Michigan Field Crop Ecology: An Extension Training Manual for Managing Biological Processes

Cavigelli, M.A., L.K. Probyn, S. Deming, G.P. Robertson, G.W. Bird, M.F. Berney, D.R. Mutch, T.E. Martin, M. Colunga-Garcia, S.H. Gage, L.E. Dyer, and R.R. Harwood

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (1998-07-21 to 1998-07-22 )

As interest in sustainable agriculture increases among Extension and agency personnel, training materials are needed to help increase understanding of the ecological principles that are at the heart of sustainable agriculture. With the assistance of these end users, we have developed a training manual that presents ecological principles in an agricultural context. Topics include an introduction to field crop ecology, an overview of soil ecosystems, the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, cover crop ecology, the ecology and management of insects (beneficials and pests), and nematode ecology and management. Recent research results on the benefits of crop rotation and cover crops are highlighted, including results from the KBS LTER site. While examples are specific to field crops in the Michigan environment, the principles discussed are applicable to many agricultural situations. By involving farmers and Extension and other agency personnel in the development of this publication, we have facilitated greater understanding of ecological principles and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices. Training sessions using this manual are currently being conducted.Return to Contents

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