Courting nitrogen in cover crop, sweet potato pairings

American Society of Agronomy – Some relationships can be complicated. Take the one between sweet potato crops and soil nitrogen, for example. Too little nitrogen and sweet potato plants don’t grow well and have low yields. Too much nitrogen, however, boosts the growth of leaves and branches at the expense of storage roots. That also […]

Organic insect deterrent for agriculture

Technical University of Munich – Traditional insecticides are killers: they not only kill pests, they also endanger bees and other beneficial insects, as well as affecting biodiversity in soils, lakes, rivers and seas. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed an alternative: A biodegradable agent that keeps pests at bay […]

A faba fix for corn’s nitrogen need?

American Society of Agronomy – Researchers have good news for growers. Farmers raising a nitrogen-hungry crop like sweet corn may save up to half of their nitrogen fertilizer cost. The key: using a faba bean cover crop. Faba bean is an ancient crop increasingly used as a cover crop. Cover crops are grown in the […]

New organic oat varieties in the pipeline

By Laura Rance OrganicBiz editor Prairie organic growers can for the first time this spring grow a registered variety of oats that has been developed under organic management. Limited quantities of AAC Oravena certified seed are now available through Fedoruk Seeds at Kamsack, Sask., after a lengthy breeding and development process by Agriculture and Agri-Food […]

Dry the weeds, keep the crops

Flame-weeding controls weeds for organic farmers  American Society of Agronomy – Interest in organic farming is growing. However, controlling weeds without synthetic herbicides, as organic certification requires, is challenging. Scientists are studying alternative tools for weed management. One such tool is propane-fueled flame weeding. Flame weeding sounds as if it means burning plants. But propane-fueled […]

Balanced nutrients help soil microbes

Starved organic soils erode soil organic matter By Robin Booker Organic grain farms rely on micro-organisms to cycle soil nutrients into plant-available forms, but nutrient imbalances in organic soils can hamper this process. “In organic systems, you don’t have inorganic fertilizers bringing in primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, but each year, you have grain being harvested […]