U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are showing that farmers can fine-tune their use of cover crops to help manage costs and maximize benefits in commercial organic production systems. ARS horticulturist Eric Brennan has helped design a long-term investigation examining several different cover cropping strategies for an annual organic lettuce-broccoli production system. Six of the strategies involved cover cropping every winter, and the other two involved cover cropping every fourth winter. Studied were rye, mustard, and a legume-rye mix cover crops.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce four new resources for its Program Handbook including: The Use of Kelp in Organic Livestock Feed, Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock in Organic Crop Production, Evaluating Allowed Ingredients and Sources of Vitamins and minerals for Organic Livestock Feed, and Responding to Results from Pesticide Residue Testing.
At its October 2012 meeting, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommended that the National Organic Program (NOP) take several actions. In advance of the April 2013 NOSB meeting, the NOP has published a response to these recommendations.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is now accepting public comments on its spring 2013 proposals. A small block of rooms has been set aside for the public. To get the Government per diem rate ($113.00 per night), call the hotel by March 22nd and ask for the USDA block.
The National Organic Program (NOP) has posted the tenth blog in the Organic 101 series: Strengthening Organic Integrity through Residue Testing. Also, check out the funding opportunity through the Organic Transitions Program.
If you are attending the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference later this week, we hope you will visit us in booth 713! Also, view a report summarizing market opportunities from the United States/European Union organic trade partnership.
NOP's new organic livestock fact sheet summarizes: Standards for all livestock, Allowed and prohibited substances, Ruminant pasture requirements, Benefits of organic and pasture-based management
Newly created position will provide scientific leadership to advance organic food and farming. The Organic Center named Jessica Shade, Ph.D., to serve in its newly created position of Director of Science Programs. She began working for The Organic Center Feb. 19..
The 3rd North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit (www.sustainablefoodssummit.com) was hosted in San Francisco on Jan 22-23rd. Improve efficiencies in food supply chains was the resounding message from the summit, which brought together over 160 senior executives from the food industry. A number of speakers highlighted the inefficiencies in food production, distribution and consumption.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced Wisconsin will receive $1.5 million this year to address conservation needs in the Driftless Area through a special Landscape Conservation Initiative. The focus will be to reduce soil erosion and improve fish and wildlife habitat on the working lands, woodlands, prairies, and cold water streams in the Driftless Area. This is the second year of funding for this initiative.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce proposed amendments to the crops and processing sections of the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The NOP is requesting public comments on the following proposed changes to the National List: Potassium hydroxide, Silicon dioxide, Beta-carotene extract color, Annatto extract color, Peracetic acid
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce a new resource to its program handbook addressing cell fusion in seed production. In the scientific literature, cell fusion is defined as the fusing of two cells to form a single cell. In response to inquiries, the NOP developed a policy addressing when cell fusion is considered an excluded method.
Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small farmers, veterans, and disadvantaged producers. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000. The new microloan program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations.
Organic crop and livestock producers in 16 states can be reimbursed as much as 75 percent of their certification costs from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013, up to a maximum of $750. This program is not competitive; $1.425 million are available for farmers and ranchers in the States listed above.
All Oregon Tilth members and potential members are invited to the Oregon Tilth Members Town Hall Meeting at Organicology - Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 from 2 to 4PM in Parlor Rooms B & C at the Hilton Portland. Participation is free, Organicology registration is not required.
Agent Orange corn won’t be coming to a field near you. This year. But its maker, Dow AgriSciences, has its sights set on the 2014 planting season. Studies link 2,4-D exposure to cancer, lowered sperm counts, liver toxicity and Parkinson's disease. Lab studies show that 2,4-D causes endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity and immunosuppression.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce the January issue of its Organic Integrity Quarterly newsletter. The January issue of the Organic Integrity Quarterly summarizes the NOP's recent activities and status updates.
On January 16, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published in the Federal Register for public comment two proposed rules: 1) Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption & 2) Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
Please join us in welcoming environmentalist and farmer Francis Thicke, Ph.D. to the NOSB today, adding valuable perspective to this 15-member advisory Board. An organic farmer for over 30 years, Dr. Thicke currently operates an 80-cow, certified organic dairy in Fairfield, Iowa, producing milk, cream, yogurt, and cheese.
A documentary that follows director Kip Pastor on a personal journey to answer commonly asked questions about organic food: What exactly is organic? Is it really better, or just a marketing scam?