A 30-year study by the Rodale Institute (disclaimer: It’s an organic research institute) found that the return per acre of organic farms was almost three times that of conventional farms, and yields were higher for organic crops in drought years.
Part of the gain comes from the premium prices paid for organic goods, but there’s still very meaningful advantages to farming organic:
- Organic farms used 45% less energy than conventional
- Production efficiency was 28% higher for organics
- Soil health increased over time in organic farming systems, as opposed to worsening or remaining constant for conventional
- Organic farms had less water run-off and recharged groundwater reservoirs
- Organic farms were shown to create more rural jobs than conventional
If these organic methods can be expanded to developing nations, the UN thinks that food production worldwide could double in 10 years.