1Key Laboratory of Mollisols Agroecology, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Harbin, 150081, China.
2College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, 150030, China.
Organic farming has become increasingly popular in the world. This is mostly attributed to escalating consumer concerns over the impacts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on human health as well as growing concerns over environmental pollution derived from modern agricultural practices, such as rising greenhouse gas emissions and water contaminations. But does organic farming actually displace the environmental impacts commonly associated with conventional agriculture? In this article, we analysed the recent results of environmental impacts from organic farming. The aim was to fill the gap in assessing organic farming’s relationship to climate change and evaluating sustainability of this system with a minimal energy and environmental damage over time. Despite the efforts of recent years, there is still considerable room for the environmental optimisation of organic farming systems. The lower, similar or higher impacts of organic farming, depended on crop types, site effects and differences in management intensity. The conclusions here are exploratory and act as a call to action to natural scientists to further explore how organic farming functions. Feeding the growing world population under conditions of restricted land for agricultural cultivation, restricted natural resources and changing climate demands new and innovative solutions. These solutions require the agricultural community, to address agricultural systems from a perspective of increasing the productivity per area with lower external inputs and enhancing resource use efficiency without negative effects on crop yield and system sustainability.