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Farming Practices

Roseland Organic Methods and Principles


Typical Conventional Practices

NITROGEN:  For sustainable healthy soil, it is collected from the air and recycled through "green manure's." NITROGEN:  Usually non-sustainable inputs of synthetic fertilizers.
MINERALS:  Released from soil reserves and recycled. MINERALS:  Mined, processed and imported onto farms from "outside."
WEED AND PEST CONTROL:  Biological and mechanical systems;  reliance on beneficial insects and ecological balance:   less problems with weeds and pest insects as years pass using when necessary using better equipment, roto-tillers, etc. WEED AND PEST CONTROL:  Yearly inputs of herbicides and insecticides;  more problems with pest control as predators are killed off with pesticides;  repeat applications often necessary;  many insects and weeds build up a resistance to chemicals.
ENERGY:  Some generated and collected on the farm;  less energy use as pesticides not used. ENERGY:  Dependence on fossil fuels for fertilizers, pesticides, extra fuel.
SEED:  Organically sourced and non-treated: non-GMO. SEED:  Often bio-engineered seed, some with pesticide bred into seed; sourced from seed/chemical companies.
CROPPING SYSTEMS:  Rotations, strip cropping and diversity of crops enhance value of all the above components (Crops:   canola, rye, corn, hay, oats, sunflowers, soy beans, barley, buckwheat, grass borders) Good erosion control; no bare fields or fall plowing CROPPING SYSTEMS:  Monocropping, continuous planting and harvesting of one or two basic cash crops (corn/soys) no rotation to hay or legume crop for nitrogen production; some no-till where soils can become compacted and erosion control is limited.
WATER:  mainly rain and some small irrigation set-ups;  kept clean without synthetic pesticide and fertilizer use. WATER:  Increased use of inefficient spray irrigation and chemigation practices; water quality degraded with nitrates and pesticide run-off, impossible to retrieve.
MANAGEMENT DECISIONS:  By farmer, community and consumer; no dependence on external sources, product salesmen etc. MANAGEMENT DECISIONS:  Much provided by suppliers of products and agencies with their own policies and profits at stake, rather than the farmer's; also ownership and decision-making often off the farm.
VARIETIES OF PLANTS:  Use those which are disease-resistant, which thrive on lower moisture and fertility; experiment with unique varieties; also plant with consumer needs directly in mind (or on-farm animal need). VARIETIES OF PLANTS:  Usually limited; primarily those which need high input fertilizers and water to survive (hybrid corn); rarely "risk" new varieties; not a lot of attention to disease-resistance nor consumer demand.
ANIMALS:  Produced on the farm; animal wastes recycled back to the soils; consume the hay and alfalfa grown when fields rotated out of cropping.  Easier to care for animals; less disease on pasture and in smaller lots; no need for routine antibiotics or hormones. ANIMAL:  Feed-lot production often at a separate location.  Animal waste becomes a major problem due to volume and huge management costs.  Subtherapeutic dose of antibiotics given regularly to prevent disease.
LABOR:  Most work done by family living on the farm, with occasional hired help; use of highly specialized equipment, not necessarily new or expensive. LABOR:  Most work done by hired labor; heavy monoculture-type equipment, rarely used or "recycled"; high cost of extra labor.
CONSUMER:  Often direct sales to buyers in the area or to regional outlets where more profits stay with the producer, insuring sustainability of operation. CONSUMER:  Usually another broker, auction house, distributor or grain elevator distributes/sells product; farmer loses control of his product and has little communication with actual consumer of product.
No genetically modified organisms (GMO's) in entire system. No irradiation of meat. Genetically altered seeds & plants becoming more popular & utilized.  Irradiation allowed and often utilized by conventional meat processors. 
100% Certified Organic No Organic Certification.



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Copyright © 1999 Roseland Organic Farms
Last modified: February 03, 2003