Public and scientific disagreement over the present character and future prospects for organic farming stems, in part, from the inability of practitioners, advocates, politicians, and even neutral analysts to formulate a precise and universally acceptable definition. Organic farming is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. Growth in the sale of agricultural production enterprises, especially when growing scale is accompanied by the hiring of labor, makes it more difficult to successfully undertake the complex management functions dictated by organic farming. Forecasting the future role and significance of organic agriculture within the broader system of United States food and fiber production is extremely difficult. Despite the protracted nature of the American political process, the fact remains that organic agriculture recently has attracted a great deal of attention and support.

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