NRAES (Natural Resourcs, Agriculture, and Engineering Service) is offering Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual in July 2009, with pre-order available until June 15. Visit http://www.nraes.org/nra_crof.html for details.
The MSU Cooperative Extension Service website is a new resource that is dedicated to organic agriculture. The information is credible and comprehensive, and an added feature allows someone to pose questions to the experts. Anyone wanting to use it for organic purposes just needs to click on “Organic Agriculture” on the sidebar called “Resource Areas.”
Montana State Department of Agriculture Organic Program: http://agr.mt.gov/organic/Program.asp
The Montana Department of Agriculture's Marketing & Business Development staff members assist individuals, businesses, industries and regional economic development organizations with ag-related business development planning, project coordination, legal and regulatory assistance and other services. Programs and staff efforts focus on business start-up and expansion, as well as business recruitment and relocation projects. Visit: http://agr.mt.gov/agr/Programs/Marketing/
Organic Trade Association's HowToGoOrganic.com: http://howtogoorganic.com/
ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: http://attra.ncat.org/
The process of organic certification can be challenging; however, there are plenty of valuable resources available. For more information on the certification process, contact any of the organizations listed below:
• USDA National Organic Program (NOP) www.ams.usda.gov/nop. Regulations for U.S. organic farms and businesses, The National Organic Program list, and the complete USDA guidelines for certified organic food.
• A USDA site that offers fact sheets on all aspects and types of organic farming and marketing relevant in the U.S. including farm plan templates is www.attra.org. Two valuable publications include The Organic Certification Process and Preparing for an Organic Inspection: Steps and Checklists.
• Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI, www.omri.org), has a searchable site of products allowed in organic production such as sprays and soil amendments. Always get the approval from your certifying agency before using any new product even when it is listed by OMRI.
• Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES, www.mosesorganic.org) offers valuable publications and technical resources and a calendar of events pertaining to organic agriculture.
• New Farm, www.newfarm.org, is an online magazine produced by Rodale Institute offering farm related information that can help you identify organic farm practices and ideas how to grow quality organic produce and crops. This site also offers comparison of the various organic certifying agencies. The Rodale Institute will also be introducing an online course to help farmers with the transition to organic and information will likely be available on the Web site.
• The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has provided a Web site to assist farmers with organic transition, www.howtogoorganic.com.
Organic Roots is an electronic collection of historic United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publications related to organic agriculture. The collection contains more than 800 documents published before 1942 (before synthetic chemicals became widely used) that contain state-of-the-art information and data that is still very pertinent for today's agriculture. Access to this data is intended to provide growers with new ideas on crop production without chemicals, as well as help researchers conserve scarce resources by avoiding unintended duplication.
History of Organic Farming is a Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions article that explains the contributions from early researchers, some outside of the USA, and has some thoughtful commentary on the polarization between organic and nonorganic farming, land grant universities, and the fertilizer industry.
Sustainable Dryland Farming Database (CROPSYS)
The Northwest Dryland Cereal/Legume Cropping Systems Database is a compilation of research and experience in dryland agriculture in the northwestern U.S. collected over the past 100 years. Database topics include crop rotation, legumes and grasses, soil quality, soil fertility, tillage and erosion, economics, pests, and alternate crops. Land grant experiment station reports, USDA reports, and old books on dryland agriculture are catalogued in CROPSYS, as well as more current information from scientific journals, popular magazines, farmer experience, and unpublished materials. Most entries include an interpretive abstract.
The new MSU Extension bulletin, Soil Nutrient Management on Organic Grain Farms in Montana, is based on studies done in Montana and the Northern Great Plains. Non-grain growers will also find nuggets of useful information on legumes, crop rotation, and nutrient inputs in
this bulletin. Download the bulletin from http://landresources.montana.edu/soilfertility. Select ‘Extension Publications’ from the sidebar and click on the bulletin title. Or, order through http://www.msuextension.org/store/
Ag Safety Webpage
Find out how to make your workplace safe and apply for a 4% discount on Workmans Comp premiums by visiting MOA's Ag Safety webpage here.
Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society (NPSAS), is a nonprofit membership organization, that is committed to the development of a more sustainable society through the promotion of ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable food systems.
Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management and Sustainability (FARRMS). Their mission is to further the sustainability of thriving farms and rural communities. The purpose of the Foundation is to build thriving rural communities through sustainable education, facilitation and micro-credit.
Registry of Pesticide-sensitive Areas, DriftWatch.org, posted October 10, 2012.
Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) has released a comprehensive and much-anticipated publication, the Farmers’ Guide to Organic Contracts, written to help farmers make informed decisions at every stage of the contract relationship (available for free download at www.flaginc.org).
Farm Journal's Legacy Project graciously offers a free online Farm Succession Workbook here. Posted January 28, 2013.
DriftWatch is an online tool to help protect pesticide-sensitive crops and habitats from the drift that sometimes occurs during spray operations. Visit www.driftwatch.org. Posted January 28, 2013.
The National Organic Program Handbook provides those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the USDA organic regulations. Posted March 1, 2013.
Contact your political representatives and let them know what you think! Posted March 1, 2013.
As of the end of 2012, 17,750 organic farms and processing facilities in the United States were certified to the USDA organic standards. Worldwide, there are now approximately 25,000 certified organic operators in more than 100 countries. See the National Organic Program's updated list of certified organic operations here. Posted March 22, 2013
Organic Seed Finder is celebrating its first year of success. Launched in October 2012, Organic Seed Finder provides an online tool that allows vendors to post their organic varieties in a central location where potential buyers can search for the varieties they need. It is also a valuable resource for organic certifiers who need access to documentation of organic seed availability. To learn more, visit http://www.organicseedfinder.com/. Posted October 9, 2013.
Looking for USDA programs and services that support the growing organic sector? USDA has created a centralized web resource center at USDA.gov for all the programs, services, and data we have that support organic agriculture. Visit: http://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=organic-agriculture.html
USDA's Risk Management Agency's Organic Crops page, including Contract Price Fact Sheet. Also: Contract Price Addendum (CPA) 2014 and Succeeding Crop Years guidelines, USDA Risk Management Agency. Posted February 3, 2014.
USDA: A One-Stop Shop for Organics, with Lots in Store, by Mark Lipson, USDA.gov, posted February 3, 2014.
Non-GMO Requirements under the National Organic Program, Organic Trade Association (OTA) Fact Sheet, posted March 17, 2014.
The Vegetable Grower’s Guide to Organic Certification is meant for vegetable farmers who embrace the philosophy of organic agriculture, but aren’t yet certified. Free download of publication from the National Young Farmers Coalition. Posted March 17, 2014.
Critical Issue Report: Fire Blight Control Program in Organic Fruit, by The Organic Center, posted April 24, 2014.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's Farmers' Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program can be viewed here. Posted May 22, 2015.
USDA's Newest Tool for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers: USDA unveiled a new, tailored online resource as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) two-year, $5.6 billion commitment to serve new and beginning new and beginning farm entrepreneurs, women in agriculture, farms in transition, and youth in agriculture. The web tool will connect farm entrepreneurs with programs and resources available to help them get started. Posted October 30, 2015.
Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects: 16 page bulletin to help you use cover crops to encourage pollinators and beneficial insects, by SARE.org, posted December 2, 2015.
The Organic Center hosts a webpage on "Hot Science," sharing the latest in organic science, posted April 21, 2016.
Transitioning to Organic Certification, by Betsy Rakola, USDA Blog, April 21, 2016.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service webinars provide training and information on a variety of agricultural and forestry topics, many of them suggested by the Agency's field employees responsible for conservation planning. Visit 2017 Planned Conservation Webinars at the Science and Technology Training Library to preview our upcoming webinar topics and presentation dates. Posted December 8, 2016.
Organic Seed Alliance released a report that details the organic seed needs of vegetable growers in Montana. The findings can be found here. Posted December 16, 2016.
Crop Planning for Vegetable Growers - Resources from ATTRA and NCAT. Posted December 23, 2016.