The first step in becoming certified for organic production is contacting a certification agency. By joining a local organic certification association, organic farmers may participate in various meetings, field days, and visits to organic farms. Certain sections of land can be converted (such as CRP) immediately into certified organic status if no synthetic chemicals (including Round-Up® and fertilizers) have been applied for the previous three years.
During the three-year transition to certified organic production, records should be kept on all substances applied to the land. An inspector will visit the farm in the third year (or the year the farmer anticipates selling his or her crop as organic) and review all records, crops, storage bins, and equipment used on the farm to assure compliance
with organic standards. The farmer will be issued a certificate upon completion of inspection and approval by the certification board. Certification fees are based on an inspection fee (average cost is $250/year) and anticipated acreage/livestock costs (average total fees are $3/acre).
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