Sustaining soil biological functions in organic systems

  • 81 pages

  • Published: 30 Apr 2010

  • Author(s): Gupta, Vadakattu V.S.R.

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There is a perception that soil biodiversity under Australian organic farming systems is higher than conventional farming but there is a very limited knowledge base. In this scoping project, we obtained initial scientific information on the status of key functional groups of soil microflora and associated functions essential for nutrient management and plant health. This report provides ‘science behind the belief’ for the various perceived biological benefits from organic systems in broad acre agriculture using a system based approach.

In this scoping project, we present initial science-based information on the status of soil biological health under broad acre-organic farming systems in the southern Australian rainfed agricultural region.

The report contains quantitative information about the levels of key functional groups of soil microbiota essential for nutrient supply, disease suppression and overall soil resource quality after exposure to organic farming practices for more than 3 years and compared to a neighbouring conventional farm. Currently there is very little such information available for these systems.