Organic research expanding at Michigan State University
Over 20 different organic farming-related research projects were conducted by MSU researchers in 2012. Results will be shared at the Organic Reporting Session on March 1 in East Lansing, Mich.
Organic farming is expanding and is a very important part of the agricultural diversity in Michigan and the United States. According to the Organic Trade Associated, the U.S. sales of organic products have increased 9.5 percent from $28.7 billion in 2010 to $31.5 billion in 2011. The organic share of the U.S .food dollar is now 4.2 percent.
Michigan State University researchers, specialists, graduate students and Michigan State University Extension educators are providing assistance to the organic farming community through applied research projects. Many of the research projects involve organic producers as members of advisory groups or as cooperators with on-farm trials.
The types of research projects are as diverse as the agriculture in Michigan. Here is a brief sample of the general focus of the research projects:
- Soil quality enhancement
- Increase productivity of organic systems
- Optimizing cereal and legume cover crops
- Organic variety evaluation
- Beneficial insect enhancement
- Disease management
- Weed control
- Insect pest management on fruit
- Organic perennial crops
- High tunnel fruit crop production
Farmers and the community are invited to hear about the progress and results of these trials at the 2013 Michigan Organic Reporting Session. The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and MSU will host the event on Friday, March 1, at Brody Hall, Rooms 112 and 136, on the MSU campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brody Hall is located at 241 W. Brody Road (off of Harrison Road) in East Lansing, Mich. (view map).
The day will include a poster session by graduate students highlighting organic research projects, presentations by researchers, special guest Maureen Wilmont from the Organic Farming Research Foundation sharing grant priorities, and a dedicated time for farmers and researchers to work together to identify Michigan’s organic research priorities for the future.
Register for the event today. The cost is $25 for general admission and $15 for farmers and students. This fee includes the program, lunch and a special Taste of Michigan Reception.