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$700,000 Grant Helps UW Study How Organic Producers Can Remain Competitive


November 3, 2010 — Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming have received a $700,000 grant for research to improve the competitiveness of organic crop and forage producers and those who are adopting organic practices.

"This is very exciting news," said professor Bret Hess, director of the Wyoming Agricultural and Experiment Station and director of research at the college.

The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the grant Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Participating in the research are assistant professors Urszula Norton and Axel Garcia y Garcia in the Department of Plant Sciences, Jay Norton in the Department of Renewable Resources and John Ritten in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

"The funding awarded through this grant will permit Urszula and coworkers to continue and expand a project that is gaining tremendous momentum," said Hess. "I commend this group's effort to capitalize on opportunities to procure extramural funds."

The scientists will study soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in organic crop and forage production in the northeast high plains ecoregion in Wyoming and Nebraska, according to NIFA.

The research will compare organic farming to reduced-tillage and conventional approaches, both in transition and in long-term use. The project will support development and improvement of predictive biogeochemical, water use and economic models for irrigated and dry land cropping systems.

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