Organic

A Tale of Two Rye Plantings

by Margaret Smith, PhD ∙ Agronomist Tips for Rolling and Crimping Winter Rye before Organic Soybeans Decisions for Less-than-Ideal Conditions Two neighbors in north-central Iowa are fairly new to organic farming and both experimenting with winter rye as a mulch cover for their transitional and organic soybeans. Both of their fields were planted last fall […]

June 9, 2020 | Categories: , , , Read More >>

Nine Things That Can Go Wrong with Cover Crops: Prevention and Management

By Matt Leavitt, Organic Lead and Agronomist, and Margaret Smith, PhD, Agronomist Research and practical on-farm experience demonstrate that cover crops work for nearly all farm systems. They improve soil health, soil productivity, water quality, and long-term environmental health; however, any new management practice brings learning opportunities and unintended consequences – and cover crops are […]

June 2, 2020 | Categories: , Read More >>

Replant Considerations for Organic Corn

by Matt Leavitt, Organic Lead/Agronomist & Margaret Smith, PhD, Agronomist Organic farmers may face replant decisions this year. Tempting planting conditions in April were followed by cooler-than-average temperatures. Organic growers who planted early should evaluate their corn stands. Although stand evaluation is the same for organic farmers as for conventional farmers, the replant decision is […]

May 14, 2020 | Categories: , , Read More >>

Should I Plant Organic Soybeans Before Corn?

by Margaret Smith, PhD, Forage Agronomist & Matt Leavitt, Organic Lead/Agronomist Good weather conditions this spring have encouraged questions from a number of organic producers: “If conditions remain dry and warmer than average, can I plant my organic soybeans before organic corn?” The short answer is ‘probably not’, unless you are very confident in your […]

May 4, 2020 | Categories: , Read More >>

When Should I Plant My Organic Corn?

by Matt Leavitt, Organic Lead/Agronomist & Margaret Smith, PhD, Forage Agronomist We’ve had more than a few calls in the past week about folks planting organic corn. The temptation is real: the calendar says spring, temperatures are favorable, the soil is drying, the neighbors are rolling, and the itch to get the planters in the […]

April 29, 2020 | Categories: , Read More >>

Organic Yield Trial Results – On Organic Farms

by Mac Ehrhardt, President, Co-Owner Organic farmers want to know how their corn hybrids and soybean varieties perform under organic conditions. Albert Lea Seed conducted replicated testing of organic corn and soybean seed on organic farms in Minnesota and Iowa. Yes, some universities are conducting organic yield trials on corn and/or soybeans, which is a […]

March 6, 2020 | Categories: , , Read More >>

Funding the Organic Farming Transition

by Matt Leavitt, Organic Lead / Agronomist Conventional crop prices continue to be challenging for Midwestern farmers’ bottom lines. Farmers looking towards alternate or diversified marketing streams have no doubt considered transitioning to certified organic production, but how can you make ends meet during the 3-year transition period to organic certification? The 36-month transition period […]

March 5, 2020 | Categories: Read More >>

Does It Add Up to ‘Go Organic’ for Farmers?

Financial Planning Tools for Farmers by Matt Leavitt Organic Lead / Agronomist Albert Lea Seed The decision to transition to organic production can be a complicated one. The steady price premiums are attractive, especially to those operations staring down another year of declining net farm income. However, transition is a 36-month process, a wide moat […]

November 4, 2019 | Categories: Read More >>