US non-profit Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has announced the recipients of its 2017 research grant awards for innovation in organic farming.

OFRF says that recipients were selected based on the relevance of their proposed research projects to fostering the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems.

“We were impressed with the large number of excellent proposals we had to draw from for this round of grants,” said Brise Tencer, executive directer at OFRF (pictured). “As with the grants we funded in 2016, all of these projects focus on priorities identified by organic farmers in our 2015 national survey of organic farmers.”

The projects cover a broad range of topics that require extensive expertise for sustainable, organic production, including soil health, organic grain, strawberry production, and pest management in sweet corn.

“OFRF is especially glad to support the corn earworm management survey project, which is primarily from a social science perspective” ” said Diana Jerkins, research program director for OFRF.  “By funding graduate student projects, we hope to encourage and assist young scientists in engaging in organic research and continuing to work in the organic industry.”

OFRF named this this year’s grant recipients as:

Stefanie Boucier, Farm Fuel Inc, Watsonville, California – Evaluation of organic strawberry transplants for organic strawberry production; Steve Culman, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio – Evaluating soil protein as a new soil health indicator; Justin Keay, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri – Developing a cover crop-based, no-till system for small-scale vegetable producers: effects on soil health, weeds, arthropod communities, and yield; William Tracy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin – Corn earworm management: a survey of organic sweet corn growers… Ashley McFarland, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan – Examination of organic grain productivity to support the Upper Peninsula organic livestock industry.˜

Picture: OFRF