Navigation Links
Organic Farming can Feed the World, U-M Study Shows

According to new findings which refute the long-standing claim that organic farming methods cannot produce enough food to feed the global population ,Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food on individual farms in developing countries, as low-intensive methods on the same land.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that in developed countries, yields were almost equal on organic and conventional farms.

In developing countries, food production could double or triple using organic methods, said Ivette Perfecto, professor at U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and one the study's principal investigators.

Catherine Badgley, research scientist in the Museum of Paleontology, is a co-author of the paper along with several current and former graduate and undergraduate students from U-M.

"My hope is that we can finally put a nail in the coffin of the idea that you cant produce enough food through organic agriculture," Perfecto said.

In addition to equal or greater yields, the authors found that those yields could be accomplished using existing quantities of organic fertilizers, without putting more farmland into production.

The idea to undertake an exhaustive review of existing data about yields and nitrogen availability was fueled in a roundabout way, when Perfecto and Badgley were teaching a class about the global food system and visiting farms in Southern Michigan.

"We were struck by how much food the organic farmers would produce," Perfecto said. The researchers set about compiling data from published literature to investigate the two chief objections to organic farming: low yields and lack of organically acceptable nitrogen sources.

Their findings refute those key arguments, Perfecto said, and confirm that organic farming is less environmentally harmful yet can potentially produce more than enough food.
This is especially good news for developing countries, where its sometimes impossible to deliver food from outside, so farmers must supply their own. Yields in developing countries could increase dramatically by switching to organic farming, Perfecto said. While that seems counterintuitive, it makes sense because in developing countries, many farmers still do not have the access to the expensive fertilizers and pesticides that farmers use in developed countries to produce those high yields, she said.

After comparing yields of organic and non-organic farms, the researchers looked at nitrogen availability. To do so, they multiplied the current farm land area by the average amount of nitrogen available for production crops if so-called "green manures" were planted between growing seasons.

Green manures are cover crops which are plowed into the soil to provide natural soil amendments. They found that planting green manures between growing seasons provided enough nitrogen to replace synthetic fertilizers. Organic farming is important because conventional agriculturewhich involves high-yielding plants, mechanized tillage, synthetic fertilizers and biocidesis so detrimental to the environment, Perfecto said.

For instance, fertilizer runoff from conventional agriculture is the chief culprit in creating dead zoneslow oxygen areas where marine life cannot survive.

Proponents of organic farming argue that conventional farming also causes soil erosion, greenhouse gas emission, increased pest resistance and loss of biodiversity.

For their analysis, researchers defined the term organic as: practices referred to as sustainable or ecological; that utilize non-synthetic nutrient cycling processes; that exclude or rarely use synthetic pesticides; and sustain or regenerate the soil quality.

Perfecto said the idea that people would go hungry if farming went organic is "ridicul ous."

"Corporate interest in agriculture and the way agriculture research has been conducted in land grant institutions, with a lot of influence by the chemical companies and pesticide companies as well as fertilizer companiesall have been playing an important role in convincing the public that you need to have these inputs to produce food," she said.


Related medicine news :

1. Reconsider Health Benefits of Organic Baby Foods, advices new study
2. Organic food loses its whole-grain image
3. Himachal Pradesh: Horse Dung To Be Converted Into Organic Fertilizer
4. Exiled Tibetans In India To Adopt Organic Farming
5. Organic Farming May Increase The Output Of Apples In Himachal
6. America’s Demand For Organic Foods Far Exceeds the Suppl
7. More Health Benefits from Organic milk
8. No Health Benefits from Organic Milk Compared to Conventional Milk
9. Organic Pastures’ Raw Milk in a Sou
10. Hospital serves Healthy Organic Food to patients...
11. Organic Food Fever Catches Up In Delhi
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health Partners, ... new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, parents and ... abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of Bird-X Incorporated, ... explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite heater business ... to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep people warm ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, Dr. Todd C. ... and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private practice capabilities with the ... Highly trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, Dr. Todd Hobgood serves ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s student-produced ... in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions for ... years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the Evanston ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a passenger in a wheelchair ... to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them from bad weather, so ... safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, it ensures that the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to a donor with ... Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli Center for Women,s ... in San Francisco . ... stepped forward with a gift of $617,320 that allowed ... Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast Ultrasound. Tomosynthesis, three-dimensional ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CHAPEL HILL, N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... market research projects in an effort to quickly uncover ... market position. --> --> ... expeditiously launch a market research project and ensure that ... with company and industry standards. Another major barrier to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... COMMACK, New York , 24. November ... Hersteller des Avery Breathing Pacemaker Systems, ist ... Ph.D., als Clinical Consultant bekannt geben zu ... -->   --> ... Stockholm (Schweden). Von 1984-1986 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: