organic farming Tag

USDA has published the Origin of Livestock (OOL) final rule for organic dairy, a change to the USDA organic regulations to ensure that organic dairy products are produced according to consistent standards. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "The Origin of Livestock final rule provides clear and uniform standards about how and when livestock may be transitioned to organic dairy production, and how transitioned animals are managed within the organic dairy system." Specifically, the rule allows a dairy livestock operation transitioning to organic, or starting a new organic farm, to transition non-organic animals one time. It also prohibits organic dairies from...

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) released the 2022 edition of reports they publish every five years: National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) and State of Organic Seed (SOS). The reports provide comprehensive assessments and recommendations for ensuring the ongoing growth and success of organic farming in the United States. Specifically, NORA details organic research needs with the goal of informing future investments that support the success of organic farmers and ranchers and those transitioning to organic production. SOS details trends in organic seed sourcing, challenges faced by organic seed producers, public investments in organic plant breeding,...

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) presented Dave Campbell with its Organic Farmer of the Year award at the 33rd annual Organic Farming Conference held during the last week of February. Campbell and his wife, Mary, are the owners and operators of Lily Lake Organic Farm in Maple Park, Illinois. MOSES notes that Campbell is known and admired throughout the Midwest farming community for his work as an exceptional mentor and a vocal advocate for integrity in organic movement. Campbell has been growing small grains, row crops, and forages organically in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin for the past...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s western regional office in Davis, California, speaks with Sean Feder, director of inspection operations for California Certified Organic Farmers.
Martin Guerena and Sean Feder ...

A team of Arizona State University researchers is looking for organic farmers to take a survey about their nutrient management practices. The first 100 participants will be provided with a free soil test for their participation. The survey is confidential and should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. ...

USDA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, which identifies the synthetic substances allowed and the natural substances prohibited in organic farming. The proposed changes are based on October 2020 and April 2021 recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board. This proposed rule would allow paper pots for use as a planting aid in organic crop production; allow low-acyl gellan gum for use as a thickener, gelling agent, or stabilizer in organic food processing; and correct a spelling error on the National List to change "wood resin" to "wood...

Seed to Kitchen Collaborative is inviting farmers and gardeners in the Upper Midwest to participate in 2022 seed trials for development of organic varieties of tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and other crops. Participants do not have to be certified organic. Trial results will be compiled using SeedLinked, and can be input using a web browser on a computer or smart phone....

USDA has extended the deadline for agricultural producers who are certified organic, or transitioning to organic, to apply for the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP). This program provides pandemic assistance to cover certification and education expenses. The deadline to apply for 2020 and 2021 eligible expenses is now February 4, 2022, rather than the original deadline of January 7, 2022....

Energy Corps member Michael Daniel explains how to build a Biochar Retort Kiln during a presentation at the National Center for Appropriate Technology's SIFT farm in Butte, Montana. He presents the benefits to using biochar as a soil amendment in a garden as well as various materials you can obtain on a budget....

The University of Minnesota is leading a multi-year, multi-state, organic benchmarking effort in partnership with Minnesota State Farm Business Management program to collect and analyze organic financial data. Through this multi-state effort, organic farmers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota can receive a 25% to 50% cost-share for farm business management participation. Organic producers are eligible if they are an organic dairy farm, raise organic livestock, or produce organic alfalfa, corn, hay, soybeans, wheat, or specialty crops. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Organic data submitted to the FINBIN database will be used in an aggregate form to provide...

Related ATTRA Publication: Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced updates to crop insurance to respond to the needs of agricultural producers, including organic producers, as well as to support conservation of natural resources on agricultural land. RMA is making permanent a provision that allows producers to hay, graze, or chop cover crops and still receive a full prevented planting payment. To accommodate the different farming practices across the country, RMA is also increasing flexibility related to the prevented planting "1 in 4" requirement, as well as aligning crop insurance definitions with USDA's National...

In its first major public initiative, the Organic Agriculture Institute—a program of University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources—is conducting a statewide needs assessment for organic agriculture, as well as forming a knowledge-sharing network that connects UC experts with growers, processors, producer organizations, certifiers, crop consultants, community groups, and state agencies. This California Organic Agriculture Knowledge Network, or Cal OAK Network, builds upon the productive partnerships and knowledge systems established by organic growers and other stakeholders over many decades. The Institute recently received a planning grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to conduct a formal needs assessment...

University of New Hampshire scientists will share in two grants totaling nearly $13 million that will fund investigation into supplementing dairy cow diets with seaweed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve milk quality and animal health. One study, led by the University of Vermont, will focus on using different species of seaweed as an alternative feed in organic dairy management. UNH and UVM researchers will work with the organic dairy and the organic aquaculture industries to further develop their collaboration so that it financially benefits both markets in a sustainable manner. The second project is led by the Bigelow...

Related ATTRA Publication: Soil Solarization and Biosolarization – Tipsheet A professor at Clemson University will lead research funded by USDA NIFA to explore waste carbon sources for use in Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD). During this study, researchers will explore developing, improving, and evaluating systems-based integrated management programs to address diseases, nematodes, weeds, and insect pest-related problems for organically grown crops. On-farm carbon waste and cover crops will be tested as carbon sources. ASD involves applying organic matter (carbon source) to soil, followed by irrigation, to create an environment toxic to diseases, nematodes, weeds, and insect pests. ...

Related ATTRA Publication: Tipsheet: Manure in Organic Production Systems The Organic Center reports that a study published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems found that properly managed manure-based soil amendments are safe for use in crops to be eaten fresh. This study examined the potential for bacterial transfer to fresh produce harvested from USDA NOP certified organic farms. It found that pathogens diminished over time but at different rates. Current waiting periods for organic produce of 90 or 120 days, depending on which part of the plant is to be eaten, were validated by this study. The study authors caution that results...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will lead a regional partnership to help more than 300 beginning farmers and ranchers across the Northern Great Plains explore the value, viability, and resilience of raising organic field crops. The three-year project is funded by a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program grant through USDA. Project partners include Montana Organic Association, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, Center for Rural Affairs, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, International Organic Inspectors Association, North Dakota State, and University of Wyoming...

Related ATTRA Resources: Organic Farming Winrock International received a $1.25 million grant from USDA for its project "Advancing Organic Agriculture in the Mid-South," reports Talk Business & Politics. The project will focus on Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee, where organic production lags behind other states. The project will demonstrate successful organic systems at the farm scale and will offer training and education opportunities for the public and farmers who want to transition to organic production. It will also create a community of practice for new organic farmers....

A national network led by Cornell University scientists has been awarded a three-and-a-half year, $3 million grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to develop cover crops designed for use by organic growers. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa), winter pea (Pisum sativum), crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) and cereal rye (Secale cereale) are the crops the team will focus on developing. The project will work to improve cover-crop qualities such as weed suppression, early vigor, increased biomass, winter hardiness, seed yield, disease and insect resistance, soft and non-shattering seed, and early flowering. The team will be holding field days...

A research team at Iowa State University received a a $1.4 million grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to apply genetic tools to the development of organic sweet corn and varieties of corn for specialty uses, such as for popcorn and tortillas. Project leader Thomas Lübberstedt explains, "In this new project, we say that there's quite a few genes that are already known in maize that would add value to rapidly generate new sweet corn or specialty corn varieties if you could handle them efficiently using the tools and methods allowed in the organic production context."...

Thirty-five years ago, Becky Weed and Dave Tyler left successful careers to start a farm in Montana’s Gallatin Valley. As first-generation farmers, “Dave and I didn’t know our heads from a hole in the ground, but we wanted to merge our interest in conservation and ecological systems with jobs in agriculture,” recalled Becky.
By Linda Poole, Regenerative Grazing Specialist...

USDA announced that nine projects to improve the oversight capacity of the organic industry will receive $1.73 million in funding. Projects will support and expand the pool of qualified inspectors, reviewers, and other professionals who oversee organic production. The funded projects provide support across the human capital pipeline, from initial workforce development to creating resources for existing professionals. Specifically, the funded projects will support creation of training and educational programs, recruitment strategies, mentorship opportunities, inspector apprenticeships, and professional development resources. A list of recipients is available online....

Rodale Institute is asking professionals in the organic agriculture industry to complete an online Organic Production Body of Knowledge survey. The survey's audience is key stakeholders in the organic production community, including but not limited to, certification and regulatory professionals, agronomists, farmers, consultants, researchers, and students. Rodale Institute intends the results of this survey to guide development of its Certified Rodale Regenerative Organic Professional (CRROP) Program. The CRROP program will support regulatory and agricultural professionals to ensure that there is a credible baseline body of knowledge within the organic auditing community to ensure consistent, sound and sensible enforcement of the...

Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Specialty Crop Production In Texas: A Grower's Handbook Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center's organic and specialty crop breeding program is moving Texas up in the ranks of organic suppliers and markets. The program expects to release the first organic guar and cowpea varieties in the country. Breeders are focusing on varieties that have good pest and disease resistance, so that they work well for organic producers. The program is also working on winter crops, including lentils and barley....