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Integrated Pest Management
2014, Pages: 141-166

An Environmental, Energetic and Economic Comparison of Organic and Conventional Farming Systems

David Pimentel, Michael Burgess

Department of Entomology, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Tower Road East, Blue Old Insectary, Room 165, Ithaca, New York, 14853, USA.


Various organic technologies have been utilized for about 6,000 years to make agriculture sustainable while at the same time conserving soil, water, energy and biological resources. Benefits of organic technologies include higher soil organic matter and nitrogen, lower fossil energy inputs, yields similar to conventional systems, and conservation of soil moisture and water resources, especially advantageous under drought conditions. Traditional organic farming technologies may be adopted by conventional agriculture to make it more sustainable and ecologically sound.

Keywords: Cover crops; Soybeans; Corn; Soil organic matter.

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