Research

Conservation tillage and cover crop systems for organic processing tomato production (Year 2)

The production of organic processing tomatoes requires large inputs of organic sources of nitrogen. Besides the addition of compost, manure, and other organic amendments, leguminous cover crops, grown during the winter, are important sources of nitrogen for a subsequent tomato crop. Present management of cover crops for tomato production generally requires significant amounts of tillage that may retard the improvement of physical and chemical properties of the soil.

Participatory Screening of Broccoli Varieties for Summer Production in Organic Systems in Western North Carolina—Year 3: Phase II--On-farm Trials

There is high demand for organic broccoli in the Southeast, as shown in a 2013 market survey by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, which revealed that broccoli is one of the top organic produce items in short supply. Broccoli can be produced most anywhere in the spring and fall, but summer production is limited to cooler growing areas.

Organic Food Barley: Developing Nutritious and Delicious Varieties for the Pacific Northwest

Researchers from Washington State University have been breeding and selecting hulless food barley types for almost a decade with the goal of releasing high yielding, nutritious barley varieties in this novel market class.  Now in the final stages of this project, they will work to identify the advanced breeding lines most adapted to organic farmers in Washington State and Northern Idaho.  In addition, the researche

Developing "Organic-Ready" Maize Populations with Gametophytic Incompatibility: Year IV

Maize (corn) is an incredibly productive and profitable crop that works well in organic crop rotations in many parts of North America. Since the release of transgenic (GMO) varieties of maize in the mid-1990s it has become increasingly difficult to grow uncontaminated organic maize or to find maize seed that is free of transgene contamination. 
 

Deploying microbes as a seed treatment for protection against soil-borne plant pathogens

Plant diseases, especially those caused by soil-borne seed infecting pathogens, pose a serious threat to the production of both greenhouse and field crops. Conventional farming operations often use fumigants and chemical seed treatments, which can be harmful to human health and the environment, for controlling seed and seedling pathogens.

Create Two Open-Pollinated, Sugary Enhanced Sweet Corn Varieties--Year 4

Very little sweet corn grown commercially today is open pollinated. Farmers who wish to save their own seed have few if any good choices of varieties to grow. And the hybrids of today have been developed for conditions that are different from those found on most organic farms, as they were selected to rely on fungicides and pesticides, and to effectively utilize soluble synthetic fertilizers in large quantities.

Managing indigenous seed-inhabiting microbes for biological control against Fusarium pathogens in corn

Managing indigenous seed-inhabiting microbes for biological control against Fusarium pathogens in corn 
 

Snap Beans with Enhanced Nitrogen-Use Efficiency for Organic Production-Year 2

Snap beans with enhanced nitrogen-use efficiency
for organic production-Year 2

Can Organic Garlic Seed Stock Be Created Disease-free from the Production of Garlic Bulbils?

Can Organic Garlic Seed Stock Be Created Disease-Free From the Production of Garlic Bulbils?

Serious diseases of garlic have been imported from foreign sources and are now widespread within the US and Canada. Stem and Bulb Nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci) in garlic seed (vegetative reproduction) will infest the soil and is impossible to eradicate using organic approved methods. It is a threat to other crops, including onions, potatoes, alfalfa, and strawberries. Infested land is substantially reduced in value, as the nematode may be transferred on equipment.

Developing testing protocols to assure the quality of fertilizer materials for organic agriculture

The organic industry is on track for a six-fold increase in the next five years, having grown from $6.1 billion in sales in 2000 to $29.2 billion in sales in 2011 (4.2% of total food sales in the U.S that year). Consumer demand continues to drive steady growth of this sector, which is indicated by average growth of 8% per year since 2002.

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