Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences – More no-till farmers are using cover crops to conserve soil and suppress weeds, but many vegetable producers are reluctant to get on board. That’s because many small-seeded vegetable crops struggle to emerge through thick cover crop residues. However, the potential benefits of no-till cover crop […]

Boosting nitrogen in organic systems

By John Greig OrganicBiz staff  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers have validated what organic farmers have known for years — that cover crops reduce nitrogen loss and fix nitrogen for use in subsequent crops. However, they also have found that in order to support a corn-soybean-wheat rotation, more cover crops are needed. Xueming Yang, a […]

Funds available for organic on-farm trials and demonstration plots

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative invites applications for the 2017 field season. By OrganicBiz staff   The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative is accepting applications for on-farm research trails and on-farm demonstration plots. We encourage on-farm projects that represent a collaboration between certified organic growers and researchers with demonstrated experience conducting research in organic agriculture. Both […]

Balancing complex organic rotations

By John Greig OrganicBiz staff One of the biggest challenges for organic farmers is coming up with the complex crop rotations that help them manage nutrients, markets and environmental impacts. Katherine Stanley, a research associate at the University of Manitoba, outlined the multiple factors organic farmers need to take into consideration when determining their crop […]

How soil bacteria and fungi drive plant diversity

American Association for the Advancement of Science – Two new studies shed light on how the composition of biota in soil drives plant diversity. The results highlight how the unseen bacterial and fungal organisms below ground influence the development of plants above, a relationship that remains poorly understood. In the first study, Jonathan Bennett et […]

Strip tillage, rowcovers for organic squash, melon production

American Society for Horticultural Science – Plasticulture systems, the use of polyethylene mulch on raised beds with drip irrigation, are common in the production of many cucurbit crops (vegetables from the melon, squash family) in the Northeastern US. Plasticulture systems have numerous benefits, but concerns about costs and the environmental impacts of plastic disposal, along […]