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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Author: Andrew McGuire

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2018 Cover Crop Monoculture vs Mixture Update

Since my 2016 post, “Cover crop best bet is monoculture, not mix,” I have continued to follow the research on cover crop mixtures looking for…

Big Biomass and More Often; A Green Manure Frequency Hypothesis

In a previous post, I argued that green manures require big biomass to achieve benefits that outweigh the damage done by tilling the crop into…

Without big biomass, green manures are a step backwards

Green manuring is the lesser-used option in cover cropping. Most cover crops are killed and left on the soil surface, but green manures are tilled…

Soils under corn and tallgrass prairie; research to challenge our assumptions

It is often thought that nature is diverse and that the move to agriculture reduces that diversity which results in reduced function, or ecosystem services.…

Cryptic Species, Agriculture, and Confirmation Bias

Imagine this. You are an avid fisherman in south-eastern Australia. You relish getting away to the many lakes in the nearby mountains. Each lake is…

Regenerative Agriculture: Solid Principles, Extraordinary Claims

What is regenerative agriculture? Why is it different from sustainable agriculture? And how do I reconcile what practitioners of this system are claiming with the…

Green Manures, The Other GM crops

Green manures have a lot in common with the other kind of GM crops (GMOs), though there are also some differences. Both green manures and…

Cover crop monocultures continue to best mixtures; 2017 Update

About a year ago I declared in a post, “Cover crop best bet is monoculture, not mix.” It stirred up quite a few comments and…

There is not enough manure (or compost) to sustain agriculture

There is not enough manure. Not enough to supply nutrients to our crops, not enough to maintain our soils. Those were the conclusions in my…

Can manure sustain soils?

Once you start asking questions, innocence is gone. -Mary Astor My first question about manure, “Can Manure Supply Nitrogen and Phosphorus to Agriculture?” was answered…
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