Organic farming places less stress on our environment and has even been shown to yield healthier crops. So why aren’t more farmers opting for this alternative?
More than one in 10 of the UK’s wildlife species are threatened with extinction, with numbers of those most endangered falling by two-thirds since 1970, according to the RSPB’s State of Nature 2016 report [PDF]. The number of farmland birds has declined by 54% since 1970, and butterflies by 41% since 1976.
It’s a loss that has been driven by the intensification of farming to produce our food, fuelled by an increased use of pesticides and fertilisers to keep weeds and pests at bay and help crops grow. This is bad news for wildlife, as it not only takes away potential food sources for birds, mammals and other animals, but can also poison them and contaminate local watercourses. Marginal habitats, such as ponds and hedgerows, have also been lost in the drive to grow more food.