School of Agriculture

Organic Farming Economics

While conducting research and demonstrations on pesticide-free and organic farming, we have produced data which has been given to a cooperating agriculture economist (Dr. Rick Hirschi), who analyzed the economic feasibility of these systems. Rick has also conducted surveys with organic producers to determine the basic production differences between organic and conventional farming systems in Illinois.

While organic farming can increase return per acre, these methods expose growers to added risks in regard to obtaining adequate economic returns and meeting fertility needs. Markets for organic foods are expanding and farmers should be empowered to exploit these opportunities. In 2008, the farm's organic feed grade soybeans were contracted for $23/Bu, while the organic yellow food grade corn was contracted for 10.50/Bu. Also, 2008 organic soft red food grade wheat was contracted for $16/Bu. Presently, only one grower in our region is participating in growing organic crops for these contracts. Therefore, we need to develop and demonstrate practical practices for producing marketable organic crops for growers in our region.

Dr. Rick Hirschi's Reports:

NRCS Case Studies

Contact Information

Dr. Joel Gruver
Office: Knobluch Hall 302
Phone: (309) 298-1215

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