Seed World

What to Know About Organic Vs. Conventional Farming

There is an ongoing debate surrounding organic and conventional farming. With all the information swirling around, how does one know which claims are true?

For example, a meta-analysis that inspected 164 scientific papers showed that modern conventional farming uses less land for the same value of crops, while organic crops fall 10 to 35% lower on a yield per-acre basis than their counterpart, according to the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP). 

On the opposing end, some argue that the lower yields are contextual, and “in organic farming overall system health is emphasized” while the “interaction of management practices is the primary concern. Organic producers implement a wide range of strategies to develop and maintain biological diversity and replenish soil fertility,” shared the USDA’s National Agricultural Library (NAL).

These varying viewpoints pose important questions: Does organic farming produce lower yields? Is conventional farming worse for the environment? Are organic crops pesticide-free? Do organic crops contain more antioxidants and vitamins? 

On October 19 at 12:00 CDT, the expert panelists on Seed Speaks will answer these questions, addressing the differences and misconceptions surrounding organic and conventional farming. Joining us are:

Nate Powell-Palm, owner of Cold Springs Organics. Nate Powell-Palm landed in the world of certified organic farming when he successfully became the youngest farmer in the country to achieve organic certification. Since 2008, Powell-Palm has grown his operation from 10 leased acres to over 1,000 acres raising crops that include organic wheat, pulses (for certified seed), flax (for seed) and cattle. As a nationally renowned entrepreneur, Powell-Palm was recognized with the Organic Trade Associations (OTA) 2019 rising star award. That same year, Powell-Palm testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, advocating for policy that recognizes sustainable agriculture’s positive impact on rural communities. In 2020, Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue appointed Powell-Palm to the farmer seat on the National Organic Standards Board, the youngest appointee in the board’s history. In 2021, Powell-Palm was elected unanimously by his board peers to serve as the youngest ever elected chair of the National Organic Standards Board. In addition to his farm, Cold Springs Organics, LLC, Powell-Palm is a founding member of the consulting firm, Organic Integrity Cooperative Guild.

Carrie Spoonemoreco-founder of Park Seed’s From Seed to Spoon. Spoonemore lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and 5 kids. She started growing food with her husband in 2015 for their family of 6. They quickly fell in love with it and the lifestyle associated.

Spoonemore has been in the healthcare field since 2009 in nursing and nursing education. She has also been learning to code with her husband since creating the From Seed to Spoon app in 2018. It was a natural transition for her to dream up the growing for health feature. This section of the app shows 26 different health conditions and which plants are best to grow for these conditions. 

She currently makes the educational content for Park Seed’s From Seed to Spoon app and can be found in their YouTube videos demonstrating gardening techniques.

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