The macro implications of a complete transformation of U.S. agricultural production to organic farming practices

James A. Langley, Earl O. Heady, Kent D. Olson

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22 Scopus citations


A national interregional linear programming model of U.S. agriculture is used to evaluate and compare two conventional and three organic production alternatives. The objective is to estimate the effects on production, supply prices, land use, farm income, and export potential, of a complete transformation of U.S. agriculture to organic practices. Crop yields and production costs are estimated for 150 producing regions for seven crops under both conventional and organic methods. Results indicate that compared with conventional methods, widespread organic farming leads to a decrease in total production, lower export potential, higher supply prices, higher value of production, lower costs of production, and higher net farm income. The United States domestic crop demand can be met with organic methods, but would be more expensive. Some interregional shifts in crop production would also occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1983

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
duction costs allow individual farms to remain economically competitive as measured by income per unit area, even though crop yields were lower for the organic farms (Klepper et al., 1977). The objective of this study is to *Journal Paper No. J-10925 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa. Project No. 2498. tPresented at the Fourth International Conference on Resource~onserving, Environmentally Sound Agricultural Alternatives, M_AmA_chusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 18--20 August, 1982.

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