ATTRA's COVID-19 statement

Update: You can now download any of our technical materials for FREE!

Organic Farming

Organic Farming

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.

 

⇒ 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.