Compared to conventional farming, the organic farms studied have showed an empirical 12 percent rise in biodiversity. Not only there are more plant and floral diversity, the land also showed an increase of butterflies, earthworms and insects. The bird population had also risen.
Long term sustainability
Majority of changes observed in environment tend to be long term. They occur slowly over the course of time. When organic farming is done, there are both medium term and long term effects on the agricultural ecosystem. The aim is to produce food and simultaneously establish the necessary ecological balance to prevent pest or soil fertility problems. A proactive approach is taken in the case of organic agriculture.
Organic practices involve soil building activities like crop rotations, cover crops, minimum tillage, inter-cropping, organic fertilizers and symbiotic associations. Flora and soil fauna are encouraged. Soil formation is improved and stable systems built. There is an increase in energy and nutrient cycling, and the ability of the soil to retain water and nutrients also get enhanced. These compensates for the absence of mineral fertilizers. These management techniques play a vital role in controlling soil erosion. The amount of time of the soil being exposed to the erosivea forces decrease, and soil biodiversity thus increases. There is also a reduction in nutrient losses, and soil productivity is increased.
Use of water
Many agriculture areas see ground water pollution due to addition of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In organic culture, the use of such substances is forbidden. Organic fertilizers are used as substitutes. There is also increased biodiversity, resulting in an enhanced soil structure along with water infiltration. Since organic systems have better retentive capabilities when it comes to nutrients, the groundwater pollution risk is greatly reduced. In a few areas where pollution can pose problems, the conversion to organic culture gets encouraged. It functions as restorative measures.
Change in the climate
The practice of organic farming reduces the use of non-renewable energy by the reduction of agrochemical needs. The greenhouse effect is mitigated by organic farming. Global warming is also reduced by the latter’s ability to sequester carbon in soil. A number of organic farming practices increase carbon return to soil. This favors carbon storage and productivity is raised. The greater the organic carbon gets retained in the soil, the more the agricultural mitigation potential against the climate change.
The organic farmers can be regarded both as users and custodians of biodiversity. This is applicable at across all levels. The gene level sees adapted and traditional breeds and seeds are preferred for their resilience towards climatic stress and disease resistance. When one comes to the species level, the large combinations of animals and plants optimize energy and nutrient cycling for production of agriculture. The ecosystem level sees natural areas’ maintenance both around and within organic fields. The absence of any chemical additions creates perfectly suitable habitats for the wild-life. Maximum use of the underutilized species reduces agro-diversity erosion. This results in a much healthier and robust gene pool. It becomes the basis for any future adaptation. Pest predators and pollinators play an important role.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Organic farming practices do not allow GMOs at any stage of food production by organic means. It should not be used in handling or processing stages as well. Organic farming encourages natural biodiversity. The organic label thus offers and assurance of GMOs being used intentionally in processing and production of organic products. The mention of GMO in labelling has not enforced in most countries.