Dinesh Panday 1,†, Nikita Bhusal 2, Saurav Das 3,*,† and Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani 4

1 Rodale Institute, Pocono Organic Center, Long Pond, PA 18610, USA; dinesh.panday@huskers.unl.edu
2 Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA; bhusalnikita@ufl.edu
3 Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68543, USA
4 Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA 19530, USA; arash.ghale@rodaleinstitute.org
* Correspondence: sdas4@unl.edu
These authors contributed equally to this work.


Organic farming, which is deeply rooted in traditional agricultural practices, has witnessed a profound evolution over the last century. Transitioning from a grassroots initiative resisting the industrialization of agriculture to a global industry, organic farming now plays a pivotal role in addressing contemporary challenges related to environmental health, sustainability, and food safety. Despite the growing consumer demand for organic products and market access, organic farming has its challenges. This paper discusses the origin and evolution of organic farming with an emphasis on different types of organic fertilizers, benefits, and challenges. Nutrient variability and the slowrelease nature of organic fertilizer often do not meet crop demands and can substantially reduce yield. Some organic fertilizers, like manure and biosolids, can provide a higher yield benefit, but there are environmental and health risks associated with them. Weed and pest management in organic farming can be labor-intensive and increase costs. Inefficient planning of organic farming and rapid transition can also create food insecurity. This paper also gives a brief account of the current certification process for organic fertilizers and their technicalities. It showcases how the holistic approach of organic farming extends beyond production, including strategies like reducing food waste and building self-sufficient farming communities. These practices contribute to a more sustainable agricultural system, reducing environmental impacts and supporting local economies. Future technological innovations, especially in precision agriculture and bio-physicochemical models, can help in formulating targeted organic fertilizers.

Keywords: organic farming; Organic Materials Review Institute; organic fertilizers; regenerative agriculture; soil health

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