Organic farming is more than just about government policies. It’s also about the taxes, water availability, ease of access, and many other requirements. Of course, at the center of this is the soil quality and any method you can do to improve it with amendments and nutrients. There are certain land requirements by the National Organic Program (NOP) that you should adhere to.
If you intend to sell, label, and represent the products as organic items, then you must follow the strict regulations and policies set by different governing bodies.
Basic Land Requirements
There are two basic requirements for farmland that wants to transition to organic farming. The first requirement is that the land must be free from all prohibited substances for the last three years. That’s why the transition period from conventional to organic farming is three years. That’s mainly due to the fact that it takes three years before traces of synthetic fertilizers are removed from the land.
The second requirement is that the land must have distinct buffer zones. This will help prevent prohibited substances from getting into the soil. If your farmland is sitting next to a conventional farm, you must start farming several feet from the boundary.
Soil Fertility and Crop Nutrient
It is very important that every organic process is followed to a T. The general rules are the same: minimizing soil erosion, cultivating the land in accordance with its biological condition, and following strict composting rules for using composted plant and animal materials.
If you have to use synthetic substances for the amendment of the soil, make sure to follow the list that the federal government has come up with. You can use any soil fertility product with low solubility. Just make sure to check the government’s list for items that can and cannot be used in your organic farmland.
Organic Seeds and Planting Stock
The rules on organic seeds are somewhat complicated. The general rule is that organic farms can only use organic seeds, especially if you are producing edible sprouts. The rules are different from planting stock. You should try to look for organic stock but if that is not available, you are allowed to use nonorganically produced planting stock. You have to make sure, however, that the stock was maintained under organic processes for at least a year or more.
It takes a lot of work to start organic farming or transition into one. You do not only have to make sure that you comply with all requirements but that you also have the resources for starting an organic farmland.