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Organic and Conventional Farming Systems: Environmental and Economic Issues

Cornell University, July 2005

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Resource information:
Resource IDpimentel2005
Resource titleOrganic and Conventional Farming Systems: Environmental and Economic Issues
Author(s)David Pimentel, Paul Hepperly, James Hanson, Rita Seidel, David Douds
Publication/ sourceCornell University
Date publishedJuly 2005
Summary text/ abstractOrganic agriculture seeks to augment ecological processes that foster plant nutrition while conserving soil and water resources. Organic systems eliminate agrichemicals and reduce other external inputs to improve the environment as well as farm economics. The National Organic Program (USDA-AMS 2002) codifies organic production methods that are based on certified practices verified by independent third party reviewers. These systems give consumers assurance of how their food is produced and for the first time consumers have the ability to select foods based on food production methods. The National Organic Standards Program prohibits the use of synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms, and sewage sludge in organically certified production. The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial has compared organic and conventional grain-based farming systems since 1981. This is an update after 22 years of comparisons of these farming systems for a range of performance criteria including environmental impacts, economic feasibility, and energetic efficiency. The information from this trial can be a tool for developing agricultural policies more in tune with the environment while increasing economic returns to producers and increasing energy efficiency.
Library categoriesFood & Agriculture, Land Rights, Neo-Luddism, Toxics
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