Pennsylvania has been a hub for organic farming since Organic Valley moved their headquarters there. Ranking second in production behind California, they are putting out the call for more organic farmers. It takes 3 years for a farm to transition from conventional methods to being organic certified. Once you’ve made that switch, you can expect to get a lot more return on your crop; with the emphasis being on quality, not quantity.
Dan Miller, a farmer that transitioned to organic practices in 2012, talks about what he calls the “five principles of organic farming”. First, he said, organic farming uses a “systems” approach. A second principle is that “quality is better than quantity.” Third, he said, is understanding that biology trumps chemistry. Fourth, he said, “Smaller weeds are easier to kill than bigger weeds.” Fifth, he focuses on having balanced soil, which contributes to weed management. And, finally, he said that cover crops and crop rotation are hugely important in organic production.
Organic farming is on the rise, no doubt about it. But, the farmers aren’t alone in this venture. There are many companies stepping up to the plate and offering organic solutions to conventional farming issues. From fertilizers, to crop storage, people are making transitioning to organic practices, easier than ever.