Using Bacteria for Crop Fertilization

A major challenge for organic farmers lies in determining the right amount of nitrogen (N) to add to crops and the best time to do it. Farmers using organic nitrogen fertilizers such as manure and compost face serious limitations because these fertilizers, which often come from off the farm, are low in N content, often hauled long distances, and can contribute to soil salinization.

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Techniques and findings from OFRF-funded research have been widely implemented by organic farmers over the years, with information disseminated online, in sponsored publications, and at farming conferences and field days.

Researchers Help Farmers Improve Soil Health with Green Manures

OFRF has awarded a grant to Iris Vaisman and Dr. Martin Entz at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg to help increase the use of green manures (GMs), which play an essential role in organic grain-based systems on the Canadian prairies by contributing to soil health, cash crop yield, and grain quality.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Proceedings Now Available

Summaries of presentations from the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium are now available online at Many of the workshops and keynote presentations were recorded live and may be viewed via the eOrganic YouTube channel.

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Thank you to the many individuals and organizations that support OFRF's grant-making program.

OFRF Funds Researchers Looking to Improve Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency

Although California has weathered many droughts, the current multi-year spell has been more widespread than most and includes the driest and hottest three-year stretch in 120 years of recordkeeping. Deliveries of surface water have decreased by a third in California’s Central Valley and numerous growers received less or no irrigation water in 2015.

OFRF Awards Grant to Develop Integrated Pest and Pollinator Strategies for Organic Strawberries

Although strawberry production is an important industry in Florida, with 11,000 acres and a production value of over $300 million (USDA 2014), the state lags behind other regions in certified organic acreage. In an effort to support more organic production, OFRF has awarded a grant to researchers from the University of Florida to develop integrated pest and pollinator management strategies on certified organic land.

New Report Highlights Need for Organic Seed Breeding

This blog was written by Caitlin Joseph, who is currently serving as a joint researcher for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and OFRF. 

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.

Innovative Research Addresses Soil Health and Resiliency

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.


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