We are happy to be starting an organic conversion of the farm here in Bucks County. For many years now there has been a rotation of corn, corn, and corn – all Round-up Ready GMO corn. Once it is harvested we plan to begin the organic conversion of all 60 acres. Our purpose will be to demonstrate the viability of biological products and to compare the potential economic returns of organic crops versus crops grown with synthetic chemicals.
We have our work cut out for us though. The soil test shows organic matter less than 2% across all samples. I am not sure what the natural state should be without the corn rotation and excessive nitrogen fertilizer but our goal is to build it up as much as possible. The first step is planting rye (we will try some wheat as well if weather permits) as a cover crop, leaving some to harvest. From there we are figuring out the rotation of grains and row crops as well as planning an orchard.
We will be using our products as well as other organic soil amendments. The rye will be planted with a mix of our Endomycorrhizal Inoculant, mixed directly in the grain drill with the rye seeds. Over the fall and winter we will be working out the grain rotation. This will be a determination of what crops we want to test as well as working with some of the local mills to add some diversity to their products. We are also setting aside some acres for an orchard which we hope to begin planting in the spring – assuming we can put up a deer fence by then.
Our emphasis will be on soil health and building up the organic matter as well as the biological diversity. We are going to measure how different crops respond to the various mixes of biology. We are excited about the transition and looking forward to sharing the results.