Organic farming is notoriously strict when it comes to the requirements needed to qualify for organic certification. This is because these requirements are needed to make sure that all of the products that come out of your farmland are completely free of any chemicals.
One of the most important things that you need to pay attention to for your organic certification requirements is the inputs that you are using. In the world of organics, inputs refer to the substances that you are using for soil fertility or pest management. Basically, these are the pesticides and fertilizers that you are going to be using to help your farm’s crops grow better.
Keep in mind that these inputs can be organic or not, which can affect your organic certification status. If you are working with a certification agent, they can give you a list of products that are and aren’t allowed so that you can be mindful of the chemicals that you are using on your farm.
When you start figuring out how you’re going to approach your organic cultivation, it’s very important to remember that “natural” does not automatically mean that this is organic. There are plenty of products that can be considered natural but would not be allowed in organic methods of cultivation.
For example, tobacco dust can be considered a natural product, but this is not recommended for use for organic methods of cultivation. Again, it is highly recommended that you work with a certifying agent in order to be fully aware of the products that you can and cannot use for your farming.
However, while there is a list of inputs that you can use on your farm and still meet the standards for organic certification, it is highly recommended that you try other, more natural methods of fertilization and pest management before you resort to the use of inputs.
There are plenty of ways that you can encourage crop growth without the use of inputs, such as crop rotation, and there are ways of natural pest management, such as the introduction of natural predators or traps. However, if you do end up using inputs for your organic farming, it’s very important that you document your use of these if you want to retain your organic certification status.
Keep in mind that the use of a prohibited input on your organic farm can lead to the suspension of your organic certification for up to 36 months, which is why this method has to be handled carefully.