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Cross-Disciplinary Analysis of the On-Farm Transition from Conventional to Organic Vegetable Production

Jackson, Louise E.; Smukler, Sean M.; Murphree, Liese; Yokota, Ron; Koike, Steve and Smith, Richard (2008) Cross-Disciplinary Analysis of the On-Farm Transition from Conventional to Organic Vegetable Production. Poster at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science: 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research ISOFAR, Modena, Italy, June 18-20, 2008.

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Summary

This farm-scale analysis of the three-year transition to organic from conventional vegetable production tracked the changes in crop, soil, pest and management on two ranches (40 and 47 ha) in the Salinas Valley, California. Many small plantings of a diverse set of cash crop and cover crop species were used, as compared to only a few species in large monocultures in conventional production. The general trends with time were: increase in soil biological indicators, low soil nitrate pools, adequate crop nutrients, minor disease and weed problems, and sporadic mild insect damage. Some crops and cultivars consistently produced higher yields than others, relative to the maximum yield for a given crop. Differences in insect and disease damage were also observed. These results support the value of initially using a biodiverse set of taxa to reduce risk, then later choosing the best-suited varieties for optimal production. The grower used some principles of organic farming (e.g., crop diversity, crop rotation, and organic matter management), but also relied on substitution-based management, such as fertigation with soluble nutrients, initially heavy applications of organic pesticides, and use of inputs derived from off-farm sources. The organic transition was conducive to both production goals and environmental quality.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Soil, cropping systems, organic transition, regression trees, canonical correspondence analysis
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 1.4 Participatory Research - Organic Principles
Deposited By: Jackson, Professor Louise E
ID Code:12507
Deposited On:06 Oct 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:36
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:This paper is published in the conference proceedings:
Neuhoff, Daniel; Halberg, Niels; Alfldi, Thomas; Lockeretz, William; Thommen, Andreas; Rasmussen, Ilse A.; Hermansen, John; Vaarst, Mette; Lck, Lorna; Carporali, Fabio; Jensen, Henning Hgh; Migliorini, Paola and Willer, Helga, Eds. (2008) .Cultivating the Future Based on Science. Proceedings of the Second Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), held at the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Consorzio ModenaBio, 18 . 20 June 2008 in Modena, Italy.. International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), c/o IOL, DE-Bonn, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick. http://orgprints.org/13672 and http://orgprints.org/13674

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