Farming has the power to change our planet’s future—for better or for worse.

A warming atmosphere. Rising tides. More frequent and severe hurricanes, droughts, and other natural disasters. Our climate is changing at an alarming rate, and we know that human behavior plays no small part in that change.

Industrial Farming

Relies on fossil fuel-intensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Encourages high degrees of mechanization & fuel-burning equipment.

Increases soil erosion through monocropping and reliance on chemical inputs.

Reduces biodiversity, increasing the risk of total crop loss with the rise of new pests & diseases as warming occurs.

Pollutes waterways and contributes to the rise of marine dead zones with agrochemical runoff.

Releases excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through intensive tillage; the alternative, conventional no-till, replaces tillage with more toxic herbicides.

Agriculture & Climate Change

Agriculture contributes to increased warming—farming and deforestation account for a quarter of global greenhouse emissions—but is affected by it, too, as more severe and more unpredictable weather poses a threat to food safety and production.

But when it comes to impacting climate change, not all farming practices are created equal.

the solution

By contrast, in nearly 40 years of comparing the effects of conventional vs. organic agriculture side by side, our Farming Systems Trial has found that organic systems use 45% less energy, release 40% fewer carbon emissions, improve the health and quantity of soil over time, and actually have the potential to produce yields up to 40% higher in times of drought than conventional systems.

What’s even more promising is the power of healthy soils and plants to sequester carbon, a problematic greenhouse gas—literally pulling it out of the atmosphere and putting it back underground where it belongs.

Regenerative Organic Agriculture

Learn more about the powerful, down-to-earth solution to climate change by downloading Rodale Institute's white paper on regenerative agriculture.

Read our Findings

Our Climate-Smart Research

Rodale Institute, in partnership with a team of twelve universities, farming NGOs, and consulting firms, is working with vegetable farmers and farmers markets in the Southern Piedmont to promote the adoption of climate-smart farming practices and expand markets for the sale of climate-smart commodities.

About Our Research