Organic apple production uses less energy, emits fewer greenhouse gases and is more profitable than conventional production

Photo Credit: Luc Tribolet

Evidence continues to stack up to show that organic crop production is more energy efficient and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. A study published in the journal Erwerbs-Obstbau (Acquisition Arboriculture) not only confirms that organic crop production can help mitigate climate change, but that it can also be better for the farmer’s pocketbook. Researchers compared energy use efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and economics of organic and conventional apple production in Turkey. They found that total energy consumption was lower for organic production (25,938 versus 29,200 MJ ha−1). Organic production was also able to utilize more renewable energy than conventional (30.19% versus 13.58%), suggesting that organic production can reduce non-renewable energy consumption. Organic production also emitted significantly fewer greenhouse gases than conventional (1344 kg CO2eq ha−1 versus 1464 kg CO2eq ha−1), and calculated benefit-to-cost ratios showed that organic apples were more profitable than conventional. Overall, this study found a win-win situation in apple production, where organic farming is better for the environment and the farmer.