Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance

Submitted by:
Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance
P.O. Box 26102
Lansing, MI 48909 

  1. Fundamental Research: ecological processes underlying pest and beneficial organisms (arthropod, plant, microbial) including population dynamics; identification of their relative economic importance and potential for management in organic farming systems.
  2. Applied Strategies: develop and implement measures to quantify the impacts of organic farming management practices on system health/sustainability including: crop nutrient dynamics, soil ecology, and natural enemy and pollinator abundance and diversity.
  3. Economics of Market types for organic farms: A rubric to assist organic (and other type of farmers) as they seek and establish various market types for their fresh produce, beans and grains.
  4. Applied Strategies: develop and implement new cultural practices that enhance pest management and/or nutrient provisioning in organically grown crops,vegetables, and/or fruit including: the integration of livestock, cover crops, crop rotations, tillage and no tillage systems and polycultures.
  5. Identification and development of new crops and varieties that are of particular value to organic markets, especially in the Midwest.
  6. Applied Strategies: develop and implement economic and effective organic strategies for management of insect, disease and weed pests under Michigan climactic conditions:
    • Development and testing of economical, biologically based pest management technologies and practices in organic systems including; biological control, biopesticides, mating disruption (especially machine applied and multi-species formulations) and compost teas.
    • Evaluation and determination of the effectiveness of OMRI-approved pesticides lethal and sublethal effects), their proper timing, and non-target impacts on above and below ground ecological processes.
    • Development and implementation of improved monitoring and application timing protocols (phenology models) and determination of effective and economical integration of organic pest management tactics.
  7. Applied Strategies - economic and market research to identify opportunities and guide business practices for local organic markets.
  8. Extension - training of extension agents on the integration of organic principles, needs of the organic community, and methods for organic transition in various farm types (field, greenhouse, high tunnels).
  9. Extension - the development of social networks that enhance communication among organic farmers,Michigan State University research, MSU Extension and education personnel,
  10. and consumers including: strategic planning meetings, development of online resources, organic farming internship programs and consumer education.
  11. Applied Strategies: Identify scientifically based recommendations for food safety around manure, compost and vermicompost use on farms. Production and management methods for manure use and compost are tested for best management practices (observing organic regulations to minimize the survival of e-coli (populations below risk levels) while using on fruit and vegetable farms.

Last Updated: October 2013