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Organic Farming For Sustainable Crop Production
Dr. Manoj Sharma Deputy Director ( Training) KVK., Kapurthala
“Organic agriculture, a holistic system that focuses on improvement of soil health, use of local inputs ,and relatively high intensity use of local labour, is an admirable fit for drylands in many ways and the dryland offer many benefits that would make it relatively easy to implement.” Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
“..an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.” National Organic Standards Board
•Human health tied to the health of the environment • A healthy soil is the foundation
Feed The Soil, Not
What is Organic Farming Organic agriculture is farming without synthetic pesticide and conventional fertilizer
A production system that responds to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.
Adverse effects of inorganic farming
• Destruction of soil structure and poor water holding capacity • Reduction in soil fertility and low organic matter content • Increase in salinity, sodicity and land submergence • Indiscriminate killing of useful insects 5. Adverse effect on soil flora and fauna 6. Resistance development in pathogen 7. Deterioration of environment and human health
Pesticide contamination of food and feed in Punjab
Commodity Cereals Rice Grain Vegetables Animal feed Animal feed and fodder Milk Number of samples Analysed Contaminated
30 99 96 15 105 24
30 99 64 15 105 23
Why farm organically?
Organic farming provides long-term benefits to people and the environment.
Organic farming aims to:
• Increase long-term soil fertility. • Control pests and diseases without harming the environment. • Ensure that water stays clean and safe. • Use resources which the farmer already has, so the farmer needs less money to buy farm inputs. • Produce nutritious food, feed for animals and high quality crops to sell at a good price.
provides environment for wide range of crops that can cater to different market demands. • Increasing awareness & health consciousness. • Availability of comparatively cheap labour for labour-intensive organic agriculture • Huge numbers of small farmers, those who do the traditional farming have very limited capacity to pay for most of the chemical
Factors driving organic farmingregions that Diverse agro-climate
Factors driving organic farming
• Increasing involvement of private companies in field of agricultural extension, trade, consultation and other services • Enhanced government attention and support for organic agriculture through various policy initiations and action programs.
• Global : 24 mha (1.6% Ag. Area) : Nearly 130 countries produce organic product, Australia (10 mha) – lead country : 37000-41000 ha (SOEL survey), (0.3% of Ag. Area) : 2.50 million ha (APEDA) (Including 2.43 mha of forest area with wild herb & medicinal plants
Major products produced in India by Organic Farming
Type Commodity Spices Products Tea, Coffee, Rice, Wheat Cardamom, Black pepper, white pepper, ginger, turmeric, vanilla, mustard, tamarind, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace chilly Red Gram, Black Gram Mango, Banana, Pineapple, Grape, passion fruit, Orange, Cashew nut, walnut Okra, Brinjal, Garlic, Onion, Tomato, Potato Sesame, castor, sunflower Cotton, herbal extract
Pulses Fruits Vegetables Oilseeds Others
Market Organic (Export) 2004
Kerala West Bengal Karnataka Tamil Nadu Punjab Himachal Pradesh Maharashtra India
= 1232 = 937 = 476 = 471 = 541 = 521 = 375 Total = 6472
Metric ton Metric ton Metric ton Metric ton Metric ton Metric ton Metric ton Metric ton
Export Product Basmati rice, cotton, Mangopulp, Cashew nut, Sesame, Piniapple pulp, Honey, Walnut, spices, coffee, Tea, Peanut canned.
Benefits: Protects the concept and value of organic. Practices: Buffers, good record keeping
Benefits: reduced energy consumption,soil conservation, efficient water use,increased water quality. Practices: conservation structures,conservation tillage, controlled drainage,rotations, mulching, integrated systems.
Natural Plant Nutrition…
Benefits: Emphasis on soil health translates into healthier food, healthier humans. Less plant disease, fewer weeds, better waterholding capacity, resistance to erosion. Practices: Crop rotations, cover crops, green manures, animal manures, application of allowable substances in limited quantities, composting. Benefits: ecosystem (and financial) stability, more beneficial insects, greater below-ground diversity, better nutrient cycling, disease suppression, tilth, and N-fixation. Practices: intercropping, companion planting, establishment of beneficial habitats, crop rotations, cover crops, species/enterprise integration.
Biodiversity and Organic Agriculture
Organic farmers are both custodians and users of biodiversity at all levels:
• Gene level: locally adapted seeds and breeds are preferred for their greater resistance to diseases and resilience to climatic stress;
Species level: diverse combinations of plants and animals optimize nutrient and energy cycling for agricultural production;
Ecosystem level: the maintenance of natural areas within and around organic fields and absence of chemical inputs create suitable habitats for wildlife. Reliance on natural control methods maintains species diversity and avoids the selection of pest species resistant to chemical control methods.
Organic agriculture and soil ecosystems Natural soil fertility must be relied upon in organic systems. Practices such as crop rotations, symbiotic association, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage create suitable conditions for soil fauna and flora. Organic agriculture and agro-ecosystems Natural disease resistance and pest predation must be strengthened in organic systems. Crop rotation is considered the cornerstone of organic management, functioning as a tool for pest management and soil fertility.
(IFOAM, 2000 )
Organic farming combats global warming
Some apprehensions about organic farming? Can organic farming produce enough food for every body ? Is it possible to meet the nutrient requirements of crops entirely from organic sources? Are there any significant environmental benefits of organic farming? Is the food produced by organic farming superior in quality? Is organic agriculture economically feasible?
Comparative data of 3 years average production at Phanda farm
S.No. Crops Sowing area (Ha) Organic Control Kharif 1. Soybean 2. Maize 3. Paddy 4. Arhar Rabi 1. Gram 2. Peas 3. Wheat 20.000 1.000 8.800 3.750 14.000 1.500 1.500 14.000 1.000 2.000 2.000 9.000 1.500 9.500 Production Qntl./Ha. Organic Control 12.46 8.00 14.50 7.98 12.72 10.80 22.00 12.16 7.50 13.00 6.63 10.18 11.20 24 20.00
Dr. G.S. Kaushal Director Agriculture Govt. of Madhya Pradesh BHOPAL
Improvement in soil composition under biodynamic practices
Ram et al., 2004
Fruit quality of tomato influenced by organic farming
Titrable acidity (citrate %)
Ascor bic acid (mg/1 00g) Total solids (%) pH
T1 -co nt rol T2 -100% N a s u rea T3 -100% N a s fym T4 -100% N a s ve rmico mp ost T5 -100% N a s co ir pit h co mp ost T6 -75% N as FYM wi th Azo spirillum T7 -75% N as vermicom po st wit h Azosp ir llu m T8 -75% N as coir pith com po st with Azosp ir illu m T9 -50% N asF YM with Azos pirill um T1 0-50% N a s ve rmico mp ost with Azosp ir llu m T1 1-50% N a s co ir pit h co mp ost wi th Azosp ir illu m C. D(P= 0.05 )
0.43 0.52 0.55 0.61 0.56 0.62 0.72 0.66 0.48 0.50 0.48 0.03
18.3 20.7 20.7 21.8 20.8 20.8 23.0 21.7 19.1 19.4 19.1 0.5
3.6 4.4 4.6 4.9 4.5 5.O 5.4 5.2 4.1 4.3 4.2 0.3
3.6 3.8 3.7 3.7 3.6 3.7 3.9 3.8 3.5 3.6 3.6 0.4
Kannan et al.,
Effect of organic farming on fruit characteristics and yield of tomat
T1-Control T2-100% N as urea T3-100%N as fym T4-100%N as vermicompost T5-100%N as coirpith compost T6-75%N as FYM with Azospirillum T7-75%N as vermicompost with Azospirllum T8-75%N as coirpith compost with Azospirillum T9-50%N asFYM with Azospirillum T10-50%N as vermicompost with Azospirllum T11-50%N as coirpith compost with Azospirillum
Fruit height (cm) 2.2 2.6 2.6 2.7 2.6 2.8 3.1 3.0 2.4 2.5 2.5 Fruit girth (cm) 10.7 14.4 14.3 14.7 14.4 14.7 15.2 14.9 12.7 13.3 13.3 Fruit weight (g) 29.8 29.8 39.7 40.3 39.8 40.5 42.7 41.4 38.5 39.0 Yield (t/ha) 22.7 31.0 30.9 31.2 31.0 31.3 33.0 31.7 30.6 30.5
38.7 Kannan et al., 30.7
Rice equivalent yield (t/ha) of different systems under various management practices at PAU
Cropping System GM-Basmati Rice- Wheat Turmeric-Onion Summer GroundnutGarlic Maize-durum Wheat-Cowpea (F) RiceGarlic+Mentha
Productivity Chemi Organi cal c 12.6 13.0 19.2 25.3 11.4 24.9 36.9 29.1 12.6 31.0
( t/ha) Integrat ed 13.6 36.6 29.4 12.3 32.2
Management of soil fertility using on – farm inputs in maize/basmati rice – wheat cropping systems at PAU Organic Inputs
Farmyard Manure (FYM) Crop residues (CR) Vermicompost (VC) 1/3 FYM + 1/3 CR + 1/3 VC Control Grain Yield (q/ha) Maize Wheat
39.9 33.7 41.9 41.5 17.1
35.6 32.4 33.0 34.2 13.2
Green fodder yield (t/ha) under different fodder production system at PAU
Green fodder yield (t/ha)
Main Plots (Green fodder system) Sorghum – Berseem Maize – BerseemBajra Maize-BerseemMaize+cowpea Sorghum + gurara - oats - cowpea
33.7 13.2 14.2 35.0
67.2 67.7 67.9 48.3 sysem) 71.2 53.3 63.7 1.7
60.8 41.9 33.6 47.2 42.6 46.5 2.0
Sub plots (Management Organic 25.9 Chemical 19.6 Integrated 26.4 CD (0.05) 0.95
1 00. 1 9 41. 1 7 24. 1 0 16. 9 1 44. 1 3 15. 1 5 36. 2.3
Plant Nutrient Supply System in Organic Farming
• Organic amendments with organic manure, vermicompost and bio fertilizers. • Biodynamic Approach based on soil biotechnology and microbiology. • Homeopathic Approach • Agnihotra Approach • Panchgavya Approach
Soil microorganisms mediate nutrient cycles through decomposition of organic residues
- Microorganisms ‘feed’ on the residues - Biochemical by-products are plant nutrients (N,P,S) and other beneficial compounds like humic acid
Microbial conversion of organic N P and S into ammonium, phosphate, and sulfate - Nutrients become available
-Microbial assimilation of inorganic N, P, and S - Nutrients temporarily tied up in microbial biomass
Microbial Functional Groups
Bacteria - decomposers, primary players in NP and S cycling - Actinomycetes act on more complex compounds to form humus Fungi - Decomposers, attack lignin - Nutrient acquisition (mycorrhiza) Protozoa and Nematodes - Consume bacteria and fungi releasing plant nutrients (N) - Activity increases decomposition rates
Factors Affecting Microbial Populations
Moisture - Microorganisms need water to survive Oxygen - Bacteria both aerobic and anaerobic - Fungi, protozoa and nematodes aerobic Temperature - Adaptable - Activity generally increases as temperature rises Soil pH - Bacteria sensitive to acidity - Fungi function at low pH Organic Matter - OM source of C and nutrients - OM additions stimulate microbial growth
Agricultural Practices Affecting Microbial Populations
Tillage - Destroys fungi, meso and macrofauna - Reduces OM - Reduces aggregation Fertilizers - N and P fertilizers create acid zones killing microorganisms Fumigation - Indiscriminant destruction of microbial community Monocropping - Reduces microbial diversity - Promotes pest build-up
What About the Soil Food Web?
What About the Soil Food Web? Important to recognize the role of each functional group and their interdependence Remember that management practices affect microbial interactions Soil tests to quantify soil food web are expensive and difficult to interpret Hot area for research
Tools and Practices for organic farming Crop Rotation
Soil fertility - Legumes for N fixation - Diverse rooting habits Pest Management - Break pest cycles - Promote diversity Know the family of the crops Crops rotated so that crops from different families follow each other Lettuce, Beans ,Corn ,Tomatoes
Green Manures in the Crop Rotation: Soil fertility - Legumes for N fixation - Grasses for OM accumulation - Diverse rooting habits Pest Management - Break pest cycles - Promote diversity, attract beneficials - Biofumigants (brassicas, sudan grass, sunn hemp) Weed Management - Perennial rye - Oats
Composts and Manures: .. Soil Conditioner
- Feed the soil - Improve physical properties .. Nutrient Availability - C:N ratio - Total N content - . 15% of total N in mature composts available in the first year (Bettina et al., 2003) - Field trials estimate that composts alone can satisfy crop N demands after 40-80 years Feather meal Dairy Manure Compost C:N ratio: 3.2 18 10-17 Total N 12% 2.0% 1.0%
Composts and Manures: Timing
-Continuous additions to build up SOM - Mineralization potential of soil increases as OM inputs increase with time - SOM acts as nutrient reserve continuously releasing nutrients - High N materials can be used as a rapid source of N in the short term
Intercropping and Companion Planting:
Interplanting 2 or more mutually beneficial plants to increase biodiversity
Biological Pest Control:
Depends on managing beneficial insect predators/parasites Seen as default benefit of organic soil management practices that promote above and below ground diversity Can include the release of control agents Farmscaping: long/short term design to create habitats for beneficials
Tillage and Cultivation
Tools for weed control, residue management, manure incorporation, hardpan destruction, pest control Negative impacts: - Costly - Destroy humus reserves and soil organisms - compaction Conservation and ridge tillage - Organic growers pioneers
Weed control, moisture and temperature control, soil organic matter Large quantities of resistant organic materials (wood chips, straw, etc…) Not practical on a large scale
List of bio-pesticides available in market
Neemazal Neem oil (5 %) Neem seed extract (5 %) Neem cake Dried neem leaves Sour butter milk (10 %) Cow dung ash dusting Water spray Trichogramma cards Trixho- XP ( Trichoderma harzaianum) Sudocel Pseudomonas fluoresens (PSF) Larvocel baviana Bauvaria
Against borers Against borers Against borers For controlling nematodes Against stored grain pests sucking Against sap insects Against aphid Against borers Against diseases Against diseases Against diseases
Products for use in fertilization and soil conditioning in organic farming
Sr Items . No Material produced on an organic farm unit . Matter produced on an organic farm unit Condition s for use
1 2 3 4 1 2
Farmyard and slurry, urine Crop residues and green manure Straw and other mulches Composts and vermicomposts
Permitted Permitted Permitted Permitted
Matter produced outside the organic farm unit Blood meal, meat meal, bone meal and feather meal without preservatives Compost made from plant residues and animal excrement Restricted Restricted
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Farmyard manure, slurry, urine Fish and fish products without preservatives Guano Human excreta Wood, bark, sawdust, wood ash, wood charcoal Straw, animal charcoal, compost and spent mushroom and vermiculture substances Compost from organic household
Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d
10 Compost from plant residues 11 Sea weed and sea weed products By products from the industries 1 By- products from the food and textile industries of biodegradable material of microbial, plant or animal origin without any systematic additives By products from oil palm, coconut and cocoa (including fruit bunch, palm oil mill effluent, cocoa peat and empty coca pods. By products of industries processing ingredients from organic agriculture Extracts from mushroom, chlorella, fermented product from Aspergillus, natural acids (vinegar)
Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d Restricte d
2 3 4
Basic slag Calcareous and magnesium rock Lime, limestone, gypsum Calcified sea weed Calcium chloride Mineral potassium with low chlorine content (e.g. sulphate of potash, kainite, sylvinite, patenkali) (rock phosphate) Natural phosphates Trace elements Sulphur Clay (bentonite, perlite, zeolite) Microbiological origin Bacterial preparation (bio fertilizers) Biodynamic preparations Plant preparation and botanical extracts
Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Permitted Permitted Permitted
Permitted Permitted Permitted
Products for plant pest and disease control
Material from plant and animal origin Plant based repellents (Neem preparations from Azadirachta indica Algal preparations (gelatine) Casein Extracts from mushroom, chlorella, fermented products from Aspergillus Propolis Beeswax, natural acids (vinegar), plant oils, Quassia Rotenone from Derris elliptica, Lonchocarpus, Trphrosia spp Tobacco tea (pure nicotine prohibited Preparation from Rryania species
Conditio n for use Permitt ed Permitt ed Permitt ed Permitt ed Restrict ed Permitt ed Restrict ed Restrict ed Restrict
Items Mineral Origin Chloride of lime/soda Burgundy mixture Clay (bentonite, perlite, ermiculite, zeolite Copper salts/inorganic salts (Bordeaux mix, copper hydroxide, copper oxychloride) Quick lime Mineral Origin Diatomaceous earth Light mineral oils Permagnate of potash Insect Origin Release of parasites, predators of insect pests Sterilized insects Sterlized insects males
Conditio n for use Restrict ed Restrict ed Permitte d Not allowed Restrict ed Permitte d Restrict ed Restrict ed Restrict ed Restrict ed Not allowed
Conditio n for use
Microorganisms used for biological pest control Viral, fungal and bacterial preparations Restrict ed Others(biopesticides) Carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas Soft soap, soda, sulphur dioxide Homeopathic and ayurvedic preparations Herbal and biodynamic preparations Sea salt and salty water Ethyl alcohol Traps, barriers and repellants Physical methods (e.g. chromatic traps, Permitt mechanical traps) ed Mulches, nets Pheromones-in traps and dispensers Permitt ed Permitt Permitt ed Permitt ed Permitt ed Permitt ed Permitt ed Not allowed
Average nutrient content of organic manures
Source of Nutrition Organic manure Farmyard Manure Farm compost Town compost Night soil Vermicompos t Crop residues Bio gas slurry Rock phosphate Percentage composition N 0.5 0.5 1.4 5.5 3.0 1.5-2.0 1.0 25-30 1 P2O5 0.2 0.15 1.00 4.0 0.0 K2O 0.5 0.5 1.4 2.0 1.5
Source of Nutrition Non edible oil N cake cake Castor Cotton seed cake or Karanj honge cake Mahua cake Neem cake 4.3 3.9 3.9 2.5 5.2
Percentage composition P2O5 1.8 1.8 0.9 0.8 1.0 1.4 K2 O 1.3 1.6 1.2 1.8 1.4 1.2
Safflower 4.9 cake Manure crops Green San hamp (Crotolaria juncea) Dhaincha ( Sesbnia aculeata) Sesbania speciosa 2.3 3.5 2.71
0.5 0.6 0.53
1.80 1.20 2.21
Source of Nutrition Green leaf manure Glycricidia (Gluicidia sepium) Pongamia (Pongama glabra) Gulmohur (Delonix glabra) Neem (Azadirachta indica) based Animal Blood meal Meat meal Fish meal Horn and hoof meal Raw bone meal Steamed bone meal
Percentage composition N 2.76 3.31 2.76 2.83 10-12 10.5 4-10 13 3-4 1-2 P2O5 0.28 0.44 0.46 0.28 1-2 2.5 3-9 20-25 25-30 K2 O 4.6 2.39 0.50 0.35 1.00 0.5 0.3-1.5 -
Lack of technical know-how. • Lack of required amount BD preparations in market. • Lack of awareness among people about hazards
caused by use of agrochemicals. • Bulky nature of BD preparations and compost. • In-situ production is not feasible. • Lack of scientific data on the long-term benefits and limitations of biodynamic farming. • Limited domestic market for bio-dynamically grown produce. • Quality certification.
Constraints Producers’/Distributors’/Traders’ point of view:
• Lack of proper infrastructure for distribution and conservation of bioinputs is a major constraint that hinders the access of these inputs to farmers. • Some climatic regions and soil conditions are not suitable for specific
Farmers’ point of view:
• Given the mandated period of around three years for a conventional farm to become an organic farm, the benefits perceived by farmers tend to be limited as they have a short term orientation. • As a result even if they are aware, they are hesitant to switch over to
The government perspective
• Changing the cropping and cultivation patterns is slow and time-consuming process. • Given the high levels of illiteracy and large number of small and marginal farmers it makes the change process difficult. • Subsidies on chemical fertilizers and pesticide impede the growth of organic agriculture.
Major Limitations under Punjab conditions
• • • • • • • • Bulky nature of organic manure. Divergent nutritional value. Small land holding. Lack of awareness among farmers. Marketing of organic produce. Labour and cost intensive. Low incentives from government. Non availability of bio pesticides.
• Dramatic and large benefits in terms of yield and returns. • Cultivation of high nutrient responsive cultivers. • Promotion of biological agents. • Urgency to meet food security.
Why farmers are reluctant to adopt organic farming in Punjab
• Perceived high costs of doing organic farming due to incomplete knowledge about principles and practices of organic agriculture among farmers. They were arranging inputs from outside. • Non-availability of adequate quantities of organic manures and other organic inputs in the local market. • Knowledge of organic farming has not filtered down to actual users i.e. small farmers and the information reached to target groups, is often not backed by scientifically proven results.
• What arguments are there in favour of organic agriculture in India? • What vested interests would oppose the growth of organic agricultures and why? • What strategies could be employed to further promote the greening of agriculture in India?
Can India adopt organic farming in a big way ?
• Is organic farming non-scientific and unproven ? • Does practicing organic farming means reduced yield ? • Why were crop yields low before invention of Agro-chemicals ? • How is organic farming different from conventional ? • What are the strengths and weaknesses of organic farming
• Where is the large quantity of compost for OF ? • Does the soil fertility decline when fertilizers are not used ? • Scientifically, where crop nutrients come from in organic farming ? • How are crops protected in organic farming ? • Why restricted when India is a low user ? • Where are the evidences that high yields are possible in organic farming ?
Sustainable, economic and eco friendly
Minimum risk of residual toxicity Improvement in soil fertility with high yield, quality produce Maintenance of organic matter content of the soil Reduced energy use Increased yields without over reliance
Organic agriculture is not for everyone. Yet it is a viable approach that can be beneficial. It can: • Be particularly useful in the more difficult environments where resources are scarce and cultivation problematic • Potentially reduce risks by: a) “localizing” input production, b) fostering soil and water conservation, c) encouraging diversification (food security) • Improve ability to compete in today’s fast globalizing, standards-critical trade.
Strategies needed to promote organic farming in India
• Adequate research and extension support needs to be provided • Research to quantify the role of organic farming in minimizing the ill effects of modern agriculture and its effect on environment • Helping farmers to promote organic farming • Government should recognize agriculture in Kyoto protocol carbon credit mechanism • Developing infrastructure for supply chain and ensuring competitive price for organic products • Capacity building through on farm demonstrations and trainings • Government support in cheaper access to organic certificates
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