Organic Farming 101: Organic Farmland Requirements

Anybody who is looking to get into the organic farming industry is very familiar with the fact that there are a lot of requirements involved just to obtain the organic certification label. Making this move means investing plenty of time, effort, and resources, which is why you have to make sure that this is something that you can commit to when you decide to do this.

One of the most important factors in a successful organic farming certification is your farmland. It’s important that your land meet the requirements necessary for organic certification. To help you understand what you need to comply with, here are some of the requirements.

Basic land requirements

When it comes to the basic requirements for your farmland’s organic certification, there are two basic requirements. The main requirement is the fact that the land itself needs to be free of any and all prohibited substances from the National List for at least three years before the harvest of your crops as organic.

The second main requirement is that you should have defined boundaries to prevent any accidental introduction of prohibited substances on your farmland. This is especially important for farmland that is right next to land that is not certified organic.

Soil fertility and crop nutrients

Of course, the soil that you are using to grow your crops will always be a crucial part of your farmland and organic certification. The full list of requirements can be found with an NOP certifying agent, but the main thing to remember is that you should be making use of natural or approved forms of cultivation to grow and nourish your crops. While you can use certain chemicals, these chemicals have to be included in the NOP’s list of approved substances for you to retain your farmland’s organic status.

Seed standards

Many people don’t know this, but seeds are also something that have to be considered when you’re looking to get into organic farming. Organic seeds will always be the main priority for the NOP’s certifying requirements, but if you cannot find organic seeds, then they will allow you to use nonorganic seeds, provided that they have been grown under organic conditions. In addition to this, they will only allow you to use nonorganic seeds if you show proof that you have gone through the effort of obtaining organic seeds within the area.

Pest management

Any farm needs a good pest management system if they want their crops to remain healthy. For organic farms, this is more of a challenge because they cannot rely on chemical pesticides to manage these issues. There are plenty of natural methods of pest control that you can use, including crop rotation, mulching, proper sanitation, and mechanical methods of pest control.

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