Organic & Sustainable Farming - NO GMO
Wild River takes a responsible and sustainable approach to stewardship of the land and has always believed in the virtues of organic farming. Organic food is grown without synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. In the mid-1990s, we began transitioning our crops to organic farming practices. Today, the majority of our acreage is certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program.
Why Go Organic?
- NO GMO (genetic modification). Organic farming promotes plant and animal health without the use of antibiotics, hormones or synthetic inputs.
- Organic agricultural practices protect the natural fertility of the water and soil.
- Organic producers endeavor to preserve crop and ecosystem biodiversity.
- Organic farming protects water sources and prevents groundwater pollution.
- Organic farmers control pest populations using integrated pest management (IPM) instead of synthetic pesticides.
Sustainability & Water Source Protection
Organic farming is more sustainable than its conventional counterpart because it does not depend on chemical inputs. Organic agricultural practices support the soil’s microbiological community which can supply the same micronutrients as artificial fertilizers without the use of crude oil. The microbiological community that is present in organic soils also helps to prevent erosion and drought. Organic farms manage water supplies more efficiently and work to conserve and protect water sources. In general, they require less water than conventional farms, whose agricultural practices have led to the depletion and deterioration of many fresh water sources and aquifers.
Integrated Pest Management
Wild River preserves native vegetation and riparian habitat areas on our property which attract beneficial insects and predatory mammal species.
Chemical pesticide use kills not only pests, but also their natural enemies. Instead of toxic pesticides, Wild River uses integrated pest management (IPM): “an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties” (University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources 2014).
♦ We place bird boxes near the field to attract barn owls that help reduce populations of destructive rodents and mammal pests (i.e. gophers).
♦ Pheromones (i.e. Red Scale Down and Isomate C++) are strategically positioned to act as mating disruptors, effectively inhibiting the mating process and thereby reducing targeted pest populations.
♦ Strategic releases of beneficial insects (i.e. Aphytis melinus) are also used to control targeted pest populations in our orchards and vineyards.
The Environmental Impact
- Organic farms produce less greenhouse gas emissions as a result of taking additional air quality protection measures.
- A variety of energy conservation methods (i.e. solar panels) are used to minimize environmental impact and maximize energy use efficiency.
- Soil health is protected via fertilization with compost and cover cropping.
- Adoption of organic agricultural practices results in higher quality, healthier water sources that are not polluted by the use of synthetic chemical inputs.