LANCASTER, Pa. — “We are constantly looking for new organic (soybean) growers,” said Boyd Station’s Spencer Miller. “We would like to buy more organic grain from Pennsylvania.”
He and several other panelists shared tips and challenges about farming organic grain in the state during a Feb. 7 session at the sustainable agriculture conference.
Panel moderator Kristy Borrelli, from Penn State Extension, emphasized the need for certified organic grain in the state’s organic poultry industry. In 2016, Pennsylvania ranked second after California for organic production. Much of that, Borrelli said, was the $325 million worth of organic broiler chickens and $120.4 million in organic eggs produced in Pennsylvania.
But “we still import a (majority) of organic grain — though it often has fraud and integrity issues,” she added.
Penn State Extension’s John Boney said he is working to help bring organic grain to Pennsylvania. He analyzes its nutritional aspects for the poultry industry as well as the current economics of growing local grain versus importing it.