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Publisher: Elsevier   (Total: 3162 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 3162 Journals sorted alphabetically
A Practical Logic of Cognitive Systems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
AASRI Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 1.655, CiteScore: 2)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 1.015, CiteScore: 2)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 90, SJR: 1.462, CiteScore: 3)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.932, CiteScore: 2)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 1.771, CiteScore: 3)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 403, SJR: 0.758, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 7)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.18, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Haematologica Polonica     Free   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.128, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.661, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 242, 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: 10, 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: 1, SJR: 1.793, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.331, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access  
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.052, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access  
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.374, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.344, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.671, CiteScore: 5)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.53, CiteScore: 4)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.29, CiteScore: 3)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.755, CiteScore: 2)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 2.611, CiteScore: 8)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advanced Cement Based Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.732, CiteScore: 3)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 139, SJR: 4.09, CiteScore: 13)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.167, CiteScore: 4)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 2.384, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.126, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.992, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22, SJR: 2.089, CiteScore: 5)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.572, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.61, CiteScore: 7)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.686, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 30, SJR: 3.043, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.453, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.992, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Cell Aging and Gerontology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.156, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.713, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.316, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 1.562, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19, SJR: 1.977, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.205, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Dermatology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 43, SJR: 2.524, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.159, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 44, 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: 54, SJR: 0.591, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.354, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 12.74, CiteScore: 13)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.193, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, 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: 22)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.193, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 36, SJR: 4.433, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.163, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.938, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 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: 8, SJR: 0.682, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.88, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 3.027, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.158, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.182, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.875, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.174, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.579, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.461, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.536, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.574, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.109, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
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: 18)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.791, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 62)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.371, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access   (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: 5)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 392, 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: 10, SJR: 0.555, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 31, SJR: 2.208, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.262, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 3)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.117, CiteScore: 3)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 336, SJR: 0.796, CiteScore: 3)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.42, CiteScore: 2)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.296, CiteScore: 0)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 3.671, CiteScore: 9)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 438, SJR: 1.238, CiteScore: 3)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.13, CiteScore: 0)
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.818, CiteScore: 5)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, 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: 1)
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 57, SJR: 1.747, CiteScore: 4)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.589, CiteScore: 3)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.26, CiteScore: 0)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.153, CiteScore: 3)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 3)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.191, CiteScore: 1)
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.142, CiteScore: 4)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.148, CiteScore: 2)
Alpha Omegan     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 3.521, CiteScore: 6)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.201, CiteScore: 1)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 4.66, CiteScore: 10)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.796, CiteScore: 4)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.108, CiteScore: 3)
Ambulatory Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 3.267, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 54, SJR: 1.93, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.524, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 7.45, CiteScore: 8)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.062, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 2.973, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43)
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: 200, SJR: 2.7, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 61, 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: 27, 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: 37, 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: 6)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.144, CiteScore: 3)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 62, SJR: 0.138, CiteScore: 0)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 1)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 0)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription  
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 4.849, CiteScore: 10)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 40, SJR: 1.512, CiteScore: 5)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 170, SJR: 0.633, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.683, CiteScore: 2)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.121, CiteScore: 0)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.111, CiteScore: 0)

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Journal Cover
Agricultural Systems
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.156
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 32  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0308-521X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3162 journals]
  • A quantitative assessment of Beneficial Management Practices to reduce
           carbon and reactive nitrogen footprints and phosphorus losses on dairy
           farms in the US Great Lakes region
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 166Author(s): Karin Veltman, C. Alan Rotz, Larry Chase, Joyce Cooper, Pete Ingraham, R. César Izaurralde, Curtis D. Jones, Richard Gaillard, Rebecca A. Larson, Matt Ruark, William Salas, Greg Thoma, Olivier Jolliet Assessing and improving the sustainability of dairy production is essential to secure future food production. Implementation of Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) can mitigate GHG emissions and nutrient losses and reduce the environmental impact of dairy production, but comprehensive, whole-farm studies that evaluate the efficacy of multiple BMPs to reduce multiple environmental impacts and that include an assessment of productivity and farm profitability, are scarce. We used a process-based model (IFSM) to assess the efficacy of (10+) individual BMPs to reduce the carbon (C) footprint expressed per unit of milk produced of two model dairy farms, a 1500 cow farm and a 150 cow farm, with farming practices representative for the Great Lakes region. In addition to the C footprint, we assessed the effect of BMP implementation on the reactive nitrogen (N) footprint and total phosphorus (P) losses (per unit of milk produced), as well as milk production and farm profitability. We evaluated individual farm-component specific BMPs, that is, 5 dietary manipulations, 3 (150 cow farm) or 4 (1500 cow farm) manure interventions, and 6 field interventions, as well as an integrated whole-farm mitigation strategy based on the best performing individual BMPs. Our results show that reductions in the C footprint expressed per unit of milk are greatest with individual manure management interventions (4–20% reduction) followed by dietary manipulations (0–12% reduction) for both farm types. Field management BMPs had a modest effect on reducing this footprint (0–3% reduction), but showed substantial potential to reduce the reactive N footprint (0–19% reduction) and P losses (1–47% reduction). We found that the whole-farm mitigation strategy can substantially reduce the C footprint, reactive N footprint and total P loss of both farms with predicted reductions of approximately 41%, 41% and 46% respectively, while increasing milk production and the net return per cow by approximately 11% and 27%. To contextualize IFSM predictions for the whole-farm mitigation, we compared components of IFSM predictions to those of three other process-based models (CNCPS, Manure-DNDC and EPIC). While we did observe differences in model predictions for individual flows (particularly P erosion and P leaching losses), with exception of the total P loss, the models generally predicted similar overall mitigation potentials. Overall, our analysis shows that an integrated set of BMPs can be implemented to reduce GHG emissions and nutrient losses of dairy farms in the Great Lakes region without sacrificing productivity or profit to the farmer.
       
  • Opportunities to improve sustainability on commercial pasture-based dairy
           farms by assessing environmental impact
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 166Author(s): Craig Galloway, Beatrice Conradie, Heidi Prozesky, Karen Esler For pasture-based dairy farming to become more sustainable, the negative environmental impacts associated with milk production must be minimized. These negative impacts include eutrophication, ammonia emissions and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Two tools, a nutrient budget and a carbon footprint calculator, allow farm-level assessments of these negative impacts. In this study, a nutrient budget was used to calculate the efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorous use, and a carbon footprint calculator was used to calculate GHG emissions. Farm system descriptors were used to identify the farm systems that had the lowest environmental impact. Soil carbon was measured as an indicator of soil health, and the link between soil health, nutrient use efficiency and GHG emissions was examined. Nitrogen and phosphorous were not efficiently utilized on the farms included in this study, with a large excess of nutrients imported onto the farms each year. The average use efficiency was 29% for nitrogen, and 36% for phosphorous. The GHG emissions per liter of milk production were higher on the farms included in this study than found in previous studies on dairy farms, with an average of 1.39 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents emitted per kilogram of energy-corrected milk. Farm systems which optimized milk production on the available land, while applying the least amount of fertilizer and feeding the least amount of purchased feeds per milk produced, had the lowest environmental impact. Farms with higher soil carbon levels had higher nitrogen use efficiencies and lower GHG emissions. This is the first South African research to examine environmental impact on pasture-based dairy farms in this manner. It is possible for pasture-based dairy farmers to reduce the environmental impact of milk production by adopting some of the principles identified in this study.
       
  • Scaling up agricultural interventions: Case studies of climate-smart
           agriculture
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Olaf Westermann, Wiebke Förch, Philip Thornton, Jana Körner, Laura Cramer, Bruce Campbell If climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is meaningfully to address the development challenges posed by climate change, effective approaches will be needed to scale up research findings. Here, eleven case studies are used to exemplify scaling-up strategies based on (1) value chains and private sector involvement, (2) information and communication technologies and agro-advisory services, and (3) policy engagement. We evaluated these case studies and the scaling strategies they exemplify, using a simple conceptual framework from the field of scaling up nutrition interventions. Results showed that these different strategies exhibit different characteristics; all offer considerable potential for taking CSA interventions to scale, but there still may be unavoidable trade-offs to consider when choosing one strategy over another, particularly between reaching large numbers of farmers and addressing farmers' specific contexts. The case studies highlighted several challenges: estimating the costs and benefits of different scaling activities, integrating knowledge across multiple levels, and addressing equity issues in scaling up. The case studies outlined here will continue to be monitored and evaluated, thus strengthening the evidence base around effective scaling-up strategies that can contribute to achieving food and nutrition security under climate change in the coming decades.
       
  • Variability and limitations of maize production in Brazil: Potential
           yield, water-limited yield and yield gaps
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Maria Carolina da S. Andrea, Kenneth J. Boote, Paulo C. Sentelhas, Thiago L. Romanelli Occurrence of staple crops' yield gaps is object of study worldwide. A theoretical approach, model and statistical-based, was carried out to assess the climate-induced variability of rainfed maize yields and yield gaps in different regions in Central-Southern Brazil in both main growing seasons. A crop simulation model was used to estimate potential (Yp) and water-limited (Yw) yields through thirty crop seasons. Based on observed local farmers' averages and simulated yields, yield gaps related to water deficit (WYg) and crop management (MYg) were determined for first (sowing starting in September) and second (sowing starting in January) typical maize growing seasons. Overall higher average values of Yp and Yw (15.3 and 13.1 t ha−1, respectively) were obtained in the first when compared to second growing season (10.3 and 9.2 t ha−1, respectively). Statistical approaches pointed to similar importance between water and temperature on local biophysical limits in the scenarios. Assessed regions showed greater gaps due to crop management, with absolute averages of 5.7 and 3.2 t ha−1 in the first and second growing seasons, than gaps due to water deficit, with 2.1 and 1.2 t ha−1 in the first and second growing seasons, respectively. Opportunities for increasing average yields by closing the gaps were found to be predominantly through crop management improvements, in higher and more variable absolute levels on first than on second growing season. However, this management must be aligned with local climate, since its variability can determine relatively large gaps, even at intensively managed cropping systems. This study was able to highlight the importance of combining management, climatic and regional characteristics to provide a full perspective on main constraints of maize production increases.
       
  • Fertiliser strategies for improving nitrogen use efficiency in grazed
           dairy pastures
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Andrew P. Smith, Karen M. Christie, Richard P. Rawnsley, Richard J. Eckard Evidence from farm level studies indicates that there is potential to improve nitrogen (N) use efficiency of the predominately pasture-based dairy farms in Australia. This is possible via several ways which includes modifying the timing and rates of N fertiliser applied to pasture. Traditionally fertiliser strategies have been based on a “recipe” approach where N fertiliser, primarily urea, is applied a set rate following grazing. The aim of this study was to compare the pasture dry matter response, N loss and response rate of fertiliser strategies which used increasing knowledge of plant and soil conditions in different ways. The study was conducted under grazing conditions using the biophysical model, DairyMod and repeated at several locations and farming systems in the dairy regions of Australia. In comparison to set rates this study showed that strategic approaches to N fertiliser have the potential to be more efficient in N use and lower both N inputs and N losses with little impact of pasture production. This was evident across all seasons and locations studied. Strategies that used the plant N status to trigger fertiliser timing and rates were more efficient and had lower environmental N losses than those that used fixed rates or soil N information. Fertilising per plant N requirements was the most efficient – and therefore should be the priority for development – particularly in view of the greater expense of fertilisers that are slow release. Precision fertiliser management strategies have the value in terms of reducing fertiliser use and loss during autumn and to a lesser extent in summer, with the least value in winter. However, for the strategies to be properly evaluated for pasture based dairy farms with grazing, a whole farm analysis needs to be conducted that incorporates other sources of feed. This is a necessary inclusion in any subsequent studies.
       
  • Using reanalysis in crop monitoring and forecasting systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 July 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): A. Toreti, A. Maiorano, G. De Sanctis, H. Webber, A.C. Ruane, D. Fumagalli, A. Ceglar, S. Niemeyer, M. Zampieri Weather observations are essential for crop monitoring and forecasting but they are not always available and in some cases they have limited spatial representativeness. Thus, reanalyses represent an alternative source of information to be explored. In this study, we assess the feasibility of reanalysis-based crop monitoring and forecasting by using the system developed and maintained by the European Commission- Joint Research Centre, its gridded daily meteorological observations, the biased-corrected reanalysis AgMERRA and the ERA-Interim reanalysis. We focus on Europe and on two crops, wheat and maize, in the period 1980–2010 under potential and water-limited conditions.In terms of inter-annual yield correlation at the country scale, the reanalysis-driven systems show a very good performance for both wheat and maize (with correlation values higher than 0.6 in almost all EU28 countries) when compared to the observations-driven system. However, significant yield biases affect both crops. All simulations show similar correlations with respect to the FAO reported yield time series.These findings support the integration of reanalyses in current crop monitoring and forecasting systems and point to the emerging opportunities linked to the coming availability of higher-resolution reanalysis updated at near real time.
       
  • ASAP: A new global early warning system to detect anomaly hot spots of
           agricultural production for food security analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 July 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Felix Rembold, Michele Meroni, Ferdinando Urbano, Gabor Csak, Hervé Kerdiles, Ana Perez-Hoyos, Guido Lemoine, Olivier Leo, Thierry Negre Monitoring crop and rangeland conditions is highly relevant for early warning and response planning in food insecure areas of the world. Satellite remote sensing can obtain relevant and timely information in such areas where ground data are scattered, non-homogenous, or frequently unavailable. Rainfall estimates provide an outlook of the drivers of vegetation growth, whereas time series of satellite-based biophysical indicators at high temporal resolution provide key information about vegetation status in near real-time and over large areas. The new early warning decision support system ASAP (Anomaly hot Spots of Agricultural Production) builds on the experience of the MARS crop monitoring activities for food insecure areas, that have started in the early 2000's and aims at providing timely information about possible crop production anomalies. The information made available on the website (https://mars.jrc.ec.europa.eu/asap/) directly supports multi-agency early warning initiatives such as for example the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for Early Warning and provides inputs to more detailed food security assessments that are the basis for the annual Global Report on Food Crises. ASAP is a two-step analysis framework, with a first fully automated step classifying the first sub-national level administrative units into four agricultural production deficit warning categories. Warnings are based on rainfall and vegetation index anomalies computed over crop and rangeland areas and are updated every 10 days. They take into account the timing during the crop season at which they occur, using remote sensing derived phenology per-pixel. The second step involves the monthly analysis at country level by JRC crop monitoring experts of all the information available, including the automatic warnings, crop production and food security-tailored media analysis, high-resolution imagery (e.g. Landsat 8, Sentinel 1 and 2) processed in Google Earth Engine and ancillary maps, graphs and statistics derived from a set of indicators. Countries with potentially critical conditions are marked as minor or major hotspots and a global overview is provided together with short national level narratives.
       
  • Bioeconomic model for optimal control of the invasive weed Zea mays
           subspp. (teosinte) in Spain
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Yolanda Martínez, Alicia Cirujeda, Miguel I. Gómez, Ana I. Marí, Gabriel Pardo Teosinte is an invasive weed which emerged recently in Northeastern Spain, an important corn-growing region in Western Europe. It is causing substantial agronomic and economic damages and is threatening the availability of corn in the region. Farmers and regulatory agencies can choose from a number of strategies to control for teosinte infestations including adoption of specific cultural practices such as manual control constructing false seedbeds, as well as adopting corn rotations with other annual and perennial crops. In spite of the potential negative impacts of this weed, little is known about what the optimal control strategies are, both from the private (e.g. the farm) and social (e.g. regulatory agencies) perspectives. In response, we develop a dynamic optimization model to identify the sequence of control strategies that minimize private and social costs under low- and high-infestation level scenarios, for a fifteen-year planning horizon. We calibrate the model using biological data from experimental trials and economic parameters collected from farmers in the region. Our results suggest the economic losses of teosinte infestation can reach up to 9229 and 9398 €/ha for low- and high-infestation scenarios if nothing is done to control it. In addition, results show that optimal private and social strategies are different. For example, under high-infestation levels, private losses are minimized at 26.5% by not controlling in years 1–2, use false seedbeds in year 3, planting alfalfa in years 4–8, and planting corn thereafter in the total area. In contrast, social costs are minimized at 27.9% by adopting rotations starting year, return to corn mono-cropping in half the area after year four. Results show false seedbed and manual controls, currently recommended by the regulatory agency in low-infestation cases, are not socially optimal.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
       
  • Estimating soil water in high-rainfall zones under pasture
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): T. Thayalakumaran, M. McCaskill, E.M. Morse-McNabb Soil water is important for agricultural production, and is a key parameter in hydrologic models and weather prediction models. In this paper we explore the ability of two commonly used paddock scale models for pasture: HowLeaky and DairyMod, to estimate soil water in the topsoil (0–100 mm) and root-zone (0–1000 mm) at daily intervals. We also examined the influence of soil hydraulic properties on estimated amounts of soil water by using soil properties measured at the site, compared with properties from the national database. Soil water estimates were compared with field measurements from four grazing systems in the high-rainfall zone of western Victoria, Australia.Daily soil water amounts in the topsoil and root-zone were well simulated by both Howleaky and DairyMod, with Howleaky performing better overall. Soil water was simulated more accurately for the root-zone than for the topsoil. On average, the error in root-zone water estimations with site-derived soil properties was 18% of plant available water capacity, and ranged from 8 to 24% of their plant available water. When soil properties were instead taken from the national database, the actual values of soil water were predicted poorly, with an average bias of 86 mm. However, relative soil water is the parameter of greater interest, and normalising by the waterholding capacity corrected these biases leading to an average error of 24% of the plant available capacity, with a range across sites from 8 to 31% of the plant available capacity. Nevertheless, with site-derived parameters bias was reduced by more than half in all sites. Errors in model predictions tended to increase during the growing season reaching a maximum at the most critical times of the year for tactical decision-making by farmers (November and December).Superior performance of Howleaky in estimating soil water and other water balance components support the application of Howleaky for soil water simulations in pasture sites at point scale. Improving algorithms for soil water redistribution would be beneficial to increase the model performance.
       
  • Global sensitivity analysis of a pig fattening unit model simulating
           technico-economic performance and environmental impacts
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): A. Cadero, A. Aubry, F. Brun, J.Y. Dourmad, Y. Salaün, F. Garcia-Launay Livestock farming system (LFS) models are used to produce key technical or economic outputs. Current models simulate multicriteria performance of LFS, i.e. technical, economic and environmental outputs. Therefore, conducting sensitivity analysis (SA) of these models is increasingly challenging. We developed a pig fattening unit model which is a stochastic, discrete-event mechanistic model with a one-day time step. An individual-based model is used to represent the pigs. Our objective was to perform a global SA of this model while accounting for effects of parameters on all outputs. Due to the model's long computational time, we first performed screening SA using the Morris method to identify and exclude non-influential parameters, and then performed variance-based SA of the influential parameters using metamodels. The most influential parameters were mainly pig characteristics and the disinfection period. This study provides a generic SA sequence adapted for models with a high computational cost and multiple outputs.
       
  • Designing agroecological farming systems with farmers: A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Camille Lacombe, Nathalie Couix, Laurent Hazard Agroecology is a new paradigm whose aim is to redesign farming systems. The implementation of its principles engages farmers in a radical transformation of their practices, their way of reasoning and their participation in local knowledge production and innovation processes. Acknowledgement of this transformation now frequently leads researchers to invite farmers and other stakeholders to participate in research projects on the design of innovative farming systems. However, the objective of their involvement and the role farmers play in such projects is rarely made explicit and can range from simple knowledge providers to co-designers. Here we review the role of farmers and other stakeholders in such participatory research projects, and its impact on their learning and engagement in the local transformation of farming systems. Using a framework based on design theories, we analyzed thirty-nine papers on the design of innovative farming systems in which farmers and other stakeholders were involved. We identified five main co-design approaches to the design of agroecological farming systems: “De-novo design”, “Case-study design”, “Niche innovation design”, “Co-innovation”, and “Activity centered design”. Despite this diversity, if researchers aim to promote the development of agroecology, there a still need to better link researcher-oriented approaches and support-oriented approaches, to design local set-ups that will help farmers and other stakeholders in the long term process of redesigning farming systems. In terms of design methodologies, this means sharing project leadership with farmers and organizing co-design locally to better bridge the gap between thinking and doing. This means better accounting for the singularities of farmers' situations and of the local activity system to be transformed. This paper should help researchers choose their participatory methodologies better with respect to both to their transformational and scientific goals, when organizing participatory projects to support the development of agroecological farming systems.
       
  • Evaluating long-term economic and ecological consequences of continuous
           and multi-paddock grazing - a modeling approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Tong Wang, W. Richard Teague, Seong C. Park, Stan Bevers Aside from overstocking, inappropriate grazing management strategies may cause rangeland degradation in commercial scale ranches. In this paper we construct a dynamic model to study the economic and ecological consequences of continuous and multi-paddock (MP) grazing. Simulations on long-term economic profitability and ecological indices were carried out for continuous vs. MP grazing management strategies under different grass growth rates, grass dormant periods, initial ecological conditions and various installation costs for MP grazing. Results show that compared to continuous grazing, MP grazing on large commercial ranches greatly increases the optimal 30-year net present value (NPV) by sustaining much higher stocking rates. At realistic stocking rates, MP grazing both increases long-term economic profit and improves ecological conditions. The advantage of MP grazing is more pronounced under xeric conditions, longer grass dormancy period, and initial prevalence of less palatable grasses and weeds. However, ranch managers for smaller ranches and/or ranches under short-term leases are less likely to adopt MP grazing due to its diminished economic advantages on those ranches.
       
  • Conservation dairy farming impact on water quality in a karst watershed in
           northeastern US
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): M.G. Mostofa Amin, Heather D. Karsten, Tamie L. Veith, Douglas B. Beegle, Peter J. Kleinman One crucial challenge of agriculture is to increase productivity to feed the continuously growing population without deteriorating soil, water, and environmental quality. More emphasis on improved efficiencies, appropriate management of agricultural systems, and improved agronomic and nutrient use practices are needed to address this challenge. A conservation dairy farming system that produces the majority of the dairy feed and forage crops, with no-till, continuous diversified plant cover, and manure injection has recently been developed and tested in Pennsylvania, but the effect of this newly developed cropping system on nonpoint source pollution at the watershed scale is yet to be investigated. Topo-SWAT, a variation of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), was used to simulate nutrient and sediment loading processes of four dairy farming scenarios that differed in land area and implemented different feed production and nutrient input strategies: (i) forage crop production only and no best management practice (no-BMP scenario); (ii) forage production only and typical Pennsylvania management, which includes some no-till and cover cropping (typical scenario); (iii) forage and feed crop production with conservation management with broadcast manure (conservation-BM scenario); and (iv) forage and feed crop production with conservation management with injected manure (conservation-IM scenario). The conservation-IM scenario was the most effective for reducing total nutrient (42% N and 51% P) and sediment (41%) load in the watershed. The typical scenario also reduced nutrient and sediment load compared to the no-BMP scenario. Both conservation scenarios significantly reduced the number of in-stream peaks of organic N (73–82%), nitrate-N (43–47%), organic P (41–50%), and soluble P (62–70%) concentration compared to the typical scenario. Introduction of manure injection hindered runoff-mediated loss of nutrients but not leaching. Both conservation scenarios also decreased nitrous oxide emission by reducing denitrification. Additionally, manure injection retarded 91% of the N volatilization that occurred in manure broadcast scenario. The watershed scale study indicates that implementation of the conservation scenarios can largely contribute to the initiatives of achieving a target total maximum daily load in the Chesapeake Bay.
       
  • Redesign of the traditional Mesoamerican agroecosystem based on
           participative ecological intensification: Evaluation of the soil and
           efficiency of the system
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Cristian A. Reyna-Ramírez, Luis Manuel Rodríguez-Sánchez, Gilberto Vela-Correa, Jorge Etchevers-Barra, Mariela Fuentes-Ponce Mexico is one of the countries with the highest importation levels of basic foods worldwide; it is therefore highly desirable to adopt measures to guarantee local food autonomy. Agricultural production alternatives that present an appropriate relationship with the environment are required. The objective of this study was to generate, implement and evaluate different strategies of participative ecological intensification. These strategies were focused on improving soil quality and agricultural productivity based on the traditional Mesoamerican maize-based “milpa” agrosystem. Management agrosystems were determined and implemented in conjunction with producers in an experimental community plot over a period of two years (2012 and 2013). The alternative management practices included the use of organic amendments (solid and organic) and synthetic fertilizers. Changes in soil chemical characteristics and yields (maize, beans) were measured, as well as indices of economic efficiency, labor and fertilizer use. After 2 years, the organic management treatments showed a clear increase in soil pH (from 5.02 to 5.5–5.6), in contrast to the conventional treatment in which the soil acidified (pH 4.9) and presented reduced P availability. As a result of the higher soil acidity, yields were lower compared to the systems that used organic conditioners. Soil nitrate (NO3) concentration in the year 2012 was greater in plots with chemical fertilizers and vermicompost than in the other treatments. However, in the former, there were higher losses of N through lixiviation that year (112.6 kg ha−1) and in 2013 (212.2 kg ha−1), which were related to the occurrence of high precipitation (972 mm in 2012 and 1231 mm in 2013). Yields of maize were greater in the conventional system but lower than the bean yield. In contrast, in 2013, a stormy year, the organic system (bokashi + lime) was the most resilient in terms of both maize and bean yields. The treatments of highest annual total cost in 2012 and 2013 were those that used liquid amendments, due to the increased number of working days required for fertilizer application. In contrast, the lowest cost treatments in 2012 were those with vermicompost and, in 2013, with bokashi and bokashi + lime. The conventional treatment presented the highest fertilization costs. Application of solid organic fertilizers allowed improvement of the milpa agroecosystem soil chemical characteristics in the mountain region of Guerrero. This system presented the most efficient use of resources and labor and proved to be more resilient against the impact of storms. Moreover, it produced higher bean and maize yields compared to the milpa with conventional inputs.
       
  • Farm-level adaptation to climate change: The case of the Loam region in
           Belgium
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Julia de Frutos Cachorro, Anne Gobin, Jeroen Buysse Few studies have addressed the topic of farmers' adaptation to climate change from a multidisciplinary perspective, because of the difficulty in assessing their impacts. In view of the growing concern in the agricultural sector on this issue, we analyzed farm-level adaptation through arable land-use changes in the specific case of the Loam region in Belgium. With this aim, we used an agro-economic model which considered 20-year series of current and projected simulated yields with and without considering additional farming practices to reduce crop stress, such as irrigation and soil and water conservation techniques. Agronomic results show that climate change will negatively affect summer crop yields, particularly sugar beet and potatoes. However, we also show that adaptation to climate change through land-use changes can compensate for crop yield losses and lead to utility gains. These are obtained by reducing the share of land allocated to summer crops and barley and by increasing the surface allocated to less vulnerable crops such as winter wheat. Finally, irrigation practices would not be justified in the Loam region under climate change, since their use would incur important financial costs for farmers.
       
  • Selective attention and information loss in the lab-to-farm knowledge
           chain: The case of Malawian agricultural extension programs
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Chiyu Niu, Catherine Ragasa A multitude of approaches and modalities are available for delivering useful information to rural communities. However, evidence regarding the information efficiency of these modalities is limited, as are studies identifying the mechanisms of potential information loss in the agricultural extension system. In this paper, we assess information efficiency along the knowledge transmission chain from researchers to agricultural extension agents (EAs) to lead farmers (LFs) to other farmers. By asking the same set of questions about a fairly well known technology, pit planting, we construct a measure of knowledge at each node of the knowledge transmission chain. Evidence shows that the majority of information loss happens at the researcher-to-EA link and the EA-to-LF link, and that the loss is potentially caused by teaching failures or by selective attention and learning among both the EAs and the LFs concerning all important details of the technology. Results highlight the need for greater emphasis during training and learning on key dimensions of technology packages that are commonly ignored.
       
  • Optimization of agricultural biogas supply chains using artichoke
           byproducts in existing plants
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Fabio De Menna, Remo Alessio Malagnino, Matteo Vittuari, Andrea Segrè, Giovanni Molari, Paola A. Deligios, Stefania Solinas, Luigi Ledda The development of biogas production exacerbated the competition for land availability between crops dedicated to human consumption and those intended for energy production. Residual biomasses have been often proposed for their positive outcomes in terms of reduced pressure on land use. However, literature did not assess optimization options for existing biogas plants feeding. This paper developed a bio-economic model for the optimization of agricultural biogas supply chains using artichoke byproducts in existing plants. A multiple goal linear programming approach was adopted, using two objective functions, calculating respectively net present value and land use from energy crops, associated to a regional biogas network. Three scenarios were defined using primary and secondary data on the residues of a specific artichoke variety - globe - and an Italian region - Sardinia. In the Business As Usual scenario, net present value is about 7 million € with a land use of about 2720 ha. When using artichoke residues, the economic impact increases by 28% and land use is reduced by 83% if net present value is optimized. When land use is optimized, the economic impact still grows by 25% and land use is reduced by 100%. Results from this study confirm that, under certain conditions, locally available residual biomasses can replace energy crops in existing biogas networks, coupling viability and sustainability.
       
  • How different agricultural research models contribute to impacts: Evidence
           from 13 case studies in developing countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Guy Faure, Danielle Barret, Genowefa Blundo-Canto, Marie-Hélène Dabat, Agathe Devaux-Spatarakis, Jean Louis Le Guerroué, Catherine Marquié, Syndhia Mathé, Ludovic Temple, Aurélie Toillier, Bernard Triomphe, Etienne Hainzelin In a context of a severe funding crisis, donors and policymakers expect increased accountability from research organizations and convincing proof that public investments in research have significant and positive societal impacts. This article takes stock of the lessons learned from the use of a method (ImpresS) designed by CIRAD to analyze the impact of research undertaken in partnership with a range of different actors in a developing-country context. The method uses a case study approach, and relies on the evaluation of the impact pathway and on contribution analysis. Thirteen case studies were selected to represent the diversity of partnerships, research activities and types of innovation. The results confirm the diversity and complexity of the innovation processes encompassing the non-linearity of changes over extended periods, the diversity of impacts, the shifting roles of actors engaged in the innovation process, and the diversity of activities carried out by the research community to contribute to outcome and impact generation. Interactions between researchers and other actors throughout the innovation process appeared to play key roles along the impact pathway. Based on the 13 case studies, we identified four generic models through which research contributes to impact: participatory transfer of knowledge and technologies, co-design of innovation, support for the innovation process, and promotion of open innovation. Our results underline the need for research institutions to recognize and accept the diversity of functions fulfilled by researchers if they want to contribute in an effective manner to the generation of impacts. Another challenge is to learn how to take advantage of clusters of projects embedded in innovation pathways in order to sustain research activities over a long timeframe.Significance statementImpact evaluation is increasingly being requested from the research community as a measure of accountability by both donors and civil society. Conducting it properly is challenging, especially in the context of developing countries. Quantitative studies are often biased toward expected and tangible impacts. Complementary qualitative approaches are focused on understanding causality and are more in line with the actors' participation in impact evaluation. CIRAD has developed a method and used it to assess 13 case studies involving research conducted in partnership in widely differing environments. Some main lessons learned include the long timeframe needed for impacts to be achieved, the diversity of impacts the research community needs to consider, and the multiple roles played by the research community in co-developing outcomes with diverse stakeholders. Results show that the research community can contribute to impacts by using several models of intervention.
       
  • Understanding the adoption of grazing practices in German dairy farming
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Henning Schaak, Oliver Mußhoff Due to a simultaneous decline in agricultural practice and an increased favorability and demand by society, grazing based milk production has become a topic of heightened interest in European agricultural policy, as well as dairy product marketing. This paper studies the behavior of German farmers with respect to the adoption of grazing practices. To do so, a structural equation model based on the technology acceptance model (TAM) is developed. Generally, the TAM hypothesizes that the perceived usefulness and the perceived ease of use are key determinants of the intention to use and the actual usage behavior of a technology. The results indicate that the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use statistically significantly influence the adoption of grazing practices. Other important aspects are the production limitations on the individual farm, and the farmers' subjective norm towards grazing. Furthermore, the analysis reveals differences between conventional and organic farmers, showing that the influence of farmers' beliefs on the usage behavior tends to be greater for conventional farmers. The results show that farmers' subjective norm influences multiple other constructs of the model, including the intention to use. Under the assumption that farmers' perceptions of societal expectations depend on the public discourse, this indicates the relevance of public information and communication for the farmer's decision-making processes.
       
  • Opening design and innovation processes in agriculture: Insights from
           design and management sciences and future directions
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Elsa T. Berthet, Gordon M. Hickey, Laurens Klerkx Research has identified an urgent need to renew agriculture's traditional design organization and foster more open, decentralized, contextualized and participatory approaches to design and innovation. While the concepts of co-design and co-innovation used in agriculture resemble features of open innovation, they may benefit from ‘inbound open innovation’ themselves through cross-fertilization with management studies, design science, science and technology studies, and organization studies. This special issue brings together different streams of research providing novel perspectives on co-design and co-innovation in agriculture, including methods, tools and organizations. It compares empirical experiences and theoretical advances to address a variety of issues (e.g., innovation ecosystems, collective design management, participatory design methods, affordances of system analysis tools and network leadership) that shed new light on co-design and co-innovation in support of sustainable agriculture and more broadly transitions towards a diversity of food systems and a circular bioeconomy. This introductory paper presents crosscutting insights and distills from these three directions for future research and practice in agricultural design and innovation: 1) Further opening design and innovation techniques and tools to better account for visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory expressions in evolving designs and what they afford users; 2) Further opening innovation networks in view of creating and stimulating integrative niches that can foster sustainability transitions, which also requires network managers instilling a reflexive stance of network members and broader awareness of power structures attached to organizational, sector and paradigmatic silos in agricultural systems; and 3) Further opening the range of innovation actors to include non-human actants to better account for the agency of the material and ecological.
       
  • How do climbing beans fit in farming systems of the eastern highlands of
           Uganda' Understanding opportunities and constraints at farm level
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): E. Ronner, K. Descheemaeker, W. Marinus, C.J.M. Almekinders, P. Ebanyat, K.E. Giller Climbing beans offer potential for sustainable intensification in the East-African highlands, but their introduction requires a major change in the cropping system compared with the commonly grown bush bean. We explored farm-level opportunities, constraints and trade-offs for climbing bean cultivation in the eastern highlands of Uganda. We established current food self-sufficiency, income, investment costs and labour, and assessed the ex-ante, farm-level impact of four climbing bean options on these indicators. Input for this assessment were a detailed characterization of 16 farms of four types, and on-farm, experimental data of adaptation trials of climbing bean. Climbing beans generally improved food self-sufficiency and income, but often required increased financial investment and always demanded more labour than current farm configurations. Opportunities for integration of climbing beans on small farms were limited. Although some of the poorest farmers accrued the largest absolute benefits from climbing beans, their ability to make the necessary investments is questionable. The analysis was translated into a simple-to-use modelling tool to enable participatory analysis of the outcomes with farmers of the four farm types to understand their perspectives and decision-making. The discussions revealed a recent increase in market prices for climbing bean resulting in growing interest in their cultivation in the eastern highlands. A lack of seed and stakes was limiting climbing bean cultivation, and a sufficient amount of climbing bean seed needs to be ensured through strengthening of farmer cooperatives and improved storage.
       
  • Sustainability assessment of ecological intensification practices in
           coconut production
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Geraldo Stachetti Rodrigues, Carlos Roberto Martins, Inácio de Barros Environmental impact and economic performance assessments are important subjects for the definition of strategies for sustainable management in agriculture. The objective of the present study was to assess such impacts in a set of reference farms dedicated to coconut production, conforming a gradient with respect to the adoption of technologies and ecological intensification practices. Ranging in scale from smaller family farms to larger corporate enterprises, and from coconut monocultures to diversified crops and integrated coconut-livestock systems, the six cases were studied through a multi-attribute utility model comprising 62 indicators related to five sustainability dimensions: (i) Landscape ecology, (ii) Environmental quality, (iii) Sociocultural values, (iv) Economic values and (v) Management and administration. Detailed cash flow analyses permitted a critical view regarding the influence of technology adoption, ecological intensification, and management for sustainability as criteria for economic viability. The results attest to the value of produce diversification as opportunity toward technology integration, which correlated positively with higher sustainability indices in all dimensions. Tradeoff analysis showed a negative correlation between socio-environmental performance indices and profitability, whereas none of the cases studied showed constrained economic viability, indicating that ecological intensification in coconut production can also entail social improvements, by promoting fairer share of revenues and benefits among stakeholders. Recommendations issued to farmers and management teams, related with agronomic factors and practices adopted in production intensification, favor the communication of appropriate mechanisms for technology adoption, translating farm-level sustainability assessments into action for sustainability.
       
  • Intensification of rice-based farming systems in Central Luzon,
           Philippines: Constraints at field, farm and regional levels
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): João Vasco Silva, Pytrik Reidsma, Ma. Lourdes Velasco, Alice G. Laborte, Martin K. van Ittersum Understanding the opportunities for sustainable intensification requires an integrated assessment at field, farm and regional levels of past developments. Two hypotheses regarding current rice production in Central Luzon (Philippines) were developed for this purpose. First, we hypothesize that there are trade-offs between rice yields, labour productivity, gross margin and N use efficiency and, second, that farm(er) characteristics and socio-economic conditions at farm and regional level affect the management practices used by farmers. These hypotheses were tested using two household surveys characterizing rice-based farming systems in Central Luzon in terms of changes over time (1966–2012) and spatial variability. Over the past half-century there was an increase in the proportion of irrigated fields and adoption of improved varieties, which allowed the cultivation of a dry season rice crop in Central Luzon. Moreover, transplanting has been replaced by direct-seeding and herbicides substituted hand-weeding. These resulted in greater rice yields and labour productivity, and contributed to gradual transition from subsistence to commercial farming systems, as observed in the increasing proportion of hired labour and rice sold. Our results indicate the existence of a trade-off between rice yields, labour productivity and N use efficiency as yield levels maximising labour productivity and N use efficiency were ca. 25% and 35% lower than climatic potential yield in the wet and dry season, respectively. At field level, this can be explained by 1) the use of transplanting as crop establishment method, which resulted into higher yields but lower labour productivity as compared to direct-seeding, and 2) the high N application levels, which led to higher yields but lower N use efficiency. In contrast, yield levels which maximised gross margin were ca. 80% of the climatic potential in both wet and dry seasons, so there was little trade-off between rice yields and economic performance. Regarding the second hypothesis results were not always conclusive. As an example, N application per ha was negatively associated with farm size and the timing of the first fertiliser application positively associated with household size and with the number of parcels. More intensive practices, and better farm performance, were recorded in the province at the heart of the irrigation system. We thus conclude that closing rice yield gaps in the production systems of Central Luzon incurs trade-offs with environmental and social objectives at field and farm levels but less with economic objectives. However, we could not clearly show whether, and to what extent, management practices used by farmers are influenced by farm or regional level constraints.
       
  • Organizing collective innovation in support of sustainable
           agro-ecosystems: The role of network management
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Elsa T. Berthet, Gordon M. Hickey Designing and managing sustainable agro-ecosystems remains a significant challenge for society. This is largely because their expected functions and values are multiple, and diverse networks of actors and institutions control common pool resources at different scales. Networks are expected to play an important role in facilitating collective innovation in agro-ecosystems, through enabling knowledge acquisition and transfer, resource mobilization for effective governance, and cooperation. However, in order to realize their potential benefit networks require effective management. Drawing on case studies located in the peri-urban agro-ecosystems surrounding Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and Paris (France), we analyze four collective innovation initiatives aiming to reduce the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment. For each case, we assess the contribution of network managers to the core tasks of: “Connecting” (initiating and facilitating interaction processes between actors), “Framing” (guiding interactions through process agreement), “Knowledge brokering” (facilitating knowledge transfer and capitalization) and “Exploring” (searching for goal congruency by creating new content). We then pay particular attention to the activities associated with Exploring across our cases and consider the implications for more collective approaches to designing innovation in agricultural landscapes. Our results suggest that, despite heterogeneity in the activities of network managers in each context, network managers devoted efforts across each of the four tasks. Yet, building a shared vision and engaging diverse stakeholders in a common goal over time were reported as challenging. We identify that the network managers tended to set objectives at the outset, and that design processes were often confined to a limited subgroup of actors. While these strategies were viewed as being efficient in the short term, they likely limited the success of the collective enterprise in the long run.
       
  • Scale invariant behavior of cropping area losses
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Juan Manuel Torres-Rojo, Roberto Bahena-González This paper shows how crop losses, display Self-Organized Critical Behavior, which implies that under a wide range of circumstances, these losses exhibit a power-law dependence on frequency in the affected area whose order of magnitude approximates those reported for extreme climate events. Self-Organized Critical Behavior has been observed in many extreme climate events, as well as in the density and distribution of pests linked to crop production. Empirical proof is provided by showing that the frequency-size distribution of the cropland loss fits the Pareto and the Weibull models with scaling exponents that are statistically similar to the expected value. In addition, the test included comparisons of the expected value and the predicted value of the scaling exponents among different subsystems and among systems of the same universality class. Results show that the Pareto model fits the heavy-tailed distribution of losses mostly caused by extreme climate events, while the Weibull model fits the whole distribution, including small events. The analyses show that crop losses adopt Self-Organized Critical Behavior regardless of the growing season and the water provision method (irrigated or rainfed). Irrigated systems show more stable behavior than rainfed systems, which display higher variability. The estimation is robust not only for calculating model parameters but also for testing the proximity to a power-law-like relationship.A long-term risk index by growing season and water provision method is derived as an application of this power-law behavior. The index is flexible, comparable between geographical units regardless of their size and provides an indirect measure of the probability of losing a cropping area of a given size.
       
  • Sowing date and mulch to improve water use and yield of wheat and barley
           in the Middle East environment
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Ahmad Shams Aldien Shaaban, Ammar Wahbi, Thomas R. Sinclair Water is a critical limitation of crop yield in Middle East environments. Cereal production is limited to the winter months when rains occur. Options to increase the effective use of the available water to increase yield could be of direct benefit. This simulation study was undertaken for four locations in Syria that encompassed the wetter climate for wheat production in the north and the drier climate for barley production in the middle and south. Simulations were done for four sowing dates along with either the absence or presence of mulch on the soil surface. These simulations showed that sowing in early November for both barley and wheat resulted in the highest average yields among the simulated sowing dates. Surprisingly, the retention of straw mulch on the soil surface had only a small impact on yield. In most cases, yield increases were fairly modest in the range of about 4 to 9%. Since management practices to retain straw mulch in place in the field are challenging in the Syrian environment, these simulations do not indicate priority be given to developing this management practice solely for water retention.
       
  • Yield gap analysis and entry points for improving productivity on large
           oil palm plantations and smallholder farms in Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Tiemen Rhebergen, Thomas Fairhurst, Anthony Whitbread, Ken E. Giller, Shamie Zingore Oil palm production must increase in Ghana to meet the increasing demand for palm oil and avoid costly imports. Although maximum fruit bunch (FB) yields of>20 t ha−1 yr−1 are achievable, average FB yields in Ghana are only 7 t ha−1 yr−1. Despite the pressing need to increase palm oil production and improve yields, knowledge of the underlying causes of poor yields in Ghana is lacking. Closing yield gaps in existing plantings in smallholdings and plantations offers great opportunities to increase oil production without area expansion, thus sparing land for other uses. This study sought to understand the magnitude and underlying causes of yield gaps in plantation and smallholder oil palm production systems in Ghana based on a detailed characterization of management practices and yield measurements over a two-year period. Using a boundary line analysis, the water-limited yield (Yw) over a planting cycle was defined as about 21 t ha−1 yr−1 FB, with yield gaps of 15.4 t ha−1 yr−1 FB at smallholder farms and 9.8 t ha−1 yr−1 FB at plantations. Poor management practices, including incomplete crop recovery (i.e., harvesting all suitable crop) and inadequate agronomic management were the main factors contributing to these yield gaps. Productivity losses were further exacerbated by low oil extraction rates by small-scale processors of 12% as compared to 21% by the large-scale processors. The potential losses in annual crude palm oil (CPO) during the crop plateau yield phase therefore exceed 5 and 3 t ha−1 yr−1 for small-scale and large-scale production systems respectively. Investment to reduce yield gaps by appropriate agronomic and yield recovery practices across all production systems, while improving access of smallholder producers to more efficient oil palm processing facilities, can make a significant contribution to closing the supply gap for palm oil in Ghana. The impact of such investments on large-scale plantations could result in a doubling of CPO production. Smallholder farmers could benefit the most with a fourteen-fold increase in CPO production and economic gains of>1 billion US$.
       
  • The biophysical and socio-economic dimension of yield gaps in the southern
           Amazon – A bio-economic modelling approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Anna C. Hampf, Marcelo Carauta, Evgeny Latynskiy, Affonso A.D. Libera, Leonardo Monteiro, Paulo Sentelhas, Christian Troost, Thomas Berger, Claas Nendel Farmers in the State of Mato Grosso are among Brazil's most productive soybean, maize and cotton producers, but are still far away from achieving potential yields as measured on experimental sites. The objective of this study was to decompose yield gaps in the Southern Amazon into their biophysical and socio-economic dimensions. In order to achieve this, the process-based MOdel of NItrogen and Carbon dynamics in Agro-ecosystems (MONICA) was coupled with the Mathematical Programming-based Multi-Agent Systems (MPMAS) software. Soybean, maize and cotton yield gaps were simulated for five macro-regions in Mato Grosso considering different climatic, edaphic and crop management conditions. The impact of socio-economic constraints on crop yields was assessed in form of full factorial design in which each factor was set to a baseline and unconstrained level. The simulation results show that biophysical yield gaps (due to water and nutrient deficit) account for 24% of potential yields (Yp), whereas an unrestricted access to machinery, labour, credit and technological innovation would lead to a reduction of yield gaps by 6.1% and an expansion of cropland by 22%. Yield gaps can be reduced through improved water- and nutrient management, appropriate cultivar-sowing date combinations and in part by a removal of socio-economic constraints. However, each solution comes with its own limitation either in form of increased pressure on limited environmental resources or incompatibility with individual farmer objectives. Future yield gap closure will depend on the access to arable land, environmental regulations preventing further deforestation as well as political and economic incentives for sustainable intensification.
       
  • Can farming provide a way out of poverty for smallholder farmers in
           central Mozambique'
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018Source: Agricultural Systems, Volume 165Author(s): Wilson Leonardo, Gerrie W.J. van de Ven, Argyris Kanellopoulos, Ken E. Giller Given that agriculture is a key economic activity of the majority of people living in rural Africa, agricultural development is at the top of the agenda of African leaders. Intensification of agriculture is considered an entry point to improve food security and income generation in sub-Saharan African (SSA). We used a farm optimization model to perform ex-ante assessment of scenarios that could improve gross margin, a farmer's objective, and maize sales, a national policy objective to improve food security, of large and small farms in maize-based farming systems in two posts representative of rural Mozambique (Dombe and Zembe Administrative Posts in Central Province). For selling maize, farmers first had to be maize self-sufficient. We explored two options for increasing agricultural productivity: (i) extensification, to expand the current cultivated area; and (ii) intensification, to increase input use per unit of land. We considered two scenarios for each of the two options. Extensification: current situation (SC1), hired labour (SC2) and labour-saving (SC3). Intensification: land-saving (SC4) and combined improvement (SC5). For each scenario, we maximized gross margin and maize sales for large and small farms and assessed the trade-offs between the two goals. We further explored the impact of increasing labour and land availability at farm level beyond the current observed levels. SC4 substantially increased both gross margin and maize sales of large and small farms in both posts. Minor trade-offs were observed between the two goals on large farms whereas we saw synergies between the goals for small farms. In Dombe, the gross margin of large farms increased from $ 5550 to $ 7530 y-1 and maize sales from 12.4 t to 30.4 t y-1. In Zembe, the annual gross margin increased from $ 1130 up to $ 2410 per farm and annual maize sales from 5.1 t up to 9.5 t per farm. For small farms in Dombe, the gross margin increased from $ 1820 to $ 2390 y-1 and maize sales from 3.0 t to 9 t y-1. In Zembe, the annual gross margin increased from $ 260 to $ 810 and annual maize sales from 2.0 t to 3.6 t per farm. With the most optimistic scenarios and conditions of more hired labour and labour-saving technologies, both farm types substantially increased both gross margin and maize sales. We conclude that with available resources, the possibilities for increasing gross margin and maize sales are greater where agroecological conditions are more favourable and are much higher for larger farms. Without interventions that allow small farms to access more labour and land, intensification of agriculture is likely to happen only on farms of better-resourced households, indicating the need for alternative forms of on- and off-farm income generation for poorer farmers. The contribution of agriculture to national food security has to come from the large farms, requiring policy support.
       
  • Use and relevance of European Union crop monitoring and yield forecasts
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 June 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Marijn van der Velde, Irene Biavetti, Mohamed El-Aydam, Stefan Niemeyer, Fabien Santini, Maurits van den Berg Since 1993, the JRC has put in operation a crop monitoring and yield forecasting system for Europe, the results of which are published in the JRC MARS Bulletin (currently every month). This paper outlines how the agro-meteorological analyses, country-specific overviews of crop conditions, and crop yield forecasts reported in the Bulletin are used and how these respond to the diverse needs of different types of stakeholders. Stakeholders from more than 32 countries download the JRC MARS Bulletin, in peak-season up to 1500 downloads occur in the first days after publication. The readership of the Bulletin is diverse, coming from governments (e.g. Ministries of Agriculture), private companies (e.g. commodity traders, banking), media, and research and academia. On the list of stakeholders that want to be notified of the release of the Bulletin, roughly 37% originate from business, 35% from research and development, 22% from government, and 6% from the media. The primary user is the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG-AGRI) of the European Commission, which uses the forecasts to quantify the production estimates for crop supply balance sheets and to identify regions with exceptional (mostly weather related) challenges that might require a policy response. The information for wheat, maize and rice is shared through the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) thus contributing to increased global market transparency and better governance of agriculture and food policies. The largest business use is in market information, financial, and consultancy services, followed by commodity trading. Examples of use in media reports as well as online feedback to those, e.g. by farmer's organizations, are also presented. Downloads of the Bulletin peak in the month before harvest at the time when the forecasts can be of most value for stakeholder decision-making.
       
  • Corrigendum to The role of agricultural intensification in Brazil's
           Nationally Determined Contribution on emissions mitigation. Agricultural
           Systems, Volume 161, 2018, Pages 102–112
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 May 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Rafael De Oliveira Silva, Luis Gustavo Barioni, Queiroz Pellegrino Giampaolo, Dominic Moran
       
  • Towards appropriate mainstreaming of “Theory of Change” approaches
           into agricultural research for development: Challenges and opportunities
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 May 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Yiheyis Taddele Maru, Ashley Sparrow, James R.A. Butler, Onil Banerjee, Ray Ison, Andy Hall, Peter Carberry Food insecurity persists in many parts of Africa and Asia, despite ongoing agricultural research for development (AR4D) interventions. This is resulting in a growing demand for alternative approaches to designing and evaluating interventions in complex systems. Theory of Change (ToC) is an approach which may be useful because it enables stakeholders to present and test their theories and assumptions about why and how impact may occur, ideally within an environment conducive to iterative reflection and learning. However, ToC is yet to be appropriately mainstreamed into development by donors, researchers and practitioners. We carried out a literature review, triangulated by interviews with 26 experts in African and Asian food security, consisting of researchers, advisors to programs, and donors. Although 17 (65%) of the experts had adopted ToC, their responses and the literature revealed four challenges to mainstreaming: (i) different interpretations of ToC; (ii) incoherence in relationships among the constituent concepts of ToC; (iii) confused relationships between ToC and project “logframes”; and (iv) limitations in necessary skills and commitment for enacting ToC. A case study of the evolution of a ToC in a West African AR4D project over 4 years which exemplified these challenges is presented. Five recommendations arise to assist the mainstreaming of ToC: (i) select a type of ToC suited to the relative complexity of the problem and focal system of interest; (ii) state a theory or hypotheses to be tested as the intervention progresses; (iii) articulate the relationship between the ToC and parallel approaches (e.g. logframe); (iv) accept that a ToC is a process, and (v) allow time and resources for implementers and researchers to develop ToC thinking within projects. Finally, we suggest that communities of practice should be established among AR4D and donor organisations to test, evaluate and improve the contribution that ToCs can make to sustainable food security and agricultural development.
       
  • Improving WOFOST model to simulate winter wheat phenology in Europe:
           Evaluation and effects on yield
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 May 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): A. Ceglar, R. van der Wijngaart, A. de Wit, R. Lecerf, H. Boogaard, L. Seguini, M. van den Berg, A. Toreti, M. Zampieri, D. Fumagalli, B. Baruth This study describes and evaluates improvements to the MARS crop yield forecasting system (MCYFS) for winter soft wheat (Triticum aestivum) in Europe, based on the WOFOST crop simulation model, by introducing autumn sowing dates, realistic soil moisture initialization, adding vernalization requirements and photoperiodicity, and phenology calibration. Dataset of phenological observations complemented with regional cropping calendars across Europe is used. The calibration of thermal requirements for anthesis and maturity is done by pooling all available observations within European agro-environmental zones and minimizing an objective function that combines the differences between observed and simulated anthesis, maturity and harvest dates. Calibrated phenology results in substantial improvement in simulated dates of anthesis with respect to the original MCYFS simulations. The combined improvements to the system result in a physically more plausible spatial distribution of crop model indicators across Europe. Crop yield indicators point to better agreement with recorded national winter wheat yields with respect to the original MCYFS simulations, most pronounced in central, eastern and southern Europe. However, model skill remains low in large parts of western Europe, which may possibly be attributed to the impacts of wet conditions.
       
  • An evaluation framework to build a cost-efficient crop monitoring system.
           Experiences from the extension of the European crop monitoring system
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 April 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Raúl López-Lozano, Bettina Baruth This paper presents an evaluation framework followed to identify cost-efficient alternatives to extend the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System (MCYFS), run by the European Commission Joint Research Centre since 1992, to other main producing areas of the world: Eastern European Neighbourhood, Asia, Australia, South America and North America. These new systems would follow the principles and components of the MCYFS Europe: a meteorological data infrastructure, a remote sensing data infrastructure, a crop modelling platform, statistical tools, a team of analysts and a crop area estimation component. The framework designed evaluates the performance of the possible MCYFS-like system realizations against six defined objectives and their costs. Possible monitoring systems are based on a combination of different technical solutions for each of the MCYFS components, and are evaluated through an automatic algorithm that calculates the expected system performance –relying on a priori expert judgement–, the costs, and possible risks to construct some technical solutions, to finally identify the cost-efficient ones. A baseline system, achieving the minimum required performance, was identified as the most efficient starting point for the MCYFS extension in all the geographical areas. Such system would be built upon: (i) near real-time reanalysis meteorological products; (ii) remote sensing data from low-resolution (~1 km) platforms with a long-term product archive; (iii) crop models based on crop-specific model calibration from experimental data published in scientific literature; (iv) statistical methods based on trend and regression analysis applied to national level; (v) a team of analysts with specific technical profiles (on meteorology, remote sensing, and agronomy); and (vi) digital classification of very high resolution imagery supported by non-expensive ground surveys for area estimation. In countries where accessibility to local data and resources is high the baseline system can be upgraded enhancing some of the components: sub-national statistical analysis with additional statistical methods like multiple regression or scenario analysis; recruitment of experts on local agricultural conditions in the team of analysts; local calibration of crop models with experimental data; and exploiting high and low resolution biophysical products from remote sensing for crop monitoring.
       
  • Short-term buildup of carbon from a low-productivity pastureland to an
           agrisilviculture system in the Brazilian savannah
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Thais Rodrigues Coser, Cícero Célio de Figueiredo, Boban Jovanovic, Túlio Nascimento Moreira, Gilberto Gonçalves Leite, Sergio Lucio Salomon Cabral Filho, Eiyti Kato, Juaci Vitória Malaquias, Robélio Leandro Marchão Agrisilviculture systems that combine two or more species with agricultural practices may potentially increase soil organic matter (SOM) quality due to its diversified and large carbon (C) inputs. The implementation of integrated agricultural systems in Brazil has reached over 11 Mha of area and is a promising strategy to revert widespread land degradation and increase ecological intensification for cropping systems. This study aimed to evaluate the transition of a low-productivity pasture to an agrisilviculture system (corn + Gliricidia sepium + Panicum maximum cv. Massai) along a four-year field experiment under a clayey Oxisol on SOM fractions, C stocks and C management index (CMI). A native Cerrado vegetation was used as a reference. Soil samples were collected in four cropping seasons: T0 - under low-productivity pasture, T1, T2, T3 – 2nd, 3rd and 4th years after implementing the integrated production system, respectively. Both mineral associated and total soil organic C (TC) increased from T0 to T3. Accordingly, C from the particulate SOM increased by 476%, 305% and 368% at 0.00–0.10, 0.10–0.20 and 0.20–0.40 m layers, respectively, and was found to be the most sensitive indicator for changes in soil management systems. Surprisingly, inert C increased up to 0.20 m layer from T0 to all the other seasons and represented 21 to 42% of TC. C stocks at the 0.00–0.40 m layer increased from 52.6 Mg ha−1 at T0 to 66.5 Mg ha−1 at T3. The CMI significantly increased from T0 to T3 – reaching CMI of native vegetation (considered CMI = 100%). The no-till agrisilviculture system with the use of Panicum maximum cv. Massai and Gliricidia sepium managed to accomplish the goal of building up soil organic C and increasing SOM quality, thus showing its potential to be used as a sustainable agricultural practice in terms of soil quality improvement and short-term C sequestration.
       
  • Simulating agricultural land-use adaptation decisions to climate change:
           An empirical agent-based modelling in northern Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 March 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Mahamadou L. Amadou, Grace B. Villamor, Nicholas Kyei-Baffour In West Africa, the majority of regional climate projections for the region predict that the study area will become warmer and that precipitation patterns will be more erratic. The aim of this article is to examine local agricultural adaptation to climate change and variability in a semi-arid area of the Upper East Region of Ghana. This is performed by integrating the two-step decision making sub-models, Perception-of-Climate-Change and Adaptation-Choice-Strategies, to the Land Use Dynamic Simulator (LUDAS). The simulation results suggest that the land-use choices in the study area reflect a tendency towards increasing subsistence farming in an area where there has been a gradual trend away from traditional land uses such as cereal production to the cultivation of groundnut, rice, maize and soybean. Groundnut monoculture production has emerged locally as coping measure for dealing with increased climatic variability. In terms of livelihood strategy, there is an increasing contribution of rice and groundnut to household gross incomes. The predicted pattern of changes in gross household income under a scenario in which climate change is perceived by local farmers explicitly revealed the contribution of adaptation options to household livelihood strategy.
       
  • Optimization model for on-farm irrigation management of Mediterranean
           greenhouse crops using desalinated and saline water from different sources
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 March 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): J. Reca, C. Trillo, J.A. Sánchez, J. Martínez, D. Valera Desalination is becoming a competitive alternative for supplying quality water to irrigation districts in dry areas. However, its acceptance level among farmers is often low due to its higher price, the need for additional fertilization, and the misconception that it would negatively affect yield and crop quality. This work presents a decision support system that would help them to make irrigation management decisions regarding the optimal combination of saline and desalinated seawater (DSW), which would provide maximum economic profit. The model has been specially designed for Mediterranean greenhouse cropping systems. The proposed model was validated by applying it to a real watermelon crop which was experimentally monitored. A sensitivity analysis was then conducted in order to analyze the effect of different limiting factors on the optimal combination of water and the optimal profit for farmers.The application of the model to the case study demonstrated that it is profitable to use a blend of DSW and brackish water for irrigation of greenhouse crops. Despite the higher cost of the DSW, the economic optimum was achieved for higher DSW fractions than those which are used today. This sensitivity analysis has demonstrated that brackish water salinity, irrigation uniformity and crop tolerance are relevant factors that affect the optimal combination decisions. This work may encourage farmers to accept desalinated water.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
       
  • Rapid transformation of food systems in developing regions: Highlighting
           the role of agricultural research & innovations
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 February 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Thomas Reardon, Ruben Echeverria, Julio Berdegué, Bart Minten, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, David Tschirley, David Zilberman Developing regions' food system has transformed rapidly in the past several decades. The food system is the dendritic cluster of R&D value chains, and the value chains linking input suppliers to farmers, and farmers upstream to wholesalers and processors midstream, to retailers then consumers downstream. We analyze the transformation in terms of these value chains' structure and conduct, and the effects of changes in those on its performance in terms of impacts on consumers and farmers, as well as the efficiency of and waste in the overall chain. We highlight the role of, and implications for agricultural research, viewed broadly as farm technology as well as research pertaining to all aspects of input and output value chains.
       
  • Food and agricultural innovation pathways for prosperity
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 February 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): Thomas P. Tomich, Preetmoninder Lidder, Mariah Coley, Douglas Gollin, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Patrick Webb, Peter Carberry This introduction to the special issue deploys a framework, inspired by realist synthesis and introduced in Section 1, that aims to untangle the contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes associated with investments that link poverty reduction and rural prosperity within a broad agri-food systems perspective. Section 2 considers changes in contexts: Where are agricultural research investments most likely to be an engine of poverty reduction' Over the past 25 years, there have been profound changes in the development context of most countries, necessitating an update on strategic insights for research investment priorities relevant for the economic, political, social, environmental, and structural realities of the early 21st Century. Section 2 briefly surveys changes in these structural aspects of poverty and development processes in low-income countries, with particular attention to new drivers (e.g., urbanization, climate change) that will be of increasing salience in the coming decades. In Section 3, we turn to mechanisms: What are the plausible impact pathways and what evidence exists to test their plausibility' Poor farmers in the developing world are often the stated focus of public sector agricultural research. However, farmers are not the only potential beneficiaries of agricultural research; rural landless laborers, stakeholders along food value chains, and the urban poor can also be major beneficiaries of such research. Thus, there are multiple, interacting pathways through which agricultural research can contribute to reductions in poverty and associated livelihood vulnerabilities. This paper introduces an ex ante set of 18 plausible impact pathways from agricultural research to rural prosperity outcomes, employing bibliometric methods to assess the evidence underpinning causal links. In Section 4, we revisit the concept of desired impacts: When we seek poverty reduction, what does that mean and what measures are needed to demonstrate impact' The papers in this special issue are intended to yield insights to inform improvements in agricultural research that seeks to reduce poverty. History indicates that equity of distribution of gains matters hugely, and thus the questions of “who wins'” and “who loses'” must be addressed. Moreover, our understanding(s) of “poverty” and the intended outcomes of development investments have become much richer over the past 25 years, incorporating more nuance regarding gender, community differences, and fundamental reconsideration of the meaning of poverty and prosperity that are not captured by simple head count income or even living standard measures.
       
  • Climate risk management and rural poverty reduction
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 February 2018Source: Agricultural SystemsAuthor(s): James Hansen, Jon Hellin, Todd Rosenstock, Eleanor Fisher, Jill Cairns, Clare Stirling, Christine Lamanna, Jacob van Etten, Alison Rose, Bruce Campbell Climate variability is a major source of risk to smallholder farmers and pastoralists, particularly in dryland regions. A growing body of evidence links climate-related risk to the extent and the persistence of rural poverty in these environments. Stochastic shocks erode smallholder farmers' long-term livelihood potential through loss of productive assets. The resulting uncertainty impedes progress out of poverty by acting as a disincentive to investment in agriculture – by farmers, rural financial services, value chain institutions and governments. We assess evidence published in the last ten years that a set of production technologies and institutional options for managing risk can stabilize production and incomes, protect assets in the face of shocks, enhance uptake of improved technologies and practices, improve farmer welfare, and contribute to poverty reduction in risk-prone smallholder agricultural systems. Production technologies and practices such as stress-adapted crop germplasm, conservation agriculture, and diversified production systems stabilize agricultural production and incomes and, hence, reduce the adverse impacts of climate-related risk under some circumstances. Institutional interventions such as index-based insurance and social protection through adaptive safety nets play a complementary role in enabling farmers to manage risk, overcome risk-related barriers to adoption of improved technologies and practices, and protect their assets against the impacts of extreme climatic events. While some research documents improvements in household welfare indicators, there is limited evidence that the risk-reduction benefits of the interventions reviewed have enabled significant numbers of very poor farmers to escape poverty. We discuss the roles that climate-risk management interventions can play in efforts to reduce rural poverty, and the need for further research on identifying and targeting environments and farming populations where improved climate risk management could accelerate efforts to reduce rural poverty.
       
 
 
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