2022 Organic Black Bean Seeding Rate Trial’s results are in!

In 2022 the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted a new research trial to investigate the impact of black bean seeding rate on crop productivity and weed suppression under different tillage regimes. Planting dry beans into rolled down rye can reduce weed pressure but can also result in reduced seed yields because of reduced stands. Increasing the dry bean seeding rate at planting could make up for the lower emergence in no-till systems.

At Borderview Research Farm (Alburgh, VT), black beans were planted at 60, 120, 180, 240, and 300,000 plants ac-1 in both a conventional tillage and a no-till system. For the no-till system, cereal rye was planted the previous fall and was rolled down prior to dry bean planting. Overall, black beans that were no-till planted into cereal rye had reduced yields and increased weed pressure (Figure 1). Increasing the seeding rate of black beans did increase yields but there was no significant impact on weed suppression (Figure 2). The timing of cover crop termination is crucial. High rye biomass at termination made it difficult to cut through with the no-till planter and good seed to soil contact is very important especially for dry beans. This trial is being repeated in 2023 to better understand the impact of seeding rate and tillage regime on black bean performance.

Read the full 2022 Organic Black Bean Seeding Rate Trial research report on our website! While you are there, be sure to check out the 2022 Organic Dry Bean Variety Trial research report as well.

This project was done in collaboration with Cornell University and is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Federal Award No. 2021-38640-34688, Subaward No. 142258-21558.

Check out recordings of our two recent webinars on Growing Dry Beans in the Northeast and The Basics of Dry Bean Production.

2023 Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference

Join us on March 9, 2023 for the 11th annual Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference! The event will be held at Vermont Technical College, Judd Hall, 124 Admin Drive, Randolph Ctr, VT 05061 with registration starting at 9:00 a.m. Conference will be 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We are happy to be in-person again for this annual conference! This year we will start with a presentation on improved pasture management using satellite imagery with Organic Valley’s Dr. Greg Brickner, followed by a presentation on organic dairy farm management decisions with Sarah Flack, consultant, and Jen Miller from NOFA-VT. The morning will end with research updates from UVM Extension’s Heather Darby and Sara Ziegler.

The afternoon will include a presentation on managing high feed costs in 2023 with Bill Kipp, an independent dairy consultant, as well as hearing from UVM’s John Barlow on housing, bedding, and mastitis risk. UVM postdoctoral research fellow Bryony Sands will share her research on parasite management and the pasture ecosystem. Dr. Brickner will complete the day with a presentation on health issues during the grazing season.

Certified Crop Adviser CEU credits and VAAFM Water Quality Education credits will be available.

Registration is $25 per person and includes lunch. Register online at


The results are in! 2022 Organic Dry Bean Variety Trial

In 2022, the Northwest Crops and Soils Team evaluated 27 organic dry bean varieties to identify those best suited for organic production in the Northeast. Dry bean varieties were from a wide range of market classes, including black, navy, pinto, small red, and heirloom or specialty varieties. Varieties were evaluated for direct harvestability, yield, and pest and disease resistance. Read the full 2022 Organic Dry Bean Variety Trial report here!

Don’t forget! The UVM Extension NWCS Team and Cornell University are hosting two webinars on dry bean production in the Northeast. You can still register for the second webinar, The Basics of Dry Bean Production, that takes place on Friday March 3rd from 12-1:30pm and will feature Scott Bales from Michigan State University. He will be covering dry bean production from field preparation to harvest. View the event flyer here! If you missed the first webinar which took place on Friday February 17th, you can view the recording here.

This is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture NE SARE under federal award number 2021-38640-34668.

2023 No-Till and Cover Crop Conference

UVM Extension invites farmers, technical advisers, agricultural providers, consultants, and others to attend the 2023 No-Till and Cover Crop (NTCC) Conference on Thursday, March 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Burlington, VT!

This event is dedicated to no-till and cover crop systems for field crop growers. Visit with sponsoring ag businesses, farmers, organizations, consultants, agencies and Extension.

Registration is $75 per person and $50 per student and can be done online at before Friday, February 24. If you cannot register online, please call the UVM Non-Credit Registration Office at 802-656-8407.

Enroll in a Course on Hemp Production

Did you know our colleagues at UMaine offer a series of short-term, career-relevant, flexible learning opportunities? Register today for the Hemp Production: Science & Uses course! A collaborative effort between UVM Extension NWCS and UMaine Extension Professor, John Jemison.

This 5-week course is designed for farmers and consultants who want to improve their understanding of why you might grow hemp, the key considerations involved, and what this plant might do for your customers that use it.

The online training will run each Tuesday: March 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31st from 5:30-6:30 pm.
10 CCA continuing education units available for Certified Crop Advisors.

Click the course link for more details and enrollment information:

Join us for a winter conference or webinar!

We have been busy planning and organizing conferences and webinars for February and March of 2023. You can view event details at: This webpage includes detailed brochures, registration information, and also how to sponsor a conference if you are interested! You can also earn VAAFM water quality education credits and Certified Crop Adviser CEU credits.

Here’s a summary of the events –

We hope to see you at one or more of these events! Feel free to contact Susan Brouillette at or 802-524-6501 ext. 432 if you have any questions.

2023 Northeast Cover Crops Council’s Annual Conference

The 2023 Northeast Cover Crops Council’s (NECCC) Annual Conference is in Portland, Maine on February 16! Learn about…

  • Economics and Financial Opportunities of Cover Cropping
  • Diversifying Species and Applications of Cover Crops
  • Advanced Cover Cropping Methods for Vegetable Systems
  • Cover Crops’ Roles in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Precision Sustainable Agriculture (PSA) project highlights

Register today:…/

Check out the full agenda:…/

If you have questions about this annual conference, contact Pasa Sustainable Agriculture,, 1631 N Front St, Harrisburg, PA 17102, 814-349-9856

Assessing Forage Research and Education Needs of Organic Dairy Farms in the United States

Organic dairy farming has increased rapidly in the United States (US) over the past several decades, and the viability of these operations relies on forage production. The production of high-quality, high-yielding forage crops depends on optimal forage management and resilience to increasingly unpredictable climate.
In an effort to (1) assess current forage production practices and producer knowledge gaps and (2) identify forage research and educational needs of organic dairy and forage producers across the US, a survey was developed and distributed nationally in the fall of 2021.

Check out the survey results summarized here or at:


Production of high yield and quality forages is critical to the sustainability of organic dairy farms, especially with the ongoing erratic weather conditions. The results of this survey and the focus groups provided insights on current forage production practices and management, factors affecting forage operations, and effects of climate on forage systems. Knowledge gaps and skills needed by organic dairy and forage producers were identified and can be used for developing effective educational and outreach programs to create resilience in organic forage production. Results from these efforts identified these most critical areas of research and education: climate resilience, forage quality, economic viability, and versatile, adaptive forage options. Continuing these efforts to create and disseminate this critical information in coordination with the organic forage and dairy communities is integral to the viability of these industries into the future.

Grass-Fed Dairy Production Course

With increasing organic grain prices, many dairy farms are looking to reduce or even eliminate feeding grain. Grass-Fed dairy is of growing interest and this ONLINE COURSE will walk you through unique aspects of this production system and as well as practical considerations before starting a transition. The online program will include weekly presentation/discussion and online resources.

VIRTUAL PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSION: Farmers explore topics such as herd mgmt & monitoring, land base assessments, cost of production, and more through presentations and discussion. No internet? No problem! There will be a call-in option. Click here for the course flyer with webinar dates and details.
ONLINE RESOURCE HUB: Gain access to course materials online! Each session is cataloged chronologically and contains recordings of the presentations, lists topics covered and speaker bios, and supplemental resources which can be accessed at any time. The newly published Grass-Fed Dairy Production Manual will be available for download! Note: Most course materials can be mailed to participants without internet access.
MEET IN-PERSON: As an optional bonus, participants will have the opportunity to meet in-person at the Organic Dairy Conference in Vermont on March 9, 2023 at Vermont Technical College, Judd Hall!

Interested in enrolling? This course is free of cost, but REGISTRATION is required.
Register at:
To register by phone, or to request a disability related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Susan Brouillette at (802) 524-6501 Ext. 432 or by email at by January 6, 2023 so we may assist you—thank you!

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