What is Organic Farming
The USDA defines organic agriculture as “a production system that is managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.”
More specifically, organic farming entails:
- Use of cover crops, green manures, animal manures and crop rotations to fertilize the soil, maximize biological activity and maintain long-term soil health.
- Use of biological control, crop rotations and other techniques to manage weeds, insects and diseases.
- An emphasis on biodiversity of the agricultural system and the surrounding environment.
- Using rotational grazing and mixed forage pastures for livestock operations and alternative health care for animal wellbeing.
- Reduction of external and off-farm inputs and elimination of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and other materials, such as hormones and antibiotics.
- A focus on renewable resources, soil and water conservation, and management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological balance.