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Showing 1 - 200 of 3080 Journals sorted alphabetically
A Practical Logic of Cognitive Systems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
AASRI Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 1.402, h-index: 51)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 1.008, h-index: 75)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 86, 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: 30, SJR: 2.515, h-index: 90)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.338, h-index: 19)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 363, SJR: 0.726, h-index: 43)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 2.02, h-index: 104)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.172, h-index: 29)
Acta Haematologica Polonica     Free   (SJR: 0.123, h-index: 8)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.604, h-index: 38)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 229, 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   (Followers: 1)
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, 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: 24, 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: 4)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.383, h-index: 19)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.141, h-index: 3)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.112, h-index: 2)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
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: 6)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.039, h-index: 5)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 132, 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: 17, SJR: 0.739, h-index: 33)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.299, h-index: 15)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.071, h-index: 82)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26, SJR: 0.169, h-index: 4)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.054, h-index: 35)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, 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: 16, 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: 3, SJR: 0.619, h-index: 48)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, SJR: 2.215, h-index: 78)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, 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: 4)
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: 9, SJR: 1.268, h-index: 45)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 0.938, h-index: 33)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 2.314, h-index: 130)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.223, h-index: 22)
Advances in Dermatology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 45, SJR: 3.25, h-index: 43)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, 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: 3)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 51, SJR: 0.674, h-index: 38)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
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: 12)
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: 22, 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: 26)
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: 9, SJR: 1.132, h-index: 42)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.274, h-index: 27)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.764, h-index: 15)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.645, h-index: 45)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, 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: 22)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.324, h-index: 8)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
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: 7, SJR: 0.148, h-index: 11)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, 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: 13)
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: 8)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 1.5, h-index: 62)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 62)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.478, h-index: 32)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access  
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, 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: 360, SJR: 0.606, h-index: 65)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.823, h-index: 27)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 30, SJR: 1.321, h-index: 56)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
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: 44, SJR: 2.408, h-index: 94)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.973, h-index: 22)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 331, 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: 5, SJR: 0.344, h-index: 6)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 3.289, h-index: 78)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 417, SJR: 1.385, h-index: 72)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal  
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 2.18, h-index: 116)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 1.275, h-index: 74)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 40, SJR: 1.546, h-index: 79)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access  
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 55, 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: 5, 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: 8)
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: 8, SJR: 2.05, h-index: 20)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.46, h-index: 29)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 4, 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: 46, 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: 5)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 49, SJR: 3.157, h-index: 153)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 2.063, h-index: 186)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 40, SJR: 0.574, h-index: 65)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, 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: 32, 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: 32, SJR: 2.313, h-index: 172)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, 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: 198, SJR: 2.255, h-index: 171)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 59, 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: 25, SJR: 2.764, h-index: 154)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, 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: 58, SJR: 0.124, h-index: 9)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, 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: 37, SJR: 1.548, h-index: 152)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 166, SJR: 0.725, h-index: 154)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.18, h-index: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
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  
Animal Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 172, SJR: 1.907, h-index: 126)

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Journal Cover Agricultural Systems
  [SJR: 1.275]   [H-I: 74]   [30 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0308-521X
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3049 journals]
  • Yield gaps in Dutch arable farming systems: Analysis at crop and crop
           rotation level
    • Authors: João Vasco Silva; Pytrik Reidsma; Alice G. Laborte; Martin K. van Ittersum
      Pages: 223 - 241
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): João Vasco Silva, Pytrik Reidsma, Martin K. van Ittersum
      Arable farming systems in the Netherlands are characterized by crop rotations in which potato, sugar beet, spring onion, winter wheat and spring barley are the most important crops. The objectives of this study were to decompose crop yield gaps within such rotations into efficiency, resource and technology yield gaps and to explain those yield gaps based on observed cropping frequencies and alternative farmers' objectives. Data from specialized Dutch arable farms between 2008 and 2012 were used. Production frontiers and efficiency yield gaps were estimated using the stochastic frontier framework. The resource yield gap was quantified through the estimation of highest farmers' yields (YHF, average across farms with actual yields above the 90th percentile). Crop model simulations and variety trials were compiled to assess climatic potential yields (Yp) and technology yield gaps. The contribution of crop area shares and farmers' objectives to actual yields were assessed using regression analysis and based on five different farm level indicators (N production, energy production, gross margin, nitrogen-use efficiency and labour use), respectively. The average yield gap per crop (as percentage of Yp which is given in parentheses) was: 29.2% (of 72.6t ha−1) for ware potato, 39.7% (of 71.6t ha−1) for starch potato, 26.4% (of 107.1t ha−1) for sugar beet, 32.3% (of 88.3t ha−1) for spring onion, 25.2% (of 12.3t ha−1) for winter wheat and 37.5% (of 10.4t ha−1) for spring barley. The efficiency yield gap ranged between 6.6% (starch potato) and 18.1% (spring onion) of Yp. The resource yield gap was lower than 10% of Yp for all the crops and the technology yield gap ranged between 7.1% (ware potato) and 30.7% of Yp (starch potato). There were statistically significant effects of potato (positive quadratic) and onion (positive) area shares on ware potato, sugar beet and winter wheat yields, of sugar beet area share (positive quadratic) on winter wheat yield and of cereal area share (negative) on sugar beet and winter wheat yields. Farmers' objectives explain part of the variability observed in crop yields which were 7–24%, 13–24% and 12–32% lower than YHF, respectively, for gross margin maximising, labour minimising and N use efficiency maximising farms. In addition, there was a significant positive relationship between gross margin and the yield of ware potato, sugar beet and winter wheat. By contrast, no significant relationships were found between crop yields and NUE or labour use. We conclude that most of the yield gap is explained by the efficiency yield gap for ware potato and spring onion and by both the efficiency and technology yield gaps for sugar beet and cereals. The resource yield gap explains most of the yield gap of seed potato, and the technology yield gap of starch potato. The results regarding the effects of cropping frequency and crop rotations to crop yields are not very conclusive which suggest that agronomic principles become less evident at ‘systems level’ given the number of interacting factors at crop rotation level. Finally, although N and energy production are lower for gross margin maximising farms, most crop yields are not significantly different between farms with the highest N and energy production compared to farms performing best on economic (gross margin) objectives.

      PubDate: 2017-10-08T18:55:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2016.06.017
      Issue No: Vol. 82 (2017)
  • Rice farming systems in Southern Lao PDR: Interpreting farmers’
           agricultural production decisions using Q methodology
    • Authors: Kim S. Alexander; Lucy Parry; Phomma Thammavong; Silinthone Sacklokham; Somphanh Pasouvang; John G. Connell; Tom Jovanovic; Magnus Moglia; Silva Larson; Peter Case
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 160
      Author(s): Kim S. Alexander, Lucy Parry, Phomma Thammavong, Silinthone Sacklokham, Somphanh Pasouvang, John G. Connell, Tom Jovanovic, Magnus Moglia, Silva Larson, Peter Case
      The agricultural sector in Lao PDR is forecast to move from subsistence rice production to a more modernized and market-oriented sector with greater focus on commercialization of agricultural production. Intensification of agricultural production in the southern and central rice growing regions of Lao PDR is problematic as dryland farmers rely on rainfall and soils are poor, yet rural households have been experiencing rapid change in their farming and livelihood systems. This paper employs Q methodology techniques to explore 35 farmers' viewpoints when contemplating their production goals and potential to adopt technologies to improve productivity. Findings describe the two emerging viewpoints among farmers as ‘labour saving productivity maximization’ and ‘traditional labour productivity using improved techniques’. The two viewpoints describe the different issues currently guiding production decisions. While the Lao Government forecasts substantial increases in rice production in the southern plains, farmers will require specialized and tailored support, accounting for their envisaged livelihood and production goals, to allow the sector transformation that many stakeholders currently envisage.

      PubDate: 2017-11-11T21:55:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.018
      Issue No: Vol. 160 (2017)
  • Improving drought management in the Brazilian semiarid through crop
    • Authors: Minella A. Martins; Javier Tomasella; Daniel A. Rodriguez; Regina C.S. Alvalá; Angélica Giarolla; Lucas L. Garofolo; José Lázaro Siqueira Júnior; Luis T.L.C. Paolicchi; Gustavo L.N. Pinto
      Pages: 21 - 30
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 160
      Author(s): Minella A. Martins, Javier Tomasella, Daniel A. Rodriguez, Regina C.S. Alvalá, Angélica Giarolla, Lucas L. Garofolo, José Lázaro Siqueira Júnior, Luis T.L.C. Paolicchi, Gustavo L.N. Pinto
      In this paper, we evaluated the performance of the model AquaCrop for crop yield forecasting in the Brazilian semiarid (BSA) using meteorological observation and Eta model seasonal climate forecasts as input data. The study area is characterized by low rainfall that is poorly distributed throughout the rainy season; thus, the region's agricultural productivity is vulnerable to climate conditions. AquaCrop was first calibrated using field experiments and subsequently applied to simulate an operational crop yield forecast system for maize under rainfed conditions. Simulations were performed with daily data for 37 growing seasons for the period 2001–2010. The seasonal climate forecast was used in combination with observed meteorological data to anticipate the crop forecast. Soil characteristics were derived from pedotransfer functions (PTFs). We were able to demonstrate the ability of the seasonal crop yield forecast system to provide timely and accurate information about maize yield at least 30days in advance of the harvest. The development of improved crop yield forecasting system is crucial for implementing drought-preparedness measures in the BSA region.

      PubDate: 2017-11-24T13:47:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.11.002
      Issue No: Vol. 160 (2017)
  • Plant factories versus greenhouses: Comparison of resource use efficiency
    • Authors: Luuk Graamans; Esteban Baeza; Andy van den Dobbelsteen; Ilias Tsafaras; Cecilia Stanghellini
      Pages: 31 - 43
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 160
      Author(s): Luuk Graamans, Esteban Baeza, Andy van den Dobbelsteen, Ilias Tsafaras, Cecilia Stanghellini
      Research on closed plant production systems, such as artificially illuminated and highly insulated plant factories, has offered perspectives for urban food production but more insight is needed into their resource use efficiency. This paper assesses the potential of this ‘novel’ system for production in harsh climates with either low or high temperatures and solar radiation levels. The performance of plant factories is compared with cultivation in traditional greenhouses by analysing the use of resources in the production of lettuce. We applied advanced climate models for greenhouses and buildings, coupled with a lettuce model that relates growth to microclimate. This analysis was performed for three different climate zones and latitudes (24–68°N). In terms of energy efficiency, plant factories (1411MJkg−1 dry weight) outperform even the most efficient greenhouse (Sweden with artificial illumination; 1699MJkg−1 dry weight). Additionally, plant factories achieve higher productivity for all other resources (water, CO2 and land area). With respect to purchased energy, however, greenhouses excel as they use freely available solar energy for photosynthesis. The production of 1kg dry weight of lettuce requires an input of 247kWhe in a plant factory, compared to 70, 111, 182 and 211kWhe in greenhouses in respectively the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Sweden (with and without additional artificial illumination). The local scarcity of resources determines the suitability of production systems. Our quantitative analysis provides insight into the effect of external climate on resource productivity in plant factories and greenhouses. By elucidating the impact of the absence of solar energy, this provides a starting point for determining the economic viability of plant factories.

      PubDate: 2017-11-24T13:47:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.11.003
      Issue No: Vol. 160 (2017)
  • Identification of production challenges and benefits using value chain
           mapping of egg food systems in Nairobi, Kenya
    • Authors: Joshua Orungo Onono; Pablo Alarcon; Maurice Karani; Patrick Muinde; James Miser Akoko; Carron Maud; Eric M. Fevre; Barbara Häsler; Jonathan Rushton
      Pages: 1 - 8
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Joshua Orungo Onono, Pablo Alarcon, Maurice Karani, Patrick Muinde, James Miser Akoko, Carron Maud, Eric M. Fevre, Barbara Häsler, Jonathan Rushton
      Commercial layer and indigenous chicken farming in Nairobi and associated activities in the egg value chains are a source of livelihood for urban families. A value chain mapping framework was used to describe types of inputs and outputs from chicken farms, challenges faced by producers and their disease control strategies. Commercial layer farms were defined as farms keeping exotic breeds of chicken, whereas indigenous chicken farms kept different cross breeds of indigenous chicken. Four focus group discussions were held with producers of these chickens in peri-urban area: Dagoretti, and one informal settlement: Kibera. Qualitative data were collected on interactions between farmers, sources of farm inputs and buyers of poultry products, simple ranking of production challenges, farmers' perception on diseases affecting chicken and strategies for management of sick chicken and waste products. Value chain profiles were drawn showing sources of inputs and channels for distribution of chicken products. Production challenges and chicken disease management strategies were presented as qualitative summaries. Commercial layer farms in Dagoretti kept an average of 250 chickens (range 50–500); while flock sizes in Kibera were 12 chickens (range 5–20). Farms keeping indigenous chicken had an average of 23 chickens (range 8–40) in Dagoretti, and 10 chickens (range 5–16) in Kibera. Commercial layer farms in Dagoretti obtained chicks from distributors of commercial hatcheries, but farms in Kibera obtained chicks from hawkers who in turn sourced them from distributors of commercial hatcheries. Indigenous chicken farms from Dagoretti relied on natural hatching of fertilised eggs, but indigenous chicken farms in Kibera obtained chicks from their social connection with communities living in rural areas. Outlets for eggs from commercial layer farms included local shops, brokers, restaurants and hawkers, while eggs from indigenous chicken farms were sold to neighbours and restaurants. Sieved chicken manure from Dagoretti area was fed to dairy cattle; whereas non-sieved manure was used as fertilizer on crops. Production challenges included poor feed quality, lack of space for expansion, insecurity, occurrence of diseases and lack of sources of information on chicken management. In Kibera, sick and dead chickens were slaughtered and consumed by households; this practice was not reported in Dagoretti. The chicken layer systems contribute to food security of urban households, yet they have vulnerabilities and deficiencies with regard to disease management and food safety that need to be addressed with support on research and extension.

      PubDate: 2017-10-13T19:09:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.001
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Considering farmers' situated knowledge of using agricultural decision
           support systems (AgriDSS) to Foster farming practices: The case of CropSAT
    • Authors: Christina Lundström; Jessica Lindblom
      Pages: 9 - 20
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Christina Lundström, Jessica Lindblom
      Precision agriculture is an important part of the sustainable intensification of agriculture, where information and communications technology and other technologies are necessary, but not sufficient for sustainable farming systems. The technology must fit into farmers' practice and be handled by their experienced-based, situated knowledge in order to contribute to increased sustainability in their farming. This study analysed the relationship between farmers' experience-based situated knowledge and the use of agricultural decision support systems in order to develop care by farmers in their practice. The theoretical framework of distributed cognition was used as a lens when investigating and analysing farmers' use of an agricultural decision support system called CropSAT developed for calculation of variable rate application files for nitrogen fertilisation from satellite images. In the case study, the unit of analysis was broadened to the whole socio-technical system of farmers' decision-making and learning, including other people and different kinds of tools and artefacts. The results revealed that social contexts could support farmers' development of cognitive strategies for use of agricultural decision support systems, e.g. CropSAT, and could thus facilitate decision-making and learning through development of enhanced professional vision that hopefully may increase farmers' situated knowledge and care in PA.

      PubDate: 2017-10-21T09:20:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.004
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Environmental impact of dairy buffalo heifers kept on pasture or in
    • Authors: Emilio Sabia; Fabio Napolitano; Salvatore Claps; Giuseppe De Rosa; Vittoria Lucia Barile; Ada Braghieri; Corrado Pacelli
      Pages: 42 - 49
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Emilio Sabia, Fabio Napolitano, Salvatore Claps, Giuseppe De Rosa, Vittoria Lucia Barile, Ada Braghieri, Corrado Pacelli
      In western countries buffaloes are emerging as an alternative species for dairy product differentiation. In the near future dairy enterprises will have to meet increasing environmental regulations. Life Cycle Assessment has been widely used to assess the environmental impact of different milk production systems. We aimed to examine the environmental consequences of two dairy buffalo heifer farming systems using the Life Cycle Assessment approach. The primary data were collected from 32 subjects aged 7–8months at the start of the experiment until they reached the age of puberty in about 12months (i.e. at the age of 19–20months). Sixteen animals were group-housed and confined in an indoor slatted floor pen (4m2/animal) with an outdoor paddock (4m2/animal); 16 others free-ranged on a Mediterranean natural pasture. The environmental charges for global warming potential expressed in terms of total emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) was 35.7% less in the free-ranging system as compared with the confined system. The main source of pollution for the confined system was biogenic methane (total amount produced=2012kg CO2-eq) followed by CO2 from fossil fuels (total amount produced=1006kg CO2-eq). The environmental charges for acidification potential, eutrophication potential and non-renewable energy use were 86.3%. 60.0% and 81.4% lower in the free-ranging system compared with the confined system, respectively. In the confined system the largest pollutant in terms of acidification potential was ammonia, whereas nitrate leaching in water (total amount produced=3311g SO2-eq) and the use of crude oil (total amount consumed=5684MJ-eq) were the most relevant for eutrophication potential and non-renewable energy use, respectively. Our results represent the first example of study comparing the environmental impact of an intensive dairy farming system with an alternative natural pasture based system in the Mediterranean region and suggest that the conduction of the unproductive part of the cycle on natural pasture can promote the reduction of several sources of pollution both in atmosphere and in water. Conversely, land occupation was higher in the free-ranging system as compared with the confined system (20,349 vs 1381m2 year, respectively). However, the software and the database used for this calculation only considered duration of land use and yield per area unit, whereas no relevance was given to the quality of land use in terms of animal welfare promotion, contribution to biodiversity conservation, and maintenance of economically active social communities. Therefore, we suggest that the estimation of the impact categories related to land occupation would include aspects concerning the nature of the land.

      PubDate: 2017-10-29T09:15:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.010
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Designing new management sequences for pineapple production using the
           SIMPIÑA model
    • Authors: Elodie Dorey; Tiphaine Cambournac; Thierry Michels; Marie Rothe; Philippe Tixier
      Pages: 50 - 56
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Elodie Dorey, Tiphaine Cambournac, Thierry Michels, Marie Rothe, Philippe Tixier
      The pineapple Victoria (‘Queen’) is grown on Reunion Island under a large range of weather conditions where the elevation ranges from 50 to 900m a.s.l. and annual temperatures ranges from 19°C to 25°C in both humid and dry areas, resulting in variable fruit size, fruit quality, selling prices of products and N leaching. Our objective was to use a crop model to improve pineapple management practices according to the diversity of conditions on Reunion Island. Farm surveys resulted in the definition of eleven criteria describing the diversity of pineapple practices to characterize pineapple farm-type: ridges, tillage, planting density, level of N fertilization and number of N application, harvest date, irrigation, farm diversification, elevation, weather and location. Three types were then identified: 1) pineapples with sugarcane the main crop located at low elevation; 2) pineapples only located at high elevation; 3) diversified farms including pineapples located at low elevation. The SIMPIÑA model was used to identify a set of best practices for each farm-type, based on fruit quality (TSS/TA), agronomic (yield), economic (income at selling), and environmental criteria (N leaching). Producing large fruits seems to be the condition to increase agronomic and economic criteria, regarless pineapple farm-type because prices of products is higher for large fruit on local market. As a result, promising management sequences selected with the model underestimated the importance of selling small fruits at local market. Overall, a decrease of level of N fertilization could reduce N leaching without reducing yield and fruit quality. This study demonstrates that multi-criteria crop simulation models used with an optimization approach provide a framework suitable for designing new management strategies of pineapple production, while taking the type of pineapple farms into account.

      PubDate: 2017-10-29T09:15:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.006
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Climate smart agriculture, farm household typologies and food security
    • Authors: Santiago Lopez-Ridaura; Romain Frelat; Mark T. van Wijk; Diego Valbuena; Timothy J. Krupnik; M.L. Jat
      Pages: 57 - 68
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Santiago Lopez-Ridaura, Romain Frelat, Mark T. van Wijk, Diego Valbuena, Timothy J. Krupnik, M.L. Jat
      One of the great challenges in agricultural development and sustainable intensification is the assurance of social equity in food security oriented interventions. Development practitioners, researchers, and policy makers alike could benefit from prior insight into what interventions or environmental shocks might differentially affect farmers' food security status, in order to move towards more informed and equitable development. We examined the food security status and livelihood activities of 269 smallholder farm households (HHs) in Bihar, India. Proceeding with a four-step analysis, we first applied a multivariate statistical methodology to differentiate five primary farming system types. We next applied an indicator of food security in the form of HH potential food availability (PFA), and examined the contribution of crop, livestock, and on- and off-farm income generation to PFA within each farm HH type. Lastly, we applied scenario analysis to examine the potential impact of the adoption of ‘climate smart’ agricultural (CSA) practices in the form of conservation agriculture (CA) and improved livestock husbandry, and environmental shocks on HH PFA. Our results indicate that compared to livestock interventions, CA may hold considerable potential to boost HH PFA, though primarily for wealthier and medium-scale cereal farmers. These farm HH types were however considerably more vulnerable to food insecurity risks resulting from simulated drought, while part-time farmers and resource-poor agricultural laborers generating income from off-farm pursuits were comparatively less vulnerable, due in part to their more diversified income sources and potential to migrate in search of work. Our results underscore the importance of prior planning for development initiatives aimed at increasing smallholder food security while maintaining social equity, while providing a robust methodology to vet the implications of agricultural interventions on an ex ante basis.

      PubDate: 2017-11-05T09:42:20Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.09.007
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • A case of sustainable intensification: Stochastic farm budget optimization
           considering internal economic benefits of biogas production in organic
    • Authors: Benjamin Blumenstein; Torsten Siegmeier; Franziska Selsam; Detlev Möller
      Pages: 78 - 92
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Benjamin Blumenstein, Torsten Siegmeier, Franziska Selsam, Detlev Möller
      Organic agriculture is often criticized for its lower productivity compared to conventional farming, while biogas production on organic farms is confronted with many structural constraints additionally impeding its profitability. However, integrated anaerobic digestion seems to induce multiple benefits for the respective organic farm system, such as reduced environmental impacts, improved nutrient efficiency, and stabilized or increased yields. In order to measure these effects within entire farm systems, systemic evaluation approaches are needed. Consequently, in this study we modelled twelve different livestock-keeping (LS) and stockless (noLS) organic farm prototypes comprising of arable farming, dairy cattle, grassland, and biogas production in a farm system assessment. The aim was to evaluate the impact of integrated anaerobic digestion (+AD) on agronomic, economic, and risk aspects by applying stochastic optimization. While the absolute amount of readily available nitrogen as well as cash crop yields increase for both LS +AD and noLS +AD farm models, especially noLS farm types benefit from the novel availability of a mobile nitrogen (N) fertilizer (biogas digestate) to meet cash crop N demands. Integrated AD may increase profitability of arable farming and reduce its risk potential by displaying first order stochastic dominance. In addition, this diversification strategy may reduce the overall production risk of organic farms. By providing renewable energy as well as increasing food outputs and economic stability, the integration of AD in organic farms may serve as an example for the often postulated aim of a sustainable or eco-functional intensification of organic agricultural systems to face the challenge of productivity increases.

      PubDate: 2017-11-11T21:55:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.016
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Deficit irrigation with reclaimed water in a citrus orchard. Energy and
           greenhouse-gas emissions analysis
    • Authors: J.F. Maestre-Valero; B. Martin-Gorriz; E. Nicolas; M.A. Martinez-Mate; V. Martinez-Alvarez
      Pages: 93 - 102
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): J.F. Maestre-Valero, B. Martin-Gorriz, E. Nicolas, M.A. Martinez-Mate, V. Martinez-Alvarez
      Irrigated agriculture brings important socio-economic benefits, but requires high energy consumption, which in turn generates environmental problems by emissions of greenhouse gases. To maintain agricultural activity in the Segura River Basin in the face of extant water shortages, farmers are increasingly using non-conventional water resources such as reclaimed water, and implementing water conservation techniques such as regulated deficit irrigation. The present study quantified the energy consumption and production and greenhouse gas emissions of a grapefruit orchard under the implementation of two irrigation regimes (full and regulated deficit irrigation) and the alternative use of reclaimed water instead of water transferred from the Tajo-Segura Basin for irrigation. The study additionally included the novelty of performing the analyses considering four different stages of crop development. The energy and the greenhouse gas emissions assessment was performed for each study case based on an inventory of inputs of the selected plot and their corresponding energy conversion and greenhouse gas factors. The results indicate that, under the conditions studied, the use of reclaimed water and/or the implementation of regulated deficit irrigation strategies had no significant effect on energy productivity and specific greenhouse gas emissions, irrespective of the stage of crop lifecycle analysed. Moreover, in order to increase the energy efficiency of the orchard and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the energy consumption associated with the transportation of water to the plot, the manufacture of the irrigation system and the manufacture and transport of fertilisers should be reduced.

      PubDate: 2017-11-11T21:55:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.017
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Multi-model approach for assessing the sunflower food value chain in
    • Authors: Elisa Vilvert; Marcos Lana; Peter Zander; Stefan Sieber
      Pages: 103 - 110
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Elisa Vilvert, Marcos Lana, Peter Zander, Stefan Sieber
      Sunflower is one of the major oilseeds produced in Tanzania, but due to insufficient domestic production more than half of the country's demand is imported. The improvement of the sunflower food value chain (FVC) understanding is important to ensure an increase in the production, availability, and quality of edible oil. In order to analyse causes and propose solutions to increase the production of sunflower oil, a conceptual framework that proposes the combined use of different models to provide insights about the sunflower FVC was developed. This research focus on the identification of agricultural models that can provide a better understanding of the sunflower FVC in Tanzania, especially within the context of food security improvement. A FVC scheme was designed considering the main steps of sunflower production. Thereafter, relevant models were selected and placed along each step of the FVC. As result, the sunflower FVC model in Tanzania is organized in five steps, namely (1) natural resources; (2) crop production; (3) oil processing; (4) trade; and (5) consumption. Step 1 uses environmental indicators to analyse soil parameters on soil-water models (SWAT, LPJmL, APSIM or CroSyst), with outputs providing data for step 2 of the FVC. In the production step, data from step 1, together with other inputs, is used to run crop models (DSSAT, HERMES, MONICA, STICS, EPIC or AquaCrop) that analyse the impact on sunflower yields. Thereafter, outputs from crop models serve as input for bio-economic farm models (FSSIM or MODAM) to estimate production costs and farm income by optimizing resource allocation planning for step 2. In addition, outputs from crop models are used as inputs for macro-economic models (GTAP, MAGNET or MagPie) by adjusting supply functions and environmental impacts within steps 3, 4, and 5. These models simulate supply and demand, including the processing of products to determine prices and trade volumes at market equilibrium. In turn, these data is used by bio-economic farm models to assess sunflower returns for different farm types and agro-environmental conditions. Due to the large variety of models, it is possible to assess significant parts of the FVC, reducing the need to make assumptions, while improving the understanding of the FVC.

      PubDate: 2017-11-11T21:55:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.014
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Between all-for-one and each-for-himself: On-farm competition for labour
           as determinant of wetland cropping in two Beninese villages
    • Authors: Lise Paresys; Eric Malézieux; Joël Huat; Martin J. Kropff; Walter A.H. Rossing
      Pages: 126 - 138
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159
      Author(s): Lise Paresys, Eric Malézieux, Joël Huat, Martin J. Kropff, Walter A.H. Rossing
      In sub-Saharan Africa, unexploited land and water resources in wetlands represent an important potential for intensified, sustainable and food-secure farms through rice production and market gardening. The lack of uptake of cropping in wetlands may be related to the ways in which resources are divided between family fields and individual fields. The management system on sub-Saharan African farms comprises a family management unit or a combination of a family management unit and one or more individual management units. The family management unit or the farm head controls production in family fields to satisfy family needs while the individual management units control production in individual fields to satisfy individual needs. Our objective was to investigate the diversity in farm management systems and the resulting uptake of cropping in wetlands for different farm types, as the first step towards suggestions for enhancing rice production and market gardening in wetlands. We studied farms in two case-study villages in Benin: Zonmon in the southern part and Pelebina in the north-western part. Farm typologies were developed based on random samples of 51 out of 134 farms (38%) from Zonmon and 50 out of 146 farms (34%) from Pelebina by combining principal component analysis and Ward's minimum variance clustering. Variables included in the PCA were related to levels of resource endowment (e.g., amounts of land, family labour, cash for purchasing chemical inputs and hiring labour) and to resource-use strategies including resource division between family fields and individual fields, and between uplands and wetlands. We identified 3 farm types in Zonmon and 5 farm types in Pelebina based on differences in resource-use strategies and in resource endowment. We found no trade-off between the existence of individual fields and the area under rice and market garden crops in wetlands. Labour abundance was the main factor driving both the occurrence of individual fields and the expansion of cropping in wetlands. Differences in labour division strategies between family and individual fields among farm types reflected differences in food and cash division strategies. Land use appeared strongly motivated by food self-sufficiency objectives and labour productivity, leading to prioritisation of upland over wetland areas. In wetlands, most farm types opted for cultivating market garden crops during the dry season when labour demand for upland fields was low. Our results indicate that increasing labour productivity in food crops and in rice and market garden crops would enhance the uptake of rice and market garden crops in wetlands. Creating credit facilities would increase the labour resource and allow farmers to hire labour, further contributing to wetland use. We discuss the relevance of a systemic farm analysis that enables distinguishing family and individual fields for understanding farm uptake of rice and market garden crops in wetlands.

      PubDate: 2017-11-24T13:47:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.011
      Issue No: Vol. 159 (2017)
  • Assessment of grazing management on farm greenhouse gas intensity of beef
           production systems in the Canadian Prairies using life cycle assessment
    • Authors: Aklilu W. Alemu; Henry Janzen; Shannan Little; Xiying Hao; Donald J. Thompson; Vern Baron; Alan Iwaasa; Karen A. Beauchemin; Roland Kröbel
      Pages: 1 - 13
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): Aklilu W. Alemu, Henry Janzen, Shannan Little, Xiying Hao, Donald J. Thompson, Vern Baron, Alan Iwaasa, Karen A. Beauchemin, Roland Kröbel
      Grazing is a common practice in the beef cattle industry and is an integral component of pasture and rangeland management. The objective of this study was to evaluate impacts of grazing management scenarios on greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity [kg carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e)kg−1 beef] at the farm-gate for beef production systems in western Canada using life cycle assessment. A life cycle assessment over an 8-year period was conducted on a hypothetical but typical beef farm that managed 120 cows, 4 bulls, and their progeny. Calves were backgrounded (raised) on rangeland and market cattle were finished on grain for an average of 134±11d. Four grazing management scenarios were examined: i) light continuous grazing (LC) for all cattle, ii) heavy continuous grazing (HC) for all cattle, iii) light continuous grazing for cow-calf pairs and moderate rotational grazing for backgrounded cattle (LCMR), and iv) heavy continuous grazing for cow-calf pairs and moderate rotational grazing for backgrounded cattle (HCMR). Greenhouse gas emissions from various sources within the farm were estimated using the whole-farm model, Holos. Soil organic carbon (C) change due to each grazing management scenario was estimated using the Introductory Carbon Balance Model. Primary model inputs came from short- and long-term grazing management studies. Greenhouse gas intensity of beef varied among grazing management scenarios, ranging from 14.5–16.0kgCO2ekg−1 live weight and 24.1–26.6kgCO2ekg−1 carcass weight. Greenhouse gas intensity decreased with increasing stocking rate: that of HC grazing management was 9.2% lower than that of LC treatment (14.5 vs 16.0kgCO2ekg−1 live weight, respectively). Greenhouse gas intensity was similar (<3%) between LC and LCMR or between HC and HCMR, indicating that the use of moderate rotational grazing for the backgrounding operation in LCMR and HCMR had no effect on overall intensity estimates. However, LCMR management had 7% higher GHG intensity than HCMR (15.6 vs 14.6kgCO2ekg−1 live weight, respectively). Average farm production efficiency (kg beef per unit land area) was 17–25% higher for the HC and HCMR grazing management scenarios than the LC and LCMR scenarios. Regardless of grazing management, methane emission from enteric fermentation was the major source of emissions (67–68% of total), followed by nitrous oxide (14–16% of total) from manure management. The rate of soil C sequestration ranged from 0.01MgCha−1 yr−1 for rangeland under HC to 0.46MgCha−1 yr−1 for a triticale field used for swath grazing. When soil C sequestration was included in the total emission analysis, GHG intensity estimates decreased by 12–25%, and there was no difference in intensity estimates among the scenarios. The largest reduction in GHG intensity arising from soil C sequestration was observed for LC (22%) and LCMR (25%) because they sequestered more C than HC and HCMR. Overall, results of our study indicated that grazing management impacted GHG intensity of beef production by influencing diet quality, animal performance and soil C change. It also emphasizes the importance of accounting for all emission sources and sinks within a beef production system when estimating its environmental impacts.

      PubDate: 2017-08-28T02:14:18Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.08.003
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Productivity of a building-integrated roof top greenhouse in a
           Mediterranean climate
    • Authors: J.I. Montero; E. Baeza; E. Heuvelink; J. Rieradevall; P. Muñoz; M. Ercilla; C. Stanghellini
      Pages: 14 - 22
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): J.I. Montero, E. Baeza, E. Heuvelink, J. Rieradevall, P. Muñoz, M. Ercilla, C. Stanghellini
      Urban Agriculture (UA) is an emerging field of agricultural production aimed to improve food security and the resilience of cities and to improve the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of urban areas. One of the options of UA are roof top greenhouses (RTGs), which are greenhouses built on the roof of a building, typically fitted with soilless culture systems. Further benefits can be achieved if the greenhouse and building are integrated, so that they exchange and optimise energy, water and CO2 flows. Integration is possible if the RTG and the building can exchange air and can collect rain water or use properly treated grey water for irrigation. Such type of integrated RTG is referred to as i-RTG. Both the environmental profile and the social value of i-RTGs have been studied, but information on their productivity is rather scarce. As the economic viability of i-RTGs is given by the value of all services provided, including the yield, the productivity of such systems needs to be maximised. This study attempts this, through the analysis (and discussion) of an i-RTG built in a Mediterranean climate (Barcelona area, Spain), producing beef type tomatoes (“Coeur de boeuf” cultivar). The experimental study showed that the i-RTG had poor light transmission. As a consequence, yield was low and the radiation use efficiency (RUE), referred to the outside radiation, was lower than in standard production (unheated greenhouses) in the same region. Nevertheless, RUE referred to the radiation above crop canopy, was similar in the i-RTG and standard greenhouses. Compared to conventional greenhouses in the area, which are generally unheated, a strong asset of the i-RTG was its improved (night-time) temperature regime, thanks to the thermal connection to the building. This advantage translates into energy savings referred to greenhouses on the ground, in case such greenhouses were heated. In order to discuss possible improvements, we adapted an existing greenhouse tomato production model to simulate this particular type of system. After validation, we quantify and discuss the yield rise that could be achieved by improving transparency of the RTG and by increasing CO2 concentration through daytime connection to the building. We show that there is potential to more than double the yield in comparison with the measured crop yield in the i-RTG. Last but not least, we discuss the option of switching to a cropping pattern more adequate for this growing system, that is: to extend the cropping cycle during the winter months, which is not possible in unheated greenhouses in the area. To our knowledge, this work is the very first attempt to evaluate productivity of roof top greenhouses in mild winter regions and quantify options for improving their agronomic performance.

      PubDate: 2017-08-28T02:14:18Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.08.002
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Development of a fodder beet potential yield model in the next generation
    • Authors: E.N. Khaembah; H.E. Brown; R. Zyskowski; E. Chakwizira; J.M. de Ruiter; E.I. Teixeira
      Pages: 23 - 38
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): E.N. Khaembah, H.E. Brown, R. Zyskowski, E. Chakwizira, J.M. de Ruiter, E.I. Teixeira
      The growing importance of fodder beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris var. alba L.) as stock feed in recent years has created the need to develop a crop model to help assess crop yield potential across environmental growth conditions. This paper describes the development of a biophysical model for simulating fodder beet growth and development. The model was developed using the Plant Modelling Framework (PMF) within the next generation Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (PMF-APSIM). The model was parameterised/calibrated and validated using independent datasets from field experiments conducted in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to explore yield response to variation in the extinction coefficient and the air temperature. The results show that canopy-related variables (leaf appearance, leaf senescence, leaf area index and light interception) were the most accurately simulated. Dynamic dry matter (DM) and nitrogen (N) accumulation in different plant organs were simulated with intermediary accuracy. Reduced accuracy was mainly observed in the earliest (September) and latest (December) sowing dates. This suggests that responses to seasonal environmental drivers, such as day length and threshold temperatures, are areas that require further research. Similarly, more mechanistic representations of carbon and N partitioning to different plant organs may improve simulation accuracy. The sensitivity analysis showed that DM production was responsive to temperature and the extinction coefficient. This initial development and testing of the fodder beet model in APSIM has helped to identify key knowledge gaps in the understanding of the physiology of the crop and provides new directions for model development.

      PubDate: 2017-09-06T11:04:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.08.005
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Small can be beautiful for organic market gardens: an exploration of the
           economic viability of French microfarms using MERLIN
    • Authors: Kevin Morel; Magali San Cristobal; François Gilbert Léger
      Pages: 39 - 49
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): Kevin Morel, Magali San Cristobal, François Gilbert Léger
      Microfarms are commercial soil-based market gardens cultivating organic vegetables with less than 1.5ha per farmer in rural France. Microfarms typically grow crops in both outdoor and protected (tunnel) areas. Despite their growing popularity among young farmers with no agricultural background, there are no data on expected income generated by these small-scale farms. Our objective was to determine the economic viability generated by a given agricultural area based on distinct microfarm scenarios. We used the stochastic model MERLIN to simulate 18microfarm scenarios combining three technical systems (varying with respect to the mechanization level, use of commercial inputs, cropping density, and number of cropping cycles per year), two marketing strategies (varying with respect to the length of the selling period and the range of crops grown), and three investment hypotheses (varying with respect to the level of bank loans and the percentage of workload used for self-built equipment). Viability was calculated from the number of simulations that generated a selected minimum monthly income (600, 1,000, or 1,400 Euro) for a maximum annual workload (1,800 or 2,500h). This study shows that organic microfarms can be made economically viable in some cases but that the risks of not reaching viability in microfarms are not to be neglected. For microfarms, system redesign based on low mechanization, higher cropping density, more cropping cycles per year, low-input practices, lower fixed costs, and lower initial investment (manual and bio-intensive system with tiller cultivation) was more favorable (meaning a higher modeled viability) than input substitution (classic system) at a small scale. A 9-month selling period without winter storage crop cultivation led to higher viability than a 12-month selling period with winter storage crop cultivation. Low-cost investment strategies based on self-built equipment and second-hand materials led to lower viability than high-cost investment strategies that purchased equipment because the low-cost strategies increased the workload. Further research on microfarms should integrate other types of production and activities, such as small-scale breeding and on-farm processing and examine in which extent collaborations between microfarmers and larger scale farms could contribute to reshape farming systems and impact rural communities beyond the gate of microfarms.

      PubDate: 2017-09-18T05:31:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.08.008
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Environmental impacts along intensity gradients in Norwegian dairy
           production as evaluated by life cycle assessments
    • Authors: Anne Kjersti Bakken; Kristin Daugstad; Astrid Johansen; Anne-Grete Roer Hjelkrem; Gustav Fystro; Anders Hammer Strømman; Audun Korsaeth
      Pages: 50 - 60
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): Anne Kjersti Bakken, Kristin Daugstad, Astrid Johansen, Anne-Grete Roer Hjelkrem, Gustav Fystro, Anders Hammer Strømman, Audun Korsaeth
      The aim of the study was to explore whether and how intensification would contribute to more environmentally friendly dairy production in Norway. Three typical farms were envisaged, representing intensive production strategies with regard to milk yield both per cow and per hectare in the three most important regions for dairy production in Norway. The scores on six impact categories for produced milk and meat were compared with corresponding scores obtained with a medium production intensity at a base case farm. Further, six scenario farms were derived from the base case. They were either intensified or made more extensive with regard to management practices that were likely to be varied and implemented under northern temperate conditions. The practices covered the proportion and composition of concentrates in animal diets and the production and feeding of forages with different energy concentration. Processes from cradle to farm gate were incorporated in the assessments, including on-farm activities, capital goods, machinery and production inputs. Compared to milk produced in a base case with an annual yield of 7250kg energy corrected milk (ECM) per cow, milk from farms with yields of 9000kg ECM or higher, scored better in terms of global warming potential (GWP). The milk from intensive farms scored more favourably also for terrestrial acidification (TA), fossil depletion (FD) and freshwater eutrophication (FE). However, this was not in all cases directly related to animal yield, but rather to lower burden from forage production. Production of high yields of energy-rich forage contributed substantially to the better scores on farms with higher-yielding animals. The ranking of farms according to score on agricultural land occupation (ALO) depended upon assumptions set for land use in the production of concentrate ingredients. When the Ecoinvent procedure of weighting according to the length of the cropping period was applied, milk and meat produced on diets with a high proportion of concentrates, scored better than milk and meat based on a diet dominated by forages. With regards to terrestrial ecotoxicity (TE), the score was mainly a function of the amount of concentrates fed per functional unit produced, and not of animal yield per se. Overall, the results indicated that an intensification of dairy production by means of higher yields per animal would contribute to more environment-friendly production. For GWP this was also the case when higher yields per head also resulted in higher milk yields and higher N inputs per area of land.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.09.001
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • An irrigated cotton farm emissions case study in NSW, Australia
    • Authors: J.W. Powell; J.M. Welsh; R.J. Eckard
      Pages: 61 - 67
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): J.W. Powell, J.M. Welsh, R.J. Eckard
      The primary source of emissions in broadacre cropping is synthetic fertiliser applied to farmland, creating nitrous oxide from chemical processes in the soil. In high yielding irrigated cotton production, nitrogen remains a key input to maintain yields and maximise crop returns. This study aims to identify immediate strategies available to broadacre irrigation to reduce emissions and maintain profitability. Four emission mitigation strategies on a large broadacre irrigation farm in Northern New South Wales producing cereals, pulse and cotton crops were modelled. The results show rotating cotton with pulse crops, instead of wheat, can achieve an 8% reduction in emissions and increase whole farm gross margin by 12%, due primarily to the current historically high chickpea price and a reduction in applied nitrogen. Combining enhanced efficiency fertilisers in cotton crops in a more comprehensive abatement strategy has shown an indicative 13% emissions reduction from the baseline scenario, with a 6% reduction in farm gross margin from the increased fertiliser cost. However, uncertainty regarding the impact of EEFs on cotton yield in vertosol soils is noted. The soil sequestration from including a tree-lot in the emissions reduction strategy reduced whole farm emissions by 11% and reduced whole farm gross margin of 3%; however, difficulty in establishment and high establishment costs can add economic risk. Combining all three emissions reduction strategies results in a significant emissions reduction of 33% and a 4% gain in whole farm gross margin. Sensitivity analysis highlights gross margins results to be particularly sensitive to chickpea price movement. With this desktop modelling in mind, the discussion draws on industry research revealing that at a field scale, carefully balanced agronomic nuances exist between cotton cropping rotations and secure economic outcomes. The addition of achieving environmental objectives simultaneously with these variables is yet another future challenge facing government emissions abatement incentive programs and broadacre cropping businesses.

      PubDate: 2017-09-30T06:05:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.09.005
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Feedbase intervention in a cow-calf system in the flooding pampas of
           Argentina: 2. Estimation of the marginal value of additional feed
    • Authors: Horacio Berger; Franco Bilotto; Lindsay W. Bell; Claudio F. Machado
      Pages: 68 - 77
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158
      Author(s): Horacio Berger, Franco Bilotto, Lindsay W. Bell, Claudio F. Machado
      Temporal variability in the availability of forage reduces the production and economic performance of livestock systems. The marginal value of feed (MVF, the possible gross economic benefit of additional feed on offer during an annual cycle), was assessed under the expected variability of climate and prices in a cow-calf operation from the Flooding Pampas, Argentina. Herbage mass accumulation (HMA) was simulated on a daily basis over 20 different years with DairyMod, grouped by month and season and where the HMA was equal or below 50% of its long-term average, it was tagged as “Dry”. Typical monthly pasture growth rates were synthetically depicted for average years (Average), or with dry autumn (D-Au), winter (D-Wi), spring (D-Sp) or summer (D-Su) conditions. These pasture growth curves were incorporated into whole-farm scenarios which were modelled with SIMUGAN, a bio-economic whole-farm model. Farm scenarios were baseline (unchanged HMA) or with additional 10% of the annual HMA. This additional feed was either evenly distributed across each month of the year (all year), or the full amount provided in one of the four seasons. These scenarios were repeated in a factorial design across a range of stocking rates (SR; 0.9–1.3cows/ha) on an average year or years including one dry season (D-Au, D-Wi, D-Sp orD-Su). SIMUGAN results were fed to an ad-hoc built model to calculate production and market risk profiles. In years with average HMA, MVF were always below 0.05US$/kg DM but the presence of a dry season caused significantly higher MVF. Years with dry autumn presented the highest economic responses when the extra feed was fed during autumn or winter. MVF analyses showed a positive impact of additional forage only above 1.1head/ha and this increased with SR, whereas MVF at the low SR were mostly negative due to extra hay making costs. At 1.1 and 1.2head/ha, allocating additional feed in autumn produced a higher return (0.04 and 0.08US$/kg DM) than feed provided at other times of the year (averaging 0.02 and 0.05US$/kg DM). Otherwise, at 1.3 SR extra feed in winter always had the highest MVF (up to 0.19US$/kg DM). Bio-physical variables of livestock demand and seasonality of pasture growth were the main drivers of MVF variability. Overall, the framework developed by integrating forage, livestock and economic models “in a series” effectively identified the economic feasibility of changes to the farm feed-base under different climatic and livestock management conditions.

      PubDate: 2017-10-08T18:55:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.09.004
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Integrating economic and environmental impact analysis: The case of
           rice-based farming in northern Thailand
    • Authors: S.J. Ramsden; P. Wilson; B. Phrommarat
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): S.J. Ramsden, P. Wilson, B. Phrommarat
      Crop production is associated with a range of potential environmental impacts, including field emissions of greenhouse gases, loss of nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients to water and toxicity effects on humans and natural ecosystems. Farmers can mitigate these environmental impacts by changing their farming systems; however these changes have implications for production and profitability. To address these trade-offs, a farm-level model was constructed to capture the elements of a rice-based production system in northern Thailand. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to generate environmental impacts, across a range of indicators, for all crops and associated production processes in the model. A baseline, profit maximising combination of crops and resource use was generated and compared with a greenhouse gas minimising scenario and an alternative inputs (fertilisers and insecticides) scenario. Greenhouse gas minimisation showed a reduction in global warming potential of 13%; other impact indicators also decreased. Associated profit foregone was 10% as measured by total gross margin. With the alternative farm inputs (ammonium sulphate, organic fertiliser and fipronil insecticide), results indicated that acidification, eutrophication, freshwater and terrestrial ecotoxicity impacts were reduced by 43, 37, 47 and 91% respectively with relatively small effects on profit.

      PubDate: 2017-06-22T08:35:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.06.006
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Variations in nitrogen utilisation on conventional and organic dairy farms
           in Norway
    • Authors: Matthias Koesling; Sissel Hansen; Marina Azzaroli Bleken
      Pages: 11 - 21
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Matthias Koesling, Sissel Hansen, Marina Azzaroli Bleken
      Reduced N-surpluses in dairy farming is a strategy to reduce the environmental pollution from this production. This study was designed to analyse the important variables influencing nitrogen (N) surplus per hectare and per unit of N in produce for dairy farms and dairy systems across 10 certified organic and 10 conventional commercial dairy farms in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway, between 2010 and 2012. The N-surplus per hectare was calculated as N-input (net N-purchase and inputs from biological N-fixation, atmospheric deposition and free rangeland) minus N in produce (sold milk and meat gain), and the N-surplus per unit of N-produce as net N-input divided by N in produce. On average, the organic farms produced milk and meat with lower N-surplus per hectare (88±25kgN·ha−1) than did conventional farms (220±56kgN·ha−1). Also, the N-surplus per unit of N-produce was on average lower on organic than on conventional farms, 4.2±1.2kgN·kgN−1 and 6.3±0.9kgN·kgN−1, respectively. All farms included both fully-cultivated land and native grassland. N-surplus was found to be higher on the fully cultivated land than on native grassland. N-fertilizers (43%) and concentrates (30%) accounted for most of the N input on conventional farms. On organic farms, biological N-fixation and concentrates contributed to 32% and 36% of the N-input (43±18N·kgN−1 and 48±11N·kgN−1), respectively. An increase in N-input per hectare increased the amount of N-produce in milk and meat per hectare, but, on average for all farms, only 11% of the N-input was utilised as N-output; however, the N-surplus per unit of N in produce (delivered milk and meat gain) was not correlated to total N-input. This surplus was calculated for the dairy system, which also included the N-surplus on the off-farm area. Only 16% and 18% of this surplus on conventional and organic farms, respectively, was attributed to surplus derived from off-farm production of purchased feed and animals. Since the dairy farm area of conventional and organic farms comprised 52% and 60% of the dairy system area, respectively, it is crucial to relate production not only to dairy farm area but also to the dairy system area. On conventional dairy farms, the N-surplus per unit of N in produce decreased with increasing milk yield per cow. Organic farms tended to have lower N-surpluses than conventional farms with no correlation between the milk yield and the N-surplus. For both dairy farm and dairy system area, N-surpluses increased with increasing use of fertilizer N per hectare, biological N-fixation, imported concentrates and roughages and decreased with higher production per area. This highlights the importance of good agronomy that well utilize available nitrogen.

      PubDate: 2017-07-02T23:43:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.06.001
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Carbon footprint of sheep production systems in semi-arid zone of Chile: A
           simulation-based approach of productive scenarios and precipitation
    • Authors: Paula Toro-Mujica; Claudio Aguilar; Raúl R. Vera; Fernando Bas
      Pages: 22 - 38
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Paula Toro-Mujica, Claudio Aguilar, Raúl R. Vera, Fernando Bas
      Grassland based sheep production systems in the semi-arid to sub-humid Central region of Chile are expected to improve technical and economic efficiency, while at the same time decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). An existing empirical, stochastic simulation model of grazing sheep production was modified to allow for a cradle-to-farm-gate quantification of GHG under a large number of scenarios. The model includes pasture availability and utilization, supplementation of sheep, milk and lamb production, and carbon sequestration by forages and soils among others. Simulated scenarios included factorial combinations of a range of farm types previously typified and a range of sheep management practices, and their interaction with dry, average, or rainy years that affected grass growth. The carbon footprint (CF) was calculated for 20 runs of each case. Numerous interactions between animal outputs, forage availability and CF, as well as trade-offs, were found. Rainfall patterns had a significant effect on range and sown pastures yields when other factors were kept constant. A decrease of 32% in average rainfall for a dry year resulted in a reduction of forage production of 13%, whereas a rainy year with rainfall 36% higher than average, increased it by 12%, Forage yields had a significant effect on CF. Three different farm types showed CF of 7.4 to 13.3CO2-eq·kg−1 LW−1. Farms that used higher inputs had higher forage production and lower CF, which decreased further if soil C sequestration is accounted for. Large farms that had lower stocking rates than the rest, and that used Merino sheep with high reproductive rates, had lower CF than the smaller farms that make a more intense land use. Reproductive rates had a large and significant effect on CF as they determine the number of ewes required to maintain constant production and overall flock composition. The average CF for lamb production across all scenarios was 14.8kgCO2-eq·kgLW−1, and decreased by 2kg CO2-eq·kgLW−1 when carbon sequestration was accounted for. The simulated systems were stable in years with average rainfall, but their sustainability seems fragile if faced with a sequence of dry years. It is concluded that the abundant interactions between the rainfall pattern and management variables would be difficult to study in field experiments, and that simulation modelling is a powerful tool to assess the consequences of numerous climate and production scenarios.

      PubDate: 2017-07-02T23:43:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.06.012
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Assessing the environmental impacts of cropping systems and cover crops:
           Life cycle assessment of FAST, a long-term arable farming field experiment
    • Authors: Ulrich E. Prechsl; Raphael Wittwer; Marcel G.A. van der Heijden; Gisela Lüscher; Philippe Jeanneret; Thomas Nemecek
      Pages: 39 - 50
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Ulrich E. Prechsl, Raphael Wittwer, Marcel G.A. van der Heijden, Gisela Lüscher, Philippe Jeanneret, Thomas Nemecek
      To reduce environmental impacts of cropping systems, various management strategies are being discussed. Long-term field experiments are particularly suitable to directly compare different management strategies and to perform a comprehensive impact assessment. To identify the key drivers of several environmental impacts, we analysed a six year crop rotation of the Farming System and Tillage Experiment (FAST) by means of the Swiss Agriculture Life Cycle Assessment method (SALCA). The following factors of the FAST experiment were considered: (1) cropping system (stockless conventional farming vs. organic farming), (2) tillage (intensive tillage vs. no or reduced tillage), and (3) cover crop. We analysed the effects of these three factors on the global warming potential (GWP), aquatic and terrestrial eutrophication, and aquatic ecotoxicity for two functional units, i.e. per product and per area. Potential impacts on biodiversity were also analysed. Our analysis revealed that there is not one superior cropping system, as the ranking depended on the environmental impact selected and on the functional unit. The cropping system had the strongest effect on most of the environmental impacts, and this was mainly driven by differences in N-fertilisation (amount and form) and yield. The global warming potential, for instance, was highest in both conventional systems compared to the organic systems, when emissions were calculated per area. In contrast, calculating emissions per product, there were no statistical differences between all four systems. On the other hand, due to higher nitrogen emissions related to the application of cattle slurry in the organic system, the terrestrial eutrophication of the organic systems was higher than the conventional systems, independent of the functional unit. The effects of tillage were much lower compared to the cropping system. No tillage, but not necessarily reduced tillage, and the cultivation of cover crops had the potential to reduce aquatic eutrophication. As N-fertilisation dominated many impact categories, we suggest improving the N-efficiency as a crucial leverage point to improve the environmental performance of arable farming systems.

      PubDate: 2017-07-12T02:03:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.06.011
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Assessing ammonia emission abatement measures in agriculture: Farmers'
           costs and society's benefits – A case study for Lower Saxony, Germany
    • Authors: Susanne Wagner; Elisabeth Angenendt; Olga Beletskaya; Jürgen Zeddies
      Pages: 70 - 80
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Susanne Wagner, Elisabeth Angenendt, Olga Beletskaya, Jürgen Zeddies
      Ammonia (NH3) emissions have adverse impacts on the environment and, being a precursor for fine particulate matter, also on human health. About 95% of NH3 emissions in Germany originate from agriculture, mainly from livestock husbandry. This case study is aimed at presenting an approach that evaluates NH3 emission abatement measures in agriculture regarding their abatement costs for farmers and their benefits for the society in terms of avoided external costs of health damages and loss of terrestrial biodiversity. Following the impact-pathway chain, an economic-ecological farm model for estimating NH3 emission reductions and abatement costs was combined with an environmental impact assessment model for estimating the benefits for human health and biodiversity. The case study analysed a variety of manure storage cover and application techniques in Lower Saxony, a region in the north-west of Germany with the highest livestock density in Germany and high NH3 emissions. In the reference situation, the damage costs of NH3 emissions were EUR 2.7 billion. The implementation of concrete storage covers and slurry injection, the most effective measures, reduced NH3 emissions by 25% and achieved net benefits of EUR 505 million. Farmers' abatement costs averaged over all farms ranged from EUR 3.6 to 6.8 per kilogramme NH3 reduced. The abatement costs per farm type ranged from EUR 2.4 to 16.6 for floating plastic covers and from EUR 2.2 to 11.4 for concrete covers. The abatement costs for floating plastic covers were lower for grazing livestock specialists, while the abatement costs for concrete covers were lower for pig specialists, poultry specialists and mixed farms. Farm type specific abatement costs for manure application techniques ranged from EUR 4.5 to 9.6 per kilogramme NH3 reduced with little variation between trailing shoe and cultivator/injector techniques. Abatement costs for trailing shoe application were lower than for cultivator/injector application for grazing livestock specialists, poultry specialists and mixed farms. The average benefits per kilogramme NH3 reduced were EUR 14.1 for health and EUR 10.4 for biodiversity, totalling EUR 24.5. As the benefits exceed the abatement costs for all measures analysed in this study, principally, they can be recommended for implementation. However, the variation in abatement potentials and costs per farm type indicate differences in suitability. While manure covers should above all be implemented by pig specialists because of their high abatement potential, manure application techniques should be implemented by grazing livestock specialists. Among manure storage covers, floating plastic covers are more favourable for grazing livestock specialists, whereas concrete covers are more suitable for all other farm types. The analysis with the farm model was considered more appropriate than recent analyses at technical or macroeconomic level, because the abatement costs reflect differences in farm types, detailed production processes and farmers' profit-maximising behaviour. Overall, it can be concluded that an assessment of NH3 emission abatement measures should be carried out for farm types and should consider impacts of NH3 emission abatement both on human health and biodiversity. The presented modelling approach enables to estimate abatement costs for farm types and benefits for human health and biodiversity. Cost-efficient NH3 emission abatement measures tailored to farm types can be identified and farm type specific regional abatement strategies can be developed.

      PubDate: 2017-07-24T08:52:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.06.008
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Climate change impacts on crop yields, land use and environment in
           response to crop sowing dates and thermal time requirements
    • Authors: Andrea Zimmermann; Heidi Webber; Gang Zhao; Frank Ewert; Johannes Kros; Joost Wolf; Wolfgang Britz; Wim de Vries
      Pages: 81 - 92
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Andrea Zimmermann, Heidi Webber, Gang Zhao, Frank Ewert, Johannes Kros, Joost Wolf, Wolfgang Britz, Wim de Vries
      Impacts of climate change on European agricultural production, land use and the environment depend on its impact on crop yields. However, many impact studies assume that crop management remains unchanged in future scenarios, while farmers may adapt their sowing dates and cultivar thermal time requirements to minimize yield losses or realize yield gains. The main objective of this study was to investigate the sensitivity of climate change impacts on European crop yields, land use, production and environmental variables to adaptations in crops sowing dates and varieties' thermal time requirements. A crop, economic and environmental model were coupled in an integrated assessment modelling approach for six important crops, for 27 countries of the European Union (EU27) to assess results of three SRES climate change scenarios to 2050. Crop yields under climate change were simulated considering three different management cases; (i) no change in crop management from baseline conditions (NoAd), (ii) adaptation of sowing date and thermal time requirements to give highest yields to 2050 (Opt) and (iii) a more conservative adaptation of sowing date and thermal time requirements (Act). Averaged across EU27, relative changes in water-limited crop yields due to climate change and increased CO2 varied between −6 and +21% considering NoAd management, whereas impacts with Opt management varied between +12 and +53%, and those under Act management between −2 and +27%. However, relative yield increases under climate change increased to +17 and +51% when technology progress was also considered. Importantly, the sensitivity to crop management assumptions of land use, production and environmental impacts were less pronounced than for crop yields due to the influence of corresponding market, farm resource and land allocation adjustments along the model chain acting via economic optimization of yields. We conclude that assumptions about crop sowing dates and thermal time requirements affect impact variables but to a different extent and generally decreasing for variables affected by economic drivers.

      PubDate: 2017-07-24T08:52:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.07.007
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Integrated modelling of efficient crop management strategies in response
           to economic damage potentials of the Western Corn Rootworm in Austria
    • Authors: Elisabeth Feusthuber; Hermine Mitter; Martin Schönhart; Erwin Schmid
      Pages: 93 - 106
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Elisabeth Feusthuber, Hermine Mitter, Martin Schönhart, Erwin Schmid
      The spread of the Western Corn Rootworm (WCR; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) challenges farmers in intensive maize production regions. We model efficient crop management strategies in response to economic damage potentials of the invasive WCR in Austria. A spatially explicit integrated modelling framework has been developed to calculate economic damage potentials from maize yield losses for a past (1975–2005) and a future (2010–2040) period with climate change. The economic damage potentials determine the choice of efficient crop management strategies considering insecticide applications, crop rotations with gradual maize limitations, fertilization intensities and irrigation. The integrated modelling framework includes the crop rotation model CropRota, the bio-physical process model EPIC, and the non-linear land use optimization model BiomAT. Typical crop rotations are simulated by CropRota at the municipality level. They are input to EPIC to simulate crop yields at the 1km pixel resolution, which are part of the gross margin calculations entering BiomAT. Results of economic damage potentials with a 10% maize yield loss range between 3€/ha and 180€/ha, depending on the location, and increase to between 14€/ha and 903€/ha at 50% maize yield loss. The analysis of economic damage potentials shows a high regional variability. Moreover, the model results show that a decrease in maize shares combined with moderate fertilization levels is more efficient for WCR control than insecticide use. However, further crop management strategies have to be developed in order to reduce maize yield and economic losses.

      PubDate: 2017-07-24T08:52:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.07.011
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • A retrospective analysis of the United States poultry industry: 1965
           compared with 2010
    • Authors: Ben Putman; Greg Thoma; Jasmina Burek; Marty Matlock
      Pages: 107 - 117
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Ben Putman, Greg Thoma, Jasmina Burek, Marty Matlock
      The U.S. poultry industry requires a comprehensive understanding of the driving forces behind the changes in the environmental performance of poultry meat production in order to implement an effective sustainability strategy. This life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluates those changes over the past 45years so that the industry can prioritize improvements to aspects of production that will have the greatest effect on the environmental impacts associated with poultry production. The LCA included material and energy flows associated with crop production and live poultry operations, beginning with one day old baby chicks in the grandparent generation, continuing through the parent generation, and ending with live market-weight broilers and culled hens at the farm gate. The results indicated that improvements in background systems and bird performance were the primary drivers behind a reduction in environmental impacts and decreased resource requirements in U.S. poultry meat production in 2010, as compared to 1965. Climate change, acidification, and eutrophication impacts associated with poultry production decreased by 36%, 29%, and 25% per 1000kg poultry meat produced, respectively, from 1965 to 2010. Furthermore, resource-related impacts decreased in the categories of fossil energy use (39%), water depletion (58%), and agricultural land occupation (72%) per 1000kg of poultry meat produced. This study provides the first retrospective analysis of poultry meat production in the United States, and the only U.S. poultry LCA that incorporates spent hen meat destined for human consumption and successive breeding generations into an analysis of broiler production. These methodological considerations provide greater insight into the impacts associated with U.S. poultry supply chains than was previously available, which will allow the U.S. poultry industry to make more informed decisions regarding an effective sustainability strategy and will increase publicly-available LCI data with contributions to the National Agricultural Library's LCA Commons.

      PubDate: 2017-08-03T13:33:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.07.008
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Sustainability assessment of agricultural systems: The validity of expert
           opinion and robustness of a multi-criteria analysis
    • Authors: Farahnaz Pashaei Kamali; João A.R. Borges; Miranda P.M. Meuwissen; Imke J.M. de Boer; Alfons G.J.M. Oude Lansink
      Pages: 118 - 128
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Farahnaz Pashaei Kamali, João A.R. Borges, Miranda P.M. Meuwissen, Imke J.M. de Boer, Alfons G.J.M. Oude Lansink
      Sustainability assessment of agricultural systems is frequently hampered by data availability. Elicitation of expert opinions combined with multi-criteria assessment (MCA) could be a useful approach for sustainability assessments in data-scarce situations. To our knowledge, the validity of expert opinion used to score sustainability performance of agricultural systems, however, has not been addressed. Also, robustness of the overall outcome of MCA to uncertainty about scores obtained from expert elicitation and weights used to aggregate scores is generally not addressed. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the validity of expert opinion, and to evaluate the robustness of the overall MCA outcome to uncertainty about scores and weights. The case study considers three soybean agricultural systems in Latin America: conventional agricultural system, with either genetically modified (GM) or non-genetically modified (non-GM) soybeans, and organic agricultural system. The validation was carried out by comparing the sustainability scores of experts with values from scientific studies. The robustness of the overall outcome of the MCA to uncertainty about scores and weights was assessed using Monte Carlo simulation. The comparison of expert opinion with reviewed studies showed that expert opinions are a potential alternative to extensive data-rich methods. The validity of expert opinions can be increased by considering a larger group of experts, with a high level of knowledge about agricultural systems and sustainability issues. With regard to robustness, the overall outcome of the MCA showed higher variation for organic soybean agricultural systems compared with GM and non-GM, in both Brazil and Argentina.

      PubDate: 2017-08-03T13:33:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.07.013
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Introduction to the Farming Systems Design Special Issue
    • Authors: Jacques Wery
      First page: 269
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Jacques Wery

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.09.003
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Replacing silage maize for biogas production by sugar beet – A system
           analysis with ecological and economical approaches
    • Authors: Anna Jacobs; Sebastian Auburger; Enno Bahrs; Wiebke Brauer-Siebrecht; Olaf Christen; Philipp Götze; Heinz-Josef Koch; Oliver Mußhoff; Jan Rücknagel; Bernward Märländer
      Pages: 270 - 278
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Anna Jacobs, Sebastian Auburger, Enno Bahrs, Wiebke Brauer-Siebrecht, Olaf Christen, Philipp Götze, Heinz-Josef Koch, Oliver Mußhoff, Jan Rücknagel, Bernward Märländer
      In a holistic methodological approach, we linked field trial data with different modeling approaches to answer the question if sugar beet roots offer an ecological and economical efficient alternative to silage maize as a substrate for biogas production. Field trials were conducted at highly productive sites in Germany, representative for Central Europe, and tested both biomass crops in continuous cultivation and in crop rotations with winter wheat. In these trials, estimated methane yield of silage maize was generally higher (6837 to 8782Nm3 ha−1 a−1) than of sugar beet roots (3206 to 7861Nm3 ha−1 a−1) and both biomass crops reached highest yield in crop rotations. Under the nonobservance of technical effects, substrate production costs (€ per Nm3 methane) were higher for sugar beet roots and a nationwide modeling showed that, in most of the German districts, it would need to be reduced by 10 to 25% in order to reach economical competitiveness with silage maize. However, at a farm level, sugar beet for biogas production was economically advantageous when introduced with a share of 10 to 16% into the individual farm's cultivation program mainly due to high yield stability reducing the economical risk. However, a decrease in gross margin (€ ha−1) was likely to occur. In the field trials, different ecological impacts of crop cultivation were assessed but did not highlight one of the two biomass crops in comparison. However, it was evident that cultivating them in three years long crop rotations with two years of winter wheat provoked lower risks of loss of soil organic matter (−122 to −20kg humus-C ha−1 a−1) or N-leaching (40 to 62kgNha−1 in three years) than in continuous cultivation. In contrast, the continuous cultivation of silage maize and sugar beet showed lower greenhouse gas emission (7652 to 11,074kg C-dioxide-equivalents ha−1 in three years) than the crop rotations with winter wheat. Overall, we conclude that sugar beet roots can offer an efficient alternative to silage maize as a substrate for biogas production. However, to raise sugar beet's competitiveness, dry matter yields should be increased without increasing production costs and ecological impacts.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.10.004
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Adaptive and dynamic decision-making processes: A conceptual model of
           production systems on Indian farms
    • Authors: Marion Robert; Alban Thomas; Muddu Sekhar; Shrinivas Badiger; Laurent Ruiz; Hélène Raynal; Jacques-Eric Bergez
      Pages: 279 - 291
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Marion Robert, Alban Thomas, Muddu Sekhar, Shrinivas Badiger, Laurent Ruiz, Hélène Raynal, Jacques-Eric Bergez
      Farming systems are complex structures with several dimensions interacting in a dynamic and continuous manner around farmers' management strategies. This complexity peaks in semi-arid regions of India, where small farms encounter a highly competitive environment for markets and resources, especially unreliable access to water from rainfall and irrigation. To represent such strategies, we propose the conceptual model NAMASTE, which was conceived and based on data collected in the Berambadi watershed in southern India. The most relevant and novel aspects of NAMASTE are i) the system-based representation of farm production systems, ii) the description of dynamic processes through management flexibility and adaptation, and iii) the representation of steps in farmers' decision-making processes at various temporal and spatial scales. Since NAMASTE was designed in an extreme case of highly vulnerable agriculture, its generic framework and formalisms can be used to conceptually represent many other farm production systems.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.08.001
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Trade-offs in soil fertility management on arable farms
    • Authors: Jules F.F.P. Bos; Hein F.M. ten Berge; Jan Verhagen; Martin K. van Ittersum
      Pages: 292 - 302
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Jules F.F.P. Bos, Hein F.M. ten Berge, Jan Verhagen, Martin K. van Ittersum
      Crop production and soil fertility management implies a multitude of decisions and activities on crop choice, rotation design and nutrient management. In practice, the choices to be made and the resulting outcomes are subject to a wide range of objectives and constraints. Objectives are economic as well as environmental, for instance sequestering carbon in agricultural soils or reducing nitrogen losses. Constraints originate from biophysical and institutional conditions that may restrict the possibilities for choosing crops or using specific cultivation and fertilization practices. To explore the consequences of management interventions to increase the supply of organic C to the soil on income and N losses, we developed the linear programming model NutMatch. The novelty of the model is the coherent description of mutual interdependencies amongst a broad range of sustainability indicators related to soil fertility management in arable cropping, enabling the quantification of synergies and trade-offs between objectives. NutMatch was applied to four different crop rotations subjected to four fertiliser strategies differing in the use of the organic fertilisers cattle slurry, pig slurry or compost, next to mineral fertiliser. Each combination of rotation and fertiliser strategy contributed differently to financial return, N emissions and organic matter inputs into the soil. Our model calculations show that, at the rotational level, crop residues, cattle slurry and compost each substantially contributed to SOC accumulation (range 200-450 kg C ha-1 yr-1), while contributions of pig slurry and cover crops were small (20-50 kg C ha-1 yr-1). The use of compost and pig slurry resulted in increases of 0.61-0.73 and 3.15-3.38 kg N2O-N per 100 kg extra SOC accumulated, respectively, with the other fertilizers taking an intermediate position. From a GHG emission perspective, the maximum acceptable increase is 0.75 kg N2O-N per 100 kg extra SOC accumulated, which was only met by compost. Doubling the winter wheat area combined with the cultivation of cover crops to increase SOC accumulation resulted in a net GHG emission benefit, but was associated with a financial trade-off of 2.30-3.30 euro per kg SOC gained. Our model calculations suggest that trade-offs between C inputs and emissions of greenhouse gases (notably N2O) or other pollutants (NO3, NH3) can be substantial. Due to the many data from a large variety of sources incorporated in the model, the trade-offs are uncertain. Our model-based explorations provide insight in soil carbon sequestration options and their limitations vis-a-vis other objectives.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.09.013
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Spatial modelling of agro-ecosystem dynamics across scales: A case in the
           cotton region of West-Burkina Faso
    • Authors: Camille Jahel; Christian Baron; Eric Vall; Medina Karambiri; Mathieu Castets; Kalifa Coulibaly; Agnès Bégué; Danny Lo Seen
      Pages: 303 - 315
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Camille Jahel, Christian Baron, Eric Vall, Medina Karambiri, Mathieu Castets, Kalifa Coulibaly, Agnès Bégué, Danny Lo Seen
      Models are increasingly being used to investigate agro-ecosystems dynamics, although processes interacting at different scales remain difficult to consider. When upscaled or downscaled based on aggregation or disaggregation methods, information is generally distorted. This study explores agro-ecosystem modelling using an interaction graph-based modelling approach that explicitly link elements at different scales without up or downscaling. The study area/time frame is the cotton region of West Burkina Faso over the last fifteen years. Field, plot, farm and climate entities are linked in graphs that evolve according to functions computed along different time steps. Three main processes and their interrelations are simulated, occurring at different spatial and temporal scales: crop area expansion, crop rotation and crop production. Three simulation examples are presented to illustrate the analytical possibilities allowed by the approach. These examples test i) the geographical distribution of plots as a means to face climatic risks, ii) the effect of fallowing practice in a spatially constrained cotton dominated landscape and iii) the consequences of reduced access to credit for farmers to buy fertilizers. Model outputs enable quantifying and mapping the respective effects of processes at different scales. Results show that modelling across scales is achievable without resorting to methods of aggregation or disaggregation, which opens new perspectives in multi-scalar analyses of agro-ecosystems that link land production and land use and land cover.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.05.016
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • A framework for designing multi-functional agricultural landscapes:
           Application to Guadeloupe Island
    • Authors: Pierre Chopin; Jean-Marc Blazy; Loïc Guindé; Jacques Wery; Thierry Doré
      Pages: 316 - 329
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Pierre Chopin, Jean-Marc Blazy, Loïc Guindé, Jacques Wery, Thierry Doré
      To improve agriculture faced with regional sustainability issues, agricultural landscapes providing a diversity and high level of ecosystem services are necessary. We have developed and tested the MOSAICA-f framework to build innovative multi-functional agricultural landscapes that can consider explicitly: 1) the performance of cropping systems at the field scale, 2) farmers' decision processes on the adoption of cropping systems, and 3) possible scenarios for innovations and policy changes at the regional scale. This framework is based on a scenario approach that encompasses normative, exploratory and optimized scenarios to assess the relevance of combinations of new agricultural policies, changes to the external context (market and regulations) and innovations in cropping systems. The impacts of these changes on sustainability issues are simulated using the regional bioeconomic model MOSAICA for farmers' decision processes regarding the adoption of cropping systems at the field scale throughout a region. Applied in Guadeloupe (French West Indies), the MOSAICA-f framework enabled the design of a scenario increasing agricultural added value, food and energy self-sufficiency, employment and the quality of water bodies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This sustainable scenario combines new cropping systems tuned to farm types with a reorientation of subsidies, an increased workforce and banning food crop production on polluted soils. It can be used to understand the potential contribution of agriculture to sustainability issues and to help local decision makers define policies that will account for the spatial diversities of farms and fields in a landscape. Beyond the design of such a win-win scenario, MOSAICA-f has revealed trade-offs in the provision of services by agriculture.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.10.003
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Designing coupled innovations for the sustainability transition of
           agrifood systems
    • Authors: Jean-Marc Meynard; Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy; Marianne Le Bail; Amélie Lefèvre; Marie-Benoit Magrini; Camille Michon
      Pages: 330 - 339
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157
      Author(s): Jean-Marc Meynard, Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy, Marianne Le Bail, Amélie Lefèvre, Marie-Benoit Magrini, Camille Michon
      Numerous signs underline an urgent need for innovation in the current agriculture and food industries. However, even though the components of the agrifood systems are all strongly interconnected, the design processes to improve their sustainabilities are still mostly managed separately. This frequently leads to innovating in one domain in order to adapt to the constraints or specifications of the other, such as tweaking the farming systems to address processing issues, or the other way round. The objectives of this paper are first to show the limits of such an organization, and second to provide a heuristic framework to organize the design of coupled innovations, by reconnecting the dynamics of innovation in agriculture and food, with a view to improving the whole agrifood system. Our framework highlights that working at this level requires designing in raw production, exchange, processing, and consumption, while taking into account synergies or antagonisms between upstream and downstream. Thus, the innovations are not only technological – e.g. concerning cropping systems or processing – but also organizational and institutional. Based on several examples, in the cereal, linseed, legume, and market-gardening productions, at the junction of agriculture and food sciences, we also show that this perspective of designing coupled innovations calls for a renewed research agenda. Three main domains are thus questioned. First, coupling requires an innovative design process for radical innovations, challenging the coordination of exploration in both domains. Second, the development of “innovation niches” outside the dominant sociotechnical regime, in order to bypass the lock-in from the dominant system, faces the difficulty of favoring the building of renewed networks of actors, which were used to working separately so far. Third, the necessity to share expectations and knowledge, and to design together innovations that suit all sides, leads to making several recommendations for the governance of the design process. Finally, we conclude that the need for innovation in the agrifood systems requires going beyond the historical specialization of skills, and the usual forms of coordination between designers.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.08.002
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 159

      PubDate: 2017-11-24T13:47:42Z
  • Livelihood and climate trade-offs in Kenyan peri-urban vegetable
    • Authors: Barnabas K. Kurgat; Silke Stöber; Samuel Mwonga; Hermann Lotze-Campen; Todd S. Rosenstock
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems
      Author(s): Barnabas K. Kurgat, Silke Stöber, Samuel Mwonga, Hermann Lotze-Campen, Todd S. Rosenstock
      Trade-offs between livelihood and environmental outcomes due to agricultural intensification in sub-Saharan Africa are uncertain. The present study measured yield, economic performance and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in African indigenous vegetable (AIV) production to investigate the optimal nutrient management strategies. In order to achieve this, an on-farm experiment with four treatments – (1) 40kgN/ha diammonium phosphate (DAP), (2) 10t/ha cattle manure, (3) 20kgN/ha DAP and 5t/ha cattle manure and (4) a no-N input control – was performed for two seasons. Yields and N2O emissions were directly measured with subsampling and static chambers/gas chromatography, respectively. Economic outcomes were estimated from semi-structured interviews (N=12). Trade-offs were quantified by calculating N2O emissions intensity (N2OI) and N2O emissions economic intensity (N2OEI). The results indicate that, DAP alone resulted at least 14% greater yields, gross margin and returns to labour in absolute terms but had the highest emissions (p=0.003). Productivity-climate trade-offs, expressed as N2OI, were statistically similar for DAP and mixed treatments. However, N2OEI was minimized under mixed management (p=0.0004) while maintaining productivity and gross margins. We therefore conclude that soil fertility management strategies that mix inorganic and organic source present a pathway to sustainable intensification in AIV production. Future studies of GHG emissions in crop production need to consider not only productivity but economic performance when considering trade-offs.

      PubDate: 2017-11-11T21:55:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.003
  • Women's land rights as a pathway to poverty reduction: Framework and
           review of available evidence
    • Authors: Ruth Meinzen-Dick; Agnes Quisumbing; Cheryl Doss; Sophie Theis
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems
      Author(s): Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss, Sophie Theis
      This paper reviews the literature on women’s land rights (WLR) and poverty reduction. It uses the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP) conceptual framework to identify pathways by which WLR could reduce poverty and increase wellbeing of women and their households in rural areas. It uses a systematic review search methodology to identify papers for inclusion, but adopts a more synthetic approach to assess the level of agreement and the amount of evidence within this literature. The paper examines the evidence from qualitative as well as quantitative studies on each of these pathways. Owing to the scarcity of experimental studies, the review of empirical work is based mostly on observational studies. We find some evidence on these relationships, but many of the key pathways have not been empirically analyzed. The evidence is strong for relationships between WLR and bargaining power and decision-making on consumption, human capital investment, and intergenerational transfers. There is a high level of agreement, but weaker evidence on the relationship between WLR and natural resource management, government services and institutions, empowerment and domestic violence, resilience and HIV risk, and consumption and food security. There is less agreement and insufficient evidence on the associations between WLR and other livelihoods, and a higher level of agreement, but still limited evidence on associations between WLR and credit, technology adoption, and agricultural productivity. Notably, we find no papers that directly investigate the link between WLR and poverty. Many gaps in the evidence arise from a failure to account for the complexity of land rights regimes, the measurement of land rights at the household level, the lack of attention paid to gender roles, and the lack of studies from countries outside Africa. Many studies are limited by small sample sizes, the lack of credible counterfactuals, lack of attention to endogeneity and selection bias, and possible response bias on questions of domestic violence and empowerment. There are very few rigorous evaluations of reforms that strengthened WLR. The paper concludes that gaps in the evidence should not deter the careful design and implementation of programs and policies to strengthen WLR, given the ongoing land tenure reforms in many countries. Different modalities and mechanisms for strengthening WLR could be tested, with appropriate counterfactuals. Program designers and evaluators can strategically identify pathways and outcomes where evidence gaps exist, and deliberately design studies to close those gaps.

      PubDate: 2017-11-11T21:55:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.009
  • Integrated natural resource management as pathway to poverty reduction:
           Innovating practices, institutions and policies
    • Authors: Meine van Noordwijk
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems
      Author(s): Meine van Noordwijk
      Poverty has many faces and poverty reduction many pathways in different contexts. Lack of food and income interact with lack of access to water, energy, protection from floods, voice, rights and recognition. Among the pathways by which agricultural research can increase rural prosperity, integrated natural resource management deals with a complex nexus of issues, with tradeoffs among issues that are in various stages of denial, recognition, analysis, innovation, scenario synthesis and creation of platforms for (policy) change. Rather than on a portfolio of externally developed ‘solutions’ ready for adoption and use, the concept of sustainable development may primarily hinge on the strengths and weaknesses of local communities to observe, analyse, innovate, connect, organize collective action and become part of wider coalitions. ‘Boundary work’ supporting such efforts can help resolve issues in a polycentric governance context, especially where incomplete understanding and knowledge prevent potential win-win alternatives to current lose-lose conflicts to emerge. Integrated research-development approaches deal with context (‘theory of place’) and options (‘theory of change’) in multiple ways that vary from selecting sites for studying pre-defined issues to starting from whatever issue deserves prominence in a given location of interest. A knowledge-to-action linkage typology recognizes three situations of increasing complexity. In Type I more knowledge can directly lead to action by a single decision maker; in Type II more knowledge can inform tradeoff decisions, while in Type III negotiation support of multiple knowledge+multiple decision maker settings deals with a higher level of complexity. Current impact quantification can deal with the first, is challenged in the second and inadequate in the third case, dealing with complex social-ecological systems. Impact-oriented funding may focus on Type I and miss the opportunities for the larger ultimate impact of Type II and III involvements.

      PubDate: 2017-11-05T09:42:20Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.008
  • Pathways from research on improved staple crop germplasm to poverty
           reduction for smallholder farmers
    • Authors: Jeffrey Alwang; Elisabetta Gotor; Graham Thiele; Guy Hareau; Moti Jaleta; Jordan Chamberlin
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems
      Author(s): Jeffrey Alwang, Elisabetta Gotor, Graham Thiele, Guy Hareau, Moti Jaleta, Jordan Chamberlin
      Innovations to improve staple crop germplasm can reduce poverty and otherwise improve farmer livelihoods through complex and multiple pathways. This paper reviews the evidence for one prominent pathway—through increased incomes (in cash and kind) for poor farmers who adopt the technology. An important determinant of poverty reduction is the ability of poor producers to adopt productivity-enhancing varieties, and the paper analyzes recent household-level data from two African countries to examine if poor producers face unique barriers to adoption. A second determinant of poverty reduction is the area available to plant these varieties and whether the intensity of adoption is great enough to significantly reduce poverty. The paper uses a double-hurdle estimation framework to model the adoption/area planted joint decision for maize farmers in Ethiopia and sweet potato farmers in Uganda. The focus of the analysis is the effect of poverty-related variables on adoption/area planted decisions. Farmer wealth, landholding, education, location, and access to support and information services are included to understand how correlates of poverty affect adoption decisions. We find evidence that landholding size is an important barrier to poverty reduction; poor farmers are able to adopt improved varieties, but their intensity is constrained by land availability. In Uganda, farmers at the 95th percentile of adoption area received about $0.13 per person per day from the incremental yield, covering <50% of the mean household poverty gap. This gain only comes under optimistic assumptions and most adopters do not have sufficient area for the direct income effect to be large. The evidence suggests that direct, short-term impacts of increased productivity to increased income may be limited in magnitude. Nonetheless, we recognize that other, less direct pathways may be important, particularly over longer times. Impacts through indirect pathways are, however, more difficult to measure. This has implications for the design of M&E and the crafting of appropriate targets for outcomes of research on staple crops which should focus perhaps on the other pathways where poverty reduction is more probable.

      PubDate: 2017-11-05T09:42:20Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.005
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 158

      PubDate: 2017-10-13T19:09:21Z
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Agricultural Systems, Volume 157

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T05:41:12Z
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