Organic nutrients work in harmony with nature rather than against it. This involves using techniques to achieve good crop yields without harming the natural environment or the people who live and work in it.
Organic nutrients are derived from the processing of plant and animal products that the farmer brings to his crop in order for it to express its production potential. The main role of organic inputs is to be used either as fertilizer for crops or as a soil amendment. Fertilizers are used when the objective is to provide nutrients directly to the plant via the soil or by spraying. Amendments are used when the objective is to improve the soils physical, chemical and biological properties. The nature and volume of the contribution are adjusted in accordance with the farmer’s objectives.
To produce a healthy crop using organic nutrients a farmer needs to manage the soil well. This involves considering soil life, soil nutrients and soil structure. Artificial fertilizers provide only short term nutrient supply to crops. They encourage plants to grow quickly, but with soft growth which is less able to withstand drought, pests and disease. Artificial fertilizers do not feed soil life and do not add organic matter to the soil. This means that they do not help to build good soil structure, improve the soils water holding capacity or drainage.
To successfully use organic inputs, farmers must not see every insect as a pest, every plant out of place as a weed and the solution to every problem in an artificial chemical spray. The aim is not to eradicate all pests and weeds, but to manage them to an acceptable level and make the most of the benefits that they may provide. The soil is a living system. As well as the particles that make up the soil, it contains millions of different creatures. These creatures are very important for recycling nutrients so the quality of those nutrients really matters.