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Organic Agriculture

Purdue Extension > Small Farms > Organic Agriculture

Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture at Purdue University has taken off in the past five years in the three areas of the Land Grant University system: extension, research, and education.  Results from those projects are presented here as well as links to numerous extension bulletins, which have been put together by Purdue extension specialists and educators.  In early 2013 the first organically certified cropland on one of Purdue’s farms also made it possible for more research projects in the future.

Weed Management

One of an organic farmer’s biggest challenges is controlling the growth of unwanted plant species (weeds!). Utilizing ecological principles and mechanical measures it is possible to maintain an equilibrium that can bring the plant biodiversity on your farm to a better balance.

Insect Management

Insects can be your friends, however it is important that proper conditions are in place to maintain a diverse insect population.  Otherwise some may become detrimental to your yields. Using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices can benefit the health of your organic system while keeping natural enemy populations intact to control for problematic insect species taking over.

Disease Management

The successful management of plant diseases requires a multifaceted approach that incorporates the use of resistant varieties, cultural practices to maintain plant health, and the application of organically certified pesticides when necessary.


More and more research is showing the importance of maintaining healthy soils from a physical, biological, and chemical standpoint. Plants need to grow in soils that provide for the beneficial organisms living in the soil as well as providing the necessary nutrients to grow. 

Organic Certification

Understanding how organic certification is obtained, including the transition period, paperwork, compliance, and management practices is essential to be able to call your products “organic”.