Organic Farming Manual
Farmers, consumers and policy makers have shown a renewed interest in organic farming as the objective of today's common agricultural policy - the sustainability of both agriculture and the environment without compromising food production and conservation of finite resources and protecting the environment so that the needs of people are met today and for generations to come. Organic food is also gaining international acceptance, with nations such as Japan and Germany becoming important international organic food markets. Although in 2000 it represented only around 3 of the total European Union agricultural area, organic farming has in fact developed into one of the most dynamic agricultural sectors in the European Union. The organic farm sector grew by about 25 a year between 1993 and 1998 and, since 1998, it is estimated to have grown by around 30 a year. In some member states, however, it now seems to have reached a plateau. Some of the essential characteristics of organic farming...
Infected, newly introduced animals are one of the most important sources of foodborne pathogens on farms. This can be prevented by purchasing animals only from controlled sources. Connected with this, it is known that the so-called ''all in-all out'' farming system with effective sanitation between the animal lots is an effective measure reducing the ''farm infection'' risks. Furthermore, introduction of microbial pathogens into, as well as spread of pathogens within, the farm can occur through various vectors including infected wildlife and or vermin, infected or contaminated farm staff visitors and contaminated farm equipment.
Worldwide utilization of Vicia species as forage and green manure crops is well established. Vicia species are highly nutritious grains for sustainable agriculture. Common vetch (Vicia sativa) is grown extensively in certain regions of the world, and is used not only as cattle feed, but also as a cheap substitute for lentils, for human consumption (Islam et al., 2003). The usage of Vicia species for human consumption was summarized by Enneking (1994) as follows According to Francis and colleagues (1999), vetches already occupy special niches in farming systems because of their wide adaptation and ability to grow where many food legumes cannot. These include in areas of extreme winter cold, and very dry conditions.
Chervil can be propagated only through seeds. For this purpose, the seeds must be bedded in damp sand for a few weeks before being sown, otherwise their germination is slow. In temperate region the seeds are usually sown in March-April, whereas in tropical or subtropical parts they are sown during October by drill or scattered in well-prepared land and mixed with well-decomposed farmyard manure. The recommended seed rate is roughly 3 kg ha which is sown in rows. Seeds should be grown in the spring in shallow drills 30 cm apart. When the seedlings are about 7-8 cm high, the plants should be thinned to 8-10 cm apart. The seedlings are too fragile to be transplanted. In the South, the seeds are usually sown in the autumn, but they may not germinate until spring. In the North, the seeds may be sown in the autumn to germinate in the spring or the plant may be started indoors in later winter and transplanted to open ground later on. Chervil prefers to be grown organically with the...
Cals was the Danube, which drains much of the watersheds in 11 countries across central Europe, from Germany to Romania. The main culprits were agricultural runoff, urban and industrial wastewater, and, in the case of nitrogen compounds, atmospheric transport. At least half the increased nitrogen poured into the Black Sea resulted from modernized farming practices, including intensive use of fertilizers and the establishment of huge animal production facilities. These agricultural activities also contributed to the rise in the phosphorus effluent, but industrial and urban waste discharges laden with polyphosphate detergents
A fertilizer dose of 40 kg P2O5, 40 kg K2O and 20 kg N with 20 Mt farmyard manure ha1 is recommended for rosemary in India (Farooqi and Sreeramulu, 2001). Further, N level can be raised to 300 kg ha-1 in different splits to maximize oil yield (Prakasa Rao et al., 1999). Studies conducted at Italy (Sardinia) on fertilizer dose and weed management revealed that applying 80 kg N + 60 kg P2O5 ha-1 coupled with hand weeding of the major weeds such as Genista corsica and Cytisus Spp. increased herbage yield and oil (Milia et al., 1996).
P. esculenta (Indian breadroot) has historically been found in Zone 4 hardiness regions of North America, south to Texas and north to Canada. It is most prevalent in the Great Plains of the U.S. and Canada. Indian breadroot is an indicator of a healthy prairie and is now most commonly found in the prairies of North and South Dakota. Human development has caused the plant's disappearance in many regions, mainly because it is very intolerant of root disturbance. Cultivation has not been successful because modern farming practices impose undue stress on the plant. Therefore, it would be most beneficial to cultivate the plant in a natural prairie setting, using alternative farming techniques, such as prescribed burns to prevent succession to a shrub woodland ecosystem. To successfully harvest Indian breadroot in the wild, people must be respectful, knowledgeable, and sensitive to the plant and its needs Cultivation may be the answer. Modern farming techniques to date have been...
The primary portal of mercury contamination of food is via its industrial release into water, either fresh or salt water, and its conversion to methyl mercury by methanogenic bacteria. As the marine life takes up the methyl mercury, it works its way into the food chain and is ultimately consumed by humans. This is the scenario that occurred following the release of inorganic mercury from an acet-aldehyde plant into Minimata Bay in Japan in 1956 and 1965 and is responsible for the so-called 'Minimata disease.' Furthermore, acid rain has increased the amount of mercury available to be taken up by the tissues of edible sea life and can enhance the toxicity of certain fish. An unfortunate consequence of seafood contamination with methyl mercury is the contamination of fish meal used to feed poultry, resulting in mercury accumulation in the poultry as well as in the eggs. Additionally, mercury-containing pesticides can contaminate agricultural products. In Iraq in 1971 and 1972, wheat used...
Those who support the theory that mass-food production increases food safety risks often point to the increase in concentration of animal production (particularly in developed countries) and claim that large-scale confinement operations and higher densities of food animals increase risks of disease. For example, in large-scale production units, infection of one animal can lead to wider contamination through exposure of other animals (Unnevehr and Roberts, 2002). And in many developed countries, large poultry flocks are reared in communal housing - a practice that leads to large numbers of birds having common risk profiles (Saker et al., 2004). The implication is that flocks with less genetic diversity may be more uniformily susceptible to certain diseases. Higher densities of farm animals also may pose steeper challenges for disposal of manure and other wastes to minimize the contamination of water, farm animals, and agricultural land. Chapter 4 more fully discusses the trends in...
On the basis of estimates from studies in Paleolithic nutrition and modern-day hunter-gatherer populations, it appears that human beings evolved consuming a diet that was much lower in saturated fatty acids than today's diet. Furthermore, the diet contained small and roughly equal amounts of n-6 and n-3 PUFAs (ratio of 1-2 1) and much lower amounts of trans-fatty acids than today's diet (Figure 3). The current Western diet is very high in n-6 fatty acids (the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids ranges between 10 1 and 30 1) because of the recommendation to substitute vegetable oils high in n-6 fatty acids for saturated fats to lower serum cholesterol concentrations. Furthermore, intake of n-3 fatty acids is much lower today because of the decrease in fish consumption and the industrial production of animal feeds rich in grains containing n-6 fatty acids, leading to production of meat rich in n-6 and poor in n-3 fatty acids. The same is true for cultured fish and eggs. Even cultivated...
See also Alzheimer's disease CAM center for, 59, 64 ginkgo, 59 gotu kola, 59 successful aging, 59 Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural Plant Products (A-SNAPP), South Africa, 22 AGRICOLA, 29, 129, 136 Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa, 22 Agricultural Research Service (ARS), System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology), 136 AIDS HIV St. John's Wort, 106 AIDSLINE, 130 Algy's Herb Page, 37, 159 Allergy Discussion Group, 159 Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), 10, 130 Aloe (Aloe vera), 108 Alternative Farming Systems Aromatherapists (IFA), 155 International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology (AGRIS), 136 International Network for the
Modern agriculture and the food industry are under constant pressure to produce healthier, tastier and cheaper food, while at the same time maintaining and improving safety standards. Consequently, these industries are all the time demanding still better, more efficient genotypes of crop species and farm animals suited to a wide range of usages. Farmers, in particular, are calling for species that are more resistant to disease, that have improved adaptation to stress, and that facilitate simpler farming systems while also increasing yield and productivity. At the same time, scientists believe that such animal and crop varieties could provide a source of food for poor countries and, thereby, help to prevent, and ultimately eliminate, third-world malnutrition (Biotechnology Industry Organization, 2008 Monastra & Rossi, 2003 Herdt, 2006). In the USA, the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) regulates the safety of food and feed products derived from modern biotechnology by using the...
These documents constitute the syllabus for a continuing education course taught by the respected ethnobotanist Dr. James A. Duke (see the entry for Dr. Duke's Web site in Chapter 12). They are provided by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Though ostensibly just a syllabus, these documents contain valuable information on all aspects of herbs that is not readily available elsewhere. The nineteen modules cover introductory botany, herb formulations, dangerous herbs, Chinese herbs, and medicinal herb use in non-Western pharmacies. Whereas some modules contain only an outline of the material to be covered in the course, others, such as the HDR Herbal Desk Reference, Formulations, and Last and Least . . . Dangerous Herbs, contain text for the corresponding lecture and are thus more informative. The HDR module contains detailed information on the best-selling Western and Chinese herbs in the United States, with information on activity,...
Globalization of the food supply and the influence of economic factors on the contamination of food with pathogens
Evidence is lacking on whether the globalization of the food supply increases or decreases foodborne disease risks. As a first effort in understanding potential linkages, this chapter takes a broad view of the economic factors that influence human exposure to and infection with foodborne pathogens. As the foundation, this chapter looks at some of the demand-side and supply-side factors that have driven the substantial increase in international trade in agricultural products and commodities. This increase in trade and changes in the composition of trade have implications for human exposure to different pathogens.
In the United States, only limited objections have been raised to genetically modified foods, which can be more nutritious, disease-resistant, flavorful, or cheaper than natural foods. In Europe, by contrast, consumers and governments have focused on the potential dangers of genetic modification, which include unforeseen resistance to antibiotics and herbicides, the spread of dangerous allergens, and damage to livestock, public health, and the environment. Health disasters such as the mad cow outbreak have left many European consumers with a distrust of corporations and regulatory bodies and a determination to understand where their food comes from. While some genetically modified crops are allowed in Europe, the European Union has instituted strict regulatory requirements for labeling and traceability and has effectively placed a moratorium on approving new crops. These regulations have caused friction with the U.S. government by limiting the import of U.S. agricultural products,...
Several models have been developed and are currently available to predict C. perfringens germination and outgrowth in meat and poultry products. The most widely used ''tertiary'' predictive models (software graphic user interface) are the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Pathogen Modeling Program (PMP) and the Perfringens Predictor. These programs have an easy interface, where the user could upload the temperature profile of the product and predict the potential germination and outgrowth of C. perfringens. While the PMP was developed using isothermal growth data for C. perfringens using microbiological media, recent updates to the software include models developed using meat systems. The underlying models used in Perfringens Predictor were collected from literature and was used to develop a dynamic model that allows the user to specify the temperature profile of the product to evaluate potential C. perfringens spore germination and outgrowth.
Population-based prevalence and incidence studies can provide an indirect indication of potential environmental etiologies of PD, although it is impossible to compare between studies of different populations, given that genetic differences could account for the differing prevalence. Within a population, however, these studies can provide critical clues to environmental risk factors. A higher prevalence of PD in rural environments implicates regional farming practices, including pesticides, herbicides, and rural water sources. A higher prevalence of PD in urban environments potentially implicates byproducts of industrialization. Numerous studies demonstrate a higher risk of PD for individuals living in a rural environment in Alberta, Canada (21), Finland (21), the United States (22,23), and Italy (24). However, this relationship has not been found in all studies (25). If increasing world industrialization is a risk factor for PD, the incidence should be increasing throughout the last...
For more than a decade, the U.S. government has estimated the total acreage under illicit-drug cultivation at home and abroad, applying proven methods similar to those used to estimate the size of legal crops. The government knows with less certainty, however, actual crop yields (the amount of coca leaf or OPIUM gum produced per acre). Soil fertility, weather, farming techniques, and plant diseases can produce wide variations in crop yields. Given the clandestine nature of the drug business and variations from year to year and place to place, the government cannot estimate accurately the quantities harvested and available for processing. Furthermore, wide variations in processing efficiencies (depending on the orgin and quality of raw material, technical processing method, size and sophistication of laboratories, and the skill and experience of workers and chemists) make cocaine and heroin production estimates extremely complicated. Using commonly believed processing effi
Organic food, is grown with a number of restrictions. For example, organic farmers in the meat industry give no antibiotics or growth hormones to the animals. Organic food also is prepared without conventional pesticides, fertilizers, or ionizing radiation. The National Organic Program is a federal law that requires all organic food products to meet the same standards and be certified under the same certification process. Along with this program, the USDA has developed strict labeling rules to help consumers know the specific content of the organic food they buy. The USDA organic seal means that at least 95 percent of the product is organic.
Evidence for this change in diet through history comes from studies on the evolutionary aspects of diet, modern-day hunter-gatherers, and traditional diets. Modern agriculture has led to a substantial increase in n-6 fatty acids at the expense of n-3 fatty acids, which has resulted in excessive consumption of n-6 fatty acids by humans.
Today, the Mediterranean region is characterized by a high increase in modernization. The traditional diet of the Mediterranean region has been affected by modernization, particularly in the area of agricultural production for trade. The countries of North Africa and the Middle East struggle the most with modernization problems. This has led to an increase in the dependence on costly food imports from outside the region. While the Greek economy remains rooted in agriculture and the government places a strong emphasis on agricultural reforms, Middle Eastern nations face constraints such as high rates of urbanization, leading to the loss of vital agricultural land.
Spreading untreated abattoir- and or farm wastes (manure, slurry) containing enteric pathogens as fertilizers on agricultural land (Pepperell et al., 2005 Hutchison, Walters, Avery, & Moore, 2004). Therefore, inappropriate land management can mediate infections and or re-infections of animals with enteric pathogens.
In 2005 lobbyists and scientists from AMI were successful in increasing funding for food safety research related to E. coli O157 H7,L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella in meat and poultry products to totals exceeding 2.6 million for USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and 900,000 for USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES). Since 2000, total funding provided has been nearly 20 million for ARS and 7 million for CSREES. What is needed is a cohesive, well-defined research plan to reduce the incidence of foodborne pathogens in meat products. The plan needs measurable milestones, transparent oversight, cooperation, and participation by all stakeholders and both short- and long-term objectives. Based on results to date, US taxpayers may not be getting the optimal returns on their tax dollars allocated for USDA-directed meat hygiene research.
FIGURE 3.1 Author Peter Kaufman is shown standing in a plantation of tree of joy (Camptotheca accuminata) trees planted in southern Louisiana at the Citrus Experiment Station, located near Port Sulphur, LA, as part of a research project sponsored by the Agricultural Experiment Station of the Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, LA and XyloMed Research, Inc. (Photo provided by Tracy Moore, President of XyloMed Research, Inc.). FIGURE 3.1 Author Peter Kaufman is shown standing in a plantation of tree of joy (Camptotheca accuminata) trees planted in southern Louisiana at the Citrus Experiment Station, located near Port Sulphur, LA, as part of a research project sponsored by the Agricultural Experiment Station of the Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, LA and XyloMed Research, Inc. (Photo provided by Tracy Moore, President of XyloMed Research, Inc.).
Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2003) USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16. Available atwww.nal.usda.gov fnic foodcomp. From U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2003) USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16. Available at www.nal.usda.gov fnic foodcomp. Data source U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2003. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http www.nal.usda.gov fnic foodcomp. From U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2003) USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16. Available at www.nal.usda.gov fnic foodcomp. From U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2003) USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16. Available at www.nal.usda.gov fnic foodcomp.
PhotochemDB is an abridged form of the original Phytochemical Database developed by Dr. James A. Duke and Stephen M. BeckstromSternberg of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) it contains only the phytochemical and taxonomic data. It is housed at the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory (NGRL), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is a specialized database devoted to providing data on chemicals found in medicinal plants, including quantity, taxonomic occurrence, and activity. The database can be searched by genus, family, common name, or chemical.
The National Agricultural Library (NAL) is one of four national libraries in the United States the others are the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Library of Education. The primary source for agricultural information in the United States, the library seeks to increase the availability and utilization of agricultural information for researchers, educators, policymakers, consumers of agricultural products, and the public. It also serves as the U.S. center for coordinating international access to resources and information. and Other Reference Publications go next to the Alternative Farming Systems (AFSIC) section to select particular bibliographies, such as Herbs and Herb Gardening, Growing for the Medicinal Herb Market, and Resource Guide to Growing and Using Herbs.
Acknowledgments We thank collaborators and colleagues in the oomycete field for useful discussions and insight. This work was supported by NSF Plant Genome Research Program grant DBI-0211659. Salaries and research support were provided, in part, by State and Federal Funds appropriated to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University.
The inadvertent selecting of microbial strains for antibiotic or antiviral resistance through prophylactic use can accelerate the natural evolution of newer strains. Over-applying and spreading animal waste on crop or pasture land can contaminate agricultural land with these newer strains. From there, these new strains can be transported into surface or ground waters and introduced into human settings (JETACAR, 1999). Pathogens originating within a confined operation or inadvertently introduced into a confined operation (through human contact, feed, contaminated implements, or other means) can be retransmitted through the spreading or disposal of the waste on land.
The patenting of plants and animals means that farmers must pay royalties to the patent holder each time they breed their stock. The traditional farming practice of saving part of one year's crop to use as seed for planting the following year at no cost is no longer even possible with many hybrid crops. These crops cannot be regrown, and the farmer is forced to buy a fresh supply of patented seed each year, together with the agrochemicals on which the seeds depend.
Intensive farming methods and food processing have stripped our food of much of its vital nutritional content. Many of the foods we eat today are nutritionally lacking. Even if we eat a 'healthy diet' it is virtually impossible to get the amounts of nutrients across the board that we need for optimal health.
This work is a publication of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Tex. This project has been funded in part with federal funds from the USDA ARS under Cooperative Agreement No. 58-6250-6-001. Contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDA, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US government.
Much of the land in the growing zones cannot produce legitimate agricultural products sufficient to support the farming population. 5. There are difficulties in finding international markets to accept the substitute crop for example, in Bolivia's Chapare region, oranges and coffee are viable agricultural products, but the international coffee cartel and U.S. citrus growers do not allow Bolivian products to compete for shares of existing markets.
The major law relating to food safety is the Food and Drugs Act and regulations. Until May 1997 HC was responsible for food, health, safety, and nutrition as well as for administering the Food and Drugs Act and regulations (Smith and Jukes 1997). Food labeling regulations are part of Food and Drugs Act and regulations, but enforcement was shared with AAFC. AAFC administered the Meat Inspection Act and the Canadian Agricultural Products Act. FOC administered the Fish Inspection Act. The Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act standardizes the form and manner of essential information on the label of all prepackaged consumer products including foods. The required information includes the common name of the product, the net quantity, and name and address of the company or person responsible for the product. Canadian regulations require this information to be provided in both official languages, English and French.
Sprouted rhizomes collected from the vigorously growing mother plants are used as planting material. About 80 000 propagules are required for one hectare of land. The planting time is June-July. The rhizome bits are planted in about 6 cm deep furrows with a spacing of 30 cm between the rows and 35 cm between the plants. Application of farmyard manure or compost, 8-10 tonnes hectare supplemented with organic fertilizer is needed for good growth. For satisfactory cultivation and yield application of 100 kg ha nitrogen is recommended (Tiwari et al., 2000 Kumar et al., 2000).
Agricultural land occupies 74 per cent of the area of the UK (based on 2005 data), as shown in Table 19.3. Throughout history there have been expansions in agricultural land use, the latest being the Victorian and mid-twentieth-century periods. In 1872, Changes in agricultural land management in the UK from the 1960s to 2005 have been reviewed by Posthumus et al. (2008). Whilst the total land agricultural land area has declined, there have also been important shifts in the make-up of the total land use. For instance, Fig. 19.6 shows increased areas under wheat and oilseed rape. These changes have hydrological implications because of the associated changes in farming practices, in particular a move from spring to winter sown cereals. This causes increased working on the soil in the autumn and, with fewer fields containing stubble over the winter, a greater cover of bare soil in early winter. A significant development over the past 40 years is the increasing size, power and work rate of...
The mean nutrient uptake of the crop is 22.8 kg N, 28 kg P2O5 and 36.9 kg K2O per hectare. Application of 50-75 kg N, 60 kg P2O5 and 50-75 kg K2O is found to be beneficial for increased rhizome and oil yields. Application of farmyard manure at 30 tonnes ha is superior to the application of nutrients through inorganic form of fertilizers and it increased the yield by 60 . A well-managed plantation yields about 4-6 tonnes of fresh rhizomes per hectare. The dry recovery varies from 23 to 28 . Leaf rot disease may occur during the rainy season and can be controlled by trenching the beds with 1 Bordeaux mixture.
Research on the achievement motive typically takes the form of correlating TAT need for achievement (nAch) scores with other measures thought to be related to achievement. Demonstrating the relationship between nAch and success in entrepreneurial activities is one example of this type of research. Starting and managing a small business appears to of fer a high degree of satisfaction for the person with a strong need to achieve. It provides an opportunity to engage in a challenging pursuit, to assume responsibility for making decisions and taking action, and to obtain swift and objective feedback about the success of one' s performance. Studies in several countries have found that men with a high nAch are more attracted to business occupations than are their peers who have a low nAch (McClelland, 1965). A study of farmers (who are, in ef fect, small business operators) showed that those with a high need to achieve were more likely than low nAch farmers to adopt innovative farming...
The propagation is both vegetative (through bulbs) or through seeds. In vegetative propagation bulbs that are three or four years old and of 3-4 cm diameter are used About 2.5 x 105-3 x 105 bulbs are needed for a hectare (Munshi et al., 1989). When seed is used, 1-1.5 kg seeds ha is sown in the first year, and in the second year re-seeding at the rate of 200 g ha is practised to maintain the required population. Sowing is in September-October in rows spaced at 15-20 cm, in raised beds. Germination takes place after the winter in April. During the growing period, growth and development of aerial shoot and underground tubers takes place, and in the ensuing winter the aerial portion dies out and the tubers remain dormant in the soil (Panwar 2000). A fertilizer dose of 20-25 kg farmyard manure (FYM), 60 kg of nitrogen, 30 kg of phosphorus and 30 kg potash per hectare is recommended for good yield (Panwar et al., 1993, Panwar, 2000). Irrigation is recommended at peak flowering and seed...
The authors thank the CNPq (the Brazilian Government Organization for grant aid and fellowship to Brazilian researchers), CNPq Ministry of Agriculture, the Araucaria Foundation, PPSUS Brazilian Ministry of Health, Parana Fund SETI and CAPES (Co-ordination for Formation of High Level Professionals) for the financial support for projects on mycotoxins. The authors also thank the CNPq for the productivity fellowships granted to E.Y.S. Ono, E.Y. Hirooka, and M.A. Ono. A special thanks to CAST (the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) for permission to use information from Mycotoxins Risks in Plant, Animal and Human Systems, and tables from the FAO Food and Nutrition Paper, respectively.
Eating whole foods is better for the economy as well. Organic foods are usually raised by small farms. Each time you buy an organically raised plant or animal product, you are helping someone to earn a living. Isn't that preferable to giving your money to a multinational food company that mass produces its product, not caring about the health of the soil, the planet, the animals, or ourselves
With the trend towards pre-processed foods (convenience foods), the demand for organic spices is increasing. Organic agriculture has gained importance in modern societies. This had led to the development of international trade for organic spices. Europe, the USA and Japan are by far the largest markets, though there are smaller but interesting markets in many other countries, including a few developing countries. The importance of organic agriculture can be inferred from the fact that some European countries are supporting organic agriculture by giving subsidies for conversion. As a matter of fact, organic products are more expensive than the conventional counterparts and fetch a premium in the international market. Prices may be higher by 20-50 but gaining certification from recognized international agencies is a costly affair.
The small white flowers bloom in November and December in the plains and mid summer in the hills. The harvesting is usually done from February to May. Flower production ceases when the seeds start maturing and become greyish-brown in colour. The yield is 400-600 kg ha under a rain-fed farming system and 1200-2000 kg ha under irrigated conditions. Collar root rot and powdery mildew are the major diseases and are controlled by spraying mancozeb (0.2 ) and wettable sulphur (0.2 ), respectively. Insects do not cause much damage to the crop.
Uniformity is another difficult area. Strictly speaking, since herbs are agricultural products, uniformity should start with the sites of agricultural production. The sites of production have different weather conditions, different soil contents, and different methods of plantation. At the moment, maybe more than 50 of popular Chinese herbs are produced on special farms in China. However, these farms are scattered over different provinces in China, which have widely different climatic and soil environments. Good agricultural practice demands that environmental and nurturing procedures be uniformly ensured. Procedures include soil care, watering, fertilizers, pest prevention, and harvests. When such procedures are not uniform and there are no means to ensure a common practice, good agricultural practice is not possible.
The gathering was designed to encourage cross-pollination between governments, universities, and industries, with the aim of producing a bumper crop of dollars all round. Saskatoon is the hub of agricultural research in the province of Saskatchewan, and the provincial premier pleased his constituency in his opening address by predicting that sales figures for the region's agbiotech companies could jump from 40 million in 1996 to nearly 1 billion by the year 2010. products that make them money, it is also true that they won't make money if farmers and consumers reject their products, or if legislators prohibit them. And while organic farmers and environmentalists have reason to see big business as their enemy, the very same economic and scientific resources that build corporations can also be an ally for example, in finding alternatives to toxic sprays and artificial fertilizers, and creating niche markets for unusual or traditional products.
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