Organic farming

Organic farming

Organic farming

organic farming, agricultural system that uses ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers derived largely from animal and plant wastes and nitrogen-fixing cover crops.

2021/2022 OFRF Research Projects
June 2022
Organic Farming Systems Options for Control of Coffee Leaf Rust in Kona
PI: Colehour Bondera
Lead institution: Kanalani Ohana Farm
Project abstract: This project seeks to identify accessible Organic Farming Systems options for
controlling Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) in Kona coffee. This project has been conceived and developed by a
team of organic farmers and.will test a systems-level approach to Coffee Leaf Rust management by
increasing microbial biodiversity, using on-farm and island-made inputs, and sequestering more carbon
through increased soil organic matter.
Research will be conducted on five certified organic Kona farms which include coffee in their
agro-ecosystems. The project will explore impacts of additional fertilizer, and Indigenous Microorganisms
(IMO) sprays on reducing CLR. Trial plots will be marked on each of the farms for four treatments: Extra
Fertilizer, IMO, Both and Control. The CLR percentage will be monitored for both incidence and severity.
Baseline and final soil and leaf samples will be taken. University of Hawaii organic system faculty will
assist with analyses.
Impact: Coffee Leaf Rust is a potentially devastating disease for all coffee growers, but especially for
organic coffee farmers as it is the most devastating disease of coffee. This farmer-led research project
takes a whole-systems approach to evaluate plant health-based options for managing the disease with
organic farming practices on working organic coffee farms in Kona, Hawaii.
Building climate change resilience with coffee smallholder producers by extending organic practices
to staple crops
PI: Alejandra Guzman-Luna
Lead institution: Cafe Ecológico de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas S.C. (CESMACH)
Project abstract: In the South of Mexico, those dependent on coffee for their well-being are vulnerable in
many ways: climate change, volatile prices, and seasonal food insecurity. In this context, organic
coffee-producing households have largely abandoned the traditional production of staple crops. This is
primarily because most families now assume that staple crops must be produced using chemical inputs -
not allowed in certified organic coffee production. And as traditional farming methods have been
forgotten, they abandon staple crops entirely.
This project seeks to address the vulnerability issues by attending to the perceived lack of viable organic
alternatives in staple crop production. The research has three objectives: conduct a participatory diagnosis
of the challenges of growing staple crops organically; co-design and establish four experimental and
educational plots; and systematize the results and widely disseminate them. In order to reach these
objectives focus groups and Farmer-to-Farmer pedagogical tools will be used.
Impact: There is a growing local food security problem in communities of organic smallholder coffee
farmers in Mexico. This project takes a participatory research and demonstration approach to develop and
integrate organic staple crop production into more sustainable organic coffee agroecosystems.
Organic For All
PI: Jennifer Taylor
Lead institution: Lola's Organic Farm
Project abstract: Traditionally socially disadvantaged farmers, BIPOC farmers and underserved farming
populations and their communities lack participation and access to opportunities, training and education
provided to medium and large-scale farmers, and agribusinesses.
Organic For All is a participatory capacity building agricultural research and outreach project
that will identify needs, hindrances and barriers with BIPOC farmers and work together to develop
solutions and resources through relevant learning sessions that provide education, hands-on trainings, and
technical assistance. The Organic For All project is designed to help farmers walk through the
development of their own organic farming systems or organic agroecology farm practices and organic
Project objectives include: (1) building relationships and engaging socially disadvantaged farmers and
BIPOC farmers, to enable access and participation in organic farming systems and organic agriculture;
and (2) to increase the benefits of organic for all communities.
Impact: BIPOC farmers have been greatly underserved in agricultural research and education. This
participatory research and outreach project seeks to build capacity for access to and engagement in
organic farming systems and organic agriculture for BIPOC and socially disadvantaged farmers.
Evaluation of seeding methods and timing of cover crops interseeded into organic corn
PI: Axel Garcia y Garcia
Lead institution: University of Minnesota
Project abstract: Inclusion of cover crops continues to be a priority for organic farmers, but many in the
Upper Midwest struggle with successful establishment in long-season cash crops. Typical practices of
aerial seeding into standing corn and drilling after fall harvest have yielded inconsistent results leading to
low adoption rates. Past research has shown that seeding cover crops between V2-V7 corn stages
produces significant biomass without affecting corn yield; however, seeding methods typically involve
high-clearance equipment or modified grain drills that are expensive or difficult to obtain. Alternative and
affordable methods may lie in a combination of broadcast seeding timed with routine weed control
practices that mimic seed placement from drilling.
The primary goal of this project is to develop management practices that include cover crops into
long-season cash crops. Researchers will evaluate how well different cover crop species establish
depending on method of seeding and determine effects of cover crop species on corn yield, soil fertility
and weed incidence. This information could potentially help growers select species based on their
production system and available equipment. Replicated research trials on organic land will be conducted
at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) and farm of a
Impact: Upper Midwestern organic grain growers struggle with integrating cover crops into the corn part
of their rotations. This project will evaluate various management factors including seed selection, timing,
and type of mechanical operations to optimize this key part of sustainable organic corn production.
Increasing the productivity and market value of pulse crops for arid organic conditions
PI: Travis Parker
Lead institution: University of California, Davis
Project abstract: Nitrogen-fixing legumes feature prominently in many organic crop rotations. Some
pulses, such as cowpea and tepary bean, also show exceptional resistance to heat, drought, and low soil
fertility, making them particularly valuable in the context of climate change. Despite this, little is known
about their yields in organically-managed arid environments. Cowpea and tepary bean, as well as
heirloom common bean varieties, do not fit into the major pulse commercial classes, allowing
smaller-scale organic growers to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Heirloom pulse varieties
often sell for five-fold higher prices than commodity classes.
In this research, diverse cowpeas and tepary beans will be screened to identify varieties that can
outcompete standard commercial pulses. Next, an evaluation and selection of varieties of common beans
specifically for organic environments will be conducted. In order to accelerate future breeding, novel
sequencing and molecular biology techniques will be used to identify the genes governing the most
valuable heirloom common bean seed color patterns. Finally, this data will be used to predict the genes
responsible for similar patterns in cowpea and tepary bean. Together, this will lead to the adoption of
resilient and dependable pulse crops for organic rotations in arid regions, and will ultimately promote the
ecological and financial sustainability of organic farms.
Impact: Inclusion of pulse crops could enhance the ecological and financial sustainability of arid organic
farming systems, particularly under climate change conditions. This project will evaluate high market
value varieties of common beans, cowpeas and tepary beans in arid organic systems and conduct
advanced genetic analyses for development of new high value varieties.
Companion plantings for organic management of a new invasive Brassica pest
PI: Christiana Huss
Lead institution: University of Georgia
Project abstract: This project leverages agricultural diversity to mitigate the recent attack of the invasive
yellow-margined leaf beetle (Microtheca ochroloma) on leafy brassica greens across the Southeastern
United States. This new pest is reviled among farmers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina,
and is rapidly expanding its range northward as winters become milder. Unfortunately, the biology of M.
ochroloma is not well known, and organic farmers have not found a viable tool for protecting their
brassica crops.
This project focuses on identifying companion plants that reduce destruction by M. ochroloma in the
absence of other viable tools. First, 5 potential intercrops’ ability to repel M. ochroloma from brassica
greens will be tested. Next, the most repellant intercrop with a recently identified, highly preferred border
crop (mizuna) surrounding turnip greens will be combined. This system will create a naturally suppressive
“push-pull” polyculture to steer M. ochroloma away from the high-value brassica greens that are key in
farmers’ income. Finally, 10 organic farmers will be recruited to test the most successful combination of
companion plants for managing M. ochroloma on their own farms.
Impact: The yellow-margined leaf beetle is an invasive pest that threatens organic production of high
value leafy brassica greens across the Southeast and beyond as winters become milder. This project will
evaluate a very innovative landscape ecology approach that involves a combination of repellant intercrops
and attractant compaIntensive Farming Techniques With Benefits And Features(नए ब्राउज़र टैब में खुलता है)nion plants in a “push-pull” design for bio-control of the pest.
animal science division(नए ब्राउज़र टैब में खुलता है)

OFRF Grant Awards Summary 2020
Crop Breeding
Sarah Hargreaves, Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario
Seeding a Culture of Innovation in Organics: Farmer-led breeding of peppers, broccoli and cucumber
This project supports three breeding projects in cooperation with the Ecological Farmers Association of
Ontario’s Farmer-Led Research Program. All three projects focus on providing best practices to adapt to
climate change by breeding varieties that are locally adapted to low-input organic systems for southern
Ontario and the U.S. northeast. By supporting farmer-led breeding efforts for organic production, this
project also contributes to an emerging but critically under-researched area of vegetable farming.
Impact: Release three varieties of early ripening, blocky, and flavorful bell peppers: a mass selected
population of red peppers, and uniform populations of red and yellow peppers using progeny lines. Breed
an open pollinated broccoli that is heat tolerant and adapted to organic systems. Breed an open pollinated
seedless English cucumber with excellent flavor and good yield that is adapted to organic greenhouse
Helen Jensen, Seed Change
Evaluation of selection methods and efficacy in on-farm breeding of organic wheat and oat varieties
Participatory plant breeding (PPB) is internationally recognized as a methodology that works
collaboratively with organic farmers to minimize environmental impacts and adapt to climate change.
This project will document how farmer-selectors have contributed to genetic improvement for organic
production for wheat and oats and share that information with existing and prospective PPB participants
across the country.
Impact: Improve knowledge of selection practices for all of the stakeholders in the program, as well as
improved methodologies and increased adoption of PPB by a broader range of organic farmers.
Carol Deppe, Fertile Valley Seeds
Breeding disease-resistant heirloom-quality tomatoes
The goal of this project is to breed disease-resistant heirloom-quality tomatoes, especially those resistant
to late blight and a number of other diseases.
Impact: Wide distribution of seeds to allow organic farmers and gardeners to easily develop their own
heirloom-quality tomato varieties with resistance to common diseases.
Soil Health
Pushpa Soti, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Cover Crops for Soil Health: demonstration of on-farm trial
The sub-tropical climate prevailing in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) region, a major agricultural
region in semi-arid, subtropical Texas, poses significant agronomic challenges to farmers: year-round
weed, sand, insect pest and pest pressure must be managed simultaneously while also maintaining soil
health. To mitigate these issues, farmers in LRGV have started to show interest in using cover crops,
which have been shown to provide multiple agroecosystem services, including protecting soil from water
and wind erosion. This project is designed to address farmers’ concerns about cover crops by evaluating
the potential of various cover crops and their ecosystem services.
Impact: Information on cover crop species selection and management to improve the long-term
sustainability of organic farms in semi-arid, subtropical regions.
Inna Popova, University of Idaho
Advancing Organic Potato Production with Mustard Seed Meal Extract: a multi- pronged tool to control
weeds, promote soil health, and improve potato nutrition
The overall goal of this project is to discover effective weed management strategies for organic potato
production that promote healthy soils and nutritious potatoes. Utilizing innovative organic agricultural
practices that improve soil health, combat weeds, and enhance nutritional quality of staple foods will
enable farmers to successfully meet the challenges of feeding a rising global population.
Impact: Increased knowledge of the efficacy of mustard seed meal extract (MSME) as a bioherbicide and
adoption of MSME by organic and non-organic farmers as a weed management strategy.
Martin Guerena, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Biosolarization: harnessing the sun and organic matter for weed control
The primary objective of this project is to measure the efficacy of biosolarization (a new innovation in the
realm of weed control that includes the use of organic matter in the form of compost, cover crops, manure
or other materials such as pomace or nut hulls) on weedy species present on three organic farms in the
Sacramento Valley of northern California (Solano and Yolo Counties).
Impact: Use biosolarization to achieve equal or better weed control in less time compared to a plot using
solarization (clear plastic sheeting on moist soil to thermally terminate a variety of pest species)
Jed Eberly, Montana State University
Evaluating the effects of seeding rates and inoculant performance on nodulation, weed suppression, and
relative yields of different lentil varieties grown in the Northern Great Plains (year two)
Lentils are important for diversifying wheat-based cropping systems and also enhance soil health. These
benefits have contributed to the exponential growth in pulse crop acreage in The Northern Great Plains
(NGP). However, there are several challenges facing organic lentil production. For instance, lack of
approved herbicide for use in organic pulse crop production provides a challenge to weed management.
The goals of this project are to evaluate effects of seeding rates on lentil yields and weed competition.
The effect of inoculation rates on nodulation and the soil community profile will also be determined.
Impact: Improved lentil yields, nutritional quality, and better returns on investments. Ultimately,
incorporating lentils into organic cropping systems could enhance soil health and improve the economics
of organic operations.
Mary Barbercheck, The Pennsylvania State University
Conservation of an endophytic insect-pathogenic fungus for plant protection in organic cropping systems
Farmers and agricultural professionals have great interest in exploiting beneficial soil organisms,
especially in organic systems with their focus on soil health and reliance on natural cycles to manage
plant health and pests. Endophytes are microorganisms that form non-pathogenic symbioses with plants
and can confer benefits, including growth promotion and increased plant tolerance to environmental
stresses that are predicted to increase with climate change.
Impact: Broader understanding of how to promote and conserve the beneficial endemic soil fungus,
Metarhizium robertsii, as an insect pathogen and endophyte in organic cropping systems. Findings will
strengthen the capacity of Extension and other agricultural professionals to serve the information needs of
organic growers.
Weed Management
Donn Cooper, Georgia Organic Peanut Alliance
A comprehensive approach to control weeds in organic peanut systems in the Southeast
This project will examine the effectiveness of an integrated weed control system in organic peanut
production utilizing regular mechanical cultivation and Eugenol, a broad-spectrum herbicide derived from
cloves and approved for Certified Organic production in a commercial formulation as Weed Slayer. Data
for all weed control activities will be collected throughout the year, and weed populations at each farm
will be measured after approximately eight weeks of control and again before harvest.
Impact: On-farm tested information on best agronomic practices and economic considerations of weed
control methods in organic peanut systems.
Pest Management
Arash Rashed, University of Idaho
Efficacy evaluation of biological control agents against wireworms in organic production
Managing wireworms has been a challenge due to their long-life cycle, subterranean living habitat, and
ability to use a wide range of host plants. Although there are a few insecticides available for conventional
farming, there is no effective alternative control measure against wireworms in organic production.
Recent studies suggest that entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) and fungi (EPF) may offer protection
against wireworms, but their efficacies are influenced by soil type and wireworm species. Focusing on
one of the most damaging species in the Pacific Northwest, the sugar beet wireworm Limonius
californicus, this project will evaluate and compare efficacies of EPF, field-collected and commercial
EPNs, and combined EPF/EPN treatments against wireworms in organic vegetable production.
Impact: Identification of the most effective entomopathogenic treatment against the sugar beet wireworm
and successful establishment of the biocontrol agent in organic farm soil.
Organic Fertilizers
Kate Scow, Russell Ranch Agricultural Sustainability Institute, University of California, Davis
Evaluating costs and benefits of organic-approved liquid injectable fertilizers to improve nutrient uptake
and yields in tomato
While research on cover cropping and compost application has surged in the past decade, organic growers
are still struggling to maintain sufficient levels of available nitrogen (N) in vegetable cropping systems. A
number of new soluble injectable OMRI-approved fertilizer products are now available but have not been
independently evaluated, leaving growers uncertain about efficacy. This project will use plots managed
organically for 26 years as part of a long term cropping systems trial at the UC Davis Russell Ranch
facility to compare N uptake, fruit yields, and profitability of three representative types of organic liquid
fertilizers (fish emulsion, compost tea, and microbial/amino acid injectables) via fertigation in organic
Impact: Determine nutrient uptake and yield benefits of three organic-approved liquid fertilizers, and
evaluate their effect on soil nutrient cycling. Provide a cost-benefit analysis of each type of fertilizer
based on cost of products, yield effects, and organic premiums.
Organic Seed Development
Lee-Ann Hill, Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance
20 to 20, in 2020
This project looks beyond the marketability of heritage grains to explore their impact on soil health,
climate adaptivity, weed pressure, and insect pressure through farmer-driven, participatory research.
Research data collected from this project will be published in the Heritage Grain Trials Handbook, freely
distributed online, and disseminated to grain trialists and interested growers to increase and enhance
knowledge about these unique varieties.
Impact: Increased availability of 20 unique heritage grain seed varieties to a minimum of 20 pounds each
in 2020.
Farmer Mentorship
Sarah Brown, Oregon Tilth
Best Practices for Virtual Peer-to-Peer Farmer Learning
Virtual peer learning programs that connect learners off-site are increasingly common in a variety of
fields and disciplines. Unlike traditional distance learning such as online courses and instructional
webinars, these programs are explicitly designed to use web technology for the reciprocal sharing of
knowledge, ideas, and experience among practitioners. This project will explore how to adapt and
develop effective virtual peer learning models in the organic and sustainable agriculture sector.
Impact: Increase access to peer learning to help more farmers start and succeed in organic farming.

RBSE 10th Result 2022(नए ब्राउज़र टैब में खुलता है)

OFRF Grant Awards Summary 2019
Timothy Bowles, Assistant Professor of Agroecology, UC Berkeley
Assessment of Nitrogen Flows on Diversified Organic Farms: A Road Toward Enhancing Soil Health
from the Ground Up
Soil health is a central part of organic farm management. This project seeks to determine how
diversification practices such as crop rotations and cover crops that build soil health influence nitrogen
availability from soil organic matter. This is particularly important to consider when determining the
timing and choice of organic fertilizer application on diversified organic farms. The goal of this project is
to provide farmers in Yolo County, California—an area with a high concentration of diversified farms—
with both technical support and a community of practice that allows for more informed decision-making
about nutrient management.
Impact: More precise information for making informed decisions about fertilizer application, ultimately
reducing added costs and environmental impacts associated with nutrient losses from organic fertilizers.
Alex Woodley, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
Evaluating Benefits of Winter Annual Cover Crop Systems for Organic Sweet Potato in North Carolina
Despite a steady demand for organic sweet potatoes in North Carolina, marketable yield often does not
reach the yield potential for this region due to challenges in weed, insect, and soil fertility management.
Weed proliferation and soil borne pests such as wireworm have been identified as two areas of concern.
Using a roller-crimper modified to work on raised beds, this research will assess the viability of winter
cover crops seeded onto autumn formed beds and terminated in the spring as effective tools for weed
control. The researchers will also determine if there is a trade-off of including cover crops in rotation by
potentially providing improved overwintering conditions for wireworms, and if this translates into
increased root damage and marketable yield losses. Lastly, by embedding increasing rates of organic
nitrogen fertilizer in each cover crop treatment, they will determine if this management practice requires
modification to nutrient recommendations.
Impact: Innovative weed, insect, and soil fertility management options to help increase organic sweet
potato yields.
Jed Eberly, Assistant Professor, Montana State University
Evaluating the Effects of Seeding and Inoculant Rates on Weed Suppression, Nodulation, and Soil Health
on Organic Lentil Production in the Northern Great Plains
Lentils are important for diversifying wheat-based cropping systems and are also beneficial in enhancing
soil health. These benefits have contributed to the exponential growth in pulse crop acreage in The
Northern Great Plains (NGP). However, little is known about the optimum seeding and appropriate
inoculation rates to improve crop growth, nutrient acquisition, weed management, and yield potential for
lentils in organic systems. The goals of this project are to evaluate effects of seeding rates on lentil yields
and weed competition. These goals will be achieved through a multi-site replicated trials on grower’s
fields in three different lentil growing areas of Montana. Three lentil varieties would be selected based on
seed sizes; large, medium, and small and will be seeded at four different rates.
Impact: Improved lentil yields, nutritional quality, and better returns on investments for organic lentil
Aysha Peterson, Ph.D. Student, University of California, Santa Cruz
Plant-based Nutrient Management for Socially Disadvantaged Organic Farmers
This research aims to promote successful utilization of best organic nutrient management practices by
employing qualitative social science research. The researchers will examine barriers to implementation of
plant-based nutrient management strategies among organic, socially disadvantaged farmers in California's
Salinas Valley. Findings will directly inform educational programming via ALBA's Farmer Education
Course and will be incorporated into economic and infrastructural assistance available through ALBA's
Organic Farm Incubator. Empirically based conclusions will provide for comparative analysis with other
agricultural regions of the U.S.
Impact: Widespread improvement of organic farmer assistance services among socially disadvantaged
organic farmers.
Edmund Frost, Farmer, Common Wealth Seed Growers LLC, Louisa, Virginia
Development and Assessment of Bacterial Wilt and Downy Mildew Resistant Cucumber Seedstocks -
Year Two
Downy mildew (DM) is a central limiting factor for cucumber production in the eastern U.S, especially
for midseason and late season crops. Frost will continue his assessment of DM resistant cucumber
seedstocks, with increased focus on evaluating and advancing high-performing lines selected in 2018.
Trials will take place at University of Massachusetts, North Carolina A&T University, University of
Mount Olive, and four farms around the Southeast U.S. Trials will evaluate yields in high-DM conditions,
rate the impact of DM on foliage, and provide feedback on fruit quality and marketability. Frost will
conduct a BW-focused trial in early-planted, low-DM conditions on his own farm, as well as a late-season
breeding trial of his selected slicing and pickling cucumber lines.
Impact: New cucumber varieties that are easier to grow, offer a longer harvest window, yield better
under disease pressure, and help assure conventional farmers considering organic certification that
transition is workable.

INCLUSION OF COCKTAIL ENZYMES(नए ब्राउज़र टैब में खुलता है)





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