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Practical Applications of Soil Health Research

How do farmers increase long-term soil health on their operations? This was the question at the center of the workshop held by OFRF on October 30th at the California Small Farm Conference in Stockton, California. The panel of speakers included Joanna Ory and Mark Lipson of OFRF and Joji Muramoto from UC Santa Cruz. The speakers discussed the characteristics of healthy soil and practices that growers can use to build healthy soils on their operations.

Many farmers strive to cultivate healthy, living soil. The workshop attendees were mostly farmers, with a mix of educators and agricultural professionals. The workshop focused on information from OFRF’s series of educational guidebooks, Soil Health and Organic Farming

OFRF Releases New Guide on Pesticide Drift Impacts

OFRF is pleased to announce the publication of its new educational guide titled, Avoiding Pesticide Drift Impacts on Organic Farms. Spray drift is a public health concern and an issue for organic farmers who suffer negative consequences should their organic fields become contaminated by pesticide drift. This guide provides steps organic farmers can take to reduce drift onto their farms, as well as practices conventional farmers can implement to reduce impacts on neighbors. 

OFRF Receives NIFA Grant for Soil Health Education & Outreach

OFRF is pleased to join the esteemed group of grant recipients announced by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on October 11th. The grants are provided for research that helps farmers and ranchers grow and market high quality organic products, and are funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions Program (ORG).

Compost Extracts Viable Alternative for Managing Weeds

Weeds are the bane of organic farmers—competing for water, space, light, and nutrients. Not surprisingly, in OFRF’s 2015 nationwide survey of organic farmers, research into effective weed management techniques emerged as a top priority.

Special Session Live Broadcast from Tri-Societies Meeting

OFRF is partnering with eOrganic on a live online broadcast of the Special Session on Organic Soil Health Research at the Tri-Societies (ASA, CSSA and SSSA) Annual Meeting on October 25, 2017.

In the session, OFRF's Research Program Director, Dr. Diana Jerkins, is bringing together researchers, extension, farmers and other organic agriculture stakeholders to provide current information on applicable research results. 

Organic Research Funding Bill Gains Momentum

The Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436) is gaining crucial bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress, with an additional 37 cosponsors signing on in recent weeks. Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced the bill to support increased funding for organic research.  

Organic Sales Soared in 2016

Consumers used their wallets to show their increasing preference for organically grown food in 2016, and there’s every reason to believe this promising trend will continue. Results from the 2016 Certified Organic Survey conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), show that sales were up 23 percent from $6.2B in 2015 to $7.6B in 2016.

At the same time, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11 percent to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15 percent to 5.0M.

OFRF Now Accepting Research Proposals

OFRF is pleased to release our Request for Proposals (RFP) for 2018 research grants. Applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States are eligible to apply. In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding. The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2017. OFRF will notify applicants about funding decisions in spring 2018.
 

Scholarships Available for Tri-Societies Meeting

OFRF is pleased to announce the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend the Organic Agriculture Soil Health Research special session at this year's meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of AmericaStudents, farmers, and researchers who would like to apply for a scholarship of up to $300 should submit a letter of interest to grants@ofrf.org by Friday, October 13, 2017.

OFRF to Address Soil Health at Tri-Societies Annual Meeting

There is a critical need to improve soil health in all agricultural systems. At this year’s meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, OFRF’s Research Program Director, Dr. Diana Jerkins will be holding a Special Session Symposium on Organic Agriculture Soil Health Research to discuss best practices for building healthy soils. OFRF also secured presenters for several soil health focused sessions throughout the conference.

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