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Overview of Organic Production Principles and Practices

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Title: Overview of Organic Production Principles and Practices


1
Overview of Organic Production Principles and
Practices
  • Sustainable Small Acreage Farming and Ranching
    Ag 416

2
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.

3
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.

4
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.

5
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

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Growth in Idaho Organic production 1990 - 2001
Number of Producers Number of Acres Gross organic sales
1990 11 757 695,000
2001 132 106,058 5,503,000
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12
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.

13
USDAs Role
  • Accredit certifying agents
  • Compliance and enforcement
  • Publicize new and amended regulations
  • Perform equivalence determinations
  • Approve State organic programs

14
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.

15
Certification Basics
  • Use only approved substances/practices
  • No genetic engineering, irradiation, sewage
    sludge
  • National List all naturals allowed all
    synthetics prohibited except for whats on the NL
  • Mandatory verification through inspections
  • Initial site inspection
  • Annual site inspection
  • As many as needed to determine compliance

16
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.

17
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).

18
Principles of Organic Production
  • Biodiversity
  • Diversification and Integration of Enterprises
  • Sustainability
  • Natural Plant Nutrition
  • Natural Pest Management
  • Integrity

19
Biodiversity
  • Promotes higher level of stability in ecological
    systems.
  • Supports beneficial
  • organisms

20
Diversification and Integration of Enterprises
  • Combining enterprises to get more efficient use
    of resources.
  • Also reduce risk higher level of economic
    stability

21
Sustainability
  • Following practices that promote agricultural
    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.

22
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

23
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.

24
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

25
Some Tools and Practices
  • Planned Crop Rotation
  • Green Manures
  • and Cover Crops

26
Tools and Practices continued
  • Adding Manure and Compost
  • Intercropping and Companion Planting

27
Tools and Practices continued
  • Biological Pest Control
  • Bio-rational Pesticides

28
Tools and Practices
  • Buffers and Barriers
  • Sanitation

29
  • Mulching

30
Tools and Practices continued
  • Tillage Cultivation

31
Other Tools and Practices
  • Burning

32
  • Record-keeping

33
Marketing is an important part of organic
production success
34
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/

35
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.
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