eOrganic project websites.

Jim Riddle (University of Minnesota) leads the Certification Group and reviews eOrganic publications for NOP compliance.

Lane Selman (Oregon State University) provides video support and coordinates the video production class.

Ed Zaborski (University of Illinois) coordinates Ask-an-Expert for the eOrganic community, coordinates the Soils Group, and provides final article copyediting.

eOrganic Membership Survey

As part of our effort to move eOrganic forward we sent a survey to 189 active eOrganic members to determine how eOrganic could improve existing services and plan for the future in fall 2011. Fifty-five (29%) members responded. The survey results were compiled and discussed by eOrganic leadership team members and staff at a 3-day planning meeting in winter 2011. Read the full report at http://eorganic.info/membersurvey2011. We learned that:

  • Member strongly reaffirmed eOrganic’s core mission of education and communication.
  • Members consistently indicated that eOrganic is unique in its mission and actions.
  • The staff of eOrganic is highly valued and critical to the success of the program.
  • eOrganic’s relationship with eXtension provides the group credibility and visibility.
  • The technology services eOrganic is providing to research and outreach groups are robust and appreciated.

While there was strong support for all eOrganic activities, members offered valuable ideas to help eOrganic improve and grow. Priorities for the next five years were to:

  • Expand and Strengthen Educational Program Offerings. Members believed eOrganic was successful in sharing research outcomes through the development of peer-reviewed educational materials, but there remains a need for more advanced materials for practitioners as well as new short courses for clientele groups such as certification agencies, food service providers, and other participants of the organic industry.
  • Increase Engagement. eOrganic’s networking role was cited as one of the most important services the program provides. However, members noted that civic engagement, engagement of new and existing members, and engagement with community partners such as ATTRA and SARE could be enhanced with a consistent message and effective marketing strategy.
  • Secure Long Term Funding. eOrganic’s ability to secure funding for core activities to support the community of practice was identified as one of its most important successes. In particular, the importance of including eOrganic language in the NIFA Organic Program RFA was noted. The availability of this funding mechanism in the future will be dependent on future federal legislation.
  • Improve the eOrganic.info Website. eOrganic has been an early adopter of new technology since its inception. While members value the technological support and functions of eOrganic webinars, videos, and project management websites, they also cited some functions lack simplicity and can be difficult to use. Members believed simplifying the user interface of the website, improving the search engine, and improving access to tech support after hours would increase member use.

Many factors about our industry and workplaces have changed in the past few years, and these changes necessitate a more systematic, efficient approach to meeting client needs that includes web-based and nationally coordinated programming. Suggestions from eOrganic members and Stakeholder Advisory Committee, community partners, and end users will shape the course of eOrganic for the next five years.

Get Involved with eOrganic Contribute Content to 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. Learn about our editorial policies at http://eorganic.info/node/155. Contact Alice Formiga at formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu for more information on how to contribute content to eOrganic.

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. It isn't too late to write eOrganic into a 2012 OREI, and we can also partner with you on regional IPM, AFRI, SARE, NRCS-CIG and proposals to other funding sources.

eOrganic can offer your project:

  • Web conferencing
  • Webinars and webinar series to stakeholders and community members
  • Publication consultation, 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

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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December 2012

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In this Issue:

  • New eOrganic Webinars
  • Ask an Expert 2.0
  • Organic Processing Institute Fact Sheets and Classifieds
  • Upcoming CCOF Webinar
  • MOSES Call for Organic Research Posters
  • 2012 USDA Organic Resource Guide
New eOrganic Webinars

eOrganic has an exciting winter season of webinars planned on organic farming and research topics related to organic dairy, grains, and fruit production, organic insect and disease management, and climate change. The following 3 webinars have opened for registration, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance! All webinars are free and open to the public.

December 11, 2012: Orchard Floor Management in the Intermountain West by Jennifer Reeve of Utah State University

December 18, 2012:  Bovine Milk Fats: A Look at Organic Milk by Gillian Butler of Newcastle University

January 8, 2013: The "Ancient" Grains Emmer, Einkorn and Spelt: What We Know and What We Need to Find Out by Frank Kutka and Steve Zwinger of North Dakota State University, Julie Dawson of Cornell, and June Russell of Greenmarket GrowNYC

Register for new webinars and find all recordings of past webinars in our archive at http://www.extension.org/pages/25242

Ask an Expert 2.0 launches Dec 3

If you have a question about organic farming, you can use the Ask an Expert service at http://extension.org/ask, and you'll usually get an answer from Land Grant universities around the country within 48 hours. On December 3, 2012, changes are coming to the Ask an Expert Service. Both questioners and responders will be able to make their questions open to the public for comment, but they will also have the option to keep the questions private. In Ask an Expert, you can upload a photo, and provide additional information such as your location in order to get an appropriate answer. Ask your questions about organic agriculture at http://extension.org/ask.

Organic Processing Institute Fact Sheets and Classified Ad Service

OPI Fact Sheets are provided as a free resource for organic farmers, producers, and processors. Three Fact Sheets address the up-and-coming trend of Mobile Processing Units; specifically, what state regulations in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin dictate about poultry waste disposal. Another new Fact Sheet brings together tips and issues involved in sourcing ingredients for organic processing. Download the fact sheets at the Organic Processing Institute Website.

In addition, a new, free classified ads service is now on the OPI website, and is available to organic processors and producers wishing to announce organic products for sale. Check out the current ads for ingredients wanted. As well as organic products, they also encourage processors to advertise equipment they wish to buy or sell.

Upcoming CCOF Crop Planning Webinar

CCOF Crop Planning Webinar
December 11, 2012, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
CCOF Members: $20, Non-members: $25
Register at http://www.ccof.org/programs.php

Are you already thinking about what you want to grow next year? Crop planning is the infrastructure for a farmer’s progress and profitability, and knowing expected yields and harvest dates plays a major role in marketing and sales. Get ahead for 2013 by attending CCOF’s Crop Planning webinar on December 11 with Dina Izzo, expert organic marketer and founder of BluDog Organic Produce Services. Hear experiences from Andrew Brait, longtime farmer and owner of Full Belly Farm. This webinar reviews the basics of how to develop a crop plan, setting you up for a successful season of growing and meeting market demand. Sign up today and get started with your 2013 organic crop plan!

2013 MOSES Organic Farming Conference: Call for Organic Research Posters

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is proud to announce the 4th Annual Organic Research Poster Display to be held in conjunction with the 2013 MOSES Organic Farming Conference to be held February, 22nd and 23rd at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WI. Find out more about the conference at http://www.mosesorganic.org/conference.html.

Researchers, including government scientists and staff, academic faculty and staff, graduate/undergraduate students and farmer researchers are invited to submit poster proposals for display at the conference as part of the Organic Research Forum. There are a limited number of scholarships available to offset travel and hotel expenses. All accepted poster presenters will receive free conference registration and meals. Find detailed instructions and deadlines at http://www.mosesorganic.org/ofc_researchforum.html#postercall.

2012 USDA Organic Resource Guide

The USDA published a new Organic Resource Guide, which provides an overview of USDA programs and services available to the public that support organic agriculture. It includes agencies that provide technical information, education, business development and marketing information, and other services to organic farmers, ranchers, and handlers. The guide, published in August, 2012, also provides current contact information for agencies and individuals. eOrganic is mentioned as an online information resource on page 23! Find the guide at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5100093

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.

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 tool to connect with eOrganic. Tag your question as "organic production" to make sure it reaches our members.

Spread the word! If you would like eOrganic literature to hand out at your next conference or workshop, please get in touch, and use our online form to request materials.

 

 

 

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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Pest Management Case Study: Quiet Creek Farm, Kutztown, PA. Penn State Extension Start Farming Video

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eOrganic author:

Tianna DuPont, Penn State

 

Introduction

This is a Penn State Farm Profiles Video, directed by Tianna DuPont and produced by Daniel Paashaus. This series of videos is designed to give new farmers ideas and advice from experienced producers. Video production is supported by funding from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2009-49400-05869.

Featuring

John Good, Quiet Creek Farm. John and Aimee Good run Quiet Creek Farm, a 200-member certified organic CSA at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA. In this video, John Good discusses pest management strategies and practices on this farm, including the use of row covers, succession planting and spraying of organic pest control products.

Audio Text

Closed captions are also available by clicking the "CC" link in the lower right of the video frame which appear when you play the video.

The three pests that we spend the most time managing are flea beetles, cucumber beetles and cabbage worms. There are a few other pests that are occasionally an issue, but those are the ones I would say that we have to spend time and energy on controlling the most year after year. The biggest thing with any pest control is rotation. So we try to make sure that any crop in one family does not appear again in the same field for three years. And if possible, we try to move them as far away in the field physically as we can--particularly if it was a bad pest year and we are worried about that the following season. So I would say rotation is your number one cultural practice.

And the other cultural practice if you are dealing with transplanted crops, (and we do have some transplanted brassica crops, broccoli and cauliflower and cabbage and some of our kale) is you can grow really healthy transplants in a really good potting mix and give your plants a really good start, and that gives them a big advantage. Also weed control is important, and providing adequate water. Anything you can do to make your plant’s life easier will help them deal with pests more effectively.
Row covers are a primary tool for flea beetles. We use them on all of our Asian brassica greens, arugula, tat soi, and baby kale. We also cover all of our larger brassicas; cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower at planting. Also, we have to control flea beetles on eggplant. So we also cover those at planting, too.

Row covers are tremendously effective if they are used well, and you do a good job of keeping them down. That will give you fairly good flea beetle control. We store all our row covers. We use 250 foot long pieces. That is how long our beds are. We use those that will cover one bed or two beds at a time. We store them on 10 foot long 2 inch PVC pipe pieces. We keep them rolled up tight on there. And then it is very easy to put the row cover down. We will go out to the field. We can put a single peg in the beginning to just hold the row cover in place. And then a person can just grab each end of the PVC pipe and walk out and your row cover is in place. If it is particularly windy, you can put a peg down to fasten it in place while you do it. If it is a double wide row cover on that ten foot pipe it is just folded in half. So it fits on there. Then after we put the row cover down we fold over the edge and put in a peg, generally every ten feet. We like three pronged plastic pegs. They are the strongest. You generally do need a rubber mallet to drive them in. And it takes a little practice to get good with them. But we will do those approximately every ten feet the length of the row cover. We will pull tension first lengthwise on the row and if we are going over hoops we will also pull tension across from the person working on the other side to make them nice and tight across the hoops. The other really nice thing about storing on pipes, besides storage, labeling-- all those things are really helpful--is that it is very easy to take up. We have come up with a system where when we go to take up a row cover we have a set of two portable saw horses we put at the end of the field, and they have a pair of pipe strappings. We feed our pvc pipe through those so it is fastened to the saw horse on either side. We pull up all the pegs out of the row cover. If it is a double wide row cover we will fold it in half at that point. It generally takes three people to do this. We pull it up to the saw horses and wrap the row cover on the pipe once or twice. Then we built a pvc crank. It just looks like a spool, a handle that you would use to crank anything really. We just tap that in place with our hands. Then one person cranks and begins rolling in the row cover and the other two people hold the sides to make sure it rolls in really nice and tightly on the pipe. You do have to be careful with row cover on brassica greens because humidity can be an issue. If plants are quite large under the row cover and it is a fairly wet time period you can get trouble with both rot, because it is really wet, or we have trouble with aphids or white fly larvae under the row cover. For the white fly larvae we usually have those on the Asian turnips or radishes. We find that as long as you uncover them about a week before they are ready to be picked the air moving through the crop will prevent any damage.

For something like eggplant, we really determine the pressure visually when the leaves are starting to look like Swiss cheese, and when you can see a flea beetle. That means they are getting big and eating a lot of your plants. When they are small they are very hard to see but when you start to notice them visually it is really time to takes some action. But again generally by the time the eggplant is uncovered and flowering their growth will really outpace the damage they do until usually late in the fall when the season ends. And by then, we are usually not that concerned about them anymore.

We have cucumber beetle pressure on basically anything that is in the cucumber family. Whether it be summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, melons and watermelons, winter squash. I believe that is it. Basically that family of crops is what will be affected. Cucumber beetles themselves generally do not cause a lot of damage to the crops. What they are very good at, is transporting diseases from planting to planting. We do sometimes find them to be actually physically destructive early in the season on our young cucurbits like young zucchini or young cucumbers. For that reason we usually keep those crops covered and also to protect them from the frost damage early in the season, and just cold damage in general. By the time we uncover them they are usually big enough to withstand the pressure there may be. But I have seen cucumber beetle pressure to the point where they will actually destroy the plant. At that point then we will use Surround more as the control. Surround is a kaolin clay product you mix into suspension with water and you spray to coat the entire leaf surface of the plants.

We just use back pack sprayer, a hand pump back pack sprayer for spraying our Surround. Coverage is a little hard to see. It is white, the spray, so it gives you a little bit of an idea what you have gotten and haven’t gotten. The underside of the leaves is difficult to get. The only thing you can do is just try to keep the wand moving a lot. You do your best to get under the leaves of the plant and to keep the wand moving a lot. But again we are trying to move pretty quickly so you have to do the best as you can as quickly as you can. You don’t have to completely cover every square inch of the leaves to have it be fairly effective. The way surround works is that after the plant is coated in the white clay kaolin clay substance that then forms a barrier and when cucumber beetles and basically any insect lands on the plant they basically get covered in the powder. Cucumber beetles and insects breathe through their skin and they find this irritating. And the way we describe this is that they actually spend excessive time grooming, actually trying to clean the residue off their skin and they just become sort of disgusted and move away. And believe it or not it actually works rather effectively. And it is nice for that reason because you are not using a pesticide that is broad spectrum thing that is killing the insects. It is actually just annoying them until they go somewhere else and they leave you alone.

And beyond with several of the cucumber crops; with cucumbers, zucchini squash and melons we will plant successions of as well. We generally plant cucumbers and zucchini every three to four weeks. And it is not so much because of the cucumber beetles it is just that the plants seem to become exhausted, as well as the beetles start to spread diseases as well as us picking starts to spread diseases through the patch.

So, it is good to have a fresh batch coming on line every three to four weeks and then you can till in the previous planting, preferably as quickly as possible. And then move onto the next. The important thing to remember when you are doing succession planting is when you have successions overlap and you are picking make sure you pick in the newest patch first and work your way back into the older plantings. That way you are not carrying either pests or diseases from the older plantings into your brand new nice looking plants.

For cabbage worms again rotation is also an important control and again the crops like brassicas again are one we transplant. So it is important to grow really strong healthy transplants. Those are the main cultural controls--growing good transplants and rotation. For cabbage worm we use Bt. Bacillus thuringensis. The kurstaki variety is the one most effective for controlling cabbage worm. In terms of using Bt as a control on brassicas, we don’t really worry about cabbage worms having an effect on the health of the crop. It is almost more of an aesthetic effect in particular in broccoli heads. But also it can be a problem in winter kale, large kale and cabbage where the worms will either want to chew holes in the heads in the case of kale or cabbage. Where in broccoli there is just green worms all peppered throughout the head. They don’t really cause a lot of damage. But when you go home and put them in the pot a whole bunch of green worms float to the top. So it is mostly keeping our customers happy, is why we use Bt to control cabbage worms. We use a couple basic measures to decide when it is time to spray Bt in terms of controlling cabbage worms. The first is just visually. You can look and see when there are a lot of white cabbage moths in your field. Some years the instance you transplant you start to see cabbage moths and landing on your transplants and laying their eggs immediately. Other years, just because of natural population fluctuations there is not that many around and it is not a real severe problem. In general for us we are just treating the crop prior to harvest. For broccoli or cauliflower a week or two before we are going to harvest we generally spray just the heads and surrounding area. We are not covering the whole plant. We are just spraying the area that our customers are going to get and we don’t want the worms to be in. And what happens then is the cabbage worms then feed on the crop and they then ingest the Bt and it actually ruptures their intestinal track, is basically how I understand it and they will die.

Again with Bt I would recommend, and with any spray, to read the label that comes in the bag. I think the most dangerous part of working with Bt is working with the concentrate when you are mixing the mix. It is always good to wear gloves and it is always good to wear long protective clothing and I believe they also recommend that you remove that clothing after you are done spraying. Do your best to keep it off of you and your clothes as much as possible.

Our best way of knowing what sort of pest pressure we are getting to is by getting out there and walking the field. The best management you can do for anything on your farm is to get out there and walk around all of it. So get out and take a good look at all your crops. Walk an entire row, walk a few different rows. To see what kind of pressure whether it is pests or diseases or if something just needs water. We have always gone by the philosophy the best fertilizer on the farm is the farmer’s footsteps. So if you can get out there within your crops and really check it out you can really make some good management decisions.
In general dealing with insects and pest management organically is not particularly difficult as long as you are prepared. You want to take note of the crops you are growing and what are their significant pests and develop a plan before the season to be able to manage them when the trouble comes. If it turns out that in that year you don’t have any pest or disease pressure and you don’t have to use whatever methods you devised that is great at least you are prepared for next season. But being prepared and doing your research ahead of time is probably the most important thing you can do in terms of controlling the pests on your farm.
 

 

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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Plant Propagation Case Study, Quiet Creek Farm, Kutztown, PA. Penn State Extension Start Farming Video

jeu, 2018/08/30 - 02:05

eOrganic author:

Tianna Dupont, Penn State

Introduction

This is a Penn State Extension Farm Profiles video directed by Tianna DuPont and produced by Daniel Paashaus. This series of videos is designed to give new farmers ideas and advice from experienced producers. Video production is supported by funding from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2009-49400-05869.

Featuring

John Good, Quiet Creek Farm. John and Aimee Good run Quiet Creek Farm, a 200-member certified organic CSA at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA. In this video, John Good discusses plant propagation planning, equipment, soil, and seeding methods on their farm.

Audio Text

Closed captions are also available. To view them, click the "CC" on the lower right of the video frame when you play the video.

For our production facility, we use a 24-foot by 48-foot Quonset hut. It is a roll-up side greenhouse that we actually lease from the Rodale Institute. We have two propane powered heaters in the unit, as well as two gable and ventilation fans. In addition to that, we have two small circulation fans in the greenhouse and a circulation tube—a polyethylene tube down the center of the greenhouse.

We have eleven 9-foot by 5-foot benches. They are soil-filled benches. On top of those we just lay wooden planks. We also have one table on the end of the greenhouse, a 10-foot long table, with five 10-foot Agri-tape heating mats. We can use that as a nursery area. We have two thermostats to control those heating mats so we can zone them according to different crop needs. In terms of ergonomic concerns, we've built a nice pine table in our greenhouse. It is, I believe, a 42-inch high countertop height. We put a nice smooth melamine top on it so it's easy to keep clean, as well as a shelf below just for a foot rest when you're working. And we have a bunch of, we've scavenged old stools, stools of all different shapes and sizes, so it's comfortable to work both sitting or standing at the table when you're there all day.

The biggest thing, I would say, that's a detriment for our size greenhouse set-up is the size. Again we're 48 by 24. I would like to be bigger than that at this stage so I don't have to move things out into a cold frame as early as I do now.

Planning is the most important thing you can do in terms of efficiency in farm production. We work on that in the winter generally, in January and February. We do a general crop plan, we do a field plan, and we do a greenhouse plan. The greenhouse plan is really good for, in terms of determining your needs for production that year. One in terms of amounts of potting soil, amounts of flats you're going to need, and of course the amount of seeds you're going to need. We really like having a good plan also because then when you get into greenhouse season, you don't have to think about what you're doing anymore. You can pretty much look at the plan and read right off, and it's also really useful for in terms of having employees that you can hand them the plan and say,” OK, we need to do these three things today”, and they can take that sheet and do that. All the information they need is there.

Our propagation mix is a compost-based mix that we make ourselves. We're lucky enough to be at the Rodale Institute and have access to lots of good certified organic compost. We take that compost and screen it into a soil pasteurizer. The screen helps us get a nice fine mixture. Then the pasteurizer is there to sterilize the mix. We set it at about 190 degrees as a good temperature for killing most of your weed seeds but also allowing some of the beneficial organisms to pass through unscathed. Then we take that mix and we bag it. We use just old grain bags. We put one-and-a-half 5-gallon buckets in each bag. And then we take those bags to our greenhouse and store them for the following year. To our mix, we also add peat, perlite, and vermiculite, as well as bone meal, blood meal, rock phosphate, and lime. And those are the ingredients we use for our mix. The proportions are a bucket-and-a-half of compost, three-quarters of a bucket of perlite, three-quarters of a bucket of vermiculite, three-quarters of a bucket of peat. And then we add the mineral supplements. We use a one-pound butter dish. And we use a full butter dish of blood meal and greensand. We use a half butter dish each of lime, rock phosphate, and bone meal. And then we mix those all together with just a square tip spade in a mixing box in the greenhouse and that's the mix that works well for us. There's definitely a fair amount of challenges and benefits to working with a compost-based mix. The biggest benefit is that particularly in our mix is that we have a lot of nutrients in it, so we can hold plants in it if we need to. The biggest challenge with compost-based mixes is damping off. We have a lot of trouble with cucurbits with damping off. And then we also grow a fair amount of flowers for the CSA and Celosia is really troublesome for us. You have to be careful with a compost-based mix, one that you don't water too heavy, because they have a tendency to stay wet, and you also have to be careful that you don't let them get dry. Because they have a tendency once they're dry to be really hard to get wet again and that when you try to water, the water will pool up on the surface and almost evaporate or just spill off before it soaks down to deep in the bottom of the cell.

We haven't had much difficulty with fertility in our compost-based mix. And I would attribute that to adding the mineral supplements. They seem to provide the extra food that the plant needs. And we have found if there's an extreme case where it's really been raining and we really can't get something out, we have used fish emulsion in the past, just a commercially bought organic-approved variety.

We use a variety of seedling flats. We start off with seedling trays. Those are 20-row or 10-row seedling channel trays. Those are for small things. And in those we can generally fit 500 seeds or 500 plants per tray. Those are a nice nursery tray and for putting things on the heating mats. You know, on one heating mat I might be able to start, oh, 20,000 plants. So that's a really nice, really nice to be able to consolidate things in that space. From there we'll transplant on, or some things we'll seed directly in a larger cell tray. And then we also have a variety of things that are both are transplanted into or seeded directly into a 72-cell tray. And then we have a variety of things that we transplant or seed directly in 50-cell trays. Those are the sizes we use. We really like wind strips or injection-molded plastic trays. That's a much more sturdy tray. It allows for much better air circulation in between the cells. And they will last until you run over them with the tractor. Those trays will stand up to years of use. We do also use a lot of your traditional, I guess it's kind of a softer, flimsier plastic cell tray just because we can't quite find some of the harder trays in different cells, cell sizes or we can't afford them.

The basic process is we make our compost-based potting mix in a mixing box which is set up a couple feet off the ground so you're mixing it at about waist level. Then we'll add water to that mix and mix it up again until we get it sort of thoroughly wetted to the consistency of about a damp sponge. Then we'll put whatever tray we're using that day and stick it onto the mixing box, and actually just pull the soil on with our hands, kind of push it into the channels or the cell trays nice and firmly. If it's a seedling tray with 10 rows or 20 rows, we use 1/8th-inch aluminum bars to make a little indentation in each channel in addition to already being in the channel. If it's a cell tray we'll just use our finger tips to make a little divot in each cell for the seeds to land in. If we're working on a seedling tray, we'll actually count out, maybe it will be 25 or 50 seeds per row. If it's a cell tray, we'll look at our greenhouse plan, and if it's two seeds per cell, one seed per cell, we'll do that. And we'll just go in, and we'll sprinkle them between our thumb and our forefinger. And when we make our potting mix, one thing we always do before we wet it down is we take off one bucket of dry soil mix. And you can take that dry mix, and it's really nice to sprinkle over the top of your seeds. Most seeds, I would say, we bury approximately an eighth- to a quarter-inch deep. A good rule of thumb to try and kind of remember is that the smaller the seed, the less deeply you want to bury it, and the larger the seed, the less it matters how deeply it's buried.

You know when something is ready to be transplanted out of the channel seeding flats when, we generally say the rule of thumb is that, when there are two true leaves on the plant. There is flexibility in that, though. You can let a plant get a little bigger. Or if it's a rainy day and you have nothing else to do, and it's only got one true leaf, you can do it. It will be fine. And then, we actually use a butter knife. It works perfectly to just zip down and scoop all of the plants out of the channel tray. We'll then kind of take that long strip of plants in your fingers and you can kind of loosen up the soil, tease them out a little bit. And then we'll pull them out, sort of one-by-one, by their leaves, and you kind of gently tap them on the table to get the remainder of the potting mix off. And then we'll take a pencil—that's our preferred potting on tool—we'll take that and poke a hole in each cell. And then you can take your plant, and just basically, take it down, and using the pencil kind of push the roots all the way down to the bottom of the cell. You can generally plant at the two-leaf stage. You can take most things and transplant them on, and have them be buried all the way up to the base of their cotyledon leaves that way. If a plant is more leggy, you can also take that pencil and sort of bend over the stem and the root a little bit inside that hole, and push it down to the bottom, again to get it planted nice and deep. We like to use a Wonder Waterer™ watering wand. And, we've found that it works really well for both larger plants and small, really, really tiny seedlings. For really tiny plants, you can actually turn it upside-down so it waters them really gently. For larger plants you can turn it right side down, so to speak, and you can really water even larger plants from 6 feet away.

Air circulation is always an issue in the greenhouse because it is such a humid environment. And the best way you can deal with that is by, one, having ventilation fans in the greenhouse. Those help keep air, at least the air in the house, moving a little bit, and keep the foliage of the plants dry which is an important aspect of preventing disease. Beyond that, the most important preventative measure we can take is sterilizing our cell trays, and also only using our cell trays only once per season.

The biggest pieces of advice I could give are to go look at other people's facilities, and if you can, if it's at all possible, to go work for somebody else. And I always tell people regardless of what you're trying to learn that it's good to go to somebody, try and find someone who has a really good reputation for what you're doing and go learn from them, and also to work for someone who's maybe large scale because they'll have learned methods of efficiency that possibly you won't think of. And the other thing I would say that's most important is build the biggest greenhouse you can afford, and that you can, and that you have space for. No matter what you think, you'll always end up at some point be limited by the space you have.

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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