Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Benefits of Bio Agriculture as Part of Your Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Approach
No single strategy or sector can meet the impending challenges of our times for resolving food safety, food security and climate change in feeding a growing population of 9 billion people by 2050, as well as poverty alleviation. It will require creative and collaborative efforts among governments, farmers from around the world, private companies, universities, and civil society. Meeting this challenge is our collective responsibility.
What is BioAg?
BioAg or Bio Agriculture is an inclusive term for organic and bio dynamic farming methods and strategies. According to the BioAg Organization (1) there are over 30 studies by different research organizations that all point to the potential of bio-agricultural farming to be a major part of the solution to global climate change. These studies have also shown that conventional chemical based agriculture degrades the land and thus reduces soil carbon over the long-term. This research has taken place in many countries, including, the US, Australia, India, and a number of European and African countries showing that these findings are consistent under many different soils and climate conditions (2).
Bio Agriculture farming combines the best of conventional and organic farming with an emphasis on attaining naturally productive soils that display high levels of biological activity. The main purpose is to maximize the activity of soil microbes through the provision of good soil nutrition and structure, together with adequate supplies of energy, air and water.
Who practices Bio Ag farming?
The BioAg approach requires a farmer to understand natural processes and natural indicators on the farm that identify the lack of soil life activity and hence plant available nutrition. Combining traditional, local knowledge with new global research and technologies, more and more farmers are considering a whole-farm approach that encompasses all the relevant socio-economic and environmental factors. BioAg farming methods included in an ICM solution will improve agricultural practice and safeguard both natural resources for surrounding communities, mainly our farmers and consumers.
What are the benefits?
Here are some of the BioAg benefits as part of an ICM approach:
Looks at the whole agronomic, environmental picture in relation to balance and profitability
Returns the soil to a balanced living system, improving soil structure and fertility in the least toxic manner
Restores the mineral and microbial balance in the soil and increases soil carbon levels
Helps to increase water retention by increasing soil carbon
Increases water holding capacity of the soil
Dramatically reduces or even eliminates chemical dependency, while at the same time increasing yields, quality, soil fertility and profitability.
Sustainable farming and a safer workplace for employees with reduced use of chemicals
Reduces the need to depend on high analysis fertilisers, chemicals, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides
Reduces disease levels, insect, pests and soil erosion. Weeds and insect pests are becoming resistant to chemicals. Bigger weeds – stronger chemicals.
Reduces the leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus into our waterways
Aids in the production of nutrient
Helps reduce human health problems, which have been linked to conventional farming
Leaves our soil in a healthy balanced state for future generations
Why Everyone is Crucial
Implementing changes in the farming systems can be complex, which is why it is important to involve multiple stakeholders, including those in the food and input supply chains. Agriculture will always have risks. However, small changes like incorporating BioAg farming methods as part of integrated crop management approach will give the growers not just a good environmental and social effect but also will positively impact his return of investment.
This is what we think is a win-win strategy.
(1) Bio Ag Organization a nonprofit organization created in Australia .
(2) Findings on some research done by the Bio Ag organization : http://www.bio-agriculture.org/research_3.html