Nature Sustainability 1: 477-85. Organic advocates cite numerous studies that suggest the environmental and economic impact of organic farming is less than conventional farming. This corresponds to 7.5 % of the total utilised agricultural area of the EU-28. By growing a variety of less thirsty crops, including perennial crops with deep roots, this should reduce the demand for water in agriculture. These benefits are counterbalanced by higher food costs for consumers and generally lower yields. Sourcing cotton from certified sustainable farming can make a major difference to fashion’s water footprint. Adopting proven sustainable agricultural practices reduces water use per bushel. Source: Andrew Balmford, et al. Water quality will determine just what the water may be used for. Organic farming is the method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. South Africa’s average annual rainfall is only 492mm, which is about 50% lower than the global average. Don't build more of them. They hypothesize that farmers could lower their costs with data-driven farming and reduce water consumption by up to 30%. Organic farmers use biological fertilizer inputs and management practices such as cover cropping and crop rotation to improve soil quality and build organic … They can improve soil structure by burrowing and moving organic matter through the soil profile. Soil organisms such as earthworms are also very good for soil. In attempt to reduce the environmental impacts associated with heavy fertilizer use in conventional agriculture, some producers have begun to investigate organic methods. Organic farming is agriculture that makes healthy food, healthy soils, healthy plants, and healthy environments a priority, along with crop productivity. Area under … Conventional agriculture makes use of 171 million metric tons of synthetic fertilizer each year, and all that nitrogen enables much faster plant growth than the slower release of nitrogen from the compost or cover corps used in organic farming. Rice, wheat, cotton, oilseeds, jute, tea, sugarcane, milk and potatoes are the major agricultural commodities produced. Their burrows also allow water and air to get into the soil. Organic farming is much eco-friendly, and produces safe healthy food by compared to the conventional farming. Principles and Practices for Sustainable Water Management in Farming Production (version 2010) Water is a vital component of agricultural production. Courtesy of Nadia Lawton. Area under organic farming was 42,000 hectares during 2004-05 which had increased to 1.08 hectares by March 2010. Refer to Water quality for farm water supplies for more information on salinity. Its production sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs. It is essential to maximise both yield and quality. These practices help maintain water quality, while enhanced soil structure, water infiltration, and better nutrient retention also protect water quality. The countries with the highest shares of organic land were Austria, Estonia and Sweden. Crop rotation helps control the erosion of soil from water and wind by improving the soil structure and reducing the amount of soil that is exposed to water and wind. If one has a 1000 sq ft plot of land, vertical farming on it yields a harvest which is equivalent to 3,000-4,000 sq ft of plot. Many of the commonly traded agricultural crops grown today are grown in large plots of monocultures and require large amounts of water to produce them. In each of these countries the organic share was above 20 % of the total agricultural land. Well-managed organic systems rely on slow-release forms of nutrients, which reduce the risk of nutrient runoff and leaching. organic contamination. "The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation," explains Wirsenius. Moreover, organic farming showed to have higher water use efficiency and a positive impact on water and soil quality (Sivaranjani and Rakshit, 2019). Post Author: Surekha Kadapa-Bose Organic farming does not use any type of harmful chemicals to keep pests away, unlike the majority of industrial farming. Organic farming in India received attention after launching of National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) in 2004-05. Credit: Youtube / Richard Perkins #4 Growing more water efficient crops according to regional climate. Which method of farming uses the most water? A 2001 study on organic cotton farming efficiency conducted in Greece, showed that organic farms produced only 73% of the yield of those of a conventional farm and 86% of the revenue (p. 40). Go for organic … Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards. The Squelch test can be carried out to work out when to avoid certain farming operations in order to prevent soil compaction. Agriculture needs to be part of watershed management. The issue is particularly topical in Sweden, with the government pushing for an expansion in organic farming. Crop rotation also supports reduced or no-till farming, which ensures even better protection against erosion. Soil-less & Vertical, This Style of Farming Will Reduce Water Usage By 95%! When we talk about a Green Revolution, we really mean a nitrogen revolution—along with a lot of water. Organic farms do use less water per farm, but because organic methods tend to have lower yields, organic may use more water per crop in some cases. Page 4 ATTRA‘s Organic Matters//Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms How Organic Farms Sometimes Fail to Protect Water Quality Sustainable, well-managed organic farms do not focus on a single crop, but involve a diversity of crops that represent multiple nutrient utilization strategies, water uptake requirements, and pest preferences. Therefore, the time has come to shift from conventional farming to organic farming to safeguard the lives of people from … Moreover, with a crop cycle of 3-4 times a year, the profits are substantial as compared to traditional farming. Agriculture, an important sector of our economy accounts for 14 per cent of the nation’s GDP and about 11 per cent of its exports. Water has to be applied in the right amounts at the right time in order to achieve the right crop result. Areas like Southern California care about that question, because they grow much of the nation’s food but suffer from frequent water shortages. The leaching of nitrate from farming soil into water drainage systems is a major source of water pollution in the upper Midwestern states. Mulch made from organic materials such as straw or wood chips will break down into compost, further increasing the soil’s ability to retain water. As populations have grown, farming practices have become more intensified to maximise crop yields and ensure we can feed the ever growing population. Organic farming helps to prevent environmental degradation and used to regenerate degraded areas. Irrigation farming makes up about 60% of all water usage in South Africa, while rural and urban municipalities (including household use) account for about 30% of water use, and mining 5%, according to the Department of Water and Sanitation. Pesticides derived from natural sources (such as biological pesticides) may be used in producing organically grown food. They use all natural methods that do not harm the consumer or the environment that they are grown in. But generally a cotton plant requires the same amount of water whether it’s organic or not, and non-organic farmers also use plenty of methods to keep their soil healthy. These policy decisions have an impact on the climate across the globe, the researchers point out. Compared with conventional agriculture, organic farming uses fewer pesticides, reduces soil erosion, decreases nitrate leaching into groundwater and surface water, and recycles animal wastes back into the farm. Now, Kerlink, a specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), and Sensoterra, a specialist in wireless soil-moisture-sensor solutions, have announced a partnership to take care of water waste. Water quality. Meanwhile, more than 100 million people in India do not have access to safe water”. Salinity is the most common water quality issue. Importantly organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Compost and mulch help Allstar Organics, Tierra Vegetables, and many other Ferry Plaza Farmers Market farms retain more water in the soil during the dry season. “The water consumed to grow India’s cotton exports in 2013 would be enough to supply 85% of the country’s 1.24 billion people with 100 litres of water every day for a year. Herbicides, pesticides, and artificial growth hormones are all forbidden on an organic farm. Water is a precious resource so improving its use is essential. PRI Zaytuna Farm main crop. Research, innovation, and access to improved technologies, seeds, and improved irrigation techniques are essential to increasing the efficiency of water use. - The Guardian, 20 March 2015. Conventional farming has been heavily criticized for causing biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and increased water pollution due to the rampant usage of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Therefore, Organic Cotton is commercially far more beneficial than conventional non-Organic Cotton. Organic farming methods are studied in the field of agroecology. Cool and clean water of low salt content is best for stock health and for household use. Organic farming covered 13.4 million hectares of agricultural land in the EU-28 in 2018. "The environmental costs and benefits of high-yield farming." By implementing advanced organic farming techniques, it has cut down its usage of artificial fertilizers and pesticides by more than 90% and achieved a growth of 30% in production. India has the second largest arable land base (159.7 million hectares) after US and largest gross irrigated area (88 milion hectares) in the world. Conclusion. Organic Farming - Organically grown food is food grown and processed using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. The water pollution impact of organic cotton has been shown to be 98 per cent less than non-organic cotton production 6. Published: Sept 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41893-018-0138-5 Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and some modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. The bottom line is clear: Organic farms produce fewer crops and are worse for the environment. More recently, a study published in Nature titled Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture revealed that: Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, who witnessed the presentation of the certification, noted that the increasing demand for organic food has growth potential for local farms. 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