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Plate-forme de réseautage pour les producteurs, transformateurs et commerçants d'aliments biologiques du Québec
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CETAB+ | Centre d'expertise et de transfert en agriculture biologique et de proximitéMinistère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
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Modifier eXtension Articles,News,Faqs,Events- organic production (anglais)

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Mis à jour : il y a 1 heure 23 min

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

ven, 2018/03/16 - 15:16

View this newsletter in your browser here

Upcoming Webinars in March and April

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Updated Information on Late Blight Management with Resistant Varieties

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

New Extension Bulletin on Nutrient Management for Organic Farming

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

Organic Confluences Summit on May 21-22

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

Barley Day at Oregon State June 1

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

eOrganic ASHS Competition Winners

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

Organic Seed Growers Conference Recordings Available

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

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

eOrganic Resources

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

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

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

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

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Conventional Chemical Soil Testing in Organic Farming Systems

lun, 2018/03/05 - 20:01

eOrganic author:

Ellen Phillips, University of Illinois

Introduction

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

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

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

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

Organic System Considerations

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

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

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

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

Soil Testing Methods Choosing A Soil Testing Lab

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

Conventional

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

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

Organic System Considerations

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

Soil Testing Calibration Conventional

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

Organic System Considerations

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

Soil Testing Interpretations Conventional

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

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

Organic System Considerations

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

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

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

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

Additional Resources

 

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

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Organic Seed Growers Conference 2018 Live Broadcast

jeu, 2018/01/11 - 17:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Organic Seed Growers Conference

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

System Requirements

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

 

 

 

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

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Live Broadcasts from the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference

jeu, 2018/01/11 - 12:06

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Organic Seed Growers Conference

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

System Requirements

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

 

 

 

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

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January 2018

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

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

Jan 30, 2018: Organic Tomato Seed Production

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

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

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

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

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

March 21, 2018: Organic Tomato Foliar Pathogen IPM Webinar

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

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

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

Comments Sought on USDA Livestock and Poultry Rules until January 17

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

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

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

Organic Research Funding Opportunities

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

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

If you are applying for a grant and would like to partner with eOrganic, please contact us.

eOrganic Mission

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

eOrganic Resources

eOrganic logo

 

 

 

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

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

mar, 2018/01/09 - 15:24

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

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

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

About the Webinar

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

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

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

 

 

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

eOrganic 24304

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

ven, 2018/01/05 - 17:29

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

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

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

The On Farm Variety Trialling Guide

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

The Seed to Kitchen Screening Trial Evaluation Template: Download

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

The Organic Seed Alliance Trial Evaluation Sheet: Download

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

The Seed to Kitchen Management Sheet: Download

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

Register for the Organic Seed Growers Conference here

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

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

 

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

eOrganic 24313

Organic Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila Webinar

jeu, 2018/01/04 - 13:12

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

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

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

System Requirements

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

 

 

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

eOrganic 24304

Tools for Farm Biodiversity Webinar

mer, 2018/01/03 - 11:59

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

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

About the Webinar

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

eOrganic 24296

Organic Agriculture is brought to you by eOrganic

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

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

Learn more about eOrganic Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

Funding and Partnerships with eOrganic

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

 

Contact Us

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

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

eOrganic 3526

eOrganic Leadership Team and Group Leaders

mar, 2018/01/02 - 16:39

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

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

Organic Agriculture is brought to you by eOrganic

mar, 2018/01/02 - 16:37

Eorganic-v2.jpg

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

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

Learn more about eOrganic Leadership

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

eOrganic Tools You Can Use

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

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

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

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

Funding and Partnerships with eOrganic

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

Contact Us

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

Integrating Culinary Quality Evaluation into Participatory Crop Improvement Projects

ven, 2017/12/29 - 20:50

eOrganic authors:

Lane Selman, Oregon State University

Alexandra Stone, Oregon State University

James R. Myers, Oregon State University

Introduction

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

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

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

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

Ospud (2005-2007)

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

Ospud Horticultural Evaluation

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Ospud Yield Evaluation Results

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

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

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation

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

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

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

 

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

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

Jacqueline Lee, Yukon Gold, and AmaRosa

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

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

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

Evaluating Sensory Qualities of Potato Cultivars

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

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

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

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

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

 

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

Ospud Discussion

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

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

NOVIC (2010-2018)

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

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation

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

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

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


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

 

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

   

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

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation Results

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

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


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

 

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

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

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


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

 

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

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

NOVIC Discussion

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

Conclusion

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

References and Citations

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

eOrganic 23362

Integrating Sensory Evaluation into Participatory Crop Improvement Projects

ven, 2017/12/29 - 19:34

eOrganic authors:

Lane Selman, Oregon State University

Alexandra Stone, Oregon State University

James R. Myers, Oregon State University

Introduction

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

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

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

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

Ospud (2005-2007)

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

Ospud Horticultural Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ospud Yield Evaluation Results

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

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

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

Jacqueline Lee, Yukon Gold, and AmaRosa

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

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

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

Evaluating Sensory Qualities of Potato Cultivars

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

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

Ospud Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

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

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

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

Ospud Discussion

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

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

NOVIC (2010-2018)

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

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

   

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

NOVIC Horticultural Evaluation Results

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

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

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

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOVIC Culinary Quality Evaluation Results

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

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

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

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

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

NOVIC Discussion

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

Conclusion

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

References and Citations

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

eOrganic 23362

Phil Foster Ranches Disease Management System

mer, 2017/12/27 - 16:52

eOrganic author:

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

Introduction

Phil Foster Ranches (PFR) manages diseases through an integrated program of soil building, cultural practices (e.g. crop rotation, sanitation, irrigation management), resistant varieties, and monitoring. Pesticides are used when other strategies provide insufficient control.

Key Practices

Key practices fall into five categories:

  • System design
  • Soil building
  • Cultural practices
  • Diagnosis and scouting
  • Supplemental inputs

PFR's disease management system is supported by the key practices listed and described in Table 1.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is a fundamental disease management practice at PFR. PFR's rules for crop rotation are listed and described in Table 2. PFR does not follow a strict rotation plan. Rotation is managed spatially, temporally, and seasonally. Rotation is an effective disease management strategy for some crops and diseases but not for all.

Rotation rules fall into 4 categories:

  • Temporal rotation: for the management of soilborne diseases
  • Spatial rotation: for the management of airborne diseases
  • Disease-suppressive rotation: specific crops grown before a susceptible crop to suppress disease (no efficacy)
  • Environment-specific rotation: to avoid environmental conditions (e.g. high/low temperatures) that exacerbate disease
Disease Severity and Crop Yield and Quality

According to Phil Foster (farmer) and Doug O'Brien (pest management consultant and scout), the disease management system (Table 1) has been mostly effective. Overall, yield and quality losses to disease have declined, with a few exceptions. These conclusions are supported by 30 years of experience, 25 years of yield and supplemental input records (1989-2014), and 17 years of scouting records (2-3 scouting visits per week, 1997-2014).

Diseases that have never occurred due to prevention (pathogen has never been introduced to farm on seeds, transplants, equipment):

  • White rot of onion and garlic (Sclerotium cepivorum)
  • Fusarium wilt of basil (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilica)

Diseases that occurred regularly in the past and sometimes caused economic damage, but are no longer economically damaging:

Management strategies contributing to control are identified in parentheses after scientific name of pathogen. In some cases the causes of disease suppression are unknown.

  • Damping-off of corn, bean, beet, and onion (Pythium spp., possibly other fungi and Oomycetes; soil quality improvement, see Stone et al., 2004)
  • Powdery mildew of pepper (Leveillula taurica; early and regular sulfur applications and overhead irrigation)
  • Sclerotinia lettuce drop (Sclerotinia minor; rotation, see description below)
  • Phytophthora root rot of pepper (Phytophthora capsici; rotation) (Fig. 1)
  • Clubroot of brassicas (Plasmodiophora brassicae; rotation and soil pH >7.2)
  • Phoma root rot of beet (Phoma betae; unknown)

Diseases that sporadically cause significant economic damage:

  • Anthracnose of lettuce (Microdochium panattonianumis) (Fig. 2)

Diseases that annually cause significant economic damage:

  • Garlic rust (Puccinia allii) arrived in California and PFR in the mid-1990's (PFR yield goal: 400 boxes, see description below).
  • Verticillium wilt of watermelon, cantaloupe, potato and eggplant (Verticillium spp., see description below)
  • Fusarium basal rot of onion (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae, see description below)
  • Powdery mildew of pepper (Leveillula taurica, see description below)

Diseases that historically caused so much damage that the crop is no longer grown:

  • Downy mildew of spinach (Peronospora farinosa f. sp. spinaciae). (Fig. 3)
  • Verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae) of sweet potato (sweet potato is extremely susceptible)
Management of Specific Diseases

PFR addresses disease problems through the use of multi-strategy toolboxes, many of which are continually evolving. Model disease-specific toolboxes are described below.

Verticillium Wilt (Verticillium dahliae) of Watermelon and Melon

Disease onset and trend: This disease occurs at the Santa Ana ranch in Hollister (SA) only. Prior to PFR's stewardship, conventional tomatoes and peppers were probably grown on this ranch and were likely the source of infestation. Severity is increasing (Fig 4.), and watermelon and cantaloupe yields have been decreasing dramatically (Fig. 5 and Fig. 6).

Crops affected: Watermelon, melon, potato, and eggplant. Galia and Sharlyn melons are very susceptible. Sweet potato is very susceptible but is no longer grown at PFR for this reason. Pepper and tomato are asymptomatic hosts (they are not affected by the disease but the pathogen grows on their tissues). Many other cash crops and vetch cover crops are hosts. Only a few crops are completely resistant: Sudan grass, oats, sweet corn, onion family crops, carrot family crops, and broccoli (McCain et al., 1981).

Management: While Verticillium propagules are very long-lived and rotation does not control this disease, PFR avoids planting extremely susceptible crops (or asymptomatic hosts) in succession. PFR has recently experimented with planting grafted watermelon transplants, which sometimes increase yields but do not seem to be effective when soil temperatures are high. Grafted eggplant transplants did not increase eggplant yields at PFR. O'Brien scouts susceptible crops, and PFR applies more frequent and lower-volume irrigations when crops show symptoms. There are no resistant watermelon varieties; however, some cantaloupe (Fig. 6) and canary melon varieties have some field resistance. Soil building does not seem to suppress disease development although it likely reduces crop stress and enhances root and overall crop growth. Broccoli, oats, and sudangrass pre-crops have been reported to suppress Verticillium wilt in subsequent crops, but this strategy has not proven effective at PFR. Reducing crop stress by reducing cucumber beetle feeding and damage might help increase yield, but cucumber beetles remain difficult to control.

2017 update: PFR purchased grafted melons (resistant rootstocks 'Carnivor' and 'Cobalt') in 2017. The rootstocks do reduce Verticillium damage and increase yields. However, these rootstocks are extremely susceptible to cucumber beetle larval feeding (the larvae hollow out the taproot). The rootstock raises yields in the first three watermelon blocks planted without cucumber beetle interventions, but the last two plantings have to be grown in a hoop house with sides and sticky tape barriers on the ends to keep the beetles out.

Fusarium Basal Rot (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae)

Disease onset and trend: Fusarium basal rot (FBR) has occurred at the Santa Ana ranch in Hollister (SA) since the mid 1990's, and was diagnosed for the first time at one San Juan Bautista ranch (SJB) in 2016. Prior to PFR's stewardship, susceptible onion varieties were probably grown on the SA ranch, and those were the likely source of infestation. Scouting reports show that severity is increasing (Fig. 7) and yields are decreasing (Fig. 8).

Crops: All of PFR's allium crops are susceptible, but shallots and red onions are the most susceptible.

Management: PFR has moved all shallots and some red onions to the disease-free San Juan Bautista ranches (SJB). However, not enough acreage exists at SJB to grow all the red onions, and more SJB ranches are likely to become infested. Only early red onions can be grown without yield loss. 'Mercury', a red onion with resistance to FBR, was grown until it was no longer commercially available in 2011. PFR bought a large quantity of seed in 2011 and grew it through 2013 while trialling and learning to grow new varieties. None of these new varieties have adequate resistance and yields have declined (Fig. 8). The onion family rotation rule (5 years allium-free) likely slows down the rate of increase in the number of pathogen propagules, but sometimes PFR cannot maintain a 5-year allium-free period, and disease continues to reduce yields. Onions receive overhead irrigation for the first few weeks and are drip-irrigated thereafter; drip supplies small amounts of water regularly and without water-logging to damaged onion roots. Thrips are managed to reduce crop stress. Soil building does not seem to suppress disease development although it likely reduces crop stress and enhances root and overall crop growth. Update: PFR planted melon transplants grafted onto resistant rootstocks ('Carnivor' and 'Cobalt') in 2017, and melon yields increased significantly (yield data not available). However, these rootstocks are very susceptible to cucumber beetle larval feeding, so they can only be used on melon varieties not highly susceptible to cucumber beetle.

Downy Mildew of Cucumber (Pseudoperonospora cubensis)

Disease onset and trend: A new race of downy mildew appeared in 2009, reducing yields. Average yields increased thereafter. (Fig. 9).

Management: Starting in 2010, PFR reduced late-season acreage (August–October harvests), as downy mildew is most damaging during that period. One block of cucumbers is now grown in the greenhouse, as the greenhouse eliminates foliage wetness from rain and dew, and greenhouse cucumber yields are very high. Regalia® (extract of Reynoutria sachaliensis, Marrone Bio Innovations) is not applied to the greenhouse crops or to the first two spring field plantings, but for all later-season plantings it is applied at 14-day intervals from the 5-leaf stage until harvest. Copper-based materials have not shown efficacy.

Powdery Mildew of Pepper and Tomato (Leveillula taurica and Golovinomyces cichoracearum)

Disease onset and trend: Significant losses to powdery mildew in pepper occurred through 2010, but yields increased thereafter (Fig. 10).

Management: Crops are seasonally grown at the SA ranch to avoid the higher humidity at the SJB ranch (environmental/spatial rotation), and peppers receive overhead irrigation early in the season (before fruits touch the soil) to suppress early disease onset (overhead irrigation suppresses powdery mildews). Sulfur has been applied regularly since 1994 (sulfur figures, Figs. 11a and 11b), but only after powdery mildew was detected during field scouting, and mildew continued to significantly reduce yields (Fig. 10). Starting in 2007, PFR used scouting records to determine when first powdery mildew infections typically occurred in an effort to apply sulfur before first infection. After several years of early and thorough scouting and experimenting with the timing of sulfur applications, PFR now applies protective sulfur sprays very early in the season and has significantly increased yields. Planting succession crops upwind (spatial rotation for control of wind-blown pathogens) and other supplemental inputs have not shown efficacy.

Sclerotinia Drop of Lettuce and Celery (Sclerotinia minor)

Disease onset and trend: This disease was seen regularly in the early years but it is now economically unimportant.

Crops: Lettuce and celery.

Management: PFR aims for a three-year rotation for lettuce/celery crops (two years lettuce- and celery-free). Soil microbes supported by PFR's long history of soil-building may reduce sclerotia populations in the soil. In addition, soil-building likely reduces crop stress and enhances root and crop growth (lettuce yield, Fig. 12 and celery yield, Fig. 13).

Rust of Garlic and Leek (Puccinia allii)

Disease onset and trend: Garlic rust arrived in California and PFR in the mid-1990's and has damaged crops annually since that time. Garlic yields are highly variable and show an increase overall (Fig. 14), but PFR's yield goal of 400 boxes is rarely achieved due to rust-induced losses.

Management: Spatial rotation (wide separation and upwind planting of succession crops) is somewhat effective. Drip irrigation reduces leaf wetness. Rows are planted north to south. Regalia® is applied twice at a two-week interval beginning around the 4-leaf stage. Thereafter, sulfur is applied about every two weeks up until two weeks before harvest. Since 2010, garlic plantings have received from 6 to 13 sulfur applications  (Fig. 15).

Management Strategies Prevention

Pathogen exclusion is one of the most reliable disease management strategies, and several very damaging diseases have never been introduced (on seed, transplants, or equipment) to PFR, including white rot of onion and garlic (Sclerotium rolfsii) and Fusarium wilt of basil (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. basilica). PFR only buys seed, including garlic seed, from sources that screen for seedborne diseases.

Soil Building

PFR's intensive soil-building practices suppress damping-off of corn, bean, beet, and onion (Stone et al., 2004). However, the soil-building program does not appear to be contributing significantly to the control of other extremely damaging diseases such as Verticillium wilt and Fusarium basal rot, although it likely enhances root and crop growth and reduces plant stress.

Resistant Varieties

Genetic resistance is another of the most reliable disease management strategies. Selecting resistant varieties (pepper and tomato resistant to Verticillium wilt, zucchini resistant to viruses, and lettuce resistant to downy mildew) helps control what would otherwise be very economically damaging diseases at PFR. Fusarium basal rot of onion is controlled in white and yellow onions by genetic resistance, while there is no resistance in shallots. FBR was controlled to a significant degree in red onion crops by growing the resistant variety 'Mercury'. When 'Mercury' became commercially unavailable in 2012, red onion yields dropped. Red onions and shallots have an uncertain future at PFR. PFR has recently started applying sulfur very early to prevent infection of pepper, tomato, zucchini, winter squash, and carrots by powdery mildews. This method is management- and labor-intensive, and therefore expensive. Powdery mildew resistant varieties would be a far better strategy.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is the most reliable soilborne disease management strategy (Mohler and Johnson, 2009). PFR's rotation design priority is to manage critical soilborne diseases such as pink root and Fusarium basal rot of onion, Sclerotinia lettuce drop, and Phytophthora root rot of pepper. The diversity of PFR's crops and cover crops and its large scale provide PFR with more opportunities for temporal and spatial rotations than smaller and less diverse farms. The two geographically-separated ranches (Hollister/Santa Ana and San Juan Bautista) with different environmental conditions make it possible for PFR to rotate crops in space and to different environments (for example, moving an entire crop to another ranch for a period of time to avoid wind-blown pathogens, or to avoid temperatures that increase disease risk). This crop diversity has its costs—managing so many different crops and two widely-separated farms is expensive and requires exceptional management skills. Some crops are not well adapted to PFR's climate and soils, necessitating expensive inputs (such as plastic high tunnels and polyester row covers) to achieve adequate yields and acceptable quality. PFR needed to develop markets for non-shipping grade produce, causing increases in management and infrastructure costs.

Crop Scouting

Decades of regular scouting by Doug O'Brien, a PhD plant pathologist, along with diagnostic and management information support from university research and extension personnel, has helped PFR to rapidly respond to disease onset, to understand critical disease life cycles and the timing of disease onset, and to develop multi-strategy management toolboxes. In addition, O'Brien's years of scouting records and observations on how plant-growth-stage interacts with weather conditions led to preventive sulfur applications and much more effective control of powdery mildew in pepper, tomato, squashes, and carrots.

As described above, PFR hires an experienced crop consultant to scout its fields. In addition, PFR staff make all pesticide applications. This approach is very different from that of many large vegetable farms in the area, which hire integrated (scouting and application) pest management companies to provide these services. The pest management companies hire Pest Control Advisors (PCAs) to do the scouting and make pesticide recommendations. The recommended pesticides are then applied by the company applicators. Foster does not contract with a pest management company, as he thinks he gets more overall value from 1) hiring a highly-trained scout with a wide range of experience and ability who has no economic interest in whether or not a pesticide is applied; 2) making his own pest management decisions, informed by his many years of experience and input from the scout; 3) having his staff make the farm's relatively infrequent pesticide applications; and 4) absorbing both the risks and benefits of this approach. It takes years of experience and a good background in the science and practice of organic pest management to become an experienced scout, and there are not enough of them. O'Brien says that the development of technological systems that would allow him or other experienced organic scouts or PCAs to remotely observe multiple fields, while deploying lower-cost personnel and/or robotics in the fields on a frequent schedule, might result in better use of resources and improved management.

Supplemental Inputs

PFR applies no pesticides to most of its crops. However, some diseases cannot be managed without their use. Pesticides are used regularly for the management of powdery mildews; downy mildew of cucumber, onion and shallot; and garlic rust. Materials applied at PFR include sulfur products (for powdery mildews and garlic rust), Regalia® (extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis, Marrone Bio Innovations, for downy mildew of cucumber and garlic rust), and Cueva® (copper octanoate, Certis USA, for downy mildew of onion). PFR has experimented with other inputs allowed for use on organic farms, including Kaligreen® (potassium bicarbonate, Toagosei Co.), Serenade® (QST 713 strain of Bacillus subtilis; Agriquest), Sonata® (Bacillus pumilus strain QST 2808, Bayer), and neem-based materials, but these are not currently applied as the efficacy was low. Compost tea is applied regularly to many crops, but not for disease management, and no impact on severity of any disease has been observed.

IMPORTANT: Before using any pest control product in your organic farming system:

  1. Read the label to be sure that the product is labeled for the crop and pest you intend to control, and make sure it is legal to use in the state, county, or other location where it will be applied.
  2. Read and understand the safety precautions and application restrictions.
  3. Make sure that the brand name product is listed in your Organic System Plan and approved by your USDA-approved certifier. If you are trying to deal with an unanticipated pest problem, get approval from your certifier before using a product that is not listed in your plan—doing otherwise may put your certification at risk.

Note that, although OMRI and WSDA lists are good places to identify potentially useful products, all products that you use must be approved by your certifier. For more information on how to determine whether a pest control product can be used on your farm, see the related article, Can I Use This Input On My Organic Farm?

Management Failures

The few failures of PFR's disease management system (garlic rust, downy mildew of cucumber, Verticillium wilt, Fusarium basal rot) indicate the need for new and/or better strategies. Abandoning crops when disease is uncontrollable (e.g., spinach and sweet potato already abandoned; garlic, late season watermelon, Galia and Sharlyn melons, cucumber and red onions under consideration) is always an option, but one with significant negative economic and farm system design implications.

Threats to large-acreage crops, such as onions (Fusarium basal rot), endanger the long-term sustainability of PFR's entire operation. Resistant varieties are urgently needed, and must be maintained in the long term. The red onion 'Mercury' was somewhat resistant to Fusarium basal rot, but the variety was discontinued. Many crops have been bred with economically successful resistance to downy mildew, rust, Verticillium, and Fusarium. Research to bring resistance to PFR's crops would solve problems, at least in the short term. Unfortunately, the development of resistant varieties for diseases for which conventional pesticides have been available has not historically been a priority for seed companies (e.g. downy mildew of cucumber); with the growth of the organic marketplace this is changing. Techniques such as steam and anaerobic disinfestations are expensive and management intensive, and unlikely to be implemented on a farm as large as PFR. Longer-term methods that anticipate pathogens overcoming resistance, such as moving the soil microbial community towards suppression (no evidence of effectiveness for some diseases), are also needed.

References and Citations Additional Resources

 

 This article is part of the Phil Foster Ranches Organic Farm System Description. Click here to return to the overview.

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 23408

Organic Farm System: Phil Foster Ranches

mer, 2017/12/27 - 16:32

eOrganic author:

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

Organic Farm System System Overview
  • About Phil Foster Ranches and Pinnacle Brand Organic Produce
  • Farm Philosophy
  • Key Farm Design and Soil- and Habitat-Building Strategies
  • Soil Management System Overview
  • Insect Pest Management System Overview
  • Disease Management System Overview
About Phil Foster Ranches and Pinnacle Brand Organic Produce

Farmer: Phil Foster

Location: San Juan Bautista and Hollister, CA (Fig. 1. Area Map)

Crops: Mostly mixed vegetables, some fruit and nuts. Main crops are brassicas, onions, lettuce, and bell pepper.

Markets: Originally wholesale through grower agents until 1998. Currently, regional farmers markets (33%), retail to local stores (33%), and wholesale to distributors (33%) using the Pinnacle brand.

Years in organic management: Phil Foster Ranches (PFR) began in 1989 and was certified organic with California Certified Organic Farmers as of 1990. The Santa Ana Ranch (SA) in Hollister has been managed organically by PFR since 1989. The San Juan Ranch (SJ) in San Juan Bautista started in 1993 with one ranch. Additional ranches/fields were added in 1996, 2012, and 2015. All ranches were farmed conventionally prior to PFR's management and then transitioned to organic.

Total farm acreage: 200 acres in Hollister (Santa Ana Ranch), 95 acres in San Juan Bautista (San Juan Ranch).

Cropped acreage: 176 acres at SA, 85 acres at SJ. With double cropping, SA produces about 200 acres of crops per year, SJ about 125.

Landscape design: PFR is comprised of two ranches, each broken into numerous blocks and sub-blocks mostly of identical length and width. Fields are generally surrounded by roads or lightly-managed vegetation, consisting primarily of non-native weedy annuals, perennials, black walnuts, and native oaks. Several long, mixed-perennial hedgerows divide farm blocks. The San Juan Ranch is surrounded by conventional vegetable production, organic cane berries, and cattle grazing. The Santa Ana Ranch is surrounded by cattle grazing, dry-farmed hay, and organic-pastured goats and chickens.(Fig. 2 Santa Ana Ranch Map and Fig. 3 San Juan Bautista Ranch Map, Fig. 4.Habitat Map). 

Regional agricultural production: San Benito County's 2013 gross agricultural production was $330,402,000, with 70% from vegetable production and 30% from cattle, fruit, nuts and poultry.

Climate and soils: PFR's climate is semiarid (12 to 15 inches of precipitation) with a frost-free growing season of 275 days. Average last frost is early April, and average first frost is in November. Most precipitation falls between November and March. Summer temperatures reach the high 90s in Hollister and high 80s in San Juan Bautista. Winter lows are regularly several degrees below freezing at both ranches, but Hollister has some higher ground to the east which can be almost frost-free. Strong northwest afternoon winds are common, particularly in San Juan Bautista and during the summer. Soils on each ranch vary, but are mostly classified as capability class I and II by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and rated as "good" for agricultural use (Fig. 5: Santa Ana Ranch Soils Map, Fig. 6: San Juan Bautista Ranch Soils Map).

Farm Philosophy

Rather than treating specific crops, problems, or pests, PFR supports natural nutrient and biological control cycles, builds soil organic matter, manages ecological relationships, and minimizes off-farm inputs. Inquisitiveness and experimentation are key to the success of PFR, and new things are tried every year. PFR devotes considerable resources to on-farm research, both internal and in cooperation with university research and extension personnel. Each year, PFR hosts variety trials in cooperation with the local seed industry. Since 1997, pest management specialist and plant pathologist Doug O'Brien, PhD has scouted PFR fields three times per week.

Building community among employees and customers is a key goal. Profit sharing, above-industry wages, health care, and a commitment to team building means that a mostly long-term, year-round workforce is caring for the farm. PFR sales focus on the local community as much as possible, with a weekly farm stand and several farmers markets. Foster chooses the best-tasting crop varieties rather than the best yielding or most attractive. PFR has a strong commitment to sustainability, and practices water and energy conservation (see http://pinnacleorganic.com).

None of the above would be possible if the business was not profitable in the short and long term. PFR pays close attention to personnel management and retention, crop management, recordkeeping, marketing, and food safety to ensure long term profitability and sustainability.

Key Farm Design and Soil- and Habitat-Building Strategies
  • Incorporation of cover crops: provides organic matter and nutrients, crop diversity, and disease and insect suppression, as well as keeping the soil covered year-round while providing shelter and blooms for natural enemies
  • Compost made on the farm
  • Reduced tillage: contributes to the maintenance of soil quality
  • Crop rotation (spatially and temporally), including between two widely-separated ranches
  • Conservation biological control: perennial and annual flowering plants that provide shelter and interspersed season-long bloom for natural enemies
  • Foliar and soil amendments and fertilizers, applied according to crop needs and as determined by ongoing soil testing
  • Intensive crop scouting and farm-developed action thresholds to minimize use of off-farm pest management inputs

     

Soil Management System: Build Soil to Support Natural Nutrient Cycles and Grow High-Yielding, High-Quality, Flavorful Crops

PFR's goal is to optimize soil organic matter (SOM) and plant nutrients, minimize off-farm inputs, reduce tillage, support a diverse soil microbial community, improve alkalinity and salinity, and provide habitat for natural enemies. The soil management system (Soil Table 1) includes:

  • Cover crops to add organic matter and nitrogen, and to provide constant plant and root cover and diversity
  • Reduced tillage to improve soil quality
  • Annual compost addition to increase soil quality, microbial activity, and fertility
  • Regular addition of gypsum to manage pH, salinity and crusting

     

Since 1989, PFR has achieved most of its target soil health metrics, including increases in SOM of about 100% and 50% at Santa Ana and San Juan Bautista, respectively; a substantial increase in CEC (Santa Ana); mostly optimal levels of nitrate-nitrogen; adequate levels of potassium and copper; high levels of calcium and sulfur; and increased calcium as a percentage of cation balance. PFR has also maintained soluble salts levels below those that cause plant injury (Soil Table 2). Targets yet to be achieved include higher CEC (San Juan Bautista), lower phosphorus content, decreased magnesium as a percentage of cation balance, lower pH, and higher soil contents of iron, manganese and zinc.

Insect Pest Management System: Maximize Ecological Function and Minimize Off-Farm Inputs

PFR's goal is to design and manage a farming system that suppresses insect pests and requires few external inputs. PFR creates habitat for biological control organisms (e.g., insect predators and parasites, birds, bats, soil and foliar microorganisms) and also practices spatial rotation. The insect pest management system includes both system-wide and pest-specific strategies. System-wide strategies include:

  • Native habitat on field margins to enhance biological control organisms, such as birds and insect predators/parasites
  • Increased in- and around-field plant diversity to enhance biological control organisms, such as birds and insect predators/parasites
  • Insectary plants as rows within the crop (normally 1 bed/12 beds of crop), or as individuals (one every 50 sq. ft.): white alyssum, Dhani-ya cilantro (a rapidly-flowering coriander grown on the farm, not commercially available), regular cilantro, and white dill. (PFR is experimenting with pelleted alyssum that could be direct-seeded with lettuce or broccoli. Insectaries are planted in most crops except onions, shallots, and garlic. Insectary plant species vary with crop and time of year to match insectary flowering with plant phenology.)
  • Hedgerows: native woody perennial shrubs and small trees planted along roads (installed in the 1990s; trimmed with a tractor-mounted hedgerow trimmer)
  • Summer and winter cover crops
  • Compost tea applications to enhance or supplement Pandora entomopathic fungi for management of cabbage aphids
  • Reduced-tillage equipment (spader)
  • Crop placement and timing, including spatial management (e.g. planting serial plantings upwind)
  • Row cover to protect crops from root maggots, flea beetles, bagrada bugs, and cucumber beetles
  • Four-bed insect vacuum
  • Regular field scouting and farm-developed action thresholds for insecticide applications
  • Reduction in the use of insecticides and preferential use of materials with little or no impact on beneficial insects

Overall, crop yield and quality losses to insects decreased from 1989 through 2013, according to Foster and O'Brien. This observation is supported by reduced insecticide use documented in pesticide records, good crop yields documented in yield records, and insect pest severity documented in crop-scouting records.

Many insects common to the Monterey Bay area were never, or are no longer, significant; e.g., wire worm (Family Elateridae), root maggots (Delia spp.), turnip aphid (Lipaphis erysimi), squash bugs (Anasa tristis), potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), and lettuce aphid (Nasonovia ribis-nigri)). Others are now managed successfully, so damage almost always falls within economically tolerable levels, such as tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella), tarnished plant bug (Lygus hesperus), black bean aphid (Aphis fabae), onion thrips (Thrips tabaci), and cabbage worms [Imported Cabbage Worm (Pieris rapae), Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella) and cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni)]. A few cause yield losses in most years, occasionally with a very significant economic impact: corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea), cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae), spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata), striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vitatum), and brassica flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp. and/or Systena blanda).

Disease Management System: Create Conditions Unfavorable for Pathogens

PFR's goal is to avoid disease through system design, soil building, cultural practices, supplemental inputs, intensive crop scouting, accurate disease diagnosis, and recordkeeping. The emphasis is on prevention. Strategies are both system-wide (Disease Table 1) and disease-specific (Disease Table 2). Key practices include: 

  • Resistant varieties
  • Crop Rotation (See Disease Table 2)
  • Soil building to improve soil quality and suppress damping off
  • Soil amendments to maintain balanced crop growth
  • Irrigation management to reduce conditions favorable to pathogens
  • Intensive, regular crop scouting to identify problems early
  • Timely application of disease-management materials
  • Good recordkeeping to aid in management decisions

PFR's disease management system has been mostly effective. Many diseases common to the Monterey Bay area do not occur, or are sporadic and inconsequential. Several diseases are effectively managed. Four diseases remain chronic problems: garlic rust; downy mildew of cucumber; Verticillium wilt of watermelon; and Fusarium basal rot of onion, garlic, and shallot.

Read more about the Phil Foster Ranches disease management system and outcomes here.

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

eOrganic 23402

Phil Foster Ranches Disease Tables and Figures

mer, 2017/12/27 - 16:32

eOrganic author:

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

This article is part of the Phil Foster Ranches Disease Management System Description

Contents

Table 1. Disease Management System: Phil Foster Ranches, 1989-2014    Strategies and tools Implementation details I. System design   Landscape and field design  Farm has ranches at two locations with different temperature and moisture regimes (Santa Ana has insufficient water). Fields designed with aspect and airflow in mind. Rows oriented N-S whenever possible.  Resistant/resilient germplasm Whenever possible, varieties selected for disease resistance.  Rotation Crop rotation rules (Table 2). Pathogen exclusion Use of disease-free planting materials. Disease-destructive composting methods. Equipment sanitation. II. Soil building for disease management   Soil quality (soil physical, chemical, and biological properties)  Organic amendments, cover cropping and reduced tillage improve soil physical properties (suppress soil moisture-related diseases) and soil biological properties (suppress damping-off).  Organic residue decomposition Time, tillage, and irrigation speeds up crop residue decomposition before direct-seeded, susceptible crops such as onion, sweet corn, bean. Nitrogen supply matched to crop need Much crop N supplied by OM mineralization; relatively low quantities of supplemental fertilizer N applied as appropriate for each crop. III. Cultural strategies   Drying of foliage and fruit  A. Drip irrigation: to avoid foliar and fruit wetting. B. Wide plant spacing: for crops such as lettuce and tomato to reduce humidity. Pruning in tomatoes.  C. High tunnels to shed rain and prevent dew. D. Black plastic to prevent fruit/soil contact in peppers and cucumbers. Overhead irrigation  On drip-irrigated peppers and carrots: eliminates the need for at least one sulfur spray targeted at powdery mildew. Crop stress Insect and weed pests controlled to minimize crop stress and wounding. Crops appropriately fertilized to avoid fertilization-induced diseases. IV. Diagnosis, monitoring, recordkeeping, and decision-making    Disease diagnosis No guessing: good samples are regularly provided to extension professionals for lab diagnosis. Crops scouting Scouting for disease occurs 2-3 times weekly. Rapid response to first symptoms (eg. downy mildew in onions, Septoria in celery). Recordkeeping Scouting records include disease onset, incidence and severity. Data-based management decisions Location of soilborne diseases used for rotation planning. Thresholds for disease management materials are developed from monitoring records. Records of timing of disease initiation used to time preventive applications. V. Supplemental inputs   Inputs Pesticides are appplied to very few crops (examples: sulfur for powdery mildews, Regalia for downy mildew of cucumber).  Goal is to learn when and why diseases start so materials can be applied preventively.

Table 2: Rotation Guidelines at Phil Foster Ranches, 1989-2015  Rule Adoption Reason Efficacy Temporal Rotation: Soilborne Disease Management Alliums: 5 years out Always Control of Fusarium basal rot and pink root of onions Effective for pink root but only somewhat effective for Fusarium basal rot. Corn is alternate host for pink root. Lettuce: 2-4 years out Always Controls Sclerotinia lettuce drop (2 yrs), and Anthracnose of lettuce (4 yrs) Prickly lettuce is alternative host for Anthracnose, so this rotation is not 100% effective. Solanaceae: 3-4 years out Always Helps manage Phytophthora root rot of pepper Not effective for Verticillium wilt of potato Cucurbitaceae: 3 years out Always Controls diseases such as angular leaf spot Not effective for Verticillium wilt of melon and watermelon Brassicaceae: 2 years out Always Controls clubroot Effective in combination with soil pH>7.2 No successive planting of the same crop family  Almost always (a) Beet cyst nematode vs. brassicas and the chard family. We try to keep these plant families out of the SJ block that has cyst nematode; (b) Fusarium root rots   No successive planting of the same crop Always Controls Septoria of celery Effective for Septoria No successive planting of monocots Always Reduces risk of diseases that affect grasses/cereals and alliums (e.g. Phoma terrestris, pink root of onion http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r584100711.html) Likely helpful Specific Disease-Suppressive Pre-Crop Rotation: Soilborne Disease Management Broccoli crop before crops susceptible to Verticillium Tried and abandoned Broccoli pre-crops have been shown to suppress Verticillium wilt in subsequent crops Seems ineffective against Verticillium wilt of watermelon. Multiple crops of broccoli before watermelon has been recommended but neither tried nor practical

Oat or sudangrass crop before crops susceptible to Verticillium Tried and abandoned Oats and Sudan are non-hosts of Verticillium: avoids further inoculum increase Ineffective against Verticillium wilt on all susceptible crops Spatial Rotation: Airborne Disease Management Widely separate successive crop blocks from each other (spatial rotation)  Almost always: for specific crops and time periods Wind-spread disease propagules contact close targets more often than targets further away Seems to be helpful for crops with a significant susceptibility to an endemic wind-spread disease: garlic rust, downy mildew of cucumber Plant crops on different ranches (different climates), seasonally Always, for specific crops Weather-susceptible diseases may be reduced or encouraged by temperature, humidity and rainfall Seems to be helpful for crops with a known susceptibility to an endemic wind-spread disease: powdery mildew of carrot and fennel, garlic rust, downy mildew of lettuce and onion Plant successive blocks of the same crop upwind Always, for specific crops Wind and rain-spread disease propagules may be blown away from younger blocks Seems to be helpful for crops with a known susceptibility to an endemic wind-spread disease: powdery mildew of carrot and fennel, downy mildew of lettuce and onion Environment-based Rotation: Soilborne Disease Management Avoid high-risk disease environments Always, for specific crops and diseases Avoid planting potatoes and red onion into warm soils to minimize Verticillium wilt and Fusarium basal rot, respectively; avoid planting beets into cool soils to avoid damping off Somewhat effective Figures

Fig 1

Figure. 1. Highest disease severity score observed each year for Phytophthora root rot of pepper. From scouting records, Phil Foster Ranches, 1990’s-2014. Scoring scale ranged from 1 (very light damage, very few plants) to 5 (heavy damage, many plants).

 

Fig 2

Figure 2: Highest disease severity score recorded each year for anthracnose of lettuce. From scouting records, Phil Foster Ranches, 1998-2014. Scoring scale ranged from 1 (very light damage, very few plants) to 5 (heavy damage, many plants). Anthracnose occurs only in Santa Ana and only in the earliest lettuce plantings (plantings 1-3).

 

Figure 3

Figure 3: Spinach yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1994-2014. PFR adopted new downy mildew resistant varieties as they became available. Resistant varieties increased yields for one to several years, after which the pathogen overcame the resistance and yields declined. PFR ceased growing spinach in 2012.

 

Figure 4

Figure 4: Severity of Verticillium wilt at Phil Foster Ranches 1997-2014.

 

Figure 5

Figure 5: Watermelon yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1997-2014.

 

Figure 6

Figure 6: Cantaloupe yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1997-2014.

 

Figure 7

Figure 7: Highest disease severity score recorded each year for Fusarium basal rot of onion. From scouting records, Phil Foster Ranches, 1997-2014. Scoring scale ranged from 1 (very light damage, very few plants) to 5 (heavy damage, many plants).

 

Figure 8

Figure 8:  Red onion yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1997-2014.

 

Figure 9

Figure 9: Cucumber yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1994-2014.

 

 Figure 10

Figure 10: Pepper Yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1994-2014.

 

 Figure 11a

Figure 11a:  The highest number of sulfur applications to a pepper planting (for powdery mildew; later plantings typically receive more applications than earlier plantings) per year at Phil Foster Ranches, 2002-2015. Pepper powdery mildew is controlled by sulfur applications initiated before pathogen infection (see 11b).

 

 Fig 11b

Figure 11b:  Date of the first sulfur spray each year for control of powdery mildew of pepper at Phil Foster Ranches, 1995-2013.

 

Figure 12 

Figure 12: Lettuce yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1994-2014.

 

 Figure 13

Figure 13: Celery yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1994-2014.

 

 Figure 14

Figure 14: Garlic yield at Phil Foster Ranches, 1994-2014. The yield target of 400 boxes per acre is rarely achieved as rust suppresses yield.

 

Figure 15

Figure 15: Average number of annual sulfur applications to a garlic planting for the control of garlic rust. Despite these applications, rust continues to suppress garlic yields.

 

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 23413

Seed Economics Intensive at the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference

jeu, 2017/12/14 - 16:15

Join eOrganic at the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference for a live broadcast of the Seed Economics Intensive! It takes place on Wednesday, February 14th, and starts at 9AM Pacific Time (10 Mountain, 11 Central, Noon Eastern), and runs until 4PM Pacific with a break for lunch. You can attend the entire day, or come and go as you wish from wherever you are! It's free, and advance registration is required.

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

About the Seed Economics Intensive

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

Speakers

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

About the Organic Seed Growers Conference

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

System Requirements

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

 

 

 

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

eOrganic 24169

Organic Tomato Foliar Pathogen IPM Webinar

mar, 2017/12/12 - 15:41

Join eOrganic for webinar on how to manage foliar pathogens organically! Effectively managing foliar pathogens is one of the biggest challenges facing organic tomato growers. This webinar will provide an overview of practices that can help synergistically address this challenge. Topics will include starting with a strong foundation by building and maintaining soil health, selecting the right varieties, cultural practices that make the environment less favorable for pathogens, disease identification and management using organic fungicides. The webinar takes place on March 21, 2018 at 2PM Eastern Time, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific. It's free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. 

Register now at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2084653542898832897

Presenters: Dr. Dan Egel, Vegetable Pathology Extension Specialist, Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University; Dr. Lori Hoagland, Associate Professor, Dept. of Horticulture, Purdue University; Dr. Amit-Kum Jaiswal, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Horticulture, Purdue University

System Requirements

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

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

eOrganic 24154

Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Manage Risk for Organic and Specialty Crop Producers

mar, 2017/12/12 - 12:55

Join eOrganic for a 2-part webinar on how to conduct on-farm variety trials to reduce risk on organic and specialty crop farms. The goal of this two-part webinar series is to provide horticultural crop and small grain growers with the skills and information necessary to conduct effective on-farm trials, and manage risk in crop variety and seed sourcing decisions. These webinars include new perspectives from organic certifiers, updated methods for conducting simple and effective on-farm trials, and an introduction to new user-friendly online data analysis tools. This webinar series is open to all, but most appropriate for growers with at least two seasons of production experience. The webinars take place on March 20 and April 11, 2018, and they are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Register just once to attend both webinars at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8859858486902985985

About the Webinars

Identifying optimum genetics through variety trials is an important risk management tool for organic producers. Well-suited varieties provide farmers with crops that perform optimally in particular climatic and management conditions, withstand pest and pathogen pressure, and meet market demands. These webinars are offered through a collaboration between Organic Seed Alliance, University of Wisconsin- Madison, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. 

Webinar 1: Trial planning, planting, and management. March 20, 2018

This webinar will introduce farmers to the practice of variety trialing, detailing the reasons one might choose to conduct trials and how to plan a trial with a scope, scale, and focus appropriate to the growers’ needs. This session will also cover seed sourcing, and important considerations for trial planting and management.

Webinar 2: Trial evaluation, analysis, and interpreting results. April 11, 2018

This webinar will focus on record-keeping and trial evaluation, as well as analysis and interpretation of final results. This session will introduce participants to some intuitive techniques for keeping data organized, and user-friendly online tools to aid in analyzing information collected and drawing conclusions from trial results.

About the Presenters

Micaela Colley is the Program Director of the Organic Seed Alliance. She leads OSA’s research and education programs focused on organic seed production and organic plant breeding.

Dr. Julie Dawson,Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin- Madison. She is Assistant Professor for Urban and Regional Food Systems in the Department of Horticulture at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on variety trialling and breeding for organic systems in the upper Midwest.

Jared Zystro, Research and Education Assistance Director, Organic Seed Alliance. Jared manages regional organic seed system development in California, conducts participatory breeding projects and variety trials, and teaches farmers about seed production and plant breeding at workshops, conference, and field days, and collaborates on other projects throughout the country.

Kitt Healy, Midwest Research and Education Associate, Organic Seed Alliance. Kitt manages OSA’s research and education programming in the Midwest region, and is an outreach associate in Dr. Julie Dawson’s lab at UW-Madison.

This material is funded in partnership by USDA, Risk Management Agency, under award number RM17RMEPP522C027/4500075447.

System Requirements

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

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

eOrganic 24153

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