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An Information Ecology for Sustainable Agriculture

Raturi, Ankita; Mirsky, Steven; Reberg-Horton, Chris

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  <dc:creator>Raturi, Ankita</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Mirsky, Steven</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Reberg-Horton, Chris</dc:creator>
  <dc:description>Feeding 10 billion people by 2050 will require transformative changes to our food production systems1, 2. Climate change3-6, water scarcity and urban demand7, herbicide-resistant weeds8, and declining soil9 and water quality10,11 are increasing crop production risks, lowering yields, and negatively impacting the environment. The increased use of sustainable agricultural practices  such as reduced-tillage12, diversified crop rotations13, and integrated weed management especially through incorporation of cover crops14, are necessary to achieve this goal. However, farmers repeatedly cite management complexity and a need for site- and system-specific information to overcome the barriers to adoption15, 16. Sustainable agriculture thus demands precision tools to account for genetic and environmental nuances in complex, adaptive, agricultural systems, while simultaneously responding to the social, technological, and economic contexts of farming.

Precision Sustainable Agriculture17 uses a data-driven and human-centered approach to the research and development of on-farm monitoring tools, cloud-based, information management tools for large-scale agricultural research projects, decision support tools for agriculture data stakeholders, and modeling and analysis tools for use in sustainable agriculture. We are laying the foundation of an information ecology18 for sustainable agriculture: a system of tools, data, methods, and actors to maximize farm productivity, profitability, and sustainability.


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  <dc:description>This material is based upon work supported by an interagency agreement between Natural Resources Conservation Service and Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.</dc:description>
  <dc:subject>information ecology</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>sustainable agriculture</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>cover crops</dc:subject>
  <dc:title>An Information Ecology for Sustainable Agriculture</dc:title>
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