Re: organic farm dependence on off-farm manure sources

Peter Hoven (peter@hovenfarms.com)
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 11:44:46 -0700

Greg,
what you say is definately true. We are in the process of certifying our beef
herd and it is going to take a lot of effort to sell it all. I think as more
people start and form co-op etc. then the market will grow very quickly. We have
some customers now who are very loyal and want a product different from the one
they can buy at the local supermarket. I firmly believe the market is there
waiting to be tapped and "If you grow it they will come"

Greg & Lei Gunthorp wrote:

> Isn't a lot of the disregard for livestock and complex rotations on organic
> farms a market driven rather than farmer driven problem? Its relatively
> easy to sell all the organic grains a person can produce around here by just
> making one phone call.(soybeans especially) I'm not sure if there are
> enough phone lines around to make the necessary phone calls to sell the
> livestock or the components of a complex rotation.
> Best wishes,
> Greg
> Gunthorp's Pasture-ized Pork
> LaGrange, Indiana (a stones throw from Ohio & Michigan)
> hey4hogs@kuntrynet.com
> visit our farm at www.grassfarmer.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: joel b gruver <jgruv@wam.umd.edu>
> To: Wilson, Dale <WILSONDO@phibred.com>
> Cc: sanet-mg@ces.ncsu.edu <sanet-mg@ces.ncsu.edu>
> Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 12:53 PM
> Subject: RE: organic farm dependence on off-farm manure sources
>
> >Hello Dale and all others,
> >
> >My original post was not intended to spark a
> >debate on whether or not organic farms should be nutrient self
> >sufficient...
> >
> >I think agricultural utilization of available "clean" off-farm nutrient
> >sources is very desirable...
> >
> >The main gist of my orignal post is in the following sentence...
> >
> >> Joel wrote:
> >> > on-farm integration of crops and livestock and complex
> >> > rotations that include both row rops and sod crops are
> >> > still largely ignored on many organic farms.
> >
> >I think that the original proponents of "organic agriculture"
> >e.g. Howard, J.R. Rodale, Balfour... would be disappointed to find that so
> >many of todays organic farms do not integrate livestock and do not follow
> >complex crop rotations...
> >
> >Off-farm sources of nutrients should be used strategically to supplement
> >efficient on farm
> >nutrient cycling... my feeling is that profligate use of off-farm manure
> >has replaced rational nutrient management on too many organic farms...
> >
> >The "organic" label should mean extra careful management... any organic
> >farmer that can not tell you the rate at which he is applying manure
> >should be certified as "organic but not ecological"...
> >
> >As mandatory nutrient management is implemented in various parts
> >of the US (e.g. Chesapeake Bay watershed) and world (e.g. Netherlands), I
> >wonder how the regulations will deal with organic farms that rely on
> >off-farm manure yet have already loaded up their soils with high levels of
> >P and K from past manure applications ?
> >
> >Joel Gruver
> >U of MD
> >Soil Quality Research
> >
> >
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--
Peter Hoven
peter@hovenfarms.com
(403)746-3484
Eckville, Alberta, Canada

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