2020 MOSES Organic Field Day

Do the Numbers:  Organic Crop Transition

Wednesday, July 8 |  12:45 p.m.  |  Free |  Online

Jovaag Family Farm
Austin, Minnesota



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Jon and Ruth Jovaag have been gradually transitioning their crop and livestock farm to organic since 2014, aiming to have their entire 400-acre farm certified organic by 2022. In 2014, they took a 12-acre hayfield where they hadn’t used inputs and planted organic corn.

“I didn’t do much correctly that first year,” Jon said. “My yield was really poor—maybe 100 bu/ac—but I sold it for $10 per bushel. I made more on that land than I did on conventional corn per acre. I did many things wrong, and I still turned a profit. Imagine if I did something right!”

They transitioned another 10-12 acres the next year. They’ve been slowly transitioning more acres and adding equipment.

Field Day Topics:

  • Rotation for soil-building and weed control
  • Equipment the Jovaags needed to add
  • Challenges they faced

Paul Dietmann, Compeer Senior Lending Officer and co-author of Turning Grain into Dough and Fearless Farm Finances, will talk about the numbers to help you get a better understanding of everything involved in the transition to organic row crops.


MOSES Organic Farming Podcast will feature a conversation with the Jovaags.
We’ll post a link to that episode here when it is published.



John and Ruth Jovaag, Jovaag Family Farm

Jon and Ruth Jovaag returned to the family farm to farm full time in 2011. Jon’s parents started farming in 1980, and have always tried to implement good land conservation practices, starting early on with conservation tillage and grass waterways. Jon and Ruth continue that tradition with regenerative practices, using cover crops and crop rotations to save soil, build soil, and manage for soil health. They grow sunflowers, field peas, soybeans, corn, oats, hay, and—new this year—winter squash into the roller-crimped rye. Their livestock—sheep and pigs (and beef cows in the past)—help them reduce input costs and have more flexible and diverse rotations.


Paul Dietmann, Compeer

Paul is a Senior Lending Officer in the Diversified Markets group at Compeer Financial, a member-owned rural lending cooperative and Farm Credit System institution serving Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  Paul and his colleague, Sai Thao, are responsible for Compeer’s Emerging Markets Loan Program, which provides loans and technical assistance to farmers who market their products through local food systems.




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