Soil Health and Organic Farming

Farmers Guide to Conducting On-Farm Research

Organic farmers and ranchers like you are always testing and experimenting with new ideas to improve their farming operations. You probably have some ideas every day that you would like to try. Incorporating a few scientific steps in your experiments will generate more reliable results that you can trust.

This guide was specifically created for you, the organic farmer or rancher who is curious about conducting some type of trial or experiment on your farm in a more structured way. Whether you are looking at reducing the use of off-farm inputs, minimizing disease pressure, trying out new crop varieties or animal feed, or testing new cover crop techniques or irrigation sensors, this practical guide was created to assist you along the way.

By |2024-06-18T18:06:37+00:00November 7th, 2023|Reports, 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.

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.
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

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