The educational materials listed on this page are about Organic Agriculture.
Organic agriculture integrates “cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” Organic and sustainable agriculture often include the use of cover crops, crop rotation, use of tools and machinery for weed and pest management, and conservation tillage. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering may not be used for food to be certified and labelled USDA organic. Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be “fed 100 percent certified organic feed, managed without antibiotics, added growth hormones, mammalian or avian byproducts, or other prohibited feed ingredients.” SARE has many helpful reads including Transitioning to Organic Production, which addresses conversion strategies, organic farming production practices, marketing approaches and federal organic standards for certified organic crop and livestock. SARE’s Crop Rotation on Organic Farms reviews how rotating crops improve soil quality and health and help manage pests, diseases, and weeds.
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Tackling Canada Thistle in an Organic Orchard
Chris and Juli McGuire gained control of Canada Thistle in their organic apple orchard with support from a SARE grant.
Kansas Farmer Tests Heirloom Corn Varieties
Pantaleon Florez studied no-till growing methods of non-GMO, heirloom dent corn at Maseualkaulli Farm in Lawrence, Kansas.
Organic Oat Variety Trial Shares Findings
North Dakota researcher Melanie Caffe-Treml trialed 20 oat varieties under organic management.
Building Resilience and Flexibility into Midwest Organic Potato Production
When Maria Carter’s parents emigrated to America from the Netherlands in 1956, they brought along a knowledge of growing seed potatoes. Shortly after they put down roots in North Dakota, they put down tubers to start their new seed potato farm. They knew potato growers needed healthy seed potatoes, and they knew how to grow […]
Does Open-Pollinated Corn Have a Place on Today’s Organic Farm?
On 205 acres near the picturesque bluffs of the On 205 acres near the picturesque bluffs of the Mississippi River, Stanley Smith raises beef cows and grows organic corn in southeastern Minnesota. He grew up on this small farm in the rolling hills of Winona County, and worked in partnership with his dad until his dad retired. Smith and his wife, Vickie, […]
Evaluating Microbecontaining Crop Stimulants (MCCSs)
The decomposition of organic matter relies on bacteria and fungi that are commonly referred to as soil microbes. Matthew Kleinhenz, The Ohio State University professor and extension specialist, says many microbes are included as leading components of microbecontaining crop stimulants (MCCSs) advertised to enhance soil and crop health, accelerate soil nutrient cycling, and improve crop […]
In-Row Mechanical Weed Control Options for Farmers Large and Small
With support from SARE, a team from Michigan State University created videos demonstrating three in-row weed control tools in the field: the torsion weeder, the flex tine cultivator, and the finger weeder.
Indiana School Raises Apples and Awareness
Forty-two percent of school districts surveyed by the USDA say they participate in farm-to-school activities, according to the 2015 Farm- to-School Census. That means as many as 23.6 million students are learning where their food comes from. Another 16 percent of school districts surveyed plan to start farm-to-school activities in the future. Farm-to-school activities can include […]
Management of the Spotted Wing Drosophila Using High Tunnels
Scenic Valley Farms is a family owned farm in Rosemount, Minnesota that uses 15 climate controlled high tunnels to produce organically certified tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, blackberries, strawberries, herbs, ginger, turmeric, and garlic. They also design and manage high tunnels, computerized climate control systems, and subterranean solar thermal heating systems. Erik Gundacker helps manage the high […]
On-Farm Soybean Trials
Organic soybeans are commonly used for food grade products, yet these seed systems have struggled historically. According to the US Department of Agriculture, organic soybeans account for less than one percent of soybeans produced in the United States (agcensus.usda.gov, 2007). Michigan has significant organic food grade soybean production, but non-GMO soybean varieties are becoming less […]
Perkins’ Good Earth Farm is a small family farm that operates on 19 acres. They currently grow only one-quarter acre of organic garlic but hope to increase their productivity in this area by 50 percent. Two major challenges in achieving this goal are the cost of additional labor and worker comfort during planting and harvesting. […]
Family Farm Compares Sweet Corn Varieties
Marissa Kruthaup and her brother started selling produce at the farmers market when their family’s home garden produced too many melons one year. Today, they own and run Kruthaup Family Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which operates on their parents’ 70-acre farm. In order to keep her family business thriving, Marissa wanted to compare different […]
Organic Broccoli Produced to Meet a Growing Need for Locally Grown Foods
Chris Blanchard raises about 15 acres of certified organic vegetables and fresh herbs for community supported agriculture operations (CSAs) and wholesale customers in the Twin Cities, Rochester, and Decorah on his Rock Spring Farm on the Iowa-Minnesota state line. His farm has been recognized as a model for food safety, post-harvest handling, and good business. […]
Organic agriculture is a whole-farm management system that replaces synthetic inputs with methods that mimic natural ecological processes. Demand for organic food is far outpacing supply, as U.S. sales in this dynamic sector have nearly quadrupled in the last decade. NCR-SARE has invested in more than 100 projects to help achieve the sustainability and well-being of all aspects of organic agriculture and those communities that support organic producers.
Biological Control of Insects and Mites: An Introduction to Beneficial Natural Enemies and Their Use in Pest Management
This colorful, richly illustrated booklet offers an introduction to beneficial natural enemies and their use in pest management.
Poultry Your Way
Poultry Your Way is for anyone interested in commercially raising, processing, and marketing poultry. It is designed to help you consider alternatives, and to help you make decisions about which alternative(s) will be most compatible with your family and business goals.
Adapting Crop Share Agreements for Sustainable and Organic Agriculture
When the farming system deviates from a conventional corn-soybean rotation, the usual division of costs and returns in a 50-50 crop share lease may no longer fairly reflect the inputs of each party. This sheet demonstrates how crop share agreements can be adapted for sustainable and organic agriculture.
Considering Sustainable Agriculture on Your Rented Land
Using sustainable agriculture practices on your rented land can help protect soil and water quality, increase income over the long term, and satisfy personal values for the landowner and/or the tenant.