A new study from an international team of researchers found that diversifying crops, “enhances biodiversity, pollination, pest control, nutrient cycling, soil fertility, and water regulation without compromising crop yields.”
Overuse of fertilizer has led to phosphorus shortages and water pollution. But farms might not need so much to grow healthy crops.
A field study was conducted (2019-2020) at the ISU Research and Demonstration Farm near Ames, IA to quantify the impact of cereal rye cover crop and soybean row spacing (15 inch vs. 30 inch) on the glyphosate-resistant waterhemp seed bank.
“If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy,” says soil advocate, Holly Arbuckle… “In order to have nutrient dense food, [and healthy people] we need healthy soil.”
Planting woody plant species alongside crops could double the number of insect pollinators helping farmers produce food, new research has demonstrated for the first time.
A new study by Penn State researchers showed that using no-till and reduced-tillage production methods on soybeans can achieve yields similar to tillage-based production at competitive costs.
A new global analysis from the University of Illinois shows that planting cover crops after row-crop harvest can significantly boost soil microbial abundance, activity, and diversity
Diversifying Crops Is Good For The Planet. But Can It Be Good For Farmers’ Wallets? [Yes!]
Ecosystem services are improved (including natural pest management!) when biodiversity is prioritized on the farm.
Tillage made the biggest difference [to soil health],” …For centuries, farmers have tilled to eliminate weeds, bury the remnants of old crops and prepare the ground for planting — but newer research suggests that disturbing the top layer of soil destroys microbial populations and contributes to soil erosion…. “Soil health is public health.