NIFA Announces Funding Available for Organic Agriculture Research, Education and Extension Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $17.6 million for research and outreach activities to support the organic agriculture sector. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  “The organic industry is the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture, with sales growing by $4.2 billion last year to reach a record $43.3 billion,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Over the past seven years, USDA has invested nearly $261 million in research to improve the productivity and success of organic agriculture, including seed-breeding. The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative is one of the many ways USDA is helping this sector meet growing consumer demand.” Continue reading

Upcoming eOrganic Webinars

Some of these webinars concern topics other than pest management.

Join eOrganic for many new webinars as well as next week’s live broadcast from the Organic Seed Growers Conference. We’ve made some exciting additions to our program, such as a presentation by bakers on using local organic grains, updates on a pastured poultry research project from Michael Lilburn at Ohio State, and a webinar on cultivating resilience on organic farms by Laura Lengnick. We’re also hosting two webinars on food safety practices on organic farms by Chris Blanchard of Purple Pitchfork and Erin Silva of the University of Wisconsin. Continue reading

Organic and IPM Partnership Needed to Address Critical Food Production Challenges

Society faces enormous challenges to meet the food needs of a rapidly growing global population, while addressing the adverse impacts of food production on human health, air and water quality, greenhouse gas emission, soil health, pollinators and biodiversity. Improvements are also critically needed to improve the economic viability of farming, and to recruit new farmers and the next generation of researchers and extension scientists to support farmers’ efforts to improve sustainability.

A new publication, Organic Agriculture and Integrated Pest Management: Synergistic Partnership Needed to Improve the Sustainability of Agriculture and Food Systems, is a product of a dynamic coalition of intellectuals and scientists. The report details the challenges we face, opportunities for collaborative pursuit of solutions, and recommends institutional and policy reforms to accelerate progress. Continue reading

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative RFA available

The FY 2015 Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) RFA is now available for public viewing.

NIFA Funding Opportunity Page: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/organicagricultureresearchandextensioninitiative.cfm.  

Grants.gov Page:  http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=274996. This page includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package.

You may need to refresh your browser in order to see the most recent RFAs.

eOrganic webinars in February

Join eOrganic for new webinars and live conference broadcasts on organic farming and research in February! This month’s program features farmers Helen Atthowe and Carl Rosato of Woodleaf Farm on how long-term organic farms suppress pests, as well as researchers from a NIFA OREI project on using abrasive grits for weed management, or “weed blasting”. They’ll also be broadcasting a selection of live presentations from the Organicology Conference in Portland, Oregon, and the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Find out more and register in advance at the links below.

Organicology 2015: Selected Live Broadcasts
Learn more here
February 6, 2015

Building Pest-Suppressive Organic Farms: Tools and Strategies Used by Five Long-Term Organic Farms
Helen Atthowe and Carl Rosato, Woodleaf Farm
February 10, 2015

Blasting the Competition Away: Air-propelled Abrasive Grits for Weed Management in Organic Grain and Vegetable Crops
Sam Wortman, University of Illinois; Frank Forcella, USDA-ARS; Sharon Clay and Daniel Humburg, University of South Dakota
February 17, 2015

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium: Selected Live Broadcasts
Learn more here
February 25 and 26, 2015

 

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative RFA available

The FY 2014 Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) RFA is now available for public viewing.

Continue reading

New USDA website for organic agriculture available

USDA has created a centralized online resource for all USDA programs, services and data related to organic agriculture. The page can be accessed directly or from the topic list on the home page of the national USDA web site.  Here is the direct link to the new site:

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=organic-agriculture.html