The number of farmers moving to ecological agriculture in its various forms — agroecology, organic, biological, biodynamic, regenerative — continues to grow as farmers and consumers become more aware of the harm pesticides and synthetic fertilisers cause to health and the environment.
Alan Broughton takes a look at this phenomenon and asks why the majority of farmers are still holding on to chemical methods and what can be done to increase the ecological uptake.
At an organic soil management class that I taught in Shepparton, Victoria, I asked each of the dozen participants why they were interested in organics. Everyone of them told me their prime motivating factor was personal and family health.
Secondary reasons included concern for the environment, animal health, the high cost of inputs and a desire to be proud of their produce.