Rodale Institute’s current organic certification research is focused on finding ways to improve best management practices for certified organic operations based on the regulations and recommendations of the National Organic Program.
Demonstration of Improved Compost Management to Effectively Utilize Animal Waste Nutrient Resources and Support Increased Soil Nutrient Retention (CIG Compost)
Rodale Institute, in collaboration with neighboring EQIP-eligible farmer James Burkholder and the local municipality of South Whitehall Township, has initiated a comparative composting demonstration, using uniform base materials (high-quality pelletized chicken manure, food waste, and municipal leaves) to illustrate the impacts of different compost pile management regimes on final compost quality, nutrient content, and nutrient retention, as well as on field soil quality and nutrient leaching after application. Two different compost management regimes (1: timed turning, based on National Organic Program (NOP) standards; and 2: temperature-related turning) will be demonstrated atop compost production pads fitted with drains to capture all precipitation and leachate that runs through each pile.
Rodale Institute CDS
Rodale Institute researchers are testing the efficacy of hypochlorous acid to clean milking equipment in a dairy system, relative to standard cleaning materials. To date, the hypochlorous acid has successfully reduced microbial growth on surfaces of pipes and milking equipment at different times during the equipment-use process (pre-milking, post-milking, and 7 hours post-milking) and over a number of different sampling dates. OMRI certification is pending on this green cleaning product for use in certified organic farming and processing operations as a highly effective, non-toxic alternative to current cleaning and disinfecting products.