Organic Farming


Organic Food Starts with Organic Seeds!

November 21, 2014

This post is the second post in a blog series devoted to exploring the importance of seeds to sustainable food and farming systems.  Since everything starts with seeds, this series will focus on the importance of public seed research to sustainable agriculture, including organic farmers and local and regional food producers, as well as to […]

The Top 6 Improvements with New Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Policy

November 18, 2014

As farmers consider signing up, we look at why Whole-Farm Revenue Protection is better than its predecessor policies.

USDA Releases Guidance Documents for Conservation Initiatives

November 13, 2014

In the final days of October, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided its state NRCS offices with national guidance on when and how to administer various conservation initiatives for fiscal year (FY) 2015.  The initiatives are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program. An October 23 directive […]

What Does “Good Farming Practices” Really Mean?

November 11, 2014

In October 2014, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) released a 76-page Good Farming Practices (GFP) handbook.  The handbook defines all of RMA’s policies and procedures related to GFP. Good Farming Practices: “The production methods utilized to produce the insured crop and allow it to make normal progress toward maturity and produce at least the yield used to […]

New Report Finds Farmers Harmed by Decline in Nation’s Public Seed Supply

October 31, 2014

Everything starts with seeds. Sustainable and organic agriculture and local food systems depends on this critical first building block.

Program Roundup – SARE Funding Available for On-Farm Research Projects

October 21, 2014

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program or SARE is a farmer driven research and education competitive grants program designed to help advance sustainable agriculture across the whole of American agriculture.  North Central, Northeastern, Western, and Southern regional councils — comprised of producers, researchers, educators, and government representatives — individually set SARE policies and make […]

Organic Farms Noteworthy in Many Ways According to USDA Census of Agriculture

October 2, 2014

On September 30, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released more detailed organic agriculture data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.  The basic Census information was published earlier this year.  The Census of Agriculture has been conducted since 1840 and currently is collected once every five years.  NSAC’s discussion of the first release, from May […]

USDA Announces $23 Million in Grants for Organic Research

September 30, 2014

On Monday, September 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced over $23 million in grants to support organic farming research.  The money was awarded through the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI)—the flagship research competitive grants program dedicated to funding research relevant to organic producers—and the Organic […]

FDA Revises Draft Food Safety Rules for Farms

September 23, 2014

On September 19, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released revised language for two major proposed rules detailing standards for farms that grow fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) and for facilities that process food for people to eat.

Organic Certification Farmer Cost Share Funds Still Available

September 9, 2014

Organic producers and handlers can still take advantage of certification cost-share funding through the end of the fiscal year…

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