Organic farming improves soil health- more carbon storage, fertility and biological activity than conventional

Healthy soil can simultaneously mitigate climate change by storing more carbon, and protect farmers against climate change because healthy soil is comprised of chemical and biological elements that increase nutrient cycling and withstand drought and flood. A study recently published in the journal Agriculture found that soil under organic management was healthier than conventionally managed soil because the organic soil had higher levels of carbon storage, total nitrogen and enzymatic activity for all five enzymes tested. The study compared chemical and biological components of soil in a two-year crop rotation under organic versus conventional management. Findings showed that organic management resulted in more favorable carbon to nitrogen ratio and soil pH, as well as more carbon sequestration, greater fertility, and significantly more biological (enzymatic) activity. Conventional soils also exhibited higher concentrations of phosphorus, which is important because phosphorus pollution can occur when an excess leaches into nearby waterways. The results from this study add to the growing body of evidence that organic farming practices help build healthy soils.