"Show me the numbers"

A guide to research publications based on work done at The Rodale Institute

By Paul Hepperly

June 16, 2005: As research and training manager at The Rodale Institute, I frequently receive requests--from farmers, journalists, governmental officials, you name it--for hard data about the behavior and characteristics of organic farming systems. I'm always happy to oblige. Understanding organic farming systems and how they compare to conventional farming systems has been central to the mission of The Rodale Institute since its inception, and our goal is to share what we've learned as widely as possible.

Over the years my colleagues and predecessors and I have published dozens of peer-reviewed scientific papers documenting the benefits of organic agricultural management strategies, from increased soil microbial diversity to drought resistance to carbon sequestration. In addition, the Institute has produced a number of books and booklets intended to help farmers manage their farms more sustainably—to achieve better profits, greater personal satisfaction, and maximum ecological benefits for themselves and their communities.

What follows is a list of those articles and other publications organized by date, beginning with the most recent. In many cases we've included the article abstracts; and in some cases the full text of the articles is freely available online. Others can be found in any good research library, or by contacting me directly at Most of the books and booklets are available through The Rodale Institute bookstore.

Research publications
Books and in-house publications


Research publications

Douds, D., Nagahashi, G., Pfeffer, P., Kayser, W., and C. Reider. 2005.
On-farm production and utilization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus inoculum
Canadian Journal of Plant Science 85,1:15-21. Abstract.

Hepperly, P., Seidel, R., Pimentel, D., Hanson, J., and D. Douds. 2005.
Organic farming enhances soil carbon and its benefits in soil carbon sequestration policy
(for submission).

Pimentel, D., Hepperly, P., Hanson, J., Douds, D., and R. Seidel. 2005.
Environment, energy, and economic comparisons of organic and conventional farming systems. Bioscience 55(7): 573-582.

Ryan, M., Wilson, D., Hepperly, P., Travis, J., and N. Halbrendt. 2005.
The Potential for Compost Tea is Still Brewing.
(in press).

McCarthy, John. 2004.
Carbon fluxes in soil: long term sequestration in deeper soil horizons.
In Climate Change Proceedings 2003 World Conference, Peking, China.

Douds D., and C. Reider. 2003.
Inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi increases the yield of Green Peppers in a High P Soil. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 21:91-102.

Lotter, D., Seidel, R., and W. Liebhardt. 2003.
The performance of organic and conventional cropping systems in an extreme climate year.
American Journal of Alternative Agriculture
18(3):146-154. Abstract.

Drinkwater, L. 2002.
Cropping systems research.
12(3):355-361. Abstract.

Frank-Snyder, M., Douds, D., Galvez, L., Phillips , J., Wagoner, P., Drinkwater, L., and J. Morton. 2001.
Diversity of communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi present in conventional versus low input agricultural sites in eastern PA, USA.
Applied Soil Ecology 16:35-48. Abstract.

Galvez, L., Douds, D., Drinkwater, L., and P. Wagoner. 2001.
Effect of tillage and farming system upon VAM fungus populations and mycorrhizas and nutrient uptake of maize.
Plant and Soil
228:299-308. Abstract.

Galvez, L., Douds, D., and P. Wagoner. 2001.
Tillage and farming system affect AM fungus populations, mycorrhizal formation, and nutrient utilization of winter wheat in a high P soil.
American Journal of Alternative Agriculture

Puget, P., and L. Drinkwater. 2001.
Short term dynamics of root- and shoot- derived carbon from leguminous green manure.
Soil Science Society of America Journal

Drinkwater, L., Janke, R., and L. Rossoni-Longnecker. 2000.
Effect of tillage and intensity on nitrogen dynamics and productivity in legume based grain systems.
Plant and Soil 227(2):99-113. Abstract.

Reider, C., Herdman, W., Drinkwater, L., and R. Janke. 2000.
Yields and nutrient budget under composts, raw dairy manure, and mineral fertilizer.
Compost Science and Utilization

Wander, M., and L. Drinkwater. 2000.
Fostering soil stewardship through soil quality assessment.
Applied Soil Ecology
15(1):61-73. Abstract.

Douds, D., and P. Millner. 1999.
Biodiversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agroecosystems.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 74:77-93. Abstract.

Jaenicke, E., and L. Drinkwater. 1999.
Sources of productivity growth during transition to alternative cropping systems.
Agriculture Resources Economic Review 28(2):169-181.

Drinkwater, L.E., Wagoner, P. and M. Sarrantonio. 1998.
Legume-based cropping systems have reduced carbon and nitrogen losses.
Nature 396: 262-265. Abstract.

Buyer, J., and L. Drinkwater. 1997.
Comparison of substrate utilization assay and fatty acid analysis of soil microbial communities. Journal of Microbiological Methods 30: 3-11. Abstract.

Buyer, J., and D. Kaufman. 1997.
Microbial diversity in the rhizosphere of corn grown under conventional and low-input systems. Applied Soil Ecology 5(1): 21-27. Abstract.

Douds, D., Galvez, L., Frank-Snyder, M., Reider, C., and L. Drinkwater. 1997.
Effect of compost addition and crop rotation upon VAM fungi.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 65(3):257-266. Abstract.

Hanson, J., Lichtenberg, E., and S. Peters. 1997.
Organic versus conventional grain production in the mid-Atlantic: An economic overview and farming system overview.
American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12(1):2-9.

Hu, S., Grunwald, N., Van Bruggen, A., Gamble, G., Drinkwater, L., Shennan, C., and M. Dement. 1997.
Short term effects of cover crop incorporation on soil carbon pools and nitrogen availability.
Soil Science Society of America Journal 61(3):901-911.

Pallant, E., Lansky, D., Rio, J., Jacobs, L., Schuler, G., and W. Whimpenny. 1997.
Growth of corn roots under low-input and conventional farming systems.
American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12(4):173-177.

Peters, S., Wander, M., Saporito, L., Harris, G., and D. Friedman. 1997.
Management Impacts on SOM and Related Soil Properties in a Long-Term Farming Systems Trial in Pennsylvania: 1981-1991
in Soil Organic Matter in Temperate Acroecosystems; Long-Term Experiments in North America, Paul,E., Paustian, K., Elliott, E., and C. Cole (eds.), CRC Press 432p.

Drinkwater, L., Cambardella, C., Reeder, J., and C. Rice. 1996.
Potentially mineralizable nitrogen as an indicator of biologically active soil nitrogen.
Soil Science Society of America, Special Publication 49:217-229.

Moyer, J., Saporito, L., and R. Janke. 1996.
Design, Construction, and Installation of an Intact Soil Core Lysimeter.
Agronomy Journal

Wander, M. M., Dudley, R. B., Traina, S. J., Daufman, D., Stinner, B. R., and G. K. Sims. 1996.
Acetate fate in organic and conventionally managed soils.
Soil Science of America Journal 60(4):1110-1116.

Wander, M., and S. J. Traina. 1996.
Organic matter fractions from organically and conventionally managed soils: I. Carbon and nitrogen distribution
Soil Science Society of America Journal

Wander M., and S. J. Traina. 1996.
Organic matter fractions from organically and conventionally managed soils: II. Characterization of composition.
Soil Science Society of America Journal 60(4):1087-1094.

Yakovchenko, V., Sikora, L., and D. Kaufman. 1996.
A biologically based indicator of soil quality.
Biology and Fertility of Soils 21:245-251.

Harris, G., Hesterman, O., Paul, E., Peters, S., and R. Janke. 1994.
Fate of legume and fertilizer nitrogen-15 in a long-term cropping systems experiment.
Agronomy Journal 86:910-915.

Wander, M., Traina, S., Stinner, B., and S. Peters. 1994.
Organic and conventional management effects on biologically active soil organic matter pools.
Soil Science Society of America Journal 58:1130-1139.

Douds, D., Janke, R., and S. Peters. 1993.
VAM fungus spore populations and colonization of roots of maize and soybean under conventional and low-input sustainable agriculture.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 43:325-335. Abstract.

Peters, S. 1991.
Organic and conventional beyond transition.

Hanson, J., Johnson, D., Peters, S., and R. Janke. 1990.
The profitability of sustainable agriculture on a representative grain farm in the mid-Atlantic region, 1981-89.
Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 19(2):90-98.

Werner, M., and D. Dindhal. 1990.
Effects of conversion to organic agricultural practices on soil biota.
American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 5(1):24-32.

Liebhardt, W., Andrews, R., Culik, M., Harwood, R., Janke, R., Radke, J., and S. Rieger-Schwartz. 1989.
Crop production during conversion from conventional to low-input methods.
Agronomy Journal 81(2):150-159.

Radke, J., Andrews, R., Janke, R., and S. Peters. 1988.
Low-Input Cropping Systems and Efficiency of Water and Nitrogen Use. ASA-CSSA-SSSA.
Cropping Strategies for Efficient Use of Water and Nitrogen, Special Publication no. 51: 193-217.

Books and in-house publications

Michalak P. 2004. Water, agriculture and you - A summary of agricultural effects on water quality and health, including results from our long-term trials, FST and CUT. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. 32p.

Doty, N.C. 2002. A study of methods to develop markets to improve profitability of small family farms in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey - Focused upon cereal grain and oilseed crops. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. 57 p.

Michalak, P. 2002. Organic Grain Cropping System and Marketing - In-service education for the Northeast US. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. 80 p.

Wildfeuer, M. 2002. Farmers, food, and the modern consumer – A review of consumer surveys, local food initiatives and eco-label programs. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA.
64 p.

Drinkwater, L., Reider, C., and S. Connelly. 2000. Soil health demonstration protocols. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. 26 p.

Peterson, C., Drinkwater L., and P. Wagoner. 1999. The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial® – The first 15 years. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. 48 p.

Sarrantonio, M. 1994. Northeast Cover Crop Handbook. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA.
118 p.

Sarrantonio, M. 1991. Soil-Improving Legumes. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. 312 p.

Janke, R., Thompson, D., McNamara, K., and C. Cramer. 1990. How to Discover Money-Saving Opportunities - A Farmer’s Guide to On-Farm Research. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. 21 p.

Janke, R., and K. McNamara. 1988. Using Replicated On-farm Research Trials to Answer Farmer’s Questions About Low-Input Cropping Systems. The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA.
13 p.