Organic Versus Inorganic Agriculture

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Organic Versus Inorganic Agriculture
Organic farming refers to the way farmers produce and process their agricultural
products. It encourages reduced level of pollution, water and soil conservation. Farmers avoid
using conventional methods to control weeds and insects or to fertilize (USDA). On the other
hand, a farming system where pesticides, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, genetically modified
organisms, intensive tillage and heavy irrigation methods are used is known as inorganic farming
(FAO). The differences between the two methods of farming lie in yield, human health, size and
shape of products, quality, food additives, and division in the market among other issues. Here
are several differences.
Natural fertilizers like composites and manure are applied in organic farming to feed soil
and plants. The goal of using such methods is to bring about an enterprise that is harmonious and
sustainable regarding the environment. On the other hand, conventional or inorganic farming
method applies synthetic chemical fertilizers to promote the growth of plants (Carrington and
Another difference between organic and inorganic agricultural methods is in how pests
and diseases are controlled in crops and animals. In organic farming pests and diseases are
reduced using insects and birds, traps, and mating disruption. Animals are allowed to go
outdoors, given organic feeds, and rotationally grazed to reduce diseases. In conventional 
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farming, crops are sprayed with insecticides. Also, medication, growth hormones and antibiotics
are given to animals to prevent illness.
Conventional agricultural methods utilize herbicides to eliminate weeds. On the other
hand, organic agriculture uses various weed elimination methods which include tilling, crop
rotation, mulch, and hand weed (Stony Brook University).
The yield is another factor that brings about the differences between the two. The
inorganic farming method produces more food as compared to organic farming. A meta-study
conducted found that organic yields are 80% of conventional yield, though the percentage
differed across regions and crop groups. A second meta-study concluded that the differences in
yield are highly contextual and depend on site characteristics and the system (Seufert,
Ramankutty and Foley 230).
Organic and inorganic products have a noticeable physical difference. Organic
agriculture produce has varying sizes and shapes which appear physically imperfect, unlike
conventional agricultural produce, which seems relatively similar in shapes and sizes within the
type. The reason for this difference in size is that non-organic products are treated with growth
enhancing products (Lester 297). Organic meat that is beef, poultry, pork and other cuts of meat
are most times physically different from the non-organic meat.
Conventional agricultural production often makes use of GMOs. Plants and animals that
have been selectively bred vary from this. The use of GMOs have been associated with
environmental drawbacks. When plants are grown in an open environment, it is hard to control
their reproduction. A crossbreeding problem can result when a farm with GMOs exists in
proximity to another farm (Carrington and Arnett). A genetic drift may occur, and farms that
produce heirloom varieties can be negatively impacted. When the terminator gene couples this 
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effect (companies producing GMOs insert this gene in plants to curb their seeds from producing
offspring that are viable), a devastating outcome may occur for farmers who keep their various
generations and on the heirloom varieties.
In conclusion, it is evident that conventional or inorganic agriculture is highly energetic
and resource intensive. The organic method of farming, on the other hand, tries to optimize the
fitness and productivity of agroecosystem diverse communities which are people, plants,
livestock and soil organisms among others.
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Works Cited
Carrington, Damian and George Arnett. Clear differences between organic and non-organic
food, study finds. 11 July 2014. Web. 10 August 2016.
FAO. Organic Agriculture. 2016. Web. 10 August 2016. .
Lester, Gene E. "Organic versus conventionally grown produce: quality differences, and
guidelines for comparison studies." HortScience (2006): 296-300. Document.
Seufert, Verena, Navin Ramankutty and Jonathan A. Foley. "Comparing the yields of organic
and conventional agriculture." Nature (2012): 229-232. Document.
Stony Brook University. Sustainable Vs. Conventional Agriculture. 2016. Web. 10 August 2016.
USDA. Organic Agriculture. 06 February 2016. Web. 10 August 2016.

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