March 2019

New Webinars in March and April

All webinars take place at 11AM Pacific, 12PM Mountain, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern Time

  • March 20, 2019: Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration, by Mark Schonbeck, Organic Farming Research Foundation. In this webinar, we will discuss the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon, minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions during crop and livestock production, and enhance agricultural resilience to weather extremes. The presentation will include practical guidelines for optimizing the organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adaptability to climate disruptions already underway. Connection link
  • March 27, 2019: Breeding New Cultivars for Soil-enhancing Organic Cropping Systems in the Western Region, by Mark Schonbeck, OFRF. This webinar will summarize plant breeding endeavors toward improved vegetable, specialty grain, and other crop cultivars for organic producers in the Western Region, and practical resources to help organic producers obtain the best available seed varieties for their needs. We will also explore emerging opportunities to develop new cultivars for nutrient and moisture use efficiency, competitiveness toward weeds, and enhanced interactions with beneficial soil biota. Register.
  • April 10, 2019: Corn Breeding for Organic Markets, by Martin Bohm and Bill Davison of the University of Illinois and Walter Goldstein of the Mandaamin Institute. This webinar will explore how different breeding styles and methods can be used to develop corn varieties that meet the diverse needs of organically produced grain and perform well under a variety of growing conditions and farming practices. Find out more and register here

Recordings from the Organic Research Forum at Organicology

eOrganic recorded presentations on current organic research from the Organic Research Forum organized by the Organic Farming Research Foundation at Organicology. The following presentations are freely available now and more will be added to their playlist on the eOrganic YouTube channel and mentioned in upcoming newsletters. Find the program here and click here to find the recordings on a YouTube playlist.

  • Enhancing the Utility of Grafting in US Vegetable Production, by Matthew Kleinhenz of the Ohio State University
  • Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative, by Jim Myers of Oregon State University
  • Impact of Cultivar Selection on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Colonization and Effects of Biomass Allocation and Yield in Organic Carrot Production, by Erin Silva of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Organic Strawberry Production in Oregon: A Case for Season Extension Research, by Javier Fernandez-Salvador of Oregon State University
  • Multi-use Naked Barley for Organic Systems by Brigid Meints, Oregon State University

New Seed Production Quick Reference Guides

These new Quick Reference Vegetable Seed Production Guides are available from the Organic Seed Alliance. Funding for these guides was provided by the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Seed Internship Program Accepting Applications

 Applications are being accepted for the 2019 Seed Internship Program. The Seed Internship Program combines online and classroom learning, farm-based independent study, and real-world experience through a diverse network of family farms. Hosted by Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), the Seed Internship Program matches individuals such as organic seed producers and students who want to learn about seed production with experienced growers. Find out more and register at

New Organic Biocontrol Research Project Website

A new NIFA OREI project was funded which will be working toward the long-term goal of increasing and conserving natural enemies in organic tomato and cucurbit production in the southeastern US. The production of these crops in the Southeast is limited by three key pests: twospotted spider mite (TSSM), sweetpotato whitefly (SWF) and thrips (most notably the western flower thrips and the tobacco thrips). The researchers, who are a team of scientists and educators from Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, will be looking at ways to improve the management of these pests with predatory mites and other natural enemies. As the project progresses, they will be posting updates on their website and conducting webinars through eOrganic. The project is being led by Dr. Juang Chong of Clemson University. Find out more about the project on their website here.

Grass fed Dairy Producers Survey

A new NIFA OREI funded project on grass-fed dairy production was funded starting in 2018. The project, Advancing Grass-Fed Dairy: A Whole Systems Approach to Enhancing Productivity, Quality, and Farm Viability in the US. ct, is led by Dr. Heather Darby at the University of Vermont along with  a team of farmers, consultants and researchers from several states. This multi-disciplinary research team hopes to identify critical components of grass-fed dairy management that support high quality milk production, herd health, environmental health, and farm economic viability while contributing to a vibrant grass-fed dairy market that meets the needs and preferences of consumers.The researchers mailed out a survey to 300 grass-fed producers but if you are a grass-fed dairy producer and did not receive the survey and would like to participate or be added to the project mailing list, contact Meredith Niles at the University of Vermont:

Vegetable Grafting Webinar Series

Members of a Specialty Crops Research Initiative Grafting Project Team have organized a grafting webinar series. The webinars each cover a different topic about the science and technology of vegetable grafting. While not specifically about organic production, upcoming topics that could be of interest to organic growers include Grafting to Increase Production for Small-acreage and High Tunnel Tomato Growers, by Cary Rivard of K-State University; past topics include Making Grafting Affordable and Beneficial to US Growers by Richard Hassell of Clemson University. Past presentations in the series were recorded and archived. Find the recordings on the project YouTube channel here, and learn more about upcoming webinars here

If you are a gardener, you may be interested in another webinar by Cary Rivard about grafting for home gardeners: Demystifying Grafted Tomatoes: The Why & How for Gardeners, which is part of the 2019 series of Advanced Training Webinars for Master Gardeners sponsored by Oregon State University Extension. Find out more information and register here.

Industrial Hemp Conference Recordings and Proceedings

Recordings and proceedings from all the presentations at the 2019 Industrial Hemp conference are being offered on the eXtension Campus website as a course. These materials are geared toward  aspiring and practicing industrial hemp growers and interested ag service providers, including Extension educators. As a result of watching these online proceedings and recordings, participants will learn about latest research results, production information, regulatory requirements for Vermont, and resources on industrial hemp production. The program of the conference, which took place on February 8, 2019 in Burlington, VT, is available here, the course is available here and costs $75. If you attended the conference in person, there is no charge to access the materials, and you can contact Susan Brouillette at the University of Vermont for a vendor code. The conference was organized by the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crop & Soils Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

eOrganic staff members Cindy Salter and Alice Formiga enjoyed talking with farmers at the eOrganic table at the Oregon State University Small Farms Conference

Published March 13, 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.