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New Study Tells Truth About Organic Farming

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It is typically believed that organic farming will never produce enough food to feed the world.

Although production is only part of the Organic Farming Solution, it turns out that critics of organic farming have been to quick to underestimate it. Production is actually higher than they first thought.

New research coming from Iowa State University and a research team of U.C. Berkeley scientists shows that organic farming sustains high productivity, higher than research in the past suggests.

If the criticism is that organic farming cannot feed the world, it is not because of lack of production, which nearly matches that of conventional farming. It is how food is allocated to people around the world who need it.

organic vs conventional play video

WATCH VIDEO ON PAGE 2 FIND OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT ORGANIC VS. CONVENTIONAL FARMING

This is where it is easy to place the blame on organic farming because that is an issue of politics. Politics does not get food to the people who need it, not the organic farmers.

And Food Sovereignty needs to increase around the world, which is what allows people to grow their own food as a right to survival.

Source: Civil Eats

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As finger pointing continues, it cannot land once again on organic farming. Food waste is a massive problem, especially in industrialized countries. Between 30 to 40 percent of the food that is produced through hard work and labor is wasted. How could that be the fault of organic farmers when many Organic Family Farms recycle food and non-food items?

Previous, commonly cited research from 2012 found that, on average, organic methods produce about 25 percent less than conventional ones overall, and some as little as 12 to 13 percent.

Now, the researchers have found that some farming practices actually boost organic productivity, so that it is only about 8 or 9 percent short of conventional farming methods.

The researchers also found that “there were no significant differences in organic and conventional yields for leguminous crops, such as beans, peas and lentils, for instance.”

There are two distinct differences between methods, however, between the organic farmer and the conventional farmer. These are crop rotation, where crops are alternated year to year, and polyculture, where several crop species are grown together in one field. These are distinctly Organic Farming Methods.

This differs from conventional farming methods where monoculture is practiced, growing just one crop in one field and where crops are not rotated year to year. This results is needing herbicides and pesticides, and even other chemicals such as fungicides because diseases can breed among such crops.

The new study draws an important distinction between organic systems using long crop rotations and other, bare-minimum organic system, which may resemble industrial monocultures except for the prohibition of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Simply eliminating pesticides does not make a farming system agroecological and many organic farmers recognize this.

In fact, when this stripped down organic farming is compared to conventional farming, its yields are about 19 percent lower.

Bare-bones organic practices provide a floor of prohibitions that reduce harm compared to conventional agriculture. But the implementation of ecologically based practices like crop rotations is critical as we move forward.

 

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Check Out These More Amazing Videos About Organic Farming on Page 2

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