Organic farming is an agricultural production method that originated during the early part of the twentieth century in response to rapidly evolving industrial agricultural methods. Organic farmers grow crops and livestock using methods that do not cause damage to the environment. The most common types of organic farming are biodynamic, chemical free and natural farming. Organic agriculture accounts for nearly 70 million acres worldwide, with nearly half of this amount in Australia. Approximately one million new trees are planted each year as a result of organic gardening, according to the International Tree Foundation.
Organic farming is usually confined to crop fields such as: alfalfa, canola, cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat, sugar cane and vegetables. There are some farms that also use cover crops, or biological fertilizers, as a source of pest control. Pest control is the practice of using chemicals to eradicate pests from a farm before their population is able to build up. However, some pests are resistant to chemical treatment and do not respond to pesticides. Biopesticides are often used in conjunction with other insecticides and organic farming is generally not designed to provide complete pest control.
Organic farming generally uses more natural resources than conventional agriculture. There are no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides used in organic farming. The soil on which crops grow is generally higher in nutrients and less acidified than that found in conventional agriculture. In addition, fertilizers and pesticides are generally lower in toxicity. This means that farmers generally raise their plants at a slower rate than in conventional agriculture. However, organic farming can be very productive for those who properly adjust the use of chemicals and fertilizers to ensure that they are used in a safe and effective manner.
One of the most important factors in the productivity of organic farming lies in its environmental effectiveness. The method of crop rotation has proven to be very effective in controlling both land-shelter and pest populations. In crop rotation, a certain portion of the cultivated land is given over each year to allow the crop to develop fully and to give the land space that it needs to recover. This is usually done in an area of the land where there is the greatest amount of species-bearing trees, which can provide food, pollinate and attract wildlife. Organic agricultural systems tend to be well-tended and take into account the needs of the local eco-system when developing policies that affect them.
Contamination of agricultural lands with harmful chemicals has been a major problem in conventional agriculture. A common practice in conventional farming is the application of chemicals known as herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers to grow plants. These chemicals can be dangerous for humans and animals. They can cause birth defects, cancer, and other health problems. Organic farmers have tried to overcome this problem by developing crops that do not require these chemicals. However, because of the harmful effects of these chemicals, organic farming is still necessary to avoid these chemicals from contaminating the food supply.
There are many benefits to organic farming. These include lower food costs, higher yields, less pollution, and better soil. The demand for organic products has been on the rise and, as the demand increases, the methods used to increase yields have become more efficient. These efficient methods generally lower the selling prices of organic produce.