Organic vs Conventional Farming

Topics: Organic farming, Organic food, Sustainable agriculture Pages: 4 (1225 words) Published: August 18, 2010
Organic Farming versus Conventional Farming

With the increase in concern about the dangers of the foods we consume, the demand for organic food has increased at an alarming rate. Conventional farming has been around for more than 100 centuries, and it is one of the most prosperous industries in the world. Organic farming on the other hand dates back to the 20th century. Sir Albert Howard is considered by many to be the pioneer of the organic movement (Heckman). Although some concepts of organic farming date back before Sir Albert Howard’s work, in 1943 he published the book An Agricultural Testament (Heckman). In his book he described ideas that would become the fundamentals of organic farming. His main concept was known as “The Law of Return”, it suggested that all organic waste be recycled back to farmland (Heckman). The practices used in organic farming were intended to help the environment by conserving water and soil, and reducing pollution (Pitts).

Conventional farming and organic farming vary in many different ways. Conventional farmers use chemical herbicides to destroy weeds. However, organic farmers use mulch, rotate crops, or hand pick the weeds (Pitts). To grow their crops, conventional farmers use every acre of their farm land; but, for the health of the soil, organic farmers rotate their crops (Alvarez). Instead of using pesticides or insecticides, organic farmers use helpful birds, insects, and organic fungicides to decrease disease and pests. Organic fungicides such as Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus pumilus, and Trichoderma harzianum are effectively used to prevent diseases that affect the roots (Murray). Conventional farmers use pesticides to protect the crops from disease, mold, and insects. Chemical fertilizers are used in conventional farming to help increase plant growth. Conventional farming permits farmers to apply the precise amount of fertilizer needed to prevent waste pollutants (“Organic Foods”). “Without chemicals, agriculture...

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Murray, Richard. “Organic Farming vs. Conventional Farming” You Are What You Eat…
July 31, 2009
“Organic Foods. Are They Safer? More Nutritious?” The Mayo Clinic,
December 20, 2008
Pitts, Jonathan. “Organic Farming vs. Conventional Farming” Health Guidance. Accessed:
October 27, 2009.
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