Classroom - Classes


Revisiting Organic Agriculture Webinar Series

There is a resurgence of interest in organic agriculture motivated by consumer interest and concerns over the safety of their food supply. This monthly series will examine several issues associated with organic production and management.

CEUs:
CCA/CPAg:
Definitions and Regulatory Requirements (1.0 CEU Crop Management)
Seeds and Sources (1.0 CEU Crop Management)
Organic Weed Management (1.0 CEU Integrated Pest Management)
Organic Yields: More or Less, Along with Economics and Ecosystem Services (1.0 CEU Crop Management)
No Pesticides? No Problem! Insect Management in Organic Cropping Systems (1.0 CEU Integrated Pest Management)
Nutrient Management (1.0 CEU Nutrient Management)

CPSS/CPSC/CST: 1.0 Professional Meetings per webinar

$113.00 Members/Certified Professionals
$180.00 Non-members

Included webinars in this series package are:
Definitions and Regulatory Requirements
Seeds and Sources
Organic Weed Management
Organic Yields: More or Less, Along with Economics and Ecosystem Services
No Pesticides? No Problem! Insect Management in Organic Cropping Systems
Nutrient Management

Each webinar may also be purchased individually by clicking on the individual title below.   A series bundle purchase provides a discount.

You have 30 days to view this content after purchase.

Self-Paced

If you are enrolled in this class, please log in to see the class materials.

Class cost: $ 180.00

Add to Cart

 

Definitions and Regulatory Requirements

Organic production, regulated by the National Organic Program of the USDA, is much more than substituting nonapproved inputs for approved ones.  It is a system of agriculture, reliant on natural processes such as use of plant and animal materials for soil fertility, diverse crop rotations and field borders for pest, disease and weed management and ecosystem health based in maintenance and improvement of natural resources.  The NOP regulations and the organic certification program will be discussed along with numerous activities and inputs a certified crop advisor or NRCS Technical Service Provider might recommend to organic farmers.

CEUs:
CCA/CPAg:  1.0 Crop Management
CPSS/CPSC/CST:  1.0 Professional Meeting

Speaker Information:
Harriet Behar
Senior Organic Specialist
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES)

Harriet has interacted with farmers, feed mill operators, bankers, pest control technicians, extension agents, NRCS personnel, and other agriculture education professionals to inform them of organic systems and regulations.  She staffs the MOSES toll-free organic information line, answering a wide variety questions and writing about organic crops and livestock, processing and marketing. Harriet has visited over 2000 organic farms and processing facilities around the world, but mostly in the Upper Midwest.  She is an approved TSP for writing NRCS CAP 138, transition to organic plan.

On her own farm, she has been growing organic vegetables since 1973, and has operated a certified organic farm since 1989 of vegetables, herbs, bedding plants and small grains on her 216 acres in the hills of Southwestern Wisconsin. She and her husband have an on-farm, state licensed dehydration facility, a large solar greenhouse for commercial scale spring bedding plants and winter vegetable production.

$25.00 Members/Certified Professionals
$40.00 Non-members

You have 30 days to view this content after purchase.

Self-Paced

CEUs

Crop Management   1.0
Professional Meetings (PM)   1.0

If you are enrolled in this class, please log in to see the class materials.

Class cost: $ 40.00

Add to Cart

 

Seeds and Sources

The National Organic Program regulations require that organic farmers use organically grown seeds, except when an equivalent organically produced variety is not commercially available.  The webinar will cover the availability of organic seed, as well presenting guidance to clarify the organic seed regulatory requirement. We will discuss the increasing enforcement of this requirement and the documentation required by certifiers. The presenters will also provide an industry and farmer perspective on traits of interest for agronomic crops grown organically, and what an organic farmer might look for when selecting varieties for organic production systems.

CEUs:
CCA/CPAg:  1.0 Crop Management
CPSS/CPSC/CST:  1.0 Professional Meeting

Speaker Information:
Erin Silva
Assistant Professor, Organic Production Specialist
Universit of Wisconsin - Madison

Erin Silva is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her research and extension program includes organic row crop, vegetable, and pasture production.  A significant component of her research focuses on variety trialing and selection for organic production systems, including organic trials of silage corn, pasture grasses, and vegetables.  Dr. Silva serves on the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council and the Organic Center’s Science Advisory Board.

Elia Romano
Sales Specialist
Albert Lea Seed

Elia Romano is a principal buyer of organic and non-gmo seed for the Albert Lea Seed House, a family-owned seed company based in Minnesota.  He has over 15 years of experience in the seed industry working directly with organic farmers in the U.S. and Canada.  In 2011, Elia was appointed to the Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force and served two terms.

$25.00 Members/Certified Professionals
$40.00 Non-members

You have 30 days to view this content after purchase.

Self-Paced

CEUs

Crop Management   1.0
Professional Meetings (PM)   1.0

If you are enrolled in this class, please log in to see the class materials.

Class cost: $ 40.00

Add to Cart

 

Organic Weed Management

Weed pest management must be an ongoing consideration for organic farmers to achieve acceptable yields and crop quality. A system of weed management that includes multiple tactics will help reduce losses in both the short and long term. Various weed management tactics fall into two major categories: cultural and mechanical. Cultural tactics are associated with enhancing crop growth or cover, while mechanical tactics are used to kill, injure, or bury weeds. During a cropping season, successful organic weed management will rely on the cultural tactics described in the webinar to achieve competitive crop plants and will use the mechanical tactics to reduce the weed population that emerges in the crop.

CEUs:
CCA/CPAg:  1.0 Integrated Pest Management
CPSS/CPSC/CST:  1.0 Professional Meeting

Speaker Information:
Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton
Associate Professor
North Carolina State University

Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton is Associate Professor of Organic Cropping Systems at North Carolina State University.  As an agronomist with both research and extension responsibilities, he develops recommendations for organic production of corn, soybeans and wheat.  His most recent work has been on the development of reduced tillage methods for organic crops, plant breeding for increased weed competiveness, and greenhouse gas emissions from organic and conventional farming systems.  He also serves as the Assistant Director of Research at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and is head of the Farming Systems Research Unit, a long-term experiment studying how alternative farming systems impact soil processes.

$25.00 Members/Certified Professionals
$40.00 Non-members

You have 30 days to view this content after purchase.

Self-Paced

CEUs

Integrated Pest Management   1.0
Professional Meetings (PM)   1.0

If you are enrolled in this class, please log in to see the class materials.

Class cost: $ 40.00

Add to Cart

 

Organic Yields: More or Less, Along with Economics and Ecosystem Services

Organic sales continue to increase in the U.S., with the organic industry listed at $39.1 billion at the last census. Organic corn and soybean continue to dominate organic grain markets, but organic wheat, oats, spelt and other crops are traded both locally and internationally. Annual certified organic soybean production in the U.S. was listed at 125,621 acres in 2011 (NASS, 2012), which remains insufficient to meet the demand for soy-based organic food and animal feed in the U.S. Foreign countries have been increasingly supplying the U.S. with organic grains to meet this demand, and in the first part of 2015, imports of organic soybeans have increased 50% over the previous period. In order to increase the transition to organic grain production, producers need science-based results demonstrating the benefits of organic production in terms of yields, soil/water quality improvements, and economic performance. Long-term organic farming system trials across the U.S. have proven useful in providing supporting evidence for successful transition from conventional to organic practices. The Iowa State University Long-Term Agroecological Research (LTAR) experiment was established in 1998 with local farmer input on design and management, and employs annual farmer evaluation of progress and future plans. The organic system in the LTAR, which includes perennial forage crops and small grains rotated with corn and soybeans, has shown organic yields, particularly those from longer rotations, equivalent to conventional yields. Over all years, organic returns have averaged twice those of conventional returns. In addition to yield comparisons, necessary for determining the viability of organic operations, ecosystem services, such as soil carbon capture, nutrient cycling, pest suppression, and water quality enhancement, have been documented for organic systems. Outcomes from long-term trials have been critical in determining factors underlying less than optimal yields in organic systems, which typically involved inadequate weed management and insufficient soil fertility in certain sites. Because of strong demand, organic corn is currently selling for $11.88/bu and organic feed-grade soybeans are $24.83/bu. Feed-grade oats are $5.47/bu and feed-grade wheat is $8.81/bu. Economics will play a key role in encouraging transition to organic, as conventional grain prices are returning a third to half of organic prices, with input costs also increasing.

CEUs:
CCA/CPAg:  1.0 Crop Management
CPSS/CPSC/CST:  1.0 Professional Meeting

Speaker Information:
Kathleen Delate
Professor of Organic Agriculture
Joint appointment: Department of Agronomy and Department of Horticulture
Iowa State University

Kathleen’s current position as Professor at Iowa State University is a joint position between the departments of Horticulture and Agronomy, where she is responsible for research, extension and teaching in organic agriculture. She was awarded the first faculty position in Organic Agriculture at a Land Grant University in the United States in 1997. She has a B.S. in Agronomy and an M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Ecology from the University of California-Berkeley. She has farmed organically in Iowa, California, Florida and Hawaii.

$25.00 Members/Certified Professionals
$40.00 Non-members

You have 30 days to view this content after purchase.

Self-Paced

CEUs

Crop Management   1.0
Professional Meetings (PM)   1.0

If you are enrolled in this class, please log in to see the class materials.

Class cost: $ 40.00

Add to Cart

 

No Pesticides? No Problem! Insect Management in Organic Cropping Systems

According to USDA organic regulations, organic farming systems should rely on cultural, mechanical, and biologically-based practices to prevent pests from reaching economically-damaging levels.   GMOs are not allowed, and the use of synthetic insecticides in organic crop production is virtually excluded. Only when cultural, mechanical, and biological practices are insufficient to prevent or control crop pests may an allowable substance be applied to suppress pests. Even though allowable materials are available, their cost is often prohibitive for use in agronomic crops. In this webinar, we will provide a brief overview of commonly-recommended insect management practices for organic agronomic crops, and discuss in more depth practices that affect insect communities in the context of ecological food webs. We will provide specific examples of practices that promote “top-down” control of insect populations by natural enemies, such as ground and tiger beetles; and “bottom-up” control through management effects (e.g., soil fertility) on the quality of crops as a host plant for plant-feeding insects.

CEUs:
CCA/CPAg:  1.0 Integrated Pest Management
CPSS/CPSC/CST:  1.0 Professional Meeting

Speaker Information:
Mary Barbercheck
Professor and Extension Specialist of Entomology
Penn State University

Mary Barbercheck is Professor and Extension Specialist of Entomology at Penn State University. Since 2002, her research has focused on the effects of cover crop-based rotational no-till and other approaches to reducing tillage on soil-dwelling arthropods, insect pathogens (nematodes and fungi), and soil function in transitioning and organic agronomic crop systems.  Her extension programs focus on biologically-based IPM, the soil food web, and soil health in agricultural production systems.  

Ariel Rivers
Dual-title Doctoral Candidate in Entomology and International Agriculture and Development
Penn State University

Ariel Rivers is a dual-title doctoral candidate in entomology and international agriculture and development at Penn State University. Ariel has a broad background in on-farm resource conservation. In her doctoral research she is examining the effects of diverse, reduced-tillage cropping systems on the ground-dwelling arthropod community, with a goal of understanding the impacts of agricultural practices on biological control of pest arthropods.

Ebony Murrell
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ecosystem Science and Management
Penn State University

Ebony Murrell is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University.  Her research focuses on using organic farming practices to suppress insect pests.  Her most recent research has investigated whether soil fertilization and cover cropping can be used to increase predatory insects, improve plant chemical defenses against herbivory, or do both.

$25.00 Members/Certified Professionals
$40.00 Non-members

You have 30 days to view this content after purchase.

Self-Paced

CEUs

Integrated Pest Management   1.0
Professional Meetings (PM)   1.0

If you are enrolled in this class, please log in to see the class materials.

Class cost: $ 40.00

Add to Cart

 

Nutrient Management

What are the key differences between organic and conventional soil fertility management? What nutrient management approaches commonly used by organic producers? This session will present basic concepts to help you work with organic producers and improve soil nutrient status. We will place special emphasis on nitrogen management and tools organic growers use to manage this critical nutrient cycle. We will also provide resources that you can use to learn about organic nutrient management. Join organic farmer Carmen Fernholz and soil scientist Julie Grossman for this valuable webinar to enhance your toolbox for organic nutrient management!

CEUs:
CCA/CPAg:  1.0 Nutrient Management
CPSS/CPSC/CST:  1.0 Professional Meeting

Speaker Information:
Carmen Fernholz
A-Frame Farm

Carmen Fernholz and his wife Sally operate a 425-acre, organic, cash-grain farm near Madison, Minnesota. They grow row crops of corn and soybeans and small grains and alfalfa hay. Carmen started farming in 1971 and was first certified organic in 1976. He also presently serves as an organic research coordinator for the University of Minnesota working primarily with cash grain crops, and is involved with many collaborative organic research projects on his farm.

Julie Grossman
Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota

Julie Grossman is a soil scientist in the University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science who specializes in the soil fertility of organic cropping systems. Her work emphasizes improved management of plant-soil-microbe relationships in organic systems, especially the use of legumes to help provide nitrogen to crops. Dr. Grossman comes most recently from a faculty position in the Department of Soil Science at NC State University, where she spent 7 years working in soil fertility management of organic farming systems. She holds an M.S. in Soil Science and Ph.D. in Agronomy and Plant Genetics from the University of Minnesota, and was an NSF Post-doctoral Fellow at Cornell University.

$25.00 Members/Certified Professionals
$40.00 Non-members

You have 30 days to view this content after purchase.

Self-Paced

CEUs

Nutrient Management   1.0
Professional Meetings (PM)   1.0

If you are enrolled in this class, please log in to see the class materials.

Class cost: $ 40.00

Add to Cart