Organic farming raises soil carbon levels
Recent research from the Soil Association
The research reviewed 39 comparative studies of organic farming covering over 100 individual comparisons. The research’s key findings are:
* The widespread adoption of organic farming practices
* A worldwide switch to organic farming could offset 11% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Raising soil carbon levels would also make farming worldwide more resilient to extremes of climate like droughts and floods, leading to greater food security.
* On average organic farming produces 28% higher levels of soil carbon compared to non-organic farming in Northern Europe, and 20% higher for all countries studied (in Europe, North America and Australasia).
* In the
The evidence presented suggests that action to raise soil carbon levels - through more widespread adoption of organic farming practices and grass-based and mixed farming systems – can make a significant and immediate contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation.
For example, the Rodale Institute in
Raising soil carbon levels can also contribute to climate adaptation, by improving soil structure and quality, hence reducing the impacts of flooding, droughts, water shortages and desertification.
The Soil Association’s full report
and a summary is available at http://www.soilassociation.org/Whyorganic/Climatefriendlyfoodandfarming/
Another report by the Rodale Institute, Regenerative Organic Farming:
A Solution to Global Warming, which reinforces the conclusions, is available at www.rodaleinstitute.org/files/Rodale_Research_Paper-07_30_08.pdf