Nebraska farmers wanting to diversify their farming system and gain a higher price may include organic production of crops or livestock.
The University of Nebraska has a rapidly expanding research program focused on organic farming and Nebraska Extension has published a series of resources to aid beginning organic farmers. They include:
Farm Starts, a June 27 workshop in Wayne, will offer growers production, business and marketing information to start or develop an organic operation. Some of the information would also be helpful to conventional growers.
The NebGuide, Nutrient Management in Organic Farming, features information also of value to conventional production, including manure management, composting, non-traditional products, and crop rotation suggestions.
Learn from successful practitioners and explore new ideas for creating a more diverse and sustainable farm or ranch operation at this year's Western Sustainable Ag Crops and Livestock Conference. The conference will be December 16 in Sidney.
Certified organic operations in Nebraska sold $96 million in organic products in 2016, up 33% from 2015. The number of certified organic operations in Nebraska totaled 162, up 1% from 2015, on 107,371 acres, according to a USDA NASS report.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are testing a new plastic sheet that can be used as a biodegradable mulch. Developed by 3M, the plastic is made from polylactic acid derived from corn, not petroleum, making it a likely candidate for organic vegetable production.