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Scopes of Organic Farming

While many think that organic farming is just about not using chemicals in agriculture, it is way more than that. It’s a different method of farming altogether since you have to think about not harming the environment, people, and animals.

Modern farming methods harm nature and its inhabitants in various areas than you may think. Organic agriculture has to be very careful not to do the same in any way. So, it practices some special principles to keep the biodiversity and cycles healthy.

In this article, we will try to cover and explain all the scopes and graph of organic farming and how they are working to make any difference.

Tools of Organic Farming

Before we get to the main point of our topic, let us give you a brief introduction to the working process of organic farming. Remember that this method of agriculture doesn’t reject science or any technology. That is a popular myth, unfortunately.

In fact, coping with the modern world would be almost impossible if the production wasn’t high enough because of avoiding various methods people use in regular farming. It would slow down the growth of organic farming greatly. So, how does organic farming do it all?

Well, organic agro uses three tools with a balance to ensure the best quality of life for everything involved and not involved. These are-

  • Modern farming methods
  • Traditional farming methods
  • Science

Farmers or owners of organic farms have to use methods that can merge the three tools above in order to get everything human, animal, and eco-friendly. It helps increase the total bacteria and fungi in the soil and ensure the health and quality of life for all the humans and animals on the farm. With this topic out of the way, let’s dive into the scopes of organic farming.

Cost Management

Obviously, the budget and cost of everything on the farm are an essential part of the whole process. One must plan it well so that everything goes smoothly without relying on any modern tactic that doesn’t fall within the principles of organic farming.

The good news is that organic farming costs way less in general than traditional farming. It doesn’t involve the purchase of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or animal drugs. Moreover, farmers avoid farming vehicles that pollute the environment with excess gas or oil. If necessary, they will utilize traditional methods that prevent the risk of these issues. Thankfully, modern machinery specific to organic farming has been created to be environmentally friendly.

Chemical Control

Another primary scope of organic farming lies in using natural techniques and biological fertilizers instead of using chemical ingredients. It falls into multiple categories-

  • Avoiding Pesticides: The use of pesticides has been replaced by natural techniques used by farmers in the past. Moreover, modern techniques have improved these techniques without harming the health of crops, animals, and the ecosystem.
  • Reducing Chemical Use: Chemical fertilizers can pollute the water, soil, or air. Organic farming utilizes biological fertilizers that don’t harm anything. Many brands in this industry are also producing eco-friendly fertilizer products on the market favored by organic farmers.
  • Avoiding Animal Drugs: Most animal drugs, minus the medications, to make animals grow faster are strictly prohibited by the principles of organic farming. Any form of artificial chemical substance is a no-go. Instead, it involves natural means to keep animals healthy.

Pest Control

Managing animal or plant diseases or controlling pests in organic farming doesn’t have to be all about changing tactics to natural or traditional ways. In that case, the production would be slow or little compared to other agricultural methods. So, how do organic farmers do it?

They mostly use the following methods-

  • Preferring local varieties of crops and animals instead of introduced species since the former has a higher resistance to any local disease or pest than the latter.
  • Pest attacks aren’t the same all time of the year. Organic farmers avoid those months when they increase the most.
  • Selecting specific species of plants or crops to grow that don’t get many diseases or pests.
  • Using bug traps or manually picking pests from crops.
  • Using the crop rotation technique. We will talk more about it later.
  • Sowing other crops that deter pests like onion or garlic with the actual crops in company.
  • Growing crops in places where the environment is natural for predators that remove pests from the farm.
  • Educating the workers about the lifecycle of pests and the difference between harmful and useful pests. It will allow them to eliminate only the bugs they should, instead of accidentally removing the ones good for the plants.

Crop Rotation Technique

You may have heard of the crop rotation technique when the topic of organic farming arises. It is a standard method where the farmers grow different crops in one field at a rotation. So, let’s say that the farmers are raising cereals on the farm this year. Next year, they may sow legumes. Then, it can be brassica, followed by roots. Finally, it will come back to cereal again.

Here, the crop type rotates yearly, protecting the surrounding area. It doesn’t let any diseases specific to one kind of plant spread. The same is true for pests.

So, why does organic farming use a very old technique like crop rotation? Well, the only standard alternative for this process is to use chemicals and different fertilizers to increase soil fertility. However, using them can harm the environment.

Crop rotation has this phase called the ‘ley’, where farmers grow crops that provide nutrition to the soil. It is mandatory since many other crops, like wheat or potato, take nutrients away from the ground. So, after reaping them off the field, the farmers plant leys, which are white clovers or grasses like alfalfa, that give the soil more nutrition. Thus, the cycle continues.

However, micronutrients don’t suffice alone. Phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, etc, are mandatory, too. That’s where soil management comes in handy.

Soil Management

Organic farmers have to keep the soil in the best condition for the crops. It involves the following-

  • Running crop rotation properly to allow more nutrition and nitrogen in the soil.
  • Using legumes to increase the nitrogen in the soil as they symbiote with rhizobial bacteria to do it.
  • While raising legumes and crops together to deter pests and insects, ensuring they have enough distance on their crop line. It prevents the different species from harming each other.
  • Using natural mineral powders to enrich the soil. Some examples are seed meal, greensand, or rock phosphorus.
  • Correcting the pH balance of the soil or plant’s base.

Weed Management

Weeding is necessary for the crops to grow properly. Instead of using chemical means, organic farmers often use hand-picking techniques. However, that is very time and labor-consuming. So, many farms use other substances that don’t involve harmful chemicals.

Another critical point here is the timing of the weeding. It must be at the correct phase of the crop rotation, which is the highest point of weed competition. Weed competition is the phase where weeds compete with crops for soil nutrients. Many ways organic farmers deal with weed competition are-

  • Using less space between crop lines.
  • Elevated seeding.
  • Companion cropping (planting legumes with crops). They use small-seeded legumes here.
  • Using cover crops
  • Using green manure
  • Thermal or flame weeding techniques.
  • Using naturally supplied chemicals that don’t harm the environment, like acetic acid or essential oil.

Conclusion

Now that we have discussed various scopes of organic farming, you are probably curious about other topics related to the future of organic farming. It is an excellent idea, as organic agriculture involves various environment-healing processes worth looking into.

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