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GETTING TO “NOW” The History of Organic Agriculture & Its Regulation. George Kuepper The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Washington University Organic Farming Studies: Mid- to Late 1970s

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Getting to now the history of organic agriculture its regulation l.jpg

GETTING TO “NOW”The History of Organic Agriculture & Its Regulation

George Kuepper

The Kerr Center for

Sustainable Agriculture


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  • Washington University Organic Farming Studies:

  • Mid- to Late 1970s

  • Western Corn Belt States: Illinois, Iowa, E. Nebraska, S. Minnesota, & N. Missouri

  • Agronomic Crop & Livestock Farms

  • Farms Comparable in Size to Neighbors; about 20% smaller on average

  • Comparable Mechanization

  • Minimum 5 Years in Organic Production

  • Sales Into the Conventional Marketplace


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  • Washington University Organic Farming Studies:

  • Major Findings

  • Existence of commercial-scale organic farming in the Corn Belt, operating within the conventional marketplace.

  • Organic farms used 2/5ths as much fuel to produce one dollar’s worth of crop as conventional farms.

  • Organic Farms had 1/3rd less soil erosion than conventional farms based on crop rotations and diversity.

  • Organic farms sequestered slightly more carbon in their soils; no P or K depletion.

  • Organic farms had lower yields of corn (about 10%), comparable yields of soybeans, and required about 12% more labor per dollar of crop produced.

  • Lower organic yields and higher labor costs were offset by lower input costs resulting in generally similar net returns per acre.


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Washington University Organic Farming Studies:

Selected Publications

Lockeretz, Wm., G. Shearer, S. Sweeney, G. Kuepper, D. Wanner, & D.H. Kohl. 1980. Maize Yields and Soil Nutrient Levels With and Without Pesticides and Standard Commercial Fertilizers. Agronomy Journal, Vol. 72, p. 65–72.

Shearer, G., D.H. Kohl, D. Wanner, G. Kuepper, S, Sweeney, & Lockeretz. 1981. Crop Production Costs and Returns on Midwestern Organic Farms: 1977 and 1978. Amer. J. Agr. Econ., Vol. 63, No. 2, p. 264–269.

Lockeretz, Wm., G. Shearer, & D.H. Kohl. 1981. Organic Farming in the Corn Belt. Science, Vol. 211, p. 540–546.

USDA Study Team on Organic Farming. 1980. Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming. USDA. July. 94 p. http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/USDAOrgFarmRpt.pdf


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The Organic Market is Booming…

  • 2007 US Organic Sales Estimated at $20+ billion

  • 20% Increase in Organic Sales from 2006

  • Organics approaching 3% of total food sales in the U.S.

    • OTA 2007 Manufacturer Survey


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Organic Market Growth Since 1994

Source: Nutrition Business Journal, annual Nutr, OTA 2007 Manufacturer Survey


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Evolution Of and the Influences On American Organic Farming

F.H. King

J.I. Rodale

Wm. Albrecht

OFPANA/

OTA

NOP

Standard

Implemented

Pioneers

Organizations

Events

R. Steiner &

Anthroposophy

A. Howard

E. Balfour

Silent Spring

USDA’s

Organic Report

OFPA

L. Bromfield

E. Pfeiffer

USDA

National

Standard

Countercultural Influences

Environmental Consciousness

Organic By Neglect

Organic

Certification

&

Industry

Standards

Sustainable Practices

from the Asian

Continent

Certified

Organic

Production

Convertible Husbandry

(America Mid-1800s)

Humus

Farming

Organic

Farming

Eco-Agriculture

Integrated

Production, etc.

High Farming

(Europe 1800s)

Agroecology &

Permaculture

Demeter

Certified

Production

Biodynamics

▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲

1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006


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Feed the Soil, Not the Plant.

Organic Soil Management

— An Old Saying among Organic Farmers


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The Soil Food Web


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The Law of Return

Organic Soil Management

In humus/organic farming, the

Law of Return refers to the return of organic materials to the soil, not merely the replacement of chemical nutrients.


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Plant Nutrition Under Natural Conditions

Source of plant nutrition:

- plant residues

- animal remains

- animal wastes

Organic

Matter

Digestive

processes and nutrient recycling

in the Rhizosphere:

TheSoil Food Web

Plant

Roots

Parent

Rock

Material

Soluble Minerals

Organic Compounds

Other Benefits


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Conventional Management

Organic

Matter

as Crop

Residues

Conventional

Soluble

Fertilizers

ζ

Pesticides and some

synthetic fertilizers

are toxic and weaken

the soil food web

ζ

Digestive

processes and nutrient recycling

in the

Rhizosphere:

TheSoil Food Web

ζ

Soluble Minerals

Parent

Rock

Material

Plant

Roots

Soluble Minerals

Organic Compounds

Other Benefits


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Humus Farming/Organic Management

Organic Materials

and Methods:

Composts

Crop Residues

Green Manures

Livestock Manures

Natural Fertilizers

Biological Inoculants

Rotations w/ sod crops

Organic

Matter

Digestive

processes and nutrient recycling

in the

Rhizosphere:

TheSoil Food Web

Soluble Minerals

Parent

Rock

Material

Plant

Roots

Soluble Minerals

Organic Compounds

Other Benefits


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Because of its roots in humus farming, organic farming is traditionally viewed as, and

labeled as, a “soil-based” production

system.


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Conventional Crop Management Paradigm

Weed

Management

Crop

Nutrition

Disease

Management

Insect Pest

Management

☼ Compartmentalized ☼


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Pest Management Benefits

Soil & Soil Fertility Benefits

Innate resistance/tolerance

N self-sufficiency

Induced resistance/tolerance

Access to native fertility

Nutrient banking

Disease suppression in the soil

Nutrient bioavailability

Biocontrol above ground

Reduced erosion

Pest life-cycle disruption

Reduced leaching

Weed seedbank reduction

Soil water retention

Shift in weed populations

Nutrient cycling

Ease of cultivation for weed control

Better tilth

SYSTEM ELEMENTS

Crop rotation

Sanitation

Soil-building crops

N-fixing crops

Resistant varieties

Soil/water conservation

Refugia

Reduced toxics

Manure/waste recycling


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HEALTHY SOCIETY

HEALTHY SOIL

HEALTHY PEOPLE

HEALTHY FOOD


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Evolution Of and the Influences On American Organic Farming

F.H. King

J.I. Rodale

Wm. Albrecht

OFPANA/

OTA

NOP

Standard

Implemented

Pioneers

Organizations

Events

R. Steiner &

Anthroposophy

A. Howard

E. Balfour

Silent Spring

USDA’s

Organic Report

OFPA

L. Bromfield

E. Pfeiffer

USDA

National

Standard

Countercultural Influences

Environmental Consciousness

Organic By Neglect

Organic

Certification

&

Industry

Standards

Sustainable Practices

from the Asian

Continent

Certified

Organic

Production

Convertible Husbandry

(America Mid-1800s)

Humus

Farming

Organic

Farming

Eco-Agriculture

Integrated

Production, etc.

High Farming

(Europe 1800s)

Agroecology &

Permaculture

Demeter

Certified

Production

Biodynamics

▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲

1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006


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ORGANIC

Counterculture Vision of Organic

Alternative

Delivery Systems

Alternative

Production Mode

Countercuisine

Adapted from: Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Penguin Press, New York. 450 p.


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• Mid 60s–70s, budding organic industry

• Mid-70s: First State Legislation; CA & OR

• 1973: First Private Certification Program; CCOF

• 1975–1980: Washington University Studies

• 1980: USDA Study of Organic Ag Released

• Mid-80s: OFPANA (later became OTA)

• 1989: Alar Scare

• 1990 OFPA Passed by Congress

HIGHLIGHTS OF US ORGANIC INDUSTRY & REGULATION: 1960s–1980s


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• 1990 Legislation: Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA)

Created the National Organic Program and the

National Organic Standards Board

The National Organic Program or NOP is the Federal body responsible for writing, interpreting and enforcing the Regulations

The National Organic Standards Board or NOSB advises the NOP on interpretation of the Regulations and has statutory responsibility for the content of the National List—which details synthetic materials allowed and natural products prohibited in organic production and processing. The NOSB is comprised of 15 members from the organic community appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.

The Federalization of Organic Agriculture in the U.S.


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• 1997: Regulation: First Draft of National Standard

2000 (spring) Revised Draft

2000 (winter) Final Rule/Standard Released

2002 (October) Full Implementation

The Federalization of Organic Agriculture in the U.S.


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Equivalent Terms

  • USDA Organic Regulation(s)

  • Final Rule of the National Organic Program

  • National Organic Standard

  • 7 CFR; Part 205


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National Organic Standard Addresses:

√ Production System

√ Handling/Processing

Scale of Production

Food Miles

Social Justice


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ORGANIC

USDA Vision of Organic

Alternative

Delivery Systems

Alternative

Production Mode

Countercuisine

Adapted from: Pollan, Michael. 2006. Omnivore’s Dilemma. Penguin Press, New York. 450 p.


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Organic by Neglect

Wild

Harvest

Organic

Hydroponics

Humus

Farming

Biodynamics

Input

Substitution

Systems Addressed by the National Organic Standard


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ATTRA Resources

Organic Farm Certification & the NOP

http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/organcert.pdf

Organic Crop Production Overview

http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/organiccrop.pdf

Organic Crops Workbook

http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/cropsworkbook.pdf

Organic Materials Compliance

http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/organicmaterials.pdf

Org. Orchard, Vineyard, and Berry Crop Doc. Forms

http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/orchardforms.pdf

Forms, Documents, and Sample Letters for Org, Prod.

http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/producerforms.pdf


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The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education ServicePO Box 339, Spring Valley, WI 54767Tel: 715-772-3153Fax: [email protected]

Guidebook for Organic Certification

http://www.mosesorganic.org/attachments/hwguidebook06.pdf


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Kerr Center Resources

Publications:

Small Organic Farms & Local Markets:

How to Assess Organic Compliance

Organic Foods: What Do We Need to Know About Them?

Organic Production in Oklahoma: Q&A

Information Packets:

Organic…Is It For Me?

Organics in the Midsouth…What are the Challenges?

Organic: Making the Transition

The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, P.O. Box 588,

Poteau, OK 74953; Tel: 918-647-9123; http://www.kerrcenter.com/


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Thanks

for your

attention!

George Kuepper

The Kerr Center

P.O. Box 588

Poteau, OK 74953

918-647-9123

[email protected]

http://www.kerrcenter.com/


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