Solutions to dealing with changing weather patterns should focus on soil health as this does, not on the development of genetically modified “drought-resistant” plant varieties. 04 Organic Farming Fights the Effects of Global Warming. In a no-till organic system, a cover crop such as hairy vetch is planted in the early fall on a field. Organic Farming Supports Animal Health Organic farms support 34% more plant, insects and animals speciesthan conventional farms and thus have long-term benefits for biodiversity. When used on the land, about 2/3rd of this nitrogen lands up in rivers and interferes with the marine environment, in turn disturbing the entire ecosystem. A 2006 study, “Tillage and soil carbon sequestration what do we really know?,” led by a USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientist, concludes, “Though there are other good reasons to use conservation tillage, evidence that it promotes carbon sequestration is not compelling.” On the other hand, a long-term ARS study, "No Shortcuts in Checking Soil Health," finds that organic farming practices build soil better than chemical no-till and have more soil carbon, as well as better crop yields. Conventional agriculture relies on chemical fertilizers that have been shown to reduce soil organic matter and contaminate waterways leading to eutrophication and “dead zones”; organic agriculture does not permit the use of chemical fertilizers and relies instead on nutrient sources that tend to be less soluble and more stable in the soil. There are tremendous attentions in organic farming and foods nowadays both in developed and de- veloping countries. Both the water holding capacity and the water drainage capacity increase with this system because of the greater soil aggregation and organic matter content. Latest news on climate change and organics, Climate Change, Plant Biology and Public Health, The Organic Farming Response to Climate Change, Agricultural Practices and Carbon Sequestration, High Sequestration, Low Emission, Food Secure Farming. Therefore, organic agriculture is not only necessary in order to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals, it is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of food production. The increased humus (organic matter [carbon] that is in a very stable form) in the soil provides carbon sequestration. Research from the Rodale Institute’s Farming Systems Trial® (FST) has revealed that organic, regenerative agriculture actually has the potential to lessen the impacts of climate change. However, as a side effect, this method eventually leads to contamination of the soil over the long term. Climate change presents challenges for farmers in all parts of the world. “If we’re looking to feed the world for the next 50 years, conventional can do it. Bacteria associated with the vetch, because it is a legume, add nitrogen to the soil, providing the corn with enough to grow and eliminating the “need” for nitrogen fertilizer. Studies point out that only a teaspoon of organic soil rich in compost can host up to 1 billion helpful bacteria from 15,000 species. Organic farming in principle discourages the use of harsh chemicals and therefore, contributes towards the preservation of the natural environment. Conventional agriculture relies on chemical fertilizers that have been shown to reduce soil organic matter and contaminate waterways leading to eutrophication and “dead zones”; organic agricult… No-till agriculture is becoming more and more prevalent in conventional agriculture, but while it has been heralded by some as more environmentally friendly, it relies on the use of toxic herbicides. Organic agriculture relies on non-chemical ways of maintaining fertility, managing pests and controlling weeds, thus eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides. This occurs through the drastic reduction in fossil fuel usage to produce the crops (approximately 75% less than conventional agriculture) and the significant increase in carbon sequestration in the soil. Organic farming as a sustainable practice also contributes towards curtailing the phenomenon of global warming. Endocrine disrupting pesticides affect the hormonal balance of wildlife and humans, often at very low doses (for more information on endocrine disruption, please read the spring 2008 volume of Pesticides and You, and for information on low dose effect please read an excerpt from Dr. Warren Porter's presentation from 2007). Conventional agricultural practices have contributed to climate change through heavy use of fossil fuels--both directly on the farm and in the manufacturing of pesticides and fertilizers--and through degradation of the soil, which releases carbon. In late spring, as soon as this vetch has flowered, a single tractor equipped with both an implement to knock down the vetch (photograph above) and an implement to seed another crop (corn, for example), passes through the field.


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