Organic farming is an agricultural system that seeks to provide the consumers, with fresh, tasty and authentic food while respecting natural life-cycle systems. Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
A wide range of organisms benefit from organic farming, but it is unclear whether organic methods confer greater benefits than conventional integrated agri-environmental programs. Nearly all non-crop, naturally occurring species observed in comparative farm land practice studies show a preference for organic farming both by abundance and diversity. An average of 30% more species inhabit organic farms.
Organic farming practices
- Wide crop rotation as a prerequisite for an efficient use of on-site resources.
- Very strict limits on chemical synthetic pesticide and synthetic fertiliser use, livestock antibiotics, food additives and processing aids and other inputs.
- Absolute prohibition of the use of genetically modified and engineered organisms.
- Taking advantage of on-site resources, such as livestock manure for fertiliser or feed produced on the farm.
- Choosing plant and animal species that are resistant to disease and adapted to local conditions.
- Raising livestock in free-range, open-air systems and providing them with organic feed.
- Using animal husbandry practices appropriate to different livestock species.
Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on thousands of years of agriculture.
- All of the seeds that are used are untreated and free of genetically modified organisms (GMO). The use certified organic seeds when available.
- Irrigation water is supplied from a naturally occurring artesian flowage over 500 feet below the farm's surface.
- Organic weed control standards are strictly adhered to at the Standard Process Farm. The main methods of weed management include: cultivating, mowing, hand weeding, cover crops which are used for weed prevention and as a source of nitrogen and organic matter and crop flamer which is used to eliminate the last flush of weeds before vegetable emergence.
- After the nutrients have been extracted from the raw materials, the majority of biodegradable by-products are returned to the fields in a monitored, land-spreading program.
- Our farm is surrounded on all sides by environmental buffers to minimize the impact of non-agricultural land and chemical inputs from traditional farming practices.
As organic farming becomes a major commercial force in agriculture, it is likely to gain increasing impact on national agricultural policies and confront some of the scaling challenges faced by conventional agriculture. As of 2001, the estimated market value of certified organic products was estimated to be $20 billion. By 2002 this was $23 billion and by 2007 more than $46 billion.
Organic farming has proven beneficial for many but the yield of organic farming has not been substantial since its beginning. Many farmers have turned to organic farming only on account of the subsidies given by the government to promote organic farming. There also have been instances wherein farmers have opted for organic farming on account of reduced production cost as compared to traditional farming. Low productivity, higher time required to yield and requirement of specialized skills for implementation have been some of the disadvantages of organic farming.