Less yield gap between organic and non-organic

Organic yields are only 19.2 pct. lower than conventional yields, which is a smaller gap than previous estimates - showing a 25 pct. difference.

[Translate to English:] Foto: Colourbox

That is the conclusion in a recently published article in the peer-reviewed magazine Royal Society Publishing.

With the title “Diversification practices reduce organic to conventional yield gap” the scientists explain, that they used new methods to compare organic and conventional yield.

Lauren C. Ponisio, Leithen K. M’Gonigle, Kevi C. Mace, Jenny Palomino, Perry de Valpine and Claire Kremen used a new meta-dataset three times larger than previously used - 115 studies containing more than 1000 observations - and a new hierarchical analytical framework that can better account for the heterogeneity and structure in the data. Together this enabled them to conclude, that the gap in yield from organic and non-organic is lower than previously estimated.

At the same time, and possibly more importantly, they were able to find entirely different effects of crop types and management practices on the yield gap compared with previous studies. Two agricultural diversification practices, multi-cropping and crop rotations, substantially reduce the yield gap (to 9+4% and 8+5%, respectively) when the methods were applied in only organic systems.

According to the scientists the results sugest, that appropriate investment in agroecological research to improve organic management systems could greatly reduce or eliminate the yield gap for some crops or regions.

Read the article here.