Organic Farming Solutions
Organic farming experts
Full organic programs
Extensive product range
20 years experience
New Opportunities, New Markets, New Products
Specialists in Organic Farming in Australia since 1995.
Demand for organics is outstripping supply
Organic farming has been performing strongly in Australia for many years.
The latest Australian Organic Market Report (2018) reveals the nation’s organic industry was worth $2.39B in 2017, up from 1.27B in 2012 and growing at a compound annual growth rate of 13%.
Australia's organic growers are optimistic about great prices, high demand and thriving crops.
Global demand for organic produce is rising with ongoing high levels of health consciousness (IBIS world statistics).
What Is Involved in Transitioning to Organic?
There are many issues to be assessed by farmers intending to convert to organic farming methods. The most obvious being the agronomic issues raised by using natural farming methods.
You can follow our 'Steps to Organic Farming' guide to help focus on these agronomic aspects. We may also need to ensure that the farm is seen as a business and the financial impact of the decisions you may make are fully recognized.
Identifying and using appropriate inputs is vital for efficient operations - refer to our 'Organic Inputs' guide for assistance.
Increasingly the effective use of organic compost gives farmers the edge - you can read about this in our guide to 'Organic Composting'.
What Help Can You Get?
Our organic programs work and help crops thrive.
For organic farmers that want to incorporate the most ecologically integrated processes and products on their farm, we can help you with the following.
Steps to Organic Farming
1) Crop Selection
- Choose the property to suit the crop
- Choose the crop to suit the property
- Don’t push the climate boundaries
- Minimise the pest & disease pressures
- Site selection
2) Soil Fertility
- Balance – physical, chemical, biological
- Soil analysis – pH
- Fertilizer history
- Crop requirements – nutritional & biological
- Equipment required
3) Plant Health
- 80-90% via soil
- Organic fertiliser, compost, cover crop
- Do we need to supplement with soluble fertilizers?
- Foliar spray program.
- Plant tissue analysis
- Must provide crop requirements
- Source of Nutrients - compost, cover crops, organic fertiliser, foliar sprays, trace elements
4) Insect Pests
- Life cycles of pest & beneficial insects
- Solutions - release of beneficial insects, cover crops, poultry, barriers, rescue chemistry
5) Disease Pressure
- Life cycle of diseases
- Crop rotation
- Allowable inputs versus natural measures
6) Weed Management
- Annual, perennial
- Management methods
- Equipment required
- Crop rotation
- Cover crop
7) Post-harvest Issues
- Maintaining fruit quality
- Extended storage
- Pest and disease issues
8) Risk Assessment
- Neighbouring activity
- Prevailing winds
- Buffer zones
- Support base
9) Equipment needs
- Weed control dedicated to organic blocks
10) Skills Assessment
- Farmer & staff
Using Compost in Organics
Maintaining and increasing soil fertility.
The Australian Organic Standards state the basic aim of ecological soil management is to maintain and increase soil fertility. Balancing the biological, physical and chemical components of the soil is important. The quantity of organic matter and microbial life and the interactions can turn grey lifeless soil into brown active soil. Cycles that allow the flow of nutrients to plants are interconnected and need the help of living organisms.
Compost is one way organic growers can return organic matter to the soil. Compost in the form of organic matter feeds the soil microbes and the plant and provides a source of macro and micro nutrients.
It is not possible to determine compost quality, nutrient content or plant performance levels by looking at compost. Laboratory analysis is the only reliable way to determine compost quality.
To use compost properly requires a systematic approach to farming of any kind. This means that we should address a range of issues that will affect the health of the soil and the effectiveness of the compost. A biologically active soil is the key to a low chemical input systems. By inoculating the soil with composted organic matter and microbes we are starting on the road back to healthy soil. Healthy soil contains microbes that actively breakdown organic matter into nutrients that can be used by plants. Natures system feeds plants by cycling these nutrients through the soil. Healthy soils have nutrient cycling through organic matter management.
For the nutrient cycling to occur at the optimum level for plant growth we need to ensure that the soil is balanced in three ways:
- Chemically – nutrients
- Biologically – microbiological
- Physically – structure
We have been helping growers use compost for 20+ years. We can help organic growers:
- Set up their own compost site
- Develop programs using compost to ensure crops receive the nutrients they require
We have an extensive range of inputs to:
- Help build humus – multiple options.
- Supply nutrients – organic crops typically run short on nitrogen. We have multiple options.
- Build microbial activity and diversity to help with disease and crop health.
Compost – we know compost. 20 years ago we were setting up compost facilities on farm. We ran the largest compost demonstration project Australia has seen. Talk to us to decide if compost is the best way to start or if other options are best for you.
Our understanding of the needs of organic farming processes, soil amendments and natural crop nutrition puts OFS in a unique position to help agronomists and growers use the OFS products in organic agriculture.
Examples Of OFS Organic Inputs Helping Crops Thrive
Organic Crop Programs
At Sustainable Farming Systems, we produce organic production programs from small to some of the largest organic growers in the country.
OFS provides free tailored organic agronomic programs to suit your situation. We typically visit on site and we work closely with our large distribution network to ensure your products arrive when they are needed.
Examples of some of our programs where crops are thriving.