November 2019

Reminder: OGRAIN Compass webinar on November 14th

There is still time to register for tomorrow's webinar on OGRAIN Compass! Learn about a tool that helps you understand the economics of transitioning to organic grain production from John Hendrickson of the University of Wisconsin and Jim Munsch of Deer Run Farm. The webinar takes place at 11AM Pacific, 12 Mountain, 1 Central, 2 Eastern Time and it's free but advance registration is required. Register at

New eOrganic Article on Tomato Disease Management in the Midwest

eOrganic recently published a new article on Managing Diseases of Tomato in the Midwest Using Organic Methods, by members of the NIFA OREI funded Tomato Organic Management and Improvement Project. Authors Dan Egel, Amit Kumar Jaiswal, Sahar Abdelrazek and Lori Hoagland of Purdue University describe cultural techniques and approved organic pesticides to prevent and control tomato diseases. Although the article focuses on diseases that are common in the Midwest, the principles of disease management apply to tomatoes grown anywhere! Read the article at

Organic Barley Producers Survey Results

Researchers surveyed organic barley producers to ask about their current production of barley and the main obstacles and production challenges to growing more barley in their rotations. Producers were also asked to identify what traits they would like to see improved, and if they were interested in growing varieties of hull-less or naked barley that could be used for the culinary, malting, and feed market. The survey was conducted for the NIFA OREI funded project Multi-Use Naked Barley for Organic Systems. Find the survey results at

SARE Calls for Proposals and Upcoming Deadlines

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program has released calls for a number of grant programs throughout the U.S. SARE's mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. The program, funded by USDA NIFA, operates in four regions. See below for open calls for proposals by region.

Northeast SARE (CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV, DC):

Currently accepting proposals for:
Farmer Grant program; deadline is 12/3/19.

North Central SARE (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI):

Currently accepting proposals for:
Farmer Rancher Grant Program; deadline is 12/5/19.

Southern SARE (AL, AK, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, PR, VI):

Currently accepting proposals for:
Producer Grant Program; deadline is 11/15/19.
On-Farm Research Grant Program; deadline is 12/6/19.

Western SARE (AK, AS, AZ, CA, CNMI, CO, FSM, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY):

Currently accepting proposals for:
Research to Grass Roots Grants; deadline is 11/20/19.

Registration and Scholarship Availability for Organic Agriculture Research Forum

OFRF and Tuskegee University are pleased to announce the 2020 Organic Agriculture Research Forum (OARF) to be presented in partnership with the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG). The Forum takes place on Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas, as part of the 2020 SSAWG Conference. Farmers, students, and researchers who would like to apply for a scholarship of up to $600 to attend the forum should fill out the scholarship application no later than November 22nd, 2019.Learn more about the event and register here.

Organic and IPM Working Group Webinar on Cucumber Beetle

Tuesday, December 17, 11:30-12:30 PM CST, Dr. Gladis Zinati, "Flowering Insectary Plants Aid as Biological Control of Striped Cucumber Beetle". Register here.

This webinar will feature Dr. Gladis Zinati, the director of the Vegetable Systems Trial at the Rodale Institute, speaking on her research on the use of flowering insectary strips to attract beneficial insects, including parasitoids and ground beetles, and subsequent assessment on striped cucumber beetle populations with time. She will also discuss the strategy’s impact on cucumber plants grown in tilled plastic cover vs. reduced till systems.

New Report on Risks of Organic Farming

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) recently released a report on a five-year research and education project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) by Jeff Schahczenski and Mike Morris of NCAT and Eric Belasco of Montana State University. The report compares Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) loss ratios for organic and non-organic farms. It also includes a historical background on how organic farms won access to crop insurance; results from a national survey of attitudes about crop insurance by organic and non-organic farmers; results from a national survey of attitudes towards organic farming by crop insurance agents; and nineteen national public policy recommendations for improving crop insurance for organic farmers.

Find a blog post about the report at and find the full report here.

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Published May 12, 2020

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.