It is worth noting that organic farmers benefit from an artificial epidemiological isolation. They are greatly protected by their neighbours' use of crop protection chemicals. If their neighbours were not spraying, say, their potatoes against blight and Colorado beetle, the organic farmers would probably lose their potato crops entirely because of the huge influx of parasites from those unsprayed crops. (Their neighbours would also lose their crops). In this sense, many organic farmers depend rather heavily on crop protection chemicals, but they do so indirectly. And this dependence will be effective only so long as organic farmers are in a very small minority. If they intend to become a majority, we will be compelled to develop new cultivars with high levels of comprehensive horizontal resistance to all locally important parasites.
Was this article helpful?