The Organic Chronicles No. 1: Mysteries of Organic Farming Revealed (Hmong language version)


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The Organic Chronicles No. 1: Mysteries of Organic Farming Revealed (Hmong language version)

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The Organic Chronicles No. 1: Mysteries of Organic Farming Revealed (Hmong language version)

  1. 1. F ESOURCES OR ORGANIC F OF R ARM DS ERS LOA !ATTRA—National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the U.S.Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT website,, for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.
  2. 2. A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 • ATTRA offers more than 240 publications on organic All of these publications, including a catalog that lists and sustainable agriculture topics, including crop all materials, can be downloaded free of charge production, rotational and multispecies grazing, at ATTRA’s website, Paper intercropping, composting, ecological soil & pest copies can be ordered by calling the toll-free management, weed control, and agroforestry. telephone line, 1-800-346-9140. ATTRA Publications for Organic Producers The following publications about organic production can be found at Farm Certification & the Opportunities in Agriculture: Special Organic ResourcesNational Organic Program Transitioning toATTRA’s basic guide to the organic certi- Organic Production Information on Organicfication process. Provides a brief history ATTRA has a special relationship with Production of fruits, vegetables,of organic certification, steps in the cer- the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture field crops, livestock & marketing.tification process, how to evaluate a cer- Network (SAN) and distributes many, and how fees are assessed. of their publications. We are pleased to provide this publication on Organic Seed Suppliers Searchorgancert.pdf transitioning to organic production. Organic growers must use organic seed Print only: 1-800-346-9140. if commercially available. Web only.Organic Certification Process in more detail the organic Organic Crops and search.php?certification process—purposes and Livestock Workbooksbenefits of organic certification, steps to NCAT’s Organic Crops Workbook andorganic certification, and the role of the Organic Pest Management Organic Livestock Workbook are the This site has a range of informationinspector. result of collaborative effort with many about organic management of insect, leaders from the organic community. weed, and disease pests.organic_certification.pdf Both publications reflect the perspec- tive of organic inspectors and give theDocumentation Forms user a clear picture of all the details that Organic IPM Field GuideThese forms are tools for document- must be considered in developing a sys- This is a full-color pictorial guide abouting practices, inputs, and activities tem that is compliant with the National the concepts of organic IPM, outliningthat demonstrate compliance with the Organic Standard. Unresolved issues how to promote beneficial organisms. ItNational Organic Standard. They are are highlighted and discussed. Excellent includes life cycle pictures of importantintended to make record keeping easy tools for anyone making the transition beneficials and pests. Presented in fourand should be shown to the inspec- from a convention operation. sections, online or CD-ROM only.tor during annual inspections. Thereare four separate packages: “Field Crops: • Beneficial Organisms, Beneficial HabiCrops,” “Livestock,” “Market Farm” and pdf/cropsworkbook.pdf tat and Insect Pests“Orchard, Vineyard, & Berry Crops.” Livestock: • Plant Disease Managementwww:// pub/pdf/livestockworkbook.pdf • Weed Management • Vertebrate Pest ManagementNational Organic Program Com- Organic System Plan (OSP) Checklist for Producers Templates for Certifiers ries/organic_ipm.htmlA tool to assist farmers, ranchers, Contains template forms that are ininspectors, and certifiers in assessing common use by U.S. certifiers. Provides Organic Soils & Fertilizer Issuescompliance with the National Organic prospective organic producers with an The document reformulates insight into the kinds of informationthe Regulations into “yes” and “no” they will need to provide when apply- Spanish Language Materialsquestions and reflects the requirements tion for certification. ATTRA offers many publications andof the Organic System Plan. resources about organics in templates.pdf IN THIS ISSUE: Page 9—Myths & Realities about Going Page 10 - 12—Where to Learn More Organic. Tips from Organic Inspectors about Organic Agriculture, Page 3 - 9—”Going Organic” on Transitioning Your Farm. Certification, and MarketingPage 2 ATTRA The Organic Chronicles No. 1
  4. 4. THE BUG SHRINKS PETER TO HIS SIZEPage 4 ATTRA The Organic Chronicles No. 1
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  9. 9. LATER AFTER PETER GETS HOME... WWW.ATTRA.NCAT.ORG Tips from Organic Inspectors on Transitioning Your Farm to Organic Production You don’t have to go hook, line, and sinker into organics. You can start with a field or parcel. Keep separate records for the parcel and document all inputs, practices, etc. You don’t necessarily have to apply for certification at the beginning of the 36-month transition period. Con- sult your certifier to learn what will be required. You can generally wait until about six months before the first har- vest that will occur after the transition period. The timing may depend on what you grow as your first crop, so allow plenty of time. You must be able to document land use history. Myths and Realities about The greatest risks for transitioning producers are record keeping, human resource management, budgeting, and Going Organic coping with the economic transition. by Ann Baier, NCAT Program Specialist You will need a marketing plan for the crops you grow dur- ing your transition period. Even though you are managing the crops as organic during the transition, you will not be Myth Reality able to sell these crops as organic. The transitional label Yields will be Yields are comparable under well does not carry legal status. Since it is possible that your miserable. managed systems. yields might drop initially, you need to carefully consider Pests will Most pest problems can be prevented your markets and cash flow. eat you up. using integrated approaches. While some crops may produce lower yields without syn- Weeds will take Weed management requires thetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic growers often over your farm. constant attention. have relatively low input costs, so your bottom line may Transitioning is Transition can be challenging: plan cash be steady. However, management costs may be higher, impossible. flow with budget projections. at least initially while you are learning to manage a sys- tem differently. The organic premium may increase your The paperwork Recordkeeping can help your profits after certification is complete. will kill you. operation in many ways in addition to organic compliance. It takes time for your farm’s ecology to adjust to organic You’ll never Organic certification expands your management. The natural processes will continue to make any market options and often gives develop as the farm becomes more balanced. money. premium prices. Not all growers find the transition difficult. Producers who It can’t be done. It can be done if you plan, persist, and are already rotating crops and using sustainable practices ask for help when you need it. will likely have an easier ATTRA Page 9
  10. 10. Where to Learn More about Organic Agriculture, Certification, and MarketingOrganic Certification Universities with Organic Programs An increasing number of land grant colleges and stateand Education universities offer training and research in organic agri-National Organizations culture methods. These include Cornell, Tufts, and the universities of Arkansas, California, Iowa, Michi-ATTRA National Sustainable Agriculture Information gan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, North Carolina, Ver-Service: 800-346-9140 mont, Washington, West Virginia, and many more. TheATTRA provides a wide range of information about all Organic Agricultural Consortium has compiled infor-aspects of organic certification, practices, record keep- mation about organic research, and documentation forms. Midwestern OrganizationsNational Organic Program (NOP) Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education ServiceThis website has information on: Certifying Agents, (MOSES) 715-772-3153; www.mosesorganic.orgConsumer Information, NOP Regulations (Standards)& Guidelines for Producers, Handlers, Processors & Minnesota Organic Farmers Info Exchange ProgramRetailers, State & Cost Share Information, and the lat- 320-212-3008; http://mofie.coafes.umn.eduest news from the National Organic Program. Ohio Ecological Food and Farm 614-421-2022; www.oeffa.orgFor a complete list of certifiers accredited by the USDA’sNational Organic Program, see this page of the website: Northeastern Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners AssociationOrganic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) 207-568-4142; www.mofga.orgOFRF offers farmer research grants, advocates for Northeast Organic Network (NEON)organic public policy, and provides education and net- 518-583-4613; www.neon.cornell.eduworking initiatives about organic Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) NOFA is a collaboration of seven states, Connecticut,Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, RhodeFor organic certifiers, growers, manufacturers, and sup- Island, and New Hampshire. The website has linkspliers, OMRI provides an independent review of prod- to each state chapter. [NOFA-NY is especially usefulucts intended for use in certified organic production, regarding certification:]handling, and processing. Acceptable products appear 203-888-5146; www.nofa.orgon the OMRI Products Find Organizations Across the CountryIndependent Organic Inspector’s Association (IOIA)This group offers trainings for organic inspectors and NCAT’s Sustainable Agriculture Organizations andresources related to organic certification. Publications Database lets you search for the near you that deal with organic and sustainable farm production. Online only: 10 ATTRA The Organic Chronicles No. 1
  11. 11. Southern Organizations & Resources Organic Crop Production andCarolina Farm Stewardship Association Marketing Information919-542-2402; www.carolinafarmstewards.orgCenter for Environmental Farming Systems, Goldsboro, ATTRA’s Resource Guide to Organic & SustainableNC—established by NC State Univ., NC A&T Univ., Vegetable Productionand NC Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services These educational materials support the needs of organic919-513-0954; and sustainable vegetable farmers. Certified Organic Growers and Consumers352-377-6345; Cornell University Look here for links about various aspects of organic pro-Georgia Organics, Inc duction of fruits, vegetables, field crops, dairy, cover770-993-5534; crops, and rotations specific to the Northeast. & IOIA’s Southern Organic Resource GuideOrganic resources in the South including Ark., Ky., Growing for MarketLa., Miss., and Tenn.. Monthly magazine about small-scale farming, sustain-Virginia Association for Biological Farming able agriculture and farm-direct marketing, with a focus540-745-4130; on organic production. For growers of fresh produce and cut flowers. www.growingformarket.comWestern Organizations & ResourcesAlternative Energy Resources Organization Organic Trade Association406-443-7272; OTA’s website provides extensive links on specific cropsCalifornia Certified Organic Farmers and topics such as soil and pest management.831-423-2263; Going Organic program: New FarmColorado Organic Producers Association970-588-2292; This website offers detailed stories about organic prac- tices on specific farms as well as many other features. ItMontana Organic Association: sponsors half a dozen email discussion forums on topics406-887-2869; such as no-till, organic certification, and new farmers. www.newfarm.orgNew Mexico Organic Commodity Commission505-841-9065; Sustainable Vegetable Production: Start-up to Market by Vernon Grubinger. NRAES, Ithaca, NY, 1999Oregon Tilth: 503-378-0690; A wealth of practical information on such essential con- cerns as where to farm, how to steward your soil, whatOrganic Farmer’s Guide to OSU types of equipment to consider, when to start crops, to protect and handle them, and how to market them. Includes profiles of individual growers. 607-255-8770,Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, www.nraes.org877-326-5175; www.tofga.orgWashington Producers Tilth University of California206-442-7620; Website with links to several UC publications about organic production, including detailed organic cost pro-Washington State Dept of Ag Organic Food Program duction studies for many crops.360-902-1805; ATTRA Page 11
  12. 12. Organic Livestock Production methods of care that are practical, acceptable for organicOrganic Small Ruminant Production operations, and have been proven to work. Univ. Organic Meat Goat Production Module aspx/7aeaa484-533d-497e-852a-35c4060287c9This site has short paragraphs on each section of theorganic standard that applies to organic goat production, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance siteand gives the reader a couple of assignments appropriate A good resource for organic dairy producers, this siteand useful for small scale goat producers. provides technical production information, organic news, and links to other resources. www.nodpa.comMOSES Fact Sheet—Transitioning to Organic Sheep orGoat Dairy ProductionThis is a summary of the do’s and don’ts of organic sheepor goat dairy production. ATTRA Organic Farming The list of ATTRA publications about organic agriculture is too long to print in this space. These publications cover many different crops, techniques, and issues in theOrganic Cattle Production following categories:MOSES Fact Sheet—Transitioning to Organic • Organic Certification & TransitionBeef Production • Organic Field CropsThis site provides an outline of the important points oforganic beef marketing, production, record keeping, • Organic Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers,feeds, and health management. Herbs, • Organic LivestockMOSES Fact Sheet-Transitioning to Organic Dairy • Organic MarketingProductionThis outlines the important points of organic dairy pro- • Organic Pest Managementduction systems, including feeds, transitioning a herd, • Organic Soils & Fertilizershousing, and medical In addition, many other ATTRA publications address sustainable farming methods that are compatible with organic farming. All these publications are available freeOrganic Dairy Farming of charge. You can order them or request a complete listEdited by Jody Padgham, MOSES of titles by calling 1-800-346-9140. You can also down- load them from ATTRA’s Organic Web pages,aspx/f0601df1-afa6-4af4-b07c-41f512c145fb Livestock HealthcareTreating Dairy Cows Naturally Organic Chronicles No. 1: Going Organicby Hue Karreman By Rex Dufour and Martin NCAT Agriculture Specialists © 2007 NCAT=12&pcid=2 Robert Armstrong, IllustrationsAlternative Treatments for Ruminant Animals Karen Van Epen, Productionby Paul Dettloff This publication is available on the Web at:Hands-on reference by a large-animal veterinarian nearly four decades of experience. How to move IP314from conventional practices to a holistic and sustain- Slot 313able approach to animal health; provides farmers with Version 092407Page 12 ATTRA