Farming in Nature's Image: An Ecological Approach To Agriculture

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Island Press, 1992 - Business & Economics - 286 pages
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Farming in Nature's Image provides, for the first time, a detailed look into the pioneering work of The Land Institute, the leading educational and research organization for sustainable agriculture.The authors draw on case studies, hands-on experience, and research results to explain the applications of a new system of agriculture based on one unifying concept: that farms should mimic the ecosystems in which they exist. They present both theoretical and practical information, including: a review of the environmental degradation resulting from current farming practices a critical evaluation of the attempts to solve these problems a detailed description of the ecosystem perspective and the proposed new agricultural system a case study illustrating how this new system could be applied to temperate grain production using perennial seed crops and the prairie as a model an examination of the potential savings in energy and water use, as well as potential contributions to ecological experiments and yield analysis work from The Land Institute.Written in clear, non-technical language, this book will be of great interest to soil and agricultural scientists, academics, policymakers, environmentalists, and other concerned with finding long-range solutions to agricultural problems.
  

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Contents

Introduction
3
Of Ecology and Economics
9
Chemical Contamination
31
Chapter 2
50
Roots of the Crises in Agricultural Science
58
Roots of the Crises in Underlying Values
71
The Ecosystem Perspective
79
Ecological Insights into Sustainability
85
THE FEASIBILITY OF A PRAIRIELIKE AGRICULTURE
158
Descriptions of The Land Institute Study Species
173
The Work Remaining
192
Some Practical Considerations
198
Drawing on Forces for Change
204
Changes and Challenges for Agricultural Research
211
Shifting Values Toward Sustainability
224
Notes
231

Modern Agriculture
113
THE CASE
123
Nature as a Structural Model for Agriculture
133
A System for the North American Granary Modeled on the Prairie
145
Bibliography
251
About the Authors
279
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Judith D. Soule, a former Land Institute ecologist, now works for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. Jon K. Piper has been an ecologist for The Land Institute for seven years, at the time of this publication.

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