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International Organisation of Biological Control (IOBC) describes Integrated Farming according to the UNI 11233-2009 European standard as a farming system where high quality organic food, feed, fibre and renewable energy are produced by using resources such as soil, water, air and nature as well as regulating factors to farm sustainably and with as little polluting inputs as possible.[1]

Particular emphasis is placed on an integrated organic management approach looking at the whole Bio farm as cross-linked unit, on the fundamental role and function of agro-ecosystems, on nutrient cycles which are balanced and adapted to the demand of the crops, and on health and welfare of all livestock on the farm. Preserving and enhancing soil fertility, maintaining and improving a diverse environment and the adherence to ethical and social criteria are indispensable basic elements. Crop protection takes into account all biological, technical and chemical methods which then are balanced carefully and with the objective to protect the environment, to maintain profitability of the business and fulfil social requirements.[2]

EISA European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture e. V. have an Integrated Farming Framework[3] which provides additional explanations on key aspects of Integrated Farming. These include: Organisation & Planning, Human & Social Capital, Energy Efficiency, Water Use & Protection, Climate Change & Air Quality, Soil Management, Crop Nutrition, Crop Health & Protection, Animal Husbandry, Health & Welfare, Landscape & Nature Conservation and Waste Management Pollution Control.

LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming)[4] in the UK promotes a comparable model and defines Integrated Farm Management (IFM) as whole farm business approach that delivers more sustainable farming.[5] LEAF's Integrated Farm Management consists of nine interrelated sections: Organisation & Planning, Soil Management & Fertility, Crop Health & Protection, Pollution Control & By-Product Management, Animal Husbandry, Energy Efficiency, Water Management, and Landscape & Nature Conservation.

Classification Edit

Integrated Farming in the context of sustainable agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO promotes Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as the preferred approach to crop protection and regards it as a pillar of both sustainable intensification of crop production and pesticide risk reduction.[6] IPM thus is one indispensable element of Integrated Crop Management which in turn is one essential part of the holistic Integrated Farming approach towards sustainable agriculture.

FARRE (Forum des Agriculteurs Responsables Respectueux de l'Environnement)[7] defines a set of common principles and practices to help farmers achieve these goals:

Principles:

Producing sufficient high quality food, fibre and industrial raw materials

Meeting the demands of society

Maintaining a viable farming business

Caring for the environment

Sustaining natural resources

Practices:

Organisation and management

Monitoring and auditing

Crop protection

Animal husbandry

Soil and water management

Crop nutrition

Energy management

Waste management and pollution prevention

Wildlife and landscape management

Crop rotation and variety choice

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