Worldwide sales of organic products have expanded 10 to 20% per year for the past decade, increasing interest in organic farming as a profitable and more environmentally benign alternative to conventional production. To participate in the current food system, it is imperative that agronomists and horticulturists master the practices, systems design, certification process, and details of the organic farming sector. Combining farmer experience and wisdom with the best that science has to offer can help us better understand organic systems and how to design them to meet human needs and preserve an environment where we would like to live.
Organic Farming: The Ecological Systems represents a current look at what we know about organic farming practices and systems, primarily from the U.S. and Canadian perspectives. The discussion begins with history and certification, ecological knowledge as the foundation for sustaining food systems, and biodiversity. The next chapters address crop-animal systems; forages, grain, oil seed, and specialty crops; organic cropping and soil nutrient needs; and vegetation and pest management. Readers will next learn about marketing organics, organic foods and food security, and education and research. Organic Farming: The Ecological Systems concludes with a survey of the future of organic farming and a perspective on the agricultural industry and the future of the rural sector.