USDA awards $4.5 million in grants for organic research

WASHINGTON, DC, September 29, 2004: USDA is awarding $4,614,980 in grants for 11 projects in six states that will strengthen the Integrated Organic Program (IOP), Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced today in Washington.

"These awards will help provide information to assist farmers and ranchers increase the production of high quality products while decreasing costs," Veneman said.

The IOP supports research, Extension and higher education programs to help organic farmers incorporate new technologies into their operations and to develop innovative marketing strategies.

"The Integrated Organic Program helps address the challenges faced by growers," said Agriculture Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Joseph J. Jen. "The threat of pests, for example, can be much greater for organic farmers and ranchers because they rely on a system of natural checks and balances."

The 2004 grants were awarded to the following:

Arkansas:
University of Arkansas, $305,015, for slow-growing broilers in organic production: an alternative to supplemental methionine and a marketing opportunity

California:
University of California, Santa Cruz, $571,902, for improving fertility and pest management strategies for organic crop production and strengthening researcher/grower network
To University of California, Davis, $297,814, for nutrient dynamics, soil biota, and functional biodiversity at an organic farm

To University of California, Davis, $186,624, for the activity and suppression of soil-borne pathogens and pests in organic vs. conventional plots with conservation vs. conventional tillage

Massachusetts:
Tufts University, $197,768, for strengthening the scientific foundation of organic standards on animal health and welfare

Minnesota:
University of Minnesota, $463,645, for soybean aphid suppression using a fall-seeded rye cover crop

New York:
Cornell University, $518,306, for the transitioning dairy: identifying and addressing challenges and opportunities in milk quality and safety

Cornell University, $894,450, for the organic seed partnership

Cornell University $575,028, for building on the best: a research and education partnership for increased competitiveness of organic grain and vegetable farms

Vermont:
University of Vermont, $301,161, for profitability and transitional analysis of northeast organic dairy farms

Washington:
USDA's Agricultural Research Service Tree Fruit Laboratory in Wenatchee, $303,267, for use of resident biological resources for the management of replant disease in organic tree fruit production systems

USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) manages the IOP in collaboration with partners at universities, non-profit organizations and the organic industry through its many state partners. To learn more about the CSREES Integrated Organic Program, visit http://www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/USDA/CSREES/OEP/USDA-GRANTS-041504-001/Grant.html


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