e-Learning Modules

We are designing a series of online, interactive educational modules with a focus on the fundamentals of organic agriculture and how to transition to organic farming for agronomic and selected horticultural crops in the Upper Midwest region.  We will use these e-learning materials, along with our decision case studies, as part of workshops, classes and training sessions. Find the e-Learning modules at http://organictransition.umn.edu/educational-modules

Topics that will be covered in e-Learning Modules

  • What is Organic? NOP guidelines, differences between conventional and organic, organic philosophy, who are organic farmers, and organic farming in our region.
  • Resources for Transition: Finding organic seed and inputs, programs for transitioning farmers, and resources for questions.
  • Crop Production: Widely-grown agronomic crops (corn, soybean, small grains, alfalfa, field peas, perennial grasses) and horticultural crops (peas, sweet corn, snap beans); production practices and marketability.
  • Soil Health: Soil properties, organic matter, tillage, soil conservation, and soil testing.
  • Soil Fertility: pH, organic fertilizers (green manures, animal manures, compost, others).
  • Crop Rotation: Benefits of diverse rotations (soil health, weeds, insects), allowed rotations under NOP rules, recommended crop sequences, rotation examples for our region.
  • Weed Management: Weed biology, cultural weed control, mechanical weed control, equipment, and scouting for weeds.
  • Cover Crops: Benefits of cover crops, where to start with cover crops, management strategies.
  • Certification and Record Keeping: Organic System Plans, working with certifiers, record keeping, and NOP regulations.
  • Marketing: Developing market plans, how to decide which crops to grow, buyer specifications, transportation, storage, and contracts.
  • And others!