Choice of crops and varieties in organic farming

Choice of crops

In order to minimize nutrient losses, the foundation for crop production in organic farming must take into account the structure and fertility of the soil and the surrounding environment.

The organic farms must, when necessary, maintain adequate diversity while preserving or improving soil, organic matter, fertility, microbial activity, and overall soil health. This must take into consideration pressure from insects, weeds, illnesses, and other pests. Crop rotation, especially using leguminous crops, is the typical but not unique method for doing this for non-perennial crops.

The development of legumes or deeply rooted plants, the application of green manures, the implementation of a programme of crop rotation multiple times a year, and fertilization with organic inputs are only a few ways to sustain oil fertility.

All seeds and plant material must be organically grown. The species and types that are grown must be suitable for the soil and climate, as well as resistant to pests and diseases. Genetic diversity must be taken into account while selecting cultivars.

Use organic plant and seed materials when they are available.

Chemically untreated conventional seed and plant material must be used if certified organic seed and plant materials are not readily accessible.

It is not permitted to utilize seeds, plants, or plant materials that have undergone genetic engineering.


Pure line selections were used to start systematized rice varietal development in 1811 at the rice research station in Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) (Singh, 2005). In 1945, the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) in Cuttack was founded. The indica-japonica hybridization programme was based here. The main goal of the rice development initiative was to increase and stabilize the grain production potential using suitable plant types under various ecological circumstances.

When creating optimum varieties, factors including grain production, grain length, cooking quality, and eating quality are taken into account. Many different cultivars have been created that combine grain quality, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, and early maturity. In addition to this, several local cultivars adapted for different circumstances are still appreciated, especially by organic gardeners.

Following varieties are being cultivated:

Varieties resistant to drought : Kattu Samba, Sornavari, Puzhudikar, Puzhudisamba, Mattakkar, Vadansamba, Kullakkar, Gil Gil Samba, GEB – 24, Kuzhiyadichan. Varieties resistant to water logging Neelansamba, Kudiraival Samba, Kaliyan Samba, Samba Mosanam, Perungar, Koomvazhai, Kudaivazhai.

Varieties resistant to both drought and water logging : Kappakkar, Vaigunda, Pichavari, Kurangusamba.

Varieties suitable for saline soils : Karuppu nel, Samba, Kuzhiyadichan.

Varieties resistant to pest and disease attack : Kappa Samba, Vadan Samba, Kudirai Vali, Kaliyan Samba, Kurangu, Samba, Kichali Samba, Muttakkar, Kullakkar, Sigappu Kuruvikkar, Thooyamalle, Sembalai, Kallimadyan, Pitchavari, Sadakar.

Variety resistant to brown plant hopper and ear head bug : Neelansamba.

Variety resistant to brown plant hopper and rice caseworm : Sigappu Kuruvikkar.

Variety resistant to weeds : Vaigunda.

Seed Selection: Paddy farming involves careful seed selection. The seeds chosen for cultivation should be consistent in size, age, and purity. Additionally, they must to be capable of germinating well.

Quality seed Separation : Soak the seeds in water to distinguish between good and bad ones; the bad seeds will float to the top of the water. These seeds are simple to remove, and the seeds that sink can be planted. Damaged seeds are readily removed using this technique. When there is an overabundance of chaffy grain in the seed stock, a different technique is utilized.

Place an egg in a container with some water in it. Salt should be gradually added until the egg comes to the surface. The high-quality seeds will sink when they are placed into the water. Eliminate the seeds that aren’t viable from the water’s surface. To eliminate the salt deposits, wash the chosen seeds twice or three times in clean water. The ability of the seeds to germinate will be impacted if this is not done.

Seed rate : The seed rate varies depending on the cultivable variety. The following table provides the seeding rate needed for one hectare of land under irrigation:

Short duration variety : 60-70 Kg
Medium duration variety : 40-60 Kg
Long duration variety : 30-60 Kg
Dry and rain fed sowing : 85 – 100 Kg

Germination test :

  • The most crucial quality test for determining a seed lot’s planting value is the germination test. The purpose of the test is to assess a seed’s capacity to grow healthy seedlings and plants in the future. The following is a list of the several germination test procedures:
  • A few seeds should be tied in a white cloth and let to soak in water for 12 hours before being kept in a dark room for 24 hours. The next day, check the percentage of germination.
  • Make a mat out of paddy straw by tying it together. Keep the seeds in the mat’s centre before rolling and tying it. After one minute in the water, transfer the seeds to straw. Count the seeds that have sprouted after 24 hours.
  • Fold a damp gunny bag in half, stuff the seeds between the layers, and store it somewhere dark for a day. The following day, check the germination.

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