It is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic farming combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.

As a component of organic agriculture, organic vegetable farming promotes and enhances natural diversity and biological cycles on the farmrather than relying on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic farming is based on making the farm self-sufficient and sustainable. Organic movement began in the 1930s and 1940s as a reaction to agriculture's growing reliance on synthetic fertilizers.Sir Albert Howard, “An Agriculture Testament” (1943) is widely considered to be the “father of organic farming”. Basic principles of organic farming are:

  • It should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet.
  • It should be based on living ecology system and cycles, work with them, emulate them and sustain them.
  • It should build on relationship that ensures fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
  • It should be equipped in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well being of current and future generation and environment.

Why organic vegetable cultivation?

Because it is Healthy, good for Sustainable agriculture development, Maintenance of soil biological activity, Reducing residual effect of chemical, fertilizers and pesticide and Improvement of food quality which Care human life, wildlife and environment. 

Objectives of Organic Farming in Vegetable crops

  1. To produce food of high nutritional quality in sufficient quantity.
  2. To use renewable resources in locally organized production systems.
  3. To maintain and increase the long term fertility of soil and biodiversity.
  4. To avoid all forms of pollution that may results from Agricultural techniques.
  5. To work with a close system with regard to organic matter and nutrient elements.
  6. To encourage biological cycles within farming systems by involving the use of micro-organisms, soil flora & fauna, plants and animals.

Components of Organic Farming

Green manure:

Green, undecomposed plant material when used as manure is called green manure. Green manure crops usually belong to leguminous family. On an average 1 tonne of well grown green manure is equivalent to 2.8 to 3.0 tones of FYM or 4.5 to 4.7 kg of nitrogen which is equivalent to 10 kg of urea. eg Sunnhemp, Dhaincha, Greengram and Sesbenia rostrata.

Nutrient content of some green manure crops and green leaf manure

Plant

Scientific name

      Nutrient content (%)

Green manure crops

 

N

P2O5

K2O

Sunhemp

Crotalaria juncea

2.30

0.50

1.80

Dhaincha

Sesbania aculeata

3.50

0.60

1.20

Sesbania

Sesbania speciosa

2.71

0.53

2.21

Green leaf manure

 

Forest tree leaf

 -

1.20

0.60

0.40

Green weeds

 -

0.80

0.30

0.20

Pongamia leaf

Pongamia  glabra

3.31

0.44

2.39

Animal manures

Animal manures are an excellent source of organic matter and nutrients for the soil.

Manure type

N (%)

P2O5 (%)

K2O (%)

Ca (%)

Organic matter (%)

Water content (%)

Undried

Cattle

0.5

0.3

0.5

0.3

17

80

Sheep

0.9

0.5

0.8

0.2

30

65

Poultry

0.9

0.5

0.8

0.4

30

65

Horse

0.5

0.3

0.6

0.3

27

69

Swine

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.2

16

78

Dried

Cattle

2.0

1.5

2.2

2.9

70

8

Sheep

1.9

1.4

2.9

3.3

54

11

Poultry

4.5

2.7

1.4

2.9

59

9

Vermicompost:

Compost that is prepared with the help of earthworms is called vermicompost.Earthworms are either earthmovers or composters. The earthworms may be of local species or more vigorous exotic ones. The casts of the earthworm have several enzymes and are rich in plants nutrients, beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae.On an average, vermicompost contains 3% N, 1% P2O5 and 1.5% K2O. Presence of earthworms helps in aerating the soil.

Compost:

Composting is microbiological decomposition of organic residues, collected either from rural area or the urban area. Good quality of compost have no more then 30 % water as no farmer wants to carry excess water to the field. Urban Compost contains 1% N, 0.5% P2O5 and 1% K2O while Rural Compost contains 0.5% N, 0.5% P2O5 and 1% K2O.

Mulching:

Mulch is any material, usually organic, which is placed on the soil surface around the plants. Organic materials most commonly used for mulching are leaves, grass clippings, pine straw, sawdust, and wood shavings. Synthetic materials, mostly plastic sheet, have been used in recent years.  Mulching help in Conserving soil moisture and nutrients, Reduce soil erosion, improve the soil texture, increase the quality of the produce, reduces weed growth, provides barrier between fruit and soil, thus reducing soil rot on fruit and moderates the soil temperature.

Farm Yard Manure (FYM):

Farm yard manure is mostly readily available to the farmers. It is a decomposed mixture of Cattle dung and urine with straw and litter used as bedding material and residues from the fodder fed to the cattle. Well rotten farm yard manure contains 0.5% N, 0.25% P2O5 and 0.5% K2O. 

Nutrient content of selected organic fertilizers

Manure type

N (%)

P2O5 (%)

K2O (%)

Other nutrients

Rock phosphate

0

25

0

25 % Ca

Green sand

0

0

9

 

Alfalfa pallets

3

0.5

3

 

Bone meal

2

15

0

20% Ca

Fish emulsion

4

2

2

1% Ca

Wood ashes

0

2

5

20% Ca

Soybean meal

7

2

2

 

Gypsum

0

0

0

22% Ca, 16% S

Suggested varieties of vegetable crops tolerance/resistance to disease & pests

Crop

Pest/Disease

Varieties

Brinjal

 

 

 

Bacterial wilt

BWR12, Arka Nidhi, Annamalai

Phomopsis rot

Pusa Bhairav

Shoot and fruit borer

Punjab Barsati, Punjab Neelam, Pusa Purple Round

Aphids, jassids, thrips, white fly

PBR-91, GB-1, GB-6

Chilli

 

 

 

Leaf curl virus

PusaJwala, Pusa Sadabhar

LCV, TMV, CMV

Punjab lal

Mosaic, wilt, dieback

Punjab Sukh

Virus complex

LCA 235

Cabbage

 

Black rot

Pusa Mukta

Aphid

Red Drum Head, Sure Head, Express Mail

Cauliflower

 

Black rot

Pusa Subhra

Stem borer

Early Patna, EMS-3, KW-5, KW-8

Cowpea

Bacterial blight

Pusa Komal

French bean

Common mosaic virus and rust

Pusa Anupama

Musk melon

Downy mildew

Punjab Rasila

Okra

 

YVMV

Varsha Uphar, Arka Anamika

Jassids

Punjab Padmini

Onion

Thrips

Arka Niketan, Pusa Ratnar  PBR-2, PBR-4, PBR-5, PBR-6

Pea

Powdery mildew

JP-3, JP-4, NDVP-4

Pumpkin

Fruit fly

Arka suryamukhi

Tomato

 

 

Bacterial

BT1,  BT10, Arka Alok, Arka Vardhan

Late blight

TRB 1, TRB 2

Leaf curl virus

H-24, H-36, H-88

Water melon

Powdery mildew

Arka Manik

Organic Weed Management

Preventive method:

  • Avoid using crop seeds that are infested with weed seeds, for sowing
  •  Avoid adding weeds to the manure pits
  • Clean the farm machinery thoroughly before moving one to another field
  • Keep irrigation channels, fence-lines and un-cropped area clean
  • Seed certification
  • Weed laws and quarantine laws 

Eradication:

It is the complete elimination of all live plant parts and seeds of a weed infestation from an area.Destroy weeds before they produce any propagulesanddegenerating the buried dormant viable seed by fumigation, flooding, heating etc.

Physical/ mechanical method

  • Hand Weeding
  • Tillage
  • Hoeing
  • Mowing
  • Flooding
  • Burning
  • Stale seed bed
  • Mulching
  • Soil solarization

Biological method:

First attempt to control weed by insect is 1902 Lantana camara a prickly shrub in Hawaiian Islands.eg.

  •  Lantana camara – Crocidosema lantana (Insect)
  •  Opuntia dillenii – Dactylopius tomentosus (Insect)
  •  Parthenium – Zygogramma bicolorata (Insect)
  •  Eichhornia crassipes – Rhizoctonia blight (Fungi)

Insect Pest Management

Habitat for beneficial insects: Plant the borders of the field in native flowers or plants such as clover or alfalfa to attract beneficial insects such as lady beetles

Trap crops: Plant a less desirable plant close to the field to attract insects away from the important vegetables in the garden. Destroy the trap crop after it becomes infested with insects. Planting of marigold as trap crop. For cutworms, place a cardboard of tinfoil collar around plant stems at ground level.

Row covers: Row covers protect vegetables from pest invasion. Row covers are particularly effective in reducing damage by flea beetles and cucumber beetles. Applying row cover to parthenocarpic cucumbers or other vegetables that do not need pollination to fruit can greatly reduce insect damage.

Mulches: Blue color mulches for ThirpsandYellow color mulches for White flies

Organic insecticides: Several organic insecticides are available for use by vegetable gardeners, including Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), pyrethrums, rotenone, insecticidal soaps, diatomaceous earth, neem and horticultural oils.

Effective bioagents

Predators

Targeting insects/pest

ladybird beetle

aphid and mealy bugs

Chrysoperla

aphids and other soft bodies insects

Carabids and staphylinid beetles

vast range of insect hosts

Parasitoids

Trichogramma sp.

Lepidopteran pests

Apentels sp.

Lepidopteran larve

Trichospilus pupivora

Pupa of caterpillar pest

Pathogen

Bacillus thuringiensis

Diamond Back Moth

Beauveria bassiana

Various crop pest

Nomouraea rileyi

Helicoverpa armigera

Nematodes

Steinernemaglaseri

Soil insects

Natural or Botanical pesticides

Botanical pesticide

Targeted pest

Allicin

Act as antibacterial and antifungal bio-pesticide

Nicotine sulfate

Aphids, thrips, spider, mites and other sucking pest

Sabadilla

Caterpillers, leaf hoppers, thrips, sink bug and squash bugs

Nemacide

Potato beetle, grass hopper, moth

Pyrethrum

Aphids and actoperasites of live stocks

Organic Disease Management:

The key to successful organic disease management is prevention. while disease free transplants, site selection, crop rotation, plant spacing & training, Rouging of infected plants, sanitation and protected crop cultivation are major strategies can be used to prevent diseases on vegetable crops.

Crop rotation: Crop rotation with sugar beat and fodder maize after every 5-6 years intervals helps in wilt management on pea. The crop rotation of Pigeon pea – fallow – capsicum, Pigeon pea – capsicum was found effective in minimizing Fusarium wilt of pigeon pea. Long rotation with graminaceous crops between potatoes are a major recommendation against bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum

Management of Date of Sowing: Late planting of potato, reduces the late blight severity.Okra yellow vein mosaic virus is not common in crops planted during February-March because the vector population is very low or absent.

Intercropping: Pea intercropping with mustard, linseed, wheat, chickpea and barley delays the appearance and buildup of powdery mildew.

Products approved for powdery mildew management in organic production 

Actinovate SP- 0.0371%  Streptomyces lydicus, Eco E-rase -  97.50% jojoba oil, MildewCure - 30% cottonseed oil,30% corn oil, 23% garlic extract, JMS Stylet-oil - 97.1% paraffinic oil, Kaligreen - 82% potassium bicarbonate, MilStop - 85% potassium bicarbonate, Organocide - 5% sesame oil, Regalia - 5% extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis (giant knotweed), SeaCide - 3% cottonseed oil, Serenade - 14.6% Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713, Sonata - 1.38% Bacillus pumilus strain QST 2808, Sporatec and Sporan - 18% rosemary oil, 10% clove oil, and 10% thyme oil, and Trilogy - 70% extract of neem oil.

Biocontrol agents for the management of diseases of vegetable crops in India

Crop

Disease/Pathogen

Biological Control Agents

Brinjal

Damping off (Phytophthora or Pythium sp. or Fusarium)

Collar rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum)

T. harzianum, T. viride, T. koningi, B. subtilis, T. virens

Cabbage

Damping off (Rhizoctonia solani)

T. harzianum, T. viride, T. koningi

Potato

Black-scurf (R. solani)

Bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum)

T. harzianum, T. viride, B. subtilis, B. cereus

Tomato

Damping off and wilt (Pythium indicum, F. oxysporum f. sp.), Root knot

T. harzianum, T. viride

Chilli

Root rot, Fruit rot and Die back

T. harzianum, T. viride, T. koningi, B. subtilis, T. virens, T. hamatum

Pea

Seed & Collar rot (Pythium, Rhizoctonia), White rot (Sclerotinia)

T. harzianum, T. viride, T. hamatum, T. virens

Radish

Seedling-rot, Daming-off, Seed rot (Pythium sp., R. solani)

T. harzianum, T. hamatum

Fenugreek

Root rot (R.solani)

T. spp.

French bean

Root rot (R.solani)

T. harzianum, T. viride, T. hamatum,

Cauliflower

Damping off (R.solani, Pythium aphanidermatum)

T. Harzianum

Bean

Seedling rot (Pythium, Sclerotinia, Rhizoctonia)

T. Koningi

Constraints in doption of organic vegetable Farming in India:

  • Highly knowledge intensive farming.
  • The organic produce may not find an early market.
  • Biological pest control is very knowledge intensive.
  • Reduction of yield in initial few years of conversion.
  • Organic inputs may be difficult to generate on the farm.
  • Cattle dung, urine and farm wastes are to handle manually.
  • Number of cattle households decreased gradually day by day.
  • Collection and processing handling from wastes are most complicated.
  • Lacking of adequate research & development backup as well as training.
  • Shifting to pure organic farming is a very time consuming and laborious   methods.
  • There is no organized extension machinery to disseminate the proven technologies.
  • Lack of farmer’s adoption because of chances of yield loss in initial years of adoption.
  • The consumer needs protection, so the Certification and Inspection programme have to be Nationwide.
  • There is problem in availability, transportation, and application of biological materials to meet the nutrient demand of the crops.
  • Green manuring has also become uncommon as the farmers are more interested to grow as many crops of economic importance as possible.
  • Green manure crops in the crop sequences. Green leaf manuring also has become limit due to over exploitation of shrubs and trees.
  • Lack of package of practices involving Organic-farming practices along with cost benefit ratio of different crops.
  • Exporting of organic produce calls for adhering to predetermined organic standards, which should be confirmed to International Market demand also.

Future prospects:

Around 600-700 MT of agricultural waste is available in the country every year but most of it not use properly.Investigation and Quality Assessment of available bio-organic resources having potential for organic farming.Development of bio-control measures for various Plant Diseases and Pests.Documentation of existing Indigenous Technology Knowledge (ITK) on organic farming.Eastern States where average fertilizer consumption is very normal so here bright future for organic gardening.Focused attention on area having minimal use of chemical.


Authors:

Lalu Prasad Yadav, Aniket c., Praveen sharma, & Dr. Avtar Singh*

Ph.D Scholar, *Senior scientist

Department of vegetable science, College of Agriculture

CCS, Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (Haryana) 125004

Email: yadavlaluprasad682gmail.com

 

 

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