The process of becoming organic is not as difficult as one things, except that you need to be committed to being a steward of the soil and have good weed management. I'm in my second year (in conversion) to being an organic berry farmer. The paperwork is a bit of a challenge, more so if you have livestock or use manure based inputs. Once you understand the soil and how to raise the profile, health and organic matter, nature has an uncanny way of looking after itself. I have never farmed before starting our organic berry farm and the more I read, the more I am glad I made this decision. We grow for taste first, clean fruit, marine based inputs and although the biggest nightmare is weeds for us, I feel comfortable, particularly after learning so much about the poisons put into the growing system.
If you are an existing farm, you'll need soil tests first to see what is in the soil. The reason it's three years is to give people the opportunity to amend their soil, but if you live in an area of spray drift or GMO products that could be dispersed on your land, or if you've had drenching or an overuse of poisons, you might not be eligible to become organic.
Because I do not know any other way to farm, I can't see anything other than organic practices. It does make you unpopular with the chemical cartel because they're not able to make money out of you selling their wares so you do need to be prepared for isolation, ridicule by the stayed conventional farmers but the reception from the public and ability to sell to organic markets, which is small but niche, allows you to focus on quality, not quantity.
I am with the Organic Food Chain because I didn't want to pay commission on our sales. All the other organic certifiers charge commission on turnover. Depending upon your turnover there are different levels of organic status you can purchase. I like this idea. It means that smaller farmers who want to be organic can be, without having to pay the big boy rates. I unfortunately didn't know this prior to me applying and since we are looking at being commercial growers, I applied for this level, when in fact, at the time, I could have applied for the smaller level and then upgraded, but we're in our final year and after August 2020 will be completely certified and have a good market for our produce.
We were able to sell in our first year of conversion which was a choice by the wholesalers who we visited and they determined after us visiting them we were compliant. They are not under any obligation to take your produce until you are certified. In the very first year we were unable to sell to the wholesale markets.
I will be honest, growing strawberries organically is much more difficult than I had anticipated. The weed management is mentally challenging, and if i grew market garden vegetables I believe it would be easier because the turnover is much quicker. There is more loss for us probably than conventional but then again we're fastidiously fussy because we want a premium market.
I hope this gives someone some insight on this as it's not a popular topic given that it's been here for over 500 days with only one response.