Please read with an open mind.
Conservation Agriculture needs to come out from behind the shadow of Organic
In fact, we just don’t have a widely recognized term for sustainable farming that other than “organic”. There is a term, it’s just not widely used. It’s the term, that I introduced earlier: “conservation agriculture”, and it centers around a set of practices to improve soil quality and output, but without the prohibitions that hamstring organic. Conservation agriculture was first applied to the use of no-till and lo-till conservation tillage and has expanded to include the use of cover crops, mulches, composts and diverse rotations. If we were to add to that integrated pest management (IPM) we’d have a framework with real legs. But conservation agriculture is languishing in organic’s shadow, even as organic struggles to tame its tillage addiction and keep its dirty little nitrogen secret.
In fact, there is good research that shows that conservation agriculture not only increases yields, but it increases profitability as well by lowering inputs costs (read also as: lowering environmental impacts of fuel, fertilizer and pesticides) in tandem with the higher yields. Note also, that profits increase without the organic premium in price, so conservation agriculture is accessible to low income consumers in the developed world and to the poor in developing nations.