Cornell faculty receive funding to study organic foods
Published: December 6, 2018
Category: Organic News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
By Magdalen Lindeberg
Organic is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing segments of the U.S. agricultural market. It is also an increasingly important engine of growth for New York State, with more than 1,400 certified organic operations as of 2016.
Researchers in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have been granted nearly $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture to pursue research that will bolster the success of New York’s organic farmers and those pursuing a transition to organic production.
Cornell supports organic agriculture through numerous research and extension activities that provide research-based decision support for new and existing producers.
“Expanding consumer demand for organic products presents market opportunities for New York farmers,” said Abby Seaman, co-chair of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Organic Production and Marketing Program Work Team. “These and previously funded projects bring substantial resources to enable Cornell to address production challenges and help growers successfully meet these opportunities.”
Researchers’ efforts will be aimed at:
- Improving soil fertility: Laurie Drinkwater, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS), and Julie Grossman at the University of Minnesota, will examine how soil fertility, plant genotype and root-colonizing nitrogen-fixing bacteria all influence nitrogen fixation by hairy vetch as a cover crop in organic systems.
- Managing disease with cover crops: Sarah Pethybridge, assistant professor in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section of SIPS, and Matt Ryan, assistant professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section of SIPS, will conduct research on the impacts of a no-till cover crop rotation system on disease and weed management in soybeans and dry beans.
- Developing technology to store apples: Chris Watkins, professor in the Horticulture Section of SIPS and director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, is collaborating with Robin Dando, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science, to assess the potential of dynamic controlled atmosphere, a new apple storage technology to replace synthetic ripening inhibitors.
Magdalen Lindeberg is assistant director of the School of Integrative Plant Science and senior research associate in the Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology.
Source: Cornell University
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