Jul 13, 2022
OFRF awards organic research grants focused on pulse crops, companion planting
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), in partnership with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR), announces two more 2021-22 Organic Research grants, awarded to Travis Parker and Christiana Huss. Parker’s research will increase the productivity and market value of pulse crops for arid conditions. Huss will examine companion plantings for organic management of a new invasive Brassica pest. These awards are the third and fourth projects of six in OFRF’s current 2021-22 organic research grant cycle.
- Travis Parker, with lead institution University of California – Davis, will focus their research on pulse crops, such as cowpea and tepary bean, which show exceptional resistance to heat, drought and low soil fertility and make them particularly valuable under the context of climate change. This project will evaluate high market value varieties of common beans, cowpeas and tepary beans in arid organic systems, and conduct advanced genetic analyses for development of new high value varieties.
- Christiana Huss, with lead institution University of Georgia, will focus their research on identifying companion plants that can mitigate the recent attack of the invasive yellow-margined leaf beetle (Microtheca ochroloma) on leafy brassica greens across the Southeastern U.S. This project will evaluate a very innovative landscape ecology approach that involves a combination of repellant intercrops and attractant companion plants in a “push-pull” design for bio-control of the pest.
OFRF’s grant program funds research on organic production systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and agricultural research communities. The 2021/22 grant cycle awarded on-farm projects focused on climate mitigation and resilience.
As a result of OFRF’s research, education and outreach efforts, thousands of farmers have received pertinent research and training information. Results from all OFRF-funded projects are available to access for free in an online database.