Organic and sustainable production of fruits and berries provide both potential benefits and challenges. The perennial nature of these crops requires less disturbance of the soil, and trees provide other environmental services such as carbon sequestration, habitat and food for beneficial organisms, and scenic beauty. Moreover, for the farmer, tree fruits and berries often provide some of the best monetary returns per unit of land.
The challenges include very high cosmetic standards in the marketplace, longer time between investment and returns, and a need for specialized knowledge and equipment. In the United States, most fruits and berries are produced in the semi-arid West where disease and insect pressure are lower than in the East. Organic production of fruits and berries in the East is complicated by diseases and insects. Learn more in the practical ATTRA resources below.