November 2016

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Organic Transition Workshops in Minnesota

Registration is open for a series of Transitioning to Organic Workshops,in Lamberton, St. Cloud, and Rochester, MN, organized by the Principles for Transitioning to Organic Farming project.These FREE, one-day workshops are for both producers who are seeking more information about organic transitioning and certification, and farmers currently going through the process of transitioning to organic production. These workshops will be primarily directed to field crop producers, but all are welcome. Download a flyer for more information about the workshops here. Space is limited for these workshops. Registration is required by November 22. Register by Clicking Here. For more information, please contact Constance Carlson by email: or phone: 612-301-1678.

Building on the information and feedback from last year’s workshops, 2016 topics include business plan development and marketing, understanding soil microbes, weed biology, and mechanical weed management. Experienced organic farmer, Carmen Fernholz, will be returning to present and field questions. Our team from the University of Minnesota – Kristine Moncada, Adria Fernandez, Gigi Digiacomo and Constance Carlson – will join him as presenters. The Transitioning to Organic workshops are designed to reduce confusion, answer questions, and most importantly, provide guidance for navigating the process of transitioning to organic production.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Research Updates

Members of the Organic Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila project, which is funded by NIFA OREI, recently updated their lists of host plants. You can also read updates from their ongoing multi-state research activities, for example a spray trial of 4 different treatments in Minnesota, and blog posts by project members Hannah Burrack and Lauren Diepenbrock of NCSU, who have been posting information on weekly trap counts, how to calibrate sprayers for use against SWD, and a summary of SWD infestation in blackberry canes in their region. Find the blog posts here and find all research updates for the Spotted Wing Drosophila project here:

Cucurbit Pest and Disease Webinars

Recently, we hosted a webinar on cucurbit viruses that are transmitted by aphids, by John Murphy of Auburn University (find the recording here). We'll be presenting 2 more webinars on cucurbit pests and diseases this coming winter, and you can register at the links below.

eOrganic seeking volunteers

Thanks to Our Volunteers! eOrganic relies on a core of volunteers to conduct blind peer reviews of our articles and other content, staff conference and event exhibits, and compose important content of interest to the organic farming community – we greatly appreciate all of you who have volunteered your time and expertise! A special thank you goes to Andrew Sandeen, PennState Extension educator, for his time for reviewing our eOrganic dairy course, On the Ground: A Closer Look at Organic Dairy Pasture, Forages, and Soils. If you have an interest in helping us with peer review of this course or other content, let us know. We are currently also recruiting volunteers to help staff eOrganic exhibit at several winter conferences including: MOSES 2017: Feb. 23-25, La Crosse, WI. Contact Debra Heleba at

Farming Conferences

These are just some of the manyconferences happening this winter that provide learning opportunities about organic farming reserach and practices--and the chance to connect with others.

  • Nov 30-Dec 2, 2016: Women in Agriculture conference, Portland, OR: The 5th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture will bring together farmers, educators, technical assistance providers and activists engaged in healthy food and farming to share educational and organization strategies, build technical and business skills, and address policy issues aimed at expanding the success of women farmers and ranchers. Register is still open at
  • Jan 25-28, 2017: EcoFarm, Pacific Grove, CA: The mission of the Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) is to nurture healthy, just, and ecologically sustainable farms, food systems, and communities by bringing people together for education, alliance building, advocacy, and celebration. Register at
  • Jan 25-26, 2017: Organic Agriculture Research Symposium, Lexington, KY. Find out more about this conference at This is a pre-conference event for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference. Register at
  • Jan 25-28, 2017: Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) Conference, Lexington, KY. For over 25 years the Southern SAWG Annual Conference has been providing the practical tools and solutions you need at our annual conference. It is the must-attend event for those serious about sustainable and organic farming and creating more vibrant community food systems, Register at
  • Feb 2-4, 2017: Organicology Conference, Portland, OR: Organicology offers the newest research and education tracks, while offering ample time to celebrate and network.The 2017 curriculum is designed was to engage a wide variety of stakeholders, from farmers/farm laborers, processors, distributors and brokers, to retailers, nonprofits, service providers, educators/researchers, certifiers, and eaters. Register at
  • Feb 23-25, 2017: MOSES Organic Farming Conference, La Crosse, WI: The MOSES conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming, offering 65 workshops over 6 sessions, inspiring keynotes, engaging Roundtables, and a resource-packed Exhibit Hall with over 170 vendors. Registration opens on December 1st. Learn more at

New Biodiversity Resources

  • Wild Farm Alliance publications: eOrganic recently hosted a webinar on How to Implement Biodiversity Conservation on Organic Farms, by Jo Ann Baumgartner of the Wild Farm Alliance and John Quinn of Furman University. The recording is now posted here, but we also wanted to spread the word about some new publications for organic farmers and certifiers about biodiversity, organic certification and food safety which are now available on the Wild Farm Alliance website at:
  • Oregon Tilth Lessons Learned: Biodiversity and Birds on Organic Farms: Oregon Tilth has published information on the value of birds on organic farms for pest management and what farmers can do to create and maintain on-farm habitat for birds . Learn more at

eOrganic Mission and Resources

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

eOrganic Resources

Find all eOrganic articles, videos and webinars at

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Published November 1, 2016

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.