Organic Nutrient Management for Vegetable Production: a new online course for farmers and other professionals

Organic Nutrient Management for Vegetable Production: a new online course for farmers and other professionals

Nutrient management—providing crop nutrients in the right amount and at the right time—is one of the most important aspects of managing a farm. This course is designed to improve your nutrient management skills, and reach the production and profit goals for your or your client’s farm business. In this course, we use the word organic in its broadest sense to indicate an ecological, whole-system approach to nutrient management.

Organic Nutrient Management for Vegetable Production is a new self-guided course that is now available through OSU’s Professional and Continuing Education program. Registration is currently $25 and the course is available on demand at any time. You will have access to an instructor if you have questions as you work through the material.

What You'll Learn

This course covers the key concepts, principles and practices of organic nutrient management. It consists of five modules, we expect each module will provide two to four hours of professional education depending on how thoroughly you work through the material:

  1. Introduction to Organic Nutrient Management
  2. Organic Amendments and Fertilizers: What Types Are Best for Your Farm?
  3. Pre-Season Planning and Management
  4. Organic Nitrogen Management
  5. Nutrient Management for Long-Term Success

You will develop a whole farm perspective for making nutrient management decisions, and learn to evaluate different organic nutrient sources for their nutrient content, plant-available nitrogen, soil building capacity and other characteristics. Course activities will teach you how to test soil, interpret the results and develop crop- and site-specific nutrient management plans. You will establish a framework for making decisions about nutrient management that spans multiple growing seasons and balances crop performance, profitability and environmental sustainability.

This course is intended for managers of small- to medium-scale diversified vegetable farms, professionals who work with them, and other students of agriculture. Although the course focuses on organic nutrient sources and methods, it is not just for organic farms. Anyone interested in developing a more holistic approach to nutrient management will benefit from taking this course.

This is an intermediate- to advanced-level course, so we recommend that participants have at least four years of farming under their belts or some academic background in agriculture. Beginning farmers are welcome to join, but may find some of the material challenging. The course was written by Nick Andrews, Clare Sullivan and David Chaney, and was reviewed by Dan Sullivan and Doug Collins.

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