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  • Did You Know?
    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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Hot Science

Organic contributes more than yield: Reframing the yield gap debate between conventional and organic production

Jun 17, 2019

  The question of whether organic farming can feed the world has fueled many studies that calculate ratios of conventional to organic yield to measure how organic production compares to the conventional benchmark. Authors of a recent study published in the journal Agronomy suggest that these yield gap calculations focus on the wrong question. Asking… Read More ›

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Long-term and diverse organic crop rotations lower risk by stabilizing net returns over time

Jun 10, 2019

  A cost/return analysis published in Agronomy Journal compared production costs, yield and net returns for conventional versus organic crop rotations. The study revealed that the longest, most diversified organic crop rotation was the most financially secure cropping system, and lower yields for organic crops were offset by higher premiums. Five cropping systems were measured:… Read More ›

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Organic farming creates more jobs with greater stability

Jun 03, 2019

  A recent study in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems found that organic farms provide greater employment opportunities with more job stability when compared to county averages. Using USDA Agricultural Census data from counties in Washington State and California, the study compared the number of people hired per acre and the number of days the… Read More ›

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Agroforestry systems (integrating crops and livestock) can help reduce input use

May 27, 2019

  Organic farmers must employ integrated management strategies to control pests in an environmentally friendly way. New research finds that these organic strategies can also help large-scale, conventional farmers reduce their dependence on synthetic inputs, by harnessing natural ecosystem functions through ecological intensification. Incorporating “agroforestry systems” by integrating trees and shrubs with other crops or… Read More ›

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Perennial flower strips help control pests that devastate apple harvests

May 20, 2019

Apple production in North America and Europe is largely threatened by two insect pests: rosy apple aphids and codling moths. In conventional apple production, heavy inputs of insecticides are required to control these pests, but organic production cannot rely on the same chemical tools. A study published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment found… Read More ›

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Farmers need more research on biological soil amendments wait times

May 13, 2019

  An article published in the most recent issue of the Organic Farmer magazine highlights a partnership between The Organic Center and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and makes a call for more research on food safety risks of using raw manure on organic farms. The National Organic Program prohibits organic farmers from using synthetic fertilizers for nutrient… Read More ›

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Autism spectrum disorder linked to regions where synthetic pesticides are used

May 06, 2019

A study recently published in The BMJ Journal found that prenatal and infant exposure to pesticides consistently correlated with higher risk of autism in children. The strongest correlations were with exposure to chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and avermectin. Researchers analyzed exposure across three developmental stages–three months before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and the first year of child development–and… Read More ›

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Study calls for technology combining roller crimping and flaming for cover crops

Apr 29, 2019

  A recent study published in the Journal PlosǀOne found that the most effective strategy to terminate cover crops in systems where herbicides are prohibited or reduced is a combination of roller crimping and flaming. Before crops can be planted to follow cover crops, the cover crop has to be terminated and turned back into… Read More ›

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Upcoming Webinar: Citrus Greening & the Quest for an Organic Solution, May 9 at 2pm ET

Apr 25, 2019

Citrus Greening is a devastating disease affecting citrus around the world. It has swept through the United States, wiping out over 60% of the citrus harvest in Florida alone. To date there has been no cure found for this disease, and most of the research on control measures have focused on conventional protocols. However, a… Read More ›

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Organic World Congress calls for speakers at 2020 conference in Rennes, France

Apr 22, 2019

As part of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) board, the Organic Center’s Director of Science Programs has joined the Organic World Congress (OWC) Science Board for the 2020 event, taking place September 21-27 in Rennes, France. The first call for proposals for the science track of the 2020 OWC has been released,… Read More ›

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