Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as conventional farming, but consumes 30 percent less energy, less water and no pesticides, according to a study that reviewed 22 years of farming results.
"Organic farming offers real advantages for such crops as corn and soybeans," said David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and agriculture, in a prepared statement. Pimentel studied the results from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest running comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended fertilizers and pesticides with an organic animal-based farm (where manure was applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year rotation of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic systems received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.