May 2013

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In this Issue

Recently Published eOrganic Articles

Current and Future Prospects For Biodegradable Plastic Mulch in Certified Organic Production Systems, by Andrew T. Corbin, Carol A. Miles, Jeremy Cowan and Debra A. Inglis of Washington State University;  Douglas G. Hayes of the University of Tennessee, and  Jennifer Moore-Kucera of Texas Tech University. This article explains how biodegradable plastic mulches are made; how biodegradability is measured; current techniques on evaluating biodegradable mulches; and research and policy progress to date. The purpose is to inform agricultural professionals, farmers, and policy makers about the suitability of biodegradable plastic mulches for use in certified organic agriculture.Read more at

Producer Profiles in Organic Dairy, published by the eOrganic Dairy Team, is a series of farm case studies which track financials as farms transitioned to certified organic production. The case studies were originally written as part of a multi-year study led by University of Vermont economists Robert Parsons and Qingbin Wang that focused on the profitability of New England organic dairy farms. Three farm case studies are provided; they can be found at:

Records Needed for Organic Poultry Certification, by Devon Patillo of CCOF and Jacquie Jacob of the University of Kentucky. This is the first in a series of upcoming eOrganic articles on organic poultry production. This article provides an introduction to poultry recordkeeping requirements for compliance with National Organic Program rules. Find the article at

Using Cover Crops in Organic Systems: Resources and Research from SARE by Andy Zieminski, SARE. This article provides information on some of the many free online resources on cover crops available from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which has funded hundreds of research and education projects related to cover crops since 1988. SARE’s Cover Crop Topic Room features free information products (books, bulletins, webinars, etc.) and research projects relevant to both conventional and organic production. Find the article at

New eOrganic Dairy Webinars

Organic Dairy Forages: Focus on Summer Annuals by Heather Darby, University of Vermont Extension and Rick Kersbergen, University of Maine Extension. May 23 at 2PM Eastern (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). Join us for this free webinar on summer annual forages--including millet, sorghums, sorghum-sudans, and teff. These grains can be important complements to pastures during the summer slump as well as harvested for stored feed. The presenters will discuss strategies for planting, harvesting, and feeding these forages to organic dairy cattle. Register in advance at

Amending Soils in the Organic Dairy Pasture, by Cindy Daley, California State University, Chico. June 27th at 2PM Eastern (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time).  In this free webinar, Dr. Daley will describe a long-term soil remediation field trial designed at the University Farm to study the effects of a basic soil amendment program on forage quality and yield, with an emphasis on the economic return that would result from added milk production. Register in advance at

More dairy webinars will be offered over the summer, and our main webinar season will start up again in the fall. Meanwhile, feel free to listen to any of the many webinars on organic farming and research in our archive at  You can also browse the recordings by topic here.

Organic News

CERES Trust Report on Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region

CERES Trust has issued a new report on Organic Research and Outreach in the North Central Region, which includes information on organic programs and research in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The report contains brief descriptions of recent and current organic research projects, peer-reviewed papers, and extension publications, dating back to 2002 when US National Organic Program (NOP) regulations took effect. In addition, the report lists key contact people and describes academic courses, degree programs, and hands-on learning opportunities, such as student organic farms, and much more. Find the report on the CERES Trust website, where it will be updated annually. It has also been published on

NOP News

On April 2nd, The National Organic Program (NOP) announced the availability of draft guidance on Classification of Materials (NOP 5033) and Materials for Organic Crop Production (NOP 5034).  These guidances are intended as tools for material reviewers and growers to help determine which substances are allowed in organic production and products. Public comments on these materials are being accepted until June 3, 2013. Links to these and other proposed guidances which are currently open to public comment can be found on the NOP website where you can also find direct links to online comment forms. Subscribe to the NOP Organic Insider to stay current on NOP news and activities.

eOrganic Mission

eOrganic is a web community where organic agriculture farmers, researchers, and educators network; exchange objective, research- and experience-based information; learn together; and communicate regionally, nationally, and internationally. If you have expertise in organic agriculture and would like to develop U.S. certified organic agriculture information, join us at

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Published May 21, 2013

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.