An assessment of organic farming relative to conventional farming illustrates that
organic systems better balance the four areas of sustainability.
(February 4, 2016) Washington State University researchers have concluded that feeding a growing global population with sustainability goals in mind is possible. Their review of hundreds of published studies provides evidence that organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment and be safer for farm workers.
The review study, “Organic Agriculture in the 21st Century,” is featured as the cover story for the February issue of the journal Nature Plants and was authored by John Reganold, WSU regents professor of soil science and agroecology, and doctoral candidate Jonathan Wachter.
It is the first study to analyze 40 years of science comparing organic and conventional agriculture across the four goals of sustainability identified by the National Academy of Sciences: productivity, economics, environment and community well being.
“Hundreds of scientific studies now show that organic ag should play a role in feeding the world” said lead author Reganold (http://css.wsu.edu/people/faculty/john-p-reganold). “Thirty years ago, there were just a couple handfuls of studies comparing organic agriculture with conventional. In the last 15 years, these kinds of studies have skyrocketed.”