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An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced(More)
It has been suggested that conversion to organic farming contributes to soil carbon sequestration, but until now a comprehensive quantitative assessment has been lacking. Therefore, datasets from 74 studies from pairwise comparisons of organic vs. nonorganic farming systems were subjected to metaanalysis to identify differences in soil organic carbon (SOC).(More)
Genetically modified (GM) maize containing genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) was cultivated on 29% of the total maize production area worldwide in 2009. Most studies to date compare Bt-maize varieties with their near isogenic lines; however, there is little information on the variability of conventional maize breeding lines and how(More)
Reduced tillage is increasingly promoted to improve sustainability and productivity of agricultural systems. Nonetheless, adoption of reduced tillage by organic farmers has been slow due to concerns about nutrient supply, soil structure, and weeds that may limit yields. Here, we compiled the results from both published and unpublished research comparing(More)
The question of whether organic farming leads to higher soil organic matter (SOM) levels in arable soils compared with conventional farming is an ongoing debate. Building on several studies reported in the literature, we hypothesize that the impact on SOM levels is not an intrinsic characteristic of any farming system but is the result of the actual(More)
Microbial nutrient limitation was investigated in a 53-year-old field experiment in the Central-West of Burkina Faso under sorghum–cowpea rotation, comparing three fertilization practices: mineral fertilizer (MIN), mineral fertilizer and farmyard manure (MINFYM), and a non-fertilized control (CON). We assessed microbial N and P limitation after removal of C(More)
An experiment was carried out in a climate chamber to analyse if Bt-maize may cause particular changes in soils with different levels of microbial biomass and activity due to long-term management history. Among the soils selected, the ones managed organically for 30 years exhibited twice the microbial biomass and 2.6 times the dehydrogenase activity (DHA)(More)
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