How does biodynamic farming differ from organic farming?
All biodynamic farmers and growers practice organic methods of production, and share very similar certification standards. Both also share similar aims and ideals, but biodynamics has metaphysical and spiritual roots that organics does not.
It is this that makes biodynamics distinctively different in both its approach to agriculture, and its farming practices.
The main differences between biodynamic and organic farming standards are:
The farm is viewed differently
In biodynamic agriculture the farm (or holding) is considered to have its own identity and be a self- sustaining organism in its own right. A fundamental principle which a biodynamic farm works towards is thus to be a 'closed loop' system that does not need to buy in feed or fertility from external suppliers, or one that is stretched beyond its natural capacity. To find out more, click here, to read an article about converting to biodynamics
Compost is king
The use of home made compost (and manures) enlivened with biodynamic herbal preparations is obligatory and unique to biodynamic farming. To find out more, click here.
Biodynamic farmers have a tool box of natural remedies to support their farms
The use of biodynamic herbal and mineral preparations to improve the health and vitality of land and crops is also unique to biodynamic farming. To find out more, click here.
Biodynamic farmers often use a planting calendar
Though not obligatory, a biodynamic astronomical calendar is can be consulted to help assess optimum times for sowing, planting etc. To find out more, click here.
Biodynamic farmers do not de-horn their cattle
Dehorning cattle is forbidden in biodynamic (Demeter) standards; as is the use of organophosphate (OP) insecticides to control sheep scab.