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  • Currently known as: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems Title history
    American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, Volume 9, Issue 1-2
  • June 1994, pp. 64-71

An interdisciplinary, experiment station-based participatory comparison of alternative crop management systems for California's Sacramento Valley

  • Steven R. Temple (a1), Diana B. Friedman (a2), Oscar Somasco (a2), Howard Ferris (a3), Kate Scow (a4) and Karen Klonsky (a5)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0889189300005609
  • Published online: 30 October 2009
Abstract
Abstract

In 1989, a group of researchers, farmers and farm advisors initiated an interdisciplinary study of the transition from conventional to low-input and organic management of a 4-year, five-crop rotation. Crop yields initially varied among systems, but now appear to be approaching each other after a transition period that included the development of practices and equipment most appropriate for each system. Farming practices and crop production costs are carefully documented to compare the various systems' economic performance and biological risks. Supplying adequate N and managing weeds were challenges for the low-input and organic systems during the first rotation cycle, and experiments are being conducted on an 8-acre companion block to find solutions to these and other problems. Leading conventional and organic growers provide a much-needed farmer perspective on cropping practices and economic interpretations, because we try to provide “best farmer” management of each system. Research groups within the project are focusing on soil microbiology, economics, pest management, agronomy and cover crop management.

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2.D. Granatstein , D.F. Bezdicek , V.L. Cochran , L.F. Elliot , and J. Hammel . 1987. Long-term tillage and rotation effects on soil microbial, carbon, and nitrogen. Biology and Fertility of Soils 5:265270.

6.W.C. Liebhardt , R.W. Andrews , M.N. Culik , R.R. Harwood , R.R. Janke , J.K. Radke , and S.L. Rieger-Schwartz . 1989. Crop production during conversion from conventional to low-input methods. Agronomy J. 81:150159.

7.W. Lockeretz , G. Shearer , and D.H. Kohl . 1981. Organic farming in the Corn Belt. Science 211:540547.

9.R.J. MacRae , S.B. Hill , G.R. Mehuys , and J. Henning . 1990. Farm-scale agronomic and economic conversion from conventional to sustainable agriculture. Advances in Agronomy 43:155198.

12.J.P. Reganold , L.F. Elliott , and Y.L. Unger . 1987. Long-term effects of organic and conventional farming on soil erosion. Nature 330:370372.

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American Journal of Alternative Agriculture
  • ISSN: 0889-1893
  • EISSN: 1478-5498
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-alternative-agriculture
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