Organic Farming Project
 University of Nebraska
 http://organic.unl.edu




High Plains Ag Lab – Sidney
Cover Crop Research Plots
      Haskell Ag Lab - Concord




Charles Shapiro     Stevan Knezevic
Improving Organic Farming Systems across
           Nebraska Agroecoregions




Cooperating organizations: OCIA, NSAS, Gra...
200 Organic Operations Across Nebraska
1. Overview of organic research in Nebraska
                     (Charles Shapiro)
2. Improving propane flamers for weed c...
Nebraska Organic Working Group

Implementation Grant (2006-2010): Charles Shapiro, James
Brandle, Chuck Francis, Steven Kn...
Implementation Grant Objectives:
1.Create a network of organically, certified areas
  across Nebraska
  – Certify land as ...
Implementation Grant Objectives:
2. Improve organic production through
 focused research
  – Evaluate crop cultivars
  – E...
John Quinn, Jim Brandle, Ron Johnson
           UNL, School of Natural Resources
               http://hfi.unl.edu/
The “H...
Implementation Grant Objectives
3. Extend results to the public, and institutionalize
organic farming principles in reside...
Organic Wheat Grant: Developing Small Grains
    Cultivars and Systems Optimally Suited for
                Organic Produc...
Organic Practices and Bioconservation Grant

1. Provide research based organic farming system information
on:
    Nutrient...
Determine the effects of organic farming practices
in Nebraska on antioxidant agents present in
plants as means to optimiz...
Importance of Developing Partnerships
         OCIA Research and Education (OCIA R&E) their mission
 is to support farmer ...
http://organic.unl.edu
Flaming: Potential tool for weed
         management
“Our Flaming Team”
•      Agronomy Department & Haskell Agricultural Lab:
    – Dr. Stevan Knezevic & Dr. Jon Scott (Weed ...
How flaming
       works ?



• Thermal energy transfer from the flames to the leaf
   – ~ 50˚C coagulates proteins
   – ~...
Our Research Flamers
Calibration: Propane rates in GPA
Pressure                       Speed (mph)
  (PSI )       1       2       4         6   ...
Several Objectives:
1. To describe PROPANE DOSE RESPONSE CURVES for selected
crop and weed species as influenced by the fl...
Studying over 20 Plant Species:
• Broadleaf weeds:
•     1. Field bindweed          6. Ivyleaf morningglory
      2. Venic...
Results:

  WEED CONTROL
      with
BROADCAST FLAMING
Weeds before flaming
Weeds 5 days after flaming
         10 GPA
Weed control with broadcast flaming
• Level of weed control increased with an increase in
  propane dose

• Grasses were h...
Crop tolerance to “broadcast flaming”
• Corn was the most tolerant species
  – Likely due to growing point position at the...
Richard S. Little rlittle2@unl.edu
Organic Wheat Breeding Specialist and Coordinator
UNL, IANR, Agronomy and Horticulture ...
Organic Wheat Variety
and Farming System
Development
Richard Little, UNL Organic Wheat Breeding Coordinator
Organic Wheat Variety and
Farming System Development
  INTEGRATED
   Organic Variety Development
   Organic Farming Syst...
Objectives for IOP
         Wheat Grant

1. Test Wheat Performance in Organic
   Systems
2. Augment Breeding Program for O...
Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat
              Performance

Methods—Test yield performance in replicated trials
 State Vari...
Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat
              Performance

Results—Yield of Organic and Conventional in 2008
Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat
                Performance
            Baystate      Heartland       UNL

Results:    4-l...
Objective 2:        Augment Breeding Program


  Tests added to breeding program:
   Whole Wheat Tests:
     • Digestible ...
Objective 2:        Augment
               Breeding Program
Methods: Screen in Breeding Nurseries
        in addition to S...
Objective 2:                              Augment Breeding Program


 Results:         Quality for Selected NIN, 2009
    ...
Objective 2:             Augment Breeding Program


Results                Phenols Across Four Locations, 12 Varieties
   ...
Objective 2:                      Augment Breeding Program
        Using Photos for Rating Cover
 Plots are scored relativ...
Objective 2:   Augment Breeding Program
      Coleoptile Measurements
Objective 2:          Augment Breeding Program


 Conclusions—Agronomic Traits

     Very few coleoptile lines longer tha...
Objective 2:                Augment Breeding Program
 Further Research— Wheat Germplasm Development

  Tall, long coleopti...
Objective 2:                 Augment Breeding Program
 Further Research— Wheat Germplasm Development

                   N...
Objective 2:              Augment Breeding Program
 Further Research— Wheat Germplasm Development
    Low protein, excelle...
Objective 3: Grain Protein and
   Soil Fertility Enhancement

 Results of Planning Process:
    Low protein was identifie...
Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat
               Performance
                  2009         2009
Results:           UNL     ...
Objective 3: Grain Protein and
      Soil Fertility Enhancement
                                  Grain Protein Content
  ...
Objective 3: Grain Protein and
      Soil Fertility Enhancement
  2. Cover Crop/Fertility Experiment, 2009
Methods:   Trea...
Objective 3: Grain Protein and
    Soil Fertility Enhancement
Conclusions:
     Haskell represented perfectly the targete...
Biodiversity, Agroecosystems,
 and the Healthy Farm Index
JOHN QUINN, JIM BRANDLE, RON JOHNSON
Research Needs
Research Objectives

1.       Provide recommendations to organic farmers on
         maintaining on-farm avian population/...
Increased Biodiversity in Organic Systems

                 # of Studies                # Positive

Birds            3    ...
USDA Organic Standards

 USDA National Organic            Not all species benefit
 Program Standard 205.2             eq...
Hypotheses

 Landscape          Local              Microhabitat
   Percent cover      Percent Cover      Veg Density...
Results 2007-2009
               Predictors of species abundance

 Grassland Birds                Shrubland Birds
    %...
Future Research

 2010 - 2011                 Tradeoffs
    Nest success
    Behavior                                 ...
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

                                                    Agroecosystem
                   ...
Ecosystem Services Declining
                    Costanza et al 1997, MA 2005

 Food production                      Cli...
Healthy Farm Index - Indicators

 Associated species            Provisioning Services
 diversity                       ...
Biodiversity                                                 Weight Weight w/in
 Category                  Indicator      ...
Farm Scores

       Biodiversity   Ecosystem Service
100   90
                79               75
80
                     ...
Individual Indicator Evaluation
                  Biodiversity State (88)
                             Planned Vegetation
...
Future

 Beta testing with farmers
 Annual assessment
    Tradeoffs
 Other indicators
 Mapping farm
  biodiversity an...
“Integrity”

What word should come up when you say the term “organic”
            Producer – Processors- Consumer
National Organic Program (NOP) under the direction
       of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

  Encourage Farmers...
There are Many Certification Agencies…
           Number of domestic accredited certifying agents: 56
            Number o...
Organic Agriculture Defined
An ecological production
management system that promotes
and enhances biodiversity,
biological cycles and soil biological
...
It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on
management practices that restore, maintain and
enhance ecological ha...
Whole Systems Approach to Organic Farming
                        How will I
                                       Unders...
Funding Available for
   Transitioning
        And
  Organic Farmers
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
     Environmental Quality Incentives Program - EQIP
                   “6 Core...
NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program’s Contribution
         to Organic Transitioning – The Organic Crosswalk
      http:...
USDA funded Program issued
         Through the Nebraska Department of Ag
               Organic Cost Share Program
      ...
Farmer Research Groups for Organic Production Being Organized
Form organic farmers groups to identify topics and conduct w...
Two Great Resources for Organic Production
1. Sustainable Ag Research & Education (SARE)
http://www.sare.org/ncrsare/ne.ht...
-The End-
     For More Information Go To:
       Organic Working Group
           http://organic.unl.edu/
            Cro...
UNL Organic research 2010
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UNL Organic research 2010

  1. 1. Organic Farming Project University of Nebraska http://organic.unl.edu High Plains Ag Lab – Sidney
  2. 2. Cover Crop Research Plots Haskell Ag Lab - Concord Charles Shapiro Stevan Knezevic
  3. 3. Improving Organic Farming Systems across Nebraska Agroecoregions Cooperating organizations: OCIA, NSAS, Grain Place Foods Inc., Nebraska Indian Community College, CFRA, Disney Farms, Nissen Brothers Vineyards
  4. 4. 200 Organic Operations Across Nebraska
  5. 5. 1. Overview of organic research in Nebraska (Charles Shapiro) 2. Improving propane flamers for weed control in organic farming (Stevan Knezevic) 3. Organic winter wheat improvement for organic farming (Richard Little) 4. Biological diversity and the Healthy Farm Index (John Quinn) 3. Extension’s role working with the organic community (Elizabeth Sarno)
  6. 6. Nebraska Organic Working Group Implementation Grant (2006-2010): Charles Shapiro, James Brandle, Chuck Francis, Steven Knezevic, Drew Lyon, Elizabeth Sarno, Robert Wright, Ron Johnson, John Quinn Organic Wheat Grant (2007-2011): Stephen Baenziger, Richard Little, Vicki Schlegel, Rolando Flores, Stephen Wegulo, Randy Wehling, Gary Hein, Teshome Regassa Organic Practices and Bioconservation Grant (2009-2012): Charles Wortmann, Gary Hergert, Richard Ferguson, Mark Bernards, Dipak Santra
  7. 7. Implementation Grant Objectives: 1.Create a network of organically, certified areas across Nebraska – Certify land as organic at four research stations Agriculture Research Development Center – Mead Haskell Ag Lab – Concord South Central Ag Lab –Clay Center High Plains Ag Lab - Sidney – Create opportunity for other faculty to use organic acres – Work with cooperating farmers to identify key issues – Develop methods to assess environmental concerns using indicators of wildlife diversity
  8. 8. Implementation Grant Objectives: 2. Improve organic production through focused research – Evaluate crop cultivars – Enhance organic methods for weed management – Test alternative crops, management options, and soil fertility strategies for organic production systems
  9. 9. John Quinn, Jim Brandle, Ron Johnson UNL, School of Natural Resources http://hfi.unl.edu/ The “Healthy Farm Index” to assess and communicate how land-use and land-cover patterns influence biodiversity, production, and other ecosystem services.
  10. 10. Implementation Grant Objectives 3. Extend results to the public, and institutionalize organic farming principles in resident instruction. —Integrate results from organic research into the classroom. —Teach principles and practical knowledge to students help them envision diversified agricultural systems. — Include producers in the planning and summarization field demonstrations. —Provide guidance to Extension.
  11. 11. Organic Wheat Grant: Developing Small Grains Cultivars and Systems Optimally Suited for Organic Production 1. State Variety Trials with criteria for organic wheat market • Competitiveness against disease, weeds • Baking qualities 2. Cropping System Trials • Rotations to fit into eastern Nebraska • Cover crops after wheat • Timing of manure and top dressed N 3. Flaming Trials
  12. 12. Organic Practices and Bioconservation Grant 1. Provide research based organic farming system information on: Nutrient management Evaluate nutrient balances on organic farms Weed control Evaluate flaming in relationship to other organic weed control methods 2. Continue Healthy Farm Index - Determine relationship between organic farming and bird breeding success - Monitor long term ecological impact of organic farms - Incorporate production information into Healthy Farm Index
  13. 13. Determine the effects of organic farming practices in Nebraska on antioxidant agents present in plants as means to optimize the health promoting properties of our commodities. Organize three on-farm research groups Conduct trials of their choosing Develop research capacity of organic farmers Locate 16 nutrient/weed management trials on organic farms
  14. 14. Importance of Developing Partnerships OCIA Research and Education (OCIA R&E) their mission is to support farmer driven research, on farm and at research institutions. OCIA R&E helped with the certification costs and our research appears in their workshops and publications: http://www.ocia.org/RE/RandEBoard.aspx Nebraska Sustainable Ag Society (NSAS) cooperator - provides updates on our projects and research results to farmers through the NSAS newsletter and at the Rural Advantage/Healthy Farms Conference http://www.nebsusag.org/ Organic Farmer Advisor Committee provide guidance on research ideas and review projects to assure organic farmers’ production needs are being addressed.
  15. 15. http://organic.unl.edu
  16. 16. Flaming: Potential tool for weed management
  17. 17. “Our Flaming Team” • Agronomy Department & Haskell Agricultural Lab: – Dr. Stevan Knezevic & Dr. Jon Scott (Weed Technologist) – Santiago Ulloa (PhD student) & Dr. Avishek Datta (Post Doc) – Heverton Teixiere, Andray Domingous, Claudio Costa, Jaymo Nato, Sidnei (Brazil) – Pierre Marteau (France), Robert Leskovsek (Slovenia), Dr. Goran Malidza (Serbia) • Department of Mechanical Engineering: – Dr. George Gogos and Chris Bruening (PhD student) – Brian Nelson, Jared Miller and Dustin Simpson • Organic producers: Mike Ostry, Larry Stanislav, Randy Fendrich, Gerald Humlicek, Paul and Dan Huenefeld , Mark Ramaeker
  18. 18. How flaming works ? • Thermal energy transfer from the flames to the leaf – ~ 50˚C coagulates proteins – ~ 100˚C (220F) for only 0.1 second = water boiling – ~ 500˚C for only 0.1 second = cell membrane bursts – Cell water evaporates, tissue injury or plant dead – Temperature of the flame ranges from 500 - 1200 C
  19. 19. Our Research Flamers
  20. 20. Calibration: Propane rates in GPA Pressure Speed (mph) (PSI ) 1 2 4 6 8 10 10 10.24 5.12 2.56 1.71 1.28 1.02 20 18.16 9.08 4.54 3.03 2.27 1.82 30 26.08 13.04 6.52 4.35 3.26 2.61 40 34.00 17.00 8.50 5.67 4.25 3.40 50 41.92 20.96 10.48 6.99 5.24 4.19 60 49.84 24.92 12.46 8.31 6.23 4.98 70 57.76 28.88 14.44 9.63 7.22 5.78 80 65.68 32.84 16.42 10.95 8.21 6.57 90 73.60 36.80 18.40 12.27 9.20 7.36
  21. 21. Several Objectives: 1. To describe PROPANE DOSE RESPONSE CURVES for selected crop and weed species as influenced by the flaming time (plant size). 2. To select PROPANE dose from the curve to: - control the weeds - offset its competitive ability against crop
  22. 22. Studying over 20 Plant Species: • Broadleaf weeds: • 1. Field bindweed 6. Ivyleaf morningglory 2. Venice mallow 7. Velvetleaf • 3. Kochia 8. Henbit • 4. Yellow sweetclover 9. Horseweed (marestail) 5. Common waterhemp • Grasses: 1. Green foxtails 4. Barnyardgrass • 2. Yellow foxtail 5. Fall panicum • 3. Giant foxtail • Agronomic crops: 1. Corn 4. Sorghum • 2. Soybean 5. Wheat • 3. Sunflower
  23. 23. Results: WEED CONTROL with BROADCAST FLAMING
  24. 24. Weeds before flaming
  25. 25. Weeds 5 days after flaming 10 GPA
  26. 26. Weed control with broadcast flaming • Level of weed control increased with an increase in propane dose • Grasses were harder to control than broadleaf species – Likely due to growing point position at the time of flaming • Propane doses of 40-100 kg/ha (8-20GPA) provided a 90% control of most broadleaf species up to flowering stage without plant regrowth. – (Velvetleaf and pigweed needed about 8GPA of propane to get 80% control) • Most grassy species recovered few weeks after flaming. – Foxtail needed as much as 20GPA of propane to get 80% control
  27. 27. Crop tolerance to “broadcast flaming” • Corn was the most tolerant species – Likely due to growing point position at the time of flaming • Crop ranking for broadcast flaming: – 1. Corn was the most tolerant • Field corn most tolerant at V5 • Sweet corn and popcorn more tolerant at V5 - V7 – 2. Soybean at VC only – 3. Winter wheat – not recommended to flame - 4. Sorghum: Most tolerant at V5-V6 - 5. Sunflower ( will be done during 2010 season
  28. 28. Richard S. Little rlittle2@unl.edu Organic Wheat Breeding Specialist and Coordinator UNL, IANR, Agronomy and Horticulture Department 279 PLSH (102 Stewart Seed Lab) 1875 N. 38th Street Lincoln, NE 68583-0915 http://organic.unl.edu/wheat/wheat.shtml Stephen Baenziger - PI Professor Agronomy & Horticulture pbaenziger1@unl.edu
  29. 29. Organic Wheat Variety and Farming System Development Richard Little, UNL Organic Wheat Breeding Coordinator
  30. 30. Organic Wheat Variety and Farming System Development INTEGRATED  Organic Variety Development  Organic Farming System Development This research is supported by the USDA- CSREES Integrated Organic Program (IOP)
  31. 31. Objectives for IOP Wheat Grant 1. Test Wheat Performance in Organic Systems 2. Augment Breeding Program for Organic Traits 3. Enhance Grain Protein and Soil Fertility 4. Develop System to Suppress Weeds 5. Integrate Results into Cropping System
  32. 32. Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat Performance Methods—Test yield performance in replicated trials State Variety Trials at four research stations on organic land allowing comparison to conventional trials
  33. 33. Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat Performance Results—Yield of Organic and Conventional in 2008
  34. 34. Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat Performance Baystate Heartland UNL Results: 4-location HATCHER 4-location HATCHER 2-location HATCHER Bread CAMELOT NE03490 CAMELOT NE03490 CAMELOT NE03490 WAHOO WAHOO WAHOO Quality Baystate Milling: GOODSTREAK PRONGHORN GOODSTREAK PRONGHORN GOODSTREAK PRONGHORN BUCKSKIN BUCKSKIN BUCKSKIN • Flour Analysis CLARKSCREAM CLARKSCREAM CLARKSCREAM DANBY DANBY DANBY • Milling 2009 ARROWSMITH ALICE KARL92 ARROWSMITH ALICE • Farinograph KARL92 ARROWSMITH ALICE KARL92 DARRELL DARRELL DARRELL UNL • Baking NE99495 WESLEY : NE99495 WESLEY NE99495 WESLEY • Flour Analysis ALLIANCE MILLENNIUM ALLIANCE MILLENNIUM ALLIANCE MILLENNIUM • Milling OVERLAND SD05118 OVERLAND SD05118 OVERLAND SD05118 Legend: • Mixograph NW03681 NE04424 NW03681 NE04424 NW03681 NE04424 • Baking NE01481 NE05548 NE01481 NE05548 NE01481 NE05548 Heartland Mills: Alveograph NE05425 ANTELOPE NE05425 ANTELOPE NE05425 ANTELOPE
  35. 35. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Tests added to breeding program: Whole Wheat Tests: • Digestible Fiber • Antioxidants • Canopy Cover • Coleoptile Length
  36. 36. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Methods: Screen in Breeding Nurseries in addition to State Variety Trials Three generations on organic plots at two locations:  F6  F7  F8-9 Interstate Nursery = NIN Sidney and Mead
  37. 37. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Results: Quality for Selected NIN, 2009 2-location Sidney Only Overall Mix Breakfast Bread & UNL and Bake Cereal Cereal Score Quality Quality Total Judgments in 0 ppm Oxidant Digestible Common Fiber NW03666 4 NW03666 NW03666 White NW07505 6 NW07505 NW07505 NE05496 5 NE05496 NE05496 NE06545 4 NE06545 NE06545 Digestible fiber for white lines NE02558 5 NE02558 NE02558 in Variety Trials: NE07444 5 NE07444 NE07444 NE07410 4 NE07410 NE07410 CLARKSCREAM NE07668 3 NE07668 NE07668 DANBY NE05430 4 NE05430 NE05430 ARROWSMITH NE06469 6 NE06469 NE06469 ALICE NE06607 4 NE06607 NE06607 NW03681 NE07569 6 NE07569 NE07569
  38. 38. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Results Phenols Across Four Locations, 12 Varieties 0.7000 0.6000 Anti- 0.5000 0.4000 Total oxidants 0.3000 Phenols 0.2000 2008 0.1000 Total Flavonoids 0.0000 • Across four locations the white varieties, Alice and NW03681, were significantly lower for total phenols, but had a higher percentage of flavonoids. ORAC assays are still in process.
  39. 39. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Using Photos for Rating Cover Plots are scored relative to the minimum and maximum for the nursery. Relative scale of 0 – 9
  40. 40. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Coleoptile Measurements
  41. 41. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Conclusions—Agronomic Traits  Very few coleoptile lines longer than 3.5 inches are available in the pipeline (5 of 30 in SVT, 6 of 60 in NIN.  There was significant variation for cover in 2008, but no outstanding lines.
  42. 42. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Further Research— Wheat Germplasm Development Tall, long coleoptile, with increased canopy cover and root density Australian lines from Richard Richards crossed with Oklahoma varieties
  43. 43. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Further Research— Wheat Germplasm Development New wheat class: Truly Purple Chinese lines from Xinhong Chen to be crossed with Nebraska purple lines High in antioxidants (?), acceptable for breakfast cereal and tortillas(?)
  44. 44. Objective 2: Augment Breeding Program Further Research— Wheat Germplasm Development Low protein, excellent bread quality = high quality protein UNL advanced lines to be crossed with nutrient-dense lines (high iron and zinc) from USDA/ARS
  45. 45. Objective 3: Grain Protein and Soil Fertility Enhancement Results of Planning Process:  Low protein was identified as a key market disadvantage for wheat.  Farmers wanted a treatment without manure.  A liquid fermented poultry plant product manufactured in Sterling, Colorado, called Summit 10 fit the research purposes for top- dressing to enhance protein.
  46. 46. Objective 1. Test Organic Wheat Performance 2009 2009 Results: UNL Protein Score Bread HATCHER CAMELOT NE03490 Quality WAHOO GOODSTREAK PRONGHORN Affected by BUCKSKIN CLARKSCREAM DANBY Low N ARROWSMITH ALICE environment KARL92 DARRELL NE99495 WESLEY ALLIANCE MILLENNIUM OVERLAND SD05118 NW03681 NE04424 NE01481 NE05548 NE05425 ANTELOPE
  47. 47. Objective 3: Grain Protein and Soil Fertility Enhancement Grain Protein Content check treated check treated ALICE 10.5 11.7 NE01481 10.1 11.2 Results: ALLIANCE 9.6 10.2 NE03490 10.0 10.7 ANTELOPE 10.3 11.1 NE04424 10.7 11.3 N-Top ARROWSMITH 10.8 11.7 NE04490 10.5 11.4 BUCKSKIN 10.7 10.7 NE05425 10.8 11.4 Dressing CAMELOT CLARKS CREAM 10.5 11.2 11.2 12.2 NE05548 NE06469 10.5 10.3 11.4 11.1 in Wheat DANBY DARRELL 10.4 10.8 10.8 10.8 NE99495 NW03666 10.2 10.4 10.9 11.1 Variety GOODSTREAK HARRY 10.5 10.1 11.3 11.1 NW03681 OVERLAND 11.1 10.6 11.9 11.5 Trial at HATCHER KARL92 10.7 11.3 11.8 12.0 PRONGHORN SD05118 10.2 10.7 10.5 11.3 Haskell MACE MILLENNIUM 10.8 11.7 WAHOO WESLEY 10.1 10.8 10.8 11.5 10.0 11.2 • Many varieties increased protein content above the market threshold of 11.0 % in response to the top-dressing treatment. LSD = 0.5 (check) and 0.6 (treated).
  48. 48. Objective 3: Grain Protein and Soil Fertility Enhancement 2. Cover Crop/Fertility Experiment, 2009 Methods: Treatments: • Previous crop • corn Haskell • alfalfa fallow at Sidney and • manure type Sidney • field pea green manure • composted cattle manure • 3 manure rates • manure timing (one time at Sidney) • supplemental nitrogen (Summit 10)
  49. 49. Objective 3: Grain Protein and Soil Fertility Enhancement Conclusions:  Haskell represented perfectly the targeted N- deficient environment, with marketable responses for many varieties to top-dressing. Protein levels at Sidney (12 %) were above the market threshold because of dry conditions and adequate soil nitrogen fortification during previous years, and were not affected by treatments.  Grain protein content was not affected by manure rate (or type at Sidney). Benefits may accrue later, possibly several years where mineralization is slow.
  50. 50. Biodiversity, Agroecosystems, and the Healthy Farm Index JOHN QUINN, JIM BRANDLE, RON JOHNSON
  51. 51. Research Needs
  52. 52. Research Objectives 1. Provide recommendations to organic farmers on maintaining on-farm avian population/diversity o Identify species that thrive in agroecosystems 2. Develop tool to assess agroecosystem health o Healthy Farm Index o Balance between biodiversity conservation and production
  53. 53. Increased Biodiversity in Organic Systems # of Studies # Positive Birds 3 3 Arthropods 28 21 Soil Organisms 10 7 Plants 22 22 Total 63 53 Bengtsson J., J Ahnstrom, A. Weibull. 2005.
  54. 54. USDA Organic Standards  USDA National Organic  Not all species benefit Program Standard 205.2 equally (Beecher et al. 2002)  Organic production. A  Not all farms provide the production system that ….. same benefits promote(s) ecological balance, and conserve(s)  What do standards lack? biodiversity.
  55. 55. Hypotheses  Landscape  Local  Microhabitat  Percent cover  Percent Cover  Veg Density  Heterogeneity  Block cover  Percent cover  Linear cover  Veg Height  Heterogeneity
  56. 56. Results 2007-2009 Predictors of species abundance  Grassland Birds  Shrubland Birds  % Grassland (+)  Linear woody cover (+)  Local and Landscape  Local  Heterogeneity (-)  Microhabitat (+/-)  Vegetation Height (+)  Heterogeneity (+)  Linear Cover
  57. 57. Future Research  2010 - 2011  Tradeoffs  Nest success  Behavior Species Richness ~ Gross Profit/Acre 60 50 Species Richness 40 30 20 10 0 350 450 550 650 750 Gross Profit/Acre
  58. 58. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Agroecosystem Management Planned Biodiversity Creates conditions Ecosystem services that promote Associated Biodiversity Surrounding Biodiversity Nicholls and Altieri 2004
  59. 59. Ecosystem Services Declining Costanza et al 1997, MA 2005  Food production  Climate regulation  Gas regulation  Disturbance regulation  Water regulation  Water supply  Erosion control  The quality and availability of  Soil formation most ecosystem services are  Nutrient cycling declining  Waste treatment  Raw materials  Genetic resources  Recreation  Cultural  Pollination  Biological control
  60. 60. Healthy Farm Index - Indicators  Associated species  Provisioning Services diversity  Food, fiber, fuel  Avian indicators  Habitat  Conservation value  Regulating Services  Planned species  Water diversity  Soil  Crop/non-crop  Cultural Services  Livestock  Satisfaction  Ecosystems  Rare landscape elements  Ecosystem richness
  61. 61. Biodiversity Weight Weight w/in Category Indicator Target w/in Cat Biodiv Index Final Score Genetic NA Planned Vegetation Richness 6 0.5 Livestock Diversity 2 0.1 Species Abundance of Indicator Species 3 0.1 0.5 Biodiversity Native Ratio 1 0.1 Score Conservation Score 4 0.2 Number of Landscape Elements 4 0.5 Ecosystem 0.5 % Rare Landscape Elements 5 0.5 Ecosystem Weight w/in Weight w/in Final Service Category Ecosystem Service Indicators Target Service ES Index Score Yield 100 0.45 Food/Fiber/Fuel Profit (Satisfaction) 5 0.45 0.4 Provisioning Market Opportunities 3 0.1 Habitat/Refugia Abundance 10 0.4 0.09 Water Regulation/ Percent of waterways 0.09 Purification buffered/sheltered 100 1 % of farm fields w/ soil Ecosystem 0.09 conservation structures 100 0.5 Service Regulating Soil Retention Score % of farm with continious 0.09 living cover 100 0.5 Microclimate Regulation Windbreaks 5 1 0.09 Satisfaction 6 0.8 0.09 Cultural Cultural Tenure (% owned) 100 0.2 0.09 Supporting NA
  62. 62. Farm Scores Biodiversity Ecosystem Service 100 90 79 75 80 68 60 40 20 0 GP JS
  63. 63. Individual Indicator Evaluation Biodiversity State (88) Planned Vegetation Richness (Crops, Cover Crops, Pasture) % Rare Landscape Livestock Species Elements Richness Number of Landscape Avian Indicator Species Elements Ecosystem Services (91) Avian Conservation Score Native Species Ratio Crop Yield Satisfaction with Satisfaction with Profit Management Microclimate Regulation Market Opprotunities Continious Living Cover Habitat Abundance Soil Conservation Percent of waterways Structures buffered/sheltered
  64. 64. Future  Beta testing with farmers  Annual assessment  Tradeoffs  Other indicators  Mapping farm biodiversity and ecosystem services  Structured Decision Making Nelson et al PNAS 2008
  65. 65. “Integrity” What word should come up when you say the term “organic” Producer – Processors- Consumer
  66. 66. National Organic Program (NOP) under the direction of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Encourage Farmers and Processors to view the National Organic Program (NOP) Standards on-line. Go To: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop Sidebar “I Want Information On” NOP Regulations Go To: Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) (Standards) Standards are the regulations producers must follow to certify crop ground, livestock, vegetables, processed food items etc.
  67. 67. There are Many Certification Agencies… Number of domestic accredited certifying agents: 56 Number of foreign accredited certifying agents: 43 Quality Certification Services Quality Assurance OCIA International Oregon Tilth International
  68. 68. Organic Agriculture Defined
  69. 69. An ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity.
  70. 70. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony. –National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) April 1995 Meeting, Orlando, FL-
  71. 71. Whole Systems Approach to Organic Farming How will I Understand What type of crop Develop Organic control rotation can I Production weeds? Cultural use? Practices Practices Learn when to hoe and Provide habitats cultivate row crops and wildlife Healthy Farm Index - linkages Develop Increase Biodiversity Timely Management Strategies • It is not simply “no chemicals”. • Not ALL inputs are prohibited, however; all inputs must be compliant with the National List of allowed substances. For more information on Biodiversity – Wild Farm Alliance: www.wildfarmalliance.org
  72. 72. Funding Available for Transitioning And Organic Farmers
  73. 73. USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program - EQIP “6 Core” Practices Who is Eligible for EQIP Organic Initiative Funds? 1. Growers and/or livestock producers who are starting or in the process of transition to organic production. 2. Growers and/or livestock producers who are currently certified organic and are transitioning new land to organic production. 3. Growers and/or livestock producers who are currently certified organic and are implementing new conservation practices on their farm.
  74. 74. NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program’s Contribution to Organic Transitioning – The Organic Crosswalk http://www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/EQIP_Organic_Initiative.html Of the 80 enhancements from which producers can select 39 have a high likelihood of adoption by organic producers or those who are interested in transitioning to organic An additional 25 enhancements that can be applied during the transition period. Producers can use CSP Conservation Enhancements to aid them during the “transitioning” period to organic farming. Contact your Natural Resource Conservationist for more information http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/special_pdfs/Organic_Crosswalk_091009_dl.pdf
  75. 75. USDA funded Program issued Through the Nebraska Department of Ag Organic Cost Share Program Nebraska Contact . Steve Martin NE Dept. of Agriculture . 301 Centennial Mall South Lincoln, NE 68509-4947 Phone: 800-422-6692 E-mail: steve.martin@nebraska.gov This program helps with up to 75% of a producer’s NOP certification expenses or up to $750.00. Steve mails the forms out by September 1st Need to be returned to by October 16th so producers receive funds by December 31st Last year Nebraska was allocated $60,000 and all of those funds were used so educators should advise producers that the funds are given out on a first come - first serve basis.
  76. 76. Farmer Research Groups for Organic Production Being Organized Form organic farmers groups to identify topics and conduct well-designed trials on their fields to obtain reliable information. Technical support from UNL Extension faculty to help set-up the experimental design and collection of data. Some of the projects farmers are investigating: Forage Teff grass as a cover crop to improve soil tilth; Biological control of leafy spurge; Use of Neem oil and varietal resistance in soybean aphid management; Mob grazing pasture; Bio-char as a soil amendment; Use of a Rodale Roller/Crimper to roll rye and plant soybeans (organic no-till system) Contact: Charles Wortmann, Associate Professor Liz Sarno, Extension cwortmann2@unl.edu esarno2@unl.edu
  77. 77. Two Great Resources for Organic Production 1. Sustainable Ag Research & Education (SARE) http://www.sare.org/ncrsare/ne.htm Nebraska State Coordinator, Gary Lesoing glesoing2@unl.edu Farmer Rancher and Research and Education Grants Publications available on line: Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition 2. ATTRA: http://attra.ncat.org/ The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
  78. 78. -The End- For More Information Go To: Organic Working Group http://organic.unl.edu/ CropWatch Organics http://cropwatch.unl.edu/web/organic/home Contact Liz Sarno esarno2@unl.edu or 402-309-0944

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