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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Sustainable Agriculture Land Use Methodology Aims to Open Door to Carbon Markets for World’s Small Farmers

January 9, 2012 |

Agriculture scientists, field researchers, farmers and ranchers are searching for ways to address several critical and interrelated issues related to the sustainability of agriculture these days: growing demand for food by a growing world population; growing demand for water, energy and other natural resources; and challenges associated with a changing climate. A new World Bank methodology for estimating and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions on farms and ranches where sustainable agricultural practices are being employed holds out the promise of addressing all three. Read More

Frog Hollow Farm Strives to Fulfill Promise of Brentwood, CA Terroir and Raise New Crop of Organic Farmers

November 10, 2011 |

When Al Courchesne started farming on 13 acres in Brentwood, CA, he didn’t have a business plan; he had a shovel. So he dug holes and planted trees on the land he’d purchased with business partner Sarah Coddington.

“I was young and optimistic and strong,” said Courchesne. “I could work long hours. I was willing to do whatever I had to do to plant orchards.”

That was in 1976, and in the 35 years since, Frog Hollow Farm has grown from 13 acres to 133.

The farm produces enough fruit to feed both wholesale and retail markets in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has expanded its product line to include conserves and pastries. Read More

Penn State Receives $2.3M Grant to Investigate Impact of Cover Crop Cocktails on Organic Agriculture

November 2, 2011 |

Researchers at the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences were recently awarded a $2.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to examine the effects of various “cover crop cocktails,” or cover crop mixtures, on organic agriculture production.

Jason Kaye, associate professor of soil biogeochemistry, said the study hopes to determine whether mixing multiple varieties of cover crops or planting a single species is better at amplifying ecosystem functions in a corn-soybean-wheat cash crop rotation that produces organic feed and forage. Read More