A new review of four decades of science has come to this conclusion: organic agriculture has a key role to play in feeding the world.
To analyze the body of research, author John Reganold, Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology at Washington State University, and doctoral candidate Jonathan Wachter compared conventional and organic farming using the metrics of productivity, environmental impact, economic viability, and social well-being.
“Thirty years ago, there were just a couple handfuls of studies comparing organic agriculture with conventional. In the last 15 years, these kinds of studies have skyrocketed,” Reganold said.
In terms of productivity, they found that organic yields averaged 10 to 20 percent less than conventional—but that’s not always the case.