Organic System Design and Management
The purpose of all of the Kerr Center’s on-farm educational projects is identifying and testing sustainable production systems.
Well-designed organic systems are among the most sustainable. They are resilient due to many factors including higher soil organic matter levels, greater above- and below-ground biodiversity, and reduced dependence on off-farm inputs.
Organic production is not new at the Kerr Center. For much of its 15-year history, the original 20-acre horticultural farm was certified organic through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry.
In 2008, the Kerr Center began converting about ten acres of pasture to certified organic status. This Cannon Horticulture site is the main demonstration and research area, including about two acres under organic management. The site was certified organic in 2011.
The site features a long-term soil-building rotation based on cover crops, green manures, and modest inputs of compost. There is a greenhouse and a compost area, with two additional hoophouses built in 2011.
Recycling nutrients and building up the soil through natural means has been the goal of many projects over the years. The staff has experimented with cover crops, compost, and crop rotations to build soil fertility. These are old techniques that are often undervalued, yet they work extremely well.
Contact: George Kuepper
An increasing number of farmers and gardeners in Oklahoma and the South are growing crops organically and need information. Kerr Center offers farmers and gardeners a variety of resources and publications on organic production and transitioning to organic production, certification, and processing. A sampling of these includes:
Organic Resources Page
(production, transition from conventional to organic, certification, marketing).
Kerr Center's Organic Publications