Soil microbial biomass in organic farming system

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de Araújo, Ademir Sérgio Ferreira
de Melo, Wanderley José [UNESP]

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Agricultural production systems have to combine management practices in order to sustain soil's profitability and quality. Organic farming is gaining worldwide acceptance and has been expanding at an annual rate of 20% in the last decade, accounting for over 24 million hectares worldwide. Organic practices avoid applications of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, rely on organic inputs and recycling for nutrient supply, and emphasize cropping system design and biological processes for pest management, as defined by organic farming regulation in the world. In comparison with conventional farming, organic farming has potential benefits in improving food quality and safety. Plant production in organic farming mainly depends on nutrient release as a function of mineralization processes in soils. The build-up of a large and active soil microbial biomass is important pool of accessible nutrients, therefore, is an important priority in organic farming. In organic farming, there is positive effect of quantity and quality of inputs of organic residues on soil microbial biomass. In this way, the organic systems are extremely important for the increase of the soil fertility and the maintenance of the environmental sustainability.



Microbial activity, Organic C, Soil microorganisms, Soil quality

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Ciencia Rural, v. 40, n. 11, p. 2419-2426, 2010.