Knoxville, TN — The University of Tennessee Institute will be studying organic production of grains such as corn, soybeans, and wheat thanks to a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a WGNS News Radio report.
These conventionally grown crops account for 33% of Tennessee's gross agricultural income, but researchers say the state lags in organic production.
“Organic crop systems typically depend on intensive and frequent tillage operations,” states Sindhu Jagadamma, assistant professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science and lead investigator on the project. “However, most row crop producers in Tennessee follow no-till management practices. Developing viable organic systems that do not heavily depend on tillage can help progressive farmers transition to organic systems.”
The research team hopes to tackle several key production challenges that prevent producers from transitioning to organic practices.
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