As a completely natural and sustainable farm management practice, organic farming is based on unique values. In other words, organic farming is not only a farm practice but also a philosophy of working together with nature.
More precisely, organic farming is based on managing the agro-ecosystem rather than relying on external farming inputs, such as pesticides, artificial fertilizers, additives, and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming involves the use of traditional farm practices in combination with advanced scientific research and modern farm innovations. For example, use of manure and biological soil disinfection.
As the global population began to grow rapidly, the need for a more sustainable approach in food production became more obvious. Unsustainable farm practices, geared only towards higher yields, put additional pressure on global issues such as climate changes, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and pollution of most important natural resources, soil and water. In an attempt to accommodate global food demands, and in efforts to mitigate the aforementioned problems, many countries and farmers have begun turning to organic farm practices. Today, there are 2.3 million certified organic farmers in 172 countries. More importantly, the agricultural land under organic farming is constantly increasing. Still, organic farming occupies only 1% of the total agricultural land. As a holistic farm management approach, organic farming aims to create a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable food production system.
Organic farmers are true life-savers who work hard to grow healthy and nutritious crops. An additional responsibility for them is to maintain or enhance the most important of natural resources while protecting the environment for the future generations.
However, some of the most popular organic farm management practices are:
● Crop rotation, used to maintain soil fertility and to improve crop protection from various pests
● Organic nutrient management, based on improvement of soil organic matter through manuring, composting, or mulching
● Growing cover crops, a beneficial practice for controlling insect pests and weeds, preventing soil erosion, as well as improving the nutrient content in the soil
● Preventive crop protection measures, such as choosing resistant varieties, adaptation of planting or sowing, and harvesting time
● Relying on natural predators as a biological pest protection measure
● Weeding as a non-chemical weed management practice
● Anaerobic soil disinfestations that eliminates or reduces soil-borne pests
● Proper space between the crops
● Mechanical soil cultivation
● Recycling materials
● Relying on renewable resources.