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Science. 2002 May 31;296(5573):1694-7.

Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming.

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  • 1Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Ackerstrasse, CH-5070 Frick, Switzerland. paul.maeder@fibl.ch

Abstract

An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs.

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PMID:
12040197
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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