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Help reverse global warming through organic farming

 

Last updated 3/9/2007 at Noon



According to a study performed by the Rodale Institute of Pennsylvania, organic soils clean the atmosphere of global warming gases by capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it, in conjunction with turned organic farm matter, into a soil material called humus.

“Organic farming is a powerful new tool in the global warming arsenal,” said Anthony Rodale, chairman of the Rodale Institute. “It puts agriculture into a lead role in regenerating the environment.” The purchase of organic produce is an important vote which supports the continuing existence of organic farming.

Rocky Peak Farms (“the Peak”) has, for 17 years, sold only 100 percent organic produce. Equipped with an organic deli, the Peak carries organic products throughout the store and is a proud sponsor of the Fallbrook Schools Organic Garden Project.

Plants and soils serve as binders of atmospheric carbon through a process termed carbon sequestration. Plants and soils need carbon to survive; thus, sequestered carbon does not easily release into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas scientists estimate may be responsible for 80 percent of global warming.

Over 23 years of field studies using a variety of farming methods, including organic, document soil carbon levels increasing 15 to 28 percent in the organic soils. It is the first study to document organic farming techniques creating abundant carbon “sinks.” The extent of carbon sequestration in the organic soils is an important discovery meriting an expansion of organic farming across the planet.

The studies show an average of about 3,500 pounds of carbon per acre-foot per year sequestered through organic farming. Multiply this over the 160 million acres of corn and soybean produced in the US, 580 billion pounds of carbon could potentially be sequestered by organic farming.

And not only do the studies show organic farming methods creating fewer greenhouse gases, but they also show organic farming to be an economically viable agriculture that supports larger crop yields with decreasing energy, irrigation and fuel costs.

 

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