Welcome to The Rodale Institute's Transitioning to Organic Course Tools
There are 2 basic tools are provided to assist you in the transition to Organic Farming process. The tools are known as the Organic System Plan and the FarmSelect® Organic Calculator. Although FarmSelect is free and available to any user, completing the registration process will unlock some of this tool's most powerful features. Registered users will be able to save all of their data in a user secured area within the model so that work can be completed over multiple sessions. Also, the reporting capacities of FarmSelect are only available to registered users. So, if you haven't already done so, take a moment to register. Your registration allows you full access to FarmSelect as well as the Transition to Organic course and other online tools presented by The Rodale Institute. If you prefer not to register, we provide a demo area where you can see samples of the information that can be generated using these tools.
The Organic System Plan contains 3 different tools. The producer completes the farm plan questionnaire application for certification. This includes field maps showing the sizes, borders and names of each field, corresponding 4-year field histories, strategies for controlling weeds and insects, soil fertility, inputs (fertilizers, insecticides, seeds) harvest and storage plans. The questionnaire will take between 2 and 8 hours to complete the first year. The subsequent annual renewal questionnaires request information about changes and will take less time to complete. For new applications, the last date prohibited materials were used on the land requested for certification is needed.
The FarmSelect® Organic Calculator: This password protected area allows you to calculate various scenarios of your farm operations and see the economic results of an organic alternative. Making the decision to transition some or all of your cropland to certified organic production practices can be difficult. The Rodale Institute's Transition to Organic course teaches you how to build soil quality and move toward certification, including development of your farm plan. It also provides some important insights about marketing. However, the decision to transition your acreage is distinctly unique to your own situation. FarmSelect is designed to be a decision tool that you can use to assess the profitability of transitioning to organic or continuing conventional production methods. To do this, FarmSelect allows you to simulate the costs and returns that you might be able to expect over the next six years. Armed with this information, you'll be able to make a well-informed decision to transition your field(s).
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