General Principles of Organic Production

Green manure Crop rotation ... the 1990 Farm Bill, ... General Principles of Organic Production Labeling...

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General Principles of Organic Production

Leonard J.M. Githinji, PhD Dep. of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences & Cooperative Extension Program Tuskegee University, AL Email: [email protected] Phone: 334-724-4955

General Principles of Organic Production  General Description of Organic Production: It is a form of sustainable agriculture that relies on techniques of:  natural soil fertility management  biological pest management captaincompostalabama.com

gardenerstips.co.uk

General Principles of Organic Production  General Description of Organic Production: Organic production excludes the following:  chemical fertilizers synthetic pesticides growth regulators antibiotics genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

General Principles of Organic Production  Definition of Organic Production (NOSB, 1995): It is an ecological production system that promotes and enhances: biodiversity biological cycles and biological activity of the soil. “The primary goal of organic production is to optimize the health and productivity of soil life, plants, animals and people.”

General Principles of Organic Production  Principles that characterize certified organic farming:  Biodiversity  Integration  Sustainability  Natural Soil Fertility  Natural Pest Management  Integrity

General Principles of Organic Production  Biodiversity:  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 the absence of chemical inputs create habitats suitable for wildlife.

General Principles of Organic Production  Biodiversity:

 Diverse ecosystems have a better chance of supporting beneficial organisms. Pollinators http://tomdouglas.com

Natural enemies of garden pest Microbes that help in: http://wikis.lib.ncsu.edu

o nutrients cycling o nitrogen fixation http://www.ecofriend.com

o disease suppression

General Principles of Organic Production  Biodiversity practices include: Intercropping (Polyculture)  Growing of two or more crops to maximize beneficial interactions: o Allelopathy o Higher plant density o Pest control o Disease control corriganscityfarmblackpool.blogspot.com

General Principles of Organic Production  Allelopathy biological phenomenon by which a plant produces one or more biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, and reproduction of another.  biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and can have: obeneficial (positive allelopathy) or odetrimental (negative allelopathy)

General Principles of Organic Production  Intercropping (Polyculture) systems: Row intercropping—growing two or more crops at the same time with at least one crop planted in rows. American Vegetable Grower (2009)

Strip intercropping—growing two or more crops together in strips wide enough to permit separate crop production using machines but close enough for the crops to interact.

http://www.davewann.com/blog/

General Principles of Organic Production  Intercropping (Polyculture) systems:  Mixed intercropping—growing two or more crops together in no distinct row arrangement. Relay intercropping—planting a

corriganscityfarmblackpool.blogspot.com

second crop into a standing crop at a time when the standing crop is at its reproductive stage but before harvesting. http://www.exactrix.com/wc.htm

General Principles of Organic Production  Integration:

Good organic practices integrate their various enterprises. Benefits of integration:

economic  environmental benefits. Examples of integration are:  Forage legumes + Non-legume crops in rotation.  Crop + livestock: Manure from livestock enterprises is conserved as a nutrient resource and recycled back.

General Principles of Organic Production  Sustainability: management of ag. resources to satisfy human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment and conserving natural res. (IFOAM, 2003). Three dimensions must be fulfilled before an agricultural system can be called sustainable: Social sustainability Environment sustainability Economic sustainability http://www.sustainability.ku.edu/sustainability.shtml

General Principles of Organic Production Social sustainability aspects: o Safe, nutritious, and healthy food o Good working conditions for humans o Use of local knowledge

General Principles of Organic Production Economic sustainability aspects: o Satisfactory and reliable yields o Low costs on external inputs o Integration for income safety o Market premiums with certified production

General Principles of Organic Production Environmental sustainability aspects: o Recycling the nutrients instead of supplying external inputs o No chemical pollution o Promote biodiversity o Animal friendly husbandry o Use of renewable energies o Prevent soil erosion o Improves soil fertility and build humus

General Principles of Organic Production  Natural Soil Fertility Natural soil fertility is based on biodegradable material, i.e. plant or animal residues that can be decomposed. Nutrient cycling are closed with the help of the following processes: Composting Mulching Green manure Crop rotation

General Principles of Organic Production  Natural Pest and Disease Management  Also known as biological pest and disease management Based on the following practices:  Use of beneficial insects / natural enemies Use of crop resistance to pests and diseases Crop rotation Sanitation Use of organic or natural pesticides

General Principles of Organic Production  Integrity Refers to a system in place and actions undertaken to assure that consumers of organic produce get what they have paid for. Producers have to play by the rules: Regulatory body: under USDA governing organic production. Standards and Regulations: Strict regulation of the term "organic" in relation to the sale of food products in the U.S. Labeling: Organic products have labels on the packing stating that the product is organic.

General Principles of Organic Production  Regulatory Body concerned with Organic Production:  The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), enacted under the 1990 Farm Bill, served to establish uniform national standards for the organic production. The Act authorized a new USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to set national standards for organic products. OFPA established the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a that sets the organic standards upon which the NOP is based on.

General Principles of Organic Production  Labeling

General Principles of Organic Production  Examples of non-regulatory organizations / associations:  Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM)  Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN)

General Principles of Organic Production

Organic Farming Practices (adopted from Kuepper and Gegner, 2004)

General Principles of Organic Production

Thank you for listening

Leonard Githinji Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program 103 Mary Starke Harper Hall 334-724-4955 [email protected]