Did you know that the advantages of organic farming far surpass the nutritious crops everyone talks about? Believe it or not, organic farming and choosing to eat certified organic food can be beneficial to the consumer, the farmer, and mother nature!
We’d like to tell you more about the advantages of organic farming and what type of processes must be followed in order for a crop to be considered organic. Keep reading to learn more about organic methods!
Organic Farming and Agriculture
Generally, the terms farming and agriculture are used interchangeably. Depending on who you talk to, the definitions may vary slightly, where agriculture is a more vast subject including plant breeding, genetic engineering, and research and development of techniques.
Organic farming does not use genetically modified seeds, genetic engineering, nor do these operations use pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or synthetic fertilizer. This means that organic agriculture won’t use these practices or materials either.
Organic agriculture will take into consideration a farm’s biodiversity, ecosystem health, and the soil’s biological activity – it looks at the larger picture of organic food production. Organic farming techniques are found in organic agriculture to produce foods without the use of harmful chemicals or synthetic materials.
Both organic farming and organic agriculture are environmentally friendly and produce highly nutritious food while preserving the soil and ecosystem. You should note that sustainable agriculture does not necessarily mean organic; sustainable agriculture simply means growing food without depleteing natural resources.
How is Organic Food Produced?
Given that organic farming doesn’t allow for the use of pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizer, the question remains: how is organic food produced?
Organic food production requires careful planning, the use of mulches, hand weeding, crop rotation, high-density planting, and cover crops. Organic farmers know that their soil impacts how their crops grow and are careful about what is put into it. Their goal is to reduce plant diseases as well as the number of hungry insects.
With this said, it is organic farming requires a fair amount of labor and doesn’t always yield the largest crop. Because of this, organic food is often more expensive than produce from a conventional farming system.
Conventional Farming Methods
Conventional farming does tend to use pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizer, and genetically modified seeds. However, this type of farming also has increased food production and is lower in cost.
Unfortunately, conventional farming can also be hard on the environment if it isn’t done responsibly. There is less oversight when it comes to the types of chemicals used so oftentimes, consumers don’t necessarily know what has been sprayed onto their fruits and vegetables.
If you happen to love the advantages of organic farming and want to transition to organic production, you will first want to take a look at organic farming guidelines and develop a plan to become a certified organic farm.
Part of this plan will require developing your soil to help grow several types of plants in rotation. Unfortunately, most soil types aren’t exactly ideal and will need to be amended. If this is the case, or you’d like to know how your soil will impact your crop, contact us for guidance on the best soil options for your organic farm!