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Multi-regional Risk Analysis of Farm Manure Use: Balancing Soil Health and Food Safety For Organic Fresh Produce Production


<p>The long long-term goal of this project is to improve the microbial food safety of fresh organic produce grown in soils amended with raw manure and typically eaten raw (e.g., leafy greens, tomatoes, root vegetables). The overall objective is to develop a customized risk-assessment based on good agricultural practices, rigorous microbial testing, self-assessment of soil health, economic impacts (cost/benefit) and environmental factors to maintain the value of raw manure soil amendments while limiting food safety risks. The specific objectives are: 1) Assessment of on-farm practices, environmental factors and soil health associated with the persistence of pathogens among organic farms using raw manure as a soil amendment, in the diverse conditions of organic farming in three organic regions of the U.S.; 2) Determine the relationship between soil health and pathogen survival in organically grown fresh produce fields amended with raw animal manure in multiple U.S. regions; 3) Develop an outreach program targeting organic producers using biological soil amendments of animal origin. We will accomplish these goals and objectives by increasing the understanding of persistence and survival of foodborne pathogens, their ecology, and relationship to soil health, which will be used to develop targeted mitigation strategies for risk management in organic produce environments (e.g., customized on-farm food safety approaches). This project will also develop a nationwide and regional outreach program available to organic growers to reduce the risk of introduction/persistence of pathogens in fresh produce production and preserve the benefit of raw manure use in organic and sustainable agriculture.</p>

De Andeade E Pires, A.
University of California - Davis
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