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Publisher: Elsevier   (Total: 3162 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 3162 Journals sorted alphabetically
A Practical Logic of Cognitive Systems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
AASRI Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 1.655, CiteScore: 2)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 1.015, CiteScore: 2)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 97, SJR: 1.462, CiteScore: 3)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 0.932, CiteScore: 2)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37, SJR: 1.771, CiteScore: 3)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 411, SJR: 0.758, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 7)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.18, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Haematologica Polonica     Free   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.128, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.661, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 253, SJR: 3.263, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Mathematica Scientia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.542, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Oecologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.834, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Otorrinolaringologica (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.307, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.793, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 1.331, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.052, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access  
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.374, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.344, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 2.671, CiteScore: 5)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.53, CiteScore: 4)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.29, CiteScore: 3)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.755, CiteScore: 2)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 2.611, CiteScore: 8)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 151, SJR: 4.09, CiteScore: 13)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.167, CiteScore: 4)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 2.384, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.126, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.992, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 2.089, CiteScore: 5)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.572, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.61, CiteScore: 7)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.686, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33, SJR: 3.043, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.453, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.992, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Cell Aging and Gerontology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.156, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.713, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.316, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.562, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19, SJR: 1.977, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.205, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Dermatology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 44, SJR: 2.524, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 1.159, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 46, SJR: 5.39, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Exploration Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 58, SJR: 0.591, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.354, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 12.74, CiteScore: 13)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.193, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.368, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.749, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.193, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 36, SJR: 4.433, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.163, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.938, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.176, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.682, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 0.88, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 3.027, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.158, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.182, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.875, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.174, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.579, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.461, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.536, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.574, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.109, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.791, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 64)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.371, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.263, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Space Biology and Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 398, SJR: 0.569, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.555, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 34, SJR: 2.208, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.262, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 3)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.117, CiteScore: 3)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 342, SJR: 0.796, CiteScore: 3)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.42, CiteScore: 2)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.296, CiteScore: 0)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 3.671, CiteScore: 9)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 455, SJR: 1.238, CiteScore: 3)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.13, CiteScore: 0)
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.818, CiteScore: 5)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 1.156, CiteScore: 4)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41, SJR: 1.272, CiteScore: 3)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 57, SJR: 1.747, CiteScore: 4)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.589, CiteScore: 3)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.26, CiteScore: 0)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.153, CiteScore: 3)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 3)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.191, CiteScore: 1)
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.142, CiteScore: 4)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.148, CiteScore: 2)
Alpha Omegan     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 3.521, CiteScore: 6)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.201, CiteScore: 1)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51, SJR: 4.66, CiteScore: 10)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.796, CiteScore: 4)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.108, CiteScore: 3)
Ambulatory Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 3.267, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 54, SJR: 1.93, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.524, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 7.45, CiteScore: 8)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.062, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 2.973, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47)
American J. of Medicine Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Obstetrics and Gynecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 211, SJR: 2.7, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 65, SJR: 3.184, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.265, CiteScore: 0)
American J. of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.289, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Otolaryngology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.59, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 2.139, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 2.164, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38, SJR: 1.141, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of the Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.767, CiteScore: 1)
Ampersand : An Intl. J. of General and Applied Linguistics     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.144, CiteScore: 3)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 62, SJR: 0.138, CiteScore: 0)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 1)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 0)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription  
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 4.849, CiteScore: 10)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42, SJR: 1.512, CiteScore: 5)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 178, SJR: 0.633, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.683, CiteScore: 2)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.121, CiteScore: 0)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.111, CiteScore: 0)
Animal Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 197, SJR: 1.58, CiteScore: 3)

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Journal Cover
Agricultural Systems
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.156
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 31  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0308-521X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3162 journals]
  • Reducing risk through crop diversification: An application of portfolio
           theory to diversified horticultural systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Raphaël Paut, Rodolphe Sabatier, Marc Tchamitchian In agricultural sciences, it is frequently stated that diversified systems are more likely to cope with risks, but rarely demonstrated in a quantitative way. On the theoretical perspective, risk reduction based on asset diversification is a well studied mechanism in economics that has been formalized in the Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). In this paper, we thus explore the opportunities for application of MPT to quantify the benefits of diversification for risk reduction in a context of highly diversified horticultural systems. Our analysis relies on a model of the effect of crop diversification on risk and expected yield. It is based on a dataset obtained from a range of 44 species and over a period of 10 years. Results show that (i) the variability of expected crop yield can be reduced up to 77% by choosing the appropriate crop combination; (ii) most common crop classifications such as botanical classification or functional types do not make it possible to identify suitable diversification strategies. These results provide insight into how different horticultural crop combinations may shape the relationship between production and risk in diversified farming systems. Our findings also provide indications on new diversification strategies based on a quantification of risk reduction.
  • Change and continuity in traditional cattle farming systems of West
           African Coast countries: A case study from Benin
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Sandrine O. Houessou, Luc Hippolyte Dossa, Rodrigue V.C. Diogo, Marcel Houinato, Andreas Buerkert, Eva Schlecht In order to characterize current cattle farming systems with respect to herd mobility and its drivers, 803 cattle farmers were surveyed across three vegetation zones along a North-South transect in Benin. Individual interviews were conducted on the basis of a semi-structured questionnaire which included questions on the socio-economic characteristics of livestock breeders, their herd size and structure, their livestock management and other agricultural practices. Production systems were typologized using categorical principal component analysis and Two-Step cluster analysis. The main factors that differentiated the cattle farming systems were type of herd mobility, season of mobility (wet or dry season), amplitude (less or>40 km) of herd movements, herd size, and the dominant cattle breed in the herd. The following six distinct herd types were identified: “Sedentary Crossbreed (Taurine x Zebus) Farms” (n = 174; 21.7%); “Sedentary Zebu Farms” (n = 185; 23%); “Sedentary Taurine Farms” (n = 108; 13.4%); “Low Amplitude Transhumant Zebu Farms” (n = 91; 11.3%); “High Amplitude Transhumant Zebu Farms” (n = 118; 14.7%) and “Variable Amplitude Transhumant Crossbreed (Taurine x Zebus) Farms” (n = 127; 15.8%). The study revealed that pastoral mobility was practiced by about half of the surveyed herders and remains a necessity for the cattle breeders in spite of its constraints. Farmers' social status and environmental conditions also played a significant role in the adoption of a certain herd mobility strategy. The increasing practice of transhumance by non-Fulani people –an activity that until recently was closely associated with Fulani ethnic group– combined with the larger herd sizes in southern and central compared to northern regions, the expansion of crop cultivation among Fulani herders and the southwards expansion of pastoralism to the humid and sub-humid regions revealed a paradigm shift in cattle production systems in Benin. The seasonality and continuously changing availability of grazing lands and water resources were the main drivers of the ongoing transformation in the pastoral systems. Additionally, increased herd mobility has intensified conflicts among herders, and between herders and crop farmers. Adequate interventions are crucial to sustain the current production systems. Mobile pastoralists should adopt improved herd management strategies including timely destocking, while developing and strengthening grazing and manure contracts with local crop and livestock farmers. Settled pastoralists should reduce their dependency on natural rangelands and adopt more forage cultivation. Supportive policies should include the establishment and enforcement of rules for grazing activities and improvement of pastoralists' access to market, credit and veterinary services.
  • Index insurances for grasslands – A review for Europe and
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Willemijn Vroege, Tobias Dalhaus, Robert Finger Grassland based farming systems are exposed to extreme weather events causing volatile farm incomes. Grazing and lacking yield measurements make it largely impossible to insure grassland production with traditional insurance products. In contrast, index insurance products have the potential to insure grasslands, as their payoff relies on an endogenous index that is highly correlated to, but independent of, the actual grass yield. To support future development of these products, we provide the first systematic overview of 12 index insurances put into practise for grasslands in Europe and North America. Additionally, based on this overview, we present prevailing findings that are important for further research and insurance practitioners. We find that a large diversity of index insurance types is applied in practise, including insurance solutions based on regional yield levels, weather variables or satellite imagery. We reveal separated insurance markets (i.e. country-specific products), which prevent knowledge spillovers and lead to largely isolated product developments. Thus, grassland insurance schemes can be improved by knowledge exchange and combining methods that are applied elsewhere. More specifically, insurances tailored to single farm's risk exposure, the combination of satellite with other geodata (e.g. land use information) or adapting legal specifications that disadvantage some types of insurances can improve an insurance's risk reducing capacity and make grassland based farming systems more resilient to weather extremes. This paper provides an entry point for such process, ensuring the development of efficient measures for farmers to cope with climatic risks.
  • Effect of mineral fertilizer on rain water and radiation use efficiencies
           for maize yield and stover biomass productivity in Ethiopia
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Amit Kumar Srivastava, Cho Miltin Mboh, Thomas Gaiser, Arnim Kuhn, Engida Ermias, Frank Ewert The impact of increasing rates of typically used mineral fertilizer on Rain water use efficiency (WUE) and Radiation use efficiency (RUE) of maize grain yield and stover biomass productivity was estimated across the Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZs) of Ethiopia using the crop model LINTUL5 embedded into a general modeling framework, SIMPLACE (Scientific Impact Assessment and Modeling Platform for Advanced Crop and Ecosystem Management) with the hypothesis that WUE and RUE would increase with higher application rates of mineral fertilizer and vary for maize grain yield and stover biomass across the AEZs. The simulations were run using a long maturing cycle maize variety (BH660) and a medium maturing cycle maize variety (BH540) with historical weather data (2004–2010).There were strong effects of the application rate of mineral fertilizer on WUE and RUE of maize yield and stover biomass across the AEZs. The highest WUE of 11.5 kg mm−1 and 9.4 kg mm−1 in maize grain yield and stover biomass respectively was estimated with the application of 315 kg N ha−1 + 105 kg P ha−1 in AEZ 3 having the lowest amount of rainfall during the crop growth period as compared with AEZ 1 and 2.The findings of the current study indicate that WUE in grain and stover production can be increased to by 172% to 363%, and 230% to 352% respectively depending upon the AEZs, based on management intervention in terms of increased fertilizer application rates as compared with the WUE under unfertilized conditions. On the other hand, the highest RUE of 3.0 kg MJ−1 and 2.1 kg MJ−1 in maize grain yield and stover biomass respectively was estimated in AEZ 2 with the application of 315 kg N ha−1 + 105 kg P ha−1. RUE in grain yield and stover biomass can be increased to the tune of 177% to 362%, and 216% to 351% respectively depending upon the AEZs with the increased application of N and P compared with the RUE under unfertilized conditions. The economic analysis indicates optimal fertilizer application levels of 225 N + 75P kg ha−1 for maize production under average national conditions and prices and a slightly lower rate of 180 N + 60P kg ha−1 in regions where water availability tends to constrain grain yields in addition to the nutrient deficit.
  • Trade-offs and synergies between livestock production and other ecosystem
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Francesco Accatino, Alberto Tonda, Camille Dross, François Léger, Muriel Tichit One of the biggest challenges today is to satisfy an increasing food demand while preserving ecosystem services. Farming systems have a huge impact on land cover and land use, it is therefore vital to understand how land cover and land use allocation can promote synergies between food production and other ecosystem services. Livestock production has multiple interactions with other ecosystem services and can promote synergies especially in grasslands. We investigated the interactions between livestock production and other ecosystem services and explored strategies to soften trade-offs and enhance synergies. We considered four ecosystem services (livestock production, crop production, carbon sequestration, and timber growth) in France. We considered 709 land units covering a wide range of farming systems where both food production and other ecosystem services are provided. For each land unit, we built ecological production functions that are models measuring the statistical influence of driving variables (i.e. land cover, land use, pesticide expense, and climate) on the provision of ecosystem services. Using an optimization procedure, we studied the extent to which livestock production could be increased without reducing other ecosystem services and without increasing total pesticide expense. We found that a 20% increase in livestock production could be achieved by all farming systems in France under those general constraints. The 709 land units could be grouped based on similar combinations of increases or decreases in specific ecosystem services during the optimization. 48% of land units were specialised on food production, 24% were specialised on other ecosystem services, 16% were specialised on the mixed provision of food production and other ecosystem services, whereas the remaining 12% showed decrease or no change in all ecosystem services. Livestock production was either in trade-off or in synergy with the other ecosystem services. The trade-offs could be softened through intensified use of cultivated land and spatial segregation of livestock production. The synergies could be enhanced only through major grassland expansion.
  • The European crop monitoring and yield forecasting system: Celebrating
           25 years of JRC MARS Bulletins
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): M. van der Velde, C.A. van Diepen, B. Baruth
  • Simulated responses of tile-drained agricultural systems to recent changes
           in ambient atmospheric gradients
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Hanseok Jeong, Cameron M. Pittelkow, Rabin Bhattarai Agricultural systems in the U.S. Midwest have undergone rapid changes in atmospheric gradients of ambient nitrogen (N) deposition and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in recent decades. Despite potential impacts on soil-plant-atmospheric interactions, observed changes in these gradients have not been routinely considered in modeling studies, which could lead to biased results. This study evaluated the impacts of variation in nitrate concentration in rain water and ambient CO2 concentration on field-scale hydrology, nitrogen (N) dynamics, and crop yields in two tile-drained fields under a corn-soybean rotation in Illinois. A calibrated Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) coupled with Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) was used to simulate the impacts of ten scenarios over 10 years. Scenarios included a baseline with default values in RZWQM and each of the following three scenarios reflecting the actual changes for nitrate concentration (0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 mgN L−1), ambient CO2 concentration (360, 380, and 400 ppm), and combined effects (0.4 mgN L−1and 360 ppm, 0.3 mgN L−1and 380 ppm, and 0.2 mgN L−1and 400 ppm). Nitrate concentration in rain water demonstrated a moderate impact on N dynamics (e.g. nitrate losses to tile drainage increased up to 5.8% compared to the baseline scenario), while it had a small impact on field-scale hydrology and crop yield. In contrast, increasing ambient CO2 concentration showed a significant impact on cropping system N dynamics and soybean yields (e.g. biological N fixation and soybean yields increased up to 29.1% and 24.6%, respectively, compared to the baseline scenario), whereas it had little impact on hydrology and corn yields. The combined effects scenarios showed that decreased nitrate concentration in rain water may partially be related to the slight improvements in water quality in Illinois during the last decades. Considering the recent changes in both nitrate and CO2 concentrations, the overall annual nitrate losses through water (i.e., nitrate losses in runoff, seepage, and tile drainage) decreased by 0.1 kgN ha−1 and 1.3 kgN ha−1 at two tile-drained fields. This study highlights the importance of proper consideration of atmospheric gradients in agricultural systems modeling procedure for accurately estimating crop productivity and environmental performance in tile-drained agricultural landscapes.
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus excretion on mountain farms of different dairy
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Schiavon Stefano, Sturaro Enrico, Tagliapietra Franco, Ramanzin Maurizio, Bittante Giovanni We developed a procedure to estimate the release of nutrients into the environment on Alpine dairy farms and applied it to a sample of 564 farms in the Province of Trento (north-eastern Italy) as a case study. Farm data (geographical location, herd size, milk production and quality, reproductive events, land use) were gathered from institutional databases and merged. Information on the formulation of the ration was obtained from farm visits. The farms fell into 4 groups: traditional with summer transhumance to highland pastures (T-ALP, 51%), traditional without transhumance (T-noALP, 24%), traditional using silage (T-S, 5%), and modern (MOD, 20%). The model predicted N and P excretion from cows and heifers on a farm basis. The N in manure was computed from total N excreted, assuming a 28% of N loss due to volatilisation. A cow unit was defined as the cow and its share of replacement heifer. The average dietary N content of the lactating cows ranged from 20 to 30 g/kg DM, while on-farm N excretion ranged from 90 to 190 kg/year per cow unit; the modern farms had the highest average value (137 kg), the T-ALP farms the lowest (106 kg). Average P excretion ranged from 10 to 40 kg/year/cow unit. The on-farm N and P in manure per unit of milk decreased asymptotically with increasing cow productivity, from 25 to 19 and from 4.1 to 2.8 g/kg milk, respectively. The modern farms had the greatest amounts of N and P in manure per unit of agricultural land (260 and 51 kg/ha, respectively), the T-ALP farms the lowest (161 and 37 kg/ha, respectively). Within system, there was a huge variation among farms in the N and P load per unit of agricultural land, which was largely explained by the number of cow units per ha and by nutrient excretion per cow unit, but not by herd size or cow productivity. Within dairy system, the N and P contents of the rations for lactating cows were weakly related to the daily milk yield, but strongly related to the annual excretion of the nutrient per cow unit. The farm N loads were below the legal thresholds (340 kg N/ha per year), but the geographical distribution of the loads indicated two critical areas due to farm density.
  • Technical biofuel production and GHG mitigation potentials through healthy
           diets in the EU
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Konstantin M. Zech, Uwe A. Schneider Average diets in the European Union are not in line with the dietary recommendations of the World Health Organization. Too little plant-based and too much livestock-based food is consumed. Livestock production requires substantial resources and causes considerable greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), especially methane from enteric fermentation in ruminant animals. The livestock sector produces 18% of GHGE worldwide and uses 52% of the crops supplied in dry matter within the EU. Most livestock species are relatively poor feed converters. They require multiple units of feed to produce a unit of meat, milk, or eggs. The EU-average for this food conversion ratio ranges from 1.1 for milk to 34.2 for lamb meat on a dry-matter basis (Wilkinson, 2011). In addition to the impacts on the ecosystem, excess consumption of meat is also associated with substantial health risks.Large parts of the agricultural production capacity are used for a product that leads to high GHGE and even health risks, when consumed at current levels. This work therefore attempts to quantify the technical potential to repurpose feed crops for biofuel production, if healthy, low-meat diets were adopted. The reduction of agricultural GHGE and additional GHG mitigation from using the biofuels are examined as well.The analysis is performed with a modified version of the EUFASOM model. Trade volumes between EU and non-EU regions are fixed at observed levels to assess intra-EU potentials. Consumer preferences are considered in the examined diets. Average supply and demand quantities from 2007 to 2011 serve as the reference.If healthy diets were adopted and meat intake halved from about 200 to 100 g per day and capita, biofuel production could be increased 7.7 fold. With this, 16.1% of all the EU's fossil transport fuels could be displaced. Agricultural GHGE could be reduced by 24% and 14% of GHGE in the EU's transport sector could be additionally mitigated through the increased biofuel production.The adoption of healthy diets with reduced meat consumption can hence lead to large potentials for GHG mitigation in the EU. This holds however only if lower consumption of livestock products is mirrored by lower production as well. Mitigating GHGE by reducing livestock and displacing fossil fuels, is the “double dividend” of lower meat consumption. Furthermore, no innovations or high investments are needed, and substantial health costs can be saved.
  • Effects of tillage and crop residue management on runoff, soil loss and
           crop yield in the Humid Highlands of Ethiopia
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Zenebe Adimassu, Getachew Alemu, Lulseged Tamene This study was conducted on Eutric Nitisols of Holeta Agricultural Research Center (HARC) in the humid highlands of Ethiopia. The main objective was to assess the effect of tillage and crop residue management on runoff, soil loss and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield over three years (2009–2011). Nine treatments combining three tillage practices (zero, minimum and conventional tillage) and three rates of crop residue (0, 1 and 2 t ha−1 yr−1) were used. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. The result showed that average runoff was significantly higher (332 mm) in zero tillage without crop residue (T0C0) and lower (198 mm) in conventional tillage with 2 t ha−1 yr−1 crop residue (T2C2). The average soil loss was lower (16 t ha−1 yr−1) in zero tillage with 2 t ha−1 yr−1 crop residue (T0C2) and higher (30 t ha−1 yr−1) in conventional tillage without crop residue (T2C0). Although, zero and minimum tillage treatments reduced soil loss significantly as compared with conventional tillage practices, the annual soil loss (16 t ha−1 yr−1) is still much higher than the tolerable soil loss for the Ethiopian highlands (2–10 t ha−1 yr−1). This suggests the need to complement zero and minimum tillage practices with physical soil and water conservation practices. On average, highest grain (2 t ha−1) and biomass (6 t ha−1) yields of wheat were recorded in T2C2 while the lowest grain and biomass yields were recorded in T0C0. Based on the above observation, we argue that conventional tillage combined with sufficient crop residue is the most appropriate approach to reduce runoff and increase wheat yield in the short-term. However, zero tillage practices with crop residue are effective to reduce soil loss. As this study was based on results of three years data, long-term study is needed to figure out the long-term impacts of tillage and crop residue management in Ethiopia.
  • Smallholder preference and agroecosystem service trade-offs: A case study
           in Xinzheng County, China
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Ruihua Li, Hua Lin, Haipeng Niu, Yuqi Chen, Suxia Zhao, Liangxin Fan The provision of agroecosystem services (ESs) is directly influenced by the production goals and activities preferred by smallholders. However, the relationship between smallholder preferences and ES provision has yet to be established. This study surveyed the preferences of smallholders for agricultural production goals and managements in the North China Plain, China. The DeNitrification–DeComposition model was utilised to derive ES indicators under annual winter wheat–maize, winter wheat–peanut and biennial mixed rotation (i.e. winter wheat–maize and winter wheat–peanut rotation) systems. The combination of socio-economic and bio-physical modelling data was used to establish a quantitative link between ES compositions and smallholder preferences. Results show that smallholder preferences follow the order of traditional cropping system > low labour input > disaster alleviation > high income generation > food provision > soil fertilisation > landscape beautification > crop diversity. Preferences for high income generation, low labour input, disaster alleviation and crop diversity remarkably affect the cropping system choices of smallholders and the composition of ES provision. The preference for disaster alleviation is associated with high agricultural income and soil organic carbon (SOC), whereas that for low labour input is associated with low agricultural income and SOC accumulation. The ES trade-offs occurring in the switch from the preferences for high income generation, disaster alleviation and crop diversity to that for low labour input decrease the agricultural income and SOC sequestration. The analysis of the effects of smallholder preferences on trade-offs in ESs should consider soil types because agroecosystems with loamy and sandy soil types exhibit different compositions of ES provision under the same preference.
  • Plantain productivity: Insights from Cameroonian cropping systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 168Author(s): Sylvain Dépigny, Elodie Delrieu Wils, Philippe Tixier, Michel Ndoumbé Keng, Christian Cilas, Thierry Lescot, Patrick Jagoret Understanding the components of plantain productivity is important for contributing to the food security challenge in West and Central Africa. The purpose of this study was to assess how production system and cropping system characteristics affect plantain productivity. Interviews with farmers, dynamic measurements of cropped diversity, recording of management practices and characterization of the harvested bunches were used to characterize 25 plantain fields in the form of 54 factors and 5 dependent variables. The average bunch weight measured was 11.6 kg. The within-field variability of the bunch weights measured was 4.2 kg. The calculated mean plantain yield was 6.8 t/ha/year and varied between 1.1 and 18.8 t/ha/year depending on the fields studied. Harvested bunches amounted to only 34% of the field potential. Segmentation analyses (CART) of the fields studied and analyses of variance identified 12 factors strongly linked to bunch sizes and plantain field lifetime. The highest bunch weights were measured in fields belonging to farmers who participated in training and also applied herbicide and nitrogen fertilizers more frequently and at higher rates. These practices also increased within-field variability for bunch weights. Lastly, the management practices recorded showed an intensification of chemical inputs in traditional plantain-based cropping systems. These results, especially the high within-field and between-field variability for bunch weights, call for better quantify the impact of planting material quality and varietal mixture on plantain productivity into plantain-based cropping systems.
  • The impact of foot lesions in dairy cows on greenhouse gas emissions of
           milk production
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): P.F. Mostert, C.E. van Middelaar, I.J.M. de Boer, E.A.M. Bokkers The dairy sector is an important contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Foot lesions in dairy cows result in production losses and, therefore, might increase GHG emissions per kg milk. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of foot lesions in dairy cows on GHG emissions. A dynamic stochastic simulation model was developed to estimate dynamics of digital dermatitis (DD), white line disease (WLD), and sole ulcer (SU), and associated production losses within one lactation. Production losses included were reduced milk production, prolonged calving interval (CI), and culling. Subsequently, a life cycle assessment was performed to estimate the impact of foot lesions on GHG emissions per ton of fat-and-protein-corrected milk (kg CO2e/t FPCM). GHG emissions increased on average by 14 (1.5%) kg CO2e/t FPCM per case of foot lesions (i.e. DD, WLD, and SU combined), ranging from 17 kg CO2e/t FPCM in parity 1, to 7 kg CO2e/t FPCM in parity 5. Emissions of GHGs increased on average by 4 (0.4%) kg CO2e/t FPCM per case of DD, by 39 (4.3%) kg CO2e/t FPCM per case of WLD, and by 33 (3.6%) kg CO2e/t FPCM per case of SU. A prolonged CI explained the majority of the increase in GHG emissions for cows with DD, whereas culling was most important for cows with WLD or SU. DD had the lowest impact on GHG emissions, but the highest prevalence, and, therefore, contributed most to the average impact of foot lesions. This study showed that preventing different types of foot lesions can reduce GHG emissions from the dairy sector. The increasing attention for global warming and possible policies to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture might give dairy farmers another incentive to prevent foot lesions. The impact of foot lesions on GHG emissions, however, can vary among dairy farms, because of differences in prevalence of foot lesions and associated production losses, and in farm management.
  • Environmental costs and mitigation potential in plastic-greenhouse pepper
           production system in China: A life cycle assessment
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Xiaozhong Wang, Bin Liu, Gang Wu, Yixiang Sun, Xisheng Guo, Zhenghui Jin, Weining Xu, Yongzhi Zhao, Fusuo Zhang, Chunqin Zou, Xinping Chen Intensive vegetable system is commonly considered as high environmental costs due to high inputs, thus quantifying the mitigation potential of various environmental impacts, and developing strategies to improve the sustainability of this system was critical. Here we used partial life cycle assessment (LCA) to quantify the environmental impacts of a plastic-greenhouse pepper production system in China, and then employed an environmental impact gap methodology to analyze the mitigation potential of various environmental impacts and to establish better management strategy. The results showed that the global warming, acidification, eutrophication potentials and energy depletion of 160 farm-gate analysis were in average of 6.4 metric tons CO2-eq ha−1, 54.5 kg SO2-eq ha−1, 50.9 kg PO4-eq ha−1, and 57.3 GJ ha−1, respectively. Fertilizer accounted for 64.4%, 78.6% and 97.9% for the global warming, acidification, and eutrophication potential, respectively, while structural materials for greenhouse accounted for 58.6% of the total energy depletion. Based on analysis of yield gap and environmental impact gap by survey date grouping, the results showed that the pepper yield of the 1st quartile (best 25%) was 26.6% higher compared to the mean of all 160 farmer yields due to better nutrient and crop management. And at meantime, on per metric ton of pepper production, the global warming, acidification, eutrophication potentials and energy depletion were lower by 23.9%, 25.0%, 25.7%, and 23.2% in this system, respectively. In conclusion, the integrated nutrient-crop management strategies based on best famers' practices could close the gap of environmental impacts significantly.
  • The economic potential of residue management and fertilizer use to address
           climate change impacts on mixed smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Benjamin Henderson, Oscar Cacho, Philip Thornton, Mark van Wijk, Mario Herrero There are large yield gaps in the mixed smallholder farming systems of Africa, with limited opportunities to sustainably increase productivity and adapt to climate change. In this study, the ex-ante potential of residue retention and fertilization measures to meet this challenge is assessed using a positive mathematical programming (PMP) model. This micro-economic model captures decision making at the farm level for a sample population in Northern Burkina Faso for the 2010 to 2045 simulation period. In contrast to previous studies of mixed farms in this area, we model each individual farm in the sample population, instead of one or a small number of representative farms. We are therefore able identify groups of farms for which each measure is profitable, applied either individually or as a combined package. This approach also enables simulation of the economic impacts from indiscriminate applications of the measures or “smart” applications which are restricted to the farms that profit from the measures. Our findings are aligned with other studies showing that residue retention causes trade-offs between crop and livestock production, while fertilization can synergistically raise returns to both production activities. The annual profit losses from the “middle of the road” RCP6 trajectory of climate change assumed in this study were estimated to reach 15% by 2045. The smart package of measures increased aggregate profit the most, although not by nearly enough to claw back the losses from climate change. The fertilizer measures were the next most profitable, with indiscriminately applied residue retention being the only measure to reduce aggregate profit relative to this climate change baseline. Importantly, the measures that are the most profitable at the aggregate level are not necessarily those that would be the most widely adopted. For example, residue retention is profitable for a larger share of the sample population than fertilization. The advantage of the population scale analysis used in this study is that it prevents measures such as residue retention, which can benefit a significant share of farms, from being disregarded by practitioners because they appear to be unprofitable at the aggregate level or when viewed through the lens of an average representative farm. Finally, amidst the growing emphasis of studies on the benefits of packages compared to individual measures, the findings from this study are more equivocal about this choice, suggesting that extension programs should have the flexibility to apply measures individually or as a package.
  • Precision conservation meets precision agriculture: A case study from
           southern Ontario
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Virginia Capmourteres, Justin Adams, Aaron Berg, Evan Fraser, Clarence Swanton, Madhur Anand Meeting future food demands for 9 billion people in the next 30 years will require either agricultural expansion or intensification to increase production. However, agriculture is already a major driver of biodiversity loss, as well as freshwater withdrawals, nutrient inputs, and greenhouse gasses, among other pressing environmental issues. In this paper, we look for solutions to this production-conservation challenge at the subfield scale. We use precision agriculture yield data from three farms in Southern Ontario and convert them into “profit maps” that show which regions of a field have management costs that exceed the market value of the commodities produced. We analyse the profit of three farms over time and identify areas that consistently show low or negative profit and thus constitute a compelling case for taking these areas out of production. We find, for example, that up to 14% of farmland can result in money loss and even more than 50% of the land might still not meet minimum revenue expectations. Further, we assess the economic feasibility of conservation strategies on these set-aside lands and find that investing in environmental benefits (even minimally) can often times be inexpensive when compared with economic losses due to failed harvests. We argue that profit mapping can serve as a management tool for farmers that will allow them to identify optimal crop areas, optimize nutrient inputs, plan for ecological intensification, and avoid economic loss all while providing ecosystem services at the local scale.
  • A framework for priority-setting in climate smart agriculture research
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Philip K. Thornton, Anthony Whitbread, Tobias Baedeker, Jill Cairns, Lieven Claessens, Walter Baethgen, Christian Bunn, Michael Friedmann, Ken E. Giller, Mario Herrero, Mark Howden, Kevin Kilcline, Vinay Nangia, Julian Ramirez-Villegas, Shalander Kumar, Paul C. West, Brian Keating Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is widely promoted as an approach for reorienting agricultural development under the realities of climate change. Prioritising research-for-development activities is crucial, given the need to utilise scarce resources as effectively as possible. However, no framework exists for assessing and comparing different CSA research investments. Several aspects make it challenging to prioritise CSA research, including its multi-dimensional nature (productivity, adaptation and mitigation), the uncertainty surrounding many climate impacts, and the scale and temporal dependencies that may affect the benefits and costs of CSA adoption. Here we propose a framework for prioritising agricultural research investments across scales and review different approaches to setting priorities among agricultural research projects. Many priority-setting case studies address the short- to medium-term and at relatively local scales. We suggest that a mix of actions that span spatial and temporal time scales is needed to be adaptive to a changing climate, address immediate problems and create enabling conditions for enduring change.
  • Representation of decision-making in European agricultural
           agent-based models
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Robert Huber, Martha Bakker, Alfons Balmann, Thomas Berger, Mike Bithell, Calum Brown, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, Hang Xiong, Quang Bao Le, Gabriele Mack, Patrick Meyfroidt, James Millington, Birgit Müller, J. Gareth Polhill, Zhanli Sun, Roman Seidl, Christian Troost, Robert Finger The use of agent-based modelling approaches in ex-post and ex-ante evaluations of agricultural policies has been progressively increasing over the last few years. There are now a sufficient number of models that it is worth taking stock of the way these models have been developed. Here, we review 20 agricultural agent-based models (ABM) addressing heterogeneous decision-making processes in the context of European agriculture. The goals of this review were to i) develop a framework describing aspects of farmers' decision-making that are relevant from a farm-systems perspective, ii) reveal the current state-of-the-art in representing farmers' decision-making in the European agricultural sector, and iii) provide a critical reflection of underdeveloped research areas and on future opportunities in modelling decision-making. To compare different approaches in modelling farmers' behaviour, we focused on the European agricultural sector, which presents a specific character with its family farms, its single market and the common agricultural policy (CAP). We identified several key properties of farmers' decision-making: the multi-output nature of production; the importance of non-agricultural activities; heterogeneous household and family characteristics; and the need for concurrent short- and long-term decision-making. These properties were then used to define levels and types of decision-making mechanisms to structure a literature review. We find most models are sophisticated in the representation of farm exit and entry decisions, as well as the representation of long-term decisions and the consideration of farming styles or types using farm typologies. Considerably fewer attempts to model farmers' emotions, values, learning, risk and uncertainty or social interactions occur in the different case studies. We conclude that there is considerable scope to improve diversity in representation of decision-making and the integration of social interactions in agricultural agent-based modelling approaches by combining existing modelling approaches and promoting model inter-comparisons. Thus, this review provides a valuable entry point for agent-based modellers, agricultural systems modellers and data driven social scientists for the re-use and sharing of model components, code and data. An intensified dialogue could fertilize more coordinated and purposeful combinations and comparisons of ABM and other modelling approaches as well as better reconciliation of empirical data and theoretical foundations, which ultimately are key to developing improved models of agricultural systems.Graphical abstractImage 1
  • Advancing a farmer decision support tool for agronomic decisions on
           rainfed and irrigated wheat cropping in Tasmania
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): David C. Phelan, Matthew T. Harrison, Greg McLean, Howard Cox, Kieth G. Pembleton, Geoff J. Dean, David Parsons, Maria E. do Amaral Richter, Georgie Pengilley, Sue J. Hinton, Caroline L. Mohammed Well-designed agricultural decision support tools (DS) equip farmers with a rapid, easy way to compare multiple scenarios as well as the influence of different management strategies on crop production. One such tool, CropARM ( assists users in establishing a framework of risk, with simulations incorporating climate scenarios and management actions, such as fertiliser rates, sowing time, row spacing, and irrigation regimes. When used in conjunction with soil and climate characteristics, biophysical model-based DS tools provide information that complements farmer experience and helps establish a framework for risk management given local climate characteristics. In this study, we used the APSIM model to provide the simulation data necessary to expand CropARM for new management conditions and environments in southern Australia. Prior to this work being undertaken, no CropARM data was available for Tasmania and no sites in CropARM allowed users to compare rainfed and irrigated wheat crops. This study collated data from 27 plots across ten sites in Tasmania, from the period 1981 to 2011, under both rainfed and irrigated conditions. APSIM was parameterised with these field observations and the subsequent scenario simulations were used to populate CropARM. Wheat cultivars used in the parameterisation of APSIM include Brennan, Isis, Mackeller, Revenue, Tennant (winter types) and Kellalac (spring type). The validation showed reliable model parameterisation, with an r2 value of close to 1, which is considered satisfactory. 670,680 simulations were undertaken and incorporated within the CropARM database for wheat cropping systems across Tasmania. With regularly updated climate streams, the free online framework provided by CropARM gives users the ability to assess downside risks associated with several different crop management alternatives, and by simultaneously comparing multiple scenarios, users can select management options that are likely to adhere most closely with their desired management objectives.
  • Industrial agriculture and agroecological transition systems: A
           comparative analysis of productivity results, organic matter and
           glyphosate in soil
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Aparicio Virginia, Martín Zamora, Agustín Barbera, Mauricio Castro-Franco, Marisa Domenech, Eduardo De Gerónimo, José Luis Costa The system of industrial agriculture (IA), often implemented on a large scale and with high dependence on the supplies use, is reducing the soil organic matter (SOM) and increasing the glyphosate presence in the environment. An alternative approach to IA is agroecologywhich takes greater advantage of natural processes and beneficial on-farm interactions in order to reduce off-farm input use and to improve the efficiency of farming systems. In this study, a transition agroecological system (AT) is the alternative of the IA. Our objectives were: (i) to compare the agronomic productivity between AT and IA systems, (ii) to determine the effect of management practices on soil quality indicators such as soil organic matter content (SOM), soil bulk density, change in the weighted mean diameter (CMWD) and glyphosate and aminomethyl phosphonic acid (AMPA) concentration and (iii) to compare the economic results through a multi-temporal economic analysis between AT and IA systems. The soil sampling was carried out per soil-specific zones, delimited from apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) and elevation. Samples were taken at 0 to 2, 2 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 20, 20 to 30 and 30 to 40 cm of depth to determine the SOM content, the glyphosate concentration and main glyphosate metabolite, AMPA. Besides, the bulk density (δa) and CWMD were determined. The δa was lower in AT with respect to IA, both under no tillage (NT). No significant differences were found for CWMD between AT and IA systems, although a tendency to a lower value in AT system was observed. If we consider the percentage of organic matter as carbon matter per hectare, this means that in 6.5 years increase 540 kg ha−1 at 0 to 40 cm depth. The SOM content increased from 4,9 to 5,6% in AT with respect to IA. The content of glyphosate + AMPA at the first 40 cm was 0.06 kg ha−1 in the AT and 0.84 kg ha−1 in the IA system. In the AT system, the gross margin accumulated during 6.5 years, increased 244% with respect to IA. These results suggest that the AT system proposed could be applicable in extensive productions with temperate climates without interfering with the livelihood of the agricultural producers and it allows an improvement in soil conditions. It is important to carry out further studies in order to confirm the benefits of the AT system in other edaphic-climatic conditions, integrating productive, economic and environmental aspects.
  • Carbon footprint of cropping systems with grain legumes and cover crops: A
           case-study in SW France
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Daniel Plaza-Bonilla, Irene Nogué-Serra, Didier Raffaillac, Carlos Cantero-Martínez, Éric Justes Agriculture contributes to a significant proportion of global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) but can also participate in climate change mitigation. The introduction of legumes in crop rotations reduces the dependence on N fertilizers and may mitigate the carbon (C) footprint of cropping systems. The aim of this study was to quantify the C footprint of six low-input arable cropping systems resulting from the combination of three levels of grain legumes introduction in a 3-yr rotation (GL0: no grain legumes, GL1: 1 grain legume, GL2: 2 grain legumes) and the use of cover crops (CC) or bare fallow (BF) between cash crops, covering two rotation cycles (6 years). The approach considered external emissions, on-site emissions and soil organic carbon (SOC) stock changes, and prioritized (i) field observations and (ii) simulation of non-measured variables with the STICS model, rather than default emission factors. As expected, fertilizers accounted for 80–90% of external emissions, being reduced by 50% and 102% with grain legumes introduction in GL1-BF and GL2-BF, compared to the cereal-based rotation (GL0-BF). Cover crops management increased machinery emissions by 24–35% compared to BF. Soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions were low, ranging between 205 and 333 kg CO2 eq. ha−1 yr−1 in GL1-BF and GL0-BF, respectively. Nitrate leaching represented the indirect emission of 11.6 to 27.2 kg CO2 eq. ha−1 yr−1 in the BF treatments and 8.2 to 10.7 kg CO2 eq. ha−1 yr−1 in the CC treatments. Indirect emissions due to ammonia volatilization ranged between 8.4 and 41.8 kg CO2 eq. ha−1 yr−1. The introduction of grain legumes strongly influenced SOC changes and, consequently, the C footprint. In the BF systems, grain legumes introduction in the rotations led to a significant increase in the C footprint, because of higher SOC losses. Contrarily, the use of cover crops mitigated SOC losses, and lowered the C footprint. These results indicated the need of CC when increasing the number of grain legumes in cereal-based rotations. Despite the multiple known benefits of introducing grain legumes in cropping systems our research highlights the need to consider soil organic carbon changes in environmental assessments.
  • Assessing the relative sustainability of smallholder farming systems in
           Ethiopian highlands
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Vine Mutyasira, Dana Hoag, Dustin Pendell, Dale T. Manning, Melaku Berhe Global population growth will require substantial increases in agricultural production worldwide. Yet, despite growing concern about the environmental and social impacts of increased agricultural productivity, no consensus exists on the appropriate method for assessing the appropriate tradeoffs for sustainability. To address this need, this paper proposes the use of Data Envelope Analysis to create an index that permits assessment of the relative sustainability of smallholder farms in a given region, with minimal external interpretation about how individual farmers weight tradeoffs on their own farms. The method is applied to the Ethiopian highlands to explore the determinants of economic, social and environmental sustainability in the region's agricultural sector. Econometric model results suggest that farmers felt that farm size, market access, access to off farm income, agricultural loans, and access to agricultural extension and demonstration plots are key drivers of agricultural sustainability at the farm-level. Differences in agro-ecological conditions and region-specific factors were also significant determinants of relative farm sustainability. This underscores the importance of geographical targeting and tailoring of interventions to increase farm sustainability.
  • Design of spatial PGIS-MCDA-based land assessment planning for identifying
           sustainable land-use adaptation priorities for climate change impacts
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Jin Su Jeong Climate change is an obvious worldwide phenomenon closely related to human development, growth and consumption patterns, and it threatens land use, development, people and the environment. Due to its characteristics, Spain is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the European Union (EU). Thus, spatial planning is considered one of the main instruments available to manage sustainable adaptation to climate change. This article presents an assessment framework for exploring climate change impacts using participatory geographic information systems (PGISs)-multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) spatial planning with the preference ranking organization method for enrichment of evaluations (PROMETHEE) in sustainable land-use adaptation. Assessment planning applies to any agroforestry system at a regional level for a municipality with higher vulnerability. An indicator-based model with five categorical values was developed to assess twelve possible impacts from climate change and the main threats of climate change to water sources, agriculture, soil, and land management. This model is available to manage sustainable land-use adaptation priorities for climate change in a spatial context. The model discusses the likelihood of implementing and adopting strategies for climate change adaptation as assessed by a sensitivity analysis and a professional online survey. Among the five strategies, scenario A (suitability map) accounts for 8.84% of the priority areas (v) and 2.13% of the hot spots (i) and was the scenario most supported by professionals, while scenario D (priority to socioeconomic) accounts for 3.07% of the priority areas and 10.12% of the hotspots, and the lowest number of professionals supported this scenario. The results summarize foreseeable problems derived from climate change effects that require urgent adaptation activities through spatial land assessment planning. Thus, this study provides some recommendations and limitations from which decision-makers can select the most suitable arrangement for an agroforestry system to make it climate-resilient, and the study is applicable to similar geographical and spatial locations.Graphical Unlabelled Image
  • Co-design and assessment of mitigation practices in rice production
           systems: A case study in northern Vietnam
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Azeem Tariq, Andreas de Neergaard, Lars Stoumann Jensen, Bjoern Ole Sander, Mai Van Trinh, Quynh Duong Vu, Reiner Wassmann, Stephane de Tourdonnet Rice production systems are an important source of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Mitigation techniques, such as alternate wetting and drying, have been developed but have often not taken into consideration the constraints imposed by the practices and preferences of farmers. Since GHG mitigation benefits are not obvious at smallholder farm level, it is essential to design site-specific mitigation technologies with the participation of local stakeholders. The purpose of the present study was to adapt a participatory approach to designing and assessing mitigation practices for the dissemination of climate-friendly rice production systems. To improve the hybridization of scientific and local knowledge, a participatory five-step approach to prototyping was applied: (i) diagnosis based on a literature review and survey of stakeholders, (ii) design of mitigation practices based on laboratory trial and local knowledge (that of farmers, agricultural advisors and regional stakeholders), (iii) testing in growth chambers, (iv) testing in farmers' fields and (v) dissemination and assessment. The study was conducted in An Luong village, Red River Delta, northern Vietnam. In the study area, rice residue burning is restricted and farmers have to incorporate residue into the soil. Current water management practices, i.e. conventional continuous flooding and adopted midseason drainage, are not enough to reduce GHG emissions from added residues. Two new water management practices (pre-planting plus midseason drainage and early plus midseason drainage) were designed in participation with local stakeholders, and subsequently tested in the laboratory and in the field with the participation of local farmers. Future mitigation practices were assessed based on the yield, GHG emissions reduction and feedbacks of local stakeholders. Early plus midseason drainage proved to be an effective and feasible mitigation option for rice production in the area. Here we show that participation of local stakeholders in co-designing process help to identify the feasible GHG mitigation options, further it facilitates smallholder rice farmers to implement mitigation practices in their fields.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
  • Mapping Nairobi's dairy food system: An essential analysis for policy,
           industry and research
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Stella Kiambi, Pablo Alarcon, Jonathan Rushton, Maurice K. Murungi, Patrick Muinde, James Akoko, Gabriel Aboge, Stephen Gikonyo, Kelvin Momanyi, Erastus K. Kang'ethe, Eric M. Fèvre Demand for dairy products in sub-Saharan Africa, is expected to triple by 2050, while limited increase in supply is predicted. This poses significant food security risk to low income households. Understanding how the dairy food system operates is essential to identify mitigation measures to food insecurity impact. This study aims to determine the structure and functionality of Nairobi's dairy system using a value chain mapping approach.Primary data were gathered through focus group discussions and key informant interviews with dairy value chain stakeholders in Nairobi to obtain qualitative information on people and products in the chains while describing their interactions and flows. Qualitative thematic analysis combined with flowcharts created by participants enabled identification of key food system segments and the development of chain profiles (or flow-diagrams) which together form Nairobi's dairy system.Seven chain profiles forming Nairobi's dairy value chain were identified. These were found to be dominated by small-scale individuals who operate largely independently. Our profiles for the urban and peri-urban farming systems were structurally similar in their downstream networks, obtaining inputs from similar sources. Upstream, the urban systems were shorter, supplying mostly to immediate neighbours or based on own consumption, while the peri urban systems supplied to a wider network and showed some affiliations to producers' associations. Two distinct profiles characterize the milk flow from traders belonging either to a Dairy Traders Association (DTA) or those not belonging to this association (non-DTA). DTA traders sell mainly to fixed retailers and non-DTA traders to mobile retailers (hawkers or roadside vendors). Profiles associated with medium and large cooperatives were driven by networks of collection centres, but with medium-sized cooperatives selling half of their production to large processing companies, and large cooperatives only to fixed retailers. Large processing companies' profiles indicated distribution of high volumes and value addition processing. They reported strategic milk collection arrangements with suppliers on long, medium - or short - term contracts and with well-established product distribution channels.We have identified numerous inter-linkages across dairy chain profiles in Nairobi's complex system, demonstrating significant interdependency among the stakeholders. Therefore, enhancing the system's efficiency requires a holistic, system-wide approach and any policy interventions should consider every segment of the value chain. This study provides a methodological approach for organizations and policy makers to understand and address structural and functional vulnerabilities within food systems more broadly. The insights from this study are relevant to other rapidly growing cities in the region.
  • A novel agroecosystem: Beef production in abandoned farmland as a
           multifunctional alternative to rewilding
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): Stephen J.G. Hall In much of Europe policy is challenged by the abandonment of crop and pasture land and its replacement by natural forest regrowth. Rewilding is one option. An alternative, multifunctional, strategy is extensive beef farming coupled with carbon storage in herbage and naturally regenerating trees. An economic model is developed in the context of Estonia, where many of the constraints and opportunities relating to natural forest regrowth are in particularly sharp focus, but the approach will be widely applicable. Production of niche market beef, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services can proceed in parallel. A novel concept of support payments is proposed. Net present value assessment, with cash credits for carbon storage, demonstrates that the model is viable. A 100 ha tract of abandoned land, stocked with 35 beef cows, would produce beef profitably. Provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services would be delivered, including a net storage of carbon, and rural regeneration would be promoted. The study provides further scientific underpinning for a policy discussion on abandoned land, which represents a growing proportion of Europe's land area. Extensive beef production is compatible with net carbon storage and can provide sustainable ecosystem services together with rural regeneration.
  • A robustness-based viewpoint on the production-ecology trade-off in
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 167Author(s): R. Sabatier, L. Mouysset The intrinsic variability of the ecological functions underlying agroecological farming systems calls for a discussion on their robustness, i.e. their ability to maintain their performances in spite of environmental uncertainties. In this study, we apply the mathematical framework of the viability theory to assess three dimensions of robustness in relation with the production and ecological objectives in three contrasted case studies. Our results first show that robustness towards production and ecological constraints follows similar patterns across case-studies. We moreover show that robustness does not conflict with the production-ecological trade-off for the 3 case studies. From the management standpoint, this means that including the robustness criterion in the analysis helps reducing the set of possible options while ensuring the highest probability of success of the management scenarios chosen.
  • Innovation, investment and enterprise: Climate resilient entrepreneurial
           pathways for overcoming poverty
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 August 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Anamika Dey, Anil K. Gupta, Gurdeep Singh Harnessing innovative potential of individual and communities in high risk environments provides an entrepreneurial approach to poverty alleviation. The access to resources and the ability of communities to transform these resources technologically depends on the matrices of institutional assurances and attitude to take risks to convert ecological variability into entrepreneurial opportunities for investments. These innovations can emerge endogenously or sourced exogenously or might be a blend of both. The Honey Bee Network has evolved several instruments for scouting, documenting, validating and value-adding, financing and disseminating innovations for, from and with grassroots.Climatic fluctuations produce four kinds of household portfolios depending upon the average income or productivity and variance around it: a) high mean-low variance, b) high mean-high variance, c) low mean-low variance and d) low mean-high variance. Category d comprises the most vulnerable community members; but the challenge before agriculture scientist is to recognize that the economically poorest people may not be intellectually or institutionally poor. The grassroots innovations often remain localized and underdeveloped. Blending and/or bundling formal and informal knowledge systems can generate viable, investible choices for individuals, communities or a combination thereof. Innovation can take place in terms of various combinations of products, processes, services and systems (PPSS). The conventional agricultural system has not focused on creating or augmenting innovation capabilities or potential by modifying the interplay between existing institutions, technologies and resources. in the age of mass customization, the standardized solutions and packages have no place. Without enhancing local capabilities to interpret climatic and other sources of fluctuations, we cannot generate dynamic household portfolios of private, common and public resource based survival strategies.Innovations in instruments of engagement between formal and informal system are as important as technological and other innovations. The microfinance has to evolve into micro venture innovation finance so that communities and individuals can take risk to generate viable social and economic enterprises. Incentives to experiment, explore and fail may not work effectively without risk absorption mechanisms at different levels. While conventional intellectual property protection system is useful for market based economies, the concept of Technology Commons may be more apt for network based economies, promoting open sharing among communities but sharing with commercial firms through licensing.The proposed inclusive innovation ecosystem focuses at strengthening the coping strategies of marginal farmers, particularly women by 1) harnessing social & ethical capital by pooling and sharing of resources and associated knowledge, 2) converting access to resources and knowledge into episodic and/or perennial enterprises 3) overcoming climatic or market induced fluctuations through innovations in PPSS; 4) building self-designed, self-governed institutions i.e. autopoietic institutions for continuous learning and experimentation to overcome poverty; 5) encouraging third party interventions through heteropoietic institutions only for short term so as not to dissipate long term autopoietic potential for sustainability by having permeable and fuzzy boundaries to facilitate exchange of expertise, feedback and other resources as and when needed, and 6) fostering distributed, decentralized and diversified innovation-based portfolio of enterprises contributing to social, economic and ecological resilience.
  • A comparison of global agricultural monitoring systems and current gaps
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 July 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Steffen Fritz, Linda See, Juan Carlos Laso Bayas, François Waldner, Damien Jacques, Inbal Becker-Reshef, Alyssa Whitcraft, Bettina Baruth, Rogerio Bonifacio, Jim Crutchfield, Felix Rembold, Oscar Rojas, Anne Schucknecht, Marijn Van der Velde, James Verdin, Bingfang Wu, Nana Yan, Liangzhi You, Sven Gilliams, Sander Mücher Global and regional scale agricultural monitoring systems aim to provide up-to-date information regarding food production to different actors and decision makers in support of global and national food security. To help reduce price volatility of the kind experienced between 2007 and 2011, a global system of agricultural monitoring systems is needed to ensure the coordinated flow of information in a timely manner for early warning purposes. A number of systems now exist that fill this role. This paper provides an overview of the eight main global and regional scale agricultural monitoring systems currently in operation and compares them based on the input data and models used, the outputs produced and other characteristics such as the role of the analyst, their interaction with other systems and the geographical scale at which they operate. Despite improvements in access to high resolution satellite imagery over the last decade and the use of numerous remote-sensing based products by the different systems, there are still fundamental gaps. Based on a questionnaire, discussions with the system experts and the literature, we present the main gaps in the data and in the methods. Finally, we propose some recommendations for addressing these gaps through ongoing improvements in remote sensing, harnessing new and innovative data streams and the continued sharing of more and more data.
  • 25+years+of+the+WOFOST+cropping+systems+model&rft.title=Agricultural+Systems&rft.issn=0308-521X&">25 years of the WOFOST cropping systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 July 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Allard de Wit, Hendrik Boogaard, Davide Fumagalli, Sander Janssen, Rob Knapen, Daniel van Kraalingen, Iwan Supit, Raymond van der Wijngaart, Kees van Diepen The WOFOST cropping systems model has been applied operationally over the last 25 years as part of the MARS crop yield forecasting system. In this paper we provide an updated description of the model and reflect on the lessons learned over the last 25 years. The latter includes issues like system performance, model sensitivity, spatial model setup, parameterization and calibration approaches as well as software implementation and version management. Particularly for spatial model calibrations we provide experience and guidelines on how to execute calibrations and how to evaluate WOFOST model simulation results, particularly under conditions of limited field data availability.As an open source model WOFOST has been a success with at least 10 different implementations of the same concept. An overview is provided for those implementations which are managed by MARS or Wageningen groups. However, the proliferation of WOFOST implementations has also led to questions on the reproducibility of results from different implementations as is demonstrated with an example from MARS. In order to certify that the different WOFOST implementations and versions available can reproduce basic sets of inputs and outputs we make available a large set of test cases as appendix to this publication.Finally, new methodological extensions have been added to WOFOST in simulating the impact of nutrients limitations, extreme events and climate variability. Also, a difference is made in the operational and scientific versions of WOFOST with different licensing models and possible revenue generation. Capitalizing both on academic development as well as model testing in real-world situations will help to enable new applications of the WOFOST model in precision agriculture and smart farming.
  • Using reanalysis in crop monitoring and forecasting systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 July 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): A. Toreti, A. Maiorano, G. De Sanctis, H. Webber, A.C. Ruane, D. Fumagalli, A. Ceglar, S. Niemeyer, M. Zampieri Weather observations are essential for crop monitoring and forecasting but they are not always available and in some cases they have limited spatial representativeness. Thus, reanalyses represent an alternative source of information to be explored. In this study, we assess the feasibility of reanalysis-based crop monitoring and forecasting by using the system developed and maintained by the European Commission- Joint Research Centre, its gridded daily meteorological observations, the biased-corrected reanalysis AgMERRA and the ERA-Interim reanalysis. We focus on Europe and on two crops, wheat and maize, in the period 1980–2010 under potential and water-limited conditions.In terms of inter-annual yield correlation at the country scale, the reanalysis-driven systems show a very good performance for both wheat and maize (with correlation values higher than 0.6 in almost all EU28 countries) when compared to the observations-driven system. However, significant yield biases affect both crops. All simulations show similar correlations with respect to the FAO reported yield time series.These findings support the integration of reanalyses in current crop monitoring and forecasting systems and point to the emerging opportunities linked to the coming availability of higher-resolution reanalysis updated at near real time.
  • ASAP: A new global early warning system to detect anomaly hot spots of
           agricultural production for food security analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 July 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Felix Rembold, Michele Meroni, Ferdinando Urbano, Gabor Csak, Hervé Kerdiles, Ana Perez-Hoyos, Guido Lemoine, Olivier Leo, Thierry Negre Monitoring crop and rangeland conditions is highly relevant for early warning and response planning in food insecure areas of the world. Satellite remote sensing can obtain relevant and timely information in such areas where ground data are scattered, non-homogenous, or frequently unavailable. Rainfall estimates provide an outlook of the drivers of vegetation growth, whereas time series of satellite-based biophysical indicators at high temporal resolution provide key information about vegetation status in near real-time and over large areas. The new early warning decision support system ASAP (Anomaly hot Spots of Agricultural Production) builds on the experience of the MARS crop monitoring activities for food insecure areas, that have started in the early 2000's and aims at providing timely information about possible crop production anomalies. The information made available on the website ( directly supports multi-agency early warning initiatives such as for example the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for Early Warning and provides inputs to more detailed food security assessments that are the basis for the annual Global Report on Food Crises. ASAP is a two-step analysis framework, with a first fully automated step classifying the first sub-national level administrative units into four agricultural production deficit warning categories. Warnings are based on rainfall and vegetation index anomalies computed over crop and rangeland areas and are updated every 10 days. They take into account the timing during the crop season at which they occur, using remote sensing derived phenology per-pixel. The second step involves the monthly analysis at country level by JRC crop monitoring experts of all the information available, including the automatic warnings, crop production and food security-tailored media analysis, high-resolution imagery (e.g. Landsat 8, Sentinel 1 and 2) processed in Google Earth Engine and ancillary maps, graphs and statistics derived from a set of indicators. Countries with potentially critical conditions are marked as minor or major hotspots and a global overview is provided together with short national level narratives.
  • Use and relevance of European Union crop monitoring and yield forecasts
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 June 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Marijn van der Velde, Irene Biavetti, Mohamed El-Aydam, Stefan Niemeyer, Fabien Santini, Maurits van den Berg Since 1993, the JRC has put in operation a crop monitoring and yield forecasting system for Europe, the results of which are published in the JRC MARS Bulletin (currently every month). This paper outlines how the agro-meteorological analyses, country-specific overviews of crop conditions, and crop yield forecasts reported in the Bulletin are used and how these respond to the diverse needs of different types of stakeholders. Stakeholders from more than 32 countries download the JRC MARS Bulletin, in peak-season up to 1500 downloads occur in the first days after publication. The readership of the Bulletin is diverse, coming from governments (e.g. Ministries of Agriculture), private companies (e.g. commodity traders, banking), media, and research and academia. On the list of stakeholders that want to be notified of the release of the Bulletin, roughly 37% originate from business, 35% from research and development, 22% from government, and 6% from the media. The primary user is the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG-AGRI) of the European Commission, which uses the forecasts to quantify the production estimates for crop supply balance sheets and to identify regions with exceptional (mostly weather related) challenges that might require a policy response. The information for wheat, maize and rice is shared through the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) thus contributing to increased global market transparency and better governance of agriculture and food policies. The largest business use is in market information, financial, and consultancy services, followed by commodity trading. Examples of use in media reports as well as online feedback to those, e.g. by farmer's organizations, are also presented. Downloads of the Bulletin peak in the month before harvest at the time when the forecasts can be of most value for stakeholder decision-making.
  • Improving WOFOST model to simulate winter wheat phenology in Europe:
           Evaluation and effects on yield
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 May 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): A. Ceglar, R. van der Wijngaart, A. de Wit, R. Lecerf, H. Boogaard, L. Seguini, M. van den Berg, A. Toreti, M. Zampieri, D. Fumagalli, B. Baruth This study describes and evaluates improvements to the MARS crop yield forecasting system (MCYFS) for winter soft wheat (Triticum aestivum) in Europe, based on the WOFOST crop simulation model, by introducing autumn sowing dates, realistic soil moisture initialization, adding vernalization requirements and photoperiodicity, and phenology calibration. Dataset of phenological observations complemented with regional cropping calendars across Europe is used. The calibration of thermal requirements for anthesis and maturity is done by pooling all available observations within European agro-environmental zones and minimizing an objective function that combines the differences between observed and simulated anthesis, maturity and harvest dates. Calibrated phenology results in substantial improvement in simulated dates of anthesis with respect to the original MCYFS simulations. The combined improvements to the system result in a physically more plausible spatial distribution of crop model indicators across Europe. Crop yield indicators point to better agreement with recorded national winter wheat yields with respect to the original MCYFS simulations, most pronounced in central, eastern and southern Europe. However, model skill remains low in large parts of western Europe, which may possibly be attributed to the impacts of wet conditions.
  • An evaluation framework to build a cost-efficient crop monitoring system.
           Experiences from the extension of the European crop monitoring system
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 April 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Raúl López-Lozano, Bettina Baruth This paper presents an evaluation framework followed to identify cost-efficient alternatives to extend the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System (MCYFS), run by the European Commission Joint Research Centre since 1992, to other main producing areas of the world: Eastern European Neighbourhood, Asia, Australia, South America and North America. These new systems would follow the principles and components of the MCYFS Europe: a meteorological data infrastructure, a remote sensing data infrastructure, a crop modelling platform, statistical tools, a team of analysts and a crop area estimation component. The framework designed evaluates the performance of the possible MCYFS-like system realizations against six defined objectives and their costs. Possible monitoring systems are based on a combination of different technical solutions for each of the MCYFS components, and are evaluated through an automatic algorithm that calculates the expected system performance –relying on a priori expert judgement–, the costs, and possible risks to construct some technical solutions, to finally identify the cost-efficient ones. A baseline system, achieving the minimum required performance, was identified as the most efficient starting point for the MCYFS extension in all the geographical areas. Such system would be built upon: (i) near real-time reanalysis meteorological products; (ii) remote sensing data from low-resolution (~1 km) platforms with a long-term product archive; (iii) crop models based on crop-specific model calibration from experimental data published in scientific literature; (iv) statistical methods based on trend and regression analysis applied to national level; (v) a team of analysts with specific technical profiles (on meteorology, remote sensing, and agronomy); and (vi) digital classification of very high resolution imagery supported by non-expensive ground surveys for area estimation. In countries where accessibility to local data and resources is high the baseline system can be upgraded enhancing some of the components: sub-national statistical analysis with additional statistical methods like multiple regression or scenario analysis; recruitment of experts on local agricultural conditions in the team of analysts; local calibration of crop models with experimental data; and exploiting high and low resolution biophysical products from remote sensing for crop monitoring.
  • Rapid transformation of food systems in developing regions: Highlighting
           the role of agricultural research & innovations
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 February 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Thomas Reardon, Ruben Echeverria, Julio Berdegué, Bart Minten, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, David Tschirley, David Zilberman Developing regions' food system has transformed rapidly in the past several decades. The food system is the dendritic cluster of R&D value chains, and the value chains linking input suppliers to farmers, and farmers upstream to wholesalers and processors midstream, to retailers then consumers downstream. We analyze the transformation in terms of these value chains' structure and conduct, and the effects of changes in those on its performance in terms of impacts on consumers and farmers, as well as the efficiency of and waste in the overall chain. We highlight the role of, and implications for agricultural research, viewed broadly as farm technology as well as research pertaining to all aspects of input and output value chains.
  • Food and agricultural innovation pathways for prosperity
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 February 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Thomas P. Tomich, Preetmoninder Lidder, Mariah Coley, Douglas Gollin, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Patrick Webb, Peter Carberry This introduction to the special issue deploys a framework, inspired by realist synthesis and introduced in Section 1, that aims to untangle the contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes associated with investments that link poverty reduction and rural prosperity within a broad agri-food systems perspective. Section 2 considers changes in contexts: Where are agricultural research investments most likely to be an engine of poverty reduction' Over the past 25 years, there have been profound changes in the development context of most countries, necessitating an update on strategic insights for research investment priorities relevant for the economic, political, social, environmental, and structural realities of the early 21st Century. Section 2 briefly surveys changes in these structural aspects of poverty and development processes in low-income countries, with particular attention to new drivers (e.g., urbanization, climate change) that will be of increasing salience in the coming decades. In Section 3, we turn to mechanisms: What are the plausible impact pathways and what evidence exists to test their plausibility' Poor farmers in the developing world are often the stated focus of public sector agricultural research. However, farmers are not the only potential beneficiaries of agricultural research; rural landless laborers, stakeholders along food value chains, and the urban poor can also be major beneficiaries of such research. Thus, there are multiple, interacting pathways through which agricultural research can contribute to reductions in poverty and associated livelihood vulnerabilities. This paper introduces an ex ante set of 18 plausible impact pathways from agricultural research to rural prosperity outcomes, employing bibliometric methods to assess the evidence underpinning causal links. In Section 4, we revisit the concept of desired impacts: When we seek poverty reduction, what does that mean and what measures are needed to demonstrate impact' The papers in this special issue are intended to yield insights to inform improvements in agricultural research that seeks to reduce poverty. History indicates that equity of distribution of gains matters hugely, and thus the questions of “who wins'” and “who loses'” must be addressed. Moreover, our understanding(s) of “poverty” and the intended outcomes of development investments have become much richer over the past 25 years, incorporating more nuance regarding gender, community differences, and fundamental reconsideration of the meaning of poverty and prosperity that are not captured by simple head count income or even living standard measures.
  • Climate risk management and rural poverty reduction
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 February 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): James Hansen, Jon Hellin, Todd Rosenstock, Eleanor Fisher, Jill Cairns, Clare Stirling, Christine Lamanna, Jacob van Etten, Alison Rose, Bruce Campbell Climate variability is a major source of risk to smallholder farmers and pastoralists, particularly in dryland regions. A growing body of evidence links climate-related risk to the extent and the persistence of rural poverty in these environments. Stochastic shocks erode smallholder farmers' long-term livelihood potential through loss of productive assets. The resulting uncertainty impedes progress out of poverty by acting as a disincentive to investment in agriculture – by farmers, rural financial services, value chain institutions and governments. We assess evidence published in the last ten years that a set of production technologies and institutional options for managing risk can stabilize production and incomes, protect assets in the face of shocks, enhance uptake of improved technologies and practices, improve farmer welfare, and contribute to poverty reduction in risk-prone smallholder agricultural systems. Production technologies and practices such as stress-adapted crop germplasm, conservation agriculture, and diversified production systems stabilize agricultural production and incomes and, hence, reduce the adverse impacts of climate-related risk under some circumstances. Institutional interventions such as index-based insurance and social protection through adaptive safety nets play a complementary role in enabling farmers to manage risk, overcome risk-related barriers to adoption of improved technologies and practices, and protect their assets against the impacts of extreme climatic events. While some research documents improvements in household welfare indicators, there is limited evidence that the risk-reduction benefits of the interventions reviewed have enabled significant numbers of very poor farmers to escape poverty. We discuss the roles that climate-risk management interventions can play in efforts to reduce rural poverty, and the need for further research on identifying and targeting environments and farming populations where improved climate risk management could accelerate efforts to reduce rural poverty.
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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