Organic Growing Practices Outperform Conventional Growing Practices
Friday, December 16, 2016
We’ve been espousing the benefits of sustainable and organic growing practices for a long time. Growers that have committed to these practices over extensive periods are telling us that they are experiencing excellent results and witnessing their organic crops outperforming conventional practices. In the past, the rub has been that switching to sustainable and organic methods resulted in some level of compromise; this is no longer the case. For example, a grower in the Yakima Valley in Washington is producing 120+ bins per acre of pink lady apples! Conventional growers in the area are averaging 50 bins per acre.
The perspective of sustainable and organic farming growers is:
- Soil health is a neglected resource – it’s a reservoir of biodiversity
- Synthetic fertilizers provide short-term benefits, causing soil depletion and diminished water storage
- Nutritional problems in the soil lead to lower crop quality and yields which becomes more costly over time
- Understanding how organic and sustainable products work in conjunction can achieve optimal crop health
Extended use of synthetic products does little to improve soil biology and over time quality and yields will suffer even as increased amounts of synthetic products are applied.
Organic and sustainable growers fall into four general categories:
1) established certified organic farms
2) farms making the transition to organic
3) growers that are applying organic inputs that don’t want to deal with the hassles of certification
4) growers that are using organic products in conjunction with conventional products because they are getting positive results
We work with many growers in the latter category. They are beginning to see the bigger picture, realizing that it has been easier in the past to just apply synthetic products to address various crop symptoms. As an alternative, they’re investing in products that counter balance the harmful impacts that conventional products have had on soil biology in order to improve overall crop production for the long haul.