Organic Farming against Global Warming

Every farm that converts from conventional to organic farming is the equivalent to taking 117 cars off the road

5 responses to “Organic Farming against Global Warming

  1. This is awesome! I really like what you’re doing with blogs and science. Best of luck, I’m in a bit of a loss, you have so many blogs, and I’m wondering which one you consider the main hub

  2. Thank you. The main hub is definitely this one – the rest are archived or only rarely updated.

  3. I have to admit I’m at a loss on the subject of organic vs. conventional with respect to energy use and crop yeild. There seems to be a GREAT deal of misinformation and bias coming from both sides. Additionally, it seems to vary a fair amount from crop to crop.
    For example:
    New Rodale Study: Organic System Yields 30 Percent Less Food
    A couple things to note: while the site above shows a fairly obvious conservatiive bias, based on their bookstore, the source mentioned for the study that critisized Cornell was in fact the same Rodale Institute that conducted the study you cite. Having recently read an article, I believe, from The Economist, that expressed skepticism that oraganic farming could meet future needs, I found myself wondering whether the arguement had any credibilty.
    Secondly, looking at the Rodale Institute bookstore and seeing books on folk medicine, and aroma therapy doesn’t inspire confidence in their scientific prowess. Never the less, having just read a study by the EPA on strawberry crop comparison finding significant improvement in the past 30 years of organic yields from 68% to 89% that of conventional. I do find myself wondering how well these things will scale. On the bright side, as the EPA study mentioned, “If all large growers did shift to organic production practices, the price differential between conventional vs. organic strawberries would decrease along with some of the price incentives to convert to organic production practices.”
    Here’s somthing though, that contradicted what was suggested in the article you mentioned;
    “however, organic production practices require more hours of tractor work for mechanical weeding and longer picking times, resulting in higher labor costs for organic strawberry production” Organic Strawberry Production As An Alternative to Methyl Bromide
    Like I say, there’s so much contradicting info it’s difficult to get a handle on it.

  4. A fair comparison of organic and conventional farming systems would have to include a number of considerations. For example, there are ‘conventional’ farming systems that use conservation tillage practices (no-till) that also increase soil carbon when compared to tilled land. Tillage for weed control purposes in an organic system might actually result in reduced soil carbon when compared to a conservation-tillage (but pesticide-using) conventional farming system.

  5. So long as the main method of crop farming is the 10,000 year old tradition of tilling the soil, switching to organic is simply a band-aid. The destruction of habitat directly attributable to the conversion of land to agricultural purposes dwarfs all the other bad things we do to our environment. So-called “no till” methods of farming are only slightly less destructive of habitat. After 10,000 years of expanding agriculture horizontally, consuming more and more land area, we need to contract along the horizontal dimension and start expanding our farms in the vertical direction.