Organic Farming Project Proposal; Disease Control

Organic Farming Project Proposal

The following details are about Organic Farming Project Proposal, Pest and Disease Control in Organic Farming.

Introduction:

Organic farming is a method, which involves the cultivation of plants and rearing of animals in natural ways. This procedure involves the use of biological materials to maintain soil fertility & ecological balance thereby minimizing pollution and wastage. In other words, organic farming is a farming technique that involves growing and nurturing crops without the use of synthetic based fertilizers & pesticides. Moreover, no genetically modified organisms are permitted. The main goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable & harmonious with the environment.

Organic farming promotes the use of crop rotations and cover crops and encourages balanced predator relationships. Organic residues & nutrients produced on the farm are recycled back to the soil. Cover crops and composted manure are used to keep soil organic matter and fertility. Preventative disease control methods are practiced, including crop rotation, improved genetics & resistant varieties. Integrated pest & weed management, and soil conservation systems are valuable tools on an organic farm.

Organically accepted pesticides contain “natural” or other pest organization products included in the Permitted Substances List (PSL) of the organic standards. The Permitted Substances List identifies substances acceptable for use as pesticides in organic agriculture. All grains, forages & protein supplements fed to livestock must be organically grown. Prohibited products & practices must not be used on certified organic farms for at least three years prior to harvest of the certified organic products. Livestock must be raised organically & fed 100 percent organic feed ingredients.

Organic Farming methods:

Organic agriculture is a production method that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity & cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines scientific information about ecology & modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. Organic farming processes are studied in the field of Agroecology. The principal systems of organic farming include crop rotation, green manures and compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation.

Successful Organic farming:

The Organic farming method in India is not new and is being followed from ancient time. It is a process of a farming system which primarily expected at cultivating the land and raising crops. In organic production, farmers prefer not to use some of the convenient chemical tools available to other farmers. Design & management of the production system is critical to the success of the farm. Select enterprises that complement each other & choose crop rotation and tillage practices to avoid or reduce crop problems.

The yield of every organic crop varies, depending on the success of the manager. Cereal and forage crops can be developed organically relatively easily due to relatively low pest pressures & nutrient requirements. Soybeans perform well, but weeds can be a challenge. Corn is being developed more frequently on organic farms, but careful management of weed control & fertility is needed. Meeting nitrogen requirements are mainly challenging. Corn can be effectively grown after forage legumes or if manure has been applied.

Fruit & vegetable crops present greater challenges depending on the crop. Some managers have been successful, while other farms with the same crop have had significant problems. Certain disease pests are more serious in some regions than in others. Some pest problems are difficult to control with organic methods. This is less of an issue as more organically permitted bio-pesticides to become available. Marketable yields of organic horticultural crops are generally below non-organic crop yields. The yield reduction varies with crop & farm. Some organic manufacturer has added value to its products with on-farm processing.

Livestock products can be produced organically. In modern years, organic dairy products have become popular. There is an increasing market for organic meat products. Animals must be fed simply organic feeds. Feed should not contain mammalian, avian or fish by-products. All genetically engineered organisms & substances are prohibited. Antibiotics, growth hormones and insecticides are normally prohibited. If an animal becomes ill and antibiotics are essential for recovery, they should be administered. The animal must then be segregated from the organic livestock herd & cannot be sold for organic meat products. Vaccinations are allowable when diseases cannot be controlled by other means. Artificial insemination is allowable. Always check with your certification body to verify if a product or technique is allowed in the Permitted Substances List & the organic standards. Organic production should also respect all other federal, provincial & municipal regulations.

Organic produce can generally qualify for higher prices than non-organic products. These premiums vary with the crop & may depend on whether you are dealing with a processor, wholesaler, and retailer or directly with the consumer. Prices and premiums are negotiated between buyer and seller and will fluctuate with local and global supply & demand.

The key characteristics of organic farming include:

Organic farming presents several challenges. Some crops are more challenging than others to develop organically; though, nearly every commodity can be produced organically.

As per the United States Department of Agriculture on organic farming “organic farming is a scheme which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs such as fertilizers, hormones, feed additives etc. The maximum extent feasible relies upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures like cow dung, off-farm organic wastes, mineral grade rock additives, and biological system of nutrient mobilization, and plant protection.

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by keeping organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, & careful mechanical intervention.
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using moderately insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil micro-organisms.
  • Nitrogen self-sufficiency during the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation. As well as efficient recycling of organic materials, including crop residues & livestock manures.
  • Weed, disease & pest control, relying primarily on crop rotations, resistant varieties, and limited thermal, biological and chemical intervention.
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the wider environment & the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.

Weed management in Organic farming:

Chemical herbicides cannot be used in organic farming. So weeding can be complete only manually. Different cultural practices like tillage, flooding, mulching can be used to handle the weeds. Besides, a biological system can be used to manage the loss due to weeds. When the ground is fallow, a cover crop can be planted to suppress weeds & build soil quality. Weed growth can be limited by using drip irrigation whenever possible, which restricts the distribution of water to the plant line.

Limitations and implications of Organic farming

The Organic farming process avoids the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms & livestock food additives. Organic methods can raise farm productivity, repair decades of environmental damage. Organic methods improved food security if they organize themselves in production, certification, and marketing. During the last few years, an increasing number of farmers have revealed a lack of interest in farming & the people who used to cultivate are migrating to other areas. Organic farming is one way to support either self-sufficiency or food security. Use of massive inputs of chemical fertilizers & toxic pesticide poisons the land and water heavily. The after effects of this are severe environmental consequences, including loss of topsoil, the decrease in soil fertility, groundwater contamination & loss of genetic diversity.

Organic farming promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity is hence important. Many studies have shown that organic farming methods can generate even higher yields than conventional methods. A significant difference in soil health indicators such as nitrogen mineralization potential which were higher in the organic farms can also be seen. The increased soil health in organic farms also resulted in considerably lower insect & disease incidence. The emphasis on small-scale integrated farming systems has the potential to revitalize rural areas & their economies.

Insect pest management of Organic farming

In organic farming, the existence of pests is anticipated in advance the planting locations are adjusted as much as possible to avoid serious pest problems. The key to arranging a population of beneficial insects is to find borders around fields planted with blends of flowering plants that the beneficial insects particularly like. Then periodically beneficial insects are released into the fields, where the host crops serve as their home base & attract more beneficial insects over time. When faced with a pest outbreak that cannot be handled by helpful insects, the use of natural or other organically accepted insecticides like neem pesticides is done. The two most important criteria for acceptable organic pesticides are low toxicity to people and other animals & low persistence in the environment. This criterion is explained by the National Organic Standards.

Pest and diseases control in Organic farming:

Pests and Disease Control in Organic Farming.
Pests and Disease Control in Organic Farming.

Plant diseases are the main constraints for reductions in crop yield and low input production systems. Thus, one of the biggest rewards of organic farming is healthy soil that is alive with helpful organisms. These healthy microbes, fungi & bacteria keep the harmful bacteria and fungi that cause disease in check.

The central activity of organic farming relies on fertilization, pest & disease control. Using methods like green manure and composting, to replace nutrients taken from the soil by previous crops. Organic farming tends to stand some pest populations while taking a longer-term approach. Organic pest & disease control involves the cumulative effect of many techniques, including:

  • Allowing for an acceptable level of pest & disease damage.
  • Encouraging predatory useful insects to control pests.
  • Careful crop selection, decide disease-resistant varieties.
  • Planting companion crops that discourage pests.
  • Using row covers to protect crops through pest migration periods.
  • Using pest regulating plants & biologic pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
  • Using no-till farming, and no-till farming methods as false seedbeds.
  • Rotating crops to different locations from year to year to interrupt pest or disease reproduction cycles.
  • Using insect traps to monitor & control insect populations that cause damage as well as transmit diseases.

Organic farming as a form of alternative agriculture:

Alternative agriculture has several variations that go by several names including biological, low-input, organic, regenerative, or sustainable agriculture. According to the National Research Council, alternative agriculture is any method of food or fiber production that systematically pursues the following goals.

  • In Organic farming more detailed incorporation of natural processes such as nutrient cycles & pest-predator relationships in the agricultural production process.
  • Reduction in the use of off-farm inputs with the greatest potential to harm the environment or the health of farmers & consumers.
  • Greater productive use of the biological and genetic potential of plant & animal species.
  • Improvement of the match between cropping patterns and physical limitations of agricultural lands to ensure the long-term sustainability of current production levels.
  • Profitable and efficient production with emphasis on improving farm management & conservation of soil, water, energy, and biological resources.

Diversity in crop production & management plan:

  1. The basis for crop production in organic farming takes fertility of the soil and the surrounding ecosystem, with a view to minimizing nutrient losses.
  2. The organic farms shall be required to maintain sufficient diversity pressure from insects, weeds, diseases, while increasing soil, organic matter, fertility, microbial activity & general soil health. For nonperennial crops, this is normal, but not exclusive, achieved by means of crop rotation if possible by leguminous crops.

iii. Soil fertility shall be kept through, among other things, the cultivation of legumes or deep-rooted plants. The use of green manures, along with the establishment of a programmed of crop rotation several times a year & fertilization with organic inputs.

Nutrient management of Organic farming:

Nutrient Management Of Organic Farming.
Nutrient Management Of Organic Farming.

In organic farming, it is important to regularly work to build a healthy soil that is rich in organic matter & has all the nutrients that the plants need. Several methods of green manuring, the addition of manures & biofertilizers, etc., can be used to build up soil fertility. These organic sources not only add different nutrients to the soil but help to prevent weeds & increase soil organic matter to feed soil microorganisms. Soil with high organic matter resists soil erosion, holds water better & thus requires less irrigation. Some natural minerals that are needed by the plants to grow & to improve the soil’s consistency can also be added. Soil amendments like lime are added to change the soil’s pH balance. However, soil amendment & water should contain minimum heavy metals. Most of the organic fertilizers used to recycle by-products from industries that would otherwise go to waste. Farmers make compost from animal manures and mushroom compost. Before compost can be applied to the fields, it is heated & aged for at least two months, reaching and maintaining an internal temperature of 130°-140°F to kill unwanted bacteria and weed seeds. A number of organic fertilizers and bacterial and fungal biofertilizers can be used in organic farming depending upon availability & their suitability to crop.

The plant root system is always in close association with a multitude of microorganisms & other nutrients. The microbes in the root zone are maintained due to a variety of secretions from the roots & constitute what is often described as ‘rhizosphere’. These microbes in their turn supply nutrients to the soil method through their heterotrophic activity. Maintenance of these microbes in the rhizosphere, then, is also necessary for soil health. Crop productivity & nutrient cycles, however, are integral parts of the exploitation of soil health through nutrient depletion and erosion. So that long term strategy wants to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers without adversely affecting crop productivity. The use of organic manures, Biofertilizers has received increased attention in our cropping systems. Following are the components in Nutrient management scheme:

  1. Biodynamic Farming
  2. Biofertilizers Technology
  3. Composting
  4. Vermicompost
  5. Coir Compost
  6. Panchagavya
  7. Dasakavya
  8. Effective Microorganism

Soil and Water Conservation:

Soil and Water Conservation in Organic Farming.
Soil and Water Conservation in Organic Farming.
  1. Soil & water resources shall be handled in a sustainable manner. Relevant measures shall be taken to prevent erosion, salination of soil, excessive & improper use of water and the pollution of ground and surface water.
  2. Clearing of land through the means of burning organic matter, example slash-and-burn, straw burning shall be restricted to the minimum. The clearing of the main forest is prohibited.

iii. The certification programmed shall require checking appropriate stocking rates, which does not lead to land degradation & pollution of ground and surface water.

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) offers to fund for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. The proposals involve farmers in project design and implementation and must take place on certified organic land, ideally on working organic farms or ranches. Applicants should articulate how the planned research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems, as well as ways in which organic farmers or ranchers can utilize proposed results in their operations, if applicable. Research projects must include a strong outreach component and contain measurable objectives.

Organic farming schemes in the department of agriculture:

Organic Farming Schemes.
Organic Farming Schemes.

Project proposals are reviewed & awarded by the Organic Farming Research Foundation Board (OFRF) of Directors, which includes a number of certified organic producers.

Scheme names for all farmers

  • Production & distribution of Green manure seeds – 25 % subsidy.
  • Production and Distribution of Rhizobium, Azospirillum & Phosphobacteria- Rs.6/200 gm packet.
  • Production & distribution of Blue-green algae Rs.2.75/kg.
  • Production & distribution of parasites to control Black headed caterpillar. Subsidy charge Rs.35/ha.
  • Free of the parasite in sugarcane to control Internode borer. RS.35.75/ha.
  • Production of NPV for managing of prodenia in cotton. Rs.53/ha.
  • Composting of farm waste through Pleurotus. Distribution of kits at free cost (1 kg of Pleurotus, 5 kgs of urea & a leaflet containing technical information at a cost of Rs.140 per kit).
  • Vermicompost production system implemented to conduct a demonstration. Supply input at the cost of Rs.1200.
  • Vermicompost production method implemented to conduct training. Rs.50 for each person participates in the training.

An organic farming scheme in the department of horticulture:

Organic Carrots.
Organic Carrots.

Many corporate houses need a regular supply of organic foods and all the polyclinics in the major cities demand toxin free fruits & vegetables for inmates. The retailers of metropolitan cities & exporters of vegetable in the Middle East or the Far East require small quantities of organic produce on a continuous basis throughout the year. Substantial areas in Sivagangai, Erode, Coimbatore & Madurai districts have been converted into organic horticultural production systems. APEDA has accredited Spices Board & OASIS, an NGO to certify the organic farms.

Adoption of organic farming

Estimated Value:    Rs.20, 000/-ha

Subsidy: 50% (i.e.) Rs.10, 000/-ha

Maximum subsidy per individual will be for four hectares

Organic farming can be followed in fruit crops, vegetables, spices, and Cole crops.

Details50%Subsidy in Rs  Farmer contribution in Rs.Total in Rs.
Land preparation02,5002,500
Green manure and seed material0500500
Trichoderma viridi, Pseudomonos, Azospirillum, Phosphobacteria, VAM1,00001,000
Vermicompost & organic manure4,00004,000
Neem seed oil cake and pungam cake4,00004,000
Neem oil5000500
Poultry manure, farmyard manure (FMY)5007,0007,500
Total10,00010,00020,000

Estimated value: Rs.60, 000/unit, 50% subsidy.

1 unit means 1000 sq meter. The yearly production should be 25 tones.

Advantages of Organic farming

  • It helps to keep environmental health by reducing the level of pollution.
  • It helps in maintenance, agricultural production at a sustainable level.
  • It reduces the cost of agricultural production & also improves soil health.
  • It ensures optimum utilization of natural resources for the short-term benefit & helps in conserving them for future generation.
  • It not only saves energy for both animals & machine but also reduces the risk of crop failure.
  • It improves the soil physical properties such as granulation, good aeration, improves water-holding capacity & reduces erosion.
  • It improves the soil chemical properties such as supply & retention of soil nutrients.
  • It reduces nutrient loss into water bodies & environment and promotes favorable chemical reactions.

Read: Citronella Farming, Cultivation Practices.

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