October 2021

Webinars on Integrated Organic Management of Bindweed and Thistles

There is still time to register for 2 webinars in October, on the latest research on organic management of the perennial weeds field bindweed and thistle. It's not easy to control these weeds, and although no single magic solution has been discovered, you can attend the webinars and learn some different strategies to help keep these weeds under control! 

Upcoming Webinars Presenters Date
Integrated Management of Field Bindweed and Canada Thistle in Organic Cropping Systems Patrick Carr, Tim Seipel, Jed Eberly, Montana State University October 13, 2021
Organic Control of Field Bindweed in the Pacific Northwest Marcelo Moretti, Jessica Green, Oregon State University October 20, 2021

New Organic Research Awards

USDA NIFA recently announced 22 new Organic Research and Extension program awards, and eOrganic is very excited to be collaborating with 8 of these projects to help bring their research findings and activities to a wider audience! Project investigators will research new techiques for insect, disease and weed control, breed new varieties of organic crops, and host conferences in 2022. We congratulate all the awardees, and will be working together with the following projects:

NOVIC Field Day

We recently joined a group of farmers on a field day at the Oregon State University Lewis Brown Farm to see the vegetable trials, graduate student projects and breeding results from the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) project. This year's trials included kabocha squash, tromboncino squash, Aji and Shishito peppers, and radicchio. Results from the trials, which are being conducted in several regions, will be posted on the Organic Variety Trial Database at the end of the season, where you can already find NOVIC trial reports from previous years. Learn more about these crops and and see pictures from the field day at https://eorganic.info/node/35055

Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network Farmer Needs Survey

The Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network conducted a farmer survey and statewide Farmer Needs Assessment (FNA) comprised of 2- to 3-hour interviews with 50 sustainable farmers around the state, followed by several focus groups. Unlike in many surveys, the organizers made every effort to include and prioritize underrepresented groups, and the results can be found in their report "Farming in the Margins: A 2020-2021 Needs Assessment of Alabama Sustainable Producers".

National Farm Viability Conference Throughout October

When we saw the program for the month-long National Farm Viability Conference, we immediately decided to support it as a "friend of the conference". Organized by Oregon Tilth Oregon State University’s Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems, this conference is focused on strengthening farm sustainability, building stronger and more resilient local food systems and supporting the long term profitability of farming. It provides a month of informative presentations, and brings together professionals in the fields of farm and food business planning, financial planning, agricultural financing, crisis management, farmland conservation, agricultural market development, and food hub management. The registration fee for the entire conference is $100. Find the program and more information at https://www.farmviabilityconference.com/2021-agenda.html

Danone Terminates Organic Milk Contracts in the Northeast

In late August, the Danone company, which owns Horizon Organic Dairy, informed 89 organic dairy producers in the Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York that it would no longer purchase milk from them after August 2022, and those producers have few if any alternatives to sell their milk. Ed Maltby of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) wrote an article on their website which explains some background information on this issue and lists some actions you can take to support Northeast organic dairy producers. One of them includes writing to members of Congress about strengthening organic dairy enforcement and implementing the Origin of Livestock rule to remove loopholes that allow transitioned animals to retain organic certification when they are transferred or sold. For more information, read the article at https://nodpa.com/n/5995/URGENT-ORGANIC-DAIRY-NEWS-Updated-82921-Danone-Exiting-the-Northeast-Region. The Organic Farmers' Association and many other organic groups have also circulated a petition for Danone to rescind its plans to drop Northeast dairy producers which you can sign here.

Reminder: There is still time to apply for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 50 percent of their certification costs paid during the program year, not to exceed $500 per certification scope. Producers may apply for cost share assistance for organic certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. Applications are due Nov. 1, 2021.

To apply through FSA, you can find an FSA county office near you with the Service Center Locator. The FSA OCCSP application form is available at USDA's eForms site, by selecting "Browse forms" and entering "OCCSP" in the "title or keywords" field on the search page. To apply through State agencies, see the list here. State agencies may have a different application process than FSA; applicants should refer to their State agency's requirements and ensure they are using the correct application form. Applicants cannot receive duplicate benefits from both FSA and a State agency. 

Webinar and Conference recordings on Farming, Food and Racial Justice in the Food System

It has been impossible to watch all of the many recent presentations and online discussions addressing these topics from many organizations that are involved with organic and sustainable food production and food justice, but here are several recommended recordings:

  • Intellectual Property Rights, Race, and Colonialism: A Community Conversation. Organized by the Organic Seed Alliance. Presenters: Anjali Vats from University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Ernesto Hernandez from Chapman University. September 15, 2021. Recording available in English and Spanish here 
  • Feeding Family and Community: African American Women Farmers and the Long Fight for Environmental Justice in the Midwest, 1790-2021. Organized by the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. Presenters: Christy Clark-Pujara (Dept of Afro-American Studies, UW Madison), Anna-lisa Cox (Hutchins Center, Harvard University), Diane Miller (National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, National Park Service), Barbara Norman (Farmer and Founder of S.M.A.R.T.). Shakara Tyler (Detroit Black Community Food Security Network), Monica White (Dept. of Community & Environmental Sociology, UW Madison), Moderator: Alison Puglisi, Harvard University. April 2021. Recording video link available here
  • Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network Food & Farm Forum: Black Land Matters. Panel: Jerry Pennick (Federation of Southern Cooperatives), Dr Robert Zabawa (Tuskegee University), Charice Starr, Rev Majadi Baruti (Dynamite Hill Smithfield Community Land Trust). Moderator: Dr Kara Woods (Alcorn State University). December 2020. Recording available  on the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network YouTube channel, along with other videos from their Food and Farm Forum here.

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Published October 6, 2021

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.