Floppy synonymous with sustainability!
Sustainable agricultural practices are an effort to make farming activities compatible to Mother Nature’s eco system. Making a shift from conventional farming to biological farming is a serious decision. Biological farming harnesses science and nature to create superior farming practices through a systemic approach. Biological farmers use natural systems to improve soil structure, control weeds, pests, and diseases whilst improving crop quality.
Success in biological farming is indirectly determined by the ability to feed and increase soil organisms that makes the soil alive and fertile. Organic particles and living microorganisms are important components to a soil profile. The organic particles act as a sponge that holds valuable nutrients for crops. Living microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, algae and earthworms process and decompose the inert minerals and organic materials in the soil.
Biological farming expert, Tienie Theunissen believes that pests, plagues and certain illnesses are the result of the utilization of unnatural chemical substances for chemigation, fertigtion and the application of herbicides. Concern for the ill effects of treating food products with chemical substances have resulted in a growing awareness for organic farming. More and more people are buying products that are biologically grown. Moreover, more and more farmers are turning to biological farming.
One of these farmers is Wessel Maritz who farms with sugar cane on the farm, Ou Niek near Hectorspruit. The Maritz family has been farming in the Lowveld region of Mpumalanga for many years. According to Maritz biological farming entails farming with microorganisms and compost. According to Theunissen N.P.K. is the main elements of fertilisers which is applied as a salt and which is absorb by a plant through the process of osmosis. As a result, there is too much nutrients in the plant to process. Plants subsequently release a smell that attracts pests and parasites such as lice and mites etc., which feast on these nutrients depleting the plants reserves and resulting in stress conditions. In an effort to relieve the stress experienced by his crops a farmer will then again supplement this ultimately leads to a bad chain reaction, killing the “good” organisms in the soil. According to Theunissen, it is therefore good practice to use compost. Theunissen states that one tonne compost is equal to 20 tons of manure but does not have undesireable gasses such as NH3 and other harmful particles.
The Floppy Sprinkler system is ideal for biological farming. The Floppy Sprinkler system does not require the use of harmful chemicals to clean or flush its reticulation periodically. According to Maritz, it is possible to apply microorganisms through the Floppy Sprinkler system. According to him the “distribution of the micro organisms are very good”.
The Floppy Sprinkler system is simple to use and the application of water can be manipulated to create a climate conducive to enhancing microbe activity. Therefore it is also possible to make your own compost by using the Floppy Sprinkler system.
Biological farming seems to be the focus of the future, which will not only promote more sustainable agricultural practices but also produce crops of high quality. It seems that biological farming is a win-win approach to produce crops.