We've gathered additional resources that we thought you might find helpful. Click on the list above to get information you can use for your farm or as a consumer who wants to make choices that have a positive impact on our environment.
Transplant Production Decision Tool
The tool includes profiles of six vegetable farms in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as photo galleries of infrastructure, equipment and crops. A one-page matrix summarizes the costs, skill level, benefits and drawbacks of various options for transplant equipment.
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture awarded a grant to the Iowa Organic Association to compile the online tool. Chris Blanchard, organic farmer and consultant (Flying Rutabaga Works), developed the Transplant Production Decision Tool.
Prevented Planting Insurance Provisions
This year's late spring in most parts of the upper Midwest has delayed planting to the point where crops could be planted well after the final planting date specified in a farmer's crop insurance policy. This fact sheet from the USDA Risk Management Agency explains a farmer's options when delayed planting occurs.
Current and Future Prospects For Biodegradable Plastic Mulch in Certified Organic Production Systems
Extension experts from Washington State University, the University of Tennessee and Texas Tech explain how biodegradable plastic mulches are made; how biodegradability is measured; current techniques on evaluating biodegradable mulches; and research and policy progress to date. The purpose is to inform agricultural professionals, farmers, and policy makers about the suitability of biodegradable plastic mulches for use in certified organic agriculture.
In October 2012, the National Organic Standards Board recommended that biodegradable mulch be added to the National Organic Program's list of approved substances. NOP has stated it is working to include this on the approved synthetic list for crops, sometime in the next year. The NOSB recommendation is:
(B) Must be biobased with content determined using the ASTM D6866 method;
Biobased: organic material in which carbon is derived from a renewable resource via biologicalprocesses. Biobased materials include all plant and animal mass derived from carbon dioxide recently fixed via photosynthesis, per definition of a renewable resource (ASTM).
The On-Farm Food Safety Project website offers resources to help fruit and vegetable farmers ensure their produce is safe to eat. The website includes a an online tool to create a customized on-farm food safety plan.
Conservation Compliance: A 25-Year Legacy of Stewardship (5 MB PDF)
Project Produce has published a local food prospectus showing opportunities for scaled-up fruit and vegetable production in the Tri-State region (Wis., Ill., and Iowa), resulting from changes in the food market due to rising gas prices and decreased subsidization. The project, funded by a USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant, is a joint venture of Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, East Central Intergovernmental Association in Iowa, and the Tri-County Economic Development Alliance in Illinois.
Unlock the Secrets in the Soil
Healthy, Productive Soils: Checklist for Growers (4 MB PDF)