Beyond Organic: An Overview of Biodynamic Agriculture with Case Examples
Jon C. Phillips, Ph.D. L. Pilar Rodriguez
Keywords: biodynamic agriculture, organic, Steiner, community supported agriculture, sustainable, regenerative, Demeter, local foods, land trusts, anthroposophy, vitalism
A great deal of research has been done regarding economic and consumer aspects of organic agriculture. A different form of agriculture, called biodynamic agriculture, is emerging, with acreage located across the globe. Like organic agriculture, biodynamic agriculture has a certification process, but it has not received as much research attention from agricultural economists. This paper provides basic background information about biodynamic agriculture. In particular, it gives a count of certified biodynamic farms, by state, in the U.S., and it gives the most common products produced by those farms. Wine grapes are by far the most common biodynamic agricultural product. It also includes three case examples of firms employing this production system and business strategy. The diverse case examples were developed through telephone interviews with certified biodynamic agricultural producers. It is predicted that despite its growth, biodynamic agriculture will become neither a fad nor a trend. Rather, it will remain a background influence on organic and conventional agriculture.
Research publications concerning biodynamics