Organic farming is an agricultural practice that depends on biological pest control, mixed cropping and crop rotation. Unlike traditional farming practices, organic farming only relies on green fertilizer and prohibits chemicals or artificial pesticides. Basically, this method produces nutritious and chemical free organic foods since the usage of green fertilizer avoid soil pollution and erosion.
Since the method was introduced in 1990s, the market and demand for chemical free organic foods are increasing steadily and the figure exceeded over $50 billion in 2009. It is believed that organic agricultural practice will continue to grow in near future as the demands for organic foods are increasing every year.
Organic farming practices aim to work in harmony with the nature to improve human and environmental health. Thus, the system reduces reliance on non-renewable resources. In other words, the practice focuses largely on management, symbiosis relationship between the pest and predator and other natural processes.
The main objective or mission is to increase and maintain biological interactions in an effort to reduce the dangerous effects of conventional farming practices. There are three major farming methods used in organically managed farmland such as weed control, soil management and biological pest control.
When it comes to farming, it is crucial to ensure that the health and quality of crops are not jeopardized by weeds. Therefore, to plan an effective weed control programme is extremely important in organic farming. When planning and drafting for a weed control programme, you need to take other factors into consideration such as weather, work force, machinery, crop rotations, market quality demands and soil conditions.
To harvest good quality crops, farmers must be able to integrate effective weed control strategies with the changing factors mentioned earlier. Among some of the common tactics used for non-chemical weed control are to lower weed pressure, use cover crops, alternate crops, manipulate fertilizer timing accurately, minimize cultivation time and to choose the right tools such as flame weeders for the job.
Soil is a basic resource for agricultural practices. Thus, soil management is important as it helps to maintain environmental quality and crop production. In fact, there are a few ways to improve soil health in organic farming system. The three most effective practices to sustain soil health is through crop rotation, organic amendments and to use cover crops.
Finally, biological pest control involves the practice of using insect traps to control the pest population on the farm, to alternate crops in different locations to disturb and stop pest reproduction cycle, plant cover crops to diverge pests and control the amount of pest damage on the farm.