Submitted to: Crop Management at www.cropmanagement.org
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2006
Publication Date: 9/21/2006
Citation: Bull, C.T. 2006. US Federal Organic Research Activity is Expanding. Crop Management at www.cropmanagement.org. DOI:10.1094/CM-2006-0921-18-RV. Interpretive Summary: Organic agriculture is the fastest growing sector of the US agricultural economy. However, the USDA-ARS, the federal agriculture research organization, until recently did not have a formal program to address the needs of organic producers and affiliated industries with needs specific to organic agriculture. A survey was conducted to determine what USDA-ARS research is being done to help this industry and to identify factors inhibiting even greater advancements in this area. This research led to a USDA-ARS workshop on organic agriculture to address these needs.
Technical Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service is the Agency responsible for the federal effort in agricultural research. A recent survey of the ~2340 USDA-ARS scientists revealed that approximately 8 percent of the scientists were interested in working research topics for organic agriculture. At the time of the survey only about 4 percent had worked in or were working on projects useful to certified organic industries. The survey identified several obstacles hindering work in organic agriculture. Some obstacles such as low funding were not unique to organic research while others were. A recent USDA-ARS workshop on organic agriculture helped to identify and alleviate some of those issues.