HOW ORGANIC FARMING BENEFITS THE ENVIRONMENT
Organic farming can be profitable, and organic food appeals to consumers as both a healthy and ethical choice. Beyond money and ethics, though, organic farming practices result in numerous environmental benefits. Let us discuss these benefits of organic farming.
1 . Reduced Exposure to Pesticides and Chemicals
Pesticide and chemical use results in many negative environmental issues:
- Pesticides allow disease resistance to build up in plants, weeds, plant-eating-insects, fungi, and bacteria.
- Pesticides and chemicals sprayed on plants contaminate the soil, water supply, and air. Sometimes these harmful pesticides stick around for decades (maybe longer).
- Synthetic chemicals also discourage smart farming practices such as cover crops and crop rotation, which in turn, may cause other harmful environmental problems like erosion.
- Organic Farming Builds Healthy Soil
To grow healthy food, you must start with healthy soil. If you treat the soil with harmful pesticides and chemicals, you may end up with soil that cannot thrive on its own. Natural cultivation practices are far better than chemical soil management.
- Combatting Erosion
Not only does organic farming build healthy soil, but it helps combat serious soil and land issues, such as erosion.
A major study comparing adjoining organic and chemically treated farms showed that the organic field featured eight more inches of topsoil than the chemically treated field and also had only one-third the erosion loss.
If you aren’t concerned about erosion; you should be. Erosion issues are extremely serious, affecting the land, food supply, and humans. However, organic farming practices do help discourage erosion from occurring.
- Organic Farming Supports Water Conservation and Water Health
Organic farming also helps conserve water. Organic farmers, in general, tend to spend time amending soil correctly and using mulch – both of which help conserve water. Cotton, an in-demand crop, requires a lot of irrigation and excess water when grown inorganically. However, organic cotton farming needs less irrigation and thus conserves water.
- Supporting Animal Health and Welfare
Organic farming not only helps preserve more natural habitat areas but also encourages birds and other natural predators to live on farmland, which assists in natural pest control.
Additionally, animals who live on organic farms are exposed to clean, chemical-free grazing that helps keep them naturally healthy and resistant to illness. As a perk for organic farmers, happy and healthy organic animals are productive organic animals.
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