Agroecology in Action: Extending Alternative Agriculture by Keith Douglass Warner

By Keith Douglass Warner

American agriculture has doubled its use of insecticides because the e-book of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. Agriculture is the nation's top reason behind non-point-source water pollution--runoffs of insecticides, foodstuff, and sediments into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. In Agroecology in motion, Keith Douglass Warner describes agroecology, an rising clinical reaction to agriculture's environmental crises, and provides unique case reviews of the way within which growers, scientists, agricultural agencies, and public enterprises have built leading edge, ecologically established strategies to lessen reliance on agrochemicals.Agroecology in motion indicates that agroecology could be positioned into motion successfully merely whilst networks of farmers, scientists, and different stakeholders examine jointly. Farmers and scientists and their firms needs to paintings collaboratively to percentage knowledge--whether it truly is derived from farm, laboratory, or market. this type of partnership, writes Warner, has emerged because the basic procedure for locating choices to traditional agrochemical use. Warner describes profitable agroecological projects in California, Iowa, Washington, and Wisconsin. California's enormous and various specialty-crop agriculture has already produced 32 agricultural partnerships, and Warner will pay specific awareness to agroecological efforts in that country, together with these lower than manner within the pear, winegrape, and almond farming systems.The booklet exhibits how renowned difficulty in regards to the well-being and environmental affects of insecticides has assisted in shaping agricultural environmental coverage, and the way coverage has in flip encouraged inventive ideas from scientists, extension brokers, and growers.

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For demonstration vineyards, Ohmart selected 43 growers who put up the original seed money to start the commission, and they owned or managed more than half of the district’s vineyard acres. Leading growers fully bought into this outreach model, and were able to take advantage of the existing social relations among the 650 growers in the district. During the late 1990s, growers already familiar with IPM approaches applied those techniques more consistently throughout their vineyards, and those new to IPM were exposed to 20 Chapter 1 repeated encouragement to monitor their vineyards and make pesticide decisions based on site-specific data and economic thresholds.

20 When nutrients borne by rivers reach estuarine and coastal waters, toxic algal blooms, marine mammal deaths, habitat destruction, and shellfish poisoning can result. ”21 The Farm Belt’s regional discharge of massive amounts of nitrogen through the Mississippi River has created a hypoxic, or dead, zone covering up to 7,700 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico. 22 Nitrates threaten human health when they contaminate groundwater drinking supplies because they can affect the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, especially when an infant’s digestive tract converts it to nitrite, causing “blue baby” syndrome.

Agroecology is concerned about the broader social and economic context of farming, but attends primarily to questions of agricultural production. Whereas authentic sustainable agriculture encompasses all questions of food consumption, I have limited my investigation to agricultural production. Questions of social equity, economic viability, and public policy lurk in the background of this book, and will reappear in the final chapter to inform its conclusions. Latour’s Tool for Interpreting Scientific Controversy To understand agroecology’s critical stance toward the broader field of the biological sciences, I will draw on Science and Technology Studies, which now informs many studies of controversies within scientific institutions.

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