How Organic Farming Practices Affect the Soil Microbiome

Join eOrganic for a webinar on organic practices that affect the soil microbiome! It takes place on August 13, 2024 at 11AM Pacific Time, 12PM Mountain, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern Time. It's free and open to the public and advance registration is required.

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About the Webinar

Evidence suggests that organic management increases the diversity of beneficial soil microbes for plant roots. However, scientific evidence remains scarce on the specific organic production practices that promote soil organism diversity consistently across fields and their functions in crop resilience. This webinar will feature studies from two soil microbiome projects conducted in New York State by Cornell University researchers. In the first study you will receive information on specific practices that consistently shifted soil microbiomes across more than 85 organic farms in New York State that donated their soil for microbiome sequencing and analysis. Results will also be presented from a multi-year manipulative cover cropping experiment using no-tillage and soil microbiome transfer experiments to determine which cover crops are most effective at increasing crop resilience through changes in the soil microbiome. Accompanying the researchers will be presentations by local organic farmer stakeholders who will highlight their efforts to manage the microbiome and soil health.

About the presenters

Elias Bloom is a research associate at Cornell University. His research takes place on farms and is farmer focused. Over the last three years, he has investigated an emergent pest management tactic; the use of soil microbes to promote plant defenses and reduce insect pests. He also grew up in Nebraska on his family owned and operated small-scale organic farm.

Zoe Economos is a MS student at Cornell University. They are interested in exploring how farming practices influence soil microbiome composition, crop immunity to pathogens, and resilience to stresses. Their goal is to generate useful information that can aid farmers and all members of a diverse and resilient food system in decision-making.

Zaid Kurdieh is managing partner of Norwich Meadows farm. What started as a two-acre farm has grown into a 230+ acre business, with 180 high tunnels and 50+ employees. During peak season, Norwich Meadows Farm is present at 11 farmer's markets, has 600+ CSA members and supplies more than 200 high-end restaurants.

Jason Grauer is a seasoned leader in regenerative agriculture. He serves as Senior Director of Farm & Innovation at Stone Barns Center, with a strong focus on shaping strategic initiatives and fostering community engagement. Jason oversees daily farm and administrative operations and leads the collaborative research and experimentation conducted between Stone Barns and partner restaurant Blue Hill.


This webinar is based on the NIFA ORG project "Leveraging soil microbiomes to promote climate change resilience and adoption of organic agriculture" award 2022-51106-38007. Funding for this webinar is also provided by NIFA OREI. It was organized in collaboration between eOrganic, Cornell University, and seven organic farmer stakeholders in NYS.

Published July 8, 2024

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.