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Publisher: Elsevier   (Total: 3175 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 3175 Journals sorted alphabetically
A Practical Logic of Cognitive Systems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
AASRI Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 1.402, h-index: 51)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 1.008, h-index: 75)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 87, SJR: 1.109, h-index: 94)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.612, h-index: 27)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 2.515, h-index: 90)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.338, h-index: 19)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 385, SJR: 0.726, h-index: 43)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 2.02, h-index: 104)
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: 0.172, h-index: 29)
Acta Haematologica Polonica     Free   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.123, h-index: 8)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.604, h-index: 38)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 241, SJR: 3.683, h-index: 202)
Acta Mathematica Scientia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.615, h-index: 21)
Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.442, h-index: 21)
Acta Oecologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.915, h-index: 53)
Acta Otorrinolaringologica (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.311, h-index: 16)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 1.365, h-index: 73)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access  
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.059, h-index: 77)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access  
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.383, h-index: 19)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.141, h-index: 3)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.112, h-index: 2)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.967, h-index: 57)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.514, h-index: 92)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.039, h-index: 5)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advanced Cement Based Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 133, SJR: 5.2, h-index: 222)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.265, h-index: 53)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.739, h-index: 33)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.299, h-index: 15)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 2.071, h-index: 82)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.169, h-index: 4)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.054, h-index: 35)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.801, h-index: 26)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22, SJR: 1.286, h-index: 49)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 3.31, h-index: 42)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.277, h-index: 43)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.619, h-index: 48)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 2.215, h-index: 78)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.9, h-index: 30)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.139, h-index: 42)
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: 0.183, h-index: 23)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.665, h-index: 29)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.268, h-index: 45)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.938, h-index: 33)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19, SJR: 2.314, h-index: 130)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.223, h-index: 22)
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: 21)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 42, SJR: 3.25, h-index: 43)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.486, h-index: 10)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 43, SJR: 5.465, h-index: 64)
Advances in Exploration Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 53, SJR: 0.674, h-index: 38)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.558, h-index: 54)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 2.325, h-index: 20)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 0.906, h-index: 24)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.497, h-index: 31)
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: 0.396, h-index: 27)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 36, SJR: 4.152, h-index: 85)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.132, h-index: 42)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.274, h-index: 27)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.764, h-index: 15)
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: 15, SJR: 1.645, h-index: 45)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 3.261, h-index: 65)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.489, h-index: 25)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.44, h-index: 51)
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: 0.324, h-index: 8)
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: 15, SJR: 2.885, h-index: 45)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.148, h-index: 11)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.37, h-index: 73)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.4, h-index: 28)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.718, h-index: 58)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.384, h-index: 26)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.248, h-index: 11)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.5, h-index: 62)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 59)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.478, h-index: 32)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access  
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.1, h-index: 2)
Advances in Space Biology and Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 384, SJR: 0.606, h-index: 65)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.823, h-index: 27)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.321, h-index: 56)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.878, h-index: 68)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, SJR: 2.408, h-index: 94)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.973, h-index: 22)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 335, SJR: 0.816, h-index: 49)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.318, h-index: 36)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.344, h-index: 6)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 3.289, h-index: 78)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 438, SJR: 1.385, h-index: 72)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal  
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.18, h-index: 116)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 1.275, h-index: 74)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43, SJR: 1.546, h-index: 79)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 56, SJR: 1.879, h-index: 120)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.434, h-index: 14)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.234, h-index: 18)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.285, h-index: 3)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.922, h-index: 66)
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: 0.436, h-index: 12)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 9, SJR: 2.05, h-index: 20)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.46, h-index: 29)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.776, h-index: 35)
Alpha Omegan     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.121, h-index: 9)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.158, h-index: 9)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 4.289, h-index: 64)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Ambulatory Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 3.157, h-index: 153)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51, SJR: 2.063, h-index: 186)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 0.574, h-index: 65)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.091, h-index: 45)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.653, h-index: 93)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 8.769, h-index: 256)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.259, h-index: 81)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 2.313, h-index: 172)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42, SJR: 2.023, h-index: 189)
American J. of Medicine Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American J. of Obstetrics and Gynecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 195, SJR: 2.255, h-index: 171)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 62, SJR: 2.803, h-index: 148)
American J. of Ophthalmology Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
American J. of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.249, h-index: 88)
American J. of Otolaryngology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.59, h-index: 45)
American J. of Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 2.653, h-index: 228)
American J. of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 2.764, h-index: 154)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37, SJR: 1.286, h-index: 125)
American J. of the Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.653, h-index: 70)
Ampersand : An Intl. J. of General and Applied Linguistics     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.066, h-index: 51)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 62, SJR: 0.124, h-index: 9)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.209, h-index: 27)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.104, h-index: 3)
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.577, h-index: 7)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 1.548, h-index: 152)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 169, SJR: 0.725, h-index: 154)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.18, h-index: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22, SJR: 0.421, h-index: 40)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.124, h-index: 9)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access   (Followers: 1)

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Journal Cover Agricultural Systems
  [SJR: 1.275]   [H-I: 74]   [31 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0308-521X
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3175 journals]
  • Trends in wheat yields under representative climate futures: Implications
           for climate adaptation
    • Authors: Chris Taylor; Brendan Cullen; Michael D'Occhio; Lauren Rickards; Richard Eckard
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Chris Taylor, Brendan Cullen, Michael D'Occhio, Lauren Rickards, Richard Eckard
      Underestimating the impacts of climate change on agricultural production could lead to complacency about the potential adaptation challenges. This study used a Representative Climate Futures (RCF) approach to model projected wheat yields under climate change in Australia. It simulated the range of impacts, resulting from a subset of individual Global Climate Models (GCMs), on wheat production in the major wheat regions of Australia. The study used RCFs that represented ‘most-likely’, ‘best’ and ‘worst’ cases across multiple Representative Concentration pathways (RCPs). Median wheat yields modelled for the South West Australia projected declines between 26% and 38%, under a ‘most-likely’ case for RCP 4.5 by 2090, and between 41% and 49%, under a ‘most-likely’ case for RCP 8.5. Median wheat yields declined under RCP 8.5 for the ‘most-likely’ case across the majority of wheat producing regions, with a range of 1% to 49%. Greater declines were projected under the ‘worst’ cases of hottest and driest climates. However, the ‘best’ cases of least warm and wetter climates projected an increase in median wheat yield, a range of 2% to 87%. Variability also changed from the baseline under all projected RCFs and across all regions, with a standard deviation of up to 2.46t/ha under the ‘most likely’ case at a site in south-eastern Australia. These likely shifts in the size and reliability of yields, combined with concurrent climate change impacts on other factors, mean that agriculture faces significant adaptation challenges, particularly under some of the ‘most-likely’ scenarios and all of the ‘worst’ case scenarios. Further work is required to explore how scenarios in one region relate to those in other regions and thus the overall outcome at the continental scale.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.12.007
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • Affordances of agricultural systems analysis tools: A review and framework
           to enhance tool design and implementation
    • Authors: Lenora Ditzler; Laurens Klerkx; Jacqueline Chan-Dentoni; Helena Posthumus; Timothy J. Krupnik; Santiago López Ridaura; Jens A. Andersson; Frédéric Baudron; Jeroen C.J. Groot
      Pages: 20 - 30
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Lenora Ditzler, Laurens Klerkx, Jacqueline Chan-Dentoni, Helena Posthumus, Timothy J. Krupnik, Santiago López Ridaura, Jens A. Andersson, Frédéric Baudron, Jeroen C.J. Groot
      The increasingly complex challenges facing agricultural systems require problem-solving processes and systems analysis (SA) tools that engage multiple actors across disciplines. In this article, we employ the theory of affordances to unravel what tools may furnish users, and how those affordances contribute to a tool's usefulness in co-design and co-innovation processes. Affordance is defined as a function provided by an object through an interaction with a user. We first present a conceptual framework to assess the affordances of SA tools. This framework is then applied in a literature review of three SA tools used in agricultural systems research (fuzzy cognitive mapping, bio-economic whole-farm models, and role play and serious games). Through this exercise, we extend the SA tool design and implementation dialogue by illuminating (i) links between lower-level affordances, tool design, and heuristic functioning, and (ii) the central role of use setting and facilitation in mobilizing higher-level, productive affordances. Based on our findings, we make five propositions for how SA tool design and implementation in participatory problem-solving settings can be improved.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.03.006
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • Potential for novel production of omega-3 long-chain fatty acids by
           genetically engineered oilseed plants to alter terrestrial ecosystem
    • Authors: Stefanie M. Colombo; Lesley G. Campbell; Eric J. Murphy; Sara L. Martin; Michael T. Arts
      Pages: 31 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Stefanie M. Colombo, Lesley G. Campbell, Eric J. Murphy, Sara L. Martin, Michael T. Arts
      Two bioactive omega-3, long-chain, fatty acids (EPA and DHA), found in algal and fish oils, can now be produced in genetically engineered (GE) terrestrial oilseed crops. These fatty acids are involved in key physiological functions in invertebrates and vertebrates. They are known to be synthesized by primary producers in aquatic ecosystems, but not by terrestrial crop plants. Thus, the production of EPA and DHA by GE seed oil crops represents a fundamental shift in the accessibility of bioactive fatty acids to terrestrial consumers; one that may change their physiology and survival thereby altering ecological interactions among terrestrial organisms. Here we discuss the potential ecological and evolutionary consequences of the novel production of EPA and DHA by GE oilseed crops.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.03.004
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • The economic value of replacement breeding ewes attaining puberty within
           their first year of life on New Zealand sheep farms
    • Authors: A.J. Wall; J.L. Juengel; S.J. Edwards; J.M. Rendel
      Pages: 38 - 46
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): A.J. Wall, J.L. Juengel, S.J. Edwards, J.M. Rendel
      The economic value of increasing the reproductive performance of a breeding-ewe flock through selecting replacement ewes that attain puberty (AP) in their first year of life was quantified using bio-economic farm system modelling. In all of the scenarios modelled, the breeding-ewes were first presented for mating as yearlings (18–19 months of age) to enable them to start lambing at 2 years of age. For a New Zealand hill country sheep farm initially weaning 1.4 lambs per ewe mated, farm profit was improved by 6% when the percentage of breeding ewes that attained puberty in their first year of life was increased from 25% to 100%. However, if current sheep-industry target liveweight recommendations for rearing ewe lambs are met then between 70 and 95% of breeding-ewes should already attain puberty in their first year of life, and under these circumstances any further gains in farm profitability through specifically using this selection policy will be small (<2%). Countering the reproductive performance benefits of this selection policy was: (1) ewe liveweight increased with a higher AP%, which increased the individual feed requirements of the ewes; and (2) ewe mortality increased as multiple-bearing ewes became increasingly prevalent. The economic cost of using additional resources to further increase the farm's feed supply outweighed the benefits, resulting in the need to reduce farm breeding ewe numbers. The methodology and farm system model used for this study can be readily applied to other sheep farming systems. This can identify components of the reproductive process which should be targeted for further research to maximise on-farm benefits, and provide information on how a farm system will need to change for this to be successfully achieved.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.03.007
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • Predicting local-scale impact of climate change on rice yield and soil
           organic carbon sequestration: A case study in Roi Et Province, Northeast
    • Authors: Noppol Arunrat; Nathsuda Pumijumnong; Ryusuke Hatano
      Pages: 58 - 70
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Noppol Arunrat, Nathsuda Pumijumnong, Ryusuke Hatano
      Climate change poses a serious threat to rice production and soil quality in tropical monsoon areas where it is the lifeline of regional food security. In this study, the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was evaluated for the reliability of model calibration and validation procedures using local-scale data. The model was then employed to evaluate the possible impact of climate change on rice yield and soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration in Roi Et Province, Northeast Thailand. The dominant factors that influence the changes in rice yield and SOC sequestration were identified. Four Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios (RCPs 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5) and Sixteen General Circulation Models under four future time periods; near future (2020–2039), mid future (2040–2059), far future (2060–2079), and very far future (2080–2099) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) were used as future climate projections. The findings revealed that climate change will impact rice yields positively, which will benefit farmers, especially in rain-fed areas, by +2.6% (RCP8.5: 2080–2099) to +22.7% (RCP6.0: 2080–2099). Rice yields in all case tend to increase significantly by +0.7% (RCP8.5: 2060–2079) to +18.8% (RCP6.0: 2080–2099), with the exception of 2080–2099 under RCP8.5, which results in a decline of rice yield by −8.4%. The precipitation is the most important factor for rice yield in this area. Although rising temperatures will bring a slight rice yield reduction, its impact will be negated by large amounts of increased CO2 concentration and precipitation. Conversely, SOC decreased significantly in all time periods. The highest decreased SOC was a -32.0% decline under RCP8.5 in the very far future. This is because rises in temperature and precipitation, with precipitation being the most important driver, negated the enrichment of CO2 fertilization, resulting in accelerated SOC decomposition rates, which may increase nitrogen availability to the soil and increase yield.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.04.001
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • Incorporation of emergy into multiple-criteria decision analysis for
           sustainable and resilient structure of dairy farms in Slovenia
    • Authors: Tina Kocjančič; Marko Debeljak; Jaka Žgajnar; Luka Juvančič
      Pages: 71 - 83
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Tina Kocjančič, Marko Debeljak, Jaka Žgajnar, Luka Juvančič
      The increasing and often conflicting challenges that agricultural production systems face today require a more comprehensive approach to planning in the sector, integrating the economic principles of production with its social characteristics and ecological impacts. The paper presents an innovative attempt to incorporate biophysical criteria into a standard socio-economic optimisation model, illustrated through a study of the Slovenian dairy sector. The biophysical perspective on the system's functioning is determined by means of emergy analysis. This is an environmental accounting approach which reflects the cumulative environmental support needed to produce a certain output. The eco-centric perspective on the emergy approach complements the standard socioeconomic perspective of value that reflects the utility of a product (anthropocentric perspective). The model is developed based on a preceding analysis of socio-economic and emergy-based performance characteristics of different production types at the farm level that, when aggregated, constitute the sector. The multi-criteria optimisation model is supported by weighted goal programming (WGP) and aims to investigate the effects of two opposing agricultural policy paradigms on the organisation of the sector at the national level. The results show that a protectionist or eco-social focus of public interventions results in the sector's organisation with rather contrasting performance characteristics. The model outcome that represents a compromise between the two agro-political paradigms clearly suggests that incorporation of the emergy criterion into the optimisation model leads to a diverse and balanced structure and a more favourable economic and biophysical performance of the sector. Accordingly, the results confirm the complementarity of economic and emergy approaches and provide implications for a more comprehensive planning of agricultural activity.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.03.005
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • A Bayesian network model to explore practice change by smallholder rice
           farmers in Lao PDR
    • Authors: Magnus Moglia; Kim S. Alexander; Manithaythip Thephavanh; Phomma Thammavong; Viengkham Sodahak; Bountom Khounsy; Sysavanh Vorlasan; Silva Larson; John Connell; Peter Case
      Pages: 84 - 94
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Magnus Moglia, Kim S. Alexander, Manithaythip Thephavanh, Phomma Thammavong, Viengkham Sodahak, Bountom Khounsy, Sysavanh Vorlasan, Silva Larson, John Connell, Peter Case
      A Bayesian Network model has been developed that synthesizes findings from concurrent multi-disciplinary research activities. The model describes the many factors that impact on the chances of a smallholder farmer adopting a proposed change to farming practices. The model, when applied to four different proposed technologies, generated insights into the factors that have the greatest influence on adoption rates. Behavioural motivations for change are highly dependent on farmers' individual viewpoints and are also technology dependent. The model provides a boundary object that provides an opportunity to engage experts and other stakeholders in discussions about their assessment of the technology adoption process, and the opportunities, barriers and constraints faced by smallholder farmers when considering whether to adopt a technology.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.04.004
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • A review of Agent Based Modeling for agricultural policy evaluation
    • Authors: Dimitris Kremmydas; Ioannis N. Athanasiadis; Stelios Rozakis
      Pages: 95 - 106
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Dimitris Kremmydas, Ioannis N. Athanasiadis, Stelios Rozakis
      Farm level scale policy analysis is receiving increased attention due to a changing agricultural policy orientation. Agent based models (ABM) are farm level models that have appeared in the end of 1990's, having several differences from traditional farm level models, like the consideration of interactions between farms, the way markets are simulated, the inclusion of agents' bounded rationality, behavioral heterogeneity, etc. Considering the potential of ABMs to complement existing farm level models and that they are a relatively recent approach with a growing demand for new models and modelers, we perform a systematic literature review to (a) consolidate in a consistent and transparent way the literature status on policy evaluation ABMs; (b) examine the status of the literature regarding model transparency; the modeling of the agents' decision processes; and the creation of the initial population.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.03.010
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • Vineyard mulching as a climate change adaptation measure: Future
           simulations for Alentejo, Portugal
    • Authors: Fraga Helder; Santos João A.
      Pages: 107 - 115
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 164
      Author(s): Fraga Helder, Santos João A.
      Climate change projections for the next decades are expected to bring important challenges to the Portuguese viticulture. More specifically, for the wine region of Alentejo, in Southern Portugal, the projected warming and drying are expected to have detrimental impacts on grapevine physiology and ultimately on yields. The present study assesses the adaptation potential of mulching for maintaining current grapevine yield levels in the region. For this purpose, the STICS process-based crop model was used to simulate future (2021–2080) grapevine yields in the 8 sub-regions of Alentejo (with Denomination of Origin). Several datasets for weather variables, soil characteristics, topographic features and management practices were defined independently for each sub-region. Simulations comprise both non-mulching and mulching experiments over the next 60 years, under the climate change scenario RCP8.5. Although both non-mulching and mulching simulations suggest a gradual yield decrease in the future, mulching mitigates these decreases by 10 to 25%. Furthermore, the results show that mulching can reduce the yield decreasing trend, from −0.75%/year to −0.66%/year. In effect, mulching is expected to provide yield gains over the full simulated time period, being the benefits particularly apparent towards the end of the target period (2061–2080; warmest years of simulation). Mulching is a cost-effective adaptation measure that may be easily adopted by growers on the short-term. Nonetheless, this strategy alone might not be enough to fully mitigate yield losses and additional / complementary measures should be envisioned to warrant the sustainability of the Alentejo winemaking sector under futures climates.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.04.006
      Issue No: Vol. 164 (2018)
  • Impacts of climate variability and food price volatility on household
           income and food security of farm households in East and West Africa
    • Authors: Tesfamicheal Wossen; Thomas Berger; Mekbib G. Haile; Christian Troost
      Pages: 7 - 15
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 163
      Author(s): Tesfamicheal Wossen, Thomas Berger, Mekbib G. Haile, Christian Troost
      This paper provides an ex-ante assessment of the impacts of climate and price variability on household income and food security in Ethiopia and Ghana. The study applies an agent-based modelling approach to highlight the role of coping and adaptation strategies under climate and price variability. Our simulation results show that climate and price variability adversely affects income and food security of households in both countries. Self-coping mechanisms are found to be important but insufficient to mitigate the adverse effects of variability, implying the need for policy interventions. Adaptation strategies composed of a portfolio of actions such as the provision of production credit and access to improved seeds are found to be effective in reducing the impacts of climate and price variability in Ethiopia. Similarly, policy interventions aimed at improving the provision of short-term production credit along with the existing irrigation facilities are important in Ghana. Finally, this study highlights the importance of capturing the distributional aspects of adaptation options by highlighting heterogeneous effects of variability and adaptation options.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.02.006
      Issue No: Vol. 163 (2018)
  • Agricultural intensification scenarios, household food availability and
           greenhouse gas emissions in Rwanda: Ex-ante impacts and trade-offs
    • Authors: B.K. Paul; R. Frelat; C. Birnholz; C. Ebong; A. Gahigi; J.C.J. Groot; M. Herrero; D.M. Kagabo; A. Notenbaert; B. Vanlauwe; M.T. van Wijk
      Pages: 16 - 26
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 163
      Author(s): B.K. Paul, R. Frelat, C. Birnholz, C. Ebong, A. Gahigi, J.C.J. Groot, M. Herrero, D.M. Kagabo, A. Notenbaert, B. Vanlauwe, M.T. van Wijk
      Rwanda's agricultural sector is facing severe challenges of increasing environmental degradation, resulting in declining productivity. The problem is likely to be further aggravated by the growing population pressure. A viable pathway is climate smart agriculture, aiming at the triple win of improving food security and climate change adaptation, while contributing to mitigation if possible. The Government of Rwanda has initiated ambitious policies and programs aiming at low emission agricultural development. Crop focused policies include the Crop Intensification Program (CIP) which facilitates access to inorganic fertilizer and improved seeds. In the livestock subsector, zero-grazing and improved livestock feeding are encouraged, and the Girinka program provides poor farm households with a crossbred dairy cow. In this study, we aimed at assessing the potential impact of these policy programs on food availability and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 884 households across different agro-ecologies and farming systems in Rwanda. Household level calculations were used to assess the contribution of current crops, livestock and off-farm activities to food availability and GHG emissions. Across all sites, 46% of households were below the 2500kcalMAE−1 yr−1 line, with lower food availability in the Southern and Eastern Rwanda. Consumed and sold food crops were the mainstay of food availability, contributing between 81.2% (low FA class) to 53.1% (high FA class). Livestock and off-farm income were the most important pathways to higher FA. Baseline GHG emissions were low, ranging between 395 and 1506kg CO2e hh−1 yr−1 per site, and livestock related emissions from enteric fermentation (47.6–48.9%) and manure (26.7–31.8%) were the largest contributors to total GHG emissions across sites and FA classes. GHG emissions increased with FA, with 50% of the total GHG being emitted by 22% of the households with the highest FA scores. Scenario assessment of the three policy options showed strong differences in potential impacts: Girinka only reached one third of the household population, but acted highly pro-poor by decreasing the households below the 2500kcalMAE−1 yr−1 line from 46% to 35%. However, Girinka also increased GHG by 1174kg CO2e hh−1 yr−1, and can therefore not be considered climate-smart. Improved livestock feeding was the least equitable strategy, decreasing food insufficient households by only 3%. However, it increased median FA by 755kcalMAE−1 yr−1 at a small GHG increase (50kg CO2e hh−1 yr−1). Therefore, it is a promising option to reach the CSA triple win. Crop and soil improvement resulted in the smallest increase in median FA (FA by 322kcalMAE−1 yr−1), and decreasing the proportion of households below 2500kcalMAE−1 yr−1 by 6%. This came only at minimal increase in GHG emissions (23kg CO2e hh−1 yr−1). All policy programs had different potential impacts and trade-offs on different sections of the farm household population. Quick calculations like the ones presented in this study can assist in policy dialogue and stakeholder engagement to better select and prioritize policies and development programs, despite the complexity of its impacts and trade-offs.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.02.007
      Issue No: Vol. 163 (2018)
  • Potential of conservation agriculture (CA) for climate change adaptation
           and food security under rainfed uplands of India: A transdisciplinary
    • Authors: Aliza Pradhan; Catherine Chan; Pravat Kumar Roul; Jacqueline Halbrendt; Brent Sipes
      Pages: 27 - 35
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 163
      Author(s): Aliza Pradhan, Catherine Chan, Pravat Kumar Roul, Jacqueline Halbrendt, Brent Sipes
      Rainfed agro-ecosystems, the purported grey patches untouched by the Green Revolution or most technological advances, occupy a prominent position in Indian agriculture. Cropping intensities and crop yields are low and unstable in these areas due to unpredictable patterns of rainfall, a host of biotic and abiotic stresses and adherence to traditional farm practices. This precarious food security situation is especially dangerous in the central Indian tribal belt (also known as the poverty belt) which is a typical rainfed area dominated by tribal communities. More than 90% of the tribal people are totally dependent on agriculture and produce much of what they eat. Small land holdings and their low productivity, along with uncertainties in rainfall patterns, increases economic and social risks for these farmers. With degraded soils and unreliable weather patterns, return on investment is uncertain and likely to be much lower overall than under irrigated conditions with better soils. Under such conditions, one approach to achieve improved crop production is to minimize soil and other natural resource degradation by adopting a set of crop-nutrient-water-land system management practices, such as conservation agriculture (CA). To assess the effect of introduced technology under local ecological and socio-economic conditions, the study focused on two ecosystem services: a) provisional, and b) regulatory through five treatments consisting of farmers' traditional practice (FP) which was conventional tillage with broadcast of local variety maize (Zea mays L.); and four CA treatments viz., conventional tillage with sole cropped maize using line sowing of the improved maize cultivar ‘Nilesh’ (CT-M); conventional tillage with maize intercropped with the improved cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. cultivar ‘Hariyalli Bush’) (CT-M+C); reduced tillage with sole cropped maize (MT-M); and reduced tillage with maize+cowpea (MT-M+C). After harvest of maize and cowpea, mustard was planted as a post rainy season crop and all the mustard plant residues were returned to their respective plots as residue cover except FP. Under provisional ecosystem services, performance of CA on crop yield, and profitability was assessed through maize equivalent yield and partial budget analysis, respectively. Results showed that reduced tillage combined with maize-cowpea intercropping (MT-M+C) followed by mustard residue retention had higher system productivity and net benefits, an increase of 200% and 230%, respectively over FP. Under regulatory ecosystem services, the soil quality was assessed through calculation of soil quality index (SQI) which was highest under MT-M+C followed by mustard residue retention and lowest under farmers' practices. In terms of CA treatment preference, 35% of the farmers indicated a strong preference for MT-M+C compared to 14% for FP. Combined, these results clearly demonstrate the potential of CA to simultaneously increase yield, diversify crop production and improve soil quality which should support a move towards sustainable intensification of crop production to improve future household income and food security. Additionally, using a transdisciplinary approach fully engaged all stakeholders in co-designing the CA treatments appropriate for the farmers and local environmental conditions leading to significant impacts on economic livelihoods, environmental sustainability and food security.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.01.002
      Issue No: Vol. 163 (2018)
  • Can Bangladesh produce enough cereals to meet future demand'
    • Authors: J. Timsina; J. Wolf; N. Guilpart; L.G.J. van Bussel; P. Grassini; J. van Wart; A. Hossain; H. Rashid; S. Islam; M.K. van Ittersum
      Pages: 36 - 44
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 163
      Author(s): J. Timsina, J. Wolf, N. Guilpart, L.G.J. van Bussel, P. Grassini, J. van Wart, A. Hossain, H. Rashid, S. Islam, M.K. van Ittersum
      Bangladesh faces huge challenges in achieving food security due to its high population, diet changes, and limited room for expanding cropland and cropping intensity. The objective of this study is to assess the degree to which Bangladesh can be self-sufficient in terms of domestic maize, rice and wheat production by the years 2030 and 2050 by closing the existing gap (Yg) between yield potential (Yp) and actual farm yield (Ya), accounting for possible changes in cropland area. Yield potential and yield gaps were calculated for the three crops using well-validated crop models and site-specific weather, management and soil data, and upscaled to the whole country. We assessed potential grain production in the years 2030 and 2050 for six land use change scenarios (general decrease in arable land; declining ground water tables in the north; cropping of fallow areas in the south; effect of sea level rise; increased cropping intensity; and larger share of cash crops) and three levels of Yg closure (1: no yield increase; 2: Yg closure at a level equivalent to 50% (50% Yg closure); 3: Yg closure to a level of 85% of Yp (irrigated crops) and 80% of water-limited yield potential or Yw (rainfed crops) (full Yg closure)). In addition, changes in demand with low and high population growth rates, and substitution of rice by maize in future diets were also examined. Total aggregated demand of the three cereals (in milled rice equivalents) in 2030 and 2050, based on the UN median population variant, is projected to be 21 and 24% higher than in 2010. Current Yg represent 50% (irrigated rice), 48–63% (rainfed rice), 49% (irrigated wheat), 40% (rainfed wheat), 46% (irrigated maize), and 44% (rainfed maize) of their Yp or Yw. With 50% Yg closure and for various land use changes, self-sufficiency ratio will be >1 for rice in 2030 and about one in 2050 but well below one for maize and wheat in both 2030 and 2050. With full Yg closure, self-sufficiency ratios will be well above one for rice and all three cereals jointly but below one for maize and wheat for all scenarios, except for the scenario with drastic decrease in boro rice area to allow for area expansion for cash crops. Full Yg closure of all cereals is needed to compensate for area decreases and demand increases, and then even some maize and large amounts of wheat imports will be required to satisfy demand in future. The results of this analysis have important implications for Bangladesh and other countries with high population growth rate, shrinking arable land due to rapid urbanization, and highly vulnerable to climate change.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.11.003
      Issue No: Vol. 163 (2018)
  • Metrics, models and foresight for European sustainable food and nutrition
           security: The vision of the SUSFANS project
    • Authors: Martine Rutten; Thom J. Achterbosch; Imke J.M. de Boer; Jesus Crespo Cuaresma; Johanna M. Geleijnse; Petr Havlík; Thomas Heckelei; John Ingram; Adrian Leip; Stéphan Marette; Hans van Meijl; Louis-Georges Soler; Johan Swinnen; Pieter van't Veer; Joost Vervoort; Andrea Zimmermann; Karin L. Zimmermann; Monika Zurek
      Pages: 45 - 57
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 163
      Author(s): Martine Rutten, Thom J. Achterbosch, Imke J.M. de Boer, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Johanna M. Geleijnse, Petr Havlík, Thomas Heckelei, John Ingram, Adrian Leip, Stéphan Marette, Hans van Meijl, Louis-Georges Soler, Johan Swinnen, Pieter van't Veer, Joost Vervoort, Andrea Zimmermann, Karin L. Zimmermann, Monika Zurek
      This paper defines the research agenda of the SUSFANS project, describes its history and its potential societal impacts. It contributes to balanced and encompassing views on how to strengthen food and nutrition security outcomes in the EU and how to improve the performance of the food system in the EU from the perspective of social, environmental and economic sustainability. The research is led by the notion that improvements in the diets of the European consumer must come from, and be supportive of, sustainable food systems. Its holistic, integrative approach builds a set of metrics, models and foresight tools, useable for navigation on sustainable food and nutrition security. This results in a coherent and supported vision on sustainable food and nutrition security in the EU and globally, and underpins a perspective on how EU policies on farming, fishing, food and nutrition could contribute to that vision with greater efficacy than today.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.10.014
      Issue No: Vol. 163 (2018)
  • Evaluating agricultural trade-offs in the age of sustainable development
    • Authors: David R. Kanter; Mark Musumba; Sylvia L.R. Wood; Cheryl Palm; John Antle; Patricia Balvanera; Virginia H. Dale; Petr Havlik; Keith L. Kline; R.J. Scholes; Philip Thornton; Pablo Tittonell; Sandy Andelman
      Pages: 73 - 88
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 163
      Author(s): David R. Kanter, Mark Musumba, Sylvia L.R. Wood, Cheryl Palm, John Antle, Patricia Balvanera, Virginia H. Dale, Petr Havlik, Keith L. Kline, R.J. Scholes, Philip Thornton, Pablo Tittonell, Sandy Andelman
      A vibrant, resilient and productive agricultural sector is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Bringing about such a transformation requires optimizing a range of agronomic, environmental and socioeconomic outcomes from agricultural systems – from crop yields, to biodiversity, to human nutrition. However, these outcomes are not independent of each other – they interact in both positive and negative ways, creating the potential for synergies and trade-offs. Consequently, transforming the agricultural sector for the age of sustainable development requires tracking these interactions, assessing if objectives are being achieved and allowing for adaptive management within the diverse agricultural systems that make up global agriculture. This paper reviews the field of agricultural trade-off analysis, which has emerged to better understand these interactions – from field to farm, region to continent. Taking a “cradle-to-grave” approach, we distill agricultural trade-off analysis into four steps: 1) characterizing the decision setting and identifying the context-specific indicators needed to assess agricultural sustainability, 2) selecting the methods for generating indicator values across different scales, 3) deciding on the means of evaluating and communicating the trade-off options with stakeholders and decision-makers, and 4) improving uptake of trade-off analysis outputs by decision-makers. Given the breadth of the Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of agriculture to many of them, we assess notions of human well-being beyond income or direct health concerns (e.g. related to gender, equality, nutrition), as well as diverse environmental indicators ranging from soil health to biodiversity to climate forcing. Looking forward, areas of future work include integrating the four steps into a single modeling platform and connecting tools across scales and disciplines to facilitate trade-off analysis. Likewise, enhancing the policy relevance of agricultural trade-off analysis requires improving scientist-stakeholder engagement in the research process. Only then can this field proactively address trade-off issues that are integral to sustainably intensifying local and global agriculture – a critical step toward successfully implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.09.010
      Issue No: Vol. 163 (2018)
  • Grazing supplementation and crop diversification benefits for southern
           Brazil beef: A case study
    • Authors: Carolina H. Pereira; Harold O. Patino; Aaron K. Hoshide; Daniel C. Abreu; C. Alan Rotz; Carlos Nabinger
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Carolina H. Pereira, Harold O. Patino, Aaron K. Hoshide, Daniel C. Abreu, C. Alan Rotz, Carlos Nabinger

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.009
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Ways forward for resilience research in agroecosystems
    • Authors: Caitlin A. Peterson; Valerie T. Eviner; Amélie C.M. Gaudin
      Pages: 19 - 27
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Caitlin A. Peterson, Valerie T. Eviner, Amélie C.M. Gaudin
      Agroecosystems are on both the receiving and contributing ends of increasingly demanding climatic and environmental conditions. Maintaining productive systems under resource scarcity and multiplicative stresses requires precise monitoring and systems-scale planning. By incorporating ecological resilience into agroecosystems research we can gain valuable insight into agroecosystem identity, change, responsivity, and performance under stress, but only if we move away from resilience as a mere touchstone concept. Using the productivity, stability, resistance, and recovery of system processes as a basic framework for resilience monitoring, we propose quantitative research approaches to tackle the continuing lack of biophysical, field-scale indicators needed to lend insight into dynamic resilience variables and mechanisms. We emphasize the importance of considering productive functions, sources of system regulation and disturbance, and cross-scale interactions when applying resilience theory to agroecosystems. Agroecosystem resilience research requires understanding of multiple scales and speeds of influence both above and below the focal scale. When these considerations are addressed, resilience theory can add tangible value to agroecosystems research, both for the purposes of monitoring current systems and of planning future systems that can reconcile productivity and sustainability goals.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.011
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • A free online tool to calculate three nitrogen-related indicators for
           farming systems
    • Authors: Matthieu Carof; Olivier Godinot
      Pages: 28 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Matthieu Carof, Olivier Godinot
      Reactive nitrogen (N) is a key agricultural input, essential for crop growth and production, but excess N in the environment causes problems for human and ecological health. One of the most promising solutions for reducing environmental impacts of excess N levels and feeding a growing population is to improve N efficiency of farming systems i.e., increase the ratio of their N output to N input. Assessing promising solutions involves calculating N efficiency, which is not trivial. For this reason, a free online tool was developed – the SyNE calculator, – to allow farmers, farm advisors, researchers, and policy makers to calculate three N-related indicators of farming systems: SyNE, an N efficiency indicator; SyNB, an N balance indicator; and RNE, a relative N efficiency indicator. After entering information about a farming system, the SyNE calculator produces two main outputs: first, values of the three indicators (SyNE, SyNB, and RNE) and those of related variables (N inputs, N losses during production and transport of inputs, N outputs, and change in soil N); second, a downloadable diagram showing these values. The main advantages of this tool are that it (i) simplifies N indicator calculation, using the same scientific framework for all farming systems, and (ii) includes many reference values that are difficult to obtain (e.g., N losses during production and transport of inputs). Furthermore, this tool allows advanced users to modify the values and equations used to calculate the three N-related indicators. The SyNE calculator is currently available for farms producing dairy cattle, beef cattle, and field crops; in the near future, it will be available for farms producing pigs and broilers. If used, this online tool will contribute to the development of N efficiency evaluation by farmers, farm advisors, and researchers, which may result in improved agricultural N management practices.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.015
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Stakeholder-driven modelling the impact of animal profile and market
    • Authors: Frederik Leen; Alice Van den Broeke; Marijke Aluwé; Ludwig Lauwers; Sam Millet; Jef Van Meensel
      Pages: 34 - 45
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Frederik Leen, Alice Van den Broeke, Marijke Aluwé, Ludwig Lauwers, Sam Millet, Jef Van Meensel
      Pig delivery weight optimisation (PDWO) has been studied extensively and has resulted in several optimisation models. A previous participatory analysis of the problem has revealed that existing models are too complex and might therefore be under-valorised. Farmers desire a simple but reliable model based on available farm data to learn about the problem. A spreadsheet simulation model was therefore developed based on empirical animal performance models. The present study aims at conceptualising a stakeholder-driven model concerning PDWO that should provide insights into four key questions: I) how do the driving forces behind the optimisation determine the optima, II) what is the dependency of the optimal delivery weight on market conditions, III) how do the opportunity costs due to suboptimal delivery evolve, in addition to the mere optimisation results and IV) what is the effect of differences in animal performance profile, in terms of growth, feed intake and average carcass quality on the optimal delivery results' The results generated by the simulation model generally align with those generated using more sophisticated modelling approaches in previous studies. Our results indicate that the animal's growth and feed intake profile can more importantly affect the location of the optima, the stability of the optima and economic importance of delivery weight optimisation compared to market conditions. Moreover, the effect of market conditions on the optimisation was dependent on the animal profile, which determines the flatness of the payoff curve per pig. The possible flat payoff curves imply that the benefits of accurate PDWO can be limited and that some error margin in decisions on PDWO can be exploited. Moreover, this finding illustrates and corroborates the increased benefit of a shift in technology, i.e. an improved animal performance, compared to striving for the optimum on the production function of an inferior technology. Using this simplified model, farmers can investigate the flatness of their farm-specific payoff curve and the stability of their farm-specific optima. That information may help them to determine the appropriateness of a robust decision-supportive rule about optimal delivery weight on their farm.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.013
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • An application of Q-methodology to Mediterranean olive production –
           stakeholders' understanding of sustainability issues
    • Authors: Nathalie Iofrida; Anna Irene De Luca; Giovanni Gulisano; Alfio Strano
      Pages: 46 - 55
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Nathalie Iofrida, Anna Irene De Luca, Giovanni Gulisano, Alfio Strano
      Olive growing is one of the most significant sources of income for agricultural areas in the Mediterranean basin, and a characteristic element from environmental and landscape perspectives. Italy is the second largest producer of olive oil; this cultivation represents the nation's most important supply chain, especially in the southern Italian Calabrian region, contributing to both local and rural economies. However, in a Calabrian context, olive production underperforms due to structural and managerial weaknesses, and farming techniques' potential impacts are not properly addressed due to farmers' poor knowledge of agricultural sustainability techniques. Therefore, Calabrian olive growing requires innovation, especially to respond to new sustainability requirements, currently claimed by public policies (eco-conditionality), and consumers and citizens increasingly concerned with environmental quality, human health and social liveability. This paper analyses the aspects that require innovation towards sustainability aims by exploring the perceptions of various actors, including local and supply chain stakeholders, and highlighting and suggesting new pathways to be introduced in Calabrian olive growing. The application of a mixed qualitative/quantitative statistical method, or the ‘Q-methodology’, small and medium-sized farms, academic experts, technicians and consumers have been interviewed to investigate their perceptions and interpretations of sustainability issues. Further, their opinions on possible weaknesses and areas of improvement are examined, highlighting either a consensus or diversity regarding their points of view. The results indicated that all actors perceived a need to orient Calabrian olive growing towards more sustainable management practices by better exploiting its potential and focusing on product quality. Sustainable innovation, in this sense, would increase production efficiency and economic performance, thus satisfying the need for employment and fairer remunerations.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.020
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Performance of a fertiliser management algorithm to balance yield and
           nitrogen losses in dairy systems
    • Authors: Rogerio Cichota; Iris Vogeler; Armin Werner; Kathryn Wigley; Brittany Paton
      Pages: 56 - 65
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Rogerio Cichota, Iris Vogeler, Armin Werner, Kathryn Wigley, Brittany Paton
      To demonstrate the use of a previously developed fertilisation algorithm and to determine its potential effects on nitrogen (N) losses from grazed pastoral systems, a simulation study was performed using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM). The study considered a dairy system with irrigated ryegrass pasture on a silt loam soil in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Firstly, the algorithm was parameterised for each month based on pasture yield and N contents from simulation run over 20 years using a wide range of N fertilisation rates. The algorithm was then used in the simulation of fertilisation management of a hypothetical dairy farm under different scenarios where its performance for increasing pasture yield with more efficient N use was tested. The scenarios were based on different yield targets for the proposed algorithm (50, 75, 90 or 100% of the average maximum yield) and included scheduled fertilisation to mimic more typical management. For more realistic evaluation, the simulations took into account changes in stocking rates and N flows in the farm resulting from the different fertiliser management. The simulations also considered the uneven return of urinary N by grazing animals, which are crucial to determine N losses in these systems. Both pasture yield and N losses were in general agreement with available measured data from similar systems and with comparable N inputs. Thus providing support for the simulation study as a valid way to demonstrate the potential effects of changing fertiliser management. The average of simulations run over 10 years showed that direct losses from the fertiliser were lower when the fertilisation was controlled by the proposed algorithm compared with scheduled fertilisation at similar N rates. However, with animals in the paddock and thus including the effects of urine patches, N losses were not significantly different. As there was an increase in pasture yield and consequent stocking numbers, the area receiving urinary N increased, counter balancing the increased N use efficiency when using the algorithm. Nonetheless, the larger yield lead to greater farm productivity, and this resulted in about 13% reduction in N losses per unit of milk production.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.017
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Reducing vulnerability of rainfed agriculture through seasonal climate
           predictions: A case study on the rainfed rice production in Southeast Asia
    • Authors: Keiichi Hayashi; Lizzida Llorca; Sri Rustini; Prihasto Setyanto; Zulkifli Zaini
      Pages: 66 - 76
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Keiichi Hayashi, Lizzida Llorca, Sri Rustini, Prihasto Setyanto, Zulkifli Zaini
      Rainfed rice production needs to contribute more to the current and future world food security due to the increasing competition for limited water supplies including irrigation water. However, it is vulnerable to climate variabilities and extremes hence the utilization of climate predictions is crucial. In this study, the predictive accuracy and applicability of a seasonal climate predictions (SINTEX-F) were evaluated for rainfed rice areas where climate uncertainties are main constraints for a stable and high production. Outputs from SINTEX-F such as daily rainfall, maximum and minimum air temperatures, and wind speed were tested for Indonesia and Lao PDR through the cumulative distribution function-based downscaling method (CDFDM), which is a simple, flexible and inexpensive bias reduction method through removing bias from the empirical cumulative distribution functions of the GCM outputs. The CDFDM outputs were compared with historical weather data. Obtained results showed that discrepancies between SINTEX-F and the historical weather data were significantly reduced through CDFDM for both sites. ORYZA, an ecophysiological rice growth model that simulate agroecological rice growth processes, was used to evaluate the applicability of the SINTEX-F for grain yield predictions. Obtained results from on-farm field validation showed that the predicted grain yield was close to the actual grain yield that was obtained through optimum sowing timing given by the predictions. A normalized root mean square error between predicted and actual grain yield showed satisfactory model fit in predictions. This implies that SINTEX-F was applicable for improving rainfed rice production through CDFDM. However, CDFDM has a limitation in orographic precipitation, the high-resolution daily weather data or a sophisticated special interpolation method should be considered in order to improve the representation of the geographical pattern for the parameters derived from CDFDM.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.007
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Maize yield and profitability tradeoffs with social, human and
           environmental performance: Is sustainable intensification feasible'
    • Authors: Sieglinde S. Snapp; Philip Grabowski; Regis Chikowo; Alex Smith; Erin Anders; Dorothy Sirrine; Vimbayi Chimonyo; Mateete Bekunda
      Pages: 77 - 88
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Sieglinde S. Snapp, Philip Grabowski, Regis Chikowo, Alex Smith, Erin Anders, Dorothy Sirrine, Vimbayi Chimonyo, Mateete Bekunda
      Sustainable intensification (SI) has been regarded as the basis for environmentally sound and equitable agricultural development. Field based assessment of technologies needs to move beyond production and economic performance to include environment, social and human condition. In this study we systematically consider all five domains of SI based on participatory action research (PAR) initiated in 2012 at three Central Malawi sites that varied in agroecology from low to high potential. Fifteen SI indicators were assessed for four technologies: sole maize (Zea mays L.) with 0 and recommended fertilization (69kg Nha−1 and 9kgPha−1), pigeonpea (Cajanus Cajun (L.) Millsp.)-maize intercrop (half rate fertilizer), and doubled up legume rotation (DLR, a pigeonpea-groundnut intercrop) sequenced with maize at half rate fertilizer in that phase. Through radar charts SI performance and tradeoffs were visualized, and causal loop analysis allowed identification of research gaps. SI indicator assessments included crop performance from on-farm trials, profitability, modeled probability of food sufficiency, risk of crop failure and ratings of technologies by women farmers who were engaged in evaluation of technologies through participatory research. The PAR included six mother trials, 236 baby trial farmers and a survey that was carried out with 324 farmers (baby trial farmers plus control farmers) to document socio-economic factors and management practices on focal fields. Replicated mother trials further provided the basis for simulation modeling (APSIM) of weather-associated crop failure risk and slow processes such as soil carbon (C) accrual. Radar charts were used to visualize SI performance of the technologies. Environmental performance of the two pigeonpea-diversified technologies was variable, but generally high compared with sole maize systems, due to gains in vegetative biomass, duration of cover and biological nitrogen (N) fixation. Maize production and economic assessment varied by site, and with steeper tradeoffs for legume diversification in the mesic site, less so in the marginal site. The domains of social and human capacity building were superior for legume integration, notably in terms of diverse diet, food security and farmer preferences (notably, female farmers generally favored legume crops). Performance varied by site with legume systems most beneficial at the most marginal site, including less risk of crop failure than unfertilized maize. Causal loop analyses identified regulators of SI that require further attention, notably: crop-livestock conflicts and opportunities, male-female control of legume crop production, and residue management. Overall, the SI indicators framework provided a systematic means to consider tradeoffs and opportunities associated with novel crop combinations and management practices.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.012
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in organic and conventional grain
           crop production: Accounting for nutrient inflows
    • Authors: Eric Hoffman; Michel A. Cavigelli; Gustavo Camargo; Matthew Ryan; Victoria J. Ackroyd; Tom L. Richard; Steven Mirsky
      Pages: 89 - 96
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Eric Hoffman, Michel A. Cavigelli, Gustavo Camargo, Matthew Ryan, Victoria J. Ackroyd, Tom L. Richard, Steven Mirsky
      Agriculture is a large source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has large energy requirements. Previous research has shown that organic farming and conservation tillage practices can reduce environmental impacts from agriculture. We used the Farm Energy Analysis Tool (FEAT) to quantify the energy use and GHG emissions on area (ha) and crop yield (kg crop) bases for five cropping systems that comprise the Farming Systems Project (FSP) at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland, US. The FSP consists of five grain cropping systems that mimic those used in the mid-Atlantic region of the US: 1) a 3-year conventional no-till corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/soybean rotation (NT), 2) a 3-year conventional chisel-till corn–soybean–wheat/soybean rotation (CT), 3) a 2-year organic corn–soybean rotation (Org2), 4) a 3-year organic corn–soybean–wheat rotation (Org3), and 5) a 6-year organic corn–soybean–wheat–alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) rotation (Org6). We accounted for nutrient inflows into organic systems by using a mass-energy allocation method, which accounts for the total energy and GHG emissions from the original production of nutrients found in poultry litter through synthetic fertilizer production (N) and nutrient mining (P and K). We believe this is the first attempt to quantify energy use and GHG emissions from nutrients applied in organic systems that originated through industrial processes used in conventional agriculture. Energy use was greatest in the conventional systems when expressed on a per area basis, with energy costs of producing synthetic N fertilizer accounting for 45 to 46% of total energy use. When expressed per unit of crop yield, energy use was greatest in Org2, lowest in Org6, and similar in Org3, NT and CT. Energy use decreased with increasing crop rotation length and complexity among organic systems whether expressed on an area or yield basis. Greenhouse gas emissions were higher in the Org2 and Org3 systems than in the conventional systems and were lowest in Org6 whether expressed on an area or yield basis. Our results indicate that organic management consistently had lower energy use than conventional management on an area basis, but not when expressed on a crop yield basis. Of particular interest is that diversifying grain cropping systems to include perennials was a more effective management strategy than organic management per se to reduce energy use and GHG emissions in agriculture.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.021
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Factors underlying farmers' intentions to adopt best practices: The case
           of paddock based grazing systems
    • Authors: John J. Hyland; Kevin Heanue; Jessica McKillop; Evgenia Micha
      Pages: 97 - 106
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): John J. Hyland, Kevin Heanue, Jessica McKillop, Evgenia Micha
      The Irish beef sector is expected to increase output as part of the most recent national agriculture strategy. General improvements in pasture production efficiency can be achieved by increasing grass utilisation. However, Irish beef production is primarily based on extensive pastoral grazing with low uptake of best management practices among farmers. An important step in facilitating innovation in the sector is to gain improved understanding of the innovative behaviour of farmers. Hence, this study uses psychological constructs to analyse factors that affect the adoption of paddock based grazing systems by Irish beef farmers (n = 382). Farmers were surveyed from different regions within Ireland and Principal Component Analysis used to empirically confirm the hypothesised Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) constructs. Cluster analysis was thereafter employed as classification criteria to cluster respondents into types. The TPB was subsequently applied to explain intention to implement the grazing practice. Three clusters of farmers were elicited based on their beliefs of paddock based grazing systems and labelled The Engaged, The Restricted, and The Partially Engaged. The Restricted cluster was particularly unlikely to uptake the grazing practice as they perceived they lacked the required resources to implement the innovation. This was of particular relevance as the practice can be implemented with relatively few resources and therefore signals a knowledge gap. The findings are relevant to policy as they provide insights on the factors influencing the process of targeting knowledge transfer through appropriate channels which can help build potential drivers for behavioural change.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.023
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Bio-economic evaluation of cropping systems for saline coastal Bangladesh:
           I. Biophysical simulation in historical and future environments
    • Authors: Md. Jahangir Kabir; Donald S. Gaydon; Rob Cramb; Christian H. Roth
      Pages: 107 - 122
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Md. Jahangir Kabir, Donald S. Gaydon, Rob Cramb, Christian H. Roth
      Climate change, increased climate variability, extreme weather events, and increasing salinization pose a serious challenge to the sustainability of crop production in coastal Bangladesh. This study assessed yield performance of rice and non-rice crops under farmers' current practices across five climate and three salinity scenarios in the south-western coastal zone. Representative village case studies in Khulna District were used to obtain data on current cropping practices and yields. A validated biophysical crop simulation model (APSIM) was used to simulate performance of crops within 10 cropping systems, representing both existing and potential future cropping patterns. The salinity impact on rice crops was simulated directly using an improved APSIM model, capable of simulating both soil salinity dynamics and the resulting rice crop response. The salinity impact on maize, wheat and sunflower was assessed by developing crop salinity response functions and applying these post-simulation to the crop yields simulated in the absence of salinity. The future performance of some existing crops, namely, watermelon, and pumpkin were extrapolated from data available in the literature and expert knowledge. Climate change is projected to have both positive and negative impacts on crop yields but growing salinity is projected to have substantial negative effects. Allowing for uncertainties inherent in the modelling process, the results indicate that loss of crop production would be negligible under projected 2030 conditions for climate and salinity, even with farmers' current practices. Under 2060 conditions, the adverse impacts on wet-season rice, dry-season rice, and wheat remained negligible, while sunflower experienced notable yield decline. However, the effects of 2060 conditions on early wet season rice and dry-season maize were positive. Climate change in itself does not pose a major risk to crop production and aquaculture in south-west coastal Bangladesh over the next 15–45 years but increasingly salinity will have an unambiguously negative influence.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.027
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Ground cover, erosion risk and production implications of targeted
           management practices in Australian mixed farming systems: Lessons from the
           Grain and Graze program
    • Authors: Dean T. Thomas; Andrew D. Moore; Lindsay W. Bell; Nicholas P. Webb
      Pages: 123 - 135
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Dean T. Thomas, Andrew D. Moore, Lindsay W. Bell, Nicholas P. Webb
      Maintaining the productive capacity of the agricultural soils of Australia's broadacre cropping zone requires careful management, given a highly variable climate and soils that are susceptible to degradation. Mixed crop-livestock farming systems are the predominant land use across these regions and managers must operate farms for long-term sustainability as well as shorter-term profitability. Achieving profitable and sustainable businesses has required ongoing innovation and productivity gains, of which the integration of crop and livestock enterprises has been an important part. Production-soil erosion trade-offs associated with enterprise integration is critical information that has not been investigated to date at a whole-farm level. The objective of this study was to systematically evaluate management options developed in Grain and Graze (an integrated program of research, development and extension targeting mixed farms) to identify farm systems responses to soil erosion risks across seven regions spanning the mixed-farming area of Australia. To evaluate production-soil erosion trade-offs, we linked the APSIM soil water, soil nutrient cycling, annual crop and surface residue simulation models to the GRAZPLAN pasture and ruminant simulation models, using the AusFarm modelling software. Our results demonstrate that the management options tested in Grain and Graze support the principles of conservation agriculture and inform the sustainable intensification of mixed farming systems. Across the regions considered we found that: (1) Increasing pasture legume content and soil fertility can consistently benefit farm production and environmental indicators, (2) management interventions that target direct management of ground cover have the greatest potential to reduce soil erosion rates, (3) management during critical periods of naturally high soil erodibility and wind/water erosivity can substantially increase or decrease erosion risk; the timing of management interventions is therefore critical, and (4) grazing management to balance use of crop residues and pasture biomass is required to avoid developing hot spots of erosion and soil degradation.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.02.001
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Effectiveness of climate change mitigation options considering the amount
           of meat produced in dairy systems
    • Authors: T.V. Vellinga; M. de Vries
      Pages: 136 - 144
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): T.V. Vellinga, M. de Vries
      Many of the climate change mitigation options for dairy systems that aim at optimizing milk production imply a reduced output of meat from these systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of a number of mitigation strategies for dairy systems, taking into account compensation for changes in the amount of beef produced. Four commonly used mitigation strategies for dairy systems were evaluated using an LCA modelling approach: increasing the milk production per cow, extending the productive life span of cows, increasing the calving interval, and changing breed from Holstein Friesian to Jersey. The Dutch dairy system was taken as a case study. For each scenario, analyses were done in two steps. First, effects of the mitigation strategy on production of milk and carcass weight from the dairy system were calculated. Second, GHG emission intensities were calculated for three different functional units (FU): one kg of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM), one kg of carcass weight (CW), and a fixed amount of milk and beef (i.e. 1 kg FPCM and 40 g CW). In the third FU, in case the amount of CW produced by the dairy system was lower than 40 g per kg FPCM, the remainder was compensated by CW produced in pure beef systems, assuming a GHG emission intensity of 30 kg CO2-eq. per kg CW for pure beef. Results showed a reduction in CW per kg FPCM from the dairy system in all four mitigation strategies. Considering GHG emissions per kg of FPCM only, the strategies reduced emissions by 0.2 to 18.1%. When considering emissions per kg of CW only, emissions were reduced by 12.5 to 48.9%. However, when we used a FU of 1 kg FPCM and 40 g CW, changes in emissions ranged from −0.2 to 3.8%. This was caused by the compensation of the lower CW production from dairy systems by CW from pure beef systems. Differences in emissions per kg FPCM and 40 g CW were smaller when the assumed emission intensity of pure beef was lower. We concluded that the mitigation strategies for dairy systems evaluated in this study were less effective for reduction of GHG emissions from production of milk and beef, when accounting for changes in the amount of beef produced. This study showed that the challenge of reducing GHG emissions of milk and beef production is interrelated. Hence, analyses of GHG emissions related to changes in production of milk and beef requires an integrated approach, beyond the system boundaries of the dairy farm.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.026
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Risk premiums due to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) in wheat and barley
    • Authors: Bruce Dahl; William W. Wilson
      Pages: 145 - 153
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Bruce Dahl, William W. Wilson
      Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is an important problem to the agricultural production and marketing system, and has led to major economic losses for wheat and barley producers in the United States, Canada and many other countries. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin associated with FHB. Grain products and feed grain contaminated with DON (commonly known as vomitoxin) are subject to FDA advisory limits and as a result end-users place restrictions on this factor. This has led to steep price discounts, as well as higher risks for producers and grain merchandisers. Research has led to development of varieties that are resistant to moderately resistant to FHB. Also, studies indicate combinations of genetic resistance, fungicides and some management practices (combine settings, tillage practices, etc.) can be used to decrease losses due to FHB. This increases cost to the industry and imputes a value related to reduced FHB. The purpose of this paper is to analyze risk and determine risk premiums necessary to induce growers to adopt risk reducing technologies in the case of wheat and barley grown in the United States.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.025
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Modeling sustainable adaptation strategies toward a climate-smart
           agriculture in a Mediterranean watershed under projected climate change
    • Authors: Youssef Brouziyne; Aziz Abouabdillah; Abdelaziz Hirich; Rachid Bouabid; Rashyd Zaaboul; Lahcen Benaabidate
      Pages: 154 - 163
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Youssef Brouziyne, Aziz Abouabdillah, Abdelaziz Hirich, Rachid Bouabid, Rashyd Zaaboul, Lahcen Benaabidate
      Climate change projections for the Mediterranean region are predicting a significant rainfall decrease and an increase of temperatures. The consequences of these changes on food security and natural resources in this region might be very dramatic. Anticipating climate change impacts by improving agricultural systems efficiency is a critical need. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the vulnerability of water resources and performance of two major rainfed crops (Winter wheat & Sunflower) to climate change impact in R'dom watershed. The study aimed also, to evaluate some adaptation strategies to improve crops water productivities while preserving hydrologic resources. The study site is a typical Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral watershed in North-western Morocco, where water resources are facing an increasing demand. Both hydrologic and plants growth modules of Soil and Water Assessment Tool Model (SWAT) have been calibrated and validated over the period 2004 to 2009. SWAT model and downscaled Global Circulation Model CNRM CM5 were used to simulate water yield and crops water productivities in 2031–2050 period under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). The RCM data revealed that the study area will experience important precipitation drop and mean temperature increase in the period 2031 to 2050. About 26.4% (±2.89) decrease of basin water yield and up to 44.7% (±9.03) drop down of crops water productivities were consequently predicted. After simulation of 5 combinations of no tillage and two early sowing dates' strategies, TOPSIS technique was used to prioritize strategies according to different management policies. Both no tillage and the 10 days early sowing strategies have stood out as two best adaptation strategies among the management policies evaluated as compared to business as usual.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.024
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Model results versus farmer realities. Operationalizing diversity within
           and among smallholder farm systems for a nuanced impact assessment of
           technology packages
    • Authors: M. Michalscheck; J.C.J. Groot; B. Kotu; I. Hoeschle-Zeledon; K. Kuivanen; K. Descheemaeker; P. Tittonell
      Pages: 164 - 178
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): M. Michalscheck, J.C.J. Groot, B. Kotu, I. Hoeschle-Zeledon, K. Kuivanen, K. Descheemaeker, P. Tittonell
      Agricultural production in Northern Ghana is dominated by smallholder farm systems, which are characterized by low inputs and low outputs, declining soil fertility, large yield gaps and limited adoption of agricultural technologies. There is an urgent need for alternative farm designs that are more productive, yet more sustainable. Technology packages for sustainable intensification are promoted by an R4D project in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana. In this paper, we analyse differences in perceived suitability, and modelled technical impact per technology package. We used a locally validated framework to categorise farm systems diversity that considers both, the horizontal (between households) and vertical (within households) dimension of diversity. Farm households were classified along a gradient of resource endowment. We selected one representative farm per type and per region to assess and compare their socio-economic and environmental performance (farm profitability, labour and soil organic matter inputs) using the whole-farm model Farm DESIGN. We then used Farm DESIGN to assess the potential impact of five proposed technology packages and to explore promising alternative farm configurations. We discussed model assumptions and results with farmers, including alternative cropping patterns and trade-offs. We evaluated the packages with different household members using a weighted scoring technique, subsequently juxtaposing model results with farmer perceptions. Large differences prevailed among and within farms per type and per region, with low resource endowed farms being projected to benefit most in relative and least in absolute terms from an adoption of the packages. Farmer feedback confirmed the accuracy of alternative farm configurations, as determined by the model. However, the feedback also revealed that the most profitable farm designs would be hard to attain in reality, particularly for members of low and medium resource endowed households, due to high initial investment costs. Within households, women were more positive about the packages than men, since men heavily penalized extra costs and labour, translating into a greater congruence of model results with the male evaluation. We discuss the importance of distinguishing between technical (technology i.e. purchased tools and inputs) and managerial (techniques e.g. row planting) package components. We conclude that operationalizing inter- and intra-household diversity is a fundamental step in identifying sensible solutions for the challenges smallholder farm systems face in Northern Ghana.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.028
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Effects of shade and input management on economic performance of
           small-scale Peruvian coffee systems
    • Authors: Rosalien E. Jezeer; Maria J. Santos; René G.A. Boot; Martin Junginger; Pita A. Verweij
      Pages: 179 - 190
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Rosalien E. Jezeer, Maria J. Santos, René G.A. Boot, Martin Junginger, Pita A. Verweij
      Tropical agroforestry systems provide a number of ecosystem services that might help sustain the production of multiple crops, improve farmers' livelihoods and conserve biodiversity. A major drawback of agroforestry coffee systems is the perceived lower economic performance compared to high-input monoculture coffee systems, which is driving worldwide intensification practices of coffee systems. However, comprehensive cost-benefit analyses of small-scale coffee plantations are scarce. Consequently, there is a need to improve our understanding of the economic performance of coffee systems under different shade and input management practices. We provide a comprehensive economic analysis of Arabica coffee farming practices where we compare productivity, costs, net income and benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 162 small-scale, Peruvian coffee plantations under different shade and input management practices along an elevation gradient. By using a cluster analysis, three shade and three input classes (low, medium and high) were defined. We found similar economic performance for all shade classes, but reduced net income and BCR in the High-Input class. More specifically, there was no difference in net income or BCR between low, medium and high shade classes. The High-Input class had significantly lower net income and BCR, mainly due to increased costs of (hired) labour, land, and fertilizer and fungicides; costs which were not fully compensated for by higher coffee yields. Coffee yield decreased with elevation, whereas gate coffee price and quality, as well as shade levels, increased with elevation. Additional revenues from timber could increase farmers' income and overall economic performance of shaded plantations in the future. Our analysis provides evidence that for small-scale coffee production, agroforestry systems perform equally well or better than unshaded plantations with high input levels, reinforcing the theory that good economic performance can coincide with conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. Additional comprehensive and transparent economic analyses for other geographic regions are needed to be able to draw generalizable conclusions for smallholder coffee farming worldwide. We advise that future economic performance studies simultaneously address the effects of shade and input management on economic performance indicators and take biophysical variation into account.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.014
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Production of cereals in northern marginal areas: An integrated assessment
           of climate change impacts at the farm level
    • Authors: Tuomo Purola; Heikki Lehtonen; Xing Liu; Fulu Tao; Taru Palosuo
      Pages: 191 - 204
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Tuomo Purola, Heikki Lehtonen, Xing Liu, Fulu Tao, Taru Palosuo
      Crop production in northern regions is projected to benefit from longer growing seasons brought on by future climate change. However, production also faces multiple challenges due to more frequent and intense extreme weather phenomena, and uncertain future prices of agricultural inputs and outputs. Extensive studies have been conducted to investigate the impacts of climate change on cereals yield change, but integrated assessments that also consider the management and economy of cereal farms have been rare so far. In this study, the effects of climate change-driven crop productivity change on farm level land use dynamics, input use, production management and farm income were considered from the point of view of dynamic decision making of a rational risk-averse farmer. We assessed whether a farmer can gain from improved crop yields when using adapted cultivars and managing the farm accordingly. We incorporated crop yield estimates from a process-based large area crop model (MCWLA) run with two climate scenarios into a dynamic economic model of farm management and crop rotation (DEMCROP) to investigate future input use, land use with crop rotation, economic gross margins and greenhouse gas emissions. A time span of 30 years was considered. The model accounts for the yield responses to fertilisation, crop protection, liming of field parcels, and yield losses due to monoculture. The approach resulted in a novel and necessary analysis of farm management, production and income implications of climate change adaptation under different climate and socio-economic scenarios. We analysed the effects of different climate and price scenarios at a typical cereal farm in the North Savo region, which is currently a marginal area for crop production in Finland due to its harsh climate. Crop modelling results suggest a 19–27% increase of spring cereal yields and 11–19% increase of winter wheat yields from the current level until 2042–2070. According to our economic farm level simulations, these yield increases would incentivise farmers towards more intense input use resulting in additional increase of yields by 3–8% at current prices. More land is allocated to barley and wheat, less to set-aside and oat. The economic gross margin would increase significantly from the current low levels. Greenhouse gas emissions from farms were estimated to increase with increasing production, but emissions per quantity produced (measured as feed energy units) would decrease. There is potential for sustainable intensification (SI) of crop production in the region.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.018
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Nurturing agroforestry systems in Flanders: Analysis from an agricultural
           innovation systems perspective
    • Authors: L. Borremans; F. Marchand; M. Visser; E. Wauters
      Pages: 205 - 219
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): L. Borremans, F. Marchand, M. Visser, E. Wauters
      The shift to industrial agriculture in Europe brought along a range of environmental and social externalities. This led policy makers, researchers and civil servants to consider and explore the potential of diversified farming systems (DFS) to address current problems in agriculture. However, because of multiple obstacles adoption of these DFS by farmers is not obvious. In this study we investigate the case of agroforestry (AF) systems in Flanders, where a government incentive scheme initiated in 2011, did not lead to the expected uptake of AF systems by farmers. To understand this implementation gap and the role of the different relevant actors herein, we used the Agricultural Innovation System concept ensuring an integrative and holistic analysis. Through 25 interviews, 2 focus groups and document analysis, a set of qualitative data was gathered and analyzed. This revealed five sets of challenges, which are of a technical, financial, legal, organizational and social nature. For each of these challenges development pathways were formulated to further upscale AF adoption. Although they should be substantiated and fine-tuned through further research, they put forward the importance of (1) investing in research to improve the compatibility and labor productivity of AF systems, (2) engaging private and societal actors in niche markets for agroecological products, (3) developing a full-fledged legal landscape and an effective incentive program, (4) using different communication and education channels to familiarize actors with agroecological practices, and (5) strengthening the dialogue between influential groups.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.004
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Maize lethal necrosis disease: Evaluating agronomic and genetic control
           strategies for Ethiopia and Kenya
    • Authors: Paswel P. Marenya; Olaf Erenstein; Boddupalli Prasanna; Dan Makumbi; MacDonald Jumbo; Yoseph Beyene
      Pages: 220 - 228
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Paswel P. Marenya, Olaf Erenstein, Boddupalli Prasanna, Dan Makumbi, MacDonald Jumbo, Yoseph Beyene
      Maize lethal necrosis disease (MLN) was first diagnosed in eastern Africa in the 2010's and is a big threat to their maize-based agri-food systems with estimated losses amounting to US$261 million in Ethiopia and US$198 million in Kenya. This paper reviews the agronomic and policy options to contain MLN and comparatively analyzes the feasibility of using maize-bean rotations and MLN-tolerant germplasm as key alternative strategies for managing MLN. Results from crop simulation and economic surplus models are used to make assessments on what strategy offers the most realistic MLN control approach given the circumstances of smallholder production in Kenya and Ethiopia. The paper finds that although maize-legume rotations are sound agronomic recommendations and are crucial for long term maize production system viability, their widespread application over large geographic areas for MLN control is economically challenging given that maize is a preferred staple. We conclude that scaling MLN-tolerant germplasm proves highly viable with estimated multiplier benefits of US$245-756 million in Ethiopia and US$195-678 million in Kenya, and benefiting up to 2.1 million people in Ethiopia and 1.2 million in Kenya. Given that the threat of MLN is present and ongoing, the food and economic security of maize-based agrarian economies in eastern Africa will critically depend on the successful mainstreaming of MLN tolerance in their maize seed systems.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.016
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Economics of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from beef production in
           western Canada
    • Authors: Oteng Modongo; Suren N. Kulshreshtha
      Pages: 229 - 238
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Oteng Modongo, Suren N. Kulshreshtha
      Beef production plays a vital role in the economy of western Canada; however, in the wake of global warming as a result of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the industry has come under some scrutiny. Although there has been encouraging scientific findings on mitigation strategies applicable to beef operations, there is a lack of economic analysis of such strategies. This study extends on the work of Beauchemin et al. (2011) and evaluates the economic impacts of greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios (GHGMS) for beef operations, and in the process identifies economic and environmental sustainable scenarios. A whole farm economic simulation model was developed and used to measure the profitability of eleven GHGMS adopted from Beauchemin et al. (2011). Whole farm present value gross margin of the eleven scenarios was measured and compared to the conversional system (baseline) of a farm in Vulcan County, Southern Alberta. The farm had 120 cows and their progeny, which was raised and finished on the farm for sale. The study farm was simulated over a period of 8 years in order to fully account for the lifetime economic activity of the breeding stock, as well as the progeny raised for sale. Simulation results estimated a whole farm present value gross margin per ha of $3.51 for the baseline. Seven of the eleven scenarios evaluated were found to increase profitability of the farm by up to 4%. However, only six of the scenarios were found to be both economically and environmentally sustainable to the farm. Four of the six sustainable scenarios were strategies applied to the breeding stock and two to the feedlot. These results suggest that beef producers can profitably implement several GHG mitigation strategies to their operations without substantial changing their operational system.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.12.008
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Potential carbon sequestration in a Mediterranean organic vegetable
           cropping system. A model approach for evaluating the effects of compost
           and Agro-ecological Service Crops (ASCs)
    • Authors: Roberta Farina; Elena Testani; Gabriele Campanelli; Fabrizio Leteo; Rosario Napoli; Stefano Canali; Fabio Tittarelli
      Pages: 239 - 248
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Roberta Farina, Elena Testani, Gabriele Campanelli, Fabrizio Leteo, Rosario Napoli, Stefano Canali, Fabio Tittarelli
      Organic farming relies, for soil fertility management, on proper rotation designs, Agro-ecological Service Crops (ASCs) and a sound use of on- and off-farm organic inputs. The right combination of soil fertility factors in organic farming is essential to enhance soil organic C (SOC) sequestration. A field trial experiment was overlaid on an long term organic farming experiment, in Monsampolo del Tronto (42° 53′ N, 13° 48′ E) in Central Italy, based on a 4-years rotation, with 6 main crops, and 3 different ASCs. The treatments included: i) the alternative termination of the cover crop (barley) with roller crimper technique compared to green manure and ii) the application of compost (not applied before) in different doses. The barley managements were: green manure (GMB); flattened (FB) by the use of a roller crimper; no barley (NB) as control. The compost (Cp) doses were: 0, 15 and 30 Mg C ha−1 to study the effect on soil C dynamics of compost application and ASCs termination techniques. The historic and experiment results were used as input to run a soil C dynamics model (RothC10N) to predict the effect of the factors different combinations in a medium term (20 years). After two years from compost application, the SOC stock increased in all plots, by +1.8, +2.3 and +4.9 Mg C ha−1 for Cp0, Cp15 and Cp30 respectively, compared to the initial stock of 36.8 Mg ha−1. The effect of different ASCs termination and ASC × compost interaction was not statistically significant. The RothC10N model was used to predict the effect of ASCs (NoASCs, FB and GMB) and Cp doses in a 20 years period. Predictions of the calibrated and validated RothC10N model showed that SOC change in 20 years was negative in the scenario with no ASCs-no compost (NoASC Cp0), where the C inputs were not sufficient to offset C losses, whereas positive values were predicted for all the other scenarios. The average values of predicted C stock change in 20 years were 3.8, 13.3 and 19.8 Mg C ha−1 for NoASC, FB, and GMB respectively and 8.2. 12.2 and 16.5 Mg C ha−1. for Cp0, Cp15 and Cp30. Both field experiment and model showed that the green manure of ASC and compost application represent a valid option in terms of carbon sequestration increase. RothC10N model can be used successfully as a tool to compare the C sequestration potential of alternative agronomic practices.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.02.002
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • Impacts of soil carbon sequestration on life cycle greenhouse gas
           emissions in Midwestern USA beef finishing systems
    • Authors: Paige L. Stanley; Jason E. Rowntree; David K. Beede; Marcia S. DeLonge; Michael W. Hamm
      Pages: 249 - 258
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Paige L. Stanley, Jason E. Rowntree, David K. Beede, Marcia S. DeLonge, Michael W. Hamm
      Beef cattle have been identified as the largest livestock-sector contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Using life cycle analysis (LCA), several studies have concluded that grass-finished beef systems have greater GHG intensities than feedlot-finished (FL) beef systems. These studies evaluated only one grazing management system – continuous grazing – and assumed steady-state soil carbon (C), to model the grass-finishing environmental impact. However, by managing for more optimal forage growth and recovery, adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing can improve animal and forage productivity, potentially sequestering more soil organic carbon (SOC) than continuous grazing. To examine impacts of AMP grazing and related SOC sequestration on net GHG emissions, a comparative LCA was performed of two different beef finishing systems in the Upper Midwest, USA: AMP grazing and FL. We used on-farm data collected from the Michigan State University Lake City AgBioResearch Center for AMP grazing. Impact scope included GHG emissions from enteric methane, feed production and mineral supplement manufacture, manure, and on-farm energy use and transportation, as well as the potential C sink arising from SOC sequestration. Across-farm SOC data showed a 4-year C sequestration rate of 3.59 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 in AMP grazed pastures. After including SOC in the GHG footprint estimates, finishing emissions from the AMP system were reduced from 9.62 to −6.65 kg CO2-e kg carcass weight (CW)−1, whereas FL emissions increased slightly from 6.09 to 6.12 kg CO2-e kg CW−1 due to soil erosion. This indicates that AMP grazing has the potential to offset GHG emissions through soil C sequestration, and therefore the finishing phase could be a net C sink. However, FL production required only half as much land as AMP grazing. While the SOC sequestration rates measured here were relatively high, lower rates would still reduce the AMP emissions relative to the FL emissions. This research suggests that AMP grazing can contribute to climate change mitigation through SOC sequestration and challenges existing conclusions that only feedlot-intensification reduces the overall beef GHG footprint through greater productivity.

      PubDate: 2018-02-26T12:47:23Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.02.003
      Issue No: Vol. 162 (2018)
  • An evaluation framework to build a cost-efficient crop monitoring system.
           Experiences from the extension of the European crop monitoring system
    • Authors: Raúl López-Lozano; Bettina Baruth
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 April 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems
      Author(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.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.04.002
  • Short-term buildup of carbon from a low-productivity pastureland to an
           agrisilviculture system in the Brazilian savannah
    • Authors: 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
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems
      Author(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.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.030
  • Simulating agricultural land-use adaptation decisions to climate change:
           An empirical agent-based modelling in northern Ghana
    • Authors: Mahamadou L. Amadou; Grace B. Villamor; Nicholas Kyei-Baffour
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 March 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems
      Author(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.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T14:53:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.015
  • Climate-smart management can further improve winter wheat yield in China
    • Authors: Shuang Sun; Xiaoguang Yang Xiaomao Lin Gretchen Sassenrath Kenan
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 162
      Author(s): Shuang Sun, Xiaoguang Yang, Xiaomao Lin, Gretchen F. Sassenrath, Kenan Li
      Climate change, genotype, and agronomic management have profound impacts on crop yield. Our goal in this study is to untangle the interrelated contributions of climate change, genetic improvements, and agronomic management on winter wheat yield in China to develop management strategies that address future nutritional needs. The Agricultural Production System Simulator (APSIM) farming systems model was used to simulated long-term (1981–2010) wheat yield for four wheat production regions under different Genotype by Environment by Management (GxExM) scenarios. Using detailed field experimental data from 1981 to 2005 in conjunction with the APSIM-wheat model, the potential for climate-smart management to improve yield on a regional scale is investigated. Results showed that when all climatic variables were considered together, winter wheat relative yield change decreased from 0.62% to 7.16% over the period 1981 to 2010, depending on cultivar and growing region. The impact of individual climatic variables varied by region. In general, winter wheat yields showed the least decline in the Northern China Plain (NC) due to climate change. Cultivar renewal combined with improvements in agronomic management boosted yields but to a different extent in each region. For cultivar renewal, yields increased 6.93%, 17.69%, 24.87%, and 52.72% in the NC, Yellow and Huai River Valleys (YH), SW and YV, respectively over the period 1981 to 2010. Agronomic management improved yields by 22.91%, 5.27%, 58.77%, and 59.20% in these regions, respectively. Overall, the observed yield improvements with agronomic management were higher than those resulting from cultivar renewal for most of China's wheat growing regions. The exception was found in YH, where improvements in winter wheat yield from cultivar renewal were greater than those from agronomic management. Regardless, there is still ample room for yield improvement in winter wheat by implementing climate-smart management. SW would benefit significantly, with a potential increase of 99% because of improved agronomic management. More moderate, but still significant increases were predicted for NC and YH (49% and 42%, respectively) while only moderate improvements were anticipated for YV (17%). Our findings highlight the extent that improvements in cultivar renewal and agronomic management have compensated for the negative impacts of climate change for different wheat growing regions of China over the past three decades. The results also indicate that advances in agronomic management outweighed the effects of cultivar renewal in most regions. Climate-smart management is still needed to further improve yields in wheat-growing regions of China.

      PubDate: 2018-02-05T05:04:10Z
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