Saturday, 7 July 2012

Plants nutrients management in organic agriculture

Climbing beans
An organic agriculture practitioner needs to manage the soil well in order to grow a healthy crop.This involves management of soil life, nutrients, and structure. Plants need nitrogen phosphorus and potassium for good growth. Plants also need micronutrients and symbiotic relationship with fungi and other organisms. To manage the fertility in organic agriculture the following techniques are allowed.
  1. Use of compost manure: Compost manure making involves use of organic residues which have been rotted by the action of bacteria and other organisms over a period of time. Benefits of using compost manure in agriculture includes:-
    • Improvement of the soil structure allowing aeration, good drainage and reduced erosion
    • Improvement of soil fertility by adding nutrients and making it easier for plants to take the up nutrients increasing agriculture productivity.
    • Improvement of the soil ability to hold water helping in water retention in the times of drought.
    • Reduction pests and diseases

  1. Crop rotation: This agriculture practice alternates building soil fertility level and growing crops which utilize the nutrients. In addition it prevents build up of pests and diseases by providing different plants hosts, helping a variety of natural predators to survive which controls the pests.
  2. Use of green manure: Legumes which fix nitrogen from the atmosphere through symbiotic relationship with rhizobial bacteria are dug into the ground before they flower.
  3. Intercropping: wider spacing between the organic crops may be required to avoid competition with the legume.
  4. Crop residues can be ploughed back into the ground. Different organic plants yield different amounts of nitrogen.
  5. use of well decomposed animal manure applied in moderation at the right time is allowed
  6. Use of certain allowed processed fertilizers to provide nutrients such as seed meal and rock phosphate. Greensand which is a naturally occurring form of potash provides potassium to plants, can also be used in organic agriculture system for soil fertility improvement.For more information read