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E. Careful Planning Helps Transition from Conventional to Organic Production

Narrator: This is Science Today. Farmers can make a smooth transition from conventionally-grown crops to organic production with careful planning and by diversifying their crops. Those were the findings of a three-year, nationally-funded study led by Louise Jackson, a specialist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at the University of California, Davis.

Jackson: One of the things that they did was they greatly diversified their crop mix. Normally the main crops they grow on much of the conventional land in the area is lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, celery and during the organic transition, they used many more different kinds of crops, and cover crops. And not only diversify, but go for smaller-scale plantings.

Narrator: Jackson adds that planting at certain times of the year to avoid pests was also important.

Jackson: They carefully looked at the types of pests that might occur in the area and they purposely set planting dates so that they would not coincide with some of the greatest potential pest outbreaks.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.