1. Keep farm size reasonable

Big organic farms operate a lot like conventional farms. They use less sustainable practices than smaller farms. Liebert et al. 2022 surveyed organic fruit and vegetable farmers about eight agroecological practices. These practices increase sustainability by leveraging ecological processes and providing ecosystem services. This study also asked about crop diversity, mechanization and focus on whole sale or high volume cropping.

They found that bigger organic farms tend to more closely resembled conventional agriculture. The large farms used fewer agroecological practices than the small ones. Big growers were more likely to solve problems by using the synthetic pesticides and fertilizers permitted in organic production. On the other hand, smaller growers were more likely to redesign their farms to integrate a broader range of sustainable agroecological practices. For example, smaller farms were 3 times more likely than big farms to use plantings to attract insects.



Liebert, J., Benner, R., Bezner Kerr, R. et al. Farm size affects the use of agroecological practices on organic farms in the United States. Nat. Plants (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-022-01191-1