Thursday, April 18, 2013: Supplementing the Organic Dairy Cow Diet: Results of Molasses and Flaxseed Feeding Trials, by Kathy Soder, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). As certified organic grain prices continue to increase, dairy farmers are interested in finding ways to maintain or improve milk production while reducing feed costs. In the quest to find lower-cost alternatives, there has been increased interest in supplementing pasture-based livestock diets with products like molasses and flaxseed. Molasses can be a source of energy and trace minerals. Flaxseed can also be a source of energy; in addition it is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a plus for animals and humans alike. In this webinar, Dr. Kathy Soder will present results of recent research she and her team have conducted on molasses and flaxseed feeding.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013: Researcher and Farmer Innovation to Increase Nitrogen Cycling on Organic Farms, by Louise Jackson, University of California-Davis. The webinar will cover the design and results of an OREI project to assess the variation in how farmers manage nitrogen differently in organic processing tomato production in California, and to learn how their management affects N cycling, soil organic matter, microbial communities, plant root genes for nitrogen assimilation, and yield. We will put these results in the context of nitrogen cycling and availability in organic systems in general and some strategies to increase nitrogen cycling and yields without minimal nitrogen losses. The intended audience is researchers, Extension workers and farmers.
Thursday, April 25, 2013 Scouting for Vegetable and Fruit Pests on Organic Farms. Crop consultant, Doug O’Brien, and organic farmer, Helen Atthowe share their pest monitoring and decision making tips and shortcuts. Learn how to look for insect, disease, and crop quality problems on organic vegetable and fruit farms. They will also touch on some ideas about how to maintain records that will help you better understand pest problems and what to do about them.