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Organic Farming Methods That Organic Farmers Use

Organic farming is not just a type of agriculture; it can be considered a complete system and lifestyle for farming areas and beyond. From using small tools to decade-long processes, organic farmers stay very careful to stick to their principles.

This farming method aims to keep the ecosystem intact and improve human lives. So, it needs to follow some techniques different from regular farming. Knowing them will give you a better idea about the difference between the two agricultural methods. It will also allow you to learn how to do organic farming.

So, we have explained some of the most popular organic farming techniques in this article.

Difference Between Organic and Natural Farming

Okay, before we get into the methods, let’s explain how organic farming differs from natural farming from various angles. Many apparently believe that organic farming is only about using traditional means and avoiding modern techs. However, that is not true. Their actual dissimilarities are-

Field of Difference: Organic Farming

  • Goal: Improving soil fertility while not affecting the environment and keeping a high yield.
  • Usage of Fertilizers: Follows strict guidelines and regulations and only uses mineral, compost, or harmless fertilizers to increase soil fertility.
  • Chemical and Pesticide Usage: Only allow certain safe chemicals and pesticides derived from organic sources. The farmers also go for alternative routes to prevent the use of these.
  • Cost of Products: Usually higher than products used in natural farming but significantly lower than that of modern farming.
  • Control and Strategies: Organic farmers can have more accurate predictions and strategies thanks to lab testing and information on the products they use.
  • Weed Management: Uses weed barriers and weedicides to manage weeds and prevent them from negatively impacting the plants.
  • Intensity of Labor: Since organic farming embraces many modern technologies, given they are harmless to the environment, the labor is also easier here.

Field of Difference: Natural Farming

  • Goal: Using method or item to get high farming inputs.
  • Usage of Fertilizers: Strict about not using fertilizers. Instead, they use only methods to make the best environment for the microorganisms in the soil.
  • Chemical and Pesticide Usage: It doesn’t use any chemicals or pesticides. Instead, they utilize plant spacing, diversity, and pruning methods. They also allow natural predators or helpful pests to help eliminate harmful insects.
  • Cost of Products: Very lower than all other farming methods.
  • Control and Strategies: The effectiveness of the strategies and the scope of control depends on the skill and experience of the authorities and farmers.
  • Weed Management: Unless there is severe weed competition, natural farmers don’t try to get rid of weeds. They only depend on the evolution of the natural system so that the weeds naturally go away after a certain period.
  • Intensity of Labor: Natural farming requires extensive labor for various tricky processes without modern methods and technologies.

With this topic out of the way, let’s discuss the various organic farming methods.

Using Green Manure

Green manure is the process of growing certain plants that can keep the structure and fertility of the soil intact. However, it doesn’t stick to only raising. It also involves withering the plants, uprooting them, and digging them into the ground.

Since these plants can keep soil nutrition from slipping away, sowing them into the soil helps keep it fertile. It also provides the ground with nitrogen. So, when the main flowers or plants are harvested, they can use that nutrient to grow better and quicker.

Some common green manure are-

  • Buckwheat
  • Rapeseed
  • Mustard

These crops are also known as cover crops. During crop rotation, specific periods only include the green manure process. Organic farmers must pay attention to the best season and conditions for planting and tilling.

Crop Rotation

One of the most popular organic farming methods is crop rotation. It is the process where the farmers rotate between different plants each year to grow in the same field. It helps in so many ways. Some of them are-

  • Preventing the spread of certain diseases of pesticides specific to one or a few types of plants.
  • Allowing the soil to sustain its nutrition since crop rotation also involves green manures and legumes in-between growing the essential crops and plants.
  • Getting more yields than usual since the extra nutrients help the plants grow steadily and robustly.

Almost all organic farms continue crop rotation throughout the years. The process involves planting and harvesting crops like wheat or potatoes first, which consumes a significant amount of nutrition from the ground.

Then comes the rest phase, where the farmer’s plant ‘leys,’ utilizing green manure to add fertility to the ground. Aside from green manure, they also use clover or different grasses.

Crop rotation is necessary for the organic farming scene because it is one of the best alternatives to chemical and pesticide usage.

Organic Pest Control

Every pest, damaging or not for the plants, has its natural suppression factors. Organic pest control boosts these to eliminate harmful pests from the farm. Some of them are-

  • Creating a habitable environment nearby for predators or natural enemies of pests. For example, providing them with the necessary food and other necessary items.
  • Ensuring the natural enemies have a proper reproductive rate and can appear simultaneously as the harmful pests. For example, suppose the former takes time to lay eggs and complete other phases. Then, the phase when they target the pests must align with when the insects attack the plants.

Other human-involved processes are-

  • Following the crop rotation technique.
  • Manually picking up pests.
  • Using pest traps.

Soil Management

Aside from green manure, organic farming also adds minerals and other nutrients to the soil to increase fertility. Farmers add composts (decomposed living matter) and other procedures as part of the soil management system.

Increasing the soil nutrients in this way doesn’t adversely affect nature.

Conclusion

Organic farming consists of various procedures that stay between natural farming and modern agriculture. These are unique and ensure that the farm’s plants and soil stay fertile while the animal’s and human lives remain peaceful. All of these must be done without tampering with the ecosystem or polluting the environment.

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