What is it about?

This study, which was co-authored by Jay Squalli from the Department of Economics of the American University of Sharjah and Gary Adamkiewicz from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public of Health, made use of U.S. state-level data over the 1997-2010 period to evaluate the relationship between organic farming and greenhouse gas emissions. It finds that a one percent increase in organic farming acreage could reduce emissions by 0.049%. More specifically, it finds that organic farming is expected to mitigate methane and nitrous oxide emissions across most U.S. states. Due to the fact that organic crops are mostly distributed in local markets, the study also suggests that the environmental harm of transportation output embodied in organic food production might be too negligible to outweigh the environmental benefits of organic farming.

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Why is it important?

This analysis adds weight to the messages echoed in previous relevant research that organic farming yields environmental benefits. It also contributes a new and robust methodological dimension to a large data-driven framework and discourse on the environmental effect of farming practices.

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This page is a summary of: Organic farming and greenhouse gas emissions: A longitudinal U.S. state-level study, Journal of Cleaner Production, August 2018, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.04.160.
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