The aim of organic agriculture is not only producing food of high nutritional quality, but in sufficient quantity. These rules could be even more restrictive, but agriculture is not intended to produce luxury items, but to feed as many people as possible.
It is essential for maintaining soil fertility that is ready for soluble chemicals, because they inhibit the activity of soil microorganisms. Instead the correct fertilizer based on organic matter provides the medium in which they are developed. Soil microorganisms are essential for the release of the nutrients the plant needs, whether or decomposing of organic matter which they are soluble in mineral form. Fertility and soil biological activity must be maintained or increased, primarily through the following practices:
The cultivation of legumes, green manures or deep rooting plants: according to an appropriate multi-year rotation program. Crop rotations in organic agriculture are essential for maintaining soil fertility over time. It seeks to switch crops in different families, superficial root crops and crops with deep roots, and crops that take advantage of the fruit or flower crops that takes advantage of the stem and with crops that takes root. In this way crops are alternated with additional nutritional requirements.
Likewise, within the rotation, green manures are done, or crops that do not throw seed leaves, but will reap and buried before. Traditionally used as green manure plants in the legume family, for their ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere of the crucifer, so deep rooted that it can mobilize nutrients from deep soil layers (cabbage, radishes), and grass, in the amount of mass-producing plant (rye, barley, maize, sorghum, Sudan grass, etc).
Although not belonging to these families are also often used sunflower or buckwheat. We hould not bury the plant in fresh dough, not too deep, because it is decomposed in the presence of air. Rather, we leave it to dry on the surface and then incorporated with a work surface. Mowing the weeds and leaving on the ground around the plants as a mulching, and then make it into the work, is another practice that contributes to soil fertility.
Incorporating manure from organic livestock production: without exceeding the 170 kg nitrogen per hectare of utilized agricultural area in years and in principle the ideal is to use organic manure from organic livestock, if possible fed on the same farm as it occurs, whether on pasture, fodder or crop residues. As we will see, if you do not have available to organic livestock manure can be used with conventional livestock manure certain conditions. The amount of manure or other materials that can be used is limited, to avoid nitrate contamination in groundwater, or excessive levels of nitrates in crops, especially leafy. There are generally no problems of excess manure in the Canaries, but it is a serious problem in Central Europe, where there is a surplus of livestock and water-logged soil is cold and much of the year, and therefore the organic matter accumulates and is mineralized with no fast enough, and leafy vegetables accumulate nitrates for lack of light and heat.
The incorporation of any other organic material, composted or not: from holdings producing abide by the rules of OA. Manure is not the only source of organic matter. Can be used as organic fertilizer plant, possibly from the same farm. In hot and humid climates the plant surface decompose quickly, but it is often necessary to make compost with them to expedite the process. As we shall see, can also be done under certain constraints, compost-based organic remains that are not. Composting is a practice that accelerates the process of formation of humus, which occurs naturally in all soils, but slowly. In cold climates the humification in soils is very slow, and therefore organic agriculture methods that come from these countries are based on composting. To make compost should be mixed materials having abundance of nitrogen and / or carbohydrate (manure, slurry, residual pulses), subjects that have an abundance of carbon (sawdust, scrap hill, remains of pruning, Pinocchio, straw, plant dry) materials that have an abundance of carbohydrates (green vegetables, grass) and water, forming a stack of 1.5 meters in height. Another element is the oxygen that is produced not compacting the pile of materials and giving back frequently (back to the battery). There are other techniques to ferment the organic material by anaerobic ways (without oxygen, and therefore no need to turn) based on the incorporation at the time of forming the stack of material, certain microorganisms or certain activators otherwise.
Treatment of soil or compost activation: appropriate preparations with a basis of non-GMO microorganisms or preparations and Certain methods of biodynamic agriculture is based on the use of compost that has been activated by seeding with microorganisms or through some suitable preparations had no chemical effect but energetic. There are also preparations of these microorganisms or energy directly to the ground. If these techniques are not enough from organic livestock, allow the incorporation of organic or mineral fertilizers, mentioned in Annex II-A of the regulation 2092/91. Some materials, such as conventional cattle manure, compost and household waste composted vegetable materials have among their conditions "need recognized by the supervisory authority." You must ask the CRAE Canary, through the corresponding application form, authorization for use.
It employs common materials that can be produced by the farmer or commercial products. In this case the product must be registered with the Fertilizer Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and clear composition. Moreover, to ensure the provenance of the raw materials that are produced must be certified for use in organic agriculture. The aims of organic agriculture, as defined by IFOAM manual are: "to promote and enhance biological cycles within the farming system, involving micro-organisms, flora and fauna, soil, plants and animals, and using as far as possible renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems." Therefore, the farmer should be as self sufficient as possible, trying to produce their own fertilizers rather than having to rely on the acquisition of commercial products, in fact many of the organic farmers do not use many products in the lists below, although the legislation allows. The extensive list of materials that can be used, developed taking into account not only the test of the product of natural origin, but also be insoluble in the soil, is as follows:
- Manure: Manure dried and dehydrated from chicken
- Composted animal excrements: solids, including chicken manure and compost
- Liquid animal excrements (manure, urine, etc.): The law allows the slurry manure and conventional livestock only if it comes from a ranching. Prohibited from intensive farming, i.e., those in permanent accommodation.
- Composted or fermented household waste: legislation allows the compost derived from household remains only if they come from a separate collection. The amount of heavy metals that are allowed is severely limited. Compost is not of collection is unacceptable content of heavy metals
- Clays (perlite, vermiculite, etc.).
- Mulch from crop of mushrooms
- Earthworm droppings (worm) and insects
- Guano: This means the product of seabird droppings collected on the Pacific coast
- Mixtures of vegetable matter: is composted or fermented permitted only fulvic and humic acids derived from fermentation.
- Products or animal materials such as blood meal, fish, bones or feathers. Hydrolysates or amino acids are not allowed.
- Consumer-products and organic fertilizer for vegetable like oilseed cake meal, cocoa husks, malt roots, and so on.
- Algae and seaweed products: seaweed extracts are widely used in organic agriculture because they are a natural source of calcium suitable for correcting the excess water with salinity
- Sawdust and wood
- Mulch Bark
- Ash wood for these three areas is required from wood it has not been treated
- Extracts from vinasse: There are two types: grape marc and debris from the extraction of sugar beet
Of the products of mineral origin are allowed in the rough rocks which have not undergone chemical attacks (acids) to increase its solubility. Some subjects, despite being natural or rocks in the rough as urea nitrate, are also not allowed to be highly soluble in the soil, just like nitrate or urea synthesis chemistry.
- Soft ground rock phosphate
- aluminum phosphate
- crude potassium salt (kainite, sylvite, etc.).
- Potassium sulphate
- magnesium salt
- Calcium carbonate of natural origin
- Calcium carbonate and magnesium source natural (for example. tion of magnesium, magnesium limestone, crushed rock, etc.).
- Magnesium sulfate (eg kieserite)
- calcium chloride solution
- Calcium sulphate (gypsum)
- Industrial lime from sugar production
- elemental sulfur
- Trace Elements Iron, Copper, Molybdenum, Manganese, Zinc, Boron, as salts or as chelates. Calcium and magnesium are not considered as trace elements, and are not allowed in this way.
- Sodium chloride
- rock powder
Source: Regulatory Board for Organic Agriculture Canary