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Read the full March | April newspaper

 

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Researchers use 30-year cropping systems experiment to evaluate if farm fields can serve as carbon sinks

There’s a palpable buzz around soil carbon in the agricultural community. It’s exciting to see so much attention and energy directed toward addressing climate change and, in particular, so much exploration about how agriculture can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. A panel at the Growing Stronger Conference explored the evidence that agricultural soils might help draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to help slow climate change. Read more.

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No-till, cover crops don’t ensure net soil carbon gains; integrated crop-livestock systems should be incentivized

Soil carbon gains achieved with no-till have been mixed as more studies were conducted at a broader geographic range, with some crop rotations even resulting in losses of soil carbon with the adoption of no-till. Other practices identified early on, like managed perennial grass establishment (e.g., pasture) and manure/compost application, have been largely confirmed by the majority of studies to result in meaningful increases in soil carbon. Read more.

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Virtual mega-conference draws farmers’ praise; access still available to recordings

The Growing Stronger Conference combined the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, GrassWorks Grazing Conference, OGRAIN Organic Grain Conference, Midwest Organic Pork Conference, and Organic Vegetable Production Conference into one week-long event at the end of February. More than 1,600 people attended the mega-conference, which is still open for on-demand viewing through late May. Read more.

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Revolution needed to change rural landscape to regenerative organic production

Industrial and extractive agriculture has subverted the economy of nature, degrading planetary ecosystems and creating some of the largest challenges humanity has ever faced, like climate change and the loss of biodiversity and fertile soil. A perfect storm of social, environmental, and economic factors are aligned for another major revolution in agriculture. Read more.

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Farmer explores organic strategies to control Canada thistle in orchard

Canada thistle has deep roots and, once established, it is very difficult to eliminate from an organic orchard. Digging out the thistle roots would be extremely time-consuming and destructive to the nearby apple trees. In 2019-2020, we received funding from a USDA-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant to evaluate organic methods for killing Canada thistle shoots. Read more.

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Pandemic shines light on strategies that help farmers build resilient businesses

As destabilizing as the COVID-19 pandemic has been for farmers and food producers nationwide, it has also opened our eyes to new opportunities and solutions. We’re having conversations and exploring new ideas about how to build strong individual farm businesses that can work independently as well as collectively to protect our country’s food system. There are many opportunities for producers to increase their farm’s resilience. Read more.

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Cooperative principles guide 40 Acre Co-op in supporting socially disadvantaged farmers

For a special series on the MOSES Organic Farming Podcast, MOSES has teamed up with Kelly Maynard at the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives to explore some innovative agricultural cooperatives. The first to be featured is 40 Acre Co-op, a nationwide cooperative supporting socially disadvantaged farmers, primarily those who are Black. Read more.

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Interseeding cover crops in vegetable fields gives them head start before winter

On our farm in southern Minnesota, we struggled with getting a late-season cover crop established prior to the snow. We got curious about the feasibility of interseeding a cover crop into the pepper fields earlier in the summer. While this was not a new concept, it was not widely practiced. We couldn’t find many recommendations for cover crop species, rates, and planting dates for interseeding in vegetable cropping systems. Read more.

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Additional Content in PDF

PDF of March | April

  • From the ED: Finding inspiration in Growing Stronger Conference sessions
  • Ask a Specialist: New community-based specialists can help emerging farmers
  • New online conference focuses on home-based food production
  • The Land Connection launches free online course for specialty crop producers
  • News Briefs
  • Organic Classifieds
  • Community Calendar

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