Tuesday, November 3, 2009: 1:00 PM
Convention Center, Room 318, Third Floor
Organic agriculture is one of the fastest growing sectors of the farming and food system in
North America. Increasing concerns about environmental impacts of agriculture have led to the current quest to learn more about the ecological interactions in farming and how knowledge of natural systems can help inform the design of agroecosystems. Research on organic practices and systems design have moved from the farm to the experiment station, with a number of landgrant universities now doing studies on land certified to organic standards. Productivity, economics, environmental impact, and social viability of organic agriculture are explored in a new book from ASA that includes fifteen chapters written by people working with organic methods and systems. Details on the history or organic farming, certification standards, soil fertility and pest management practices, crop rotations, integrated crop/animal systems, economics and marketing are included as major topics. Comprehensive state programs that combine research and education are included, as well as continuing initiatives in the non-profit sector. Substantial research and many farmer innovations have occurred in the twenty-five years since publication of the last book from ASA on organic farming, and the organic approach to agriculture and food is receiving more attention in classroom and Extension education. Ecology,in Organic Farming provides a contemporary update in this dynamic field. Additional authors include J. Van Wart, P. Porter, J.R. Thiessen Martens, R. Weil, F. Magdoff, A.S. Davis, P. Hepperly, M. Grieshop, J. Moyer, H.H. Peterson, H. Melcarek, J.P. Mueller, J. O’Sullivan, C. Reberg-Horton, M. Schroeder-Moreno, S. Washburn, L. Hodges, G.W. Bird, and F. Kirschenmann.