Resources

Resources

Resources

GENERAL INFORMATION SOURCES

USDA supports three programs with the sole mission of promoting sustainable agriculture across America:

  • SARE—Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, the publisher of this book, is a grassroots grants and outreach program that advances sustainable innovations to the whole of American agriculture. Projects that explore practices to build better soils have been a cornerstone of SARE’s grant-making portfolio since the organization was created in 1988. SARE also produces a wealth of information products, from books such as this one and Managing Cover Crops Profitably to bulletins on topics such as organic agriculture to online courses for ag educators. To find out about SARE grants or to download or order publications, visit www.sare.org.
  • ATTRA—The National Sustainable Agriculture InformationService provides assistance and free publications and resources on topics such as sustainable soil management, drought-resistant soils, cover crops and green manures, farm-scale composting, and nutrient cycling in pastures. To download reports, visit www.attra.ncat.org or call 800-346-9140.
  • AFSIC—The Alternative Farming Systems Information Centercompiles bibliographies and resource lists on topics of current interest, such as soil quality, soil amendments and nutrient management, compost and composting, and much more. To view AFSIC’s resources, visit afsic.nal.usda.gov or call 301-504-6559.

Further, most state Cooperative Extension offices publish leaflets and booklets on manures, soil fertility, cover crops, and other subjects described in this book. Request a list of publications from your county extension office. A number of states also have sustainable agriculture centers that publish newsletters.

NRAES, the Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (www.nraes.org) publishes practical books on most aspects of farming.

The Rodale Institute’s New Farm website (http://rodaleinstitute.org/farm/newfarm/) offers practical information to farmers through a diverse collection of resources and web links on soil health, cover crops, composts, and related topics.

MANURES, FERTILIZERS, TILLAGE, AND ROTATIONS

Best Management Practices Series: Soil Management, Nutrient Management, and No-Till (http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/environment/bmp/series.htm), Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. This website provides practical information on these subjects to farmers and crop advisers. Available from Ontario Federation of Agriculture, 416-326-5300, or online at https//www.publications.serviceontario.ca/ecom/.

Cedar Meadow Farms website (www.cedarmeadowfarm.com). Steve Groff maintains this site, which covers the practices he uses on his farm—especially using no-till and cover crops.

“Crop Rotations in Sustainable Production Systems,” C.A. Francis and M.D. Clegg (1990), pp. 107–122 in Sustainable Agricultural Systems, C.A. Edwards, ed. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Diversifying Cropping Systems (2008). Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). A 20-page bulletin on the soil and yield benefits of diversifying crops on farms and ranches. Download here.

The Farmer’s Fertilizer Handbook, Craig Cramer and the editors of the New Farm (1986). Regenerative Agriculture Association, Emmaus, PA. This handbook contains lots of very good information on soil fertility, soil testing, use of manures, and use of fertilizers.

Fertile Soil: A Growers Guide to Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers, R. Parnes (1990). Fertile Ground Books, PO Box 2008, Davis, CA 95617, 800-540-0170.

Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd ed., A. Clark, ed. (2007). Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). An excellent, comprehensive source of practical information about when, where, and how to use cover crops in every region of the country. Order, view, or download here.

Manures for Organic Crop Production, George Kuepper. ATTRA, https://attra.ncat.org/product/manures-for-organic-crop-production/.

Michigan Field Crop Ecology: Managing Biological Processes forProductivity and Environmental Quality, M.A. Cavigelli, S.R. Deming, L.K. Probyn, and R. R. Harwood, eds. (1998). Extension Bulletin E2646. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

Soil Fertility and Organic Matter as Critical Components of Production Systems, R.F. Follett, J.W.B. Stewart, and C.V. Cole, eds. (1987). SSSA Special Publication No. 19. Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.

Soil Management for Sustainability, R. Lal and F.J. Pierce, eds. (1991). Soil and Water Conservation Society, 7515 NE Ankeny Road, Ankeny, IA.

Soils for Management of Organic Wastes and Wastewaters, L.F. Elliott and F. J. Stevenson, eds. (1977). Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service / Soil Quality Institute—Agronomy Technical Notes Series. The NRCS Technical Notes Series provides an excellent introduction to cover crops, effect of conservation crop rotation on soil quality, effects of residue management and no-till on soil quality, legumes and soil quality, and related topics. http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/publications/publications.html#sq_tn.

SOILS, IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIC MATTER, SOIL ORGANISMS, AND COMPOSTING

Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems, N. Uphoff, A. Ball, E. Fernandes, H. Herren, O. Husson, M. Laing, C. Palm, J. Pretty, and P. Sanchez, eds. (2006). CRC Press / Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL.

Cedar Meadow Farms website (www.cedarmeadowfarm.com). Steve Groff maintains this site, which covers the practices he uses on his farm—especially using no-till and cover crops.

Cornell Composting website (http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/composting.htm). Maintained by the Cornell Waste Management Institute, this site contains a wealth of information, including the science and engineering of compost.

Cornell Soil Health website (www.soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu) contains information about soil health and assessment.

Ecology of Compost, D. Dindal (1972). Office of News and Publications, 122 Bray Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210-2778, 315-470-6644.

“Effects of Conversion to Organic Agricultural Practices on Soil Biota,” M.R. Werner and D.L. Dindal (1990), American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 5(1): 24–32.

The Field Guide to On-Farm Composting, M. Dougherty, ed. (1999). NRAES-114. Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, 152 Riley Robb Hall, Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701, www.nraes.org.

The Nature and Properties of Soils, 14th ed., N.C. Brady and R.R. Weil (2007). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

NRCS Soil Quality website (soils.usda.gov/sqi/). The Soil Quality Institute identifies soil quality research findings and practical technologies that help conserve and improve soil, and enhance farming, ranching, forestry, and gardening enterprises.

On Farm Composting, R. Rynk, ed. (1992). NRAES-54. Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, 152 Riley Robb Hall, Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701 or www.nraes.org.

The Pedosphere and Its Dynamics: A Systems Approach to Soil Science, N.G. Juma (1999). Pedosphere.com, an award-winning website on soil science. University of Alberta, Canada, www.pedosphere.com.

Phytohormones in Soils: Microbial Production and Function, W.T. Frankenberger Jr. and M. Arshad (1995). Marcel Dekker, New York, NY.

The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener, D.L. Martin and G. Gershuny, eds. (1992). Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA.

“Soil Biology Primer” (http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/biology.html) by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service presents an introduction to the living soil system for natural resource specialists, farmers, and others. This set of eight units describes the importance of soil organisms and the soil food web to soil productivity and water and air quality. Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry, E.A. Paul and F.E. Clark (1989). Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

Soil Microbiology: An Exploratory Approach, M.S. Coyne (1999). Delmar Publishers, Albany, NY.

Soil Organic Matter in Sustainable Agriculture, F.R. Magdoff and R. Weil, eds. (2004). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

COVER CROPS

Cover Crops for Clean Water, W.L. Hargrove, ed. (1991). Soil and Water Conservation Society, 7515 NE Ankeny Road, Ankeny, IA 50021, 515-289-2331.

“Crop Rotations in Sustainable Production Systems,” C.A. Francis and M.D. Clegg (1990), pp. 107–122 in Sustainable Agricultural Systems, C.A. Edwards, ed. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Green Manuring Principles and Practices, A.J. Pieters (1927). John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY. An oldie but goody. This is an outof-print book that can sometimes be located in college libraries or borrowed through an inter-library loan.

Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd ed., A. Clark, ed. (2007). Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). An excellent, comprehensive source of practical information about when, where, and how to use cover crops in every region of the country. Order, view, or download here.

Northeast Cover Crop Handbook, M. Sarrantonio (1997). Soil Health Series. Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA.

The Role of Cover Crops in Integrated Crop Production Systems, J.F. Power and V.O. Biederbeck. Soil and Water Conservation Society, 7515 NE Ankeny Road, Ankeny, IA 50021, 515-289-2331; http://www.swcs.org/documents/filelibrary/CCCW10integrated_4B4E79CE5576F.pdf.

The Role of Legumes in Conservation Tillage Systems, J.F. Power, ed. (1987). Soil and Water Conservation Society, 7515 NE Ankeny Road, Ankeny, IA 50021, 515-289-2331.

University of California’s SAREP (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program). The UC-SAREP Cover Crops Resource Page (https://asi.ucdavis.edu/programs/ucsarep/about/what-is-sustainable-agriculture/practices/cover-crops) provides access to a host of online and print educational materials, including the very informative UC-SAREP Cover Crop Database.

DYNAMICS AND CHEMISTRY OF ORGANIC MATTER

Building Soils for Better Crops, 1st ed., F. Magdoff (1992). University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE. The last two chapters of the first edition contain information on the chemistry and dynamics of soil organic matter.

Humic, Fulvic, and Microbial Balance: Organic Soil Conditioning, W.R. Jackson (1993). Jackson Research Center, Evergreen, CO.

Humus Chemistry: Genesis, Composition, Reactions, 2nd ed., F.J. Stevenson (1994). John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.

“Soil Carbon Dynamics and Cropping Practices,” R.E. Lucas, J.B. Holtman, and J.L. Connor (1977), pp. 333–351 in Agriculture and Energy, W. Lockeretz, ed. Academic Press, New York, NY.

Soil Organic Matter, M. Schnitzer and S.U. Kahn, eds. (1978). Developments in Soil Science 8. Elsevier Scientific Publishing, Amsterdam, Holland.

“Soil Organic Matter and Its Dynamics,” D.S. Jenkinson (1988), pp. 564–607 in Russell’s Soil Conditions and Plant Growth, A. Wild, ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.

SOIL TESTING

Laboratories

Most state land grant universities have soil testing laboratories that can be found through your local extension office or by searching online for your state laboratory. A number of commercial laboratories also perform routine soil analyses. The Soil Science Society of America administers a laboratory proficiency testing program (NAPT). A list of certified laboratories is available at http://www.naptprogram.org/. The ATTRA publication Alternative Soil Testing Laboratories is available online at www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/soil-lab.html, as well as in print.

Publications

Soil Testing: Prospects for Improving Nutrient Recommendations, J.L. Havlin et al., eds. (1994). Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI.

Soil Testing: Sampling Correlation, Calibration, and Interpretation, J.R. Brown, T.E. Bates, and M.L. Vitosh (1987). Special Publication 21. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI.

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