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Organic Research, Education, and Extension Programs

USDA funds extension efforts with land-grant universities across the country. Additionally, USDA funds several research efforts that support the continued growth of organic agriculture and that address critical issues within the industry.

Research Grants for Organizations

USDA's offers two research grant programs dedicated to organic agriculture:

  • The helps solve critical organic agriculture issues through research, education, and extension activities. NIFA provides online.
  • The (ORG) strives to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices, through research, extension, and higher education. NIFA provides as well.

The provides a variety of competitive grants for research, education, and outreach activities that support sustainable agricultural systems. The program encourages site-specific experimentation, and many grants have focused on organic production or marketing.

Risk management education and outreach partnerships from USDA's ensure that producers get the information they need to effectively manage their risk through difficult periods and remain productive.

from the are competitive grants that stimulate innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands.

USDA Research on Organic

The is USDA's principal in-house scientific research agency, responsible for developing solutions to a wide range of agricultural problems that affect Americans every day, from field to table. Currently, the coordinates ARS's organic agriculture portfolio, which is summarized in their 2013-2017 action plan. Since research applicable to organic agriculture cuts across many national programs, over the years existing research projects have taken on organic objectives as a part of their existing portfolios. Highlights of ARS' organic research include:

  • The is a long-term agricultural research site which evaluates agronomic, environmental and economic sustainability in Maryland. Access recent .
  • The measures long-term effects of a cover crops on weeds, soil quality, yields, profitability on California's central coast. Download publications and recent related to this project.
  • The assesses the impact of organic and conventional cropping systems on water quality, nutrient- and water-use efficiency, soil C storage, and soil health in Iowa. Access recent .

Educational Resources

USDA provides additional resources on organic certification and farming practices through organic training and transition assistance.