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Subject: Michigan Organics Listserve
From: Danielle Craft <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Danielle Craft <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 2 Dec 2008 12:41:26 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (458 lines)


What's New in Michigan Organics?

NEWS

1.     NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD (NOSB) DECISION TODAY ON
"ORGANIC" FISH SETS DANGEROUS PRECEDENT TO GUT USDA ORGANIC
PROGRAM.

2.     SWEET CORN IPM ONLINE SURVEY NOW OPEN.

3.     E-NEWS FROM MOSES (MIDWEST ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION SERVICE)

4.     ORGANIC - IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting  the
Organic World

EVENTS
5.    HOOPHOUSE WORKSHOP IN SUTTONS BAY

6.    HOOPHOUSE WORKSHOP IN MONTAGUE, MI

7.    LEARN ABOUT OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO HIGHER SOYBEAN YIELDS AT MSU
EXTENSION PROGRAM

8.   ONE-DAY SEMINAR TEACHES FARMERS HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR MANURE

NEWS


1.       NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD (NOSB) DECISION TODAY ON
"ORGANIC" FISH SETS DANGEROUS PRECEDENT TO GUT USDA           ORGANIC
PROGRAM.

WASHINGTON—Consumers Union today derided the National Organic
Standards Board (NOSB) decision to accept the recommendations for
"organic" fish production that will allow fish to carry the USDA
organic label—despite being raised under conditions that fail to meet
fundamental USDA organic principles. The NOSB recommendations allow:

· Fish to be fed food other than 100% organic feed—the gold standard
that must be met by  other USDA-certified organic livestock;

· Fishmeal used to feed farmed fish from wild fish—which has the
potential to carry mercury and PCBs; and

· Open net cages to be used—which flush pollution, disease and
parasites from open net fish farms directly into the ocean, adversely
impacting wild fish supply, sustainability and the health of the
oceans.

The recommendations have been transmitted to USDA, which will issue an
Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANRP) immediately. "To slap a
'organic' label on this fish is deceptive and undermines the entire
organic program," said Urvashi Rangan, PhD, Senior Scientist and
Policy Analyst at Consumers Union. "If enacted, this gutting of the
organic standards will not only allow sub-par organic fish to be sold
with a premium, but will undermine consumer confidence in the entire
organic marketplace."

Furthermore, it was clear at the NOSB hearing that USDA advised NOSB
to circumvent the regulations to lower the organic standards bar for
fish, standards clearly not wanted by the American public. Just this
week, a Consumers Union Poll revealed that 93 percent of Americans
think that fish labeled as "organic" should be produced by 100 percent
organic feed, like all other organic animals. Nine in 10 consumers
also agreed that "organic" fish farms should be required to recover
waste and not pollute the environment and 57 percent are concerned
about ocean pollution caused by "organic" fish farms. Nearly 30,000
signatures have been collected in favor of maintaining strong
standards for the organic label for fish.

Some members of the NOSB expressed that they were under pressure from
the aquaculture industry to push a substandard through, with the chair
of the Livestock Committee, Hue Karreman, claiming that he's trying to
"jumpstart" an industry by finding a middle ground. "The action taken
today by the NOSB illustrate their misunderstanding of their own
mission and underscores their willingness to let down the American
consumer in favor of industry," said Rangan. "The NOSB is not a
marketing or promotional agency. It is an agency designed to create
and maintain strict standards that meet consumer expectations."

The push to allow non-organic fishmeal—which can be contaminated with
mercury and PCBs and environmentally polluting production
systems—organic feed and to ensure that waste from farms does not
pollute the surrounding environment. The Board said that some
"organic" fish that don't eat 100 percent organic feed receive a
"qualified organic" label—something entirely out of line with the law
and the goal of the organic program to provide a consistent standard
across products in the marketplace and to prevent any adulteration of
the USDA organic claim.

2.       SWEET CORN IPM ONLINE SURVEY NOW OPEN.

Regional sweet corn pest management survey – Hanna Stevens Extension
Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources(586-469-6440) or
[log in to unmask] & Jim Jasinski OSU Extension, 937-484-1526 or
[log in to unmask]

The Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group (GLVWG) wants to know what YOU
think about pest management in sweet corn! The GLVWG is composed of
nearly 150 university research and extension specialists who work in
vegetable production in IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, NY, OH, Ontario, Canada,
PA, and WI.   This group is looking to understand the adoption
patterns of pest management tactics of sweet corn growers over the
entire region. The research is being conducted by Ohio State
University in cooperation with Michigan State University.  By
completing this survey, you will help the working group identify
future research and educational priorities in sweet corn production by
Michigan and trends throughout the region.

Although the survey is aimed primarily at fresh market growers who are
18 or older, processing growers are also encouraged to take it, though
a few questions may not seem appropriate for that production system.

The survey is designed to be completed in about 15 minutes and is
divided into 8 short sections, including educational, record keeping,
and field oriented activities. There are no questions about annual
sales, profitability, or other economic data.  There is an opportunity
after each section for input if you have comments or additional
information to add.

Please know that this survey is voluntary and that any information
given will be used to guide future IPM research and Extension program
delivery. Your name, home address, or e-mail will not be asked for in
this survey.  Every effort will be made to protect your responses and
your confidentiality. Any public reports of study findings will be
based on grouped data and will not reveal individual responses.
Results of this study may be used for publications, presentations, or
shared with grower groups, industry, or agri-business.

For the first 50 growers who complete the online survey in Michigan,
there is a code at the end of the survey which will allow you to
receive a free copy of the just released "Sweet Corn Pest Management
and Identification" pocket guide, a $15 value. This guide contains 100
color pages of insect, weed, disease, and herbicide injury images plus
horticultural guidelines.  Without the code, you will not be eligible
for a pocket guide.

Please contact Sheila Callicoat (937-484-1526) at Ohio State
University Extension concerning the sweet corn ipm survey and give her
the code displayed at the end of the survey.  She will then take your
mailing address and send you the pocket guide.

Here is the link to the Sweet Corn Pest Management Survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NeTTF3Q19u2AAYGy3K5Xdw_3d_3d

We expect to have the results of this survey summarized by the fall of
2009, and posted on our website at http://glvwg.ag.ohio-state.edu/.
If you would like more information about the survey, please contact
Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension, 937-484-1526 or [log in to unmask]

3.       E-NEWS FROM MOSES (MIDWEST ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION SERVICE)

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) serves
farmers striving to produce high-quality, healthful food using organic
and sustainable techniques. These farmers produce more than just food;
they support thriving ecosystems and vibrant rural communities.

LEARN MORE AT: WWW.MOSESORGANIC.ORG
September 2008
In this Issue: MOSES Launches NEW Website, SAVE THE DATE! Annual
Organic Farming Conference, and other Upcoming Events.

4.      ORGANIC - IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting  the
Organic World

"Equitool and IROCB

"Equitool is intended to allow people making decisions on organic
sourcing to assess whether organic standards for production and
processing in one part of the world, where one set of local
socio-economic and agro-ecological conditions apply, are equivalent
(though not identical) to standards elsewhere, whether other
conditions apply.

"It includes assessment criteria, and emphasises reference to two
international standards for organics: IFOAM's basic standards and
Codex Alimentarius Commission's guidelines on production, processing,
labelling and marketing.

"IROCB – pronounced 'eye-rock-bee' – is designed to enable recognition
of organic certification bodies around the world. It includes
performance requirements for certification, and is based on ISO 65
(general requirements for bodies operating product certification
systems)."

http://www.ap-foodtechnology.com/Publications/Food-Beverage-Nutrition/FoodNavigator/Financial-Industry/IFOAM-and-UN-unveil-tools-to-smooth-organic-trade/?c=ErCGrKuNw8RcZId6cn4X4g%3D%3D

Guide for Assessing Equivalence of

Organic Standards and Technical Regulations
(EquiTool)

An initiative of the
United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva
Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations (FAO), Rome
International Federation of
Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn

EQUITOOL:  ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/011/aj282e/aj282e00.pdf

10/6/2008
8th meeting (Geneva)
Guide for Assessing Equivalence of Organic Standards and Technical Regulations
Presentation

Equitool PowerPoint Presentation:
http://www.unctad.org/trade_env/ITF-organic/meetings/itf8/ITF_EquivTool_present_Geneva.pdf

International Requirements for
Organic Certification Bodies

(IROCB)

IROCB:  http://www.unctad.org/trade_env/ITF-organic/meetings/itf8/IROCB_0809%20.pdf

10/6/2008
8th meeting (Geneva)
IROCB - International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies
Presentation

IROCB PowerPoint Presentation:
http://www.unctad.org/trade_env/ITF-organic/meetings/itf8/IROCB_update_ITF8th.pdf

OTHER PowerPoint Presentations and documents available at:
http://www.unctad.org/trade_env/ITF-organic/material1.asp

IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting the Organic World

Oktober 10, 2008
IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting the Organic World

The International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in
Organic Agriculture (ITF) has completed its work and launched two
practical tools to facilitate the trade flow of organic products
worldwide. Led for six years by a partnership of IFOAM, UNCTAD and
FAO, the ITF sought solutions for barriers to trade in the organic
sector due to a multitude of organic standards, government technical
regulations and certification performance requirements that now
characterize the sector. Governments and private certification and
accreditation bodies can now depend on one set of instruments for
assessing the equivalence of standards, technical regulations and
certification requirements. Equivalence will ease trade barriers and
foster organic market development worldwide.

EquiTool, which facilitates the equivalence of standards for organic
production and processing, includes assessment criteria and emphasizes
reference to the international standards of IFOAM and Codex.

IROCB (International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies)
will enable the recognition of organic certification bodies worldwide.
 Based on ISO 65 (General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product
Certification Systems), IROCB (pronounced eye-rock-bee) also includes
performance requirements specific to organic certification.

The ITF Tools were launched by IFOAM Vice President Urs Niggli, UNCTAD
Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi and FAO Assistant Director
General Alexander Mueller at a public session following the 8th ITF
meeting.  The final ITF meeting was held on 6-7 October at the Palais
des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

"The growth of organic agriculture presents a very good opportunity
for farmers to participate in trade", noted the FAO Deputy Director
during his remarks at the public session.  "Market demand is strong
and consumers know that the quality of organic products is high and
the production system is environmentally friendly."

 "The food supply and price crisis have called to attention the
problems in agriculture. The way that the world grows its food will
have to change radically to meet these changes, and organic
agriculture is an approach with strong potential to address the
problems," observed the UNCTAD Director General. "The sector is
growing rapidly and presents opportunity for producers. Organic
agriculture is particularly well suited for smallholder farmers.  It
preserves traditional knowledge and reduces dependence on external
inputs. Constraints include the requirements to obtain organic
certification for different markets. To address these constraints, the
public and private sectors should embrace the ITF findings and tools."

 "Now we have another result in the organic sector from a
public-private cooperation, stated IFOAM's Vice President.  "The
cooperation of FAO, UNCTAD and IFOAM on the ITF has produced two
important tools to support organic market development. ITF is one of
the rare successful examples of public-private partnership. It is of
utmost importance to intensify and enhance the partnership of IFOAM,
UNCTAD and FAO."

Participants in the ITF praised the tools. Some participants, such as
those from the EU Commission and IFOAM, committed to using these tools
in their systems, and others committed to advocating in their own
regions for their adoption.

Contact:  Diane Bowen
[log in to unmask]

Home page of the International Task Force on Harmonisation and
Equivalence in Organic Agriculture (ITF)
http://www.unctad.org/trade_env/ITF-organic/welcome1.asp

Lessons for all:

Results of Consultations

EquiTool Development

Results of Consultations:

• Less Background - More "Tool"

• Less jargon - More plain English

• Less redundancy - More efficiency

• Less technical comparison - More objectives clarification

• Less rigid - More flexible (framework)

• Less "formal agreement" - More assessment

• Less idealistic - More realistic

http://www.unctad.org/trade_env/ITF-organic/meetings/itf8/EquiTool_Development.pdf
Slide 3

Mary Anne

Mary Anne Verleger
Course Manager
Institute for Food Laws & Regulations
Michigan State University
404 Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI  48824
Telephone:  (517) 355-8295
Fax:  (517) 432-1492
web:  http://www.iflr.msu.edu
email:  [log in to unmask]

EVENTS

4.      HOOPHOUSE WORKSHOP IN SUTTONS BAY.

Some of you on this list may be interested in the Get Farming!  Hoop
for the Future! Hoophouses for Season Extension or Year-round Farming
free one-day workshop on Wednesday, December 3rd at Black Star Farms
in Suttons Bay, MI.

Please visit  http://localdifference.org/downloads/hoop_house_flyer_draft.pdf
 for more information or call Jim Sluyter at 231-889-0199

5.       HOOPHOUSE WORKSHOP IN MONTAGUE, MI

For those who may be interested, there will be a Hoophouse Workshop on
Thursday, December 18 in Montague, MI that will have both an indoor
educational morning segment and a hands-on experience afternoon
portion.

Check out the flyer for more information:
http://www.miffs.org/media/Hoophouse%20Workshop%20121808.pdf or call
MIFFS office at (517) 432-0712 to RSVP. Space is limited, so call
early to save your spot!

6.       LEARN ABOUT OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO HIGHER SOYBEAN YIELDS AT
MSU EXTENSION PROGRAM

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Average soybean yield increases in Michigan
have not kept pace with yield increases for other major crops, such as
corn and wheat.  To help farmers increase their yield numbers,
Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is offering an educational
program titled "Overcoming the Barriers to Higher Soybean Yields" at
two Michigan locations this winter.

The free program will be held Feb. 4 at Cabela's in Dundee, and Feb. 5
at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth.

Participants will learn new information about yield-limiting factors
and management practices for overcoming them.  The program is part of
the Soybean 2010 project, a collaborative effort to improve soybean
yields and profitability in Michigan.

Topics to be covered include an overview of the Soybean 2010 project
and resources, critical soybean growth stages and how they affect
yield potential, Iowa State University research and recommendations
for increasing soybean yields, highlights from the Michigan soybean
yield contest, an introduction to the STARS (strip testing at regional
sites) programs, recommendations for improving soybean nodulation, and
 a presentation on past, current and projected soybean production
costs and market prices.

The program will feature two speakers from Iowa State -- Mark
Westgate, a soybean physiologist, and Palle Pedersen, one of the
leading soybean agronomists in the United States.  Presenters from MSU
include Kurt Thelen, bioenergy cropping system agronomist; Jim Hilker,
agricultural economist; and Tim Boring, graduate research assistant.

Michigan Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator
recertification credits and certified crop adviser credits will be
available.

The registration deadline for both events is Jan. 28.  To register for
the Feb. 4 program, call the Monroe County MSU Extension office at
734-240-3170. For the Feb. 5 program, call the Saginaw County MSU
Extension office at 989-758-2500.

There is no charge -- the program is sponsored by the Michigan Soybean Checkoff.

For more information about improving Michigan's soybean crop, visit
the Soybean 2010 Web page at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/soybean2010/.
Soybean 2010 was developed to help Michigan growers increase soybean
yields and farm profitability by 2010. Funding is provided by MSU
Extension; Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet
Economic and Environmental Needs), the plant industry initiative at
MSU; and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.


7.       ONE-DAY SEMINAR TEACHES FARMERS HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR MANURE

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Skyrocketing energy costs and increasing
fertilizer prices have farmers looking for ways to minimize their time
and input costs.  "Manure $ense: Making the Most with your Manure"
will discuss how farmers can find multiple ways to get more value from
manure.

The meeting, to be held in three locations around the state, will
feature educational information from Michigan State University (MSU)
experts. Topics include composting, making energy on the farm, future
opportunities in the carbon market, conserving nutrients in livestock
diets, conserving manure nutrients during storage, and optimizing
fertilizer and manure applications.

Natalie Rector, MSU Extension nutrient management educator, says the
information that will be shared during the one-day seminar isn't just
for livestock producers. The seminar will also show how crop farmers
and livestock producers can work together to make the most of the
nutrient resources from animal manure.

"These topics aren't limited to people who have animals," she says.
Rector anticipates that farmers will be especially interested in ways
they can decrease their feed and fertility costs.  "Bringing down the
cost of fertilizer is a big consideration for farmers. There are valid
ways to do that, and several of them will be discussed during this
seminar."
         Manure $ense will be presented in three locations:
•	Feb. 3 at the RESA Center in St. Johns.
•	Feb. 17 at the Farm Bureau Building in Bad Axe.
•	Feb. 25 at the Howard Miller Library in Zeeland.

The meeting will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at each location. The
registration fee is just $40 for the first person from a farm, with a
discounted $20 registration for each additional person from the same
farm or business. Lunch is free with registration. Learn more,
including how to register, at www.animalagteam.msu.edu, or call Faye
Watson at (517) 353-3174.
            Attendees can earn Phase I credits from the Michigan
Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).

If you would like to access previous postings to the Mich-Organic listserv you can copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar
 http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html

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