Soil Health and Organic Farming

Water Management and Water Quality

Efficient utilization of irrigation water is essential for production, economic, and environmental reasons, especially in regions with limited annual rainfall. Managing water resources effectively during both water scarcity and periods of water excess is critical for successful farming.

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By |2020-10-09T21:21:02+00:00January 1st, 2017|Reports, Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|

Practical Conservation Tillage

Organic farmers recognize healthy, living soil as the foundation of successful farming, and many seek practical means to reduce tillage in order to protect the soil organic matter, soil life, and improved tilth build up through green manures, compost applications, and other organic practices.

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By |2020-01-08T18:14:56+00:00January 1st, 2017|Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|

Cover Crops: Selection and Management

Over the past 30 years, cover cropping has emerged as a key soil health and resource conservation practice for annual crop production. Truly sustainable agriculture must maintain effective vegetative cover of the soil, even when the field is not in production.

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By |2020-01-08T18:14:56+00:00January 1st, 2017|Reports, Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|

Weed Management: An Ecological Approach

Organic farmers recognize healthy, living soils as essential for successful production. Perhaps the greatest soil health challenge relates to weed management, especially in annual crops. Without conventional herbicides, organic producers often use the practices of tillage and cultivation.

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By |2020-01-08T18:14:56+00:00January 1st, 2017|Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|

Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration

Climate change threatens agriculture and food security across the U.S. and around the world. Rising global mean temperatures have already intensified droughts, heat waves, and storms, and altered life cycles and geographical ranges of pests, weeds, and pathogens, making crop and livestock production more difficult. Intense rainstorms aggravate soil erosion and complicate water management, and higher temperatures accelerate oxidation of soil organic matter. Warming climates modify crop development regulated by growing degree-days or “chill hours,” and threaten production of perennial fruit and nut crops that have strict chilling requirements to initiate growth and fruit set. Thus, agricultural producers have a major stake in efforts to curb further climate change, as well as improving the resilience of their farming and ranching systems to the impacts of climate disruption.

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By |2020-05-29T19:21:33+00:00January 1st, 2017|Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|

Understanding and Optimizing the Community of Soil Life

The goal of this guidebook is to help organic farmers navigate the wilderness of soil life and soil health management by providing up-to-date, science-based information on:

  • The soil food web, its key components, and functions.
  • Assessing and monitoring soil life and soil biological condition.
  • Managing soil life for long term soil health and productivity in organic systems.
  • Biological management of plant diseases.
  • Microbial inoculants and biostimulants: whether, when, and how to use them.
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By |2020-01-08T18:14:56+00:00January 1st, 2017|Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|

Building Organic Matter for Healthy Soils: An Overview

This report summarizes research findings on SOM and soil health in organic farming systems, and outlines some practical applications for organic producers. Companion reports explore soil health-enhancing approaches to fertility and nutrient management, tillage, and weed control; cover crops and crop rotation, and the role of plant genetics in soil health and organic production

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By |2020-01-08T18:14:56+00:00January 1st, 2017|Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|

Building Healthy Living Soils for Successful Organic Farming in the Southern Region

Healthy, living soils provide the foundation for successful and profitable organic farming and ranching. Nowhere is soil health more vital than in the South, where organic producers face intense pressure from weeds, insect pests, parasitic nematodes, and plant-pathogens; extremes of summer heat, drought, and flood; and soil types with inherent fertility limitations. In addition, long growing seasons can make it harder to rebuild soil organic matter, especially during intensive crop production.

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Building Healthy Living Soils for Successful Organic Farming in the Southern Region cover
By |2021-06-17T18:39:31+00:00December 31st, 2016|Soil Health and Organic Farming Reports|