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Organic Farming Economics

June 4, 2015

Organic farming can be more profitable than conventional crops.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Growing organic vegetables in Thailand Asian Development Bank via flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Growing organic vegetables in Thailand (Asian Development Bank Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0, via flickr)

Big bucks in organic crops. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Organic farming makes up just one percent of total cropland worldwide, and is often viewed as a small, niche market. But Washington State University entomologist David Crowder reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that growing organic crops is considerably more profitable than growing conventional crops. The report looked at data from the past forty years, worldwide.

DAVID CROWDER (Washington State University):

The fact that organic was making more money than conventional was consistent across continents and across developed and developing countries, so that actually was something that we were somewhat surprised by.

HIRSHON:

They found that higher prices and demand for organic produce more than offset the lower yields of organic farming methods. He says the difference is so large, that the added profitability of organic farming would withstand large increases in the supply. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.