Series: Fixing Nitrogen

The Hidden Footprint of Making All Farms Organic

What would be the consequences of massively scaling up organic farming and eliminating synthetic fertilizer use? It’s widely recognized that synthetic fertilizer increases yields. But most people overlook that it also reduces the need to set land aside to replenish the soil’s nutrients, usually by planting legumes. Aiming to simply eliminate synthetic fertilizer would therefore have larger negative consequences than commonly believed. Environmental groups and policy should aim to reduce fertilizers’ negative impacts rather than to stop using it.

 

Essay

Fixing Nitrogen, Dan Blaustein-Rejto and Linus Blomqvist

 

Responses

Organic or Conventional Farming? Wrong Question. Hannah Ritchie

Remember the Guano Wars, Marc Brazeau

Regenerate Soils? A Good Goal, But Where Will We Get the Nitrogen? Andrew McGuire

 

Video

The Hidden Footprint of Organic Farming