With the growing awareness about the health issues that can be faced by consuming chemically grown foods, consumers are now switching to organic products. Several of the organic farming techniques are old conventional methods that helped preserve the nature and its resources. There are several techniques used by the organic farmers to preserve the natural elements of soil and water in the land. Organic farming ensures minimal use of synthetic materials such as fertilisers, pesticides, feed additives and others. Let us take a look at some of the best practices applied in the field of organic farming and how it actually helps the farmers.
This is one of the highly used and beneficial techniques used in organic farming. In the same piece of land a variety of crops are grown one after the other so that the natural minerals and health of the soil is maintained. This also contributes in maintain the nutritional value of the end produce. Lands where crops such as wheat and potatoes are cultivated use other plants such as clover which helps to add the lost nutrients of the soil. This process also avoids building up of pests and diseases that can affect the growth of the crops. Crop rotation also prevents usage of chemicals in the soil to increase the potency and helps restore its ingredients naturally. Thus, soil structure is organically protected and also every year the crops add back whatever they draw from the soil.
It has been found that tackling with the weeds is one of the biggest challenges for the farmers. As weeds also grow immunity towards herbicides, over time usage of the same does not really control the growth of weed. This dominance of weeds is naturally prevented in organic farming. Every crop has a critical weed free period. For instance: fresh tomatoes have critical weed free period after 36 days of transplanting and new strawberries have it between the months of May and June. If the weed is managed well during this phase then there will be no loss in the produce. Crop rotation, cover crops and inter-cropping also leads to weed management in return.
Cover crops and inter-cropping:
Cover crops are nothing but the crops cultivated in between to give the land a break and produce such crops that add back the lost nutrition of the soil as mentioned above. Cover crops such as clover, rye, buckwheat are quite commonly used. Intercropping involves growing another crop in between the main crop. This is a good strategy that is utilised for seed control. It is highly beneficial for pest control too.
This is another popular practice mainly used for weed management. Covering the ground with other small plants will reduce weed seed germination and hinder the growth of the same. Synthetic mulches and organic mulches are the different kinds used for the same.
With newer innovations organic farmers are coming up with convenient and sensible measures that increase the production and lead to quality yields.