Organic and biological farming

What is organic farming?

Organic or biological farming can be defined as any production that avoids or excludes the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, and instead relies upon the use of sustainable techniques such as crop rotations, naturally sourced fertilisers and biological pest controls to enhance the natural fertility of a farm (Reganold, 2009).

The growth in organics

In recent times, this growing movement away from conventional forms of agriculture towards alternative systems has been steadily on the rise, with global land allocation for organic production increasing from 15.8 million hectares in 2001 to 37.2 million hectares by 2011 (Paull, 2011). This growth has only increased in recent years, with the AOMR 2017 report stating the demand for organics to be currently outstripping supply in both Australia and global markets, with a 17% growth in exports from Australia in 2016 alone.

The benefits of organic farming for your soil

Organic production provides a number of benefits to soil quality and health, which has been steadily declining worldwide in response to conventional farming techniques and chemicalisation. This in turn has resulted in reduced organic matter levels, desertification, soil compaction and higher fertiliser use.

These include
– Lower input costs
– Reduced plant disease
– improved soil structure
– improved nutrient availability
– improved crop quality
– Better drought resistance

These improvements are mainly due to improvements in soil health, which is a direct response to the removal of harmful pesticides and chemicals from the system which are detrimental to soil biota. This soil biota is paramount within an agricultural system as it drives nutrient cycling, the maintenance and improvement of soil physical conditions, and is involved in a variety of soil chemical processes.

Considering moving towards organic farming or biological production but unsure how to go about it? For more information consult our specialists and have them guide you through the process of organic certification and management to suit your property.