Organic Farming

Study organic farming and learn to farm animals or crops, using organic, biodynamic, eco farming techniques; through a correspondence course or open learning online course

Course CodeBAG305
Fee CodeSOS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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On a worldwide scale organic farming methods are being adopted by farmers for economic, ethical and sustainability  reasons.

Climatic changes and the impact of  outdated farming practices have led to a revolution in how we approach food production. 
Manage plant and animal production in a more natural and environmentally sensitive way, and develop a sound foundation for understanding how to set up an organic farm, or convert an existing farm to organic practices.

The course covers:

  • organic management issues such as certification, marketing, and environmental concerns, 
  • organic soil management 
  • crop nutrition, 
  • weed management, 
  • pest and disease management, 
  • livestock management, 
  • pasture and crops.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Organic Farming
    • nature
    • scope
    • history
    • types of organic farming
  2. Integrated Farm Management Systems
    • rotation design
    • cash crops
    • managing waste
    • permaculture
    • polyculture
    • biodynamics etc
  3. Organic Management Issues
    • certification
    • environmental concerns
    • marketing
    • PR
  4. Organic Soil Management and Crop Nutrition
    • composting
    • mulching
    • green manuring
    • cover crops
    • organic fertilisers
  5. Weed Management
    • selecting appropriate techniques of control
    • weed identification
  6. Pest and Disease Management
    • Animals
    • Plants
  7. Livestock Management I
    • Beef
    • Dairy
    • Sheep
    • Pigs
  8. Livestock Management II
    • Poultry
    • Goats
    • Alpacas
    • Ostriches
    • Deer
  9. Pasture
    • Pasture Varieties
    • Management Principles
    • Intensive systems
    • nitrogen fixation
    • correct seed mix
    • risks with legumes
  10. Crops
    • Wheat
    • Plant Fibre
    • Hay and Silage
    • Mung Beans
    • Sesame seed, etc

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Discuss the scope and nature of organic farming in today’s world.
  • Select appropriate organic management systems for different organic farms.
  • Understand the environmental, economic and political issues concerning organic farming.
  • Explain the role of living organisms and decomposing organic matter in creating and maintaining an appropriate soil condition for successful organic farming.
  • Contrive and apply appropriate weed management practices for an organic farm.
  • Select and apply appropriate pest and disease management practices for both animal and plant production on an organic farm
  • Design an appropriate system for organic production of cattle, sheep and pigs.
  • Design an appropriate system for organic production of poultry and other miscellaneous animals.
  • Design an appropriate system for organic pasture management.
  • Explain the broad-acre organic production of a grain or legume crop.

What You Will Do

  • Investigate Organic industry such as, certifying organisations, producers or organic farming groups in your locality or region
  • Determine allowable inputs to an organic farm certifying in your area
  • Discuss how an organic farm requires more labour than a conventional farm
  • Visit an organic farm, either a real visit or virtual visit if that is not possible
  • Prepare a plan for an organic farm.
  • Describe the conversion process for one of the organic farms
  • Investigate organic market potential
  • Prepare a compost heap
  • Prepare a diagram of a healthy soil food web
  • Prepare a weed collection (25 weeds –either pressings or illustrations)
  • Determine appropriate weed control within allowable organic farming limits.
  • Describe the life cycle of three animal parasites
  • Describe habitat requirements of various predatory insects
  • Survey one or more farms regarding animal production systems
  • How can the animals above be integrated into a vegetable or fruit production system
  • Determine organic solutions to different farming problems
  • Investigate different pasture management systems.

Learn from Experts in Organic Farming

Our principal, John Mason is author of over 45 books including titles Farm Management & Profitable Farming (published by Kangaroo Press / Simon and Schuster), and Sustainable Agriculture (published by CSIRO / Landlinks Press)

Tutors and course developers include a team of internationally renowned experts who have worked in agriculture throughout both Australia, the UK, and beyond. (see our staff list at )

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