July 2010 - eOrganic Updates

eOrganic Bringing You the Best Organic Farming Information from America's Land Grant University System and its Partners

In this Issue - July 2010

> What's in season
> eOrganic Late Blight Webinars and resources for farmers and gardeners
> eOrganic Dairy team plans new Pasture Rule Webinars for Summer/Fall, 2010

What's in season


New eOrganic articles and videos posted in July, and a timely article for summer on weed management

Composting to Reduce Weed Seeds and Plant Pathogens www.extension.org/article/28585, by Ed Zaborski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Learn how to control weed seeds in your compost and find great resources for more help on this important issue.

Viruses as Biocontrol Agents of Insect Pests http://www.extension.org/article/18927 by Jim McNeil, Penn State University. Read about the advantages and disadvantages of this relatively new method of insect control.

Calculating Dry Matter Intake With a Pasture Stick Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oepwHTVXbjs. In this video, offered by the eOrganic Dairy Team, grazing and organic certification expert Sarah Flack demonstrates how to calculate the amount of pasture dry matter per acre available for grazing using a pasture stick in a pasture of orchard grass and clover in northern Vermont.

Twelve Steps Toward Ecological Weed Management in Organic Vegetables - http://www.extension.org/article/18539, by Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association of Biological Farming. Important steps to weed management include planning, prevention, control steps, and enhancements to the system. This article serves as a guide to get weeds under control. 

eOrganic Late Blight Webinars and resources for Farmers and Gardeners

notebookOn July 8, 2010, eOrganic Vegetable Disease Management Group members Meg McGrath of Cornell, and Sally Miller of the Ohio State University presented a Webinar on Late Blight management. If you missed the presentation, the recording is now available at http://www.extension.org/article/28346 Watch this Webinar recording to learn how to diagnose, test, scout, and manage late blight on your organic farm.

Following the success of this Webinar, a second Webinar was offered for home gardeners on July 21,2010 at 6PM Eastern Time. Find resources and the recording for that Webinar at http://www.extension.org/article/28624

eOrganic also has several popular late blight management articles: Organic Late Blight Management of Potato and Tomato: http://www.extension.org/article/18361, and Organic Management of Late Blight of Potato and Tomato with Copper Products: http://www.extension.org/article/18351

eOrganic Dairy Team Plans New Pasture Rule Webinars for Summer/Fall, 2010


The eOrganic Dairy Team has scheduled a series of free Webinars related to the recently released Access to Pasture Rule for late Summer and Fall 2010.

In February 2010, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) published a final rule that establishes pasture standards for organic livestock. The Access to Pasture rule provides clarification and specificity to the livestock feed and living conditions provisions of the NOP Regulation (Part 205) and establishes a pasture practice standard for ruminant animals in the regulation. The main amendments to the rule require that producers provide year-round access for all animals to the outdoors, establish a functioning management plan for pasture, incorporate the pasture management plan into their organic system plan (OSP), and ensure ruminants derive not less than an average of 30 percent of their dry matter intake (DMI) from pasture grazed over the course of the grazing season, 120 days minimum. The rule also recognizes pasture as a crop.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Webinars:

  • August 20, 2010, 2 pm ET. How to Calculate Pasture Dry Matter Intake on Your Organic Dairy Farm, with Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting. Register at: http://www.extension.org/article/28554.
  • September 16, 2010, 2 pm ET. Maximizing Dry Matter Intake on Your Organic Dairy Pastures, with Karen Hoffman, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Register at: http://www.extension.org/article/28807
  • October 1, 2010, 2 pm ET. Setting Up a Grazing System on Your Organic Dairy Farm, with Cindy Daley, California State University at Chico, and Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting. Register at: http://www.extension.org/article/28799

The team is also planning a Webinar for November that will look at the Living Conditions provisions in the Pasture Rule, with Harriet Behar, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), and personnel from the USDA NOP.

To register or for more information, please visit our “Upcoming Webinars” page at http://www.extension.org/organic_production. They are free-of-charge but do require a high-speed Internet connection. And following each live Webinar, an archive of each presentation will be posted on the website listed above.

The eOrganic Dairy Team’s first Webinar focused on an overview of the newly released Access to Pasture Rule, with speaker Dr. Kerry Smith of the USDA National Organic Program. An archive of the Webinar can be found at http://www.extension.org/article/26133. More than 100 farmers and ag service providers from 31 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces participated in the Webinar. We also broadcast it live at the Western Regional Grazing Conference in Chico, California organized by the Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance and Dr. Cindy Daley at CA State University at Chico. Of the 39 farmers and others who attended the session at the conference, 83% said the Webinar improved their understanding of the topic addressed, and 73% intended to apply their knowledge in their work on the farm or with farmers. We also received lots of comments from participants which have been helpful in planning future articles, videos and Webinars.

If you have any questions about the eOrganic Dairy Team or our Webinar series, please contact Deb Heleba, eOrganic Dairy Team Coordinator, at debra.heleba@uvm.edu or 802.656.4046.

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Published August 3, 2010

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.