Organic Research at Bradford

organic crops growingThe University of Missouri is working to meet the needs of organic crop producers in our state. To do this, we have initiated several organic grain crop research projects, including:

  • Building soil health and controlling weeds during the three year transition from conventional to organic production.
  • Determining if no-till organic methods are feasible in Missouri conditions.
  • Researching effects of cover crops in organic systems.
  • Determining the environmental effects of tillage and cover crops (greenhouse gas emissions).
  • Determining how to best destroy a cover crop and when to plant a subsequent cash crop in organic production.
  • Looking at weed control under different summer cover crops.

tomato plantOrganic Grain Crop Research

Organic grain crop research at MU includes corn, soybean, grain sorghum and soft red winter wheat. This research is funded by the Ceres Trust and the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Current grain crop research looks at the use of no-till and cover crops in an organic management system and the emission of greenhouse gases from tillage and residue breakdown. Organic row crop systems typically use lots of tillage for weed control. When soil is tilled, carbon that is in the soil is oxidized and released as carbon dioxide, which has been implicated in global warming. Agricultural residues break down and create nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas that causes ozone depletion. Agriculture is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Organic Vegetable Research

This project will examine how different mulches affect soil quality and yield and whether vegetables that are direct sown or transplanted into a cover crop mulch will get adequate weed control from the cover crop without decreased yield or seedling vigor. Research is funded by the Ceres Trust.

Educational Videos

Published Media Stories

Central Missouri Food Bank and Bradford Research Center

Greenhouse gas research

Organic Transition Research

Tigers for Community Agriculture

Tomato Festival

Bradford Compost

Links for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture

Tigers for Community Agriculture

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

MU Sustainable Agriculture Academic Program

MU Environmental Leadership Office

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri

Cornell University Soil Health lab

Soil Quality-SARE/NRCS/ University of Illinois

USDA-NRCS Soil Quality

Midwest Sustainable and Organic Education Service

Missouri Organic Association

Rodale Institute

University of Missouri Soil and Plant Testing Lab

University of Missouri Soil Health lab
This site is under construction

University of Missouri Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Science Department