Converting to Organic Farming
Before a farm enterprise can achieve ‘organic’ status, it must go through a period of ‘in conversion’. This is a time of great vulnerability, when the produce does not yet attract the premium price and health systems have not yet achieved a balance, in the transition between drug medicine and more natural methodologies.
Such farms need support, both financial and advisory.
The AVMC offers a service to advise on health programs and the transition to natural medicine. Although it is never too late to benefit from such planning, it is always better to put it in place before the process of conversion. This is when the best returns will be achieved, in both health and profitability. We offer a discount for bona fide members of the Soil Association and of the Biodynamic Agriculture Association (BDAA) [click].
We are often called in to help in cases of severe disease problems, after conversion or in its later stages. This often happens out of unawareness of the available options. Of course, we are very willing to help under such circumstances. Homeopathy and other natural medicine methods, along with appropriate management and dietary measures, will usually still achieve dramatic results but it is not the ideal way.
What we prefer to do, prior to embarking on conversion, is to hold a meeting between farm staff, the ‘owner' of the business, the local vet and the AVMC. The brief is to examine the current health situation, evaluate the transitional risks, explore the options and to put in place an integrated plan, which should incorporate nutrition and management measures and strategic introduction of natural medicine. Once this plan is in place, a review system should be established, so that there is adequate clear monitoring and a means of adaptation in the light of developments. Each component of the team is vital in this endeavour.
It is very exciting work, seeing what can be achieved in a few years, following this methodology. As the enterprise evolves, a new balance appears. Ecology comes to life. Disease outbreaks fade into memory. The joy of farming returns. This can often ultimately function without any medical input (whether drugs or natural medicines), in best cases. To run a farm without routine medication of any kind is the ultimate theoretical goal.
See also: Farm Management & Nutrition
See also: Organic Agriculture
Christopher D is a homeopathic vet and holistic vet of over 40 years experience in the field. He is also used to working on modern farms.