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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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Why Hasn’t Biological Nitrogen Fixation Fixed Nitrogen Scarcity in the World?

Most environments are limited by the lack of nitrogen. This explains why the world stays green and why it pays to follow the nitrogen. But…

Soil Health Shorts | Do soil health indicators indicate soil health?

There is a problem with how soil health indicators are being developed. We start with farmers using soil health practices, for instance, no-till, crop rotation,…

Always Follow the Nitrogen

“Follow the money” is a reliable tactic for figuring out people's actions. Money is scarce, people want it, and do stuff with it. For plants,…

Why the World Stays Green

The world is green with plants. The world also has thousands of species of plant-eating insects and other organisms. Why don’t all those insects eat…

Bet-Hedging with Cover Crop Mixtures

What do weeds and gamblers in Las Vegas have in common? They both manage the risk of unpredictable outcomes through a strategy called bet-hedging. Could…

Buckwheat and Phosphorus

I once grew buckwheat in town between our sidewalk and the street. It got a lot of looks from passersby and one lady even knocked…

Crop Diversity is Not the Cause

I previously covered reasons why the results of many biodiversity studies do not apply to agriculture. Here, I want to emphasize a related issue: how…

Yield Benefits of Crop Rotation: Crop Diversity or Active Crop Time?

Crop rotation is a time-proven practice. Compared to monocropping—the continuous production of the same crop year after year—growing two, three, or even more crops can…

Biodiversity, Healthy Soils, and their Combination in Regenerative Agriculture can Reduce but not Replace Fertilizer

“Dependent on off-farm inputs…” Can it be otherwise? People inside and outside of science like to point to how nature needs no inputs, yet still…

Why Ecological Biodiversity Research Results Seldom Apply to Agriculture

Ecologists, agroecologists, and regenerative agriculture advocates are promoting biodiversity to solve many of agriculture's problems. They often base this on evidence of the benefits of…
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