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
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.
In the spring of 2001, organic peach blocks were established at two Western Colorado Research Center sites: Rogers Mesa and Orchard Mesa. These plantings were established to allow multi-disciplinary research, systems comparisons, and demonstration of an organic production system for peaches. The objective of this project is to study the effects of different organic management practices on the soil microbial and faunal communities within peach orchards on the western slope of Colorado.
Many organic growers utilize a preceding cover crop or diverse types of organic fertilizer materials for fertility management. Cover crops are one of the most economical sources of organic nitrogen and provide additional potential benefits for succeeding crops. Time or market constraints and the need to intensively farm high value land may limit the use of cover crops and increase the need to utilize organic fertilizer sources of plant nutrients.
This project was designed to evaluate inputs of various rates of compost on the yield and nitrogen status of a crop of peppers. The grower-cooperator on this project makes his own compost and, for the last two years, he has applied from three to ten tons of compost (along with other nitrogen inputs such as cover crops, feather meal and sodium nitrate) to provide for the nitrogen need of his pepper crops.
A proposal was funded in 2001 and renewed in 2002 by OFRF to study methods and begin the development of technologies for organic apple crop thinning. The work was coordinated by C. R. Rom at the University of Arkansas in conjunction with the Colorado Organic Crop Management Association (COCMA), organic fruit growers in Colorado, and research scientists at Colorado State University. Additional funding for the project were received from COCMA and Gerber Products.
Soy-based foods have been the subject of recent research due to increasing evidence that soy phytoestrogens may modify the pathogenesis of some hormone-dependent and hormoneindependent diseases'. Studies have shown the isoflavones genistin and daidzin may have beneficial effects on menopausal symptoms', osteoporosis3 , and coronary heart disease 4-5. These findings have led to clinical recommendations of greater dietary intake of phytoestrogen-containing soy products.
The size and growth of organic farming has stimulated considerable discussion and speculation. Farmers, agribusinesses, policy-makers, public interest groups, educators, researchers and investors-all need reliable information on organic agriculture to make informed decisions about business strategies, teaching and research agendas, and institutional policies. Statistical analyses of organic farming contribute crucial information for these decisions.
Soil testing has long been a part of Organic Certification. As part of the certification process, each grower must submit soil tests for lab analysis. The soil is subjected to chromatography tests to determine the extent of contamination by organochlorine insecticides. These compounds classify a wide range of noxious agricultural pesticides, many with half lives exceeding twenty years. Unfortunately for conventional and organic growers, even at hardly detectable levels these contaminants are finding their way into agricultural products.