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U-M Ross Business + Impact
U-M Ross Business + Impact
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IGCB Seminar Series: Prof Jennifer Blesh

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“Optimizing environmental benefits from diversified farms”

Diversified farming systems can sustain productivity, build soil organic matter, and reduce nutrient losses to the environment. I will present findings from experimental and observational research focused on managing cover crops to simultaneously build soil organic matter and reduce external nutrient inputs. Results from an experiment on working farms spanning a gradient of soil properties show how crop diversification results in feedbacks that improve outcomes, such as biomass production, nutrient retention, and nutrient availability, over time. To understand mechanisms underlying soil restoration, we quantified the carbon inputs from a cover crop mixture to distinct fractions of soil organic matter across the soil gradient. I will also consider policy implications, sharing results from studies using citizen science and remote sensing to understand cover crop adoption and performance at larger spatio-temporal scales in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Overall, results highlight that outcomes of crop diversification are context-dependent and inform site-specific management that can increase multiple ecosystem functions at once.

IGCB Seminar Series – Prof Jennifer Blesh
6 May 2024 @ 11:30am in Dana 1024 orĀ