What does organic agriculture mean



What is the purpose of organic agriculture?

  • protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health
  • maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil
  • maintain biological diversity within the system

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What are some examples of organic agriculture?

Yet, some of the most common principles of organic farming are:

  • No use of “synthetic” chemicals – yet, fertilizers or pesticides at their “natural origin” are allowed;
  • No use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs);
  • Recycle all organic waste;
  • Crop rotation to improve soil regeneration;
  • Pest control by biological agents;
  • Extensive breeding with organic food and give priority to alternative medicines and preventions;

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Is organic agriculture bad for the environment?

There is an even more stark difference, however, between beliefs about the effects of organic farming on the environment and reality. In fact organic farming is worse for the environment than conventional farming in terms of the impact vs the amount of food produced. First, organic farming may use pesticides.

How sustainable farming can be better than organic agriculture?

Unlike intensive agriculture, sustainable farming has a great potential for benefiting the environment and preserving natural resources. It does so by following natural cycles, recycling nutrients and water, while omitting excessive use of agricultural chemicals.


What is the meaning of organic agriculture?

“Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity.

What is an example of organic agriculture?

Some of the examples of practicing organic production or agriculture include: Using crop rotation, biological control, and similar sustainable methods in order to tackle insects, diseases, and weeds. Growing cover crops, using animal and green manures, and practicing crop rotation in order to fertilize the soil.

What is the difference between organic farming and organic agriculture?

However, the main difference between these two types of farming is that organic farmers use a plow or soil tillage, while farmers who practice conservation agriculture use natural principles and do not till the soil. Organic farmers apply tillage to remove weeds without using inorganic fertilizers.

What are the 4 principles of organic agriculture?

The Principles of Health, Ecology, Fairness, and care are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context.

What are the disadvantages of organic farming?

What are the disadvantages of organic farming?Organic food is more expensive because farmers do not get as much out of their land as conventional farmers do.Production costs are higher because farmers need more workers.Marketing and distribution is not efficient because organic food is produced in smaller amounts.More items…

What are the pros and cons of organic farming?

Here are the pros and cons of organic farming.Pros of Organic Farming. High nutrition values. Better taste. Improved human health. Environmental sustainability. Food security. … Cons of Organic Farming. Diminished productivity in the long-term. Time consuming. Skills. Organic products are extremely expensive.

Why organic farming is not sustainable?

Organic crops may have to contend with more weeds and pests than conventional crops, so they may produce more natural toxins to ward the weeds off, as potatoes do with a chemical called solanine. Additionally, the use of manure fertilisers may increase the risk of contamination by microbes such as E. coli.

What are 3 benefits of organic farming over conventional farming?

Compared with conventional agriculture, organic farming uses fewer pesticides, reduces soil erosion, decreases nitrate leaching into groundwater and surface water, and recycles animal wastes back into the farm. These benefits are counterbalanced by higher food costs for consumers and generally lower yields.

Does organic farming use pesticides?

“Organically grown” food is food grown and processed using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

What is the main goal of organic agriculture?


How do you convert farmland to organic?

Following are weed-management steps that organic farmers like Mugge and Ausborn use.Diversify crop rotations and include cover crops. … Cultivate and rotary-hoe. … Seed high. … Preserve residue left by ridge-till to shelter weed seed predators like crickets and field mice. … Walk soybeans. … Consider topography. … Compost manure.

What is the major concern in organic farming?

One final challenge of organic farming is that production yields are lower compared to conventionally grown food. In addition to lower production, mainly due to not using industrial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, organic agriculture also requires more land to meet the previous production levels.

What is organic farming?

The USDA defines organic agriculture as “a production system that is managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.”. More specifically, organic farming entails:

What are the characteristics of organic farming?

When deciding if organic farming might be right for you, consider the list of characteristics shared by successful organic farmers: 1 A commitment to a safer food supply and protection of the environment 2 Patience and good observation skills 3 An understanding of ecological systems 4 Good marketing skills and motivation to spend time seeking out markets 5 A willingness to share stories of successes and failures and to learn from others (information networks are often underdeveloped for organic farmers). 6 Flexibility and eagerness to experiment with new techniques and practices

Why is it important to use livestock as fertilizer?

At the same time, livestock provide manure to fertilize soil, and can be used to “cull” any non-harvestable crops. Elliott and Rude, like many organic farmers, want to raise food free of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. For many years, organic producers and proponents have claimed that organic farming is gentler on the environment.

What are the qualities of an organic farmer?

Patience and good observation skills. An understanding of ecological systems. Good marketing skills and motivation to spend time seeking out markets. A willingness to share stories of successes and failures and to learn from others (information networks are often underdeveloped for organic farmers).

Why is it important to go organic?

Many seek a safer food supply. “The main motivation for us going organic is out of a certain stewardship ethic toward the soil, the earth and ultimately, for mankind,” said Altfrid Krusenbaum, a Wisconsin farmer who began the transition to organic corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa in 1990.

What is biological control?

Use of biological control, crop rotations and other techniques to manage weeds, insects and diseases. An emphasis on biodiversity of the agricultural system and the surrounding environment. Using rotational grazing and mixed forage pastures for livestock operations and alternative health care for animal wellbeing.

Is organic farming more productive than conventional farming?

More recent research also shows that organic farming systems can be equally productive and economically competitive with conventional systems, and in some cases, more resilient. Consider that: A study comparing long-term established organic and conventional tomato farms in California’s Central Valley found comparable yields.

What is mulching in agriculture?

Mulching means covering the ground with a layer of loose material such ascompost, manure, straw, dry grass, leaves or crop residues. Green vegetationis not normally used as it can take a long time to decompose and can attractpests and fungal diseases.

What is IFOAM in agriculture?

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) hasproduced a set of international organic standards, laid down by people frommany countries. These give guidelines about what organic farming is and how itshould be practised on the farm.

What is green manure?

Green manures, often known as cover crops, are plants which are grown toimprove the structure, organic matter content and nutrient content of the soil.They are a cheap alternative to artificial fertilisers and can be used to complementanimal manures.

What is compost made of?

Compost is organic matter (plant and animal residues) which has been rotteddown by the action of bacteria and other organisms, over a period of time.Materials such as leaves, fruit skins and animal manures can be used to makecompost. Compost is cheap, easy to make and is a very effective material thatcan be added to the soil, to improve soil and crop quality.

Is natural pest control cheaper than chemical pesticides?

Using natural pest and disease control is often cheaper than applying chemicalpesticides because natural methods do not involve buying materials from theoutside. Products and materials which are already in the home and around thefarm are most often used.

What is organic agriculture?

Organic agriculture is a systems approach to production that is working towards environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production. Instead, the agricultural systems rely on crop rotation, animal and plant manures, some hand weeding and biological pest control’. **Taken from DEFRA – Crown Copyright.

What is organic food?

The Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that: ‘Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives.

What is the EU standard for organic food?

EU-wide rules require organic foods to be approved by an organic certification body , which carries out regular inspections to ensure the food meets a strict set of detailed regulations, relating to production methods and labelling. Look for labels like the Soil Association. This is the gold standard of organic labelling.

Why is organic farming important?

It means more wildlife and biodiversity, the absence of veterinary medicines such as antibiotics in rearing livestock and the avoidance of genetic modification. Organic farming can also offer benefits for animal welfare, as animals are required to be kept in more natural, free range conditions.

Is bread cheaper than organic?

Items such as organic flour, milk, bread and butter can be cheaper, as can fresh seasonal produce such as salad leaves and herbs.

Is artificial sweetener organic?

As some ingredients are not available organically, a list of non-organic food ingredients are allowed however, all artificial colourings and sweeteners are banned completely in foods labeled as organic.

Is organic food cheaper than non organic?

Buying local, organic food will often cost less than the non-organic equivalent . Unfortunately, most of us cannot access organic food directly from the producer and therefore it tends to be more expensive than the basic non-organic equivalent in the supermarkets. It does pay to shop around. Some organic products cost less than premium non-organic products. You might be pleasantly surprised.

What is the difference between organic and free range?

If an animal is free-range it means it has access to the outdoors but there is no third party certification , and no requirements regarding feeding , health care practices, hormones and antibiotics as there is with USDA Organic certified.

Why is it important to use renewable resources in agriculture?

The emphasis is on farmers using renewable resources and mimicking natural ecosystems to conserve and maintain the soil and water without polluting the environment. Processed organic foods also are held to careful standards to maintain the integrity of the organic product and its ingredients.

Can organic meat be certified organic?

While the term “natural” can be used on any product label without third party verification, a product must be certified if it is to be labeled as “organic.”. Featured Video.

Is organic farming dangerous?

While organic farming doesn’t allow many dangerous chemicals to be used, certain pesticides derived from natural sources are allowed in producing organically grown food.

What does it mean when something is labeled organic?

Just because something is labeled “organic” does not mean that no pesticides or herbicides were used. It simply means that the ones applied met the USDA’s production standards for the term. The definition of organic also limits the use of ” genetically modified organisms .”. GMO crops have been genetically altered to withstand the application …

Can food be organic?

Foods can still be organic even if they’re not labeled as such. Since the standard requires third-party verification, there’s a cost associated with the certification process. Food companies must consistently provide back-up documentation in order to use the “USDA Organic” seal.

Do organic foods cost more than non organic?

The nutrients you’ll find within the food are what, over time, predominantly affect your health — not the growing methods used to make it. Also, organic products will cost more than their non-organic counterparts, which is a critical consideration for most of us on a budget.

What is organic chemistry?

THE CHEMICAL DEFINITION OF ORGANIC. In chemistry, the definition is based solely on chemical structure. With very few exceptions a chemical is classified as organic if it contains at least one carbon atom, regardless of its source. This is why organic chemistry is called “the chemistry of carbon.”. But there are exceptions.

Is “organic” a word?

The word “organic” has two different meanings. “Organic” may be one of the most confusing words in language today. Although most people will probably have a vague idea of the meaning of the term they probably won’t know the definition. Part of the confusion arises from the fact that there are two, very different, definitions for the same word, …

Is formic acid organic or inorganic?

Organic vs. inorganic. Formic acid (top) is organic because it contains a carbon-hydrogen bond (red arrow) but sodium bicarbonate, although similar in structure is inorganic because it lacks this bond. Acetonitrile and sodium cyanide (bottom) is another example of the same rule.

Is baking soda an organic compound?

Common inorganic chemicals include salt, ammonia, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and sulfuric acid. But, like carbon dioxide, baking soda also contains a carbon atom yet is still classified as inorganic. What’s going on? For a chemical to be organic there is an additional requirement.

Can pyrethrin be used in organic farming?

There are still approved uses. Also, I’m pretty sure that pyrethrins can be used in organic agriculture. Their synthetic analogs, pyrethroids cannot. Right, there is a shipyard where methyl bromide is still approved for extermination and it is still used for strawberries under critical use exemption.

Is copper sulfate organic?

Copper sulfate is an inorganic chemical but is approved for use in organic agriculture. Permethrin is an organic chemical, which is used in conventional agriculture but is not permitted in organic farming. Chemistry can sometimes be profoundly confusing. This is one of those times.

Is acetonitrile an organic compound?

Acetonitrile and sodium cyanide (bottom) is another example of the same rule. But in organic chemistry, nothing is ever entirely straightforward. Both carbon tetrachloride and urea (1) (Figure 2) are considered to be organic, despite the fact that neither molecule contains a carbon-hydrogen bond. These exceptions arise from historical precedent.


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