After bad season, organic farmers bounce back through education

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COLUMBIA - All the rain this year has ruined many crops and gardens.

"In my 40 years of working in this business, I have never seen a more difficult year for crops because of all the rain we got," said Bradford Research Center Superintendent Tim Reinbott.

The Bradford Research Center is taking Thursday to educate organic farmers and gardeners about how they can improve their crops.

"Even without all the rain this year, organic crops are particularly hard to grow," Reinbott said.

The Center's Organic Field Day is designed to teach farmers how to handle some of these complications.

The day's focus is organic crops because of the rise in the area's organic consumption and interest.

"The interest in organic food is growing," said Reinbott. "I think one reason is folks want to know how their food was grown and with organic production there are some very strict rules that you have to follow."

Reinbott said since the demand for organic produce has increased the production of organic foods has increased as well, but not without its complications.

"Organic producers often have more hurdles to overcome, Reinbott said. "Whether its weed control, or insects or diseases, they do demand a little more for that. Because you are getting paid for your management."

This is the third year the Research Center has hosted an Organic Field Day.

Most of the participants are farmers and gardeners who provide produce at the local farmers markets.

Reinbott said they're expecting around 200 participants this year.