Managing and Optimizing Organic Crop Yield

by Richard Vanderpuije, Economics major

For this blog post I chose to expand the discussion on my research paper. Feeding a growing globe with organic agriculture, bringing attention to organic farming and methods to sustainable mass yields. The underlying presumption when comparing both organic and conventional horticulture with respect to yield; generally organic yields range between 25-33% less than its counterparts harvest weight. It is worth mentioning that usually what is found in the aftermath of the study is that the soil contents in both farm systems have drastic differences in nutritional quality. According to research it seems that on average the acidic levels are not in optimal levels to promote vigorous growth in addition to nitrogen compound deficiencies, tillage, and plant cycling.

To say the least in essence we’ve learned that managing and optimizing organic crop yield requires more sophistication. Soil fertility is by far the most important element that dramatically brings closer the yields of the two systems. Systematic crop rotation of nutritional plants provides the soil with not only more nitrogen but aides in pathogen resistant properties. The usual slow releasing nitrogen fertilizers is not enough for organic farming, rather using nitrogen releasing crop rotation plants like legumes could supply roughly 25-75 pounds of nitrogen per acrr. It’s been found in studies that some 35% of nitrogen is supplied by way of cow manure in organic farming, which is far below the standards for what is required in the natural growth cycle of most crops.  Its natural alternative like this rather than conventional cow manure that changes the potential in yields of organic farming to close the gap in feeding a growing globe.

Source: Crop yields and supply of nitrogen compared in conventional and organic farming systems – AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SCIENCE BY: M. Alaru et al. (2014)


My name is Richard Wulff Vanderpuije. I am finishing up my undergraduates degree in economics; I should be graduating fairly soon, I am pushing to graduate in the spring semester of 2018. My hobbies include staying current with worldly trends, this includes but not limited to finance, medicine, government policies, business, and technology.

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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