407-1 Transitioning Organic Grain and Soybean Cropping Systems in Texas: Challenges and Benefits.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017: 1:35 PM
Tampa Convention Center, Room 20
Organic agriculture currently occupies only 1% of the total global crop land area, however the acreage under organic production and the market size for organic foods have steadily increased since the 1990s. Although the U.S. currently ranks third in organic agricultural land area (2.2 million hectares), only 0.6 % of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic production. Despite being one of the top agricultural states, Texas ranks 20th in the country in the number of certified organic farms. There are also fewer farms in Texas transitioning from conventional to organic production. In September 2016, we established a transitioning organic field experiment with corn (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and soybean (Glycine max). Our goal is to develop best management practices that optimize both agricultural profitability and ecosystem services in transitioning corn, grain sorghum, and soybean cropping systems in Texas. Measurements were made to understand the influence of tillage and cover cropping on greenhouse gas emissions, weed dynamics, water-yield relations, and soil health. Results from the first year of this study will be presented at the meeting.
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