Lower crop yields in organic farming

16/04/2009 15:00

Last year, 2 percent of corn, bulbs and turnips in the Netherlands were grown on organic farms. Organic crop yields are (much) lower than traditionally grown crop yields. Organic farming avoids the use of fertilizers and chemical pesticides. As a result, crop yields per hectare (ha) are lower than in conventional farming.

The average corn crop yield per ha in organic farming is 17 percent lower than down in traditional farming. Results range between 5 percent for grain maize to 35 percent for rye. For bulbs and turnips, crop yields are on average 14 percent lower than in traditional farming. Loss of yield ranges from 3 percent for sugar beets to 21 percent for ware potatoes on sand and peat soil.

Bulb and turnip yields

Bulb and turnip yields

André Meurink