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Dynamic Cropping Systems: Increasing Adaptability Amid an Uncertain Future

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Future trends in population growth, energy use, climate change, and globalization will challenge agriculturists to develop innovative production systems that are highly productive and environmentally sound. Furthermore, future agricultural production systems must possess an inherent capacity to adapt to change to be sustainable. Given this context, adoption of dynamic cropping systems is proposed to meet multiple agronomic and environmental objectives through the enhancement of management adaptability to externalities. Dynamic cropping systems are a form of agricultural production that relies on an annual strategy to optimize the outcome of (i) production, (ii) economic, and (iii) resource conservation goals using ecologically-based management principles. Dynamic cropping systems are inherently complex, possessing larger crop portfolios and greater crop diversity and sequencing flexibility as compared with monoculture and fixed-sequence cropping systems. Greater crop diversity and sequencing flexibility within dynamic cropping systems may result in reduced weed and disease infestations, greater nutrient- and precipitation-use efficiency, decreased requirements of exogenous inputs, and lower production risk. The multiple interactions among management components of dynamic cropping systems demand greater management intensity than monoculture and fixed-sequence cropping systems. Further development of dynamic cropping systems is important for managing crop production systems in a sustainable manner. These systems can ultimately assist land managers to develop new and improved land-use strategies to the benefit of generations to come.
Hanson, J.D. , Liebig, M.A. , Merrill, S.D. , Tanaka, D.L. , Krupinsky, J.M. , Stott, D.E.
Paper presented at a symposium held November 6-10, 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Agronomy journal 2007 July-Aug, v. 99, no. 4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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