There are two obvious barriers organic producers face when they consider on-farm processing. The first is psychological. On-farm processing can appear intimidating and beyond reach, on one hand; on the other, it may seem unnecessary to someone who is already “adding value” by raising crops or livestock organically. The second barrier—a more pragmatic one—is the lack of good, producer-friendly information on small-scale organic processing and handling.
Organic farmer interest in on-farm plant breeding has been on the rise due to a lack of available germplasm adapted to organic systems, a growing awareness of the value of regionally adapted varieties, and consolidations in the seed industry that have led to a decline in varietal offerings.
Determing habitat requirements for natural enemies of farm pests
Coordinator: Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, University of California, Berkeley
Maintaining a healthy population of beneficial insects that serve as natural enemies to crop pests is an important component of pest management for organic farmers. To do so, we must understand the habitat requirements of these insects.
Production guides for organic carrot, lettuce and beet seed
Coordinator: Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, Washington
Stakeholders: U.S. organic vegetable producers interested in producing organic vegetable seed
Investigator: Phillip Fujiyoshi, Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis
Project location: Davis, California
The purpose of this project was to find a way to make aphid-infested broccoli heads marketable by inducing the aphids to walk away in response to alarm pheromone.
Investigator: Michael Mazourek, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Project location: Cornell University’s 30 acre certified organic Freeville Organic Research Farm, located 10 miles north of Cornell’s Ithaca, New York main campus.
Investigator: Robert Hadad, Cornell Regional Vegetable Program, Lockport, NY
Project location: Four organic farms in upstate New York
Coordinator: Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA
Project locations: Washington, Wisconsin, Oregon, Minnesota