USDA has long been at the forefront of organic farming. To obtain USDA organic certification, a field must go through a 3-year transition during which only organic amendments are added.
Here at ARS, our scientists help organic farmers overcome the challenges they face related to productivity, environmental stewardship, and energy efficiency. We research the biological and physical processes innate to plants, soils, invertebrates, and microbes that naturally regulate pest problems and soil fertility, providing farmers with natural alternatives to using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to keep their crops healthy and plentiful.
In This Section
Insect Fight Club: Stink Bug vs. Samurai Wasp
The samurai wasp is a primary candidate for biological control of brown marmorated stink bug.Learn more
Organic Manure Makes Better Fertilizer
Cows that produce organic milk also produce manure capable of replenishing nutrients in soil and slowing nutrient-runoff to nearby water sources.Learn more
Shining a Light on Saving Strawberries
A special ultraviolet-C irradiation technique that may keep strawberries mold-free without chemical fungicides.Learn more
Composting: Nature's Way of Recycling Organic Materials
Learn the benefits of this natural recycling method and how to get started with composting.Learn more
Fighting Pests the Organic Way
ARS researchers may have found an organic pesticide that could help farmers protect their crops from hungry pests.Learn more
Can Alfalfa Really Help Save the Planet?
ARS scientists recently found an environmental benefit to growing alfalfa : carbon reduction in the atmosphere.Learn more
Precision Sprayer Cuts Down Pesticide Use
Automated spraying system detects the size, shape and foliage density of trees and apply the optimum amount of pesticide.Learn more
Options for controlling potato crop diseases include spreading plants with oregano.Learn more
Scientists have shown that cover cropping can improve organic weed management.Learn more
Weed Control Methods
Farmers can reduce weeds by instituting complex crop rotations.Learn more
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