Posts Tagged ‘sustainable agriculture’

12 ways to expand your organic farming knowledge (starting today)

Photo of laptop computer

The national eOrganic program is offering a series of 12 free organic farming webinars through early April. First, airing today and tomorrow, is a live broadcast of selected presentations at the Organic Seed Growers Conference in Oregon. Learn more and register here.

The eOrganic program is part of the national eXtension program, which in turn is part of the national Cooperative Extension System, which in Ohio includes CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension.

Untill then: Ohio Conservation Tillage Conference is March 2-3

Photo of no-till soybeans and cornOhio’s big annual Conservation Tillage Conference is coming up. Sponsored by CFAES, it’s March 2-3 in northwest Ohio.

How does conservation tillage fit with sustainable agriculture?

Potentially very well, says a fact sheet by the national ATTRA sustainable agriculture program:

“The principal benefits of conservation tillage are improved water conservation and the reduction of soil erosion. Additional benefits include reduced fuel consumption, reduced compaction, planting and harvesting flexibility, reduced labor requirements, and improved soil tilth.”

All those, of course, can support and improve a farm’s economic and ecological sustainability.

Get conference details here. (Photo: Jane Johnson, USDA-ARS.)

Feb. 8 deadline for organic matter workshop

A reminder to register by this coming Monday, Feb. 8, for “The Dirt on Organic Matter,” a Feb. 12 preconference workshop being held before the Feb. 13-14 annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association in Granville. The workshop will focus on ways to build soil organic matter on farms, especially organic farms. CFAES and other experts will teach it based on findings from their research over the past 15 years. Read more.

How (and why) to boost a farm’s soil organic matter

On Feb. 12, a research team including CFAES soil scientist Rafiq Islam will present “The Dirt on Organic Matter.” It’s a special preconference workshop being held before the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Feb. 13-14 annual conference in Granville.

The team members have spent the past 15 years studying soil organic matter, its benefits to crops and the best ways to boost it on farms run organically; the workshop is based on their findings.

“Soil organic matter is the cornerstone of soil health,” Islam said. “As with any agricultural production system, maintaining a healthy and productive soil is the foundation of sustainable organic farming.”

Read the full story …

Register now for OEFFA conference

OEFFA conference posterRegistration is open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 2016 annual conference, whose theme is “Growing Right by Nature.” Called Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, the 37th annual event is Feb. 13-14 in Granville.

Big — nay, heady — demand for Ohio hops: Here’s where to learn how to tap it

Photo of foamy beerThere’s a big demand for Ohio hops, and an event next month at CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, will help more farmers try to meet it. “An estimated 6,000 acres of hops are required by Ohio craft brewers at current use rates,” says CFAES horticulture specialist Brad Bergefurd, co-organizer of the Ohio Hops and Malting Barley Conference and Trade Show. “[But] as of 2015, Ohio only had an estimated 200 acres of hops planted.” Conference topics will include production methods, managing pests, marketing, harvesting and more. Learn more here and here. Register here.

Fish for dinner? How to keep it local, sustainable

Photo of meal of fish and veggies 2The Ohio Aquaculture Association’s 2016 annual conference, featuring talks by a whole school of experts from CFAES, is Jan. 29-30 in Columbus. Of note: An overall focus on helping Ohio fish farms be (or stay) (or be even more) profitable and economically sustainable. And a keynote talk by former CFAES aquaculture specialist and OAA supporter Laura Tiu, who’s now at the University of Florida. Learn more here and here.

Listen: What are the sounds of a healthy farm?

Sounds of a healthy farm 2An unusual study at CFAES’s Mellinger Research Farm in northeast Ohio is measuring the health of the farm through its sounds. A goal is to see — er, hear — how the farm’s biological diversity changes as its farming practices change. “In a healthy agricultural ecosystem, farming sounds should coexist with sounds of the natural world, says a fact sheet on the study. You can hear “Spring Peepers and Toads, Drainage-way: March” and other recordings on the study’s webpage. CFAES’s Agroecosystems Management Program helps run the farm and is doing the study. AMP, according its website, “seeks to discover balance on Ohio farms” in part by using ecological principles on the farms. (Photo: Eastern meadlowlark, Purestock.)

‘We’re right here where the demand is’

JD Malone of the Columbus Dispatch talked to CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron (who’s now interim Ohio State provost) and OSU Extension Educator Mike Hogan for a recent story on Columbus’s growing number of urban farms. A key to that growth, they said, is the farms’ nearness to CFAES and its knowledge. OSU Extension, as the college’s outreach arm, works to spread that knowledge.

Although cacao nibs aren’t in fact climatically adapted to Ohio

So do we, Sarge. So, for example, do we.