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MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS CONFRONTING ORGANIC FARMING OPERATIONS IN THE HIGH PLAINS
This integrated project aims to assess the agronomic and economic viability and effectiveness of a variety of soil amendments for use on small and medium sized organic farms in the semiarid northern high plains and intermountain regions of Wyoming and Western Nebraska. Few previous studies have compared soil amendments within organic agriculture. An extension component ensures that information gleaned from this project is transferred to producers. This project addresses key priorities of the OREI program by focusing on both on-farm and experimental research that examines novel soil amendments. Soil productivity and fertility will be examined to assess the viability of each alternative. In addition, crop production, and economic and marketing opportunities and constraints up and down-stream from the farm will be assessed as part of the project. This three-year project assembles researchers in soil science, agricultural economics and marketing, educators, and producers to establish much-needed region-specific organic agricultural knowledge through research conducted in affiliation with the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC), as well as on site, at organic farms in the semiarid northern high plains and intermountain regions. SAREC boasts state-of-the-art laboratory, education, and dormitory facilities. This project will piggy-back on a preexisting USDA-NRI Agricultural Prosperity for Small and Medium Sized Farms program grant, "Economic and environmental sustainability of conventional, reduced-input, and organic approaches on western crop-range-livestock farms." This project will take advantage of existing plots in transition to certified organic production at SAREC, as well as information from organic farmers participating in the NRI grant.
USDA CRIS Project Information Link: 0218707