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Satavic Farms

In a well-managed organic farming system, pests and weeds are considered to be part of the system itself as they do not usually get out of control. As in nature, even in agricultural eco-systems, predators appear and seem to do a good job if they are not disturbed (which is what pesticides end up doing – the target species develops resistance, its predator species is killed, and the result is a huge increase in the pest population in the absence of any natural check).

Many organic farmers believe, and perhaps rightly so, that any pesticide, even natural or biological, should not be used. Many farmers use prophylactics such as diluted cow urine and vermiwash (the fluid from a vermicompost tank) both of which can also be used in greater strengths as pesticides. Biodynamics, Effective Microorganisms, Homa farming and Panchakavya also offer excellent prophylactics, all of which a farmer can undertake on his own farm.

Where prophylactics do not work, and pest populations reach proportions where economic loss is a surety, there are a number of non-chemical methods of pest control. These include, among others :

  • Picking off the pest by hand (where the pest is a large caterpillar for example)
  • Use of pheromone traps
  • Use of light traps (for moths and other insects)
  • Use of predator species (a point of debate)
  • Growing trap crops (e.g. Mustard with cabbage; Maize around cotton)
  • Use of microbial pesticides and biological agents like Heliothis, Spodoptera, Trichogramma, Trichoderma, etc.
  • Using easily-prepared natural pesticides

For preparing natural bio-pesticides, a number of plants can be used. Neem, ginger, chill, vitex negundo (Indian pivet tree), custard apple (the seeds), pongamia pinnata (pongam/karanj), asafoetida, turmeric, garlic, tobacco, sweet flag, nux vomica, tulsi and Persian lilac are among the many plants that are commonly used in pest control. Each pest requires a specific preparation.

We offer training and consultancy services on natural pest control, including on-farm production of biopesticides. To know more, please read the sections on consultancy and training, specialised areas of consultancy and training and production of organic inputs.