REPORT: Is Organic Farming Risky?
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Asks Is Organic Farming Risky?
Is organic farming risky? Well of course, all farming is risky. But, is organic agriculture somehow inherently more risky than other systems of production? Here I will try to use my best rhetoric to answer this simple question. And, please note that simple questions are often the most difficult to answer well.
The short answer is that organic agriculture may be no more revenue risky than non-organic agriculture. This result challenges a widespread stereotype about organic farming. “Revenue risk” here means the risks farmers face due to changes in market price and yields as well as the interaction of those two factors.
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has just released a report on a five-year research and education project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). I was a co-author of the report, along with Dr. Mike Morris of NCAT and Dr. Eric Belasco of Montana State University.