How to build a soil-health bank account

This organic production technique offers a big-picture view of nutrient management — and a ‘tough love’ approach to soil fertility By Jennifer Blair OrganicBiz staff Soil is a little like a bank account for nutrients — in order to manage them properly, you need to balance the budget. “No matter how big the bank account […]

Costco works with farmers to increase organic food supply

OrganicBiz staff The Seattle Times is reporting that Costco has started investing in farmers to increase the supply of organic foods and keep pace with consumer demand. “While other retailers might have loan programs for suppliers to upgrade equipment or offer financial incentives such as advance payments or long-term contracts, helping farmers buy land to […]

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 […]

Tractor spraying wheat field

Chemical use accelerates past environmental change

Duke University – The increased use of synthetic chemicals, including pesticides and pharmaceuticals to attack unwanted organisms, has outpaced the rates of change in rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and other agents of global environmental change over the past 45 years, a new Duke-led analysis reveals. Despite this trend, U.S. ecological journals, meetings and funding sources […]

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 […]

Telling consumers they’re wrong won’t win their trust

By Laura Rance OrganicBiz editor The organic sector must tread carefully or risk getting caught in the crossfire in the growing debate over social licence in agriculture, the president of the Canadian Organic Trade Association says. Dag Falck told the recent Organic Connections conference in Regina that while organic farmers are rarely targeted by consumers […]