"Organic" Farming Isn't as Green as It's Cracked Up To Be.

We've all seen them, the produce bins in the grocery story proudly proclaiming to be "organic." But is "organic" really better?

Perhaps not.

Soil management by farmers is important. Tillage practices can have a major effect on the levels of soil CO2 emissions.

Organic agriculture controls weeds primarily by ploughing. The microbial respiration rate is increased every time a plough churns up the soil. When compared to no-tillage, mould-board ploughing doubles CO2 emissions from the soil.

Along with microbial production of CO2, tractors burn huge amounts of diesel fuel pulling metal ploughs through the soil. Research has shown that a conversion to no-tillage practices can save up to 32 litres/hectare. With no-tillage farming practiced over millions of hectares, there is a huge reduction in the amount of CO2 produced by tractors.


Some have suggested a complete conversion to organic agriculture. But, on average, organic agriculture produces 30 percent less per hectare than conventional farms. If we were to convert entirely to organic agriculture, we would need at least 30 percent more farmland. Significant amounts of the remaining wilderness would have to be ploughed under to maintain current food production levels.

The conversion to organic farming would also require a tremendous increase in animals to generate manure fertilizer. Anyone who has ever been near the back end of a cow knows this would significantly increase a different greenhouse gas.

Once again, the greenies propose something that looks good at first glance, but upon closer examination, turns out to be worse than what we have now.