The idea of organic farms outperforming conventional farms may come as a surprise to some and be seen as common knowledge to others, but no matter how you look at it, the numbers are compelling. As reported in the Star Phoenix, Pennsylvania's Rodale Institute conducted a 30 year side-by-side study comparing conventional farming to organic, and came up with some interesting results. According to this study and others like it, the truth is conventional thinking on farming - that we have to tolerate toxic chemicals because organic farming can't feed the world - is wrong. Here are some of the hard findings:
-Over a three-year transition period, organic yields equalled conventional yields.
-In years of drought, organic corn yields were 31 per cent higher than conventional yields.
-Genetically modified (GM) "drought tolerant" varieties showed increases of only 6.7 per cent to 13.3 per cent over conventional (non-drought resistant) varieties.
-Organic systems were almost three times as profitable as the conventional systems, which reflects the premium organic farmers receive and consumers pay for.
-Even aside from the premium, however, the Rodale study found organic systems are competitive with the conventional systems because of marginally lower input costs.