West

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.

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

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. Today’s hybrids have been developed for conditions that are different from those found on most organic farms. Organic sweet corn growers deserve better choices.

Establishing breeding populations for organic broccoli, sweet corn, and red kale varieties

Organic farmer interest in on-farm plant breeding has been on the rise due to a lack of available germplasm adapted to organic systems, a growing awareness of the value of regionally adapted varieties, and consolidations in the seed industry that have led to a decline in varietal offerings.

Managing Natural Habitat Can Aid in Organic Pest Control

Summary

Determing habitat requirements for natural enemies of farm pests

Coordinator: Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, University of California, Berkeley

Maintaining a healthy population of beneficial insects that serve as natural enemies to crop pests is an important component of pest management for organic farmers. To do so, we must understand the habitat requirements of these insects.

"Contamination Avoidance and Testing Protocols” Project

Contamination from genetically engineered (GE) crops poses serious risk to organic seed integrity, impacting the viability of organic farmers and credibility of organic products. Organic seed is the most critical link to producing organic products free of GE contaminants.

Breeding day-neutral strawberry cultivars for organic production in the Pacific Northwest

This award continues OFRF support for a breeding effort to develop strawberry varieties that produce fruit over a 4-5 month period in the Pacific Northwest. In contrast, June-bearing strawberries only produce fruit for about one month.

Organic Seed Production Guides Help Fill Knowledge Gap

Summary

Production guides for organic carrot, lettuce and beet seed

Coordinator: Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, Washington
Stakeholders: U.S. organic vegetable producers interested in producing organic vegetable seed

Organic Farmers Flock to Farm Walk Series

Summary

Tilth Producers of Washington Farm Walks

Coordinator: Nancy Allen, Tilth Producers of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Stakeholder location: Washington State

Integrating Biological Control with Trap Crop Management in California Organic Strawberries

Summary

Investigator: Sean Swezey, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz
Project locations: Pacific Gold Farms, Watsonville, California

Insect management tools for organic cranberry production in the Pacific Northwest

Summary

Investigator: Deborah Henderson, ES Cropconsult, Vancouver, British Columbia
Project locations: British Columbia and Oregon

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