Environmental Benefits Of Organic Farming
Perhaps you’ve tasted the difference of organic food. Perhaps you’ve even experienced health benefits! But beyond just the provision of delicious, health-giving food, organic farming practices result in numerous environmental benefits too:
🌱 Decreased exposure to pesticides and chemicals.
When pesticides are sprayed on plants, they contaminate the soil, water supply, and air. Organic farming uses agricultural alternatives to keep crops pest-free. These include biological control; polyculture (companion planting); and natural barriers and predators.
🌱 Healthy soil.
Healthy soil is key for biodiversity, food security and even fighting climate change. Organic agriculture keeps soil healthy by the application of organic matter inputs (eg manure)
🌱 Reducing erosion.
Higher soil surface cover, achieved through some of the practices discussed above, mean that soil erosion is reduced with organic farming, when compared to conventional farming systems.
🌱 Promoting water conservation and water health.
The organic practices described above help the soil to absorb and retain water. According to a report by Rodale institute, organic fields hold more water during droughts and 15-20% more water seeps down to the body of rock and/or sediment that holds groundwater than does under conventional fields. In addition, the lack of man-made toxins in an organic agricultural system means that the watersheds are healthier!
🌱 Fighting climate change.
Organic agriculture helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by not allowing the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. In addition, organic practices encourage more carbon storage within the soil, which means less carbon in the atmosphere.
🌱 Encouraging biodiversity.
A healthy biodiverse farm is more resilient to issues like bad weather, disease, and pests. Thus, organic farmers act as custodians of biodiversity at all levels – from seeds and worms to birds and bees.And these are just the environmental benefits!
There are plenty of social and economic benefits too but, we’ll save those for another time.