Research Forum

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The last decade has produced an amazing growth of organic research projects at both public land-grant universities and private institutions. The Organic Research Forum at the MOSES Conference helps bring that research directly to organic farmers. The Organic Research Forum is a unique opportunity for farmers, students and researchers to connect and discuss current issues in organic agricultural research.

Call for Posters

Organic Research Forum Workshops

The 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 from several research institutions throughout the Midwest and beyond.

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.

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.


6th Annual Organic Research Poster Gallery—Call for Posters

(Deadline Jan. 9, 2015)

For the sixth year, the 2015 MOSES Organic Farming Conference will include an organic research poster session Feb. 27 and 28 as part of the Organic Research Forum. The poster session will document completed and on-going research projects related to organic agriculture.Researchers, academic faculty and staff, graduate/undergraduate students and farmer researchers may submit poster proposals for consideration by Jan. 2, 2015 related to the following topics:

  1. Organic fruit, vegetable and row crop production (including bio-fuels & fibers)
  2. Organic dairy production
  3. Economic and marketing research
  4. Organic livestock production (other than dairy) and crop-livestock integration
  5. Insect and disease management
  6. Nutritional quality of organic foods
  7. Consumer and market trends

Research abstracts/summaries (under 300 words) should cover the study’s purpose, experimental treatments used, results obtained, significance of findings, conclusions and implications. Focus should be on the implications of the research and less on methodology. Email submissions to either as a Microsoft Word-compatible attachment or simply in the text of the email. Include full contact information. Space is limited to 40 posters.

All accepted poster presenters receive full conference admission. Limited scholarships are available to offset the cost of lodging and travel. To be considered for a scholarship, submit a request with the poster abstract/summary.

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


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