TRACK 5 - ORGANIC PRODUCTION
The USDA Economic Research Service reports that organic farming has been one of the fastest-growing segments of U.S. agriculture for more than a decade, with an average 15 percent increase in organic acreage posted each year 2002-2008. Many U.S. producers are embracing organic farming in order to lower input costs, conserve nonrenewable resources, capture high-value markets, and boost farm income. Despite the gains, however, only about 0.7 percent of all U.S. cropland and 0.5 percent of all U.S. pasture was certified organic in 2008.
This track will address issues related to organic certification for farmers considering a transition to organic, as well as crop production issues for those already farming organically.
Friday, January 13
SESSION I - 2:15 – 3:45 pm
Demystifying Organic Certification
Organic certification can have a number of positive effects on a farm's production and bottom line. Certification is not as difficult a process as you might think. Come learn about it step-by-step determine if organic certification is right for your farm.
Brian Cricket Rakita, Quality Certification Services
SESSION II - 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Organic Stink Bug Solutions
Learn the results of the latest research into biological control of the brown marmorated stink bug, as well as other species of stink bugs that can attack fruits and vegetables in the Mid-Atlantic.
Bryan Butler, University of Maryland Extension, Carroll County
SESSION III - 8:30 - 10:00 am
Building Soils for Organic Fruit and Vegetable Production
Learn about vegetable & fruit needs and how to properly supply the soil and plant with nutrients, while maintaining a whole system approach. The speakers will adress soil tests and how to properly interpret them, discuss the importance of considering soil type when making planting decisions, and talk about organic soil amendments, including compost.
Cover Crop-Based Organic Rotational No-Till Crop Production
Mirsky conducts agro-ecological research in organic and sustainable cropping systems. His research focuses on evaluating cropping system sustainability including agronomic and environmental criteria. He'll discuss his findings regarding the multifunctional role of cover crops (weed control and Nitrogen scavenging and fertility) and their integration into agroecosystems for soil, crop, and weed management.
Steven Mirsky, Research Ecologist, Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab, USDA-ARS, Beltsville MD
SESSION V - 3:45 - 5:00 pm
EQIP and Other Conservation Programs to Support Organic Transition
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers an Organic Initiative within the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) designed to support farmers in making the transition to organic. This session will outline steps toward participation in the EQIP Organic Initiative and other key programs, and will discuss practices such as cover cropping, conservation crop rotation, fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and field border plantings for pollinator and beneficial habitat, for which NRCS can offer technical and financial assistance.
Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming
- Organic Orchard and Value-Added Farm Products at Country Pleasures Farm
May 29, 2013 (4:00 pm - 7:30 pm)
- Chesapeake CRAFT Tour at Common Good City Farm
June 03, 2013 (3:30 pm - 4:30 pm)
- High Tunnel Twilight (Spring Mills, PA)
June 05, 2013 (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
Add new event