The demand for organic food products has grown substantially over recent years. This has caused many farmers to consider organic production as a way of increasing revenue on their farm. However, organic production is much different than commodity production. It requires a whole new set of regulations and production processes.
Organic Crop Budgets are important tools when starting or expanding your organic program. Using Organic Crop Production Enterprise Budgets provides you assistance in effectively using these budgets. Organic Budget Tools allow you to create your own budgets specific to your situation.
The Organic Transition Course is a 15-hour online program designed to help you understand the National Organic Standards and use them as your framework for making the transition to organic production. The Organic System Plan tool is to help you assemble the necessary documentation to apply for organic certification through an accredited certifying agent.
For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.
- Federal Regulation of Organic Food: A Research Guide for Legal Practitioners and Food Industry Professionals – National Ag Law Center.
- Organic Agriculture – USDA Briefing Room.
- A Legal Guide to the National Organic Program – The National Agricultural Law Center -- Congress enacted the Organic Foods Production Act ("OFPA") of 1990 to create "national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products," assure consumers that "organically produced products meet a consistent standard" and facilitate "interstate commerce in fresh and processed food that is organically produced."
- Organic Agriculture: Gaining Ground - Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA -- This article discusses organic standards established in October 2002, consumer demand for organics and the rising potential for the organic market. February 2003.
- Organic Production Data Sets – Economic Research Service, USDA.
- Transitioning to Organic Production - Sustainable Agriculture Network – Overview of the process, including case studies, of the change from commodity to organic farming.
- Organic Marketing Resources - Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas -- Sources of information on the market for organic food and fiber products, including information specifically pertaining to certified-organic products as well as more general information.
- Organic Resource Directory – The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.
- Organic Trade Association -- To promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.
Certification and Regulation
- Assistance in Organic Production, Marketing and Certification - Economic Research Service, USDA -- This page provides a summary of provisions that directly affect the U.S. organic sector.
- National Organic Program – Economic Research Service, USDA -- The National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements and administers national production, handling and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. The NOP also accredits the certifying agents (foreign and domestic) who inspect organic production and handling operations to certify that they meet USDA standards.
- Certification - The National Organic Program.
- Certifying Agents – The National Organic Program.
- Labeling Packaged Products – The National Organic Program.
- Organic Farm Certification & the National Organic Program - Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas -- Outlines the considerations involved in “going organic” and the basic steps to organic certification. The sole exemption to mandatory certification is also discussed.
- National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - Addresses fruits, vegetables, agronomic crops, livestock, soils, certification, marketing, pest control, value-added enterprises, post-harvest handling and greenhouse production.
- Organic Farming Research Foundation – Fosters the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming practices.
- Organic Materials Review Institute - Disseminates generic and specific (brand name) lists of materials allowed and prohibited for use in the production, processing and handling of organic food and fiber.
- Organic Trade Association - A large searchable database of organic businesses, including importers, exporters, buyers, suppliers, growers and others.
Links checked July 2014.