February 2019

February eOrganic webinars

There's still time to register for these free online learning opportunities! All eOrganic webinars take place at 11AM Pacific Time, 12 Mountain, 1 Central, 2 Eastern.

February 6: Lower Financial Risk by Increasing Soil Health, Mark Schonbeck, OFRF. Building soil health through improved crop rotations, cover cropping, organic soil amendments, and other organic practices can improve yield stability and reduce risks of losses to drought, temperature extremes, weeds, and other stresses. Farmer experience and research have shown that healthy soil is the best form of crop insurance. Based on organic agricultural research and producer experience, this webinar will explore how several key soil health practices can reduce risks during organic transition and organic production. Register

February 19: Breaking Bad Habits: Integrating Crop Diversity into High Tunnel Production Systems,Cary Rivard, Kansas State University. High tunnel production has continued to grow in the midwest providing an engine for local food production. However, many growers choose to utilize these structures primarily (or even exclusively) for tomato production leading to very little room for crop rotation. At K-State, we have been working on research projects to determine the feasibility of high tunnels for other high-value crops like strawberries, sweet potato slips, melons, and others in addition to cover cropping strategies for high tunnel growers. During this presentation, we will explore some of these options and discuss different strategies for incorporating diversity into high tunnel production.Register

February 20: Nutrient Management for Crops, Soil and the Environment, Mark Schonbeck OFRF. This webinar includes a discussion of the role of soil health and the soil food web, including practical guidelines for optimizing crop nutrition, minimizing adverse environmental impacts of organic fertility inputs, and adapting soil test-based nutrient recommendations (especially N) for organic systems Part of the soil health and organic farming webinar series organized by the OFRF and funded by the Clarence Heller Foundation. Webinar

February 27: Selecting and Managing Cover Crops for Organic Farming in the Western Region. Mark Schonbeck, OFRF and Eric Brennan, USDA ARS. This webinar will discuss best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for optimum soil health and organic cash crop production in the Western Region. We will explore in greater depth the special challenges that farmers face in adding cover crops to dryland cereal grain rotations and other moisture-limited cropping systems.Register

New eOrganic Article

Comparing Tomato Varieties under Organic High Tunnel and Open Field Management in the North Central Region, by Terry Hodge, Kitt Healy, Brian Emerson and Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Researchers evaluated 15 different tomato varieties for performance in high tunnel and open field management (marketable/unmarketable yield, average fruit weight, fruit number, and disease). Varieties were selected based on the potential for production in organic systems and were comprised of three different genetic backgrounds (heirloom, modern and 50% heirloom/50% modern crosses). Read the article here.

Organic & IPM Working Group Webinar on Tillage and Residue Management

On February 12, the Organic & IPM Working Group is offering a webinar on Tillage and Residue Management in Organic Systems: Weeds and Soil Quality, by Kathleen Delate of Iowa State University. The webinar takes place at 12:30 Pacific, 1:30 Mountain, 2:30 Central, 3:30 Eastern Time and can be accessed as follows: Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device: Please click this URL to join. https://zoom.us/j/770358630. Or join by phone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833. Webinar ID: 770 358 630. CCA CEUs will be available. 

Winter Farminar Series

Farminars, organized by the Practical Farmers of Iowa, are held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Central Time, each focusing on a unique production or business management topic. All presentations are led by an experienced farmer or subject-matter expert, and attendees are able to ask questions in real time using a chat box while they listen and watch a slideshow. The presentations are free for anyone with an internet connection. To participate in a live farminar, visit practicalfarmers.org/farminars. February topics include No-till Vegetable Production, Ridge-till Vegetable Production, Precision-seeded Cover Crops, and Proper Planning for Farmland Succession.

Organic Agriculture Research Forum and Organicology Conference

The 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum, presented in partnership with Organicology on February 16, 2019 in Portland, OR, is a day-long forum that will feature innovative presentations from researchers across all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems. The intent of the forum is to share the most current information with farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in organic agriculture. 

Organicology is the largest gathering within the organic trade. The conference is designed by Organically Grown Company, Oregon Tilth, Sustainable Food Trade Association, and Organic Seed Alliance. The 2019 Organicology conference takes place February 14-16 at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon. Find out more and register at https://www.organicology.org/register/

Organic Field Bindweed Research

The project "Harnessing the Voracity of the Biocontrol Tyta luctuosa to Improve Management of Field Bindweed During Transition to Organic and Beyond" has updated their website with photos, a video and a description of their ongoing research project funded by NIFA ORG. As they learn more about various strategies to manage field bindweed organically, this website will be updated. Learn more at https://eorganic.info/node/29370

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Published February 14, 2019

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.