April 16, 2015 | Source: Washington State University | Format: Reports & Publications

Monetary Value of Ecosystem Services on Organic Farms

Ecosystem services (ES) generated within agricultural landscapes, including field boundaries, are vital for the sustainable supply of food and fibre. However, the value of ES in agriculture has not been quantified experimentally and then extrapolated globally.

The study showed that the value of the two ecosystem services – biological control of pests and the release of nitrogen from soil organic matter into plant-accessible forms – on the organic farms exceeded the combined cost of traditional pesticide and fertilizer inputs on the conventional farms. The scientists calculated that the potential value of these two services could exceed the global costs of pesticides and fertilizers for growing similar crops, even if the two services were used in just 10 percent of the world’s cropland.

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