Today’s organic farmer combines traditional farming methods with modern technology and agricultural techniques that can produce high yielding crops without doing harm to the environment. Organic farming tries to maintain the natural balance of the surrounding eco system during the farming process. Organic farmers do not use chemical fertilizers or chemical pesticides or anything that may be toxic to the consumer. Organic farmers also opt not to use genetically modified crops either. Organic farmers carefully choose the location of the farm along with which type of seed that is best suited to grow in that climate.
Crop diversity is one of the methods that farmers use to produce high yields. Crop diversity is also referred to as ‘polyculture’ and it is when different types of crops are grown one after the other on the same piece of land. Plants absorb and release different nutrients so planting different crops each season helps to keep the soil fertile. Different crops also attract different insects, microorganisms and wild plants; all of these increase the biodiversity in the area. Modern conventional farming on the other hand uses the same plot of land to grow the same crop each season. As the ground becomes less fertile more and more chemical fertilizers need to be used, the irony of this farming method is that it leads to increased production costs.
Organic farmers believe in the adage, feed the soil and not the crop. Unless farmers tend to and take care of their soil it will stop giving them the highest yields, and while all farmers want the best yields it needs to be done through proper management. Chemical fertilizers that are used by conventional farms will only help the crop grow the following season, in time it also makes the soil more acidic. Over time as the soil becomes more acidic it will eventually no longer be able to support crop growth. Organic farmers instead use organic fertilizers such, they recycle crop residue, use compost and crop rotation. Here is a video detailing just how organic farmers preserve their soil composition.
Typically organic farms are much smaller than their conventional counterparts. Smaller farms are used for a couple of reasons, first they are much easier to maintain without the extensive use of machinery. A wider variety of crops are grown at the same time, instead of acres and acres of a single crop. More variety in crops makes it easier to allow for crop rotation. Very large farms require heavy machinery to plant and harvest crops, all of these machines require fuel and spew out fumes causing pollution.