54 Symposium--Quantifying the Linkages Among Soil Health, Organic Farming, and Food

Oral Session
ASA Section: Agronomic Production Systems Organic farming systems utilize organic amendments, diverse crop rotations and cover crops to promote soil fertility and enhance soil health. These practices increase biologically available forms of soil organic matter, and increase the activities of beneficial soil microbes and invertebrates. Physical properties such as bulk density, aggregate stability, water infiltration and moisture holding capacity are enhanced through the use of organic amendments. Soil organic matter and organic amendments increase soil cation exchange capacity and act as slow release nutrient sources, reducing risks of excess nutrient loss to the environment. Consumers of organic produce are particularly interested in potential health benefits of organic food. A connection between healthy soil and healthy food seems reasonable to assume but, defining this linkage remains a challenging ongoing area of research. Comparisons of nutritional quality between organic and conventional food have produced inconclusive results due to inadequate study design and the inherent complexity of farming systems. Nevertheless, recently emerging evidence suggests organically grown fruit and vegetables might contain higher levels of health promoting phytochemicals. Ultimately, determining key management practices associated with enhanced phenolic and antioxidant activity for maximum health benefits remains an important goal in producing high quality produce for specialty markets. Quantifying the linkages among soil health, organic farming and food requires active collaborations across traditional discipline boundaries. Collaborations such as these are increasingly common at the funding level; however, professional societies still remain largely discipline based. It is the goal of this proposed Symposium to bring together scientists from disciplines not normally present at the American Society of Agronomy. Not only will this allow for cross cutting presentations, it will foster new collaborations in a research area of interest to the organic production systems community.


Organic Management Systems Community
Monday, October 22, 2012: 12:55 PM-4:35 PM
Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 207, Level 2

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Community Leader:
Cynthia Cambardella
Jennifer Reeve
Jennifer Reeve
1:00 PM
Quantifying Linkages Among Soil Health, Organic Farming and Food.
Cynthia Cambardella, USDA-ARS-National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment (NLAE)
1:25 PM
Methods for Analysing Literature Data to Assess Effects of Production Systems On Food Composition.
Kirsten Brandt, Newcastle University; Dominika Srednicka, Newcastle University; Roy Sanderson, Newcastle University; Marcin Baranski, Newcastle University; Carlo Leifert, Newcastle University; Chris Seal, Newcastle University
1:50 PM
Linking Soil Health to the Nutrional Quality of Fruit.
Preston K. Andrews, Washington State University; Amit Dhingra, Washington State University; Luke Gustafson, Washington State University; Derick Jiwan, Washington State University; Artemus Harper, Washington State University
2:15 PM
Understanding Factors That Influence Nutritional Quality of Organically Grown Vegetables.
Xin Zhao, University of Florida; Jeffrey K. Brecht, University of Florida
2:40 PM
2:50 PM
Effect of Organic Agronomic Practices On Crop Health, Productivity and Nutritional Components.
Carlo Leifert, Newcastle Univerity; Stephen Wilcockson, Newcastle Univerity; Paul Bilsborrow, Newcastle Univerity; Julia Cooper, Newcastle Univerity
3:15 PM
An Unintended Consequence of Increasing Crop Yields.
Donald R. Davis, University of Texas (Retired)
4:35 PM