WASHINGTON — A new $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will address one of the most pressing issues for the organic community: How to use manure effectively in organic farming in ways that foster healthy soil and minimize risks to food safety.
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The grant will support research examining the relationship between manure use in improving soil health and food safety, concentrating on organic fresh produce production. It was awarded to a multidisciplinary team from the University of California-Davis, the University of Minnesota, the University of Maine, the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, USDA’s Economic Research Service Resource and Rural Economics Division, the Produce Safety Alliance, and The Organic Center, with funding provided by its Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).
The new grant implements a research plan developed by UC Davis, The Organic Center, and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) during their 2016 OREI planning grant. The long-term goal of the project is to provide critical information for guidelines on risk mitigation of foodborne pathogens for organic and sustainable agriculture.
“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,” said Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center.
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“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.” Jessica Shade, director of science programs at The Organic Center.