Getting the 36-month transition period right is key to the short and longer-term success of your organic farm.
Don’t think of it as something you have to endure – we encourage you instead to think of transition as an investment.
Here’s our advice for ensuring the transition period leads to a long and profitable future with organics.
There’s many reasons farmers decide to transition to organics or to scale up existing organic acres. More profits is usually one of them.
But so is independence from Big Ag, better soil health, the ability to pass the farm on to the next generation, more diverse revenue opportunities, etc.
So even though the transition period can be challenging, remembering your ultimate goals will help keep you focused on the prize.
Organic crops bring premium prices. And every organic bushel you harvest after certification could sell for twice (or more) the conventional price.
You won’t see that profit during the transition, of course, but you will reap the rewards later.
Similarly, your investment in organic weed management equipment will pay off with higher yields in the many organic harvests to come.
And while cover crops probably won’t bring in high prices, your investment in improved soil health, increased nitrogen levels, and more will be realized when you plant organic cash crops.
You can also make the transition an investment in yourself as an organic farmer. Use this time to improve your knowledge base and learn how to push boundaries with new approaches to farming.
One of the biggest challenges of transitioning to organics is leaving behind conventional assumptions. You won’t just be growing corn and soybeans anymore!
So the core investment you need to make is a plan. And more importantly, a plan that is realistic.
What crops will work well on your acres? Which ones won’t?
How much capacity do you have to manage your fields while learning new approaches and taking on new challenges at the same time?
As mentioned, organic farming can be challenging. But it’s also an amazing opportunity to learn new modes of production, increase profitability, and ensure the long-term success of your family farm.
Luckily, there’s many resources you can tap into:
University websites and courses
Conferences hosted by state-based nonprofits
Seed company reps
Other businesses that cater to organic producers
Other organic farmers in your county and beyond
Another resource is AgriSecure. Our company was founded by experts with first-hand experience in large-scale, row-crop organic farming.
We’re ready to help you make the transition so you can set up your farm for financial success. In the meantime, download our free organic transition playbook for more tips and insights.