Soil Health Guides for Organic Farming Now Available
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has released a series of educational guides designed to help organic farmers and ranchers enhance the soil health and overall resilience of their operations.
“These guides to practical organic soil health management will assist farmers in selecting the best practices for their particular circumstances, while leading the way toward more sustainable agricultural systems,” said Diana Jerkins, OFRF Research Program Director.
Each guide begins with tools and practices set in the context of the challenges and opportunities identified by organic producers in OFRF’s 2016 National Organic Research Agenda. For those interested in taking a deeper dive, the guides also include reviews of USDA funded organic research, future research priorities, and scientific literature references.
The guides are now available to download free of charge at ofrf.org. This summer, a limited number of printed copies will be available upon request.
The complete series includes:
* Soil Health and Organic Farming Building Organic Matter for Healthy Soils: An Overview – A discussion of the attributes of healthy soil, the central role of organic matter, and how to monitor and enhance soil organic matter and soil health in organic production.
* Weed Management: An Ecological Approach – An ecological approach to integrated weed management tools that reduce the need for soil disturbance.
* Practical Conservation Tillage -The impacts of tillage on soil health, including practical, soil-friendly tillage practices for organic systems.
* Cover Crops: Selection and Management- Selecting the best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for soil health, including crop rotations and cropping system biodiversity.
* Plant Genetics: Plant Breeding and Variety Selection – Plant breeding and variety selection for performance in sustainable organic systems, including potential benefits to soil biology and soil health.
* Water Management and Water Quality – The role of soil health and organic soil management in water conservation and water quality.
* Nutrient Management for Crops, Soil, and the Environment – The role of soil health and the soil food web, including practical guidelines for adapting soil test-based nutrient recommendations (especially N) for organic systems.
The guides were made possible by a grant from the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, whose mission is to protect and improve the quality of life through support of programs in the environment, human health, education, and the arts.
OFRF is a non-profit organization that fosters improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems by cultivating research, eduction, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acres into organic production.
You can access the series of guides at http://ofrf.org/soil-health-and-organic-farming-ecological-approach.