Source: PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
ANAEROBIC SOIL DISINFESTATION FOR ENHANCING AND ADVANCING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF ORGANIC SPECIALTY CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS (ASD-EASY ORGANIC)
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1026721
Grant No.
2021-51300-34914
Project No.
PENW-2021-02963
Proposal No.
2021-02963
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
113.A
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2021
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2025
Grant Year
2021
Project Director
Di Gioia, F.
Recipient Organization
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
408 Old Main
UNIVERSITY PARK,PA 16802-1505
Performing Department
Plant Science
Non Technical Summary
Soilborne pests and pathogens are among the major factors limiting yield in organic specialty crop systems. In these systems, effective integrated strategies are needed to preserve soil health and enhance the sustainability of organic horticulture.Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) is an emerging biologically-based technology that promotes the simultaneous control of plant pathogens, plant parasitic nematodes, and weeds. The long-term goal of the present multiregional integrated research and extension project is to contribute to the long-term profitability and sustainability of organic specialty crop production systems by optimizing and integrating ASD as a viable biological technology for the simultaneous management of soilborne pests and pathogens and promoting and supporting soil health for the long-term.Coordinated research and on-farm trials will be conducted to optimize and integrate ASD into organic vegetable and strawberry cropping systems and assess the impact on soil health and the efficacy of ASD in managing key soilborne pests and pathogens in Florida and Pennsylvania, two states representative of the U.S. Northeast and Southeast region.Science-based knowledge developed throughout the project on ASD will be disseminated through local and regional outreach activities (on-farm trials and demonstrations, farmer focus groups, inservice training, workshops and meetings), and the national level eOrganic web platform (project webpage, project news, and updates, webinars, videos, English and Spanish fact sheets and manual), which combined, will contribute to transfer the ASD technology and relative application practices to organic growers and promote its adoption for the sustainable management of soilborne pests and pathogens affecting organic specialty crop systems.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
20%
Applied
60%
Developmental
20%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2151499106010%
2151122106010%
1021499106010%
1021122106010%
2051499106010%
2051122106010%
2051499301010%
2051122301010%
2150110106010%
2150110107010%
Goals / Objectives
The long-term goal of the present multiregional integrated research and extension project is to contribute to the profitability and sustainability of organic specialty crop production systems by optimizing and integrating Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) as a viable biological technology for the simultaneous management of soilborne pests and pathogens and preserving soil health for the long-term.Specific objectives of the projectare:1) Optimize and evaluate opportunities for integrating ASD in organic specialty crop systems as a biological method to enhance soil health across the U.S. Northeast and Southeast region.2) Assess the short- and long-term impact of ASD on soil ecology and microbiome dynamics in organic specialty crop systems examining any consequent/interacting effect on nutrient dynamics, soilborne pests and pathogens, and overall soil health.3) Assess the efficacy of ASD as a system-based integrated management tool to address soilborne plant pathogens, plant-parasitic nematodes, and weeds affecting organic specialty crop systems in the U.S. Northeast and Southeast.4) Conduct advanced on-farm evaluations of ASD in different organic specialty crop systems to involve organic growers in the optimization of ASD and transfer the method to certified organic farmers operating within the U.S. Northeast and Southeast region.5) Evaluate the economic viability and identify barriers to adoption and integration of ASD in organic specialty crop systems in small- and medium- or large-size organic farms across the U.S. Northeast and Southeast region.6) Conduct a range of outreach activities employing multiple extension delivery methods to transfer science-based knowledge on ASD and promote its adoption for the management of soilborne pests and pathogens and of soil health in organic specialty crop systems at regional and national level.
Project Methods
Coordinated research and on-farm trials will be conducted to optimize and integrate ASD intoorganic vegetable and strawberry cropping systems and assess the impact on soil health and theefficacy of ASD in managing key soilborne pests and pathogens in two states representative of the U.S. Northeast and Southeast region. For the on-station "mother" research trials, treatments will be arranged according to a completely randomized block design with four replications. After the application of ASD treatments, soil oxidation-reduction potential sensors will be installed in each plot to monitor the soil redox potential (Eh) during the ASD treatment for 21-28 days. Soil temperature and moisture sensors will be installed in at least two replications. Data collected through data loggers will be monitored continuously and processed weekly to monitor soil Eh, temperature, and moisture. Soil Eh data will be used to calculate the cumulative Eh (ΣEh). Crops will be managed following local practices and certified organic standards. Visual assessments, soil sampling, and biometric assessments will be conducted at defined time intervals (every 30-45 days depending on the crop cycle) to evaluate any treatment effect on the crop, soil nutrient dynamics, and soil microbiome. Plant samples will be measured to determine the fresh and dry weight, dry tissue samples will be analyzed for their nutrient content and at harvest, produce will be analyzed for the quality profile measuring dry matter, total soluble solids (Brix), titratable acidity, and other quality parameters. In the case of fresh-market tomatoes at harvest fruit will be harvested based on color development from 10 representative plants per plot and fruit will be sorted by size category (extra-large, large, medium) and divided into marketable and unmarketable to determine different yield components and assess any effect in terms of earliness. Harvest dates and yield components will be recorded and used for the economic analysis. The same approach and methodology will be used consistently across all the coordinated "mother" research trials. All data will be subject to statistical analysis using SAS or R.On-farm demonstration and side-by-side testing of ASD in comparison with standard soil management practices will be conducted with selected cooperators in certified organic specialty crop systems (including vegetable and strawberry crops grown in open fields or protected environment) in both states.Science-based knowledge developed throughout the project on ASD will be disseminated by employing multiple extension delivery methods including i) local and regional outreach activities (on-farm research and demonstrations, farmer focus groups, in-person meetings, in-service training for extension educators, printed fact sheets, and a manual, workshops and presentations at local and regional grower meetings), and ii) national level outreach activities conducted through the eOrganic web platform (project webpage, project news and updates, webinars, videos, multilingual (English and Spanish) digital fact sheets and digital and printed manual), which combined, will contribute to transfer the ASD technology and practice to organic growers and promote its adoption for the sustainable management of soilborne pests and pathogens affecting organic specialty crop systems.