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Organic Farming at Washington State University

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2009 NACAA Organic Agriculture Super Seminar …

2009 NACAA Organic Agriculture Super Seminar
Presenters: David Granatsetein, CSANR; Carol Miles, Horticulture; Diana Roberts, Extension

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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  • 1. Organic Farming at Washington State University
    David Granatstein, CSANR
    Carol Miles, Horticulture
    Diana Roberts, Extension
    Organic wheat research, Pullman
  • 2. WSU researchers published a long-term organic comparison study in Nature. Success with leading journals has helped legitimize organic research.
  • 3. WSU Organic Ag Chronology
  • 4. Integration of Extension and Research
    • WSU faculty survey, formed WSU organic work group
    • 5. Organic special grant, BIOAg
    • 6. Development of organic land at R&E centers
    • 7. Web site – research reports on line, database
    • 8. Organized educational events – special topic symposia, organic grain workshops, field tours
    • 9. Integrate organic into existing industry meetings – tree fruit, vegetable
    • 10. Formal training courses – Cultivating Success
    • 11. NOP national training
  • http://organicfarming.wsu.edu/
  • 12. Topics for Organic Research Grant
    • Seeds and varieties – seed quality, seed diseases, wheat breeding
    • 13. Compost tea – characterization, disease control
    • 14. Tree fruit – orchard floor management
    • 15. Vegetable systems - cover crops, rotations, mulches, weed control, variety selection
    • 16. Dryland grain production – weed control, fertility, integration of livestock
    • 17. Economics – organic sector trends; apple price responses
  • Elements of Success
    Support from College administration
    Formation of cross-departmental unit, CSANR
    Partnerships with organic farming and consumer advocacy groups – Tilth, WSFFN, PCC
    Linkage with mainstream agriculture groups whose constituencies increasingly participated in the organic sector
    Academic legitimacy (e.g. Nature article)
    Willingness of faculty to develop new proposals
  • 18. Challenges
    • Stability of funding
    • 19. Industry matching funds for grants
    • 20. Two distinct audiences – ‘philosophic’ and ‘economic’
    • 21. Different needs – small vs large farms, new entrants vs long time organic producers
    • 22. Pesticide rules – e.g. work with brassica meals
  • Lessons Learned
    1. Focus on common values (soil health, biocontrol), not differences (pesticides, biotech)
  • 23. Lessons Learned
    1. Focus on common values (soil health, biocontrol), not differences (pesticides, biotech)
    2. Recognize cross-over of research
    Pheromone mating disruption, developed for ‘conventional’ orchards, was a critical technology in the expansion of organic apple production.
  • 24. Lessons Learned
    1. Focus on common values (soil health, biocontrol), not differences (pesticides, biotech)
    2. Recognize important cross-over of research
    3. Find funding – SARE program, OFRF, WA CPR biocontrol mandate, USDA organic transitions
  • 25. Lessons Learned
    1. Focus on common values (soil health, biocontrol), not differences (pesticides, biotech)
    2. Recognize important cross-over of research
    3. Find funding – SARE program, OFRF, WA CPR biocontrol mandate, USDA organic transitions
    4. Size of organic sector – potential impact of research and extension
    When organic acres were a very small percent of total crop acres, the potential impact from research appeared minimal. With apples and pears exceeding 7% of all apples and pears in the state, there is more motivation for research.
  • 26. Lessons Learned
    1. Focus on common values (soil health, biocontrol), not differences (pesticides, biotech)
    2. Recognize important cross-over of research
    3. Find funding – SARE program, OFRF, WA CPR biocontrol mandate, USDA organic transitions
    4. Size of organic sector – potential impact of research
    5. Systems studies and component research – not either / or
  • 27. Organic Farming Trends
    Washington & Oregon
    David Granatstein&Elizabeth Kirby
    WSU-Center for Sustaining Agriculture
    And Natural Resources
    In cooperation with Oregon Tilth Certified Organic and
    Washington State Department of Agriculture Organic Food Program
  • 28. Consumer Demand
    Growth of US Organic Food Sales
    4%
    1%
    projected
    Nutrition Business Journal
    40% of sales = fruits & vegetables
    New York Times, 31 October, 2008
  • 29. Trend oforganiccrop acreage in Oregon
    115,502
    83,297
    59,207
    45,429
    Photo: Fry Family Farm
    OTCO data all years; WSDA data beginning 2004; QAI, ICS, GOA, and CCOF added 2005; Global Culture data added 2008. Does not include 5,400 ac lake algae area.
  • 30. Certified acres by crop type Oregon - 2008
    Other crops 2%
    Fruits & nuts 2%
    Other land 2%
    Fallow 4%
    Vegetables 5%
    Grain, pulse & oilseed 8%
    Forage 77%
    ‘Other crops’ include herbs, mixed horticulture, seed, cover crops, etc.
    OTCO, WSDA, GOA, ICS, CCOF, Global Culture data
  • 31. Organic Farm Acreage in Washington State
    Includes all land Certified (C) + Transition (T);WSDA only 1996-2002; WSDA, OTCO, ICS, CCOF, QAI 2003-2008
  • 32. 2008 WA Organic Land Percentage
    * 2008 combined certifier acres; ** bearing acres
  • 33. Crop distribution of certified organic acres in Washington - 2008
    Other land 1%
    Undefined 5%
    Mixed Hort 2%
    Small Fruits & Nuts 3%
    Grain, Bean, Oilseed 9%
    Forages 31%
    Fallow 10%
    Tree Fruit 18%
    Vegetables 21%
    Certified acres 96,139 Transition acres 9,380
    WSDA, OTCO, ICS, CCOF data. Certified landarea = 92,555 ac including 4,848 unidentified ac. Double crop =3,584 ac
  • 34. Organic Vegetable Acres Washington State
    Mixed
    Peas
    Sweet corn
  • 35. Organic apple variety trends Washington State – major varieties
    Projected
    Combined certifier data 00-07;2008 preliminary WSDA data only; 2010 based on 2008 C +T
  • 36. Estimatedorganic apple acreage in Washington State
    2010 – 17,000 ac ?
    Wal-Mart
    $ drop
    MD
    Alar
    12,936 ac = ~8% of WA apple bearing acreage
    Combined certifiers except 2008 = preliminary WSDA data
  • 37. Apple Price TrendsWashington State
    Org
    } price premium
    *
    Gala
    *
    Conv
    * 7/15/09 season price, C.A.
    *
    Fuji
    *
    WAGCHA data; FOB avg, all storage, grades, sizes
  • 38. WA Organic Farm Size versus Sales - 2006
    WSDA data only
  • 39. Conclusion
    Organic sector will continue to grow - how big ? 10% of food sales? - generally supports health, environmental, climate change policies
    Land-grant universities are responding - historic lack of research-based information for extension - research crossover is important
    Need to think of organic as onepossible path towards sustainability
    http://organicfarming.wsu.edu
    ARS photo

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