Research

Monitoring the activity of cabbage, seed corn and onion maggots on an organic farm

Information on the basic biology of insect pests is extremely helpful in planning control strategies for insect pests. Part of the problem with the maggot complex of insects is that they are poorly understood in California conditions. In addition, it is not readily apparent to growers when the flies are active because they are nondescript and easily confused with many other types of flies that are active and in great abundance. Monitoring for their eggs is also tedious and time consuming.

Biological control of plant pathogens in raspberries using beneficial microorganisms, compost teas and nutritional management

From September of 1994 through June of 1995, with the financial assistance of OFRF, Organic Ag Advisors and Aptos Berry Farms conducted research on the biological, nutritional and cultural control of Botrytis and Powdery Mildew an Raspberries at the Aptos Berry Farm on Thompson Road in Watsonville CA The research took place in a raspberry operation that uses an integrated organic and conventional farming system, on a raspberry variety chosen because of it's history of trouble with these plant and fruit pathogens, These raspberries bear fruit in fall and spring, thus giving the opportunity t

Testing Alternative Parasiticides for Organic Lamb Production

An organic lamb producer evaluated four substances that had been suggested by articles or by other producers to serve as possibly effective anthelmintics in lambs. Although the producer utilized grazing management and other measures to manage internal parasites, she found that parasite load was high in ewes during lambing and lactation, as well as in offspring, and was looking for effective worming methods to complement other management strategies.

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.

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.

On-farm nutrient budgets in organic cropping systems: A tool for soil fertility management

An assessment of the quantity of nutrients entering, leaving and remaining on a farm is the starting point for understanding nutrient cycling. When nutrient flows are documented for the entire rotation cycle, the resulting net balances can be used as a tool to help with soil management decisions and in the interpretation of soil tests.

The integration of foliar applied seaweed and fish products into the fertility management of organically grown sweet peppers

Organic vegetable growers regularly use sea-based products, such as seaweed extracts and fish emulsions, as foliar fertilizers. The effective use and the economic value of these products in organic agriculture have yet to be verified by scientific research. In these studies, we examined the effects of foliar applied seaweed and fish products on sweet bell peppers grown at three different soil fertility levels

Organic strategies for growing corn under low-nitrogen stress

Corn is a plant with high nitrogen requirements. Levels of soil nitrogen that are lower than what the plants need at specific times during growth can limit yield and feed quality characteristics. We set out to investigate the utility of several methods of addressing possible low soil N on corn grown in the organic farming system used in central New York State. These methods were inoculation with symbiotic fungi (T-22, Trichoderma harzianum), choice of variety, and planting density.

Nutrient analysis of organic strawberries: effect of cultivars and mycorrhizal inoculations

Objectives

1. Demonstrate the relative nitrogen performance of standard California cultivars grown under organic management.

2. Determine if a commercial arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) inoculant could provide mineral nutritional benefit, especially on phosphorus, to the cultivars being tested in the first objective.

3. Provide information that will aid organic strawberry producers in fertility management. 

Improving the quality of organic herb production and marketing

Farmers interested in transitioning some or all of their land into organic production need information regarding the best management practices for these systems. Soil fertility and weed management strategies are imperative for optimum plant growth and yields. Current research in organic herb production at Iowa State University has included investigations into certified organic methods of fertilization and use of organic mulches for weed suppression.