Does Sustainable Farming Complement the Organic Standard?

November 2, 2008 by Tommy Linsley  
Filed under Sustainable Development

Sustainable Farming and How it Differs from Adherence to the Organic Standard

It took over 12 years and a lot of wrangling from a multitude of
stakeholders, but the National Organic Standard was passed by the USDA
earlier this century.  It is a list of amendments and practices that are
considered acceptable organic methods.  What it does not take into account
is the underlying principle of soil building in organic production or the
use of carbon-emitting energy.  So, which lends better to sustainable development?

Sustainable farming does not strictly adhere to a list of inputs, but does
strictly follow the principles of returning organic nutrients to the soil
through many practices that were briefly thought to be obsolete human
knowledge.  This sometimes means the judicious use of chemicals, but
sustainable agriculture also tends to use far fewer energy inputs because
it sources everything on-farm if possible.  Water use is also reduced as
compared with large-scale organic farming because of the small-scale
intensiveness that is required.

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One Response to “Does Sustainable Farming Complement the Organic Standard?”
  1. Kim Diprima says:

    Thanks for the great information

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