Organic Tree Fruit Production:What is it? Whereis it going? David Granatstein Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Wenatchee, WA Organic pears near Chelan, WA
“Which half of the world will starve if we switch to organic farming?” Earl Butz, former US Secretary of Agriculture
What is Organic Agriculture? • The production of crops and animals without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
What is Organic Agriculture? • The production of crops and animals without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. • “An organic farm, properly speaking is not one that uses certain substances and avoids others; it is a farm whose structure is formed in imitation of the structure of a natural system; it has the integrity, the independence, and the benign dependence of an organism.” - Wendell Berry
NOP Definition of “Organic Production” “A production system that is managed … to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.”
NOSB Principles of Organic Production: • Optimize soil biological activity; • Maintain long-term fertility; • Minimize soil erosion; • Maintain or enhance the genetic and biological diversity of the production system and its surroundings;
NOSB Principles of Organic Production (continued): • Utilize production methods and breeds or varieties that are well adapted to the region; • Recycle materials of plant and animal origin in order to return nutrients to the land, thus minimizing the use of non-renewable resources;
NOSB Principles of Organic Production (continued): • Minimize pollution of soil, water, and air; and • Become established on an existing farm or field through a period of conversion (transition), during which no prohibited materials are applied and an organic plan is implemented.
What Does “Certified Organic” Mean ? • No pesticides ? • No chemicals ? • No synthetic inputs ? • No environmental impacts ? • Good soil and water conservation ? • Humane treatment of animals ? • Consumer protection ?
Organic System Plans 1. Describe practices and procedures 2. List of materials that you plan to use during the upcoming year. 3. Monitoring techniques used to measure soil and water quality (e.g. soil tests) 4. Records maintained (e.g. material application records, sales and yield) 5. Practices used to prevent contamination or commingling (e.g. buffer zones, labeling)
Organic Production System Plans Soil building and fertility maintenance • Soil testing required to monitor soil quality • No raw manure applications within 120/90 days PH; • Distinct composting guidelines; • No destructive cultivation practices; • Use of cover crops, crop rotations, and maintenance of soil organic matter; • Producer must maintain or improve the soil and minimize soil erosion.
Organic Production System Plan Bio-intensive pest management plans • Prevention first • Crop rotations; • Resistant varieties; • Maintaining beneficial species habitat; • Sanitary cultural practices; • Materials used only when crop rotation, biological control, and cultural practices are insufficient to control pests.
National List National List of Approved Materials • Natural materials are approved, unless specifically prohibited (strychnine, tobacco) • Prohibits all synthetic materials, unless specifically allowed (copper sulfate, pheromones) • USDA does not maintain a complete list of approved materials • National Organic Standards Board must approve all synthetic materials on National List. • NOSB approved synthetics are not approved until the NOP rules are amended.
NOP - Materials Issues • Sodium nitrate - prohibited in Europe • List 3 Inerts in pesticide formulations- This will eliminate many materials (pesticides and soil amendments) from organic use. • Compost requirements • Raw manure restrictions • GMO free non-organic ingredients
Organic Farm Acreage in Europe Source: OTA; 1999 data Total organic acreage in EU was 7.5 million acres. 6-10% of all farmland is organic in Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden. By 2001, 10 million organic acres in EU (certified plus transition), about 3% of total ag land area.
Organic Acreage Growth • 1997 USDA survey – 1.3 million acres certified organic (850K cropland, 496K pasture/range) – represents about 0.2% of US farmland • US sales of organic foods growing by 23%/yr for past 10 years (25%/yr in past 3 years) • Washington - ~25,000 certified acres in 1997; up to 39,000 in 2002
Growth of Organic Food Sales Projected $20 billion in sales by 2005 Source: Organic Trade Association
Encouraging Trends • Consumer trends around “wellness” • Increased organic food sales and availability • More public interest in food system, ecosystem services, role of ag in society • More public and private support for organic farming • More regulatory certainty (USDA National Organic Standard) • Organic = “GMO free”
Concerns • Ability for increased supply to outpace increase in demand (e.g. apples)? • Foreign competition • “Industrial” organic, consolidation • More scrutiny and criticism of organic (e.g. pathogens, pesticide use) • Convergence of conventional and organic on the farm for some systems
Estimated World Organic Apple and Pear Acreage - 2001 Certified Acres ApplePear U.S. 17,572 2,798 Europe* 8,675 3,665 New Zealand 2,873 163 South America 1,385 932 Canada 800 60 Total 31,005 7,618 China, Turkey ?? * Europe data from 2000
U.S. Organic Tree Fruit Acreage - 2001 Apple PearCherryAll fruit WA 6540 1308 303 8436 CA 4529 842 179 8662 AZ 2800 -- 30 2830 CO 1535 100 133 1923 ID 503 -- -- 506 OR 350 500 25 1180 Others 1015 48 57 1198 Total US 17,272 2798 727 23,835
Organic Tree Fruit Acreage in WA - 2002 Cert.Trans.Total Apples 8075 1786 9861 Pears 1771 192 1963 Cherries 501 184 685 Apricots 90 12 102 Peaches 195 4 199 Nectarines 78 3 81 Plums 46 3 49 Other 17 2 19 Total 10,773 2,186 12,959
Organic Apple Acreage in Washington State Pheromone MD Alar
PriceTrends Org Org Conv Fuji Conv Gala
Price Trends Org Conv Bartlett D’Anjou
Organic Cherry Production • Winter pruning • Fall or spring fertilization: BioGro 1000 lb/ac (90 lb N/ac); chicken compost 1.5-2 T/ac (90-120 lb N/ac) • Foliar feed – soluble fish, kelp • GA • Dormant oil – scale, aphid • Late fall, early spring copper for Coryneum blight, bacterial gumosis
Organic Cherry Production • Cherry fruit fly – formerly rotenone, pyrethrums; no effective formulations; waiting for spinosad (Entrust) 7 d interval, but 7 d PHI • Black cherry aphid – formerly controlled by CFF spray (Pyrenone); no effective control; rely on biocontrol ? • Mildew – Stylet oil, M-Pede, sulfur, potassium bicarbonate • Brown rot – copper, sulfur • Weeds – tillage, flaming, mulch
Organic Tree Fruit Research Needs All regions – fruit thinning; weed control; fertility; rootstock and variety evaluation; influence of organic production on fruit quality, nutrition; production and price statistics Semi-arid regions (western North America, Argentina) – insect pests, replant disease Humid regions (Michigan, NY) – scab, insect pests WSU/WTFRC priority setting with growers
Research Response • Insect Pests • Pheromone mating disruption for codling moth • New biorational pest control tools (Spinosad, kaolin, neem, oils, repellents) • Habitat manipulation – cover crops, border vegetation, mowing regime Pheromone dispensers for codling moth mating disruption
Research Response • Diseases and Weeds • Biocontrol of Replant Disease • Scab resistant varieties • Mulching systems for weed control • Tree tolerance of weeds • Thermal weed control • ‘Organic’ herbicides • Cover crops
Growth of ‘Gala’ Apple Seedlings in CV Orchard Replant Soil Following Planting with Different Wheat Cultivars (M. Mazzola, USDA-ARS)
Clover ‘Living Mulch’ Spray-on Paper Mulch Wood Chip Mulch
Research Response • Soils, Crop Load • Cover crops • Organic amendments • Soil quality • Natural blossom and fruit thinners
How Do Conventional, Organic, and Integrated Apple Production Systems Compare?A Seven Year Study in the Yakima ValleyPreston Andrews, John Reganold, Jerry GloverWSU Pullman
STUDY SITE • Yakima Valley (46o30’N) • Sandy loam texture • Planted 1994 • Golden Delicious/M.9 • 2240 trees per hectare (1.2 m x 3 m) • Four, replicated, 0.14 hectare plots (RCB) • On-farm, grower/scientist managed • Funded by USDA-NRICGP
NITROGEN 0-15 cm A A A B AB B A B A A B B
MINERALIZABLE NITROGEN NS NS
MICROBIAL BIOMASS 0-7.5 cm A A A A A A B B B B B B
EARTHWORMS A A AB B B B
SOIL QUALITY INDEX 1998 1999 A A A AB B B * * * * * * * * * * *
FRUIT YIELDS A A NS A AB A AB B B B A B C A B B
WSU Orchard Systems Trial Zillah, WA Costs ($/acre) Variable Fixed Total 1998 1999 1998 1999 1998 1999 Conv. 3849 4366 3146 3492 6995 7858 IFP 3682 4145 3315 3644 6997 7789 Organic 3877 3511 3356 3371 7232 6883 (Glover et al., 2002)