Organic Sector Development Program


Organic Sector



Research Projects

Some OSDP Research


• 2003 Cherry Fruit Fly - Conduct research to facilitate licensing in Canada of pesticide approved for organic cherry production (Entrust


• Project successful – Entrust approved

• Organic cherry growers are rich!

I-033 Compost Tea

• Two field trials were conducted in 2004 to verify the impact of aerated compost tea on the incidence of powdery mildew on young apple trees.

• Based on the conditions of this trial, aerated compost tea did not provide sufficient commercial control of apple powdery mildew.

Compost Tea contd

• Five field trials were conducted in 2004 to verify the impact of aerated compost tea on soil microbes, especially the fungi to bacteria ratio and the root feeding nematodes.

• Based on the conditions of this trial, aerated compost tea did improve soil microbial populations, but results were mixed and firm conclusions require further studies

I-059 Lygus Bug

• The Use of Non-Crop Vegetation to

Manage Lygus in Organic Strawberries

• yarrow, cosmos, fennel and dill planted in between strawberry rows

• No significant result

I-067 Annual Weeds

• The Effects of Vinegar and Corn Gluten Meal on Weed Populations in Broccoli and


• In transplanted broccoli, a single vinegar application at

1X or 2X label rates gave weed control comparable to hand cultivation when weed pressure was low. Along the field edge where weed pressure was higher, two applications of vinegar were required to effectively suppress weeds. Vinegar contact with broccoli plants burned the foliage. No significant weed suppression was observed with corn gluten meal

I-067 Annual Weeds contd.

• In an established cranberry bog, a single vinegar spray was not sufficient to suppress perennial weeds; in addition, vinegar sprays caused significant crop damage. Repeated vinegar application directly to established weeds using a wiper applicator may reduce damage to the cranberry crop, and give more effective weed control over the course of a season.

I-68 Tuber Flea Beetle

• In the 2006 growing season two OMRI-listed insecticides, Novodor and Entrust, were examined for ability to reduce tuber flea beetle feeding damage to potato tubers in Delta, BC.

• Treatments were sprayed onto potato foliage before releasing 5 male and 5 female beetles into each covered plot. At harvest, tuber flea beetle larval feeding tunnels on tubers were compared among all treatments.

I-068 Tuber Flea beetle contd.

• Tubers collected from Entrust plots had significantly less damage than Control plots.

Entrust likely reduced tuber damage by killing adult flea beetles originally added to the plots, resulting in fewer eggs laid, and fewer larvae feeding on the tubers. Further work is recommended to examine timing of Entrust applications, its impact on second-generation adult tuber flea beetles, and feeding damage on harvested tubers.

I-072 OFIBC Survey

• Survey Highlights

• Based on a survey of 355 farms across four BC farming regions:

• 10% of farms are certified organic

• 37.7 % of conventional farmers said they are

“likely” or “very likely” to switch to organic farming methods

I-072 OFIBC Contd.

• conventional farmers recognize the environmental benefits of organic farming about half as often as organic farmers; but conventional farmers are far less likely to see economic advantages of organic farming

• about one out of three farmers said they are

“likely” or “very likely” to take at least one course, if offered according to the OFI model

• course credit and certification are not important to the majority of farmers.

I-076 post Harvest Rot

• A trial was conducted at the Pacific Agri-Food

Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland, BC in

2006 on cherry and peach for the control of brown rot ( Monilinia fructicola) using hot water .

• hot water treatment is a method that shows promises for the control of Rhizopus spp. and

Botrytis spp. The 2006 results showed control of brown rot at the same temperature and duration. It is a method available to all cherry growers/packers including the organic ones.

I-077 Spinosad Potato

• The Effects of ENTRUST® (Spinosad) on

Reproduction and Feeding Activity of Epitrix tuberis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in


• In most plots, tuber flea beetle adult levels remained above the economic threshold of 1 adult per sample of 40 plants for the duration of the trial. On average, 1-7 adults were seen per plot. Overall tuber flea beetle populations did not change significantly over the sampling period.

I-081 Spider Mites

• 2008 Spider Mites - Screening organic miticides for spider mite control for organic greenhouse vegetable production

(naturalis or botanigard, Neem oil, JMS

Stylet oil)

I-079 Animal Welfare

• “Animal welfare in organic agriculture: strengthening practices with education and standards”. OACC

• To develop guidance documents for each livestock species in order for the Organic

Technical Committee of the Canadian General

Standards Board (CGSB) to have well researched documentation available when the

National Organic Standard is updated.

I-079 Animal Welfare

• Educate organic inspectors, certifying bodies and farmers about the risks of not meeting excellent animal welfare criteria and the benefits for livestock, farmers and marketing when excellent animal welfare criteria are met.

I-082 Bindweed Mites

• Trial the use of European Gall Mite ( Aceria malherbae) to control field bindweed.

• Established plots – spread mites 2008

• 2009 - Waiting for results

I-084 Future Farmers

• FFCF/TLC project

• TLC finds the land

• FFCF finds the famers

• helping new farmers access affordable land

• researching the best practices of existing community farms

• creating a network of potential farmers, landowners, and community organizations.

I-084 Contd.

• Lohbrunner Farm , Capital Regional District,

Vancouver Island:

• This new Community Farm matches BackYard

Fresh Farming and Lifecycles Project Society to deliver a youth farmer training program.

• Food Corp" , Vancouver Island:

• The long-term plan of this group is to find land and farm full-time.

I-087 Clearwing Moth

• To test two methods to control CWM in the way that has a the lowest impact on the environment in terms of both the amount of pesticide applied and the least amount of fossil fuels being used..

To obtain registration for Entrust with the


I-091 Cranberry


• evaluate the efficacy of organic methods of controlling the three main insect pests of cranberries in the Pacific Northwest and to develop use as well as monitoring protocols for these tools.

• Two-year study - Results in 2009

I-096 Late Blight

• Late blight control alternatives for organic potato growers

• Compost tea and serenade

• Found that compost tea and Serenade are not effective replacements for copper when used alone.

• Reducing the interval of copper sprays to every

14 days was effective in suppressing late blight

I-097 Crop Rotations

• development of “eco-friendly crop rotations” as

Best Management Practices

• BMPs would include a “holistic” eco-system approach to the crop rotations using low input

“break” crops - such as cereal grains; legumes and/or other cover crops – to help improve profit margins through the conservation and recycling of soil nitrogen and/or improved weed control.

I-099 Growing Up


• increase organic production on Salt Spring

Island by exploring ways to help farmers tap into the existing institutional markets.

• Farmer outreach and training.

• Infrastructure development (soft)

• Institutional outreach and training.

• Feasibility study for value-added product(s).

I-101 Brix Study

• 1. understand how plant nutrition status impacts pest pressure through a knowledge and literature review

• 2. apply what we learn from the literature review to understand how certain products or practices could help to manipulate plant nutrient content

(including Brix) and pest pressure

• 3. communicate this information to growers in a clear and objective manner

I-104 Blueberry Pest

• To develop a pest management program that organic blueberry growers can follow.

• To evaluate the efficacy and develop use protocols for organic methods of controlling the three key insect pests (aphids, leafrollers/spanworm, weevils) and three key diseases (mummyberry, canker, fruit rot) of blueberries in British Columbia

I-105 Potato Late


• The objective of the proposed study is to conduct efficacy trials with three potential alternatives to copper: Sonata (Bacillus pumilus), Actinovate SP (Streptomyces lydicus) and neem (NeemAzal). All three of these products has demonstrated efficacy against P. infestans (Sonata and neem) on either potato/tomato or Phytophthora spp. on pepper

(Actinovate). All three are approved for organic agriculture.

I-074 UBC Farm

• Pilot apprenticeship project

• 6 apprentices in 2008

• 35 + applications for 2009!

• Project continues through 2009

COABC Research Fund

• Check the COABC Website