Do you know that organic farming can be more profitable than mainstream agriculture? As consumers increasingly seek organic alternatives to standard supermarket produce, demand for organic goods continues to grow.
The Certificate of Organic Farming is an online professional development program that explores the viable economic gains in pursuing organic farming, as well the benefits to the environment and health of the consumer.
In this organic farming course, you will learn about the history, scope and types of organic farming, and how to handle organic management issues, from certification and environmental concerns to marketing and promotion.
You will also discover integrated farm management systems for organic farming, including rotation design, waste management systems, and biodynamics, as well as how to manage pests, weeds, soil, pasture, crops and livestock.
On completion of this course, you will have strengthened your understanding of organic farming, which will enhance your ability to create and market a successful organic farming enterprise.
Unit - Organic Farming
Unit 1 – Introduction to organic farming
What is organic farming?
The benefits of organic farming
The scope of organic farming
Overview of organic techniques
Promoting plant growth
Intercropping, manurial systems
Composting and mulching
The soil microbiome
Cultural control of pests/diseases/weeds
Physical control of pests/diseases/weed
Biological control of pests/diseases/weeds
Nutrient cycling and recycling
Promoting plant growth
Unit 2 – Organic farming systems
Choosing a production system
Types of organic farming
No dig techniques
Vegetable-sod inter planting
No dig raised beds – one method
Broad-acre and row cropping
Animal production systems
Animal breeding/stud operations
Fish and aquaculture
Poultry, hordes, swine
Cattle semen production
Unit 3 – Organic Management Issues
Approaches in organic production & manufacturing
The benefits of an ethical approach to organic production and manufacturing
Ethics help to meet consumer expectations and improve an organisation’s reputation
What consumer law tells us – self-labelling
Changing an existing farm to an organic property
An example certification process
Marketing organic produce
Conservation & management of resources for long-term sustainability
Native vegetation & farms
Important reasons for using trees
Problems with wet areas
Waste water treatment (reed-beds)
Unit 4 – Organic soil management & crop nutrition
Composting on organic farms
Mulching on organic farms
Blood and bone meal
Boosting the soil microbiome
Unit 5 – Organic weed management
What is a weed?
Plants which take over
Ways to control weeds without chemicals
Check soil condition
Minimise sources of weed seeds
Biological weed control
Other grazing animals
Organic weed control practices
Techniques used to manage weeds
Unit 6 – Pest & disease management
Livestock disease management
The healthy animal
Recognising ill health
Causes of ill health
Living organisms and microorganisms
Preventing ill health
Feed animals an adequate and well-balanced diet
Avoid stressing livestock
Prevent diseases from entering the farm system
Practise good hygiene
Actively manage grazing and fencing
Pulpy kidney vaccination
Blue tongue vaccination
Ovine brucellosis vaccination
Other vaccinations which may be needed:
The first aid kit
Aids for diagnosis and instruments and medicines
The hospital pen
Quarantine and slaughter
Controlling pests and diseases in plants
Choose the right plant for the right position
Choose healthy plants and resistant plant varieties
Groups of foods (carbohydrates, proteins and fats)
Other terms that are used
Food processing terms
Factors affecting water intake
Site requirements for feedlots
Managing cattle in lots
Problems with lot fed cattle
Pen fattening of cattle -one method
Unit 8 – Livestock management II
Advantages and disadvantages to aquaculture
Extensive production (EP)
Intensive production (IP)
Species of fish to farm
Unit 9 – Organic pasture management
Managing pasture site
Choosing pasture sites
Growth and development of grasses
Phases 1,2 and 3
The importance of legumes in pasture
Major types of legumes
Other pasture crops
Choosing the correct seed mix
Establishing new pasture
Preparation of the land for pasture
Sowing and germination
Testing the soil microbiome
How to perform a cotton strip assay:
Reading the results of your cotton strip assay
Grazing the new pasture
Grassland management rests – to promote rapid growth
Rests based on the requirements of animals
Pasture varieties and grasses
Major types of pasture grass
Pasture management principles
Rest and grazing periods
Stocking and carrying capacity
Number of herds and herd size
Applying grassland management principles
Continuous light stocking
Split – season systems
One herd, four paddock system
Unit 10 – Broad-Acre Organic Crops
Plant fibre crops
Table of commonly grown fibre crops
Hay & silage
Silage production and inoculants
Sorghum (grain and sweet varieties)
Storage and handling
Pits and bunkers
Estimated duration 50 hours
Course Delivery and Start
Start anytime, self-paced and 100% online
Assessment will be comprised of written exercises, including short-answer questions, reflective tasks, short reports and/or projects. There are no examinations or due dates for assessment. As a result, you can complete training in your own time and at your own pace with the assistance of unlimited tutor support.
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