by Jessica Skidmore, Sustainable Plant Systems – Agronomy major
Organic farming is one of the many ways farmers are trying to increase farm income these days. From higher feed or seed prices, to higher and dangerous fertilizers and chemicals, it is not always easy for farmers to stay ahead of things and have a self-sufficient farm.
One way I have seen this in my community is in our dairy industry. Local farms are going organic mainly because they are able to make a profit this way. With the rising demand for our society”s ‘health kicks’, organic milk is toward the top of that list. Not all farmers fully believe in organic or that it is better for the environment, but they do know it is better for their income and does not take too much extra work. It seems every few weeks when I drive down a different road in my county there is another farm that is trying to go organic. Milk production wise, things seem to be going well.
For crop producers it does not seem to be quiet that easy. The organic corn in this area is shorter than conventional corn and still has awhile before it will be tasseling. Although I said that going organic is not that much more work, that can depend on the year and weather. There are some fields that are covered in weeds and will be hard to control since there are crops in the ground and they would need to till the ground in order to control the amount of weeds that are in the field. This may be one of the struggles that organic farmers have, but once they get past their bad years they could see as much as a five to seven percent increase in their income than from conventional farmers (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/03/organic-agriculture-more-profitable_n_7497018.html). Going organic just because that’s what the market wants may seem like it’s not a good reason, but sometimes we have to make a sacrifice just to continue that family farm.
About the Author
Jessica is currently a senior at The Ohio State University studying Agronomy. She hopes to continue working as a crop consultant after graduation and to continue her family’s apiary.
This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.