On our Teltane Farm in Monroe, Maine, USA, we have begun adapting System of Crop Intensification
(SCI) ideas to our carrot production, with considerable success in this second trial season (2014). A
previous and smaller trial of SCI for carrots in 2012 was very successful and encouraged us to expand
and duplicate the methods that worked very well again in 2014. We look forward to making further
adaptations and refinements for other crops in the years ahead. [A summary of the 2012 experience is
added to this report.]
From a late-planted bed measuring 5’ x 82’ (410 square feet), an overall harvest of 613 lbs of Cordoba
carrots were harvested, washed, sorted, and weighed. This variety is recommended for shallow, heavy
or rocky soils where long-growing carrots do not do well. Of the harvest, 73 lbs were considered as
seconds, due to mice or deer damage. No wireworms or carrot flies were noted, and the crop had
virtually no disease.
The yield of no. 1 grade carrots was extrapolated as 54,296 lbs per acre, with a gross yield of 65,262 lbs
per acre. A yield of about 20,000 lbs per acre is normally considered a good yield. The best 510 lbs were
sold at a premium price of $1.25 wholesale. The value of just the no. 1 grade carrots worked out to a
potential profit of $67,870 gross per acre at wholesale prices, before subtracting input costs.
The practices used, following the concepts we have gotten from considering SRI and SCI experience and
recommendations, were:
• Seed was sown in the raised bed very thinly to encourage greater size and to eliminate the need
for hand thinning.
• Stale bed practices were followed to facilitate weed control, as explained below. This strategy
involves preparing the bed several weeks before it is sown, so that viable weed seeds in the soil
germinate and can be easily eliminated before and particularly after the carrot seeds are sown,
but prior to carrot emergence. Timing of this part of the operation is a most important step.
• The soil in the bed was amended with a mixture of rock powders and crabshell meal, thereby
maintaining organic production. The bed itself was rainfed, with no irrigation.
• The bed was lightly tilled and allowed to ‘rest’ for approximately 2 weeks before sowing. In this
time, it grew a nice flush of annual weeds up to the seed leaf and first true leaf stages.
• The carrot seed was then planted by a cheap Earthway type seeder, set so that it would plant
seeds shallowly (1/4”) and widely apart (about 2”), with the least possible disturbance of the
soil, directly into the weedy bed.
• The timing of carrot emergence was calculated by placing a clear plastic cover over a small
section of bed to provide a prediction tool.
• Approximately 1-2 days before the carrot plants were expected to emerge, the now very weedy
bed was sprayed with a mixture of water, vinegar and citrus oils. This burns down the weed
growth in full sun light and allows the emerging carrots full use of the bed with little or no
• 40 days into the season, a half hour of hand weeding was sufficient to clear any late-germinating
weeds from within the 4 rows of carrots. This was the only weed control time spent for the test
• Harvesting was done at 79 days after seeding. Many of the carrots reached one pound in weight.
The accompanying pictures show the bed and the harvested product.

SCI – Carrots – Mark Fulford 2014