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Organic farming “lower risk, more profit”

Date Published: 08/09/2011

Well, there’s a headline to make you sit up and think, eh? But it’s not just there as an attention grabber. It’s a précis of the results of a large study in the USA.

And before the cynic in you dismisses yet another set of research-derived statistics, we should point out that this work was carried out over 18 years. Whatever else you might decide about the data set, it’s an extensive one. Read about it for yourself in this report from The Independent, Nebraska.

In essence, it demonstrates that, during the trial at least, organic production was consistently more profitable  and carried less risk of low returns that non-organic equivalents.

Yes, there will be areas to criticise in this, as any, study, but the research tallies with a growing body of evidence that points firmly in the same direction.

We can argue about statistics and research models ad infinitum, but if you apply a dose of common sense, does it not seem to be logical that a system designed to build soil fertility will continue to deliver healthy crops and fare better in adverse weather conditions when the soil is more able to hold moisture and nutrients through good conditioning?

Such results might not turn millions of heads right now, nor make converts of swathes of farmers, but the data is going to be extremely relevant and useful, if not critical, to organic and non-organic farmers alike as petro-chemical prices continue to rise and scarcity begins to bite hard.