Organic Farming emits up to two-thirds fewer CO2 emissions than conventional practices

June 4, 2015

 

CO2 emissions per hectare of organic agriculture systems are 48 to 66 percent lower than in conventional systems. Haas and Köpke (1994) calculated the CO2 emissions of German organic farms to be 0.5 tonnes of CO2 per hectare whereas in conventional agriculture the amount was 1,3 tons, a difference of 60 percent (Table 5). The main effects of organic agriculture that are responsible for this difference are:the maintenance and increase of soil fertility by the use of farmyard manure;the omission of synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides;the lower use of high energy consuming feedstuff.In organic agriculture, almost 70 percent of the CO2 was due to fuel consumption and the production of machinery, while in conventional systems 75 percent of the CO2 emissions are ascribed to N-fertilizers, feedstuff and fuels.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Natural Resources Management andEnvironment Department, “Organic agriculture and climate change,” accessed June 4, 2015,www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y4137E/y4137e02b.htm#96

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