Research

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.

Breeding an open-pollinated vegetable variety in organic systems: The Public Seed Initiative

The project objective is to breed a CMV resistant bell pepper using King of the North as a commercial parent. King of the North, which has been provided by Turtle Tree Seeds (located in Copake, NY), is an early, cold tolerant bell pepper variety. It is described as a superior variety for both market and home gardeners that matches or surpasses many hybrids. While seeking to add CMV resistance we do not want to compromise on quality or earliness, but rather improve on these traits that are very important to organic growers. 

Public Breeding for Organic Agriculture – Screening for Horizontal Resistance to Late Blight in Tomato

Late blight of tomato and potato, caused by the fungal pathogen Phytophthera infestans, is currently the most destructive disease of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) in the Pacific Northwest. Geographically this includes regions stretching from the San Francisco Bay in California to the coastal islands of British Columbia.

Organic certified seed potato production in the Midwest

Our overall goal is to support the growth of an organic certified seed potato industry in Wisconsin. We have addressed this goal by conducting field trials on participating Wisconsin organic farms in order to test organic production methods for seed potatoes that meet certification standards. We used information from our field trials and from published literature to develop educational resources for organic growers on becoming certified seed potato growers using disease testing to monitor potato health and organic management strategies to control common potato diseases.

Development of weed control methods and irrigation requirements for organic medicinal herb production in New Mexico, 2003-2004

 Small-scale and family-oriented organic growers must be continually innovative and efficient in their operations in order to remain in business. One strategy for small and organic farmers is development of niche markets and specialty or high-value alternative crops, such as medicinal herbs. The American Southwest has a large number of native medicinal herb species that have been used traditionally by indigenous and Hispanic cultures. By and large, these species have been wild-harvested from native stands, mostly for personal, family, or local use.

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