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  • Did You Know?
    Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Hot Science

Pesticide contamination in birds in China

May 17, 2018

A new study published in Environmental Geochemistry and Health has found that waterbirds from Central China are contaminated with pesticides. Researchers tested for twenty-one organochlorine pesticides in the muscles of six common waterbird species. DDTs, which are now banned, were the most prevalent pesticide found, suggesting that residues from historical use were the source of contamination. The… Read More ›

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Organic farming can reduce greenhouse gas emissions

May 16, 2018

A recent study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production used U.S. state level data collected from 1997 – 2010 to better understand how organic farming affects greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers found that a one percent increase in organic acreage in the U.S. could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by .049%. “The current study provides evidence… Read More ›

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Yield gap between organic and conventional farming narrows with time

May 09, 2018

Data from numerous studies demonstrate that on average, organic farms produce less crop per acre than conventional farms – known as the yield gap. Now, a new study published in the scientific journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment has found that with time, the difference in yield between organic and conventional systems may decrease. Researchers in… Read More ›

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Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides later associated with autism

May 04, 2018

  A new study has linked prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides (some of the most widely used insecticides in the United States) with symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder in the CHAMACOS study. Exposure to organophosphate pesticides was determined from urine samples taken from the mothers during pregnancy. Researchers also noted the distance mothers lived… Read More ›

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Environmental benefits of organic improve over time

Apr 30, 2018

A recent study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production used a life-cycle assessment to determine the environmental impact of organic rice production in China at 5, 10, and 15 years after conversion. Researchers assessed environmental factors including the amount of non-renewable energy used, the amount of water used, the amount of land needed, global… Read More ›

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As time under organic management increases so do ecosystem services

Apr 30, 2018

A new study published in the journal Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems sought to understand how ecosystem services are affected by number of years since conversion to organic. Researchers included a combination of simulations and on-farm studies using one conventional farm, one organic farm actively converting to organic, and three organic farms which had converted… Read More ›

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Organic grass-fed beef has less environmental impact than non-organic grass-fed beef

Apr 19, 2018

A recent study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production assessed the environmental impacts of organic grass-fed beef and non-organic grass-fed beef production. Researchers used a lifecycle analysis to analyze data collected from one grass-fed farm prior to conversion to organic and then after its conversion to organic, as well as data from conventional non-grass-fed… Read More ›

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Crop characteristics associated with organic wheat production reduces seed pests

Apr 12, 2018

Small mammals can provide agricultural benefits by eating weed seeds or they can act as pests by eating crop grains. A new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology sought to tease apart the effect of organic and conventional farming on these benefits and challenges caused by small mammals. Researchers compared the effects of… Read More ›

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Organic farms in diverse landscapes benefit overwintering birds

Mar 23, 2018

A recent study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment investigated the effect that organic farming has on birds over the winter. The researchers compared the number of bird species as well as the abundance, or number of individuals present for each species, in plots on 16 paired organic and conventional farms. The study found that… Read More ›

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Organic farming improves onion quality production and soil health, reduces yield

Mar 23, 2018

A new study published in the journal Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science compared the effects of organic and conventional farming on onion yield, onion chemical quality, and soil health indicators–soil organic carbon and microbial activity. Organic plots were treated with either farmyard manure, poultry manure, vermicomposting or neem cake, and all organic treatments were… Read More ›

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