Monday, May 12, 2014

Rodale Institute Research Farm, Kutztown, PA - Monday, May 12th, 2014

Tom Morris on left and Jeff Moyer, Research Farm Director at the Rodale Research Institute.
Roller-crimper designed by Jeff and John Brubaker, a neighboring farmer. Used to roll down cover crops.

Jeff Moyer and Jen Kruzansky examine compost made at Rodale.

A view of Rodale's most famous set of experimental plots, the Farming Systems Trial. This is where conventional and organic modes of production, rotation and and nitrogen sources are being compared side by side. The experiment has
been running since 1981.
So we are off to a great start! On our first day we visited the Rodale Institute Research Farm ( located in Kutztown, PA.  We received a personal tour by Jeff Moyer the research farm director. The research done here promotes farm practices that encourage soil health. It has been in organic production since 1972 and is one of the largest organic research farms in the world.  Before Tom was a professor at UCONN, he was farm manager at the institute for three years. (He even met Janet, his wife, while working here - lucky him!)  
Currently the farm is 330 acres and produces a variety of crops.  They have experiments on dairy cows, hogs, backyard chickens, apples, timber trees, corn, wheat, barley, and soybean. We toured the barns and several of their ongoing field experiments.  One experiment they have is looking at a comparison of agronomic systems (conventional and organic) has been ongoing since the early 1981. 
Organic production is becoming more and more popular and the Rodale Institute is at the forefront of the research that is driving the industry.
- Julie

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