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attrayant

The End Of Organic Farming Might Be Sooner Than We Thought

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Though I am at a loss to understand why so many regard Organic farming with disdain - its as if they can't stand the idea of an alternative point of view or an alternative means of measuring success.

I don't see that, unless you're referring to discussions happening outside of this thread. The actual farmers in the OP certainly aren't disdainful - disillusioned perhaps, disappointed to be sure.

The industrial and agrochemical farming practices that came in during the 20th century are the departure from historical farming practice.

Slash and burn agriculture has been around since the stone age. Compared to that, "industrial and agrochemical" farming was a huge step in the right direction.

But necessarily so - you get that, right? The departure from what you call historical farming practices was driven in large part by a need to keep everyone fed. Human appropriation of the Earth's natural resources (for whatever reason - housing development, to build organic farms or anything else) is just about the worst thing you can do to the planet because it turns the land into an environmental liability with a carbon footprint. And if you're suggesting that we convert more arable land into organic farms, that's when you're going to feel some disdain coming your way because in terms of efficiency, they simply can't compete with modern, technology-assisted farming.

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Attrayant, care to tackle the data that demonstates the growth of the Organic farming sector ?

Since it is in clear contradiction with the idea That the end of organic farming is coming anytime soon!

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Nope. I don't deny there's a market for it. I only offer the accounts of the small/local farms who don't seem to be waxing enthusiastically about their business prospects.

I'm sure there are plenty of corporate mega-farms that have the deep pockets needed to make the investment in organic farming since there seems to be a demand for it. I used to live in a very affluent area of Washington DC called Logan Circle. There was a Whole Foods market one block away, and I admit to buying the occasional $6 organic tomato from time to time because (1) I could afford it, and (2) it tasted better than the conventional varieties that are selected mainly for their endurance and longevity. But for people whose main concern is simply nutrition and getting something (anything) to eat, I don't see them as a promising future customer base for Big Organic.

So as long as there are people who are willing to pay $6 for a tomato, there are going to be companies who are willing to take that money... but I don't see a future as certain as the one you see:

Healthy organic food sales buck industry trend

Despite the increase in sales, the number of organic farmers in England fell by almost the same amount — 3.8 per cent. Land under organic cultivation also dropped 5 per cent to 575,349 hectares — meaning 3.3 per cent of agricultural land is now managed organically.

Farmers leaving the industry have complained of poor profitability because of the higher costs of producing organic food in the face of uncertain demand.


So higher production coupled with fewer actual farmers means economies of scale are bearing down on the small farmer. It may not be long before we're lamenting the situation where two or three big mega-companies are controlling the organic market.

There's also the possibility that people will start to realize that organic is little more than a display of conspicuous consumption, and that alleged health/nutrition benefits of organic food simply aren't there. The misleading health benefits are artificially propping-up sales of organic produce now. When consumers find out that there really aren't any such benefits, the industry could be in big trouble then.

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You are clutching at straws Attrayant, a decline in UK organic farm land coverage in the face of increasing demand is not an indication that organic farming is on its way out.

Especially so when across the EU and the US organic farming is growing at double digit numbers.

UK farming is beset with a number of problems, not least of all is the strangle hold the UK supermarkets that control almost all the UK food market have over their sales contracts and profits.

Here's the link again http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Newsroom/2015/09_17_2015.php

WASHINGTON, Sep 17, 2015 –Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the results of the 2014 Organic Survey, which show that 14,093 certified and exempt organic farms in the United States sold a total of $5.5 billion in organic products in 2014, up 72 percent since 2008.

Organic food market growing by 72% to $5.5Billion between 2008 and 2014 (in the US alone) can in no way be seen as an indication of, how does the article you choose as evidence headline this, 'The End of Organic Farming Might Be Sooner Than We Thought'?!

Whatever the problems of a handful of farmers who couldn't make Organic work for themselves (drtreelove has given comparative business failure data for all businesses - so perhaps not the Organic farming but other reasons for these farmers difficulties), the underlying data is clear and unequivocal - The Organic Market is growing a very healthy pace.

Anyone with an interest in food, farming and the food industry would surely see the development of the Organic market as a good thing, variety, diversification and choice.

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There's plenty of room for organic improvement for farmers interested,it holds 1 percent of the market in Thailand.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Commerce-Ministry-determined-to-boost-growth-of-Th-30244330.html

From the link tou posted:

"As of 2012, the global value of organic-products trading was US$63.8 billion (Bt2 trillion). The United States was the largest market for organic trading with a value of $22.59 billion, followed by Germany ($7.04 billion), France ($4 billion), Canada ($2.13 billion), and the United Kingdom ($1.95 billion).

Plantation area on the rise

Last year, Thailand had a combined plantation area for organic growing of 314,000 rai (50,000 hectares), some 13.9 per cent higher than the previous year's level.

Most of this - 200,000 rai - was for rice growing, followed by other farm crops at 68,000 rai, and vegetables and fruits at 10,000 rai."

Thank you for helping spread the good news on the growth of organic farming and the organic food market.

Organic farming and the organic food market are expanding.

Only a zealot would deny the fact.

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If i ask 10 person here. 10 Person will say there not like to eat chemical an there food.

But how to produce the vegetables without chemical. This is the question. Everythink is a matter of money. The Organic food should not cost more then commercial food. This is all in my eyes.

But i cant see a end of organic farming.

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Maybe another approach is something between organic and conventional farming.

Two methods:

- integrated pest management IPM, more information can be found on Google

- organically grown, I saw this method in Japan. They use half synthetic, half organic fertilizer.

And chemicals only if really necessary, some are restricted though.

And for myself, I never bought organic vegetables because they are considered healthier. That's nonsense.

Some taste better, but that's because of another variety.

They only reason for me are the chemical residues in the produce, something you should be aware especially in Thailand.

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If i ask 10 person here. 10 Person will say there not like to eat chemical an there food.

But how to produce the vegetables without chemical. This is the question. Everythink is a matter of money.

This is what frustrates me. Are you under the impression that organic farming (whatever that means, as we still can't seem to agree on a good definition for it) uses no chemicals or any kind? I keep hearing people say they prefer organic produce because it's "chemical-free" (a useful marketing/political phrase, but factually nonsense) or because it isn't sprayed with pesticides (it definitely is).

If the general public is laboring under these misunderstandings WRT organic produce, then that means the whole thing is a house of cards that might come tumbling down when (if?) people finally learn the truth. I guess as long as people stay misinformed, organic food sales will continue to be robust.

Buy it for the flavor - as I've already said it tastes great, and great-tasting produce is certainly a good thing if it means people eat more fruits/veggies and less meat/fat and processed junk - but if you're buying organic because of some misguided philosophy that it's healthier or safer than conventional, that's where you're skating on thin ice.

The Organic food should not cost more then commercial food.

Why not? It's inherently more expensive to produce. Unless you're suggesting organic farming subsidies, how can it get to the dinner table as cheaply as conventional (I assume that's what you mean by commercial) food?

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Maybe another approach is something between organic and conventional farming.

Two methods:

- integrated pest management IPM, more information can be found on Google

I don't disagree with any of that. There is no one right farming method - the best approach is probably a hybrid solution. IPM has been necessary for a long time, in order to fight against evolutionary pest adaptation. It's not something newly discovered or invented.

- organically grown, I saw this method in Japan. They use half synthetic, half organic fertilizer.

Unfortunately, the militant organic lobby would disagree with that.

And chemicals only if really necessary, some are restricted though.

I assume by "chemicals" you mean pesticides & fertilizers? Some amount of that is going to be necessary unless you want half your crop to be damaged by pests. And the Earth does not contain an endless supply of nutrients. At some point fertilizers become necessary unless you have the luxury of so much land that you can leave depleted soil untouched for several growing seasons while it recovers naturally. Perhaps some of the actual farmers here can enlighten me on natural options to artificial fertilization.

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Organic farming and the organic food market are expanding.

Only a zealot would deny the fact.

Has anyone in this thread denied that?

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Maybe another approach is something between organic and conventional farming.

Two methods:

- integrated pest management IPM, more information can be found on Google

- organically grown, I saw this method in Japan. They use half synthetic, half organic fertilizer.

And chemicals only if really necessary, some are restricted though.

And for myself, I never bought organic vegetables because they are considered healthier. That's nonsense.

Some taste better, but that's because of another variety.

They only reason for me are the chemical residues in the produce, something you should be aware especially in Thailand.

Hi CLW,

I agree about the best of both worlds and i'm sure that's what every farmer tries to achieve with minimal yield loss.

I'm not sure about the chemical residues in the produce,is this fact or peoples premeditated thoughts.If it is fact the farmers aren't adhering to labels and should not be using them in the first place.

Your studying agriculture,how are they advising you with regards to organic,normal and hydroponics.Good points,bad points,yields v input costs etc.

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As little as wind drift from a neighbours field is enough to knock out your "official" organic certification. Being able to provide full organic source documentation is difficult everywhere, impossible in Thailand. What has organic farming become, or rather has become defined as? Too hard is my answer.

Personally I believe that ethical farming is a more appropriate term for today. Farmers should have the choice of inputs but be aware of likely effects those inputs have on their produce, their farmland and the consumer. Surely, maintaining records of and disclosing details of all inputs used is something that could be asked of ALL farmers, not just certified organic ones.

The wheel is turning on the AgChemical giants and if their products are banned, what will the farmer use? Is organic farming doomed? Hopefully the term will be but the real intention will not.

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Good post by I/A on the ethics of farming.

It should be standard practice to declare your produce/crop whether it's for domestic or international sales.

I don't think chemicals are going anywhere,when they expire new ones will be developed and the increasing awareness of rotation cropping is helping to control over use.

Organic holds a 1 percent share of the market so even with growth at 10 percent a year it will be another 8-9 years to have a 2 percent stake and that's if the little agra's of greenpeace and hivos who like to control the organic seed market have enough banked for the growth.

Now with the seed growers calling for volunteers to help for free and be charged for this experience i wouldn't like to be in a average growers postion taking into account the amount of hours involved to grow and maintain the produce till selling time.

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