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    Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Organic farming with more biodiversity lowers food safety risks

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  A recent article published in the Journal of Applied Ecology shows that contrary to popular perception, increased biodiversity on the farm can actually reduce risks of food-borne pathogens, and organic farming is the ticket to increasing the right kinds of insects and bacteria to suppress those pathogens. While it has been shown in countless… Read More ›

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Organic increases beneficial insect biodiversity without increasing pest insect diversity

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New research published in the journal Global Change Biology has found that organic farming benefits biodiversity. Researchers compiled data from studies from around the world to assess the effects of organic farming and high plant diversity in fields on the diversity of pollinators, beneficial insects that eat pest insects, insects that eat plants, and insects… Read More ›

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Organic increases soil health, microbial biodiversity on banana plantations

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A new study published in Applied Soil Ecology has found large differences in soils and the soil microbial communities that they support. In a three-year study, researchers compared soil characteristics and the functional diversity of soil bacterial populations (the number of groups of species that are unique from each other in how they eat, move,… Read More ›

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Organic guarana orchards in Amazon support more wasp biodiversity

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Sustainable agriculture is one way to conserve biodiversity in the face of widespread habitat destruction. Now, a new study published in the Journal Sociobiology has determined the extent to which organic guarana plantations in the Brazilian Amazon can benefit beneficial wasps.  Researchers collected almost 1,000 wasps representing 59 different species. Almost 70 percent of the… Read More ›

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Conservation ag increases beneficial biodiversity, supports weed control

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A recent study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment demonstrates that conservation management of farms increases the abundance of carabid beetles that consume the seeds of weeds in crop fields.  Researchers examined 67 fields in California.  They determined whether or not conservation agriculture practices were in place, and analyzed whether the amount of time in… Read More ›

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NOP Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance Compliance Tool

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For a link to the tool click here! Organic farmers are focused on building biodiversity on their farms.  To help them achieve this goal, the Organic Center partnered with Dr. Quinn at Furman University to share the Healthy Farm Index (HFI), a farm-scale assessment tool that aids organic farmers in monitoring and managing biodiversity and ecosystem… Read More ›

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Webinar on how to implement and verify biodiversity conservation activities in organic agricultural systems

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Organic operations must follow the National Organic Program’s (NOP) regulations. The NOP Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance, which interprets these regulations, helps organic producers and their certification personnel determine which conservation practices are appropriate. Biodiversity conservation in organic agriculture varies in a continuum from simple to complex stewardship practices. Opportunities for USDA NRCS to… Read More ›

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Organic orchard production improves soil biodiversity and soil nutrient content

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A recent study conducted by the Maryland Department of Agriculture and published in the journal Organic Agriculture sampled soils and plant material from organic and conventional organic and peach orchards to compare microbial diversity of soils and nutrient concentrations in soils and plant tissue. Soils from organic orchards were found to have more microbes, more… Read More ›

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Organic rice cultivation supports aquatic biodiversity

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A recent study published in Basic and Applied Ecology sought to understand how the use of agrochemicals, water management and mechanization in conventional rice fields affected biodiversity and whether organic rice cultivation techniques could provide a solution. For the study, researchers sampled species richness and abundance in conventional and organic rice fields as well as… Read More ›

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Increased biodiversity reduces pest problems on farms

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A new study published in Science Advances has found that farming practices that promote biodiversity also increase natural pest control on farms by increasing the number of beneficial predators that attack crop pests. Researchers compared insect diversity on 53 cornfields in South Dakota. They found that farms that had more insect species that were abundant… Read More ›

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