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U.S. Department of Agriculture


In 1980, the USDA published a Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming. Beginning with the foreward, and continuing throughout the report, soil is given a prominent place at the origin of the USDA's involvement with organic agriculture. Unfortunately the USDA has forgotten what they already knew in 1980.





We in USDA are receiving increasing numbers of requests for Information and advice on organic farming practices. Energy shortages, food safety, and environmental concerns have all contributed to the demand for more comprehensive information on organic farming technology.


Many large-scale producers as well as small farmers and gardeners are showing interest in alternative farming systems. Some of these producers have developed unique systems for soil and crop management, organic recycling, energy conserva tion, and pest control.


We need to gain a better understanding of these organic farming systems the extent to which they are practiced in the United States, why they are being used, the technology behind them, and the economic and ecological Impacts from their use. We must also identify the kinds of research and education programs that relate to organic farming.


As we strive to develop relevant and productive programs for all of agriculture, we look forward to increasing communication between organic farmers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Bob Bergland

Secretary of Agriculture

July, 1980



Read the full report here.



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