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Environmental, Energetic, and Economic Comparisons of Organic and Conventional Farming Systems

D. Pimentel1, P. Hepperly2, J. Hanson3, D. Douds4 and R. Seidel2

Various organic technologies have been utilized for about 6000 years to make agriculture sustainable while conserving soil, water, energy, and biological resources. Among the benefits of organic technologies are higher soil organic matter and nitrogen, lower fossil energy inputs, yields similar to those of conventional systems, and conservation of soil moisture and water resources (especially advantageous under drought conditions). Conventional agriculture can be made more sustainable and ecologically sound by adopting some traditional organic farming technologies.

Read an article from Cornell News Service about this study.

BioScience (2005) 55:573-582

Author Locations and Affiliations
(1) Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, E-mail: dp18@cornell.edu
(2) Rodale Institute, 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530
(3) Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
(4) USDA Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038

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