Project ID



This study examines the economic benefits and risks that increased organic crop production can bring to a community or region.

Key Question

How does growing organic crops affect the bottom line for farmers and the public?


This research reiterates existing ISU research that the potential returns to organic farmers utilizing a corn, bean, oats, and alfalfa rotation exceed those of conventional corn and bean rotations as practiced so widely in Iowa. As a consequence, this study demonstrated that there are higher regional economic impacts mostly due to greater levels of household-level spending by farm families and their workers. This research also concluded that local tax abatements are not an efficient public policy alternative for inducing organic conversion as the fiscal costs are likely to exceed the net gains to public accounts over a reasonable period of time.

Principal Investigator(s)

David Swenson


Liesl Eathington, Craig Chase,

Year of Grant Completion