Organic Farming Part 6

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Under Network Project on Organic Farming (NPOF of ICAR) important cropping systems, which were found economically better or at par with conventional system at different experimental stations in the country have been identified, which are as follows:

• Tomato/ Cabbage – cauliflower – pea and maize – garlic at Bajaura, Himachal Pradesh
• Rice – wheat/ potato/ mustard/ lentil at Ranchi, Jharkhand
• Groundnut – rabi Sorghum, soybean – durum wheat, potato – chick pea, chillil+ Cotton and maize – chick pea at Dharwad, Karnataka
• Soybean – durum wheat/ mustard/ chick pea/ isabgol at Bhopal, M.P.
• Rice – durum wheat/ berseem, rice – potato – Okra and rice – garlic, sorghum – berseem, maize – berseem – maize + coepea and sorghum + cluster bean – oats-cowpea at Ludhiana, Punjab
• Maize – cotton, chillies – onion and brinjal – sunflower at Coimbatore
• Sorghum – pea – okra at Modipuram, Uttar Pradesh
• Carrot/ rice (pre kharif) – rice (kharif), potato/rice (pre kharif) – rice (kharif), tomato/ rice (pre kharif) – rice (kharif), French bean/ rice (pre kharif) – rice (kharif) at Umiam, Meghalaya

Status of rich and live organic soil

A fertile and live organic soil ideally should have Organic Carbon (C) between 0.8-1.5%. At any point of time it should have adequate quantity of dry, semi decomposed and fully decomposed organic matter for the use of micro-flora and fauna. Total microbial load (bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes) should be above 1 x 108 /gm of soil. There should be at least 3-5 earth worms/cubic ft of soil.

There should be enough quantity of small life forms and insects such as ants etc. Seed/ Planting material Treatment In organic management, protection measures are used only in the case of Problematic situations. Use of disease free seed stock and resistant varieties is the best option. There is no standard formulation or treatment methodology, available as on today, but farmers use different methods. Few of such innovative seed treating formulations are as follows:

• Hot water treatment at 530C for 20-30 min.
• Cow urine or cow urine-termite mound soil paste
• Beejamrut
• Asphoetida 250gm in one lit. of water for 10 kg seed
• Turmeric rhizome powder mixed with cow urine
• Panchgavya extract
• Dashparni extract
• Trichoderma viride (4gm/kg seed) or Pseudomonas fluorscens (10gm/kg seed)
• Biofertilizers (Rhizobium/ Azotobacter +PSB)

Preparation of Beejamruta – Put 5 kg of fresh cow dung in a cloth bag and suspend in a container filled with water to extract the soluble ingredients of dung. Suspend 50 g lime in 1 lit water separately. After 12 – 16 hours squeeze the bag to collect extract and add 5 lit cow urine, 50 gm virgin forest soil, lime water and 20 lit water. Incubate for 8-12 hours. Filter the contents. The filtrate is used for seed treatment.

Manuring and soil enrichment

During conversion period, soil fertility can be improved and maintained initially through use of organic inputs like well decomposed organic manure/ vermicompost, green manure and biofertilizers in appropriate quantity. These organic inputs are used for feeding the soil. Well fed healthy soil rich in microflora and microfauna takes care of the crop nutrient requirement. Plant biomass, FYM, Cattle dung manure, enriched compost, biodynamic compost, Cow-pat-pit compost and vermicompost are key sources of on-farm inputs. Among off-farm inputs, important components are non-edible oil cakes, poultry manure, biofertilizers, mineral grade rock phosphate and lime etc. Lopping from Glyricidia and other plants grown on bunds, on-farm produced compost and vermicompost, animal dung and urine and crop residue should form the major source of nutrient and concentrated manures such as crushed oil cakes, poultry manure, vegetable market waste compost and other novel preparations such as biodynamic formulations etc can be used in appropriate quantity. Use of high quantities of manures should be avoided. Changing crop rotations and multiple crops ensure better utilization of resources. Depending upon the type of crop and requirement of nutrients for different crops, the quantity
of externally produced inputs is determined. Application of liquid manure (for soil enrichment) is essential to maintain the activity of microorganisms and other life forms in the soil. 3-4 applications of liquid manure is essential for all types of crops. Vermiwash, compost tea, cow urine, Pachgavya and Biosol etc are excellent growth promoters when used as foliar spray. 3-5 sprays after 25-30 days of sowing ensure good productivity. Use of Biodynamic preparations, such as BD-500 and BD-501 as foliar spray has also been found to be effective in growth promotion.

Use of Biofertilizers and microbial cultures

Biofertilizers viz: Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, PSB and Pseudomonas etc have been found to be very effective tools of fertility management and biological nutrient mobilization. Recently customized consortia of such biofertilizer organisms, better adapted to local climatic conditions have also been developed and are available commercially. Efficiency of such microbial formulations is much higher under no-chemical use situations, therefore application of such inputs need to be ensured under all cropping situations.
 

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