WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Organic & Integrated Tree Fruit Production

Saturday, September 22, 2018

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3752. Kraten, S.L.. 1979. A preliminary examination of the economic performance and energy intensiveness of organic and conventional small grain farms in the Northwest.. M.A. Thesis, Dept. of Agr. Econ., WSU, Pullman, WA. 158pp..
Economic and energy profiles from six organic farms were compared with similar conventional farms. The conventional farms produced 2% more crop value per acre than the organic farms. The organic farms had 22.4% higher net return due to lower variable costs. The conventional farms were 52.6% more energy intensive per dollar value of output than the organic farms. The organic farms yielded 39.9 bu/ac and conventional farms yielded 35.2 bu/ac. T: Average returns and energy use for organic and conventional farms. Cost, returns, and energy use by crop.

9923. Kendall, D.. 1989. He sets his own grain prices.. The New Farm, Jan. 1989, p. 54-59..
Zane Zell of Shelby, Montana has grown as many as 1000 acres with no purchased chemicals, and only 12" annual rainfall, while producing the same average yields as conventional farmers. Zell says the key to his fertility is the Austrian winter pea green manure crop he grows. Besides fuel, the only other purchased input he uses is rock phosphate, about every four or five years. Weed control is achieved by timely field preparation with a plow and a rod weeder. Because of the growing demand for organically grown food, Zell is sold out a month after harvest. By turning his wheat grain into flour and cleaning and bagging his speciality legumes, he is able to increase his profits by up to 350%.

10526. Berardi, G.M.. 1977. An energy and economic analysis of conventional and organic wheat farming.. p. 439-447 In: R.C. Loehr (ed.). Food, Fertilizer, and agricultural residues. Ann Arbor Sci. Publ..
Twenty farms growing winter wheat in PA and NY were selected for study, with ten using conventional fertilizers and ten using organic fertilizers. The average profitability for the conventional farms was $59.50/ha versus $14.55 for the organic farms. Wheat production by conventional farming pracctices averaged 48% higher energy inputs and only 29% higher yields than wheat produced by organic farmers. It was primarily the use of nitrogen fertilizers that resulted in the higher total energy inputs for the conventional farms.

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