Sustainable farming

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  • 1. AnAn Introduction toIntroduction to SustainableSustainable FarmingFarming OSU Extension Small FarmsOSU Extension Small Farms
  • 2. What is sustainability?What is sustainability? ““Leave the world better than you found it, take noLeave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or themore than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do.environment, make amends if you do.”” ––Paul HawkenPaul Hawken ““Sustainable design is the careful nesting of humanSustainable design is the careful nesting of human purposes with the larger patterns and flows of thepurposes with the larger patterns and flows of the natural world...natural world...”” ––David OrrDavid Orr The word "sustain," from the LatinThe word "sustain," from the Latin sustineresustinere ((sussus--,, from below andfrom below and teneretenere, to hold), to keep in existence, to hold), to keep in existence or maintain, implies longor maintain, implies long--term support orterm support or permanence.permanence.
  • 3. What is sustainable agriculture?What is sustainable agriculture? A farm system that mimics as closely asA farm system that mimics as closely as possible the complexity of a healthy andpossible the complexity of a healthy and natural ecosystem.natural ecosystem. Goals include:Goals include: Providing a more profitable farm income.Providing a more profitable farm income. Promoting environmental stewardship.Promoting environmental stewardship. Promoting stable, prosperous farmPromoting stable, prosperous farm families and communities.families and communities.
  • 4. Sustainable Agriculture:Sustainable Agriculture: Reduces inputs.Reduces inputs. Uses ecological pest and weed managementUses ecological pest and weed management strategies.strategies. Cycles nutrients back into the soil for fertilityCycles nutrients back into the soil for fertility and health.and health. Strengthens rural and urban communities.Strengthens rural and urban communities. Produces viable farm income.Produces viable farm income. Promotes healthy family and social values.Promotes healthy family and social values. Brings the consumer back into agriculture.Brings the consumer back into agriculture.
  • 5. Sustainable AgricultureSustainable Agriculture Sustainable describes farming systemsSustainable describes farming systems that are "capable of maintaining theirthat are "capable of maintaining their productivity and usefulness to societyproductivity and usefulness to society indefinitely. Such systems... must beindefinitely. Such systems... must be resourceresource--conserving, sociallyconserving, socially supportive, commercially competitive,supportive, commercially competitive, and environmentally sound." [Johnand environmentally sound." [John Ikerd, as quoted by Richard DuesterhausIkerd, as quoted by Richard Duesterhaus in "Sustainability's Promise,"in "Sustainability's Promise," Journal ofJournal of Soil and Water ConservationSoil and Water Conservation (Jan.(Jan.--Feb.Feb. 1990) 45(1).1990) 45(1).
  • 6. Types of Sustainable FarmingTypes of Sustainable Farming Organic farmingOrganic farming BiodynamicBiodynamic PermaculturePermaculture AgroecologicalAgroecological SystemsSystems LowLow--inputinput
  • 7. Why Sustainable Agriculture?Why Sustainable Agriculture? Environmental DamageEnvironmental Damage
  • 8. Why Sustainable Agriculture?Why Sustainable Agriculture? Economic concentration of agribusiness givesEconomic concentration of agribusiness gives farmers little power or control over production,farmers little power or control over production, marketing and distribution.marketing and distribution. Loss of farmsLoss of farms ----155,000 farms were lost from155,000 farms were lost from 1987 to 1997 and 30 million acres have been1987 to 1997 and 30 million acres have been lost to development.lost to development.
  • 9. Active marketingPassive marketing Multiple-use equipmentSingle-use equipment Higher value productsLow-value products Diversity of plants and animalsMonoculture Many enterprisesSingle enterprise Enterprise integrationEnterprise separation Farm as ecosystemFarm as factory Cyclical processLinear process Information intensiveEnergy intensive Biological modelIndustrial model Table 1. Comparison of the industrial and biological models of agriculture.
  • 10. ““The best way to communicate the meaning ofThe best way to communicate the meaning of sustainable agriculture is through realsustainable agriculture is through real--life stories oflife stories of farmers who are developing sustainable farmingfarmers who are developing sustainable farming systems on their own farms.systems on their own farms.”” --JohnJohn IkerdIkerd
  • 11. Environmental SustainabilityEnvironmental Sustainability Sustainable agriculture can be viewed as managementSustainable agriculture can be viewed as management of a production system where there is a multitude ofof a production system where there is a multitude of complex interactions occurring between soil, water,complex interactions occurring between soil, water, plants, animals, climate and people.plants, animals, climate and people. TheThe GOALGOAL is to integrate all these components into ais to integrate all these components into a solid production system that benefits all participants.solid production system that benefits all participants. Farms stay environmentally sustainable by mimickingFarms stay environmentally sustainable by mimicking natural processes and ecosystem function.natural processes and ecosystem function. Diversifying our farms with various enterprises, bothDiversifying our farms with various enterprises, both animals and crops, we manage risks a whole lot better.animals and crops, we manage risks a whole lot better.
  • 12. Seven Seeds Farm, Williams, Oregon
  • 13. Cattail Creek Lamb, Junction City, Oregon
  • 14. Farm as an Ecosystem: Energy FlowFarm as an Ecosystem: Energy Flow Energy flow is the pathway of sunlight through aEnergy flow is the pathway of sunlight through a biological system.biological system. In relation to the farm, energy capture is enhanced byIn relation to the farm, energy capture is enhanced by maximizing the leaf area available for photsynthesismaximizing the leaf area available for photsynthesis and by cycling the stored energy through the foodand by cycling the stored energy through the food chain.chain. We make money in farming by capturing sunlightWe make money in farming by capturing sunlight –– in essence, we are farming the sun (and the soil).in essence, we are farming the sun (and the soil).
  • 15. Energy Flow. Source: Sullivan, 1999. Illustration by Janet Bachmann.
  • 16. Farm as an Ecosystem: Water CycleFarm as an Ecosystem: Water Cycle An effective water cycle includes: no soilAn effective water cycle includes: no soil erosion, fast water entry into the soil and theerosion, fast water entry into the soil and the soilsoil’’s ability to store water.s ability to store water. Management decisions on the farm that add toManagement decisions on the farm that add to ground cover and soil organic matter onlyground cover and soil organic matter only enhance the natural water cycle.enhance the natural water cycle. Effective water use on the farm results in low surfaceEffective water use on the farm results in low surface runoff, low soil surface evaporation, low droughtrunoff, low soil surface evaporation, low drought incidence, low flood incidence, high transpiration byincidence, low flood incidence, high transpiration by plants and high seepage of water to undergroundplants and high seepage of water to underground reservoirs (Savory and Butterfield, 1999).reservoirs (Savory and Butterfield, 1999).
  • 17. Water Cycle. Source: United States Climate Change Global Research Program, 2001.
  • 18. Farm as an Ecosystem:Farm as an Ecosystem: Mineral CycleMineral Cycle In nature, minerals needed for plant and animalIn nature, minerals needed for plant and animal growth are continuously being recycledgrowth are continuously being recycled through the ecosystem.through the ecosystem. An effective mineral cycle is one where thereAn effective mineral cycle is one where there is a movement of nutrients from the soil tois a movement of nutrients from the soil to crops and animals and then back to the soil,crops and animals and then back to the soil, basicallybasically a circle of nutrient renewala circle of nutrient renewal.. Ways to enhance this cycle on the farmWays to enhance this cycle on the farm include: oninclude: on--farm feeding of livestock, carefulfarm feeding of livestock, careful management of manure and crop residues, andmanagement of manure and crop residues, and practices that prevent erosion.practices that prevent erosion.
  • 19. Source: ATTRA. Illustration by Andrea Fournet
  • 20. Farm as an Ecosystem: BiodiversityFarm as an Ecosystem: Biodiversity A farm will be dynamic and healthy if it has aA farm will be dynamic and healthy if it has a high diversityhigh diversity of plants and animals (aboveof plants and animals (above ground and below).ground and below). GREATERGREATER DIVERSITY =DIVERSITY = GREATERGREATER STABILITYSTABILITY
  • 21. Social SustainabilitySocial Sustainability Buying farm supplies locally rather than from outBuying farm supplies locally rather than from out-- ofof--state.state. Educating your community about sustainable foodEducating your community about sustainable food production.production. Direct marketing through CSAs and farmersDirect marketing through CSAs and farmers’’ markets builds community and social sustainability.markets builds community and social sustainability. School tours and farm internships.School tours and farm internships. Quality of life on the farm for everyone involvedQuality of life on the farm for everyone involved with clear communication and general happinesswith clear communication and general happiness with farm work.with farm work.
  • 22. Economic SustainabilityEconomic Sustainability Selecting profitable enterprises.Selecting profitable enterprises. Sound financial planning.Sound financial planning. Direct marketing.Direct marketing. Risk management.Risk management.
  • 23. Applying the Principles:Applying the Principles: Soil Fertility ManagementSoil Fertility Management Goal is to sustain high crop productivity and crop quality inGoal is to sustain high crop productivity and crop quality in food and fiber production as well as in grass farming.food and fiber production as well as in grass farming. Strive to keep the soil covered throughout the year, whetherStrive to keep the soil covered throughout the year, whether with permanent pasture or cover crops and green manures.with permanent pasture or cover crops and green manures. Maintain or build soil organic matter levels through inputs ofMaintain or build soil organic matter levels through inputs of compost or cover cropping.compost or cover cropping. Properly timed or limited tillage.Properly timed or limited tillage. Irrigation management to reduce erosion and runoff.Irrigation management to reduce erosion and runoff. Sound crop rotations, soil amending and organic fertilizingSound crop rotations, soil amending and organic fertilizing techniques.techniques. Balanced levels of available plant nutrients and balanced PH.Balanced levels of available plant nutrients and balanced PH.
  • 24. Soil Fertility: Cover CropsSoil Fertility: Cover Crops Perennial and biennial sod crops, annualPerennial and biennial sod crops, annual green manures, and annual cover crops allgreen manures, and annual cover crops all build soil. Examples include vetch, rye, oats,build soil. Examples include vetch, rye, oats, fava beans, clover, buckwheat, sudangrassfava beans, clover, buckwheat, sudangrass and sunnhemp.and sunnhemp. Increase nutrient availability.Increase nutrient availability. Temperature, moisture conditions, placementTemperature, moisture conditions, placement of the residue and quality of the cover cropof the residue and quality of the cover crop influence nutrient release.influence nutrient release.
  • 25. Soil Fertility: Cover CropsSoil Fertility: Cover Crops Cover crops improve the soilCover crops improve the soil’’s physicals physical properties with carbon and nitrogen cycling.properties with carbon and nitrogen cycling. Some cover crops actually suppress certainSome cover crops actually suppress certain parasitic nematodes and soil borne diseases, i.e.parasitic nematodes and soil borne diseases, i.e. rye, triticale, mustards.rye, triticale, mustards. Cover crops have superb weed suppressingCover crops have superb weed suppressing effects by competing with weeds for light andeffects by competing with weeds for light and smothering unwanted plants or throughsmothering unwanted plants or through allelopathy.allelopathy. Reduce erosion and attract beneficial bugs.Reduce erosion and attract beneficial bugs.
  • 26. Peas, Vetch & OatsPeas, Vetch & Oats
  • 27. More Vetch, Bell Bean and OatsMore Vetch, Bell Bean and Oats
  • 28. Soil Fertility: CompostsSoil Fertility: Composts Use of compost in crop production and grassUse of compost in crop production and grass farming is beneficial to build soil organic matter,farming is beneficial to build soil organic matter, add nutrients to the soil and retain water.add nutrients to the soil and retain water. Nutrient contribution of manureNutrient contribution of manure--basedbased compost is balanced between Ncompost is balanced between N--PP--K. Have aK. Have a compost nutrient assessment done.compost nutrient assessment done. How much compost to apply and timing isHow much compost to apply and timing is different on each farm.different on each farm. Ease and economics of use, local availabilityEase and economics of use, local availability and costs as well as variability of quality.and costs as well as variability of quality.
  • 29. Animal ManureAnimal Manure Integrate grazing animals or other livestockIntegrate grazing animals or other livestock onto your farm to produce compost for youronto your farm to produce compost for your fields.fields. The use of fresh or undecomposed manure inThe use of fresh or undecomposed manure in agricultural systems is of great benefit to theagricultural systems is of great benefit to the farm.farm. There are variations in nutrient profiles ofThere are variations in nutrient profiles of animal manures.animal manures. If using raw manure, cannot apply to fields forIf using raw manure, cannot apply to fields for organic certification less than 120 days beforeorganic certification less than 120 days before harvest.harvest.
  • 30. CompostingComposting
  • 31. OnOn--Farm CompostingFarm Composting
  • 32. Soil Fertility: TillageSoil Fertility: Tillage Prepares the ground for seedlings and transplants.Prepares the ground for seedlings and transplants. Provides a range of residue incorporation options.Provides a range of residue incorporation options. Enables the incorporation of amendments.Enables the incorporation of amendments. Improves soil aeration, and breaks up soil clods toImproves soil aeration, and breaks up soil clods to form good seed and root beds.form good seed and root beds. Improves water infiltration.Improves water infiltration. Increases rate of microbial activity andIncreases rate of microbial activity and mineralization.mineralization. Deep tillage can break through compacted layers.Deep tillage can break through compacted layers.
  • 33. TillageTillage Accelerates the rate and extent of longAccelerates the rate and extent of long--termterm declines in soil organic matter.declines in soil organic matter. May increase subMay increase sub--soil compaction.soil compaction. High energy and labor costs.High energy and labor costs. Loss of soil organic matter from excessiveLoss of soil organic matter from excessive tillage can lead to crusting of bare soils.tillage can lead to crusting of bare soils.
  • 34. Reduced and noReduced and no--tillage systemstillage systems Residue cover protects the soil from wind andResidue cover protects the soil from wind and water erosion.water erosion. Allows for greater moisture retention in rainAllows for greater moisture retention in rain-- fed systems.fed systems. These systems build soil organic matter over aThese systems build soil organic matter over a period of years, and reach a higherperiod of years, and reach a higher ““steadysteady statestate”” level than tilled systems in the samelevel than tilled systems in the same environment.environment.
  • 35. Reduced and noReduced and no--till systemstill systems Residue cover lowers soil temperature, which delaysResidue cover lowers soil temperature, which delays seed germination and slows seedling growth and mayseed germination and slows seedling growth and may place growers at an economic disadvantage.place growers at an economic disadvantage. Weed control is very difficult without the use ofWeed control is very difficult without the use of herbicides.herbicides. Requires specialized equipment to plant through thickRequires specialized equipment to plant through thick layer of residue.layer of residue. Increased leaching of nutrients and herbicides into theIncreased leaching of nutrients and herbicides into the groundwater has been shown in some conventionalgroundwater has been shown in some conventional reduced and noreduced and no--till systems after many years of thesetill systems after many years of these practices.practices.
  • 36. SpaderSpader
  • 37. Tilling with Row MarkersTilling with Row Markers
  • 38. Rototiller Preparing Seed BedsRototiller Preparing Seed Beds
  • 39. NoNo--Till RollerTill Roller
  • 40. Deep Tillage Chisel PlowDeep Tillage Chisel Plow
  • 41. And yes, farmers do still plow withAnd yes, farmers do still plow with horses!horses!
  • 42. Soil Fertility: Soil Amendments &Soil Fertility: Soil Amendments & Supplemental FertilizersSupplemental Fertilizers Organic amendments and fertilizers are useful as longOrganic amendments and fertilizers are useful as long as they are in balance with the rest of the system. Useas they are in balance with the rest of the system. Use soil test to find deficiencies.soil test to find deficiencies. Balance nutrient inputs with nutrient outputs eachBalance nutrient inputs with nutrient outputs each year.year. Inputs>outputs=accumulation. Results in risk ofInputs>outputs=accumulation. Results in risk of excess nutrients creating nonpoint source pollutionexcess nutrients creating nonpoint source pollution and enhancing disease and pest incidence.and enhancing disease and pest incidence. Inputs<outputs=soil depletion. Potential risk of plantInputs<outputs=soil depletion. Potential risk of plant nutrient deficiencies and stress, reduced yield, andnutrient deficiencies and stress, reduced yield, and increased susceptibility to pest and pathogens.increased susceptibility to pest and pathogens.
  • 43. Soil Fertility: Crop RotationSoil Fertility: Crop Rotation Break weed and pest cycles.Break weed and pest cycles. Provide complementary fertilization to cropsProvide complementary fertilization to crops in sequence with each other, i.e. legume cropsin sequence with each other, i.e. legume crops preceding corn or tomatoes.preceding corn or tomatoes. Prevent buildup of pest insects and weeds.Prevent buildup of pest insects and weeds. In some cases, yield increases follow from theIn some cases, yield increases follow from the ““rotation effect.rotation effect.”” Ideal rotation includes planning over the longIdeal rotation includes planning over the long-- term with fields in rotation of crops, coverterm with fields in rotation of crops, cover crops or sod, and livestock.crops or sod, and livestock.
  • 44. Crop Rotation ConsiderationsCrop Rotation Considerations Avoid rotation of crop species that share similar pestsAvoid rotation of crop species that share similar pests and diseases. Intersperse with different crops to breakand diseases. Intersperse with different crops to break pest and disease cycles.pest and disease cycles. Rotate crops to maximize use of nutrient inputs andRotate crops to maximize use of nutrient inputs and distribute nutrient demand placed on soil.distribute nutrient demand placed on soil. Think about fallow periods and perennial cover crops.Think about fallow periods and perennial cover crops. Intercropping is the growing of two or more crops inIntercropping is the growing of two or more crops in proximity to promote interaction between them.proximity to promote interaction between them.
  • 45. Various Crop RotationsVarious Crop Rotations
  • 46. Guidelines for Crop RotationsGuidelines for Crop Rotations Follow a legumeFollow a legume--sod crop with a highsod crop with a high--nitrogennitrogen--demanding crop such asdemanding crop such as corn to take advantage of the nitrogen supply.corn to take advantage of the nitrogen supply. Grow lessGrow less--nitrogennitrogen--demanding crops such as oats, barley, or wheat in thedemanding crops such as oats, barley, or wheat in the second or third year after a legume sod.second or third year after a legume sod. Grow the same annual crop for only one year if possible to decreGrow the same annual crop for only one year if possible to decrease thease the likelihood of insects, diseases, and nematodes becoming a problelikelihood of insects, diseases, and nematodes becoming a problem.m. Don't follow one crop with another closely related species, sincDon't follow one crop with another closely related species, since insects,e insects, disease, and nematode problems are frequently shared by membersdisease, and nematode problems are frequently shared by members ofof closely related crops.closely related crops. Use longer periods of perennial crops, such as legume sod, on slUse longer periods of perennial crops, such as legume sod, on sloping landoping land and on highly erosive soils.and on highly erosive soils. Use crop rotations that promote healthier crops .Use crop rotations that promote healthier crops . Try to grow a deepTry to grow a deep--rooted crop, such as alfalfa, safflower, or sunflower asrooted crop, such as alfalfa, safflower, or sunflower as part of the rotation.part of the rotation. Grow some crops that will leave a significant amount of residuesGrow some crops that will leave a significant amount of residues, like, like sorghum or corn harvested for grain, to help maintain organic masorghum or corn harvested for grain, to help maintain organic matter levels.tter levels.
  • 47. Ecological Weed ManagementEcological Weed Management Improve soil tilth, aeration, water infiltration, and fertilityImprove soil tilth, aeration, water infiltration, and fertility toto optimize crop growth and minimize weed pressure.optimize crop growth and minimize weed pressure. Thoroughly clean equipment before moving it from one farmThoroughly clean equipment before moving it from one farm or location to another to avoid transporting weed seeds fromor location to another to avoid transporting weed seeds from infested fields.infested fields. Do not allow weeds to form seed heads and/or perennialDo not allow weeds to form seed heads and/or perennial rooting structure in the cropping systems.rooting structure in the cropping systems. Thoroughly compost all imported animal manure to insureThoroughly compost all imported animal manure to insure destruction of viable weed seed.destruction of viable weed seed. Work with neighbors to eliminate orWork with neighbors to eliminate or minimize the potential for spread of noxiousminimize the potential for spread of noxious and problematic weeds from adjacent lands.and problematic weeds from adjacent lands.
  • 48. Cultural Weed PracticesCultural Weed Practices Crop RotationsCrop Rotations TillageTillage Planting and CultivationPlanting and Cultivation Rotational GrazingRotational Grazing MowingMowing IrrigationIrrigation Flame WeedingFlame Weeding MulchesMulches
  • 49. Allis Chalmers BasketAllis Chalmers Basket WeederWeeder
  • 50. Ecological Pest ManagementEcological Pest Management Intercropping, diversityIntercropping, diversity and cover croppingand cover cropping Crop rotationCrop rotation FarmscapingFarmscaping Use ofUse of resistantresistant varietiesvarieties
  • 51. Ecological Pest ManagementEcological Pest Management Biological controlsBiological controls Organic chemical controlsOrganic chemical controls Physical controlsPhysical controls
  • 52. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Basic framework used to decide when and how pestsBasic framework used to decide when and how pests are controlled.are controlled. Goal is to give growers management guidelines inGoal is to give growers management guidelines in order to make pest control economic andorder to make pest control economic and environmental.environmental. Integrates habitat modification and cultural, physical,Integrates habitat modification and cultural, physical, biological and chemical practices to minimize cropbiological and chemical practices to minimize crop losses.losses. Monitoring, record keeping, and lifeMonitoring, record keeping, and life--cyclecycle information about pests and their natural enemies areinformation about pests and their natural enemies are used to determine which control measures areused to determine which control measures are necessary.necessary.
  • 53. Plant Disease ManipulationsPlant Disease Manipulations Environment manipulations include increasing plantEnvironment manipulations include increasing plant spacing to reduce humidity, regulating irrigation, andspacing to reduce humidity, regulating irrigation, and choosing where crop is grown.choosing where crop is grown. Host manipulations include resistant cultivars,Host manipulations include resistant cultivars, pathogenpathogen--free planting materials, crop rotation andfree planting materials, crop rotation and intercropping.intercropping. Pathogen manipulations include keeping them out ofPathogen manipulations include keeping them out of the field by removal of host tissue or organicthe field by removal of host tissue or organic chemical controls (chemical controls (neemneem, copper, sulfur etc.), copper, sulfur etc.)
  • 54. Plant Disease ManagementPlant Disease Management Use crop rotations, biodiversity, resistant cultivars, cleanUse crop rotations, biodiversity, resistant cultivars, clean seed and soil fertility measures to prevent plant diseases.seed and soil fertility measures to prevent plant diseases. Compost teas can help controlCompost teas can help control fungal diseases. Foliar spraysfungal diseases. Foliar sprays are also effective.are also effective.
  • 55. Rotational GrazingRotational Grazing Skillfully using livestock to harvest forages leads to improved soil fertility, a diverse, dense, and useful pasture ecology, and an extended grazing season. Fertile soil and productive pastures, in turn, support healthy animals. In a system of controlled rotations, pastures are subdivided into paddocks – fenced acreage of any given size. Livestock is moved between paddocks at frequent intervals, giving animals access to a limited pasture area over a short period of time. As a result, the plants have time to recover, the roots maintain energy reserves, and the livestock always have high quality forage. A primary strategy of controlled grazing is to use fencing and livestock movement as tools to manage forage growth and protect it from overgrazing.
  • 56. Sustainable Pasture ManagementSustainable Pasture Management Management is key to healthy andManagement is key to healthy and sustainable pastures.sustainable pastures. Lands most susceptible to erosion can beLands most susceptible to erosion can be maintained as permanent sod.maintained as permanent sod. Land used for row crops benefits from a year or more in pastureLand used for row crops benefits from a year or more in pasture asas part of a crop rotation plan.part of a crop rotation plan. Soil health improves as the content of organic matter increasesSoil health improves as the content of organic matter increases under good grazing management.under good grazing management. Soil structure improves over time asSoil structure improves over time as compaction and hardpan is reduced.compaction and hardpan is reduced. Good pasture mixes include a variety ofGood pasture mixes include a variety of grasses, forbs and legumes.grasses, forbs and legumes.
  • 57. Mixed Species GrazingMixed Species Grazing Cattle prefer grass over other types of plants, and are lessCattle prefer grass over other types of plants, and are less selective when grazing than sheep or goats. Sheep and goats,selective when grazing than sheep or goats. Sheep and goats, on the other hand, are much more likely to eat weeds.on the other hand, are much more likely to eat weeds. Mixed species grazing may also benefitMixed species grazing may also benefit pastures that are less diverse, bypastures that are less diverse, by encouraging more even grazing.encouraging more even grazing. Parasite control.Parasite control.
  • 58. Bringing It All Together:Bringing It All Together: Integrated Farming SystemsIntegrated Farming Systems Goal is to find and adopt "integrated and resourceGoal is to find and adopt "integrated and resource--efficientefficient crop and livestock systems that maintain productivity, that arecrop and livestock systems that maintain productivity, that are profitable, and that protect the environment and the personalprofitable, and that protect the environment and the personal health of farmers and their families," as well as "overcominghealth of farmers and their families," as well as "overcoming the barriers to adoption of more sustainable agriculturalthe barriers to adoption of more sustainable agricultural systems so these systems can serve as a foundation uponsystems so these systems can serve as a foundation upon which rural American communities will be revitalized."which rural American communities will be revitalized."
  • 59. Organic CertificationOrganic Certification All producers who would like to certify must follow organicAll producers who would like to certify must follow organic standards set out by USDA.standards set out by USDA. There are a number of rules to follow, but the principles laidThere are a number of rules to follow, but the principles laid out today should directly follow that of organic production.out today should directly follow that of organic production. In general, organic rules do not allow synthetic fertilizers,In general, organic rules do not allow synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides in crop production or the usepesticides or herbicides in crop production or the use antibiotics, hormones and nonantibiotics, hormones and non--organic feed in livestock.organic feed in livestock. Livestock must also have access to pasture.Livestock must also have access to pasture. For more information on how to certify, go toFor more information on how to certify, go to http://http://www.ams.usda.gov/nopwww.ams.usda.gov/nop/ or talk with me individually./ or talk with me individually. OregonOregon TilthTilth is also a source of information:is also a source of information: www.tilth.orgwww.tilth.org..
  • 60. Case StudiesCase Studies Blue Fox Farm, Applegate, OregonBlue Fox Farm, Applegate, Oregon Six acres of over fifty different types of organicSix acres of over fifty different types of organic vegetablesvegetables Active soil fertility program including using raw andActive soil fertility program including using raw and pelletedpelleted chicken manure, winter and summer coverchicken manure, winter and summer cover cropping, and active crop rotations.cropping, and active crop rotations. Weed management includes mechanical and handWeed management includes mechanical and hand cultivation and mowing.cultivation and mowing. Use botanical sprays for disease and pest suppression asUse botanical sprays for disease and pest suppression as well as crop rotations.well as crop rotations.
  • 61. Blue Fox FarmBlue Fox Farm Direct market to a thirtyDirect market to a thirty--person CSA, two farmersperson CSA, two farmers’’ markets, amarkets, a number of restaurants and the local natural food groceries.number of restaurants and the local natural food groceries.
  • 62. Larry ThompsonLarry Thompson——Boring, OregonBoring, Oregon 43 fruit and vegetable crops on 140 acres.43 fruit and vegetable crops on 140 acres. Dedicated advocate of crop rotations and planting a successionDedicated advocate of crop rotations and planting a succession of flowering species to control pests without pesticides. Heof flowering species to control pests without pesticides. He relies on cover crops to control weeds and provide habitat forrelies on cover crops to control weeds and provide habitat for beneficial insects.beneficial insects. Direct markets through farm stand, farmers markets and pickDirect markets through farm stand, farmers markets and pick-- youryour--own.own.
  • 63. More on Larry ThompsonMore on Larry Thompson Thompson allows native grasses and dandelions to grow between his berry rows. The mixed vegetation provides an alluring habitat that, along with flowering fruit and vegetable plants, draws insects that prey on pests.
  • 64. BobBob MuthMuth, Williamstown, New, Williamstown, New JerseyJersey 11 acres in mixed vegetables and cut flowers Three-quarters of an acre in strawberries sold from a roadside stand 40 acres of hay The farm grosses between $150,000 and $300,000.
  • 65. MuthMuth FarmFarm MuthMuth designs long rotations and makes extensive use of coverdesigns long rotations and makes extensive use of cover crops. Only about 20 percent of his 80 acres is in vegetablecrops. Only about 20 percent of his 80 acres is in vegetable crops at any one time. He also adds extra organic matter bycrops at any one time. He also adds extra organic matter by spreading the leaves collected by local municipalities on somespreading the leaves collected by local municipalities on some of his fields each autumn.of his fields each autumn. In a typical rotation, after the vegetable crop is turned underIn a typical rotation, after the vegetable crop is turned under inin the fall, he covers the ground with up to six inches of leaves,the fall, he covers the ground with up to six inches of leaves, about 20 tons per acre. The following spring, he works in theabout 20 tons per acre. The following spring, he works in the decomposing leaves. His soildecomposing leaves. His soil--building program has now givenbuilding program has now given him fields that test as high as 5 percent organic matter,him fields that test as high as 5 percent organic matter, unheard of for the mineral soils of southern New Jersey.unheard of for the mineral soils of southern New Jersey.
  • 66. Richard and PeggyRichard and Peggy SechristSechrist Fredericksburg, TexasFredericksburg, Texas 5050--head beef cattle herdhead beef cattle herd 750750--1,000 pastured chickens per month1,000 pastured chickens per month Certified organic beef and poultry sold to "naturalCertified organic beef and poultry sold to "natural foods" outletsfoods" outlets TheThe SechristsSechrists work within thework within the dry cycles by maintaining theirdry cycles by maintaining their pastures in native grasses. Theypastures in native grasses. They graze three herds of cattlegraze three herds of cattle -- oneone-- yearyear--olds, twoolds, two--yearyear--olds and aolds and a cowcow--calf herdcalf herd -- in a plannedin a planned rotational approach.rotational approach.
  • 67. More on theMore on the SechristsSechrists Rotating the herds is based on a fairly sophisticated system ofRotating the herds is based on a fairly sophisticated system of monitoring plant growth and recovery. The cattle are grassmonitoring plant growth and recovery. The cattle are grass-- fed, with alfalfa hay as needed as a supplement. The cattlefed, with alfalfa hay as needed as a supplement. The cattle don't receive any antibiotics or synthetic treatments.don't receive any antibiotics or synthetic treatments. Market beef and poultry through Homestead Healthy Foods, aMarket beef and poultry through Homestead Healthy Foods, a direct marketing company that sells at farmers marketsdirect marketing company that sells at farmers markets’’, fairs,, fairs, over the internet, and health food stores.over the internet, and health food stores. "Our basic herd health is excellent," Peggy says,"Our basic herd health is excellent," Peggy says, “…“…ourour pasture management is the most important factor."pasture management is the most important factor."
  • 68. Travis and AmyTravis and Amy ForguesForgues AlburgAlburg Springs, VermontSprings, Vermont 80 milking cows on 22080 milking cows on 220--acre pastureacre pasture--based, organic dairy farmbased, organic dairy farm Their property is split into 10Their property is split into 10-- acreacre permanent paddocks, using movable fencespermanent paddocks, using movable fences to subdivide those into smaller areas. Theyto subdivide those into smaller areas. They move the herd to fresh ground twice a day.move the herd to fresh ground twice a day. They are part of Organic Valley, a farmerThey are part of Organic Valley, a farmer--ownedowned cooperative that accepts milk from farmers in 14cooperative that accepts milk from farmers in 14 states, marketing the product by region.states, marketing the product by region. They strive to receive 23 cents a pound for milk, a strategy TraThey strive to receive 23 cents a pound for milk, a strategy Travis callsvis calls "farm"farm--gate" pricing, or fair compensation for their labor. By contrastgate" pricing, or fair compensation for their labor. By contrast, the, the industry average for milk produced and marketed conventionally iindustry average for milk produced and marketed conventionally is abouts about half that.half that. As a certified organic operation, theAs a certified organic operation, the ForguesForgues forego any chemical pesticides orforego any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. They eschew hormones or antibiotics, and take a profertilizers. They eschew hormones or antibiotics, and take a proactive approachactive approach to sick cows, culling them quickly if a homeopathic remedy doesnto sick cows, culling them quickly if a homeopathic remedy doesn't work.'t work.
  • 69. Sources of Information for NewSources of Information for New FarmersFarmers Alternative Farming Systems InformationAlternative Farming Systems Information CenterCenter –– http://http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsicwww.nal.usda.gov/afsic// ATTRAATTRA –– www.attra.orgwww.attra.org SARESARE –– www.sare.orgwww.sare.org Oregon Small FarmsOregon Small Farms –– http://http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edusmallfarms.oregonstate.edu// OFRFOFRF –– www.ofrf.orgwww.ofrf.org The New FarmThe New Farm –– http://http://www.newfarm.orgwww.newfarm.org
  • 70. Good BooksGood Books Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision MakingHolistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making, Allan, Allan Savory et al.Savory et al. Sustainable Vegetable Production from StartSustainable Vegetable Production from Start--up to Marketup to Market, Vernon, Vernon GrubingerGrubinger SmallSmall--Scale Livestock Farming: A GrassScale Livestock Farming: A Grass--Based Approach for Health,Based Approach for Health, Sustainability, and ProfitSustainability, and Profit, Carol, Carol EkariusEkarius Successful SmallSuccessful Small--Scale Farming: An Organic ApproachScale Farming: An Organic Approach, Karl, Karl SchwenkeSchwenke Pastured Poultry ProfitsPastured Poultry Profits, Joel, Joel SalatinSalatin Sell What You Sow! The GrowerSell What You Sow! The Grower’’s Guide to Successful Produce Marketings Guide to Successful Produce Marketing,, Eric GibsonEric Gibson Pests of the Garden and Small FarmPests of the Garden and Small Farm, Mary Louise Flint, Mary Louise Flint Natural Enemies Handbook: The Illustration Guide to Pest ControlNatural Enemies Handbook: The Illustration Guide to Pest Control, Mary, Mary Louise Flint, et al.Louise Flint, et al. Backyard Market Gardening: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Selling WBackyard Market Gardening: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Selling Whathat You SowYou Sow, Andrew Lee, Andrew Lee
  • 71. PeriodicalsPeriodicals Small FarmerSmall Farmer’’s Journals Journal http://http://www.smallfarmersjournal.comwww.smallfarmersjournal.com// Growing For MarketGrowing For Market http://http://www.growingformarket.comwww.growingformarket.com// Small Farm TodaySmall Farm Today http://http://www.smallfarmtoday.comwww.smallfarmtoday.com// In GoodIn Good TilthTilth http://http://www.tilth.org/Newsletter.htmlwww.tilth.org/Newsletter.html Stockman Grass FarmerStockman Grass Farmer http://stockmangrassfarmer.net/http://stockmangrassfarmer.net/ ACRES USAACRES USA http://http://www.acresusa.comwww.acresusa.com Capital PressCapital Press http://www.capitalpress.comhttp://www.capitalpress.com