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organic corn


 
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gary in neb.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:52 am    Post subject: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

anyone grow any organic corn? i got a 4 acre patch of land was thinking about doing this in vs. regular "field" corn, but dont know anything about orcanic corn. any thoughts?
Gary
 
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sammydwm
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

is your land certified? Do you have a source of certified seed?
nothing really different about growing organic corn. Just fit the land up and plant.
Run your cultivator through a few times until the corn canopies or you can't get through anymore and wait for it to ripen.
 
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gary in neb.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

no, on both questions. not even sure it's worth doing for 4 acres vs. non organic, or if i'm better off to leave it in grass.
 
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rufus80
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If your land is not certified organic and you don't use certified organic seed you are wasting your time. You can not sell the end product as organic unless you do the first two. I have a neighbor that does organic and it takes a lot of time (the land has to be without chemicals and commercial fertilizer for at least three years maybe more) and there is a lot of paperwork and red tape.
 
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sd pete
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If there is any GMO corn around it will be contaminated.
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Many folk use 'natural' for their produce grown the way you intend, your buyers just will have to have faith in you on that.

It's become the new uncertified word.

I will assume you mean sweet corn.

There is sometimes a few insects in grass land that really like corn (also a grass) and grass fields tend to use up a lot of N from the soil so you would need to manure or otherwise add 100 lbs or so of natural nitrogen to your field.

Can be different, just what you could run into.

Paul
 
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hoosierhog
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

i have done organic corn and yes you can make money even on 4 acre. thats how i got started was on 4 acres so you do need non gmo seed from a certified dealer and to sell as organic you have to have the ground certified. that means you have to show documentation that no chemicals have been used within the last 3yrs. but even if you dont certify the field you can still get a premium for it as transitional wich means you grew it organic but your 3yr period is not up. i sold some transitional corn this year at 9$ A Bushel only got 45 bushel normaly i can get 125-150 depending on the field. call your extension office they should be able to get you all the information you need.
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I was thinking sweet corn, if this is for grain.....

Last year regular corn you could get $8 a bu, so 8*130*4 is $4160 gross income on 4 acres.

Organic production with your numbers is 9*45*4 is $1620 gross.

Now, certainly one can get top yields with organic if one has been working at it and perfecting it. But, these numbers show the downside of trying to do organic production as a hobby and not getting it quite right. The learning curve....

The difficulty with organic field corn is finding a market. I can haul the regular $8 corn 1/2 mile to the local coop, organic corn I would need to haul 23 miles to the special buyer that deals in organic grains. Then they can pick times for delivery, and payment, and if they fill their needs they won't buy any more so it is a fickle market.... -That- would be the real expense and downside of trying to do organic for me...

You need to figure out your market, and if you really get a bonus price after all the extra expenses. On top of that converting an abandoned grass field to a corn field is a challenge to get the insects and fertility right within the organic limitations.

I understand this is a hobby, and the experience is worth more than the money one gets, and nothing at all wrong organic. Just use realistic numbers in your projections, and find your market, where you can sell the stuff, before you buy the seed.

Paul
 
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sammydwm
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Technically, if you follow NOP rules you can claim to have organic corn and not be certified if you sell less than 5000 dollars of it.
You would have to buy organic seed and not use any chemicals on the proscribed list, but you wouldn't have to have your land certified.
However you wouldn't be able to sell to anyone who really needed organic certified corn such as real organic farmers, just the people at farmers markets and so forth.
 
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kevinsstuff
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What would happen if a landowner wanted to go organic or non gmo seed .how much of distance would be nessary to prevent cross polination ? would a land owner who wanted to be ogm free have the right to inform lets say monsanto not to plant gmo corn next to non gmo fields?
 
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sammydwm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

why would you inform Monsanto?
You are responsible for making sure you follow the set back rules.
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:51 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Most organic buyers allow .5 to 2% so, separation of crops come down to distance and time.

If the crops pollinate at different times, no problem.

I understand perhaps 16 end rows is enough space to keep cross pollination from being a problem.

But every situation is different.

Pollen drift is a natural thing, so nothing you can do to stop your neighbor. If you could, then your neighbor could also sue you for messing up his crop, and there would be a real mess of lawyers..... Corn is a crop, if you want a special, different crop it's up to you to protect your special crop.

Paul
 
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hoosierhog
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My yields were low due to drought
 
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showcrop
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs in Monroe NH saw sales grow 70% this year, and they anticipate nearly the same increase next year, with sales of $70 million. That has got to take a lot of organic corn. They have bought from Australia, but the shipping from there has gone up a lot. So there must be somebody supplying them with US organic corn, scrambling to find more.
 
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rockyridgefarm
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: organic corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Hey Paul,

Where are you finding 9 dollar organic corn?!? I paid $10.50 last year and $14.50 this year. I have 8300 hens for Organic Valley

With the drought, anyone who grew organic corn here and was a decent farmer matched what his neighbors did in conventional. My next door neighbor is conventional and he had entire fields of corn without an ear in it. He usually chopped half and shelled half. this year he chopped every acre and was looking for more. My organic corn did about 100 bu/a. On a regular year, my neighbors do much better - 180-200 bu/a. My best hope is around 140.

You are right that it's a steep learning curve. One poorly timed rotary hoeing or cultivating will make or break a crop.

Gary,

As long as you can certify in writing that the ground has not seen commercial fertilizer or pesticides in the past three years, you can get certification on the ground. Find a local organic farmer and ask him to "rent" the ground. He can piggyback the ground onto his certification without much or any increase in cost of certification. He can also give you pointers on what to do to grow a good crop.

I'd get the ground plowed now and plant a rye cover crop if it's fit. Don't get too excited to get planted in the spring. I'd wait a week or two after your neighbors plant corn and plant the same day corn they did (organic seed, of course). This will minimize pollen drift as their corn will be past pollination when yours gets started.

If your ground has been in grass quite a few years, you should have it fairly easy the first year. There will not be much for annuals to fight. I had a CRP field that came out this past year. Spread a couple tons of chicken litter per acre, plowed it, and planted it. I didn't get into it with the hoe or a cultivator (planned to, but didn't get it done) and got 100 bu/a. Don't expect that the next year. You'll need to rotate to beans, wheat, back into hay, something other than corn. Corn on corn in organic is a very unsafe maneuver.
 
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