Nature published a new study that shows that organic methods result in better pest control and larger plants than conventional methods when it comes to growing potatoes. "Organic agriculture promotes more balanced communities of predators," says David Crowder, the study's author. A more balanced community of predators means better control of the dreaded Colorado potato beetle. Nature News has a nice summary of the article available, too.
The researchers took the study a step further, manipulating the "evenness" of predators, and found that the more evenly balanced they were, the larger the potato plants grew. Larger plants generally mean larger yields. And more than that, they say that evenness is a critical component of biodiversity. So, organic farming practices contribute to biodiversity. Better predator control, bigger plants, and help for the planet too? Organic ag is starting to look better all the time.
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