What Are Organic Crops?

Jennifer Leigh

Organic crops are farmed without the use of pesticides and other petroleum-based chemicals and instead utilize natural methods that farmers have been using for thousands of years. These methods include crop rotation, cover crops, and compost to fertilize the land and natural methods to prevent or rid crops of insects and other pests. In addition, organic crops are not grown from seeds that have been genetically altered. Farmers utilize methods to grow organic crops because they are considered better for the environment and safer to eat because they do not have traces of chemical residues on or within them.

Organic farming uses no pesticides or petroleum-based chemicals.
Organic farming uses no pesticides or petroleum-based chemicals.

As long as crops are farmed utilizing certain methods, they are considered organic crops. Designations for organic crops are created by various government entities, which define the regulations that must be followed to be included in this category. This means there can be organic fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers, and many other varieties of organic crops.

"Certified organic" crops cannot be grown from genetically modified seeds in the U.S.
"Certified organic" crops cannot be grown from genetically modified seeds in the U.S.

A major part of farming to grow organic products is the use of natural techniques to fertilize the land. Crop rotation is a planned use of land on a farm so that each part of the farm has some time to rest and rejuvenate without having any crops growing on it. Farmers have to consider the impact of growth on each area of the land, as well as their needs for growing a certain amount of crops per season. Cover crops are grown either in between crops that are sold, known as cash crops, or during crop rotation cycles. These plants help replenish the soil with nutrients, so cover crops are chosen based upon the needs of the soil and the abilities of the plants.

Organic farming can be profitable as long as regulations are followed to assure organic certification.
Organic farming can be profitable as long as regulations are followed to assure organic certification.

Compost helps to fertilize land naturally through the use of nutrient-rich waste products that eventually turn into soil. It also helps to keep pests away from crops naturally. Other methods of natural pesticide include the use of natural chemicals, planting barriers around crops, and planting naturally pest-deterring crops.

Many consumers purchase organic crops because they are chemical-free.
Many consumers purchase organic crops because they are chemical-free.

There are many benefits of growing and eating organic crops including land sustainability, increased nutrients in the soil and crops, and less pollution in water systems. Due to the fact that the soil that organic crops are grown in has more nutrients, this also means that the food consumed from the plants have increased nutrients. Organic crops typically do not have pesticides and chemicals on them that can be harmful to the bodies of humans and other types of animals.

The movement to avoid pesticide use in commercial farming began in the 1960s.
The movement to avoid pesticide use in commercial farming began in the 1960s.

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