Organic produce may soon be cheaper than conventional produce
The inexorable rise in oil prices leads to higher costs for chemical fertilizers.Posted Jan 28, 2009
A study by the British Soil Association suggests that the rising price of oil could soon make cereal crops grown with chemical fertilizers more expensive than those produced more naturally.
In 2007, the price worldwide for chemical fertilizers rose 200%
As oil becomes scarcer and prices rise, local and international economic forces will increasingly begin to favor organic farming over conventional farming. In 2007, the price worldwide for chemical fertilizers rose 200%. Average prices paid by U.S. farmers reached record levels recently at 113% higher than the average price in August 2007.
Industrial farming relies on fossil fuels to mine, manufacture and transport fertilisers which replace nutrients in the soil. Organic farming, however, improves soil fertility through crop rotations, and is therefore less affected by oil prices. Organic farming methods also use less energy, generally emit fewer greenhouse gases, can sequester carbon in the soil, provide more jobs and support more wildlife.
With oil predicted to reach $200 a barrel within five to 10 years, the profit margin on organic wheat, barley and oil seed rape could soon be significantly higher than for the same crops produced by non-organic methods.