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Transitioning to Organic workshop set March 4

By Staff | Feb 16, 2016

STORM LAKE – Demand for organic foods continue to grow in the U.S.

Total organic food sales in the U.S continue to increase at a rate of approximately 9 percent per year and total more than $39 billion.

“The Iowa Organic Association is prepared to help Iowa farmers transition some or all of their grain operation to certified organic to help capture part of this growing market,” said Matt Miller, president of the Iowa Organic Association

A Transitioning to Organic Grain Production workshop, designed to provide an introduction to organic farming, is set from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 4 at the Buena Vista County Extension office,824 Flindt Drive, in Storm Lake.

The cost to attend is $10, payable at the sessions, which will include refreshments.

A representative from Grain Millers Inc., in St Ansgar, will provide an overview of market demand factors and share projected market demand for organic corn, soybeans, oats and barley.

Experienced organic farmers will offer information about crop rotations, weed control and fertility management of organic crops.

Economics of organic farming and organic certification requirements will also be discussed.

According to the most recent USDA survey, Iowa has more than 600 organic farms with approximately 100,000 certified organic acres.

Though Iowa leads the nation in organic corn, soybean and oat production, overall, U.S. market demand has outpaced supply.

At least 30 percent of organic corn and 65 percent of organic soybeans used domestically are currently imported, indicating great potential for domestic growth in organic grains and oilseeds.

More information, workshop schedule, and maps to the meeting sites are located on the IOA website, www.iowaorganic.org.

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