Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Proceedings Now Available

Summaries of presentations at the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium are now available online at http://eorganic.info/node/16778. Many of the workshops and keynote presentations were recorded live and may be viewed via the eOrganic YouTube channel.

“We are making these presentations available free online to extend the reach of all the valuable information shared at the symposium,” said Jeff Dahlberg, director of the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, co-sponsor of the symposium. “We’re now planning the 2017 symposium and it will build on the cutting edge research shared by scientists this year.”

In the opening address, president of Organics International André Leu said organic agriculture offers the promise of a future to produce and distribute food and other farm products in a healthy, economically sound, truly sustainable and fair way. He called the current state of organic agriculture “Organic 3.0.”

“This is a concept we put out a year ago and it is resonating around the world,” Leu said. Organic 1.0 dates back to the 1920s and represents organic farming founders and visionaries, he said. Organic 2.0, beginning in the 1970s, represents the establishment of private standards, public regulations and global recognition. The current stage of organic farming is a time for market reinvention, widespread conversion and performance improvement.

“We’re in a culture of innovation to attract greater farmer adoption of organic practices to increase yields,” Leu said. “The perception of lower yields is our big killer.”

After the opening keynote and thematic presentations, scientists at the symposium covered such topics as soil health, seeds and plant breeding, biological control, long-term and strategic research, biodiversity, economics, and livestock, all with a focus on organic production.

The symposium was held in January at Asilomar State Park and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., immediately prior to the renowned Ecological Farming Conference. Twenty-nine speakers from all over the United States presented nine workshops and a poster session. Co-sponsors were the UC Kearney Agricultural REC in Parlier and the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Financial support was provided by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Extension Initiative and the Gaia Fund.

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