24 episodes

Organics Unpacked is an organic farming podcast where listeners hear from the top experts in the commercial organic farming industry. With a focus on the business elements of organic growing, you will gain insight to improve your organic farming operation.

Organics Unpacked Avé Organics

    • Business

Organics Unpacked is an organic farming podcast where listeners hear from the top experts in the commercial organic farming industry. With a focus on the business elements of organic growing, you will gain insight to improve your organic farming operation.

    024: Completing the Supply Chain for Organic Corn & Soybeans w/ John Meuret

    024: Completing the Supply Chain for Organic Corn & Soybeans w/ John Meuret

    Farmers can raise all the organic crops they want, but if they don’t have someone to sell it to, life can get quite difficult. That’s where folks like organic grain merchandiser John Meuret come in. John serves an important role in the supply chain for local farmers by purchasing organic corn and soybeans. On this week’s Organics Unpacked, John tells his story as a fourth-generation grain marketer who went from not knowing any organic farmers in his area to opening a facility specifically designed to handle organic grains.  



    Learn more about Avé Organics: www.aveorganics.com  

    Learn more about J.E. Meuret Grain Company: www.jemeuretgrain.com  

    Connect with our guest on LinkedIn #OrganicFarming  Sharing in the Success of the Organic Community:   

    John: "As we talked earlier, our ability to visit with a lot of different producers and share those things. If it's okay with the producer, share them back with the group to say: ‘Hey, here's what works. Here's what doesn’t. 

    Here's a certifier that we like.’ We're not compensated by any certifiers, but we certainly will tell you if we have good experience with one that does a nice, reputable job. And same thing on the transition. If we see people using certain types of fertility or livestock manure, we will certainly let the group know that: ‘Hey, we really saw this, and we really liked it.’ Or: ‘This guy's got the cleanest corn I've ever seen.’ Or: ‘This guy's tried something, and it was a disaster.’ One thing that's wonderful about organic, Tom, is the producers are never guarded about what they try. They're always wide open about saying: ‘Here's what we did, and it really worked.’ In the traditional row crop, what you'd find is the guys were really defensive. They don't want to tell you their little secret because they might be giving away their goodie, but you don't find that in the organic, which is nice."

    • 20 min
    023: What Differentiates Organic & Conventionally Grown Crops w/ Dr. Gene Lester

    023: What Differentiates Organic & Conventionally Grown Crops w/ Dr. Gene Lester

    What really differentiates organic crops from conventionally grown crops? To find out, we welcome Dr. Gene Lester, National Program Leader for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Lester has years of experience researching various attributes of organic versus conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, including quality differences for marketability and nutrition. Dr. Lester is a National Program Leader for USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Lester researched the attributes of organic versus conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, including the quality differences for both marketability and nutrition. Listen to the full episode to understand what differentiates organically grown crops from conventionally grown crops.

    Learn more about Avé Organics: www.aveorganics.com

    Learn more about USDA-ARS: www.ars.usda.gov

    Connect with our guest on LinkedIn

    #OrganicFarming

    • 34 min
    022: Meeting the Growing Demand for Organic Cotton w/ Andy Jordan

    022: Meeting the Growing Demand for Organic Cotton w/ Andy Jordan

    Today, organic cotton only constitutes less than one-half of 1% of all cotton grown globally. With the demand for organic cotton growing day by day, savvy organic growers are looking to enter this promising space. Still, there are many questions surrounding the future of organic cotton, which we aim to unpack this week, with special guest Andy Jordan. Andy is an agronomist working to find more effective methods for growing organic cotton. He is the owner of Jordan Associates and also works on sustainability standards for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.



    AndY: "My friends will tell me I'm really crazy, but you know what? Let's face it. There's a real need — whether it’s commercial conventional agriculture or for organic — we've got to find a way to have machines and robots do more of our workforce because it’s much kinder to the environment."

    Learn more about Avé Organics: www.aveorganics.com

    Learn more about the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol: www.trustuscotton.org

    Connect with our guest on LinkedIn

    #OrganicFarming

    • 34 min
    021: New OMRI-Approved Products for Organic Growers w/ Loran Kaiser & Stan Buman

    021: New OMRI-Approved Products for Organic Growers w/ Loran Kaiser & Stan Buman

    On this week’s Organics Unpacked podcast, Tom interviews Loran Kaiser and Stan Buman, members of the Avé Organics team. They discuss several new OMRI-approved products that could be game changers for organic growers, including a liquid nitrogen called TerraPreme and a dry chicken manure called VydaTilth. This special panel was co-hosted by the Iowa Organic Association.

    Learn more about Iowa Organic Association: www.iowaorganic.org

    Connect with our guests

    #OrganicFarming



    Loran: "Working with raw manure in the organic world is nothing new. It’s been going on for years and years and years. But what we did want was something that was easier to handle and something that could transport further. And obviously, there are still quite a few people in this realm of the world, too, that are handling crumble or pelleted manures. There’s limited access to a lot of those facilities. So what we wanted to do when we’d seen the type of scale that this facility was going to bring to the market, we wanted to be able to make sure that we could deliver on this product to the rest of the clientele or the farmers out there that were wanting some sort of a manure-based product. But that doesn’t make sense financially to haul raw manure to the distances that they needed. Plus we knew we were going to have the volume where we can service a lot more people in a given area. And as we found out, Tom, it can transfer. It can haul a lot further than what we originally thought. At first, we were considering a byproduct, and a lot of people didn’t know what to do. Then, that’s kind of where we created our group at Avé Organics. So we have a crumbled 4−4−3. It’s what we call our VydaTilth product. 

    It comes out at about 10% moisture, give or take, one way or the other. It’s going to weigh about 42 pounds. It really has delivered a nice product. In the early stages, we had some issues with making sure that the size was fairly accurate, but what they’re shooting for for the VydaTilth product is about a 3 to 5 millimeter-in-size crumble. And for the most part, if it’s too small, they call that the ​‘fines,’ and they sift that out. And we do something else with that. Then, if it’s too large, it obviously goes back through the process. But at the end of the day, we’re expecting this one facility to produce anywhere from 60 to 80,000 tons of VydaTilth per year."





    See more of our podcasts on our website: https://aveorganics.frb.io/news/organics-unpacked-podcast-episode-21 

    • 24 min
    020: Rising Prices in the Organic Soybean Market w/ Ryan Koory

    020: Rising Prices in the Organic Soybean Market w/ Ryan Koory

    Welcome to Organics Unpacked. Today, we cover everything you need to know about starting an organic farming business.

    Show Notes:

    In this episode of Organics Unpacked, we hear from Ryan Koory of Mercaris. During the show, we will discuss:


    Volatile pricing in the organic soybean market.
    Over the past year the price of organic soybeans has skyrocketed after 18 months of price stability.
    The risks of the organic soybean market prices
    Ryan identifies the issues that are driving organic soybean markets higher, and the main driver is supply. The amount of domestically grown organic soybeans is up but the amount of imported organic soybeans is down substantiality.
    Ryan identifies the issues farmers should be looking at in  the soybean market.

    Ryan's Background:

    "I started off doing conventional markets, and I actually started off doing livestock, dairy and biofuels, building global models and doing analysis within those spheres. And I did that for about seven or eight years.

    Then, in 2017, I was approached by Mercaris to start working with them on organic issues. Quite frankly, prior to being approached by Kellee James, our CEO at Mercaris, I really hadn't given the organic industry much thought. However, coming from a background of doing conventional and doing livestock, one of the things is there's just so much that's already out there that it's hard to feel like you're contributing much by participating in that field. Not that there are not lots of important and valuable things to be done, but, as a person who's providing data, you're about one of a million voices who's talking about cattle and pigs and chickens.

    There's not much new to tread there. So, the thing that really attracted me to coming to Mercaris and working in organics is it really is a new and developing industry. And it's an industry that doesn't have however many years, 40 years, and billions of dollars of support from the USDA and every bit of information you could possibly want. There was a time, and still is to this day, an information hole within the industry, being able to work with people who work within this industry, farmers and people who work in procurement, and be able to build those tools to help people operate in this industry in an efficient way.

    People ask me what my goal is, and my tagline is I want to be able to provide every tool that a conventional farmer takes for granted for the organic industry. Just how little of that currently exists and how much of it we've been able to provide through this research and through the data products we put together, it's just really fascinating. It's fantastic to be able to work with people who are in this kind of industry because they're very passionate people and really be a part of watching it grow."

    Learn more about Avé Organics: www.aveorganics.com

    Learn more about Mercaris: www.mercaris.com

    Connect with our guest on LinkedIn

    #OrganicFarming

    • 42 min
    019: Organic Farming for Future Generations w/ Israel Morales

    019: Organic Farming for Future Generations w/ Israel Morales

    We welcome award-winning organic farmer Israel Morales for an in-depth discussion of organic agriculture, including transitioning conventional farms and educating the next generation of growers. Based in the Salinas Valley of California, Israel has over 40 years of farming experience and was recently named Organic Farmer of the Year by the Organic Trade Association. He currently serves as Executive Director of Sustainable Operations at JV Farms Organic.

    Learn more about Avé Organics: www.aveorganics.com

    Learn more about JV Farms Organic: www.jvsmithcompanies.com/jv-farms-organic

    #OrganicFarming

    • 39 min

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