The life of soil is the starting point for organic plant production.
Since the use of soluble fertilisers is strictly limited – in particular mineral nitrogen fertilisers are not permitted – it is crucial to boost the natural fertility of the soil through the activity of soil organisms (bacteria, fungi, etc) which can transfer nutrients to the plants.
Multiannual crop rotation is essential
Organic farmers use multiannual crop rotation, including legumes and other green manure crops, and apply livestock manure or organic material in order to increase the fertility and the biological activity of the soil. In order to maintain or increase the soil organic matter, and enhance soil stability and soil biodiversity, appropriate cultivation practices, like tillage, are preferred. The use of biodynamic preparations is allowed.
Prevention of pests’ development
To prevent the development of pests, diseases and weeds, organic farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides or herbicides. This is the reason why the choice of resistant species and varieties is favoured. Multiannual crop rotation and appropriate cultivation techniques play a role in the protection of plants against pests, diseases and weeds. Organic farmers can also rely on thermal processes, the use of natural pest enemies, like ladybugs or trichogramma, an, in the case of an established threat to a crop, plant protection products authorised for use in organic production.