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

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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 This webinar will present new information. Read an article and watch a video about the topic at 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, 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!

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Published March 16, 2018

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.