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Research

Controlling gastrointestinal parasites of livestock with organic materials

A one-year project grant to Practical Farmers of Iowa to research livestock gastrointestinal parasite management resulted in a five-year series of experiments during which attention shifted from commercial botanical mixtures to single-ingredient botanical materials. The end of this period sees renewed interest in the role of management, as results of natural anthelmintics have been variable at best and largely disappointing. Our research results have also pointed to difficulties of collecting reliable data from these on-farm trials.

Forage Brassicas as a Component of Organic Production Systems

Objectives Statement

A. To identify organic farming systems that will benefit from the introduction of brassicas. B. To gather farmer input on the practical concerns regarding incorporating forage brassicas into their grazing and cropping practices. C. To evaluate the effects of brassicas on soil nutrients and subsequent nutrient uptake by crops.

Feeding beef cattle to produce healthier and highly acceptable beef

Objectives

1. Determine the differences in CLA content of organic beef produced by cattle that are grass-finished with minimal grain to that from cattle that are conventionally grainfinished. 2. Determine the time required for cattle to grade at least low choice when finished by the two finishing systems. 3. Determine the economic differences between the two finishing systems. 4. Determine the profitability of marketing grass-finished cattle through Organic ValleyCROPP. 5. Determine eating quality of beef produced by the two finishing systems.

Impact of Disease Suppressive Composts on Organic Vegetable Quality, Composition and Yield

Project Objectives

-Analyze several animal manure-based, organic-approved compost products for suppression of important soil-borne pathogens of vegetable crops in the Northeast -Determine applicability of a farmer-based test kit for assessment of compost maturity to predict suppressiveness -Evaluate compost effects on plant stand and crop composition -Determine changes in microbial activity, disease suppressiveness and soil nitrate nitrogen of organically managed soils after addition of a compost 

Evaluation of mulching materials and limestone rates for management of fusarium wilt of sweet basil

Basil fusarium wilt is a seed-borne disease that can severely reduce basil yields. The biggest concern, however, is that the pathogen can persist in the soil for ten or more years preventing the future use of the land for basil production. The objective of this study was to develop organic control methods that would allow production in infested soil. Several organic mulches, a biocontrol product (Rootshield), and lime applications were examined on soil intentionally infested with fusarium. Basil plants mulched with a composted pine bark had the lowest incidence of fusarium wilt.

Intercropping with resistant varieties for management of plant diseases in organic tomato production

The objectives of this research were to: 1) Evaluate susceptibility to early blight in 16 heirloom and modern hybrid cultivars. 2) Evaluate whether disease incidence and severity are reduced on a susceptible tomato variety intercropped with a resistant variety, compared to a monoculture of the susceptible variety.

Aerated compost tea and other alternative treatments for disease control in pumpkins

Objectives Statement a. To investigate the effectiveness of compost tea in suppressing fungal diseases of pumpkins and promoting overall crop health and yields; to demonstrate that compost tea can be an effective tool for managing fungal diseases when used as part of an organic / non-chemical farming system. Modification: The proposal was originally written with potato as the test crop. This was changed to pumpkin to ensure disease presence. b.

Tomato Foliar Disease Control Using OMRI-Approved Materials

Seven materials approved for organic production were tested for foliar disease control on tomatoes on a certified organic farm in western New York. Four were commercial products registered for disease management on tomatoes (Plantshield, Mycostop, Trilogy, Champion WP). Three were materials thought to strengthen plant health and disease resistance through either soil or foliar application (CaCO3, SW-3, Humega). Plantshield is a formulation of the beneficial fungus Trichoderma harzianum labeled for foliar and soil drench applications.

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