Organic farming can be economic, and people choose organic food since it is both nutritious and ethical. Organic agricultural approaches, however, provide several environmental benefits in addition to financial and ethical considerations.
1.Reduced Exposure to Pesticides and Chemicals
According to the Organic Trade Association, if every farmer in the United States switched to organic farming, 500 million pounds of persistent and hazardous pesticides would be removed from the environment each year. The usage of pesticides and chemicals has a number of detrimental consequences for the environment:
Plants, weeds, plant-eating insects, fungi, and bacteria develop disease resistance as a result of pesticides.
The soil, water supply, and air are contaminated by pesticides and chemicals sprayed on plants. These hazardous poisons can sometimes linger for decades (maybe longer).
Synthetic chemicals also hinder smart farming techniques like cover crops and crop rotation, which can lead to erosion and other severe environmental issues.
2.Organic Farming Builds Healthy Soil
To grow healthy food, you need healthy soil to begin with. If you use toxic pesticides and chemicals on the soil, it may become incapable of thriving on its own. Chemical soil management is much inferior to natural cultivation approaches.
Organic farming builds up organic soil matter better than conventional no-till farming, according to a massive nine-year research by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
According to Dr. Elaine Ingram, a teaspoon of compost-rich organic soil can contain up to 1 billion beneficial bacteria from 15,000 different species. On the other hand, one teaspoon of chemically treated soil may contain as little as 100 beneficial bacteria, according to Ingram.
3. Combatting Erosion
Organic farming not only helps to build healthy soil, but it also helps to address significant soil and land challenges like erosion.
A large research comparing nearby organic and chemically treated wheat fields found that the organic field had eight inches more topsoil and just one-third the erosion loss of the chemically treated area.
You should be concerned about erosion if you aren’t already. Erosion is a severe problem that affects the land, food supplies, and humans. Organic farming practises, on the other hand, serve to prevent erosion.
4. Fighting the Effects of Global Warming
The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial is the longest-running side-by-side comparison of conventional and organic agriculture in the United States. A healthy organic agriculture system can actually reduce carbon dioxide and help halt climate change, according to the trial, which has been underway since 1981. In reality, the Rodale study reveals that:
“If just 10,000 medium-sized farms in the United States switched to organic farming, they would store enough carbon in the soil to take 1,174,400 automobiles off the road, or reduce car miles driven by 14.62 billion miles.”
5. Discouraging Algal Blooms
Algal blooms (HABs) have a negative impact on human health as well as the health of marine creatures and species. Algal blooms also have a severe impact on recreation and tourism, as well as local and regional economics. While algal blooms can be caused by a variety of factors, one of the most common human-caused causes is runoff from petroleum-based fertilisers often employed in traditional farming.
6. Supporting Animal Health and Welfare
When humans swoop in and ruin their natural habitat, insects, birds, fish, and a variety of other creatures suffer.
Organic farming not only helps to retain more natural habitat areas, but it also encourages birds and other natural predators to live contentedly on fields, helping to control pests naturally.
Furthermore, animals raised on organic farms are fed clean, chemical-free pasture, which helps them stay naturally healthy and disease-resistant. Happy and healthy organic animals are productive organic animals, which is a bonus for organic farmers.
7. Organic Farming Encourages Biodiversity
In general, the more the biodiversity on a farm, the more stable it is. Organic farming promotes healthy biodiversity, which is important for a farm’s resilience to difficulties like severe weather, illness, and pests.
Reduced biodiversity may also be linked to an increase in infectious diseases, which isn’t good for humans or the environment.
Check out Ann Larkin Hansen’s book The Organic Farming Manual for more information on biodiversity; chapter 13 is all about conserving and increasing healthy biodiversity on an organic farm.