Farm Systems

The farm is an autonomous system in itself. It has a closed environment within which various agents of the farming system interact among themselves; a dynamically changing relationship with its external context

Biodynamics is an extension of organic agriculture, which views the farm as a living organism, rather than just a collection of plants and animals. Farmers are the core influence within this system, because they determine how the farm functions.

3 axis polarity

three-axis polarity holds the farm in natural equilibrium:

  • Cosmic: shaping agent for form and substance
  • Light and Warmth: bring about the activity of light in the soil
  • Earthly: agency for humus, water, calcium and nitrogen

Biodynamic Farm

Biological Management means reconciling the life conditions of a healthy enduring producing system with economic necessities and with the skills and interests of the farmer.

Features of a biodynamic farm:

  • self-sustaining for manures and animal fodder
  • benefits and is in harmony with Nature rather than exploiting her
  • a mixed and diverse farm – the right balance of animals and crops
  • recycling within the farm, avoiding waste
  • safe pest control methods
  • application of BD preps

Living Systems Theory

Living systems are identified as open self-organizing living things that interact with their environment that can take in from the environment the inputs of information and material-energy they need. Regardless of their complexity, they each depend upon the same essential twenty subsystems (or processes) in order to survive and to continue the propagation of their species or types beyond a single generation.

Emergence and Interaction: The properties (or behavior) of a system as a whole emerge out of the interaction of the components comprising the system.

The ideas put forth and further development by the biodynamic school since 1924, are now in synthesis with the Living Systems Theory.

The application of the Living Systems Theory to the Agriculture and Development has led to the focus area – Farm Systems Research

Farm Systems Research

Scope of study for the Farm Systems Research (FSR)

  • a complex interrelated matrix of soil, plants, animals
  • implements, power, labour capital and other inputs controlled in part by farming families
  • influenced to varying degrees by political, economic, institutional and social forces that operate at many levels.
  • refers to the farm as an entity of interdependent farming enterprises carried out on the farm. 

FSR Initiatives in India

Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research (IIFSR) with focus on farming systems research was established in 2009 by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi at Modipuram, Meerut (Uttar Pradesh). Integrated Farming Systems research is conducted for five major ecosystems, i.e., arid, semi-arid, sub-humid, humid and coastal, representing 15 agro-climatic zones to develop location-specific system based technologies. It also manages The Network Project on Organic Farming (NPOF). The major research programmes identified are Integrated Farming System Management (IFSM), Cropping System & Resource Management (CSRM), Organic Agriculture System (OAS), Technology Transfer & Human Resource Development (TTHRD).