According to the Organic Trade Association, organic sales have been steadily increasing over the past decade. In 2015, organic product sales grew 11%, which was almost four times the growth of food products sales overall. Organic sales are expected to continually increase due to consumer demands. Because of this, some conventional farmers are transitioning to organic farming.
If you are a farmer who is considering making this transition, you are likely concerned about how doing so could impact you financially during the transition and what you need to do to begin transitioning from conventional to organic farming. Here's what you need to know:
Test the Soil for Health & Composition
As you begin transitioning to organic farming, it's a good idea to do so on a rotational basis by using planting your first organic crops in the section that has the best soil conditions. The management of organic crops involves the use of cover crops and organic fertilizer for farming. Organic fertilizers are formulated with varying amounts of nutrients and minerals.
In order to know which type of organic fertilizer will be needed for your acreage, you'll need to know what nutrients and minerals the soil needs. For example, if your soil tests show a deficiency of nitrogen and potassium, choosing an organic fertilizer formulated with nitrogen and potassium will be vital to your operation.
Remove Treated Lumber from Crop Fields
Regulations prohibit the use of treated lumber for the installation or replacement of new posts, fencing, and building structures in and near the soil and organic crops. Therefore, if you do need to install fencing or have a new out building constructed, you will need to use non-treated lumber. All existing treated lumber that can come in contact with soil and organic crops needs to be disclosed when you apply for your organic certification.
Apply for Incentive & Assistance Programs
Due to the increasing consumer demand for organic products, federal government agencies are providing incentives and assistance programs to those who qualify. The Natural Resource Conservation Service has an Environmental Quality Incentives Program that can provide and financial assistance to help farmers like you transition from conventional to organic farming, as well as technical assistance to teach you how to correctly apply organic fertilizer.
The Farm Service Agency has a number of incentive programs that can also help, including reimbursement for organic certification, financial assistance, low-interest loans, and mapping services. These types of services will help protect you from the financial impact of the transition.
Contact a company like Nature Safe for more information and assistance.Share
12 September 2017
Hi there, my name is Jerry. Welcome to my site about agricultural tools and practices. The time and effort you put into maintaining your farmland all comes to fruition during harvest season. In the beginning stages, it can be difficult to see how the tiny sprouts will amount to the yield you hope to harvest. Eventually, your vision comes into clear view as the plants grow to full size and begin to produce. I will use this site to help you develop good farming practices for every stage of the growing process. I will also share important information about the tools you will need to use on your farmland. Thanks for visiting.