beliefs were the main drivers of organic certification ( Burton et al., 1999 ; Constance and Choi, 2010 ; Padel, 2001 ; Torres et al., 2016 ; Veldstra et al., 2014 ; Wiegel, 2009 ; York et al., 2007 ). Understanding the organic certification drivers
Ariana P. Torres and Maria I. Marshall
Arturo García, Xicotencatl Morentín and J. Farias-Larios
Organic production is a manner of food production whereby people relate to nature to produce healthy food in a sustainable way. Access to the organic food market requires a guarantee that the product complies with the standards and principles established by the moral and legal authorities of organic production. In Latin America, Mexico is the greatest exporter of organic products, mainly coffee. Sales are estimated at nearly 500 million dollars, and certified field surface is 15,000 ha. The objective of this work is to show the certification process of organic production carried at Colima state. The University of Colima Organic Production Certifying Committee (CUCEPRO) is an organic production certification agency, a nonprofit organization, operating since 1993. Furthermore, CUCEPRO promotes organic production, a viable alternative and offer important information on the basic principles of organic production, the procedures which producers need to go through to have their product certified organic. CUCEPRO took part in the determination of the Mexican Quality Control Norms NOM-037-FITO-1995. This agency is constituted by Univ. of Colima teachers and researchers with great expertise on the different areas and processes of organic production. Certification takes between one and 2.5 months depending on distance, kinds of analyses, and seal production and issuing. In the last years CUCEPRO has certified more 3000 hectares of products such as coffee, sesame seed, banana, and mango, as well as honey, compost, and biological pesticides. Certification demand steadily increased due to reliability and confidence on CUCEPRO and to increased acceptance of organic products on the other.
Francisco X. Aguilar, Mihaela M. Cernusca and Michael A. Gold
cultivars that produce a medium- to large-size chestnut. Organic certification would help to increase the likelihood of purchase. However, “locally grown” is the most powerful attribute. Results on price effects suggest that prices of $5 or $7 per pound are
Biodynamics is a form of organic agriculture first described in the 1920s by Rudolph Steiner, and practitioners can become certified biodynamic farmers by following specified practices. What distinguishes biodynamic from organic certification is the required use of nine preparations thought to improve soils and increase crop yields. This literature review focuses on the published, peer-reviewed science behind the use of biodynamic preparations, with the goal of providing objective information to extension educators, including Master Gardeners.
James J. Ferguson, Elizabeth Lamb and Mickie Swisher
With funding to increase support for organic farming research at land grant universities, organic growers have collaborated with faculty and administrators to develop an undergraduate, interdisciplinary minor at the University of Florida. Required introductory courses focus on general concepts of organic and sustainable farming, alternative cropping systems, production programs, handling, and marketing issues. An advanced horticulture course requires intensive examination of certification procedures, farm plans, soil fertility, and crop management, all of which are integrated into a required field project. Extension faculty have also fostered development of this new curriculum by coordinating regional workshops and field days in collaboration with organic growers and by developing educational materials on organic certification and related issues.
Consumption and production of organic food has quadrupled since 1990. Certified organic or pesticide-free produce and other foods are common in most grocery chains. Increased consumer demand and concerns about pesticide use has led to mandates for national standards and local implementation. The Organic Horticulture Colloquium addresses organic certification, production, pest management, consumer demand, education, marketing, and economics. Challenges and results in implementing policy and encouraging change will be related from both national and local perspectives. While the “organic movement” was originally focused on food crops, it has evolved to address issues of pesticide use in non-food horticultural crops as well. This colloquium addresses issues of concern to food and non-food agricultural products.
Jorge O'Ryan and Monica Ozores-Hampton
The Chilean organic wine industry has comparative advantages with Europe and the United States because of its ideal environmental conditions, resulting in low presence of pests and diseases and lower production cost. Additionally, the wine production process is one of the strictest in the world, so the transformation from conventional to organic wine production can be achieved economically. A survey was conducted of 32 Chilean organic vineyards during 2004. The survey included 18 questions about total surface area, certification, varieties, final market, etc. The survey covered 95% of the land under organic wine production, with a total of 1892 ha, of which 1088 ha have organic certification and 804 ha are in transition to organic production. The major vineyards and valleys with organic wine production are Maipo (33.7%), Colchagua (17.2%), El Maule (14.0%), Curicó (9.9%), and Cachapoal (8.8%). The most important organic red varieties currently under production are `Cabernet Sauvignon' (40.9%), `Merlot' (15.1%), `Syrah' (9.1%), `Carmenere' (7.3%), `Malbec' (3.3%), and `Pinot Noir' (2.5%). The white varieties are `Sauvignon Blanc' (6.4%), `Chardonnay' (5.1%), and `Semillón' (1.0%). The potential for the organic wine industry in Chile is tremendous since organic vineyards represent only 2% of the total vineyard industry.
Robert L. Mikkelsen
An adequate potassium (K) supply is essential for both organic and conventional crop production. Potassium is involved in many plant physiological reactions, including osmoregulation, protein synthesis, enzyme activation, and photosynthate translocation. The K balance on many farms is negative, where more K is removed in harvested crops than is returned to the soil. Although various organic certification agencies have different regulations governing allowable sources of K, the behavior of soil K is largely governed by its solubility. The slow release of K from soil minerals is generally insufficient to meet the peak nutrient demand of high-yielding crops, but they can contribute to the long-term improvement of soil fertility. There are many excellent K sources allowed for organic crop production, including soluble minerals such as langbeinite, sylvinite, and potassium sulfate. Potassium sources such as wood ash, greensand, and seaweed can also supply K but require special management because of their low nutrient content, their effect on soil pH, low solubility, or bulky nature. The concentration of K in manures and composts is highly variable, but it is generally quite soluble and available for plant uptake. Some rock minerals may supply a portion of the K requirement of plants, but many are too insoluble to be of practical significance.
Stephanie Wedryk, Joel Felix, Doug Doohan and John Cardina
Farmers view weed management and the risk of lower yields as barriers to transition from conventional to organic agriculture. The 3 years of transition before organic certification can be used to implement strategies to suppress weeds and improve soil fertility. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of five organic transition strategies on soil quality, weed suppression, and yield of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) in the first year of organic production. The transition strategies included a tilled fallow, nontreated weedy, high diversity prairie mixture, smother crops, and vegetable rotation. Subplots with and without compost application were also included. Transition strategies affected weed density and biomass in the first organic year with the prairie strategy being the most suppressive of monocotyledonous weeds before potato. Compost application increased plant available nutrients and soil organic matter (OM). The quantity of plant available phosphorus was greatest in the fallow transition strategy (55 mg·kg−1) when compost was applied, while percent soil OM was highest in the prairie (3.2%) and nontreated (3.1%) strategies in comparison with the other strategies. Compost application increased yields of potato and tomato with transition strategy affecting the number and weight of cull potato tubers. The selection of transition strategies before conversion to organic agriculture affected weed pressure, soil quality, and crop production in the first certified organic year.
K.M. Kelley and J.A. Biernbaum
Eight species of edible flowers were grown in 12.5-cm (1.5-L) square containers during the months of November through May, in a root medium suitable for organic certification or a standard peat and perlite mixture with preplant fertilizer. Plants were fertilized with 200 mL of either a water-soluble fertilizer (19–1.8–19) at 300 ppm N, fish emulsion (5–0.4–0.8), or a certified organic, commercially available soluble fertilizer (6–2.6–5), each at 300 or 600 ppm N applied every 2 weeks. Shoot fresh and dry weights were measured and percent dry weight was calculated. The fresh weights for all species were highest for plants fertilized with the organic fertilizers. For all but one species the organic fertilizer treatments had the same or higher dry weights than the inorganic control. The percent dry weights for all species were the same or higher for the inorganic control treatment. The effect of the organic fertilizer rate on the dry weight was species-dependent. The highest flower production generally occurred with 300 ppm N. Flower size was measured for Viola tricolor and Viola ×. wittrockiana species. For both species flower size was smallest for plants fertilized with the 600 ppm certified organic fertilizer. Root media pH and EC were tested at 6-week intervals throughout the experiment. In general, the pH increased from the first to the second sampling date, but only increased or decreased slightly for later dates, and there was little effect of fertilizer type. Root media EC decreased initially with minimal change later.