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Organic Research Forum

The Organic Research Forum at Marbleseed's annual Organic Farming Conference includes a poster session documenting completed and ongoing research projects related to organic agriculture.

Organic Research Forum Conference Hours

Thursday 5 p.m. - 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Presenters available: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Thursday & Friday

New this year – People’s Choice Award! Vote on your favorite poster by Friday at 7 p.m.

2023 Organic Research Forum Project Summaries

Jessica Barbosa Oliveira - University of Minnesota
Jute mallow and Spider wisp yield response to composted manure application in Minnesota : This research aimed to develop nutrient recommendations for two crop species that are not currently included in Minnesota nutrient guidelines, and have a cultural value for immigrant farmers in the region

Ava McCune - University of Minnesota
Improving High Tunnel Soils with Cover Crops : This research evaluates the degree to which planting time of two winter cover crops, hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) and Austrian winter pea (Pisum sativum), affects: 1) cover crop biomass and nodulation, 2) soil nitrogen, and 3) pepper yield.

Alexis Gauger - University of Kentucky
Balancing Pollination Success and Pollinator Health in Organic Cucurbit Crops : Cucurbit crops require insect pollination, typically from bumble bees, to produce a yield, however, cucurbit pollen is detrimental to the colony-level health of bumble bees. Floral resource diversification can improve bee health outcomes, but this may come at the expense of effective crop pollination.

Claire Benning, Matthew Ruark, Erin Silva - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Growth and benefit of interseeded cover crop mixtures compared to single species in organic corn production : Interseeding cover crops into the corn phase of organic grain rotations the upper Midwest suppresses weed growth and reduces soil nitrate levels without impacting corn silage yields while avoiding the challenges associated with short establishment periods following the harvest.

Ariana Abbrescia, Amanda Gevens, Russel Groves - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Online Disease Management Resources for Organic Vegetable Growers : Our research project organizes and validates field-based evidence in developing a centralized, online disease management resource for organic vegetable growers. This includes an ongoing meta-analysis evaluating the efficacy of organic treatments for brassica black rot (XCC), as well as online disease management and forecasting materials.

Alexis Barnes - South Dakota State University
Assessing Clover Cover Crops as a Living Mulch in Organic Winter Squash Production : Clover living mulch can aid organic farmers with weed suppression and soil fertility. Three clover species and a control treatment were tested with four soil management techniques to understand the effects on weed management, nutrient competition, and winter squash yield.

Linda Sturm-Flores, Jean Bertrand Contina, and Reza Keshavarz Afshar - The Rodale Institute
Effect of No-till Organic Vegetable Production Systems on Soil Proprieties in Iowa : Adoption of no-till farming method indicates considerable improvement in the agroecosystem productivity. Results from our no-till vegetable trial shows temporal variations in soil moisture, temperature, and fertility levels among tilling methods.

Jean Bertrand Contina, Léa Vereecke, and Reza Keshavarz Afshar - The Rodale Institute
Use of Cover Crops in No-till Organic System to Enhance Dry Beans Production in Iowa : Our research revealed that the use of cereal rye as a cover crop for dry beans production shows promises in enhancing productivity through weed control and soil nutrient stability, as well as, in promoting crop diversity in the Midwest.

B Gonçalves da Costa, K. Sharpe, M. Endres, B. Heins - University of Minnesota
Health assessment of calves raised individually, in pairs, in groups, or with their dams : This study investigates the absorption of immunoglobulins and health of calves raised individually, in pair, groups or with their dams.

Hannah Anderson, Erin Silva, Julie Dawson, Phil Simon, Zac Freedman - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Assessing the Influence of Root Exudate Composition on Soil Microbial Communities and Functions in Organic Vegetable Cultivar Development : Root exudation plays a major role in shaping soil microbial communities. We are investigating how root exudates change as a result of selective vegetable breeding, and the potential impacts on the functional capacity of organically managed soils under organic carrot.

Emily Evans, Axel Garcia y Garcia, Ray Batalden - University of Minnesota
Evaluation of seeding methods and timing of cover crops interseeded into organic corn : This research evaluated establishment of several different cover crop species when broadcast seeded and incorporated using routine weed tillage practices (tine-weeder, field cultivator), compared to drill-seeding using a high clearance seeder.

Antonio Alba-Meraz - Sharing Our Roots
Confirming the Presence of Spotted Wing Drosophila Drosophila suzukii Matsumura at the Sharing Our Roots Farm : Insect identification is an important step for the management of insect pests. Through a systematic luring and trapping method and microscopic analysis, Sharing Our Roots confirmed the presence of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Drosophila suzukii on elderberry in Northfield, MN.

Viktor Halmos - University of Kentucky
Costs and Benefits of Integrating Poultry into Vegetable Rotations : The role of poultry density: Our three-year project aims to study the integration of poultry into annual vegetable, cover crop rotations to see if manure deposition will increase vegetable yields, if poultry would compromise food safety, and how poultry effect local arthropod abundance.

Lauren Asprooth - University of California-Davis
Drivers and deterrents of small grain production in the Upper Midwest : Small grains are important to organic rotations, however farmers face barriers to their production including low prices and lack of markets, equipment, and improved genetics. Positive synergies exist between organic certification, integrated crop-livestock operations, and the use of small grains.

Madison Bacon, Marcia Endres, Bradley Heins - University of Minnesota
Can willow bark or Dull-It provide pain relief in disbudded dairy calves under organic management? : Disbudding is a standard procedure on most dairy farms, but organic options to alleviate pain are limited. This study evaluates the post-disbudding analgesic effects of oral willow bark and Dull-It on organic dairy calves.

Lexie Wilson - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Organic Variety Trial of Open Pollinated Sweet Corn Varieties : Open pollinated sweet corn varieties allow growers to select and save seed, adapting varieties to their environments and management systems. An organic variety trial determined performance of nine open pollinated sweet corns, with a focus on uniformity of traits.

Kate Stenerode - Iowa State University
Cross-sectional survey of disease prevention practices and the veterinarian's role on small-scale organic/alternative livestock and poultry operations in the U.S. : What disease prevention practices organic and alternative livestock and poultry producers use, and what the perceived role is of veterinarians and other animal health professionals on their operations.

Nurfadila Khairunnisa - University of Minnesota
2020-2021 Organic Farm Financial Benchmarking in the Upper Midwest : Using the Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM)’s FINBIN database, researchers compiled 2020-2021 two-year average farm financial performance summaries for organic farms and organic enterprises, including, corn, soybean, and dairy. The analysis includes operation size and organic operation strategy comparisons.

Ambar Carvallo – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Evaluation of Novel Markers for Septoria Leaf Spot Resistance in Tomato
Septoria leaf spot is one of the most damaging foliar diseases affecting tomatoes in open field production in the Upper Midwest. We evaluated two new markers, SLS1 and SLS2, and both showed high correlation with resistance to Septoria leaf spot in tomato.