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If you are conventional Farmer

In case you are using agro chemicals in your farm presently then conversion into Biodynamic will take some 24 months in the least. It would be advisable to start the conversion process in a small patch of the farm. Two acres can be good begining.

For a BD farm 2 medium sized cows per Hectare is a requirment which is enough to fullfill the manure requirements of the farm. A lot of importance is given to the farm biodiversit and bio fencing, hedges, natural habitats to encourage the population of friendly pests and parasites.

The First step will also involve with the detoxification of the soil and water in the farm, this can be done with deep plough in summer, green manuring, changing the crop etc.

Biodyamic composting should be started 3-4 months before the crop cycle so that it can be used for the crop as basal dose.

Biodynamic compost is an aerobic composting system and practically all trash and organic waste is transformed into high quality compost. The ready compost contains between 12-15kgs of NPK per ton and sufficient quantities of micro nutrients. The compost has balanced CN ratio which is important for the fields.

As soon as the compost is made the farmer should also make other on farm inputs ke liquid manures, CPP and bio-pesticides.

Biodynamic agriculture involves the use of the field preparations 500 and 501 these have to be used at the time of sowing and during the early stages for the crops. Annual crops should receive 3-4 times the field sprays especially prep 500.

The other preparations 502-507 are used in compost and for making the CPP (COW Pat Pit).

The farmer must use the package of practice for each crop and spend more time in the farm.

Pest and Disease Management

One of the biggest challenges in the change from chemical to Biodynamic in hybrid seeds of vegetables is the management of disease and pests. One must remember that once the farm has been managed with chemical sprays the farms has lost its vigour to fight back disease and pests created by the changes in weather and also brought in by the hybrid seeds. There are hardly any friendly pests like lady birds beetles, grass hoppers, spiders etc. The soil is pathogenic and has very litle pro biotic microorganisms. The fertility part is being taken care of by use of different BD field sprays and manures which will also support the pest and disease resistance capabilities of the farm.

Meanwhile the preparedness of the BD farmers lies in using a number of pest and disease management techniques which includes mechanical and biological interventiions.

The crops will have to sprayed with prophylactic sprays of farm made biopesticides using the different botanicals talked about in ‘how to make bio pesticides’. The weekly spray will keep the pests in their early instars away from the beginging itself.

A number of potent botanicals are available in all regions of india, they are used by making solutions using the combination of botanicals with cow urine and water, the solution is left to rot and decompose and stirred every morning. The solution is used in ratio of 1:10 after 4-7 days.

Mechanical measures includes the use of trap crops, companion crops, growing hedges and fences, culling eggs and caterpillars by hand using yellow traps, pheromones, night traps etc.

Personal Involvement in the farm

if you are the owner and the farm is being managed by an employee it is evident that you are not involveed personally in the farm operations. But in a biodynamic farm the involvement of the owner is of great importance and the owner mush spend time in some farm operation or the other for example spraying of preparations or making compost or a seeding or planting etc

The frist year if you are dealing with intensie feeder crops like potato, sugarcane, hybrid paddy or apples which have been fed with high doses of agro-chemicals etc you are likely to experience a drop of production by 10-15 percent.

A number of crops like pulses, oil seeds , millets, vegetables like peas, cabbages, carrots etc one is likely get the same production if not more in the first year itself.

After the first year the farmer experiences the first DB crop, he is in a position to take measures to plan for the next crop cycle.

From Organic to Bio Dynamic Agriculture

It is easier to convert an organic farm into a Biodynamic Farm, The Farmer will need to look at the farm with a fresh approach, this time looking at the farm like as an independant and self contained organism wher each component supports and compliments each other.

Once the farmer understands the concept the cows, bees, butterflies and birds all become members of farms and services are noticed. The prepartions bring in the vitality in the farm which is indicated in the form of perpetual flowering and fruiting in crops. Ther farmers will notice disease resistance in plants and low incidence of pests each year. Ther farmer will also notice more earthworms in the soil, crumbly structure in the soil and water absorption.

In Biodynamic agriculture a lot of importance is given to the understanding of the cosmic forces and their influences on the plant world. Therefore in Biodynamic Agriculture the farmer is encouraged to use of the planting Calendar which is based on the lunar and the solar cycles. A simple one paged calendar is preparted by the organization each with the help of astrophysicist and traditional ‘pundits’ and provided to the farmers for use. The farmers are also trained how to use the calendar. The calendar is uploaded in the websites of the organization each other .

Use of the BD calendar brings about the increase in germination, Low incidence in disease and pest and high quality production.