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Sustainable Crop and Livestock Systems

Agricultural systems are under increasing pressure to provide not just food and fiber but a range of other benefits including clean water and air, wildlife habitat, and recreation.

Many of these ecosystem services depend on microbial processes, which play a central role in mediating nutrient and energy flows.

To track these flows in agroecosystems we use classical mass-balance analysis, combined with state-of-the-art environmental measurement and computational modeling techniques. Applications include nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions in alternative livestock systems, and compost utilization in extended crop rotations.

We are also developing tools for multi-disciplinary analysis of local and regional nutrient, energy, capital, and community impacts of integrated crop and livestock production systems.