No Much Future in Organic Farming

The fertilizer industry has often been challenged by the so called organic farming, which, avoiding pesticides and manufactured fertilizers, claims to be more environment friendly. Now, the prestigious journal Nature has published a research by Verena Seufert, Navin Ramankutty and Jonathan A. Foley called “Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture”. The leading author was Verena Seufert (Montreal’s McGill University) and, after combining the results of sixty-six earlier studies, they concluded that, on average, organic farms produced twenty-five percent less compared to conventional farms. But yields of organic fruits and other perennial crops nearly equaled the yields from conventional ones. So did the yields of legumes such as soybeans. Legumes produce some of their own nitrogen fertilizer. However, organic vegetables and cereal crops like maize and wheat had a lot lower yields compared to conventionally grown crops. The United Nations predicts that world demand for food will grow seventy percent by the middle of the century, so it’s not easy to expect too much from farming systems which do not include pesticides and fertilizers usage. In any case, organic farming accounts for less than 1% of the cultivated land.

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