Soil type, management history, and soil amendments influence the development of soil-borne (Rhizoctonia solani, Pythium ultimum) and air-borne (Phytophthora infestans, Hyaloperonospora parasitica) diseases
An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs.