What is biodynamic agriculture?
Biodynamic agriculture is a form of alternative agriculture very similar to organic farming, but it includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). Initially developed in 1924, it was the first of the organic agriculture movements.
How many countries use biodynamic farming?
As of 2020, biodynamic techniques were used on 251,842 hectares in 55 countries, led by Germany, Australia and France. Germany accounts for 41.8% of the global total; the remainder average 1750 ha per country. Biodynamic methods of cultivating grapevines have been taken up by several notable vineyards.
What are the six principles of biodynamic farming?
There are six principles of biodynamic farming: plant diversity, crop rotation, animal life, composting, homeopathic solutions and life forces.
What percentage of the US population is employed in agriculture?
In 1870, almost 50 percent of the U.S. population was employed in agriculture. As of 2008, less than 2 percent of the population is directly employed in agriculture. In 2012, there were 3.2 million farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers and an estimated 757,900 agricultural workers were legally employed in the US.
How many biodynamic farms are there in the US?
300 certified biodynamic farmsStill, there are only about 300 certified biodynamic farms in the US today, compared to 21,781 certified organic operations, representing a growth of almost 12% between 2014-2015, according to data released in 2016 by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program.
What is meant by biodynamic farming?
Biodynamic plants are grown in the ground in living soil, which provides a quality of health and nutrition not possible with chemical fertilizers or hydroponic growing. Biodynamic farms aspire to generate their own fertility through composting, integrating animals, cover cropping, and crop rotation.
What biodynamic means?
1 : of or relating to a system of farming that follows a sustainable, holistic approach which uses only organic, usually locally-sourced materials for fertilizing and soil conditioning, views the farm as a closed, diversified ecosystem, and often bases farming activities on lunar cycles biodynamic practices …
Why is biodynamic farming good?
This means that because biodynamic farms produce better soil, prevent erosion, increase crop root growth, and cultivate larger numbers of beneficial insects, they bring up the intrinsic value of the cropland after every season.
Is biodynamic farming real?
Biodynamic agriculture is a pseudoscience as it lacks scientific evidence for its efficacy because of its reliance upon esoteric knowledge and mystical beliefs. As of 2020, biodynamic techniques were used on 251,842 hectares in 55 countries, led by Germany, Australia and France.
Who started biodynamic farming?
Dr. Rudolf SteinerBiodynamic agriculture is based on the work of Austrian scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century. He was approached in the 1920s by a group of European farmers who were concerned that the quality and yields of their crops were diminishing as they practiced modern industrial agriculture.
What is the difference between biodynamic and organic?
Biodynamic is similar to organic farming in that both take place without synthetic chemicals, but biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an entire ecosystem, and also takes into account things such as astrological influences and lunar cycles.
What are the methods of biodynamic agriculture?
Crop rotation, proper soil cultivation and other organic farming methods: intelligent planning to let the soil rest after heavy-feeding crops (such as potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage), by sowing green manures (legumes, clover) and covering the soil (grass, clover) so that it may build up its humus content and nitrogen …
How it differs the biodynamic farming to natural farming?
What makes it different from organic farming? As in organic farming, there is no use of chemicals, pesticides or fungicides. However, biodynamics goes beyond organic farming. It treats the soil as a living organism and ensures the health of the soil at all times.
What are the disadvantages of biodynamic farming?
Viewed strictly as an agricultural practice, there are a few obvious drawbacks to this system. Biodynamic farming requires more labor than conventional farming practices, which makes the produce more expensive. It’s also not very conducive to mechanization, so it’s difficult to practice on a large scale.
What are the principles of biodynamics?
Biodynamic farming practices and farming methods include avoiding chemical soil fertilizers to enhance soil fertility, consideration of biological organisms (from living organisms in the soil to animal health), diverse crop rotation, cover crops, green animal manures, as well as meeting certain guidelines for perennial …
What are some of the most important developments in agriculture?
The mechanization of farming and intensive farming have been major themes in U.S. history, including John Deere ‘s steel plow, Cyrus McCormick ‘s mechanical reaper, Eli Whitney ‘s cotton gin, and the widespread success of the Fordson tractor and the combine harvester. Modern agriculture in the U.S. ranges from hobby farms and small-scale producers to large commercial farms covering thousands of acres of cropland or rangeland .
How many farms are there in the US?
Agriculture is a major industry in the United States, which is a net exporter of food. As of the 2017 census of agriculture, there were 2.04 million farms, covering an area of 900 million acres (1,400,000 sq mi), an average of 441 acres (178 hectares) per farm.
How did the practices associated with keeping livestock contribute to the deterioration of the forests and fields?
The practices associated with keeping livestock also contributed to the deterioration of the forests and fields. Colonists would cut down the trees and then allow their cattle and livestock to graze freely in the forest and never plant more trees. The animals trampled and tore up the ground so much as to cause long-term destruction and damage.
What were the crops grown in the early colonial South?
Warmer regions saw plantings of cotton and herds of beef cattle. In the early colonial south, raising tobacco and cotton was common, especially through the use of slave labor until the Civil War. In the northeast, slaves were used in agriculture until the early 19th century.
How did European agriculture affect New England?
European agricultural practices greatly affected the New England landscape. Colonists brought livestock over from Europe which caused many changes to the land. Grazing animals required a lot of land and food and the act of grazing itself destroyed native grasses, which were being replaced by European species. New species of weeds were introduced and began to thrive as they were capable of withstanding the grazing of animals, whereas native species could not.
What are some of the agricultural products that were grown in the United States in 1921?
Main article: History of agriculture in the United States. Cotton farming on a Southern plantation in 1921. Corn, turkeys, tomatoes, potatoes, peanuts, and sunflower seeds constitute some of the major holdovers from the agricultural endowment of the Americas .
Why is agriculture dangerous?
Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries due to the use of chemicals and risk of injury. Farmers are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (general traumatic injury and musculoskeletal injury ), work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, chemical-related illnesses, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. In an average year, 516 workers die doing farm work in the U.S. (1992–2005). Every day, about 243 agricultural workers suffer lost-work-time injuries, and about 5% of these result in permanent impairment. Tractor overturns are the leading cause of agriculture-related fatal injuries, and account for over 90 deaths every year. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends the use of roll over protection structures on tractors to reduce the risk of overturn-related fatal injuries.
Where is Yellow Barn Biodynamic Farm?
Watch the video to meet David and his family and explore their farm in Alfred Station, New York.
Why does it matter?
These days, we all want to know more about where our food comes from and how it is grown. When you choose Biodynamic products, you’re supporting farmers who raise food with the big picture in mind: people, plants, animals and the environment.
When did biodynamic farming start?
Biodynamic farming was born from a series of agricultural lectures in 1924 given by Austrian philosopher and social reformer, Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925). He had been invited to a Silesian farm estate by a group of farmers concerned about the negative impact of nitrogen fertiliser on soil quality. Drawing on traditional farming practices and his own “spiritual science” which aimed to bring scientific rigour to spirituality, Steiner suggested a set of practices and principles for sustainable agriculture. He urged his followers to test his ideas and, thanks to this approach, biodynamic farming developed through collaborative research, observation and hands-on farming practice.
How long does it take to get certified for biodynamic farming?
A UK farmer wishing to be certified for Demeter (biodynamic) accreditation must comply with EU organic regulations requiring a two-year conversion period. For biodynamic certification, Demeter standards require an additional year of conversion to include using eight mineral and plant-based preparations to activate soil life and plant growth on the land. Although there is a large body of observational evidence from farmers showing that biodynamic methods improve soil condition and plant health, more scientific research is needed. However, the long-term DOK field trials by FiBL (Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau) compared biodynamic (D for Demeter), organic (O) and conventional (K for ‘konventionell’) cropping systems suggests biodynamic practices are effective. FiBL stated: “In the biodynamic system, soil organic matter (humus) content remained stable for the first 21 years of the trial while it declined in all other systems”.
Why is cow dung important for biodynamic farming?
7. Cow dung and soil quality. Biodynamic farmers believe that cattle produce high-quality manure essential for soil health. “It is helpful to have cow dung in compost heaps, even in small amounts, to help fermentation and fertility,” says Gabriel Kaye, executive director of the Biodynamic Land Trust.
How long does it take for biodynamics to create a vortex?
The highly-diluted biodynamic preparations are stirred for an hour to create a vortex and counter-vortex to oxygenate and disperse the active ingredients, then sprinkled or sprayed over soil or plants.
Who invented the biodynamic calendar?
Inspired by Steiner, the biodynamic calendar, now in its 57th year, was developed by German farmer, Maria Thun (1922 – 2012) who experimented with planetary effects on planting, sowing and harvesting. Now produced by her son, Matthias Thun, the biodynamic calendar can be adapted for particular hemispheres.
What is the philosophy behind anthroposophy?
Rudolf Steiner developed Anthroposophy (‘anthropo’ meaning human, and ‘sophia’ meaning wisdom), a philosophy based on the premise that all beings can develop their inner potential and access a spiritual world.
What does biodynamic farming mean?
The concept is as the word itself would suggest: a combination of biological and dynamic practices, “bio” meaning life and “dyn” meaning force. Like organic farming, biodynamic farms stress biological methods in regard to humane treatment of animals, food quality and soil health (such as green manures, cover crops and composting).
Who developed biodynamic agriculture?
Some farmers began to notice poor soil conditions along with weakened health and quality of crops and livestock. In an effort to find a remedy, Dr. Rudolph Steiner, scientist, philosopher and founder of the Waldorf School, developed the idea of biodynamic agriculture in Europe in 1924.
What is biodynamic certification?
Biodynamic certification is offered through the Demeter Association and its sister company, Stellar Certification Services, and the process is similar to becoming certified organic: The farmer (or processor or handler) submits an application for biodynamic certification and the farm is inspected and evaluated.
What is the life force of biodynamic farming?
Life force separates biodynamic farming from other agriculture because it’s the acknowledgement that in addition to earthly influences (biology , physics, chemistry), cosmic forces (moon phases, celestial and seasonal cycles) play a role in the life of the farm. Advertisement.
Why is compost important for farming?
It is the source of healthy soil — the recycled manures and organic waste in the compost pile create humus vital to the farm. When spread on fields, the humus stabilizes nitrogen in the soil, vital to crop productivity.
What did Steiner believe about farming?
Steiner believed that a farm is a living organism and should be self-contained and self-sustaining. In short, that means he believed that a farm should be able to create and maintain everything needed to stay healthy and fruitful — an alternative agricultural idea that doesn’t include chemicals. Advertisement.
Where is biodynamic farming practiced?
Today, some forms of biodynamic agriculture are practiced on farms around the world, with most dynamic practices in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Similar to organic farming, biodynamic farms are certified. To be certified as biodynamic, a farm must first be certified organic.
What is biodynamic association?
The Biodynamic Association is a membership organization open to anyone. Be part of the growing biodynamic community, get access to the Biodynamics journal and many other benefits, and help us make transformative change in the world by becoming a member.
What is BDA in agriculture?
The Biodynamic Association (BDA) awakens and enlivens co-creative relationships between humans and the earth, transforming the practice and culture of agriculture to renew the vitality of the earth, the integrity of our food, and the health and wholeness of our communities. Join or renew your membership today to collectively engage …
What is BDA in biodynamics?
The Biodynamic Association (BDA) is a participatory, membership-based nonprofit organization that works to nurture the North American biodynamic movement as a diverse, collaborative, and thriving ecosystem. We aim to incubate strong leadership in the biodynamic community; grow the community of biodynamic farmers, ranchers, gardeners, and land stewards; communicate the powerful vision of biodynamics and the potential it holds for the Earth; and nurture the deep spiritual roots and insights of biodynamics.
United States Agriculture Production in 2018
In 2018: 1. It was by far the largest world producer of maize(392 million tons). The country has been the world leader in maize production for decades and only recently China, with 257.3 million tonnes produced this year, has been approaching North American production; 2. It was the largest world producer of soy(123.6 million tons), a position that they held for many years, but recently, they have been competing with Brazil for world leadership. B…
Major Agricultural Products
Tonnes of United States agriculture production, as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) of the U.N. in 2003 and 2013 (ranked roughly in order of value): Other crops appearing in the top 20 at some point in the last 40 years were: tobacco, barley, and oats, and, rarely: peanuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Alfalfa and haywould both be in the top ten in 2003 if they were tracked by FAO.
Farm Type Or Majority Enterprise Type
Farm type is based on which commodities are the majority crops grown on a farm. Nine common types include: 1. Cash grains includes corn, soybeans and other grains (wheat, oats, barley, sorghum), dry edible beans, peas, and rice. 2. Tobacco 3. Cotton 4. Other field crops includes peanuts, potatoes, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, broomcorn, popcorn, sugar beets, mint, hops, seed crops, hay, silage, forage, etc. Tobacco and cotton can be inc…
Agriculture in the United States is primarily governed by periodically renewed U.S. farm bills. Governance is both a federal and a local responsibility with the United States Department of Agriculture being the federal department responsible. Government aid includes research into crop types and regional suitability as well as many kinds of subsidies, some price supports and loan programs. U.S. farmers are not subject to production quotasand some l…
In 1870, almost 50 percent of the U.S. population was employed in agriculture. As of 2008[update], less than 2 percent of the population is directly employed in agriculture. In 2012, there were 3.2 million farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers and an estimated 757,900 agricultural workers were legally employed in the US. Animal breeders accounted for 11,500 of those workers with the rest categorized as miscellaneous agricultural …
Occupational Safety and Health
Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries due to the use of chemicals and risk of injury. Farmers are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (general traumatic injury and musculoskeletal injury), work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, chemical-related illnesses, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. In an average year, 516 workers die doing farm work in the U.S. (…
The number of women working in agriculture has risen and the 2002 census of agriculture recorded a 40% increase in the number of female farm workers.Inequality and respect are common issues for these workers, as many have reported that they are not being respected, listened to, or taken seriously due to traditional views of women as housewives and caretakers. Women may also face resistance when attempting to advance to higher …
Historically, farmland has been owned by small property owners, but as of 2017 institutional investors, including foreign corporations, had been purchasing farmland. In 2013 the largest producer of pork, Smithfield Foods, was bought by a company from China. As of 2017, only about 4% of farms have sales over $1m, but these farms yield two-thirds of total output.Some of these are large farms have grown organically from private family-owned busin…
Land Ownership Laws
As of 2019, six states—Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma—have laws banning foreign ownership of farmland. Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma are looking to introduce bills banning foreign ownership as of 2019. The state with the most foreign ownership as of 2019 is Maine, which has 3.1 million acres that are foreign-controlled, followed closely by Texas at 3 million acres. Alabama, at 1.6 million acres, Washingto…
What Makes Biodynamic Farming Different?
Why Does It Matter?
These days, we all want to know more about where our food comes from and how it is grown. When you choose Biodynamic products, you’re supporting farmers who raise food with the big picture in mind: people, plants, animals and the environment. One of the simplest ways to understand the advantages of Biodynamic agriculture is to think specifically about the connection between people, plants and pollinators. After all, more than one out …
Who Can Be Certified Biodynamic?
For a U.S. farm or product to legally refer to itself as Biodynamic, it must be certified by Demeter USA, a nonprofit formed in 1985 to promote Biodynamic agriculture. Demeter USA is a member of Demeter International, the oldest ecological certification organization, which operates in 45 countries around the world. In order to qualify for Demeter Biodynamic status, a farm must first meet the National Organic Program standards as a base. However…
Meet Biodynamic Farmers
“Our intent with our farm is to try to provide the purest food for our children,” says David Byrnes of Yellow Barn Biodynamic Farm. Watch the video to meet David and his family and explore their farm in Alfred Station, New York.
How It All Started
The Philosophy Behind It
Demeter – The First Eco-Label
Differences Between Organic and Biodynamic
Biodynamic Preparations For Soil and Plants
Have You Ever Wondered Why Cows Have Horns?
Cow Dung and Soil Quality
Biodynamic farmers believe that cattle produce high-quality manure essential for soil health. “It is helpful to have cow dung in compost heaps, even in small amounts, to help fermentation and fertility,” says Gabriel Kaye, executive director of the Biodynamic Land Trust. The biodynamic preparation, Cow Pat Pit (or barrel preparation) can be added t…