Research

Deploying microbes as a seed treatment for protection against soil-borne plant pathogens

Plant diseases, especially those caused by soil-borne seed infecting pathogens, pose a serious threat to the production of both greenhouse and field crops. Conventional farming operations often use fumigants and chemical seed treatments, which can be harmful to human health and the environment, for controlling seed and seedling pathogens.

Create Two Open-Pollinated, Sugary Enhanced Sweet Corn Varieties--Year 4

Very little sweet corn grown commercially today is open pollinated. Farmers who wish to save their own seed have few if any good choices of varieties to grow. And the hybrids of today have been developed for conditions that are different from those found on most organic farms, as they were selected to rely on fungicides and pesticides, and to effectively utilize soluble synthetic fertilizers in large quantities.

Can Organic Garlic Seed Stock Be Created Disease-free from the Production of Garlic Bulbils?

Can Organic Garlic Seed Stock Be Created Disease-Free From the Production of Garlic Bulbils?

Serious diseases of garlic have been imported from foreign sources and are now widespread within the US and Canada. Stem and Bulb Nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci) in garlic seed (vegetative reproduction) will infest the soil and is impossible to eradicate using organic approved methods. It is a threat to other crops, including onions, potatoes, alfalfa, and strawberries. Infested land is substantially reduced in value, as the nematode may be transferred on equipment.

Developing testing protocols to assure the quality of fertilizer materials for organic agriculture

The organic industry is on track for a six-fold increase in the next five years, having grown from $6.1 billion in sales in 2000 to $29.2 billion in sales in 2011 (4.2% of total food sales in the U.S that year). Consumer demand continues to drive steady growth of this sector, which is indicated by average growth of 8% per year since 2002.

Snap Beans With Enhanced Nitrogen-Use Efficiency for Organic Production -Year 1

The snap bean is a vegetable in the Fabaceae family and does have the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium spp. Historically, easy access to nitrate-based soil amendments at a relatively low cost has precluded the need to develop cultivars with improved nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE). Excessive fertilizer applications containing 40 to over 100 lbs. of N / acre have resulted in leaching and the contamination of ground and surface water.

Effect of Compost Extracts on Organic Seed Germination and Reduction of Weed Seed Expression

Organic growers consider weeds their number one problem in crop production. Organic growers whether they grow vegetables, grains, herbs, berries, or native plants are constantly on the lookout for finding new technology that reduce severity of weed problems and yield losses. One method is to assess whether the use of compost extract would lead to weed seed suppression for better crop seed emergence.