Two men standing together in the middle of a wheat field, both looking down at the laptop computer in the hands of the man on the right

Enhancing Tools to Model Climate and Environmental Impacts in Organic Agriculture Systems

Generating Soil Health Solutions

Program Contact

Dr. LaKisha Odom

Year Awarded   2022

Total award amount   $77,022

Location   Madison, WI

Matching Funders   The Organic Center

Improving Carbon and Nutrient Modeling Tools for Organic Farming to Reduce Climate Change Impact

The 2022 Organic Center-FFAR joint Organic Research Program awards up to $200,000 per project focused on organic techniques for improving mitigation and resiliency to climate change, with a priority on systems-based approaches and a commitment to cross-sector partnerships. TOC and FFAR selected projects in regions typically underrepresented in organic research and with plans to expand their results to the greater organic farming industry by making their data open and accessible to the public.

Why this research is important

Organic farming is poised to be part of the climate change solution; organic farmers do not rely on fossil-fuel intensive synthetic inputs to manage pests or increase soil fertility and use farming techniques that sequester carbon in the soil. However, more work is needed to understand specific strategies organic growers can adopt to mitigate climate change, while managing the negative effects climate change is having on their farms through drought, flooding, invasive pests and extreme weather events.

Transitioning to organic farming can be confusing, costly and labor-intensive. This partnership with The Organic Center provides a much-needed opportunity for agriculture professionals to educate more farmers about organic farming best practices so we can sustainably meet consumers’ growing demand for organic products and support thriving farms. LaKisha Odom, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Director Soil Health

Details About this Research

Enhancing Tools to Model Climate and Environmental Impacting Organic Agriculture Systems

Silva is investigating how to improve existing carbon and nutrient modeling tools and create new ones to better reflect organic farming management practices and reduce climate change impact. She will share the results with agricultural professionals and policymakers to inform where further research is needed to better understand the impacts of organic farming methods on climate and environmental stewardship. The organic agriculture industry will also use the results to determine the best ways organic farming can be incorporated in the development of carbon and environmental incentive programs.

Project Objectives

  1. Assess existing tools (COMET-Planner and SnapPlus) related to carbon and nutrient modeling to identify gaps related to the representation of organic management
  2. Model tillage intensity and potential soil health impacts using the STIR ratings
  3. Create a report that outline specific needs for on-farm, field level data collection to optimize climate impact models

How This Research Contributes to Our Mission

This bold research addresses complex agriculture issues and challenges that farmers face today.

Matching Funders

The Organic Center's mission is to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental impacts of organic food and farming and to communicate the findings to the public. The Center is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association.

Connect: @OrganicCenter

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