Organic Research Priorities for California Detailed in Latest Report

Brian GermanIndustry, Organic

The new California Organic Research Agenda (CORA) report highlights the challenges that organic producers are facing in the state and recommended actions to address industry issues. Published by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), the CORA report is a companion to the 2022 National Organic Research Agenda. Information for the resources was gathered through 16 listening sessions throughout the country along with the national organic survey.

Organic Research

OFRF Executive Director Brise Tencer said the report highlights the top priorities that have been directly identified by organic farmers. Production costs were noted as a prominent challenge for nearly three-quarters of the producers surveyed. Labor availability was also identified as being the most difficult non-production issue producers are dealing with.  Technical assistance for managing weeds, pests, and diseases in organic production was also an area where California farmers expressed a substantial need. The report also includes comparative breakdowns of survey data based on crop type and farming experience, along with comparisons between state and national data.

Support for the CORA report was provided by the University of California Organic Agriculture Institute (UC OAI), along with the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology. The report is available online for farmers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to learn more about organic research needs. California is home to more than 17 percent of U.S. organic acreage and is responsible for 40 percent of organic ag sales in the country. The CORA report is made available to be used as a resource to help direct future organic research and investment.

“One of our primary activities is to generate new research and extension programs focused on organic agriculture,” UC OAI Director Houston Wilson said in a press release. “The CORA report provides an excellent roadmap to guide and prioritize our efforts, we’re really excited to turn this information into action.”