Buying a Farm in Grey & Bruce CountiesFarming TopicsFarming TopicsFarming Topics 22 July 2021

What’s the Difference Between GMO and Organic Farming?

Are you confused about the difference between GMO and organic farming? Agriculture in Grey and Bruce counties uses both methods. Here’s a brief survey of the main differences between these two kinds of farming.


What’s the Difference Between GMO and Organic Farming, Markdale Real Estate, Grey Highlands Real Estate


How is GMO food grown?

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered or modified in a way that would not happen naturally. In most cases, genetic engineering works by injecting an organism with genetic material from another species. 

GMO seeds were introduced commercially in 1996 and are now very common for corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton.

GMO crops can be referred to as genetically engineered (GE), herbicide-tolerant (HT), or Bt crops. Herbicide-tolerant crops (“Roundup-ready crops”) are engineered to survive the use of one or more herbicide chemicals that would normally kill or severely stunt a crop. Bt crops are designed to produce toxins that kill certain insects.

GMO crops lower production costs for farmers and help crops resist plant diseases caused by insects or viruses.


What’s the Difference Between GMO and Organic Farming, Markdale Real Estate, Grey Highlands Real Estate


How is organic food grown?

Organic farming follows strict government standards for growing food without toxic and persistent pesticides, herbicides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics, genetic engineering, excluded practices, sewage sludge, irradiation, solvents, or additives.

Organic farming is heavily regulated and closely monitored for many factors, including soil quality, pest control, and animal raising practices. To earn organic certification, land must be worked without prohibited materials for at least three years. Organic farmers create an organic operating farm plan that is overseen by their certification agency with annual third-party inspections.

Organic farmers rely on hand weeding, mechanical control, mulches, cover crops, crop rotation, dense planting, and pasture grazing.  

Organic livestock grown for meat, eggs and dairy products is raised without the use of antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, or animal by-products. Farmers provide their animals with organic feed, cage-free living conditions, and access to the outdoors and pasture. For example, organic cows are required to graze on grass for a minimum of one-third of their lives.