More Research Units
- Alternative Swine Production
- Farming Systems
- Organic Research
- Pasture-Based Beef
- Pasture-Based Dairy
- Pasture-Based Meat Goat
- Small Farm
Organic Research Unit Contacts
Chris Reberg-Horton, Ph.D.
Organic Research Unit Coordinator
North Carolina State University
Superintendent, Cherry Research Farm
North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
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Organic Research Unit
Increasing interest in organic research has led to a demand for certified organic land on North Carolina's research stations. Previously, many organic projects were conducted on conventional land. To provide a better experimental context for researchers, CEFS has dedicated 60+ acres to short-term experiments on organic systems.
When fields in the unit are not being used for research, they are maintained in a rotation of organic soybeans, corn and hay. This reflects standard production practices on organic farms in eastern North Carolina. Land in the Organic Research Unit is available to all researchers at NCSU and NCA&T to conduct short-term research projects. Detailed records are available for each field, including soil maps and previous research results.
Current Research Extension Projects
- Small grain advanced line testing: approximately 200 lines of soft wheat, 200 lines of hard wheat, and 100 lines of barley are being tested under organic conditions.
- Managing for nitrogen release from cover crops: multiple species of cover crops are managed using both tillage and non-tillage techniques for a subsequent cash crop of corn.
- Row spacing for canola: canola is being grown at three spacings and five seeding rates
to determine the most effective arrangement for outcompeting weeds while minimizing disease pressure.
- Soybean advanced line testing: 45 soybean lines are being tested under organic conditions
CEFS' Committment to Organic
CEFS faculty, in their work to support sustainable agriculture and local food systems, conduct research and provide demonstrations of organic production practices at the Organic Research Unit, the Small Farm Unit, and the long-term Farming Systems Research Unit. One hundred and six acres of the 2,000-acre research station are currently certified organic. Grain and horticultural crops, variety selection, cultivation and weed management decisions are the prime areas of focus. Implications of organic production systems on soil properties is an area of interest as well.