COLUMBUS – Citizens Policy Center and Innovative Farmers of Ohio recently released a report on how seven organic grain farmers farm without chemicals.
The report, based on in-depth interviews with seven certified organic grain and soybean farmers in Ohio, hopes to provide conventional farmers with an understanding of how it is possible to use systems that are not chemically-intensive, and to make a living doing it.
The report is organized around 12 frequently asked questions conventional farmers often ask their organic farmer neighbors. The appendices include an economic analysis of an organic farming operation as well as some helpful resources for anyone with additional questions about organic farming.
“This report is real, not fantasy; it outlines what is possible for grain and soybean farmers in Ohio without petro-chemicals,” stated Jeff Dickinson, executive director of Innovative Farmers of Ohio.
Bryon Kaufman, a farmer interviewed for the report commented to the question, “What happens if organic prices drop?” He said: “The challenge of growing crops without chemicals is an exciting challenge. It would seem like a failure to return to using chemicals. There are both economic an environmental reasons for continuing organic production.”
Nelson Wenger expressed in the report a view of the importance of soil building shared by most organic farmers.
“We need to think of soil as a living organism and we need to feed it. We need to take care of it and not poison it. If you take care of it and feed it, it’ll work for you.”
The report, “Farming Without Chemicals in Ohio” was prepared by Keith Dix, who owns and operates a certified organic farm in Ashland, Ohio.
Copies of the report can be ordered by sending $5 to: Citizens Policy Center, 614 W. Superior Avenue No. 1200, Cleveland, OH 44113; or Innovative Farmers of Ohio, 3083 Liberty Road, Delaware, OH 43015.
The report can also be found at www.ohiocitizen.orgg.