Organic Farming : The standard process of growing organic corps
Often it has been a debate whether growing organic food is an utopian concept ? Do we actually pay more than the market value of conventional food items when we buy organic labelled food items? Let’s discuss in this blog article about these aspects and the standard process of organic farming.
There is no doubt, the green revolution increased food production and fed millions mouths, at the same time the increased use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and genetically modified seeds became rampant. This resulted in increased incidence of cancer cases, degraded soil and increased dependence of the farmer on the artificial methods of farming. These signs are certainly not healthy for long term sustainability of an agrarian society as well as health of the population consuming the food products grown by these methods. As the society is becoming more aware about the issues, there are early adopters of reverse mechanisms who are keen to go back to the organic produces and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
The foundation of organic food production is ensuring food security, however the benefits are numerous and inclusive of environmental preservation as well was protection.
The whole process of organic farming is standardized, though it may slightly vary from one geographical or political region to comply with the rule of the land.
The first step of organic farming is preparing the soil for farming.When making a transition from conventional farming ( which includes regular supplementation of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) it is important to do a gradual transition to soil which is ready for organic farming. The soil appropriate for organic farming has the right balance of the microenvironment constituted by the flora and fauna. The natural life cycle of the living organisms in the soil makes sure the soil is rich in nutrients that are needed for organic farming. At times it may be advisable to keep the land barren of any vegetation before preparing it for organic farming depending on the soil quality and how rigorously the land has been utilized previously. The process of organic farming ensures maintaining the community of naturally living organisms perennially and ensuring the cycle is sustainable.
Along with soil quality it is very important to ensure a certain level of water balance is maintained. There could be various ways of ensuring water label in form of liquid water or precipitation depending on the geographical area.
The next step is inspecting the soil and add soil amendments ( the process of adding natural manure ) if needed. Any kind of addition of soil or nutrients such as compost is purely based on the necessity. A soil testing process helps in understanding the soil requirements. As the organic farming becomes established, the health of the corps or in other words the leaves, stems and other plant parts reflect the soil condition. Any aberration from normal color, strength or texture shows there is a need of additional nutritional supplement for plants. However, these additional supplements must be natural in nature.
Organic farmers use variable rate software to determine the requirements of the soil and subsequently the fertilizer applicator is used. Occasionally use of GPS technology also helps in determining where and how much amount should be added.
Compost is tremendously beneficial in soil amendment process. The preparation and application of compost is carefully managed in order to only supplement in required quantities and not add more than required.
As the soil is ready, the seed selection becomes paramount. Subsequently seedbed preparation, planting seedlings etc come into the workflow. It is very important to select seeds from sources that are produced organically and do not have any traces or trails of synthetically or genetically modified crops.
Balanced soil health and water availability helps in germination and growth of the organic corps.But then comes the issue of weed control. It is always good to have sizeable land size of land where organic farming is done, to facilitate the use of various kinds of tools for weed control.
Then comes the stage of harvesting. To ensure the nutrient quality of organic food, it is very important to process the corps as soon as possible. Some produces are pressed and their juice is dried to preserve the vital nutrients on the same day of gharvesting. Some products are dried in lower temperature on belts, and some are processed using various techniques such as milling, mixing, capsuling, tabletting and bottling at a specialized processing plant.
As we discussed, organic farming is a wholesome and exhaustive process from pre cultivation stage to post harvesting stage. The whole process needs adequate knowledge of agronomy, guided labour and sophisticated technology to ensure the whole process is holistic and adheres to the basic principles underlying the process of organic farming. Hence it is quite natural to experience a higher demand of such agricultural produces than the supply in the coming times.