Tillage timing influences nitrogen availability and loss on organic farms

In the battle against weeds, tillage is one of the strongest weapons at the disposal of organic or ecologically based farmers. But, depending on when it is used, tillage can also be a strong driver of nitrogen losses that contribute to groundwater pollution, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

FEEDING THE PEOPLE: GLOBAL AGRI-FOOD SYSTEM NEEDS FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE – Diplomatic Intelligence

FEEDING THE PEOPLE: GLOBAL AGRI-FOOD SYSTEM NEEDS FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
Diplomatic Intelligence
The organic movement has joined together to contribute to the theme of this year's EXPO in Milan – feeding the planet – and IFOAM EU has published a report, Feeding the People: Agroecology for Nourishing the World and Transforming the Agri-Food …

Union Township Environmental Commission hosts free speaker event on Oct. 13 – NJ.com


NJ.com

Union Township Environmental Commission hosts free speaker event on Oct. 13
NJ.com
Heckman has more than 25 years of extensive experience in Soil Science and teaches courses in Soil Fertility, Organic Crop Production, Agroecology and a seminar on Traditional Organic Food and Farming Systems. As Soil Fertility Specialist for Rutgers …

Farmers Called To Embrace Agroforestry, Sustainable Food Production – The Guardian Nigeria (satire) (press release) (blog)


The Guardian Nigeria (satire) (press release) (blog)

Farmers Called To Embrace Agroforestry, Sustainable Food Production
The Guardian Nigeria (satire) (press release) (blog)
PROFESSOR of Agronomy at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUA) Umuahia, Abia State, Dr. Dominic Aja Okpara has posited that farmers of old, who used traditional methods of farming that entailed organic resources, produced enough food …

Paterson joins forces with environmentalists to argue case for technology in … – FG Insight


FG Insight

Paterson joins forces with environmentalists to argue case for technology in
FG Insight
A direct retort to those who claim organic farming and agro-ecology are the route to a healthy global environment, eco-modernism advocates the use of GM technology, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides and increased mechanism in farming as the to

Union Township to host program on fall lawn care, Oct. 13 – NJ.com

Union Township to host program on fall lawn care, Oct. 13
NJ.com
Heckman has more than 25 years of extensive experience in Soil Science and teaches courses in Soil Fertility, Organic Crop Production, Agroecology and a seminar on Traditional Organic Food and Farming Systems. As Soil Fertility Specialist for Rutgers …

How Low-Tech Farming Innovation Can Make African Farmers Climate-Resilient – Gizmodo Australia


Gizmodo Australia

How Low-Tech Farming Innovation Can Make African Farmers Climate-Resilient
Gizmodo Australia
Others call for “agroecological” methods — farming practices that mimic nature by adding organic material to soil, planting trees on cropped fields and using natural enemies to attack insect pests. Largely underfunded, this is nonetheless a growing

How Low-Tech Farming Innovation Can Make African Farmers Climate-Resilient – Gizmodo


Gizmodo

How Low-Tech Farming Innovation Can Make African Farmers Climate-Resilient
Gizmodo
Others call for “agroecological” methods – farming practices that mimic nature by adding organic material to soil, planting trees on cropped fields and using natural enemies to attack insect pests. Largely underfunded, this is nonetheless a growing

How low-tech farming innovations can make African farmers climate-resilient – The Conversation US


The Conversation US

How low-tech farming innovations can make African farmers climate-resilient
The Conversation US
Others call for “agroecological” methods – farming practices that mimic nature by adding organic material to soil, planting trees on cropped fields and using natural enemies to attack insect pests. Largely underfunded, this is nonetheless a growing

Organic Growers School Launches WNC Farmer Training Course – Mountain Xpress (blog)

Organic Growers School Launches WNC Farmer Training Course
Mountain Xpress (blog)
Through the principles of AgroEcology and Holistic Farm Management participants will learn to view a farm as an interconnected system and discover how goals influence farming practices. Organic Growers School recently conducted a survey of WNC …

Organic Growers School launches Farm Beginnings farmer training course – Mountain Xpress (blog)

Organic Growers School launches Farm Beginnings farmer training course
Mountain Xpress (blog)
Through the principles of AgroEcology and Holistic Farm Management participants will learn to view a farm as an interconnected system and discover how goals influence farming practices. Organic Growers School recently conducted a survey of WNC …

and more »

Cuban Agroecological Project Aims to Foment Local Innovation – Inter Press Service


Inter Press Service

Cuban Agroecological Project Aims to Foment Local Innovation
Inter Press Service
“Many small farmers have not yet joined the agroecological movement,” said Pi, who blames this on a lack of knowledge of these practices, resistance to change, scarce available services for ecological farms, and low prices for organic foods, which are

Cuban Agroecological Project Foments Local Innovation – Inter Press Service


Inter Press Service

Cuban Agroecological Project Foments Local Innovation
Inter Press Service
“Many small farmers have not yet joined the agroecological movement,” said Pi, who blames this on a lack of knowledge of these practices, resistance to change, scarce available services for ecological farms, and low prices for organic foods, which are

Organic Growers School collaborates with sustainable agriculture educator for … – Mountain Xpress (blog)


Mountain Xpress (blog)

Organic Growers School collaborates with sustainable agriculture educator for
Mountain Xpress (blog)
As it turns out, Laura had been teaching Holistic Farm Management and Agroecology principles, two core components in the Farm Beginnings curriculum, to future farmers for more than 14 years. Given the shared values, vision, and timing, OGS and Lengnick …

and more »

In soil we trust: How military veterans learn to become organic farmers at UC … – UC Santa Cruz


UC Santa Cruz

In soil we trust: How military veterans learn to become organic farmers at UC
UC Santa Cruz
Harris-Chadwick-Garden-500.jpg U.S. Army veteran James Harris, an apprentice at the UC Santa Cruz Farm, finds working the soil is another way to serve. Harris joined the Army at age 19 after the 9/11 attacks/ (Photos by Melissa De Witte) …

Farm to label: Alumnus helped bring organic labeling policy to the nation – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Farm to label: Alumnus helped bring organic labeling policy to the nation
Santa Cruz Sentinel
… large part to UC Santa Cruz alumnus Mark Lipson. He has returned to his UCSC roots as a research associate with UCSC's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the first university program dedicated to teaching organic farming practices.

Nelson Lebo: Permaculture offers plenty of sustainable solutions – Wanganui Chronicle

Nelson Lebo: Permaculture offers plenty of sustainable solutions
Wanganui Chronicle
These were the words of Chuck Barry, a small-scale organic farmer I met in Montrose, Colorado, about 10 years ago. Chuck made a comfortable living growing high-quality vegetables on two acres in a dry and seasonally cold environment that may be …

These Women Farmers See Their Fields as an Organic Classroom, Part 1 – Mother Earth News


Mother Earth News

These Women Farmers See Their Fields as an Organic Classroom, Part 1
Mother Earth News
“I soaked up as much knowledge and experience as I could at Pie Ranch,” explained Elaine, “and then after spending some time back in San Francisco at a local garden, I enrolled in an agroecological school in Santa Cruz called the Center for Agroecology …

Permaculture and organic gardens plant seed of sustainability at IC – The Ithacan


The Ithacan

Permaculture and organic gardens plant seed of sustainability at IC
The Ithacan
The permaculture garden is one of two plots at Ithaca College that produce food with minimal impact to the environment. In an obscure location, past the facilities building and through the woods, sits the college's organic garden, which uses no

Greenbush homestead flourishes with help of permaculture – Bangor Daily News


Bangor Daily News

Greenbush homestead flourishes with help of permaculture
Bangor Daily News
Heather Omand and her husband, Tyler Omand, work with the patterns in the ecosystem around their Omand's Organics farmstead in Greenbush. They shaped their land, grow vegetables and raise ducks, chickens and guinea fowl following permaculture …

and more »

The farmer who’s starting an organic revolution in Cuba – The Guardian


The Guardian

The farmer who's starting an organic revolution in Cuba
The Guardian
“To me, it was a metaphor for agroecology,” said Funes, 44, referring to the environmentally minded farm management techniques he studied here and in the Netherlands. “A lot of hard work by hand, and persistence, but a result that is worth the effort.”.

Growing farmers around the globe – Christian Science Monitor


Christian Science Monitor

Growing farmers around the globe
Christian Science Monitor
Apprenticeships in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California Santa Cruz'sCenter for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems provide training in organic and small-scale farming. The six-month course, held at the Center's 30-acre farm and …

Climate Change May Be Leading to Decline in Humus Stocks of Arable Soils – AZoCleantech

Climate Change May Be Leading to Decline in Humus Stocks of Arable Soils
AZoCleantech
"These include the diversification of crop rotation, the application of green manure and winter greening to reduce soil erosion, optimized soil cultivation, organic farming, agroforestry, and leaving crop residues on fields," explains Hübner. The study

What Permaculture Can Teach Us About Living Mindfully to Ensure Abundance for All – One Green Planet


One Green Planet

What Permaculture Can Teach Us About Living Mindfully to Ensure Abundance for All
One Green Planet
For all the mysteries that seem to surround permaculture — Is it a type of organic gardening? Is it green living? Sustainable living? A design system? A way of life? — one thing for sure is that the crux of the practice is simple: ethics. Three, to

Public Release: 27-Aug-2015 Humus depletion induced by climate change? – EurekAlert (press release)

Public Release: 27-Aug-2015 Humus depletion induced by climate change?
EurekAlert (press release)
"These include the diversification of crop rotation, the application of green manure and winter greening to reduce soil erosion, optimized soil cultivation, organic farming, agroforestry, and leaving crop residues on fields," explains Hübner. The study

Quick Bites: Aug. 26, 2015: Time is now to register for apple-pie contest – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Quick Bites: Aug. 26, 2015: Time is now to register for apple-pie contest
Santa Cruz Sentinel
… and appetizer reception at the on-campus organic farm and garden. The sit-down dinner is the inaugural public event inside the newly completed barn that will become the headquarters of the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

Harvesting Profits: The Roots of Our Food Crisis – Progressive.org

Harvesting Profits: The Roots of Our Food Crisis
Progressive.org
A growing worldwide agroecology movement is producing signifcant gains by showing, scientifcally, that diversifed organic farming can in fact “feed the world.” Throughout Latin America, Africa, and South Asia, mass peasant-based movements such as La

and more »

How researcher helped bring organic labeling policy to the nation – Phys.Org


Phys.Org

How researcher helped bring organic labeling policy to the nation
Phys.Org
… Cruz to Washington D.C. and back again. He has returned to his UC Santa Cruz roots as a research associate with UCSC's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the first university program dedicated to teaching organic farming practices.

Farm to label: How alumnus helped bring organic labeling policy to the nation – UC Santa Cruz


UC Santa Cruz

Farm to label: How alumnus helped bring organic labeling policy to the nation
UC Santa Cruz
… Cruz to Washington D.C. and back again. He has returned to his UC Santa Cruz roots as a research associate with UCSC's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the first university program dedicated to teaching organic farming practices.

Young Kenyan Sees Permaculture Seeding Peace – Huffington Post


Huffington Post

Young Kenyan Sees Permaculture Seeding Peace
Huffington Post
The beginning: a small plot of land sprouting from the basics of permaculture. An organic community garden that feeds the bellies and minds of some 200 locals, giving them sustenance, skills and purpose so they won't turn to gangs, drugs and prostitution.

Meet Alan Chadwick, The High Priest of Hippie Horticulture – Modern Farmer


Modern Farmer

Meet Alan Chadwick, The High Priest of Hippie Horticulture
Modern Farmer
His garden at UCSC has evolved into the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, a nucleus for research and education in the field. His acolytes have fanned out across the country, applying his methods and philosophy to a network of organic …

Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agriculture in … – Truth-Out

Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agriculture in
Truth-Out
Miguel Ramirez training family farmers on seed bank management. (Photo courtesy of MAOES)Beverly Bell interviewed Miguel Ramirez, National Coordinator of the Organic Agriculture Movement of El Salvador, about agroecology as a tool for liberation.

Spotlight on green news & views: the Durango spill; fossil fuel cash for … – Daily Kos

Spotlight on green news & views: the Durango spill; fossil fuel cash for
Daily Kos
Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agribusiness in El Salvador—by Bev Bell: "An interview with Miguel Ramirez, National Coordinator of the Organic Agriculture Movement of El Salvador. We say that every square meter of land

Corbyn is great – but the Greens are different! – The Ecologist (blog)

Corbyn is great – but the Greens are different!
The Ecologist (blog)
We need to kick our addiction to fossil fuels and chemical-based fertilizers; we need to invest massively in permaculture, agroforestry, organic farming and above all in agroecology. We need to end the absurd subsidies for mega-farmers who are wrecking

and more »

Science to Live By: Floriescense and Our Common Home – The Crozet Gazette

Science to Live By: Floriescense and Our Common Home
The Crozet Gazette
Sustainable doesn't, nor does organic, green, renewable, biodynamic, permaculture, agroecology, cradle-to-cradle, transition movement, or deep ecology. Floriescence is a way of viewing the world that couples enduring, universal principles with dynamic, …

Guest Blog: Pollinators & the rigged neonic seed market

Farmers are no different from any buyer – they want to know what they’re buying, how much it costs and its expected performance. But in the brave new world of agricultural seeds, where multiple traits and technology are stacked like Microsoft’s operating system, it’s becoming more and more difficult for farmers to separate out what is really needed and discover how much each piece is costing them. In the case of neonicotinoid (neonic) seed coatings used as a pesticide, both the effectiveness and costs are somewhat of a mystery, according to a new paper published by IATP today.

As farm income is expected to drop more than 30 percent from last year, farmers are carefully examining all input costs to see where they can save. With their financial cost and actual effectiveness unclear, neonic seed coatings may be one of those places to cut costs. But the real cost of neonics likely goes well beyond the input price. A growing body of science directly implicates neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides as a contributor to the significant decline of bees and other pollinators. Neonics are applied in multiple ways in agriculture and horticulture but are most prevalent as a seed coating material for commodity crops like corn and soybeans. Based on convincing and mounting evidence, beekeepers, scientists and other individuals concerned about pollinators are working together to spur regulatory action and shifts in the marketplace to reduce the use of neonics.

In May 2015, the White House issued an interagency National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators.  The strategy focuses on efforts to restore honey bee loss, increase monarch butterfly populations and restore pollinator habitats. But the White House plan virtually ignores the on-the-ground farm economics that directly contribute to rising neonic use in seed coatings – specifically the role of a few large companies that have a stranglehold on the seed market. This concentrated market power in the seed industry has allowed a few multi-billion dollar companies like Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto to significantly limit U.S. farmers’ choices around seed coating.

In most cases the seed is coated with neonics whether wanted or not and our paper found that this lack of choice has made it difficult for farmers and their advisors to assess the actual value of these pesticides in crop production, or to understand their true financial and environmental costs. Most farmers understand the value of pollinators to plant growth and the food system and would not intentionally harm them.  However, without credible information on the risks or the freedom to choose their seed coating, farmers are left with little choice but to accept what their seed company delivers.   

The good news is that there are independent seed companies and dealers able today to provide farmers with information and choice around seed coatings. Representing a small segment of a highly consolidated industry, independent seed producers and dealers are able and willing to respond to market changes and farmer preferences associated with not only neonics, but also other areas of market interest, such as non-genetically modified organisms (GMOs), certified organic, cover and specialty crops. But a farmer’s ability to choose what kind of seed coatings they want as part of their crop management system should be the rule, not the exception, in the seed market. 

One of the most basic and necessary aspects of a free market is available and accurate information about products and their efficacy, cost and benefits. It should go without saying, then, that in a competitive marketplace, farmers should receive accurate, up-to-date information from researchers and other farmers at field days about the costs and benefits of neonics and other seed coatings related to both crop production and the environment, including pollinators. Yet, this isn’t happening with neonics or other seed coating ingredients today. We need credible, farmer-led field trials that compare different seed coatings and traits, and that information should be shared with other farmers. And those findings should be compared with the effectiveness and costs of other pest control approaches, such as integrated pest management (IPM), that have proven benefits and economic returns. Only with complete information and choice – about neonics and other crop management tools – can farmers make smart choices that allow them to produce crops and take care of pollinators and the environment.

You can read the full paper: Unknown Benefits, Hidden Costs: Neonicotinoid seed coatings, crop yields and pollinators.

– See more at: http://www.iatp.org/blog/201508/pollinators-and-the-rigged-neonic-seed-market#sthash.C8AuHc1y.dpuf

Farmers are no different from any buyer – they want to know what they’re buying, how much it costs and its expected performance. But in the brave new world of agricultural seeds, where multiple traits and technology are stacked like Microsoft’s operating system, it’s becoming more and more difficult for farmers to separate out what is really needed and discover how much each piece is costing them.

In the case of neonicotinoid (neonic) seed coatings used as a pesticide, both the effectiveness and costs are somewhat of a mystery, according to a new paper published by IATP today.

read more

No brain-harming insecticide needed

Citrus groves account for quite a bit of chlorpyrifos use — a highly hazardous insecticide that's been banned from use in homes and on pets because of its specific risks to children's developing brains. It also has serious impacts on farmers, farmworkers and rural communities and for years, we've been calling to restrict its use in agriculture as well.

But the pesticide industry continues to heavily promote the use of chlorpyrifos. And one of the pernicious pests it's purported to control — the Asian citrus psyllid — can indeed introduce a deadly disease, but organic citrus growers from California to Florida are successfully managing the pest in ways that avoid use of harsh poisons. No brain-harming insecticide needed.

read more

Essay: No single philosophy can guide the way we farm – Columbia Daily Tribune


Columbia Daily Tribune

Essay: No single philosophy can guide the way we farm
Columbia Daily Tribune
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream — organic, local, anti-GMO — to the less-so — biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry. The parties are

‘Permaculture the African Way’ in Cameroon’s Only Eco-Village – Inter Press Service


Inter Press Service

'Permaculture the African Way' in Cameroon's Only Eco-Village
Inter Press Service
Scene from Ndanifor Permaculture Eco-village in Bafut in Cameroon's Northwest Region, the country's first and only eco-village which is based on the principle that the answer to food insecurity lies in sustainable and organic methods of farming. Credit

Food and ideology don’t mix: There’s not one way to feed world – Genetic Literacy Project


Genetic Literacy Project

Food and ideology don't mix: There's not one way to feed world
Genetic Literacy Project
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

Why everyone who is sure about their food philosophy is wrong – The Washington … – Washington Post

Why everyone who is sure about their food philosophy is wrong – The Washington
Washington Post
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong – The Washington Post – Washington Post

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong – The Washington Post
Washington Post
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong – Washington Post

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong
Washington Post
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

Organizing a Neighborhood Permaculture Convergence, Part 1 – Organic Gardening … – Mother Earth News

Organizing a Neighborhood Permaculture Convergence, Part 1 – Organic Gardening
Mother Earth News
If you Google search the words "Permaculture Convergence" you will find links to dozens of permaculture convergences over the past year up to the present. They are scattered all of the country. Northeast, Florida, Colorado, Ohio. Northern California …

Mark down permaculture weekend – Wanganui Chronicle … – New Zealand Herald – Wanganui Chronicle

Mark down permaculture weekend – Wanganui Chronicle – New Zealand Herald
Wanganui Chronicle
The Whanganui Permaculture Weekend is lined up for its third consecutive year on the weekend of September 12-13. This year's edition will include a wide range of property tours, along with workshops on pruning, fruit tree care, organic gardening, …

‘Agroecology’ is showing the way ahead for farming’s future – shropshirestar.com

'Agroecology' is showing the way ahead for farming's future
shropshirestar.com
The role of agroecology in sustainable intensification is launched in a new report which highlights a way which is better for wildlife, crop production, soil and water, as well as people. Dr Alastair Leake, of the GWCT, together with the Organic

Scholarships available for UC Santa Cruz organic farming apprenticeships – UC Santa Cruz


UC Santa Cruz

Scholarships available for UC Santa Cruz organic farming apprenticeships
UC Santa Cruz
AmeriCorps funding can also be used to cover tuition costs. The Apprenticeship is managed by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz. It is open to all participants 21 years or older, regardless of educational background.

Cuba’s Warming Relations with the US May Undermine its Agroecological City Farms – Center for Research on Globalization


Center for Research on Globalization

Cuba's Warming Relations with the US May Undermine its Agroecological City Farms
Center for Research on Globalization
Cuba is a global exemplar of organic, agroecological farming, taking place on broad swathes of land in and around its cities, write Julia Wright & Emily Morris. These farms cover 14% of the country's agricultural land, employ 350,000 people, and

and more »

Cuba’s Warming Relations with the US May Undermine its Agroecological City … – Center for Research on Globalization


Center for Research on Globalization

Cuba's Warming Relations with the US May Undermine its Agroecological City
Center for Research on Globalization
Cuba is a global exemplar of organic, agroecological farming, taking place on broad swathes of land in and around its cities, write Julia Wright & Emily Morris. These farms cover 14% of the country's agricultural land, employ 350,000 people, and

Cuba’s warming relations with the US may undermine its agroecological city farms – The Ecologist


The Ecologist

Cuba's warming relations with the US may undermine its agroecological city farms
The Ecologist
Cuba is a global exemplar of organic, agroecological farming, taking place on broad swathes of land in and around its cities, write Julia Wright & Emily Morris. These farms cover 14% of the country's agricultural land, employ 350,000 people, and

Scientists Oppose GMO Biocolonization of Costa Rica – The Costa Rica Star


The Costa Rica Star

Scientists Oppose GMO Biocolonization of Costa Rica
The Costa Rica Star
GMO Free SEED FREEDOM Press Release — Personalities from the eco-scientific and organic agriculture environments are speaking up against the letter from the American Embassy, in which the Costa Rican government is put under pressure to adopt …

Here’s what better relations with the US mean for city farms in Cuba – The Conversation AU


The Conversation AU

Here's what better relations with the US mean for city farms in Cuba
The Conversation AU
The principles of organic, or agroecological, farming were used to overcome the lack of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. These included making compost from local resources: manure, worm farms and food waste. Here, organic and agroecological farming …

UC Berkeley’s Student-Run Garden Offers Urban Oasis to Students and … – KQED


KQED

UC Berkeley's Student-Run Garden Offers Urban Oasis to Students and
KQED
One of the allies of the garden, Agroecology Professor Miguel Altieri, often tries to rent the space closest to the garden where he too gardens organically, but the students can't control what happens on the other side of the fence. While they

30 Year Old Trial Finds Organic Farming Outperforms Conventional Agriculture – Permaculture Magazine


Permaculture Magazine

30 Year Old Trial Finds Organic Farming Outperforms Conventional Agriculture
Permaculture Magazine
Jump to Navigation. log in register · Permaculture: Inspiration for Sustainable Living. Main menu. Home · Contact · What is Permaculture? Magazine · Advertise · Courses · Classifieds · Subscribe · Shop · Clothing. Search this site: 30 Year Old Trial

Organic farmers make a lot more money than conventional farmers – Treehugger


Grist

Organic farmers make a lot more money than conventional farmers
Treehugger
John Reganold, a co-author for the study and professor of soil science and agroecology, doesn't think so. He encourages shoppers to think about all the things they're paying for, in addition to the food they're bringing home. “Straight economic figures
Are You Paying Too Much For Organic Food? Yahoo Food



all 8 news articles »

Are You Paying Too Much For Organic Food? – Yahoo Food


Yahoo Food

Are You Paying Too Much For Organic Food?
Yahoo Food
While organic farms spend significantly more on labor, they often spend much less on pesticides and fertilizers than their conventional counterparts, explains John Reganold, study-co-author and WSU professor of soil science and agroecology. The

and more »

Dynamics and sources of dissolved organic carbon during phytoplankton bloom in hypereutrophic Lake Taihu (China)

Publication date: Available online 29 May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Linlin Ye , Xiaodong Wu , Bo Liu , Dezhi Yan , Fanxiang Kong
To establish the influence of phytoplankton blooms on the dynamics and sources of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in Lake Taihu, the concentrations and stable carbon isotope values (δ13C) of DOC and particulate organic carbon (POC) were analyzed, along with environmental factors, including water temperature, chlorophyll a (Chl a ) concentration, phytoplankton community and total bacterial abundance, from March to August 2013 at five sites in Lake Taihu. Significant differences were observed in the DOC concentrations and δ13C DOC values at the sampling sites. On average, the proportion of DOC in the total organic carbon (TOC) pool ranged from 30% ± 10% to 81% ± 7%. POC was positively associated with both Chl a concentration and cyanobacteria biomass, suggesting that cyanobacteria blooms contribute to the POC pool in Lake Taihu. Depleted 13C in DOC relative to POC was observed in August, indicating that DOC was partially derived from POC in August. However, Chl a explained only 40% of the variation in DOC in the entirety of Lake Taihu, and at two sites far from the estuary, the contribution of allochthonous carbon was less than 50% in August. These results suggested a greater influence of allochthonous sources on the DOC pool. Moreover, the biodegradability of DOC was further determined by the total dissolved carbohydrates to DOC ratio (TCHO/DOC), specific UV absorbance (SUVA 254 ), and the concentrations of bioavailable DOC (BDOC). On average, 17% of the variation in DOC was attributable to the BDOC pool, and the BDOC concentration correlated positively with Chl a , cyanobacteria biomass, and total bacterial abundance, suggesting that cyanobacteria – derived DOC is biodegradable and is preferentially utilized by bacteria.

More money and less risk for African eco-farmers – Greenpeace Africa (blog)


Greenpeace Africa (blog)

More money and less risk for African eco-farmers
Greenpeace Africa (blog)
The approaches, often rooted in traditional farming techniques, include sustainable land management, water harvesting, agroforestry, biological control of pests and weeds, intercropping, organic farming, permaculture, and several others. The 2014 …

UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden’s market cart produce stand opens June 2 – UC Santa Cruz


UC Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden's market cart produce stand opens June 2
UC Santa Cruz
All the produce is organically grown at the UCSC Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden by staff and students in the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, an organic farmer and gardener training program of UCSC's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable …

Stream macroinvertebrate communities change with grassland afforestation in central Argentina

Publication date: Available online 23 May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): J.A. Márquez , L. Cibils , R.E. Principe , R.J. Albariño
Lotic ecosystems are highly affected by land use changes such as afforestation of natural areas for management or commercial purposes. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of pine plantations on benthic invertebrate communities in mountain grassland streams. Additionally, we assessed if the hydrological period modifies the effect of afforestation on stream invertebrates. Three headwater streams draining grasslands (reference streams) and three draining plantations of Pinus elliottii were selected in a mountain watershed of Córdoba province (Argentina). Hydrologic and physicochemical variables were registered and benthic invertebrate samples were collected in each stream at two different hydrological periods. Total invertebrate abundance, richness and diversity were reduced in afforested streams as well as the number of indicator taxa. In addition, invertebrate functional structure (i.e. taxonomic richness and total and relative abundance of Functional Feeding Groups, FFG) showed differences between streams with different riparian vegetation and between hydrological periods. Total abundance of all FFGs was lower in afforested streams and scraperś relative abundance was higher in grassland streams at the low water period. In addition, in most FFGs richness was diminished in afforested streams. Changes in light intensity, hydrology and coarse organic matter inputs produced by afforestation alter fluvial habitats and consequently the composition and trophic structure of invertebrate communities in grassland streams of Córdoba mountains.

Decomposition of macrophytes in a shallow subtropical lake

Publication date: Available online 19 May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Cristiane Carvalho , Luiz Ubiratan Hepp , Cleber Palma-Silva , Edélti Faria Albertoni
Submerged macrophyte detritus is a major component of the organic matter entering shallow lakes. Plant litter decomposition is a complex process that is mediated by microorganisms and some invertebrates. However, the role that aquatic organisms play in the decomposition of macrophytes in shallow subtropical lakes is unclear. This study compared the decomposition rates of Potamogeton pectinatus and Chara zeylanica in a shallow lake (southern Brazil) and assessed the fungal biomass and the macroinvertebrate community associated with the detritus. Aliquots of both species were incubated in litter bags and placed in the lake. After 1, 7, 20, 40, 60, and 80 days of incubation, one set of litter bags was removed from the lake. In a laboratory, plant material was washed for the determination of decomposition rates, chemical characterisation, and quantification of microorganisms and invertebrates. After 80 days of incubation, there was no C. zeylanica detritus, with a decomposition that was four times faster than that of P. pectinatus . The chemical composition was also different between the two detritus, with P. pectinatus showing a higher concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus, organic matter, polyphenols, and carbon. The fungal biomass was similar between the two species. In total, 7,502 invertebrates belonging to 27 taxa were sampled in this study. The composition and abundance of invertebrates was different between the two species. In conclusion, the chemical structure of the macrophyte species studied was important for the microorganisms’ and invertebrates’ colonisation. In addition, leaching had an important function in the initial degradation process.

Terra Firma series: Revelstoke permaculture-based organic farm shares stories – Revelstoke Mountaineer


Revelstoke Mountaineer

Terra Firma series: Revelstoke permaculture-based organic farm shares stories
Revelstoke Mountaineer
Terra Park is the owner of Terra Firma, a Revelstoke organic farm located in the Begbie Bench area. For Revelstoke gardening advice and tips, visit her on Saturday mornings at the Terra Firma booth at the Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market. Photo: Aaron …

Report from the Field | Quintana Roo

CAN Associate Director Heather Putnam recently visited the Zona Maya in Quintana Roo, Mexico to meet with women’s groups working with CAN and the Intercultural Maya University of Quintana Roo (UIMQRoo) to improve household food security and sovereignty in a two year project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Here is her report from the field.

I traveled with Robin Pacheco, a project field technician, and three UIMQRoo students working in the field, to four of the six rural communities we are working with in the Zona Maya. The goal of the collaborative project between CAN and UIMQRoo is to improve household food security and nutrition by promoting increased production diversity (more vegetables and protein sources) and income diversification.  The project team on the ground make up of professors, field technicians, and students works directly with small groups of indigenous Maya women in the communities to strengthen traditional and agroecological food production practices, establish direct market channels between the women’s groups and local and regional venues like restaurants and markets, and also to ensure the long-term sustainability of the women’s groups themselves to operate these enterprises.

Our first stop was the community of Kancabchen, a community that was recently integrated into the project in October 2014. The eight women there established their vegetable gardens in October, and have now expanded their home production from yams, beans, and tomatoes to include habanero chile, green chiles, Maya squash, cilantro, radishes, and cucumbers. They told me that they were happy to have these products available right behind their houses for their families’ tables. Lidia Moo Poot, the president of the women’s organization, told me “Now we can have confidence in what we eat and what it contains. Our children will grow up healthier.”

The women were were excited to have participated for the first time the previous Saturday in the monthly tianguis, or farmers market, organized by UIMQRoo in José Mariá Morelos , where they enjoyed telling consumers there about their agroecologically grown produce. The women are looking forward to getting more training in the production of organic fertilizers, and to completing the fences around their gardens to keep animals out. One challenge that is worrisome is the unseasonal drought that is affecting production; the rains should have arrived in the middle of March, but as of the end of April still had not. We talked about the need to install water catchment systems to ensure that families could continue to produce diverse nutritious foods throughout the year, even as climate change brings more seasonal drought.

I also visited the communities of Candelaria, Bulukax, and Tabasco and spoke with the women’s groups there. The women in Candelaria are expanding their chicken and egg production through the project and are anticipating have enough hens producing enough eggs to bring to market in about six months. In the meantime they will be working with the team at UIMQRoo to establish relationships with buyers who will value the organic production and healthiness of their eggs.  In Bulukax and Tabasco my conversations with the women’s groups were dominated by their worries about water — they are affected not only by the drought, but by salty groundwater or chlorinated municipal water, both unfit for irrigation.  These conversations only reinforced by understanding of the urgency of focusing on ways to improve water access; any changes we hope to make in increasing the availability of healthy and nutritious foods year round will depend on water.

Organic permaculture farmers at Caroola, Bungendore, dig in again foxes, fire … – The Canberra Times


The Canberra Times

Organic permaculture farmers at Caroola, Bungendore, dig in again foxes, fire
The Canberra Times
Permaculture farmer, Penny Kothe, at her farm Caroola, which she is opening to the public on Sunday for international permaculture day. Photo: Rohan Thomson. Thieving foxes have taught Penny Kothe the futility of grazing heavy-weight rouen ducks in an …

CoMo SOS: Root Cellar, Chert Hollow Farm showcase Sustainable, Organic … – Columbia Heart Beat


Columbia Heart Beat

CoMo SOS: Root Cellar, Chert Hollow Farm showcase Sustainable, Organic
Columbia Heart Beat
"Agroforestry is an important aspect of our overall farm management" Eric explains. "We only use & sell wood cut & milled on-farm, using methods that help preserve soil and enhance biodiversity on our land." For people with multi-story houses

Permaculture Farm Teaches The Community An Invaluable Lesson — How to … – Press Release Rocket


Press Release Rocket

Permaculture Farm Teaches The Community An Invaluable Lesson — How to
Press Release Rocket
It is a 36-acre organic, self-sustaining, permaculture farm that provides the community with quality food. Owners, Angela and Pascal Peladeau, hope to expand the workshop and training they provide into a larger space and into a classroom setting. To

CAN Youth Network Capacity Building Exchange

April 13-19, 2015: Nicaragua

The first internal capacity building exchange of CAN’s network this year took place the week of April 13-19, 2015.  More than 25 women and youth leaders from CAN’s partner organizations VIDA AC in Veracruz, Mexico, PRODECOOP and CII-ASDENIC in Las Segovias, Nicaragua, and the UCA San Ramón in San Ramón, Nicaragua joined together for 7 days of exchange and training. The aim was to build skills and knowledge around building sustainable food systems in coffee-growing communities. The exchange, which included activities in both San Ramón and Las Segovias, Nicaragua, built on the themes covered during the Intercambio event held in Santa Cruz, California in February 2015. The exchange included workshops and activities related to the topics of:

  • building artisanal water cisterns for water catchment and storage;
  • making organic fertilizers like effective microorganisms, biomineral applications, and other soil fertility preparations to help combat la roya agroecologically;
  • women-led rural enterprises, including the experience of the women’s coffee-roasting business and women’s café in San Ramon;
  • crop diversification in coffee forests;
  • natural medicine using garden plants; and
  • community-based rural tourism experiences.

Important outcomes of the exchange included 12 cooperative youth leaders trained in the construction of artisanal water cisterns; more than 20 women trained in making natural medicines from plants found in home gardens; increased knowledge of the potentials of community-based rural tourism, coffee-forest diversification, and innovative soil fertility techniques in building resilient families and communities.

An early outcome of this exchange was the drafting of a resolution consolidating the group’s commitment to agroecological coffee as a sustainable food system, with the following collective objectives identified:

  1. Initiate a dialogue about the definition of Agroecological Coffee;
  2. Receive feedback and support from CAN to generate a collective identity regarding an Agroecological Coffee Farmer;
  3. Analyze the importance of an Participatory Agroecological Certification as a strategy to strengthen the organizations and communities we work with; and
  4. Analyze the idea of creating a collective brand of women’s coffee to promote the economic empowerment of women.

Our partners have specifically requested CAN’s accompaniment in reaching these objectives. CAN is excited to support the furthering of these objectives that will benefit thousands of smallholder coffee growing families in Nicaragua and Mexico.

College students interested in ag studies have several options – Augusta Free Press


Augusta Free Press

College students interested in ag studies have several options
Augusta Free Press
“Especially when you're talking about organic production. Or perhaps agro-ecology, which is the fusion of the ecological sciences and agricultural systems all rolled into one. I think that's really going to be our defining niche in the coming 10 to 15

Guest blog: Toward safer malaria control solutions

A new World Malaria Day is around the corner and we at PAN applaud the strides made to combat this deadly disease over the past year.

Next month we’ll be closely following discussions at the Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (aka the “POPs Treaty”) in Geneva. This is the body that banned DDT globally back in 2004, except for limited and specific uses for malaria control.

At the upcoming meeting, the use of DDT for malaria control will be reviewed — and it’s continued use will likely be recommended.

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#EarthDay: traditional farmers take a stand against GM crops – Equal Times

#EarthDay: traditional farmers take a stand against GM crops
Equal Times
It is against this background that Yadira de los Santos defends agroecology. “We have seen that harvests are better with organic products,” insists the specialist, whose organisation produces natural pesticides and fertilisers. This article has been

Underwater light climate, thermal and chemical characteristics of the tropical soda lake Chitu, Ethiopia: Spatio-temporal variations

Publication date: May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 52
Author(s): Tadesse Ogato , Demeke Kifle , Brook Lemma
Soda lakes are known for their extreme environmental conditions and unique assemblage of biota and provide great ecological and economic values. Although they are highly sensitive to environmental changes, soda lakes are among the least frequently studied inland water bodies. In this study, temporal and spatial (vertical) patterns of underwater light climate, thermal and chemical characteristics of a little known soda were studied. Parameters of underwater light climate showed light-limited conditions with more marked inter-monthly variations, associated with the accumulation of Arthrospira biomass in the shallow trophogenic zone. Water column conditions indicated superficial thermal stratification (0–3 m depths) with weak temperature gradients and weak mixing pattern. Dissolved oxygen (DO) varied considerably among months, ranging from subsurface supersaturation on certain occasions to persistent deoxygenation of most of the water column on other occasions, with the variations being attributable to the high productivity, high metabolic rates of microbes and weak vertical mixing. Alkalinity, conductivity and pH were generally high with moderate temporal and vertical variations, which were presumably associated with precipitation, evaporation and high algal biomass. In most cases, CO 3 2−:HCO 3 was high (>1), suggesting lower concentration of HCO 3 . Most of the major algal nutrients showed considerable inter-monthly and vertical variations. NO 3 and NH 3 in the euphotic zone were often very low or undetectable while soluble reactive phosphate (SRP) and total phosphorus (TP) were considerably high throughout the study period. The observed dramatic increase in the levels of NH 3 and SRP with depth is attributable to internal loading, which is enhanced by increased microbial activities and largely anoxic water column. The concentration of SiO 2 was remarkably low, which was probably due to organic matter accumulation within the lake that tends to preclude internal loading. In general, the notable temporal and vertical variations in physicochemical parameters, associated chiefly with the lake’s productivity, microbial activity, anoxic water column and meteorological conditions, probably suggest that Lake Chitu is sensitive to perturbations and that any environmental changes occurring in the lake are likely to affect the key planktonic alga ( Arthrospira ) and its ecosystem values.

Climate driven changes in the submerged macrophyte and phytoplankton community in a hard water lake

Publication date: Available online 3 April 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Wojciech Ejankowski , Tomasz Lenard
We studied the changes in the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and phytoplankton community in a hard water lake during different meteorological conditions. We hypothesised that variations in climatic conditions (precipitation and temperature) can influence the physicochemical parameters of water and, in turn, affect SAV and phytoplankton development. The investigations were performed in Lake Rogóźno (the West Polesie region, Eastern Poland) over 10 years from 2003 to 2013. The physicochemical parameters, the structure of macrophytes and the phytoplankton community in the dry (2003-2006, DP) and wet periods (2007-2013, WP) were analysed. Between the dry and wet periods, the water colour and the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) increased considerably, whereas water conductivity decreased. Other parameters (concentration of nutrients, water reaction and transparency) were comparable during both periods. When the precipitation and water level were low (DP), charophytes dominated the SAV and cyanobacteria dominated the phytoplankton community. After the precipitation and water level increased (WP), the charophyte population declined and the vascular plants and bryophytes dominated. Furthermore, flagellated algae belonging to the dinophytes and cryptophytes were the most numerous in the phytoplankton community. These changes in the SAV and phytoplankton were linked with the variations of physicochemical parameters determined by the total precipitation and mean air temperature in March.

Agriculture leaders outline priorities for Defra – FarmersWeekly

Agriculture leaders outline priorities for Defra
FarmersWeekly
They should set targets for improving soil organic matter, and incentivise farmers to switch away from maize, or at least ensure it is undersown to stop erosion.” Agroforestry has great potential to improve productivity and stabilise soils, so the next

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Organic mushroom farm sprouts up in Sullivan city – Valley morning Star

Organic mushroom farm sprouts up in Sullivan city
Valley morning Star
Barreto is a biology minor and anthropology major at the University of Texas-Pan American and said he hopes to conduct research through the University's agroecology program before he graduates. Both of the first-time farmers said they work as

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The Issues Surrounding Genetically Modified Foods – NDTV


NDTV

The Issues Surrounding Genetically Modified Foods
NDTV
And it's been adequately demonstrated that crop rotation, the use of organic fertilizers, interplanting of varieties of crops, and other ecologically informed techniques commonly grouped together under the term “agroecology” can effectively reduce the

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Home and Garden Digest, March 20, 2015: Alladin Nursery hosting bonsai … – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Home and Garden Digest, March 20, 2015: Alladin Nursery hosting bonsai
Santa Cruz Sentinel
The UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, which runs the UCSC Farm and Garden, has released the third edition of its organic farming handbook “Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening: Resources for Instructors.”.

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