Monday, January 26, 2015

Organic yield gap shrinking? Study actually shows it’s less sustainable than conventional ag

"yield is a central metric of sustainability. High yields are an indicator of efficient use of resources. High yields indicate that water, fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, labor, etc were successfully transformed into food instead weeds, bug food, and run off. There is nothing sustainable about pouring resources into a crop that are co-opted by weeds or wasted by pests and disease."

Marc Brazeau | January 20, 2015

Last month, The Proceedings of the Royal Society published a study entitled “Diversification practices reduce organic to conventional yield gap”.  The paper is the largest meta-analysis of comparative conventional farming to organic farming studies done to date. They put together a large data set and compared the yields between the two approaches and the effects of a wide range of variables.  The paper was met with a wide round of applause among foodies and organic activists. The idea of organic farming is very appealing, and many people hope that evidence that there is little difference in yields versus conventional agriculture, particularly where GMOs are grown, will lead to wider adoption. The problem in all this is that the study’s conclusions don’t match the findings–and the coverage of the study completely missed this salient fact……To Read More….

My Take - Although I'm not opposed to anyone who wishes to wallow in the "organic" or "all natural" fever swamps, I am however outraged at the hubris these people display. It's the same world over with the green movement and their cat's paws in the media. One lies and the other swears by those lies. Without having to read one study I've known from very early on all these "organic" claims was claptrap. How? Was it by "faith" I knew this? No, it was based on a rule I’ve never seen fail. 

“If you want to find out why people are doing what they do, find out how they're being rewarded.”

World over farmers abandoned organic for modern techniques - why?  Farmers are the most frugal people on the planet. It doesn’t mean they're cheap, it merely means they don't waste. Are we supposed to believe they abandoned "organic" in favor of what's called "conventional" farming techniques for no reason?  If modern techniques didn't reduce their overall costs, labor and increase their crop yield without increasing the amount of land being used they wouldn’t have made the change, because that change generated extra initial costs. And farmers don't spend money on things that don’t work.....better!  I find the real world experiences of  people who actually do these things for a living is far more enlightening than speculative claims based on assumptions, misinterpretation of facts and blatantly false studies that promote a billion dollar industry – organic farming!

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