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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #305741

Research Project: Sustainable Agricultural Systems for the Northern Great Plains

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Title: Sustainable intensification by managing microbial communities and processes in agroecosystems

Author
item Nichols, Kristine
item Archer, David
item Halvorson, Jonathan
item Hendrickson, John
item Kronberg, Scott
item Liebig, Mark
item MOYER, JEFF - Rodale Institute
item Sanderson, Matt
item SMALLWOOD, MARK - Rodale Institute
item Toledo, David

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/2014
Publication Date: 11/3/2014
Citation: Nichols, K.A., Archer, D.W., Halvorson, J.J., Hendrickson, J.R., Kronberg, S.L., Liebig, M.A., Moyer, J., Sanderson, M.A., Smallwood, M., Toledo, D.N. 2014. Sustainable intensification by managing microbial communities and processes in agroecosystems. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Online. www.agronomy.org.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: By focusing on soil biology and biochemistry, agroecosystem management strategies are implemented which include reduced soil disturbance, diverse and adaptable crop rotations, retention of residue, and incorporation of livestock, cover crops, or both This systems approach is required to sustainably intensify agriculture for effective use of soil, water, nutrient, fossil fuel, and human resources. If provided with an abundant, consistent, and diverse food source and a protected habitat, the soil food web will flourish. Biological soil processes create soil structure, cycle nutrients, and enhance belowground predator-prey relationships. Components of existing and evolving systems which elevate biological processes need to be identified to design biologically-active and regenerative systems that are dynamic enough to provide the skeleton key for economic and environmental sustainability.