What gave organic production the edge wasn’t higher crop yields, however; instead it was organic price premiums. In their absence, the net return from a 2-yr, conventional corn-soybean rotation averaged $342 per acre, compared to $267/ac for a 4-yr organic rotation (corn-soybean-oat/alfalfa-alfalfa), and $273/ac for its 4-yr conventional counterpart. When a full organic premium was applied, though, the average net return from organic production rose to $538/ac, significantly outperforming the conventional systems both in terms of profitability and risk. And organic production was still more profitable when the price premium was reduced by 50%.Cost of production was also lower, because herbicides cost more than organic weed control methods.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Organic Agriculture Is Profitable
I've been skeptical of organic agriculture's promises, so it's only fair I should highlight this piece from the Agronomy people, reporting on a long term U of Minnesota (my dad's alma mater--go gophers) study. It finds that organic agriculture is more profitable than conventional over an 18-year period. However: