Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
Consumer and market research, business marketing and management.
Organic transplant production, winter production and harvesting of baby salad greens, year-round organic vegetable production. Production and use of compost for fertility, transplant media and water extracts (tea) for managing soil and plant health. Effect of irrigation method and water quality on nutrient management in peat-based media; fertilization methods for peat-based media.
Weed Ecology and Management; Cover crops; Reduced Tillage
As part of the Brainard lab cover cropping and reduced tillage in vegetables are critical elements in much of our research.
High Tunnel Organic Sweet Cherry Production:
- Ceres Trust Organic Research Program
- USDA-NIFA-Organic Research & Extension Initiative Research Program
Developing nematode management strategies through integrated understanding of the effects of production practices on nematode and soil biology, and their interactions. The goal is to develop a soil health management strategy that suppresses herbivore and potentially other soil-borne pests and disease while increasing beneficial nematodes and improving soil quality.
Organic and sustainable vegetable production
My general research focus is on sustainable agriculture with special interest in vegetable cropping systems. The ultimate goal of my program is to develop robust, resilient, and profitable vegetable cropping systems. Our laboratory is actively working to better understand how plant biodiversity (crop rotation, cover cropping, soil amendment, etc.) and microclimate modification (mulch films, row covers, irrigation, etc.) impact soil chemical, physical, and biological properties as well as crop yield and quality. In collaboration with colleagues from other departments, we are also investigating the impact of cropping systems and crop management practices on plant growth and development, weed, pest, and disease dynamics; weed biology and ecology; weed-crop competition; allelopathic interaction between plants.
- Environmental Biosafety and Food Safety
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Technology Transfer
- Intellectual Property Rights