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Sustainable Farming Connection
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Agriculture Farming Systems
(SAFS) Project

Agronomy and Range Science Dept.
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616

Email: kjbrewer@ucdavis.edu

Website URL: http://agronomy.ucdavis.edu/safs/home.htm

Phone: (916) 752-8940

Fax: (916) 752-4361

Contact: Kelly J. Brewer

Newsletter: SAFS Quarterly Newsletter, free.

The Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) Project was established on an 28 acre site in 1988 to study the transition from conventional to low input and organic farming practices in California's Sacramento Valley.

The SAFS project compares four different farming system treatments. The organic, low-input, and conventional 4-year are four year rotations including tomato, safflower, corn, and bean. Wheat is double-cropped with bean in the conventional system, while an oats/vetch biculture or lupine crop has been substituted for wheat in the organic and low-input systems. The fourth treatment is a conventional 2-year rotation of tomato and wheat.

All farming systems use "best farmer management practices" which are determined through consultation with area growers and farm advisors cooperating on the project. The disciplines that the project includes are: agronomy, agricultural economics, entomology, water science, nematology, plant pathology, soil microbiology, crop nutrition, and weed science.

The study attempts to combine the best features of both on-farm and experiment station research; it is established under controlled conditions on a research farm, yet employs commercial farming practices that must be economically justifiable and that are regularly evaluated by farmer cooperators.

The secondary objective of the project is to evaluated known and novel farming practices that show potential to reduce dependence on nonrenewable resources. The final objective is to distribute information generated by the project in an effort to facilitate a dialog about the adoption of more sustainable farming practices. This is accomplished through workshops, field days, publications, and field tours.

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