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April 27, 2004

New network focuses on organic farming

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Organic farmers have a new tool courtesy of Purdue University, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois.

Liz Maynard, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service commercial vegetable specialist, said the New Agriculture Network features a Web site and a newsletter that will be published twice a month during the growing season.

"The network and its Web site and newsletter will serve those interested in transitioning to organics as well as those practicing low-input or organic agriculture," Maynard said.

Information for the Web site and newsletter will come from organic growers and Extension specialists. Twice each month nine organic growers will discuss, via teleconference, crop updates and other topics with Extension specialists.

"The Extension specialists will also write articles about a variety of practices and new findings useful for organic growers," Maynard said. "Having three universities in this network will broaden the information that's available and bring more ideas to the table."

Initially the site will include information about field crops and vegetables, but it may expand to other commodities later, Maynard said.

The first issue of the New Agriculture Network newsletter is available now and includes information on avoiding problems with nitrates leaching into tile drains, tillage time and weed emergence, and comparing organic practices with no-till systems for carbon or conservation credits.

Writer: Kay Hagen (765) 494-6682, kjh@purdue.edu

Source: Liz Maynard, (219) 785-5673, emaynard@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu
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