Natural Farming

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Natural Farming

Natural Farming

As the green revolution in India brought new hybrid seeds and the need for more production increased, the use of chemical fertilizers increased, but excessive use of chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides killed millions of insects in the soil, birds and human diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease. started happening 50 years ago, diseases like diabetes, heart attack, cancer were specially discussed?

Very few patients were seen. Today these diseases are increasing so rapidly that man is standing on the brink of destruction e.g. The land which yielded 30 quintals of wheat per acre 20 years ago, now 5 to 10 quintals of wheat per acre is available at such a low level, there are millions of acres of land where grass does not grow, then what about human health? What is the reason?

Also Read….Types of Mulching, advantages and Weed Control

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides have adverse effects on the soil like…

  1. Decreased number of beneficial microbes.
  2. Quality of crop production deteriorated.
  3. Due to the excessive use of chemical fertilizers, elements seeped into the soil and polluted the ground water.
  4. Soil health is affected.
  5. New problems of disease and pests arose.

Natural Farming

As the availability of nutrients required for crop production is disturbed, the need for more chemical fertilizers from outside increases the cost of agriculture.

Thus, the physical, chemical and biological conditions of the soil deteriorate, leading to soil compaction and a negative effect on the number and activity of micro-organisms. Due to which the moisture absorption capacity of the soil as well as the ability to supply nutrients decreased, the productivity of the soil decreased over time.

Farmers started borrowing or taking money on interest to save their families or feed themselves. However, they could not increase the farm production and farmers were forced to commit suicide due to non-payment of interest. This farming system became expensive, environmentally and economically unsustainable. Thus, the need for economic and environmentally friendly farming methods arose which was a boon to the farmer and came to be known as ‘Natural Farming’.

Also Read….Source of Information for Women Farmers

What is Natural Farming 

  • This cultivation depends on green or dry organic waste growing in the field. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used. Only indigenous cow dung and urine are used as stimulants which improve soil productivity and crop production by increasing earthworm population and microbial growth.
  • This farming produces higher yields than conventional (chemical) farming and the fruits and vegetables are nutritious and of better quality.
  • Adopting this cultivation is very easy. This agriculture has been found to be effective in reducing the problems of greenhouse gases and climate change.

What is Zero Budget Farming:

  • All over India, natural farming, organic farming, cow-based farming, sage farming (Rishikheti), Vedic farming, etc., all these farming methods are parts of Vriksha Ayurveda (Ayurvedic science of plants).
  • In organic farming (in soil) nutrients, soil improvers, growth enhancers and pest controllers etc. are all maintained without purchasing any material or resource from outside but are made using natural materials in the field so this farming method is also called “zero budget farming”

On what principles does natural farming work?

The aim of this agriculture is to improve soil productivity and growth by restoring natural conditions. The main four principles of natural farming are:

(1) Tillage : In natural agriculture the soil tills itself by the penetration of plant roots into the soil and by the activity of numerous micro-organisms, micro-organisms and the movement of earthworms.

Natural Farming

Natural Farming

(2) Chemical free :

  • In nature various living animals, insects, birds can move from one place to another and get their food (necessary nutrients) whereas trees themselves cannot migrate.
  • In natural farming, plants can grow without external chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In nature trees are arranged to prepare food by themselves. Small grass in forest, wild Plants and flowers are found. Its leaves, fruits, flowers fall on the ground and rot in the nutrients
  • The transformed tree uses nutrients through its roots as fertilizer to grow itself, so no external fertilizer is required.

Also Read….DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

(3) Mulching :

  • Mulching has a role as part of balancing soil fertility and biological community viz. or cut or pick weeds and use green mulch around the plants on the ground or use paddy, wheat straw straw or dry leaves as mulch.
  • It prevents soil erosion, increases micro-organisms by retaining moisture, and decomposes sewage into natural fertilizers and improves soil aeration and suppresses harmful insects.

Natural Farming

(4) Intercropping/Intercropping :

  • Intercropping is an essential part of natural farming. In natural farming proper intercropping or intercropping is done between the main crops.
  • Through intercropping/mixed crops, sun rays do not reach the soil directly so that the soil micro cover and moisture are maintained so that the sun rays do not affect the microorganisms.
  • In natural farming, leguminous crops act as mulch for the main crops taken as intercrops, moreover Rhizabium bacteria present in the root nodules in the roots of the leguminous crops provide nitrogen to the plant and also establish in the soil, thereby benefiting the main crop as well thus, crop production and soil productivity improves.
  • Imbalance of tillage, fertilizer, disease and pest cause major disaster in agriculture. Leaving nature alone (according to the above principles) it keeps it in perfect balance. Harmful pests and diseases are always present in nature but beneficial microbes and fungi in soil are an important integral part of nature to be respected and protected rather than eliminated.

Natural Farming

Also Read….Terrace gardening and Hydroponics

Contribution of earthworms to natural farming

  • Earthworms are known as a farmer’s best friend. Earthworms gently till and fertilize the soil during their lifetime.
  • Earthworms promote bacterial growth, increase soil structure, and accelerate the decomposition of organic matter.
  • Most earthworms benefit plant growth by reducing plant pathogens through their enzymes and hormones.
  • Natural compost made by earthworms contains 5 times more nitrogen, 7 times more phosphorus, 11 times more potassium, 2 times more calcium and 4 times more magnesium than soil and inorganic minerals and organic matter in plant-available form.
  • There are also large numbers of decomposing and nitrogen-fixing bacteria and beneficial bacteria and fungi that kill pathogenic bacteria and fungi.
  • A natural farm prepared by earthworms contains enzymes. They continue to decompose organic matter even after they have been dissolved.
  • The body of earthworm consists of 65% protein, 14% fat, 14% carbohydrates and 7% other matter.
  • There are about 1 million earthworms in one hectare.
  • When these earthworms die, they fix about 14% of their weight of nitrogen in the soil.

Natural Farming

Effective water use through organic farming:

  • Beneficial microbes, micro-organisms and symbiosis of roots and fungi (mycorrhizal fungi) in natural farming allow efficient absorption of water and nutrients by the roots of plants grown in natural farming.
  • Natural farming method reduces water consumption by 30%. From this Excess groundwater is recharged and erosion is reduced.

Contribution of soil borne insects (ants, termites etc.) :

  • In natural farming, insect populations are maintained.
  • Their activities reduce soil surface erosion by making holes in the agricultural land.
  • The dead remains of ants, termites etc. add organic matter to the soil and increase the water holding capacity of the soil.

Natural Farming

Natural Farming

Contribution of trees/trees around the farm:

  • In natural farming, it is recommended to plant different types of trees on farm beds. Which provides resting place for birds. Birds feed on about 50 enemy insects.
  • Thus their population remains under control.
  • The presence of trees in the wind reduces temperature and evaporation.

Also Read….How to Increase Pulse Production in India and World?

Natural Farming

Mulching:

  • Mulching is an integral part of organic farming. Suitable intercropping or dry leaves between main crops mulch is done by grass.
  • Intercrops completely cover the sun’s rays and some sunlight falls on the soil surface. This maintains the soil’s micro cover and moisture thereby reducing the need for water.
  • Mulching reduces weed growth and soil structure. Improves and reduces erosion.
  • Mulching eliminates the need for tillage and thus increases the water holding capacity of the soil.
  • Adequate mulching keeps the soil surface moist, water is not lost due to evaporation, and plants are not harmed by changing climate (climate change).
  • Insist on watering at the end of the vegetative growth part of the plant rather than watering the roots of the plant as the secondary roots are parallel to the vegetative part of the plant. Thus the roots will grow towards the water source.
  • In this way the growth and yield of the plant increases by taking the necessary nutrients as the root length increases. If this method is used in irrigation, there will be huge saving of water as compared to normal irrigation system.

Natural Farming

Production and quality of produce from Natural farming:

  • Naturally grown fruits or vegetables and Animal products are free from dangerous pesticides, nutritious, tasty, full of energy, quality, antioxidants, protein (amino acids), fats, vitamins and other essential elements are 300% more than chemical farming and are very beneficial for human health.

Natural Farming

Benefits of natural farming through climate change

  • Agricultural activities are responsible for about 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the soil carbon is in the form of soil organic carbon, which modern mechanochemical cultivation methods of soil organic carbon have increased atmospheric carbon, contributing to greenhouse gases, global warming and climate change.
  • We can reduce the problem of climate change if carbon (CO2) is fixed back into the soil, a process called carbon harvesting that can only be done through sustainable systems such as natural farming.
  • Natural compost made from crop residues, organic matter, can improve soil quality through earthworms and harvested carbon through microbes (mycorrhizal fungi), thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming through soil.
  • Earthworms feed on ‘fragile carbon’ which Carbon dioxide (CO2) is oxidized and released. are responsible for It helps to store carbon in the soil making it more ‘fixed carbon’.
  • Natural agriculture thus has a huge potential to harvest carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In the world, natural farming is a boon in making it cost effective, mitigating climate change and sustaining food security.

Natural Farming

How to do natural farming?

  • There is a huge amount of food reserves in the soil but the elements cannot be taken up by the roots due to two factors.
  • Soil contains elements but as they are in unavailable form the roots cannot take up the elements so soil microbes convert the elements into available form. So that the roots feed (available elements) these microbes in large quantities (in one gram of soil crores of microbes)  absorption so there is no need to apply any chemical fertilizers to the forest soil.
  • But our farm often needs top dressing because chemical farming kills the microbes. If there are no micro-organisms that provide nutrients in available form to the roots, how will the roots absorb the nutrients?
  • This means that by gradually reducing (25%, 50% and 75%) the external chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides) required for organic farming, we can increase the number of beneficial microbes in the soil by making natural fertilizers, pesticides at home.

Natural Farming

How to make natural fertilizers used in natural farming?

(1) Bijamrut:

  • For seed treatment of 100 kg of seeds (cereals, oilseeds, pulses, medicinal, horticultural crops and vegetable seedlings)-5 kg of fresh cow dung, 5 liters of cow urine, 50 grams of lime, 1 handful of paddy soil/ Embankment soil, water 20 liters, keep in drum or plastic bucket for 2 days and then seed treatment is done.
  • Dry them in the shade so that the seeds grow well and immunity increases.

Natural Farming

Natural Farming

(2) Jivamrit:

  • Fresh cow dung-10 kg, cow urine-10 litres, flour of any pulses-2 kg, desi jaggery-2 kg, paddy or pond soil-500 grams, mix all these in 200 liters of water and stir clockwise.
  • Shake this way twice a day for 5 to 7 days.
  • It can be used in every crop. Adding compost to the soil accelerates the formation of humus by rapidly increasing the number of microorganisms, which in turn accelerates root growth by converting the elements in the soil from non-available to available forms.

Application:  Spraying (morning or evening) on standing crops with 7 liters of water by drip irrigation and sprinkler method.

Rate: Apply 200-400 liters/acre at an interval of 15 days.

Note: Soil or plastic barrels filled with dead organisms should not be exposed to excessive sunlight, cold and rain water. Use it within 15 days after preparation.

Natural Farming

Natural Farming

(3) Solid  Jivamrit:

  • Cow or bull dung 100 kg (5 to 6 large bags), jaggery-2 kg, flour of any pulse-2 kg, cow urine- 5 to 6 liters, 1 handful of soil from the bottom of a banyan tree.
  • Mix all the above and dry the bed in the shade.
  • After drying, put it in a bag.

Application: Apply 200 kg per acre before final tillage. Apply in a ring around the seedling in seedling crops.

Natural Farming

(4) Panchagavya:

  • Fresh cow dung-5 kg, cow Milk-2 liters, cow ghee-500 grams, cow curd-2 kg, cow urine-3 liters, ripe bananas-12 pieces, coconut water-2 liters and sugarcane juice-2 liters.
  • First add ghee to fresh cow dung and knead for 10 minutes and keep this mixture for 3 days, then on the fourth day mix curd, milk, cow urine, sugarcane juice and coconut water and stir clockwise for 5 minutes.
  • After 21 days only 300 ml in 10 liters of water in the pump. (at the rate of 3%) and sprinkled on the crop at an interval of 15 days.

(5) Cow urine:

  • Cow urine is used in the ratio of 1:10 i.e. mix 1 liter of cow urine in 10 liters of water and sprinkle the plant after 25 to 30 days i.e. on 15 days.
  • The older the cow urine the better gives power to plants to grow.

Natural Farming

How to make natural pesticides:

(1) Neemastra :

  • Grind and keep 5 kg of neem  or lemon leaves.
  • Mix 5 liters of cow urine, 5 kg of fresh cow dung in 200 liters of water and keep covered for 24 hours.
  • Then filter the solution with a cloth and spray on the crop.
  • Spraying: 200 liters per acre
  • Storage Capacity: Can be used up to 6 months
  • Controls suckers, whiteflies and small caterpillars

Natural Farming

(2) Brahmastra:

  • 5 kg of neem leaf chutney, 2 kg of karanj, custard apple, dhatura, castor leaf chutney, put the above herbs in 10 liters of cow urine, boil until it rises two-three times and let it cool for 24 hours, then strain it with a cloth.
  • Spray 6 to 8 liters in 200 liters of water per acre
  • Storage Capacity: Can be used up to 6 months.
  • Control Large caterpillars, sucking pests

Natural Farming

(3) Agnistra :

  • Take One kg of tobacco leaves, 500 grams of green chilies, 500 grams of garlic and 5 kg of neem leaves.
  • Make the pulp of all these herbs and put it in 10 liters of cow’s urine, boil it until it rises two-three times and let it cool for 24 hours. Strain with a cloth.
  • Spraying: 6 to 8 liters of Agnistra in 200 liters of water per acre
  • Storage Capacity: Can be used up to 3 months
  • Control: Giant borer, fruit borer, caterpillar etc.

(4) Dasparna Arc/Extract :

  • In a plastic barrel add 2 kg of bitter gourd leaves, 10 ginger powder and 2 kg of marigold leaves and stir with wood twice a day (morning-evening).
  • Spray 6 to 8 liters of ten Das parna extract in 200 liters of water per acre
  • Shelf life: Can be used up to 6 months
  • Control: For all types of suckers and all caterpillars

Natural Farming

Dasparna for mealybugs control:

  • 2 liters of cow urine in 200 liters of water, 200 grams of dried pods of native acacia, mixed with 5 liters of water and kept for 24 hours, then filtered with a cloth and sprinkled.

Natural Farming

Dasparna for Leaf curl control:

  • In  100 liters of water mix 02-03 kg onion chutney and spray on crops affected by leaf curl.
  • Boil 1 kg of Nagod leaves in 2 liters of water (until 1 liter is liquid). Then cool and spray.
  • In 100 liters of water, mix 250 ml Desi cow’s milk, 500 ml cow urine, 400 grams of asafetida and spray on crops.

How to make a natural growth promoter?

  • Take 100 grams of sesame seeds in a bowl, add enough water to submerge the sesame seeds.
  • 100 grams of mung (grains), 100 grams of add, 100 grams of choli, 100 grams of math, 100 grams of deshi gram, 100 grams of wheat,add enough water to submerge this mixture.
  • On the third day, after removing all the seven grains from the water, hang them in a clean cloth to germinate and preserve the water.
  • When they sprout, take them out and make chutney.
  • After that, mix 10 liters of cow urine and grain water and grain chutney in 200 liters of water and keep it for 2 hours and strain it with a cloth. And spraying in 48 hours.

Natural Farming

Method of making natural fungicide:

(1) Sour buttermilk: By spraying  mixture of 15 liters and 5 liters of sour buttermilk (three days old) in 200 liters of water, fungal infestation is reduced.

(2) Suthastra: Mix 200 grams of ginger powder in 2 liters of water and boil it till it becomes 1 liter of liquid and take 2 liters of hot milk (heat till it boils) in 200 liters of water and filter it with a mixed cloth and spray it on crops.

Natural Farming

Natural Farming

Summary:

Natural Farming is a sustainable and eco-friendly farming method that relies on green or dry organic waste grown in the field. It uses indigenous cow dung and urine as stimulants, improving soil productivity and crop production by increasing earthworm population and microbial growth. This approach produces higher yields than conventional farming and produces nutritious fruits and vegetables.

It is part of Vriksha Ayurveda, which is part of the Ayurvedic science of plants. The main principles of natural farming include tillage, chemical-free farming, mulching, intercropping/intercropping, and the use of earthworms. Earthworms promote bacterial growth, increase soil structure, and accelerate the decomposition of organic matter. They also contribute to effective water use through organic farming, reducing water consumption by 30%, recharged groundwater, and reduced erosion.

Natural farming also maintains soil-borne insects by creating holes in the agricultural land and adding organic matter to the soil. It uses beneficial microbes, micro-organisms, and symbiosis of roots and fungi to efficiently absorb water and nutrients. This method reduces water consumption by 30%, recharges excess groundwater, and reduces erosion.

Insect populations are maintained in natural farming, reducing soil surface erosion and adding organic matter to the soil. Mulching is an integral part of organic farming, covering the soil’s micro cover and moisture, reducing weed growth and increasing water holding capacity.Natural agriculture has the potential to harvest carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By using natural compost made from crop residues and organic matter, soil quality can be improved through earthworms and harvested carbon through microbes (mycorrhizal fungi), reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. By gradually reducing external chemicals required for organic farming, natural farming can be cost-effective, mitigating climate change, and sustaining food security.

Natural Farming

FAQs

1. What is Natural Farming?

• This cultivation depends on green or dry organic waste growing in the field. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used. Only indigenous cow dung and urine are used as stimulants which improve soil productivity and crop production by increasing earthworm population and microbial growth. • This farming produces higher yields than conventional (chemical) farming and the fruits and vegetables are nutritious and of better quality. •Adopting this cultivation is very easy. This agriculture has been found to be effective in reducing the problems of greenhouse gases and climate change.

2. How Jivamrit is prepared?

Fresh cow dung-10 kg, cow urine-10 litres, flour of any pulses-2 kg, desi jaggery-2 kg, paddy or pond soil-500 grams, mix all these in 200 liters of water and stir clockwise. Shake this way twice a day for 5 to 7 days. It can be used in every crop. Adding compost to the soil accelerates the formation of humus by rapidly increasing the number of microorganisms, which in turn accelerates root growth by converting the elements in the soil from non-available to available forms. Application: Spraying (morning or evening) on standing crops with 7 liters of water by drip irrigation and sprinkler method. Rate: Apply 200-400 liters/acre at an interval of 15 days.

3. How Panchgavya is prepared?

Fresh cow dung-5 kg, cow Milk-2 liters, cow ghee-500 grams, cow curd-2 kg, cow urine-3 liters, ripe bananas-12 pieces, coconut water-2 liters and sugarcane juice-2 liters. First add ghee to fresh cow dung and knead for 10 minutes and keep this mixture for 3 days, then on the fourth day mix curd, milk, cow urine, sugarcane juice and coconut water and stir clockwise for 5 minutes. After 21 days only 300 ml in 10 liters of water in the pump. (at the rate of 3%) and sprinkled on the crop at an interval of 15 days.

4. How mulching is useful in Zero Budget or Natural farming?

Mulching is an integral part of organic farming. Suitable intercropping or dry leaves between main crops mulch is done by grass. Intercrops completely cover the sun's rays and some sunlight falls on the soil surface. This maintains the soil's micro cover and moisture thereby reducing the need for water. Mulching reduces weed growth and soil structure. Improves and reduces erosion.Mulching eliminates the need for tillage and thus increases the water holding capacity of the soil. Adequate mulching keeps the soil surface moist, water is not lost due to evaporation, and plants are not harmed by changing climate (climate change).Insist on watering at the end of the vegetative growth part of the plant rather than watering the roots of the plant as the secondary roots are parallel to the vegetative part of the plant. Thus the roots will grow towards the water source. In this way the growth and yield of the plant increases by taking the necessary nutrients as the root length increases. If this method is used in irrigation, there will be huge saving of water as compared to normal irrigation system.

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