In 1981, the Farming Systems Trial (FST) was launched by the Rodale Institute to research organic agriculture management and agricultural design systems to improve the planet. Recent research done by the FST has shown how regenerative organic agriculture outperforms conventional grain cropping systems during times of extreme weather. As farmers continue to deal with crop losses from droughts and floods across the world, this research shows how using organic cropping systems is a resilient farming model.
This organic trial has shown that over the 40-year period:
- Organic crop cash systems produce yields equal to conventional systems. In periods of extreme weather, such as drought or flood, organic crops outperformed conventional plots. For organic corn, the yields were 31% higher than conventional corn during droughts.
- Organic systems lead to higher soil organic matter due to increased and diversified carbon inputs going into the soil.
- In long-term organic management, water infiltration is significantly fast when compared to typical conventional practices.
- Organic management systems have increased soil health over time.
To learn more about the Rodale Institute’s Farming Systems Trial, look here.