Archive for the Organic Farming Category

State of Organic Seed 2016

State of Organic Seed 2016

  The Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) has just released their updated report on the State of Organic Seed for 2016. Building upon an initial assessment of organic seed released in 2011, the 2016 edition of the report synthesizes stakeholder data compiled in 2014 and 2015. One conclusion drawn from both editions: […]

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Avoiding Contamination from GE Potatoes

Avoiding Contamination from GE Potatoes

        Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Organic and non-GE potatoes are considered at low-risk from genetically engineered (GE) potatoes. Since potatoes are propagated vegetatively (from tubers) there is no risk of pollen-caused GE contamination for potatoes grown as seed or tablestock. The highest risk for GE contamination of potatoes is inadvertent […]

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Seedlight: Organic Seed Grower Ryan Batalden

Seedlight: Organic Seed Grower Ryan Batalden

Meet Organic Seed Grower Ryan Batalden     Farm Name: Batalden Farms     Location: Lamberton, MN     Ryan says… “When I think of organic seed, I think of seed that is better adapted to organic systems and hard to find. I am a full-time farmer, all certified organic, working on our family farm […]

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Keeping Soybeans Free of GE Contamination

Keeping Soybeans Free of GE Contamination

  Soybean (Glycine max) Soybeans have the distinction of being the first GE crop deregulated in the US in 1994. Just twelve years later, in 2006, 95% of the U.S. soybean acreage had been converted to GE. Soybean is considered a low-risk candidate for GE contamination due to its nature […]

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OSGATA Comments on Organic Standards

OSGATA Comments on Organic Standards

  At the upcoming meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Washington, D.C., on April 24-27, many important issues are on the docket. Organic law grants NOSB sole authority to make recommendations regarding what materials are allowed in organic (those appearing on the National List), as well as recommendations on a wide variety […]

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Mitigation of GE Sugarbeet Contamination

Mitigation of GE Sugarbeet Contamination

Sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris) Sugarbeets engineered to resist glyphosate were first deregulated in the U.S. in 1998. Market hesitancy, however, stalled the adoption by commercial producers until nearly a decade later. In the U.S., most of the sugarbeet seed production is controlled by a handful of agribusiness corporations and is focused […]

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Conversations with an Agrarian Elder

Conversations with an Agrarian Elder

    Internationally known organic farmer and OSGATA President will speak about agroecology & organic farming systems this Earth Day. Considered an Agrarian Elder, Gerritsen has farmed organically for more than 30 years. He and his wife Megan own and operate  Wood Prairie Farm, in Bridgewater, ME. The event, held by FAMU StateWide Small Farm […]

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Keeping Alfalfa GE-Free

Keeping Alfalfa GE-Free

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) In 2005 alfalfa became the first perennial GE crop to attain approved status in the U.S. Within a year of GE alfalfa’s initial commercial release, contamination had occurred in the commercial sector. The Roundup Ready™ trait was identified in conventional non-GE plantings of alfalfa in Montana, Wyoming, […]

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GMO Corn Contamination 101

GMO Corn Contamination 101

Corn (Zea mays) Ninety percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. This fact, coupled with corn’s outcrossing nature, equals significant risk of GE contamination for organic corn growers. Of course, the individual degree of risk differs based on various factors: the region in which the organic […]

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The 34th National Pesticide Forum

The 34th National Pesticide Forum

The 34th National Pesticide Forum will be convening on April 15-16, at the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, ME. The Forum is an opportunity for grassroots advocates, scientists, and policy makers to  build local, state, and national strategies to protect human health and the environment, as well as organic land management strategies. The event […]

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Protect Your Seed from GE Contamination

Protect Your Seed from GE Contamination

Since the genetically engineered Flavr Savr tomato was first approved for the American marketplace in 2004, GE crops have grown to become part of the agricultural mainstream. Plantings of GE crops in the U.S., measured in acres, increased by 68% between 2000 and 2005 and climbed another 45% between 2005 and 2013. In 2013, American farmers planted […]

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Keep the Soil in Organic

Keep the Soil in Organic

Soil is the foundation of organic − at least, it should be. At the fall meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Stowe, VT, in October 2015, organic farmers united in protest against the allowance of hydroponic, or soilless, growing practices in certified organic production. OSGATA Board President […]

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OSGATA @ The 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference

OSGATA @ The 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference

  The 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference, held February 5-6, 2016, in Corvallis, OR, is the conference for organic seed growers. This biennial conference brings together hundreds of farmers, plant breeders, seed companies, food companies, organic certifiers, policy advocates, and other stakeholders for two days of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events. It is  […]

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OSGATA Addresses Organic Integrity at NOSB Meeting

OSGATA Addresses Organic Integrity at NOSB Meeting

Next week the four-day meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will be held in Stowe, VT, on October 26-29. OSGATA President and Maine certified organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen will testify on behalf of OSGATA’s membership about the critical need to maintain integrity in the organic industry, and more specifically in organic seed. […]

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Why We Oppose an Organic Check-off

Why We Oppose an Organic Check-off

  Why We Oppose an Organic Check-off 1. This will be just another Tax on farmers either directly or indirectly when processors pass the cost down. 2. Want to promote the benefits of Organic? You can’t in a check-off. Even something as simple and accurate as “Organic is the Gold […]

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OSGATA President Joins Panel with Vandana Shiva at 2015 National Heirloom Exposition

OSGATA President Joins Panel with Vandana Shiva at 2015 National Heirloom Exposition

OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen joins world-renowned activist and author Vandana Shiva for a panel presentation on the impact of seed patents on farmers at The 2015 National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, CA. On Thursday, Sept. 10, Gerritsen, Shiva, and Food Democracy Now! co-founders, Dave Murphy and Lisa Stokke, will […]

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Certified Organic Farmers Challenge Whole Foods Labeling

Certified Organic Farmers Challenge Whole Foods Labeling

  Whole Foods’ newly launched “Responsibly Grown” rating program is not sitting well with certified organic farmers.  In an attempt to rate the entire farming process, Whole Foods has devised a 7-tier value scheme− doling out points in the categories of soil health, waste reduction, and farm worker welfare, to name […]

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Organic Farmers Protect Pollinators

Organic Farmers Protect Pollinators

A staggering 75% of food crops rely on pollinators for production− from oil seeds and nuts, to fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Honey bees alone are responsible for pollinating approximately $12.4 billion in crops annually. A new study found wild bees to be roughly equivalent in economic value to domesticated colonies. […]

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