Farmers know switch to organic means lower yields, but expect price premium to make up for losses

| | November 5, 2019
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For decades, the conventional wisdom surrounding organic farming has been that it produces crops that are healthier and better for the environment as a whole …. But a new study …. challenges this narrative, predicting that a wholesale shift to organic farming could increase net greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 21 percent.

Even though the …. study is hypothetical in nature, environmental sociologist Julius McGee said “it’s a useful tool to pick apart agriculture’s relationship to climate change.”

McGee took a similar approach back in 2015, when he authored a study that found the rise of certified organic production in the United States did not correlate with declines in greenhouse gas emissions.

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[USDA soil scientist] Michel Cavigelli …. works with farmers in the who are seeking to convert to organic farming. He said while the farmers in [the mid-Atlantic region] express concerns about the environmental harms and impacts of the agrochemicals used in conventional farming, the reason they decide to switch to organic practices is often partly driven by economics.

“In general, it’s accepted that you are going to have lower yields, but the price premium makes up for that on the economic side, from a farmer’s perspective,” said Cavigelli ….

Read full, original article: How more organic farming could worsen global warming

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