Organic Farming

Topics: Agriculture, Organic farming, Nitrogen Pages: 1 (393 words) Published: April 19, 2006
Organic Farming

Soil is the most important thing when it comes to growing crops. Good soil is full of nutrients and living things that are important to the growth of any plant life. There needs to be plenty of insects and bacteria and other microscopic organisms in the soil. With organic farming they can't pump the soil full of nutrients with chemicals and industrial fertilizers like other farmers can. They have their own compost they use from the manure and dead plant material on their own farm. They pay a lot of attention to the compost because it will benefit the soil, which they pay the most attention to out of anything. Another way to help the soil is to grow plants they don't even plan to harvest because of the nutrients it will provide to the soil. One example of this is beans which are legumes that have nodules on their roots, the nodules contain nitrogen fixing bacteria that enrich the soil with nitrogen. Legumes are also an example of green manure, living plants put in the soil to produce nutrients for other plants to use.

There are also strict rules for insect and weed control in organic farming. Pesticides and herbicides must be kept to a minimum. Cover crops can be used to prevent weeds from growing in the first place, some plants can be planted between crops you intend to harvest to crowd out weeds and prevent them from having a place to grow and taking the nutrients they need to thrive. Insect's can be controlled through crop rotation. Many insects that could damage the crops will lay their eggs in the soil right by the plants. Organic farmers will move those crops all the way to the other side of the field and put plants that those insects won't eat in the original crops place. This way after winter when those eggs hatch the larvae find nothing to feed on and will die out. If the problem can't be solved that way picking the insects out by hand is another route organic farmers would take.

There are also special rules for raising animals...
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