Putting Crop Rotations to Work on Organic Farms
a workshop for ag advisors by OATS
Crop rotation is one of the most important tools organic farmers have for controlling weeds, building soil fertility, and growing a healthy crop. At this workshop and farm tour, ag advisors will take a look at how to help your farmer clients get the most benefit from a crop rotation – and particularly how to market those crops that have agronomic importance but are less commonly grown. Come ready to learn the theory and see how it is practiced on a large-scale central Indiana organic farm.
9:00am Welcome at the Beck Agricultural Center
9:15am Presentation – Strategies to build strong crop rotation
9:40am Presentation – National Organic Program 101
10:00am Presentation – Marketing rotation crops (sunflowers, buckwheat, wheat, oats, and more)
11:00am Panel Discussion – Farmer perspectives on building and marketing diverse crop rotations
12:00pm Lunch catered by Juniper Spoon
12:45pm Travel by bus to Living Prairie Family Farms
1:30pm Farm Tour with Jason Federer and Michael O’Donnell
3:30pm Post-tour discussion
4:00pm Adjourn & travel back to Beck Center by bus
ABOUT OUR HOST FARM
Living Prairie Family Farms is a 4,100 acre organic field crop farm based in Wolcott, Indiana that produces a wide variety of grain crops and oilseeds, including popcorn, soybean, various small grains, and sunflower. In 2014 we started farming our first organic farm, and in 2015 began the process of transitioning additional acres to certified organic production. In 2021, we had over 1,000 acres certified, which increased to about 4,000 acres in 2022. We have been working intentionally over the last 5+ years to diversify our cropping system for maximum soil health benefit, seeking diverse food-grade markets, and beginning to explore value-add enterprises to help grow the regional “grain chain” in northwest Indiana.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number 2020-38640-31522 through the North Central Region SARE program under project number H008568303. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Special thanks to The Land Connection’s Farmer Training sponsors!