Published: October 7, 2021

Category: Organic News

Although it hasn’t been easy, Scott Myers and his father flipped a 90-year-old farming system into organic in 2018—and are enjoying better yields, higher quality crops, and healthier soil as a result.

Woodlyn Acres Farm in Dalton, Ohio used non-organic fertilizers and pesticides on their crops before switching to no till and organic practices such as cover cropping with cereal rye, a natural weed preventer. Myers has seen five more soybean bushes than the previous year when he tilled his fields. He uses natural options such as fish, chicken manure, and an assortment of microbial feed instead of synthetic fertilizer—producing soil filled with bugs, microbes, and nitrogen.

“The goal is to make enough nitrogen for the next year,” Myers said. “Not all is used up at once, it builds up and lasts for years.”

The road to success can be bumpy. “Farmers, we’re in the gambling business, especially with the weather,” he told various ag groups and politicians on his farm tour.

To avoid contamination from chemicals sprayed on neighboring farms, he has entered into agreements with them and where needed, created 30-foot buffer zones. Transitioning to organic can require rethinking normal practices, buying new equipment, and inevitably being more “at nature’s whim.” “Some years we use a machine countless times, while others we don’t even move it,” Myers said.

His total farm acreage dropped from 3,300 acres to 2,500 after going organic, and thereafter he started transitioning acres incrementally. “If I had to guess, we’ve seen about a 50% increase in gross revenue since going organic,” Myers added.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association affirmed the value of Myer’s conversion, noting not only the improvement in quantity and quality of yields but the amelioration of climate challenges.

Source: The Daily Record

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights October 2021