What is the Distinctive Characteristic of Organic Farming?

The unique characteristic of organic farming that distinguishes it from other forms of farming is Polyculture.  While conventional farming methods employ mass production of only one crop on a given piece of land (also termed as monoculture), organic farming uses the concept of polyculture. In this method two or more varieties of crops are grown on the same land; this is supposed to increase the cost factor of the farming method while also increasing the health benefits of the plant food. Growing together different varieties of crops is known to boost the number of beneficial insect and the microorganisms found in the soil. However, polyculturing the land requires correct knowledge and expertise to handle multiple varieties of crops at one go.

While polyculture requires plenty of hard work and close detailing, it has any advantages as well that cannot be found in monoculture.

  1. The wide varieties of crops used in polyculture makes the plants less sensitive to the plant diseases. In fact, a study in China supports this theory as it revealed that adopting the method of polyculture in a rice field boosted the output of rice by 89% since there was a sharp downfall (almost 94%) in the diseases that further decreased the amount of pesticides used.
  2. The diverse range of crops used in the field helps increase the biodiversity in the air and soil since it lends the environment favorable for the existence of different species. Polyculture is a great way of increasing biodiversity in the local environment especially since the insects and microorganisms perform the function of natural pesticides.

 

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What are Some of the Best Ways of Doing Organic Farming

Organic farming makes use of all the best practices that are available in this day of modern technology; these include traditional farming practices that make use of the natural ways of growing food. In organic farming, farmers are dissuaded from using chemical pesticides as well as synthetic fertilizers that are water soluble; they can make use of only natural pesticides (that are completely free from chemicals) as well as fertilizers that are completely natural. Plants, especially those meant for consumption, require pesticides and fertilizers for their growth and quality, and while organic farming recognizes this, it also rationalizes the use of only natural products for growing food plants.

What are the Methods used in Organic Farming?

Farmers who use organic farming for growing food combine centuries old farming practices with scientific knowledge and modern technology to produce food that is all-natural in its composition. The four main things that are used for organic farming are mechanical cultivation, green manures and compost, crop rotation ad natural pest control. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that organic farming relies heavily on the unrefined and agrestal means that take longer time to complete since they involve the all-natural approach.

An important feature of organic farming that helps with maintenance of ecology is crop diversity that involves growing different varieties of crops in the same place. This method helps sustain different species of benign and useful insects, naturally occurring microorganisms found in the soil as well as other components that are beneficial for the complete health and growth of the plant.

Organic Food vs. Conventional Food

 

A very commonly asked question related to organic farming is that how are the organic food products different from the food products that are grown using conventional farming methods? A lot of consumers want to know the nutritional difference between the two and who scores over whom in the battle of organic food vs. conventional food.

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Organic Crops Vs. Conventional Crops

Many people believe that organic food scores largely over conventional food because of the difference in the farming practices adopted by the farmers. Organic food is obviously grown by not being dependent on the chemical pesticides and fertilizers that are used liberally in conventional farming methods. As a result, organic food has no traces of chemical pesticides and harsh fertilizers that are found in the conventionally grown food. Hence, organic food is safe for consumption and has higher number of naturally occurring vitamins and essential minerals that are present in reduced quantity in conventional food. For example, studies have revealed that organic strawberries are a richer source of vitamin C and antioxidants when compared to their conventional counterparts.

Organic Milk Vs. Commercial Milk

Organic milk too has been found to be better than commercial milk and its products. There have been concerns about the presence of growth hormones in the commercial milk. Hormones are injected into the cows to simulate production of milk. The growth hormone is known to cause ill-effects in growing children especially girls. Thus, people are taking to organic milk in a big way since the cows producing the milk are left to graze the field for longer durations that helps them produce quality milk.