Organic farming -isi-an introduction, sustained improvement and importance

In the interest and request of some of our forum members that are willing to learn and practice organic farming , I would like to start this thread with special importance on organic farming and expect this thread to grow until it imparts enough knowledge to the members interested in organic farming
In the organic evolution , human being has attained greatest position through  hundreds of thousands of years and his origin is traced back to Apes and in the evolution history human being were living in caves fighting with wild beast in the impenetrable jungle and forest …
These primitive tribes ate fresh fruits, vegetables from the forest trees and hunted animals .But human population did not increase and it was  challenged and kept under check by formidable nature and ferocious animals
The Primitive forest tribes hence came out of thick and inaccessible forest .and settled in open land and were living in joint family .This is golden period in human evolution and people started living in Family.
The tribal people who were used to collect the grains of millets from the wild forest noticed some of the grains germinating in the soil where it spilled over and fallen down .So they understood that the grains could be grown nearby his settlement . This has lead to the origin of Agriculture in human history
So Agriculture is the imitation of the nature and artificially growing the grains by providing the needs of the plants for its growth and development to meet the food needs of settled human being
Nomadic Agriculture/Shifting Agriculture –Over the periods the soil started loosing its fertility level and the yield of the grain started declining .so the tribes shifted their  place of residence to  new places to grow his grains…
Settled Agriculture – As the years were rolling by , the human being moved onto river valley where soil fertility was restored every year through floods. This is where human being started all round development with special reference to his food needs and they started settling in one place. Whenever the river shifted its course , the human settlement also shifted their place of living along the river valley .
Until 1300 AD , human population could not grow significantly in numbers and it was during 14th century that flakes disease took major toll of human lives that lead to the awareness and need of medical advancement and technological development .From the end of 15th century the human population started growing fast due to innovation and technology and it reached 100 crores from 30 crores level in next 300 years .This tremendous increase in population made the great Malthusian put forward his postulate “ Human population will dwindle and disappear for want of food”
On account of rapid industrial revolution  and technological advancement , food grain production started increasing fast .From 1950 , the population kept growing@ 100 crores every 15 years and reached 700 crores within the end of 20th century .For this tremendous growth of world population , development in Agriculture and medicine is an important reason .
Modern Agriculture –Due to population explosion , Agriculture was mechanized in the beginning  of 18th century in America .In 19th century , the development of new varieties and selection of alternative varieties of food crops and construction of Dams food grain production reached new height .
Until 1930 , no synthetic chemicals inputs were used in farming . Though farming was mechanized in America , for want of labor it introduced weedicide first in the world.
In India,after 1950, the green revolution introduced new high yielding hybrid varieties that needed more chemical inputs like synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and wedicides and more water in order to produce more food grain to match the food demand of exploding human population. It also increased food grain production many fold and it was the history in human evolution that produced enormous food .
Challenges in Today’s Agriculture –Human population keeps increasing at tremendous rate vis-à-vis demand for food grains .Agriculture land is being converted into industry and real estates .Non availability of farm labor in enough numbers .Cattle population is dwindling , Agriculture is being mechanized ,crop rotation and resting period ( fallow land ) is forgotten .Carrying capacity of the soil is declining day by day. Insect pest population  and disease incidence has become a serious menace .Synthetic fertilizers , pesticide, weedicide has become the order of the day .
Changes in economic development and food habits…
Status of eating whatever available has changed with consumer to eat healthy ,poison free foods in the developed countries first and awareness about healthy food in increasing among the people in developing countries now . This has lead to the development of concept of Organic food and certified organic produce .Hence importance of organic farming in the present and future days .
In this context , to attain self sufficiency we need to produce food grains to match the need of growing population using technological innovations , sustainable soil management , pollution free environment, efficient use of agriculture inputs ,poison free foods …
This thread grows further ……………………………

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Ramu Sir

Thanks for starting this thread on organic farming. I am sure it will lead to good discussion. Keeping aside challenges in adhering to organic cert criteria & moderate yields…Organic farmer has ready market available. Especially if your farm is close to cites. Drop in yield can be offset by good selling price (absence of middle men). Eagerly look forward to learning best practices of organic farming.

Best Regards

Sure friend…This thread will grow with lot of technical details, challenges and implications , traditional practices , proven facts , what is right and what is wrong , what improvement needs to be made for better yield …

This is just a prelude…so people can understand what is organic farming and where it starts and where it ends …

Dear Ramu sir,

Thanks and congrats for starting this thread.  As I am just planning to venture into agriculture I feel this thread will become a sort of virtual class for me. 

Thanks and regards.

BVR Kumar.

Production of food crops without involving synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticide, weedicide ,chemical preservative , genetically engineered /modified seeds / planting materials and using only naturally available organic inputs
Principles of Organic Agriculture
Modified traditional farming involving reasonable and acceptable changes where ever required and using new methods of cultivation in a scientific manner …
Organic farming is a Traditional farming – Cultivation of crops using the seeds of traditionally grown native varieties available with the farmers in a particular geographical location .Rearing cattle and using it in the cultivation , using its waste product , and crop rotation in place of monoculture ( growing single crop for longer period in the same land )
Organic farming is a Modified traditional farming – Making little changes in the existing traditional cultivation methods to suit the prevailing environment in the field and amending the practice when crop growth is suppressed or making small changes in the existing traditional farming methods to suit the present condition
For example , using drip irrigation when irrigation water is less and using panchagvya for foliar spray or drip application or humic acid application to the plants …
Organic farming is a scientific farming –According to changing scenario , to use  farmers’ plant varieties , crop rotation , new plant varieties and creating favorable farming environment by planting new plants and trees that keep and maintain the condition much suitable for higher yield .Such cultivation maintain soil fertility even after harvest and increase soil microbes and keep the environment pollution free and the farm waste resulting from post harvest operation does not produce negative impact either in food or environment .
1.Health – safe& nutritious  food without poison for long healthy life
2.Safe environment – Surrounding environment , soil health , safe growing condition and recycling of nutrients between soil and environment , recycling of farm waste all are inter related and enhance the environment.
3.Equity – Equity and interdependence between nature and human being , moral and ethical  binding among all the stake holders like farmers, labors, merchants, and consumers 
4.Inclusive -Production of quality organic food against the growing demand for organic foods in the market .Should not produce for high income alone but consider sustainable soil health , safe environment , health of all the stake holders involved in this food chain …
1.Safe environment
2.Prevention of soil erosion
3.Avoid environment pollution
4.Bio diversity
5.Sustainable soil health
6.Crop rotation
7.Recycling of farm waster – Ex. Composting weeds or using weeds as organic mulch
8.Production of healthy cattle feeds in the farm itself
9.cultivation of crops that depends on easily available and simple farm resources that are recyclable…

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Even though the food grain production has increased many fold and in surplus  , the quality of the food is a big question mark .Todays foods lack in sufficient minerals and vitamins that impact the health of people with very bad and serious consequence .So people has to rely on tablets for these minerals and vitamins and their health is easily prone to the attack of various disease and physiological disorder .Human being needs various aminoacids that are classified as essential aminoacids and non essential aminoacids .Those amino acids that our body could not produce need to be supplemented through intake of our daily food like fruits and vegetables . Since most of the foods are produced from Hybrids and genetically engineered(  GMO) plants , the present day foods are lacking in sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins and essential aminoacids that leads to erosion in vital internal organ in human beings . Disorder like poor eye sight , diabetes , arhritis , gouts, infertility, weak immunity , cancer , asthma and impotency in sexual life  and many more bodily ailments are due to present day foods …
Earlier days our forefathers used to consume varities of food grown naturally-  cereals like rice , major millet like sorghum , pearlmillet and minor millet like Ragi, barnyard miilet, foxtail millet etc …all these food item supplied carbohydrates, minerals like calcium and phosphorus, iron , and pulses suplied proteins and varities of fruits like ber , Amla ( Vitamin -C,Guava - Ascorbic acid ( Again vitamin -C) Mango and papaya ( vitamin -A -good eye sight and youth appearance ) and many more …Our forefathers lived a very long life even beyond 100 years . May be people could have died of Flakes and other  diseases and Natural disasters but never because of food that were nutritious and healthy stuff
Now a days modern Agriculture is using high yielding hybrid varieties and GMOs  , hi tech production technologies like hydrophonics , Aerophonics , million and million tonnes of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides , weedicides are used that when consumed impact human health with serious consequence …
Present day production made a huge gap between itself and earlier day production that involved healthy fertile soil rich in organic matter, mineral nutrients and vast majority of soil microbes that produce much needed aminoacids , vitamins , growth hormone to the plants .These microbial product in combination with other mineral nutrients produced highly nutritious and complete food for human consumption.
But now a days production ,inspite of looking bright, colorful  and glossy and more consumer appeal , it is not complete food since it is produced without involving soil microbes that contributes really so much to the human health directly and indirectly .
It is the very reason the world community has been deliberating whether hydrophonically produced food is nutritiousand complete food  like organic food . Finally world people started realizing the importance of organic food produce that witness a huge market demand in near future and even in india it will gain momentum in future with special importance to requirment of nutritious and healthy and safe food …

However the production cost of organic farming and low yield and less number of consumers for organic produce are the  real concern with the organic farmers .Farmers are in a dilemma how to find a trade off betweeen more yield in high tech production that gives huge income in short time and production of helathy organic food with low yield and higher cost of production and labour requirment …Reall question mark for the present situation …
In this context I present the method of setting up organic farm as below

  1. Reasonable land holding and sufficient water
    2.Required number of cattle and cattle shed
    3.Suitable crop for your land condition and crop rotation
    4.auseful trees- Fruits or other tree that proivide green manure, cattle feed
    5.Suitable structure for making compost out of farm waste and right technology for making compost
    6.Enough labor and experienced supervisor
    1.Land -  An organic farming can be comfortably managed from 1 acre to 5 are land holding .It should have sufficient water and right  irrigation methods .If water scarcity exist, you can install tricle irrigation - Live fencing using thorny shrubs that protect the farm from tresspass and also give useful product like medicinal herb
    Land should be divided into various blocks for different purposes like area for seasonal food crops, cattle fodder, Agro forestry /Farm forestry, and Processing and storage shed for harvested produce / Thrashing floor
    2.cattle - 2 cows and 2 calves and suitable structures for collecting cow urine and cow dung and preparing useful organic inputs  through out the year .For example cow dung and cow urine are used to produce jjevamrutha that is applied through irrigation water .The set up should be made to faciliate this operation practically easy. Production of green fooder, dry fodder, concentrated feed are essential component of organic farming practices
    3.Crop rotation and bio diversity -From food crops to medicinal herbs cultivation . From seasonal crops to pereneal crops , like cereals, millets,  fruit trees, herbs and shrubs and vines , farm forestry , live fencing .Further cattle , Earth worms, microbes ,cockroach, beetles and bugs , Actinomycetes etc form an excellent bio diversity
    Crop roation is cultivating various crops in sequence in such a manner that all the crops in the sequence supports subsequent crops .for example in organic paddy cultivation , the preceeding crop is green manure crops like sunhemp , daicnha , glyricidia etc that adds organic matter to soil that in turn enrich soil fertility and enhance productivity in paddy .Afte the harvest of paddy , pulses like green gram or black gram is sown .Rest of the year the land is sown with cover crops .Also we can grow intercrop or multiple /mixed crop simultaneously in the same piece of land .In that case , one crop should not impact other crops negtaively with competition either for water or nutrients or sunlight
    June-July = Sunhemp
    August-September= Cotton+Pulses ( black gram or green gram )
    March-April = cover crops or multiple crops
    Above set up may be practiced in 1/3 part of the land , and other 1/3rd of land can be grown with pereneal crops like Banana, sugarcane, flowers and last 1/3rd of land may be used for cattle, Compost pit, processing shed .
    4.Soil health - In organic farming to enhance and enrich soil fertility status , we need to do crop roation, multiple cropping/mixed xropping , cover crops , bio fertilizers , Compost, Vermicompost , oil cakes , fish manure, horn manure , humic acid etc
    5.Pest and disease control - Crop rotation and intercropping will manage insect pest population withing limit by breaking the life cycle of insect pest .
    Sowing right crops in right season will minimise insect pest attack
    Trap crops that attract the insect pest and nematodes are planted in between or in the border  around the main crops and the trap crops are destryed .
    Insect pheromone trap controsl lepidopteran insect pest by attacting male moth that is lured in disguise and trapped
    Yellow sticky traps controls sucking pest like whitefly etc.
    Light traps - Moth, beetles, bugs …
    Bio pesticide like bacillus thurigiensis ,NPV virus extract formulation etc
    Organic pesticide like neem seed kernal extact , neem oil , pungam oil , Horticulture oil
    Organic formulations like Panchagavya ( 30% pest and disease control property exist in panchagavya ) -check mosiac virus
    Ginger- garlic-chilli extract for controlling borer and sucking pest
    Cow urine spray for bacterial disease
    Pseudomonas and trichoderma viride seed treatment and foliar spray to control bacterial leaf spot and blight disease …
    6.Weeds- The crop rotation , intercropping , cover cropping minimise the weeds population . The weeds that grow in the early days can be deweeded and used as mulching
    7.Useful trees, shrubs and vines - fruit trees like Mango, Jack, Amla,Jamun,and other trees like teak, Pungam and neem and shrubs like Adathoda zeylanica, cacti, Aloe vera etc can be also grown…These plants and trees should provide green leaf manure, cattle fodder , inputs and raw materials for Insect reppellent preparion .This tree also break wind speed and act as shelter belts that minimise water loss through escalated evaporation and also provide shade .The trees , shrubs , live fencing should occupy atleast 1/3 of the total land area
    8.Composting and nutrient recycling - All the farm waste and crop residues and cattle wastes are used for making compost or vermicompost in the farm itself
    9.Human Resource/ Farm labor - Organic farming needs more labour regularly for harvest of intercrop and regular crops, preparation of organic inputs from cow dung and cow urine , composting and vermicomposting , spraying etc…Now labour shortage is a big issue…The organic farming needs both family labour as well as hired labour for successful farming practices …
    10.Experience of the organic farmers / Supervisor decides the success of the organic farm - The organic farmers need to be intelligent in planning and executing the farm plan . He should know all the relevant production techniques , about the crops and its nutrients requirement, growth pattern , flowering and fruitng behvavior, sowing season , also equally intelligent in preparation of organic inputs and formulation of various kinds like organic growth regulators and organic way of controlling and managing insect pest and disease and also capable and efficient in post harvest handling of harvested produce like cleaning , sorting, grading , packing and marketing …In fact the person running the organic farm should be like a real farm scientist for successful production of organic food

Soil is composed of various phases of minerals, organic matter , soil air and available soil moisture
The mineral matter is composed of sand, silt and clay and it occupies nearly 45-50% of total soil volume
5% of total volume is organic matter
25-30 % of total soil volume is soil moisture ( water )
20-25% of total soil volume is occupied by soil air
Leaving all other components out of discussion , let us just concentrate on the organic matter content and its importance in organic farming …
Soil is three dimensional and highly dynamic and it is a living entity with lots of plants and animal life ( microorganisms , earth worm, beetles, springtails , collembola etc…)
Soil organic matter is nothing but plant and animal materials in various stages of decomposition .Living plant roots and microorganisms also add to soil organic matter .The soil microbes feeds on dead plant and animal matter and decompose it and then die and add itself to the organic matter of soil. The completely decomposed organic matter is called humus that is brown or black in color that resist further decomposition
When the soil organic matter is sufficiently enough , it improves soil structure , soil texture with good aeration and water holding capacity .The humus matter around soil particles and soil colloids help holds lot of mineral nutrients and micro nutrients in chelate form.
Hence nutrients both major and trace elements are  slowly and gradually released to the plants and soil microbes produce lot of enzymes and  aminoacids that enhance rapid plant growth , flowering and fruiting…
To supply enough plant nutrients to the crops through out its grwoing period , we need to add more organic carbon through various sources and not certainly from single sources …
For example cow dung ( Farmyard manure)  is rapidly decomposed by the microbes  and the soil is unable to supply plant nutrients continuosly during plants growth and reproductive period. And the plant will witness fluctuation in flowering and yielding behaviour .Also if you add more cow dung all at same time , it will increase the methonogen bacteria population that will build up and release more methane that will produce more heat and burn the roots that in turn will make the plant stunted in growth and reduced yield
So we need to add various types of organic matter like compost , crop residues , cow dung, green and green leaf manure , concentrated cakes , etc and build up soil organic matter gradually and steadily .So the different source of organic matter will be undergoing various stages of decomposition and nutrients will be released through out its growing period…
How to build up soil organic matter for sustainable production ?
This thread further grows…


1.Adds more organic carbon to soil
2.Fix atmospheric nitrogen and enrich soil fertility
3.Increase the microbial population in soil and the enormous microbes in soil release more mieral nutrients to the plants
4.It improves soil structure , water and nutrients holding capacity
The green manure can be sown anytime in a year .However the green manure seeds sown in April-June gives more yield of green leaves and Nitrogen
Name of green manure crops .Though there are many green manure crops I just mention two important crops that are in common use with the farmers and available easy for purchase
1.Daincha -
Daincha is fast growing and suitable for clay type soil . It also survive and grow well in saline and alkali soil with more soil PH above 7.8 .
It grows well even in water logged condition vis-a-vis drought area
This can be incorporated into the soil in about 40-45 days when leaves and stems are soft . Matured plant will not produce enough organic matter and nutrients  as it resisit decomposition in hard and fibrous stems and leaves
Seed rate per acre - 10-15 kgs
Yield of green leaves per acre - 10-12 MT
Organic nitrogen yield per acre - 70  kgs
Sunhemp is an excellent green manure- It is also incorporated into soil in about 50-60 days .seed rate 10-15 kgs per acre
Yield of green leaves - 5-7 MT
Organic nitrogen - 65 kgs
The green leaves are ploughed into the soil and are allowed to decompose either in anaerobic condition in case of paddy cultivation or just covered in garden  soil in case of other grarden land crop cultivation like Sugarcane or vegetables …
When the green leaves are added to soil , the bactrial population multipy very fast and it breaks organic molecules like carbohydrates viz. cellulose and hemicellulose , proteins etc…These broken molecules are converted into small sugar molecules and ammoniacal nitrogen that is again converted into nitrate nitrogen by nitrifying bacteria in the soil .This nitrate nitrogen is used by plants .Upon further decomposition it release phosphorus, potassium , calcium, magneisum , Manganese ,boron etc into soil . After complete decomposition , the hard left over carbon molecules that are resistant to further decomposition forms humus that is food matrial for bacteria in soil .This humus that looks bkack or brown in color form humic acid -a long chain carbon molecules that chelates micronutrients in the soil and moves inside the plants through roots hairs…The carbonic acid formed out of humus buffer the soil chemical reaction and brings soil PH near neutral that is most essential for uptake of most of the plant nutrients .
The humus material also bings soil particle and enhance soil texture through aggregation that in turn improves soil aeration . The humus partcles around soil particles also hold mineral nutrients and water for plant use …
This thread grows further …


Dear [member=1162]RAMU[/member] sir,

This thread is indeed a treasure box. Thanks.

I would like to request you to explain the word “Chelated”. I often come across this word and I absolutely don’t know how to play around this only because I am ignorant of its definition, its importance at various stages of crop cycle(when to use what and its influence), sanctity of commercially available chelated fertilizers etc. Kindly educate.

Best regards

Dear Guru

Chelates means chemically binding cations (positively charged  metal ions ) like Fe+,Zn+,Cu+,Zn+ with bigger organic molecules like amino acids and organic acids .This organic acids are produced in the soil environment by decomposition of plant waste, animal waste , or by microorganism like fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes, humus matter …These organic or amino acids catch these micro nutrients like Zinc, Manganese, Iron, copper and secondary nutrients like Magnesium and calcium by its ligand and move inside the plants via root hairs …It is just like a ship picking and carrying passengers from one country to another country …after landing the passengers to its destination , the ship will return …

In this way the micro nutrients and secondary nutrients that are otherwise remain immobile and fixed in soil environment are easily made available to the plants …

Like this , the fulvic acid , a shorter chain of Humic acid is a good example of chelates …

In the market lot of companies are selling chelates …but it is naturally available organic  chelates in soil that are most important in playing bigger role in mobilizing and carrying the metal ions inside the plants …

Availability of nutrients from green manure
Last section reads about green manure and its role in soil organic matter content
The percentage of nutrients content in green manure is as follows -
Daincha Sunhemp
Nitrogen - 3.5% 2.3%
Phosphorus- 0.5 % 0.5%
Potassium - 1.2 % 1.8%
If suppose an acre green manure yield about 7 MT of green matter , the organic nitrogen@3.5% in case of daincha will amount to 245 kgs .But only 18% of this organic nitrogen will be available in usable form to the plants/crops cultivated …
So 18% of 245 kgs is 44.1 kg nitogen. This nitrogen is mineralized upon decomposition by soil microbes. Raw green matter will have Carbon-Nitrogen ratio of 1:40-60 and as decomposition process continues , the carbon -nitrogen ratio narrows down to 1:10-20 .That means the organic nitrogen present in the form of proteins, aminoacids are broken down into smaller molecules and on further decomposition and disintegration , it release ammonical nitrogen that is converted into nitrate nitrogen by nitrfying bacteria and this nitrate form of nitrogen is made available to the plants( Nitrate is usable form of plant nitrogen )
Some of the nitrogen is converted into ammonia by ammonifying bacteria and some as nitrogen gas into atmosphere due to prevailing soil condition and atmospheric weather condition…
Also portion of organic Nitrogen is used by bacteria for its own growth and it is later released when it dies later…
This way only fraction of organic nitrogen is available to the plant that too in very slow rate over a very long period even after 6 months to one year of incroporation into the soil
It is the reason why the organic nitrogen ( also other nutrients like phosphorus and pottasium ) could not meet the nutrients requirement instantly…
Where as the synthetic fertilizers are in ready made usable form like Ammonical( NH4NO3) and nitrate( KNO3)  form that very easily dissociate into ionic form like K+, NO3-, NH4+) that are instantly used by the plants .This is the reason  more synthetic fertilizers are used in hybrid crop production…

1.Farmyard manure ( cattle manure )
4.Enriched compost
5.Pressmud ( Sugarfactory byproduct ) -RIch in secondary and micro nutrients and potash …very good for better crop growth and high yield
farmyard manure is an important bulky organic manure derived from cattle with nitrogen,phosphorus and potasium content being respectively 0.3%, 0.1 to 0.2% and 0.1 to 0.3%
And cow urine contains 0.9 to 1.2% Nitrogen, 0.5 to 1.0% potash and very small amount of phosphorus
Poultry manure - 1.0 to 1.8% Nitrogen ,1.4 to 1.8 % phosporus , 0.8 to 0.9 % potash
However this percentage of nutrients from various animal sources varies in accordance with the type of feed the animal is fed …

Compost can be made using cow dung or farm waste , and weeds & green leaves

Enriched compost -The cured compost or farmyard manure is mixed with azospirillum , phosphobacteria , azotobacter , acetobacter , pseudomonas each 0.2% and rock phosphate 2.0% in 1 MT of farmyard manure or compost . This can be kept for 20 days at 40% moisture. The microbes grows fast and increase the usable nutrients level more than ordinary compost or farmyard manure…VAM ( Vascular Arbuscular Micorhiza ) - 2 types - Endo and exo VAM are available …This help aborb water and nutrients and control fungi and pathogenic nematodes…VAM can be applied@ 5 -10 kgs per tones of compost or Farmyard manure
Vermicompost -
Carbon - 9.5 to 17.95%
Nitrogen - 0.5 to 1.5%
Phosphorus - 0.1 t 0.3 %
Potasium - 0.15 to 0.57 %
Sodium - 0.07 to 0.3 %
copper - 2.95 mg/kg
Iron - 2.93 mg/kg
Zinc - 5.7 to11.5 mg/kg
Sulphur - 128-548 mg/kg
The farm yard manure ( cow manure and poultry manure should be completely cured and composted before applied in the field .
Compared to green manure , the bulky organic manure contain more active part of organic carbon that is fast decomposed and release enough nutrients to the plants and recalcitrant organic matter ( The organic carbon that resist decomposition ) is less in case of cattle manure …
However the excess application of farmyard manure does not increase yield more beyond a certain limit  .Because when excess quantity is applied , the soil microbes increase rapidly and release nutrients so fast , and part of the quickly released nutrients will not be utilized by the plants and this unutilized part of nutrients will be either lost through volatilization in case of nitrogen or leaching …sometime the fast  multiplying microbes use part of this nutrients for its own metabolism …
Also when microbial population increase rapidly , it consume all the oxygen in the soil and create anaerobic condition. In this situation , more Carbin di oxide produced by plant roots and bacteria are accumulated in the soil that form methane through chemical reaction in soil environment and soil heat keeps increasing .This in turn will limit roots growth and prevent nutrients and water uptake .So plant will start stunting
For example , if you want to grow tomato , one acre tomato cultivation needs 80 kg Nitrogen , 100 kgs of phosphorus and 100 kgs of potash
To supply 80 kgs of nitrogen , we need to apply 27,000 MT of cattle manure per acre …But the availability of nitrogen from cattle manure is just 50-60 % only .In this circumstances we need to apply double the quantity of cattle manure say , 55 MT per acre .If we apply 55 MT of cattle manure to soil in one acre ,what would happen ? will it increase yield corrspondingly to the quantum of cattle manure applied ot soil ?
No …in scientific and practical point of view
Another big  "NO " for its high market price for cattle manure
But one advantage in using bulky organic manure is that it makes most of the micronutrients and secondary nutrients available for the plants’ use . It needs less irrigation water compared to the field cultivated with synthetic fertilizers …

Thread grows further …

Bio fertilizers are living micro organism like bacteria , fungi and alge that are available in natural environment like soil…These microbes are not uniform in all the soil and everywhere and its population and activites differ in different soils located in various climatic and soil condition…
Also these microbes grow and proliferate where enough organic matter is avialable …
So we identify and extract and multiply these microbes under lab condition and use it in the field
Name of few microbes that are commerically avialable for use

  1. Azospirillum -Bacteria that fix atmosperic nitrogen in the soil
    2.Rhizobium - A bacteria that lives in the root nodules of  crops  belonging to legume family like pulses and ground nut .The legume plant produce nodules in its roots and bacteria lives inside these root nodules. The rizobium bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen and give it to plants and plants supply all the requirement of bacteria.So plants and bacteria lives in mutual symbiotic life
    3.Phosphobacteria - A bacterial group that mobilize fixed phosphorus in soil that is otherwise unavailable to plants
    4.VAM- Vascular Arbuscular Micorhiza- two types- Endo VAM and Exo VAM…The endo VAM is mostly used in cultivated food crops and Exo VAM is mostly used in tree crops…
    These microbes grows well when there is sufficient organic carbon and moisture in soil
    The use of biofertilizer…
    1.It produce organic nitrogen and enrich soil fertility
    2.It mineralize the nutrients from soil organic substrate and release it for plant 
    3.It synthesize growth hormone like Indole Acetic Acid and Gibberlic acid that promote speedy growth of roots, shoots and flowering and fruiting
    5.When it dies in soil it also release mienral nutrients as disintegration product
    How to use ?
    Seed treatment - 200 grams rhizobium for 10 kg seeds in case of pulses and 400 grams in case of big seeded legume crops like groundnut
    In case of Azospirillum do mix 400 grams bio fertilizers in 400 ml cool rice gruel and put the required quantity of seeds per acre  in this biofertilizer+rice gruel mix , keep it for 30 minutes and then sow the seeds
    In nursery , mix 1 kg bio fertilizers in 10 kg farmyard manure and apply to the nursery
    Seedlings treatment - mix 400 grams azospirillum in 40 lit water and soak the roots of the seedlings for 20 minutes before planting
    Main fiel application - Mix 1 kg azospirillum in 20 kg Farm yard manure and apply this mix for one acre land.
    For grown up crops /Trees , apply 20-50 grams Azosprillum in 1 kg farmyard manure and apply to the roots
    The phosphobacteria can be combined with azospirillum and applied to the crops…
    The VAM fungi is applied @ 1 kg /100 sq meter in direct soil application. The endo VAM hypae produce long tubules that penetrate the root cells and also grows wide around the root zone like a mat and absorb water and nutrients from soil .So this mat like growth of VAM also prevent soil born disease and nematode infestation…
    VAM increase growth and yield of crops by 15% more
    The bio fertilizers should be applied in soil in the early morning and not during hot sunny periods …

The oil seeds after extraction of oil give pressed cakes that are rich in organic nitrogen and also other organic nutrients like phosphorus and potassium . Some are used in cattle feeds and some other are not used for animal consumption and both of these kinds of oil cakes can be applied for supplying organic nutrients for sustainable cultivation in organic farming …
But the quantity in limited by 5-10 % of total total recommended dose of organic amendments
Though many of types exist in pressed oil cakes I present few of them for general ue
castor cakes  - N- 4.3%, P-1.8% ,K-1.3%
Ground nut cakes - N- 7.3% ,P- 1.5 % ,K-1.3%
Pungam cakes - N-3.9% , P-0.9%, K-1.2%
Gingelly cakes - N-6.2%, P-2.0%,K-1.2%
Neem cakes - N- 3.5%, P-0.8% ,K-1.5 % ,Ca-1.3%,Magnesium - 0.4%, sulphur 1.6% and also other micro nutrients like Zinc, copper, Manganese and iron - Also prevent nitrogen loss from soil by inhibiting nitrification by bacteria .
Animal waste are also dried and used as organic manure that supply more organic nitrogen
Blood meal - N-4.3%, P-1.8%, K-1.3%
Fish meal - N-2.5%,P-0.8%,K-1.2%
Bone meal - N-3.0%,P-1.9%,K-1.8%
Horn and hoof manure - N-3.9%,P-0.9%, K-1.2% …
Above are area of interest in organic farming practices for enriching soil fertility and organic nutrient supply to organic crops …

What is cover crops ?
Any type of crops/ plants that are sown during summer soon after the harvest of seasonal crops .
The cover crops are short duration crops that grow fast using available soil moisture after the harvest of main crops/ seasonal crops
The cover crops grow fast and cover the land quickly and prevent soil moisture loss through evaporation and nutrients like nitrogen .Hence soil microbial population is growing contiuosly and keeping the soil fertile .
Example for cover crops
Pulses like green gram, black gram, Horse gram, cow pea or even green manure crops like daincha or sunhemp …
After the harvest of seasonal crops , some other crops are being cultivated in summer with wider spacing
For example when sugarcane is planted in Decmber -January , the early growth period like sprouting , vegetative growth and tillering may contiue for about 3.5 to 4 months period …In between two sugarcane row that are 3-4 feet wider the green manure crops may be sown that are harvested and applied in the interrow spacing and cover in soil . These green manur crops conserve soil moisture in the summer , prevent weed growth , and supply organic matter and nutrients that enhance the sugarcane yield by 10 MT more per acre . Also it reduce or prevent Early shoot borer insect pest attack in sugarcane that otherwise cause economic loss about 30-40% …
Or even you can sow pulses like green gram or black gram or cow pea that are about 60 - 75 days duration . This will generate additional income besides conserving moisture and increasing soil fertility by addition of organic matter and organic nutrients and soil microbial population
sowing seeds of about 7 crops like cereals , millets , pulses , oil seeds and green manure  in summer and ploughing it back into the soil just when it starts producing flowers . Use eah 1 kg seeds in all the varietie. Example , gingelly , groundnut, sorghum, cowpea, green gram , black gram, sunflower, ragi, foxtail millet, maize , kodomillet etc…any 7 items can be mixed and sown each 1 kg seeds ( 7 kgs per acre )
These 7 different types of crops grow with different root depth and root volume  and pick up different nutrients from different layer of soil and bring it close to the surface…
When you plough it inside the soil it produce excellent soil fertility for subsequent crops by producing more organic matter and more nutrients and extraordinary microbial count per unit area.
Organic mulch like paddy straw / banana trash can be spread in the summer in between wide row crops to conserve soil moisture and maintain soil microbes …

Attached is the sketch showing comprehensive analysis of soil for improved organic cultivation

Method of preparatios
Fresh cow dung of native/ country breed - 7.0 kgs
Cow ghee - 1 kg
cow urine - 10 litre
fresh water - 10 lit
Fresh milk - 3 lit
cow curd - 2 lit
Tender coconut water - 3 lit
Jaggery - 3 kgs
Banana fruits preferably poovan - 12 numbers
Cow dung and ghee are mixed well in a plastic container and keep it for 3 days stirring the content every day evening and morning
After 3rd day , mix 10 lit cow urine and 10 lit cow urine and pour the content into the container containing cow dung and ghee and stir it well evvery day morning and evening
After 15th day , mix other ingredients into this container and stir it well every day morning and evening upto 30 days. In 30 days the panchagavya will be ready for use and upon proper maintainance it can be safely used for 6 months time
The container should be kept under shade with mouth properly covered with wire mesh or mosquito net in order to prevent fly laying eggs and worms developing in the container
The mouth of the container never be closed because it release methane on fermentation that might kill or inhibit the bactrial proliferation.
The physico chemical and biological properties of the panchagavya
Ph of panchagavya- 5.45
Electrical conductivity ( EC)-10.22 ds/m2
Organic nitrogen - 229 ppm
Organic phosporus - 209 ppm
Organic potash - 232 ppm
Sodium - 90
Ca - 25 
IAA ( Indole Acetic acid ) growth promoter- 9.5 ppm
Gibberelic Acid ( GA3) - 3.5 ppm
Microbial count ( Nos/Ml )
Fungi - 39,900
Bacteria - 19,90,000
Lactobacillus( bacteria in milky product ) - 22,60,000
Anaerobic bacteria - 10,000
Various organic acids - 360
Methonogen - 250
The GCMS analysis reported following in the panchagavya
1.Oleic acid
2.Palmitic acid
3.Miristic acid
13.Tetra cosanol
26.Valeric acids
so various fatty acids , alcohols and alkene compounds present in the panchagavya directly assist biochemical reaction inside the plants
The IAA and GA3 growth hormone promote consistent growth and development of plants in various stages viz. vegetatative , reproductive and fruit / grain development phase.
Recommended dose of spray - 3% ( 30 ml in one lit water )
Time of srpay - Morning or evening
Stage of crop growth for spray
Vegetative phase - 2 spray at 15 days interval
Flowering and fruiting stage - 2 spray at 10 days interval
Fruit development and maturation stage - 1 or 2 spray based ont he maturity period at weekly or 10 days interval
Specil feature of panchagavya
1.It acts as nutrients , growth promoters, and protectant against insect pest , disease and virus mosaic disease
2.It supply nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium , secondary and micro nutrients , Growth promoters like IAA and GA3
3.The urine containes uric acid that act both as nutrient and hormone
4.The lacto bacillus produce many organic acids, organic chemicals that prevent disease causing organism and growth promoting substance
5.The tender coconut promote chlorophyll content of the leaves
6.The panchagavya break dormancy and induce early sprouting
Precaution to use panchagavya
Panchagavya should be filtered before spraying to prevent the block of valves in the spray
The sprayer should cleaned before spray

What is pest? Any insect species that causes damage and economic losses to the crop plants is called pest
The economic losses due to insect pest ranges from 30-100 %
To control these insect pest millions of tonnes of pesticides worth  USD 100 billion is used every year .
Only 1% of this insecticide is infact used to control insect pest and 99% reach earth, atmosphere and pollute our environment .The residue of pesticides in water, soil and air causes chronic health problem in human and animal life…
When we spray pesticide repeatedly the insect develops resistance and hence multinational companies  started producing combination pesticides that combine two or more pesticides in a single product that is used to control particuar insect pest .Hence the toxic chemical residue stay in our environement for long period and enter our food chain -Bio magnification
Also an indiscriminate use of pesticide kills beneficial insects that parasitise on harmful insect and keep the insect pest under check and the pesticide also kills pollinators like bees  that are essential in pollination and fruit setting in crop plants
Organic method of pest management
It is a way of preventing the insect before it causes actual damage to the crop plants and keeping its population  below economic threshold level ( ETL ) .Above ETL level the insect species causes economic damage ( loss of crops )
Using simple product available in natural environment against insect pest without impacting sorrounding environment with the cooperation and coordination of adjoining farmers in the place of cultivation
cultivation of country/ native /traditional/farmers variety that are resisitant to pest attack
Understand  the plant environment , type of pest on specific crop and natural predator feeding on the insect pest
Understand the insect life cycle, its season and time and its activities with respect to kind of damage to the crop plants
Using naturally available product to control the insect pest .
The insect appeared on this earth 350 million year ago . The genes of insect species due to its continous and long existence on this earth that witnessed more changes in climate and weather and in  its living environement over many hundreds of thousands of year , developed potential to mutate in itself that makes the insect pest to develop reisitance to any chemicals , natural or synthetic over the period.
Human and insect physiology are almost same . One surprise is that when human being consume insecticide he dies immediately where as insect resist and survives .It tells about its existence on this earth earlier than human being.
So human intelligence , invention of new methods are essential requirement in managing insect pest population and keeping it under check though total eradication is never possible .
Type of major pest and parts of plants damaged
1.Borer - Plant parts damaged - stem, fruits
2.Leaf folder - leaf
3.Leaf webber - leaf
4.Bug - leaf and flowers
5.Beetle - fruits, flowers, stem, leaf
6.Weevil - Roots, stems, flowers, fruits, leaf
7.Sucking pest
whitefly - undersurface of leaf
Aphid - Undersurface of leaf
Jassid- Undersurface of leaf
Leaf hopper - Leaf margin
Thrips - Undersurface of leaf and fruits
Mites- Undersurface of leaces and fruits
Scales - Leaf axil, stem, growing points
8.Root grub - lives in soil and damage roots
9.Ants and termite - Roots and arial plant parts
10.Defoliator - leaves
11.Leaf miner - leaves
12.Fruit fly - Fruits
13.Stem fly - stem base
14.Bark borer- trunk of Fruit trees
15.Pollen bettle - Flowers
cultural method
mechanical mehtod
Plant botanical product
Organic pesticides

This thread continues further …

Great Going!
Great Awareness!
Hail Dr. Ramu! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your patronage Mr.Guru…This is a simple outline about organic farming being very basic and fundamental

This is most imporant method is controlling insect pest . When single / pure crop( monocrop )  is cultivated , the insect pest completes its life cycle fast without interruption and particular insect population build up in alarming proportion that cause serious damage to the crops
1.Multicrop/ intercrop/mixed crop
Also the monocrop extract all the nutrients from the soil and after sometime the soil loses its fertility status that in turn makes the crops weak that are easily prone to insect attack
when two or more crops are cultivated together as intercrop or multiple crops , the other crop prevent growth of  insect pest population  by producing repelling odour or preventing feeding and movement of insect …
Also two or more crops in a single field produce roots of various length that extract nutrients from different soil layer and also add more nutrients back into the soil when it is recyled .Hence soil fertility is restored and plant grows healthy that resist insect pest attack.
Red gram as intercrop in sorghum ,the infestation of the pod borer in red gram ( Turdhal ) and earhead bug in sorghum is found less …
When cow is intercropped in sorghum , the shoot fly insect pest is found less …
2.Selection of healthy seeds and resistant varieties to insect pest…
Selection of resistant varieties and early maturing varieties that escape serious damage of insect pest  are inportant aspect of organic farming
Cotton variety -MCU-3 resistant to cotton stem weevil attack
Paddy -TKM-13 is resistant to stem borer insect pest
3.Adjusting sowing season
When you alter the sowing time a bit earlier the particular crop escape specific insect pest attack
Example - The paddy sown a week or two earlier in sambha season ( Long duration paddy transplanted  in August in lieu of september ) will escape damage by insect pest called leaf folder
Sorghum sown before September show reduced infestation of shoot fly insect
Cotton sown after August show more incidence of Hopper pest attack …
4.Density of plants in the field
When spacing between plants are more it prevent the insect pest population and resulting damage to the crop plants
Sugarcane -wide spacing reduce early shoot borer insect pest that seriously impact yield of sugarcane harvest
More spacing in bengal gram reduce the infestation of pod borer insect pest
Paddy - more plant spacing reduce leaf folder insect pest .
5.Destroy alternate host
The insect pest contiues its life cycle in the same field for many years .Once the harvest of field crops is completed , the insect shift its feeding site to other host plants like weeds, or some other plants found growing on the bunds around the mainfield or some where around the field that facilitate the insect to survive in the off season and continue its life cycle when favorable crop is planted again .
So we need to keep the field weed free and clean and instead we can grow such plants that repell insect pest around the field or in the fencing area .
6.Trap crops -
Particular plants are liked by some insect that feed and develop fast in such a host plants …
Growing such a favorable crops that attract insect pest either as intercrop or border crops is called trap cropping . The insect pest instead of attacking main crops in the field first reach the trap crops where we can very easily destroy or control the pest .
Crucifer crops like cabbage and cauliflower - Mustard as intercrop or trap crop attract Diamond back moth
In Cotton , garlic and onion as trap crops attracts thrips
In cotton, tomato, groundnut , Castor as trap crops attracts protinia worms
In cotton and tomato , marigold as trap crops control bollworms

(II)-Mechanical control -Controlling insect pest using manual picking, collection and destruction of insect and insect larvae , traps like light traps, sticky yellow traps, sex pheromone traps , poison baits , and bird rest
LIGHT TRAPS- kerosine lamp, electric bulb, solar lamp , UV lamp are mostly used in light traps
These light traps are switched on between 7.0 PM to 11.00 PM in the evening .The insect moth and bettles are attracted to the light where it is collected in water spilled with kerosine in  wide mouthed contained placed under light traps .This light traps attracts the adult insect moth before mating and laying eggs .So we can monitor the movement of insect in the field and initiate control measures before actual damage…
Should not keep the light traps on after 11.00 in the night.Otherwise it attracts other  beneficial insects like natural predator insects  that are essential in supressing insect pest causing damage to the crops
Those insects that are looking very small and tiny and easily carried by winds are traped by sticky color traps …generally sucking pest like whitefly aphids,thrips, pyrilla, fruit flies…
Diferent insects are attracted to various colors and such color paper is smeard with castor oil , grease, or vaseline that binds the tiny insects and glue it to the sticky paper …
To monitor the insect pest we can use color sticky paper @ 5 per acre or @ 25 per acre to control these insect pest
Yellow color - attracts whitefly, aphids, thrips,fruit flies,pyrilla,
Blue color- Thrips, cotton weevil
Violet - Thrips and flower thrips
Green - fruit fly
white- Thrips,
orange - Hoppers
These traps can be replaced once in 10 days or the glue can be applied again at this interval
This pheromone attracts male moth and it is collected in the container provided in the traps and later it is destryed …
Generally the female moth secrete a odour that invites a male moth for mating and reproduction .The kind of odour is artificially produced and placed in the trap that when placed in the field attract male moth in disguse and same is collected and killed .This trap is used to monitor and control the insect pest mainly lepidopteran pest - worms type .
There are different type of pheromone traps  available in the maket for various insect pest
Example -Jackson and megbali lures are for fruit flies
Rams lures for weevils and beetles
Funnel type trap for stem borer, fruit borer,nut borer
Sleeve and winged traps for Months in nursery are used
For example different insect pest various lures are used
Green boll worm in cotton , tomato, turdhal,bhendi,sunflower,capsicum and chillies, maize, bengal gram - Hewilure is used
For protinia worms in tomato groundnut, cotton, paddy, onion,tobacco etc , spodolure is used
Fruit flies in mango, banana, organge - badorlure
Cut worm - In tomato - TLM lure
Stem and fruit borer in brinjal - Luci lure
Spotted boll worm in cotton , bhendi, lab lab - Erwid lure
Spiny fruit borer - Erwin lure
Fruit flies - in gouds - begulure
Black diamond moth - TPM lure in crucifer family vegetables like cauliflower
Pyrilla -GLM lure
Rhinocerus beetle in coconut -Rhinolure
Redpalm wevil -in coconut, palm oil and palm - ferro lure
pink boll worm in cotton - pectinolure
Early shoot borer in sugarcane - ESP lure
Internode borer in sugarcane - INB lure
Top borer in sugarcane - STPlure
The traps must be placed in the field in such a way that the traps are lying just above the plant canopy
The bait is mixed in poison and placed in a polythene bags with few holes on it and few of the baits are placed in various location in the field…
Example - dry fish is spilled with dichlorvas insecticide and put inside the holed polythene bags and placed in avrious location int he field. The shoot fly in sorghum is attracted to this poison bait and get killed .
By placing many T shaped bird rest made of wooden pole in various places in the field , the birds are invited to rest on this bird rest and it pick up the big larvae from the plant canopy and eat it
Also the owl in the night time sit on this bird rest and pick up the rats in the night time …
Killing harmful insect pest with beneficial insect predators is called bio control .3 types
carnivorus insect
The  carnivores insect  - geen lacewing bug - eats aphids, whitefly , hopper, eggs of moth and young larvae in tomato, bhendi, lab lab, black gram, green gramand turdhal
Chryptolaemus bug - eats on mealybugs,scales in pumpkin, tomato,papaya, custard apple,grapes,pomegranate,sapota,coffee, and mulbery …
Parasitic - The insect species belonging to wasp and fly family grow and reproduce on some other insect .
This further classified as egg parasite , larval parasite and pupal parasite …
The egg parasite lays eggs on the eggs of insect pest and destry it in the egg stage itself …example Trichogramma egg parasite on sugarcane early shoot borer pest
The larval parasite -The laral parasite lays egg on the larva of the insect pest and kill it in the larval stage itself -Example - brecon and bethalid parasitic insect
The pupal parasite lays egg on the pupa of the insect pest and kills it int he pupa stage itself thus breaking and preventing its life cycle… Example -Eulopid pupal parasitic insect feeds on balck headed larvae in coconut leaves
Fungi, bacteria and virus are involved in controlling the insect pest
Fungi like Beauveria, verticillium , metarhizium are few parasitic fungi that kills hoppers, whitefly, shoot borer and leaf eating catrpillers .This fungi works well in low temperature and high atmospheric humidity
Bacteria like bacillus type kills lepidopteran insect larva .The worms infected with this bacteria produce  white oozing from insect bodies and later it dies and become black in color - Boll worm, red hairy caterpillar, prudenia worm etc…Example - Bacillus thurigiensis produce BT toxin that kills larvae …
Virus like NPV …The worms that eats virus infected leaves become sluggish and can not move fast , later stop feeding and dies .The dead larva looks black in color hanging head downfrom leaf surface
Neem seed kernal exract  - kills sucking as well as borer pest
Insect repellent made of plant leaves that are not eaten by insects - like Adothoda, neem, vitex, nerium, aloe vera, custard apple, calotrophis, pungam etc…
Oil made of leaves from pungam, neem is used to control insect mainly sucking pest …Dose 20 ml/lit water …Khadi soap is mixed well with horticulture oil until white color disappear and the solution settle clear . Otherwise the oil will float on the surface of the water without mixing properly…