Organic farming

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Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms.[1] Organic farming usually involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control.

Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972. IFOAM defines the overarching goal of organic farming as:

Since 1990, the market for organic products has grown from nothing, reaching $51 billion in 2008. This demand has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland. Approximately 35,200,000 hectares (87,000,000 acres) worldwide are now farmed organically, representing approximately 0.8 percent of total world farmland (2008).[3][not in citation given] In addition, as of 2008 organic wild products are harvested on approximately 31 million hectares.[4][not in citation given]

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