Energy News  





.
FARM NEWS
Transitioning To Organic Farming

File image.
by Staff Writers
Madison WI (SPX) Feb 25, 2011
As the organic food trend continues to grow; more farmers are converting from conventional agriculture to organic production. One of the fastest growing markets in the U.S. is the production of organic milk. The growth of this industry has prompted many farmers to transition their land to organic feed grain production. With transition on the rise, it is necessary for these farmers to have effective and economical organic management practices.

A research team led by scientists from Penn State University and University of New Hampshire conducted a four-year study examining the impact of reduced-tillage and cover crops managed for hay and forage production on the agronomic and economic performance of feed grain production.

Two cropping system experiments were carried out in central Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2007. For the first year both plots rotated between a cover crop, corn and soybeans; one plot was managed with full tillage and the other with reduced tillage. Changes in weed populations, crop yields, and economic returns over the three year rotation were monitored by the research team.

From a weed management perspective, the results indicate that utilizing reduced tillage for organic production could present a challenge for some farmers. Weed populations were less responsive to the choice in cover crop than to the reduction in tillage. Weed populations dramatically increased in reduced tillage systems.

"This is a troubling result because the weed populations that increased included perennial species such as Canada thistle and bindweed which are very difficult to control without tillage once they become established. In a way, these perennial weeds can actually act as 'management drivers,' forcing organic growers to have to periodically utilize more intensive tillage practices to reduce their populations," says Richard Smith, University of New Hampshire.

The study also suggests that growers who want to transition to organic production while minimizing tillage may experience variable economic success depending on how they begin their rotation. Costs associated with manure and compost, which was purchased off-farm, also strongly influenced the economics of the systems.

The authors conclude that integrated systems that include field crop and dairy production, where manure sources are available on-site or locally, would improve the economics of these systems. While tillage did not have a significant effect on cumulative net returns in either experiment, there did appear to be a trend for higher returns in the rotations that utilized full-tillage.

According to Smith, further research will be necessary to determine the most cost-effective approaches to reducing tillage in transitional and organic production systems. Research is ongoing at Penn State University.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
American Society of Agronomy
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
FARM NEWS
Southern U.S. said source of ant spread
Gainesville, Fla. (UPI) Feb 24, 2011
Global invasions of fire ants can be traced back to the southern United States where the nuisance insect first gained a hold in the 1930s, researchers say. Scientists at the University of Florida say the ant, native to South America, had been contained there and in the southeastern United States before turning up in faraway places in the last 20 years, including California, China, Taiwa ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


FARM NEWS
NASA Spacecraft Images New Zealand Quake Region

Earth's Core Rotating Faster Than Rest Of The Planet

Glory And Taurus Ready For Liftoff

2012 Science Budget Endorsed By Earth And Space Scientists

FARM NEWS
Russia Postpones Navigation Satellite Launch From Plesetsk

EU issues urgent call to 21 states on satellite network

Lockheed Martin-Built GPS Satellite Exceeds 10 Years On-Orbit

Russia To Launch Glonass Satellite Feb 24

FARM NEWS
Bacteria Living On Old-Growth Trees May Help Forests Grow

Tree-planting world record set in Philippines

Biodiversity In Danger: Which Areas Should Be Protected?

Experts Question Aspects Of Prescribed Burning

FARM NEWS
Amyris Technology Performs At Industrial Scale

Posco And LanzaTech To Collaborate On Renewable Energy

Abengoa Consolidates Position As Technological Leader

Joule Unlimited On Track To Beat All Known Biofuel Processes

FARM NEWS
EPSRC's Novel Energy Harvesting Grants

German Solar Market Doubled In 2010

DuPont Microcircuit Materials Launches Next Gen Frontside Silver PV Metallizations

Solar Frontier Starts Production At World's Largest CIS Solar Module Plant

FARM NEWS
Eon to build fifth U.K. offshore wind farm

GL Garrad Hassan Launches Onshore Wind Resource Mapping For UK

Construction Begins On Dempsey Ridge Wind Project

India's Suzlon wins $1.28 bn wind power deal

FARM NEWS
China says over 2,400 dead in coal mines in 2010

China mine blast death toll up to 26: state media

Seven found dead in China mine flood: state media

FARM NEWS
China's Wen vows action, police smother 'rallies'

China scraps death penalty for some crimes

China activists charged over 'Jasmine rally' call

China proposes death penalty for organ traffickers


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement