The Rodale Institute Farming System Trial shows a legume-based crop rotation alone or with compost amendment can significantly increase soil carbon and nitrogen levels compared to a conventional maize and soybean crop rotation. The increase in soil organic matter allows the system to better withstand drought years. In addition, the biologically based diversified cropping system eliminates the need for reliance on synthetic nitrogen. The elimination of pesticides leads to greater soil biology shown with substantially increased diversity and activity of mycorrhizal fungi. Carbon and Nitrogen sequestration from these systems can work to counteract atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide which are greenhouse gases related to climate change.

Read full article