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Publisher: Elsevier   (Total: 3182 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 3182 Journals sorted alphabetically
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 1.655, CiteScore: 2)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.015, CiteScore: 2)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 105, SJR: 1.462, CiteScore: 3)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.932, CiteScore: 2)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42, SJR: 1.771, CiteScore: 3)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 440, SJR: 0.758, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 7)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.18, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.661, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 318, 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: 2, SJR: 0.307, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.793, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, 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: 7, SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.671, CiteScore: 5)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.53, CiteScore: 4)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.29, CiteScore: 3)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.755, CiteScore: 2)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 2.611, CiteScore: 8)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 186, SJR: 4.09, CiteScore: 13)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.167, CiteScore: 4)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 2.384, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 30, 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: 12, SJR: 0.992, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, 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: 15, 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: 34, SJR: 3.043, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, 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: 5)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 0.156, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, 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: 26, SJR: 1.562, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, 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: 13)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 44, SJR: 2.524, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.159, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 52, 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: 66, SJR: 0.591, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 1.354, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 12.74, CiteScore: 13)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.193, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26, SJR: 0.368, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.749, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.193, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 37, SJR: 4.433, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, 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: 6, SJR: 0.176, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, 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: 21, SJR: 0.88, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 3.027, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.158, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
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: 5)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, 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: 27, SJR: 0.461, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.536, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, 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: 10)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
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: 68)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.371, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access   (Followers: 2, 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: 424, 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: 13, SJR: 0.555, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 38, SJR: 2.208, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 2.262, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 54, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 3)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.117, CiteScore: 3)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 387, 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: 12, SJR: 3.671, CiteScore: 9)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 482, SJR: 1.238, CiteScore: 3)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.13, CiteScore: 0)
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.818, CiteScore: 5)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 1.156, CiteScore: 4)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 1.272, CiteScore: 3)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58, SJR: 1.747, CiteScore: 4)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.589, CiteScore: 3)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.26, CiteScore: 0)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.153, CiteScore: 3)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 2, 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: 11, SJR: 0.201, CiteScore: 1)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 53, SJR: 4.66, CiteScore: 10)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.796, CiteScore: 4)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.108, CiteScore: 3)
Ambulatory Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58, SJR: 3.267, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66, SJR: 1.93, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.524, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37, SJR: 7.45, CiteScore: 8)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.062, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36, SJR: 2.973, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50)
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: 265, SJR: 2.7, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66, 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: 32, 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: 39, 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: 67, SJR: 0.138, CiteScore: 0)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 1)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
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: 44, SJR: 1.512, CiteScore: 5)
Analytica Chimica Acta : X     Open Access  
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 209, SJR: 0.633, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, 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: 228, SJR: 1.58, CiteScore: 3)
Animal Feed Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.937, CiteScore: 2)
Animal Reproduction Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.704, CiteScore: 2)

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Similar Journals
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  [3182 journals]
  • Sward height determines pasture production and animal performance in a
           long-term soybean-beef cattle integrated system
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): Taise Robinson Kunrath, Pedro Arthur de Albuquerque Nunes, William de Souza Filho, Mónica Cadenazzi, Carolina Bremm, Amanda Posselt Martins, Paulo César de Faccio Carvalho To improve our knowledge on the effects of different grazing intensities on integrated crop-livestock systems (ICLS) and thus define solid management goals to maximize plant and animal responses in these systems, we analyzed 16 years of data regarding to herbage mass, daily herbage accumulation, total herbage production, stocking rate, individual average daily gain and live weight gain per hectare from a long-term ICLS in southern Brazil. Treatments consisted of different grazing intensities (defined by the sward heights of 10, 20, 30 and 40 cm) by steers on mixed black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) pastures under continuous stocking. Herbage mass was consistently correlated to sward height, increasing by 88.7 kg DM ha−1 for each centimeter of sward height. The sward management heights of 20, 30 and 40 cm were similar with an average of 1.08 kg LW-1 animal-1 day−1, decreasing at a rate of 0.03 kg LW animal-1 day−1 for each cm decrease under 19 cm following a segmented equation. Stocking rate and live weight gain per area responded linearly decreasing by 35.8 kg LW ha−1 and 12.1 kg LW ha−1 for each cm increase in sward height, respectively. The long-term pasture and animal production presented a consistent pattern over the 16 experimental years, showing that swards managed under 19 cm are detrimental to animal individual performance despite of increases in the live weight gain per area. We conclude that managing the sward heights between 20 and 30 cm (moderate grazing intensities) maximize both plant and animal production and should be adopted as the management goal for mixed black oat and Italian ryegrass pastures within an ICLS meeting the global demand for increased food production and sustainability of the agroecosystems.
  • Corrigendum to “Associations between global indices of risk management
           and agricultural development” [Agric. Syst. 173 (2019) 281–288]
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): Elesandro Bornhofen, Thiago Gentil Ramires, Tábata Bergonci, Luiz Ricardo Nakamura, Ana Julia Righetto
  • Vegetation management intensity and landscape diversity alter plant
           species richness, functional traits and community composition across
           European vineyards
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): Rea M. Hall, Nicole Penke, Monika Kriechbaum, Sophie Kratschmer, Vincent Jung, Simon Chollet, Muriel Guernion, Annegret Nicolai, Francoise Burel, Albin Fertil, Ángel Lora, Rafael Sánchez-Cuesta, Gema Guzmán, Jose Gómez, Daniela Popescu, Adela Hoble, Claudiu-Ioan Bunea, Johann G. Zaller, Silvia Winter Land-use intensification at the field and landscape scale is a strong driver for declining biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Vineyards are characterised by non-productive inter-rows, which could potentially host diverse plant communities. Mulching, tillage or herbicides are used to mitigate the competition between vines and the inter-row vegetation. As plant species with the same set of functional traits will respond similarly to environmental filters like management measures, knowledge about plant trait–environment-relations can be used to predict community and ecosystem processes which are essential for preserving ecosystem services like soil erosion mitigation. We hypothesized that higher vegetation management intensity reduces plant (functional) diversity, changes functional traits and community composition.Across Europe, four viticultural regions in Austria, France, Spain and Romania, which comprised 78 vineyards differing in vegetation management intensity (bare soil, temporary and permanent vegetation cover), were selected for sampling vascular plant diversity. Around each vineyard, the surrounding landscape composition and landscape diversity was investigated within a 750 m radius. Rao's quadratic entropy as a measure of functional diversity was calculated based on a selection of plant functional traits. The effects of management and landscape variables on species richness, functional traits, functional diversity and vegetation cover were analysed by generalized linear mixed models and random forests (RF). Furthermore, plant community composition was analysed with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS).Higher management intensities resulted in lower species richness, functional diversity and vegetation cover. The country with the related divergent edaphoclimatic conditions was a significant factor affecting most diversity and functional trait parameters, whereas landscape diversity increased plant species richness only slightly. Vegetation management intensity had the highest explanatory power for species richness, functional diversity and most functional traits according to RF analysis. Consequently, plant functional traits like a higher coverage of ruderals and annuals could be clearly related to bare soil management. Furthermore, the type of cover crops influenced the relationship between annual and perennial plant species, Grime plant strategy types and species diversity. Accordingly, NMDS showed a separation between permanent vegetation cover and bare soil vineyards. The overall positive effect of extensive management and the use of diverse cover crops or spontaneous vegetation in vineyard inter-rows should be better implemented in agricultural policies to support both, biodiversity and ecosystem provision.
  • Economic evaluation of genetic markers for cow-calf operations
           differentiated by forage type and breed
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): Michael P. Popp, Josh C. Crystal, Colson A. Tester, Edward E. Gbur, Charles F. Rosenkrans When selecting breeding stock, the use of genetic marker information in beef cattle (Bos taurus L., and Bos indicus L.) is expected to enhance herd performance and thereby producer returns. Cattle performance data from experimental trials, tracking the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) P450 C994 G and HSP70 CDS G2033C genotypic distributions in Angus (AA; Bos taurus), Brahman (BB; Bos indicus), and their reciprocal cross (RC) cows were investigated to determine economic performance differences when grazing endophyte infected tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (=Festuca arundinacea)] compared to Bermudagrass (BG; Cynodon dactylon L.) pastures. Since open cows were not culled, the study provides unique lifetime data on cow-calf breeding failure rates. These data are essential for economic comparisons of spring calving herds that were either exposed to fungal endophyte [Epichloë coenophiala (=Neotyphodium coenophialum = Acremonium coenophialum)] infected tall fescue grazing and hay (E+) or not (BG). The Forage and Cattle Analysis and Planning (FORCAP) decision support software was used to assess impact on profitability of birth weight, weaning weight, and breeding failure rate differences across treatment. Results showed that added SNP marker information did little to separate animal performance. A neural network approach also was used to assess the impact of genetic marker information to predict economic performance. Using either gene SNP, less than 5% of variation in economic returns was affected by genetic information, with the largest driver of profitability being breeding failure rate. Using the two genetic markers of this study to predict breeding failure rate showed little evidence to suggest that breeding decisions could be improved using genetic marker information. With more data, this conclusion may well change as observed least square mean differences by SNP were larger than the cost of obtaining the information but not statistically significant.
  • Amending conservation programs through expanding choice architecture: A
           case study of forestry and livestock producers
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): James Davis, Gordon Rausser Incentives designed to spur the adoption of agroforestry practices by farmers across the United States have largely been ineffective. Unfortunately, most Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts are composed of temporary grassland conversions, not permanent forest land conversions. Using data collected from forestry and livestock producers, we estimate the minimum payment necessary for producers to adopt the agroforestry practice of silvopasture. Results indicate that CRP contracts based on silvopasture or other integrated systems may be a more efficient alternative than contracts based on complete conversion to forest land. However, successful implementation of such a policy requires a well-informed producer base whose behavior can be nudged towards integrated systems.
  • Crop-diversification and organic management increase the energy efficiency
           of cacao plantations
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): David Pérez-Neira, Monika Schneider, Laura Armengot The increasing global demand for chocolate and related products has intensified their production systems by both replacing traditional agroforestry systems with monocultures and increasing the use of synthetic external inputs and machinery. High dependence on non-renewable energy is a clear symptom of unsustainability in food production systems. Consequently, more sustainable agricultural practices should be promoted. With a special focus on non-renewable energy, this work compares: i) the cumulate energy demand (CED), ii) energy return on investment (EROI), and iii) energy return on labour of four different cacao production systems: two agroforestry systems and two monocultures under organic and conventional management. Cacao and subproduct yields and the use of labour and external inputs were recorded during the first five years after the establishment of the trial in Bolivia. Results show that CED per hectare was almost 2-fold higher in monocultures than in agroforestry systems. With regard to the kilograms of cacao produced, the higher number of inputs used in monocultures was compensated by a higher cacao output. However, when subproducts were also taken into account, non-renewable CED was 7.4 times higher in monocultures, and non-renewable EROI increased up to 4.8 times in agroforestry systems compared to monocultures. Under organic management, less than 10% of CED was from non-renewable sources, while it reached 75% in conventional systems. Non-renewable EROI was higher under organic management, both when only cacao was considered and when subproducts were also included. Productivity per hour worked and per energy unit of labour invested were both higher in agroforestry systems than in monocultures. In conclusion, diversification of production and organic management are crucial to increase EROI and diminish dependence on non-renewable energy sources of cacao plantations.
  • Identifying the drivers and predicting the outcome of conservation
           agriculture globally
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): John P. Laborde, Charles S. Wortmann, Humberto Blanco-Canqui, Guillermo A. Baigorria, John L. Lindquist Conservation agriculture (CA) is a potentially viable system for sustainable intensification across diverse agroecological and socio-economic landscapes. This analysis applied machine-learning techniques to a wealth of published data to create a predictive model of the agronomic outcome of CA relative to conventional practice (CP) based on 21 variables. The impact of different management scenarios were modeled by manipulating model input values for residue retention and N application rate, CA duration, and the ratio of CA to CP plant stand. Subsequently, the model was used to rank the importance of these variables in determining model outcome, and to create global maps of CA:CP outcomes for rainfed maize, wheat and soybean. Results showed that over-yielding of CA relative to CP was driven by a complex of climate, soil, geographic and management variables, and cannot be predicted accurately from precipitation amount or aridity index alone. Success of CA greatly increases with mean air temperature from 20 °C and with duration of CA for up to 13 years. Predictive maps showed that CA has the potential to increase system productivity in the humid tropics and sub-tropics given good plant stand establishment. Finally, this research demonstrates the ability of predictive modeling techniques to overcome the knowledge bottleneck created by the sole use of descriptive models within the CA literature to date. Predictive models can be used as an important tool by policy-makers and funding organizations to target financial resources to those regions where CA adoption will have the greatest impact on productivity.
  • Nutrient flows and intensification options for smallholder farmers of the
           Lao uplands
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): C.A. Epper, B. Paul, D. Burra, P. Phengsavanh, R. Ritzema, C. Syfongxay, J.C.J. Groot, J. Six, E. Frossard, A. Oberson, S. Douxchamps South East Asia's agricultural landscape is rapidly transitioning from subsistence to intensive and market-oriented production, often with negative impacts on soil fertility. Ensuring that this transition is conducted in a sustainable way is critical, especially for the poorest who rely exclusively on natural resources that are of limited quality and quantity. This study aims to evaluate sustainable intensification options for smallholder ethnic minority farmers of the Lao uplands. Following a systematic selection of case study crop-livestock farms with different degrees of diversification and market orientation, we adopted a detailed nutrient flow approach to quantify nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) balances at farm level using a whole farm modelling tool. This was then used to simulate alternative sustainable intensification options relative to the baseline and their impact on farm performance and N and P cycling. Irrespective of the intensification level, nutrient balances were negative on all farms, with net nutrient removal between −34 and −130 kg N ha−1y−1 and between −9 and −20 kg P ha−1y−1. The positive effect of the sustainable intensification options on selected system performance variables was up to 15 times higher when its baseline value was low, i.e. when potential for improvement was high. Compared to the baseline (rice and maize monocropping systems), fallow plots during the dry season and low level of residues recycling, all intensification options increased land productivity and N balance by at least 12% on each farm, whereas the P balances were negatively impacted. The positive effects on the N balances might not be sufficient to reverse nutrient depletion, and additional nutrient inputs would be necessary. Four management principles are key to ensure a smooth transition from subsistence to intensive production: no residue burning, stay diverse, integrate livestock and use small amounts of P mineral fertilizer. If combined with efficient and integrative agricultural extension, seed systems and market development, these basic principles could be the key success factor for a sustainable development of the Lao uplands.
  • Multi-level socioecological drivers of agrarian change: Longitudinal
           evidence from mixed rice-livestock-aquaculture farming systems of
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): Sreejith Aravindakshan, Timothy J. Krupnik, Jeroen C.J. Groot, Erika N. Speelman, T.S. Amjath- Babu, Pablo Tittonell Coastal systems are facing natural and human-driven change coupled with a rising population. With increasing shifts in socioecological conditions during the past several decades, it is important to understand how socioecological drivers at different hierarchical levels: -micro, -meso, and -macro affect coastal farming systems, which play a crucial role in the livelihoods of coastal dwellers. Mixed rice-livestock-aquaculture farming in Southern Bangladesh exemplifies the rapid change occurring in many of the world's coastal farming systems in response to these drivers. We used panel data observations from the above study area and modeled trajectories of farm typologies, and the impact of multi-level socioecological drivers by a novel approach. Our approach integrates: (1) a well-articulated conceptual frame of change observed using (2) a temporal view of the potential drivers, change process and farm type outcomes, with the twenty years panel data of 502 households that is analyzed by means of (3) multivariate statistics in conjunction with panel data models that operationalize the conceptual frame. Our approach allows (a) estimating dynamic effects over time that typically cannot be estimated in a cross-sectional data set, (b) distinguishing between time-invariant fixed and time dependent random effects of multi-level socioecological drivers, and (c) controlling for omitted variables to a certain extent. Considering farming systems both within and outside of polder embankment systems intended to protect against oceanic water intrusion, we found a gradual shift from heterogeneous, rice-livestock farm types to more homogenous farms with less livestock and more off-farm activities. Micro-level factors including farm plot fragmentation, farmers' experience in cropping, machinery, salinity and soil fertility were influencing changes in farming systems. Meso-level factors including markets, road infrastructure, labor availability, access to extension and land tenure also affect the trajectory of farming systems change. Among macro-level drivers, increasing population density positively and significantly influenced cropping intensity among farms outside polder systems. Within polders, a positive but non-significant trend was observed for the influence of population density on cropping intensity. Our data also indicate negative and significant influence of cyclonic storms on cropping intensity over time in both areas. Our results underscore the importance of accounting for multiple levels of socioecological drivers of change when developing appropriate policy options for sustainable development in South Asia's coastal farming systems.
  • Publisher's Note
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s):
  • Quantifying the value of adopting a post-rice legume crop to intensify
           mixed smallholder farms in Southeast Asia
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): M. Monjardino, J.N.M. Philp, G. Kuehne, V. Phimphachanhvongsod, V. Sihathep, M.D. Denton Traditional mixed smallholder farms in Southeast Asia are often constrained by low crop yields and limited nutritive fodder for animal production. Although positive economic outcomes result from intensification through the inclusion of improved fodder crops in farming systems, adoption often remains low. We use Value-Ag, a novel multi-tool approach that combines bio-economic modelling, risk analysis and predictions of adoption outcomes to assess the likely value of incorporating a legume crop into the traditional rice-cattle system in southern Laos. Compared with the baseline, the introduction of cowpea increased individual farm profit by an average 26% through improvements to cattle and rice production and sale of cowpea pods, while reducing losses in poor seasons, which reduced overall risk. Using the model, local experts predicted peak adoption of 54% in 6 years by the farmer population targeted by the study. Combining these outputs within a system that evaluates both the production value and the likely adoption scenarios resulted in a more accurate estimation of the net value of the innovation at the project case-study level. This approach provided useful insights for improving farm profitability as well as reduced risk exposure from a legume crop innovation, although the system's success will ultimately depend on how well it reconciles productivity and sustainability given other potential environmental, institutional and price impacts. Overall, this case study provides an illustration of the potential to use Value-Ag to identify the factors that are likely to limit adoption and to out-scale these changes according to predicted adoption outcomes. Understanding bio-economic trade-offs and the drivers of adoption aids in the successful design and delivery of intensification options for smallholders by making the expected value of changes to the system more explicit.
  • Effects of agricultural mechanization on economies of scope in crop
           production in Nigeria
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): Hiroyuki Takeshima, Patrick L. Hatzenbuehler, Hyacinth O. Edeh Agricultural mechanization has often been associated with scale-effects and increased specialization. Such characterizations, however, fail to explain how mechanization may grow in Africa where production environments are heterogeneous even within a farm household, and crop diversification may help in mitigating risks. Using panel data from farm households and crop-specific production costs in Nigeria, we estimate how the adoptions of animal traction or tractors affect the economies of scope (EOS) for rice, non-rice grains, and legumes/seeds, which are the crop groups that are most widely grown with animal traction or tractors in Nigeria, with respect to other non-rice crops. The inverse-probability-weighting method is used to address the potential endogeneity of mechanization adoption and is combined with primal- and dual-models of EOS estimation. The results show that the adoption of these mechanization technologies is associated with greater EOS between rice and non-rice crops but lower EOS among non-rice crops (i.e., between non-rice grains, legumes/seeds, and other non-rice crops). Mechanical technologies may raise EOS between crops that are grown in more heterogeneous environments, even though it may lower EOS between crops that are grown under relatively similar agroecological conditions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows the effects of mechanical technologies on EOS in agriculture in developing countries.
  • Whole farm implications of lucerne transitions in temperate crop-livestock
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 177Author(s): Andrew P. Smith, Andrew D. Moore Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) is valued by producers with integrated crop-livestock systems. The multiple benefits of periods of lucerne leys to either livestock or to crop production have been widely reported; however, the importance of managing lucerne leys to whole farm profit and production has not and is best suited to a whole of system modelling study. This paper reports a simulation study aimed at better understanding the mixed farming systems that include short-term (3-year) phases of lucerne: specifically, the effects of terminating lucerne leys at different times prior to cropping. Simulations of mixed farming systems with the same soil type, crop rotation and proportional land use were conducted along a rainfall transect in a temperate environment in south-eastern Australia. Spring versus summer termination of the lucerne ley prior to cropping in autumn were compared. Although farming systems where lucerne was terminated in spring had higher crop production (mostly because of increased N at sowing) than those where lucerne was terminated in summer, the opposite was true for livestock production. Livestock production was higher in systems with summer termination mostly because of higher ewe condition scores at mating. When these sometimes positive and sometimes negative effects were evaluated at the whole of farm scale, in cases except the low rainfall site, allowing the lucerne ley to grow as late as possible prior to cropping was the most profitable management strategy in medium to high rainfall systems as it resulted in more lambs that were sold at heavier weights and the systems were more profitable, less costly, more efficient and less risky than those where leys were terminated in spring.
  • Backgrounding strategy effects on farm productivity, profitability and
           greenhouse gas emissions of cow-calf systems in the Flooding Pampas of
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Franco Bilotto, Paulo Recavarren, Ronaldo Vibart, Claudio F. Machado Beef grazing systems need to improve their environmental sustainability while increasing productivity to meet future demand. In a context of climate and prices variability, the main aim of our study was to explore the current trend in cow-calf operations of including backgrounding strategies on productivity, profitability and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a representative beef cattle system from the Laprida Basin (Flooding Pampas, Argentina), applying an integrated assessment with modelling tools. The mean liveweight gain (LWG) of pure cow-calf systems was lower than systems that included backgrounding, it decreased as stocking rates (SR) increased, and it was increased when the stocker contribution (0.2 to 0.4 steer/cow rate), sales weights (steers 390 kg LW and heifers 320 kg LW) and supplementation level (>1% LW) were higher. Liveweight production and operating profits showed a curvilinear response to SR, reaching a plateau close to 0.5 cows ha−1. As expected, GHG emissions intensity (EI; kg CO2e kg−1 LW produced) was higher in pure cow-calf scenarios. If a grazing intensity (i.e. ratio between biomass removed by grazing and biomass available for grazing) beyond 0.6 was to be avoided to prevent long-term overgrazing and trade-offs among the variables assessed, the best option was to decrease SR to 0.45 cows ha−1. On such stocking rate, LWG was improved by 8% (±SD; ±3%), but LW production, operating profits, and GHG emissions intensity were reduced by 1% (±2%), 9% (±4%) and 10% (±1%), respectively, compared with 0.50 cows ha−1. The best risk-efficient combinations were depicted by backgrounding options and the variation of profit was mainly explained by prices variability (CV = 40 ± 3%) and, to a lesser extent by climate variability (CV = 11 ± 3%). Therefore, backgrounding strategies provide opportunities to farmers to increase farm productivity and profitability at the lowest risk for a given level of expected return, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product.
  • Managing the nitrogen status of subtropical dairy pastures for production,
           efficiency and profit
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Andrew P. Smith, Peter Beale, Bill J. Fulkerson, Richard J. Eckard Pastures that contain winter-active annual ryegrass (ARG) in association with summer-active kikuyu are valuable for dairy production in subtropical regions. The two pasture phases have different challenges to increase production and profitability – for the kikuyu phase the management of soil fertility is challenging as it requires synchronization with soil, plant and animal demands for energy and protein. Unsure how best to manage the soil nitrogen (N) during the kikuyu phase and deterred by the risk of a poor pasture dry matter response to N fertilizer; farmers tend to under-fertilize the kikuyu phase which was hypothesized to limit the potential productivity of not only the kikuyu, but adversely impact the N nutrition of the subsequent ARG phase. For the first-time different farming systems for a subtropical location were comprehensively compared using the mechanistic model DairyMod. The farming systems compared consisted of N fertilizer to only the ARG phase, N fertilizer throughout the year to both phases, N fertilizer only at the start of the kikuyu growth cycle or increased feed-grain supplementation during the kikuyu phase. An overall summary of the results is that although applying N fertilizer to the pasture all year lifted pasture productivity, particularly of the kikuyu, much of the extra herbage grown could not utilized by grazing cows and needed to be cut. At the period of establishment of ARG pasture in mid -autumn, the new finding was that soil mineral N did not differ significantly between the different systems, and therefore using N fertilizer to maintain soil and pasture N within an optimum range was shown to be expensive and inefficient. The major novel finding of the study was that the farming system was most profitably and productively managed by addressing deficiencies metabolizable energy of kikuyu with supplementary grain feeding, rather than using fertilizer.
  • A comparative study of the land required for food and cooking fuel in
           rural India
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Karabee Das, Sanderine Nonhebel Land is a limited resource that provides food and cooking fuel to the rural population. In this paper, we determine the land required for food production and compare it with the land required for cooking fuel (i.e. fuelwood) for six different regions of India. We use regional data to assess the land requirements for both food and fuelwood. Dietary patterns and agricultural yields are the major drivers of land demand for food production. The average land requirement for food is about 1000 m2/cap/yr, but the values range between 800-1300 m2/cap/yr. The greatest proportion of this land requirement is for cereals, especially rice and wheat. Determining the land needed for cooking fuel requires biomass productivity and fuelwood use. We found that the average land requirement for fuelwood is about 3 to 7 times larger than the area required to produce food. Thus, there is a wide disparity in land demand between all the regions of India. Dietary change is not an option as rural inhabitants are already consuming less than their urban counterparts. Changes to cooking fuels could be another option. This comparative study shows the high demand for land for cooking fuel in comparison to food. It implies that, from a land requirement perspective, reducing the fuelwood consumption and shifting to a more efficient cooking fuel would be a better option.
  • Soil acidity, lime application, nitrogen fertility, and greenhouse gas
           emissions: Optimizing their joint economic management
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Sanaz Shoghi Kalkhoran, David J. Pannell, Tas Thamo, Benedict White, Maksym Polyakov Soil acidity is a major limiting factor for crop production in many farming systems worldwide. Lime application is the most common practice to mitigate soil acidity. There are complex economic interactions between application of lime and nitrogen fertilizer, with the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of these inputs adding further complexity. We employ a non-linear dynamic optimization model to determine economically optimal application strategies for lime and nitrogen fertilizer accounting for the social cost of the resulting emissions of greenhouse gases. The model is applied in three zones with different rainfall levels, in the northern wheatbelt of Western Australia. Rainfall has important influences on results through its effect on the dissolution and leaching of lime, leaching of nitrogen, and the yield potential of crops. Results show that nitrogen-related decisions, such as the type of nitrogen fertilizer and crop rotation, have a substantial impact on optimal lime application rates and resulting emissions. For example, the use of ammonium sulfate, rather than urea, reduces emissions. Similarly, by allowing a reduction in nitrogen fertilizer use the incorporation of legume crops like lupin can reduce emissions by 50%, relative to a wholly non-legume crop rotation. Although carbon pricing reduces emissions, the magnitude of the reductions is modest in all modeled scenarios. The private cost to farmers of a carbon tax in this case study region is small, although the net social benefit of the carbon tax in this case study is smaller still, even without accounting for the transaction costs of operating the tax system.
  • Indigenous knowledge and climate change adaptation of ethnic minorities in
           the mountainous regions of Vietnam: A case study of the Yao people in Bac
           Kan Province
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Ho Ngoc Son, Dong Thi Linh Chi, Aaron Kingsbury This study focuses on the accumulated indigenous knowledge of the Yao ethnic minority in Bac Kan Province of Vietnam. Through centuries of observation and experimentation, the Yao people have developed complex farming systems, cultural practices, and a knowledge base well-suited to their environments. Data for this study was collected through surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions to gather indigenous knowledge on native crop varieties and animal breeds, weather forecasting, and the timing and location of cultivation practices. In so doing, this study documents unique examples of how indigenous knowledge is being used alone and blended with scientific knowledge to make accurate decisions and help local communities adapt to climate change. The case of the Yao people in northern Vietnam supports the argument that if indigenous knowledge were better integrated into adaptation planning and policies, its conservation and application would enhance resiliency to climate change in indigenous communities and beyond.
  • Biosecurity institutions and the choice of contracts in international
           fruit supply chains
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Iciar Pavez, Jean-Marie Codron, Pasquale Lubello, Maria Cecilia Florêncio Biosecurity regulations and standards govern international agricultural inter-firm transactions. Drawing mainly on new institutional economics, our study offers insights into the institutional factors, at both the macro and meso levels, that influence the choice of inter-firm contracts for Chilean apple exports. First and foremost, it examines the influence of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) provisions included in trade agreements signed by Chile with its trade counterparts on the choice of alternative contracts displaying different degrees of completeness. It also focuses on the institutions in the importing countries, the legal institutions enforcing contracts, the efficiency of logistics and the effect of hidden informal rules such as corruption, on the choice between free consignment, minimum guaranteed and sale contracts. We also explore the private institutions, primarily linked to direct imports by supermarkets. The results of our econometric analysis show that less complete contracts, i.e. free consignment and minimum guaranteed arrangements, are chosen when exporting to countries with safe business environments and higher number of SPS provision in international trade agreements. On the contrary, when exporting to non-reliable countries, exporters tend to protect themselves through more complete contracts, i.e. sale contracts. We found evidence that direct exports to supermarkets are more prone to occur under sale contracts which suggest the dual function of contracts, both as a safeguard and as a coordination tool to adopt specific customers' requirements.
  • The future of intercropping under growing resource scarcity and declining
           grain prices - A model analysis based on a case study in Northwest China
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Yu Hong, Paul Berentsen, Nico Heerink, Minjun Shi, Wopke van der Werf Intercropping, i.e. mixed crop species cultivation on a field, can potentially reduce pressure on land and water resources by generating higher resource use efficiencies and crop yields through exploitation of complementarities between species. Intercropping systems in China and elsewhere have come under pressure through labor migration, growing water scarcity, changing crop prices and other factors. However, little hard evidence is available on how these socio-economic factors interplay and affect the prevalence of intercropping systems now and in the near future. The objective of this study is to explore the effect of growing scarcity of (water and labor) resources and declining (maize) grain prices on the share of intercropping in the optimal cropping plan and on associated agricultural income levels in an intercropping-dominated agricultural system in China. To undertake this analysis, we developed a mathematical programming model to simulate crop production for a model village in Gaotai county in the Hexi Corridor in northwest China, for given resources and economic conditions in 2013 and possible changes (scenarios) in the future. In the Hexi Corridor, conventional wheat/maize intercropping contributed greatly to rising food production while cash crops integrated with maize provided important cash income. With the introduction of seed crops and stricter water regulations, intercropping has become less prevalent in this area in recent years. In the absence of water constraints and at price levels and labor availability in 2013, our model results indicate that an optimal land use would entail that all land would be devoted to intercropping. Sole cumin and sole cotton enter the optimal cropping plan when water becomes scarce and the maize price declines substantially, while increases in hired labor wages have a strong negative impact on intercropping only when on-farm labor becomes scarce.
  • Evaluating the effects of integrating trees into temperate arable systems
           on pest control and pollination
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Tom Staton, Richard J. Walters, Jo Smith, Robbie D. Girling Agroforestry systems, which incorporate trees into agricultural land, could contribute to sustainable agricultural intensification as they have been shown to increase land productivity, biodiversity and some regulating ecosystem services. However, the effect of temperate agroforestry systems on pest control and pollination services has not been comprehensively reviewed, despite the importance of these services for sustainable intensification. We review and analyse the available evidence for silvoarable agroforestry systems, following which we propose a predictive framework for future research to explain the observed variation in results, based on ecological theory and evidence from analogous systems. Of the 12 studies included in our meta-analysis of natural enemies and pests, the observed increases in natural enemy abundance (+24%) and decreases in arthropod herbivore/pest abundance (−25%) in silvoarable systems were both significant, but molluscan pests were more abundant in silvoarable systems in the two available studies. Only three studies reported effects on pollinators, but all found higher abundance in silvoarable compared with arable systems. Measures of pest control or pollination service are scarce, but suggest stronger effect sizes. Our framework seeks to establish hypotheses for future research through an interpretation of our findings in the context of the wider literature, including landscape characteristics, silvoarable system design and management, system maturity, trophic interactions and experimental design. The findings of this study suggest that silvoarable systems can contribute to sustainable intensification by enhancing beneficial invertebrates and suppressing arthropod pests compared with arable, but future research should include measures of pest control and pollination and implications for productivity and economic value.
  • Explaining the global spatial distribution of organic crop producers
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Žiga Malek, Koen F. Tieskens, Peter H. Verburg Organic farming has been proposed as a feasible way to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture, provide better products to consumers, and improve farmers' income. How organic farmers are distributed worldwide, however, remains unknown. Using publicly accessible registries of organic crop farmers we mapped their distribution globally and related it to local socio-economic, climatic, and soil characteristics. We show that organic crop farmers are mostly present in areas with favorable socio-economic and climatic conditions, both globally but also within countries. Within developed countries, the locations of organic crop farmers often do not differ significantly from the locations of conventional crop farmers. In developing countries, there are, however, larger differences and organic crop farmers concentrate in the more accessible and developed regions. Our results suggest that crop farmers in poor areas may not have sufficient access to certification and markets. To promote the spread of organic farming, certification and other incentives could target farmers in areas with lower market access and higher levels of poverty which could improve value chains for organic products in these areas.
  • Unpacking the drivers behind the use of the Agricultural Innovation
           Systems (AIS) approach: The case of rice research and extension
           professionals in Sierra Leone
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Lamin Ibrahim Kamara, Peter Dorward, Baqir Lalani, Erwin Wauters Agriculture Innovation System (AIS) thinking and approaches are largely perceived as a sine-qua-non for the design and implementation of effective and sustainable agriculture development programmes. AIS has gained popularity in the agriculture innovation literature and has been embedded in policy documents of agriculture sector institutions in many countries. However, there is much less evidence of AIS thinking influencing the behaviours of research and extension institutions and staff ‘on the ground’. An important research gap is the need to better understand the attitudes and beliefs of extension and research professionals regarding AIS and that drive behaviours. Sierra Leone, like most developing countries, has embraced the use of AIS (at least in theory) as evident in policy documents of government institutions – the leading innovation system actors in the country. This study uses the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to assess the cognitive foundation of agricultural research scientists and extension professionals' intention to use the AIS approach related to rice innovation (the country's staple food crop). Results show there are significant differences in intention which relate to organisation affiliation, age, and gender. Moreover, those with a high intention to use the AIS approach have significantly stronger beliefs associated with the benefits of AIS including its ease of use and the positive effects it is likely to have on smallholder farmers' food security and ability to innovate. Those with a high intention to use the AIS approach also perceive stronger social pressure from key social referents such as colleagues, employers and supervisors; suggesting that policies and an organisation's vision have a significant bearing. Furthermore, the findings suggest that impediments to the use of AIS relate to lack of finance and knowledge. Unpacking these beliefs allows possible entry points to be identified which can enhance the functioning of existing AISs and newly formed ones. The findings and framework presented are useful for many developing countries where AIS approaches are being tested.
  • Innovation in the UK fresh produce sector: Identifying systemic problems
           and the move towards systemic facilitation
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Jonathan Menary, Rosemary Collier, Kate Seers Innovation has been promoted to help meet the various challenges faced by the UK fresh produce sector. However, what barriers hinder the development and spread of new ideas in the sector have not been investigated. This article explores the social and economic constraints to innovation by combining the agricultural innovation systems (AIS) conceptual framework with a functional-structural analysis. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 32 key informants, including growers, agronomists, researchers and representatives from major retailers. The findings show that, whilst the UK fresh produce sector is highly innovative, a number of systemic problems slow or prevent the acquisition and utilisation of knowledge. The privatisation of public extension services has led to a degree of horizontal and vertical fragmentation, with increasingly ‘closed’ groups and lack of nationwide research coordination or guiding visions for the sector. Variation in business size and crop type make coordination or coherent visions challenging to establish, presenting problems for intermediary organisations in matching the supply and demand of agricultural knowledge. At the same time, a stark power asymmetry exists between suppliers and retail customers, whose policies have led to a “defensive” innovation culture and lack of trust – producer organisations represent a response to this asymmetry, as well as increasingly important factor in the (now globalised) development and diffusion of agricultural innovations. Systemic instruments to facilitate better coordination and communication are proposed, such as innovation platforms to bring together otherwise closed groups around common problems and the use of road-mapping to provide a guiding vision for the future of the sector. Retail-led grower groups also provide a means to improve trust between suppliers and customers in the sector and promote new technological trajectories.
  • lains&rft.title=Agricultural+Systems&rft.issn=0308-521X&">Greenhouse-gas emissions of beef finishing systems in the Southern High
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): K.R. Heflin, D.B. Parker, G.W. Marek, B.W. Auvermann, T.H. Marek Greenhouse gases (GHG) have been implicated in global warming and climate change. While life cycle assessments (LCA) and GHG studies have been conducted for numerous agricultural commodities, there has been little effort to estimate GHG (CO2, N2O, and CH4) from beef finishing systems of the Southern High Plains (SHP) region, which produces approximately 30% of the United States beef. The objective of this research was to quantify the carbon footprint of five beef-finishing systems using a dynamic, systems-based model that calculated CO2e emissions attributable to both animal gain and manure management. The systems consisted of native grass pasture (NGP, System 1); native grass pasture with feedyard finishing (NGP-FY, System 2); wheat pasture with feedyard finishing (WP-FY, System 3); feedyard-only (FY, System 4); and native grass pasture, wheat pasture, and feedyard finishing (NGP-WP-FY, System 5). Although rarely used, the NGP was included as a baseline. Variables in the model and associated management decisions were based on feed type, nutritional content, feed source, and hauling distance. The starting point of the model was a weaned steer (250 kg) and the endpoint was a steer which would grade “choice” (28% body fat) or 30 months in age, whichever came first. Overall CO2e kg−1 gain decreased when cattle were fed high-quality diets and were intensively managed for production in the shortest time possible. The FY produced the desired carcass in the shortest time with the lowest cumulative emissions. The FY also had the highest average daily gain, lowest dry matter and water intake, as well as manure production. Net GHG emissions from FY were 4.84 kg CO2e kg−1 gain (1799 kg CO2e animal−1). Net GHG emissions from NGP-FY, WP-FY, NGP-WP-FY, and NGP were 1.62, 1.81, 2.08, and 3.69 times that of FY, respectively. These results suggest that intensive feeding and management of beef cattle in the FY system result in the lowest overall CO2e emissions to produce a mature steer. Consequently, feeding systems that include native grass and wheat pasture have proportionately larger amounts of CO2e emissions.
  • Farmer harvest decisions and vegetable loss in primary production
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Lisa K. Johnson, J. Dara Bloom, Rebecca D. Dunning, Chris C. Gunter, Michael D. Boyette, Nancy G. Creamer The topic of food loss and waste has risen in importance since the revelation that an estimated 40% of food in America is never consumed. Losses at the field level, however, are not well understood, and economic and growing conditions that dictate decisions made by fruit and vegetable growers can determine how much food is left unharvested. Many strategies have been suggested to reduce food loss and waste, but their development has been informed by concerns at the consumer level, and may not motivate growers to reduce losses. This study sought to understand how growers make decisions regarding when to end the harvest, and explores growers' perceptions of strategies that would incentivize them to reduce losses. The authors conducted seventeen semi-structured interviews with mid-sized to large commercial vegetable growers in North Carolina. The resulting findings clarify the primary decision-making drivers affecting food loss in the field, including whether growers have an interested buyer, the quality of the produce, the available price, the financial risk of product rejection, and the priority of another field becoming mature and ready to harvest. Growers did not perceive losses to be of high enough volume or value to measure crops that were left unharvested in the field, though research indicates that the volume is actually significant. We also asked growers about their perceptions of strategies for reducing farm level losses that have been promoted in industry reports on the subject. These strategies include facilitating donation and supporting emerging markets that focus on imperfect produce. Neither of these aligned well with strategies that growers perceived as important, such as increasing demand, providing processing infrastructure, and facilitating a consistent market and prices. While some growers donate produce or participate in gleaning, these activities can be limited by continued negative perceptions. Findings from this research suggest that, in order to effectively reduce the loss of edible food at the farm level, growers must be included in the development of strategies, and those strategies must incentivize their participation in order to be effective.
  • Landscape-scale simulations as a tool in multi-criteria decision making to
           support agri-environment schemes
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Christopher J. Topping, Lars Dalby, Jose W. Valdez Increasing concerns over the environmental impacts of agriculture in Europe has led to the introduction of agri-environment schemes (AES) into the Common Agricultural Policy to help mitigate biodiversity loss by encouraging farmers with subsidies for implementing environmentally-friendly farming techniques. However, effectiveness of AES has been mixed and only partially successful in achieving desired outcomes. To improve effectiveness and reduce costs, multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) can help support decision-making and determine the most effective management action. Although MCDA has great potential for evaluating policy measures, it rarely considers the context-dependency of species responses to management practices across different landscapes. Landscape simulations can, therefore, be valuable for reducing the uncertainties when predicting the consequences of management actions. A potential suitable simulation system is the Animal, Landscape, and Man Simulation System (ALMaSS), a mechanistic simulation with can improve MCDA with the automatic integration of landscape context and a species ecology and behaviour. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of ALMaSS in evaluating AES management practices across different landscapes and estimate their ability to achieve the proposed conservation outcomes in three species of conservation interest. In this study, the effect of a particular management strategy on a species was dependent on the landscape context, in our case, a combination of landscape structure and the type and distribution of farms, and varied depending on the metrics being measured. We demonstrate how simulations can be used for MCDA to select between management strategies with different costs. Despite the complexity of ALMaSS models, the simulation results provided are easy to interpret. Landscape simulations, such as ALMaSS, can be an important tool in multi-criteria decision making by simulating a wide range of managements and contexts and provide supporting information for filtering management options based on specific conservation goals.
  • A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Miranda P.M. Meuwissen, Peter H. Feindt, Alisa Spiegel, Catrien J.A.M. Termeer, Erik Mathijs, Yann de Mey, Robert Finger, Alfons Balmann, Erwin Wauters, Julie Urquhart, Mauro Vigani, Katarzyna Zawalińska, Hugo Herrera, Phillipa Nicholas-Davies, Helena Hansson, Wim Paas, Thomas Slijper, Isabeau Coopmans, Willemijn Vroege, Anna Ciechomska Agricultural systems in Europe face accumulating economic, ecological and societal challenges, raising concerns about their resilience to shocks and stresses. These resilience issues need to be addressed with a focus on the regional context in which farming systems operate because farms, farmers' organizations, service suppliers and supply chain actors are embedded in local environments and functions of agriculture. We define resilience of a farming system as its ability to ensure the provision of the system functions in the face of increasingly complex and accumulating economic, social, environmental and institutional shocks and stresses, through capacities of robustness, adaptability and transformability. We (i) develop a framework to assess the resilience of farming systems, and (ii) present a methodology to operationalize the framework with a view to Europe's diverse farming systems. The framework is designed to assess resilience to specific challenges (specified resilience) as well as a farming system's capacity to deal with the unknown, uncertainty and surprise (general resilience). The framework provides a heuristic to analyze system properties, challenges (shocks, long-term stresses), indicators to measure the performance of system functions, resilience capacities and resilience-enhancing attributes. Capacities and attributes refer to adaptive cycle processes of agricultural practices, farm demographics, governance and risk management. The novelty of the framework pertains to the focal scale of analysis, i.e. the farming system level, the consideration of accumulating challenges and various agricultural processes, and the consideration that farming systems provide multiple functions that can change over time. Furthermore, the distinction between three resilience capacities (robustness, adaptability, transformability) ensures that the framework goes beyond narrow definitions that limit resilience to robustness. The methodology deploys a mixed-methods approach: quantitative methods, such as statistics, econometrics and modelling, are used to identify underlying patterns, causal explanations and likely contributing factors; while qualitative methods, such as interviews, participatory approaches and stakeholder workshops, access experiential and contextual knowledge and provide more nuanced insights. More specifically, analysis along the framework explores multiple nested levels of farming systems (e.g. farm, farm household, supply chain, farming system) over a time horizon of 1–2 generations, thereby enabling reflection on potential temporal and scalar trade-offs across resilience attributes. The richness of the framework is illustrated for the arable farming system in Veenkoloniën, the Netherlands. The analysis reveals a relatively low capacity of this farming system to transform and farmers feeling distressed about transformation, while other members of their households have experienced many examples of transformation.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
  • Simulated alternative breeding schemes for optimizing Begait goat
           improvement programs in Western Tigray, northern Ethiopia
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Hagos Abraham, Solomon Gizaw, Mengistu Urge In the absence of well-designed national animal genetic improvement schemes, achieving and monitoring genetic gains is difficult. The objective of the present study was to evaluate three alternative breeding schemes for Begait goat breed in Ethiopia. The breeding schemes were: a) government ranch breeding scheme b) commercial breeding scheme and c) cooperative village breeding scheme. The breeding schemes differed in the number of tiers (two tiers in the case of a and b, one tier in case of scheme c), flock size and selection method. The breeding schemes were compared for annual genetic and economic gains in addition to operational feasibility. Analyses were performed by using ZPLAN computer program, which uses a deterministic approach to estimate genetic and economic gains in breeding programs. The results indicated that the annual genetic and economic gains increased with increased flock size and use of Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP) based selection method. The predicted genetic and economic gains were slightly higher under scheme a and b as compared to scheme c. The trait of greater economic impact was six month weight (6 MW) in all schemes. Nevertheless, scheme a seems more operationally feasible when compared to the other schemes. This is as the regional government showed high interest in the maintenance and development of Begait goat, sheep and cattle breeds. Government also planned to export meat by the end of Growth and Transformation Plane III and roadmap has been already developed for these animal breeds. Apparently, these are good opportunities which would make the development and implementation of the breeding program for Begait goat more feasible in the short-term when the public sector is involved.
  • Canonical correlation of technological innovation and performance in
           sheep's dairy farms: Selection of a set of indicators
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): José Rivas, José Manuel Perea, Carmen De-Pablos-Heredero, Elena Angon, Cecilio Barba, Antón García Integrated dairy sheep system in Castilla La Mancha (Spain) suffers from a crisis based on lack of profitability. Technological innovation is a key factor to increase farm's viability. It requires the identification of the appropriate technologies to develop, later on, a set of technological indicators associated to results that support the decision-making process. The objectives of this research were: First, the selection of innovations and its grouping in a technological innovation set. Second, assess the relationship with other indicators; mainly technological and structural, productive and economic performance data set.Information from 157 dairy sheep farms in Castilla La Mancha was used. The questionnaires included 77 pre–selected technological innovations and 150 questions on productive, economic and social data. The selection of innovations and its grouping into technological innovation areas, took place according to a qualitative, consensus and participatory methodology. Canonical correlation is a multivariate statistical technique used for analyzing the relationship amongst different set of indicators. 38 technologies were identified, grouped into a set of six indicators (T1, management; T2, feeding; T3, animal health; T4, land use; T5, milking equipment; T6, reproduction-genetic). Results derived from the canonical correlation showed a robust relationship between technological and structural, productive and economic performance data set. Land use, reproductive-genetic and management were amongst the main technologies that mainly explained this relationship, followed by those associated to milking equipment and dairy. Technological innovation demands a proper structure and an integral vision of dairy system that considers interactions amongst technological areas. It would be necessary to go deep in its knowledge in order to increase farm's viability.
  • Farm scale modelling of greenhouse gas emissions from semi-intensive
           suckler cow beef production
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Stine Samsonstuen, Bente A. Åby, Paul Crosson, Karen A. Beauchemin, Helge Bonesmo, Laila Aass A whole-farm model, HolosNorBeef was developed to estimate net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from suckler beef production systems in Norway. The model considers direct emissions of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from on-farm livestock production including soil carbon (C) changes, and indirect N2O and CO2 emissions associated with leaching, volatilization and inputs used on the farm. The emission intensities from average beef cattle farms in Norway was estimated by considering typical herds of British and Continental breeds located in two different regions, flatlands and mountains, with different resources and quality of feed available. The flatlands was located at a low altitude in an area suitable for grain production and mountains was located at higher altitude in a mountainous area not suitable for grain production. The estimated emission intensities were 29.5 and 32.0 kg CO2 equivalents (eq) kg‐1 carcass for the British breeds and 27.5 and 29.6 kg CO2 eq kg‐1 carcass for the Continental breeds, for flatlands and mountains, respectively. Enteric CH4 was the largest source accounting for 44–48% of total GHG emissions. Nitrous oxide from manure and soil was the second largest source accounting for, on average, 21% of the total emissions. Carbon sequestration reduced the emission intensities by 3% on average. When excluding soil C the difference between locations decreased in terms of GHG emission intensity, indicating that inclusion of soil C change is important when calculating emission intensities, especially when production of feed and use of pasture are included.
  • Abatement of ammonia emissions from livestock housing fine-tuned according
           to impact on protected habitats
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): David De Pue, Andreas Bral, Jeroen Buysse Livestock farms are an important source of ammonia emissions, which threaten vulnerable habitats and species in nearby natural areas through a process of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. An integrated and spatially-explicit mixed integer programming model was applied to all livestock facilities in Flanders (Belgium), to evaluate the current Flemish policies aimed at limiting ammonia deposition in Natura 2000 sites. The simulations indicate that a substantial reduction in deposition is achievable with a similar cost to the currently applied policy in Flanders. Furthermore, the model allows identification of the most suitable stable type and emission abatement measures for any stable in Flanders. Such a spatially-explicit optimization approach applied to individual emission sources might assist policymakers in improving spatially-differentiated policies.
  • Household-level drivers of dietary diversity in transitioning agricultural
           systems: Evidence from the Greater Mekong Subregion
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): R.S. Ritzema, S. Douxchamps, S. Fraval, A. Bolliger, L. Hok, P. Phengsavanh, C.T.M. Long, J. Hammond, M.T. van Wijk Over the past four decades, agricultural systems in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have largely evolved from a subsistence orientation toward commercial production, but the multi-faceted changes behind this evolution vary in substance and degree. Despite connoting economic progress, effects of these changes on household welfare indicators such as dietary diversity have been unclear. By taking a comprehensive view of the farm household, this study discerns the drivers of household dietary diversity in this transitional context by linking the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), as an indicator of dietary diversity, to key household characteristics, livelihood strategies and indicators of farm performance in three study sites in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The Rural Household Multi-Indicator Survey (RHoMIS) tool, a combined survey and analysis platform, was employed to collect data from over 1300 farm households. HDDS is found to increase among the sites in a way that is roughly associated with their state of agricultural transition, though differing combinations of market orientation, specialisation, and intensification traits that describe such a transition suggest that the pathway to commercialisation, and dietary diversity, is not a linear one. Drivers of dietary diversity vary markedly between the sites. In the Laos site, HDDS is most closely correlated to a set of variables closely linked with agricultural transition, while in the Cambodia site it is associated more with other farm and household characteristics. In the Vietnam site, dietary diversity is correlated to the overall value of crop production. Findings point to the need to contextualise site-specific knowledge of linkages between dietary diversity and ongoing agricultural transition in the GMS, as well as policy and interventions seeking to improve dietary diversity in the face of such transition.
  • Analysis of beneficial management practices to mitigate environmental
           impacts in dairy production systems around the Great Lakes
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Daesoo Kim, Nick Stoddart, C. Alan Rotz, Karin Veltman, Larry Chase, Joyce Cooper, Pete Ingraham, R. César Izaurralde, Curtis D. Jones, Richard Gaillard, Horacio A. Aguirre-Villegas, Rebecca A. Larson, Matt Ruark, William Salas, Olivier Jolliet, Gregory J. Thoma The influence of farm-specific beneficial management practices (BMPs) on a set of comprehensive environmental impacts was characterized and quantified for two representative dairy farms in the Great Lakes region (a large 1500-cow farm in New York (NY) and a smaller 150-cow farm in Wisconsin (WI)). Comparative benefits or drawbacks of the effect of the adoption of selected management scenarios to environmental impacts were estimated by coupling the output from the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM) to provide lifecycle inventory data for SimaPro©. The small dairy farm in WI generated a consistently larger carbon footprint than the large dairy farm in NY due to greater enteric methane (CH4) emissions from different feeds fed and greater nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from the bedded pack housing facility for young stock. The flare scenario of burning biogas produced in a covered manure storage on the small farm and a whole-farm mitigation plan of combined feed, field, and manure management in the large farm demonstrate significant potential to reduce overall carbon footprint by 20.0% and 25.8%, respectively, compared to the baselines. The assessments of selective impact categories such as fossil energy use, water use, land occupation, aquatic eutrophication, terrestrial acidification, respiratory effects, human toxicity, and ecotoxicity are discussed and highlight hot spots relevant for sustainable dairy farm management. Normalization analysis indicates that eutrophication potential is the largest relative impact profile, which suggests that efforts to mitigate eutrophication can achieve relatively greater environmental impact reduction. Although this study identifies the beneficial adaptation of sustainable dairy production practices on individual impact profiles, trade-offs between impact categories make the analysis more complex when considering the comprehensive suite of environmental impacts.
  • Stricter cross-compliance standards in Switzerland: Economic and
           environmental impacts at farm- and sector-level
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Alena Schmidt, Gabriele Mack, Anke Möhring, Stefan Mann, Nadja El Benni A Swiss popular initiative reflecting large public concerns about the negative environmental impacts of agricultural production launched a proposal to rigorously tighten environmental cross-compliance standards. The so-called drinking water initiative (DWI) proposes restricting direct payments to farms that (1) preserve biodiversity, (2) do not use any pesticides, (3) adapt their livestock to their on-farm feed capacity and (4) do not use antibiotics regularly or prophylactically. Based on the recursive-dynamic, agent-based agricultural sector model SWISSland, we assessed, ex-ante, the impacts of the initiative on environmental and economic indicators at the farm- and sector-level. Stakeholders from both groups, supporters and opponents of the initiative, were involved in the assessment. We found that the incorporation of far more stringent environmental standards into the cross-compliance system caused a larger number of farms to opt-out: For 33–63% of the pork and poultry farms and 51–93% of the vegetable/orchards/winery farms, it was more profitable to forego direct payments. However, the majority of the ruminant farms (87%) were expected to comply with the standards. Although the non-complying farm types were associated with the most severe environmental impacts, we found that the initiative nonetheless had positive effects on water quality at the sectoral level in Switzerland: e.g., the share of pesticide-free arable land increased to 70–92%, those of the permanent cropland to 11–52%, and the nitrogen surplus decreased. However, the total agricultural production measured in calories decreased (12–21%), and therefore agricultural imports would increase. If the current direct payment budget goes completely to the complying farms, and if these farms receive a price premium, then we predict an average farm income increase of 2–34% for the complying farms; otherwise, a decrease of 6–22% will be found depending on the scenario. A sensitivity analysis showed that price uncertainties had the highest impact on farm income.
  • Vulnerability and adaptation options to climate change for rural
           livelihoods – A country-wide analysis for Uganda
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Jannike Wichern, Katrien Descheemaeker, Ken E. Giller, Peter Ebanyat, Godfrey Taulya, Mark T. van Wijk Rural households in sub-Saharan Africa earn a substantial part of their living from rain-fed smallholder agriculture, which is highly sensitive to climate change. There is a growing number of multi-level assessments on impacts and adaptation options for African smallholder systems under climate change, yet few studies translate impacts at the individual crop level to vulnerability at the household level, at which other livelihood activities need to be considered. Further, these assessments often use representative household types rather than considering the diversity of households for the identification of larger-scale patterns at sub-national and national levels. We developed a framework that combines crop suitability maps with a household food availability analysis to quantify household vulnerability to climate-related impacts on crop production and effects of adaptation options. The framework was tested for Uganda, identifying four hotspots of household vulnerability across the country. Hotspots were visually identified as areas with a relatively high concentration of vulnerable households, experiencing a decline in household crop suitability. About 30% of the households in the hotspots in (central) southwest were vulnerable to a combination of 3 °C temperature increase and 10% rainfall decline through declining suitability for several key crops (including highland banana, cassava, maize and sorghum). In contrast only 10% of the households in West Nile and central northern Uganda were negatively affected, and these were mainly affected by declining suitability of common beans. Households that depended on common beans and lived at lower elevations in West Nile and central north were vulnerable to a 2 to 3 °C temperature increase, while households located at higher elevations (above 1100–2000 m.a.s.l. depending on the crop) benefited from such an increase. Options for adaptation to increasing temperatures were most beneficial in northern Uganda, while drought-related adaptation options were more beneficial in the southwest. This framework provides a basis for decision makers who need information on where the vulnerable households are, what crops drive the vulnerability at household level and which intervention efforts are most beneficial in which regions.
  • The Integrated Analysis Tool (IAT) – A model for the evaluation of
           crop-livestock and socio-economic interventions in smallholder farming
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): C.K. McDonald, N.D. MacLeod, S. Lisson, J.P. Corfield Smallholder farming systems are highly complex and many intervention strategies aimed at overcoming particular resource constraints can impact adversely on other resources, or do not fit with the farmer's goals. As a result, uptake of technical solutions is typically poor. One method of ensuring intervention strategies are better suited to particular smallholder farmers and increasing the potential for technology uptake, is the use of whole farm systems modelling. In the course of conducting development projects in Indonesia, an Integrated Analysis Tool (IAT) was constructed to fulfil this role. The IAT is highly transferable and has since been adapted and extended for application in several other South-East Asian countries, in China, as well as in countries in Africa and the sub-continent. Use of this integrated model has assisted in the definition and uptake of new technologies in a number of smallholder development projects around the world.
  • A framework to assess the economic vulnerability of farming systems:
           Application to mixed crop-livestock systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Inès Sneessens, Loïc Sauvée, Hanitra Randrianasolo-Rakotobe, Stéphane Ingrand The main challenge for farmers is to maintain a high annual income within an ever-changing context of production (climate, prices, sanitation issues), i.e. to ensure low vulnerability. The vulnerability of a given system corresponds to its susceptibility to be harmed, reflecting its inability to cope with adverse effects. This paper presents a framework that can be applied to determine the economic vulnerability of farming systems considering their social dimension, and to identify farming management profiles that are likely to be less vulnerable. The framework defines vulnerability levels based on analysis of four quantitative indicators reflecting the ‘behaviour’ of the economic results per labour unit in the long term: the relative standard deviation of the economic result per worker, the relative mean distance of the economic result to a minimum threshold, the number of economic disruptions over a specified period, and the economic recovery time after disruption. The framework was applied to a sample of 208 French farms, and the results revealed that diversification alone is not enough to cope with risks. Less vulnerable mixed crop-livestock systems are characterized by more crop-livestock interactions, allowing for less dependency on markets and more flexibility. This kind of management allows farms to be larger and to have more livestock. These findings help clarify the vulnerability of farming systems and may encourage the development of policies to enhance market opportunities at the regional level to foster diversification strategies and flexibility.
  • Prediction and measurement update of fungal toxin geospatial uncertainty
           using a Stacked Gaussian process
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Kareem Abdelfatah, Jonathan Senn, Noemi Glaeser, Gabriel Terejanu The paper develops a stacked Gaussian process using both field and wet-lab measurements to predict fungal toxin (aflatoxin) concentrations in corn in South Carolina. While most of the aflatoxin contamination issues associated with the post-harvest period in the U.S. can be controlled with expensive testing, a systematic and economical approach is lacking to determine how the pre-harvest aflatoxin risk adversely affects crop producers as aflatoxin is virtually unobservable on a geographical and temporal scale. This information gap carries significant cost burdens for grain producers and it is filled by the proposed stacked Gaussian process. The novelty of the paper is twofold. First, the aflatoxin probabilistic maps are obtained using an analytical scheme to propagate the uncertainty through the stacked Gaussian process. The model predictions are validated both at the Gaussian process component level and at the system level for the entire stacked Gaussian process using historical field data. Second, a novel derivation is introduced to calculate the analytical covariance of aflatoxin production at two geographical locations. This is used to predict aflatoxin at unobserved locations using measurements at nearby locations but with the prior mean and covariance provided by the stacked Gaussian process. As field measurements arrive, this measurement update scheme may be used in targeted field inspections to warn farmers of emerging aflatoxin contaminations.
  • Bee farming system sustainability: An assessment framework in metropolitan
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Coline Kouchner, Cécile Ferrus, Samuel Blanchard, Axel Decourtye, Benjamin Basso, Yves Le Conte, Marc Tchamitchian Beekeeping is a long-standing production of livestock, which currently faces several technical and economic challenges such as high colony losses and highly variable honey yields. While the sustainability of current and future bee farms is at stake, the current research on agricultural sustainability assessment poorly considers the technical and management specificities of bee farming systems, systems that remain poorly understood. To fill this gap, we designed a sustainability assessment framework, in other words, a detailed and organised definition of the sustainability of bee farming systems, that identifies the current sustainability issues of these systems at the farm level. Through interviews and workshops, beekeepers and other stakeholders were involved in the design process to include a diversity of viewpoints on the definition of sustainability for bee farming systems, and to ensure the relevance of this assessment framework. The resulting framework highlights the current economic, social and environmental issues of bee farming systems and is organised into six dimensions. Three dimensions are farm-focused, and the three others consider the interactions of the farm with its environment, its territory and the beekeeping sector. That framework reveals the sustainability issues and factors that bee farming systems share with other agricultural sectors as well as their specific issues. In particular, the adaptive capacity of bee farming systems, including their flexibility, their diversity and the learning capacity of the beekeeper, appeared to be a key factor in their sustainability, as is the case for other pastoral systems that have to cope with unpredictable changes in the availability of their feed resources on which they have little direct control. In addition, land management practices partly determine the quality and availability of floral resources, which are hard to estimate, and thus present specific concerns and opportunities in their management. This work provides the first sustainability assessment framework that properly considers the current issues and specificities of bee farming systems, thus providing an outlook on the sustainability challenges of these systems and a basis for the development of an on-farm sustainability assessment tool.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
  • Economic viability of newly introduced chicken strains at village level in
           Tanzania: FARMSIM model simulation approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Rogers Andrew, Jeremia Makindara, Said H. Mbaga, Roselyne Alphonce A local chicken farming is an integral part of Tanzania's rural economy. However, despite its contributions to household economy and food security, local chicken productivity remains low because of low genetic potential, diseases and poor feeding. One of the options to increase local chicken productivity is the adoption of the chicken strains with high genetic potential. With that respect, Africa Genetic Gain project introduced Sasso and Kuroiler chicken strains for on-farm test purposes. Developmental design involved provision of 25 six weeks old chicks to 20 farmers in 12 sites making a total of 240 farmers in three regions. The study was carried out in Dodoma, Morogoro and Njombe regions to assess the effects of agro-ecological differences in the performance of these strains. The chicks were vaccinated against Mareks and Newcastle diseases at the hatchery; then against Infectious Bronchitis (IB) at 0, 7 10, 16 and 21 days. The Newcastle Disease vaccine was repeated after 10 and 21 days using LaSota vaccine. After 6 weeks, the chicks were again vaccinated against fowl pox ready for supply to farmers. A farm Simulation Model (FARMSIM) and Stochastic Efficiency with Respect to Function (SERF) were applied to access economic viability of these strains relative to local chickens. FARMSIM is a Monte Carlo Simulation Model that simultaneously evaluates a baseline and an alternative farming technology. To simulate using FARMSIM, Simulation and Econometrics to Analyse Risk (Simetar©), an excel add-in is needed as a simulating engine. Data were obtained through survey, farmers' records and simulation exercises. The results indicate that keeping Sasso strain was the most economically viable with the highest Net Present Value, Net Cash Farm Income and the highest probability of attaining economic return. Kuroiler was the second, followed by keeping local chickens without supplement and local chicken with supplement was the least economically viable enterprise. However, inclusion of risk behaviour revealed that extremely risk-averse farmers preferred mostly keeping local chickens without supplement whereas extremely risk loving farmers preferred the most Sasso strain. It is recommended that the introduced chicken strains should be promoted to increase household income and improve people's livelihoods. However, scaling up of the introduced chicken strains must be integrated with education on technical know-how for good farming practices, feed formulations, medication and shelter for improved productivity and reduced variability.
  • Scaling – from “reaching many” to sustainable systems change at
           scale: A critical shift in mindset
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): L. Woltering, K. Fehlenberg, B. Gerard, J. Ubels, L. Cooley Countless development projects have piloted solutions that could make a difference if only applied at scale. The reality is that these pilot projects hardly ever reach the intended scale to contribute significantly to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this paper, we argue that two major problems undermine efforts to achieve scale in development projects. First, pilot projects are usually set up and managed in very controlled environments that make it very difficult to transition to the real world at scale. Second, poor conceptual and methodological clarity on what scaling is and how it can be pursued often results in a narrow focus on reaching numbers. Counting household adoption at the end of a grant project is a poor metric of whether these people can and will sustain adoption after the project closes, let alone if adoption will reach others and actually contributes to improved livelihoods. We advocate for a broader view on scaling that more accurately reflects the transformational change agenda of the SDGs: from reaching many to a process aiming to achieve sustainable systems change at scale. Sustainable systems change alters a sufficient number of key drivers (incentives, rules, etc.) such that the system that once perpetuated a “problem” now instead perpetuates a “solution.” This has implications on the way projects are designed and implemented. Rather than focusing on changing conditions within the project context, projects should serve as vehicles for societal change. This means that projects make most sense if designed as part of a multisector, long-term programmatic approach. Treating scaling as a transformation process helps deal with the necessary coevolution of organizational and institutional arrangements, along with the innovations in a technology or practice. To help address scaling, we present a number of frameworks that guide users to assess the scalability of innovations, design for scale from the onset of projects, and systematically think through key elements, ingredients, or success factors. We conclude that scaling requires different skills, approaches, and ways of collaborating than those required for successful implementation of pilot projects. It calls for development actors to have a mindset that allows them to creatively navigate multiple overlapping systems; likewise, they must develop a clear vision about which elements in the system the actors can and cannot address, and about where they need to collaborate strategically to exert influence. Although it is tempting to hope for the silver bullet solution that changes the world, we argue for an approach that takes scaling serious in its own right and recognizes the complexities involved in facilitating a transition to a new “normal.”
  • Modeling growing season and annual cumulative nitrous oxide emissions and
           emission factors from organically fertilized soils planted with barley in
           Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Jiacheng Shen, Roland Treu, Junye Wang, Xiying Hao, Ben W. Thomas The widely used Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) model does not explicitly account for the influence of microbes in organic fertilizer. However, applying organic fertilizers to soils may increase N2O emissions because organic fertilizers can contain appreciable levels of the plant-available nitrogen (N), and contain many types of microbes including denitrifiers. In this study, the DNDC model was extended to include a microbial factor to account for the enhancement of microbial contents by the organic fertilizer input, and applied to two organically fertilized (digestate and manure) soils planted with barley in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The growing season cumulative N2O emissions at the recommended N rate of digestate and manure were used to calibrate the model, while the emissions at the double recommended N loadings were used for validation. The results show that the growing season cumulative N2O emissions at recommended N loadings were calculated to be 1.90, 1.62, 3.50, and 2.55 kg-N ha−1 for digestate, and 0.45, 0.17, 0.35, and 0.74 kg-N ha−1 for manure in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively. The corresponding emission factors (EFs) are 0.937, 0.444, 1.947, and 0.510, as well as 0.095, 0.035, 0.072, and 0.083 for manure in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively. The average four-year relative errors of N2O emissions and EFs of validated cases are 32.3% and 34.3% for digestate, as well as 66.9% and 126% for manure, respectively. Two-factor hyperbolic and quadratic models of emissions and EFs correlating N loadings and weather conditions were developed and applied to N2O emission data at recommended N loadings. The coefficients of determination of modeled EFs to measured values are 0.887 and 0.982 for digestate and manure, respectively. The two-factor hyperbolic model predicted that N2O EFs would range from 0.085% to 1.1% for digestate with N loadings ranging from 100 to 800 kg-N ha−1, and product of average precipitation and air temperature during the growing season ranging from 18 to 36 mm × oC. The corresponding emissions ranged from 1.0 to 5.1 kg-N ha−1. We conclude that N2O emissions and EFS could be effectively modeled by a two-factor hyperbolic equation for digestate, and quadratic equation for manure.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
  • Maize system impacts of cover crop management decisions: A simulation
           analysis of rye biomass response to planting populations in Iowa, U.S.A.
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Guillermo S. Marcillo, Sarah Carlson, Meghan Filbert, Thomas Kaspar, Alejandro Plastina, Fernando E. Miguez Cover crops provide environmental services that can effectively reduce the negative impacts from otherwise highly productive row-crop systems in the US Midwest. In this context, winter rye [(Secale cereale sp.)] is the most commonly used cover crop among producers because it overwinters and produces considerable biomass in the spring. While the soil and water benefits of a maize-rye system are well documented, the extent to which these benefits change under different rye planting densities has not been fully explored. In particular, shoot-biomass of a fall-seeded rye cover crop is expected to respond to increasing plant populations (PP), influence maize system productivity overall, and provide additional income for growers to justify the higher establishment costs of the cover crop. Field data for a long-term biomass assessment is costly and hard to generalize, so we used 25-year weather records to run the field-scale model APSIM at three Iowa locations to: 1) Quantify the relationship between rye biomass and rye PP, 2) Test if this relationship is further controlled by maize Nitrogen (N) rates or vary across locations and soil types, 3) Investigate if changes in maize system outcomes, i.e. grain yield, nitrate leaching, soil erosion, and runoff are significantly related to rye biomass, and 4) Estimate changes in farm returns for maize operations that utilize rye biomass under alternative management scenarios (i.e. grazing). Overall, we found a positive relationship between rye biomass and PP, with spring biomass increasing by 30% when populations double. No evidence for a biomass plateau was found, although spring biomass differed by soil type and location. Relative changes in soil erosion and N-leaching were negatively correlated with rye biomass (−30 and − 25% change relative to no cover crop, p 
  • Evaluating productivity gaps in maize production across different
           agroecological zones in Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Bright O. Asante, Omphile Temoso, Kwabena N. Addai, Renato A. Villano This paper evaluates the performance of maize farmers in three agroecological zones in Ghana. A metafrontier model is used to estimate the average technical efficiencies and maize productivty gaps across the agroecological zones. The results shows that land, labour and fertilizer significantly influence maize production. Managerial performance of farmers is influenced by land ownership, access to credit, monocropping, and participation in farmer based organisations across the agroecological zones. Additionally, the maize production technology in the Forest zone was found to be superior. Accordingly, farmers in Guinea Savanna and Transition zones can increase productivity by adopting prevailing improved technologies and good agronomic practices in the Forest zone. Such effort can be enhanced through increasing farmers' access to extension, credit, and participation in farmer based organisations.
  • Applied spatial approach of modelling field size changes based on a
           consideration of farm and landscape interrelations
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Amanda E. Eigner, Ernst-August Nuppenau Field sizes in agricultural production determine landscape characteristics and thus habitats. Yet, field sizes are not adequately considered in many theoretical landscape-oriented modelling approaches explaining habitats as well as biodiversity (BD). Our objective is to transfer theoretical model thinking into a practical approach with the focus on field and farm size changes. In our novel approach we model the impact of land consolidation driven by structural change, exchange of land between neighboring farmers and the participation in agri-environmental scemes. We work with a spatial representation of farming decisions and apply our model to a regional case study characterized as an intensively used agricultural area in Germany. Results are graphically translated via a geographical information system (GIS) and indicate that structural change leads to landscape homogeneity in our study region, and diversity of farming shrinks under the Common Agricultural Policy Reform 2009. Our model gives an idea of spatial variation in crop heterogeneity over time by conceptualizing spatial and temporal scales. In our stylized landscape visualization we prove the capabilities of a bio-economic modelling approach capturing economic resource allocation patterns and spatial representation of farming decisions in a perspective of sustainability analysis.
  • Emergy accounting as a support for a strategic planning towards a regional
           sustainable milk production
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): F. Agostinho, M.W. Oliveira, F.M. Pulselli, C.M.V.B. Almeida, B.F. Giannetti Milk is one of the most important food in the world, being consumed in natura or supporting the dairy industry. In Brazil, specifically, the milk supply chain corresponds to about 20% of its agro-industrial gross domestic product; however, the productivity of most domestic milk production systems are still characterized as low. In view of this, the Brazilian government supports training programs to increase milk productivity and economic returns, however, sustainability issues are usually left in the background. This work uses emergy environmental accounting to study the sustainability of milk production systems in the southern region of Minas Gerais state, Brazil, aiming at two specific goals: (i) verifying their individual environmental performance based on emergy indices, and (ii) exploring alternatives for the development of milk production under a regional perspective. Results from a cluster analysis evidenced the existence of five main milk production systems in the region (G1–G5), including differences in productivity, handling, feed diet, infrastructure, and administrative control. Emergy indicators point to the G3 system (small-scale, family-managed) as the best performer concerning renewability (28%), yield (EYR 1.72), investment (EIR 1.39), environmental load (ELR 2.46), and sustainability (ESI 0.70); however, the G2 system should be promoted when equally considering ESI and efficiency for a decision. Under a regional perspective, increasing milk productivity will also increase a system's dependence on fossil-based resources, which results in an uneven emergy matching and in a less efficient use of emergy. On the other hand, pursuing the increase of sustainability for milk production by optimizing the regional EIR would result in an expansion of the G3 system in 96% of all milking areas and the production would decrease by about 57%. Such trade-off claims for different policies in accordance with societal objectives in different periods. Besides diagnosing and ranking the milk production systems according to their environmental performance, this work also provides important subsidies for decision-makers regarding a strategic plan towards a sustainable milk production under a regional perspective.
  • Hybrid fuzzy multi-criteria decision making to solve the irrigation water
           allocation problem in the Tunisian case
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Mohamed Ali Elleuch, Makram Anane, Jalel Euchi, Ahmed Frikha Modernization and optimization of irrigated agriculture management can involve substantial conflicting factors using the opinions of experts. A combined approach based on concepts of Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (FMCDM) methods and Mathematical Optimization Programming (MOP) model for water allocation problem has been developed. In the first phase, we calculate the criteria weights using fuzzy AHP with water expert opinions. Then, we determine the performance of various water resources performed through the application of the fuzzy TOPSIS method. In the second phase, we solve the water resource allocation using the MOP model with the Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) results. The allocation of irrigation water resources using the proposed approach was tested on Sfax irrigation district, southern Tunisia. The achieved results indicate that the combination of the fuzzy MCDM model and the MOP methods provide effective linkages between irrigation expert opinions, economic return, and performance of water resource objectives.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
  • Economic performance and risk of farming systems specialized in perennial
           crops: An analysis of Italian hazelnut production
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 176Author(s): Cinzia Zinnanti, Emanuele Schimmenti, Valeria Borsellino, Giulio Paolini, Simone Severini Assessing farm profitability and economic risk is important to support farmers' decisions. Several factors affect yields and product prices, in turn influencing farmers' income level and economic risk. However, the literature has often neglected to explicitly account for the role of product quality. This is particularly important for crops such as hazelnut because farmers' prices vary according to the quality of the harvested product. Furthermore, it seems fundamental to disentangle the role of parameters influencing farm results, noticeably yield, product price and quality. This is because farmers select their risk management tools to satisfy their needs, but these are often suitable for managing the risk of only one of these parameters.Deploying a large sample of individual farm data over ten years, the profitability and risk of hazelnut production in the four main production areas in Italy are assessed. The analysis is performed by using a set of risk indicators, which are based on the distribution of the gross margin for hazelnuts. The results of this analysis suggest that Campania and Lazio are generally the most profitable regions while Sicily is the least profitable. Risk is quite high in all regions with Campania facing the lowest risk level. The sensitivity analysis, performed by combining Monte Carlo simulations and stepwise regression techniques, permits to establish that the most important parameter generating risk is yield, followed by product quality and, to a lesser extent, market price. These results suggest that hazelnut farmers could reduce their risk by using production insurances; there is also potential to develop tools suited to managing risks related to product quality.
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