Studies on long-term performance of organic and conventional cropping systems in Pennsylvania
- 432 Downloads
Since 1981, organic and conventional cropping systems have been compared in a field trial at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Cropping system differences were evaluated for yields, soil quality, economic, and energy performance. Results showed that overall organic systems produced yields equal to conventional plots while at the same time improving soil quality. Organic systems also led to greater profitability while requiring less energy and emitting fewer greenhouse gases to produce the same amount of crops as the conventional systems.
KeywordsOrganic Cropping systems Conventional Energy systems Corn and soil quality
We want to thank everybody who has contributed to this trial over the last 30 years. This study would not have been possible without the dedication of countless research and project managers, farm operations crews, collaborating scientists, technicians, and interns. We especially thank Gail Gillis and Dr. Romy Das who offered invaluable help in developing the economic summary presented in this paper. Since its initiation, this project was supported by the Rodale Institute and numerous grants. The work conducted to summarize the economic and energy data presented here was supported by a NE-SARE grant, entitled “Increasing Cropping System Sustainability through the Adoption of Cover Crop and Rotational No-Till Strategies” (project number LNE08-268).
- Camargo GG, d. T, Ryan M, Richard T (2011) Energy usage and greenhouse gases from commodity and bioenergy crops using the farm energy analysis tool (FEAT) In preparation Google Scholar
- MSBG Mississippi State Budget Generator, Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University, (2001) http://www.agecon.msstate.edu/what/farm/generator/
- OTA (Organic Trade Association) (2011) Organic industry survey. http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/business.html
- USDA-ERS (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service) (2011) www.ers.usda.gov/data/organic