The Unintended Limits of Organic Farming

During my interview with Joy Youwakim, an agroecology scientist at Biome Makers, she defined some key differences between organic and regenerative agriculture that bears repeating.


“There’s a difference between regenerative and organic agriculture. In organic, there are rules about what you can and what you cannot use. With regenerative ag, there is nuance: there is elbow room for products that might have a different immediate and long-term impact. In regenerative agriculture, we’re thinking about the system as a whole: doing what you need to do to keep farming.”

It got me thinking about the unintended limits of organic farming. As agriculture steps more fully into discussions about organic or sustainable production, we need to keep in mind these truths: true regenerative agriculture practices must be functional rather than restrictive; outcome-oriented rather than rules-based. We need solutions that improve crop production efficiency and the grower’s whole economic position while preserving land, soil health, and water resources.

Sometimes the best of intentions bring about unintended consequences and limits to actual positive change. If we define real crop production sustainability as producing more food and fiber (potatoes!) per acre while preserving the soil for the next generation, then let’s commit ourselves to finding real options that solve for the full equation. We don’t want to think we are going forward when we are actually moving backwards.

The TriCal Group is committed to finding real options that balance production with sustainability while limiting unintended consequences. To Strike a balance in your field, contact us, and we can prescribe the treatment that is best for your field.

To read the full article about The Unintended Limits of Organic Farming, visit: The Unintended Limits of Organic Farming – Spud Smart