Research

Cover Crops for Weed Management in Organic Vegetables

In the summer of 2000, we received a research grant from the Organic Farming Research Foundation to study over-seeded cover crops in summer vegetables to control weeds. We conducted this study at the WSU Vancouver Research and Extension Unit (WSU VREU), and intended to study the influence of summer over-seeded cover crops on vegetable crop production and weed populations in an organic

Development and Evaluation of Biologically-Integrated Conservation Tillage Systems for Organic Vegetable Production

A primary goal in developing environmentally sound and profitable farming systems has been to prevent soil degradation and erosion loss, and wherever possible, enhance soil quality through organic matter management. Conventional tillage practices currently used for vegetable production in the Willamette Valley involve from 5-8 passes over the field. For the past four years we have been working with vegetable growers in the Willamette Valley to develop an integrated system of vegetable production using winter annual cover crops and rotary strip- tillage.

Controlling weeds using propane generated flame and steam treatments in crop and non croplands

The purpose of this study is to examine if thermal treatment of weeds will provide effective control on an established certified organic farm and whether steam treatment of crops and field borders in the spring, summer and fall can reduce annual, biennial and perennial weeds common along the Colorado Front Range. A flame treatment will be compared to a steam treatment efficacy for the control of weeds and insects in alfalfa.

New cover crops and cover crop management for organic vegetable producers in Maryland (yr. 1)

This project was designed to provide the organic farmers with information they are seeking and have requested,
specifically regarding the use of cover crops other than cereal rye and hairy vetch. This information will help
organic farmers increase their farm productivity while using natural, sustainable, on-farm methods to minimize
weeds, maintain soil quality, and provide nitrogen.
The project has 3 objectives:
 

Targeted mowing as a weed management method increasing allelopathy in rye (Secaule cereale L.)

Winter rye (Secale cereale L.) is an outstanding cover crop in its suppression of early season weeds. This suppression has been largely attributed to allelopathy; ryeís allelochemicals inhibit weed germination and growth. However, its lack of suppression of late season weeds and its inconsistent results between years and regions hinder the use of rye as a cover crop. This study, which is Part I of a 2-year project, explores a management method that may be used to increase weed suppression of rye by manipulating its allelopathic activity.

Conservation tillage and cover crop systems for organic processing tomato production (Year 2)

The production of organic processing tomatoes requires large inputs of organic sources of nitrogen. Besides the addition of compost, manure, and other organic amendments, leguminous cover crops, grown during the winter, are important sources of nitrogen for a subsequent tomato crop. Present management of cover crops for tomato production generally requires significant amounts of tillage that may retard the improvement of physical and chemical properties of the soil.

Participatory Screening of Broccoli Varieties for Summer Production in Organic Systems in Western North Carolina—Year 3: Phase II--On-farm Trials

There is high demand for organic broccoli in the Southeast, as shown in a 2013 market survey by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, which revealed that broccoli is one of the top organic produce items in short supply. Broccoli can be produced most anywhere in the spring and fall, but summer production is limited to cooler growing areas.

Organic Food Barley: Developing Nutritious and Delicious Varieties for the Pacific Northwest

Researchers from Washington State University have been breeding and selecting hulless food barley types for almost a decade with the goal of releasing high yielding, nutritious barley varieties in this novel market class.  Now in the final stages of this project, they will work to identify the advanced breeding lines most adapted to organic farmers in Washington State and Northern Idaho.  In addition, the researchers propose to develop a truly comprehensive nutritional evaluation and a flavor profile of

Developing "Organic-Ready" Maize Populations with Gametophytic Incompatibility: Year IV

Maize (corn) is an incredibly productive and profitable crop that works well in organic crop rotations in many parts of North America. Since the release of transgenic (GMO) varieties of maize in the mid-1990s it has become increasingly difficult to grow uncontaminated organic maize or to find maize seed that is free of transgene contamination.