data supporting organic farming as more productive
From: Shodo Spring (
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 17:46:12 -0800 (PST)
Two articles quoted in Organic Valley newsletter, both supporting organic
as more productive than chemical farming. Not to mention soil health and
nutritional advantages - this is just about quantity. (I have not yet read
the original articles.)
Organic Can Feed the
www.theatlantic.comworkworkDecember 05, 2011

Too bad solid, scientific research hasn't been enough to drive that nail
home. A 2010 United Nations study (PDF) concluded that organic and other
sustainable farming methods that come under the umbrella of what the
study's authors called "agroecology" would be necessary to feed the future
world. Two years earlier, a U.N. examination (PDF) of farming in 24 African
countries found that organic or near-organic farming resulted in yield
increases of more than 100 percent. Another U.N.-supported report entitled
"Agriculture at a Crossroads" (PDF), compiled by 400 international experts,
said that the way the world grows food will have to change radically to
meet future demand. It called for governments to pay more attention to
small-scale farmers and sustainable practices -- shooting down the
bigger-is-inevitably-better notion that huge factory farms and their
efficiencies of scale are necessary to feed the world.
Suspicious of the political motives of the U.N.? Well, there's a study that
came out in 2010 from the all-American National Research Council. Written
by professors from seven universities, including the University of
California, Iowa State University, and the University of Maryland, the
report finds that organic farming, grass-fed livestock husbandry, and the
production of meat and crops on the same farm will be needed to sustain
food production in this country.
Yet Again, Organic Ag Proves Just as Productive as Chemical
motherjones.comworkworkNovember 17, 2011

At the LTAR fields in Adair County, the (LTAR) runs four fields: one
managed with the Midwest-standard two-year corn-soy rotation featuring the
full range of agrochemicals; and the other ones organically managed with
three different crop-rotation systems. The chart below records the yield
averages of all the systems, comparing them to the average yields achieved
by actual conventional growers in Adair County:

So, in yield terms, both of the organic rotations featuring corn beat the
Adair County average and came close to the conventional patch. Two of the
three organic rotations featuring soybeans beat both the county average and
the conventional patch; and both of the organic rotations featuring oats
trounced the county average. In short, Borlaug's claim of huge yield
advantages for the chemical-intensive agriculture he championed just don't
pan out in the field.-
Shodo Spring
612-562-0614 (temporary) 507-384-8541
Beginning January 4, I will have no phone or email. Emergency contact at
Tassajara: 831-659-2229
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