Stephen John, Gregory McIsaac, Multifunctional Agriculture: A New Paradigm of Mixed Cropping, The Solutions Journal, Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2017, Pages 66-76 (https://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/article/multifunctional-agriculture-new-paradigm-mixed-cropping/) Abstract: Agriculture in much of the Midwestern United States is dominated by farms that produce two annual row crops—corn and soybeans—and have no livestock. Such grain-only farming operations became the norm roughly between 1950 and 1970. They produce a bountiful harvest for many food and non-food uses, but are heavily reliant on fossil fuels. And, even when conscientious farmers follow management practices recommended by Land Grant universities and conservation agencies, farmland dominated by annual row crops contributes to a number of environmental problems including greenhouse gas emissions, loss of wildlife habitat, and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. As farmers, scientists, and policy makers seek to remedy adverse impacts associated with annual row crops, it is time to change how we think about farms at a field and watershed scale. The shift from fossil fuels to renewables, and the urgency of mitigating and adapting to climate change can be the main drivers of a landscape … Topics: Agriculture & Food