Differences Between Chemical Farming and Organic Farming

Soil Differences

Chemical Farming Organic Farming
What is it? What is it?
Cultivation and production
(Nutrient, pest & disease management) of crops by inorganic chemical inputs
Cultivation and production
(Nutrient, pest & disease management) of crops by biodegradable organic inputs
Against Nature
In chemically managed soil, the plant nutrients are supplied only through inorganic source, without any organic carbon source to derive food. This ultimately deprives the soil-eco system of the growth medium
Harmony with nature
In an organic management, the focus is on food web relations and element cycling aiming to maximize the agro-ecosystem's stability, sustainability and homeostasis (balanced equilibrium)
Blocks The Microbial Activity
Due to the absence of carbon source, microbial population trends to be less or sometimes NIL in soil
Increases The Microbial Life
Organics is the main source for nutrients. The soil microbes derive the food from the carbaneous source and multiply and make the soil lively, also decomposing the complex organic compounds present in the added organics
Soil structure is destroyed
Non-availability of binding material of the soil particles result in disintegration and reduce the soil granulation. In the long run it may reduce the productive capacity of land to harbor the crops & become unfit for production
Soil structure improves
Stable organic resins (humus) resulting from organic residue decomposition imparts stability to soil aggregates and corrects the permeability i.e., crumb like structure. This structure facilitates to improve soil aeration, water holding capacity, root penetration, while reducing the soil erosion by b aggregation of soil particles
Soil becomes dead
While chemical farming satisfies only the crop nutrient requirements, it is not conducive for biological environment of the soil, finally resulting in a problematic soil loaded with inorganic salts
Soils become fertile
Here the biological property of the soil is improved by addition of organic manure. Intensive biological activity promotes better symbiotic relationship between plant and the soil focusing on sustainable plant production and nutrient management.
Alters the soil pH
Continuous use of inorganic chemicals leads to changes in the pH of the soil (either acidic or saline depending on the type of fertilizer used). It unbalances the nutrient availability status and in some cases creates toxicity to the plants
Buffering of soils (Enables neutral pH)
Presence of colloidal matter improves the buffering capacity of the soil and Cation Exchanging Capacity. It regulates the nutrient availability due to buffering action, besides checking the toxicity levels to plants and soil microbes
Nutrients are available only for shorter period
Certain fertilizers in the absence of microbes permanently fix on to the soil particles and may not be available for plant root absorption. In addition, the chemical fertilizers are easily water soluble and this may lead to various types of losses through leaching, evaporation, etc.
Nutrients available for longer period
Microbes decompose the complex organic compounds to mineral components and CO2. Further the mineral elements are converted in to available plant nutrients through mineralization process. These ions are held by organic matter and soil colloids and are slowly released as nutrients over a longer period.
Leads to erosion
Absence of binding agents (organic substances) between soil particles makes the soil particles to be easily detached by water and wind. It leads to loss of top fertile soils ultimately making the land barren and unfit for farming/cultivation
Prevents the soil erosion
Organic soil management techniques such as organic fertilization, mulching and cover cropping increases aggregation (by organic acid), improves soil structure and therefore increase the soil's water infiltration and retention capacity, substantially reducing the risk of erosion
Accumulation of hazardous material in soil
Over and abuse of chemical fertilizers (nitrate) & pesticides harm the biological life of the soil. The residues such as heavy metals present in the inorganic soils may pose serious health hazards. Excessive nutrient & salt application such as nitrate, causes ground water pollution, & may be linked to certain diseases in human beings
There is no hazardous material in soil
It doesn’t leave any residues/ hazardous material in the soil since all input is biodegradable & non-toxic

Crop Differences

Chemical Farming Organic Farming
Quick lodging of crop
Most of the nutrient is leached beyond the root zone and the crop might loose much of the needed nutrient for better root anchor. Similarly chemically managed soil doesn’t provide much of the structure support to the crops. The combination of above leads to lodging of crop
Provide good anchorage to the crop
Physical (structure), chemical (nutrients transformation and mineralization) and biological activity (decomposition) favors the crop stand and growth. Liveliness’ of soil provides a good growth media and support to crop growth
More chemical residues present in crops
For managing fertility, pest and diseases large quantity of synthetic chemicals are used in crops. It does not metabolize properly and leaves residues as such in the end product. it will reduce the quality of product and can turn into poison for consumption
No chemical residues present in crop
Only decomposable materials (organic manure and biocontrol agent) are used. It does not leave any harmful residue in the crop or the soil environment
Crops are highly susceptible to pests and diseases
Crops are in fleshy condition naturally inviting pest and diseases. A chemically grown crop does not have much resistance power against pest and diseases because of less cell wall thickness & low calcium and potassium absorption by plants
Protects from pests and diseases
Availability of much of calcium and potassium in organically managed soils improves the uptake in crops. It provides the natural resistance to crops against pest and diseases.
Harvested produce are in low quality
The conversion of source to sink, non availability of nutrients especially potassium reduce the quality of the product.
Premium quality
nutrients availability in entire crop growth period, increases up taking capacity and proper conversion of source to sink improves the keeping quality especially of fruits and vegetables

Health / Social Differences

Chemical Farming Organic Farming
Cause pollution to the environment
Chemically managed soils release the residues in soil and water environment leads to pollution. sometimes it causes toxic effect to human environment
Pollution free approach
All practices are interrelated and the end product will be decomposable one. so there is no cause for environmental pollution
Provide chemical mixed /toxic food to the human life
Inorganic fertilizers (nitrogen) and pesticide (synthetic compound) does not decompose properly and leave residues in plant parts, when used as feed material for animal and food for human beings may create a diseases, and malformations
Provide nutritive food to the human life
In organic farming, ideal combination of agronomical, physical and biological measures bring down the population harmful microbes and do not release any residues in soil and crop environment. The plant parts from organically managed soils are intuitively rich and safe
Causes inborn disease to the human beings
Presence of toxic substance in food materials alters the genetic characteristics of human beings. this genetic mutation cause several in borne disease to human beings
It provides the immune power to the human beings
Crops are grown under balanced nutritive approach. Crop uptake nutrients as and when required in entire growing period and convert the absorbed nutrients properly in to sink. when the food material from organically managed soils are consumed, natural immunity of the human beings is developed.

Economic Differences

Chemical Farming Organic Farming
High investments in inputs
Inorganic input materials are costly and require much technical knowledge and investment to produce and handle
Low investments in inputs material
Organic input materials are less costly source, readily available at the door step & very easy to apply.
Highly fluctuation in yield
Fertilizer managed soil does not provide nutrient properly during the entire crop duration. The deficiency of one essential nutrient directly effects the growth and metabolism and act antagonistic to other nutrient absorption by crop resulting in fluctuation and loss in yield
Satisfactory and reliable yield
The nutrients are available in entire crop period in balanced way. It provides optimal environment to the crop growth and taps the full genetic potential of crops to provide satisfactory level yield and quality
No strands to break competitiveness
There is no difference in harvested product among the chemically managed farming. it reduces the offer in a competitive market Products sold in low rate Chemical farming products are less keeping quality as well as low nutrient status. There fore it offers only low rates in market.
High efficiency to improve the competitiveness
The end product is superior in nutritive quality than chemical farming and gets higher offer in the competitive market Offered premium price. Where as in organic farming products presence of potassium improves the keeping quality and also it have more nutritive value in balanced way. it offers much premium price in market