Organic farming uses the cycles of nature to foster a healthy ecosystem. There is a great disparity between what is found in the soil and the leaf system of the plant.
Biodiversity is useful to create a robust ecosystem with fewer needs for pesticides and herbicides. Organic systems produce equal or better yields than conventional methods over time.
The approach began by organic farmers to prevent disease through man-made interventions. They also ensured that natural predators of pathogens thrive (beneficial insects, birds). Organic farmers then depend on these natural systems for disease prevention and control.
There are two types of customers who’ve already replied to the food industry. The first group refers to those consumers. These are groups who are generally concerned about the environment and their health.
They are willing to pay whatever it takes to get the best of a healthier product. They promise to contribute less toward potential environmental degradation. Agriculture and food production are the major benefactors.
The second group comprises those who are more focused on animal welfare, animal rights, and veganism. These consumers believe in reducing their consumption of animal products. as well as improving sustainability in the production process of organic foods.
The rising demand for organic foods has prompted many farmers (especially new ones) to join this sector in recent years. This approach has been successful in the arable farming and horticultural sectors. This is all despite the:
- stresses of drought
- pest infestation
- soil erosion and seasonal weather extremes
What does organic farming include?
- No use of artificial nitrogen fertilizers or pesticides – or synthetic inputs.
- Compliance with all applicable regulations. This is addressing the movement of animals and plants between countries.
- An avoidance of any genetic engineering, especially on food crops.
- Restricting the use of certain synthetic pesticides.
- The use of seeding rates. They are far more than those required by conventional agriculture.
What Are the working Methods of Organic Farming?
The use of crop rotation systems involving the rotation of crops to improve soil structure, provide N and P stores and prevent the build-up of pests. The use of Green Manures. These are seeds planted as a cover crop between two main seasons. They provide nutrients to the soil such as legumes. These crops fix nitrogen from the air which would otherwise be inorganic fertilizer.
They also reduce erosion by reducing wind speed and decreasing water runoff. The use of animal manures and composts. Examples are alfalfa hay, feather meal, wood wastes, green leaf litter.
The use of crop residues such as straw, and green manure crops. The use of composts produced by the decomposition of organic matter on the land. The use of biodynamic preparation.
It is when a synergistic system involves the manipulation and control of microorganisms.
Biodynamic preparations include sulfur-containing fertilizers. There are also biodynamic preparations and sprays. Don’t forget mineral products such as shampoos or poultices.
These products are not allowed in organic farming. This is except for limited quantities for ‘skeletal strengthening’. The use of fungicides has been for specific diseases.
Why organic farming?
It does more for the environment than any other type of food production. Organic farming can reverse the effects of climate change. This is because crops absorb and store carbon dioxide, which is one of the causes of global warming. It produces healthier foods without chemical residues. The difference in nutritional value between organic and inorganic foods is astonishing.
The research found that organic produce has up to 40 percent more nutrients than non-organic produce. It results in a shorter and more profitable life span for the animals we raise. The organic method of farming is helpful to cut animal suffering. It’s cheaper than conventional farming. This is because it prevents the use of pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers. They are costly and need large quantities of petroleum derivatives.
It’s safer for the environment than conventional agriculture. Inorganic fertilizers pollute waterways and affect water quality. Other chemicals used in agriculture can cause damage to soil, air, and water.
This is causing harm to plants, animals, humans, and wildlife. It tastes better than conventional food. It tastes better than conventional food. Organic foods are not up for irradiation, canning, modification, or otherwise tampered with.
Organic farming is usually chosen to refer to a set of methods and practices. They help them to have sustainable agriculture.
What Makes a Successful Organic Farmer?
Organic farmers are careful with their practices. They only use low-energy inputs when they are necessary. These practices must always be organic. Being ready to abide by the rules of the certification system. Not following these rules can lead to a loss of certification and a loss of income. An ability to grow food. They generate revenue for their business without relying on government funding or anyone.
Having intimate knowledge of the conditions. It includes properties and health characteristics. It doesn’t matter whether it’s cattle or vegetables or the land they are working with. Knowing the particular qualities and requirements of their products destined for the market.
What Are the Disadvantages of Organic Farming?
The certification process can be costly. It is due to an intensive inspection of the farm by a trained inspector. There is often no way to know what percentage of a product’s ingredients are organic. This is because much of the organic food grown in developing countries are not certified
There is only limited government support for organic farming. In many countries, it has no government support at all. So if you are going to decide to try this type of farming, you need to have the resources. These are land, money, and labor that it requires, available. Organic food is more expensive than conventional food. The growing capital costs are the main factor. The cost of both is a significant percentage of the total production cost.
Chemical inputs are vital to create soil conditions. These conditions foster healthy crops with a good amount of compost and manure. These inputs also have to be applied at regular intervals for the long-term health of the soil.
What are the types of organic farming?
Organic farming can be in into three main categories:
* Vertical farming systems. These are rooftop gardens that grow vegetables, herbs, and fruits on a building’s roof.
These systems are 35- to 50-foot high and can produce up to 10,000 pounds of food per year. They have been available in many countries including Brazil.
* The most well-known organic farming method is the Biointensive method. It was first used in Spain in the 1970s.
This type of agricultural system helps to produce larger yields with smaller amounts of inputs. They used best management practices designed to increase biological diversity within the farm.
* The Integrated pest management system, also known as IPM. It is a way of managing pests without the use of synthetic pesticides.
It involves many techniques. These are
⦁ biological control (controlling populations of pests by introducing natural predators and parasites)
⦁ mechanical control (hoes, stall-feeding, etc.),
⦁ and chemical control.
Are organic foods healthier for humans?
The majority of research on organic food and its health effects has not revealed any clear benefits to the consumption of organic foods.
This is because organic farming methods usually allow more time between the processes. It reduces nutrient availability which can reduce food consumption.
They also provide greater access to health care. It may be more beneficial to health than eating fruits and vegetables.
The products come from animals produced with no antibiotics or growth hormones. There are also no fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge. Let us not forget bio-engineering or ionizing radiation.
Is organic farming better than conventional farming?
It’s complicated. It depends on what you are growing. Different crops have different nutrient and pest needs. It doesn’t matter where you are growing it and your objectives. But the short answer is yes.
The benefits of organic farming include:
⦁ higher yields of organic crops
⦁ greater sustainability than conventional agriculture
⦁ a lower risk for developing certain types of cancers. and other degenerative diseases linked to pesticide exposure,
⦁ and reduced reliance on fossil fuels.
Organic agriculture also doesn’t contribute to global warming or pollution.
Organic farming is a very controversial topic. Especially when it concerns the future of our global agricultural systems.
It seems that people cannot agree on which aspects of it are good or bad. This is true for humanity and for the future of the planet itself.
Some experts suggest that the former is better for the environment in general. Others point out that the later takes advantage of nature.
One thing is clear, though. Organic farming is becoming more important part of the agricultural system.