WEST LAFAYETTE — A 10-acre Purdue University research farm has been certified as organic, giving Purdue scientists a chance to play a bigger role in the growing organic farming field.
Organic farmers raise crops without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Purdue's Meigs Farm near the West Lafayette campus was certified as organic in October by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.
Purdue weed scientist Kevin Gibson says the farm will allow researchers to evaluate organic-farming management practices like crop rotations, pest management and the use of cover crops. It also will allow them to assess how particular crop varieties perform under organic conditions.
Getting organic certification usually takes about three years, but Meigs Farm obtained it in 18 months because the land had not been used for conventional farming for several years.