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: ,

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: , ,

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: ,

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: ,

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: , ,

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:

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:

Seed Options for Prevented Planting 2019

by Margaret Smith, PhD Forage Agronomist Prevented Planting Requirements Prevented planting is no one’s top choice, but due to frequent and sometimes heavy rains this spring, but it may be your best option. Guidelines for prevented planting acres are to ‘control weeds’ meaning if weeds aren’t controlled, weed seeds will be ‘the gift that keeps […]

May 29, 2019 | Categories: , ,

2018 Farm Bill Big wins for Organic Producers

At long last, there is a farm bill! After much partisan pinball, Congress arrived at an $867 billion bill that touches nearly all facets of agricultural production – including clear wins for organic. What’s In the Farm Bill for Organic? To read the final legislation that became law, please click here. National Organic Program (NOP) fully […]

March 4, 2019 | Categories: