Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century

Committee on Twenty-First Century Systems Agriculture

Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century Committee on Twenty-First Century Systems Agriculture Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation under Contract No. 48042 and P3005905. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recom- mendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundations that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14896-2 (Book) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14896-0 (Book) International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14897-9 (PDF) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14897-9 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number: 2010927922 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington met- ropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal govern- ment on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its ad- ministration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also spon- sors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertain- ing to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Acad- emy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to as- sociate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the Na- tional Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SYSTEMS AGRICULTURE JULIA L. KORNEGAY, Chair, North Carolina State University, Raleigh RICHARD R. HARWOOD, Vice Chair, Michigan State University (Emeritus), East Lansing SANDRA S. BATIE, Michigan State University, East Lansing DALE BUCKS, Bucks Natural Resources Management, Elkridge, Maryland CORNELIA BUTLER FLORA, Iowa State University, Ames JAMES HANSON, University of Maryland, College Park DOUGLAS JACKSON-SMITH, Utah State University, Logan WILLIAM JURY, University of California, Riverside DEANNE MEYER, University of California, Davis JOHN P. REGANOLD, Washington State University, Pullman AUGUST SCHUMACHER, JR., SJH and Company, Boston, Massachusetts HENNING SEHMSDORF, S&S Homestead Farm, Lopez Island, Washington CAROL SHENNAN, University of California, Santa Cruz LORI ANN THRUPP, Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, California PAUL WILLIS, Niman Ranch Pork Company, Thornton, Iowa Consultants LAWRENCE ELWORTH, Center for Agricultural Partnerships, Asheville, North Carolina C. CLARE HINRICHS, Pennsylvania State University, State College SUSAN SMALLEY, Michigan State University, East Lansing Editor PAULA TARNAPOL WHITACRE, Full Circle Communications, LLC Staff EVONNE P.Y. TANG, Study Director ERIN P. MULCAHY, Senior Program Assistant JANET M. MULLIGAN, Research Associate KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Assistant ROBERTA A. SCHOEN, Board Director

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BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NORMAN R. SCOTT, Chair, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York PEGGY F. BARLETT, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia HAROLD L. BERGMAN, University of Wyoming, Laramie RICHARD A. DIXON, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma DANIEL M. DOOLEY, University of California, Oakland JOAN H. EISEMANN, North Carolina State University, Raleigh GARY F. HARTNELL, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri GENE HUGOSON, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul KIRK C. KLASING, University of California, Davis VICTOR L. LECHTENBERG, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana PHILIP E. NELSON, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana KEITH PITTS, Marrone Bio Innovations, Davis, California CHARLES W. RICE, Kansas State University, Manhattan HAL SALWASSER, Oregon State University, Corvallis PEDRO A. SANCHEZ, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, Palisades, New York ROGER A. SEDJO, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. KATHLEEN SEGERSON, University of Connecticut, Storrs MERCEDES VAZQUEZ-AÑON, Novus International, Inc., St. Charles, Missouri Staff ROBERTA A. SCHOEN, Director RUTH S. ARIETI, Research Associate CAMILLA YANDOC ABLES, Associate Program Officer KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Assistant KARA N. LANEY, Associate Program Officer AUSTIN J. LEWIS, Senior Program Officer ERIN P. MULCAHY, Senior Program Assistant JANET M. MULLIGAN, Research Associate KAMWETI MUTU, Research Associate EVONNE P.Y. TANG, Senior Program Officer PEGGY TSAI, Program Officer

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Preface S ince the National Research Council published the report Alternative Agriculture in 1989, there has been a remarkable emergence of innovations and technological ad- vances that are generating promising changes and opportunities for sustainable ag- riculture in the United States. At the same time, the agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous daunting challenges that will require innovations, new technologies, and new ways of approaching agriculture if the food, feed, and fiber needs of the global population are to be met. This report, Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century, assesses the scientific evidence for the strengths and weaknesses of different production, marketing, and policy approaches for improving agricultural sustainability and reducing the costs and unintended consequences of agricultural production. It also evaluates the transferability of principles underlying farming systems and practices that could improve the sustainability of small-scale agricultural systems in less developed countries, with an emphasis on sub- Saharan Africa. The report includes case studies of different kinds of farms and farming systems in different regions of the United States that actively pursue the goal of sustain- ability and revisits some farms originally featured in Alternative Agriculture. We want to thank the farmers who so generously shared their expertise and experiences and to wish them well in their future farming endeavors. We also want to thank the consultants who conducted and documented the farmer interviews. The study committee included 15 members with expertise in food production and agri- business; crop, soil, and horticultural sciences; water-use and water-quality science; farm- ing systems and agroecology; agricultural economics and social science; and federal farm, trade, international development, environmental, and regulatory policies (Appendix B). Two of the committee members are farmers. The committee also solicited information from a wide range of experts (Appendix C) with complementary expertise and experience. We are grateful for their willingness to give of their time and knowledge. During the devel- opment of the report, the committee held two workshops. The first focused on the state of the science on agricultural methods and systems for improving sustainability, and a vii

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viii PREFACE second was on the lessons learned and transferability of agriculture practices and systems to improve sustainability of agriculture in developing countries. Two public committee meetings, in which other experts were invited to provide the committee with information on U.S. agricultural economics and policies, and their effect on farming systems, farmers’ behavior, and the environment, were also held. Some of the committee members also at- tended the Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE) conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2008 to gather information. Challenges that the committee immediately faced included understanding and inter- preting the rapid changes and developing crises in the global economy and their effect on sustainable agriculture. For example, when the committee began its study, global price of crude fuel oil rose from about $75 per barrel to a peak of $147 in July 2008. This increase caused harmful reverberations across the global agriculture sector and shortages of corn, rice, and other food, especially in developing countries, and a significant increase in the demand for biofuels. It was immediately followed by the global economic crisis, which, among other impacts, restricted farmers’ access to credit, lowered land values, and lowered prices for biofuels when fuel oil costs declined by half. On a more positive note, the com- mittee faced a virtual cascade of new information and programs relating to sustainable ag- riculture, such as important new advances in science and in federal and state programs and policies. The new federal farm bill places greater emphasis on agricultural sustainability, organic agriculture, and renewable energy and fuels, and support is growing for regional and local food production systems. The committee notes that although most farms have the potential and responsibility to contribute to different aspects of sustainability, U.S. agriculture needs both incremental and transformative changes to address the many challenges of the future. Incremental changes—such as pest-resistant varieties, conservation tillage, integrated pest manage - ment, and use of crop diversity including cover crops, crop rotations, and other biologically integrative technologies and practices—have been increasingly used in many regions, but have not yet been adapted to some fragile areas and to low-rainfall cropland. Transforma- tive changes include the development of new farming systems that represent a dramatic departure from the dominant systems of present-day American agriculture and capitalize on synergies and efficiencies associated with complex natural systems and broader social and economic forces using integrative approaches to research and extension at both the farm and landscape levels. Examples include development and broad adoption of water- conserving production systems in areas of water shortage and overdraft, landscape-scale reduction of nutrient and other materials runoff from agricultural lands that contributes to major hypoxic zones, and assessment of the potential and cost for broad adoption of alter- native animal production systems that address many environmental and social concerns of some dominant production systems. The committee believes that its report identifies many of the most important challenges that U.S. agriculture faces today, but it is well aware that unforeseen threats as well as new opportunities could surface tomorrow. We hope that the sponsors of this study, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well other groups and organi- zations, will find the report’s conclusions and recommendation to be of value in their efforts to understand and develop sustainable agricultural systems that will meet the food, feed, fiber, and biofuel needs of a growing global population. On behalf of the committee, we would like to express our thanks and appreciation to Robin Schoen, director of the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), and

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ix PREFACE Evonne Tang, the senior program officer responsible for our study. Without their planning, organization, and editing expertise, this large and complex report would have been impos- sible. We also want to thank all the BANR study staff for their support and assistance with our meetings and in preparing the final report. Julia L. Kornegay, Chair Richard R. Harwood, Vice-Chair Committee on Twenty-First Century Systems Agriculture

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Acknowledgments T his report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse per- spectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this inde- pendent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: P. Stephen Baenziger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Jon T. Biermacher, The Samuel Noble Foundation, Inc. Juliet Christian-Smith, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security Michael DeFelice, Pioneer Hi-Bred Thomas Dobbs, South Dakota State University Michael Doyle, University of Georgia Simeon Ehui, The World Bank Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security Temple Grandin, Colorado State University Gary Hirshberg, Stoneyfield, Inc. Terry Howell, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service R. Cesar Izaurralde, Joint Global Change Research Institute Fred Kirschenmann, Iowa State University Max Pfeffer, Cornell University Keith Prasse, University of Georgia William Raun, Oklahoma State University Andrew Thulin, California Polytechnic State University xi

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xviii CONTENTS 4 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF THE SUSTAINABILITY OF FARMING PRACTICES AND APPROACHES 189 Economic Security of Sustainable Farming Systems, 189 Economic Security at the Farm Level, 191 Economics of Production Practices That Can Improve Sustainability, 192 Conservation Tillage, 192 Crop Rotations, 193 Cover Cropping, 193 Crop Nutrient Management Strategies, 194 Conservation Best Management Practices, 194 Precision Agriculture for Nutrient Management, 195 Integrated Pest Management, 196 Business and Marketing Diversification Strategies, 196 Value-Trait Marketing, 197 Direct Marketing, 198 Agritourism and Fee Hunting, 200 Off-Farm Income, 201 Quality of Life and Sustainable Farming System, 201 Socioeconomic Aspects of Sustainability at the Community Level, 202 Farm Labor Conditions and Security, 202 Community Economic Security, 203 Farming Practices for Improving Sustainability and Community Economic Security, 203 Civic Agriculture, Local Foods, and Community Economic Security, 205 Community Well-Being, 206 Food Security, Safety, Quality, and Other Socioeconomic Dimensions, 207 Satisfying Human Food, Feed, and Fiber Needs, 207 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Access, 207 Food Safety, 208 Bacterial Pathogens in Natural Fertilizers and Irrigation Water, 208 Fungal Pathogens, 209 Pesticide Residue, 209 Food Quality and Nutritional Completeness, 210 Next Generation of Farmers, 210 Summary, 211 References, 212 5 EXAMPLES OF FARMING SYSTEM TYPES FOR IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY 221 Organic Cropping Systems, 222 Principles and Practices of Organic Farming, 223 Impact on Productivity and Environmental Sustainability, 224 Yield, 224 Nutrient Cycling and Soil Quality, 226 Water Quality, 226 Weeds, 227 Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, 228 Economic Impact, 228 Social Impact, 230

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xix CONTENTS Labor Practices, 230 Food Adequacy, 231 Food Quality and Nutritional Completeness, 232 Community Well-Being, 233 Alternative Livestock Production Systems, 233 Integrated Crop–Livestock Systems, 234 Management-Intensive Rotational Grazing Systems, 235 Environmental Impact of MIRG Systems, 235 Soil Quality and Soil Erosion, 236 Carbon, Greenhouse Gas, and Nutrient Dynamics, 237 Biodiversity, 239 Economic Performance of MIRG Systems, 239 Social Performance of MIRG Systems, 240 Labor Practices, 240 Impact on Human Nutrition and Health, 240 Low-Confinement Integrated Hog-Producing Systems, 241 Forces of Change in the Hog Sector, 241 Guiding Principles, 242 Environmental Impact of Low-Confinement Hog Systems, 244 Nutrient Cycling, Odor Control, and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, 244 Landscape Diversity, Soil Quality, and Soil Erosion, 245 Economic Impact of Low-Confinement Systems, 246 Farm Operations, 246 Marketing, 247 Social Impact of Low-Confinement Hog Systems, 248 Labor Use and Working Conditions, 248 Meat Quality, 248 Public Reaction, 249 Summary, 249 Perennial Agriculture Systems, 249 Perennial Grain System, 250 Impact, 251 Perennial Grasses for Biofuels, 251 Impact on Food Security, 251 Environmental Impact, 252 Economic Impact, 252 Gaps in Existing Science at the Systems Level, 253 Design Within Systems Types, 253 Holistic Comparisons Between Farming Systems Types, 255 Biogeophysical Landscape-Level Sustainability Analysis and Planning, 255 Summary, 258 References, 259 6 DRIVERS AND CONSTRAINTS AFFECTING THE TRANSITION TO SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES 271 Agricultural Markets as Contextual Factors, 272 Concentration in the Agrifood System, 272 Markets for Farm Inputs, 273 Markets for Products, 274

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xx CONTENTS Emerging Markets, 275 Changes in Consumer Preferences, 275 Sustainability Initiatives, 276 Organic Food Markets, 276 Direct-Sales Markets, 278 Farmers’ Markets and Farm Stands, 279 Community Supported Agriculture, 279 Farm to Institutions, 280 Grades, Standards, and Certification Labels, 280 Grades and Standards, 281 Sustainable Agriculture Standards, Certification, and Eco-Label Programs, 282 Marketing Institutions for Mid-Sized Commercial Farmers: Branding, 283 Emerging Markets for Ecosystem Services, 285 Payment for Environmental Services: Beneficiary Pays, 286 Cap-and-Trade, 289 Offsets or Conservation Credit Trading, 289 Role of Valuation of Ecosystem Services, 291 Public Policy as a Contextual Factor, 291 The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, 291 Commodity Support Programs, 292 Crop Insurance and Disaster Payments, 294 Conservation Programs, 295 Nutritional Assistance Programs, 297 Trade Policies, 298 Energy Policy, 299 Environmental Regulation, 301 Clean Air Act, 301 Clean Water Act, 301 Food Quality Protection Act, 302 Food Safety Guidelines and Standards, 303 Endangered Species Act, 304 Water Use Policies, 304 Surface Water, 305 Ground Water, 306 Conjunctive Use, 307 Animal Welfare Regulations, 307 Knowledge Institutions as Contextual Factors, 307 Publicly Funded Agricultural Research and Extension, 308 Land-Grant Universities, 308 U.S. Department of Agriculture, 308 Distribution of Federal Funds for Agricultural Research, 309 Broadening Review of Public Competitive Grant Programs, 311 Private Sector Agricultural Research, 312 Division of Labor Between Public and Private Agricultural Research, 314 Expanding Beyond Productivity Research, 314 Federal Sustainable Agriculture Research Programs, 316 State and Civil Society Support for Sustainable Agriculture, 317 University Sustainable Agriculture Programs, 318 Cooperative Extension, 318

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xxi CONTENTS Farmer Participation and Innovation in Research and Development, 320 Structuring Systems Research for Improving Agricultural Sustainability, 322 Stakeholders and Social Movements, 323 A Brief History of Agricultural Stakeholders and Social Movements, 323 Diversity of Farmer Responses to Contexts, 326 Local Conditions and Farm Sustainability, 327 Farm and Farmer Characteristics and the Use of Sustainable Agricultural Practices, 328 Farm Characteristics, 328 Implications for the Adoption of Farming Systems for Improving Sustainability, 329 Farmer Knowledge, Skills, and Perceptions, 331 Farmer Values, Goals, and Perceptions, 332 Summary, 333 Markets, 333 Public Policies, 334 Knowledge Institutions, 335 Stakeholders and Social Movements, 336 Diversity of Farmer Responses, 336 References, 337 7 ILLUSTRATIVE CASE STUDIES 351 Follow-Up of the Case Studies Featured in Alternative Agriculture, 353 Status of the Farms, 353 Commonalities Among the Farms, 355 • Mormon Trail Farm, 357 Farming Philosophy, 357 Management Features, 357 Crop Rotations and the Soil, 357 Livestock, 358 Learning Networks, 360 Use of Government Programs, 360 Trial of Organic Production, 361 Benefits from the Biofuel Industry, 361 Summary and Future Outlook, 361 • Ferrari Farms, Inc., 362 Farming Philosophy, 362 Management Features, 362 Crops, 362 Pest Management, 362 Fertility Management, 363 Labor Management, 363 Equipment, 363 Marketing, 363 Learning Networks, 364 Performance Indicators, 364 Key Changes, 364 Challenges, 365 Summary and Future Outlook, 365

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xxii CONTENTS • Brookview Farm, 366 Farming Philosophy, 366 Management Features, 366 Crop Management, 366 Weed Management, 367 Fertility Management, 367 Livestock, 367 Environmental Management, 367 Marketing, 368 Learning Networks, 369 Performance Indicators, 369 Key Changes, 370 Challenges, 370 Summary and Future Outlook, 370 • Lundberg Family Farms, 371 Farming Philosophy, 371 Management Features, 371 Operations, 371 Crop Management, 371 Weed, Pest, and Disease Management, 372 Fertility Management, 372 Energy Use, 373 Environmental Management, 373 Labor Management, 373 Marketing, 373 Learning Networks, 374 Performance Indicators, 374 Key Changes, 375 Challenges, 375 Summary and Future Outlook, 376 • Pavich Family Farms, 377 Farming Philosophy, 377 Learning Networks, 377 Key Changes, 377 Challenges, 378 Summary and Future Outlook, 378 • Thompson Farm, 380 Farming Philosophy, 380 Management Features, 380 Crops, 380 Weed and Pest Management, 380 Livestock, 381 Equipment, 381 Labor, 381 Marketing, 381 Learning Networks, 381 Performance Indicators, 382 Key Changes, 383 Challenges, 383

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xxiii CONTENTS Summary and Future Outlook, 383 • Green Cay Farm and Green Cay Produce, 385 Farming Philosophy, 385 Management Features, 385 Crops, 385 Pest Management, 386 Fertility Management, 386 Marketing, 386 Labor, 386 Learning Networks, 386 Key Changes, 387 Challenges, 388 Summary and Future Outlook, 388 New Case Studies, 390 Production Challenges, 392 Soil Management, 392 Weed, Pest, and Disease Management, 393 Water Management, 393 Energy Management, 393 Management of Livestock, 394 Socioeconomic Issues, 395 Economic Viability, 395 Marketing, 395 Labor, 395 Information Sources and Knowledge of Production, 396 Government Programs and Policies, 397 Lessons Learned, 397 • Bragger Farm, 402 Background and History, 402 Farm Production System, 402 Land, 402 Soils and Fertility, 403 Crops, 404 Farming Practices, 404 Pest Management, 405 Weed Management, 405 Equipment and Buildings, 405 Livestock Enterprises, 406 Dairy, 406 Beef Cattle, 407 Heifers, 407 Pullets, 407 Labor, 407 Manure and Nutrient Management Issues, 408 Other Land Enterprises, 408 Natural Resources, Energy, and Climate Change, 409 Marketing, Business Management, and Financials, 409 Marketing and Business Management, 409 Use of Federal and Conservation Programs, 410

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xxiv CONTENTS Social and Community Considerations, 410 Social and Community Interactions, 410 Farm Succession, 411 Risks, Challenges, and Changes, 411 Sustainability, 411 Observations and Conclusions, 412 • Radiance Dairy, 413 Background and History of the Farm, 413 Farm Production System, 414 Pasture Management, 414 Livestock, 415 Herd Health, 416 Livestock Waste, 417 On-Farm Dairy Processing, 417 Labor, 418 Farm Equipment, 418 Natural Resources, Energy, and Climate Change, 418 Water and Air Issues, 418 Energy and Carbon Concerns, 419 Marketing, Business Management, and Financials, 419 Marketing, 419 Certifications, 420 Finance and Business Management, 420 Social and Community Considerations, 421 Risks, Challenges, and Changes, 421 Observations and Conclusions, 421 • Straus Family Creamery, 423 Background and History, 423 Farm Production System, 424 Farm Production, 424 Herd Management, 424 Pasture and Silage, 425 Fertility and Nutrient Management, 425 Pest Management Concerns, 425 Creamery, 426 Production, 426 Product Line, 426 Packaging, 426 Plant Procedures and Issues, 427 Labor: Farm and Creamery, 427 Further Business, Marketing, and Financial Considerations, 428 Organic Certification, 428 Natural Resources, Energy, and Climate Change, 428 Energy, 428 Water, 429 Waste, 429 Local Environment, 429 Distribution and Markets, 430 Social and Community Considerations, 431

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xxv CONTENTS Sustainability, 432 Risks, Challenges, and Changes, 432 • Full Belly Farm, 433 Background and History, 433 Farm Production System, 434 Planting and Rotations, 435 Tillage, 435 Weed Management, 436 Pest Management, 436 Animals, 436 Nutrient Management, 437 Equipment, 437 Natural Resources, Energy, and Climate Change, 438 Energy, 438 Biodiversity, 438 Water, 438 Marketing, Business Management, and Financials, 438 Marketing, 438 Pricing, 439 Finances, 440 Social and Community Considerations, 440 Labor, 440 Internships, 440 Community Outreach and Connections, 441 Further Community Considerations, 441 Risks and Challenges, 442 Supply and Farmer Cooperation, 442 Ripples from Food Safety Incidents in Larger Food System, 442 Transitions into Farming, 442 Research, 443 Government Programs, 443 Observations and Conclusions, 443 • Peregrine Farm, 445 Background and History, 445 Farm Production System, 446 Soils and Fertility Management, 447 Weed, Pest, and Disease Management, 447 Animals, 447 Labor, 448 Equipment, 448 Marketing, Business Management, and Financials, 448 Marketing, 448 Certifications, 448 Business Management, 449 Finance, 449 Social and Community Considerations, 449 Markets as Community, 449 Outreach, 450 Government Programs, 450

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xxvi CONTENTS Learning and Obtaining Information, 450 Food Safety, 450 Labor Practices and Mentoring Workers, 450 Natural Resource Issues, Energy, and Climate Change, 451 Water, 451 Energy and Recycling, 451 Climate Change, 451 Risks, Challenges, and Changes, 451 Sustainability, 451 Observations and Conclusions, 452 • Stahlbush Island Farms, 453 Background and History, 453 Farm Production System, 455 Soils and Fertility, 455 Rotations, 456 Weed Management, 456 Pest Management, 456 Rainfall and Irrigation, 457 Equipment, 457 Natural Resource, Energy, and Climate Change, 457 Water, 457 Wildlife and Biodiversity, 458 Energy, 458 Marketing, Business Management, and Financials, 458 Audits and Certifications, 459 Social and Community Considerations, 460 Labor and Staffing, 460 Community Support, Service, and Recognition, 460 Sustainability, 460 Research and Policy Concerns, 461 Research, 461 Policy Concerns, 461 Observations and Conclusions, 462 • Goldmine Farm, 463 Background and History, 463 Farm Production System, 464 Soils and Fertility Management, 464 Cropping System and Yields, 465 Production Practices, 465 Pest and Disease Management, 466 Livestock, 466 Equipment, 467 Natural Resources, Energy, and Climate Change, 468 Marketing, Business Management, and Financials, 468 Marketing and Organic Certification, 468 Financial, 469 Risk Management and Insurance, 469 Social and Community Considerations, 469 Labor, 469

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xxvii CONTENTS Community Involvement, 470 Observations on Access to Organic Food, 470 Research and Policy Concerns, 470 Farm Programs, 470 Research Participation and Needs, 470 Sustainability, 471 Farm Transition Issues, 471 Labor as a Limiting Factor, 471 Observations and Conclusions, 472 • Rosmann Family Farm, 473 Background and History, 473 Farm Production System, 474 Crops, 474 Planting, 474 Yields, 474 Inputs, 474 Livestock, 475 Hogs, 475 Cattle, 475 Poultry, 476 Pest Management, 476 Pasture Management, 476 Equipment, 477 Labor, 477 Nutrient Management, 477 Natural Resources, Energy, and Climate Change, 478 Water, 478 Energy and Carbon Concerns, 478 Marketing, Business Management, and Financial, 478 Marketing, 478 Certifications, 479 Finance and Business Management, 479 Social and Community Considerations, 479 Federal Farm Programs, 480 Risk, Challenges, and Changes, 481 Observations and Conclusions, 481 • Zenner Farm, 482 Background and History, 482 Farm Production System, 483 Soils and Growing Conditions, 483 Crops and Rotations, 483 Fertility Program, 484 Direct Seeding, 484 Disease and Pest Management Issues, 485 Natural Resources and Wildlife Concerns, 486 Marketing, Business Management, and Financials, 486 Financials, 488 Social and Community Considerations, 488 Labor, 488

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xxviii CONTENTS Learning, 488 Community Relations and Service, 489 Risks, Challenges, and Changes, 490 Research Needs, 490 Transportation, 490 Farm Transition Concerns, 491 Government Programs and Policy Involvement, 491 Observations and Conclusions, 492 8 SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: “LESSONS LEARNED” FROM THE UNITED STATES 493 The Importance of Context, 494 Evolving Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, 494 Lessons Learned from the Green Revolution, 494 A Second Green Revolution, 495 Long-Term Evolution Towards Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa, 496 Considerations of U.S. “Lessons” Learned, 497 Transferability of Agricultural Practices for Improving Sustainability, 497 Summary, 514 References, 515 9 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 519 What is Sustainable Agriculture?, 520 Defining Sustainable Agriculture, 520 Measuring Progress Toward Sustainability, 521 Toward Agricultural Sustainability in the 21st Century, 521 Incremental Approach to Improving U.S. Agricultural Sustainability, 522 Transformative Approach to Improving U.S. Agricultural Sustainability, 524 A Systems Approach to Agricultural Research, 527 Key Drivers of Change: Markets and Federal and Local Policies, 531 Relevance of Lessons Learned to Sub-Saharan Africa, 532 In Closing, 533 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 537 B Biographical Sketches 539 C Presentations to the Committee on 21st Century Systems Agriculture 545 D Follow-up of the 1989 Case Studies Featured in Alternative Agriculture Report: Topics of Discussion During Telephone Interview 549 E Dairy Farms: Topics of Discussion During On-Farm Interview 551 F Grain Farms: Topics of Discussion During On-Farm Interview 559 G Specialty-Crop Farms: Topics of Discussion During On-Farm Interview 565