Research Forum

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The last decade has produced amazing growth in the number of organic research projects at land-grant universities and private institutions. Through a Research Poster Gallery and a special track of workshops, the Organic Research Forum brings that research directly to organic farmers at the MOSES Conference.


NEW:  Additional Opportunity
Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS)
February 25-26, 2015
Radisson Hotel, La Crosse, Wis.
This event happens just prior to the MOSES Conference and requires separate registration. OARS features researchers from all over the world presenting current research on organic farming systems.


MOSES Research Poster Gallery

Open Friday 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Meet the researchers Friday and Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m.


MOSES Organic Research Forum Workshops

The MOSES Conference will highlight several workshops where researchers, and often the organic farmers that assisted, will present the findings and implications of their recent work. We have selected a broad range of agronomic, horticultural and livestock research projects for these workshops:

Does It Pay to Irrigate Pasture Here?
Presenters: Tom Kriegl, UW Center for Dairy Profitability and Paul Onan, Onan Dairy Farm

Many dairy and livestock operations use management intensive rotational grazing for controlling feed costs. Yet many believe the cost of irrigation can’t be justified for pasture. Considering that many pastures are dominated by grasses that are not drought tolerant, and we’ve seen a substantial increase in agricultural commodity and input prices since 2006, it’s worth looking at the economic feasibility of irrigating pasture in the Upper Midwest.

E.U. Organic Vegetable Production Innovations
Presenter: Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University

Explore innovations in organic vegetable systems in Italy, which has over 48,000 organic farms and an extensive support system (government, research, and private certification associations) to assist organic farmers in the transition and beyond. We’ll also discuss details on new roller-crimpers, vegetable varieties, and climate mitigation studies.

Managing Fire Blight without Antibiotics
Presenters: David Granatstein, Washington State University, Ken Johnson, Oregon State University, and Jessica Shade, Organic Center

Learn strategies and practices to control fire blight in apple and pear orchards without the use of antibiotics. Several new control materials are available for use by organic growers, but none appears as a stand-alone replacement for antibiotics. See how organic orchardists in Washington State have used a systems approach successfully to maintain compliance for export to the EU. We’ll cover sanitation, vigor control, sequence and timing of control materials, spray coverage, and varietal susceptibility.

Organic Pasture Management for Dairy Production
Presenters: Mark Renz and Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pastures—critical to organic dairy production—vary widely among farms in their composition and management. These factors, plus soil fertility practices, greatly influence pasture productivity and quality, impacting milk production. We’ll draw from a recently completed research project on 40 organic dairy pastures to show you how to prioritize management practices to improve pasture productivity and quality in the Upper Midwest.

Organic Potato Production: From Starts to Storage
Presenters: Ruth Genger and Doug Rouse, University of Wisconsin

Potatoes can be challenging to produce, but knowledge about crop needs and management options can help you achieve a bountiful harvest—and keep it longer in storage. We’ll cover sourcing and handling seed, fertility needs, managing pests and diseases, small-and large-scale equipment options, harvesting and storage. We’ll also discuss standard and specialty variety choices, continuing on-farm potato variety trialing projects in the Midwest, and possibilities for on-farm seed potato production.

Pest Management in Organic Grain Crops
Presenter: Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University

The majority of organic grain crops require little beyond native bio-control agents to keep pests in check. This workshop will focus on all the biological, cultural and organic-compliant treatments available to organic farmers. We’ll also look at research results and farmer experience to judge how effective these treatments are for maintaining a pest-suppressive organic grain system.

Practical Approaches and Research Studies with Swine
Presenter: Tom Frantzen, Frantzen Family Farms

This workshop combines decades of experience with the latest research results to give you practical information to improve your hog operation. Learn about the goals and personal values that guide Frantzen Farms, collaborated on-farm research, and other relevant research information with a focus on forages and grow finish diets.

Where’s the Beef in Animal Product Quality?
Presenter: Chuck Benbrook, Washington State University

How animals are fed and managed has profound effect on milk, meat, fish, and egg quality—which likely accounts for most of the differences in the nutritional value of organic versus conventionally raised animals. We’ll examine recent meta-analyses that link animal, fish, and human nutrition with health outcomes. You’ll find there’s a surprisingly deep body of evidence pointing to adverse nutritional impacts from conventional livestock and aquaculture systems.


The Organic Research Forum is funded through the generous support of The Ceres Foundation.


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