While organic farming methods can be as or more productive than conventional methods, for many large scale crops, organic just doesn’t compete. For instance, in the US, organic corn, soybean and wheat crop yields are much lower than conventional yields. So don’t expect organic to be a major player anytime soon – at least in the US. That’s not such a bad thing though – conventional farmers are increasingly adopting conservation practices that have greatly reduced the negative externalities of modern agriculture. For instance, no-till is standard practice for over a third of major field crops in the US. Farmers are also finding ways to decrease fertilizer and pesticide use and to reduce chemical run-off (e.g., buffer zones). Purists may remain unimpressed but not me. The badness of artificial chemicals (as opposed to natural ones) is a matter of dose, not absolutes. If our farmers can keep reducing that dose while maintaining or increasing productivity, the net good is served. Less land needed for agriculture, more land spared for wild ecosystems.