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10 Chemicals Used in Organic Farming – Formula – Functions

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Are you familiar with organic farming? Organic farming is the alternative to the agricultural system since 20th century. Organic farming is usually associated with the use of fertilizers from an organic origin, such as compost, green manure, bone meal, and so on. In details, organic farming is a system of agricultural production that does not use genetically modified seed, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. With this system, soil quality and soil organic matter, in general, is claimed to be enhanced.

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But did you know that even though it is called organic, there are also other chemicals that are used in organic farming? The National Board of America even made a list of what chemical is allowed in organic farming and what chemical is not allowed. If you are curious on what chemical used in organic farming nowadays, what is allowed or not, then you can read it below. We’ve resumed a list of chemicals used in organic farming.

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1. Chlorine

Chlorine is a chemical element with a symbol Cl. It is number 17 in the periodic table. This chemical is the second-lightest of the halogens. Chlorine lies between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table, which means that its properties are mostly intermediate between them too. It has a yellow-green color at a gas room temperature. It is a very reactive element and a strong oxidizing agent.

Chlorine is actually the third-highest element with electronegativity, behind only oxygen and fluorine. On the other hand, it is the element with the highest electron affinity. In organic farming, a compound of chlorine with other chemical is usually used as a disinfectant. Specifically, calcium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, and sodium hypochlorite are used in post-harvest management.

Chlorine is actually the third-highest element with electronegativity, behind only oxygen and fluorine. On the other hand, it is the element with the highest electron affinity. In organic farming, a compound of chlorine with other chemical is usually used as a disinfectant. Specifically, calcium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, and sodium hypochlorite are used in post-harvest management.

General structure or formula

Below is the chemical structure of chlorine compound used in organic farming:

  • Calcium hypochlorite formula is Ca(ClO)2
  • Chlorine dioxide formula is ClO2
  • Sodium hypochlorite formula is NaClO

Functions of Chlorine in Organic Farming 

Chlorine is used in organic farming as follow:

  1. As disinfectants on pre-harvest crops and post-harvest management.
  2. A disinfectant in the cleaning systems of soil irrigation systems.
  3. Seed preparations (hydrogen chloride ).

Calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite, and chlorine dioxide are the chemical compounds allowed to be used in to satisfy disinfectant function in organic farming. While hydrogen chloride is used for delinting cotton seed for planting.

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2. Ozone

Ozone is an inorganic molecule consisted of three oxygen. You might know it as a gas that lies somewhere inside our atmosphere that protects us from the ultraviolet ray of the sun. But ozone does not lie on the sky, it is there on the ground too. Another name of ozone, which is also a cooler name, is trioxygen. Ozone has a somewhat blue color, with a distinctive pungent smell. It is legally used in organic farming.

General structure or formula

Like what it is called, a trioxygen, ozone has a formula of O3. As you might guess, this is why it is called a trioxygen.

Functions of Ozone in Organic Farming 

In organic farming, ozone is used as an alternative disinfectant of water to chlorine. Through its action as an oxidizer, ozone provides a disinfectant power that rapidly attacks bacterial cell walls of plant pathogens. When a farmer uses an ozone, the undesirable by-products of disinfection are fewer compared when it is treated with chlorine.

Also read: Dangerous Chemicals

3. Peroxyacetic Acid

Peroxyacetic acid, also known as peracetic acid is an organic compound that is colorless liquid with a characteristic acrid odor similar to acetic acid. This compound can be highly corrosive. Compared to its parent, acetic acid, peracetic acid is a weaker acid with a pK of only 8.2. It is produced industrially by the autoxidation fo acetaldehyde. It has a molar mass of 76.05 g/mol and density of 1.0375 g/mL. Its melting point is very low, which is only 0-degree celsius. Its boiling point is relatively high, which is around 105-degree Celsius. Peroxyacetic acid is an allowed compound that can be used by farmers in organic farming.

General structure or formula

The peroxyacetic acid formula is CH3CO3H or C2H4O3.

Functions of Peroxyacetic Acid in Organic Farming

Peracetic acid or peroxyacetic acid has many functions in organic farming, such as follow:

  1. A disinfectant in the postharvest management as an alternative to chlorine.
  2. Disinfect fruit and vegetable surface in the post-harvest process.
  3. A disinfectant to disinfect equipment used in organic farming, seed before harvesting process, and asexually propagated planting material.
  4. The chemical material in hydrogen peroxide formulation as long as its concentration are 6% at maximum.
  5. A plant disease control to fight and control fire blight bacteria.

4. Acetic acid

This chemical compound is also known as ethanol acid. It is a colorless liquid organic compound. Acetic acid is one of the main components of vinegar. About 3-9% of vinegar consists of acetic acid. It has a sour taste and a sharp and strong smell. It is classified as a weak acid because it is only partially dissociated in solution. A concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and it attacks a skin.

General structure or formula

An acetic acid formula is CH3COOH. Sometimes it is written as CH3CO2H or C2H4O2.

Functions of Acetic Acid in Organic Farming 

In organic farming, farmers used acetic acid as a sanitizer or a cleanser. Farmers can use a vinegar as a source os acetic acid in their harvesting process, as long as it contains acetic acid and it is made from an organic source. Using acetic acid is legally allowed in organic farming.

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5. Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the chemical compound used in organic farming. The term alcohol basically refers to an organic compound that has a hydroxyl group atoms that bonds to a carbon atom which is bound to hydrogen atoms or another carbon atoms. We have types of alcohol, based on the amount of carbon to the carbon bonded to a hydroxyl group. You might have learned it in your high school. Names such as methanol, methyl, methane, and so on is the examples of alcohol.

General structure or formula

Alcohol has a base formula of CnH2n+OH, in which the subscript n denote the number of carbons and hydrogen compound.

Functions of Alcohol in Organic Farming 

Alcohol is used in organic farming as follow:

  1. As a disinfectant and a sanitizer. An ethyl or isopropyl alcohol is allowed to be used in organic farming.
  2. A ‘tool’ to control the growth of algae.
  3. A disinfectant in the cleaning systems of farm irrigation systems

Also read: Nitrogen for Plants

6. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound that has other names such as dioxidane, oxidanyl, and perhydroxic acid. In its pure form, hydrogen peroxide is a colorless liquid. It is commonly used as an oxidizer, disinfectant or a bleaching agent. Hydrogen peroxide is unstable compound. Because of this instability, hydrogen peroxide is commonly stored with a stabilizer, in a weak acidic solution. Within a human body, hydrogen peroxide is found too. We even have enzymes that decompose or use hydrogen peroxide which is known as a peroxidase.

General structure or formula

Hydrogen peroxide has a chemical formula of H2O2.

Function of Hydrogen Peroxide in Organic Farming 

In organic farming, hydrogen peroxide is used as a disinfectant for water and surface disinfection.

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7. Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide, commonly known as our byproduct of respiration process, are also one of the chemical compound used by farmers in organic farming. Some properties of carbon dioxide is that it is colorless and odorless gas. This gas occurs naturally in our atmosphere as a trace gas. Some natural phenomena that produce carbon dioxide are hot springs, geysers, or volcanoes. Carbon dioxide is soluble in water, that is why it occurs in rivers, ice caps, glaciers, seawater or lakes. Carbon dioxide has other names such as carbonic acid gas, carbonic anhydride, carbon oxide, carbonic oxide, and carbon(IV) oxide.

General structure or formula

Carbon dioxide has a formula of CO2.

Function of Carbon Dioxide in Organic Farming

In organic farming, carbon dioxide is used in post-harvest (in the storage and packaging process of harvested crops) process.

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8. Copper sulfate

Copper sulfate is used in organic farming with some regulation so that farmers can’t use it as freely as possible. Farmers are not allowed to apply copper sulfate to apply more than once every 24 months, and in an amount that does not increase the amount of copper level in the soil above the approved level.

General structure or formula

The chemical formula of copper sulfate is CuSO4.

Functions of Copper Sulfate in Organic Farming 

In organic farming, copper sulfate is used as:

  1. A suppressant to suppress algae growth in aquatic rice farming
  2. A chemical compound to control tadpole shrimp in aquatic rice farming
  3. A pesticides, fungicides, or others to get rid of bacteria, fungi, plants, slugs and insects that slow down or hamper the growth of the crops.

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9. Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate

The next Chemicals Used in Organic Farming is Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate. Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate is a chemical compound made of from an addition reaction of sodium carbonate and a hydrogen peroxide. This chemical compound is colorless, hygroscopic, and soluble in water. In the laboratory, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate is used as a source of anhydrous hydrogen peroxide, and also in some eco-friendly cleaning products. This chemical has another name, such as sodium percarbonate (a more familiar one), solid hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate hydrogen peroxide, and PCS, or sodium carbonate sesquiperhydrate.

General structure or formula

Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate has a formula of 2Na2CO3.3(H2O2), or Na2CO3.1.5(H2O2)

Functions of Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate in Organic Farming 

Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate has many functions in organic farming. The functions of sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate are:

  1. A disinfectant or sanitizer to clean the irrigation systems.
  2. A fungicide to control the undesired fungi on the field.
  3. An algicide to fight on algae.

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10. Boric acid

Chemicals Used in Organic Farming is Boric Acid. Boric acid is a chemical compound that has other names such as hydrogen borate, acidum boricum, orthoboric acid, and boracic acid. Hydrogen borate is a weak, Lewid acid with only a single boron in its chain. People often use it as an insecticide, antiseptic, neutron absorber, and other. This chemical exists in the form of colorless crystals that can dissolve in water. In its other form, this chemical looks like a white powder.

General structure or formula

Boric acid has the chemical formula B(OH)3) or H3BO3.

Function of Boric Acid in Organic Farming 

Boric acid in organic farming is used as follow:

  1. A chemical to control pest growth in buildings.
  2. A liquid fertilizer to encourage the healthy plant growth, in which it is acting as a source of a boron element for the plant.

Those are some of the chemical compounds allowed to be used in the organic farming. If you are planning to start your own organic farming, be sure to use them wisely and correctly. Thank you for reading this article about Chemicals Used in Organic Farming, see you next time!

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Post Date: Monday 29th, May 2017 / 04:48 Oleh :
Kategori : Chemicals