Exploring Organic Grain and Forage Production as a Profitable Market for Palouse Farmers

Kendell Kahl, Kathleen Painter, Nicole Tautges and Kristy Borrelli
PNW 748 | October 2020


Demand for organic grain has outpaced actual US grain production in recent years. Yet little is known about organic grain production in the Palouse, likely because it comprises a small portion of total crop production. This study takes a closer look. It examines crop productivity under reduced-tillage conditions, provides estimates of field-scale costs, determines the benefits of crop rotation, and describes the principal factors that determine profitability within cropping systems. The verdict: organic grain and forage production can be a profitable niche enterprise within a traditional Palouse nonorganic wheat farm.

About the authors

Kendell Kahl
Research Specialist
Department of Soil and Water Systems, University of Idaho (UI)
Kathleen Painter
Agriculture Extension Educator
UI Extension, Boundary County, Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Nicole Tautges
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, Wisconsin
Kristy Borrelli
Sustainable Agriculture Extension Educator
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

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