The organic research network project on the central coast of California

J. Muramoto, S. R. Gliessman, C. Shennan, T. Pisani Gareau, K. L. Monsen, S. Pedersen, M. P. Bolda, O. Daugovish, C. T. Bull, C. Li, J. Leap, D. Nieto, J. Bryer, S. T. Koike, R. F. Smith, M. Gaskell, K. M. Klonsky, W. Salas, G. J.M. Oomen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The California organic agriculture industry has grown in size and consumer acceptance despite a very limited scientific research base. The Organic Research Network Project, funded by USDA-Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (USDA-OREI) program in 2004 (S.R. Gliessman, P.I.), was designed to 1) strengthen an existing organic research and extension network to support organic vegetable and strawberry producers in the region; and 2) develop integrated fertility and pest management strategies in order to minimize negative impacts of agriculture on surrounding natural ecosystems and improve the economic viability of organic farming. The project participants included multidisciplinary researchers, extension personnel, organic growers, a land owner, and three NGOs. Ten studies on fertility management, soil-borne disease management, arthropod pest management, weed management, and economic analysis in organic strawberry and vegetable production were conducted. Three core growers played a crucial role in designing, implementing, and evaluating on-farm trials. To evaluate the impact of the project, we conducted pre-and post-project assessments. At the end of the project, 15 of the 18 participants said it had met or exceeded their expectations and the remaining 3 said that most of their expectations were met. Participants were motivated by a desire to build community, increase opportunities to collaborate, improve linkages between farmers and researchers, and improve access to and exchange of information. Participating growers appreciated the many opportunities for interaction with researchers, felt the project provided useful information, and reported that it had either reinforced or changed practices used on their farms. Extension personnel commented on the successful collaborations, improved knowledge of organic production, and the impact it had on growers in the area. This project contributed to the "Organic Strawberry Production Manual" (Koike et al., 2012). The Organic Research Network is further expanding with new funding from the USDA-OREI program in 2011 (C. Shennan, P.I.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationII International Organic Fruit Symposium
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Pages35-46
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9789066055964
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2013

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
Volume1001
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture

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