(3/1) Organic Commodities and Livestock Conference: Session Highlights

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We’re looking forward to co-hosting the Organic Commodities and Livestock Conference with Carolina Farm Stewardship Association on March 1st, 2024 at the University of Mount Olive. Registration is still open and on-site registration will be available. We’ll have a variety of topics for organic row-crop and livestock producers. Here are a few highlights:

Soil Health Resources: Cover Crop Selector Tools and a Farmer-Driven Coalition

Chris and Esleyther will walk participants through the recently released Cover Crop Species Selector Tool and Cover Crop Nitrogen Calculator, part of the producer-oriented tools created by the Precision Sustainable Ag Network. We’re looking forward to hearing how producers can best utilize these tools and how they can profitably incorporate cover crops in organic production.

Karen Scalf of the NC Soil Health Coalition will then tell us about how she incorporated soil health practices on her operation, and about her role in a new farmer-led coalition, the NC Soil Health Coalition. The NC Soil Health Coalition was founded to ‘develop resources and build relationships among farmers in North Carolina who acknowledge the value of soil health’.

Organic & Non-GMO Grain Roundtable

There will be a round-table discussion where panelists discuss the evolving landscape of organic and non-GMO livestock feed grain from a producer and feed distributor perspective. We’re looking forward to some lively discussions about the challenges and opportunities within this specialty market and how grain and livestock producers can successfully navigate changing consumer preferences.

Organic Disease and Weed Management in Corn & Tobacco

NC State faculty Daisy Ahumada and Charlie Cahoon will discuss strategies for disease and weed management in organic corn and tobacco. They’ll be covering different cultural practices, and will also touch on organic products available for use and how a producer might evaluate whether they are the right choice for their operation.

Utilizing Agronomic Services for Organic Producers and Understanding Manure Composition

This session will be hosted by Kristin Hicks with NCDA and Steph Kulesza,with NC State. Kristin will discuss how organic producers can utilize testing provided by the NC Department of Agriculture to better understand their soil and their crop fertility needs. Steph will discuss the variable composition of different animal manure sources commonly used in organic production, and how producers can get to know what’s in the manure they plan to apply.