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Title: Certified organic vegetable production for market

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

Submitted to: American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2009
Publication Date: 3/28/2009
Citation: Taylor, M.J., Webber III, C.L., Shrefler, J.W., Roberts, B.W., Russo, V.M., Bruton, B.D., Davis, A.R., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Fish, W.W., Edelson, J.V. 2009. Certified organic vegetable production for market [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division, March 28-31, 2009, Tulsa, Oklahoma. p. 84.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Federal guidelines for organic certification in 2002 provided structure for producers and processors to market certified organic foods. The guidelines provide general provisions and processes for obtaining and maintaining organic certification, but did not specify best management practices for crop production within organically approved methods. In 2003, organic certification was received on 8 acres at the Lane Agricultural Center, Lane, OK. Two acres of the certified organic land was used to demonstrate practices and generate information for growers interested in commercial organic farming. A four-year rotation (2003-2007) of four crops was established including southern pea (two cultivars), sweet corn (two cultivars), watermelon (two cultivars), and tomato (18 cultivars). Composted chicken litter, cover crops, and crop rotations were the primary fertility sources. Organic watermelon and tomato seedlings were started in organically-approved medium and fertilized with organically-approved soil amendments. Spring-planted crops were seeded, or transplanted, according to best management practices for the specific crop. Weed control was with black plastic, cultivation, or manual hoeing. Primary pests included deer (southern pea and watermelon), corn earworm and raccoons (sweet corn), various diseases, crows and coyotes (watermelon), aphids, blister beetles, vegetable weevil, blossom end rot and fungal diseases (tomato). Results indicated that southern pea and sweet corn provided the greatest potential for profitable organic production, but predation by animals remains a concern. Foliar diseases are a limiting factor for watermelon and tomato. The Lane Agricultural Center's certified organic demonstration project provided practical training for Center staff and valuable information for individuals interested in organic farming.