Organic practices avoid investment on costly chemicals Ms. Rajareega at her farm in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu seen manufacturing the botanical pesticides.

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that in the past 4-5 decades there has been an excessive dumping of chemical toxins on the soil. As a result the soil has become barren and ground water toxic, in many places. Contrast this with organic inputs that are safe, non toxic, and cost much less. For example, if using chemical pesticides and fertilizers for growing a crop in a hectare works out to about Rs.6,000-7,000 the cost of growing the same crop using organic inputs may come to only about Rs.500 – Rs. 1,000, according to Ms. Rajareega of Raasi organic farms at Muthupatti village in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu.

Lower cost

Even if some critics say that organic farming cannot provide the same high yields as chemical farming, the organic farmers argue that at least their land is safe; that they have not invested in buying the chemicals and increasing their cost of cultivation.“If you look at the suicides by farmers, then you will understand that all those farmers who committed suicides have built up huge debts.

The debts kept growing because of borrowing at high interest rates for buying these chemicals which promised to increase the yield. In the end, it only increased their debts,” she explains.

“If only farmers use safer and natural pest repellents and manures then where is the question of debt and suicides,?” she enquires. She has been using only organic manures and bio-repellents made from locally available resources.

Five leaf extract

For example she uses 5 different leaf extracts (eindhu ilai karaisal in Tamil) derived from Calotropis (called y erukku in Tamil), Jatropha curcas (kattu amanaku in Tamil), Neem (vembu in Tamil), Guduchhi/Amruth (seenthil kodi in Tamil), Chaste tree (nochi in Tamil), Malabar nut (adathoda in Tamil), Kalmegh (siriyanangai in Tamil), Clerodendron (peenarisanghu in Tamil) and Usil (arappu in Tamil). These plants are commonly found in all villages. About 1 kg of leaves from each plant is taken and powdered and then ground into a paste. It is then mixed with 5 litres of cow’s urine.

The concoction is then diluted in 5 litres of water and left undisturbed for 5 days. When required for using about 500 ml of this concoction is diluted in 10 litres of water and sprayed over the plants, she explains.

Ginger garlic extract

Another tried and proven mixture she uses is ginger garlic extract (called inji poondu karaisal in Tamil). About 1 gm of ginger and garlic each, 2gm of green chilli and 5 litres of cow’s urine and water are taken. The garlic, ginger and green chilli are ground into a paste and mixed with cow’s urine and water. After 10 days the mixture is filtered and used. The prescribed quantity is about 500 ml of this solution diluted in 10 litres of water which can be sprayed over the plants.

Ideal spraying time

The ideal time for spraying these karasals is during 6 am to 8.30 am and between 4 pm and 6.30 pm. Depending upon the soil, crop and other climatic factors the concentration can be raised or lowered. Farmers can contact their nearby organic farmers who are using these karaisals or can contact Ms. Rajareega for guidelines regarding the concentration.

Effective control

Both the above karaisals have been found effective in controlling leaf roller, thrips, mealy bugs, fruit, stem and bark borer, hairy caterpillar and aphids. Even if a farmer is not convinced about the benefits of organic inputs he can continue to grow his crops using chemicals, but at the same time he can set aside a small portion in his field to grow the same crop using organic inputs. By doing so he can find out for himself the cost benefit ratio. That itself can convince him of its efficacy.

Readers can contact Ms. Rajareega, Raasi organic farms, Muthupatti, via Kallal, A. Siruvayal (post), Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu, email: [email protected], mobile: 9865-582142 and phone: 04565-284937.

UK scientists have created a synthetic molecule that, when applied to crops, has been shown to increase the size and starch content of wheat grains in the lab by up to 20%.

The new plant application, developed by Rothamsted Research and Oxford University, could help solve the issue of increasing food insecurity across the globe. Some 795 million people are undernourished, and this year’s El Nino has shown how vulnerable many countries are to climate-induced drought.

The results of the study, published in Nature, detail the method based on using synthetic ‘precursors’ of the sugar trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) – a first-of-its-kind strategy that used chemistry to modify how sugars are used by plants. Rothamsted Research, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, identified this naturally occurring sugar as being crucial in controlling how wheat uses sucrose, the main fuel generated by photosynthesis. Sucrose is key to the development of wheat grains. They identified that the more T6P that is available to wheat grains as they grow, the greater the yield.

Utilising the chemical expertise of Oxford University’s Chemistry Research Laboratory, a modified version of T6P that could be taken up by the plant and then released within the plant in sunlight was developed. This T6P ‘precursor’ was added to a solution and then sprayed on to the plants, causing a ‘pulse’ of T6P, which resulted in more sucrose being drawn into the grain to make starch. When tested in the lab, under controlled environmental conditions, this approach resulted in an increase in wheat grain size and yield of up to 20%.

The study also demonstrated that application of the precursor molecule could enhance plants’ ability to recover from drought, which could ultimately help farmers to overcome difficult seasons more easily in the future.

Professor Ben Davis, of the Department of Chemistry at Oxford University, said: ‘The tests we conducted in the lab show real promise for a technique that, in the future, could radically alter how we farm not just wheat but many different crops. The “green revolution” in the 20th century was a period where more resilient, high-yield wheat varieties were created, an innovation that has been claimed to have helped save one billion lives. By developing new chemical methods based on an understanding of biology, we can secure our food sources and add to this legacy. That way we can make sure as many people have access to enough food as possible and that the less fortunate can be rescued from unexpected hardship.’

The method has the potential to increase yields across a wide number of crops, as T6P is present and performs the same function in all plants and crops.

Dr Matthew Paul, Senior Scientist (Plant Biology and Crop Science) at Rothamsted Research, said: ‘This study is a proof of concept, showing us that it is possible to influence how plants use the fuel they produce for agricultural benefit, both in terms of yield and also resilience to drier conditions. The next stage of work is to replicate this experiment as much as possible in the field in different environments, for which we’ll need to understand how to scale up production of the T6P precursor and determine the effect that more variable conditions may have on results.’

Wheat plants were grown until each plant flowered, after which varying concentrations of T6P solution (between 0.1 and 10 mM) were added to different plants to assess the effect each concentration had on growth. The wheat was then sprayed with the solutions either on the ears or the whole plant at intervals of five days after the plants first flowered, with just one application sufficient to increase yield. The plants were then harvested once ripe, with the grains weighed and analysed for amount of starch and protein present. To test the responses to drought conditions, the plants were grown until just before the wheat plant developed its stem. It was then deprived of water for ten days, with T6P solutions being added on the ninth of these days. Plants were harvested after re-watering to assess biomass recovery after the drought period.

Source PHYS.org

thrips natural control

There are more than 6,000 thrips species sucking the life from plants all over the world. Get rid of them naturally without resorting to toxic sprays by using these SAFE, organic methods.

A common pest found in greenhouses and indoor/ outdoor gardens, thrips damage plants by sucking their juices and scraping at fruits, flowers and leaves. Plant leaves may turn pale, splotchy, and silvery, then die. Injured plants are twisted, discolored and scarred.

Adults are very small (less than 1/25 inch) straw-colored or black slender insects with two pairs of feathery wings. Without the use of a hand lens, they resemble tiny dark threads.

Damage

Extremely active, thrips feed in large groups. They leap or fly away when disturbed. Host plants include onions, beans, carrots, squash and many other garden vegetables, and many flowers, especially gladioli and roses. Both adults and the wingless larvae are attracted to white, yellow and other light colored blossoms and are responsible for spreading tomato spotted wilt virus and impatiens necrotic spot virus.

Life Cycle

Adults and pupae overwinter in garden soil. In spring, newly emerged females insert eggs into the tissues of flowers, leaves or stems. (They do not need to mate for reproduction.) Each female can produce up to 80 eggs, which hatch within days in warm weather or weeks to months in colder weather. They become wingless larvae (nymphs), which feed on plant sap. After two or more nymphal stages, many thrips drop to the soil to pupate. Emerging adults fly to the plant and repeat the cycle. There may be 12-15 generations per year with the entire cycle from egg to adult requiring less than 16 days in warm weather.

Control

Thrip management is a matter of garden maintenance — reducing the places where thrips may breed — and requires removing plant debris while it’s still on the ground and green. Thrips lay their eggs in slits they cut in live plant stems. Vigilance — spotting problems early and responding to them — is also required. Check your plants for damage and clusters of the pests at the place where leaves are attached to stems. Don’t wait to take action. Take the measures listed below. And be sure to use the safest, most proven products.

  • To get rid of thrips remove weeds and grass from around garden areas to eliminate alternate hosts. Clean up crop debris in the garden, especially onion leaves after harvest. (Dry mulch will not attract thrips. Green mulch will.)
  • Inspect all plants you import into the garden for signs of thrips or their damage. Discard any infested plants by securely bagging and putting in the trash.
  • Blue sticky trapsare helpful for monitoring adult populations.
  • If found, use the Bug Blasterto hose off plants with a strong, encompassing spray of water to reduce pest numbers.
  • Release commercially available beneficial insects, such as minute pirate bugs, the effective thrips predator(feeds on eggs and larvae before they can become adults), ladybugs, and lacewing, (especially effective in green houses) to attack and destroy all stages of this pest. For best results, make releases after first knocking down severe infestations with water spray or other method.
  • Severe populations may require a least-toxic, short-lived botanical insecticide(pyrethrin) to reduce pest numbers. Follow-up with predatory insects to maintain control.
  • Safe, smothering insecticidal soaps made from naturally occurring plant oilsand fats, are also effective for knocking down heavy infestations (and won’t harm most naturally occurring beneficial insects). Spinosad and neem oil can be used to spot treat heavily infested areas.

Tip: Thorough coverage is necessary when using natural contact insecticides, especially on the undersides of leaves and where leaves attach to stems, a favorite place for thrips to congregate.

Certain forward-thinking people square measure reinventing farming as we all know it. Indoor, organic urban farms growing food vertically victimization husbandry and aquaponic principles, square measure maturation round the country. The push for different ways of raising food follow partially, on the heels of native governments outlawing owners from growing vegetable gardens in their yards, and forcing folks to tear out existing, healthy gardens. supplying the wheels of amendment square measure the county, state and central wittingly making an attempt to destroy the organic phenomenon with chemtrails, pesticides, growth hormones and GMOs, as they alter the terribly molecular nature of our food. These actions move the guts, stimulate rage, emotion and worry, and force humans to vary to survive or die.

grow your hanging gardens of BabylonLooking for alternative routes to feed themselves and also the community, massive and little different husbandry ventures square measure shooting up all over. Smaller ventures like the Urban Hydro Project in state capital, Tennessee is that the farm-child of Jeffery Orkin; and his efforts square measure paying off. A demand community support in late 2012 raised over $3,300 in donations, enough cash for Orkin to shop for materials to increase his fledgling indoor organic garden on the highest floor of a domicile building in state capital. though the Urban Hydro Project has solely a hundred thirty five sq. feet of floor house, the space has twelve foot ceilings, and Orkin plans to plant to the ceiling. lovely organic vegetables square measure mature victimization farming, wherever no soil is employed. Orkin says this is often a additional economical methodology of production, and one that produces higher yields and higher tasting organic food year spherical.

While the Urban Hydro Project continues to expand and thrive in state capital, FarmedHere up up outside of Chicago and claims the respect of being the most important indoor vertical farm within the U.S.. based by Jolanta Hardej, it’s placed in a very Brobdingnagian ninety,000 square measure abandoned warehouse in Bedford Park, Illinois. Hardej had the vision as so much back as 2008 to grow contemporary, organic manufacture victimization aquaponic techniques, and no soil. Like Orkin, Hardej says the vegetables square measure higher tasting than once historically mature. Plants at FarmedHere square measure mature in multiple stacked levels and fed by mineral-rich water circulated throughout the system from fish tanks containing hormone-free genus Tilapia fish.

FarmedeHere is trying to provide over a million pounds of contemporary, organic foliate greens, freed from chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs.

Indoor farming provides property choices
As additional tight government rules square measure place in situ dominant individual freedoms, and larger efforts square measure created to change the essence of food by companies like Monsanto, the provision of organic, life-staining foods can diminish. because the air and land square measure poisoned chemically and different corrupting parts in a trial to marginalise life, different means that of growing food are going to be required for people who square measure willing to fight to survive the system.

· Indoor husbandry comes like these et al round the country manufacture organic food year spherical, beneath excellent temperature, wetness and lighting conditions

· because of the controlled growing atmosphere, indoor farms offer property agriculture for all — the house gardener, native tailgate markets, and huge food chains such Whole Foods, inexperienced Grocery, and different massive grocery chains tightened organic foods

· Growing manufacture with farming is feasible for individual owners by fixing a special growing station in their homes, garages or sheds. Some vertical growing instrumentality is moveable and may be captive outside in hotter weather if desired.

· Indoor vertical farming incorporates a little footprint, permitting people to grow food victimization aquaponics or farming off from curious government eyes. in addition, little or massive indoor community gardens square measure attainable in smaller-sized buildings, allowing teams to make gardens, purchase provides and share contemporary vegetables along.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.kickstarter.com
http://www.motherearthnews.com
http://www.ugrosystems.com/
http://www.hgtv.com

Have any plan of what percentage chemicals are introduced into our environments since WWII? A half-decade agone, the count* was over eighty,000. Some square measure used for large atomic number 47, some square measure in medicines and processed foods, toys and home items, and a few of them square measure within the air and water.

Industrial chemicals, most of that square measure barely tested by the those that build them, square measure omnipresent. Most toxicities square measure typically not complete till huge adverse health reports square measure created. we are the guinea pigs, the canaries within the mine for the chemical firms that lie all the thanks to the bank.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), what is left of it, is short-handed and engulfed by the constant barrage of freshly factory-made chemicals. they don’t seem to be nonetheless held with the older chemicals that are in industrial use for many years. The higher management positions at the Food and Drug Administration, executive department and Environmental Protection Agency square measure corrupted by business lobbyists and former business insiders WHO make the most of the revolving door system that promotes favoritism at the upper levels of business and government.

Canadian government to review 23 pesticides banned in EuropeHere’s a “legal” trick that chemical firms use to cover their products’ toxicity. restrictive agencies solely look into the active ingredients of pesticides and herbicides. however there square measure different chemicals in a very product that square measure meant to spice up the active ingredient. the precise formulas square measure withheld as proprietary trade secrets. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act supports this secrecy while not reference to health or ecological implications. company profits trump public welfare de jure.

For example, Monsanto’s Roundup contains glyphosate as its active ingredient, thus that is all that gets tested. Since it’s in many herbicides already, Roundup gets rubber-stamp approval while not reference to the key “inert” merchandise that are literally adjuvants.

However, there has been another polemic study by the parents that brought US those rats with gross tumors when their long-run exposure to GMO corn and Roundup.

Seralini and also the boys within the research lab analyzed all the inert ingredients of 9 major chemicals and discovered that each one however one pesticide contained inert ingredients additional harmful than their active ingredients. Roundup was the worst.

Sometimes it is the natural action of these ingredients combined, and generally it’s one or 2 alone which will be worse than the active ingredients. (GM Watch, supply below)

Canadian activists push for investigation of pesticides and herbicides employed in Canada
In August of 2013, Ecojustice filed four lawsuits strict that Health Canada examine twenty nine pesticides illegal in Europe. Canadian federal law mandates that any pesticides or herbicides illegal by even one nation of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development should be evaluated for safety in Canada.

At first, the tormenter Management administrative unit (PMRA) of Canada refused. then again attorneys for Ecojustice started taking part in hardball with lawsuits strict the administrative unit to fits federal law. therefore the agency united to review twenty three of the twenty nine chemicals, one amongst that could be a common weed killer anonymous  within the supply article, in all probability Roundup.

Four of the remaining six chemicals still have restricted use in Europe, and 2 don’t seem to be employed in Canada. therefore the six chosen to not be reviewed stands with each side in agreement. Consequently, the PMRA requested that Ecojustice drop its proceedings, considering it superfluous and unwarranted in light-weight of their plans to review those twenty three chemicals.

Source: Natural News

The unimaginable success and sustained growth of the organic movement over the past many decades has LED to several positive changes for the overall food offer, that embrace the enhanced convenience of unpolluted food. however there’s a standard misperception among several within the natural health community that every one organic food, and significantly all organic manufacture, is adult mistreatment fully no pesticides, herbicides, or different external inputs.

In truth, some organic foods square measure, indeed, adult with chemical inputs, which can return as a surprise to some. however the great news is that these inputs aren’t constant because the inputs used on standard manufacture, and don’t contain any artificial ingredients. In most cases, natural and organic pesticides square measure developed fully from plant and herb parts, and truly promote the health of each plants and soil.

Is your organic produce really pesticide-freeDepending on the dimensions, scope, and focus of a specific organic farm, variable cultivations standards will be de jure utilized and still be thought-about organic. Small-scale, family-operated biodynamic organic farms, as an example, is also ready to with success grow all their manufacture mistreatment fully no chemical interventions any, whereas larger-scale organic farms may have to use bound chemical solutions to their crops in accordance with the official organic standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Organically created fruits and vegetables square measure adult in an setting absent of artificial chemicals, yes, however the notion that they are adult while not chemicals in the slightest degree is fake,” explains Doug Smith from ElephantJournal.com regarding the difficulty. “The reality is, most state laws enable organic farmers to spray an entire gamut of chemical sprays, powders and pellets on their organic crops. That is, if they’re ‘organic’ or natural chemical sprays, powders and pellets.”

Some organic inputs could have questionable safety records, say some
Are these approved-for-organic growing chemicals safe? affirmative, however presumably no, in step with some. because it seems, bound natural pesticides and pesticides like rotenone-pyrethrin, as an example, or Spinosad, is also probably harmful to humans. the previous was joined in a very 2011 study printed within the journal Environmental Health views to probably inflicting brain disease, whereas the latter is claimed to be extremely cyanogenetic to insects and fish.

Sure, not all organic crops square measure adult mistreatment these chemicals — several organic growers, in fact, really do use solely all-natural cultivation ways that cause no risks to human health. however some organic crops, as well as some types of organic lettuce, have allegedly tested considerably higher certainly organic-approved pesticides and herbicides than their standard counterparts have for rather more harmful artificial pesticides and herbicides.

What will this mean for you and your family? whereas the goal here isn’t to tarnish the organic label in any means — organic certification is presently the most effective and most trustworthy system we’ve for regulation the assembly and sale of unpolluted, chemical-free food — it’s vital that readers bear in mind of the very fact that chemicals square measure still generally used on organic foods. Natural News readers can recall that we have a tendency to self-addressed this issue recently because it pertains to organic apples, a number of that square measure de jure sprayed with antibiotics to shield against leaf blight.

At constant time, organic growers WHO are within the business for years insist that even if bound organic growing chemicals is also used on some organic crops, the follow is safer and much superior to traditional growing ways. One organic farmer, commenting on Smith’s assessment of the difficulty, states: “I’ve ne’er place something on my crops that i could not eat,” and goes on to elucidate that his ways square measure a lot of safer for the earth and other people “than what I did before i used to be organic.” and plenty of others within the field echo this sentiment.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.elephantjournal.com
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214115442.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com

Despite the country is enjoying surplus crops especially of wheat and rice, the food security seems extremely chaotic, as high inflation, declining income, unequal distribution of resources and stagnating domestic productivity are hampering attempts to achieve food security.
Experts are critically examining this situation giving a warning that the country’s food security is under threat due to the shallow approach of the economic managers.
Pakistan Agriculture Scientists Association Chairman Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said that there is a significant increase in the number of food insecure people in Pakistan, which now stands at 51 per cent of the total population as compared to about 22 per cent six years back; this is largely due to decline in agricultural production, especially in the Punjab, caused by ill-conceived policies.
Food security under threat despite surplus foodHe said that investment in agriculture sector not only ensures food security of any country but also help to produce a healthy nation besides promoting rule of law in the society. Farming is just not a profession but an effort to save 194 million people of Pakistan from hunger.
Keeping in view the population growth, Pakistan needs 50 percent more agricultural production by 2025 and it can only be done by strengthening the agricultural sector and promoting good agricultural practices for maximum per acre yield.
He was of the view that the government should reduce the input cost by waiving taxes on the inputs and bringing down diesel and electricity prices. He was of the view that it would enhance usage of quality seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs which would result in better production thus ensuring more grain for ever increasing population of Pakistan.
PASA Chairman believed that undernourished Pakistani population were reduced to two meals a days from three meals. Due to increase in input cost, the per head person cost of Pakistani has increased to Rs 3,000 per month, Cheema said and added that due to increase in this cost people were compromising their meals to manage the other day to day affairs.
He said average family size in Pakistan was 5.5 persons which mean a family have to spend Rs 16,500 per month to ensure three meals a day.
He regretted that Pakistan which is attributed as basically agricultural country lacks in provision of sufficient food and it is in the ranks of those countries which have low grains per capita for its citizens.
Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman, Ibrahim Mughal, while commenting on the food security in Pakistan said that it happened first time in the history of Pakistan that despite food surplus, shortage and price hike has been created several times during last one decade. While farmer is producing more and more wheat but not getting any benefit,” he commented.

Source: The Nation

Garden pests are one of the few things I find frustrating about gardening. Whether it’s the snails taking over your lettuce or the aphids sucking on your roses — it’s definitely annoying — but not a reason to fret and reach for harmful, toxic sprays. They might eliminate the pesky culprits, but they are harmful to you and the environment. Instead, try whipping up one of these simple recipes with ingredients you most likely have on hand.

What You Need

Spray bottles
Biodegradable liquid dish soap
Lemon or orange essential oil
Cooking oil
Baking soda
Garlic
Chili powder
Water

Instructions

Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray

This is by far the spray I reach for most often. It’s easy to make and keep on hand, and should take care of most of those annoying common pests such as aphids, mites, white flies, thrips, and mealy bugs. It kills them by attacking them at the skin, suffocating and therefore eliminating them. I like to add a few drops of orange or lemon essential oil, which is in itself a natural insecticide, especially effective against ants and scale, and it also helps the the spray stick to your plants.

1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid soap
1 quart of water
A couple drops of orange or lemon essential oil

Use a biodegradable, liquid soap (such as Murphy’s oil soap, castile soap or Ivory), to make the mixture. Add water and essential oil to the spray bottle and shake. Spray your plant thoroughly, making sure you cover the underside of the leaves as well.

All-Purpose Garlic Chili Spray

Pepper and garlic are both natural insect repellents and will help to repel Japanese Beetles, borers, leafhoppers and slugs. Garlic also deters larger pest like deer and rabbit.

Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray (from recipe above)
1 tablespoon of chili powder (you could also use fresh or dried hot peppers)
5 cloves of garlic, crushed and cut roughly

Allow garlic and chili powder to steep overnight. Strain and pour into a spray bottle. Add Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray. Should keep for a couple weeks.

Baking Soda Spray

This spray is great for treating plants with fungal diseases. There is nothing quite as frustrating as discovering your plant has an unsightly case of mildew, a type of fungal disease. Suddenly your beautiful green cucumber and squash leaves are replaced by patches of grayish-white blotches.

1 tablespoon of baking soda
1/2 tablespoon of oil
2 quarts of warm water

Add baking soda and oil to a cup of warm water until it dissolves. Mix in the rest of the water. Before attempting to spray and treat your plant, remove the most severely damaged leaves first. Then spray your solution, repeating every few days until it disappears. This mixture is best made and used immediately.

Additional Notes: It’s best to spray your plants in the morning, before the sun is too hot or you run the risk of burning the leaves of your plant. And while these spray are non-toxic and less harmful than commercial pesticides, they will kill beneficial bugs along with the harmful ones. I recommend using these sprays sparingly, only treating the infected plants.