the light
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NEON Home Page

NEON:  The Northeast Organic Network

Selected Resources on Organics

List of Experts
General lists
New farmers/Transitioning farmers
Software packages for small farms
Greenhouse accounting
Compost resources
Season Extension
Soul of Agriculture video tapes
Farm Business Management
Pest and Disease management
Weed management
Soil Nutrient Management
Soil Quality


List of selected titles on topics including: Historical/General, Whole Farm Planning, Vegetables, Season extension, Field crops, Biodynamic farming, Fruit, Marketing, Soil Fertility, Pest Management, Weed control, Dairy livestock, Holistic Animal Health, Herbs, Genetic Engineering, and Agric. Education.

Download list as .doc or .pdf


List of Experts
SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) - listing of experts in sustainable and organic agriculture

NEON Who's Who Guide - Experts on organic agriculture in the Northeast US

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General lists
All Organic Links - "The Global Resource for Organic Information"

ORGANIC NEWSLINE, the Weekly International News from Organic Trade Services.

Cyber-help for Organic Farmers - extensive information on many topics

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (USDA)

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) -an excellent source for well-researched, detailed information about all topics of organic and low-input agriculture

Electronic versions of many classic books on alternative agriculture

OrganicAgInfo is an on-line database of research reports, farmer-to-farmer information, outreach publications, and more. The database can be searched by keywords, region, crop or livestock type. All information on this web site can be accessed free of charge.

Northeast Organic Farming Association - information plus links to each state organization as well. NOFA publishes a quarterly newsletter, the Natural Farmer.

New Farm - Good general website on sustainable/organic farming

Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network, see also this outstanding list of links, some with Canadian focus

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture

Iowa St University Organic Agriculture Website


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Customer Loyalty - by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension

Checklist for Potential Success in Vegetable Production/Marketing - by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension


Data for organic crop acreage and livestock in 2000 and 2001 - These spreadsheets provide the breakouts by State and crop.

State of States: Organic Farming Research Systems at Land Grant
Institutions, 2001-2003
by Jane Sooby, Organic Farming Research Foundation
(OFRF). Discusses the importance of the federal land grant system of agricultural research, extension and education, and various acts, initiatives and policies aimed at expanding the land grant system. Presents, state by state, the various programs and institutions involved
in organic research and their associated publications. A valuable resource
for farmers, researchers, growers, and distributors but relevant to anyone
interested in organic farming. US $10 for hardcopy or available for free
download online.
Contact Organic Farming Research Foundation, P.O. Box 440, Santa Cruz, CA
95061-0440; phone (831) 426-6606; fax (831) 426-6670; email

U.S. Organic Farming in 2000-2001: Adoption of Certified Systems, 2003
Catherine Greene and Amy Kremen, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Economic Research Service (ERS). Charts a rise in the acreage of organically farmed land and presents the data by crop and state. Also discusses trends in organic policies and regulations such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards for organic production
implemented in October, 2001, third party organic certifications, and the Organic Research and Extension Initiative of the 2002 Farm Act. 51 pages. Available for free download online. Contact Economic Research Service, 1800 M Street NW, Washinton D.C., 20036-5831; phone (202)
694-5050; fax (202) 694-5640; email; Web site

Organic Agriculture: Sustainability, Markets and Policies, 2003
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The proceedings of an OECD workshop held in September of 2002. Uses examples and case studies from throughout the world to illustrate environmental, marketing, policy, and consumer issues in organic agriculture. Discovers relatively little government support for organic agriculture and argues
for future policies to ensure a successful future for organic farming. US $75 for hardcopy or $60 for download online..
Contact CABI Publishing, Wallingford OX10 8DE, United Kingdom; phone (44 01 49)
183-2111; fax (44 01 49) 183-3508; email; Web site

Comparative Analysis of the United States National Organic Program (7 CFR
205) and the European Union Organic Legislation (EEC 2092/92 &

2002 Organic Trade Association (OTA). Compares the primary organic standards of the European Union and United States in a number of different categories including: definitions, applicability, standards, and farming processes.
Contact Organic Trade Association, P.O. Box 547 Greenfield, MA 01302; phone (413) 774-7511; fax (413) 774-6432; email; Web site

Statistical Review of California's Organic Agriculture, 1995-1998, 2002
Karen Klonsky, Laura Tourte, Robin Kozloff, and Benjamin Shouse, University
of California Agricultural Resource Center. Presents a wide range of data for California's organic agriculture including registered farms, organic commodities, acreage, and sales. Cross-references many categories and includes regional divisions. 87 pages. US $10 for hardcopy or available for free download at: Contact University of
California Agricultural Issues Center, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616;
phone (530) 752-2320; fax (530) 752-5451; email; Web

Data from USDA-ERS of organic crop acreage for 1997:
Certified organic fruit acreage, by state
In: ERS/USDA research emphasis: Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment: Current Issues: U.S. Organic Agriculture.

Organic Fruit Growers Survey
his USDA-ERS report is noteworthy as a survey of organic fruit and vineyard growers, summarizing characteristics of farmers and pest management practices they employ.


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Statistics-- Europe
Organic Farming in Europe - Country Reports

New and transitioning farmers
The Growing New Farmers Program of the New England Small Farm Institute.
Resources from the "Growing New Farmers" Newsletter:

  • "Exploring the Small Farm Dream: Is Starting an Agricultural Business Right for You?" A workbook and information about classes for beginning farmers. Contact Eric Toensmeier at the New England Small Farm Institute. (
  • A web based course to start-up. Contact Kathy Ruhf, ( for more information.

West Virginia University articles for new farmers

Articles by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension:
National Organic Standards and What They Mean to Growers
Organic Farm Plan

Materials for professionals working with new farmers:
Course for ag educators---"Self-Evaluation and Program Development for Farmer Education Programs" Contact: Sandy Bell, UCONN at or 860-486-0251.
Professional development opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of programs designed to foster and assist new farmers and farm start-ups in the NE---Contact Cathy Sheils (, professional development coordinator for the NE Growing New Farmers program.

Transitioning Farmers
The New Farm's guide to transition for grain producers


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Software packages for small farms
1. From Steve Taylor (NH Ag Commissioner) "Stephen H. Taylor" <>
My loan officer/management adviser at Yankee Farm Credit in White River Jct., VT, has a pretty good software package that we've had good luck with on our small dairy farm. Her name is Liz Bayne, 802-295-3670. As usual, those software packages are only about as good as the support that comes with them, and in this regard Liz is tops.

2. From Lewis Jones - "Jones, Lewis W." <>.
The best software that I find that may help is Quick Books. Continue to think about your profits and losses as you see them. It may help also to monitor your bank statements very closely monthly. All expenses should not be household expenses. They should only be farming expenses. If they are attributable to to home only the percentage that is a farming expense. .

3. From Eric Toensmeier , NESFI; "Eric Toensmeier" <>
There are only two programs I am aware of specifically for small farms. Both are for direct market vegetable operations.

  • Crop Planning and Record Keeping Spreadsheets for Diversified Vegetable Farms, available from Brookfield Farm, (413) 253-7991 or
  • Market Farm Forms: Spreadsheet Templates for Planning and Organizing Information on Diversified Market Farms, available from or (866) 596-9982.

There are numerous programs for large farms. A good comparative review can be obtained from Ag Executive magazine. Ask for "Accounting and Financial Record Keeping Software for Farmers", or for their reviews of individual programs. They can be reached at (309) 772-2168. Dan Henley is their farm accounting software reviewer.

Several Massachusetts Tilling the Soil ag business planning teachers have been working on a spreadsheet system which would be compatible with the course materials. Last I heard it was not quite completed. Contact Rick Chandler at (413) 577-0549 for more information.

5. From Steve Richards (Cornell University); Steve Richards <>
When dealing with accounting for small farms, I usually suggest one of three options, depending upon their skill with computers.

  • Paper account book (just like an journal of expenses & incomes)--no computer necessary.
    --we have a dairy and a fruit & veg here at NYFarmNet/FarmLink ($10 each)
  • Electronic account book that uses microsoft Excel
    --have to know how to use excel. If you want a copy, you will have to email me directly so I can attach it.
  • Quickbooks. Very versatile, can be changed to fit almost any operation & its cheap ($99)--relatively basic MS windows skills. This will cover cost accounting, invoicing, and even payroll.


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Greenhouse accounting
Greenhouse Cost Accounting: A Computer Program for Making Management Decisions
By Dr. Robin Brumfield, Specialist in Farm Management, Rutgers, New Jersey
A new computer program 'Greenhouse Cost Accounting' could be helpful to greenhouse and nursery managers. Managers can use the software to analyze various strategies to improve the overall profitability of their businesses. This can be done by entering either hypothetical crops into the program or hypothetical changes in the current production system and comparing the results to that system. This program also could be used for student instruction in floricultural production and management or in workshops and other programs that teach greenhouse management. The program has the following goals:

  • Allow greenhouse managers to allocate as many variable costs as
    possible from the income statement to specific crops. The program will
    then total the overhead costs and variable costs that cannot be allocated
    directly to specific crops and will allocate them to each crop on a per
    square-foot-week basis.
  • Allow managers to determine the profit or loss of each crop.
  • Provide a tool for use in financial and production management.
  • Provide managers with information to reduce costs.
  • Provide a planning tool to identify and eliminate unprofitable
    crops and increase profitable ones.
  • Provide necessary cost data for pricing plants.

The Greenhouse Cost Accounting program begins by collecting information typically contained in income statements that are readily available to managers. The user then enters information on direct costs of each crop. From this input, the program allocates as many costs as possible to individual crops. The program assigns the remaining unallocated costs from the income statement to each crop on a per square-foot-week basis. The program then calculates information on costs and returns per crop, per unit (pot or flat), and per square foot for each crop, as well as an income statement showing total costs, allocated costs, and unallocated

The Greenhouse Cost Account program assumes that the grower has a grasp of
financial management and maintains good records.

For a copy of the software, contact Dr. Robin G. Brumfield, Specialist in
Farm Management, e-mail: Or send a
check for $50 to: Dr. Robin Brumfield, 2908 West Turner Street,
Allentown, PA 18104.

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Compost resources
High Quality, Low-Tech On-Farm Compost - by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension

The Cornell Waste Management Institute
Project Summaries describing the recently completed or ongoing projects of CWMI

Considerations for Dairy Farms Regarding Use of Sewage Sludges, Sludge Products and Septage - a 4-page summary of this 20-page report is also available

Land Application of Sewage Sludges - an excerpt from the updated 2004 Cornell Guide to Integrated Field Crop Management

Compost Materials:
Results of a Compost Advanced Short Course

The Quality of NYS Agricultural Composts final report

Updated Compost Survey Maps and Database of NYS compost facilities

Compost Use Guidelines and Specifications resulting from a comprehensive search to identify guidelines for different categories of compost use


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Season Extension

Articles by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension:
Potting Mix for Organic Growers
Plastic Primer

The Hoophouse Handbook ed. by Lynn Byczynski
from Growing for Market

Article by Mark Dunau of Mountain Dell Farm:
Mark shares an incredible amount of valuable information in this article. The quality of the late fall produce is superb, and the marketing window for local produce is almost unfilled.

Grapes and Viticulture
Organic Viticulture in Germany
Paulin Köpfer and Helga Willer
Paper prepared for BIOBACCHUS, International Organic Wine Conference, Frascati,Villa Aldobrandini, 5-6 May 2001

Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Organic Viticulture
IFOAM | August 2000 | Basel - 263-page PDF

Organic Grape and Wine Production Symposium | NYSAES
| March 21-22, 1995 | Organic Viticulture in New York (The
SARE Project)

Wineland (Wynboer) - Magazine of the South African wine producers - contains archives with many good references for organic viticulture


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Soul of Agriculture video tapes
For those of you who may have missed the Soul of Agriculture Conference 2001 & 2002 in New Hampshire, or may have attended and want to share parts of it with others, now is your chance to see it again. To order video tapes of the conference, see contact information below.

Stuart M. Leiderman
Environmental Response
P.O. Box 382
Durham, New Hampshire 03824 USA

VHS Videotape Order Form--$25 per cassette, $15 for students

  • "The Soul of Agriculture I", University of New Hampshire, Nov 18-20, 2001
  • Welcome: Marie Harris, NH Poet Laureate, "September Garden"
    Keynote: "The Ethics and Direction of Modern Agriculture",
    Fred Kirschenmann, Director, Leopold Ctr for Sust Agriculture, Iowa
  • Keynote: "The Dynamics and Critique of Modern Agriculture",
    John E. Ikerd, Professor, Agricultural Economics, Missouri
  • Panel: "Local Perspectives: Common Values, Problems, Solutions"
    Rbt. Blacker, COSTA Foods; Chuck Cressy, Durham Mktplace; Rick
    MacDonald, UNH; Charles Reid, Stonewall Farm; Rev. Mary Westfall,
    Comm'ty Church, Durham
  • Panel: "National and International Politics and Their Implications
    for Food Systems in the Northeast": Kenneth Dahlberg, W Mich U;
    Linda Elswick, Michael Appleby, Humane Soc US; Gary Valen,
    Glynwood Ctr, NY
  • Keynote: "The State and Fate of Agriculture and Small Farms in
    the Northeast", Vern Grubinger, Ctr for Sust Agriculture, Vermont
    Open Plenary Forum: "Next Steps for the Northeast Agr Movement"
  • Keynote: "Year-Round Market Gardening in New England",
    Eliot Coleman, Four Seasons Farms, Maine
  • "The Soul of Agriculture II", University of New Hampshire, Nov 17-19,2002
  • Welcome: Marie Harris, New Hampshire Poet Laureate
    Keynote: "Living on the Frontier is Never Easy",
    Marty Strange, Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska
  • Panel: "Eating as Action": John Carroll, UNH; Br. David Andrews,
    Natl Catholic Rural Life Conf.; Duncan Hilchey, Cornell;
    Ben Watson, "Slow Food"
  • Panel: "Farm Animal Welfare": Tom Kelly, UNH; Rick Clugston, Ctr
    Respect for Life/Envt; Brenda Coe, Am Humane Assn; Bethany Hodge,
    Echo Farm; Tamiko J. Thomas, Humane Soc U.S.
  • Workshop: "Producing Food Out of Season": Otho Wells, UNH
  • Workshop: "The Essence of Biodynamic Farming": Trauger Groh,
    Temple/Wilton Community Farm, New Hampshire
  • Panel: "New Movements in New England Community Food Systems":
    Steve Taylor, NH Agr Dpt; Brian Donahue, suburban agr; Rosemary
    Fifield,Hanover, NH Co-op; Lindsey Ketchel, VT Fresh Network;
    Lorraine Merrill, NH Coalition for Sustain'g Agriculture
  • Panel: "New Movements in New England Agriculture"; Bruce Clement,
    UNH; Trauger Groh; Hugh Joseph, Tufts U., Eero Ruuttila,
    Nesenkeag Farm
  • Keynote: "Linking Social Justice and Food Safety"
    Elizabeth Henderson, Organic farmer, educator, activist,


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Farm Business Management
Adjusted Gross Revenue Insurance for Diversified Crops - by Vern Grubinger
Agricultural Business Plan - A Guide to Writing One - by Vern Grubinger
Employee Handbook for Your Farm - by Vern Grubinger


Pest and Disease Management
2005 SARE Publication "Managing Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies

The first issue of the 2005 New Agriculture Network - a joint venture between the University of Illinois, Purdue University, Michigan State University, Iowa State University and organic growers.

IPM Library of books on organic/natural pest management techniques
Including the following titles:

  • Ball Identification Guide to Greenhouse Pests and Beneficials
  • Biological Pest Management for Interior Plantscapes, Second Edition
  • Diseases and Pests of Vegetable Crops in Canada: An Illustrated Compendium
  • Enhancing Biological Control: Habitat Management to Promote Natural Enemies of Agricultural Pests
  • Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs
  • Insects That Feed on Trees and Shrubs, Second Edition
  • Integrated Pest Management for Floriculture and Nurseries
  • Knowing and Recognizing: The Biology of Glasshouse Pests and Their Natural Enemies,
  • Natural Enemies Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Biological Pest Control
  • Natural Enemies of Vegetable Insect Pests
  • The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control: A Complete Problem-Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden and Yard Healthy without Chemicals
  • Pests and Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials: The Biological Approach
  • Rodale's Garden Problem Solver: Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs
  • Rodale's Successful Organic Gardening: Controlling Pests and Diseases

UC Davis list of IPM publications

Articles by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension:
Beneficial Insects for the Greenhouse
Beneficial Nematodes to Control Black Vine Weevil in Strawberry
Bio-Rational Pesticides
Colorado Potato Beetle
Compost Tea for Disease Suppression
End of Season Management
Organic Vegetable Disease Management
Perimeter Trap Cropping
Nematodes for Insect Control


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Weed Management
The Henry Doubleday Research Assn. (UK) - Has a large on-farm research component.

Rodale Institute work on organic no-till

Organic Weed Management strategies from Mary Peet, U.North Carolina

Vineyard weed control, CA - has a good suppliers list

Articles by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension:
Flea Beetle Management
Ten Steps to Organic Weed Control
Flame Weeding
Cultivation Equipment for Weed Control: Pros, Cons and Sources


Nutrient Management
Organic ePrints - Nitrate leaching from arable crop rotations in organic farming

UK Nitrate Leaching data

ATTRA's Organic Matters series: Protection Water Quality on Organic Farms

Articles by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension:
Managing Nitrogen on Organic Farms


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Soil Quality
Sources of Nutrients - a list of soil amendments and their nutrient makeup from Eric Sideman of MOFGA. This document is in .pdf format and requires Adobe Acrobat to open it.

UK Organic Soil Fertility resources

Information on buckwheat from Cornell

Cyber-help on Soil Quality

Articles by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension:
Cover Crops and Green Manures
Winter Rye: A Reliable Cover Crop
Soil Microbiology: A Primer