As time under organic management increases so do ecosystem services

Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture

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 to organic practices 10, 15 and 58 years ago, respectively. The study results from both the simulations and the on-farm study confirmed that ecosystem services increase as time under organic management increased. “These results indicate a possible benefit of preserving long-term organic farms, and could be used to argue for agricultural policy interventions to offset further reduction in the number of organic farms or the land area under organic farming,” the authors concluded.