Do you know what organic farming is? If you have no idea, don’t worry. Today we are going to tackle this subject from Greenuso so that you can find out everything about this eco-friendly agricultural production system.
Working the land agro-ecologically has great advantages for the environment and for our health. If you are a farmer and you are interested, we invite you to continue with us. Let’s start!
What is organic farming? What is it for?
Organic farming is an agricultural production system from which food is obtained through natural methods. Therefore, it dispenses with artificial processes or inputs such as synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms, and so on.
It is a totally eco-friendly agricultural practice that seeks a balance between our food needs and the preservation of the environment. After all, as humans we cannot subsist if we do not take care of the planet.
Agro-ecological regulations and procedures
The European Union certifies organic food with a seal bearing a green leaf formed by stars. However, for a product to be certified it must pass a strict control system.
What you cannot use
They cannot be used during the production process:
- Genetically modified organisms(GMOs).
- Ionising radiation such as X-rays.
- Artificial fertilizers such as those based on nitrogen.
- Pesticides or pesticides.
- Hormones or antibiotics, although the latter may be administered to animals when necessary for health reasons.
- Cloning of animals.
- Embryo transfer.
Permitted methods and strategies
Agro-ecological producers must opt for alternative procedures to the conventional ones that comply with the regulations. Among the natural methods and strategies present in organic farming are
- Crop rotation.
- Vegetable cover in woody plantations.
- Cultivation of plants that restore the quality of the soil.
- Fortifying the immune system of the species.
- Opting for resistant plant and animal breeds.
- Natural techniques for pest control.
- The animals consume 100% organic food from the area.
- The mammal’s offspring are fed on their mother’s milk or natural milk in its absence.
- Natural reproduction methods, although artificial insemination is allowed.
- Care is taken to ensure that the animals have optimum living conditions.
Organic farming: Advantages
Organic farming has many advantages for the environment and the health of the people involved. Among them are
Safeguarding the structure and fertility of the soil
Agro-ecological techniques favour the quality of the soil needed for cultivation. As mentioned above, in organic farming, agrochemicals are replaced by biological products or organic amendments, which results in
- Greater presence and diversity of bacteria beneficial to crop development in the soil.
- Improvement in the infiltration and retention of water in the soil.
- Increased root growth.
- Greater fertility, that is, an increase in the availability of necessary nutrients for the plants.
Preservation of biodiversity
In turn, organic farming promotes biodiversity by eliminating GMOs and allowing birds and other indigenous organisms to live on the farm. This creates a better balance between potentially harmful species and their natural predators, thus reducing the risk of pests.
Similarly, organic farming prevents the emergence of populations of organisms that are invulnerable to herbicides and pesticides. The abusive use of these agrochemicals can result in a selection of the most resistant pathogens, insects or weeds.
Thanks to the above-mentioned soil conditions, less irrigation is required, thus contributing to water savings. Furthermore, since no polluting chemicals are used, the quality of the water is preserved.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
Similarly, through a well-designed and applied agro-ecological system, the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) can be reduced. In addition, the local sale of organic food can reduce the need for imported products that are energy-intensive to transport.
Organic farming prevents or reduces the exposure of producers, traders and consumers to pesticides and other agrochemicals.
In large quantities, some of these substances pose a risk to our health. In fact, depending on the dose, some pesticides can cause cancer, brain diseases or damage to the foetus.
The “eco-seal” gives added value, therefore products bearing it are more expensive than conventional ones. This brings greater profitability to the producer and the trader, although it does not seem to be an advantage for consumers.
At the same time, savings in water and agrochemicals are reflected in the bank accounts of agro-ecological producers.
Organic farming: Disadvantages
As we saw previously, organic farming does have its advantages. However, it also has certain disadvantages, including
- Onsome farms, organic farming cannot be carried out.
- It is not always possible to attribute a premium to the products obtained from this activity, which may reduce profitability.
- There is a lack of knowledge about the correct application of agro-ecological techniques.
- Producers can be harmed by pollution from nearby conventional farms .
Finally, it is clear what organic farming is for and its great contribution to the conservation of the environment. If you want to apply this eco-friendly system on your farm, we at Greenuso encourage you to do so.