EDUCATIONAL GUIDEBOOKS

Soil Health and Organic Farming Guidebooks

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Soil Health & Organic Farming Webinars

Building Organic Matter for Healthy Soils: An Overview
The attributes of healthy soil, the central role of organic matter, and how to monitor and enhance soil health in organic production. Watch now

Weed Management: An Ecological Approach
Integrated organic weed management tools and practices that give crops the edge over weeds, build soil health, and reduce the need for soil disturbance. Watch now

Practical Conservation Tillage
The impacts of tillage on soil health, including practical, soil-friendly tillage practices for organic systems. Watch now

Cover Crops: Selection and Management
Selecting the best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for soil health, including crop rotations and cropping system biodiversity. Watch now

Plant Genetics: Plant Breeding and Variety Selection
Plant breeding and variety selection for performance in sustainable organic systems, including nutrient and moisture use efficiency, competitiveness toward weeds, and enhanced interactions with beneficial soil biota. Watch now

Water Management and Water Quality
The role of soil health and organic soil management in water conservation and water quality. Watch now

Nutrient Management for Crops, Soil, and the Environment
The role of soil health and the soil food web, including practical guidelines for optimizing crop nutrition, minimizing adverse environmental impacts of organic fertility inputs, and adapting soil test-based nutrient recommendations (especially N) for organic systems. Watch now

Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration
Practical guidelines for optimizing the organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adaptability to climate disruptions already underway. Watch now

Understanding and Managing Soil Biology for Soil Health and Crop Production
The functions of the soil food web and key components in promoting soil health and fertility and sustainable organic crop production, with research-based guidance on organic practices and NOP-approved inputs for improved soil food web function. Watch now

Versions of these webinars adapted for organic production in the Western region are also available.
Watch now

ON-LINE LEARNING

New Training Program Offers Organic Basics for Beginning Farmers

August 13, 2019 – OFRF is excited to introduce the first learning module, Organic Soil Health Management, in its free online training program for beginning farmers, existing organic farmers, and farmers in transition to organic production. The content throughout the training program focuses on organic specialty crop production in California.

This open educational resource is a joint effort between OFRF, the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP), and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, with funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The self-paced program combines descriptive essays, video lectures from university faculty, and virtual field trips to demonstrate organic principles and practices.

In total, the online training program will contain six learning modules: 1) soil health, 2) weed management, 3) irrigation and water management, 4) insect and mite management, 5) disease management, and 6) business management and marketing. The soil health module is now live and the five remaining modules will be introduced as they are completed, with the entire program available in spring 2020.

View/take the first learning module, Organic Soil Health Management

Managing On-farm Risk Reports

Photo of 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium report cover

Late snow and lots of rain have prevented or delayed planting on many farms. USDA provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters. Learn about coverage, technical and financial assistance, and more at farmers.gov.

OFRF offers several resources to help farmers and ranchers manage risk. All resources are available to download for free. Print quantities may be available upon request.

Downloads

General Reports

Interacción de la Microbiología del Suelo..

Interacción de la Microbiología del Suelo ... report cover
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Soil Microbial Interactions & Organic Farming

Soil Microbial Interactions & Organic Farming
Download

Avoiding Pesticide Drift Impacts on Organic Farms

Avoiding Pesticide Drift Impacts on Organic Farms
Download

On-Farm Research Guide Report

On-Farm Research Guide Report
Download

Organic Farming for Bees Report

Organic Farming for Bees Report
Download

Instructional Videos

Furrow Cover Crops for ‘Greener’ Strawberries & other Plastic Mulched Crops
Produced and narrated by Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA-ARS

Cover Cropping on Beds: Novel Equipment and Ideas
Produced and narrated by Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA-ARS

NRCS: Assistance for Organic Farmers
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Healthy Soil
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Weed Management
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Habitat
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Irrigation
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Pasture Management
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Comprehensive information about organic farming

Organic FAQs