Organic Agriculture

Organic at Cornell

Organic Agriculture at Cornell

Sponsored by the Cornell Organic Working Group to share information about Cornell research, teaching, and extension programs in organic production and marketing. Contact Anu Rangarajan at (607) 255-1780 or .

Organic Guides for Fruit, Vegetables & Dairy

These guides outline general practices for growing vegetable and fruit crops using organic integrated pest management techniques. Producers working in dairy settings will find the organic dairy cattle guide describes ways to manage external arthropod pests.

The guides provide an overall approach for organic production with a focus on biological, mechanical, and cultural controls. Sections on cover crops, resistant varieties, crop rotation, field selection, soil quality and nutrient management all highlight their interrelated qualities and precede specifics on pest management options.

Visit the above website to download the newest editions.

NEON — The Northeast Organic Network

A consortium of farmers, researchers, extension educators, and grassroots non-profits. Contact Anusuya Rangarajan, Executive Director, at (607) 255-1780 or , or Steve Gilman, Managing Director, at (518) 583-4613 or .

NY Organic Dairy Initiative

This project was launched in Spring 2006 as a partnership between the Small Farms Program, NY Farm Viability Institute and Ag. Innovation Center, and Cooperative Extension of Cortland County. It aims to provide business and technical assistance to NY dairy producers transitioning to organic certification as a way of improving the viability of their farm operation.

Dilmun Hill Cornell Student Farm

Mission: to provide experiential learning opportunities and educational facilities for Cornell students, faculty, staff and the local community in the exploration of sustainable food and agricultural systems. Contact .

Public Seed Initiative

The Public Seed Initiative (PSI) is a joint cooperative effort between Cornell University Departments of Plant Breeding and Horticulture; the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc.; the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, NY; and the Farmer’s Cooperative Genome Project-Oregon Tilth. PSI is working with farmers and seed companies to develop a vegetable breeding and seed production training program that will help improve productivity, profitability, and the viability of agriculture in the Northeast. Contact Matt Falise, Project Manager, at (607) 254-6442 or .

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc.

A not for profit organization consisting of consumers, gardeners, and farmers working to creating a sustainable regional food system which is ecologically sound and economically viable. They promote land stewardship, organic food production, and local marketing through demonstration and education. Publishes Organic Farms, Folks, and Foods.

Mayra Richter, Office Manager
P.O. Box 880
Cobleskill, NY 12043-0880
Phone: (518) 734-5495
Fax: (518) 734-4641

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

IFOAM is a worldwide umbrella organization of over 750 member organizations and institutions, founded in 1972.

IFOAM Head Office
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5
53113 Bonn – Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 228 926 50-10
Fax: +49 (0) 228 926 50-99

Soil Association

The Soil Association is the UK’s leading campaigning and certification organization for organic food and farming.

Soil Association
Bristol House
40-56 Victoria St.
Bristol, BS1 6BY
United Kingdom
Phone: 0117 929 0661
Fax: 0117 925 2504

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

Resources include many links for ag service providers and farmers interested in organic production practices. This site is a good starting point for anyone looking for easy-to-access resources on organic production.

Benjamin Minor
Membership Coordinator
P.O. Box 82234
Columbus, OH 43202
Phone: (614) 421-2022
Fax: (614) 421-2011

Organic Trade Association

A national association representing the organic industry in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants, distributors, and retailers working to promote organic products in the marketplace and to protect the integrity of organic standards.

Organic Trade Association
P.O. Box 547
Greenfield, MA 01301
Phone: (413) 774-7511
Fax: (413) 774-6432

Organic Farming Research Foundation

A research foundation dedicated to carrying out and disseminating research on organic farming practices and trends. This site includes an outline of their funded research projects, research grants, and publications.

Organic Farming Research Foundation
P.O. Box 440
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Phone: (831) 426-6606
Fax: (831) 426-6670

Organic Policy


National Organic Program

The NOP is a marketing program housed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service. The NOP developed national organic standards and established an organic certification program based on recommendations of the 15-member National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The NOP web site provides information for producers, consumers, and certifying agents relating to USDA’s organic standards and procedures. Contact Richard Mathews, Program Manager, at (202) 720-3252.

Farm Bill 2002: Analysis of Selected Provisions: Organic Agriculture

Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

The 2002 Farm Act contains several first-time research and technical assistance provisions to assist organic crop and livestock producers with production and marketing. The Act authorizes $15 million in new funding for advanced organic production systems research and $5 million for a national cost-share program to help defray the costs of certification incurred by organic crop and livestock producers. For the first time, organic producers who produce and market only organic products will be allowed an exemption from paying conventional marketing assessments.

Organic Certification


Steps to Organic Certification (PDF)

ATTRA fact sheet on preparing for certification

Organic Certifying Organizations Serving Northeast Producers

In research conducted by Cornell’s Small Farms Program in 2002, the following organizations were determined to be providing organic certification services to farmers in the Northeast region in 2002. Contact the individual organization for current information.

Demeter Association

Aurora, NY 13026 Phone: (315) 364-5617 Fax: (315) 364-5224

Farm Verified Organic/International Certification Services

5449 45 St. SE Medina, ND 58467 Phone: (701) 486-3578 Fax: (701) 486-3580

Global Organic Alliance, Inc.

P.O. Box 530 Bellefontaine, OH 43311-0530 Phone: (937) 593-1232 Fax: (937) 593-9507

Baystate Organic Certifiers

Baystate Organic Certifiers 683 River St. Winchendon, MA 01475 Phone: (978) 297-4171

Maine Organic Farms and Gardeners Association

P.O. Box 170 Unity, ME 04988 Phone/Fax: (207) 568-4142

New Hampshire Department of Ag & Markets

Organic Certification Program P.O. Box 2042 Concord, NH 03302-2042 Phone: (603) 271-3685 Fax: (603) 271-1109

NJ Dept of Agriculture

P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone:  (609) 292-8896

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC

840 Upper Front St. Binghamton, NY 13905 Phone: (607) 724-9851

Organic Crop Improvement Association International

1001 Y St. Ste. B Lincoln, NE 68508 Phone: (402) 477-2323 Fax: (402) 477-4325

Oregon Tilth Certified Organic

470 Lancaster Dr. NE Salem, OR 97301 Phone: (503) 378-0690 Fax: (503) 378-0809

Pennsylvania Certified Organic

1919 General Potter Highway Ste. 1 Central Hall, PA 16828 Phone: (814) 364-1344 Fax: (814) 364-4431

Stellar Certification

Britt Rd. Aurora, NY 13026 Phone: (315) 364-5617 Fax: (315) 364-5224

Vermont Organic Farms

Northeast Organic Farming Association P.O. Box 697 Richmond, VT 05477 Phone: (802) 434-4122 Fax: (802) 434-4154

Organic Livestock Documentation Forms

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

In order to become certified organic, livestock producers must demonstrate to an accredited certifier that their operation complies with National Organic Program regulations. The 32 forms in this package are provided as tools that livestock producers can use for documenting practices, inputs, and activities that demonstrate compliance with regulations or that assist in other aspects of farm record keeping. Publication is in PDF format

Organic Agriculture Resource Area

The eXtension website, hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension, has devoted a new portion of the site to organic agriculture. This resource is designed for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information about organic agriculture.  It includes published research results,
stories of farmer experiences, and information about organic certification. Currently, the site’s content is focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production. The content is collaboratively authored and reviewed by a community of University researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture. The site includes many great features such as an event calendar, an email question and answer section, access to publications, and relevant news updates.

Pollinator Toolkit Available for Organic Farmers
Organic farming offers many benefits to pollinators but some common organic-approved pesticides and practices can be potentially just as harmful to bees and other pollinators as conventional farming systems.  The Xerces Society has developed Organic Farming for Bees, a tool kit for organic growers that includes guidance on how to minimize disturbance to pollinators from farm activities, and how to provide nest sites and foraging patches.  In particular, two fact sheets provide information on toxicity to native pollinators for all major organic-approved insecticides and about pollinator-friendly organic farming practices. To learn more visit

Organic Orchard, Vineyard, and Berry Crop Documentation Forms

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

In order to become certified organic, producers must demonstrate to an accredited certifier that their farm operation complies with National Organic Program regulations. The 17 forms in this package are provided as tools that orchardists and viticulturists can use for documenting practices, inputs, and activities that demonstrate compliance with regulations or that assist in other aspects of farm record keeping. Publication is in PDF format

U.S. Organic Farming in 2000-2001: Adoption of Certified Systems

Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, April 2003

U.S. farmland managed under organic systems expanded rapidly throughout the 1990s, and that pace has continued as farmers strive to meet consumer demand in both local and national markets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented national organic standards on organic production and processing in October 2002, following more than a decade of development. The new uniform standards are expected to facilitate further growth in the organic farm sector. This report updates USDA estimates of land farmed with organic practices for 2000 and 2001, and provides new estimates on the number of certified organic operations in each State. 55 pages. $27 plus $5 S&H. To order a print copy of this report, click here


Transition to Organic


Opportunities in Agriculture: Transitioning to Organic Production

Sustainable Agriculture Network, October 31, 2003

Opportunities in Agriculture: Transitioning to Organic Production, a new bulletin from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), provides a detailed overview of organic farming and ranching. From designing profitable rotations and building healthy soil to controlling weeds and pests, the color bulletin lays out many promising strategies to convert successfully, including special sections on livestock production, and profiles of 4 diverse organic producers. The bulletin also covers typical organic farming production practices, innovative marketing ideas, new federal standards for certified organic crop production, and specific considerations for transition. Publication is in PDF forma. 32 pages. Order free print copies by calling (301) 504-5236 or e-mailing. Please provide your name, mailing address, and telephone number. Agriculture educators may place orders for print copies in quantity for upcoming winter conferences, workshops, or other events.

Farming Without Chemicals in Ohio

Keith Dix, Innovative Farmers of Ohio, in cooperation with the Citizens Policy Center

The Innovative Farmers of Ohio, in cooperation with the Citizens Policy Center, has released a case study report entitled Farming Without Chemicals in Ohio. The report is organized around 12 frequently asked questions that conventional farmers pose to their organic farmer neighbors. The author relied on interviews with 6 Ohio organic farmers to develop answers to the questions. Some of the questions and answers are specific to conditions in Ohio but others apply anywhere. Hard copies can be ordered by sending $7 to: Innovative Farmers of Ohio 3083 Liberty Rd. Delaware, OH 43015

Organic Agriculture Research Reports

Iowa State University Agronomy Extension

A full listing of all the reports/research from Iowa State University on their work on organic agriculture.

U.S. Organic Farming Emerges in the 1990s: Adoption of Certified Systems

Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Certified organic farming systems were used on 1.35 million acres of cropland and pasture in 49 states in 1997, representing a doubling of organic acreage since 1992; the egg and dairy sectors grew even faster, according to the report. Publication is in PDF format

The Real Dirt: Farmers Tell About Organic and Low-Input Practices in the Northeast

Miranda Smith, Elizabeth Henderson, Ed., 1998

This book is a snapshot-view of the techniques and systems that organic and low-input farmers relied upon during the period 1989 to 1991. It is not a “how to” book. It cannot possibly answer all the questions organic farmers have, anymore than it can guide conventional farmers through transition to low-input or organic systems. Instead, it is hoped that a fairly accurate portrayal of organic and low-input systems at this time is given and some good ideas from one farmer in the region to another are disseminated. Sections in this book include: soil management; managing pests; crop management; livestock and dairy management; management and marketing concerns; and transition and whole-farm design. 264 pages. $20. Click here for an order form. Mail payment with order form to:

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
840 Upper Front St.
Binghamton, NY 13905

NOFA-NY Publications

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc.

NOFA-NY publishes several informational booklets and provides other books to help farmers, gardeners, and consumers with pertinent information about organic farming, food production, and food choices. Titles offered include:

  • How to Keep Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Longer with Less Spoilage (1986), by Tracy Frisch. 24 pages. $2.75. A storage guide from farm to table.
  • Sell What You Sow! (1994), by Eric Gibson. 302 pages. $28. The growers guide to succesful produce marketing.
  • The Soil Biology Primer (2000), by SWCS. 48 pages. $6.25. An introduction to the living component of soil and how it contributes to agricultural productivity, and air and water quality. This book describes the soil food web and its relationship to soil health, and covers bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.

All prices include postage and handling. To order, print out the order form and mail it with payment to:

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
840 Upper Front St.
Binghamton, NY 13905

Organic and Sustainable Living Links

Rutgers University

Links to sites about biodiversity and biology; composting; earthworms; environmental, agriculture, and miscellaneous topics; herbs; organic cotton; organic gardens; organic and sustainable agriculture organizations; seeds and plants for sale; weeds, insects, and pests; and non-organic topics.

Organic Farming and Marketing

Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Contains ERS articles and reports, answers to frequently asked questions, recent research updates, and government links on this topic.

Organic Ag Info

This website is where to go for current, accurate, scientifically-based, or practically validated information about organic agriculture. This international site provides links to relevant web sites and organizations throughout the world. Go there to find production information, economic information, research results, farmer anecdotes, certification information, transition strategies, etc. For general questions about Organic Ag Info, contact Kathleen Bielek at 

Acres U.S.A.

Books, magazines, and other resources for organic/sustainable farmers.

Phone: 1-800-355-5313

Fax: (512) 892-4448

New Guide for Small Organic Farmers
“Small Scale Organics” is a guide produced by the Kerr Center for exempt organic farms (<$5,000 annual organic sales) and those in the marketplace that interact with these small growers, such as farmers market managers and produce buyers.  The guide includes details for assessing compliance with the National Organic Standards, templates for abbreviated Organic System Plans, and simplified record forms.  Copies can be downloaded free of charge at:

Manures for Organic Crop Production

George Kuepper, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas, March 2003

This publication looks at different manure handling practices for organic growers.

Organic Dairy

Transitioning to Organic Dairying Resources Available from NOFA NY 

NOFA-NY would like to introduce to you “The Organic Dairy Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Transition and Beyond” and “Transitioning to Organic Dairy Management Self-Assessment Workbook.” The Organic Dairy Handbook is a whole-farm management resource for farmers interested in organic production, while the Self Assessment Workbook is designed to help conventional dairy farmers evaluate their farm for a successful transition to organic production. Both resources are useful for dairy farmers interested in learning more about organic production and for farmers who have recently transitioned to organic dairy farm management.

Download the handbooks at:

Organic Livestock & Poultry

Organic Livestock Research Survey

James Riddle, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems, University of Minnesota

In response to the growth and need for research institutions to understand the needs of the industry, a survey of organic livestock research needs was developed and conducted by Jim Riddle. 203 participants from the U.S. and Canada responded and prioritized organic livestock research topics in 10 categories, and submitted research ideas of their own. Available for download in PDF format is the summary.

Remedies for Health Problems of the Organic Laying Flock: A Compendium and Workbook of Management, Nutritional, Herbal, and Homeopathic Remedies

Karma E. Glos

This manual is a compendium of alternative health care gleaned from current publications, old herbals, Internet web sites, and Northeast organic poultry growers. It is intended as a workbook for the development of your own health care practices and provides space for note taking. This manual is a work in progress for all of us. We all, as managers of organic laying flocks, have something to contribute to the development of progressive ways to prevent and treat what ails the hen. Publication is in PDF format. For a free copy, contact:

Karma Glos
Kingbird Farm
9398 West Creek Rd.
Berkshire, NY 13736
Phone: (607) 657-2860

Alternative Treatments for Ruminant Animals

Paul Detloff, D.V.M.

Drawing on 36 years of veterinary practice, Dr. Paul Dettloff presents an natural, sustainable approach to ruminant health. Copiously illustrated chapters “break down” the animal into its interrelated biological systems: digestive, reproductive, respiratory, circulatory, musculoskeletal, and more. Also includes a chapter on nosodes, with vaccination programs for dairy cattle, sheep, and goats. An information-packed manual from a renowned vet and educator. 260 pages. Item #6654. $28. To order, visit the web site or call 1-800-355-5313, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:30pm CT.

An Organic and Sustainable Practices Workbook & Resource Guide for Livestock Systems

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

This workbook has been created to assist organic and transitional producers with livestock or mixed crop and livestock operations in understanding the range of practices and materials allowed under the National Organic Program Regulations. Particular emphasis is placed on farming strategies and practices that promote sustainability. This workbook should be especially useful to growers contemplating conversion to organic production, and to those who are in the early years of transition. Readers will find a number of questions at the end of each section, which serve as a checklist for sustainable practices and for preserving organic integrity. These questions draw particular attention to areas that may affect eligibility for certification. Publication is in PDF format

Caring for Livestock Holistically

Pat Coleby New book series: Natural Cattle Care, Goat Care, and Horse Care. A holistic approach to ranch management and animal husbandry.

  • Natural Cattle Care — 168 pages, $20
  • Natural Goat Care — 372 pages, $25
  • Natural Horse Care — 168 pages, $20

Order by clicking the links, calling 1-800-355-5313, or e-mailing 

Alternative and Herbal Livestock Health Conference: A Scientific Review of Current Knowledge

72 pages. $15. Make checks payable to University of Connecticut. Write to:

Rochelle Syme
University of Connecticut Home and Garden Education Center
1380 Storrs Rd., U-4115
Storrs, CT 06269-4115

Organic Livestock Handbook

Anne Macey, Ed., Canadian Organic Growers, 2000

Management practices as they relate to animal husbandry. 179 pages. $23. Click here for an order form.

Designing Feeding Programs for Natural and Organic Pork Production

B. Koehler, University of Minnesota Extension Service, May 2002

Describes how to develop swine feeding programs for organic certification. Suggests diets to use according to pig size and pasture supplementation. BU-07736. $8. To order a hard copy, click here


or call (612) 624-4900 or 1-800-876-8636, or e-mail 

Organic Poultry Production

Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota

A list of publications from various sources about organic poultry production.

Organic Horticulture 

Organic Vegetable Production

Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, March 2004

Organic Vegetable Production is the proceedings of a 3-day series of meetings held at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York in January 2003. The meetings brought together both university and farmer speakers — all experts in their fields — to share information on the management practices that have worked well for them. 162 pages. Item NRAES-165. $28 plus S&H. Call or write to:

NRAES Cooperative Extension
P.O. Box 4557
Ithaca, NY 14852-4557
Phone: (607) 255-7654
Fax: (607) 254-8770

Organic Small Fruit: Key features of organic berry crop production

Marvin Pritts, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.

An article about the key features of organic berry crop production.

Becoming a Certified Organic Fresh Market Grower

Karen Delahaut, Harriet Behar, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, University of Wisconsin, September 2003

The number of fresh market vegetable growers has increased steadily over the past few years and many of these growers are interested in producing a crop organically. As a result, organic production has evolved from a small, niche market to a $10 billion industry in 2002. This publication is designed to help new growers work through the steps necessary to obtain organic certification. Publication is in PDF format. 12 pages. $3. To order a print copy, send a check made payable to UW Madison-CIAS and your name, business, and address to:

Center for Integrated Ag Systems
1450 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 262-5200
Fax: (608) 265-3020

Essentials of Producing Organic, Certified Seed & Raising Organic Seed: A Handbook for Growers

Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Essentials of Producing Organic, Certified Seed is a 30-minute video and $20. Raising Organic Seed: A Handbook for Growers, the 60-page companion book, is $10. To order, contact:

Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society
9824 79th St. SE
Fullerton, ND 58441
Phone: (701) 883-4304

Organic Soil Fertility Recommendation Service

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York

NOFA-NY is offering a new Organic Soil Fertility Recommendation Service for farmers and gardeners. Brian Caldwell, NOFA-NY’s Farm Education Coordinator, heads this new service. Caldwell has over 25 years of organic farming experience and has advised both organic and conventional farmers since 1995. He is a recognized expert on organic soil management and other aspects of organic farming. For more information or to receive an Organic Soil Fertility Recommendation Service brochure, call (607) 564-1060.

How to improve profitability through season extension

Darcy Maulsby, Upper Midwest Organic Conference, Feb. 27-Mar. 1, The New Farm

We’re not talking greenhouses here. We’re talking row covers, temporary season extension houses, and frost irrigation, and it works. Paul and Sandy Arnold of Argyle, NY have done the math on it.

Organic Weed Management

Steve Gilman

Weeds can be the organic farmer’s and gardener’s most daunting adversary. Lush, fertile soil brimming with organic matter is just as appealing to weeds as to your crops. In conventional gardening, weeds are the enemy, to be obliterated by whatever weapon is most effective, chemical or otherwise. After reading this book, however, you are likely to view weeds as important and informative neighbors. Author Gilman knows and utilizes the energies and characteristics of weeds to teach you to garden more efficiently, productively, and with less stress. He even does it with a great “sense of humus”! Included in this volume: changing your weedy concepts; techniques of natural farming; weed control strategies; weed eating machines. 96 pages. $7.95 plus S&H. Visit the web site to order.

Organic Soil Fertility Management

Steve Gilman

Soil is a living organism that loves to cooperate with farmers and gardeners. A green thumb will appear on those who align themselves with its health and requirements. This book discusses: soil habitat; sustaining soil fertility; the soil foodweb; nutrient availability and deficiency. 96 pages. $7.95 plus S&H. Visit the web site to order.

The New Organic Grower

Eliot Coleman “A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.” Some of the topics this book discusses include: land, scale and capital, planning, soil fertility, direct seeding, transplanting, weeds and pests, harvest, marketing, winter garden, and information resources. 352 pages. $24.95. Visit the web site to order.

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

ATTRA provides many publications for those interested in organic production, including:

  • Organic Alfalfa Production (Martin Guerena, Preston Sullivan)
  • Organic Matters Series: topics covered are Pursuing Conservation Tillage Systems for Organic Crop Production (George Kuepper), Considerations in Organic Apple Production (Guy Ames), and Considerations in Organic Hog Production (Lance Gegner).
  • Creating an Organic Production and Handling System Plan: A Guide to Organic Plan Templates (George Kuepper)
  • Organic Alternatives to Treated Lumber (Lance Gegner)
  • Organic Plug and Transplant Production (Katherine Adam)
  • Organic Pumpkin and Winter Squash Production (Janet Bachmann)
  • Manures for Organic Crop Production (George Kuepper)
  • Organic Greenhouse Herb Production (Katherine L. Adam)

These and other ATTRA publications can also be obtained for free by calling ATTRA at 1-800-346-9140, Monday-Friday, from 7am to 7pm CST.

The New Farm

Farmer-to-farmer know-how from The Rodale Institute. Features an organic price index, e-letters to the e-editors, news and research, columnists, gleanings, 1000 stories of regenerative agriculture, talking shop, stories about farm life, certification archives, a pig page, and more.

Organic Farming and Marketing: Publications from USDA

National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

A bibliography (1992-2002) available online. Complimentary print copies are available from the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center at the National Agricultural Library by calling (301) 504-6559 or e-mailing .

Organic Field Crops

Fact Sheets from ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas):

  • Alternative Grain Crops
  • Marketing Organic Grains
  • Organic Alfalfa
  • Organic Field Corn
  • Organic Small Grains
  • Organic Soybeans
  • Keeping Organic Field Records

An Organic and Sustainable Practices Workbook & Resource Guide for Cropping Systems

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

This workbook has been created to assist organic and transitional producers with cropping or mixed crop and livestock operations in understanding the range of practices and materials allowed under the National Organic Program Regulations. Particular emphasis is placed on farming strategies and practices that promote sustainability. This workbook should be especially useful to growers contemplating conversion to organic production, and to those who are in the early years of transition. Readers will find a number of questions at the end of each section, which serve as a checklist for sustainable practices and for preserving organic integrity. These questions draw particular attention to areas that may affect eligibility for certification. Publication is in PDF format


Organic Grain: Another Way

Cornell University This educational package of 3 video tapes, 2 200-page books, and assorted reprints can serve as a framework for study and discussion groups evaluating alternative methods of grain production. Combines production information with examples from successful organic grain farmers. The 3 video tapes can be ordered separately.Video #1 Farm Decision Making: Follow a farm family as they use holistic planning to explore new farm enterprises. Video #2 Choosing Organic: Farmers from Maryland to New York explain why they chose organic production. Video #3 The Transition to Organic: Farmers and researchers present production information on soil quality, wee, pest, and nutrient management; crop rotations; cover crops; and more. The resource package includes:

  • Building Soils for Better Crops book
  • Managing Cover Crops Profitability book
  • Organic Trade Association (OTA) materials
  • Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) factsheets
  • Brochure and order forms for Michigan State University field crop publications

Video 332OGVP (package), $52.50. Video 332VOGV (video tapes only), $31.50. To order, contact the Cornell University Resource Center: Phone: (607) 255-2080 E-mail:

Organic Grain: Cropping System and Marketing

Patricia S. Michalak, The Rodale Institute, 2002 This useful booklet is for consultants, extension agents, or farmers considering transitioning or expanding into growing orgainc grains. It provides information on growing and marketing organic grain. You will also find the topics of production, storage, and marketing covered with a level of detail that is pertinent and helpful. Chapters cover a description of organic systems, soil health, cover crops and crop rotation, compost and nutrient management, pest management, marketing, and organic certification. A chapter is dedicated to grain production techniques, which covers all of the grains (corn, soybeans, buckwheat, wheat, rye, oats, barley, and spelt). Also included are sections of seed selection, establishment, nutrient management, rotation considerations, pest management, harvesting and storage, processing, and marketing. Finally, a list of references and additional sources of information on the subjects of organic certification, organic crop production, pest management, marketing, and economics is listed. 80 pages. $10. Visit the web site to order online from The Rodale Institute.

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