Some Real Data on Organics Please

I have been repeatedly referred to the ‘New Farm’ website as a source of quality information on organic farming systems.

But I can’t find any actual data at this site and my request for specific data seems to have just got me receiving their newsletter.

I note the site says:

One of the key features of the FST is its scale –small enough to follow rigorous scientific procedures for experimental design but large enough to be worked with regular equipment and to generate results readily applicable to normal farm operations. The level field of mostly shale-y, somewhat compacted silt loam is broken into eight blocks, or replications, with each block containing three plots, 60 ft wide by 300 ft long, and each plot divided lengthwise into three subplots. Eight replications of each of the three cropping systems are randomized across the blocks; while the subplots allow each rotation to be started simultaneously at three points, so the effects of annual weather variations are distributed across different phases of the cropping cycle. Datasets from the FST include weather records; energy and labor inputs; corn, soybean, wheat, and forage yields; weed, crop, and cover crop biomass figures; nutrient analyses of crops and cover crops; soil carbon and nitrogen levels; soil percolation rates; nitrate, phosphate, and pesticide leachate data; soil biodiversity surveys; and economic return evaluations.

Results from the FST have been reported in dozens of scientific papers over the years, and include this core finding: corn and soybean yields are the same across the three systems. Although corn yields were about a third lower in the organic systems during the first four years of the study, in subsequent years the organic systems actually outperformed the conventional system under droughty conditions.

Can someone give me a link or reference to a few of these scientific papers and/or how do I get to see the data from these trials?

3 Responses to Some Real Data on Organics Please

  1. Neil Hewett September 4, 2005 at 11:04 am #

  2. jennifer marohasy September 4, 2005 at 5:33 pm #

    The link doesn’t appear to provide any info/data on yields in organic compared to convention systems – which is what I am really interested in.
    PS I don’t consider statements a long the lines of the above quote from the New Farm site real info/data. They need to be backed up with a table or figure.

  3. rog September 5, 2005 at 7:26 am #

    This may help Jennifer, it is a 2000 doc and data is hard to find, Rodale give nothing away

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