Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Building Soils for Better Crops

Beltsville, MD –Throughout the 2006-2007 droughts, a West Virginia beef and crop farmer maintained yields and produced quality vegetables on his 1,900-acre operation. His secret: using no-till and other ecologically based soil management methods.

A small-grain and vegetable farmer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley used an intensive, carefully timed cover cropping program for 20 years. The result: little to no soil erosion from his farm into the Willamette River, and significant fuel savings from reducing tillage.

A Lancaster County, Penn. farmer used no-till, rotations and cover crops on his 215-acre farm to reverse the severe erosion on his sloping terrain. Today his farm is a nationally recognized showcase for successful farming using ecologically based soil-building techniques.

These are just a few of the thousands of American farmers and ranchers—large-and small acreage—using ecologically based soil management methods to build soil quality while leaving a lighter footprint on the land.

And now—with the release of the third edition of Building Soils for Better Crops—there is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive, practical guide to help others build soil health on their farm or ranch.
The 308-page third edition of the landmark handbook Building Soils for Better Crops is now in full color, expanded and updated. It contains case studies, including the examples above, background information from a what-is-soil crash course to the importance of organic matter, and step-by-step guidance on soil-improving techniques.

Written in easily accessible language, it’s a perfect addition to any farm library, university course syllabus, or ag training manual—a must-read for farmers, ranchers, educators and students alike.

Download Building Soils for Better Crops for free at www.sare.org/publications. To order print copies ($20.95 plus $5.95 s/h) visit www.sare.org/WebStore, call 301/374-9696 or send check or money order to SARE Outreach, PO Box 753, Waldorf, Maryland 20604-0753. (Please specify title and amount requested when ordering by mail.) Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more. Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. Call 301/374-9696 for more information on bulk, rush or international shipments.

Editors: Contact Sean McGovern or visit www.sare.org/press to request review copies or download cover or profile images.

Published by the SARE Outreach office of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE’s mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture— innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. SARE is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. SARE Outreach operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. For more information visit www.sare.org.

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