Thanks. This is a great idea for a series. You probably don’t need as many references as listed, as they are readily available in a search. I look forward to your future articles on perennial crops.
Oh, you forgot one reason for plowing: it’s actually just fun. When done occasionally on a small scale, with rotational crops and cover crops, it’s not as destructive as it seems, but the pictures and examples only show wide open prairies being destroyed in dusty conditions (places that definitely should be left to grass).
Unless one has productive perennial crops, or pasture-raised meats (a luxury market item if one is to make a living at it, but the best places for it aren’t near populations centers), many food crops don’t really fare so well amid deeply rooted native plants.
Most of the solutions that intellectually-oriented research comes up with are not viable for a typical farmer. They work well in theory, but actual farms are stuck in the actual economy with actual neighbors who don’t want to pay luxury prices (at a farmers’ market, people pay ridiculous prices for things they don’t need, and yet they will dicker to death over a tomato or a bag of potatoes).
Small farm economics require small town economics, which require small processing plants and local labor sources, low cost housing, low cost transportation, and high farm product prices.
Are any of these things in the future of robotic farms?
Robots don’t need farms.
Oh, you missed one reference, “Everything I Want to do is Illegal” by Joel Salatin