Tag Archives: farming

Organic yields higher than pesticided, all around the world

To feed the world, we need to get rid of Monsanto’s pesticided patented seeds and get on with diversified sustainable organic agriculture.

A friend commented about Organic farming better for bottom line:

Devil’s advocacy: yields from organic agriculture are lower than from artificially fertilised + pesticide’d crops; therefore, the practice tends to increase food prices; therefore, organic food means starvation for people who would otherwise eat. Discuss!
Nope, that’s simply not true. Organic farming yields more, in addition to being more profitable, healthier, and tastier.


11 year old is onto Monsanto and how to fix the food system

The “dark side of the industrialized food system.” as related (accurately) by Birke Baehr at TEDxNextGeneration Asheville.
Conventional farmers use chemical fertilizers made from fossil fuels. Then they mess with the dirt to make the plants grow. They do this because they’ve stripped the soil from all nutrients from growing the same crop over and over again. Next more harmful chemicals are sprayed on fruits and vegetables. Like pesticides and herbicides to kill weeds and bugs. When it rains, these chemicals seep into the ground, or rise into our waterways, poisoning our water, too.
His personal goal:
A while back, I wanted to be an NFL footall player.
I decided I’d rather be an organic farmer instead.
That way I can have a greater impact on the world.
He’s got a turn of phrase:
We can either pay the farmer, or we can pay the hospital.


Organic Farming Yields often Better Than with Agrochemicals

Catherine Brahic writes in New Scientist that Organic farming could feed the world:

Numerous studies have compared the yields of organic and conventional methods for individual crops and animal products (see 20-year study backs organic farming).

Now, a team of researchers has compiled research from 293 different comparisons into a single study to assess the overall efficiency of the two agricultural systems.

Ivette Perfecto of the University of Michigan in the US and her colleagues found that, in developed countries, organic systems on average produce 92% of the yield produced by conventional agriculture. In developing countries, however, organic systems produce 80% more than conventional farms.

So developing countries don’t need Monsanto to feed themselves after all. Quite the opposite: they can do much better with organic methods.

Perfecto points out that the materials needed for organic farming are more accessible to farmers in poor countries.

Those poor farmers may buy the same seeds as conventional farms use in rich countries, but they cannot afford the fertilisers and pesticides needed for intensive agriculture. However, “organic fertiliser doesn’t cost much – they can produce it on their own farms”, says Perfecto.

And if their crops fail, they can replant, because they can save seeds. And if they don’t all use the same seeds, there’s less chance their crops will all fail at once.

Getting certified as organic is another story.

Organic Farming Promotes Biodiversity

Rob Goldstein writes in Conservation Maven:
A new study finds that organic farming promotes biodiversity compared to conventional agricultural practices. While past research has found similar results, this particular study is groundbreaking in that it detected ecological benefits from organic farming at both a local and a landscape level.

Researchers looked at the uncultivated, semi-natural borders between organic and conventional agricultural fields in Sweden. They found that the borders between organic fields had significantly higher plant species richness and abundance. The researchers hypothesize that this is likely due, at least in part, to the unintentional impact that herbicides can have on non-target species.

This is good news and not just for plants. Increases in plant species diversity likely trickle up the food chain benefiting the insects that eat plants (and the birds that eat insects).

It’s always good to see research validate what we see on the ground (pun intended).