Macro Implications of a Complete Transformation of U.S. Agricultural Production to Organic Farming Practices

James A. Langley, Earl O. Heady, Kent D. Olson
August 1982  [82-WP 9]

A national interregional linear programming model of U.S. agriculture is used to evaluate and compare two conventional and three organic production alternatives. The objective is to estimate the effects on production, supply prices, land use, farm income, and export potential, of a complete transformation of U.S. agriculture to organic practices. Crop yields and production costs are estimated for 150 producing regions for seven crops under both conventional and organic methods. Results indicate that compared to conventional methods, widespread organic farming leads to a decrease in total production, lower export potential, higher supply prices, higher value of production, lower costs of production, and higher net farm income. U.S. domestic crop demand can be met with organic methods, but would be more expensive. Some interregional shifts in crop production would also occur.

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