By combining traditional farming and modern agroecological principles this book offers an integrated approach for designing systems with effective soil conservation features, nutrient-restoring capabilities, and built-in biological pest control mechanisms. It describes methods for meeting the needs of low-resource farmers.
Part 1 The theoretical basis of agricultural ecology: the evolution of agroecological thought, Susanna B. Hecht; the epistemological basis of agroecology, Richard B. Norgard and Thomas Sikor; the agroecosystem - determinants, resources, processes and sustainability. Part 2 Design of alternative agricultural systems and technologies: generating sustainable technologies appropriate to alternative farming; designing sustainable agroecosystems; traditional agriculture; ecologically-based agricultural development programmes; organic farming. Part 3 Alternative production systems: polyculture cropping systems, Matt Liebman; cover cropping and mulching; crop rotation and minimum tillage; agroforestry systems, John G. Farrell. Part 4 Ecological management of insect pests, pathogens and weeds: pest management; weed ecology; plant disease ecology and management; pasture management to sustain agriculture, Bill Murphy; soil quality and management, Fred Magdoff; towards sustainable agriculture.