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NRCS Prioritizes Organic in Conservation Innovation Grants Program

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.
 
Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues:

OFRF Organic Farmer Survey Opportunity Extended to September 14

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) announced that it will keep its National Survey of Organic Farmers open through September 14, 2015.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

The 34-question survey focuses on certified organic farmers’ research needs and also collects information on the organic community’s experience with GMO contamination, pesticide drift, and food safety issues.

OFRF Receives OREI Grant

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) a grant to evaluate federal organic research programs. 
 
USDA awarded the grant through the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). This year, USDA awarded $23 million in grants under OREI and the Organic Transitions program to improve the competitiveness of organic crop and livestock producers.
 

OFRF Researches Organic Suppression Methods for Soil-Borne Plant Pathogens

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is currently working on a project that could assist organic farmers in seed treatment. Conventional farming practices that focus on chemical treatment and fumigation can be harmful to both the environment and humans alike, and many of these methods are prohibited in organic production. OFRF is expanding on the work of prior studies that found suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens from microbes present in solid and liquid organic soil amendments.

OFRF Survey Gathers Organic Farmers’ Research Needs

Please take a few moments to respond to the Organic Farming Research Foundation’s (OFRF) National Survey of Organic Farmers. Widespread participation by organic farmers across the country will ensure that all types and scales of certified organic production are reflected in the survey’s results. Responses will be accepted through August 30.

OFRF’s Organic Research Survey and California Focus Groups

If you haven’t had the opportunity to weigh in on Organic Research Priorities using the Organic Farming Research Foundation's (OFRF) national survey, we highly recommend doing so.

Organic Check-off Proposal Open for Comment

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comments on the proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order, also known as a proposed organic check-off program. USDA will accept comments now through March 20, 2017. You may submit comments to www.regulations.gov, under docket number AMS-SC-16-0112.

Organic Farmers Sought for Interviews About Birds on Strawberry Farms

Ph.D. student Alejandra Echeverri is working in California’s central coast to understand how strawberry growers and managers of strawberry farming operations perceive birds on the farm. 
 
Specifically, Echeverri hopes to conduct in-person surveys with strawberry growers or managers to understand which practices they are using to attract birds to or deter birds from their farms. She also is interested to find out whether they see some birds as beneficial or pests on their farms.
 

Organic Farmers: Weigh in on the National Organic Survey

National policies, issues, and institutions affect organic farmers, yet we lack a strong presence to ensure that the certified organic farmer’s viewpoint, needs, and concerns are represented in the national arena. To address this situation, several organic farming organizations have been discussing building a more effective and clearer voice for certified organic farmers. We are proud of certified organic’s growth and growing prominence in the marketplace, and believe now is the time that farmers, who are at the core of this success, establish a focused and strong voice.

Organic Growers Urged to Fill Out Vegetable Chemical Use Survey

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) is researching how the produce industry will fare economically under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and grower participation in the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2016 Vegetable Chemical Use Survey is vital to the success of the study.

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