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Organic Farms Use Less Energy And Water

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Ithaca NY (UPI) Jul 15, 2005
A Cornell University study suggests organic farms produce the same corn and soybean yields as do conventional farms, but use 30 percent less energy.

David Pimental, a Cornell professor of ecology and agriculture, said the 22-year farming trial study also determined organic farms use less water and no pesticides.

"Organic farming offers real advantages for such crops as corn and soybeans," said Pimental, lead author of the study -- which analyzed the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of growing soybeans and corn organically vs. conventionally.

The study released Wednesday is a review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest running comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.

Pimental noted although organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the study's first four years, eventually the organic systems produced higher yields, especially under drought conditions.

He said the reason for the apparent anomaly was that wind and water erosion degraded the soil on the conventional farm, while the the organic farm soil steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial activity and other quality indicators.

The study appears in the July issue of the journal Bioscience.

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EU Governments Keep National Bans On GMOs
Luxembourg (AFP) Jun 24, 2005
EU governments voted Friday to keep in place bans on some genetically modified crops, slapping down a proposal from the EU's executive commission to lift them.

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