Organic Farming

Organic Farming

Green manure, crop rotation as well as compost and even biological pest control are some of the techniques that are closely associated with organic farming which in turn is a form of farming that aims to main higher levels of soil productivity as well as controls pests on farms. This form of farming also excludes using artificial fertilizers/pesticides as well as eschews the use of anything else that can be considered as unnatural.

A counteracting force

Organic farming was first introduced in the thirties and forties and was meant to counteract the widespread use of artificial fertilizers which in turn were used from the eighteenth century onwards. Being very cheap, such fertilizers became very popular and with newer methods of producing artificial ingredients being used, the era from the forties onward came to be referred to as the pesticide era.

Sir Albert Howard

The father of organic farming is a person called Sir Albert Howard and others that helped to make this kind of farming more popular included names such as the American J. I. Rodale and the Englishwoman Lady Eve Balfour.

World agricultural output

Organic farming accounts for a very small percentage of the world’s agricultural output. However, as governments are becoming aware of its benefits, they are trying to change everything by offering subsidies. In the developing countries, organic farming is also easier to implement because of the use of traditional farming methods that are more compatible with the organic methods.

Soil management

There are several organic farming methods that can be used under different conditions. Soil management is a method that is used quite often. This method is used in order to ensure that plants obtain sufficient amounts of nitrogen and potassium as well as phosphorous and in addition this method aims to provide the plants with proper amount of micronutrients. Providing plants with these at the right time is a big challenge for the organic farmer. They must therefore use green manure and crop rotation methods to ensure that the plants acquire proper amount of nitrogen.

Weed Management

Weed management through organic methods is a second option available to those who are involved in organic farming. By managing weeds organically instead of through artificial means, organic farmers can promote the proper suppression of weeds and not have to rely on eliminating weeds. They must therefore make use of phytotoxic effects and improve crop competition in order to organically control weeds. In addition, they must rotate their annual crops and must also do their best to increase organic matter in soil in order to promote microorganism growth that will help to destroy most of the more common weed seeds.

Besides weeds, it is also necessary for organic farmers to destroy arthropods and nematodes as well as bacteria and fungi. For this they will need to make use of an integrated system of pest management steps to help prevent diseases and pests. Crop rotation as well as managing nutrients is some of the steps that have to be taken to control pests.

Organic farming also means that no genetically engineered animals or plants can be used in the farm.

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