Eco Farming GuideFarm Tender Apr 24, 2018
Eco farming is a method of farming wherein the goal is not only to increase crop yield but also to do so without compromising the quality of the yield and destroying the environment. Eco farming does not involve the use of harmful or synthetic fertilisers and pesticides or genetically modified seeds. Organic farming, a popular farming method, is a key form of eco farming.
Since eco farming is as much about how you grow the crops as it is about the crop itself, you’ll discover sustainable agricultural methods that not only produce better yield but also improve soil and crop quality.
Need for Eco Farming
Increasing population drives the need for an equal or balanced increase in crop productivity. This demand, in turn, gives rise to the need to improve productivity without damaging the environment, which is basic to sustenance of human life.
Chemicals used in traditional farming contain fossil fuels, which are non-renewable. With consumption on the rise, dependence on chemicals for traditional farming increases leading to depletion of non-renewable energy. Given the situation, eco-sustainable farming provides a natural and welcoming alternative.
Moreover, a genuine concern for the environment on the part of farmers is also a key reason for many of them taking up this eco-friendly farming method.
As this method aligns with nature, farmers and consumers stand to gain much. Here’s a look at the benefits of eco farming.
Eco Farming Assures a Healthier Produce
The produce from eco-farming does not contain any toxic material as no chemicals such as pesticides, preservatives, chemical additives, insecticides and fertilisers are used.
In traditional farming, chemicals are used to bring an attractive colour to the produce (e.g. tomatoes, apples and oranges) and to protect crops from insects, pests and diseases. Such produce is harmful to the people who consume them.
As eco-farming does not make use of chemicals, the produce is safer for consumers’ health. Food produced using this method retains its natural nutrition as they grow in soil that’s free of chemical pollution.
Farmers too can experience health problems when exposed to chemicals. Eco-friendly farming reduces this risk with its completely natural approach.
Eco Farming is Environment-Friendly
Since the entire eco-farming process is gentle on nature, it leads to environmental conservation, which is the need of the hour. The absence of harmful chemicals ensures that the soil is not poisoned.
Compared to traditional farming where use of chemicals causes pollution, eco-friendly farming does more good than harm to the environment. Carbon footprint is minimal in this method and the greenhouse effect is greatly reduced. Since the farming method employs renewable sources of energy, the threat of energy source depletion is reduced.
The practices employed in eco-farming contribute to a better environment. Methods such as habitat maintenance to facilitate growth of useful insects and organisms, water management techniques, zero-till or minimal land tillage, and pest control using biological means, help conserve energy and the eco-system.
Eco Farming Helps Improve the Soil Quality
In traditional farming, practices such as crop rotation are almost non-existent. Farmers cultivate the same crop no matter the season. As a result, the amount of natural minerals and nutrients found in the soil is greatly reduced.
It is important to replenish the soil so that the next round of crops grows well. Fertilisers are used to provide this replenishment. However, since fertilisers are manufactured using non-renewable sources, soil replenishment becomes difficult.
The resulting poor quality of soil makes it vulnerable to infestations and diseases. Artificial fertilisers are used to control this infestation, leading to a deterioration of soil quality further.
Eco farming involves natural fertilisers such as animal manure and compost, which facilitate growth of organic matter in the soil. This nutritious growth enables the soil to hold more water and encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms that help in nitrogen retention. Crops are more resistant to infestation when cultivated in such nitrogen- and nutrient-enriched soils.
Eco Farming Reduces the Risk of Soil Erosion
Soil erosion refers to the loss of the top soil, which is the most fertile and nutrient-rich layer of soil. Traditional farming leads to severe soil erosion. With eco-friendly farming, loss due to erosion is lower, with only a few inches of top soil wearing away.
Setting Up for Successful Eco Farming
Putting efforts in the right direction will ensure you derive all these benefits of eco farming. Here are some tips to get started with eco-style farming the right way.
- Do Your Research – Get to know about eco farming as much as possible before getting down to do the work. The best way to gain good knowledge is to talk to farmers who are into this type of farming. Approach eco farming associations and request their guidance. While getting to know what to do is important, knowing what not to do is crucial. Talk to farmers about the pitfalls they encountered and the lessons they learnt. Ensure that you don’t repeat the mistakes.
- Make a Plan – By the time you complete your research, you should be in a position to know what crop would be the best for your farm. The soil needs to be prepared according to the crop you intend to cultivate.
- You would need to maintain the right soil temperature during planting, which also depends on the type of crop you want to cultivate. Determine the right time for planting depending on the soil temperature required by the crop. Arrive at a plan beforehand so that all these crucial elements fall into place correctly.
- Do not Ignore the Benefits of Crop Rotation – Crop rotation helps build and preserve soil nutrients. Different crops need different nutrients. As plants take in required nutrients, those that are not needed are left behind. This way, there is no depletion of any particular nutrient. Crop rotation also helps arrest infestation, weed growth and soil erosion.
- Be Weed-Aware – Managing weeds is a crucial aspect of eco farming. Weeds can come in the way of your crop growth by consuming resources such as water, soil nutrients and sunlight, meant for your crops. Weeds can be removed by employing different methods, including manual weeding, mechanical weeding and crop rotation. Consider the crop you are planting when determining the type of weed management. Also, talk to other organic crop farmers before deciding on a specific weed management method.
How Farm Tender Can Help
Eco farming is not only environmentally sustaining but is also personally fulfilling – knowing that you are doing your best to protect the planet and its future generations is so satisfying!
If you are looking to buy or sell agricultural products related to eco farming, visit Farm Tender. We offer a free listing for both buyers and sellers. With a nation-wide exposure, our online store will give you access to the best in farm products in Australia.
Call us at 1300 327646 for enquiries.
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