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May 4th, 2015

Diversification practices reduce organic to conventional yield gap

Published by The Royal Society Proceedings B,

This article by a group of researchers, published in Proceedings B by Royal Society, compares organic and conventional yields by using a new meta-dataset and a new hierarchical analytical framework that can better account for the heterogeneity and structure in the data. Their main finding is that organic yields are only 19.2% (±3.7%) lower than conventional yields, a smaller yield gap than previous estimates. Furthermore, the researchers found that two agricultural diversification practices, multi-cropping and crop rotations, substantially reduce the yield gap (to 9 ± 4% and 8 ± 5%, respectively) when the methods were applied in only organic systems. The results suggest that appropriate investment in agro-ecological research to improve organic management systems could greatly reduce or eliminate the yield gap for some crops or regions.

Curated from rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org