Why farms would thrive with organic agriculture


Overall, organic farms tend to store more soil carbon, have better soil quality and reduce soil erosion. Organic agriculture creates less soil and water pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s more energy efficient because it doesn’t rely on synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.”Feb 11, 2016


Why is organic farming better than inorganic farming?

  • The first chart shows that agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) is the dominant land user, consuming half of the world’s habitable land;
  • The second chart shows that it accounts for approximately one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • The third chart shows that it accounts for only two percent of energy use;

More items…

Why should farmers go to organic farming?

Why not?

  • Farming crisis. Transitioning to organic adds a burden to the pressures already facing U.S. …
  • ‘A game of chess’. About an hour’s drive northeast of Bailey’s farm, Bob Quinn recently handed the reins of his storied farm to a pair of young farmers who now …
  • Putting organic to the test. …
  • In the weeds. …
  • Driving demand. …

What are the advantages and disadvantages of organic farming?

What are the Advantages of Organic farming?

  • Less ground, water, and air pollution
  • We get nutritional food
  • Increases soil nourishment
  • Increase carbon sequestration
  • Lower production cost
  • Growing market opportunities
  • Provide employment

What is bad about organic farming?

Why Is Organic Food Bad?

  • Cost. For the end consumer, cost is one of the biggest disadvantages of organic foods. …
  • Productivity. Organic farming allows for less productivity per acre of land farmed than conventional industrial farming methods.
  • Time and Skill. Farming organically requires more time on the part of the farmer. …
  • Spoilage. …
  • Location. …

Why is organic farming better for farmers?

Organic farming is better for the environment because its practices involve less pollution soil erosion, and energy. Eliminating the use of pesticides in farming also benefits nearby birds and animals and people who live close to farms.

Why are organic farms better?

Organic farming is widely considered to be a far more sustainable alternative when it comes to food production. The lack of pesticides and wider variety of plants enhances biodiversity and results in better soil quality and reduced pollution from fertilizer or pesticide run-off.

What are three advantages to organic farming?

Benefits of Organic FarmingEnvironment-friendly.Promotes sustainable development.Healthy and tasty food.Inexpensive process.It uses organic inputs.Generates income.Generates income through exports.Source of employment.More items…

What are the five benefits of organic farming?

Here are some key reasons why organic farming can be described as a step towards sustainable agriculture –Reduces Exposure To Harmful Chemicals. … Consumes Less Energy. … Reduces Nitrogen Run-Off Induced Pollution. … Facilitates Healthy Soil Formation. … Combats the Effects of Global Warming.

What is organic farming and why is it important?

Organic farming is agriculture that makes healthy food, healthy soils, healthy plants, and healthy environments a priority, along with crop productivity.

Is organic farming more efficient?

Organic farms tend to have more fertile soil, use less energy, and sequester more carbon. Research has shown that organic farms use 45 percent less energy, release 40 percent less carbon emissions, and foster 30 percent more biodiversity compared to conventional farming.

What are some pros and cons of organic farming?

Here are the pros and cons of organic farming.Pros of Organic Farming. High nutrition values. Better taste. Improved human health. Environmental sustainability. Food security. … Cons of Organic Farming. Diminished productivity in the long-term. Time consuming. Skills. Organic products are extremely expensive.

What are the advantages of organic farming to economy?

Additionally, organic farming is less dependent on fossil fuels, expensive inputs, and annual loans, making it less vulnerable to financial market fluctuations. Organic is a low-waste system that emphasizes quality over quantity, meaning it uses less land for the same profit.

What are the strengths of organic farming?

Opportunities(1)Promoting healthy lifestyle. (2)Sustainable use of resources. (3)Developing local organic manure suppliers. (4)Huge regional export market.

Why is organic farming important?

Organic farming not only helps preserve more natural habitat areas but also encourages birds and other natural predators to live happily on farmland, which assists in natural pest control.

Why are organic farms good for animals?

Additionally, animals who live on organic farms are exposed to clean, chemical-free grazing that helps keep them naturally healthy and resistant to illness. As a perk for organic farmers, happy and healthy organic animals are productive organic animals.

How does organic farming help the soil?

Organic Farming Builds Healthy Soil. To grow healthy food, you must start with healthy soil. If you treat the soil with harmful pesticides and chemicals, you may end up with soil that cannot thrive on its own. Natural cultivation practices are far better than chemical soil management.

How many pounds of pesticides would be eliminated if every farmer in the U.S. converted to organic production?

The Organic Trade Association notes that if every farmer in the U.S. converted to organic production, we could eliminate 500 million pounds of persistent and harmful pesticides from entering the environment annually. Pesticide and chemical use results in many negative environmental issues:

How does organic farming help conserve water?

Organic farming also helps conserve water. Organic farmers, in general, tend to spend time amending soil correctly and using mulch – both of which help conserve water. Cotton, an in-demand crop, requires a lot of irrigation and excess water when grown conventionally.

Is organic farming better than conventional farming?

A large nine-year study by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), shows that organic farming builds up organic soil matter better than conventional no-till farming.

Do synthetic pesticides harm the environment?

Sometimes these harmful pesticides stick around for decades (maybe longer). Synthetic chemicals also discourage smart farming practices such as cover crops and crop rotation, which in turn, may cause other harmful environmental problems like erosion.

Why are organic farms better than commercial farms?

What this means is that organic farms are better equipped to keep their environmental impact lower than that of commercial farms.

What is organic farming?

Organic farming utilizes soil conservation tactics and practices that help the nutrients and microorganisms thrive. Many organic farms utilize compost, natural fertilizer, and no-till farming practices that eliminate or lessen soil degradation over time.

Why do bees thrive in organic farms?

There’s a reason that the bees and bugs and birds thrive so well in and around organic farms. The main reason for this is the lack of chemical pesticides. Pesticides like Roundup are cancer-causing chemical concoctions that not only harm the insects that try to take a small share of our crops, but they also cause harm to the humans that rely on those crops for survival. These chemicals, in particular, wreak havoc on bee populations, which are essential for pollinating plants and crops the world over.

How much does biodiversity increase on organic farms?

Among the evidence cited in the paper, the researchers have seen an overall 12 percent increase in biodiversity.

Why do earthworms help the soil?

They know that earthworms help maintain soil, and that insect and bird waste can help it remain arable. It is a type of conservation, which in turn helps build or rebuild biodiversity amongst the creatures that live there. Article continues below advertisement. Source: Getty Images.

Why are humans farming?

Humans have been farming almost since the very beginning of civilization. As civilization grew and the population continued to grow with it, these farms became even more essential to the perpetuation of the species. Unfortunately, our species’ unchecked growth has wreaked havoc on the natural world. Biodiversity, the variety, and the variability of life on Earth have been adversely impacted by many aspects of civilization, but commercial farming is one of the most egregious. On the other hand, organic farming has had a positive effect on biodiversity

Is organic farming environmentally friendly?

He goes on to conclude that to produce the same amount of organic food as those produced by conventional means, you would need to use twice the amount of land for agriculture. It means that organic farming, while more environmentally-friendly in the long run, still has a significant environmental impact on the planet.

How does organic farming help the environment?

Air and climate change. Organic agriculture reduces non-renewable energy use by decreasing agrochemical needs (these require high quantities of fossil fuel to be produced). Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to sequester carbon in the soil. Many management practices used by organic agriculture (e.g. minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the greater integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes), increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favouring carbon storage. A number of studies revealed that soil organic carbon contents under organic farming are considerably higher. The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the more the mitigation potential of agriculture against climate change is higher. However, there is much research needed in this field, yet. There is a lack of data on soil organic carbon for developing countries, with no farm system comparison data from Africa and Latin America, and only limited data on soil organic carbon stocks, which is crucial for determining carbon sequestration rates for farming practices.

How does organic farming affect biodiversity?

At the gene level, traditional and adapted seeds and breeds are preferred for their greater resistance to diseases and their resilience to climatic stress. At the species level, diverse combinations of plants and animals optimize nutrient and energy cycling for agricultural production. At the ecosystem level, the maintenance of natural areas within and around organic fields and absence of chemical inputs create suitable habitats for wildlife. The frequent use of under-utilized species (often as rotation crops to build soil fertility) reduces erosion of agro-biodiversity, creating a healthier gene pool – the basis for future adaptation. The provision of structures providing food and shelter, and the lack of pesticide use, attract new or re-colonizing species to the organic area (both permanent and migratory), including wild flora and fauna (e.g. birds) and organisms beneficial to the organic system such as pollinators and pest predators. The number of studies on organic farming and biodiversity increased significantly within the last years. A recent study reporting on a meta-analysis of 766 scientific papersconcluded that organic farming produces more biodiversity than other farming systems.

How does organic agriculture reduce water pollution?

As the use of these is prohibited in organic agriculture, they are replaced by organic fertilizers (e.g. compost, animal manure, green manure) and through the use of greater biodiversity (in terms of species cultivated and permanent vegetation), enhancing soil structure and water infiltration. Well managed organic systems with better nutrient retentive abilities, greatly reduce the risk of groundwater pollution. In some areas where pollution is a real problem, conversion to organic agriculture is highly encouraged as a restorative measure (e.g. by the Governments of France and Germany).

What is organic agriculture?

Sustainability over the long term. Many changes observed in the environment are long term, occurring slowly over time. Organic agriculture consider s the medium- and long-term effect of agricultural interventions on the agro-ecosystem. It aims to produce food while establishing an ecological balance to prevent soil fertility or pest problems. Organic agriculture takes a proactive approach as opposed to treating problems after they emerge.

Is GMO organic?

Genetically modified organisms. The use of GMOs within organic systems is not permitted during any stage of organic food production, processing or handling. As the potential impact of GMOs to both the environment and health is not entirely understood, organic agriculture is taking the precautionary approach and choosing to encourage natural biodiversity. The organic label therefore provides an assurance that GMOs have not been used intentionally in the production and processing of the organic products. This is something which cannot be guaranteed in conventional products as labelling the presence of GMOs in food products has not yet come into force in most countries. However, with increasing GMO use in conventional agriculture and due to the method of transmission of GMOs in the environment (e.g. through pollen), organic agriculture will not be able to ensure that organic products are completely GMO free in the future. A detailed discussion on GMOs can be found in the FAO publication “Genetically Modified Organisms, Consumers, Food Safety and the Environment”.

What is the biggest threat to global harvests?

The same goes for diseases. Currently the biggest threat to global harvests is probably wheat rust, a devastating fungal disease of wheat. Rust is now controlled by the application of fungicides. Without these chemicals huge outbreaks of rust would likely occur, and the spores would travel great distances on the winds, quickly affecting harvests globally.

Why will the divide become ever greater in the future?

As Michael Le Page has pointed out in New Scientist: “This divide will become ever greater in the future, because the organizations that set the rather arbitrary standards for what counts as ‘organic’ have firmly rejected the technology showing the greatest promise for reducing farming emissions: genetic modification.”.

Is artificial nitrogen fixation good for the planet?

Mueller et al. do show a substantial nitrogen deficit for a 100 percent organic planet, but argue that this is a good thing because it reduces greenhouse gases and pollution of water systems.

Do organic farms have halo effect?

Organic farms benefit from ‘halo effect’ in controlling pests. Photo by Genetic Literacy Project. A similar challenge applies for synthetic pesticides, which are noisily avoided in organic farming. To my knowledge, none of the published studies account for the halo effect of existing synthetic pesticide use, which helps protect neighboring organic …

Can organic farms learn from each other?

In a logical world, organic and conventional farms would be able to cross-fertilize and learn from each other while benefiting from scientific innovations such as genetic modification. Regrettably, the polarizing effect of the organic label continues to be a hindrance rather than a help in the search for more sustainable agriculture.

Can organic seeds be used for gene editing?

Organic organizations have unfortunately also come out against new gene editing techniques, although bizarre organic standards allow the use of seeds developed using the much blunter instruments of radiation or chemical mutagenesis.

Is vegetarianism bad for the environment?

The problem is that however desirable vegetarianism might be both environmentally and for human health, global consumption of animal products is going up not down as developing countries achieve higher standards of living . And the food waste issue is incredibly complex and intractable. Just think how much food each one of us throws away and why.

Why is organic farming important?

Conversely, organic farming methods aim to protect soil biodiversity and maintain the various nutrient cycles (e.g. nitrogen cycle) found in healthy soil. Soil microbes should also be present and healthy, as biologically active soil is important in avoiding soil erosion and maintaining a healthy agricultural system.

Why are organic farms better than conventional farms?

Farmers on organic farms get certain benefits over those on conventional farms, such as the avoidance of pesticide poisoning as seen on conventional farms that utilise large volumes of chemical pesticides. Pesticide poisoning occurs when farmers lack protective equipment when spraying crops with pesticides, a more common occurrence in developing countries.

Why are organic crops more toxic than conventional crops?

Organic crops may have to contend with more weeds and pests than conventional crops, so they may produce more natural toxins to ward the weeds off , as potatoes do with a chemical called solanine. Additionally, the use of manure fertilisers may increase the risk of contamination by microbes such as E.coli.

How does conventional farming affect biodiversity?

Conventional farming involves the use of chemical pesticides, fertilisers and monoculture. All of these practices reduce soil biodiversity and lead to land degradation, as well as widespread chemical pollution; all of which have negative economic, social and economic impacts. Conversely, organic farming methods aim to protect soil biodiversity …

Why is Sikkim organic?

A major concern has been the increase in disease outbreaks and pest attacks on crops. Sikkim’s farmers have also complained about not receiving enough guidance and assistance from the government on how best to manage their organic farms.

What is the goal of organic farming?

According to Alexander Ruane, a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Center for Climate Systems Research, “The goal of organic farming in developed countries currently is about meeting the needs of those who can afford to buy the highest quality food. If this luxury interferes with the need to feed the entire population, then you have the potential for conflicts.”

How long does it take for soil to replenish?

Additionally, soil is difficult to replenish; it may take up to a century for a new layer of topsoil to form. Parts of the world’s land that experiences land degradation (Source: Gibbs, Salmon, 2015 ).

How does agriculture help the soil?

Soil Biodiversity: Sustainable methods of agriculture help to restore the nutrients to the soil that are stripped by industrial agriculture practices. Reduced Demand for Non-renewable Energy: Farms that use sustainable practices use renewable energy sources as part of the core goal of producing products more sustainably.

Why is agriculture important?

Sustainable agricultural methods provide the means by which humans can meet our needs without harming the environment. This is important not only for us and our continued enjoyment of nature and natural resources but also for the animals with which we share our space.

Why are antibiotics not used in agriculture?

Antibiotic Resistance: Because antibiotics are not used for preventive medicine in sustainable agriculture, implementing sustainable methods of production increases the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating people. Pandemics: Industrial agriculture, in which animals are kept in tight quarters, is a driver of disease.

Why are sustainable methods of production more likely to support and rely on the local economy?

Localization: Sustainable methods of production are more likely to support and rely on the local economy. Farms are no longer purchasing products, such as fertilizers and pesticides, from outside their communities, and instead are relying more heavily on local resources such as labor.

How has agriculture dominated food production in the United States?

It is characterized by large tracts of land planted with one crop, extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides, animals being held in CAFOs, and an emphasis on a select few crops that are used for animal feed and the production of processed foods.

What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture serves as a much-needed alternative to the industrial farming practices that have been employed in the United States for decades. These methods, which include repeatedly planting the same crop on one plot of land and encouraging growth through the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, …

How does agriculture affect the environment?

Environmental Impacts. Industrial agriculture is a driving force behind water pollution, soil degradation, and air pollution. The animals housed in CAFOs produce tons of manure every year which is either stored or applied to fields as a fertilizer.

How have changes made our farm possible?

The changes that have made our farm possible have made lots and lots of other small farms possible, too. I talk to farmers almost every day who are riding the same wave we are, seeking out new markets and opportunities, carving a niche in the new food economy. These farmers tend to be young, educated, often female, and fiercely political. They are well aware of the fact that they’re bucking an industrial system of agriculture that would be more than pleased to see them fail, but they’re motivated and persistent, intent on forging a new model. Some of our fellow farmers are running sophisticated and profitable operations based on farmers’ markets and CSAs. Others are selling wholesale to restaurants, grocery stores, home delivery services and more. There are farmers making money with pick-your-own, agro-tourism, on-farm food processing, you name it.

What is a small farmer?

Small farmers are the ultimate entrepreneurs, running vertically integrated businesses that must do everything well, from primary production to sales, marketing and customer service. We take seeds, and with hard work, creativity and intelligence, we make something beautiful and valuable and essential for human life.

Is industrial agriculture everywhere?

Our focus on local food also overlooks an inconvenient truth: industrial agriculture is everywhere. No matter where you live, there are local farmers who are poisoning their land with pesticides, growing nothing but genetic ally modifi ed crops and raising their animals in conditions of unspeakable cruelty.

Is the good food movement still young?

The movement is still too much about personal choice and not enough about collective political action to bring about real policy change. But one thing is clear and undeniable: the good food movement has made farms like ours possible.


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