AMES, Iowa --A new Web site about U.S. organic agriculture production provides research, news and learning modules from land-grant universities nationwide. eOrganic will be featured at regional organic farming and production conferences in February. It is one of many Web communities within eXtension (pronounced E-extension), http://www.extension.org, a national initiative of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System.
“The eOrganic site is an excellent resource of research-based information in organic agriculture,” said Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University Extension organic crop production specialist. Delate worked with other faculty and researchers in contributing research for the Web site. Her specialization is nutrient and pest management for organic grain crops, fruits, vegetables and herbs.
“Organic agriculture remains strong in Iowa, with approximately 100,000 acres of production and the fourth largest number of organic farmers in the United States,” Delate said.
"This new resource is for anyone who wants to learn more about organic agriculture, one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture," Oregon State University vegetable specialist Alex Stone said. "eOrganic is designed for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking science- and experience-based information. The site is focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production and vegetable production. We expect to continually expand the information available."
Organic farming systems use ecological practices that enhance and promote optimum health of soil, plants, animals and people, encourage biodiversity, rely primarily on natural inputs and largely exclude the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The new eOrganic site features:
• Frequently Asked Questions: Organic agriculture experts from throughout the nation provide simple, clear answers on topics such as crop production, pest management, nutrient use, soil amendments and organic certification.
• News and Upcoming Events: Organic agriculture continues to gain prominence in the news. eOrganic brings together news from land-grant universities. National, statewide and local organic events are listed.
• Ask an Expert: Experts nationwide respond to individual organic agriculture questions within 24 hours of submission.
• Video Clips: More than 100 video clips explain organic agriculture practices.
• Articles and Lessons: Learn about organic agriculture, successful varieties, production system practices, government rules and regulations from more than 150 articles.
"The Web content offers a wealth of innovative strategies from the nation’s most successful organic researchers and practitioners that can improve your farm’s bottom line. We believe this work will inspire others to make positive changes to improve the health of our natural resources, each other and our planet," said Danielle Treadwell, organic and sustainable vegetable specialist, University of Florida.
The eOrganic site joins other eXtension sites at http://www.eXtension.org including information on the financial crisis; animal manure management; beef cattle; corn and soybean production; cotton production; dairy cattle; disasters; diversity across higher education; entrepreneurs and their communities; family caregiving; geospatial technology; horses; horticulture; imported fire ants; parenting; personal finance; science, engineering and technology for youth; and wildlife damage management.
eXtension is an educational partnership of more than 70 land-grant universities helping Americans improve their lives with access to timely, objective, research-based information and educational opportunities. eXtension's interactive Web site, http://www.extension.org, is customized with links to local Cooperative Extension Web sites. Land-grant universities were founded on the ideals that higher education should be accessible to all, that universities should teach liberal and practical subjects and share knowledge with people throughout their states.