I’ve been thinking lately about monoculture. It’s a term that’s familiar to those interested in food and agriculture and typically refers to the reliance on vast plantings of a single crop, such as corn or soy.
But monoculture isn’t just about what you plant. It’s also about how you plant and what you use to keep your plants alive. And while we can all share the goal of turning Big Ag into Better Ag, as the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Sasha Lyutse put it, many of the obstacles aren’t purely economic or scientific, they’re cultural.
Take the Marsden Farm Study that Mark Bittman has brought to national attention as a potential model for future farmers. In it, a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture and Iowa State University researchers embarked on a 10-year study that compared conventional “two-year” rotations of corn and soy (the dominant form of commodity growing) with…
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