Organic agriculture is a fast growing section of agriculture and a growing market. It has created jobs and promoted the economy. There are some steps involved in entering the market, including obtaining your USDA Organic Certification. But, with over 22,000 certified organic farms and businesses in the U.S. As consumer demand grows for organic crops, it is worth consideration. In 2015, there was approximately $43 billion in retail sales of organic products in the U.S.
There are also several major environmental benefits with organic farming. One of the first examples would be the health of the soil. Traditional farming begins with a virgin field and uses synthetic fertilizers and pesticides throughout the growing process. In doing so, the soil will lose between 50 and 65 percent of its nitrogen and carbon over 50 years. USDA organic certified farming takes a different approach, organic farmers see themselves as caretakers of the land so that future generations can use it. They want the land to be as good as, if not better than when they first started farming it.
Reduced Erosion of Land
Organic farming not only promotes healthy soil but also helps to prevent critical land issues such as erosion. A recent study of adjoining organic and chemically treated wheat fields concluded that the field using organic practices fared much better than that of the traditional version. The organic field displayed eight inches more topsoil and only one-third the amount of erosion loss in comparison with the traditional field.
Less Energy Use Required
Energy usage is another key difference benefitting organic farming. While traditional farms use synthetic fertilizers (which require a lot of energy), organic farming does not. The British Department for Environment funded a study which discovered a 35 percent decrease in energy usage per unit of production and a 74 percent decrease in dairying. Scientists from the University of Essex additionally found that the majority of organic farmers worldwide required only 30 to 50 percent of the energy needed by traditional farms.
Interested in USDA Organic Certification in Florida? Learn about the specific rules here.