|Phatak, P. - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA|
|Jay, M - SCHOOLS OF GEORGIA, INC.|
Submitted to: Journal of Crop Production
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2001
Publication Date: October 20, 2003
Citation: Schomberg, H.H., Lewis, W.J., Tillman, P.G., Olson, D.M., Timper, P., Wauchope, R.D., Phatak, P., Jay, M. Conceptual model for sustainable cropping systems in the southeast: cotton system. Journal of Crop Production. 2003. 8:307-327. Interpretive Summary: This paper presents the current understanding of the need for sustainable production systems in the southeast and presents a working research project that is investigating the use of reduced tillage and cover crops for improving economic and environmental sustainability. Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is a predominate component of southern farm enterprises and offers an opportunity to enhance the understanding and use of sustainable practices. Tillage, cover crops and pest management are the central components of the on-farm research and demonstration project. The project is working with producers and the Georgia state organization of the Georgia Conservation Tillage Alliance to increase the outreach beyond the produces invoved in the project. The project serves a pilot project to increase leadership at the farm level and to implement regional expansion of the project's principles.
Technical Abstract: Many small to mid-size family farms face an economic and ecological crisis due to the changing face of agricultural production and the apparent absence of a supporting political, financial, and technical infrastructure. Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) has reemerged as a predominate component of southern farm enterprises and offers an opportunity to enhance the understanding and use of sustainable practices as components of ecologically-based farming systems. Tillage, cover crops and pest management can serve as the central components for increasing sustainability at both the economic and environmental levels. On-farm research and demonstration projects that foster greater interaction among scientists, producers, and other stakeholders can be used to achieve greater outreach and effectiveness within the region. By leveraging existing federal, state, and private organizations, and assembling their collaborative interactions to develop new partnerships and methodologies, successful sustainable approaches can be readily replicated and expanded regionally.