Rob Wallbridge is Thompsons’ organic specialist
Transitioning from a conventional farm to an organic operation can be a slow process, but Thompsons Ltd. can help a farmer every step of the way.
“A field has to be managed without any prohibited inputs for at least 36 months before an organic crop can be harvested from that field,” Rob Wallbridge, Thompsons’ organic specialist, told Farms.com. “If a farmer sprayed a herbicide in June 2017, it would be July of 2020 before an organic crop could be harvested.”
During that transition period, Thompsons provides farmers with the tools necessary to manage their land based on organic standards, says Wallbridge.
“We would work with farmers to develop a crop rotation that meets the fertility needs of the farm,” he said. “We would help them with weed control, we can supply organic soil amendments, perform soil testing and help them build a plan that uses organically approved materials.”
Help with the transition to organic production is only one of many organic services Thompsons offers.
Once producers harvest organic crops, Thompsons can help growers find a market for their organic corn, soybeans or wheat.
Thompsons has 13 locations in Ontario, some of which act as receiving hubs for organic crops.
The Mitchell, Ont. location receives organic corn, the Hensall and Port Albert locations receive soybeans, the Granton branch receives wheat and the Kent Bridge location receives black and white beans.
Wallbridge and other members of the Thompsons team will be at the Guelph Organic Conference in January.
Producers are also invited to Thompsons’ Field Crop Growers Meeting on Jan. 27 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
The meeting is free to attend and will include grain market information and soil management strategies. Lunch will also be provided.
Anyone interested in attending must register by Jan. 15 by emailing Rob Wallbridge or calling him at 613-724-9287.
Top photo: Rob Wallbridge