What Are the Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture?
The practice of organic agriculture demands consideration for the entire system. Conserving water, enriching soil and creating healthy habitats for beneficial insects help the environment while improving crop yields.
Using water in a conservative manner helps the environment by reducing strain on a critical resource. Organic agriculture requires effective use of soil nutrients, and getting moisture directly to the roots allows plants to draw in vital elements more easily. This, combined with mulching, helps reduce the amount of water a farmer must use. Preventing run-off from flowing into existing water sources preserves the quality of streams, rivers and oceans.
Successful organic agriculture is dependent upon good soil. Without chemical fertilizers to compensate for poor soil, an organic farmer has to develop a high-quality growing medium. With natural, organic amendments like coffee gounds, epsom salt and compost, an environment that nourishes healthy plants is created. Cover crops, like alfalfa and clover, are another technique for boosting soil viability. This also helps prevent erosion during winter months, conserving valuable topsoil.
Beneficial insects work with the organic farmer, helping to minimize invasive insects that destroy crops. The same environment that encourages beneficial insects, like praying mantises and lady bug beetles, also supports healthy populations of butterflies, honeybees and songbirds. A balanced, healthy crop improves future harvests by making sure beneficial insects continue to thrive.
The environmental benefits of organic agriculture reach far beyond the produce that people consume. Water sources suffer less depletion and receive more protection. The creation of healthy soil helps future generations produce food, and encouraging beneficial insects improves the environmental balance for all types of crops.