Before the Green Revolution, just over 50 years ago, all farming was “Organic”. Industrialization of the agriculture sector and the short term view of producing higher yields led to large scale adaptation of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and hybridization of seeds. While this certainly led to improved yields, it also made the farmers more and more reliant on these chemicals to keep up yields. Also pests that develop resistance to the pesticides, tend to pose more severe challenges. All the added chemicals in the food is also being linked to increased incidents of lifestyle disorders.

Organic farming is a returning to the roots of traditional farming practices by successfully managing natural resources, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment.

The following are some of the techniques used in Organic Farming:

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar or different types of crops in the same area in sequenced seasons. It helps in reducing soil erosion and increases soil fertility and crop yield. Crop rotation gives various nutrients to the soil. A traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops. Crop rotation also mitigates the build-up of pathogens and pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped, and can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants. Crop rotation is one component of polyculture.

Companion planting

Companion planting in gardening and agriculture is the planting of different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial creatures, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity. Companion planting is a form of polyculture

Intercropping

Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop. Careful planning is required, taking into account the soil, climate, crops, and varieties. It is particularly important not to have crops competing with each other for physical space, nutrients, water, or sunlight. Examples of intercropping strategies are planting a deep-rooted crop with a shallow-rooted crop, or planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires partial shade.

Biological control

Biological control is a bio effectors-method of controlling pests (including insects, mites, weeds and plant diseases) using other living organisms.[1] It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms, but typically also involves an active human management role. It can be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs.

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