Agriculture research to prevail harming organic dung
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced end of September, that they would give a $2 million grant to university research teams and U.S. agricultural departments. The amount is awarded by the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). The goal of the allocation is to scientifically explore how dung can be used in the best possible way for organic farming, with a special focus on the health of soil. It should provide farmers with ground rules on how they can prevent foodborne diseases in organic crops. Droppings are of crucial importance for the organic sector since its farmers heavily rely on it.
"With this grant, we can now engage in specific research using the knowledge base that we've built, and the Organic Center welcomes our role in helping to get the word out about this vital issue," quotes the PR News Wire, Dr. Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs at the Organic Center.
The benefits of organic compost for soil fertility have already been examined and proven, such as increasing soil health. What is more unknown is the frequency of dung use and also how food borne illness can affect soil health for the next harvest. Later in the article, PR Wire quotes Professor Alda Pires, one of the team's principal investigators from UC Davis saying, “The project will benefit organic farmers and consumers by providing strategies to maintain the value of raw manure soil amendments while limiting food safety risks”.