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 […]

Fresh broccoli on a farm. Top view. Close-up

Cool-season vegetable rotation an effective, sustainable practice

American Society for Horticultural Science – Issues with weeds, insects, and disease make certified organic production of vegetables challenging in the southeastern United States. Maintaining and building soil organic carbon in midscale organic production systems can also be difficult due to the warm, moist conditions that promote decomposition. The authors of a new study in HortTechnology […]

Which cropping system is best for the environment?

Aarhus University – What is the best cereal cropping system if you look at the big picture and take into account the impacts on global warming, eutrophication, land use in a global perspective, and arable land quality? In collaboration with Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen, Novozymes used life cycle analyses to unravel some […]

Pesticides are riskier than thought to predatory insects

Penn State University – Neonicotinoids — the most widely used class of insecticides — significantly reduce populations of predatory insects when used as seed coatings, according to researchers at Penn State. The team’s research challenges the previously held belief that neonicotinoid seed coatings have little to no effect on predatory insect populations. In fact, the work […]