Organic Farming Research Foundation works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.
The fresh produce from your local grocery store or farmers’ market may be certified organic, but anywhere from 25-80 percent of it might not have started out that way. A recent report from the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) reveals that the organic seed industry is far from keeping pace with the growth in demand for organic products. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), organic’s market share grew by eleven percent (or $43 billion) between 2014 and 2015.
While the majority of carrots are cultivated in California, recent droughts and water use restrictions may impact the success of future crops. Even in states such as Wisconsin, where water is more abundant, crops must overcome fluctuating soil moisture regimes due to differences in soil drainage, water-holding capacity, and microclimate conditions. Organic vegetable crops can also be challenged by more slowly available soil nutrients, especially in newly organic land.
OFRF has awarded Dr. Gladis Zinati, an Associate Research Scientist at the Rodale Institute, a grant for her project, Field Evaluation of Designed Compost Extracts for Organic Weed Suppression.
This is the second grant awarded to Zinati for her work with designed compost extracts (DCE). Through her laboratory research in 2013-2014, Zinati determined how certain compost extracts vary in their ability to suppress weeds, and also in the undesirable effect of suppressing crop germination. This new OFRF grant will enable Zinati to test those results in the field.