Soil health is ideally a central part of organic farm management. One key question is how diversification practices (e.g., diversified crop rotations, cover crops, etc.) that build soil health influence how and when nitrogen is made available from soil organic matter. This question is particularly important to consider when determining the timing and choice of organic fertilizer application on diversified organic farms.
As the negative health and environmental effects of chemical soil fumigation become more apparent, it is critical to devise safe, alternative methods of soil fumigation. Organic growers constantly struggle with weed control and need innovative, chemical‐free weed management techniques.
Conventional strawberry nurseries that fumigate soils with methyl bromide and other synthetic chemicals prior to propagation are currently the main source of transplants for both conventional and organic production systems. While many organic strawberry growers have expressed dissatisfaction with having to use conventional transplants, organic transplants simply are not commercially available. In part, commercial availability of organic transplants has been limited due to a lack of tested varieties as well as a lack of supply during the traditional planting season.
This project aims at developing integrated irrigation practices that capitalize on soil health to improve the efficiency of irrigation water and decrease pest pressure and potential N losses of California organic processing tomato production. The current drought has dramatically decreased irrigation water allocated to organic tomato growers and there is an urgent need to test new irrigation strategies that reduce water inputs while maintaining product quality, nutrient supply and high productivity levels.
A. To identify organic farming systems that will benefit from the introduction of brassicas. B. To gather farmer input on the practical concerns regarding incorporating forage brassicas into their grazing and cropping practices. C. To evaluate the effects of brassicas on soil nutrients and subsequent nutrient uptake by crops.
Late blight of tomato and potato, caused by the fungal pathogen Phytophthera infestans, is currently the most destructive disease of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) in the Pacific Northwest. Geographically this includes regions stretching from the San Francisco Bay in California to the coastal islands of British Columbia.