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Title: A living demonstration of certified organic farming by Oklahoma State University and USDA, Agricultural Research Service

item Webber Iii, Charles
item Davis, Angela
item Russo, Vincent
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope
item Bruton, Benny
item Fish, Wayne

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2008
Publication Date: 10/5/2008
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Shrefler, J.W., Taylor, M.J., Davis, A.R., Roberts, B.W., Russo, V.M., Edelson, J.V., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Bruton, B.D., Fish, W.W. 2008. A living demonstration of certified organic farming by Oklahoma State University and USDA, Agricultural Research Service [abstract]. Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Joint Meeting, October 5-9, 2008, Houston, Texas. 622:6.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Organic crop production is the fastest growing portion of U.S. agriculture, increasing a minimum of 20% annually during the last 15 years. The establishment of federal guidelines for organic certification in 2002 provided a structure for producers and processors to market certified organic foods. The guidelines provide the general provisions and processes for obtaining and maintaining organic certification, but do not specifically determine the best management practices for crop production within the organically approved methods. In 2003, Oklahoma State University and USDA, Agricultural Research Service, South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory received organic certification for eight acres at the Lane Agricultural Center, Lane, OK. The certified organic land was used to develop a cooperative project with a diversity of academic disciplines working with multiple crops to demonstrate organic practices and generate production information for growers interested in commercial organic farming. A four year rotation (2003-2007) was established with four crops, which included southern pea (two cultivars), sweet corn (two cultivars), watermelon (two cultivars), and tomato (18 cultivars). The primary pest problems for the crops included grazing deer (southern pea and watermelon), corn earworm and raccoons (sweet corn), various diseases, crows and coyotes (watermelon), and aphids, blister beetles, vegetable weevil, blossom end rot and fungal diseases (tomato). Corn earworm was successfully controlled with organically approved natural insecticides. When considering the four crops in the demonstration project, southern pea and sweet corn provide the greatest opportunity for organic production, but predation by animals remains a concern. Organic watermelon and tomato production has potential once a satisfactory organic fungicide is developed or disease resistant cultivars are located or developed. The Lane Agricultural Center's certified organic demonstration project provided practical training for the center's staff and valuable information for individuals interested in organic farming.