Organic Production

Seedlings with soil root ball exposed. ARS courtesy of Getty images.
Organic production is a system that integrates "cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity." (Source: National Organic Program) Find subject guides, legislation, production information and links related to:

United States Department of Agriculture.

Many USDA agencies serve the organic sector.  Resources are available to those who are already certified organic, considering transitioning to organic, or working with organic producers. This portal connects you with programs, services, and educational materials that can help your organic farm or business.

USDA. Economic Research Service.

Offers an indepth discussion on Economic Research Service (ERS) research and the economic issues related to organics. Provides recent ERS research developments, readings and data, questions and answers and related ERS services or products on this issue.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education; and Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.

This specialized guide or "Planner" is designed to "assist farmers, ranchers and food business owners (new or experienced, small- or large-scale) interested in exploring transition strategies prior to becoming certified organic." It addresses "organic certification requirements as they pertain to or affect business planning."

Rodale Institute.

The Institute's "primer on the basic's of organic agriculture" explores topics as they relate to Organic Basics, Organic Farming Practices, and Issues and Priorities.  Answers FAQ's and describes current research and educational programs at Rodale Institute.

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

Serves as a starting place for entrepreneurs who are considering an organic enterprise and for producers of organic commodities who are researching potential markets and marketing schemes. Discusses the history of organic agriculture and related legislation, and identifies relevant information sources.

eXtension. Cooperative Extension Service.

A collection of resources for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators. Topics include certification, marketing, cover cropping, insect management, plant breeding, plant disease management, seeds and seed production, soil and fertility management, and weed management. Learn about webinars, videos, case studies, tools, Web sites, publications, articles and more.

USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The 2016 survey results show that “U.S. farms and ranches produced and sold $7.6 billion in certified organic commodities, up 23 percent from 2015. During the same year, the number of organic farms in the country increased 11 percent to 14,217 and the number of certified acres increased 15 percent to 5.0 million.” The survey covers acreage, production, sales, and marketing practices.

USDA. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

The Topic Room organizes research results on "organic production practices and approaches from over 30 years" of Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) grants. Resources, organized by topic, provide information on "how to manage pests, choose seeds and stock, develop a whole-farm system approach, market products, implement conservation practices on an organic farm, transition to organic, become certified," and more.

University of Arkansas. National Agricultural Law Center.

Provides access to major statutes, regulations, case law, and administrative law decisions related to organic food production, including the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 and the National Organic Program. Also identifies related reports, publications and a law bibliography.