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Organic Trade Association
Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association that focuses on the organic business community in North America.

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    Greenfield, MA 01302
    413-774-7511
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Environmental Benefits

If all farmers in the U.S. converted to organic production tomorrow, we'd eliminate 500 million pounds of persistent pesticides from entering the environment each year. We'd no longer be dumping 40 billion pounds of synthetic fertilizer on our fields each year. We'd help keep waterways clean. Through cover cropping and other production practices, we'd be taking greenhouse gases out of the air and sequestering more carbon into the soil. Reduced use of pesticides and the increasing biodiversity of organic farms would help restore habitats for beneficial native animals, insects and plants. Universal use of cover crops would dramatically reduce erosion problems.

In fact, it's hard to exaggerate the environmental benefits of organic production. The resources here will give you glimpse of some of the many environmental benefits of going organic.

Previous page: Economic BenefitsNext page: Health Benefits



Resource Listing
keyEnvironmental Benefits
Click the titles below to view specific resource details or -OR- view all
10 Good Reasons to Buy Organic, from the Organic Trade Associationota
Telegraphically covers all the major benefits of organic, from great taste to environmental impact.
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Cotton & the Environment: Benefits of Organic Cottonota
This fact sheet spells out the risks that conventional cotton growing pose to the environment, and why organic cotton is important to the health of...
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Organic Farm Certification & the National Organic Programota
An excellent overview of why farmers go organic, a five-step description of the certification process, a discussion of fees, and a brief history of...
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Organic Farming Sequesters Atmospheric Carbon and Nutrients in Soilsota
The results of research at The Rodale Institute on broad environmental benefits of organic farming--including a reduction in greenhouse gasses.
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The Constellation of Organic Values: an Article by Former NOSB Chair Jim Riddleota
This article covers 23 factors that make organic production a must--covering its impact on food quality and safety, rural communities, farm...
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Widening Circles of Influence Radiate Out from an Organic Farmota
Here's the beginning of this article from The Rodale Institute's New Farm web site, which addresses the environmental and social impacts of organic...
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10 Reasons to Eat Organicota
This list comes from the Soil Association, the United Kingdom's organic certifier, and one of the leading organic organizations in the world.
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A Side-by-Side Comparison of the Benefits of Organic Versus Conventionalota
A quick overview of the benefits of organic--in terms of environmental, taste and societal issues.
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Get the Facts: Why Organic Is Better For Youota
This web page from the Soil Association of Great Britain covers all of the issues in brief, with links to more information: more nutrients, fewer...
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Great Summary of Biodiversity Benefits of Organic Farming, for the UKota
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How Organic Benefits the Land, from Organic Valley's Web Siteota
Organic Valley's web site provides a clear exposition of the ways in which organic farmers are stewards of the land ... as well as water and air.
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Organic Food & Farming: Myth and Realityota
This booklet, published by the Soil Association of Great Britain, examines some of the key issues around organic food and its production. It takes...
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Why Organic? An Eloquent Case for Organic from Organic Valleyota
This section of the Organic Valley web site intelligently lays out the case for organic, providing an overview of organic, an explanation of...
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Organic Trade Association Web Page Documents the Many Benefits of Organic Production
This web page links to documentation about how organic agriculture has an impact on the risks associated with antibiotics and genetic engineering...
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Conservation Crop Rotation Advice from the Natural Resources Conservation Service
This 50-page PDF handbook looks at conservation crop rotation practices in depth, and explores their many benefits.
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Principles of Organic Production
This article from ATTRA provides an overview of the guiding principles of organic production--all of which have environmental benefits.
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The Organic Center, a Clearinghouse for Information About the Health Benefits of Organic
The Organic Center's mission is to promote a new found understanding of the health and other benefits of organic foods and production through a...
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Can Organic Farming
This article from the University of California at Berkeley makes the case for organic farming as an efficient and sustainable way to feed the world.
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Erosion and Lack of Crop Rotation
An essay on how lack of crop rotations are robbing Ohio of its soils.
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Good Growing: Why Organic Farming Worksfee
This book, by Leslie Duram, is a well researched analysis of the ecological, economic and health benefits of organic food production. Packed full...
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GRACE Factory Farm Project
This web site features a wealth of information on industrial livestock operations for poultry, cattle and hogs--their environmental, economic,...
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Hogs: Family Farms vs. Hog Factories
11 discussion points which can be used to explain why large-scale swine production facilities are very different from traditional family farms, and...
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Hogs: The Price We Pay for Corporate Hogs
This large report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy takes a comprehensive look at the impact and cost of large factory-style hog...
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Impact of Tillage and Crop Rotation Systems on Soil Carbon Sequestration
The scientific consensus is that the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are increasing. These changes in greenhouse gas emissions...
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Is Organic Farming Climate Friendly?
What's the relationship between farming and greenhouse gases? Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources...
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Measuring and Communicating the Benefits of Organic Foods
One of the challenges for the organic producer, processor, and marketer is to differentiate their products in the crowded food marketplace. Not...
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Nontarget Effects of Genetic Manipulation
Nontarget effects have proven both extensive and wildly unpredictable. The evidence for their occurrence, while mostly buried in the technical...
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Organic & Fair Trade Flowers: The Benefits
A short film describing the benefits of organic and fair trade flower production. Focusing on an organic business in Ecuador selling to the U.S.
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Organic Eprints: Organic Agriculture Research Materials
Organic Eprints is an international open access archive for papers related to research in organic agriculture. The archive contains full-text...
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Organic Farming & Wild Nature: Setting a Higher Standard
In this keynote address to the 2005 Upper Midwest Organic Conference, Dana Jackson of the Land Stewardship project challenges organic farmers to...
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Organic Farming Produces Same Corn and Soybean Yields as Conventional Farms, but Consumes Less Energy and No Pesticides, Study Finds
Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, less water and no...
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Organic Farming Proves to be a Valuable Conservation System
This profile of organic grain and livestock farmer Mikel Lund, from Scobey, Montana, tells the story of their conversion to organic production and...
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Organic Foods: Safe for You, Better for the Land
By choosing organic foods, consumers not only reap health and environmental benefits, but also contribute to a more stable and sustainable rural...
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Organic Futures: The Case for Organic Farming
Organic Futures presents an overwhelming argument for replacing modern farming methods with organic techniques. Exploring the history, politics,...
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Organic Harvest: An Action Plan for Local, Organic and Family Farmed Foods
This report, from the Acroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program at University of Illinois, describes the needs and opportunities in the regional...
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Organic--The Land of Opportunity: Steps to Building a Regional Organic
This report from Sustain, covers the many benefits of local, organic agriculture: promoting economic development, preserving open space, producing...
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Princeton University Dining Service summarizes organic benefits
A collection of information and resources on the health, environmental, animal welfare and taste benefits of organic.
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Researchers Find that Organic Farming Uses Less Fertilizer and Energy and Supports Greater Biodiversity
Researchers from Switzerland's Research Institute of Organic Agriculture found that the organic farming methods used 26-53% less energy per unit of...
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The Biodiversity Benefits of Organic Farming
This report presents and reviews the findings of nine studies on the biodiversity supported by organic farming in the lowlands, compared to...
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The Case for Organic Cotton
This Co-op America article details the environmental benefits of organic cotton, and describes the growing market for organic cotton clothing.
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The Natural Princess: Online Organic & Natural Living Resource
A website dedicated to discussing the benefits of eating organic, local foods and becoming aware of our consumption habits. Geared mainly towards...
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The Next Green Revolution: Essential Steps for a Healthy, Sustainable Agriculture
This lively, non-technical book by the president of the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Oklahoma covers eight steps needed for a...
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UW-Madison Organic Research: Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
A collection of research taking place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison through the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. Includes...
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What Conservationists Need to Know about Organic Growers
This series of questions and answers educates conservation professionals about the value of organic production by answering questions such as: Why...
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What's so Important about Organic?
An article outlining the social and environmental benefits of organic food production.
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WhyOrganic.Org: The Soil Association's Web Site About the Numerous Benefits of Organic Food and Farming
This web site, from Britain's premiere organic farming and certification organization, addresses a broad range of issues related to organic food...
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