June 2017

New eOrganic Video on Ancient Grains: Emmer, Einkorn and Spelt

Learn about growing and dehulling the "ancient" grains emmer, einkorn and spelt in this new video created by members of the NIFA OREI funded research project Value Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems. Learn about planting rates and nutrient requirements, as well as seeding and dehulling equipment. Watch the video here, and check out additional archived webinars about ancient grains on the eOrganic YouTube channel.

New Spotted Wing Drosophila Publications

New publications on the organic management of Spotted Wing Drosophila are available from a multi-state NIFA OREI research project that is researching ways to control this invasive pest. Many of these publications are open-access, so you can read them in full without a journal subscription. Learn about using high tunnels and exclusion netting to reduce SWD in raspberries,  the effect of non-nutritive sugars, the effect of border sprays and between-row tillage, and more here. Find the publications at https://eorganic.info/spottedwingorganic/resources.

New Soil Health, Weed Management and Conservation Tillage Guides

The Organic Farming Research Foundation offers three new and informative guides on soil health, weed management  and conservation tillage in organic farming systems. Topics covered include how to enhance soil organic matter, weed management tools that reduce the need for soil disturbance, and soil-friendly tillage practices. They also include reviews of USDA funded organic research, future research priorities, and scientific literature references. All three guides will download free of charge at this link, and additional guides on cover crops, plant breeding, water management and quality, and nutrient management will be available soon.

Farm Volunteers and Interns Guide

A new guide--published by Farm Commons, a non-profit that provides farmers and the agricultural community with legal education—provides insights and strategies to help farmers reduce liability risks related to interns and volunteers. “Managing the Risks of Interns and Volunteers,” is available for free download on the Farm Commons website at: https://farmcommons.org/resources-search. You will need to create an account first in order to download the guide. The Farm Commons site also has state-specific guides for Pennsylvania, Vermont, and New Hampshire that discuss intern and volunteer issues specific to those states.

Organic Seed Trials and Selection Webinar

The second webinar in this year's Organic Seed Production Webinar Series will take place on June 16th. This webinar will cover the basics of conducting on-farm variety trials including sourcing germplasm, field plot design, trial evaluation, and making sense of the data. Presenters will also cover basics of field selection or roguing to improve performance of open pollinated seed crops. Register once for this free webinar and you can attend any or all of the webinars in the series which take place once a month through October. The series is organized by the Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture. Register here.

New SARE Toolkit Helps Plan On-Farm Field Days

‘Tis the season for on-farm field days, demonstrations, and other farm events. To help researchers, educators, and farmers alike plan and conduct on-farm events, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) has developed a new publication, the Farmer Field Day Toolkit. The Toolkit is an online, comprehensive resource of step-by-step instructions, timelines, and downloadable tools and templates for planning and hosting a successful event. Plus, users will learn the ins and outs of working with the media, creating press releases and PSAs, generating public interest, capturing the event with video and sharing it online. Learn more and/or download a free copy of the Farmer Field Day Toolkit at: http://www.sare.org/Grants/Farmer-Field-Day-Toolkit.

Farm Field Days

The farm field day season is underway, and many land grant universities and organic education and certification organizations offer a variety of opportunities to learn about organic farming in person. Here is a very small sampling of some of the many field days that are happening around the country:

Training Webinar for Organic Certified Handlers

On June 14, 2017 at 1-2PM Eastern Time, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is holding a one-hour training webinar for organic handlers. The topic is Organic Integrity in the Supply Chain. Organic handlers play a vital role in the global organic control system, which includes strict production standards; accreditation of certifiers; certification of farmers, processors and handlers; and enforcement. AMS has identified violations of organic regulations involving shipments of soybeans and corn entering the U.S. and enforcement actions are underway. We are investigating other evidence related to other shipments of soybeans and corn. To help guard the integrity of organic imports, this training webinar focuses on the role of organic system plans and recordkeeping systems in ensuring organic integrity of imports, and highlights critical control points that will be audited during inspections. Register at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/wdqfaqcl01c2&eom

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Published July 24, 2017

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.