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Earth Science

Organics Can't Match Conventional Farm Yields 452

scibri writes "A comprehensive analysis published in Nature (abstract) suggests that organic farming could supply needs in some circumstances. But yields are lower than in conventional farming, so producing the bulk of the globe's diet will still require chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The meta-analysis reviewed 66 studies comparing the yields of 34 different crop species in organic and conventional farming systems. The researchers included only studies that assessed the total land area used, allowing them to compare crop yields per unit area. Many previous studies that have showed large yields for organic farming ignore the size of the area planted — which is often bigger than in conventional farming. Crop yields from organic farming are as much as 34% lower than those from comparable conventional farming practices, though in some cases, notably with strawberries and soybeans, the gap is as small as 3%."
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Organics Can't Match Conventional Farm Yields

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  • Ummm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cosgrach ( 1737088 ) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @05:54PM (#39812997)

    No shit.

  • Oh really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by stevenfuzz ( 2510476 ) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @05:56PM (#39813019)
    I was under the assumption that organic farms yielded more crops, and that we use pesticides / non-organic grown methods because they are just more fun.
  • Re:Ummm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @06:00PM (#39813105) Homepage Journal

    Actually shit would be organic fertilizer... :P

  • Synthetics (Score:5, Funny)

    by oGMo ( 379 ) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @06:01PM (#39813123)

    Proving once again that organics will be outclassed by synthetics? What, wrong game?

    (The label "organics" always amused me.)

  • Re:Ummm. (Score:2, Funny)

    by doston ( 2372830 ) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @09:13PM (#39815433)

    You know what's absurd? It's common place to call industrialised farming "conventional". Spraying crops with tons of pesticides that produce "edible" goods. Instead of producing a product that actually helps the environment, they use Government money (subsidizing) to lower the price of the "conventional" and industrialized methods. Calling them cheaper, rather than realizing the total cost includes the money given to the corporations by the government itself. Even if the company is not given money directly, it uses cheap foodstock (corn) which itself is given money. It's been shown time and time again that these pesticides produce health issues in animals and people. For example Round-up, the scientific research finds that the pesticide "additives" primarily cause the issue rather than the pesticide itself. Because the pesticide in-itself doesn't cause issues, they simply formulate a new chemicle makeup to circumvent the regulations. Which in turn often comes up as toxic. So Monsanto can simply sidestep an environmental issue by changing the formula without producing positive evidence that the new product is safe. Monsanto makes billions while environmental concerns are simply thrown away.

    You're absolutely right. I always forget about the hidden costs.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors