Friday, June 20, 2008

A Bit of History

Field RotationThe history of organic agriculture sometimes seems to all be rooted in recent times. However, evidence of agricultural sustainability and organic practices were first found in Farmers of Forty Centuries by Franklin King which was first published in 1911. This story of one farmer's management strategies looks to past successes in organics for his new farming practices.

Old Ways of Farming, New Look

Each day this summer, Michel Cavigelli stops on his way to work to check on the grains he is growing the old-fashioned way: with crop rotation.

Cavigelli and his colleagues at the
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center are looking for the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways to raise organic corn, soybeans, wheat and other grains that end up on dinner tables around the world. With concerns about agricultural runoff, the rise in food prices and projections of global food shortages, the work is considered more important than ever.

"There is a need for new information, and it's very important that the research continue," said Les Vough, a retired expert on forage crops at the
University of Maryland.

Among the ideas they are looking at: crop rotation, a technique that has been around since Roman times but has fallen into disfavor with many farmers.

Read the entire story

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