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Organic Farming at Washington State University
 

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

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    Organic Farming at Washington State University Organic Farming at Washington State University Presentation Transcript

    • Organic Farming at Washington State University
      David Granatstein, CSANR
      Carol Miles, Horticulture
      Diana Roberts, Extension
      Organic wheat research, Pullman
    • WSU researchers published a long-term organic comparison study in Nature. Success with leading journals has helped legitimize organic research.
    • WSU Organic Ag Chronology
    • Integration of Extension and Research
      • WSU faculty survey, formed WSU organic work group
      • Organic special grant, BIOAg
      • Development of organic land at R&E centers
      • Web site – research reports on line, database
      • Organized educational events – special topic symposia, organic grain workshops, field tours
      • Integrate organic into existing industry meetings – tree fruit, vegetable
      • Formal training courses – Cultivating Success
      • NOP national training
    • http://organicfarming.wsu.edu/
    • Topics for Organic Research Grant
      • Seeds and varieties – seed quality, seed diseases, wheat breeding
      • Compost tea – characterization, disease control
      • Tree fruit – orchard floor management
      • Vegetable systems - cover crops, rotations, mulches, weed control, variety selection
      • Dryland grain production – weed control, fertility, integration of livestock
      • 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
    • Challenges
      • Stability of funding
      • Industry matching funds for grants
      • Two distinct audiences – ‘philosophic’ and ‘economic’
      • Different needs – small vs large farms, new entrants vs long time organic producers
      • Pesticide rules – e.g. work with brassica meals
    • Lessons Learned
      1. Focus on common values (soil health, biocontrol), not differences (pesticides, biotech)
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • Organic Farm Acreage in Washington State
      Includes all land Certified (C) + Transition (T);WSDA only 1996-2002; WSDA, OTCO, ICS, CCOF, QAI 2003-2008
    • 2008 WA Organic Land Percentage
      * 2008 combined certifier acres; ** bearing acres
    • 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
    • Organic Vegetable Acres Washington State
      Mixed
      Peas
      Sweet corn
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • WA Organic Farm Size versus Sales - 2006
      WSDA data only
    • 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