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Organic Production

In this episode, Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation with Tom Willey, one of the pioneers of organic agriculture in the Central Valley of California. Martin works out of the NCAT Western Regional Office in Davis, California. Tom – "farmer emeritus" at T and D Willey Farms, the operation he co-founded in Madera, California – discusses his entry into agriculture and the organic movement, the importance of finding mentors, what the past can teach us going forward, and some of the challenges he sees in the future of organic agriculture. For more information on...

Dr. Michel Cavigelli, a soil scientist at the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Maryland, talks on "Organic Research and Needs: Cover Crops, Crop Rotation, and Soil Health" at the 2013 Montana Organic Association meeting at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. He is lead scientist of a long-term cropping systems project evaluating the sustainability of organic and conventional methods....

This webinar covers how TSPs, NRCS personnel, and Conservation Planners of all types can promote sound environmental practices that enhance biodiversity conservation and improve the production capabilities of organic farm, ranch, wild crop harvest, and handling operations. National Organic Program (NOP) regulations require the conservation of soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife resources. Recently, the NOP modified its auditing of organic certification agencies, which is resulting in more scrutiny being paid to conservation by organic operations. This webinar discusses how conservation professionals can instruct existing and transitioning organic operators to maintain and improve the natural resources on their working lands through the...

This webinar is presented by Harriet Behar, organic specialist with Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES, organic inspector, and approved Technical Service Provider (TSP) with the NRCS. She takes participants on a virtual tour of a farm, identifying conservation concerns and possible mitigation strategies to address those concerns as well as areas that affect organic certification. In addition, she covers the manner in which these issues will be incorporated into the written NRCS Conservation Activity Plan 138 for the transition to organic. The webinar will be the third in a four-part series providing aid to those who might want to become...

In this episode, NCAT community foods outreach specialist Daniel Prial, and Andy Pressman, director of NCAT’s Northeast Regional office in Keene, New Hampshire, talk to Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, a 2013 Minnesota Book Award winner. Both Andy and Daniel work with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Atina is a Minnesota organic farmer and public speaker. Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works is a memoir based on Atina’s life running the Gardens of Eagan organic vegetable farm. Her advocacy has addressed the pressures of suburban development, and she successfully led a legal and citizen campaign...

In this podcast, Robert Maggiani, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Juan Raygoza about his farm in South Texas. Juan moved to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas in 2007 with little money. His goal was to farm vegetables for his family. At first he borrowed land to farm, and then was able to purchase seven acres with the help of a USDA loan and is now owner of Terra Preta Farm in Edinburg, Texas. NCAT has worked with him on several projects over the past five years and helped get his farm certified...

In this episode, Daniel Prial, an agricultural specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, at the NCAT Northeast Office in Keene, New Hampshire, travels to Five College Farms in Hadley, Massachusetts, to learn about growing organic crops in greenhouse systems. Five College Farms grows heirloom tomatoes and Persian cucumbers in a series of greenhouses. Daniel speaks with Arthur Mulyono, the business manager of Five College Farms, about how the greenhouse operators maintain soil fertility and control pests. They also discuss the unique marketing considerations that go along with selling greenhouse vegetables directly to groceries. You can get in touch...

In this episode, NCAT Program Specialist Martin Guerena interviews Martin Barnes of Capy Organics in Yolo County, California. The interview touches on the farm's early years and starting the Davis farmers market; its first crops; diversification of crops; the transition from markets to CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture); the expansion to Southern California and the Pacific Northwest; technological innovation; expanding its CSA to 50,000 customers; its pest challenges then and now; its fertilization program with compost and foliar applications; and Martin's advice to beginning farmers on land and markets....

Hot humid areas need especially large and frequent inputs of organic matter to maintain soil fertility, yet standard cover crop recommendations don't always work in these locations. In this podcast drawn from his popular webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Justin Duncan uses his own organic farming experience in Texas, discusses some particular cover crops (including some unfamiliar in the United States) that can be used build soil organic matter in hot and humid areas in USDA Hardiness Zones 8,9,10 and beyond. The webinar was is a product of the Subtropical Organic Agriculture Research (SOAR) project, and is based upon work supported...

Hot humid areas need especially large and frequent inputs of organic matter to maintain soil fertility, yet standard cover crop recommendations don't always work in these locations. In this podcast drawn from his popular webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Justin Duncan uses his own organic farming experience in Texas, explains how to choose cover crops (including some unfamiliar in the United States) to build soil organic matter in hot and humid areas in USDA Hardiness Zones 8,9,10 and beyond. The webinar was is a product of the Subtropical Organic Agriculture Research (SOAR) project, and is based upon work supported by the...

Hot humid areas need especially large and frequent inputs of organic matter to maintain soil fertility, yet standard cover crop recommendations don't always work in these locations. In this podcast drawn from his popular webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Justin Duncan uses his own organic farming experience in Texas, explains how to build soil organic matter in hot and humid areas in USDA Hardiness Zones 8, 9, 10, and beyond. The webinar was is a product of the Subtropical Organic Agriculture Research (SOAR) project, and is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of...