Myths about Modern Agriculture

Organic farming is widely viewed as a sustainable solution to farming techniques that emit greenhouse gasses and harm the environment. While organic farming can in fact be sustainable, it may not be in certain instances. In a reprinted article on, David Montgomery, a professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, describes his six-month trip to visit farms around the world. He writes that “the innovative farmers I met showed me that regenerative farming practices can restore the world’s agricultural soils”.

Montgomery believes that the key to sustaining productive agriculture is centered around healthy, fertile soil. Looking back on his six-month trip, he explains that the journey “led [him] to question three pillars of conventional wisdom about today’s industrialized agrochemical agriculture”. These myths of conventional agricultural wisdom are:

  • Large-scale agriculture feeds the world today
  • Large farms are more efficient
  • Conventional farming is necessary to feed the world

As conventional and organic farming continues to grow, farmers must recognize that building healthy soil is the key to stable agriculture. Montgomery argues that it is important to stop “incentivizing conventional practices that degrade soil fertility”. He explains that “we must begin supporting and rewarding farmers who adopt regenerative practices”.

To read more, see the full article from David Montgomery in Scientific American.