Organic Transition

Transitioning to High-Production Organic Agriculture

Transitioning to organic production can be daunting. But you don’t have to go it alone. Organic farming is all about strategy — a strategy we’ve helped farmers manage for over 30 years. Our organic fertilizers and soil amendments fit within a system designed to improve your soil’s productive capacity and help you grow more resilient crops. Many farmers transition to organic production to pursue price premiums; with our approach — high-production organic farming — we can help you pursue high yields as well.

Strengthening Organic Yields

In high-production organic agriculture, crop yields can match those seen on conventional farms. You can maximize organic production with balanced fertilizers that eliminate yield-limiting factors and support plant health. Following a soil test, we’ll help you identify nutrient deficiencies in the soil and correct them with a blend that includes all the nutrients your crop needs. Whether you plan to grow row crops, small grains or forages, our fertilizer blends can build soil organic matter and nutrient availability to help you improve yields.

  • Managing Nitrogen: While some nitrogen can be purchased as fertilizer, the majority of organic nitrogen must be managed on the farm. Diverse, tight crop rotations and well-managed cover crops build available nitrogen in the soil. Because nitrogen-fixing bacteria live in legume root nodules, a well manged legume crop such as alfalfa can add 25 to 75 pounds of nitrogen per acre, per year. Our organic fertilizer blends supplement nitrogen management by delivering other important nutrients in a carbon and humate base. This helps speed crop residue breakdown, build soil organic matter and improve nutrient-holding capacity overtime.
  • Meeting Phosphorus Needs: Farmers should replace phosphorus removed in harvested crops. Finding organic-allowed phosphorus sources can be difficult because traditional phosphorus sources like MAP are not allowed on organic farms. At Midwestern BioAg, we recommend application of rock phosphate on phosphorus-deficient soils as a long-term phosphorus source on organic farms. When used in combination with livestock manure and green manure crops on biologically active soils, organic farmers can meet plant phosphorus needs and grow high-yielding crops.

Improving Soil Structure

Soils with good structure and optimal pH are the foundation of successful organic crop production. Healthy soils produce resilient crops, helping plants establish quickly and ward off pest and disease problems. Our leading organic soil amendment, OrganiCal™, can improve multiple soil types. It contains finely ground gypsum, humates and high-calcium lime to improve distribution and plant availability of calcium in the soil. Together, the calcium and sulfur in OrganiCal can improve structure in heavy soils, while the humates can increase plant-available sulfur and calcium levels in light soils.

Supporting Earthworm Populations with Soil Structure

Earthworms improve soil structure, increase nutrient cycling and boost water-holding capacity. Together, these effects can lead to an astounding 25 percent increase in yield and a 21 percent rise in plant biomass.1 U.S. farms often have very low worm populations in their soils — a common symptom of poor soil health. By strengthening earthworm populations, farmers can better leverage soil organic matter to improve nutrient efficiency — particularly nitrogen — and boost crop yield.

As soil structure improves, biological diversity and activity increases. Our fertilizers and soil amendments supply calcium and carbon to improve soil structure and encourage earthworm activity. When paired with a diverse crop rotation and minimal tillage to reduce habitat disturbance, earthworm populations flourish. The resulting increase in biological activity magnifies input production benefits, helping maximize on-farm nutrient efficiency and build overall soil capacity.

Fighting Weed & Pest Pressure

Forgoing crop protection chemicals can be challenging, but there are many other tools available to keep crop performance strong.
Starter Fertilizer: Our starter fertilizers encourage quicker crop canopy cover to help shade out weeds, lower moisture at harvest and reduce soil evaporation. The early season boost from starter also improves overall plant health and resiliency.

  • Micronutrients: Nutrient deficiency of any one nutrient can limit yield potential. These same yield-limiting factors can lead to serious pest and disease problems. Because organic farmers have limited access to crop protection tools, preventive steps like balanced plant nutrition are key to successful production. At Midwestern BioAg, we blend our organic fertilizers with quality ingredients like MicroHume®, which includes nutrients like calcium, sulfur, boron, copper, manganese and zinc in a carbon base. These nutrients can be applied to fields to correct nutrient deficiencies reported in your soil test results.
  • Tillage: On organic farms, tillage is a necessary tool to fight weed pressure. While tillage can lead to loss of organic matter and erosion, careful timing and equipment selection can limit these effects. Our staff draws on years of organic tillage expertise to help you manage tillage on your farm to maximize positive outcomes.
  • Cover Crops: Our cover crop blends will keep your soil covered in the off season, greatly improving soil structure and fertility while limiting nutrient losses to erosion. Improving crop diversity also reduces pest pressure and builds organic matter. In the fall, cover crops can be harvested or grazed by livestock. In the spring, they can be tilled into the soil as a green manure crop, providing additional fertility for the upcoming season. These benefits can boost short-term profits and build long-term productivity on your farm.

Finding A Buyer

We’ve partnered with Mercaris to help our customers get the best market prices for their organic and transitioning crops. Mercaris is a market data service and online trading platform for organic, non-GMO and certified agricultural commodities. This tool can be especially helpful during the transitioning process, when crops cannot be sold as organic-certified but are still of high quality. We also work closely with large food companies seeking to increase their organic and non-GMO supply chains. Working through our contacts, we may be able to help you secure off-take agreements for your organic and transitioning crops.

Staying Certified

At Midwestern BioAg, we’ve supplied farms with organic fertilizer for over 30 years. Our organic products are either OMRI listed or meet National Organic Program (NOP) standards. In all cases, we recommend you check with your certifier on specific products to ensure compliance.

We Can Help!

If you’re thinking about transitioning to organic production, Midwestern BioAg’s fertilizers and soil amendments can help. We offer a complete line of organic farming inputs to help you maximize soil productivity and grow high-yielding, healthy crops. View our organic farming inputs here.

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