No matter how much a man progresses, agriculture is an occupation that was, is and will always be undertaken since it suffices one of the most important basic needs of the population – Food. Hence, technology is added in this field to find ways to increase agricultural production in order to feed the ever growing demand for food due to the drastic increase in population. Therefore, many new ways and methods are being introduced in this field to harvest and cultivate the best quality crops.
Organic farming can be explained as an agricultural method wherein the following techniques are used:
- Crop Rotation: A technique to grow various kinds of crops in the same area, according to different seasons, in a sequential manner
- Green Manure: Refers to the dying plants that are uprooted and stuffed into the soil in order to make them act as a nutrient for the soil to increase its quality
- Biological Pest Control: A method in which living organisms are used to control pests, without or with limited use of chemicals
- Compost: Highly rich in nutrients, this is a recycled organic matter used as a fertilizer in the agricultural farms
The reason why organic agriculture is enforced in many nations is because it minimizes the use of various harmful chemicals that have hazardous effects on crops in the field. Here, there is more focus on using natural ways to enhance the quality of soil and the cultivated crops. Organic agriculture is nothing more than a modernization in agriculture. It is a combination of science, technology and nature. Following are the different methods that combine together to form organic agriculture:
Earlier, Monoculture was the only practice used in the agricultural fields wherein only one type of crop was harvested and cultivated in a particular location. However, in the recent world, Polyculture has come into the picture wherein different kinds of crops are harvested and cultivated in order to meet the increasing crop demand and produce the required soil microorganisms.
After the season of cultivation has been conducted, the soil loses its nutrients and becomes less in quality. Rather than using harmful chemicals to enhance this soil, organic agriculture focuses on implementing natural ways to not only increase the health of soil but also keep the nature and human health unharmed. One of the best examples of natural ways to enhance soil is the use of bacteria that is present in animal waste. This bacteria help in making the soil nutrients more productive; much higher as compared to the chemical containing liquids.
“Weed”, in simple words, is nothing but the unwanted plant that grows in agricultural fields. However, in organic agriculture, there is more focus on suppressing the weed rather than eliminating it completely.
The two most widely used weed management techniques are:
- Mulching – a process wherein plastic films are used in order to block the growth of weed
- Mowing and cutting – wherein there is a removal of weeds’ top growth
Controlling other organisms
While certain organisms prove to be beneficial to the health of the agricultural farm, there are many others that hamper the field. Hence, the growth of such organisms needs to be controlled to protect the soil and crops. Out of the long list, following are the three most commonly used and important ways of controlling other organisms in organic agriculture:
Encouraging ladybugs, minute pirate bugs and other such predatory beneficial insects that feast on pests and fly away from the farm
Using herbicides and pesticides that are natural or contain less chemical
Proper sanitization of the entire farm in order to keep it free from pests
There can be no better place for the pet animals to get fresh air, food and a great exercise than the green farm. Since everything is preferred to be in a natural way, just like the animals were used as labor in the earlier times for plowing, organic agriculture encourages the use of domestic animals to increase the sustainability of the farm.
Since organic agriculture encourages the use of natural ways to enhance the farm, crops and soil; there is a discouragement of genetically engineered animals and plants. Hence, genetic modification is kept out of this agriculture. However, there is an argument keeping in mind that the pollen present in such modified crops are present in the stock of seeds used for organic agriculture, making it impossible to keep this completely out of this agriculture.
Organic agriculture is being conducted by many countries with the rejection of using techniques and chemicals that harm animals, crops, soil, environment and even the human health. Hence, such a process of agriculture should be encouraged since it acts as a protection shield to all the main factors that form the planet.
biological pest control