Q16. Organic horticultural production systems – benefits in the long term?

Answer: As temperatures rise and rainfall becomes less predictable and weather events generally become more unpredictable, then organic/biodynamic/biological production systems are the only ones that can guarantee longer-term food availability. These systems ‘farm’ the soil rather than ‘mine’ the soil, increase soil organic matter and hold more soil moisture allowing crops to be grown and harvested in years of drought where conventional farming systems cannot produce. Look at the 30 year research project into conventional and organic farming systems from Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, USA on www.rodaleinstitute.org . Providing a healthy soil minimises disease, increases plant health and increases antioxidant and vitamin content of the resultant food. Look at using compost, mulch, compost teas, kelp and fish as soil and foliar applications. Look at Agpath P/L website for assistance.

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