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
What are the principles of organic farming?
Basic principles of organic agriculture
- The soil is a living and dynamic environment. The major difference between organic and conventional agriculture is the way the soil is treated. …
- Diversified production systems. …
- Crop protection. …
- Conservation of nature and restoration of natural balances are essential. …
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;
What are facts about organic farming?
Here is a detailed analysis of each of these factors:
- Greater Nutritional Value. …
- A Healthier Lifestyle. …
- A Better Environment. …
- Reduced Expenditure. …
- Better Quality & Lesser Capital Requirements. …
- Opportunities for the Youth. …
- Natural & Healthy. …
- A Healthier Economy. …
- Agricultural Empowerment. …
- Increasing Demand. …
What is organic farming?
Organic farming is a set of agricultural practices that focus on growing food through natural ecosystem management instead of synthetic outside inputs. Although it is often referred to as “alternative farming,” organic farming is actually a more traditional form of agriculture than much …
Why is organic farming important?
Encourages greater biodiversity: Organic farming helps to maintain the diversity of biological flora and fauna, pollinators, and pest predators. Limits GMO usage: Much is yet to be learned about the impact of using genetically modified ingredients.
What percentage of ingredients must be organic?
The USDA website lists different types of organic labels that can be used on food. Not including salt and water, 95% of a product’s ingredients must be organic for a product to be labeled as “organic.”. If 100% of the ingredients are organic, a product can be labeled “100% organic.”.
How does organic farming help the soil?
Encourages soil vitality and prevents erosion: Central to organic farming are practices to encourage soil development, including cover crops, crop rotations, and minimal tilling. These methods strengthen the natural vitality of the soil and help it to remain more compact, minimizing erosion.
What are some alternative farming methods?
Almost all organic farming systems rely on what some call alternative farming methods, such as crop rotation, mechanical cultivation, animal manures, green manure, and integrated pest management to maintain healthy soil, grow healthy plants, and control pests and weeds.
How to get organic certification?
Farmers can have their agricultural goods certified organic through the USDA. This involves submitting an application and required fees to a certifying agent accredited by the USDA, as well as submitting to an on-site inspection. Land used to grow these goods cannot have been farmed with any prohibitive substances for at least three years. 5 The National Resources Conservation Service offers to assist farmers seeking certification in assessing their current operations and developing a conservation plan.
What does 100% organic mean?
If 100% of the ingredients are organic, a product can be labeled “100% organic.”. Labels also can indicate that a product is “made with organic” if at least 70% of the ingredients are organic. 6 .
What is organic agriculture?
Organic agriculture is defined formally by governments. Farmers must be certified for their produce and products to be labeled “organic,” and there are specific organic standards for crops, animals, and wild-crafted products and for the processing of agricultural products.
What is organic food?
organic food. …or processed food produced by organic farming methods . Organic food is grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, such as human-made pesticides and fertilizers, and does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
How to add organic matter to soil?
Since synthetic fertilizers are not used, building and maintaining a rich, living soil through the addition of organic matter is a priority for organic farmers. Organic matter can be applied through the application of manure, compost, and animal by-products, such as feather meal or blood meal. Due to the potential for harbouring human pathogens, the USDA National Organic Standards mandate that raw manure must be applied no later than 90 or 120 days before harvest, depending on whether the harvested part of the crop is in contact with the ground. Composted manure that has been turned 5 times in 15 days and reached temperatures between 55 and 77.2 °C (131 and 171 °F) has no restrictions on application times. Compost adds organic matter, providing a wide range of nutrients for plants, and adds beneficial microbes to the soil. Given that these nutrients are mostly in an unmineralized form that cannot be taken up by plants, soil microbes are needed to break down organic matter and transform nutrients into a bioavailable “mineralized” state. In comparison, synthetic fertilizers are already in mineralized form and can be taken up by plants directly.
How does organic pest control work?
In addition to pesticides, organic pest control integrates biological, cultural, and genetic controls to minimize pest damage. Biological control utilizes the natural enemies of pests, such as predatory insects (e.g., ladybugs) or parasitoids (e.g., certain wasps) to attack insect pests. Pest cycles can be disrupted with cultural controls, of which crop rotation is the most widely used. Finally, traditional plant breeding has produced numerous crop varieties that are resistant to specific pests. The use of such varieties and the planting of genetically diverse crops provide genetic control against pests and many plant diseases.
Why is organic farming important?
Modern organic farming was developed as a response to the environmental harm caused by the use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in conventional agriculture, and it has numerous ecological benefits. A plot of organically grown mixed vegetables, Capay, California.
What is the best way to maintain a rich soil?
Fertilizers. Since synthetic fertilizers are not used, building and maintaining a rich, living soil through the addition of organic matter is a priority for organic farmers. Organic matter can be applied through the application of manure, compost, and animal by-products, such as feather meal or blood meal.
What is organic pesticide?
These include living organisms such as the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, which is used to control caterpillar pests, or plant derivatives such as pyrethri ns (from the dried flower heads of Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium) or neem oil (from the seeds of Azadirachta indica ). Mineral-based inorganic pesticides such as sulfur and copper are also allowed.
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
What is the role of livestock in organic systems?
When livestock and poultry are incorporated into organic systems, the potential for diversification and integration is even greater: Livestock feed on grasses and mixed forages, both of which help improve soil structure. At the same time, livestock provide manure to fertilize soil, and can be used to “cull” any non-harvestable crops.
Why do farmers switch to organic farming?
Said Joe Rude, an Iowa poultry and crop farmer, “It’s about trying to get the ecological system harmonious and working with it, rather than overriding it.” Farmers who turn to organic farming solely to capture market premiums often fail because it does not mean simply substituting one type of inputs for another, such as replacing a synthetic pest control with Bacillus thuringiensis or applying organic fertilizers in place of synthetic ones.
How does nature help the agricultural system?
Using nature as a model for the agricultural system – recycling nutrients, encouraging natural predators to manage pests, increasing plant densities to block weeds – organic farmers don’t merely substitute non-toxic materials for pesticides and fertilizers, but rather consider the farm as an integrated entity, with all parts interconnected.
How does organic farming affect soil quality?
The Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) project at the University of California-Davis, a 12-year research station experiment comparing conventional and organic systems, showed water infiltration rates to be 50 percent higher in the organic system. The project, supported by a grant from USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, also showed that the organic system had one-third the amount of water movement into surface and groundwater as the conventional system. The organic system was more efficient at storing nitrogen and had positive effects on soil quality, including higher biological activity and a doubling of organic matter in 10 years.
Why do farmers produce organic food?
However, most organic farmers produce crops and livestock organically because they believe their methods are better for the environment. 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. Krusenbaum was profiled in the University of Wisconsin’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Quarterly.
What is organic farming?
Organic farming refers to ecologically-based production systems used to produce food and fiber. Organic farming may be most widely known for what it is not; however, it is more important to define organic farming by what it is. Organic farming can be defined by the proactive, ecological management strategies that maintain …
What are the requirements for organic farming?
Certified organic farming systems are distinct from other farming systems. Consumers can purchase certified organic products with confidence due to the USDA’s strict enforcement of the regulatory standards. Some administrative requirements of certification include: 1 an annual audit of all accredited agencies by the USDA; 2 the “Organic System Plan”, often called a “Farm Plan”, is created by farmers and ranchers to describe their practices, inputs and record-keeping protocols used in the production of crops and livestock or in the processing of organic products; 3 a detailed record-keeping system that tracks all products from the field to point of sale; 4 maintenance of organic integrity to eliminate cross-contamination with prohibited inputs and noncertified agricultural products, and 5 the exclusion of genetically engineered organisms, synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, preventative antibiotics, growth hormones, and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.
What is certification in organic farming?
Certification is an ongoing process that includes an annual update of an operation’s organic system plan and inspection of fields and processing facilities. Inspectors verify that organic farming practices such as practicing long-term soil management, maintaining buffers between organic farms and neighboring conventional farms, and record-keeping are being followed. Processing inspections include review of the facility’s cleaning and pest control methods, ingredient transportation and storage, record-keeping, and audit control.
What is an organic system plan?
the “Organic System Plan”, often called a “Farm Plan”, is created by farmers and ranchers to describe their practices, inputs and record-keeping protocols used in the production of crops and livestock or in the processing of organic products; a detailed record-keeping system that tracks all products from the field to point of sale ;
How many acres of farmland were certified organic in 2005?
According to the USDA Economic Research Service (2009), 10,159 certified farms were in operation in 2007; in 2005, over 4 million acres of farmland—more than 1.7 million acres of cropland and more than 2.3 million acres of range- and pastureland—was certified organic in the United States.
What is the purpose of maintaining organic integrity?
maintenance of organic integrity to eliminate cross-contamination with prohibited inputs and noncertified agricultural products, and. the exclusion of genetically engineered organisms, synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, preventative antibiotics, growth hormones, and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.
Why do people buy organic products?
They purchase organic products for a variety of reasons including taste, environmental and social benefits, and a belief that organic products are healthier (Willer and Yussefi, 2008).
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 are the principles of organic agriculture?
The Principles of Organic Agriculture are Health, Ecology , Fairness and Care . 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.
Why should organic farming be managed?
Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment. Learn More.
What does “organic” mean in food?
1 of food : grown or made without the use of artificial chemicals organic vegetables Is this broccoli certified organic? [=has the government said that it was grown without the use of artificial chemicals?]
What does organic mean in medical terms?
organic. noun. Medical Definition of organic (Entry 2 of 2) : an organic substance: as. a : a fertilizer of plant or animal origin. b : a pesticide whose active component is an organic compound or a mixture of organic compounds.
What does “carbon compounds” mean?
(2) : of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds organic solvents.