Transition to organic farming challenging but worthwhile

transition to organic farmingWill Oddie is the secretary for SaskOrganics, a volunteer-based organization, and has been facilitating workshops for conventional farmers interested in transitioning to organic production.

“We’ve determined that the market in organics is growing continuously, and has been for quite a number of years. We lost a lot of growers in the 2008-2009 period, so we are from behind, the demand is far out-stripping the supply of organic products and we can use more growers at this point,” commented Oddie, himself an organic farmer for the past 25 years.

“The transitional workshops that we’re putting on are aimed at people who may be thinking of going into organics, and giving them some background as to why it may be a sensible idea. [We are] having sessions on what’s involved in the certification process, what the paper work is, and so forth.”

The criteria to become a certified organic producer is sometimes daunting for producers, noted Oddie. “Basically in terms of field crops, you can’t have used a prohibited product in the last three years.”

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