Organic Ecology

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    Risk Management Guide for Organic Producers
    (University of Minnesota, 2010) Moncada, Kristine M.; Sheaffer, Craig C.
    In this publication, we focus on production risks for crops that include cultural practices, variety selection, and management of pests and diseases. This publication will help growers who are contemplating adopting organic production practices understand the risks that are associated with organic production and make choices that will minimize those risks. Additionally, this guide will also be beneficial to all organic producers, regardless of their level of experience.
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    Organic Certification of Vegetable Operations
    (2009-01-27) Riddle, Jim
    All farms and ranches, including vegetable growers, who sell over $5000/year of organic products, must be certified in order to sell their products as “organic.” Land used for the production of organic vegetables must not have had prohibited fertilizers, pesticides, GMOs, or other prohibited substances applied for at least 36 months prior to the first harvest of an organic crop. Farmers who sell under $5000 per year of organic produce must still follow all provisions of the USDA organic regulations, but are not required to be certified as organic. Noncertified organic growers who sell less than $5000/year can only sell their products directly to retailers and consumers. Their products cannot be sold as organic feed or as organic ingredients that will be further processed and subsequently labeled as organic. Farms can be certified as organic as a whole farm or on a field‐by‐field basis.
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    Organic Production in High Tunnels
    (2009-01-27) Nennich, Terrance T.
    High Tunnels have several production characteristics that make them ideal for organic growing of vegetables and fruits. Plants grown in high tunnels are protected from rain, and constant wet foliage caused by dew, which often is the major cause of serious disease problems. Daily water needs are supplied by drip irrigation, which can prevent erratic soil moisture conditions, which are often the cause of fruit cracking. Plants are protected from high winds, which can cause micro bruises of the plant tissue and allow disease organisms to invade the plants. Since high tunnels supply plants with ideal growing conditions as compared to outside production, much of the overall stress is eliminated. Because of the increase in both growing days and heat units, producers have an excellent opportunity to use cover crops and methods to help comply with different organic recommendations and requirements.