Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2009
Publication Date: August 15, 2011
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J. 2011. Case studies of northeastern, southeastern, Great Plains, and midwestern farms. In: Tow, P., Cooper, I., Partridge, I., Birch, C. editors. Rainfed Farming Systems, Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. p. 1157-1184. Interpretive Summary: A book is being assembled to describe (1) the essential features of rainfed farming systems around the world, (2) how relationships among productivity, profitability, stability, and sustainability are affected by changes in environmental, biological, technological, and management influences, and (3) how rainfed farming systems can be adapted and redesigned to meet future demands. This contribution is a collection of four case studies of farmers in the USA who have made technological changes on their farm to increase their competitiveness in the marketplace and increase their sustainability in terms of the economic, production, and environmental issues they faced. The four case studies describe (1) an integrated crop-livestock approach with conservation tillage and crop rotation on Brown’s Gelbvieh Ranch in North Dakota, (2) a strip-cropping approach of corn and soybean with conservation tillage and satellite-guided equipment controls on The Mitchell Farm in Iowa, (3) a self-developed conservation tillage approach on the Tilmanstone Farm in Georgia, and (4) an integrated cover cropping and conservation tillage approach on the Cedar Meadow Farm in Pennsylvania. These case studies describe the need for change, the drivers of change, and the unique pathways of change adopted on these farms. These working examples of conservation agriculture in the USA will provide hope for other farmers trying to increase agricultural sustainability, will challenge research and extension professionals to further refine conservation agricultural strategies, and will give government policy makers ground-truthed information to encourage sustainable land stewardship around the world.
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