Posts By Date

2022 organic sunflowers

National Organic Research Agenda Set

Last month the Organic Farming Research Foundation released the National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) which is published once every five years. The report is based on a nationwide survey of organic producers and provide key information about these farmers’ concerns, needs, and current practices.  

The NORA report showed that organic producers:

  • Continue to lead the nation in adopting soil health management and climate-friendly practices.
  • Are concerned with the integrity of the organic sector, including organic fraud, industrial organic operations, and crop contamination from GMOs and pesticide drift.
  • Have unmet needs for technical assistance regarding pest management; soil health and fertility; and securing sales channels.

Top research needs included:

  • Developing regional integrated weed management strategies
  • Creating tools to assess and manage production costs
  • Soil health strategies and assessment tools
  • Organic pest and disease control techniques
  • On-farm seed production and cultivar development
  • Organic dairy and livestock health
  • Assessing the impact of integrated systems on overall farm health

Read the summary:

Read a list of research priorities:

Download the NORA report:

Ohio State Research & Resources

Fungicide Trials for Powdery Mildew Management in Organic Cucurbits

In 2021, OMRI-approved fungicides were reviewed for efficacy against powdery mildew. Pumpkin plants were sprayed with 6 OMRI-approved products and then placed in a field infected with powdery mildew. After 7 days, all products showed a variety of control against powdery mildew vs untreated control plants. The best control was achieved by Regalia and Microthiol Disperss which both showed 98-100% control after 10 days.

Best results are obtained when these products are used preventatively or at the very first signs of powdery mildew (see photo above), usually in mid-July in Ohio. 

Read more on OSU’s VegNet newsletter:

West Badger Work 
Ohio State’s Wooster campus is home to West Badger, a 57-acre certified organic research space. This year, we are trialing oilseed sunflowers (above) and experimenting with organic soybeans with and without spring-planted rye. Read more at the OFFER website.

Organic Corn Production Budget
A corn production budget for organic growers is now available online thanks to OSU Extension's Eric Richer and Barry Ward. Read more at the Read more at the OFFER website or click here to download the tool directly as an Excel file.

Upcoming Events

OEFFA Sustainable Farm Tour Series
From June 26 to November 6, the 2022 OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association) Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series features nearly 20 organic and ecological farms and businesses in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. See this year’s tours and workshop topics, and sign up at

OSU Manure Science Review – July 26, 2022
Join Glen Arnold and other speakers from around the state for presentations, demonstrations, discussions and more at the 2022 Manure Science Review on Tuesday, July 26 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the OSU Northwest Agricultural Research Station. CEU credit is available. Registration is $25 through July 15 and $30 afterwards and includes lunch. Registration details are available at or call 330-202-3533. 

Hirzel Farms Cover Crop Trial – August 4, 2022, 12 noon
When faced with a bare piece of cropland, our friends at Hirzel Farms in Luckey, Ohio, set up a cover crop trial using a custom mix. Bridget Burgess and Lou Kozma will walk us through what they chose and why. Come join in conversation about what we might learn from this trial and how it might be replicated at other farms. This online event is part of the monthly Organic Farmer-Research Network group. Register or learn more at:

Heritage Grain School – August 12-14, 2022
A three-day Heritage Grain School is being offered August 12-14, 2022 in partnership with Agraria, Antioch College, Tecumseh Land Trust, the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative, Rural Action, and Cornville Seed. Attendees will explore the history, culture, cultivation and culinary uses of ancient and heritage grains. Day one highlights farmers, day two brewing, malting and milling, and day three baking, marketing, policy and a field trip to heritage grain farmer Jon Branstrator’s farm. Register at:

Save the Date:
OSU Organic Grains Workshop - January 4-5, 2023
Event will be held in Archbold, Ohio, and will feature Joel Gruver from Western Illinois University and Leá Vereeck from Rodale Institute. Day 1 caters to experienced organic producers, while Day 2 is meant for beginning organic growers, and those who are transitioning or considering going organic. Contact Eric Richer for more information.

Grants & Opportunities

Apply to lead a workshop at OEFFA’s 44th Annual Conference
OEFFA is accepting workshop proposals for our 44th annual conference, Germinate, Regenerate, Agitate, February 16-18, 2023, in Newark, Ohio.The conference covers many topics of interest to organic and sustainable agriculture including soil health, commercial production, business and management, gardening, food policy, and more. Visit the OEFFA speaker application page for more information at Applications are due August 8, 2022.

Call for several SARE Grants Open in August|
North Central Region SARE administers several grant programs, each with specific priorities, audiences, and timelines. Several calls for proposals open soon. You can read more about the North Central SARE grant programs at

  • Research and Education grants – Call opens in early August, with preproposals due in October
  • Partnership grants – Call opens in early August, with proposals due in October
  • Farmer Rancher grants – Call opens in mid-August with proposals due in December
  • Youth Educator grants – Call opens in mid-August with proposals due in early November

For more organic news and resources from Ohio State, visit us online at

Posted In:
Comments: 0