The key to understanding organic farming and organic production is getting to know the processes and the principles that guide them. Contrary to popular belief, organic farming is more than just not using pesticides and other chemicals to grow your crops. Organic farming and production is a “holistic system” that aims to maximize the functions and the diversity of the agro-ecosystem.
Its main purpose is to develop businesses and communities that can contribute to the natural and holistic growth and the conservation of the environment. In general, these are the principles that truly define organic farming and production:
Protect the environment
The protection and conservation of the environment is not only one of the benefits of organic farming and production. It is the end-goal of every organic farming advocate and environmentalists to see the delay in the degradation of the environment through the use of natural methods in farming and crop production.
These “natural” methods minimize soil degradation and erosion, as well as decreases pollution in water, land, and air. The conventional method of farming most known to consumers is faster and easier to manage, but the cost to the environment outweighs the benefits.
Optimize biological productivity
In a non-organic farm or ranch, waste and manure go to the garbage can. An organic farm aims to optimize all the by-products of crop rotations and cover crops. It advocates for a healthy host-predator relationship by using organic residues from the farms as recyclable natural fertilizers. Through the method of composting, farms and ranches can use whatever biodegradable waste (even those coming from the household) and turn them into an A-class, manure-like fertilizer that is free of pathogens.
An organic farm is also preventive rather than reactionary. This means that these farms use preventive insect and disease-control methods to weed out the possibility of unhealthy crops.
Maintain biological diversity
When conventional farms and production methods use pesticides, insecticides, and other chemicals, it creates an imbalance in the system. While these chemicals target specific insects and pests that are harmful to the crops, plants, fruits, and animals, they may also be indirectly killing microorganisms and good bacteria that will help in the sustainability of the environment.
Every time a spray of a pesticide kills its intended recipient, it also creates a backlash in the ecosystem. No one can be certain that these chemicals being used by conventional farms do not harm crops, plants, and other hosts in a farm or ranch.
Use of renewable resources
Organic farming relies on reusing and recycling materials and resources found in the farm or a ranch. Instead of the advanced technology mostly used by industrial farms, organic farming advocates for the utilization of renewable goods and commodities that will not only be less expensive but would also promote the importance of recycling in the preservation of the environment. Renewable resources can be anything from wood and paper to corn, soybeans, and even canola.
The use of renewable resources is heavily backed by organic farming advocates because it does not produce pollution and does not contribute to global warming.