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7 Ways Organic Farms Outperform Conventional Farms

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's All About Organics Page.

Just a few generations ago, in the 1930's, approximately 45% of Americans lived on farms. This demographic gradually but steadily declined as people migrated to urban centers, and over time, to suburbs. Today, only about 960,000 people claim farming as their principal occupation, which represents less than 1% of the US population.

During the same period of time the US population has more than doubled, and demand for agricultural products has increased accordingly.

It is a testament to human ingenuity that the mechanics of farming has managed to keep pace with an ever-expanding demand even as the number of farms has declined. Farm machinery has become larger, more efficient and more productive. New crop varieties have been developed which resist common pests and diseases while producing larger yields. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides have become increasingly effective, allowing farmers to produce larger crops without the need for additional human labor.

Farmlands have become increasingly dependent on chemical fertilizers which have short-term benefits but contribute to soil depletion over time.  

But while today's large scale food producers continue to profit and consumers see supermarket shelves overflowing with farm products, the unseen costs of our dependence on agribusiness exert a mounting toll. Farmlands have become increasingly dependent on chemical fertilizers which have short-term benefits but contribute to soil depletion over time. Water retention is diminished in non-organic farmland, resulting in erosion of topsoil with chemical residues entering watersheds. We consumers have quietly accepted these changes in farming practices as the cost of feeding a growing nation, and because there seem to be no practical alternatives.

Recent experiments in small organic farming practices, and the release of a 30-year side-by-side farming study by the Rodale Institute, have shown this reasoning to be fundamentally flawed. Organic farming, both large and small scale, is more productive than 'conventional' chemical-dependent farming. Organic farming is not only the best way to feed the world - it is the only way to feed the world in a sustainable way.        


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