Farming Information from the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service November 5th 2012:
Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Health, Says Research
Increasing cropping-system diversity balances productivity, profitability, and environmental health, according to research published in the online journal PLoS ONE. Researchers conducted a field study from 2003-2011 in Iowa that compared a conventionally managed two-year rotation of corn and soybeans with a three-year rotation of corn, soybeans, small grain, and red clover and a four-year rotation of corn, soybeans, small grain, and alfalfa, managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. The study found that grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs.
Related ATTRA Publication: Moving Beyond Conventional Cash Cropping
Winter Grazing Video Online
In Winter Grazing - a Better Way to Feed, three livestock producers describe how extending the grazing season has saved them time and money, while also improving the environment, and they demonstrate the methods used to achieve these savings. This 16-minute video produced by the University of South Carolina and the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center shows that livestock producers in any region where there are pastures can take advantage of this system.
Fact Sheet Offers Guidance on Integrating Pastured Poultry into Farming Enterprises
Rodale Institute has released a new fact sheet titled Establishing a Small-Scale, Sustainable, Pastured Poultry Operation
that offers proven guidelines on successfully integrating poultry into a farming enterprise. The fact sheet discusses the benefits of raising pastured poultry and provides step-by-step instructions on pastured poultry production, as well as a list of resources for further information.
Related ATTRA Publication: Growing Your Range Poultry Business: An Entrepreneur's Toolbox
Value-Added Agriculture Youth Curriculum Offered Online
The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) offers a new, free curriculum to educate youth on opportunities for rural development through value-added agriculture. The curriculum provides instructors with full lesson plans on agritourism, aquaculture, livestock, biomass, and renewable energy. Additional materials will be added throughout the fall. The full curriculum is available at www.agmrc.org/curriculum/