A nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will support research on soil health and weed suppression in organic farming.
With the $999,999 award from USDA’s Organic Transitions Program, principal investigator Jason Kaye, distinguished professor of soil biogeochemistry, and colleagues will investigate methods to enhance soil health and suppress weeds within organic annual and perennial rotations.
“One of the challenges facing farmers is balancing the goals of managing weeds and improving soil health,” he said. “Tillage is a common tool for controlling weeds, especially in organic systems, yet it also disturbs the soil, degrading its long-term fertility. We aim to inform farmers about selecting perennial species and rotations that suppress weeds, build soil health and are profitable.”