The conversion period can be a real challenge, raising all kinds of issues. During this time it is important to establish a rotation that will be sustainable without prohibited inputs, whilst balancing soil fertility and biodiversity to allow crops and livestock to thrive.
The conversion period is a time for building a system that remains balanced and manageable while complying with organic regulations. Maintaining financial stability during conversion is equally important. Grant funding is available through the Organic Entry Level Scheme (OELS) and this will help to ensure your business remains viable throughout the conversion process.
There are, however, many other ways to safeguard and increase the profitability of the farm. Davies Organic Consultancy has a great deal of experience in building profit centres on farms through better use of resources and improved planning. We will develop a tailored strategy for your farm to deliver the best returns from your conversion.
Choosing the most appropriate conversion strategy for your business is vital; get it right and you will benefit from the most efficient transition from conventional farming practices to organic management, improved success in the organic market and greater financial security through the conversion process.
There are a variety of conversion models to consider; the right one for you will depend on a number of factors, including your business goals. Davies Organic Consultancy will work closely with you to determine the type of conversion that will bring the greatest benefits to your business and provide the most effective entry into the organic market. Below is a brief overview of the most common conversion strategies:
A standard conversion generally takes 24 months, during which time no prohibited inputs can be used.
Once this monitored time period has elapsed, any forage crops can be cut and sold as organic. For cereal crops to be considered as organic for sale they must be planted into organic land, after this 24 month monitored conversion period.
Land conversion followed by livestock conversion
This style of conversion will see the land completing its conversion with the stock starting their conversion at the end of the 24 month period. Any stock that are on the farm after this point must be managed to the organic standards and can only be sold as organic once completing their relevant conversion period.
In a simultaneous conversion, both the land and livestock convert together. Livestock and land on the farm must be managed to the organic standards from the conversion start date, with a variety of regulations covering the sale of livestock during the conversion period.
Fast Track conversion
There are two types of fast track conversion, both of which are subject to restrictions. We can assess whether your farm will qualify for either of the fast track models.
In staged conversion, parts of the farm are converted at different stages of the year or over a phased timetable which may stretch over several years. backup⇑⇑
Are you missing out on valuable farm payments simply because you do not know what you are entitled to?
While both conventional and organic farms may be eligible for environmental stewardship grant aid, the payments available for organic management are significantly higher. Introduced in 2005, the Organic Entry Level Stewardship scheme consists of a two tiered grant aid payment system for organic farmers.
The OELS payments can make all the difference in ensuring the success of your organic conversion, providing valuable financial help throughout the conversion process and onwards as you continue to operate a fully organic farm. Many farmers miss out on some of the payments to which they are entitled because they lack the time to complete the complex application forms or because they are unaware of the management options that qualify for payment.
While the OELS payment is given in recognition of a farm's organic accreditation, it must be earned via a point system that rewards a variety of environmental management options covering, among others, field margins, woodland, field, and historic and landscape features management. To benefit fully from the OELS grant aid available requires careful planning and a thorough understanding of the legislation, both of which can prove time consuming. Our OELS management service will save you time and money, building your application quickly and efficiently to ensure you receive the maximum grant aid. With Davies Organic Consultancy working with you at this vital stage, your business will be in the best position to maximise the potential of organic farming. backup⇑⇑
When you are deciding whether or not to convert to organic agriculture, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the factors that need to be considered. Our pre-conversion visits consist of a full day at the farm, assessing the needs of the business, discussing the opportunities and challenges involved in organic farming, and advising on the most effective approach to organic conversion. We will answer any questions you may have and address issues that need to be resolved before you make your decision. Every aspect of conversion will be covered, from timing and strategy to establishing which recording systems will be required to comply with organic regulations. We are committed to providing a cost-effective service that delivers the greatest financial benefit to your business, with no hidden costs or unwelcome surprises. Should you decide to convert, we will plan the most appropriate level of support, from helping you through the conversion itself to ongoing advice as your business moves forwards, making sure that the service you receive fits your needs perfectly.. backup⇑⇑