Sustainable Agriculture

Vegetable Growers' Handbook Chapter IV: Cultural Practices

Sustainable vegetable farming is a relatively high risk, high cost per acre business requiring intensive management. Successful vegetable growers manage capital, and marketing competently. Growers design and implement systems of culture which include crop and variety selection, crop rotation, soil...
Frank J. Dainello
Roland Roberts
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Compost Utilization for Erosion Control

What Is Compost? Composting is the controlled biological process of decomposition and recycling of organic material into a humus rich soil amendment known as compost. Mixed organic materials (Example: manure, yard trimmings, food waste, biosolids) must go through a controlled heat process before...
Mark Risse
Britt Faucette
University of Georgia

Shading screens for the improvement of the night time climate of unheated greenhouses

The objective of this work was to study the effect of shading screens, normally used during the day for cooling purposes, on the night-time climate of unheated greenhouses. For this purpose, first a number of experimental measurements were taken during cold nights to characterise the greenhouse...
J. I. Montero
P. Muñoz
M. C. Sánchez-Guerrero
E. Medrano
D. Piscia
P. Lorenzo
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research

Residue Management and Cultural Practices

High crop residue levels translate directly into soil conservation benefits. Most experts believe the most effective conservation tillage practices leave at least 30 percent residue after planting. Residue burial or removal for biomass harvest should be tempered with conservation benefits. When...
Mahdi Al-Kaisi
Mark Hanna
Iowa State University Extension

No-tillage and high-residue practices reduce soil water evaporation

Reducing tillage and maintaining crop residues on the soil surface could improve the water use efficiency of California crop production. In two field studies comparing no-tillage with standard tillage operations (following wheat silage harvest and before corn seeding), we estimated that 0.89 and 0...
Jeffrey P. Mitchell
Purnendu N. Singh
Wesley W. Wallender
Daniel S. Munk
Jon F. Wroble
William R. Horwath
Philip Hogan
Robert Roy
Blaine R. Hanson
California Agriculture

Environmental and Agronomic Benefits of Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Strips for Rainfed Almond Orchards in Semiarid Slopes (SE, Spain)

  In the Mediterranean zone semi-natural vegetation and diverse mountain-cropping systems have been converted into monocultures with low tree densities, leaving the soil unprotected. Soil loss and runoff over a three-year period were monitored in hillside erosion plots (35% slope and 144 m2 in...
Víctor Hugo Durán Zuazo
Carmen Rocío Rodríguez Pleguezuelo
Armando Martínez Raya
José Ramón Francia Martínez
Lorenzo Arroyo Panadero
Belén Cárceles Rodríguez
The Open Agriculture Journal

Crop Rotations on Organic Farms

For a variety of other reasons that we will explore in this publication, crops can and should be managed in rotations. No one disputes the fact that rotations are beneficial. The use of two- and three-year rotations by the majority of the grain farmers in this country shows they agree that yields...
Keith R. Baldwin
North Carolina State University

Cover Crops for Soil Improvement in Horticultural Crops

  Cover crops maintain and improve soil health. They prevent soil erosion and increase organic matter, improving micro- biotic activity, soil structure, and water infiltration rates. Cover crops also aid in nutrient cycling, reduce soil temperature fluctuations, provide habitat for beneficial...
Alan Ware
Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Cover Crops for Organic Farms

Cover crops are pivotal parts of every organic farmer’s management scheme. They are crucial to the main goals of building soil health and preventing soil erosion. Cover crops are also important tools for increasing fertility and controlling weeds, pathogens, and insects in organic crops. In...
Keith R. Baldwin
Nancy G. Creamer
North Carolina State University

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationists

This book could not have come at a better time. We stand at a crossroads, where honey bee losses and rental rates for pollination are on the rise, research is expanding our knowledge of native bees’ role in crop pollination, and growers are looking for pollination alternatives to improve...
Eric Mader
Marla Spivak
Elaine Evans
SARE and NRAES