Integrating Organic Apple and Pork Production to Benefit Pest Management and Grower Profitability

Ceres Trust Research Grant

Project Directors: Matt Grieshop, Dale Rozeboom, George Sundin, David Epstein, Krista Buehrer

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We are an interdisciplinary team from Michigan State University developing a farming system integrating rotational grazing of swine into organic tree fruit farms to provide ecologically based insect, disease, weed, and nutrient management while adding a new farm product: high value organic pork. Our long-term goal is to help growers optimize benefits to pest and soil nutrient management, while ensuring adequate swine health and development. Two approaches to integration were taken: 1) total integration of apple and pork production within an organic farm and 2) a partnership between an organic apple and a swine operation where hogs were rented for grazing periods timed to key management needs.