Why Organics?
Demand outstripping supply by up to 40%.

Organic farming has been one of the economy’s best performing industries over the past 5 years. Global demand for organic produce is rising with ongoing high levels of health consciousness (IBIS world stats).
The latest Australian Organic Market Report (2014) reveals the nation’s organic industry is worth $1.72 billion, up by 35% since 2012 and growing by over 15% each year.
Our organic growers are optimistic, with great prices, high demand and thriving crops.

Steps to converting to organics

Here is a summary of the steps to organic farming. Talk to us now. We can help you along the way by providing full organic programs that are tailored to your crop and specific situation.

Background

There are many issues to be assessed by farmers intending to convert to organic farming methods. The most obvious being the agronomic issues raised by using natural farming methods. Whilst this summary focuses on these agronomic aspects, we may need to ensure that the farm is seen as a business and the financial impact of the decisions you may make is recognized.

Steps to Organic Farming
  1. Crop Selection
  2. Soil Fertility
  3. Plant Health
  4. Insect pests
  5. Disease pressure
  6. Weed management
  7. Post-harvest issues
  8. Risk Assessment
  9. Equipment needs
  10. Skills Assessment
1) Crop Selection
  • Choose the property to suit the crop
  • Choose the crop to suit the property
  • Don’t push the climate boundaries
  • Minimise the pest & disease pressures
  • Site selection
2) Soil Fertility
  • Balance – physical, chemical, biological
  • Soil analysis – pH
  • Fertilizer history
  • Crop requirements – nutritional & biological
  • Equipment required
3) Plant Health
  • 80-90% via soil
  • Organic Fertiliser, compost, cover crop
  • Do we need to supplement with soluble fertilizers?
  • Foliar spray program.
  • Plant tissue analysis
  • Must provide crop requirements
  • Source of Nutrients
    • Compost
    • Cover crops
    • Organic fertiliser
    • Foliar sprays
    • Trace elements
4) Insect Pests
  • Life cycles of pest & beneficial insects
  • Monitoring
  • Solutions
    • Release of beneficial insects
    • Cover crops
    • Poultry
    • Barriers
    • Rescue chemistry
5) Disease Pressure
  • Life cycle of diseases
  • Crop rotation
  • Monitoring
  • Allowable inputs versus natural measures
6) Weed Management
  • Annual, perennial
  • Management methods
  • Equipment required
  • Crop rotation
  • Cover crop
7) Post-harvest Issues
  • Maintaining fruit quality
  • Extended storage
  • Pest and disease issues
8) Risk Assessment
  • Neighbouring activity
  • Prevailing winds
  • Agreements
  • Buffer zones
  • Support base
9) Equipment needs
  • Weed control dedicated for organic blocks
10) Skills Assessment
  • Farmer & staff

The Rodale Institute in the USA has run a comparison of organic v conventional agriculture since 1981.

The 30 year report on this side-by-side trial shows (see attached):

  • Organic yields match conventional yields – after early years
  • Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought.
  • Organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system.
  • Organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient (mainly as a result of N fertilisers)
  • Conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases (N fertilisers again).
  • Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional – this reflect what we see in the field, good organic growers are expanding rapidly.

Just shows that organics done properly can be a very profitable and sustainable method of producing crops.

Contact us to discuss options to start developing organic plots, or how to improve your current production or to answer any questions you have about growing organically. We have the experience!

Small changes can make a big difference!

Call us today to talk about your program.

it all starts with the soil