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Organic Farming Show to be Superior to Conventional Farming

Organic farming has become one of the most favored choice for the production of safe, high nutritious food and long-term sustainability. The market for organic produce from farms is growing, especially as consumers have become more aware of food-safety issues, environmental protection and wildlife protection.

Organic farming is practiced in over 100 countries worldwide, and, as of 2007, with more than 26 million hectares managed under organic farming methods. Of this total, Australia has the largest share (43.3%) of its 11.3 million hectares, Argentina was a distant second with 2.8 million hectares.

From its inception, the position of organic farming is against large-scale, chemical-farming agriculture. The debate between organic farming and chemical farming is far from settled. Some of the points involved are described below.

Natural control of insect pests and diseases

An organic-farming system does not use synthetic chemicals, including inorganic fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. To keep pests acceptable levels, natural pesticides can be used. Chemical-farming advocates say that natural pesticides are crude and are really improved by the work of People pesticides, and that the difference between the two is arbitrary. Organic-farming advocates point out that pest control on organic farms is achieved by encouraging the presence of predators and natural enemies of pests, following the rotation crop, using cover crops, and growing healthy plants, natural pesticides (such as soybean oil, rotenone and pyrethrum) are only used as a last resort.

Research from the early 1990s has shown that organic farms have lower populations of insects to pests than conventional farms or that there is little difference between them. A comprehensive review by Letourneau and Goldstein (2001) who studied organic and conventional tomato farms in California showed that there was no difference in the abundance of plant-eating animals (herbivores) but the organic farms is higher abundance and a more wide variety of natural enemies of pests affecting crops, led to better pest control.

Soil ecology

Proponents have always asserted that the organic system maintains high levels of biological activity and fresh organic matter to humus, thus promoting of soil health. Several studies investigating different aspects of soil ecology, including physical, chemical and biological properties of soil, and its ecological processes such as nutrient cycling, organic and conventional farming systems has confirmed the claims of organic farming advocates.

Some of the most significant studies involved the organic and conventional farming trials in Switzerland (called Dok test), which covered a 21-year period. A study by by Siegrist et al. (1998) found the organic plots was significantly greater earthworm biomass, soil aggregate stability, and population diversity than conventional plots. Another study by Mader et al. (2000) showed colonization of beneficial fungi is 30-60% higher among plants growing organic farming system, which indicated that the organic systems had a greater capacity to achieve plant-fungi symbiosis.

Foods Nutrient loss

Several studies have shown that Nitrates leach out of the slower rate of organic farms than conventional farms. For example, Eltun et al. (1995) found that nitrate runoff in the conventional system of cash crop in Norway is at least two times higher than in organic cash crop system. Among farms producing forage crops, loss of Nitrates in the organic system was 36% lower than in conventional systems.

Soil productivity

The main criticism against the organic farm is that yields are lower than conventional farms. The Swiss Dok trials found that the organic system was 20% higher lower yields than conventional systems, but it is also known as organic fertilizer consumption system is 50% lower. Organic farming advocates point to the economic costs conventional farming systems such as the costs of environmental clean-up and the depletion of non-renewable energy resources, in contrast, organic systems to avoid the hidden costs.

Another factor that contributes to lower yields on organic farms is the presence of weeds. Many researchers have found higher weed densities and weed biomass organic farms compared to conventional farms. On the other hand, researchers have also reported the presence of rare and endangered species weed in mature, decades-old organic farm, which could indicate a contribution to encouraging plant biodiversity. It may not favor short-term economic but it supports long-term ecological concerns.

Keywords: soil ecology, organic farming, sustainable farming, conventional farming, soil health, most profitable form of farming.

About the Author

For More Info:

Helen M. Disler
Farming Secrets

http://www.farmingsecrets.com/

Email: info@farmingsecrets.com

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