The demand for organic products has heightened in recent years, bringing many farmers to
consider organic farming. With the increased awareness of what consumers put in their body, there is money to be made by farmers as the demand increases and the supply struggles to meet the demand.
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As with any type of farming, though, there are pros and cons to organic farming. Keep reading to learn both sides to help you decide if it’s right for you.
The Benefits of Organic Farming
There are many benefits farmers realize from organic farming, including:
- Create a healthier environment for farmers – We tend to focus on the health benefit of organic products for the end consumer, but let’s not forget about the farmer. Without the use of toxic chemicals, farmers are at decreased risk of health issues as a result of chemical exposure. While there aren’t diseases directly linked with the toxic chemicals, there are certain assumptions and tie-ins that do lead to this belief.
- Support healthier soil – If there’s one struggle most farmers have, it’s keeping the soil healthy. Without the use of harmful chemicals, the soil has a better chance of staying healthy. If farmers have healthier soil, they have more productive crops, which means more money down the road for them. It also means healthier crops which is good for the farmer and end consumer.
- Grow more flavorful crops –Without the use of chemicals, the fruits and vegetables that you grow will naturally be more flavorful. This could work to your benefit as you start selling the crops and word gets around about the quality and taste of the product that you supply.
- Offer a greater selection of crops – Organic farming affords farmers the opportunity to offer a bigger selection of crops because they don’t need to grow corn and soybeans, both of which bring in much lower profits than the unique crops that organic consumers seek.
- Less disease – If your soil is healthy, you run a lower risk of your crops contracting a disease. This can lower your cost of operation and increase your profits because your soil will require less maintenance and/or repair.
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The Downside of Organic Farming
As always, there is a negative side even of something that seems an exception. The downsides of organic farming include:
- It’s costly – Many streamline farmers are privy to subsidies when disaster strikes their farm. The government often steps in and provides the funds the farmer lost. There is no such subsidy for organic farmers, which puts you at risk for financial loss if disaster strikes.
- You’ll work harder – Organic farming is hard work. Without the help of the synthetic chemicals, there is often more weeding and general labor involved. With a little research, you may come up with ways to naturally manage weeds and other pests, but prepare yourself for more work than traditional farms would need.
- You’ll need more education – Organic farming is a specialty that requires special education. It’s not a process you can just adopt and use. You have to know the ins and outs of properly managing fragile crops that would otherwise thrive under the use of chemicals. You take the place of the chemicals, which means the necessity to know what you are doing.
- Becoming certified is hard – It’s not easy to become a
certified organic farmer. Expect a lot of paperwork, inspections, and time. You’ll need patience, education, and the drive to push through the red tap to get yourself certified.
Being an organic farmer definitely has its benefits. Even weighing the downsides into the process, you can make a good living at this way of life as long as you put in the work necessary to get there. It’s not a decision to make lightly, but it could be a decision with fruitful benefits.
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