Farming Without Chemicals: How Can It Be Done?
Andre Leu is an Australian organic farmer, an internationally recognised speaker, the author of ‘The Myths of Safe Pesticides’ and “Poisoning Our Children”. He was past President of IFOAM (The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). and presently he is the international director of Regeneration International. As a child Andre suffered from the effects of the chemicals used on the family farm and was often ill. This experience led him to become an organic farmer and for the past 40 years has worked in all areas of organic agriculture, from growing crops, pest-control, weed management, marketing and post-harvest transport to grower organisations, developing new crops and education – not only in his home country Australia, but across Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa.
– Using ecological systems to manage pests and diseases Successful regenerative farming requires a whole-farm approach. This means managing a crop or animal as an integral part of the farm system rather than in isolation. Soil health
is the key principle to successful regenerative organic farming. Most pests and diseases are opportunistic. They ‘attack’ plants that are stressed, biologically balanced soil ensures minimal disease and insect damage. These soils are rich in beneficial organisms, nutrients and have a good structure. Add good levels of compost/compost tea into the soil Adequate calcium and boron levels in soils Biodiversity
The more biological complexity designed into a farming system means the less chances for pests and diseases to colonize and dominate that system. Plant non host species and resistant varieties Ecological Functional Intensification (EFI)
Include: Rotations to break pest and disease cycles. Baits, lures, traps and Pheromone disrupters. Strict Quarantine controls to prevent pests and disease entering.
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- Regenerative Agriculture – Using ecological systems to manage pests and diseases
- Cultural Controls Pests and Diseases
- Host Plants – Functional Biodiversity-Agroecology
- Eco-function intensification
Andre’s presentation is part of the Organic Agriculture Association’s (OAA)1day seminar Pesticides: Safety Myths and Farming Without Pesticides
Farming Secrets acknowledges OAA for allowing filming of the event and thank the event sponsors. Cover photo showing no rust with no sprays. Courtesy Andre Leu