October 2018

New eOrganic articles

eOrganic organized a Planned Oral Session and Student Article Competition at the American Society for Horticultural Science Conference in August. Three of the winning articles appeared in our September newsletter, and the remainig two have now been published:

Options for Including Cover Crops in High Tunnel Rotations in the Northern United States, submitted by Charlotte Thurston of the University of Minnesota. Learn about using cover crops in high tunnels to improve soil health, as well as some challenges and management considerations.

Food Hub Feasibility in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley: Interviews with Conventional and Organic Small and Mid-Sized Farmers, submitted by Eliza Smith of Oregon State University. Researchers conducted inteviews and surveys to assess the potential of implementing a food hub, and learned about the importance of assessing the needs and concerns of farmers, as well as consumer demand for local products.  

New eOrganic webinars in Fall/Winter 2018-9

Register now for the many upcoming webinars this season. In addition to several ongoing webinar series that we are conducting in partnership with the Organic Farming Research Foundation on soil health we are also offering two new webinars from the eOrganic dairy team, a webinar on identifying birds on farms, and two webinars on risk management. We'll be adding more webinars throughout the winter and will keep you posted so that you can reserve your spot! Register for any of the webinars at the links below or find them all listed at Webinars by eOrganic.

Soil Health and Organic Farming Webinar Series. Attend as many of these soil health webinars as you wish with one registration. The next one is on November 14, on Plant Genetics, Plant Breeding and Variety Selection. Archived presentations of past webinars in this series can be found at the webinar registration link page above and on the eOrganic YouTube channel as a playlist.

Organic Farming and Soil Health in the Western U.S. Webinar Series: Attend as many of these Western U.S. webinars as you wish with one registration. The first one is on October 24, on Ecologial Nutrient Management for Organic Production in the Western Region.

Molasses as the Primary Source of Energy for Grazing Dairy Cows, on December 11, by Kathy Soder, USDA ARS

Grass-Fed Dairy: Opportunities and Challeges in this Rapidly Growing Market, on December 12, by Heather Darby, University of Vermont and Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting

Identifying Birds on the Farm, on January 15 by Olivia Smith, Washington State University

Lower Financial Risk by Increasing Soil Health, on January 16 by Mark Schonbeck ,Organic Farming Research Foundation.

Hail Can Happen: Insurance Options for Organic Farms, by Michael Stein, Organic Farming Research Foundation

Organic Transition Resources for Educators

The University of Minnesota and partners on the Organic Transition Project are excited to announce the release of a new set of online learning materials. Intended for farmers in transition or considering transitioning, as well as students, educators, and agricultural professionals, these materials provide up-to-date and accurate information with an Upper Midwest emphasis, and are designed to help overcome the challenges and mitigate the risks associated with transitioning to organic farming. The full set of free online materials and resources is available at http://organictransition.umn.edu.

The project explores production, marketing, and regulatory topics through interactive educational modules and decision case studies. Modules focus on the fundamentals of organic farming practices and transition. Important production topics covered include rotation, soil fertility, and weed and pest management. Marketing and regulatory modules cover finding and accessing markets, organic certification and record-keeping, and preventing GMO contamination. Decision case studies engage learners through open-ended narratives that highlight real-life dilemmas that organic and transitioning farmers from the Upper Midwest have faced, from deciding whether to transition livestock to confronting persistent weeds or pesticide drift.

The Organic Transition Project team includes members from University of Minnesota, the Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, and eOrganic. Our project was funded by USDA-NIFA.

New Roasted Barley Tea Research Bulletin

Last year, the NIFA OREI funded project Multi-Use Naked Barley for Organic Systems posted a bulletin about how to prepare roasted barley tea. This year, a new bulletin explores the effects of variety and method of preparation on roasted barley tea flavor. Learn about results of experiments and sensory evaluations with different naked barley genotypes conducted in 2018 with a new roasting system and different methods of brewing. Find them both at https://eorganic.info/node/23566

NIFA 2018 Organic Research Grant Awards

NIFA recently announced 25 grants that support farmers and ranchers grow and market high quality organic food, fiber, and other products through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions Program (ORG). Fifteen OREI grants totaling $17 million helps fund research, education, and extension projects to improve yields, quality, and profitability for producers and processors who have adopted organic standards.Ten ORG grants totaling $4.48 million supports research, education, and extension efforts to help existing and transitioning organic livestock and crop producers adopt organic practices and improve their market competitiveness. eOrganic is proud to be parterning with the following newly funded projects  to inform you about their findings with publicly available articles, videos, webinars and websites!  Learn more about these and other 2018 NIFA OREI projects here and NIFA ORG projects here.

  • Catalyzing an Open-Community Research and Education Program to Leverage the MIcrobiome for the Advancement of Organic Livestock Production, Using Mastitis as a Test Case. University of Minnesota. Principal Investigator: Noelle Noyes. 
  • Creep Stop: Integrating Biological, Cultural and Mechanical/Physical Tools for Long-term Suppression of Creeping Perennial Weeds in Northern Great Plains and Pacific Northwest Cropping Systems. Montana State University. Principal Investigator: Pat Carr.
  • Northern Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) 3. Oregon State University. Principal Investigator: James Myers.
  • Development and IMplementation of Biological Control Tactics for Key Vegetable Insect Pests in the Southeastern U.S. Clemson University. Principal Investigator: Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris.
  • The Organic Grain Conference: Building a Nexus of Collaboration for Organic Farmers, Industry Experts and Researchers. The Land Connection Foundation. Principal Investigator: Mallory Krieger. 
  • Furthering the Development and Implementation of Systems-Based Organic Management Strategies for Spotted Wing Drosophila. University of Georgia. Principal Investigator: Ash Sial. 
  • Advancing Grass-fed Dairy: A Whole Systems Approach to Enhancing Productivity, Quality and Farm Viability in the U.S. University of Vermont. Principal Investigator: Heather Darby.

Publicize Your Organic Research in the eOrganic Newsletter

Our newsletter reaches approximately 12,000 subscribers, many of whom are actively involved in organic production, research, education and agricultural services. Our goal is to foster information sharing within the organic research and outreach community, so if you have organic farming research and extension publications that are publicly available, that you would like to share with a wider audience please let us know. We also publish articles on our public website at http://extension.org/organic_production and videos on the eOrganic YouTube channel that are peer reviewed and checked for organic certification compliance. If you are interested in submitting an article, 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

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Published October 23, 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.