PosterPDF Available

Abstract

Biodynamic farming is an advanced organic farming system that is gaining increased attention for its emphasis on food quality and soil health. Biodynamic farming is developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. A fundamental principle of biodynamic farming is that food raised dynamically is nutrionally superior and tastes better than foods produced by conventional methods. This is a common thread in alternative agriculture; because other ecological farming systems make similar claims for their products. Biodynamic farming was the first ecological farming systems to develop as a grassroots alternative to chemical agriculture. Biodynamic farming is an alternative variant where the chemical fertilizers are totally replaced by microbial (biological) nutrient givers such as bacteria, algae, fungi, mycorrhiza and actinomycetes. A basic ecological principle of biodynamics is to conceive of the farm as an organism, a self contained entity. Emphasis is placed on the integration of crops and livestock, recycling of nutrients maintenance of soil, and the health and wellbeing of crops and animals; the farmer too is part of the whole. There are nine biodynamic preparations for the purpose of enhancing soil quality and stimulating plant life. They consist of mineral, plant or animal manure extracts, usually fermented and applied in small proportions to compost, manures, the soil or directly on to plants, after dilution and stirring procedures called dynamizations. Biodynamic compost is a fundamental component of biodynamic method; it serves as a way to recycle animal manures and organic waste, stabilize nitrogen and build soil humus and enhance soil health. Biodynamic compost is unique because it is made with BD preparations 502-507. Biodynamic compost serves as a source of humus in managing soil health and biodynamic compost emanates energetic frequencies to vitalize the farm. After the compost, preparations 502-506 are strategically placed 507 feet apart inside the pie, in holes poked about 20 inches deep. Preparation no 507 are liquid valerian, is applied to the outside layer of the compost by spraying or hand watering. Valerian (507) is mixed into liquid; a portion is poured into one hole, and the rest is sprinkled over the top of the compost pie. Lunar and astrological cycles play a key role in the timing of biodynamic practices, such as the making of BD preparations and when to plant and cultivate. Recognition of celestial influences on plant growth is part of the biodynamic awareness that subtle the energy forces affect biological systems. For pest attacks herbal extracts should be used only as a final remedy after utilizing and practising all the above control methods. The fact remains that biodynamic farming is practiced on a commercial scale in many countries and gaining wider recognitions for its contributions to organic farming, food quality, and community supported agriculture, qualitative tests for soils and composts. From a practical point of view biodynamics has proved to be productive and to yield nutritious, high quality foods.
International Symposium
Agricultural Communication and Sustainable Rural Development: From Information to Knowledge to
Wisdom Envisioning a Food Sovereign World in the Third Millennium
Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, India; 22-24 November 2012
188
Biodynamic Farming: A Way to Sustainable Agriculture
Sajeesh, P. K1, Erayya1 and Jaba Jagdish2
1Department of Plant Pathology, GBPUAT, Pantnagar-263145
2Department of Entomology, GBPUAT, Pantnagar-263145
Email: sajeeshnarayan17@gmail.com
Biodynamic farming is an advanced organic farming system that is gaining increased
attention for its emphasis on food quality and soil health. Biodynamic farming is developed
by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. A fundamental principle of biodynamic farming is that food raised
dynamically is nutrionally superior and tastes better than foods produced by conventional
methods. This is a common thread in alternative agriculture; because other ecological farming
systems make similar claims for their products. Biodynamic farming was the first ecological
farming systems to develop as a grassroots alternative to chemical agriculture. Biodynamic
farming is an alternative variant where the chemical fertilizers are totally replaced by
microbial (biological) nutrient givers such as bacteria, algae, fungi, mycorrhiza and
actinomycetes. A basic ecological principle of biodynamics is to conceive of the farm as an
organism, a self contained entity. Emphasis is placed on the integration of crops and
livestock, recycling of nutrients maintenance of soil, and the health and wellbeing of crops
and animals; the farmer too is part of the whole. There are nine biodynamic preparations for
the purpose of enhancing soil quality and stimulating plant life. They consist of mineral, plant
or animal manure extracts, usually fermented and applied in small proportions to compost,
manures, the soil or directly on to plants, after dilution and stirring procedures called
dynamizations. Biodynamic compost is a fundamental component of biodynamic method; it
serves as a way to recycle animal manures and organic waste, stabilize nitrogen and build soil
humus and enhance soil health. Biodynamic compost is unique because it is made with BD
preparations 502-507. Biodynamic compost serves as a source of humus in managing soil
health and biodynamic compost emanates energetic frequencies to vitalize the farm. After the
compost, preparations 502-506 are strategically placed 507 feet apart inside the pie, in holes
poked about 20 inches deep. Preparation no 507 are liquid valerian, is applied to the outside
layer of the compost by spraying or hand watering. Valerian (507) is mixed into liquid; a
portion is poured into one hole, and the rest is sprinkled over the top of the compost pie.
Lunar and astrological cycles play a key role in the timing of biodynamic practices, such as
the making of BD preparations and when to plant and cultivate. Recognition of celestial
influences on plant growth is part of the biodynamic awareness that subtle the energy forces
affect biological systems. For pest attacks herbal extracts should be used only as a final
remedy after utilizing and practising all the above control methods. The fact remains that
biodynamic farming is practiced on a commercial scale in many countries and gaining wider
recognitions for its contributions to organic farming, food quality, and community supported
agriculture, qualitative tests for soils and composts. From a practical point of view
biodynamics has proved to be productive and to yield nutritious, high quality foods.
Keywords: biodynamic, humus, organic farming, soil health, valerian
... In many populated regions of developing countries, due to application of wastes and high use of low quality chemical fertilizers, the health conditions of soil, water, air and consequently agricultural food products are in question [Khalid et al. 2006, Citak andSonmez 2010]. In many agricultural food products, the residues of chemicals and pesticides are over standard limits [Dahama 2007]. Leafy vegetable crops are more susceptible to such contaminations [Naiji and Souri 2014], whereas they are among the most important sources of beneficial nutrients in human diets, so their safe production with acceptable quality can significantly improve health and immune systems of human . ...
... However, during last century chemical fertilizers due to immediate effects on plant growth and yield have replaced organic fertilizers application. Nowadays, organic farming tries to generalize the application of organic and biological fertilizers instead of unsustainable approach of chemical fertilizers [Dahama 2007]. In present study, some organic fertilizing practices were compared with chemical fertilizer application on sweet basil nutritional value and mineral composition of plant shoots. ...
... Meanwhile other organic fertilization treatments recorded lower growth and quality values compared to chemical NPK fertilization. In general the yield reduction of organic products is about 10% which can be compensated by their higher quality (through higher nutrients and secondary metabolites) as well as lower energy and inputs [Dahama 2007, Bahadur et al. 2009, Michael et al. 2010, Rai et al. 2013. ...
Article
Full-text available
Safe production of leafy vegetables is more important than other horticultural crops due to their significant contribution in health promotion of consumers. In present study, the growth and nutritional quality of sweet basil plants (Ocimum basilicum L.) were evaluated under some organic compared to chemical NPK fertilizing treatments. A non cultivated soil was used in the experiment, and treatments were arranged in completely randomized design with four replications. Manure in 20 and 40% of pot volume, vermicompost in 20 and 40% of pot volume, biophosphate, NPK fertilizer and a no fertilizing control were applied to plants. The results showed that plant growth and biochemical characteristics were differently affected by organic and chemical fertilization treatments. Vermicompost particularly in 20% of pot volume resulted in highest growth and quality parameters, while the lowest values recorded in 40% manure treatment. The leaf content of ascorbic acid, essential oil, protein and minerals (P, K, Mn, Cu) were highest in 20% vermicompost, whereas leaf content of Mg, Fe and Zn was highest in 40% vermicompost treatment. Leaf nitrate content was significantly reduced in all organic treatments than NPK fertilization. Biophosphate also improved the yield and quality traits compared to unfertilized plants, while manure in both quantities reduced most of the traits (leaf vitamin C, oil yield and protein content) except the content of phenols. This indicates that processing as vermicompost can be a better way of manure application for basil production
... Many research studies involved in the atmosphere may increase the rate of reaction in the stratosphere that cause the distraction of ozone layer. The stratosphere ozone layer shields the biosphere from the harmful ultraviolet radiations and also influences the earth's temperature (Dahama, 2009). Nitrogen loss to the atmosphere through denitrification may contribute to " green-house gases " in the atmosphere thereby exacerbating the problems of breaking down of the ozone layer. ...
... The Joint FAO/IAEA programme of co-ordinated research showed that inoculation with a suitable strain of rhizobium at sowing was the single most useful agronomic practice in ensuring maximum legume yield. The rhizobium-legume mutually beneficially (symbiotic) association can fix up to 100-300 kg N/ha in one crop season and in certain situation can leave behind substantial nitrogen for following crops (Dahama, 2009). Inoculation of seed is also inexpensive. ...
... Application of Azotobacter has been found to increase the yield of wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet and sorghum by 0-30% over control. Apart from N, these organisms are also capable of producing antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds, hormones and siderophores (Dahama, 2009). Research done in Nepal shows that the amount of nitrogen to be applied to wheat can be cut down to 15% if inoculation with effective strain of Azotobacter is practiced (Karki and Baral, 1977). ...
... Many research studies involved in the atmosphere may increase the rate of reaction in the stratosphere that cause the distraction of ozone layer. The stratosphere ozone layer shields the biosphere from the harmful ultraviolet radiations and also influences the earth's temperature (Dahama, 2009). Nitrogen loss to the atmosphere through denitrification may contribute to " green-house gases " in the atmosphere thereby exacerbating the problems of breaking down of the ozone layer. ...
... The Joint FAO/IAEA programme of co-ordinated research showed that inoculation with a suitable strain of rhizobium at sowing was the single most useful agronomic practice in ensuring maximum legume yield. The rhizobium-legume mutually beneficially (symbiotic) association can fix up to 100-300 kg N/ha in one crop season and in certain situation can leave behind substantial nitrogen for following crops (Dahama, 2009). Inoculation of seed is also inexpensive. ...
... Application of Azotobacter has been found to increase the yield of wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet and sorghum by 0-30% over control. Apart from N, these organisms are also capable of producing antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds, hormones and siderophores (Dahama, 2009). Research done in Nepal shows that the amount of nitrogen to be applied to wheat can be cut down to 15% if inoculation with effective strain of Azotobacter is practiced (Karki and Baral, 1977). ...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable development has caught the imagination and action of the world for more than a decade. Sustainable agriculture is necessary to attain the goal of sustainable development. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), sustainable agriculture is the successful management of resources to satisfy the changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of environment and conserving natural resources. All definitions of sustainable agriculture lay great emphasis on maintaining an agricultural growth rate, which can meet the demand for food of all living beings without draining the basic resources towards crop improvement. Organic farming is one of the several approaches found to meet the objectives of sustainable agriculture. Most of the techniques used in organic farming like intercropping, mulching and integration of crops and livestock are not alien to agriculture systems including the traditional agricultural practices. However, organic farming is based on various laws and certification programmes, which prohibit the use of almost all synthetic inputs and the central theme of this method is the health of soil. The adverse effects of modern agricultural practices on the farm and also on the health of living beings and thus on the environment has been well documented all over the world. Application of technology, particularly the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides all around us has persuaded people to think aloud. As a result of global climatic changes, their negative effects on the environment are manifested through soil erosion, water shortages, salination, soil contamination, genetic erosion, Organic farming is one of the widely used methods, which is thought as the best alternative to avoid the ill effects of chemical farming. It also has far more advantages over the conventional and other modern agricultural practices that are available today.
... [21] In addition, it is surface-feeding omnivorous fish, belongs to the family Cichlidae, and is extensively used as protein source. [22] Therefore, the present study was aimed to investigate the toxic effects of Excel Mera 71 on O. niloticus both under the laboratory and field conditions on comparative basis through histological and ultrastructural observations in the gill, liver, and kidney. ...
Article
Full-text available
Oreochromis niloticus was exposed to glyphosate-based herbicide Excel Mera 71 for 30 days under field and laboratory conditions to investigate the histopathological and ultrastructural responses in gill, liver, and kidney. Gill displayed degenerative changes in the pillar cells of gill epithelium, curling of secondary lamella, and appearance of globular structure in laboratory condition under light microscopy. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observations revealed loss of microridges, disappearance of normal array of microridges, and damage in stratified epithelial cells under both the conditions, while severe vacuolation and necrosis were prominent under transmission electron microscopic (TEM) study in the laboratory condition. In liver, excess fat deposition and acentric nuclei in the laboratory condition were prominent under light microscopic and SEM study. TEM study showed necrosis in mitochondria, cytoplasmic vacuolation, degeneration in endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and reduced amount of glycogen droplets, but under field condition, lesions were less. Kidney showed fragmented glomerulus, excessive fat deposition, and hypertrophied nuclei under light microscope, while topological study showed shrinkage of glomerulus and degenerative changes under laboratory condition. TEM study also confirmed necrosis in mitochondria, dilation and fragmentation of ER, and appearance of severe vacuolation in the laboratory study, but no significant alterations were observed in field under SEM and TEM study. Therefore, the present study depicts that Excel Mera 71 caused comparatively less pathological lesions under field than laboratory condition, and finally, these responses could be considered as bioindicators for toxicity study in aquatic ecosystem.
... Given the results that farmers growing in situ GM were able to meet and exceed N input recommendations and had few complaints about the method, GM could be a promising solution for filling the N gap in the soil and crop subsystem. Studies show that a productive Sesbania crop (8-25 Mg fresh biomass ha − 1 ) can add 60-126 kg N ha − 1 when turned into the soil (Dahama, 1997;Toomsan et al., 2000), which is equivalent to the N contribution of 3-10 Mg ha − 1 FYM. However, as well as an additional seed cost, a GM crop would add a substantial labor burden for farmers who currently leave fields fallow between wheat harvest and rice planting. ...
Article
p>Smallholder farmers may gain notable livelihood benefits by participating in organic value chains. However, whether there are enough resources available to maintain organic production sustainably on smallholder farms in resource-poor regions is of concern. If not balanced by sufficient inputs, continual nutrient export via commodity crops will result in nutrient mining, and livelihood improvements gained by participating in profitable value chains could be negated by soil degradation in the long term. The objectives of this study were to test an integrated approach for understanding the farm-level impacts of subsystem nutrient management actions and to identify locally viable interventions for increased nutrient supply and recycling. We employ a systems analysis methodology to address the nutrient gaps on smallholder farms in Uttarakhand, India producing organic Basmati rice for an international value chain. Farmers here rely on few livestock (three to five head of cattle ha<sup>− 1</sup>) to supply nutrient inputs and are achieving smaller than potential Basmati yields. We surveyed 42 small farms (< 3.5 ha, average annual income around $1000 year<sup>− 1</sup>) and analyzed available manure stocks for nutrient contents in order to trace the farm-level flow of manure nutrients, identify vectors of avoidable nutrient loss, and systematically identify locally relevant and feasible improvements. The interventions identified as viable were reducing nutrient losses through simple and relatively cheap manure management modifications (i.e. using straw bedding to capture livestock urine, covering farmyard manure stockpiles with plastic sheeting, enclosed biogas slurry storage, and using biogas slurry for improved compost production), in situ green manuring, and purchasing farmyard manure. Cost–benefit analyses predicted that proposed interventions could increase farmers’ net profit by up to 40% while also addressing problematic nutrient gaps. While our results pertain specifically to Uttarakhand, we found that our integrated research approach worked well to address the problem of nutrient gaps on resource-poor smallholder organic farms, and believe that the strategy could be used with equal success to address similar problems in other regions.</p
... It is responsible for enhancing growth, uptake of nutrients, resistance of plants to unfavourable stresses, soil fertility and microbial activity. It acts as chelated compound and soil conditioners (Kullk, 1995;Dahama, 1999;Adam, 1999;Norric et al., 2002;Fornes et al., 2002and Chouliaras et al., 2005. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study was carried out during 2011 and 2012 seasons to examine the effect of single and combined applications of roselle extract at 0.2 %, turmeric extract at 0.1 % and seaweed extract at 0.2 % on leaf area, N, P, K, Mg, total chlorophylls and total carotenoids in the leaves, yield as well as some physical and chemical characteristics of the fruits of Valencia orange trees. Single and combined applications of extracts of roselle, turmeric and seaweed extracts at 0.2 %, 0.1 % and 0.2 %, respectively effectively improved the leaf area, nutrients namely N, P, K and Mg, total chlorophylls and total carotenoids in the leaves, yield as well as physical and chemical characteristics of the fruits in relative to the check treatment. Using extracts of roselle at 0.2 %, turmeric at 0.1 % and seaweed at 0.2 %, in ascending order was very essential in this respect. Carrying out four sprays of extracts of roselle at 0.2 %, seaweed at 0.2 % and turmeric at 0.1 % gave the best results with regard to yield and fruit quality of Valencia orange trees.
... t/ha lignite, while the lowest value of 36.88 kg/ha was found with no organic manure (O 4 ). It is well known that organic manures on decomposition solubilise insoluble organic P fraction through release of various organic acids which result in a significant improvement in availability and mobility of P in soil and prevent the fixation of available nutrients by chelation effect (Dahama, 2003). The higher availability of potassium in soil might be due to interaction of organic matter with clay particles to release K from the non exchangeable fraction to the available pool of the soil (Tandon et al., 1987). ...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of fertigation with organic manures on soil properties, yield and its components of nutrient status of tomato plant grown in sandy soil conditions, a fertigation trial was carried out during rabi season of 2010-11 at Niche Area of Excellence Farm, Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner. The experiment was laid out in split-split plot design with four replications consisting of four sources of organic manures (compost 10 t/ha, compost 5 t/ ha+2 t/ha lignite, compost 5 t/ha+1 t/ha lignite and control), three methods of fertilizer application (conventional, weekly and daily) and two doses of NPK fertilizer (100% recommended doses of NPK fertilizer and 2/3rd recommended dose of NPK fertilizer). Results showed that application of compost 5 t/ha+2 t/ha lignite significantly increased the average fruit weight, fruit yield per plant, fruit yield, available NPK nutrients in soil, dehydrogenase activity of soil, POC, SOC, POC : SOC ratio in soil, and significant decrease in the pH of soil. Daily method of fertigation significantly increased average fruit weight, fruit yield per plant, fruit yield, and available NPK nutrients in soil, dehydrogenase activity of soil, POC, SOC and POC : SOC ratio in soil over conventional method of fertilizer application. Significantly higher average fruit weight, fruit yield per plant, fruit yield and available NPK nutrients in soil, dehydrogenase activity of soil, SOC, POC and POC : SOC ratio in soil were registered with 100% recommended dose of NPK as compared to 2/ 3rd recommended dose of NPK fertilizer.
... Furthermore, FYM was often found to be superior to inorganic fertilizers because of the release of aliphatic, aromatic hydroxyl acids, humates and lignin that exert dual benefits to improve the physical conditions of the soil. The FYM also supplies additional plant nutrients that would contribute to the increased nutrient uptake and higher grain yield (Dahama, 1996; Singh et al., 1996). Despite the increases in gross return by 12 and 24% due to the application of Azolla and FYM, respectively, the increases of the gross margin and BCR became insignificant because of the rise in the variable costs by 7.5 and 14.5%, respectively. ...
Article
Full-text available
Dry season (boro) rice (Oryza sativa L.) is an important crop in coastal areas of India, but little attention has been devoted to optimize crop and resource management for this important ecosystem. Four methods of crop establishment were tested on puddled soil: direct sowing of pre-germinated seeds with drum seeder, transplanting 12- and 18-d-old seedlings and conventional transplanting of 25-d-old seedlings (farmers’ practice). Three nutrient treatments were also evaluated: recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF; 120–20–0 kg N–P2O5–K2O ha–1), RDF + Azolla (2 t ha–1) and RDF + 5 t ha–1 of farmyard manure (FYM). Azolla is a N-rich freshwater fern that can be produced in ponds and ditches. Drum-seeding increased plant height, tiller number, leaf area index, and net photosynthetic rate. Grain and straw yields (4.85 and 8.13 t ha–1, respectively) were significantly higher with drum seeding than with transplanting. Grain yield was 34, 37, and 38% higher compared with 12-, 18-, and 25-d-old transplanted seedlings, respectively. Seedling age at transplanting did not affect grain yield, but the benefit/cost ratio (BCR) (1.94) was higher with drum seeding than with transplanting. Grain and straw yields under RDF + FYM were, respectively, 24 and 21% higher than RDF, but were only 11 and 12% higher compared with RDF + Azolla treatment. Integrated management practices combining a salt-tolerant variety (Canning 7) with drum seeding and nutrient management that include chemical and organic fertilizers could enhance the productivity of boro rice in saline coastal soils.
Article
Soil cracks can enhance water recharge through preferential flow during the rainy season and enhanced evaporation loss during the post-rainy season. Despite their significance, a limited information is available on the management of surface cracks in Vertisols. The frequency, size, and rate of development of cracks greatly affect the movement of soil water and nutrient and exchange of gases in the soil profile and also influence plant growth processes in Vertisols. To find out the suitable soil amendments and land use for reducing the rate of crack formation in medium-deep black soils of the region, a 4-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of different soil amendments and land uses on surface cracks, soil properties and crop yields on Vertisols under semiarid conditions. Field experiment consisted of three different land uses [i.e., agriculture [intercropping of sorghum (Sorghum biocolor L.) + pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L.) at 1:1 ratio], grassland (dhaman grass—Cenchrus ciliaris L.), fallow land (no cultivation fallow)] as main plots with four different soil amendments [i.e., S0—control, S1—fly ash @ 10 Mg ha⁻¹, S2—crop residue (wheat straw) @ 5 Mg ha⁻¹, S3—gypsum (100% of gypsum requirement), S4—FYM @ 5 Mg ha⁻¹] as subplots. The data showed that application of soil amendments had a beneficial effect on soil properties such soil pH, available nutrients, labile C and total organic carbon and stocks. In the 0–15-cm layer, SOC stocks varied from 15.17 to 20.04; 16.13–20.67; 14.25–19.58 Mg ha⁻¹ for agriculture, grassland and fallow land, respectively. The labile C and total organic carbon contents were in the order of grassland > agriculture > fallow land. Further, soil under grassland system recorded the higher mean weight diameter than that under crop and fallow land. Among different soil amendments applied, wheat straw and FYM had a significant effect (P < 0.05) on soil aggregation. Application of amendments increased soil moisture content by 5.7–12.6; 2.2–13.3; 9.0–17.3% over control (no soil amendments) for agriculture, grassland and fallow land use system, respectively. Among different land uses, crack volume reduction was in the order of grassland (− 7 to − 44%) > agriculture (− 7 to − 18%) > fallow land (− 2 to − 23%). Wheat straw application registered the lowest crack volume followed by that under FYM, fly ash and gypsum, regardless of the land use systems. Crop and grass biomass yields were significantly (P < 0.05) affected by the application of soil amendments. Application soil amendments not only reduced crack volume but also favorably influenced soil properties and crop yields in Vertisols.
Article
Organic farm products have got more value as compared to inorganic products. People are becoming more conscious for their health and environment. Bio-farming is sustainable and eco-friendly which enables to conserve biodiversity and to protect environment. Organic farming system avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. It mainly relies upon crop rotation, organic manures, bio-pesticides and integrated pest management (IPM). In this paper emphasis has been given to practice in favors of organic farming, bio-pesticides, and preparation and use of organic manures by different methods in a hygienic manner. The Journal of AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT Vol. 8, 2007, pp. 115-118
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.