What is certified organic agriculture? • A certified organic production system is a farming system managed in accordance with The Organic Foods Production Act and the National Organic Standards of 2002. The production system is to be designed and managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
Further, it is a system of agriculture that encourages healthy soil and crops through such practices as nutrient and organic matter recycling, crop rotations, proper tillage, and the strict avoidance of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for at least three years prior to certification.
Certified organic farming operations are required to develop and submit an “organic system plan” to their certifying agency detailing how an operation will achieve, document, and sustain compliance with all applicable provisions in the OFPA/NOP. The certifying agent must concur that the organic system plan and ongoing management practices fulfill the NOP requirements
Describe the goals of a sustainable soil health management program. • To sustain high crop productivity and crop quality in food and fiber production • To minimize environmental quality and human health risks associated with agricultural production 3) Define soil fertility/health. • The capacity of a soil to provide nutrients required by plants for growth.
This capacity to provide nutrients to crop plants is in part influenced by the physical properties of soils and is one component of soil fertility. Desirable soil physical properties and the capacity of the soil to provide nutrients for growing crops are both soil quality indicators.