Sustainable Agriculture

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Continuous living cover provides a pathway to achieving sustainable increases in production.

Within the field of sustainable agriculture, research shows that continuous living cover provides a pathway to achieving sustainable increases in production while enhancing environmental quality. Continuous living cover is achieved by the introduction of winter-annual and perennial crops at carefully-targeted spatial and temporal locations in agricultural production systems, so as to complement and augment crop production.

Our Civic Science initiative is  integrating and leveraging existing pilot Landlab projects in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin (Jordan et al. 2013) to create a network of projects addressing sustainable intensification. Key functions of this network of projects are to support rapid learning and effective experimentation (via action research etc.) on our application of Civic Science methods to a grand challenge in agriculture, via shared training, support for a community of practice, and organizing and conducting action research projects. The network would also be capable of strategic communications about civic science approaches to sustainable intensification, by becoming a trusted media source, organizing science pubs/cafes, and proactive communication with key influencers. The network strives to gain sufficient clout to be taken seriously in dialogues with funding agencies, universities, and scientific societies regarding support for civic science approaches in agriculture. Finally, the network focuses on integration with undergraduate and graduate education in agricultural science and studies, so as to develop future civic scientists for agriculture.

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