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Farm-to-table restaurant steps up as community food hub in pandemic

 When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what about when life gives you a COVID-19 pandemic that forces you to close your business doors? Take advice from Marie and Matt Raboin of Brix Cider and pivot, in their case reinventing their cidery and cafe into a regional food hub and community food delivery service. Read more.

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MOSES offers virtual field days this summer

For well over a decade, MOSES has organized on-farm field days to give farmers the chance to see how other organic farmers manage their operations and to get ideas they can use on their own farms. With COVID concerns, this year we’re moving our field days online to protect the health of our farm hosts, our team, and field day participants. Read more.

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Center for Food Safety sues USDA to take organic label off hydroponically grown food

The federal Organic Foods Production Act requires farms to build soil fertility in order to be certified organic. Despite this legal mandate the USDA decided to allow hydroponic operations that do not use soil at all to be certified as organic. The Center for Food Safety filed a federal lawsuit on March 3, 2020, which challenged the organic certification of hydroponics. Read more.

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COVID-19 crisis could lead to sustainable change in food system 

Across the globe, people are pulling together to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a powerful demonstration of our interconnectedness and, more than that, our ability to work together for a healthier world. This year, more than ever, I see an opportunity for sustainable change in the way we cultivate food from the ground up: by prioritizing soil health. Read more.

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Research compares summer cover crop options for organic vegetable farms

Summer cover crops can supplement fertility inputs necessary to maintain crop health in organic systems. Nonetheless, it is crucial to narrow the purpose and use cover crops will have in order to determine what sort of management strategies are necessary to obtain such services. In May-September 2019, we evaluated a range of summer cover crops at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus to determine feasibility in organic rotation systems. Read more.

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Cover crop of sorghum-sudangrass smothers, starves Canada thistle

If Canada thistle or other perennial weeds such as quack grass have become a problem on your organic farm, there is still time this spring to take proactive steps towards rooting out these weeds from your fields. Read more.

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Flamers, electrically charged innovations expand weed-fighting arsenal

Harnessing elements of nature, like intense heat or electrical charges, to dispatch weeds and kill bugs continues to find growing application and interest in farming at all scales of production. Small equipment operators tending specialty crops and expansive row-crop grain farmers—both organic and conventional— have found themselves drawn to a flame or turned on to “zapping” what confronts them in the field. Read more.

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Organic farmers try innovative practices to beat spotted wing drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is an invasive fruit fly that is testing the patience of berry growers all over the globe. Organic farmers and researchers in the Midwest are playing a major role in finding ways to manage this pest successfully. Read more.

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New demonstration farms in Illinois to showcase commercial-scale agroforestry 

The dual-purpose nature of agroforestry practices can make them a win-win for farmers, allowing them to harvest multiple products from the same land area and access new sources of income. To show farmers how agroforestry can be managed on a commercial scale, the Savanna Institute is establishing three demonstration farms across Illinois. Read more.

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MOSES farming mentors offer advice on mentoring other farmers

The farmers mentoring others in our program are great examples of one of the most striking aspects of the organic farming community—the willingness to share hard-earned expertise to help others along the way. We hosted a virtual get-together with the MOSES mentors back in February so they could learn from each other about how to best shepherd along their beginning farmers this season. Their advice could help you in your own mentoring relationships. Read more.

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