Organic Farming

USDA Organic logo With the organic market growing steadily, you may be interested in learning more about organic certification and organic production options. These resources offer guidance in preparing for certification and in production methods for a range of organic crops and livestock. Many of these publications were developed in response to producer questions, and they deal with issues related to specific products, as well as production methods, marketing, and organic certification requirements.

NOTE: Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Acrobat Reader.

 


⇒ Videos

Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production
Food Safety for Organic Growers in Texas
Organic Weed Removal Technique
Promoting High-Quality Conservation on Organic Farms
Gabe Brown: Farming in Nature’s Image
Urban Farms: Commercial Farms or Socially Minded Operations?
Managing Risks on an Urban Farm
What to Expect at an Organic Vegetable Farm Inspection
What to Expect at an Organic Livestock Farm Inspection
Organic Certification through the Texas Department of Agriculture
Recordkeeping Systems for Organic Certification
Examining the Organic System Plan
Organic Certification Basics
Michel Cavigelli – Organic Research and Needs: Cover Crops, Crop Rotation, and Soil Health
How NRCS TSPs, Conservation Planners Support Biodiversity Conservation in Organics
Organic Farm Conservation: A Virtual Tour
NRCS Conservation Activity Planning, Organic Farmers & Ranchers: Writing A CAP 138
Links between Biodiversity Requirements of Organic Systems and NRCS Practice Standards
Organic Crop Rotations: Conservation Benefits
Pest Management for Organic Production Systems II
Tropical and Semi Tropical Organic Production
Pest Management in Organic Production Systems
Making Organic Small Grains Work on Your Farm


⇒ Organic Publications Overview

 

Directory of Organic Seed Suppliers
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Guide to ATTRA’s Organic Publications – AT005

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Who Are the Organic Farmers of Texas? – IP529

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Organic Regulation, Certification, Transition & History

Arsenic in Poultry Litter: Organic Regulations – IP266

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Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems – IP470

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Cover Crop (340) in Organic Systems – IP471

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Documentation Forms for Organic Crop and Livestock Producers – IP412

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Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland – IP349

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Forms, Documents, and Sample Letters for Organic Producers – IP276

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Guide for Organic Crop Producers – IP225

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Guide for Organic Livestock Producers – IP228

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Guide for Organic Processors – IP421

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National Organic Program Compliance Checklist for Handlers – IP301

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National Organic Program Compliance Checklist for Producers – IP232

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Nutrient Management Plan (590) for Organic Systems – IP472

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Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products – IP222

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Organic Certification Process – IP262

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Organic Market Farm Documentation Forms – IP285

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Organic Materials Compliance – IP313

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Organic Orchard, Vineyard, and Berry Crop Documentation Forms – IP238

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Organic Standards for All Organic Operations: Highlights of the USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations – IP325

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Organic Standards for Crop Production: Excerpts of USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations – IP332

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Organic Standards for Handling: Excerpts of USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations – IP333

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Organic Standards for Livestock Production: Excerpts of USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations – IP334

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Organic System Plan Template for Crop and/or Livestock Production – IP409

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Organic System Plans: Field and Row Crops and Pasture and Range Systems – IP344

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Organic System Plans: Livestock Production – IP342

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Organic System Plans: Market Farms and Greenhouses – IP343

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Pasture for Organic Ruminant Livestock: Understanding and Implementing the National Organic Program (NOP) Pasture Rule – IP374

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Preparing for an Organic Inspection: Steps and Checklists – IP261

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Pressure-Treated Wood: Organic and Natural Alternatives – IP362

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The Organic Chronicles No. 1: Mysteries of Organic Farming Revealed – IP314

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The Organic Chronicles No. 1: Mysteries of Organic Farming Revealed (Hmong language version) Phau ntawv qhia txog kev ua liaj teb tsis ywg tshuaj – IP364

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Organic Certification for Southern Farmers
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⇒ Organic Fruits

 

Apple Diseases Identification Sheet – IP484

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Apple Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP483

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Apples: Organic Production Guide – IP020

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Apricot Diseases Identification Sheet – IP486

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Blueberries: Organic Production – IP021

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Brambles: Organic Production – IP022

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Cherries: Organic Production – IP463

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Cherry Diseases Identification Sheet – IP481

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Cherry Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP482

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Grapes: Organic Production – IP031

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High Tunnel Tree Fruit and Grape Production for Eastern Growers – IP514

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Organic Orchard, Vineyard, and Berry Crop Documentation Forms – IP238

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Peach Diseases Identification Sheet – IP477

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Peach Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP478

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Peaches: Organic and Low-Spray Production – IP047

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Pear Diseases Identification Sheet – IP479

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Pear Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP480

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Pears: Organic Production – IP167

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Plum and Apricot Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP487

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Plum Diseases Identification Sheet – IP485

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Plums, Apricots, and Their Crosses: Organic and Low-Spray Production – IP386

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Strawberries: Organic Production – IP046

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Tipsheet: Transitioning to Organic Management of Orchards – IP508

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Tree Fruits: Organic Production Overview – IP028

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⇒ Organic Vegetables, Flowers & Herbs

 

Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production – IP175

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Garlic: Organic Production – IP320

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Herb Production in Organic Systems – IP224

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Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production – IP164

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High Tunnel Winter Growing Using Heat Recovery Ventilation – IP523

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Organic Allium Production – IP138

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Organic Greenhouse Vegetable Production – IP078

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Organic Pumpkin and Winter Squash Marketing and Production – IP371

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Organic Tomato Production – IP439

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Plug and Transplant Production for Organic Systems – IP160

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Resource Guide to Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production – IP188

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Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets – IP464

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Sweet Corn: Organic Production – IP336

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Sweetpotato: Organic Production – CT128

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⇒ Organic Field Crops

 

Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems – IP470

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Cover Crop (340) in Organic Systems – IP471

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Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas – IP535

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Disease and Insect Management in Organic Small Grains – IP388

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Documentation Forms for Organic Crop and Livestock Producers – IP412

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Farmer Profiles: Two Organic Grain Farm Case Studies – IP387

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Guide for Organic Crop Producers – IP225

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Hops: Organic Production – CT115

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Nutrient Management in Organic Small Grains – IP391

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Nutrient Management Plan (590) for Organic Systems – IP472

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Organic Alfalfa Production – IP234

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Organic Cotton Production – IP233

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Organic Crop Production Overview – IP170

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Organic Rice Production – CT143

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Organic Small Grain Production Overview – IP408

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Organic Specialty Crop Production In Texas: A Grower’s Handbook – IP488

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Organic System Plan Template for Crop and/or Livestock Production – IP409

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Organic Tobacco Production – IP322

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Peanuts: Organic Production – IP329

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Potatoes: Organic Production and Marketing – IP337

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Pursuing Conservation Tillage Systems for Organic Crop Production – IP183

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Tipsheet: Crop Rotation in Organic Farming Systems – IP407

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Weed Management in Organic Small Grains – IP390

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⇒ Organic Livestock

 

Dairy Resource List: Organic and Pasture-Based – IP307

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Direct Marketing Lamb: A Pathway – IP518

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Documentation Forms for Organic Crop and Livestock Producers – IP412

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Guide for Organic Livestock Producers – IP228

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Organic Livestock Feed Suppliers Database – IP171
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Organic Poultry Production – IP331

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Organic Poultry Production: Providing Adequate Methionine – IP363

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Organic Standards for Livestock Production: Excerpts of USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations – IP334

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Organic System Plan Template for Crop and/or Livestock Production – IP409

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Pasture for Organic Ruminant Livestock: Understanding and Implementing the National Organic Program (NOP) Pasture Rule – IP374

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Pastures: Going Organic – IP297

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Predator Control for Sustainable & Organic Livestock Production – IP196

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Raising Organic Pigs: A Guide to USDA Certified Organic Requirements – IP185

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Tipsheet: Living Conditions, Facilities, and Handling for Organic Livestock – IP506

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Tipsheet: Organic Approach to Animal Health – IP507

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Tipsheet: Organic Cattle, Sheep, and Goats for Dairy – IP505

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Tipsheet: Organic Cattle, Sheep, and Goats for Meat Production – IP504

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Tipsheet: Organic Management of Internal and External Livestock Parasites – IP503

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Tipsheet: Organic Pig Production – IP510

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Tipsheet: Organic Poultry Production for Meat and Eggs – IP405

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Tipsheet: Treatment of Sick or Injured Organic Livestock – IP406

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⇒ Organic Control of Pests

 

Apple Diseases Identification Sheet – IP484

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Biointensive Integrated Pest Management – IP049

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Bug Vacuums for Organic Crop Protection – IP194

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Cherry Diseases Identification Sheet – IP481

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Cherry Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP482

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Colorado Potato Beetle: Organic Control Options – CT107

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Cucumber Beetles: Organic and Biorational Integrated Pest Management – IP212

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Downy Mildew Control in Cucurbits – CT111

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Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control – CT065

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Flea Beetle: Organic Control Options – IP389

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Grasshoppers – Botanical Control Formulations – IP519

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Greenhouse IPM: Sustainable Aphid Control – IP149

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Greenhouse IPM: Sustainable Thrips Control – IP148

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Greenhouse IPM: Sustainable Whitefly Control – IP168

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High Tunnel Tree Fruit and Grape Production for Eastern Growers – IP514

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Integrated Pest Management for Greenhouse Crops – IP144

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Organic Alternatives for Late Blight Control in Potatoes – IP131

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Organic Control of White Mold on Soybeans – IP133

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Organic IPM Field Guide – n/a

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Peach Diseases Identification Sheet – IP477

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Peach Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP478

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Pear Diseases Identification Sheet – IP479

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Pear Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP480

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Plum and Apricot Insect Pests Identification Sheet – IP487

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Plum Diseases Identification Sheet – IP485

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Plums, Apricots, and Their Crosses: Organic and Low-Spray Production – IP386

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Predator Control for Sustainable & Organic Livestock Production – IP196

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Squash Bug and Squash Vine Borer: Organic Controls – IP298

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Tipsheet: Leaf Miners – Botanical Control Formulations – IP521

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Tipsheet: Organic Management of Internal and External Livestock Parasites – IP503

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Tipsheet: Organic Pest Management – IP404

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Tipsheet: Spider Mites – Botanical Control Formulations – IP522

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⇒ Organic Soils & Fertilizer Issues

 

Assessing the Pasture Soil Resource – IP128

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Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems – IP470

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Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas – IP535

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Manures for Organic Crop Production – IP127

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Nutrient Management Plan (590) for Organic Systems – IP472

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Pasture for Organic Ruminant Livestock: Understanding and Implementing the National Organic Program (NOP) Pasture Rule – IP374

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Potting Mixes for Certified Organic Production – IP112

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Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms – IP214

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Soil Management: National Organic Program Regulations – IP270

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Sources of Organic Fertilizers and Amendments
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Tipsheet: Assessing the Soil Resource for Beginning Organic Farmers – IP509

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Tipsheet: Compost – IP448

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Tipsheet: Crop Rotation in Organic Farming Systems – IP407

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Tipsheet: Manure in Organic Production Systems – IP502

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⇒ Organic Marketing

 

Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers – IP438

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Direct Marketing Lamb: A Pathway – IP518

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Marketing Organic Grains – CT154

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Organic Marketing Resources – IP124

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⇒ Links to Organic Farming Information from Other Sources

 

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
The homepage for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is a good source of information generally. The CCOF handbook can also be downloaded.
California Organic Program
The text of The California Organic Foods Act of 2003 can be downloaded from this site, as well as organic sales reports.
Canadian Organic Growers
Canadian Organic Growers Inc. is Canada’s national membership-based education and networking organization representing farmers, gardeners and consumers in all provinces. Articles from past issues of The Canadian Organic Grower magazine and its predecessors are available online.
Center for Environmental Farming Systems – Organic Research Unit
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems conducts organic research and farming systems research, and has a project specific to organic grain production and marketing.
Farm Made: A Guide to On-Farm Processing for Organic Producers
A publication from the Kerr Center that contains information about how organic management can bring many benefits to the farm. One of these is better net income. A major contributing factor to an improved bottom line is the premium that organic commands in most markets. However, as production increases and organic products go mainstream, premiums are likely to decline, and organic farmers are likely to face the same economic pressures as their conventional neighbors. One way to avert this is by adding value to organic crops through on-farm organic processing.

This publication also contains an overview and four example enterprises; Sorghum Syrup; Packaged Fresh Salad Greens; Jams, Jellies, and Spreads; and Table Eggs.
Government of Saskatchewan, Crops – Organics, Canada
The Government of Saskatchewan has some fine publications on organic crop production on the plains.
Guide to US Organic Certifiers
The Rodale Institute and the Organic Farming Research Foundation have collaborated to create an online resource where farmers can find comprehensive profiles of participating organic certifiers, including fee structures, available services and geographic areas served.
How to Go Organic.com
The Organic Trade Association offers this online collection of existing resources for anyone exploring how to transition to organic. Includes sections for producers and processors, as well as regional and national directories and a resource library.
International Organic Inspectors Association
IOIA is a non-profit, professional association of organic farm, livestock, and process inspectors dedicated to verification of organic production practices. The mission of IOIA is to address issues and concerns relevant to organic inspectors, to provide quality inspector training and to promote integrity and consistency in the organic certification process.
Iowa State University – Organic Agriculture
This site includes a calendar of events, research and educational reports, production information, resources, regulations, and other links.
Michigan Department of Agriculture
MDA devotes a section of their Web site to news and information on organic farming.
National Organic Program
The National Organic Program website is the place to find and download copies of the Final Rule, learn about current NOSB recommendations, get a history of the National Organic Program, and more.
NC Organic
An organic agriculture internet resource for North Carolina farmers.
Opportunities in Agriculture: Transitioning to Organic Production
A 32-page publication from the Sustainable Agriculture Network provides a detailed overview of organic farming and ranching—from designing profitable rotations and building healthy soil to controlling weeds and pests.
Organic Agriculture at FAO
Sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Organic Consumers Association
Focuses on pro-organic and anti-GMO activism by building a network of organic consumers.
Organic Farming Research Foundation
Homepage for OFRF (Organic Farming Research Foundation) and its highly visible SCOAR (Scientific Congress for Organic Agriculture Research) Project. Site features the results of OFRF organic farming surveys, a study of land-grant university support for organic research, information on biotechnology, and lots more.
Organic Food Program
The Web site of the Washington State Department of Agriculture Organic Food Program.
Organic Price Report (OPR)
The New Farm® Organic Price Report ™ from The Rodale Institute® publicizes weekly price updates of organic prices for a range of goods alongside conventional prices in the same region.
Organic Production and Certification
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Program
Organic Trade Association
Homepage for the Organic Trade Association (OTA). OTA is the premier organization representing the US organic industry. The site has a large searchable database of organic businesses, including importers, exporters, buyers, suppliers, growers, and others.
planorganic.com
planorganic.com is a commercial site maintained by Jim O’Connor, of Co. Cork, Ireland. A good site for links to an abundance of organic resources, many of them European.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Organic Production Practices
Rutgers University has published a number of organic production budgets for the northeastern states that are available at this site.
Soil and Health Library
“The Soil & Health Library” is an excellent site that keeps many of the classic writings on organic farming—such as Sir Albert Howard’s books—accessible to us.
The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)
The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) disseminates generic and specific (brand name) lists of materials allowed and prohibited for use in the production, processing, and handling of organic food and fiber. It also conducts scientific research and education on the use of materials by the organic industry.
USDA – Economic Research Service – Organic Farming & Marketing
This briefing room site is maintained by the USDA’s Economic Research Service. A good site for current statistics.
Who Are the Organic Farmers of Texas?
This 2016 report from the National Center for Appropriate Technology describes the number, location, and types of organic farms in Texas. Although Texas is a national leader in organic cotton, rice, and peanut production, it has a lower percentage of certified organic farms than any other state. Only a tiny percentage of the organic food consumed in Texas is grown in Texas—a missed economic opportunity of epic proportions.

 

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