Need a nitrogen fix? Consider fababeans for your next crop

By Karen Briere OrganicBiz staff Regina – Organic farmers who are looking for the biggest nitrogen gain from adding a pulse to their rotation might want to consider fababeans. Saskatchewan provincial special crops specialist Dale Risula told a recent workshop for organic producers that while all pulses fix nitrogen, fababeans are at the top of […]

Three ways to manage tough weeds on organic farms

Using green manure, increasing seeding rates, and incorporating mechanical weed control can help organic producers manage weeds on their operations By Jennifer Blair OrganicBiz staff The biggest challenge on Steve Snider’s organic farm is weeds — and killing them properly isn’t a one-size-fits-all operation. “The key to remember in organics is there’s no one answer,” […]

How to build a soil-health bank account

This organic production technique offers a big-picture view of nutrient management — and a ‘tough love’ approach to soil fertility By Jennifer Blair OrganicBiz staff Soil is a little like a bank account for nutrients — in order to manage them properly, you need to balance the budget. “No matter how big the bank account […]

Fresh vegetables on bark.

UBC study finds benefits of organic agriculture “vary heavily”

OrganicBiz staff When weighed for sustainability, the purported benefits and costs of organic agriculture can actually “vary heavily” from case to case, a new University of British Columbia study finds. The UBC study, titled “Many shades of gray: The context-dependent performance of organic agriculture,” published in the U.S. journal Science Advances, sets out to “systematically review […]

Why nature restoration takes time

Netherlands Institute of Ecology – ‘Relationships’ in the soil become stronger during the process of nature restoration. Although all major groups of soil life are already present in former agricultural soils, they are not really ‘connected’ at first. These connections need time to (literally) grow, and fungi are the star performers here. A European research […]

Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences – More no-till farmers are using cover crops to conserve soil and suppress weeds, but many vegetable producers are reluctant to get on board. That’s because many small-seeded vegetable crops struggle to emerge through thick cover crop residues. However, the potential benefits of no-till cover crop […]