Farming in Nature s Image

Author: Judy Soule
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 0933280882
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Farming in Nature's Image provides, for the first time, a detailed look into the pioneering work of The Land Institute, the leading educational and research organization for sustainable agriculture.The authors draw on case studies, hands-on experience, and research results to explain the applications of a new system of agriculture based on one unifying concept: that farms should mimic the ecosystems in which they exist. They present both theoretical and practical information, including: a review of the environmental degradation resulting from current farming practices a critical evaluation of the attempts to solve these problems a detailed description of the ecosystem perspective and the proposed new agricultural system a case study illustrating how this new system could be applied to temperate grain production using perennial seed crops and the prairie as a model an examination of the potential savings in energy and water use, as well as potential contributions to ecological experiments and yield analysis work from The Land Institute.Written in clear, non-technical language, this book will be of great interest to soil and agricultural scientists, academics, policymakers, environmentalists, and other concerned with finding long-range solutions to agricultural problems.

Sustainable Agriculture

Author: Mark E. Graham
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1606088068
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book . . . is an invitation to all Christians to begin constructing a food ethics; to the academic Christian ethicist, it presents an opportunity to join a discussion on a topic relevant in so many ways to the life of every American; to the Christian for whom the spark of the divine is detectable in the everyday life, it is a chance to begin making ethical sense out of something done every day for the entirety of one's natural life-participating in agriculture. -from the Introduction In Sustainable Agriculture, Mark Graham joins the vibrant, substantive discussion about the moral issues in American agriculture by revealing what is going on in current agricultural practices and analyzing them in light of morality and sustainability. Graham's constructive proposal for change is based on a moral vision that identifies a group of core values around which our agricultural system should be developed, including: a) a consistent, safe food supply; b) vital, sustainable communities; and c) personal and environmental health.

Tangled Routes

Author: Deborah Barndt
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742555570
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Now in a thoroughly revised and updated edition, Tangled Routes offers a vivid interdisciplinary examination of the global food system through the journey of a corporate tomato. Through case studies in the three NAFTA countries—Mexico, the United States, and Canada—Deborah Barndt examines the dynamic relationships between production and consumption, work and technology, biodiversity and cultural diversity, and health and environment. The compelling stories of women workers along the tomato trail humanize her analysis of globalization, taking into account the intersections of gender, race, class, family status, and north-south relations.

The Ecology of Agricultural Landscapes

Author: Stephen K. Hamilton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190266767
Format: PDF, ePub
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Evidence has been mounting for some time that intensive row-crop agriculture as practiced in developed countries may not be environmentally sustainable, with concerns increasingly being raised about climate change, implications for water quantity and quality, and soil degradation. This volume synthesizes two decades of research on the sustainability of temperate, row-crop ecosystems of the Midwestern United States. The overarching hypothesis guiding this work has been that more biologically based management practices could greatly reduce negative impacts while maintaining sufficient productivity to meet demands for food, fiber and fuel, but that roadblocks to their adoption persist because we lack a comprehensive understanding of their benefits and drawbacks. The research behind this book, based at the Kellogg Biological Station (Michigan State University) and conducted under the aegis of the Long-term Ecological Research network, is structured on a foundation of large-scale field experiments that explore alternatives to conventional, chemical-intensive agriculture. Studies have explored the biophysical underpinnings of crop productivity, the interactions of crop ecosystems with the hydrology and biodiversity of the broader landscapes in which they lie, farmers' views about alternative practices, economic valuation of ecosystem services, and global impacts such as greenhouse gas exchanges with the atmosphere. In contrast to most research projects, the long-term design of this research enables identification of slow or delayed processes of change in response to management regimes, and allows examination of responses across a broader range of climatic variability. This volume synthesizes this comprehensive inquiry into the ecology of alternative cropping systems, identifying future steps needed on the path to sustainability.

Perspectives on Ecological Integrity

Author: L. Westra
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401104514
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Concepts of ecological integrity have recently been proposed to facilitate enhanced protection of biological and ecological resources against the threat of human activities. The promotion of ecological integrity as a basis for public policy and decision making stems from scientists and others concerned about the threats of human activities to ecosystems and species, and from philosophers attempting to derive a more suitable ethic to guide the relationships between humans and the non-human environment. Although ecological integrity has been proposed as a norm for public policy and decision making, the concept is relatively new and therefore the underlying scientific and philosophical rationales have not been fully developed. This book offers a number of perspectives to stimulate and inform future discussion on the importance and consequences of ecological integrity for science, morality and public policy. Audience: Environmental professionals, whether academic, governmental or industrial, or working in the private consultancy sector. Also suitable as an upper-level reference text.

Introduction to the US Food System

Author: Roni Neff
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118913051
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A public health approach to the US food system Introduction to the US Food System: Public Health, Environment, and Equity is a comprehensive and engaging textbook that offers students an overview of today's US food system, with particular focus on the food system's interrelationships with public health, the environment, equity, and society. Using a classroom-friendly approach, the text covers the core content of the food system and provides evidence-based perspectives reflecting the tremendous breadth of issues and ideas important to understanding today's US food system. The book is rich with illustrative examples, case studies, activities, and discussion questions. The textbook is a project of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), and builds upon the Center's educational mission to examine the complex interrelationships between diet, food production, environment, and human health to advance an ecological perspective in reducing threats to the health of the public, and to promote policies that protect health, the global environment, and the ability to sustain life for future generations. Issues covered in Introduction to the US Food System include food insecurity, social justice, community and worker health concerns, food marketing, nutrition, resource depletion, and ecological degradation. Presents concepts on the foundations of the US food system, crop production, food system economics, processing and packaging, consumption and overconsumption, and the environmental impacts of food Examines the political factors that influence food and how it is produced Ideal for students and professionals in many fields, including public health, nutritional science, nursing, medicine, environment, policy, business, and social science, among others Introduction to the US Food System presents a broad view of today's US food system in all its complexity and provides opportunities for students to examine the food system's stickiest problems and think critically about solutions.

Darwinian Agriculture

Author: R. Ford Denison
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400842816
Format: PDF, Docs
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As human populations grow and resources are depleted, agriculture will need to use land, water, and other resources more efficiently and without sacrificing long-term sustainability. Darwinian Agriculture presents an entirely new approach to these challenges, one that draws on the principles of evolution and natural selection. R. Ford Denison shows how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can use Darwinian insights to identify promising routes for crop genetic improvement and avoid costly dead ends. Denison explains why plant traits that have been genetically optimized by individual selection--such as photosynthesis and drought tolerance--are bad candidates for genetic improvement. Traits like plant height and leaf angle, which determine the collective performance of plant communities, offer more room for improvement. Agriculturalists can also benefit from more sophisticated comparisons among natural communities and from the study of wild species in the landscapes where they evolved. Darwinian Agriculture reveals why it is sometimes better to slow or even reverse evolutionary trends when they are inconsistent with our present goals, and how we can glean new ideas from natural selection's marvelous innovations in wild species.

Dust Bowl

Author: Donald Worster
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199758692
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the mid 1930s, North America's Great Plains faced one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in world history. Donald Worster's classic chronicle of the devastating years between 1929 and 1939 tells the story of the Dust Bowl in ecological as well as human terms. Now, twenty-five years after his book helped to define the new field of environmental history, Worster shares his more recent thoughts on the subject of the land and how humans interact with it. In a new afterword, he links the Dust Bowl to current political, economic and ecological issues--including the American livestock industry's exploitation of the Great Plains, and the on-going problem of desertification, which has now become a global phenomenon. He reflects on the state of the plains today and the threat of a new dustbowl. He outlines some solutions that have been proposed, such as "the Buffalo Commons," where deer, antelope, bison and elk would once more roam freely, and suggests that we may yet witness a Great Plains where native flora and fauna flourish while applied ecologists show farmers how to raise food on land modeled after the natural prairies that once existed.

Consulting the Genius of the Place

Author: Wes Jackson
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
ISBN: 1582437807
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Discusses the need for sweeping changes in how food is obtained, changes that must be made in American agriculture, and how soil erosion, overgrazing, and water and air poisons account for increased healthcare costs.

Nature and Farming

Author: David Norton FLS
Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING
ISBN: 064310660X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Conserving and enhancing native biodiversity on farms brings many benefits as well as providing many challenges. Nature and Farming explains why it is important to sustain native plants and animals in agricultural landscapes, and outlines the key issues in developing and implementing practical approaches to safeguarding native biodiversity in rural areas. The book considers the range of ecological and agricultural issues that determine what native biodiversity occurs in farmland and how it can be secured. Many inspiring case studies are presented where innovative approaches towards integrating biodiversity and farm management have been successful, resulting in win–win outcomes for both nature and society. In the integration and synthesis of these case studies lies the kernel of a new paradigm for nature conservation on farms. Although the book focuses on biodiversity conservation on Australian and New Zealand farms, the issues and approaches discussed are applicable to many other developed countries, especially in Europe and North America.