Soil and Crop management in Organic Farming

Soil and crop management have great significance in the field of farming and especially in organic farming. So we will discuss both soil management and crop management one by one in detail so let’s start with:

Soil Management in Organic Farming

  • Non-synthetic fertilizers such as compost, manure, and other organic matter enhance soil properties and increase fertility. 
  • After harvesting the crop, soil needs residue to manage in a better way. Mix the residue in the field to increase soil fertility.
  • Less intensive tillage practices that leave a residue on soil surface results effectively in controlling erosion. It also prevents soil from being more downslope, conserves soil moisture, improves water infiltration, reduces organic matter losses and improves soil structure.
  • Adding organic matter into the soil will help to protect soil from erosion by leaving material on the soil surface. It promotes soil tilth and larger and more stable aggregates. It also adds nutrients to the soil and improves soil structure and soil life.
  • Use conservation practices to conserve soil moisture, cover crops, zero tillage, and other practices. 

Crop management in organic farming

The main aim of crop management is to put minimum resources and get maximum desired outcomes.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is the growing of dissimilar crops on the same piece of land during a specific period.

  • Protects the soil by keeping the soil surface covered year-round in the form of crops, for example, grasses, legumes, and forage crops. 
  • It helps to hold the soil in place with the extensive root system (perennial crops).
  • It will improve the infiltration of water and higher yield. 
  • Restorative crops do their job and return nutrients at the maturity stage. 
  • It will improve soil structure and less soil compaction because of the extensive root system. 

Cover Crops

  • Protect the soil by covering it, which may remain bare otherwise.
  • It will help to improve structure, to resist erosion, to improve infiltration, and reduce runoff. 
  • It holds soil in place by roots.
  • Increase the organic matter level.
  • It helps to hold nutrients from recently applied manures.
  • It provides forage, weed suppression, erosion protection, and nematode suppression.

Green Manuring

Organic matter 

A grouping of carbon-containing compounds that comes from living beings and deposits within the earth’s structural components.

Soil Organic Matter

That fraction of soil composed of anything that was once alive. It includes plants and animals in various stages of degradation, cells and tissues of soil organisms and substances from plant roots and soil microbes. 

Huma Zafar
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I am Huma Zafar a Soil Science Graduate from Arid Agriculture University. I am interested in topics related to agronomy, agri-tech and climate change.