USDA Announces Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Projects
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded 30 grants to enhance the ability of organic producers and processors grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. "More and more farmers are adopting organic agriculture practices to produce quality food and boost farm income," said Roger Beachy, director of USDA's NIFA. "These research and extension projects will equip producers with the tools and resources they need to operate profitable and sustainable organic farms." NIFA awarded more than US$18 million through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Research at USDA increasingly focuses on the science that supports development of sustainable practices in agriculture and forestry, including organic farming, to both reduce negative impacts on the environment and keep US farmers competitive. More OREI information is available here.
Additionally, more than US$ 4 million was awarded through the Organic Transitions Program (ORG). In FY 2010, this program focused on environmental services provided by organic farming systems that support soil conservation and contribute to climate change mitigation. Practices and systems addressed include those associated with organic crops, organic animal production (including dairy) and organic systems integrating plant and animal production. More information on the program can be found here. Since the late 1990s, US organic production has seen heavy growth. Now, more than two-thirds of US consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, and 28 % buy organic products weekly.
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