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So You Want To Go Organic Farming

Okay what's involved? First of all going organic is as much of a mindset as a practical decision. If you put the whole farm under organics, you may find the returns are going to be less per acre. For us it was not a hard decision as we were not using chemicals. So we opted for the whole farm.

However, if you have been using chemicals up until now, you may be better to only do part of the property.

You have to realise that all the nutrients are locked up in the soil through the use of chemical fertilisers, and it will take a while for those to be released. As time goes by this happens relatively fast. Let us use the analogy of you deciding to stop smoking after 20 years or so. You can't expect that after the first week of stopping that your lungs would be clear.

So it is with the soil. It does take time to recover but when it does, you will be surprised how much feed you have that stock actually "want" to eat.

So, you have got this far in your thinking, you now need to contact a certifying body in your country to start to become certified organic.

The next decision, is whether you are going to "give it a trial" or "jump straight in". We would suggest to jump straight in. The reason for this is that when you do this you are accountable to somebody else and you will stay on track a lot easier. If you just give it a go, you will betempted to revert back to using chemicals.

The number of people we have met, when finding out that we are organic say "Yes, we are as well". However, sometimes we are not long into the conversation, when they mention that they have just sprayed with a little Roundup, but they know that is okay. No! It is not! No chemicals at all are the criteria for an organic farm.

You will need to cross many hurdles, including your neighbours feelings that somehow, you are stopping them from spraying their crops and carrying on their business. If they are following safe practices, then their farming operation will not be affected. This is purely a knee jerk reaction to something they do not properly understand.

"ABOUT THE AUTHORS": Vic & Rose Rushton are recognised as leading authorities on organic farming. Their web site provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on organic farming.