Integrating Organic Soybean Production following Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Land into Sustainable Farming Systems

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Delate, Kathleen; Cambardella, Cynthia A.; Secor, L. James; Friedrich, Heather; Wantate, Noreen; Hartzler, Robert G.; Liebman, Matthew Z.; Carlton, Mark W.
Horticulture; Agronomy
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Organic farming has increased to an $8 billion industry in the United States and continues to expand approximately 20% annually. In Iowa alone, organic acreage has increased from 13,000 acres in 1995 to 150,000 in 1999. Across the North Central region, there has been great interest in planting organic soybeans on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land, where up to a 400% premium can be obtained compared with conventionally raised soybeans. Regulation of soil organic matter through additions of plant residues and proper crop rotations will determine the long-term sustainability of the system.