Crop Diversity: A Distinctive Characteristic of an Organic Farming Method

By: organicfarmingblog , 1:00 PM GMT on April 15, 2013

Crop Diversity2 Crop Diversity: A Distinctive Characteristic of an Organic Farming Method
Presently, organic farming has been a trending method among individuals today in upholding and preserving the natural resources and the environment. It contains different methods that are performed based on the natural processes that happened in the surroundings. One of these methods is crop diversity. Crop diversity is the use of different variety of plants used in agriculture. This method of organic gardening utilizes food crops that may differ in branching pattern, seed size, height, or fruiting season. Promoting a variation in planting different crops on the same land may promote good harvest in the future using only the normal process of biodiversity.


How Crop Diversity Works

Crop diversity as a method of organic farming may result from a diverse growing conditions. For instance, a crop that grows in a soil with poor nutrients is likely to be shorter than the crop thriving in a fertile soil. On the other hand, the diversity of each harvested plant in the same area may provide genetic differences, which can be passed on from one generation to another. Eventually, combining genes in different traits in combination, organic farmers will certainly develop new crop varieties in order to meet certain conditions. For instance, planting new varieties of crops in a same land may promote higher yielding and longer shelf life than of the same crop species that are propagated in the same area for a long time.

The use of crop diversity as an effective method of organic farming was adapted to the original agricultural methods of crop rotation, wherein one crop specie is being planted on a certain piece of land in a year, and followed by another crop on the same land. However, farmers and scientists should continue to provide resources on genetic diversity in order to maintain productive harvests and prevent food crops from diseases and pests.


The Benefits of Crop Diversity

One of the most critical environmental concerns today is the loss of biodiversity. According to estimates done by a number of legitimate studies worldwide, almost half of all species worldwide are facing extinction, and most of these species are relatives of food crop like wheat, rice, maize, beans, peas, potato, eggplant, tomato, pepper, and among others.

With wise use of organic gardening methods like crop diversity, these species will be protected, as well as their thriving environment. The propagation of varieties of crops in a certain land may promote resistance to diseases and pests, thus lowering the need of pesticide application. It is known that pesticides contain harmful chemicals that can provide hazard to the environment. Lastly, crop diversity as an organic farming method prevents deforestation and clearing out of fragile lands in creating more lands for production of food supply.

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