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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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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…

Contrary Science; Cover Crop Mixtures, Monocultures, and Mechanisms

Planting diverse cover crop mixtures will increase soil microbial diversity and achieve increased benefits over monocultures because of the synergistic interactions of the different plant…

MAXIMIZE and minimize; Two Principles for Managing Soil Health.

Soil health management can be distilled to two principles: Maximize photosynthesis & minimize tillage. These are principles; they do not tell you what practices you…

Just-In-Time Soil Health

How much is enough soil organic matter? “The more, the better” is often the assumed answer, or at least as much as the native soil…

How does regenerative agriculture reduce nutrient inputs?

“When you start farming regeneratively, you rely a lot less on external inputs, such as fertilizers…"  - Tom Tolputt One of regenerative agriculture’s extraordinary claims…
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