Positive effects of organic farming and conservation agriculture on soil life

The intensive production practices often generate negative effects on soil life affecting its quality and farming sustainability. A study published by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research compared the long-term (14 years) effects of conservation agriculture, organic farming and conventional agriculture on specific soil organisms, involved in major soil functions that support many ecosystem services. The results obtained showed that both conservation and organic systems increased the abundance and biomass of almost all soil organisms and that could result in improved soil fertility and higher biological control potential for pest and weed management. However, the researchers suggest that cropping systems of each farming system should be compared cautiously and holistically due to their complex responses to agricultural practices.

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