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  • Weed Control in Organic Soybean Farms

    By Vijayalaxmi Kinhal

    Updated Oct 24, 2020 

    Experts all agree that there is no silver bullet to control weeds in the organic cultivation of soybeans. Farmers need to use a combination of measures to keep weeds at bay in the short and long term. Soybean vs WeedsWeed control is the main problem in organic agriculture including in soybeans. It is more difficult to control weeds in soybeans because of their compact foliage, which takes longer than grain crops to produce an interlocking canopy that shades inter-row area. On the other hand, weeds have various natural traits that help them spread and establish...

    Categories: Crop Protection, Soybeans, Organic Row Crops

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    What Farmers Need to Know About Mycorrhizae

    By Laura Barrera

    Published Nov 2, 2018 

    If someone asked you, “How do plants take up the water and nutrients they need?” you’d probably tell them through the roots. But did you know that for many crops, those roots aren’t working alone?That’s because most plant species associate with mycorrhizal fungi. What is mycorrhizal fungi? University of Alberta biological scientist JC Cahill says that mycorrhizas are actually the interaction between a fungus and a plant. Although there are many different types of mycorrhizae, the only one crop farmers need to be concerned about is arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), as 65% of plant species associate with it... He also likes to see flax and sunflowers in the mix, noting they both have excellent mycorrhizal hosting capabilities...

    Categories: Cover Crops

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    How to Cultivate Cotton Organically

    By Vijayalaxmi Kinhal

    Updated Oct 24, 2020 

    Though most of the organic cotton in the world comes from Asia, Texas in the USA is also a major producer. Although specific growing methods may vary based on region and farm size, there are general principles that can be applied throughout the world when it comes to growing organic cottonEconomicsThere are many reasons to grow cotton organically. The market share of organic cotton has grown from 1% in 2008 to 21% in 2018. Half of this is grown in India, with China (17%), Kyrgyzstan (7%), and Turkey (7%) being the next major producers. It takes three years for farmers to convert to organic farming, as this is the time required for soil to become free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides...

    Categories: Cotton, Organic Specialty Crops, Sustainable Agriculture

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    Mixed cultivation can achieve higher yields, new study found

    By Isla Miller

    Published Jul 30 

    Nowadays, single cultivation occupies the dominant position of arable land, and large areas of land are occupied by single, promising fine varieties with high yield. However, arable land growing only one crop has its disadvantages: these areas can easily be targeted by fungi and pests and pose a threat to crops. In order to control pests, farmers have to use insect-resistant varieties and various insecticides. Mixed cultures provide a potential option for single cultures... In their experiment, the researchers selected two or four different crops from eight selected crops, including wheat, oats, quinoa, lentils, lentils, flax, and pseudoflax (a rapeseed rapeseed) as well as coriander...

    Categories: Crop Protection

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    Cover Crop Corner: Part 2 Cover Crop Economics: Long-term gains through holistic improvements

    By Feed the Soil, Feed the World

    Published Oct 13 

    In part two of this two-part series on the economics of cover crops, we explore how a holistic approach to taking care of resources comes with long-term gains. By GO SEEDThere are no “quick fixes” when it comes to the health of soils, the benefits take more than overnight to show up. While it takes time and deliberate care to learn how to enhance resources holistically within your own system, the general principles are relatively simple and can be significant cost savings. “Soil is the natural capital of the land,” explains Dr Shannon Cappellazzi, GO Seed Director of Research. “By making the investment in soil health, not only are you making an impact on all of the downstream ecosystem services that are related to soil functions, you are also regenerating the land for continued agricultural production...

    Categories: Conservation Plans, Cover Crops, Farm Management

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  • Weed Control in Organic Soybean Farms

    By Vijayalaxmi Kinhal

    Updated Oct 24, 2020 

    Experts all agree that there is no silver bullet to control weeds in the organic cultivation of soybeans. Farmers need to use a combination of measures to keep weeds at bay in the short and long term. Soybean vs WeedsWeed control is the main problem in organic agriculture including in soybeans. It is more difficult to control weeds in soybeans because of their compact foliage, which takes longer than grain crops to produce an interlocking canopy that shades inter-row area. On the other hand, weeds have various natural traits that help them spread and establish...

    Categories: Crop Protection, Soybeans, Organic Row Crops

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    What Farmers Need to Know About Mycorrhizae

    By Laura Barrera

    Published Nov 2, 2018 

    If someone asked you, “How do plants take up the water and nutrients they need?” you’d probably tell them through the roots. But did you know that for many crops, those roots aren’t working alone?That’s because most plant species associate with mycorrhizal fungi. What is mycorrhizal fungi? University of Alberta biological scientist JC Cahill says that mycorrhizas are actually the interaction between a fungus and a plant. Although there are many different types of mycorrhizae, the only one crop farmers need to be concerned about is arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), as 65% of plant species associate with it... He also likes to see flax and sunflowers in the mix, noting they both have excellent mycorrhizal hosting capabilities...

    Categories: Cover Crops

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    How to Cultivate Cotton Organically

    By Vijayalaxmi Kinhal

    Updated Oct 24, 2020 

    Though most of the organic cotton in the world comes from Asia, Texas in the USA is also a major producer. Although specific growing methods may vary based on region and farm size, there are general principles that can be applied throughout the world when it comes to growing organic cottonEconomicsThere are many reasons to grow cotton organically. The market share of organic cotton has grown from 1% in 2008 to 21% in 2018. Half of this is grown in India, with China (17%), Kyrgyzstan (7%), and Turkey (7%) being the next major producers. It takes three years for farmers to convert to organic farming, as this is the time required for soil to become free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides...

    Categories: Cotton, Organic Specialty Crops, Sustainable Agriculture

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    Mixed cultivation can achieve higher yields, new study found

    By Isla Miller

    Published Jul 30 

    Nowadays, single cultivation occupies the dominant position of arable land, and large areas of land are occupied by single, promising fine varieties with high yield. However, arable land growing only one crop has its disadvantages: these areas can easily be targeted by fungi and pests and pose a threat to crops. In order to control pests, farmers have to use insect-resistant varieties and various insecticides. Mixed cultures provide a potential option for single cultures... In their experiment, the researchers selected two or four different crops from eight selected crops, including wheat, oats, quinoa, lentils, lentils, flax, and pseudoflax (a rapeseed rapeseed) as well as coriander...

    Categories: Crop Protection

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    Cover Crop Corner: Part 2 Cover Crop Economics: Long-term gains through holistic improvements

    By Feed the Soil, Feed the World

    Published Oct 13 

    In part two of this two-part series on the economics of cover crops, we explore how a holistic approach to taking care of resources comes with long-term gains. By GO SEEDThere are no “quick fixes” when it comes to the health of soils, the benefits take more than overnight to show up. While it takes time and deliberate care to learn how to enhance resources holistically within your own system, the general principles are relatively simple and can be significant cost savings. “Soil is the natural capital of the land,” explains Dr Shannon Cappellazzi, GO Seed Director of Research. “By making the investment in soil health, not only are you making an impact on all of the downstream ecosystem services that are related to soil functions, you are also regenerating the land for continued agricultural production...

    Categories: Conservation Plans, Cover Crops, Farm Management

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  • Posted By Mark Smith
    May 3 

    #AgHistory Agriculture is about food, fuel, and fiber, and how these are critical to our society. In particular, this week I will share what I hope is an interesting history of hemp (fiber) and its history here in the United States. Note that our country still imports billions of dollars in hemp fiber each year (https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/41740/15867_ages001e_1_.pdf?v=0), and our U.S. Navy still uses this imported hemp rope, canvas and line. There are several synthetic products that have one or two superior qualities, but no synthetic possesses the 'whole package' - durable, salt water and UV resistant, rot resistant, breaking strength, etc. In fact, Purdue University has identified hemp fiber as potentially one crop that can 'save' American Agriculture as sustainable crop which is comparable to Sudan grass as a cover crop, as well as an alternate to other synthetic fibers. I happen to agree (https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/pdf/small.pdf). First, growing fiber for local use was common in England and it should be no surprise that hemp (fiber)was one of the first crops in New England, New York and Pennsylvania. One of the earliest laws of Connecticut required every family to raise half a pound of hemp or flax. The amount grown varied and was largely dependent on the ability of the population to prepare, spin, and weave fiber. In New England, the population was very reliant on cotton imported from the West Indies until the introduction of linen spinning wheel as well as the immigration of Scotch-Irish who were very skilled in linen spinning and the manufacture of linen, in the early 1700's. Lest one think this an easy process, please know that it is very labor intensive. In spite of this, New England farmers were bent on finding a staple that could be sold to a wide market. None the less, the volume of hemp necessary to sell to a wide market was never achieved and the crop failed as a staple as it had to compete with limited arable and cleared land being used to grow grain crops. It was noted in the book 'American Husbandry' (1775) "...it is not for want of good land in certain quantities, nor the climate, that prevents the export of hemp, but the demand for it in Philadelphia..." In 1840 most experts of the time believed that Kentucky and Missouri led hemp production with Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio following. Americans forget how reliant we are as a society on fiber, and this came into glaring focus when the Japanese invasions of the pacific islands during WWII blocked our traditional supply routes for fiber. Every hemp seed available in the U.S. was placed under armed guard in Kentucky as a national security and war effort concern. USDA Hemp for Victory - (https://youtu.be/bIxFhYVv_Gk). Additionally, every farmer should read the Purdue report and consider the impact of this commodity on our society.

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    Posted By Mi Shetkari
    Mar 11, 2019 

    Agriculture is not only growing food for people and animals, but also growing other things like flowers and nursery plants, manure or dung, animal hides (skins or furs), leather, animals, fungi, fibers (cotton, wool, hemp, and flax), biofuels , and drugs (biopharmaceuticals, marijuana, opium)
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    Posted By Pat Rogers
    Jun 8, 2017 

    I always feel like the success or failure of new crops revolve more around the ability to take the crop to a local market than it does production. When peanuts reappeared around SC in the 2000's, drying stations and processing plants soon followed. Other crops that tried to gain a footprint here (flax, canola, etc) have had a tougher time because there's no easy competitive market to take those crops to. So while it's always encouraging to have a potential new crop to grow, I think many will be apprehensive to jump on board (especially with the associated production costs) until there is a better defined market for the crop. It'll certainly be interesting to watch this program develop.

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    Posted By Wheat Producers
    Apr 6, 2017 

    "The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the 2017 marketing assistance loan rates by county for wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans and each “other oilseed” (canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed and sunflower seed), loan rates by region for pulses (dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas and large chickpeas), and loan rates by state for rough rice. The rates are posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website."
    http://agfax.com/2017/03/29/usda-announces-loan-rates-for-wheat-feed-grains-oilseeds-rice-pulse-crops/
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    Posted By Soybeans
    Jan 4, 2017 

    "Experimenting with pulse crops leads to a diverse no-till system. . . . Blumhagen’s four-year crop sequence is wheat, pulse, wheat, and broadleaf (flax, soybeans, or canola)."
    http://www.agriculture.com/crops/soybeans/an-eye-for-new-crops
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    Posted By AgFuse Administrator
    Feb 22, 2016 

    "With corn and soybean prices running below the cost of production, . . . many producers are considering alternative crops like barley, peas, lentils, flax and others."
    http://www.agprofessional.com/news/farmers-fringe-areas-consider-alternative-crops

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    Posted By Canola Growers
    Jun 5, 2018 

    https://agfax.com/2018/06/04/ag-policy-price-loss-coverage-favors-other-oilseeds/

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