NOFA Cost of Production Project Offers Northeast Organic Vegetable Farmers a Better Understanding of their Profitability

Over the past two years, NOFA/MASS, NOFA-NH, and NOFA-VT worked with 30 organic vegetable farmers to determine the cost of production of vegetable crops commonly grown in the Northeast. The project, funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, developed tools, provided technical assistance, and aggregated data into factsheets to support farmers' production planning and assist them in increasing the profitability of their farm businesses. Each farmer in the project selected one to three crops to track and analyze using a workbook created by Richard Wiswall, author of The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook .
The results from participating farms were aggregated on a per acre basis into five crop-specific fact sheets that present key metrics such as net income, average price/case, cultivation hours/acre, wash and pack hours/acre, and many other data points related to the production of winter squash, potatoes, onions, head lettuce, and carrots. Supplemental factsheets present crop profitability comparisons, whole farm financial ratios, and tips for success when undertaking cost of production analysis. 
This data provides a reminder of the reality that farmers cannot continue growing food if their farm is not profitable, and that a profitable crop is one that covers all business expenses with some money left over to pay the farmer.
The cost of production workbook and the factsheets generated by this project can help farmers make informed decisions on crop mix, markets, and production systems that maximize their profitability.
Please  click here to view the eight fact sheets developed by the project. To download printable 8.5x11 files,  click here.
The cost of production workbook developed as part of this project is available for free upon request.  Please contact  Jen Miller to request a copy of the workbook. 
Rally to "Keep the Soil in Organic" in Hanover, NH

DATE: Sunday October 15, 2017 from 2:00 - 5:00 PM

Right now in most grocery stores you can see soil-grown tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and berries right next to hydroponic ones that are grown in some imported, plastic-wrapped solution, albeit 'natural'. Both are equally labeled simply, 'USDA organic'.  How do you know which one is soil-grown?

You don't.  That's not okay.
Soil biology is the foundation of organic growing practices and healthy soil makes healthy food. You cannot replace the complex relationships between plants, soil biology, and soil chemistry. Conscientious hydroponic growers need to get their own label to differentiate themselves from the chemical growers. Don't hide behind organic!
Help Preserve the Integrity of Organic Produce!
Join us to  Keep the Soil in Organic  on October 15th in Hanover, NH, to send a strong message to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that hydroponic and confined animal operations are NOT what people who buy organic food want.  Bring tractors, pitchforks, banners, signs, puppets, horns and drums, and your families!

tractor parade will begin at noon, followed by brief speeches, local food, live music, and lively celebrations. Speakers include: Dave Chapman, Roger Noonan, Enid Wonnacott, Laura Carpenter, Jake Guest, Will Allen, Davey Miskell, Karl Hammer and Lisa McCrory.

Hanover Rally Contacts:
Dave Chapman (802) 299-7737 and Cat Buxton (802) 359-3330

For rally updates and more, visi t Keep the Soil in Organic's website and Facebook page.

Watch this video by NOFA-VT to learn more about what this cause is all about.

Keep the Soil in Organic
Keep the Soil in Organic "Rally In The Valley" Excerpts (NOFA-VT Winter Conference)

NOFA-NH extends a Big Thank You to all the participants and planners who made Burlington VT's "Rally in the Valley" a success on Sunday, October 8th!
Welcome New Board Member, Sarah Laeng-Gilliatt
We are pleased to introduce our newest Board Member, Sarah Laeng-Gilliatt.

Sarah Laeng-Gilliatt is the cheesemaker and goat farmer at Main Street Cheese, LLC in Hancock, NH. Her business is inspired by both a devotion to artisanal production as well as a conviction that local, sustainable agriculture can help to usher in a new, life-centered generative economy through consumer and citizen action. She has worked for many years on economic justice, nonviolence, socially engaged Buddhism, and food policy. She was the Food Policy Coordinator at the New Mexico Acequia Association (the traditional ditch system for irrigating crops) as well as the Coordinator for the Food Policy Council in Rio Arriba County in New Mexico.
To learn more about our Board Members and Staff,  click here .
Register for the Farmland Access/Transfer Info Session

When: Monday, October 23, 2017 at 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Where: UNH Cooperative Extension, North Haverhill, NH 

Land For Good is hosting a FREE workshop designed to help NH farmers seeking to better understand the options, resources, and steps to accessing or transferring a farm or farmland. New farmers and members of the agricultural community seeking to buy or lease land will have the opportunity to connect with advisers that can answer questions about how to plan, evaluate and buy farm property, qualify for funding, understand conservation easements, owner financing options, and more.

Attendees will hear from a panel of professionals representing:
Expand your network for increased knowledge, connection and profit by attending this free information session.

Registration is required. Please contact Land For Good by calling 603-357-1600 or emailing Cara at

Click here for more details on this event, and visit Land For Good to learn more about their upcoming events and training.
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Policy Update

Roland McReynolds, Executive Director at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and fellow NSAC FSI Committee member, reports that the FDA is resolving water standards in the FSMA Produce Rule to provide more than one option for water testing methods. These changes will increase the options for farmers in terms of the number of labs to which they can send samples, and the costs for the alternate tests should be considerably less than the method outlined in the original regulations (method 1603). The alternate tests also have longer windows between sample collection and testing. Additionally, these adjustments should allow farmers to use historical testing results (that they collected as part of their GAPs requirements) to develop a microbial water quality profile. The issue of the numbers of tests and the microbial thresholds themselves remain problems to be addressed.
How Has (or Will) FSMA Regulations Impact You?

A research team at Northwestern University is investigating the impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on farmers, and wants to know how the FSMA has impacted, or will impact, you. Have you found yourself shouldering substantially greater documentation and record-keeping?

Please contact Jordan Woods of Northwestern University to submit your feedback by calling (260) 348-1329, or emailing

Email responses are preferred.
'Our Land,' A Web Series from  The Greenhorns, Celebrates Intervention in Our Food & Farm Economy
The Greenhorns, an unconventional organization dedicated to agrarian cultural revival through community organizing and grassroots media, has created Our Land, a series of films to celebrate and interpret the interventions undertaken by individuals and communities to shift our food and farm economy.
The free episodes each address a major systemic failure of the old food economy, be it toxicity, monoculture, monopoly, inequity, exploitation, drought, or vulnerability to climate change, by introducing the people who have identified a point of intervention to address these challenges.
You can check out the series here. Happy viewing!
Support NOFA on #GivingTuesday: November 28, 2017

Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a global day of giving fueled by social media, and a kick-off event for the charitable season celebrating non-profit organizations, charities and philanthropy.
You can help promote, preserve and protect organic agriculture in our community by making a donation to NOFA-NH on #GivingTuesday, November 28th, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Your donation will help NOFA-NH provide important programs and materials that matter to you.  And, don't forget, your donation is tax deductible!
Visit our Membership Page to learn more about how you can help NOFA-NH flourish.
Your support is invaluable to us. Thank you.
Renew Your Membership or Join Today!

We've streamlined to just two membership levels:
  • Student/Senior Membership: $30 (Available to full-time students currently enrolled in school and persons over 65 years old)
  • Standard Membership: $45 (Available to everyone)

Check out a list of member benefits on the membership page of our website.

Current memberships  will continue for one year from the date you joined.

Keep the Soil in Organic Rally
Sunday, October 15
Hanover, NH

Stout Oak Farm Solar Barn Open House
Wednesday, October 18
Brentwood, NH

Dirt Series Panel & Roundtable Discussion
Thursday, October 19
Keene, NH

Fall Network Gathering
Thursday, October 19
Lebanon, NH

Farmland Access/Transfer Info Session
Monday, October 23
North Haverhill, NH

NHACD Annual Meeting & Working Lands Conference
November 2 - 3
Walpole, NH

Organic World Congress
November 9 - 11
New Delhi, India

Soil & Nutrient Conference 
November 29 - 30
Southbridge, MA
Details & Registration Here

Root Skills Conference
November 30 - December 2
Manchester, NH

New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference
December 12 - 14
Manchester, NH

What's happening in neighboring states?


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