New course and microlearning organic field crop practices

INDIANA – The National Organic Program (NOP) today launched a new course on Organic Field Crop Practices in the Organic Integrity Learning Center.

Soil is a critical resource, and the USDA organic regulations emphasize the need to maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation, including soil and water quality. For soil-based operations, this includes cultivation practices that maintain or improve the physical, chemical, and biological condition of the soil and minimize soil erosion, as well as managing crop nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal materials. Certifiers and inspectors play an important role in evaluating these production practices.

The Organic Field Crop Practices course provides inspectors and certifiers with a foundational understanding of organic field crop production practices. You will learn the basics of soil health; fertility management; strategies for weed, pest, disease control; seasonal field activities; and the possibilities for offering professional organic technical advising services. By strengthening your understanding of on-farm production practices and equipment, this course will help you to assess a farm’s implementation of its organic system plan (OSP) and protect the integrity of USDA organic products.

This training was developed as part of the National Organic Program’s Human Capital Initiative, designed to support current and future generations of organic professionals with the skills needed to effectively protect the USDA organic seal. The course was prepared for the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, National Organic Program, in partnership with the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and Organic Agronomy Training Services (OATS), as a publicly available training in the Organic Integrity Learning Center and is available for public use.

Related Microlearning

NOP-997: Introduction to Yield Analysis

This microlearning is for certifiers to learn about using yield analyses to protect the integrity of the USDA organic seal and market.

Target audience: Prospective and current organic certification professionals

Self-Enrolling in Learning Center Courses

Getting Started

How to Register for a Course

Once logged into the USDA AMS National Organic Program, Organic Integrity Learning Center, signing up for a course is like buying a product at an online store, but all training is free.

To register for an NOP course in the Organic Integrity Learning Center, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Register for Course in the menu.
  2. Available courses in the program will appear.
  3. Click the green Register button for each desired course.
  4. The green button will change to a blue button that says, Added to Cart.
  5. You will see a shopping cart with the number of courses selected.
  6. Click the link that says Proceed to Checkout. Note: The tuition is $0 – All training in the Learning Center is free!
  7. A list of the courses you selected will appear. To confirm enrollment, select the green Confirm button.
  8. Go to your Dashboard to launch the course.
  9. Click on the course title from the list of Active Courses.


  • Once you have completed a course, it will appear under the list of Completed Courses.
  • To access all completed course content, register for the National Organic Program Training Archive course to review (read-only) material from all OILC courses.