Organic agriculture produces smaller harvests than conventional methods, but the difference can be minimized by employing the right techniques, a study finds.
Organic agriculture generally comes at a cost of smaller harvests compared with conventional agriculture, but that gap can be narrowed with careful selection of crop type, growing conditions and management techniques, according a new study.
Organic farming has been touted by supporters as a more environmentally sustainable method of farming that’s better for consumers because crops contain fewer man-made chemicals. But without the high-nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides often employed in conventional agriculture, it’s also less efficient.
“The organic-versus-conventional debate is very emotional, very heated, and it’s not really informed sufficiently by scientific evidence,” said Verena Seufert, a geographer at McGill University in Montreal and lead author of the study…(more)…http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-organic-farming-20120426,0,896912.story