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Organic Agriculture

NIFA Grant Helps Penn State Launch Tillage Project

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University were funded in 2009 by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Organic Agriculture  Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) program to start a reduced tillage project for organic agriculture entitled “Improving Weed and Insect Management in Organic Reduced-Tillage Cropping Systems.”  The project, which is funded through FY 2013, aims to develop sustainable reduced-tillage organic feed grain production systems that integrate pest and soil management practices or overcome production constraints associated with a high-residue, reduced-tillage environment. Researchers are giving special attention to the interactions between weed, insect, and soil management methods for organic production of small grains, corn, and soybeans. The project team, led by Mary Barbercheck of Penn State’s Department of Entomology, consists of researchers, specialists, and technicians in five states, farmer cooperators in three states, and two Penn State Cooperative Extension educators. Soon technicians, graduate students, and a post-doctoral researcher will join the team.

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