Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching Overview of Organic Production Principles and Practices."— Presentation transcript:
Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching Overview of Organic Production Principles and Practices
Introduction to “Organics” Brief history and current status of organic production in Idaho and US Overview of organic principles that guide farmer production decisions. Introduction to organic practices and “tools.”
Introduction to Organics The term “organic gardening” is of fairly recent origin. Early history of the word and the “movement” is important to look at to understand the complexities of the modern day issues related to organic agriculture.
The National Organic Standards Board defines organic as: “ an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.”
Growth of Organic Industry in the U.S. Acreage of major crops increasing Consumer demand continues to grow Organic sales in 2001 reached 9 billion dollars
Introduction to Organics The production and marketing of organic foods is now subject to federal regulation. Use of the term “ORGANIC” is controlled, vs. ‘natural’, ‘pesticide free’ or other marketing terms used by growers. Growers must have an “organic plan” for their farm.
USDA’s Role Accredit certifying agents Compliance and enforcement Publicize new and amended regulations Perform equivalence determinations Approve State organic programs
Certification Basics Organic systems plan Crops: build soil fertility, use few synthetics, minimize pollution Livestock: origin, feed, healthcare, living conditions Handling/processing: pest management, prevent co-mingling An example of a farm management plan similar to the Whole Farm Plan we are doing for class.
Certification Basics Use only approved substances/practices No genetic engineering, irradiation, sewage sludge National List: all naturals allowed & all synthetics prohibited except for what’s on the NL Mandatory verification through inspections Initial site inspection Annual site inspection As many as needed to determine compliance
Certification costs Registration cost is annual Based on whether you are “certified” organic or a registered “organic” grower making less than $5000 in gross sales Currently there are federal cost-share programs to help with certification expenses. The cost for mandatory inspections will depend on inspectors time and mileage and any lab fees.
Transitioning to Organics Three year period to verify no chemicals used on property A whole new world of management, production, marketing and regulatory skills may be required! Yields of field crops may decline until the ecological system balances out (and when the farm manager masters the organic management approach).
Principles of Organic Production Biodiversity Diversification and Integration of Enterprises Sustainability Natural Plant Nutrition Natural Pest Management Integrity
Biodiversity Promotes higher level of stability in ecological systems. Supports beneficial organisms
Diversification and Integration of Enterprises Combining enterprises to get more efficient use of resources. Also reduce risk; higher level of economic stability
Sustainability Environmental protection of resources: Reduced erosion by conservation tillage Limiting non-renewable energy consumption: instead using biodiesel fuels, draft horses, solar and wind power, etc. Following practices that promote agricultural sustainability:
Natural Plant Nutrition Crop nutrition from nourished organisms that are responsible for biological, structural & mineral processes in the soil. Accomplished by: Avoidance of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and excessive tillage Supplementing organic matter and rock minerals
Natural Pest Management View of problems due to insects, diseases and weeds as indicators of ecological imbalances. Not tending to eradicate but reduce damage to economic acceptable levels.
Integrity Organic certification provides guarantee about production methods to a customer Process requires maintaining records of production practices Also requires monitoring of progress to increase efficiency and adherence to laws
Some Tools and Practices Planned Crop Rotation Green Manures and Cover Crops
Some Tools and Practices: uses of cover crops Click on image to start video
Tools and Practices continued… Adding Manure and Compost Intercropping and Companion Planting Click on image to start video
Tools and Practices continued… Click on image to start video
Tools and Practices continued… Biological Pest Control Bio-rational Pesticides
Tools and Practices Buffers and Barriers Sanitation
Marketing is an important part of organic production success
For more information on Organic Production Idaho State Department of Agriculture http://www.agri.id.us National Organic Program http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop /
Summing Up Organic industry is growing! Principles guide organic production decisions Numerous tools and practices that can be employed to meet principles Specific National Organic standards must be followed in order to receive organic “certification.”
Credits Presentation developed by Cultivating Success TM : Sustainable Small Farms Education. Photos provided by Cultivating Success team, unless otherwise noted. Video segments taken from: “Weed ‘Em and Reap, Part 1: Tools for Non-Chemical Weed Management in Vegetable Cropping Systems.” Produced by Alex Stone, Oregon State University, Department of Horticulture. Copywrite 2005, Oregon State University. “Weed ‘Em and Reap, Part 2: Reduced Tillage Strategies for Vegetable Cropping Systems.” Produced by Alex Stone, Oregon State University, Department of Horticulture. Copywrite 2005, Oregon State University.