Larger Organic Farms Use Fewer Sustainable Practices, Study Reveals

A study by an interdisciplinary group of researchers, published in Nature Plants, found that larger organic farms operate more like conventional agricultural operations than smaller organic farms, according to The Cornell Chronicle. Researchers surveyed 542 organic fruit and vegetable farmers about the use of eight agroecological practices and found that smaller organic farms were more likely to use more of these practices. Larger operations were more likely to substitute organically-allowed pesticides than to focus on ecological system design. Larger operations also tended to use only the agroecological practices that boost efficiency. The research is part of a project that’s identifying barriers to scaling up agroecological principles.