Organic farming is becoming a buzzword for producers, growers, and consumers.
With multiple crises facing the world at once, people are turning to organic farming practises as a way forward in dealing with the adverse effects of climate change, environmental degradation and ensuring the health and well-being of everyone on the planet.
So, what is organic farming and what are the pros and cons?
Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting trend.
What exactly is organic farming?
Organic farming involves the careful and natural cultivation of the land, in harmony with the surrounding environment, and the animals and humans that live in it.
Organic farming systems rely on natural processes of crop rotation, cultivation using natural manures and composts, maintaining and sustaining soil fertility and the environment more broadly.
How is organic farming different from conventional methods?
Organic farming methods do not use conventional synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, and weedicides to maintain the health of crops, rather focus on maintaining a natural balance between plants, animals, and humans. As a farming movement, organic agriculture attempts to bridge the gap between producers and consumers by supplying fresh, honest, and delicious food.
Pros of organic farming
Organic farming has multiple benefits over conventional methods. Here are the pros of organic farming:
Organic farming is more sustainable
Compared to conventional farming, organic farming has the future viability of crops at the centre of its vision. Instead of focusing on profit, mass production, and increasing yields at the cost of the natural environment, organic farming aims to preserve the soil quality, land, and local habitat for future generations.
Organic farming helps solve the climate crisis
While organic farming pays close attention to the arability of the land and long-term usage, conventional farming seeks to maximise profit at all costs – even the environment. With heavy reliance on nitrogen fertilisers which produce harmful methane and nitrous oxide gasses, conventional farming is a major contributor to global emissions and global warming.
Organic farming is better for your health
It’s no surprise that without using chemicals to seed, weed, and grow to produce, organic farming has several health advantages over its conventional counterpart. The World Health Organisation warns that pesticide residue on food products can cause cancer, reproductive issues, as well as negative effects on the immune and nervous system.
Organic farming promotes food security
It’s hard to argue that the current food system supports the poorest communities. Today’s conventional farming practices simply are not meeting the needs of a growing population. Organic agriculture has the potential to change the way societies interact with farming in general.
With a focus on local, seasonal produce, organic farmers benefit from knowing and interacting with their consumers. This community aspect goes a long way in suring up fragile supply lines and allowing broader access to basic products.
Organic farming is a growing industry
There’s no doubt the organic farming industry is in a fledgling phase. But this presents some exciting growth opportunities. With increasing demand from consumers who are proving willing to change habits to protect the environment, the switch to organic farming may also be a wise business decision over the long term.
Cons of organic farming
Despite its many advantages, organic farming does face some major challenges.
Organic farming is more labour intensive
Relying on natural processes and avoiding chemicals in the cultivation process does mean a bit of extra work for the farmer who chooses to go organic. Tasking care of weeds, pests, and other issues without the help of synthetic chemicals can become problematic if not managed properly.
Organic farming can be more costly
Cultivating land and growing produce without the help of conventional farming methods can be more costly – especially at the beginning. Getting set up and adapting fields to new processes can also be difficult for farms that have relied on conventional farming methods in the past.
Organic food regulations may be hard to meet
For many farmers, getting the right certifications and meeting strict regulations can be difficult, if not impossible if nearby farms are producing GMO crops. Attaining and maintaining organic certifications can also be costly for farmers.
Organic farmers face stiff competition
Whether it’s conventional farming methods producing the same products at a lower cost, or the high costs associated with organic farming, producing organic products does come with some drawbacks in competing with other producers.
Equip your farm for sustainable organic farming
To make the most of organic farming, it needs to be done right. This means getting the right equipment to make your farming practices sustainable over the long term. Whether it’s the tractors you use, or the technology you employ, focusing on the sustainability and efficiency of your processes will improve your farm’s productivity whether it’s organic or not.
Organic farming methods present an exciting new opportunity for new existing farmers to expand their business and make a positive impact on the environment and the health of their consumers. Want to make the step to more sustainable farming practices? Get in touch with your local Kubota dealer today and discover how your farm equipment can be upgraded to meet the needs dog the future.
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