Steve Brown of Capital Press, an independent newspaper devoted to covering agriculture on the West Coast, recently covered the USDA Organic Farming Systems Conference in Washington, D.C. A number of experts from around the country, including Jim Kotcon, associate professor of plant and soil sciences, discussed the benefits of organic farming:
Variables: Jim Kotcon, plant and soil scientist at West Virginia University, discussed adding livestock to an organic farm. On the plus side, livestock adds a high-value commodity and provides manure for the soil. Drawbacks are that animals are labor-intensive and bring the farmer additional risks, more pests and problems to manage, and additional costs for shelter, feed and care. They also come with their own certification requirements.
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