Beginning Farmers

Beef cattle finishing in summer/fall in a strip cropping system

In this project, we finished Texas longhorn beef cattle on the Sunshine Farm by using polywire (temporary electric fence) to break-feed crop residues and forages in a narrow strip cropping system without supplemental feed. To close the nutrient cycle between cattle and crops, the project was recommended February 1995 by the seven-member Farmer Advisory Committee for the Sunshine Farm.

Livestock management on organic farms: A survey of issues and farm tested solutions

The survey was undertaken to obtain information for a publication on organic livestock management. Canadian Organic Growers wanted to base the book on farmers' experience as much as possible, to make sure it addressed the issues being faced by organic producers in Canada as well as providing useful practical information for those who want to convert from a conventional to an organic livestock operation. The main purpose of the survey was to identify theconstraints to organic livestock production and the methods used successfully to overcome these problems.

Controlling gastrointestinal parasites of livestock with organic materials

A one-year project grant to Practical Farmers of Iowa to research livestock gastrointestinal parasite management resulted in a five-year series of experiments during which attention shifted from commercial botanical mixtures to single-ingredient botanical materials. The end of this period sees renewed interest in the role of management, as results of natural anthelmintics have been variable at best and largely disappointing. Our research results have also pointed to difficulties of collecting reliable data from these on-farm trials.

Feeding beef cattle to produce healthier and highly acceptable beef


1. Determine the differences in CLA content of organic beef produced by cattle that are grass-finished with minimal grain to that from cattle that are conventionally grainfinished. 2. Determine the time required for cattle to grade at least low choice when finished by the two finishing systems. 3. Determine the economic differences between the two finishing systems. 4. Determine the profitability of marketing grass-finished cattle through Organic ValleyCROPP. 5. Determine eating quality of beef produced by the two finishing systems.

Impact of Disease Suppressive Composts on Organic Vegetable Quality, Composition and Yield

Project Objectives

-Analyze several animal manure-based, organic-approved compost products for suppression of important soil-borne pathogens of vegetable crops in the Northeast -Determine applicability of a farmer-based test kit for assessment of compost maturity to predict suppressiveness -Evaluate compost effects on plant stand and crop composition -Determine changes in microbial activity, disease suppressiveness and soil nitrate nitrogen of organically managed soils after addition of a compost 

Evaluation of mulching materials and limestone rates for management of fusarium wilt of sweet basil

Basil fusarium wilt is a seed-borne disease that can severely reduce basil yields. The biggest concern, however, is that the pathogen can persist in the soil for ten or more years preventing the future use of the land for basil production. The objective of this study was to develop organic control methods that would allow production in infested soil. Several organic mulches, a biocontrol product (Rootshield), and lime applications were examined on soil intentionally infested with fusarium. Basil plants mulched with a composted pine bark had the lowest incidence of fusarium wilt.