story to find out more.
The yellow substance on some of these research
plots is corn gluten meal, used in a test of an organic weed control. Click
the image for more information about it.
Cultivating Organic and Conventional Vegetable
Production By Jim
Core April 19, 2006
Farmers who are considering a switch from conventional to organic
production can now factor into their decision research findings from
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
scientists in Lane, Okla.
There, at the ARS
Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, scientists are working to improve
production systems for vegetable growers using conventional or organic methods.
For example, ARS plant physiologist
Russo is developing organic vegetable crop production systems for growers
who want to diversify from peanut and cow-calf/forage operations. To meet the
needs of certified organic producers, Lane researchers are working to ensure
that sound management practices are used.
Russo is investigating whether organic practices can produce vigorous
vegetable seedlings. Initially, organically grown bell pepper transplants
appeared to be less vigorous than those in a conventional potting soil. But
further examination revealed that suggested rates for some commercial organic
fertilizer products were inadequate.
Accordingly, Russo found that adding four times the label rate of an
organic fertilizer to a commercially available, organically certified potting
medium produced bell pepper seedlings similar to those grown with synthetic
fertilizers and a conventional potting medium.
In addition, ARS agronomist
Webber is examining integrated vegetable production and weed-control
systems using crop rotations, cover crops, and synthetic and organic
herbicides. He is looking at alternative weed-control applications such as corn
gluten meal, pelargonic acid (a fatty acid found in plants and animals) and
vinegar (acetic acid).
Working with ARS technician
Faulkenberry and James W. Shrefler, an Extension horticulturist at
Oklahoma State University in Lane, Webber
recently developed an innovative device for applying corn gluten meal to the
Webber's team also studied vinegar, which had previously been
identified as an organic herbicide, to determine acetic acid concentrations,
application volumes and the use of adjuvantsadditives such as orange oil
or canola oilto improve its performance.
more about this research in the April 2006 issue of Agricultural
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's principal scientific research agency.