However, there are essential differences between the two. And you did a good job of that. Food production around the world must rise by half in the next 30 years to sustain a global population expected to top 10 billion by 2050. Image courtesy of Cascadian Farm via a Creative Commons license. Organic farming uses less pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides than non-organic practices, and organic-farming advocates also claim it saves water and controls erosion. In other words, the ecological farming system is intended to provide consumers with fresh, tasty and authentic food, while respecting the natural life cycle of the sys… The planting of vegetation around crops that increases the welfare of bees, woodland birds, et cetera. Your email address will not be published. It’s not just small, alternative farms that are thinking ecologically. Restored land can store atmospheric carbon dioxide, control erosion, detoxify soil, purify water, provide habitat for insect predators that keep pests at bay, and much more. For instance, an ecological farmer will use compost originating from waste. Farming is a part of agriculture. Renting land- Most land owners don't care about the "whole farm approach" they want their rent check. The effect of organic farming on soil biodiversity is likely highly dependent on the type and number of factors that these systems differ in. For instance, even though you are producing wheat and cattle conventionally, it sounds like you are trying to manage your farm as a whole. Ecological farming resembles organic farming but takes things further by taking into account the entire ecosystem, acting only in accordance with the natural life cycle. To find produce, dairy, or meat from this type of ecoagricultural farm, your best bet is to start talking to local farmers – visit your farmers market or join a CSA. Instead of managing their farmland as ecosystems, large-scale organic farms focus solely on producing as much food as possible. Therefore, both of them have similarities as well as differences. When it comes to crop yields, organic farms are about 20% less efficient than conventional farms. What is ecological farming? Learn more about organic farming. Sustainable farming has also become a buzzword in the culinary industry as more chefs seek local ingredients. Organic farming also helps conserve water. For ease, we have used the traditional definitions of ‘industrialised’ and ‘organic’ farming when explaining the differences, however, an alternative approach to industrial farming which is gaining support is ‘agro-ecological farming‘ This is a way of growing food that builds, rather than destroys ecosystems. In general, organic farming requires more manual and physical control of weeds than other cultivation techniques. Although agroecological farming shares some of the same principals as organic farming, agroecology is not associated with a particular type of agriculture. The former also imposes requirements about energy use, packaging, social aspects and fair trade. What I was trying to convey here is that agroecology does not have to be about pitting the agroecological camp and conventional camp against each other. The word ‘organic’ is protected and can only be used to describe products that carry the European organic trademark, the EKO-trademark or the Ecocert label. Upload a photo / attachment to this comment (PNG, JPG, GIF - 6 MB Max File Size): (Allowed file types: jpg, gif, png, maximum file size: 6MB. Conventional, industrial farms can practice agroecology as well. Agriculture comparatively covers a vast subject area than farming. Farmland, after all, is an ecosystem – a complex network in which every living and nonliving component of the system affects every other component, either directly or indirectly. By managing your farm as a whole instead of concentrating soley on wheat and cattle output, you are practicing agroecology. Cotton, an in-demand crop, requires a lot of irrigation and excess water when grown conventionally. There are plenty of small, alternative farms striving to create sustainable food production systems. But if you go beyond the grocery store, you can find food from growers that are trying to manage their farmland as ecosystems. 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The only way to achieve this goal is to go beyond thinking of farms as linear systems in which inputs (acreage, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.) If you want to see real transition, you need to acknowledge two factors.First is the role that profit and capitalism play in farmer's decision. However, organic cotton farming needs less irrigation and thus conserves water. Organic farmers, in general, tend to spend time amending soil correctly and using mulch - both of which help conserve water. Well he's gonna hear about it from his coffee shop peers. Many of our products nowadays carry the Ecocert label. Organic farming is expensive due to the requirement of bulk manures, while natural farming is an extremely low-cost farming method, completely molding with local biodiversity. PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIC FARMING Principle of health. The recycling of any waste … It’s not necessarily organic, and it’s not necessarily conventional. Pigs that are allowed to express their inherent piggyness – namely, rooting and wallowing – can be used to till a field or turn manure into compost. The Euro-leaf logo indicates that a product is legally organic because it is in full conformity with the conditions and regulations for organic farming established by the European Union. Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. According to the Organic Trade Association, the sale of organic food in the U.S. increased by 7.7 percent between 1990 and 2010.  Would you like to learn more about organic cultivation? Given how much land use is agricultural and how environmentally destructive agriculture can be, agroecology seems like the best solution to ensure the sustainability of food production and crucial ecosystem services. Organic agriculture refers to the farming of crops or livestock without the use of synthetic inputs, including synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, plant growth regulators, nanomaterials and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). This is called ‘ ecological farming ’ in some northern European countries. The reason is that, in order to secure a viable income, organic farmers need larger holdings 3 Measured in annual work units (AWU). Agroecology is the “ecology of the food system”  and a farming approach that is inspired by natural ecosystems. No! Subsidies- Yeah, subsidies promote the limits of commodity agriculture we all know that, but what drives me crazy is the desire to subsidize other crops, or organic methods. Let's say a conventional corn farmer decides to put a bit of his corn into pastured poultry. Most of the organic food you see in the grocery store is from industrial operations that do not think ecologically. Your email address will not be published. BAC focuses on the production of plant nutrition, stimulators, organic fertiliser and plant boosters that are suitable for organic cultivation. Agroecology views agriculture from a ecological perspective. In addition to clearing out old vegetation, chickens eat insect pests, aerate the soil as they scratch for food, and leave each patch with an ample dose of fertilizer. Conventional Farming Organic agriculture is a production system that regenerates the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. Supermarkets are the front lines in a war you may not even know is being waged. In a way, agroecology represents a different way of farming. Ecological farming is not the same as organic farming, however there are many similarities and they are not necessarily incompatible. Subsidies always lead to unintended consequences, and promote uniformity and less innovation. This ecosystem view of agriculture considers all of the services provided by farmland to humans â soil health, water quality, air quality, pest control, disease control, biodiversity, and so forth â in addition to food production. The ecological benefits of organic farming are counterbalanced by higher food costs and generally lower yields. Generally, the conventional and organic farming system contrasts differed in more than one of the following factors: fertilization practices, tilling intensity, herbicide use, and crop species or genotype. Although agroecological farming shares some of the same principals as organic farming, agroecology is not associated with a particular type of agriculture. The agroecological/organic community shows promise, but needs to rethink their attitude towards conventional agriculture. Author: rachelshulman // Last updated on October 1, 2020 6 Comments. The recycling of any waste produced (organic waste is placed on the compost pile). More home cooks and culinary arts students are realizing the benefits of eating organic. BG Products BVSpectrumlaan 392665 NM BleiswijkThe Netherlands+31 (0)182 - 687 firstname.lastname@example.org, Terms and Conditions | Control Union certificate. Compared with 2010, an extra 7,400tn calories will be needed a year in 2050. What is the difference between organic and ecological farming? By allowing animals to perform their natural behaviors, farmers can use livestock to enhance the farmland ecosystem. Not necessarily. If you aren't reading the glossy farm mags, and pulling the latest shiny planter, you aren't a real farmer. I doubt I have to tell you how hard it is to get locally raised food into a grocery store. It's up to the farmer to bring in enough income to meet the rent, or lose the farm. Organic farming, agricultural system that uses ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers derived largely from animal wastes and nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Conventional and organic farms alike can also practice agroecology by setting aside a portion of their farmland for conservation. I think that taking an agroecological perspective can allow organic and conventional farmers alike to farm more sustainably. Conventional Farms Beat Organic Farms. Organic vs. But if you buy the birds, and tell him you'll come back next year, you've given him ammo, he can tell the coffee shop know it alls that he just turned his corn into $4 a pound chicken, and laugh all the way to the bank. For instance, chickens can be moved from field to field to clean up vegetable patches before a new crop is planted. Among the examples of measures taken by ecological farmers are: The minimisation of waste production. Organic agriculture must contribute to the health and well-being of soil, plants, animals, humans and the earth. The latter emphasises environmental friendliness and animal welfare. Conventional ag folk have been bred for decades to believe that big acreages, big tractors, big inputs and low commodity prices somehow represent 'real' agriculture. As populations have grown, farming practices have become more intensified to maximise crop yields and ensure we can feed the ever growing population. You're diversifying your crops, raising pastured livestock, and producing shrimp in a sustainable manner (which is more than can be said for most wild shrimp fisheries). ‘Organic farming’ and ‘ecological cultivation’ seemingly mean the same. Rotating different species of farm animals across pastures can reduce disease-risk in livestock while keeping pastures rich in nutrients and diverse in forage. Farms that focus on restoring and maintaining soil health are less dependent on chemical inputs, because plants grown in healthy soil can better access their natural defenses to ward off pests and disease. The principle of ecological balance. That way, we can use less land for farming and conserve the rest for biodiversity. One of Becky’s recent posts raised the question of what separates agroecological farming from organic farming. However, with ecological farming methods such as permaculture or biointensive farming, good and effective design dramatically reduces the labor that is required over time. Therefore, discussion of the characteristic features of these two subject areas is important in comparison. Second, you have to recognize that transitions take time, and not only are the risks financial, but social as well. Ecological farming resembles organic farming but takes things further by taking into account the entire ecosystem, acting only in accordance with the natural life cycle. One AWU is the amount of agricultural work done per year by one person working full-time. Sure, big organic farms don’t use synthetic chemicals, but they do little to manage the ecosystem services provided by farmland. Organic farming they promote eathworm compost while according to Palekar Guruji (father of zero budget natural farming) heavy metals residues were found in in it which are carcinogenic in nature. Organic agriculture relies on a number of farming practices based on ecological cycles, and aims at minimizing the environmental impact of the food industry, preserving the long term sustainability of soil and reducing to a minimum the use of non renewable resources. Organic farming is defined as production of crop, animal, and other products without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, transgenic species, or antibiotics and growth-enhancing steroids, or other chemicals. The classic retort is that is the cost of having an environmentally friendly farm. Organic food sales in the U.S. doubled over the last decade, but organic farming hasn’t kept pace. That may change as farmers partner with brands. Whether we are talking about ecological farming, organic farming, regenerative agriculture or sustainable agriculture, this system of notions indicates the same thing – an alternative to traditional farming due to its inadequate functioning and the causes that have led to a decrease in plant resistance, animal health and soil quality and, implicitly, human health. I agree with you that we definitely have to stop thinking about food production in terms of Conventional vs Organic. One of Becky’s recent posts raised the question of what separates agroecological farming from organic farming. influence output (food yield), and start treating farmland as complex webs of ecological interactions. It combines local and scientific knowledge and applies ecological and social approaches to agricultural systems, focusing on the interactions between plants, animals, humans, and the environment. Among the examples of measures taken by ecological farmers are: Are you looking for products to use in organic farming? Agroecological farming strives to create stable food production systems that are resilient to environmental perturbations such as climate change and disease. agricultural worker on an organic farm tends 70 ha of land, whereas the equivalent figure for conventional farms is 50 ha. Restoring farmland to natural habitat increases the number of native plant and animal species on farms, and can also repair important ecosystem functions. Industrial Agriculture vs. Organic Farming: Better Living through Chemistry? Many of our products nowadays carry the Ecocert label. Farmers that think ecologically also tend to let their animals do a lot of the work for them. We must model organic farming on living ecological systems. Some use synthetic chemicals only as a last resort, instead relying on biological management strategies – such as beneficial insect predators, crop rotation, and monitoring of fields for pests – to increase yield. Understanding ecolabels is the best way to determine whether conventional produce is grown agroecologically. "Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. Organic farming is still expensive due to the requirement of bulk manures, and it has an ecological impact on surrounding environments; whereas, natural agriculture is an extremely low-cost farming method, completely molding with local biodiversity. Ecological farming includes all methods, including organic, which regenerate ecosystem services like: prevention of soil erosion , water infiltration and retention, carbon sequestration in the form of humus, and increased biodiversity. Conventional and organic farms alike can take an agroecological approach to managing farmland. Regulation- When I started raising a few laying hens my dad waxed poetically about how his folks had hens and every week they and other farmers would take their eggs into town, making a little money. Growing organically entails compliance with the following regulations: The EKO-trademark is more demanding than the European organic trademark. And when he informs the hippies, they're probably going to chide him for using GMO corn in that sustainable poultry, the horror! Some factors that pull farmers away from the agroecological approach. I may be conventional wheat and cattle, but I've got grapes, pastured poultry, pastured pigs, and aquaculture shrimp in the works, I'd like to drop the high input, low margin wheat, so give me a chance! For instance, an ecological farmer will use compost originating from waste. Well now you given him the could shoulder too, and stopped his transition before it began. This is probably gonna lead to monoculture and commodities. It might just be easier to raise GMO corn. We would love to share our knowledge with you and gladly advise which products are suitable for your crop and how to use them. Organic farmers rely on natural processes, biodiversity, and cycles adapted to local conditions rather than the use of synthetic inputs like chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Responsible use of energy and natural resources. Required fields are marked *. Intensive agriculture – even intensive organic agriculture – is generally a pretty environmentally destructive practice. These are the findings of a report published in December by the World Resources Instituteon the “food gap” betwe… Ecological farming is not the same as organic farming, however there are many similarities and they are not necessarily incompatible.Ecological farming includes all methods, including organic, which regenerate ecosystem services like: prevention of soil erosion, water infiltration and. They rely heavily on fossil fuels, erode soils, pollute water supplies, destroy native wildlife habitat, and so forth. He may convert to non GMO corn next year, maybe full organic inputs in five years. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. By Joshua Coates . For processed products it means that at least 95% of the agricultural ingredients are organic. Moreover, the methods of organic farming must fit the ecological balance and cycles. 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