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Comparison between organic and conventional crop farming in regards to greenhouse gas emission, biodiversity, yield and nitrogen leaching

Johnsson, Liselotte LU (2015) MVEK02 20152
Studies in Environmental Science
Abstract
Advantages and disadvantages with organic production have been studied in the scientific community and is greatly debated. Demands for organic products have risen the past years in Sweden and the objective in one of the governments environmental goal is to reach a 20 % organic production. But is organic production increasing sustainability in the agriculture sector? This study aims to compare organic and conventional crop farming with the parameters of greenhouse gas, biodiversity, yield and nitrogen leaching. As well there is an aim to analyze on a national level in Sweden and on a regional level in Scania if a conversion to organic farming of crops would increase sustainability in the agriculture sector. The study is based on both a... (More)
Advantages and disadvantages with organic production have been studied in the scientific community and is greatly debated. Demands for organic products have risen the past years in Sweden and the objective in one of the governments environmental goal is to reach a 20 % organic production. But is organic production increasing sustainability in the agriculture sector? This study aims to compare organic and conventional crop farming with the parameters of greenhouse gas, biodiversity, yield and nitrogen leaching. As well there is an aim to analyze on a national level in Sweden and on a regional level in Scania if a conversion to organic farming of crops would increase sustainability in the agriculture sector. The study is based on both a qualitative literature review and a quantitative statistical element. The literature survey analyzed comparative studies of organic and conventional crop farming and as well what effects crop farming have regionally in Scania and nationally in Sweden. The results showed that conventional crop farming produced a higher yield, had lower greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen leaching per unit product, whilst organic crop farming had a higher amount of biodiversity. In total conventional crop farming is superior to organic crop farming but with an integrated system more environmental benefits could be sustained. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Food that is organically certified is generally considered to have low environmental impacts and during the past years the demand for organic products has increased. Today 17 % of Sweden's farmland is organically certified but the amount of farmers who convert to an organic production have been decreasing. Scania, one of Sweden's southernmost regions, produces 25 % of Sweden's food but has the lowest amount of organically certified farmland compared to other regions. Trends in the agricultural sector have not followed the customers' requests and Sweden's environmental goal to reach a 20 % organic production has not been met. But is the answer to increase organic production in order to create a more sustainable food production?
The... (More)
Food that is organically certified is generally considered to have low environmental impacts and during the past years the demand for organic products has increased. Today 17 % of Sweden's farmland is organically certified but the amount of farmers who convert to an organic production have been decreasing. Scania, one of Sweden's southernmost regions, produces 25 % of Sweden's food but has the lowest amount of organically certified farmland compared to other regions. Trends in the agricultural sector have not followed the customers' requests and Sweden's environmental goal to reach a 20 % organic production has not been met. But is the answer to increase organic production in order to create a more sustainable food production?
The difference between conventional and organic farming is mainly that organic farmers do not use pesticides, genetically modified organisms and inorganic fertilizers in order to minimize negative effects on the environment. In this study a comparison has been made between conventional and organic crop farming with the parameters of biodiversity, nitrogen leaching, greenhouse gas emissions and yield. The results showed that conventional crop farming produces a higher yield, has less nitrogen leaching and greenhouse gas emissions per unit product whilst organic crop farming has a higher amount of biodiversity. With these four parameters conventional crop farming seems to be superior to organic crop farming. But with a mixed system and a contextual perspective which focuses on geographic context, climate and what type of crop is grown, measures can be taken to increase sustainability in the agriculture sector. (Less)
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author
Johnsson, Liselotte LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
What measures could increase sustainability in crop farming nationally in Sweden and regionally in Scania?
course
MVEK02 20152
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
language
English
id
8167902
date added to LUP
2015-11-13 14:07:15
date last changed
2015-11-13 14:07:15
@misc{8167902,
  abstract     = {Advantages and disadvantages with organic production have been studied in the scientific community and is greatly debated. Demands for organic products have risen the past years in Sweden and the objective in one of the governments environmental goal is to reach a 20 % organic production. But is organic production increasing sustainability in the agriculture sector? This study aims to compare organic and conventional crop farming with the parameters of greenhouse gas, biodiversity, yield and nitrogen leaching. As well there is an aim to analyze on a national level in Sweden and on a regional level in Scania if a conversion to organic farming of crops would increase sustainability in the agriculture sector. The study is based on both a qualitative literature review and a quantitative statistical element. The literature survey analyzed comparative studies of organic and conventional crop farming and as well what effects crop farming have regionally in Scania and nationally in Sweden. The results showed that conventional crop farming produced a higher yield, had lower greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen leaching per unit product, whilst organic crop farming had a higher amount of biodiversity. In total conventional crop farming is superior to organic crop farming but with an integrated system more environmental benefits could be sustained.},
  author       = {Johnsson, Liselotte},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Comparison between organic and conventional crop farming in regards to greenhouse gas emission, biodiversity, yield and nitrogen leaching},
  year         = {2015},
}