Organic management key to returns
A new analysis comparing conventional and organic crops breaks down the profitability within rotations.
Michael Langemeier with Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture tells Brownfield certified organic crops are the more profitable option, but growers need to plan for increased management and yield drags.
“The organic corn price is two and a half times larger than the conventional corn price, soybeans have a similar markup.”
He says while input costs for both systems are not significantly different, organic crops yield about a third less and management is more complicated. His analysis found a much wider difference in net returns for organic corn and soybean farms than conventional which Langemeier says speaks volumes on the importance of management.
“Don’t expect the net returns to be higher immediately with the organic system, it takes you a while to learn.”
He suggests computing the returns on organic rotations which commonly include a small grain, forage, cover crops, and corn— which is the most profitable—and starting small before making a large transition.