Organic vs Conventional Farming: What is the Difference

Organic vs Conventional Farming: What is the Difference
External Guest Writer
June 1, 2021

Conventional farming practices have been around for several thousand years at this point, and very little has changed in terms of executing on this system. Due to the fact that conventional farming is still largely practiced in various parts of the world, it has started to take a toll on the various ecosystems.

One of the biggest threats of conventional farming practices has to do with the degradation in the quality of the soil. If these practices continue, the quality of the soil around the planet will continue to drop even further. 

Organic farming is an alternative practice available for those who do not want to engage in conventional practices anymore. There are many benefits related to organic farming as against conventional farming, and we highlight these benefits and differences in the article below.

What is Organic Farming?

Organic farming is a practice of growing crops that is ecologically conscious. It is known to create produce that is cleaner and greener compared to conventional practices. Organic farming makes use of natural fertilizers in order to prevent the increase of toxicity levels in the soil. Only natural fertilizers such as compost and manure are used here. The crop rotation practiced in organic farming also helps to improve the overall quality of the soil.

Additionally, it has been seen that the foods grown in organic farms are known to contain higher quantities of nutrition, and this is a great benefit for consumers. 

The major principles of organic farming revolves around the concept of sustainability and demands that we respect the needs of the environment. GMOs or genetically modified organisms are also not used in this practice because they can be harmful to the consumers and the environment. 

All the crops grown in organic farms do not cause any harm to humans, plants, or animals. There is no animal cruelty practiced in this method either.

The farming methods employed in organic agriculture involve the use of crop rotation, mixed crops, and companion planting techniques. These measures help to retain and improve the quality of the soil.

What is Conventional Farming?

Conventional farming is the traditional practice of agriculture that has been utilized for numerous generations at this point. Numerous studies have highlighted the fact that the practices employed in conventional farming are harmful for the planet and are also unsustainable for farmers.

This is largely down to the fact that artificial pesticides are utilized in conventional farming, and these are known to degrade the quality of the land and soil over time. Examples of artificial fertilizers include the likes of DDT that can be deadly to the ecosystem and consumer.

Even the general mechanisms employed in the practice of conventional farming are largely inefficient. There is a significant loss of nutrition in the soil due to continued traditional farming, and this leaves a toxic effect on the environment, making this practice unsustainable.

Additionally, conventional farming also uses genetically modified organisms in order to increase the yield of the crops. Although this has short term benefits, it is detrimental in various regards in the long term.

The only focus in this farming practice remains on improving the yield and economics of agriculture. It does not pay any heed to the quality of the land or the future.

Conventional Farming vs Organic Farming: What is the Difference?

Here are the major differences between the two practices:

  • Pesticide use: Pesticides used in organic farms need to be naturally derived, whereas conventional farming uses all types of toxic and chemical pesticides
  • Cost: Organic food costs more to produce and procure, but it is better in the long run
  • GMOs: GMOs are not allowed in the practice of organic farming, but they are utilized in conventional agriculture
  • Focus: The focus of organic farming remains on sustainability, while the focus of conventional farming is purely based on profits and yield quantity

Change is Organic

As conventional farming has been in practice for far too long now, it will take time to shift away from this system. Unfortunately, time is not on our side in this battle, which is why organic farming and other modern methods need to be considered immediately.

More on organic farming: Heirloom Crops and Its Impact to Food Security