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Organic Farming
The growing trend in Organic Farming
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Sanatana Pages: Organic farming and the centrality of the cow

Sanatana Pages: Organic farming and the centrality of the cow | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

Subhash Palekar Raises Agriculture to Spiritual Levels

For over sixty years, Indian agriculture was in a slumber. Our lands were scandalized by an unknown thing called as synthetic fertlizer. This was done to help the farmer get a 'better' harvest.

As the farmer started using it, he immediately noticed that, his soil had become infertile and could no longer bear crops for the next season. He was advised to add more and more fertilizer to the soil to compensate for the nutrient loss. Soon he was faced with another threat. The plants that grew with fertilizer needed pesticides. Soon, he started using these pesticides, which are deadly poisons. He noticed that the pests had become resistant to these chemicals as time went by. He was puzzled.

Our farmer forgot the ancient lesson that the soil HAD LIFE. He forgot that there were natural laws that governed the soil which his ancestors had obeyed from time immemorial. By thus obeying the laws , they had taken bumper harvests and had kept the land well cared for and transferred the land intact for posterity.

Subhash Palekar

It was at this time that a great mind set out to work in this field. He himself was a graduate of Agricultural science from a 'modern university'. He set out to work in his field using the British devised ways of Fertlisers and Pesticides and became an utter failure. He also ruined his land.

Then he set out to research on how our ancestors did so well in Agriculture without any of these chemicals. He consulted the Vedas, and the ancient wisdom literature. The result is a revolutionary, path breaking method, which Sri Subhash calls as 'Zero Budget Natural Farming'. Sri Subhash tried his method in his own soil and replicated it in various other fields tasting success every time.

An inspired Sri Subhash set out to teach this method to his countrymen. He has so far conducted not less than 1000 workshops, all heavily attended, to spread this new way of life for farmers.

The fundamental concept in Sri Subhash's work is that
1. Soil does not need nutrients to be added.
2. The soil has micro organisms which GENERATE NUTRIENTS for the soil.
3. It is possible to revive a fertliser damaged soil back to the natural ways.
4. That the new method require no money to do Agriculture.

Fascinating, is it not ? Read on for some more.

Sri Subhash says the pivot of 'Zero Budget Natural Farming' is the desi cow. He says that the desi cow's Urine, Cow dung and Milk have all the qualities required to rejuvenate the soil. Just ONE desi cow, says Sri Subhash, is all that is required to maintain a 30 acre Farm. He laments that the Desi- Jersi hybrid cows are of no use in his scheme of things.

What a sad thing ? The desi (country) cow is now has such a dwindling population that we need to revive them on a war footing. I wondered why the hybrid Jersi cow is unfit. A publication of 'Govardan', a voluntary organisation for Cow protection, says that the high yield Jersi was produced by crossing a wild pig and an Australian cow breed !

Sri Subhash has some formulas to revive the soil. One is 'Jeevamrutam'. This is not a replacement for Fertlizer , he says. Jeevamrutam is only a catalyst for the soil to generate its nutrients. He says that the 'organic manure','earthworm manure' are fads and are another recipe for disaster.

Sri Subhash condemns the university taught concept of burning the leftover plants after harvest. He says that these are to be left over in the soil itself by turning them over into the soil. This process of 'Mulching' helps the soil prepare its own manure.

And what about pests ? Subhash maintains that a naturally grown plant fights pests. But the plants in transit in chemical ravaged field can be protected by simply prepared 'natural pesticides' which arwe usually buttermilk, pepper and such simple combinations.

The Government Sponsored Chemical Mafia

A govermental survey states that the fertliser subsidy alone was abot Rs 13,000.00 crores in the year 2000. Add to this the pesticide subsidy and the farmer's burden. A report says that the pesticide business in India is the fourth largest in the world! Imagine what would have happened if the money is spent on raising desi cows, strengthening ponds and lakes, and protecting the village fiorests !

There are some criminal agricultural scientists who sit and lord over every governmental commission on Agriculture. These are the very people who are in hand in glove with the synthetic mafia and have been the cause of so much decline in production. Sri Subhash has alleged that our country imports foodgrains of about 5 million tonnes every year. This fact is not known to many Indians. The governments cheats here also.

Recently, a central minister went on record stating that poor Indians are eating more and this is causing problems. It is no wonder with such people at the helm, our Agriculture remains without policy.

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Osk Reddy's curator insight, August 24, 2014 1:00 AM

We wish to bring to your notice that the "Green Universe Environmental Services Society (GUESS)" head-quartered at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India was established in 1998. Since then we have been promoting various eco friendly concepts, pro-environmental initiatives and sustainable development projects. With our vast field-level practical experiences we have observed and noticed that the farmers of our country are facing severe crop loss issues due to wild boar & wild animal attacks, frequent natural calamities, global warming effects, non availability of labour, cost escalation and climate change issues. It is known fact that many of the wild animals have shifted their habitations from the forests to farm fields due to man-made mistakes such as severe deforestation and high level destruction in the forest areas. 

 

Due to the above situations the farmers who make 70% of the Indian community are leaving agriculture and migrating to the urban habitations in search of livelihoods resulting in many of the villages are becoming deserts and the population pressure is at high level in urban areas which is causing various social & economic issues. It is fact that the most of the countries are shifting towards naturals in all walks of life and the demand for natural products is ever increasing and it is time to throw light on promotion of different eco-friendly sustainable farming measures & concepts to the struggling farmer community.

 

Keeping in view the alarming situation faced by the farming community due to wild boar & animal attacks which is great concern to the society today we have come up with an eco-friendly, cost-effective sustainable solution of "Henna Bio Fence." It is non-grazing & pest-free because it is astringent & pungent in nature which can be an effective NPM measure, sustains for longer period hence it is perennial, drought tolerant because it can pass through severe climatic situations, creates additional man days through raising & post harvest measures and also generates income because the demand for natural dyes is ever increasing. Hence "Henna Bio Fence" can be an eco-friendly cost-effective sustainable solution in place of highly expensive solar, chain linked mesh & barbed wire fences and can act as income & employment generating measure.

 

Natural dyes are pro-environment and obtained from renewable resources with no health hazards are traditionally used since ages to impart color. There is renewed interest in the application of natural dyes throughout the world today, as eco-friendly norms become stringent and the awareness about protection and preservation of environment grows day by day. The entire world is facing the side effects of synthetic products and there has been increasing interest in natural dyes, as the public become aware of health issues, ecological and environmental problems related to the use of synthetic dyes. Henna as natural dye is being used in Textiles, Handlooms, Leather, Beauty & Health Care, Cosmetics and Tattoo Industries etc. 

 

Considering the above facts, concerns and in light of the multi beneficial advantages, as responsible NGO we have initiated this "Henna Bio Fence" project to help the struggling farmers. We request for financial collaboration to impart trainings, to create awareness, to transform the concept and to provide input cost to encourage an eco-friendly, sustainable and cost effective "Henna Bio Fence" to the farmers to protect the crops from wild boar & animal attacks and to improve their income levels. In addition to the crop protection measure there is lot of scope for employment generation through value addition and marketing. 

 

Henna Bio Fence is also useful as NPM, NTFP, SMC & NRM measures. The Decoction of henna leaves because of its strong chemical composition can be used as Bio Pesticide for all the crops which reduces the pest management expenditure for a longer period. It also controls the cross pollination (Isolation) issues between different crops. Henna Bio Fence in one meter width all along the periphery of the crop fields in multiple (6-9) rows with close spacing will become as thick & strong fence which completely arrests the wild boar and animal attacks. Reducing crop loss itself is great benefit to the farmers and as well to the nation and also there are many social & economic advantages in addition to the crop protection measure. 

 

Keeping in view the above facts, we request the International Organizations who are very much concern about environment & global warming effects for financial contributions from Carbon Trade Funds, Environment Protection Funds, Ecological Balancing Funds, Global Warming Budgets, CSR & CER initiatives to provide them an eco-friendly, sustainable and cost effective "Henna Bio Fence" for their farm fields to protect the crops from animal attacks and to improve the income levels of the farming community. Hence, we request your kind attention towards a noble cause of "Vruksho Rakshathi Rakshithaha" by providing them the input cost from different possible funds & measures to help the struggling farmers who are feeding our Nation. The detailed project report will be submitted after hearing from you. We await quick response in this regard to make this pro-environmental project successful. We are hereby providing the YouTube link of promo film on Henna Bio Fence for information.

 

Henna Bio Fence Video Link:

 

GUESS - Henna Bio Fence - English  : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvzdK4qQbQo

 

GUESS - Henna Bio Fence - Telugu  : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQTs9khJmQg

 

Thanking You

 

 

Best Regards

 

 

OSK REDDY

Ph. No. 919494947894 / 919848028410

Mail:oskreddy@gmail.com / oskreddy@yahoo.com

Web Site: www.guessfoundation.org

 

 

Eric Larson's curator insight, March 27, 1:18 PM

Interesting questions!!!

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The Mystery Behind Organic Honey

The Mystery Behind Organic Honey | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
I see organic honey on the supermarket shelves yet is there such a thing as certified organic honey? It is a very legitimate question and one I answer here.
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Mycorrhizae For Sale - The Most Helpful Soil Inoculant

Mycorrhizae For Sale - The Most Helpful Soil Inoculant | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
I have mycorrhizae for sale, but really, ‘mycorrhizae’ refers to the relationship between the fungi and the root (‘myco’ is fungi and ‘rhiza’ is root).
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Building Carbon in farm soils | Farming Futures

Building Carbon in farm soils | Farming Futures | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

http://www.farmingfutures.org.uk/blog/building-carbon-farm-soils

 

 

 

"Feed the soil, not the plant" is an old mantra of organic farmers that is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago"

Building soil carbon is relatively straightforward: minimise carbon losses to the atmosphere, and maximise additions of carbon to the soil. Preventing carbon losses is commonly overlooked but is of critical importance. Soil carbon is converted to carbon dioxide by oxidisation, the most common causes being deforestation, erosion and cultivation.

On my farm on the Isles of Scilly, I grow a range of organic fruit and vegetables using both mechanical and manual cultivation. My overall strategy is to minimise the depth and frequency of cultivation, and use cover crops and plastic mulches, reducing erosion and exposure of my soil to oxidation.

In Oxfordshire, Julian Gold grows arable crops on the 800 hectare estate he manages. But he is very serious about looking after his soils, and has been working hard to reduce chemical inputs and increase soil carbon whilst maintaining profitability. He uses satellite guided tractors that only drive over a fifth of any field, minimising tractor tyre pressure and soil compaction. No ploughs or rotavators are used, only shallow discs and harrows. This has led to a significant increase in earthworm populations and improved soil quality.

Soil carbon and climate change

Agriculture is a major contributor to carbon emissions, but the impact of farming on climate change can be reduced. Farming and forestry are almost unique as industries that could absorb more carbon than they release. The atmospheric carbon that could be absorbed in well managed soils is extraordinary. Soil carbon expert Rattan Lal estimates the potential for soil carbon sequestration across the world as "equivalent to a draw - down of about 50 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2100". This amazing figure proves that fixing carbon in soils is one of the few practical means we currently have to actually reduce global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Building up soil organic matter is a win-win situation for the fight against climate change as well as soil health and crop yields, and must become the focus of farmers everywhere.

The next step maximises carbon inputs to your farming system. In temperate areas the main ways are adding compost, manure, biochar, green manure and cover crops.

Rob Richmond is a dairy farmer in Gloucestershire who has increased soil organic matter at an extraordinary rate whilst maintaining high milk yields. He studied how to increase soil carbon on a worldwide tour, and adapted practices he witnessed on his own farm. Rob talks about three types of organic matter, green, brown and black. Green carbon includes lush cover crops, which are good food for soil bacteria. Brown carbon includes crop residues, mature cover crops and animal manures that become stable organic matter. Black carbon is the most stable form, including mature compost and biochar, and has a very important role in soil stability.

My own farm is next to the sea. I apply large amounts of seaweed, an excellent source of organic matter for my dry sandy soils. Like many organic vegetable growers, green manures are also an important part of my crop rotation, with a quarter of my land at any one time being under leguminous (nitrogen fixing) plants like clover, or non-legumes such as mustard and phacelia.

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How do you plant 1 billion trees a year? With drones, of course

How do you plant 1 billion trees a year? With drones, of course | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
I, for one, welcome our tree planting robot overlords.
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Ben Dida's curator insight, April 8, 6:42 AM

Grate article!

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The roots of life and health: Elaine Ingham's theory of the living soil

The roots of life and health: Elaine Ingham's theory of the living soil | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Modern agriculture - even among organic farmers - is often seen as a matter of soil chemistry, writes Lynda Brown. But an alternative view is gaining ground: that it's really about soil life. Nurture your soil-dwelling micro-organisms, and your crops look after themselves.
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Kaduru earns millions from passion fruits

Kaduru earns millions from passion fruits | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
He walks with confidence–after all he drives a Land Cruiser VX, certainly an above average car for a rural folk.
Giri Kumar's insight:

 Though we find this agriculturist using chemicals for spraying, this article was chosen to portray the prevailing farming trend in Uganda.

 

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The Barefoot Farmer grows more than food

The Barefoot Farmer grows more than food | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
At his Long Hungry Creek Farm in Tennessee, Jeff Poppen grows community too, championing the small family farm and the importance of bring young people back to the land.

 

 

http://www.mnn.com/leaderboard/stories/the-barefoot-farmer-grows-more-than-food?utm_source=2015+March+E-News&utm_campaign=Biodynamic+Association+E-News&utm_medium=email

 

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lavitabio's curator insight, March 27, 5:31 AM

Le complicate vicende di un contadino Usa "piedi scalzi". L'agricoltura, il biologico, il valore sociale e culturale.

Eric Larson's curator insight, March 27, 1:15 PM

Interesting ideas.

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Big Ag’s Fight for Twitter Credibility : Food First

Big Ag’s Fight for Twitter Credibility : Food First | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Many consumers and food activists use social media platforms to stay informed and engage in important debates about the future of our food system. But increasing corporate influence in these spaces requires us to differentiate fact from spin as we encounter hundreds of posts and tweets per day. Big Ag’s attempts to shape social media debates expose its fear of criticism from a growing food movement demanding corporate transparency, regulation, and sustainable alternatives to industrial agriculture. With 284 million monthly active users, Twitter has become a battleground for Big Ag’s credibility.

 

http://foodfirst.org/big-ags-fight-for-twitter-credibility/

 

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Eric Larson's curator insight, March 27, 1:16 PM

Is Big Ag shaping social media? 

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Applied Mythology: This Is Not My Grandpa's Organic

Applied Mythology: This Is Not My Grandpa's Organic | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

http://appliedmythology.blogspot.in/2014/10/this-is-not-my-grandpas-organic_13.html

 

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Megan Becker's curator insight, March 23, 7:46 PM

Summery: This article follows a man who's understanding of "organic" has shifted over 50 years. Organic is now primarily defined as crops grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, no genetically engineered plants, etc. Organic is no longer something, its the lack of something ("fat free," "zero cholesterol," "gluten free,", etc.).   

 

Insight: This article really sheds light on the new meaning of organic and made me think of all the foods I normally eat. While organic used to mean focusing on the importance of building soil health, it now includes the exclusion of things such as gluten, sugar, and fat. So, is it really "organic"?

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Switch them off: street lights don't help bats | Science Codex

Switch them off: street lights don't help bats | Science Codex | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
New research found that bat activity was generally lower in street-lit areas than in dark locations with similar habitat, which means the popular belief that street lighting is attractive to common bats is not true and they don't benefit from them when

 

http://www.sciencecodex.com/switch_off_the_lights_for_bats-152863

 

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This "Mad Genius" Organic Farmer's Ideas Are Working. He's Grossing $100K An Acre...

This "Mad Genius" Organic Farmer's Ideas Are Working. He's Grossing $100K An Acre... | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Could he have found the most effective way to grow food?    

 

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/14219-organic-farmer-grosses-100k-acre.html?c=ngr

 

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Eric Larson's curator insight, March 16, 11:20 AM

Wow!!! Just think $100,000 per acre???

Mandar Trivedi's curator insight, March 28, 5:52 AM

Well maybe it has nothing to do with Sports, but eating healthy is always a good idea!  So enjoy this Amazing Organic Farming info!  Can't wait to learn more about this!

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10 Things to Do with “Rotten” Bananas

10 Things to Do with “Rotten” Bananas | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Unless you loathe bananas (like my oldest), you are bound to, at some point, have a few rotten ones on your counter (you should never store them in the fridge).
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Weed-killing sprays may also be killing our ability to fight bacteria

Weed-killing sprays may also be killing our ability to fight bacteria | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Penicillin overkill has created life-threatening bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. But now some new research shows that common herbicides used in farming can also breed resistant bacteria, and no one's sure how that may affect humans.
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To Feed the World, We Don't Need to Grow More Food

To Feed the World, We Don't Need to Grow More Food | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
"We need to feed the world" is biotech's favorite marketing slogan. And it's so, so wrong.
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Plant roots may accelerate soil carbon loss | Farming Futures

Plant roots may accelerate soil carbon loss | Farming Futures | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

http://www.farmingfutures.org.uk/blog/plant-roots-may-accelerate-soil-carbon-loss

 

 

 

http://www.farmingfutures.org.uk/blog/plant-roots-may-accelerate-soil-carbon-loss

 

Soil, long thought to be a semi-permanent storehouse for ancient carbon, may be releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere faster than anyone thought, according to Oregon State University soil scientists.

The researchers showed that chemicals emitted by plant roots act on carbon that is bonded to minerals in the soil, breaking the bonds and exposing previously protected carbon to decomposition by microbes.

The carbon then passes into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2), said the study's coauthor, Markus Kleber. He said the study challenges the prevailing view that carbon bonded to minerals stays in the soil for thousands of years. "As these root compounds separate the carbon from its protective mineral phase," he said, "we may see a greater release of carbon from its storage sites in the soil."

As warmer weather and more carbon dioxide in the air stimulate plants to grow, they produce more root compounds. This will likely release more stored carbon, which will enter the atmosphere as CO2--which could in turn accelerate the rate of climate warming.

"Our main concern is that this is an important mechanism, and we are not presently considering it in global models of carbon cycling," Kleber said.

"So current climate-change models may be underestimating carbon loss from soil by as much as 1 percent per year. There is more carbon stored in the soil, on a global scale, than in vegetation or even in the atmosphere," said Kleber. "Since this reservoir is so large, even small changes will have serious effects on carbon concentrations in the atmosphere, and by extension on climate."

Between 60 and 80 percent of organic matter entering the soil gets broken down within the first year in a chain of decomposition that ends with CO2, Kleber said. Most of the remaining carbon gets bound to the soil's minerals through a variety of physical and chemical mechanisms. When this happens, the carbon is protected because the microbes can't get at it to break it down. For the past couple of decades, scientists have assumed that these carbon-mineral bonds amounted to a long-lasting "sink" for soil carbon--keeping it out of the atmosphere by storing it in a stable form over many centuries.

The researchers tested three model compounds for common "root exudates"--chemicals commonly excreted by plant roots--to see how strongly each one stimulated the microbes that drive organic-matter decomposition. In the laboratory, using a syringe and pump, they applied oxalic acid, acetic acid and glucose to soil taken from a dry-climate agricultural area and a wet-climate forest, both in Oregon. They conducted the experiment over 35 days to simulate a flush of root growth in the spring.

Prevailing theory, said Kleber, would predict that the hungry microbes would respond most strongly to the nutritious glucose, which would give them the energy to tackle the rest of the organic matter, including the carbon. "And this is likely happening to a certain extent," he said. "But our big surprise was that the energy-poor oxalic acid generated a much stronger response from the microbes than the energy-rich glucose." When they analyzed the water stored in the oxalic acid-treated soil, the researchers saw there was eight times more dissolved carbon in it than there had been before. Additional laboratory tests confirmed the finding that the acids were breaking the carbon-mineral bonds.

"The significance of this research," Kleber said, "is that we have documented for the first time a mechanism by which long-stored soil carbon is cycled back into the system." Oxalic acid is a good stand-in for a whole suite of root compounds that are excreted by plants in the root zone, Kleber said. "Roots excrete several compounds similar to oxalic acid. We can assume that many root exudates act in a similar way."

 

 

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Building Carbon in farm soils | Farming Futures

Building Carbon in farm soils | Farming Futures | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
"Feed the soil, not the plant" is an old mantra of organic farmers that is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago"

Building soil carbon is relatively straightforward: minimise carbon losses to the atmosphere, and maximise additions of carbon to the soil. Preventing carbon losses is commonly overlooked but is of critical importance. Soil carbon is converted to carbon dioxide by oxidisation, the most common causes being deforestation, erosion and cultivation.

On my farm on the Isles of Scilly, I grow a range of organic fruit and vegetables using both mechanical and manual cultivation. My overall strategy is to minimise the depth and frequency of cultivation, and use cover crops and plastic mulches, reducing erosion and exposure of my soil to oxidation.

In Oxfordshire, Julian Gold grows arable crops on the 800 hectare estate he manages. But he is very serious about looking after his soils, and has been working hard to reduce chemical inputs and increase soil carbon whilst maintaining profitability. He uses satellite guided tractors that only drive over a fifth of any field, minimising tractor tyre pressure and soil compaction. No ploughs or rotavators are used, only shallow discs and harrows. This has led to a significant increase in earthworm populations and improved soil quality.

Soil carbon and climate change

Agriculture is a major contributor to carbon emissions, but the impact of farming on climate change can be reduced. Farming and forestry are almost unique as industries that could absorb more carbon than they release. The atmospheric carbon that could be absorbed in well managed soils is extraordinary. Soil carbon expert Rattan Lal estimates the potential for soil carbon sequestration across the world as "equivalent to a draw - down of about 50 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2100". This amazing figure proves that fixing carbon in soils is one of the few practical means we currently have to actually reduce global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Building up soil organic matter is a win-win situation for the fight against climate change as well as soil health and crop yields, and must become the focus of farmers everywhere.

The next step maximises carbon inputs to your farming system. In temperate areas the main ways are adding compost, manure, biochar, green manure and cover crops.

Rob Richmond is a dairy farmer in Gloucestershire who has increased soil organic matter at an extraordinary rate whilst maintaining high milk yields. He studied how to increase soil carbon on a worldwide tour, and adapted practices he witnessed on his own farm. Rob talks about three types of organic matter, green, brown and black. Green carbon includes lush cover crops, which are good food for soil bacteria. Brown carbon includes crop residues, mature cover crops and animal manures that become stable organic matter. Black carbon is the most stable form, including mature compost and biochar, and has a very important role in soil stability.

My own farm is next to the sea. I apply large amounts of seaweed, an excellent source of organic matter for my dry sandy soils. Like many organic vegetable growers, green manures are also an important part of my crop rotation, with a quarter of my land at any one time being under leguminous (nitrogen fixing) plants like clover, or non-legumes such as mustard and phacelia.

A diverse crop rotation builds good soil structure as it allows variations in cultivation requirements, nutrient demands and plant rooting depths, as well as providing opportunities for introducing green manures, and breaking up pests and disease cycles. Vegetable grower Iain Tolhurst in the Thames Valley has an extremely diverse rotation and needs to buy no manure and fertilisers. At least a quarter of his farm is covered at any one time with a two year green manure such as alfafa, and large amounts of organic matter is added when it is ploughed in. It's worth noting that perennial crops, such as fruit and nut trees, are also inherently better for soils, requiring little or no cultivation and sequestering carbon through their root exudates.

Improving soil health

Soil ecosystems are extraordinarily diverse and resilient, yet poorly understood. There are thousands of species of bacteria, fungi and insects in healthy soils, some beneficial to plants, others harmful.

Martin Howard farms 160 hectares in the Tamar Valley, and has seen life breathed back into his soils by a combination of minimising soil compaction from overusing his farm machinery, increasing soil aeration, and introducing beneficial bacteria and fungi using root drenches. He sows a diverse range of forage species, and applies compost and manure, and has seen steady improvements in soil structure, pasture productivity, animal health and yield. A well-functioning soil ecosystem is better able to turn organic matter into stable soil carbon, so a healthy soil is one that is better able to sequester carbon.

Measuring organic matter

Treat each field separately.
Measure in spring or autumn, avoiding hot, cold, dry or wet extremes
Measure at least a month after any cultivations. Take a sample core 30cm deep using a soil auger or spade but removing the top 5cm that may contain undecomposed organic matter.
Walk a W shape across the field, taking up to 25 samples in each field, mixed thoroughly in a bucket.
Remove weeds, stones or lumps or organic matter, and put about 0.5kg of this well mixed soil in a plastic bag, labelling it clearly with date and field number / name.
Send your soil sample immediately to an agricultural laboratory for soil organic matter analysis, asking for measurements by 'loss on ignition' with results to two decimal places.
Repeat same time the following year.

We recommend doing this every spring or autumn. Different fields may show different trends, so the farm as a whole must be considered by adding up measurements from all fields. With this, you can see whether your farm management practices are losing, maintaining, or building soil organic matter, and you can target management changes to individual fields. With an organic matter increase of 0.1% (e.g. from 4.0 to 4.1%) an extra 8.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be sequestered per hectare per year. This shows the huge potential of changing farming practices to climate change mitigation, while also improving soil health, yields and profits.

Rob Richmond has seen a significant increase of organic matter and improved soil structure by applying compost, growing diverse and deep-rooting grass swards, and 'mob stocking'. This is where a large herd of livestock intensively graze a small area of tall grass right down in a few days before being moved onto the next patch. Rob describes how, under the right management, pastures can sequester carbon dioxide at a rate of 20 tonnes per hectare per year. He uses a complex mix of forage species including clover, vetch, and alfafa that grow robustly, are good companion plants, and allow him to graze and rest his land for optimum efficiency. Furthermore, his soils retain more water and his cows are healthier.
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Simple Vegetable Garden Tips for Every Size Garden

Simple Vegetable Garden Tips for Every Size Garden | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
You don't need acres of land to grow your own veggies. If you have a sunny spot in your home, you can have a vegetable garden! Learn simple vegetable garden tips for every size garden!
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The Spiral Pump: A High Lift, Slow Turning Pump

The Spiral Pump: A High Lift, Slow Turning Pump | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
The Spiral Pump by Peter Tailer: high lift, slow-turning stream-powered water pump
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Organic Farming is only 9950 years Older than Chemical Farming!

Organic Farming is only 9950 years Older than Chemical Farming! | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
It started about 10.000,- years ago, -8000 B.C., in present day Konya, Türkiye. About 200km north-west of my own farm, with birds flight. This place was included among World Heritage sites by UNESCO in July 1st, 2012. Its in Çumra area overlooking the vast Konya (old Iconia) farming valley of Türkiye, larger than many European countries.Farming had been about fully natural until 1950s, without chemicals. Fruits commanded prices like meats. Goods were scarcer, but had quality.Almost all heavy wei
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Eric Larson's curator insight, March 27, 1:17 PM

Just think about this!!!

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Applied Mythology: Soil Building: The Key To Sustainable Farming

Applied Mythology: Soil Building: The Key To Sustainable Farming | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

http://appliedmythology.blogspot.in/2013/02/soil-building-key-to-sustainable-farming.htm

 

Giri Kumar's insight:

Would  like my readers  to read this article including the comments in full and comment /let me know their experiences in building a healthier soil.

 

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Why Organic Can't Fulfill Our Food Supply Ideals

Why Organic Can't Fulfill Our Food Supply Ideals | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

http://www.science20.com/agricultural_realism/why_organic_cant_fulfill_our_food_supply_ideals-154020

 

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Sammie Bryant's curator insight, March 22, 9:59 PM

this article, relating to our agriculture unit, really  makes you think. while most consumers just think organic is better, this article shows that this type of farming can't supply the amount of food the human race desires. this shows that maybe our standards are set too high for the average farmer. this makes the reader wonder if genetically modified foods are really THAT bad. I believe that with improvement, gmos may be the next efficient step to eradicating world hunger. 

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Book Review: A horseman contemplates ecology, agriculture

Book Review: A horseman contemplates ecology, agriculture | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Soren Bondrup-Nielsen is a professor of biology at Acadia University, and a man who thinks deeply about the world around him.

Together with his wife, Pia, he also farms sheep on a homestead near Canning, in the Annapolis Valley. A longtime lover of horses, he spends many free hours roaming the landscapes of the Valley on his horse, and his latest book, Merging, has come about in no small part because of his love of riding and thinking.

 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/thenovascotian/1274800-book-review-a-horseman-contemplates-ecology-agriculture

 

 

Giri Kumar's insight:

For a change ,this is the first time  i am posting a book review since i felt it was interesting.

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Like You’ve Never Before Heard It Explained

Like You’ve Never Before Heard It Explained | Organic Farming | Scoop.it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiU3Ndi6itk

 

Watch this important video.
 
And then watch it again with your friends.
 
Thierry Vrain, a retired biologist and genetic engineer, explains the links between glyphosate (the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup), GMO food and your health.
 
For everyone who has trouble explaining to friends and family why this issue is so important, and why banning glyphosate and GMO crops and foods is so critical, this video lays it out as you’ve never before heard it explained.

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Wuzea Recherche's comment, March 15, 6:38 AM
Propose de rechercher une ressource en tapant un mot clé dans le champ de recherche. Wuzea : http://www.wuzea.com
Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, March 17, 1:52 PM
Like You’ve Never Before Heard It Explained a long video
Ba'Kem BlackSoul's curator insight, March 25, 2:22 PM

Monsanto, is it in you?!  What is wealth with out health.

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At home amid nature - NewsHub.org

At home amid nature - NewsHub.org | Organic Farming | Scoop.it
Two barren landscapes that people had given up on; school drop-outs society had given up on; women farmhands who supported their families, while their husbands travelled to far off lands to find work — organic farming pioneer Nammalvar brought them...
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