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An Undergraduate Library Subject Guide providing suggested resources and other information for beginning research on the topic Organic Farming.
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Agricultural chemistry.
Organic farming – History
Water conservation
Soil conservation
Plant production
Plant cropping systems
Meat produce
Animal welfare

Try different combinations of these keywords as you search for information. 

Check the subject headings/descriptors for individual articles in your searches and repeat your search using these terms. Please note, subject headings are not consistent across databases.



Organic farming refers to agriculture done without the use of any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, growth hormones or stimulants, or genetic engineering. Instead, organic farmers rely on substances based on living organisms, such as manure and compost. Organic farmers might also practice crop rotation, hand removal of pests, biological control (such as use of natural predators), physical obstacles to deter weeds or pests, or other non-chemical controls. 


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AM 11/25/13


Suggested reference sources

  • CQ Researcher - Database of reports on various issues which provide overview, background, current situation, outlook, and pros/cons of topics. Also features a bibliography for further research on your topic.
  • Online Reference Collection, Environmental Studies – The Online Reference Collection has a whole section on Environmental Studies which can provide helpful background information on organic farming. The Environmental Encyclopedia would be a good place to start!
  • Gale Virtual Reference - Another place to check for general information about organic farming. A search for ‘organic farming’ leads to entries not just on ‘organic farming’, but also ‘organic gardening’, ‘organic food’, ‘organic fertilizers’, and ‘sustainable agriculture’.
  • Sociology, organic farming, climate change and social science - This book series gathers review articles that analyze current agricultural issues and knowledge, then propose alternative solutions. It helps all scientists, decision-makers, professors, farmers and politicians who wish to build a safe agriculture, energy and food system for future generations.
  • Genetic engineering, biofertilisation, soil quality and organic farming - This book provides articles which discuss environmentally friendly solutions to problems in present-day agriculture.
  • Encyclopedia of food and culture - This impressive reference contains well-researched entries, many written by specialists. The defining subject of food and culture allows a broad selection of topics.

Subject Guide

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