Urban Agriculture Research Lab awarded grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Extension Initiative!

September 8th, 2014

Our recent grant proposal titled, “Blasting the Competition Away: Air-propelled Abrasive Grits for Intra-row Weed Management in Organic Grain and Vegetable Crops,” was funded in the full amount of $749,927 through the 2014 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Extension Initiative. Prof. Wortman is the project director and is teaming up with Profs. Sharon Clay and Dan Humburg of South Dakota State University, Frank Forcella of USDA-ARS in Morris, MN, Prof. Mohammad Babadoost at the University of Illinois, and Prof. Alex Stone of eOrganic at Oregon State University. In this project we will be improving machine and nozzle design for abrasive-grit applicators (a.k.a. “weed blasters”) and designing a new two-row abrasive-grit applicator suited for organic vegetable crop production. We will also be conducting on-farm trials over a three-year period to test the efficacy of organic fertilizers (e.g., soybean meal and corn gluten meal) as abrasive grits in grain and vegetable crops. Project results will be delivered to farmers and researchers with the help of the eOrganic Community of Practice within eXtension.