Organic Agriculture And Developing Optimal Management Strategies For Organic Production

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Developing new small grain crop varieties specifically bred for organic agriculture and developing optimal management strategies for organic production are expected to solve some of the primary challenges faced by organic small grain farmers, which will lead to an increase in organic farm profitability. In addition, we will train and prepare the future graduate students who will contribute to enhancing organic agriculture in the future.
Significance of the proposed research
With the rising interest of American consumers for healthy food, the demand for organic food products continues to increase. Sales from organic crops in the United States have increased by 69% between 2008 and 2014 (USDA-NASS, 2008). The demand for organic small grain
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Despite the growing demand for organic wheat and oats, a limited amount of research has been undertaken to solve challenges faced by organic producers. Because crop plants cannot be protected by conventional pesticides under organic standards, the development of crop varieties with the ability to compete against weeds and resist infection from disease is extremely important. In reality, the choice of variety is more crucial in organic than in conventional agriculture since synthetic herbicides and protectants cannot be used. Only limited efforts have been made to breed small grain crop varieties specifically for organic farming (Wolfe et al., 2008), even though it has been shown that in order to optimize performance varieties should be bred specifically for organic management if the goal is to optimize performance (Baenziger et al., 2011). As a result, organic producers are forced to choose varieties that were developed and optimized for conventional farming and have limited access to information on optimal management practices.
This project is expected to produce new varieties of spring wheat, winter wheat, and oat with improved productivity and end-use quality under organic management. The project will also provide new practical advice for organic producers about small
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