DOI: 10.12924/of2022.08010003 |Publication Date: 16 December 2022
Growth and Yield Responses of Leafy Vegetables Grown in Organic and Conventional Agriculture Systems
Abstract: Several scientific reports indicate lower as well as higher relative yield stability in organic and conventional (chemical) agriculture systems. This study present results of on-farm trials conducted on leafy vegetables grown in in organic and conventional management systems. Four leafy vegetables collard green (Brassica oleracea cv. acephala), kale (Brassica oleracea cv. sabellica), lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. cv. cicla) were grown in organic and conventionally managed plots in the spring 2018 and 2020. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Organic Program (NOP) standards were followed for cultural and management practices in organically managed experimental field plots. Synthetic chemical inputs (seeds and fertilizer) were applied in the experimental field plots managed in conventional production system. Data on plant height, leaf number and total fresh weight of leafy vegetables were measured at the end of the experiment. Results showed that maximum fresh weight per plant was obtained from conventionally grown kale and the lowest was recorded in conventionally grown lettuce. The fresh weight of collard (344.1 g/plant) and kale (475.6 g/plant) was significantly higher in conventional system relative to the organic management system in collar (184.9 g/plant) and kale (242.3 g/plant). In contrast, for lettuce, significantly greater fresh weight was obtained in the organic (266.5 g/plant) compared to conventional (189.3 g/plant). No difference recorded in fresh weight of swiss chard grown in organic (222.0 g/plant) and conventional (263.7 g/plant) production systems. No difference observed in plant height and number of leaf count between the two production systems. Findings suggest that growth and yield responses in organic and conventional production systems can vary with the individual crop species. Results presented could be helpful to growers in planning for the organic production of leafy greens vegetables.
Keywords: conventional agriculture, fresh weight, leafy greens, organic agriculture, yield