Management Practices In Organic Farming

By Agropedia on 06 Apr 2016

Submitted by kiran yadav

Plant Nutrition

In organic farming we constantly work to build the healthy soil that translates into healthy plants. We need to plan well in advance of planting, how the plants will be nourished. We must ensure that soil is rich in organic matter and has all the nutrients that that the plants will need. In organic farming we feed the soil micro and macro-organisms, which are the external digestive system that possesses organic matter, delivering a smorgasbord of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients to the crop at a metered pace.

Weed management

No chemical herbicide is used in organic farming. Here weeding is done by machine or by hand. When the field is fallow, a cover crop may be planted to suppress weeds and build soil quality. Drip irrigation may be adopted whenever possible, to restrict weed growth by distribution of water to the plant line only. Another tool that sometimes may be used is a 'flame weeder,' a propane device that attaches to the back of a tractor and directs flames toward the ground. In this method land is irrigated to germinate weeds and then "flame" is used to kill weeds and weed seeds before planting.

Pest management

In organic farming we try to anticipate in advance where and when different pests will be present and adjust their planting schedules and locations as much as possible to avoid serious pest problems. Here main strategy is to combat harmful pests and to bulid up a population of beneficial insects, whose larvae feed off the eggs of pests. The key to building a population of beneficial insects is to establish borders around fields planted with blends of flowering plants that the beneficial insects over time.  But, if there is a pest outbreak that can not be handeled by beneficial insects, we sometimes use natural or or organically approved insecticides like neem products (1% Nethrin/Nimbecidine) which have low toxicity to people and other animals and low persistence in the environment. We can use Trichogama parasite to control pest problems in different crops.

Disease management

One of the biggest rewards of organic farming is healthy soil that is alive with beneficial organisms. These healthy microbes, fungi and bacteria keep the harmful bacteria and fungi that cause disease in check. Organic farmers, working with nature, build soil that protects their crops from disease. They also try to be diligent about crop rotation. They do not plant the same crop in the same location time after time because that encourages the build-up of diseases and pests that plague that particular crop.

International guidelines on Organic Agriculture

The formation of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) in 1972 gave an international framework for the discussion and codification of internationally recognized principles of organic farming. FAO and WHO have officially declared that international guidelines on organically produced food products should be considered important for consumer protection and information as they facilitate trade. The Codex Alimentarius Commission, a join FAO/WHO food standards programme, the body that sets International food standards, started to develop guidelines for the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced food in 1991. The Codex guidelines are important for the equivalent judgements under the rule of World Trade Organisation (WTO).