Since 1978, the author has been conducting research into the theory and practice of biological husbandry in collaboration with a farmer who stopped using pesticides and mineral fertilizers in 1976. Yields average about 25% lower than those on conventional farms, but the farm is more profitable because of lower input costs. Various laboratory and field studies suggest that as fertility or the biological activity of soils increases, problems related to immobilization of N by straw, phytoxicity and annual weeds decline, and that less manure is required to augment the N supply by a given amount. N shortages can be overcome by intensifying of cycling rather than by increasing N inputs
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