WorldWideScience

Sample records for sustainable arable crop

  1. Role of modern chemistry in sustainable arable crop protection

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Keith; Evans, David A; El-Hiti, Gamal A

    2007-01-01

    Organic chemistry has been, and for the foreseeable future will remain, vitally important for crop protection. Control of fungal pathogens, insect pests and weeds is crucial to enhanced food provision. As world population continues to grow, it is timely to assess the current situation, anticipate future challenges and consider how new chemistry may help meet those challenges. In future, agriculture will increasingly be expected to provide not only food and feed, but also crops for conversion ...

  2. Adverse weather impacts on arable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobin, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Damages due to extreme or adverse weather strongly depend on crop type, crop stage, soil conditions and management. The impact is largest during the sensitive periods of the farming calendar, and requires a modelling approach to capture the interactions between the crop, its environment and the occurrence of the meteorological event. The hypothesis is that extreme and adverse weather events can be quantified and subsequently incorporated in current crop models. Since crop development is driven by thermal time and photoperiod, a regional crop model was used to examine the likely frequency, magnitude and impacts of frost, drought, heat stress and waterlogging in relation to the cropping season and crop sensitive stages. Risk profiles and associated return levels were obtained by fitting generalized extreme value distributions to block maxima for air humidity, water balance and temperature variables. The risk profiles were subsequently confronted with yields and yield losses for the major arable crops in Belgium, notably winter wheat, winter barley, winter oilseed rape, sugar beet, potato and maize at the field (farm records) to regional scale (statistics). The average daily vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and reference evapotranspiration (ET0) during the growing season is significantly lower (p < 0.001) and has a higher variability before 1988 than after 1988. Distribution patterns of VPD and ET0 have relevant impacts on crop yields. The response to rising temperatures depends on the crop's capability to condition its microenvironment. Crops short of water close their stomata, lose their evaporative cooling potential and ultimately become susceptible to heat stress. Effects of heat stress therefore have to be combined with moisture availability such as the precipitation deficit or the soil water balance. Risks of combined heat and moisture deficit stress appear during the summer. These risks are subsequently related to crop damage. The methodology of defining

  3. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Raphaël A.; Dorn, Brigitte; Jossi, Werner; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-02-01

    A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity with minimum impact on the environment. Several studies indicate that cover crops could replace anthropogenic inputs and enhance crop productivity. However, so far, it is unclear if cover crop effects vary between different cropping systems, and direct comparisons among major arable production systems are rare. Here we compared the short-term effects of various cover crops on crop yield, nitrogen uptake, and weed infestation in four arable production systems (conventional cropping with intensive tillage and no-tillage; organic cropping with intensive tillage and reduced tillage). We hypothesized that cover cropping effects increase with decreasing management intensity. Our study demonstrated that cover crop effects on crop yield were highest in the organic system with reduced tillage (+24%), intermediate in the organic system with tillage (+13%) and in the conventional system with no tillage (+8%) and lowest in the conventional system with tillage (+2%). Our results indicate that cover crops are essential to maintaining a certain yield level when soil tillage intensity is reduced (e.g. under conservation agriculture), or when production is converted to organic agriculture. Thus, the inclusion of cover crops provides additional opportunities to increase the yield of lower intensity production systems and contribute to ecological intensification.

  4. Farm size - productivity relationships among arable crops farmers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was designed to analyze the relationship between farm size and resource productivity among arable crop farmers in Imo state, and isolate the major determinants of agricultural productivity. Data used for the study were collected from a sample of 120 farmers randomly selected from Okigwe and Orlu agricultural ...

  5. Soil conservation practices among Arable Crop Farmers In Enugu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Soil conservation practices among Arable Crop Farmers In Enugu – North Agricultural Zone, Nigeria: Implications for Climate Change. ... The paper recommends concerted efforts to promote among farmers the conservation practices that aid mitigation and adaptation to climate change and at the same time enhance ...

  6. Utilization of Agro-meteorological Services among Arable Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thomas Kehinde Adesina

    The study assessed arable crop farmers' utilization of agro-meteorological services in ... The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC's Fourth ... the patterns of impact of climate change on agriculture can be classified into ... temperature rise causing fish to inhabit in different ranges. ..... Journal of Human Ecology.

  7. Crop Condition Assessment with Adjusted NDVI Using the Uncropped Arable Land Ratio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao Zhang

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Crop condition assessment in the early growing stage is essential for crop monitoring and crop yield prediction. A normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-based method is employed to evaluate crop condition by inter-annual comparisons of both spatial variability (using NDVI images and seasonal dynamics (based on crop condition profiles. Since this type of method will generate false information if there are changes in crop rotation, cropping area or crop phenology, information on cropped/uncropped arable land is integrated to improve the accuracy of crop condition monitoring. The study proposes a new method to retrieve adjusted NDVI for cropped arable land during the growing season of winter crops by integrating 16-day composite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS reflectance data at 250-m resolution with a cropped and uncropped arable land map derived from the multi-temporal China Environmental Satellite (Huan Jing Satellite charge-coupled device (HJ-1 CCD images at 30-m resolution. Using the land map’s data on cropped and uncropped arable land, a pixel-based uncropped arable land ratio (UALR at 250-m resolution was generated. Next, the UALR-adjusted NDVI was produced by assuming that the MODIS reflectance value for each pixel is a linear mixed signal composed of the proportional reflectance of cropped and uncropped arable land. When UALR-adjusted NDVI data are used for crop condition assessment, results are expected to be more accurate, because: (i pixels with only uncropped arable land are not included in the assessment; and (ii the adjusted NDVI corrects for interannual variation in cropping area. On the provincial level, crop growing profiles based on the two kinds of NDVI data illustrate the difference between the regular and the adjusted NDVI, with the difference depending on the total area of uncropped arable land in the region. The results suggested that the proposed method can be used to improve the assessment of

  8. Nitrate leaching from organic arable crop rotations is mostly determined by autumn field management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Askegaard, M; Olesen, Jørgen E; Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær

    2011-01-01

    Two main challenges facing organic arable farming are the supply of nitrogen (N) to the crop and the control of perennial weeds. Nitrate leaching from different organic arable crop rotations was investigated over three consecutive four-year crop rotations in a field experiment at three locations....../volunteers had on avg. 30 kg N ha−1, and the largest N leaching losses were found after stubble cultivation (avg. 55 kg N ha−1). The N leaching losses increased with increasing number of autumn soil cultivations...

  9. European Perspectives on the Adoption of Nonchemical Weed Management in Reduced -Tillage Systems for Arable Crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melander, Bo; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas; Charles, Raphaël

    2013-01-01

    Non-inversion tillage with tine or disc based cultivations prior to crop establishment is the most common way of reducing tillage for arable cropping systems with small grain cereals, oilseed rape and maize in Europe. However, new regulations on pesticide use may hinder further expansion of reduc...

  10. Grass-clover undersowing affects nitrogen dynamics in a grain legume–cereal arable cropping system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Mundus, Simon; Jensen, Erik Steen

    2012-01-01

    A field experiment was carried out in an arable organic cropping system and included a sequence with sole cropped fababean (Vicia faba L.), lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.), pea (Pisum sativum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.) and pea–oat intercropping with or without an undersown perennial ryegrass...... N2 fixation and 15N labeling technique to determine the fate of pea and oat residue N recovery in the subsequent crop. The subsequent spring wheat and winter triticale crop yields were not significantly affected by the previous main crop, but a significant effect of catch crop undersowing...

  11. Reducing pesticide use while preserving crop productivity and profitability on arable farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechenet, Martin; Dessaint, Fabrice; Py, Guillaume; Makowski, David; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas

    2017-03-01

    Achieving sustainable crop production while feeding an increasing world population is one of the most ambitious challenges of this century 1 . Meeting this challenge will necessarily imply a drastic reduction of adverse environmental effects arising from agricultural activities 2 . The reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health. Pesticide use could be reduced through the adoption of new production strategies 3-5 ; however, whether substantial reductions of pesticide use are possible without impacting crop productivity and profitability is debatable 6-17 . Here, we demonstrated that low pesticide use rarely decreases productivity and profitability in arable farms. We analysed the potential conflicts between pesticide use and productivity or profitability with data from 946 non-organic arable commercial farms showing contrasting levels of pesticide use and covering a wide range of production situations in France. We failed to detect any conflict between low pesticide use and both high productivity and high profitability in 77% of the farms. We estimated that total pesticide use could be reduced by 42% without any negative effects on both productivity and profitability in 59% of farms from our national network. This corresponded to an average reduction of 37, 47 and 60% of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide use, respectively. The potential for reducing pesticide use appeared higher in farms with currently high pesticide use than in farms with low pesticide use. Our results demonstrate that pesticide reduction is already accessible to farmers in most production situations. This would imply profound changes in market organization and trade balance.

  12. Variability in the Water Footprint of Arable Crop Production across European Regions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gobin, A.; Kersebaum, K. C.; Eitzinger, Josef; Trnka, Miroslav; Hlavinka, Petr; Takáč, J.; Kroes, J.; Ventrella, D.; Dalla Marta, A.; Deelstra, J.; Lalic, B.; Nejedlík, P.; Orlandini, S.; Peltonen-Sainio, P.; Rajala, A.; Saue, T.; Saylan, L.; Stricevic, R.; Vucetic, V.; Zoumides, C.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 2 (2017), č. článku 93. ISSN 2073-4441 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415; GA MŠk(CZ) LD13030 Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : simulate yield response * climate - change * virtual water * impact * green * model * blue * agriculture * irrigation * reduction * water footprint * arable crops * cereals * Europe * crop water use * yield Subject RIV: DA - Hydrology ; Limnology OBOR OECD: Water resources Impact factor: 1.832, year: 2016

  13. Sustainable Agriculture: Cover Cropping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Megan

    2018-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture practices are increasingly being used by farmers to maintain soil quality, increase biodiversity, and promote production of food that is environmentally safe. There are several types of sustainable agriculture practices such as organic farming, crop rotation, and aquaculture. This lesson plan focuses on the sustainable…

  14. Possible changes to arable crop yields by 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaggard, Keith W; Qi, Aiming; Ober, Eric S

    2010-09-27

    By 2050, the world population is likely to be 9.1 billion, the CO(2) concentration 550 ppm, the ozone concentration 60 ppb and the climate warmer by ca 2 degrees C. In these conditions, what contribution can increased crop yield make to feeding the world? CO(2) enrichment is likely to increase yields of most crops by approximately 13 per cent but leave yields of C4 crops unchanged. It will tend to reduce water consumption by all crops, but this effect will be approximately cancelled out by the effect of the increased temperature on evaporation rates. In many places increased temperature will provide opportunities to manipulate agronomy to improve crop performance. Ozone concentration increases will decrease yields by 5 per cent or more. Plant breeders will probably be able to increase yields considerably in the CO(2)-enriched environment of the future, and most weeds and airborne pests and diseases should remain controllable, so long as policy changes do not remove too many types of crop-protection chemicals. However, soil-borne pathogens are likely to be an increasing problem when warmer weather will increase their multiplication rates; control is likely to need a transgenic approach to breeding for resistance. There is a large gap between achievable yields and those delivered by farmers, even in the most efficient agricultural systems. A gap is inevitable, but there are large differences between farmers, even between those who have used the same resources. If this gap is closed and accompanied by improvements in potential yields then there is a good prospect that crop production will increase by approximately 50 per cent or more by 2050 without extra land. However, the demands for land to produce bio-energy have not been factored into these calculations.

  15. Ecological Intensification Through Pesticide Reduction: Weed Control, Weed Biodiversity and Sustainability in Arable Farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Sandrine; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Bockstaller, Christian; Gaba, Sabrina; Cordeau, Stéphane; Lechenet, Martin; Mézière, Delphine; Colbach, Nathalie

    2015-11-01

    Amongst the biodiversity components of agriculture, weeds are an interesting model for exploring management options relying on the principle of ecological intensification in arable farming. Weeds can cause severe crop yield losses, contribute to farmland functional biodiversity and are strongly associated with the generic issue of pesticide use. In this paper, we address the impacts of herbicide reduction following a causal framework starting with herbicide reduction and triggering changes in (i) the management options required to control weeds, (ii) the weed communities and functions they provide and (iii) the overall performance and sustainability of the implemented land management options. The three components of this framework were analysed in a multidisciplinary project that was conducted on 55 experimental and farmer's fields that included conventional, integrated and organic cropping systems. Our results indicate that the reduction of herbicide use is not antagonistic with crop production, provided that alternative practices are put into place. Herbicide reduction and associated land management modified the composition of in-field weed communities and thus the functions of weeds related to biodiversity and production. Through a long-term simulation of weed communities based on alternative (?) cropping systems, some specific management pathways were identified that delivered high biodiversity gains and limited the negative impacts of weeds on crop production. Finally, the multi-criteria assessment of the environmental, economic and societal sustainability of the 55 systems suggests that integrated weed management systems fared better than their conventional and organic counterparts. These outcomes suggest that sustainable management could possibly be achieved through changes in weed management, along a pathway starting with herbicide reduction.

  16. Carbon footprints of crops from organic and conventional arable crop rotations – using a life cycle assessment approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Meyer-Aurich, A; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    Many current organic arable agriculture systems are challenged by a dependency on imported livestock manure from conventional agriculture. At the same time organic agriculture aims at being climate friendly. A life cycle assessment is used in this paper to compare the carbon footprints of different....... The results showed significantly lower carbon footprint of the crops from the ‘Biogas’ rotation (assuming that biogas replaces fossil gas) whereas the remaining crop rotations had comparable carbon footprints per kg cash crop. The study showed considerable contributions caused by the green manure crop (grass......-clover) and highlights the importance of analysing the whole crop rotation and including soil carbon changes when estimating carbon footprints of organic crops especially where green manure crops are included....

  17. The assessment of water vapour and carbon dioxide fluxes above arable crops - a comparison of methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaaf, S.; Daemmgen, U.; Burkart, S. [Federal Agricultural Research Centre, Inst. of Agroecology, Braunschweig (Germany); Gruenhage, L. [Justus-Liebig-Univ., Inst. for Plant Ecology, Giessen (Germany)

    2005-04-01

    Vertical fluxes of water vapour and carbon dioxide obtained from gradient, eddy covariance (closed and open path systems) and chamber measurements above arable crops were compared with the directly measured energy balance and the harvested net biomass carbon. The gradient and chamber measurements were in the correct order of magnitude, whereas the closed path eddy covariance system showed unacceptably small fluxes. Correction methods based on power spectra analysis yielded increased fluxes. However, the energy balance could not be closed satisfactorily. The application of the open path system proved to be successful. The SVAT model PLATIN which had been adapted to various arable crops was able to depict the components of the energy balance adequately. Net carbon fluxes determined with the corrected closed path data sets, chamber, and SVAT model equal those of the harvested carbon. (orig.)

  18. Productivity of organic and conventional arable cropping systems in long-term experiments in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shah, Ambreen; Askegaard, Margrethe; Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær

    2017-01-01

    manure there was a tendency for increased DM yield over time at all sites, whereas little response was seen in N yield. In the O4 rotation DM and N yields tended to increase at Foulum over time, but there was little change at Flakkebjerg. The DM yield gap between organic and conventional systems in the 3......A field experiment comparing different arable crop rotations was conducted in Denmark during 1997–2008 on three sites varying in climatic conditions and soil types, i.e. coarse sand (Jyndevand), loamy sand (Foulum), and sandy loam (Flakkebjerg). The crop rotations followed organic farm management......, and from 2005 also conventional management was included for comparison. Three experimental factors were included in the experiment in a factorial design: 1) crop rotation (organic crop rotations varying in use of whole-year green manure (O1 and O2 with a whole-year green manure, and O4 without...

  19. New uses of clover-grass mixtures in the structure of fodder crops on arable land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Sláma

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of clover-grasses in the structure of fodder crops grown on arable soil, especially those with intergeneric hybrids as the main component part, could avert the negative current trend, i.e. further decreasing the area of perennial fodder plants or fodder crops as a whole on arable soil. They have an irreplaceable role in crop sequences and in preserving the cultural character of the countryside, above all due to the fact that they improve soil fertility and microbial life in the soil and that they have an excellent pre-produce value, and, at the same time, they are applied in various farming systems (both conventional and ecological and in various climatic conditions, and agricultural businesses are well equipped for growing, harvesting and storing them. In the Czech Republic, the area of fodder crops grown on arable soil was decreased from 1,019.9 thousand hectares to mere 396.7 thousand hectares between 1980 and 2009, which is 15.6 % of the total area of arable soil whereas perennial fodder plants only take up 8.5 %. Fodder from clover crops and clover-grass growths on arable soil are one of the main resources of voluminous fodder for dairy cows. Most of this fodder is preserved through a fermentation process (silages, hay storage; a smaller part is fed as fresh fodder, or serves for production of hay. Silages made with perennial fodder plants are the most important source of both proteins and other nutrients for ruminants, especially for high-yielding milch cows. The basis of fodder production systems are the conservative elements of the landscape area (geomorphology in combination with the progressive elements (weather conditions, plants and human labour and relict ones, the representative of which is the soil. The fodder production systems in Europe are divided into five main fodder production zones. From this point of view, the areas where short-term clover-grass mixtures are grown on arable soil could be classed with Zone 4, i

  20. European Perspectives on the Adoption of Nonchemical Weed Management in Reduced-Tillage Systems for Arable Crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Melander, B.; Munier-Jolain, N.M.; Charles, R.; Wirth, J.; Schwarz, J.; Weide, van der R.Y.; Bonin, L.; Jensen, P.K.; Kudsk, P.K.

    2013-01-01

    Noninversion tillage with tine- or disc-based cultivations prior to crop establishment is the most common way of reducing tillage for arable cropping systems with small grain cereals, oilseed rape, and maize in Europe. However, new regulations on pesticide use might hinder further expansion of

  1. Variability in the Water Footprint of Arable Crop Production across European Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Gobin

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Crop growth and yield are affected by water use during the season: the green water footprint (WF accounts for rain water, the blue WF for irrigation and the grey WF for diluting agri-chemicals. We calibrated crop yield for FAO’s water balance model “Aquacrop” at field level. We collected weather, soil and crop inputs for 45 locations for the period 1992–2012. Calibrated model runs were conducted for wheat, barley, grain maize, oilseed rape, potato and sugar beet. The WF of cereals could be up to 20 times larger than the WF of tuber and root crops; the largest share was attributed to the green WF. The green and blue WF compared favourably with global benchmark values (R2 = 0.64–0.80; d = 0.91–0.95. The variability in the WF of arable crops across different regions in Europe is mainly due to variability in crop yield ( c v ¯ = 45% and to a lesser extent to variability in crop water use ( c v ¯ = 21%. The WF variability between countries ( c v ¯ = 14% is lower than the variability between seasons ( c v ¯ = 22% and between crops ( c v ¯ = 46%. Though modelled yields increased up to 50% under sprinkler irrigation, the water footprint still increased between 1% and 25%. Confronted with drainage and runoff, the grey WF tended to overestimate the contribution of nitrogen to the surface and groundwater. The results showed that the water footprint provides a measurable indicator that may support European water governance.

  2. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Frommer, Wolf B.; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Harrison, Maria J.; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Horie, Tomoaki; Kochian, Leon V.; Munns, Rana; Nishizawa, Naoko K.; Tsay, Yi-Fang; Sanders, Dale

    2013-01-01

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25 per cent by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental health. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land. PMID:23636397

  3. Weed Biomass and Weed Species Diversity of Juvenile Citrus Trees Intercrop with some Arable Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patience Mojibade OLORUNMAIYE

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available A preliminary study was carried out to evaluate the performances of eight crops in the intercrop of citrus with arable crops at the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT Ibadan, Nigeria. Eight arable crops: maize, cucumber, sweet potato, Corchorus olitorius, large green, grain amaranth, Mucuna pruriens var. utilis, and groundnut were intercropped with young citrus trees in the early planting season of 2010 with sole citrus as control. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized block design with three replicates. Data were collected on weed flora, weed density and weed dry weight. Results showed that the relative frequencies of weeds in all the plots were less than 4% at both 6 and 9WAP. Gomphrena celosoides, Oldenlandia corymbosa and Tridax procumbens were most preponderant in appearing in all the plots. Tridax procumbens had a consistent relative frequency (2.34% in all the plots except in citrus/maize plot (0.78% at 9 WAP. Significantly lower broadleaf weed densities were obtained in citrus/sweet potato, citrus/large green, control plot and citrus/cucumber (28.67, 45.00, 50.00 and 76.33 m-2 respectively than in citrus/groundnut plot (143.00 m-2. Similarly, significantly lower grass weed densities were produced in citrus/Mucuna and citrus/sweet potato (0.33 m-2 each plots than the control plot (11.33 m-2. Whereas citrus/corchorus plot produced significantly lower broadleaf weed dry weight (37.59 g m-2 than citrus/Mucuna plot (126.47 g m-2 at 3WAP, citrus/large green plot (16.15 g m-2 and citrus/groundnut plot (123.25 g m-2 followed the same trend at 6 WAP. Sedges dry weights were less than 7 g m-2 in all the plots compared with control plot.

  4. Transformation towards more sustainable soil management on Dutch arable farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Claus, Sebastien; Egdom, van Ilona; Suter, Bruno; Sarpong, Clara; Pappa, Aikaterini; Miah, Imtiaz; Luppa, Caterina; Potters, J.I.

    2017-01-01

    Currently a debate is ongoing in the Netherlands on how to increase soil sustainable management in general and specifically in short term lease. Sustainable practices may not be adopted by farmers because of an interplay between EU, national and provincial legislation, short-term land lease system,

  5. Integrated crop protection and environment exposure to pesticides: methods to reduce use and impact of pesticides in arable farming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijnands, F.G.

    1997-01-01

    Prototypes of Integrated Farming Systems for arable farming are being developed in the Netherlands based on a coherent methodology elaborated in an European Union concerted action. The role of crop protection in Integrated systems is, additional to all other methods, to efficiently control the

  6. Long-term changes in organic matter of woodland soils cleared for arable cropping in Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zingore, S.; Manyame, C.; Nyamugafata, P.; Giller, K.E.

    2005-01-01

    Subsistence farmers in Africa depend largely on the soil organic matter to sustain crop productivity. Long-term changes in soil organic carbon and nitrogen were measured after woodland clearance for smallholder subsistence farming or for commercial farming. The contents of organic carbon and

  7. Crop residue management in arable cropping systems under a temperate climate. Part 2: Soil physical properties and crop production. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiel, MP.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Residues of previous crops provide a valuable amount of organic matter that can be used either to restore soil fertility or for external use. A better understanding of the impact of crop residue management on the soil-water-plant system is needed in order to manage agricultural land sustainably. This review focuses on soil physical aspects related to crop residue management, and specifically on the link between soil structure and hydraulic properties and its impact on crop production. Literature. Conservation practices, including crop residue retention and non-conventional tillage, can enhance soil health by improving aggregate stability. In this case, water infiltration is facilitated, resulting in an increase in plant water availability. Conservation practices, however, do not systematically lead to higher water availability for the plant. The influence of crop residue management on crop production is still unclear; in some cases, crop production is enhanced by residue retention, but in others crop residues can reduce crop yield. Conclusions. In this review we discuss the diverse and contrasting effects of crop residue management on soil physical properties and crop production under a temperate climate. The review highlights the importance of environmental factors such as soil type and local climatic conditions, highlighting the need to perform field studies on crop residue management and relate them to specific pedo-climatic contexts.

  8. The sustainable arable land use pattern under the tradeoff of agricultural production, economic development, and ecological protection-an analysis of Dongting Lake basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Guanyi; Liu, Liming; Jiang, Xilong

    2017-11-01

    To find a solution regarding sustainable arable land use pattern in the important grain-producing area during the rapid urbanization process, this study combined agricultural production, locational condition, and ecological protection to determine optimal arable land use. Dongting Lake basin, one of the major grain producing areas in China, was chosen as the study area. The analysis of land use transition, the calculation of arable land barycenter, the landscape indices of arable land patches, and the comprehensive evaluation of arable land quality(productivity, economic location, and ecological condition) were adopted in this study. The results showed that (1) in 1990-2000, the arable land increased by 11.77%, and the transformation between arable land and other land use types actively occurred; in 2000-2010, the arable land decreased by 0.71%, and more ecological area (forestland, grassland, and water area) were disturbed and transferred into arable land; (2) urban expansion of the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city cluster (the major economy center of this area) induced the northward movement of the arable land barycenter; (3) the landscape fragmentation and decentralization degree of arable land patches increased during 1990-2010; (4) potential high-quality arable land is located in the zonal area around Dongting Lake, which contains the Li County, Linli County, Jinshi County, Taoyuan County, Taojiang County, Ningxiang County, Xiangxiang County, Shaoshan County, Miluo County, and Zhuzhou County. The inferior low-quality arable land is located in the northwestern Wuling mountainous area, the southeastern hilly area, and the densely populated big cities and their surrounding area. In the optimized arable land use pattern, the high-quality land should be intensively used, and the low-quality arable land should be reduced used or prohibitively used. What is more, it is necessary to quit the arable land away from the surrounding area of cities appropriately, in order to

  9. Carbon dynamics with prolonged arable cropping soils in the Dano district (Southwest Burkina-Faso)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hounkpatin, Ozias; Welp, Gerhard; Amelung, Wulf

    2016-04-01

    The conversion of natural ecosystems into agricultural land affects the atmospheric CO2 concentration whose increase contributes to global warming. In the low activity clay soils (LAC) of the tropics, farming is largely dependent on the level of soil organic carbon (SOC) for sustainable crop production. In this study, we investigated the changes in SOC in Plinthosols along a cultivation chronosequence in the Dano district (Southwest Burkina-Faso). The chronosequence consisted of undisturbed savannah (Y0) and 11 agricultural fields with short and long histories of cultivation ranging from 1-year-old cropland to 29-year-old cropland (Y29). About 14 soil profiles were described and soil composite samples were taken per horizon. Particulate organic matter (POM) was fractionated according to particle size: fraction 2000 - 250 μm (POM1), 250 μm - 53 μm (POM2), 53 μm - 20 μm (POM3), and POM1 > POM3 > POM2 carbon no matter the duration of land use. However, SOC losses occurred not only in the labile C pools but also in the stabile nonPOM fraction with increasing duration of agricultural land use. Compared to the initial carbon content in the Y0 field, about 59% of carbon content loss occurred in the POM1 (> 250 μm), 53% in the POM2 (250 - 53 μm), 52 % in the POM3 (53 - 20 μm) and 47% in the nonPOM fraction (stabilization, its depletion with increasing cultivation intensity suggests that the destruction of aggregates in these fields increased the vulnerability of this pool to microbial degradation. Keywords: Soil organic carbon, Plinthosols, low activity clay soil, POM

  10. A site-specific slurry application technique on grassland and on arable crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schellberg, Jürgen; Lock, Reiner

    2009-01-01

    There is evidence that unequal slurry application on agricultural land contributes to N losses to the environment. Heterogeneity within fields demands adequate response by means of variable rate application. A technique is presented which allows site-specific application of slurry on grassland and arable land based on pre-defined application maps. The system contains a valve controlling flow rate by an on-board PC. During operation, flow rate is measured and scaled against set point values given in the application map together with the geographic position of the site. The systems worked sufficiently precise at a flow rate between 0 and 25 l s(-1) and an offset of actual slurry flow from set point values between 0.33 and 0.67 l s(-1). Long-term experimentation is required to test if site-specific application de facto reduces N surplus within fields and so significantly contributes to the unloading of N in agricultural areas.

  11. Emissions of nitrous oxide from arable organic and conventional cropping systems on two soil types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chirinda, N.; Carter, Mette Sustmann; Albert, Kristian Rost

    2010-01-01

    Conventional cropping systems rely on targeted short-term fertility management, whereas organic systems depend, in part, on long-term increase in soil fertility as determined by crop rotation and management. Such differences influence soil nitrogen (N) cycling and availability through the year...

  12. Crop residue decomposition, residual soil organic matter and nitrogen mineralization in arable soils with contrasting textures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matus, F.J.

    1994-01-01

    To evaluate the significance of cropping, soil texture and soil structure for the decomposition of 14C- and 15N-labelled crop residues, a study was conducted in a sand and a

  13. Enhanced Yields in Organic Arable Crop Production by Eco-Functional Intensification using Intercropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Erik Steen; Bedoussac, Laurent; Carlsson, Georg

    2015-01-01

    for enhancing yields in OA. EFI involves activating more knowledge and intensifying the beneficial effects of ecosystem functions, including agrobiodiversity (planned and associated) and soil fertility, and refocusing the importance of ecosystems services in agriculture. Organic farmers manage agrobiodiversity...... in space by intercropping, fitted into the organic crop rotation, has a strong potential to increase yield and hereby reduce the global environmental effects performance such as GHG per kg organic grain. Finally, we discuss likely barriers for increased use of intercropping in organic farming and suggest...... by planned crop diversification in time (crop rotation). However, cultivating genetically identical plants in OA sole crops (SC), limits resource use efficiency and yield per unit area. Intercropping (IC) of annual species or cultivars, perennial polycultures of forage or grain crops and agroforestry...

  14. Spatiotemporal Pattern and Driving Forces of Arable Land-Use Intensity in China: Toward Sustainable Land Management Using Emergy Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hualin Xie

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The level of arable land-use intensity has important impacts on food security and rural sustainable development. Using the emergy method, we investigate the spatial disparities and driving forces of arable land-use intensity in China from 1999 to 2008 at the national, regional and provincial levels. The empirical results show that chemical fertilizer was the largest component of agricultural inputs and that agricultural diesel oil recorded the highest growth rate. The degree of heterogeneities in arable land-use intensity in China showed a decreasing trend, which resulted mainly from the differences among the eastern, northeastern, central and western regions. The regional disparities in labor, pesticides and plastic sheeting decreased from 1999 to 2008. The per capita annual net incomes of household operations and the agricultural policies had a significant positive correlation with total inputs, fertilizer inputs, pesticide inputs and agricultural plastic sheeting. In addition, the nonagricultural population had a greater impact on agricultural plastic sheeting. Finally, we suggest that there is an urgent need to focus on the effects of chemical fertilizer and pesticide inputs on the ecological environment. Agricultural support policies should be introduced for the poor agricultural production provinces.

  15. Modelling soil borne fungal pathogens of arable crops under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manici, L M; Bregaglio, S; Fumagalli, D; Donatelli, M

    2014-12-01

    Soil-borne fungal plant pathogens, agents of crown and root rot, are seldom considered in studies on climate change and agriculture due both to the complexity of the soil system and to the incomplete knowledge of their response to environmental drivers. A controlled chamber set of experiments was carried out to quantify the response of six soil-borne fungi to temperature, and a species-generic model to simulate their response was developed. The model was linked to a soil temperature model inclusive of components able to simulate soil water content also as resulting from crop water uptake. Pathogen relative growth was simulated over Europe using the IPCC A1B emission scenario derived from the Hadley-CM3 global climate model. Climate scenarios of soil temperature in 2020 and 2030 were compared to the baseline centred in the year 2000. The general trend of the response of soil-borne pathogens shows increasing growth in the coldest areas of Europe; however, a larger rate of increase is shown from 2020 to 2030 compared to that of 2000 to 2020. Projections of pathogens of winter cereals indicate a marked increase of growth rate in the soils of northern European and Baltic states. Fungal pathogens of spring sowing crops show unchanged conditions for their growth in soils of the Mediterranean countries, whereas an increase of suitable conditions was estimated for the areals of central Europe which represent the coldest limit areas where the host crops are currently grown. Differences across fungal species are shown, indicating that crop-specific analyses should be ran.

  16. Farming with future: making crop protection sustainable

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijnands, F.G.

    2011-01-01

    The project Farming with future works with parties with a vested interest to promote sustainable crop protection in practice. Besides developing new knowledge, it spends a good deal of its energy in the embedding of sustainable practices within relevant organisations, businesses and agrarian

  17. Soil properties, crop production and greenhouse gas emissions from organic and inorganic fertilizer-based arable cropping systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chirinda, Ngonidzashe; Olesen, Jørgen Eivind; Porter, John Roy

    2010-01-01

    Organic and conventional farming practices differ in the use of several management strategies, including use of catch crops, green manure, and fertilization, which may influence soil properties, greenhouse gas emissions and productivity of agroecosystems. An 11-yr-old field experiment on a sandy...... loam soil in Denmark was used to compare several crop rotations with respect to a range of physical, chemical and biological characteristics related to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) flows. Four organic rotations and an inorganic fertilizer-based system were selected to evaluate effects of fertilizer type...... growth was monitored and grain yields measured at harvest maturity. The different management strategies between 1997 and 2007 led to soil carbon inputs that were on average 18–68% and 32–91% higher in the organic than inorganic fertilizer-based rotations for the sampled winter wheat and spring barley...

  18. Fibre crops as alternative land use for radioactively contaminated arable land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vandenhove, H.; Van Hees, M.

    2005-01-01

    The transfer of radiocaesium, one of the most important and widespread contaminants following a nuclear accident, to the fibre crops hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) as well as the distribution of radiocaesium during crop conversion were studied for sandy soil under greenhouse and lysimeters conditions. Soil parameters did not unequivoqually explain the transfer factors (TF) observed. TFs to flax stems ranged from 1.34 to 2.80 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 . TFs to seeds are about a factor of 4 lower. During the retting process for separating the fibres from the straw, more than 95% of the activity was removed with the retting water. For hemp, the TF to the stem was about 0.6 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 . For hemp, straw and fibres were mechanically separated and TF to straw was about 0.5 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 and to fibres 1.0 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 . Generally, the TFs to the useable plant parts both for hemp and flax, are low enough to allow for the production of clean end-products (fibre, seed oil, biofuel) even on heavily contaminated land. Given the considerable decontamination during retting, contamination levels in flax fibres would only exceed the exemption limits for fibre use after production in extreme contamination scenarios (>12 300 kBq m -2 ). Since hemp fibres are mechanically separated, use of hemp fibres is more restricted (contamination -2 ). Use of stems as biofuel is restricted to areas with contamination levels of -2 for flax and hemp, respectively. Use of seeds for edible oil production and flour is possible almost without restriction for flax but due to the high TFs to seed observed for hemp (up to 3 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 ) consumption of hemp seed products should be considered with care

  19. Fibre crops as alternative land use for radioactively contaminated arable land

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vandenhove, H [Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, Department of Radiation Protection Research, Radioecology Section, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol (Belgium); Van Hees, M [Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, Department of Radiation Protection Research, Radioecology Section, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol (Belgium)

    2005-07-01

    The transfer of radiocaesium, one of the most important and widespread contaminants following a nuclear accident, to the fibre crops hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) as well as the distribution of radiocaesium during crop conversion were studied for sandy soil under greenhouse and lysimeters conditions. Soil parameters did not unequivoqually explain the transfer factors (TF) observed. TFs to flax stems ranged from 1.34 to 2.80 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. TFs to seeds are about a factor of 4 lower. During the retting process for separating the fibres from the straw, more than 95% of the activity was removed with the retting water. For hemp, the TF to the stem was about 0.6 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. For hemp, straw and fibres were mechanically separated and TF to straw was about 0.5 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1} and to fibres 1.0 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. Generally, the TFs to the useable plant parts both for hemp and flax, are low enough to allow for the production of clean end-products (fibre, seed oil, biofuel) even on heavily contaminated land. Given the considerable decontamination during retting, contamination levels in flax fibres would only exceed the exemption limits for fibre use after production in extreme contamination scenarios (>12 300 kBq m{sup -2}). Since hemp fibres are mechanically separated, use of hemp fibres is more restricted (contamination <740 kBq m{sup -2}). Use of stems as biofuel is restricted to areas with contamination levels of <250 and 1050 kBq m{sup -2} for flax and hemp, respectively. Use of seeds for edible oil production and flour is possible almost without restriction for flax but due to the high TFs to seed observed for hemp (up to 3 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}) consumption of hemp seed products should be considered with care.

  20. Relay cropping as a sustainable approach: problems and opportunities for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanveer, Mohsin; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Hussain, Saddam; Cerdà, Artemi; Ashraf, Umair

    2017-03-01

    Climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources are becoming the most prominent challenges for crop productivity and environmental sustainability in modern agriculture. In the scenario of conventional farming system, limited chances are available to cope with these issues. Relay cropping is a method of multiple cropping where one crop is seeded into standing second crop well before harvesting of second crop. Relay cropping may solve a number of conflicts such as inefficient use of available resources, controversies in sowing time, fertilizer application, and soil degradation. Relay cropping is a complex suite of different resource-efficient technologies, which possesses the capability to improve soil quality, to increase net return, to increase land equivalent ratio, and to control the weeds and pest infestation. The current review emphasized relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification and environmental sustainability with special focus on soil. Briefly, benefits, constraints, and opportunities of relay cropping keeping the goals of higher crop productivity and sustainability have also been discussed in this review. The research and knowledge gap in relay cropping was also highlighted in order to guide the further studies in future.

  1. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean-Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Köhl, Jürgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such initiatives are often fragmented. The operational outputs of national efforts would benefit from closer collaboration among stakeholders via transnationally coordinated approaches, as most economically important pests are similar across Europe. This paper proposes a common European framework on biocontrol R&I. It identifies generic R&I bottlenecks and needs as well as priorities for three crop types (arable, vegetable and perennial crops). The existing gap between the market offers of biocontrol solutions and the demand of growers, the lengthy and expensive registration process for biocontrol solutions and their varying effectiveness due to variable climatic conditions and site-specific factors across Europe are key obstacles hindering the development and adoption of biocontrol solutions in Europe. Considering arable, vegetable and perennial crops, a dozen common target pests are identified for each type of crop and ranked by order of importance at European level. Such a ranked list indicates numerous topics on which future joint transnational efforts would be justified. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  2. Engineering crop nutrient efficiency for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liyu; Liao, Hong

    2017-10-01

    Increasing crop yields can provide food, animal feed, bioenergy feedstocks and biomaterials to meet increasing global demand; however, the methods used to increase yield can negatively affect sustainability. For example, application of excess fertilizer can generate and maintain high yields but also increases input costs and contributes to environmental damage through eutrophication, soil acidification and air pollution. Improving crop nutrient efficiency can improve agricultural sustainability by increasing yield while decreasing input costs and harmful environmental effects. Here, we review the mechanisms of nutrient efficiency (primarily for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and iron) and breeding strategies for improving this trait, along with the role of regulation of gene expression in enhancing crop nutrient efficiency to increase yields. We focus on the importance of root system architecture to improve nutrient acquisition efficiency, as well as the contributions of mineral translocation, remobilization and metabolic efficiency to nutrient utilization efficiency. © 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  3. Soil management practices for sustainable crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abalos, E.B.

    2005-01-01

    In a sustainable system, the soil is viewed as a fragile and living medium that must be protected and nurtured to ensure its long-term productivity and stability. However, due to high demand for food brought about by high population as well as the decline in agricultural lands, the soil is being exploited beyond its limit thus, leading to poor or sick soils. Sound soil management practices in the Philippines is being reviewed. The technologies, including the advantages and disadvantages are hereby presented. This includes proper cropping systems, fertilizer program, soil erosion control and correcting soil acidity. Sound soil management practices which conserve organic matter for long-term sustainability includes addition of compost, maintaining soil cover, increasing aggregates stability, soil tilt and diversity of soil microbial life. A healthy soil is a key component to sustainability as a health soil produce healthy crop plants and have optimum vigor or less susceptible to pests. (author)

  4. Giant reed (Arundo donax L. for biogas production: land use saving and nitrogen utilisation efficiency compared with arable crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Dragoni

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Aiming to improve the sustainability of biogas supply chains, the research for alternative feedstocks is a key issue and giant reed (Arundo donax L. is a promising no-food crop to be used in anaerobic digestion. In fact, giant reed is a perennial species characterised by low nutrient requirements and is able to provide promising biogas yields. Its suitability for anaerobic digestion is influenced by harvest time, since plant characteristics vary noticeably along the season. Moreover, ensiling is a storage technique that can assure a good preservation of the biomass over time, but also influence the methane yields. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the suitability for biogas production of giant reed silage, according to different cutting regimes, and to evaluate the efficiency in saving land and nitrogen for fuelling biogas plants, in comparison with maize and two sorghum varieties. Methane yields per hectare (Nm3 CH4 ha–1 were determined by multiplying the biochemical methane potential of each substrate by the aboveground biomass of the corresponding crop. The land use coefficient (LU, namely the land needed to fuel one kW power (ha kWe–1, was calculated from the estimated methane yields per hectare. Finally, nitrogen utilisation efficiency (NUtE, which is the ratio between the estimated methane yield and the nitrogen uptake per hectare (Nm3 CH4 kgN–1, was determined for each crop species and according to the harvest time and frequency of giant reed. Overall, a good suitability for ensiling was observed in giant reed. When harvested in September, the crop yielded about 9900 Nm3 CH4 ha–1, while in double harvest systems biomethane was about 12,000 Nm3 CH4 ha–1, +35% and +70% than maize and sorghum respectively. Moreover, giant reed under double harvest management was the most land-conservative option, as LU was about 0.22 ha kWe–1, while in annual crops it was about 0.35 ha kWe–1. The higher NUtE was observed in single

  5. Glyphosate sustainability in South American cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoffoleti, Pedro J; Galli, Antonio J B; Carvalho, Saul J P; Moreira, Murilo S; Nicolai, Marcelo; Foloni, Luiz L; Martins, Bianca A B; Ribeiro, Daniela N

    2008-04-01

    South America represents about 12% of the global land area, and Brazil roughly corresponds to 47% of that. The major sustainable agricultural system in South America is based on a no-tillage cropping system, which is a worldwide adopted agricultural conservation system. Societal benefits of conservation systems in agriculture include greater use of conservation tillage, which reduces soil erosion and associated loading of pesticides, nutrients and sediments into the environment. However, overreliance on glyphosate and simpler cropping systems has resulted in the selection of tolerant weed species through weed shifts (WSs) and evolution of herbicide-resistant weed (HRW) biotypes to glyphosate. It is a challenge in South America to design herbicide- and non-herbicide-based strategies that effectively delay and/or manage evolution of HRWs and WSs to weeds tolerant to glyphosate in cropping systems based on recurrent glyphosate application, such as those used with glyphosate-resistant soybeans. The objectives of this paper are (i) to provide an overview of some factors that influence WSs and HRWs to glyphosate in South America, especially in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay soybean cropped areas; (ii) to discuss the viability of using crop rotation and/or cover crops that might be integrated with forage crops in an economically and environmentally sustainable system; and (iii) to summarize the results of a survey of the perceptions of Brazilian farmers to problems with WSs and HRWs to glyphosate, and the level of adoption of good agricultural practices in order to prevent or manage it. Copyright (c) 2008 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. The role of production risks in the conversion to more sustainable arable farming = [De rol van productierisico's in de omschakeling naar een meer duurzame akkerbouw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buck, de A.

    2001-01-01

    The objective of the research described in this thesis was to determine the role of production risks in the conversion to more sustainable production systems of arable farming in The Netherlands. More specifically, the research goals were: (1) to specify the typical production risks that prevent

  7. Agricultural innovations for sustainable crop production intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Pisante

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable crop production intensification should be the first strategic objective of innovative agronomic research for the next 40 years. A range of options exist (often very location specific for farming practices, approaches and technologies that ensure sustainability, while at the same time improving crop production. The main challenge is to encourage farmers in the use of appropriate technologies,  and  to  ensure  that  knowledge  about  sound  production  practices  is  increasingly accepted and applied by farmers. There is a huge, but underutilized potential to link farmers’ local knowledge with science-based innovations, through favourable institutional arrangements.  The same  holds  for  the  design,  implementation  and  monitoring  of  improved  natural  resource management  that  links  community  initiatives  to  external  expertise.  It is also suggested that a comprehensive effort be undertaken to measure different stages of the innovation system, including technological adoption and diffusion at the farm level, and to investigate the impact of agricultural policies on technological change and technical efficiency. This paper provides a brief review of agronomic management practices that support sustainable crop production system and evidence on developments  in the selection of crops and cultivars; describes farming systems for crop which take a predominantly ecosystem approach; discusses the scientific application of ecosystem principles for the management of pest and weed populations; reviews the  improvements in fertilizer and nutrient management that explain productivity growth; describes the benefits and constraints of irrigation technologies; and suggests a way forward. Seven changes in the context for agricultural development are proposed that heighten the need to examine how innovation occurs in the agricultural sector.

  8. European Perspectives on the Adoption of Non-Chemical Weed Management in Reduced Tillage Systems for Arable Crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melander, B.; Munier-Jolan, N.; Schwarz, J.

    2012-01-01

    cropping systems to allow for more diversification of the crop rotations to combat these weed problems with less herbicide input. Cover crops, stubble management strategies and tactics that strengthen crop growth relative to weed growth are also seen as important components in future IPM systems...

  9. Grain legume-cereal intercropping: The practical application of diversity, competition and facilitation in arable and organic cropping systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Jørnsgaard, B.; Kinane, J.

    2008-01-01

    . Faba bean and lupin had lower yield stability than pea and fertilized barley. However, the different IC used environmental resources for plant growth up to 50% (LER=0.91-1.51) more effectively as compared to the respective SC, but with considerable variation over location, years and crops. The SC...... in Denmark over three consecutive cropping seasons including dual grain legume (pea, faba bean and lupin)-barley intercropping as compared to the respective sole crops (SC). Yield stability of intercrops (IC) was not greater than that of grain legume SC, with the exception of the IC containing faba bean......-15% compared to the corresponding SC. However, especially lupin was suppressed when intercropping, with a reduced N2-fixation from 15 to 5-6 g N m-2. The IC were particularly effective at suppressing weeds, capturing a greater share of available resources than SC. Weed infestation in the different crops...

  10. Heavy metals and health risk assessment of arable soils and food crops around Pb-Zn mining localities in Enyigba, southeastern Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obiora, Smart C.; Chukwu, Anthony; Davies, Theophilus C.

    2016-04-01

    This study determined the heavy metals concentration in arable soils and associated food crops around the Pb-Zn mines in Enyigba, Nigeria, and metal transfer factors were calculated. Air-dried samples of the soils and food crops were analyzed for 8 known nutritional and toxic heavy metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) method. Eighty seven percent of all the 20 sampled soils contain Pb in excess of the maximum allowable concentration (MAC) set by Canadian Environmental Quality Guideline (CCME) and European Union (EU) Standard, while Zn in thirty-one percent of the samples exceeded the CCME for MAC of 200 mg/kg. All the food crops, with the exception of yam tuber, contain Pb which exceeded the 0.43 mg/kg and 0.3 mg/kg MAC standards of EU and WHO/FAO respectively, with the leafy vegetables accumulating more Pb than the tubers. The metal transfer factors in the tubers and the leafy vegetables were in the order: Mo > Cu > Zn > Mn > As > Cd > Cr > Ni > Pb and Cd > Cu > Zn > Mn > Mo > As > Ni > Pb > Cr, respectively. Risk assessment studies revealed no health risk in surrounding populations for most of the heavy metals. However, Pb had a high health risk index (HRI) of 1.1 and 1.3, in adults and children, respectively for cassava tuber; Pb had HRI > 1 in lemon grass while Mn also had HRI > 1 in all the leafy vegetables for both adult and children. This high level of HRI for Pb and Mn is an indication that consumers of the food crops contaminated by these metals are at risk of health problems such as Alzheimers' disease and Manganism, associated with excessive intake of these metals. Further systematic monitoring of heavy metal fluxes in cultivable soils around the area of these mines is recommended.

  11. Environmental Sustainability of Some Cropping Systems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Results from most findings reviewed in this paper had shown that there was no one size fits cropping system that can be use for sustainability of the humid environment but the best approach was the diversification of both traditional and modern cropping systems. The transition to systems which are both sustainable and ...

  12. Watershed Scale Optimization to Meet Sustainable Cellulosic Energy Crop Demand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaubey, Indrajeet [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Cibin, Raj [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Bowling, Laura [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Brouder, Sylvie [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Cherkauer, Keith [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Engel, Bernard [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Frankenberger, Jane [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Goforth, Reuben [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Gramig, Benjamin [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Volenec, Jeffrey [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)

    2017-03-24

    The overall goal of this project was to conduct a watershed-scale sustainability assessment of multiple species of energy crops and removal of crop residues within two watersheds (Wildcat Creek, and St. Joseph River) representative of conditions in the Upper Midwest. The sustainability assessment included bioenergy feedstock production impacts on environmental quality, economic costs of production, and ecosystem services.

  13. OK-Net Arable online knowledge platform

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær; Jensen, Allan Leck; Jørgensen, Margit Styrbæk

    2017-01-01

    The complexity of organic farming requires farmers to have a very high level of knowledge and skills, but exchange on organic farming techniques remains limited. In order to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping in Europe, the thematic network OK-Net Arable under Horizon 20...

  14. Biological nitrogen fixation in three long-term organic and conventional arable crop rotation experiments in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pandey, Arjun; Li, Fucui; Askegaard, Margrethe

    2017-01-01

    Biological nitrogen (N) fixation (BNF) by legumes in organic cropping systems has been perceived as a strategy to substitute N import from conventional sources. However, the N contribution by legumes varies considerably depending on legumes species, as well as local soil and climatic conditions...

  15. Energy production on farms. Sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Zeijts, H.

    1995-01-01

    In this article the results of a study on sustainability of energy crops are discussed. Contribution to the reduction of the greenhouse effect and other environmental effects were investigated for the Netherlands. The study assumed that energy crops are grown on set-aside land or grain land. Generating electricity and/or heat from hemp, reed, miscanthus, poplar and willow show the best prospects. These crops are sustainable and may in the future be economically feasible. Ethanol from winter wheat shows the most favourable environmental effects, but is not economically efficient. Liquid fuels from oil seed rape and sugar beet are not very sustainable. 2 tabs., 4 refs

  16. Cumulative impact of GM herbicide-tolerant cropping on arable plants assessed through species-based and functional taxonomies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squire, Geoffrey R; Hawes, Cathy; Begg, Graham S; Young, Mark W

    2009-01-01

    In a gradualist approach to the introduction of crop biotechnology, the findings of experimentation at one scale are used to predict the outcome of moving to a higher scale of deployment. Movement through scales had occurred for certain genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops in the UK as far as large-scale field trials. However, the land area occupied by these trials was still field experiments. Data were used from experiments on the effect of (GMHT) crops and non-GM, or conventional, comparators in fields sown with four crop types (beet, maize, spring and winter oilseed rape) at a total of 250 sites in the UK between 2000 and 2003. Indices of biodiversity were measured in a split-field design comparing GMHT with the farmers' usual weed management. In the original analyses based on the means at site level, effects were detected on the mass of weeds in the three spring crops and the proportion of broadleaf and grass weeds in winter oilseed rape, but not on indices of plant species diversity. To explore the links between site means and total taxa, accumulation curves were constructed based on the number of plant species (a pool of around 250 species in total) and the number of plant functional types (24), inferred from the general life-history characteristics of a species. Species accumulation differed between GMHT and conventional treatments in direction and size, depending on the type of crop and its conventional management. Differences were mostly in the asymptote of the curve, indicative of the maximum number of species found in a treatment, rather than the steepness of the curve. In winter oilseed rape, 8% more species were accumulated in the GMHT treatment, mainly as a result of the encouragement of grass species by the herbicide when applied in the autumn. (Overall, GMHT winter oilseed rape had strong negative effects on both the food web and the potential weed burden by increasing the biomass of grasses and decreasing that of broadleaf weeds

  17. Yield gaps in Dutch arable farming systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nunes Vieira da Silva, Joao; Reidsma, Pytrik; Ittersum, van Martin K.

    2017-01-01

    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

  18. Sustainable production of grain crops for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grain crops of the Gramineae are grown for their edible, starchy seeds. Their grain is used directly for human food, livestock feed, and as raw material for many industries, including biofuels. Using grain crops for non-food uses affects the amount of food available to the world. Grain-based biofuel...

  19. Replacing fallow by cover crops: economic sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabriel, José Luis; Garrido, Alberto; Quemada, Miguel

    2013-04-01

    Replacing fallow by cover crops in intensive fertilized systems has been demonstrated as an efficient tool for reducing nitrate leaching. However, despite the evident environmental services provided and the range of agronomic benefits documented in the literature, farmers' adoption of this new technology is still limited because they are either unwilling or unable, although adoption reluctance is frequently rooted in low economic profitability, low water se efficiency or poor knowledge. Economic analyses permit a comparison between the profit that farmers obtain from agricultural products and the cost of adopting specific agricultural techniques. The goal of this study was to evaluate the economic impact of replacing the usual winter fallow with cover crops (barley (Hordeum vulgare L., cv. Vanessa), vetch (Vicia villosa L., cv. Vereda) and rapeseed (Brassica napus L., cv. Licapo)) in irrigated maize systems and variable Mediterranean weather conditions using stochastic Monte-Carlo simulations of key farms' financial performance indicators. The three scenarios studied for each cover crop were: i) just leaving the cover crop residue in the ground, ii) leaving the cover crop residue but reduce following maize fertilization according to the N available from the previous cover crop and iii) selling the cover crop residue for animal feeding. All the scenarios were compared with respect to a typical maize-fallow rotation. With observed data from six different years and in various field trials, looking for different weather conditions, probability distribution functions of maize yield, cover crop biomass production and N fertilizer saving was fitted. Based in statistical sources maize grain price, different forage prices and the cost of fertilizer were fitted to probability distribution functions too. As result, introducing a cover crop involved extra costs with respect to fallow as the initial investment, because new seed, herbicide or extra field operations. Additional

  20. Sustainable commercialization of new crops for the agricultural bioeconomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.R. Jordan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Diversification of agroecological systems to enhance agrobiodiversity is likely to be critical to advancing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of agriculture. Temperate-zone agroecological systems that are currently organized for production of summer-annual crops can be diversified by integration of fallow-season and perennial crops. Integration of such crops can improve sustainability of these agroecological systems, with minimal interference with current agricultural production. Importantly, these crops can provide feedstocks for a wide range of new bio-products that are forming a new agricultural bioeconomy, potentially providing greatly increased economic incentives for diversification. However, while there are many fallow-season and perennial crops that might be used in such a “bioeconomic” strategy for diversification, most are not yet well adapted and highly-marketable. Efforts are underway to enhance adaptation and marketability of many such crops. Critically, these efforts require a strategic approach that addresses the inherent complexity of these projects. We outline a suitable approach, which we term “sustainable commercialization”: a coordinated innovation process that integrates a new crop into the agriculture of a region, while intentionally addressing economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges via multi-stakeholder governance. This approach centers on a concerted effort to coordinate and govern innovation in three critical areas: germplasm development, multifunctional agroecosystem design and management, and development of end uses, supply chains, and markets. To exemplify the approach, we describe an ongoing effort to commercialize a new fallow-season crop, field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L..

  1. Assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Biewinga, E.E.; Bijl, G. van der

    1998-01-01

    The production and use of biomass for energy has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. The environmental impacts of energy crops should be clarified before political choices concerning energy are made. An important aid to policy-making would be a systematic methodology to assess the environmental sustainability of energy crops. So far, most studies on the environmental aspects of energy crops deal mainly with the energy production of the crops and the possible consequences for CO 2 mitigation. The Dutch Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CLM) has developed a systematic methodology to assess the ecological and socio-economic sustainability of biomass crops. The method is best described as a multicriteria analysis of process chains and is very much related to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Characteristics of our methodology are the use of: definition of functional units; analysis of the entire lifecycle; definition of yield levels and corresponding agricultural practices; analysis of both ecological and economic criteria; definition of reference systems; definition of procedures for normalisation and weighting. CLM has applied the method to assess the sustainability of ten potentially interesting energy crops in four European regions. The results are used to outline the perspectives for large scale production of biomass crops with regard to the medium and long term land availability in Europe. For the crops considered, net energy budget ranges from 85 GJ net avoided energy per ha for rape seed for fuel to 248 GJ net avoided fossil energy per ha for silage maize for electricity from gasification. The methodology of the tool and its results were discussed at the concerted action ''Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'' (AIR3-94-2455), organised by CLM in 1996. Major conclusions of the research: multicriteria analyhsis of process lifecycles is at present the best available option to assess the ecological

  2. Agriculture and crop science in China:Innovation and sustainability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunbi Xu; Jiayang Li; Jianmin Wan

    2017-01-01

    The International Crop Science Congress (ICSC) is a regularly held event allowing crop scientists to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The 7th ICSC was held on August 14–19, 2016 in Beijing, China, with the theme "Crop Science: Innovation and Sustainability". As a companion production for this great congress, the nine papers collected in this special issue feature important fields of crop science in China. This editorial first briefly introduces the 7th ICSC, followed by a brief discussion of the current status of, constraints to, and innovations in Chinese agriculture and crop science. Finally, the main scientific points of the papers published in this special issue are surveyed, covering important advances in hybrid rice breeding, minor cereals, food legumes, rapeseed, crop systems, crop management, cotton, genomics-based germplasm research, and QTL mapping. In a section describing future prospects, it is indicated that China faces a full transition from traditional to modern agriculture and crop science.

  3. Ecological impacts of arable intensification in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoate, C; Boatman, N D; Borralho, R J; Carvalho, C R; de Snoo, G R; Eden, P

    2001-12-01

    Although arable landscapes have a long history, environmental problems have accelerated in recent decades. The effects of these changes are usually externalized, being greater for society as a whole than for the farms on which they operate, and incentives to correct them are therefore largely lacking. Arable landscapes are valued by society beyond the farming community, but increased mechanization and farm size, simplification of crop rotations, and loss of non-crop features, have led to a reduction in landscape diversity. Low intensity arable systems have evolved a characteristic and diverse fauna and flora, but development of high input, simplified arable systems has been associated with a decline in biodiversity. Arable intensification has resulted in loss of non-crop habitats and simplification of plant and animal communities within crops, with consequent disruption to food chains and declines in many farmland species. Abandonment of arable management has also led to the replacement of such wildlife with more common and widespread species. Soils have deteriorated as a result of erosion, compaction, loss of organic matter and contamination with pesticides, and in some areas, heavy metals. Impacts on water are closely related to those on soils as nutrient and pesticide pollution of water results from surface runoff and subsurface flow, often associated with soil particles, which themselves have economic and ecological impacts. Nitrates and some pesticides also enter groundwater following leaching from arable land. Greatest impacts are associated with simplified, high input arable systems. Intensification of arable farming has been associated with pollution of air by pesticides, NO2 and CO2, while the loss of soil organic matter has reduced the system's capacity for carbon sequestration. International trade contributes to global climate change through long distance transport of arable inputs and products. The EU Rural Development Regulation (1257/99) provides an

  4. Sustainable Biofuel Project: Emergy Analysis of South Florida Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amponsah, Nana Yaw [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Izursa, Jose-Luis [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Hanlon, Edward A. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States). Soil and Water Sciences Dept.; Capece, John C. [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States)

    2012-11-15

    This study evaluates the sustainability of various farming systems, namely (1) sugarcane on organic and mineral soils and (2) energycane and sweet sorghum on mineral soils. The primary objective of the study is to compare the relative sustainability matrices of these energy crops and their respective farming systems. These matrices should guide decision and policy makers to determine the overall sustainability of an intended or proposed bioethanol project related to any of these studied crops. Several different methods of energy analysis have been proposed to assess the feasibility or sustainability of projects exploiting natural resources (such as (Life Cycle Analysis, Energy Analysis, Exergy Analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis, Ecological Footprint, etc.). This study primarily focused on the concept of Emergy Analysis, a quantitative analytical technique for determining the values of nonmonied and monied resources, services and commodities in common units of the solar energy it took to make them. With this Emergy Analysis study, the Hendry County Sustainable Biofuels Center intends to provide useful perspective for different stakeholder groups to (1) assess and compare the sustainability levels of above named crops cultivation on mineral soils and organic soils for ethanol production and (2) identify processes within the cultivation that could be targeted for improvements. The results provide as much insight into the assumptions inherent in the investigated approaches as they do into the farming systems in this study.

  5. Turning the aquatic weed Azolla into a sustainable crop

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, P.

    2017-01-01

    Growing worldwide demands for food, energy and chemicals threatens natural ecosystems and global climate. Plants are crucial for food production, but may also be used to produce sustainable energy and materials. Hereto novel crops are sought with high productivity per hectare, whilst requiring

  6. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    Science.gov (United States)

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25% by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental well-being. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be utilized to enhance yields of staple crops, incre...

  7. Effects of three management strategies on the seedbank, emergence and the need for hand weeding in an organic arable cropping system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riemens, M.M.; Groeneveld, R.M.W.; Lotz, L.A.P.; Kropff, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    The effects of three different weed management strategies on the required input of hand weeding in an arable organic farming system, the weed seedbank in the soil and the emerging weed seedling emergence were studied from 1996 to 2003. Strategies were based on population dynamic models and aimed for

  8. Sustainable Biofuel Crops Project, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juhn, Daniel [Conservation International, Arlington, VA (United States). Moore Center for Science and Oceans. Integrated Assessment and Planning; Grantham, Hedley [Conservation International, Arlington, VA (United States). Moore Center for Science and Oceans. Integrated Assessment and Planning

    2014-05-28

    Over the last six years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed the Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Approach to help countries design and implement sustainable bioenergy policies and strategies. The BEFS Approach consists of two sets of multidisciplinary and integrated tools and guidance (the BEFS Rapid Appraisal and the BEFS Detailed Analysis) to facilitate better decision on bioenergy development which should foster both food and energy security, and contribute to agricultural and rural development. The development of the BEFS Approach was for the most part funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Recognizing the need to provide support to countries that wanted an initial assessment of their sustainable bioenergy potential, and of the associated opportunities, risks and trade offs, FAO began developing the BEFS-RA (Rapid Appraisal). The BEFS RA is a spreadsheet–based assessment and analysis tool designed to outline the country's basic energy, agriculture and food security context, the natural resources potential, the bioenergy end use options, including initial financial and economic implications, and the identification of issues that might require fuller investigation with the BEFS Detailed Analysis.

  9. Organic versus Conventional Cropping Sustainability: A Comparative System Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany L. Fess

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We are at a pivotal time in human history, as the agricultural sector undergoes consolidation coupled with increasing energy costs in the context of declining resource availability. Although organic systems are often thought of as more sustainable than conventional operations, the lack of concise and widely accepted means to measure sustainability makes coming to an agreement on this issue quite challenging. However, an accurate assessment of sustainability can be reached by dissecting the scientific underpinnings of opposing production practices and crop output between cropping systems. The purpose of this review is to provide an in-depth and comprehensive evaluation of modern global production practices and economics of organic cropping systems, as well as assess the sustainability of organic production practices through the clarification of information and analysis of recent research. Additionally, this review addresses areas where improvements can be made to help meet the needs of future organic producers, including organic-focused breeding programs and necessity of coming to a unified global stance on plant breeding technologies. By identifying management strategies that utilize practices with long-term environmental and resource efficiencies, a concerted global effort could guide the adoption of organic agriculture as a sustainable food production system.

  10. Fungal endophytes for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugtenberg, Ben J J; Caradus, John R; Johnson, Linda J

    2016-12-01

    This minireview highlights the importance of endophytic fungi for sustainable agriculture and horticulture production. Fungal endophytes play a key role in habitat adaptation of plants resulting in improved plant performance and plant protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. They encode a vast variety of novel secondary metabolites including volatile organic compounds. In addition to protecting plants against pathogens and pests, selected fungal endophytes have been used to remove animal toxicities associated with fungal endophytes in temperate grasses, to create corn and rice plants that are tolerant to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses, and for improved management of post-harvest control. We argue that practices used in plant breeding, seed treatments and agriculture, often caused by poor knowledge of the importance of fungal endophytes, are among the reasons for the loss of fungal endophyte diversity in domesticated plants and also accounts for the reduced effectiveness of some endophyte strains to confer plant benefits. We provide recommendations on how to mitigate against these negative impacts in modern agriculture. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Complementary crops and landscape features sustain wild bee communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Kyle T; Albert, Cécile H; Lechowicz, Martin J; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2018-06-01

    Wild bees, which are important for commercial pollination, depend on floral and nesting resources both at farms and in the surrounding landscape. Mass-flowering crops are only in bloom for a few weeks and unable to support bee populations that persist throughout the year. Farm fields and orchards that flower in succession potentially can extend the availability of floral resources for pollinators. However, it is unclear whether the same bee species or genera will forage from one crop to the next, which bees specialize on particular crops, and to what degree inter-crop visitation patterns will be mediated by landscape context. We therefore studied local- and landscape-level drivers of bee diversity and species turnover in apple orchards, blueberry fields, and raspberry fields that bloom sequentially in southern Quebec, Canada. Despite the presence of high bee species turnover, orchards and small fruit fields complemented each other phenologically by supporting two bee genera essential to their pollination: mining bees (Andrena spp.) and bumble bees (Bombus spp.). A number of bee species specialized on apple, blueberry, or raspberry blossoms, suggesting that all three crops could be used to promote regional bee diversity. Bee diversity (rarefied richness, wild bee abundance) was highest across crops in landscapes containing hedgerows, meadows, and suburban areas that provide ancillary nesting and floral resources throughout the spring and summer. Promoting phenological complementarity in floral resources at the farmstead and landscape scales is essential to sustaining diverse wild bee populations. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Management and conservation of tropical acid soils for sustainable crop production. Proceedings of a consultants meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-06-01

    Forests of the tropics are invaluable ecosystems of global, regional and local importance, particularly in terms of protection and conservation of biodiversity and water resources. The indiscriminate conversion of tropical forests into agricultural land as a result of intense human activities - logging and modem shifting cultivation - continues to cause soil erosion and degradation. However, the acid savannahs of the world, such as the cerrado of Brazil, the Llanos in Venezuela and Colombia, the savannahs of Africa, and the largely anthropic savannahs of tropical Asia, encompass vast areas of potentially arable land. The acid soils of the savannahs are mostly considered marginal because of low inherent fertility and susceptibility to rapid degradation. These constraints for agricultural development are exacerbated by the poverty of new settlers who try to cultivate such areas after deforestation. Low- or minimum-input systems are not sustainable on these tropical acid soils but, with sufficient investment and adequate technologies, they can be highly productive. Thus, there is a need to develop management practices for sustainable agricultural production systems on such savannah acid soils. The Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Sub-programme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture strongly supports an integrated approach to soil, water and nutrient management within cropping systems. In this context, nuclear and related techniques can be used to better understand the processes and factors influencing the productivity of agricultural production systems, and improve them through the use of better soil, water and nutrient management practices. A panel of experts actively engaged in field projects on acid soils of savannah agro-ecosystems in the humid and sub-humid tropics convened in March 1999 in Vienna to review and discuss recent research progress, along the following main lines of investigation: (i) utilization of

  13. Ensuring sustainable grain legume-cereal cropping systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bedoussac, Laurent; Journet, E-P; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik

    2017-01-01

    health makes them a key rotation crop in the sustainable intensification and diversification of smallholder farming. This makes grain legumes a key food security crop. However, yields in developing countries are low as a result of such factors as the need for improved varieties of seed, poor seed......Grain legumes are widely cultivated, particularly for their dry seeds (known as pulses). Grain legumes are an important crop for a number of reasons. They are a rich source of protein and fibre, minerals and vitamins. In addition, their rapid growth and ability to fix nitrogen and improve soil...... distribution, the impact of pests and diseases, as well as vulnerability to poor soils, drought and other effects of climate change. This chapter summarises data from over 50 field experiments undertaken since 2001 on cereal-grain legume intercropping in 13 sites in southern and western France as well...

  14. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, R. James

    2006-01-01

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding. PMID:17130454

  15. Sustainability assessment of GM crops in a Swiss agricultural context

    OpenAIRE

    Speiser , Bernhard; Stolze , Matthias; Oehen , Bernadette; Gessler , Cesare; Weibel , Franco; Bravin , Esther; Kilchenmann , Adeline; Widmer , Albert; Charles , Raffael; Lang , Andreas; Stamm , Christian; Triloff , Peter; Tamm , Lucius

    2012-01-01

    International audience; The aim of this study was to provide an ex ante assessment of the sustainability of genetically modified (GM) crops under the agricultural conditions prevailing in Switzerland. The study addressed the gaps in our knowledge relating to (1) the agronomic risks/benefits in production systems under Swiss conditions (at field and rotation/orchard level), (2) the economic and socio-economic impacts associated with altered farming systems, and (3) the agro-ecological risks/be...

  16. GM Crops, Organic Agriculture and Breeding for Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The ongoing debate about the use of genetically-modified (GM crops in agriculture has largely focused on food safety and genetic contamination issues. Given that the majority of GM crops have been produced to respond to the problem of crop yield reductions caused by diseases, insects and weeds, the paper argues that in those cases, the currently used GM crops are an unstable solution to the problem, because they represent such a strong selection pressure, that pests rapidly evolve resistance. Organic agriculture practices provide a more sustainable way of producing healthy food; however, the lower yields often associated with those practices, making the resultant healthy food more expensive, open the criticism that such practices will not be able to feed human populations. Evolutionary plant breeding offers the possibility of using the evolutionary potential of crops to our advantage by producing a continuous flow of varieties better adapted to organic systems, to climate change and to the ever changing spectrum of pests, without depending on chemical control.

  17. Fracciones de carbono orgánico en la capa arable: efecto de los sistemas de cultivo y fertilización nitrogenada Organic carbon fractions in the arable layer: cropping systems and nitrogen fertilization effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano J Eiza

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Nuestro objetivo fue evaluar el efecto de siete sistemas de cultivo (SC en un experimento de larga duración: pastura permanente (PP, agricultura permanente bajo siembra directa (SD (SD100 y labranza convencional (LC (LC100, rotación agricultura pastura (50%-50% del tiempo bajo SD (SD50 y LC (LC50, rotación agricultura pastura (75%-25% del tiempo bajo SD (SD75 y LC (LC75 y dos dosis de fertilización nitrogenada: 0 y 120 kg N ha-1, sobre el carbono orgánico total (COT y particulado (COP, para 0-20 cm en 1994 y para 0-5, 5-20 y 0-20 cm de profundidad en 2003. En 1994, los mayores COP y COT se asociaron a manejos con períodos agrícolas previos cortos. En 2003, se encontraron diferencias entre SC en COT en la capa de 0-5 cm de profundidad, siendo PP, LC50 y SD50 los tratamientos con mayor COT. El COP fue más alto bajo PP, LC50 y SD50 a 0-5 y 0-20 cm de profundidad. A 0-5 cm COP bajo SD fue significativamente mayor que bajo LC. A 5-20 cm de profundidad, las diferencias en COP no fueron claras entre SC aunque, tendió a disminuir con los años bajo agricultura. La fertilización determinó mayor COP a 5-20 y 0-20 cm de profundidad. Las diferencias en la variación entre 1994 y 2003 entre SC fueron significativas para COP y COT. Por otro lado, la variación relativa de COP fue más alta que la de las otras variables. Se concluye que las rotaciones cortas de agricultura-pastura, la SD y la fertilización nitrogenada mejoran el COP y el COT. Para las condiciones de este experimento, COP ha sido un indicador más sensible que COT y sería capaz de detectar los efectos de las prácticas de manejo.In the southeastern Buenos Aires Province (Argentina unsuitable combination of crop rotation and tillage systems (cropping systems, SC has reduced soil organic matter content. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of seven SC in a long term experiment (since 1976 started in 1994: permanent pasture (PP, permanent cropping under no tillage (SD (SD100 and

  18. Impacts of projected climate change on productivity and nitrogen leaching of crop rotations in arable and pig farming systems in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doltra, Jordi; Lægdsmand, Mette; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    The effects of projected changes in climate and atmospheric CO2 concentration on productivity and nitrogen (N) leaching of characteristic arable and pig farming rotations in Denmark were investigated with the FASSET simulation model. The LARS weather generator was used to provide climatic data...... for the baseline period (1961–90) and in combination with two regional circulation models (RCM) to generate climatic data under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) A1B emission scenario for four different 20-year time slices (denoted by midpoints 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080) for two locations...

  19. Responses of bacterial communities in arable soils in a rice-wheat cropping system to different fertilizer regimes and sampling times.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Zhao

    Full Text Available Soil physicochemical properties, soil microbial biomass and bacterial community structures in a rice-wheat cropping system subjected to different fertilizer regimes were investigated in two seasons (June and October. All fertilizer regimes increased the soil microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen. Both fertilizer regime and time had a significant effect on soil physicochemical properties and bacterial community structure. The combined application of inorganic fertilizer and manure organic-inorganic fertilizer significantly enhanced the bacterial diversity in both seasons. The bacterial communities across all samples were dominated by Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Chloroflexi at the phylum level. Permutational multivariate analysis confirmed that both fertilizer treatment and season were significant factors in the variation of the composition of the bacterial community. Hierarchical cluster analysis based on Bray-Curtis distances further revealed that bacterial communities were separated primarily by season. The effect of fertilizer treatment is significant (P = 0.005 and accounts for 7.43% of the total variation in bacterial community. Soil nutrients (e.g., available K, total N, total P and organic matter rather than pH showed significant correlation with the majority of abundant taxa. In conclusion, both fertilizer treatment and seasonal changes affect soil properties, microbial biomass and bacterial community structure. The application of NPK plus manure organic-inorganic fertilizer may be a sound fertilizer practice for sustainable food production.

  20. Feeding nine billion: the challenge to sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

    In the recent past there was a widespread working assumption in many countries that problems of food production had been solved, and that food security was largely a matter of distribution and access to be achieved principally by open markets. The events of 2008 challenged these assumptions, and made public a much wider debate about the costs of current food production practices to the environment and whether these could be sustained. As in the past 50 years, it is anticipated that future increases in crop production will be achieved largely by increasing yields per unit area rather than by increasing the area of cropped land. However, as yields have increased, so the ratio of photosynthetic energy captured to energy expended in crop production has decreased. This poses a considerable challenge: how to increase yield while simultaneously reducing energy consumption (allied to greenhouse gas emissions) and utilizing resources such as water and phosphate more efficiently. Given the timeframe in which the increased production has to be realized, most of the increase will need to come from crop genotypes that are being bred now, together with known agronomic and management practices that are currently under-developed.

  1. SOIL ECOLOGY AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, G B

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable production of food, feed and fiberwarrants sustainable soil management and crop protection. The tools available to achieve this are both in the realm of the plants and of the soil, with a key role for plant-soil interactions. At the plant level we have vast knowledge of variation within plant species with respect to pests and diseases, based on which we can breed for resistance. However, given that systems evolve this resistance is bound to be temporarily, hence also other strategies are needed. Here I plea for an integrative approach for sustainable production using ecological principles. Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with their environment, teaches us that diversity promotes productivity and yield stability. These effects are thought to be governed through resource use complementarity and reduced build-up of pests and diseases both above- and belowground. In recent years especially the role of soil biotic interactions has revealed new insights in how plant diversity and productivity are related to soil biodiversity and the functions soil biota govern. In our grassland biodiversity studies we found that root feeders can promote plant diversity and succession without reducing plant community productivity, this illustrates the role of diversity to maintain productivity. Also diversity within species offers scope for sustainable production, for example through awareness of differences between plant genotypes in chemical defense compounds that can attract natural enemies of pests aboveground- and belowground thereby providing plant protection. Plant breeding can also benefit from using complementarity between plant species in the selection for new varieties, as our work demonstrated that when growing in species mixtures plant species adapt to each other over time such that their resource acquisition traits become more complementing. Finally, in a recent meta-analysis we show that earthworms can stimulate crop yield with on average 25%, but

  2. Sustainable crop models for fruit, vegetable and flower quality productions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inglese Paolo

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable development is a paradigm that has evolved over the time, since the ideas of socially acceptable and compatible development, on which it was originally based, are now supported by the more recent notions of ecological equilibria and production process economy, both of which need to be also preserved. Environmental and health safety, rational use of the natural resources and technological tools, upkeep of high social growth rates and respect of a social equity are the basis of the sustainability for any production process, including the agriculture. The new globalization framework has penalized small farms and, at the same time, has put serious constraints to the development of stronger economic systems (medium/large farms, as well. As consequence, the EU has outlined several strategic programs to support small agricultural systems in marginal areas by: 1 strengthening all the quality- related aspects of agricultural production, including nutritional and cultural traits associated to local, typical and in some cases to neglected crops; 2 improving traditional cultural practices by adapting the cropping cycles and fomenting new partnerships between the different parts of the production chain, as for example; promotion of small horticultural chains. Specific political actions for the horticultural production sector have also been developed. Some of these policies are specifically addressed to preserve the biodiversity and to create quality labels certifying typical and/or organic products. All of these are possible strategies that may counteract and cope with the globalization process and increase the competitiveness of many production systems especially those performed by local and small entrepreneurs. New sustainable development models are required by both the market and the implicit requirements of the production system, inside a context on which Europe must face with new emerging economies with lower production costs, by increasing

  3. Assessment on the Impact of Arable Land Protection Policies in a Rapidly Developing Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiadan Li

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the effect of arable land protection policies in China, a practical framework that integrates geographic information systems (GIS, soil quality assessment and landscape metrics analysis was employed to track and analyze arable land transformations and landscape changes in response to rampant urbanization within the Ningbo region (China from 2005 to 2013. The results showed that arable land loss and degradation have continued, despite the development of a comprehensive legal framework for arable land protection. The implementation of arable land protection policies is judged to be effective, but not entirely successful, because it guarantees the overall amount of arable land but does not consider soil quality and spatial distribution. In addition, there are distinct variations in arable land change dynamics between two temporal intervals. From 2005–2009, the transformation of arable land was diversified, with intensified conversion among arable land, built-up land, water and orchards. Moreover, many new arable land parcels were adjacent to built-up land, and are in danger of being occupied again through urban sprawl. By 2009–2013, most of the arable land was occupied by urban expansion, whereas a majority of newly increased arable land was reclaimed from coastal tideland. Although the newly increased arable land was contiguous and far from the urban area, it is of poor quality and has limited use. The permanent loss of high-quality arable land due to intensified urban sprawl may threaten sustainable development and food security on a larger scale.

  4. Groundwater Sustainability Through Optimal Crop Choice in the Indian Punjab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, R.; Siegfried, T. U.; B Krishnamurthy, C.; Sobolowski, S.

    2010-12-01

    total discounted crop revenue being the goal function and non-declining revenue as well as groundwater sustainability constraints. Areas set aside for individual crops in individual seasons and districts are decision variables and levels of support prices determine revenue streams. The SP was solved with a Monte Carlo simulation-based approach by sampling the 100 climate realizations where the expected goal function is approximated by the corresponding sample average function. Results indicate that a climate sensitive crop choice can lead to expected net economic gains while ensuring non-declining groundwater tables at the same time if support prices for water intensive crops are sufficiently low as compared to the prices of climate-sensitive crops. This is promising since it shows that wisely chosen support price signals could incentivize farmers to adopt climate-sensitive crop choice while at the same time stabilize the state fiscal burden from subsidized energy for groundwater pumping. It would, however, imply that India should gradually develop other regions of modern mechanized agricultural so as to ensure sufficient caloric supplies at the national scale.

  5. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Kohl, Jurgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C.; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such

  6. Contributions of roots and rootstocks to sustainable, intensified crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Peter J; Atkinson, Christopher J; Bengough, A Glyn; Else, Mark A; Fernández-Fernández, Felicidad; Harrison, Richard J; Schmidt, Sonja

    2013-03-01

    Sustainable intensification is seen as the main route for meeting the world's increasing demands for food and fibre. As demands mount for greater efficiency in the use of resources to achieve this goal, so the focus on roots and rootstocks and their role in acquiring water and nutrients, and overcoming pests and pathogens, is increasing. The purpose of this review is to explore some of the ways in which understanding root systems and their interactions with soils could contribute to the development of more sustainable systems of intensive production. Physical interactions with soil particles limit root growth if soils are dense, but root-soil contact is essential for optimal growth and uptake of water and nutrients. X-ray microtomography demonstrated that maize roots elongated more rapidly with increasing root-soil contact, as long as mechanical impedance was not limiting root elongation, while lupin was less sensitive to changes in root-soil contact. In addition to selecting for root architecture and rhizosphere properties, the growth of many plants in cultivated systems is profoundly affected by selection of an appropriate rootstock. Several mechanisms for scion control by rootstocks have been suggested, but the causal signals are still uncertain and may differ between crop species. Linkage map locations for quantitative trait loci for disease resistance and other traits of interest in rootstock breeding are becoming available. Designing root systems and rootstocks for specific environments is becoming a feasible target.

  7. Sustainable use of Brackish water for crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaudhry, M.R.; Iqbal, M.; Subhani, K.M.

    2005-01-01

    The good quality surface-water is not sufficient to meet the crop water requirement for potential crop production. To augment the inadequate supplies of good quality water the only alternative is the use of poor quality , ground water. To explore sustainable use of brackish water a study was conducted in Fordwah Eastern Sadiqia South, Bahawalnagar, Punjab during the year 1998-99 to 2000-2001 with the objective to evaluate the impact of different irrigation treatments on physical and chemical properties of soil and crops yield. The experiment was conducted on farmer's field with his collaboration. The initial soil pH was about 8.0 while ECe and SAR ranged between 2.0 to 4.1 dS m/sup -/1 and 7.1 to 15.1 (mmol/sub c/ L/sup -1/)1/2, respectively with sandy loam texture. The brackish water used for irrigation had ECiw, SAR and RSC between 5.6 to 6.7 dS m/sup -/1, 15.1 to 16.4 (mmolc L/sup -1/sup 1/2/ and 1.52 to 1.64 (mmol/sub c/ L/sup -1/.The crops tested were wheat during Rabi and cotton during Kharif season. The treatments tested were: irrigation with canal water (T/sub 1/), canal water during Rabi and drainage water during Kharif (T/sub 2/), drainage water for two years and canal water for one season(T/sub 3/); and drainage water for three years + application of gypsum at the rate of 25% of CWR and thereafter canal water for one season(T 4). Fertilizers were applied at the rate of 120-60-50 N, P/sub 2/O/sub 5/ and K20 kg ha/sup -1/, respectively in the form of urea, diammonium phosphate and sulfate of potash. Crops irrigated with drainage water visualized yield reduction depending upon the share of drainage water in the irrigation delta. Application of gypsum provided reasonable check against salinity build-up with brackish water irrigation besides a nominal boost of 3 and 5% in yield of wheat and cotton, respectively over comparable treatment of year-round brackish water irrigation lacking gypsum application. Drainage water in alternate arrangement of seasonal

  8. Relations between Agronomic Practice and Earthworms in Norwegian Arable Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Pommeresche, Reidun; Løes, Anne-Kristin

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents Norwegian studies of earthworms (density, biomass, burrows density, species, juvenile to adult ratios) in arable soil in Norway conducted during the last 20 years. The effects of crop rotations, fertilization, soil tillage and compaction on earthworms are presented, based on various field experiments. Geophagous (soil eating) species such as Aporrectodea caliginosa and A. rosea dominate the earthworm fauna in Norwegian arable soil. Lumbricus terrestris is also present; in ...

  9. Agricultural biology in the 3rd millennium: nutritional food security & specialty crops through sustainable agriculture and biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Food security and agricultural sustainability are of prime concern in the world today in light of the increasing trends in population growth in most parts of the globe excepting Europe. The need to develop capacity to produce more to feed more people is complicated since the arable land is decreasin...

  10. Assessing biodiversity in arable farmland by means of indicators: an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bockstaller Christian

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Maintaining biodiversity is one of the key issues of sustainable agriculture. It is now stated that innovation to enhance biodiversity in arable land requires operational assessment tools like indicators. The goal of the article is to provide an overview of available indicators. Besides measured indicators and simple indicators based on management data, we focus on predictive indicators derived from operational models and adapted to ex ante assessment in innovative cropping design. The possibility of use for each indicator type is discussed.

  11. GM crops, the environment and sustainable food production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

    Today, over 7.1 billion people rely on the earth's resources for sustenance, and nearly a billion people are malnourished, their minds and bodies unable to develop properly. Globally, population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Given the combined pressures of human population growth, the rapidly growing desire for increased levels of consumption, and the continued use of inappropriate technologies, it is not surprising that humans are driving organisms to extinction at an unprecedented rate. Many aspects of the sustainable functioning of the natural world are breaking down in the face of human-induced pressures including our individual and collective levels of consumption and our widespread and stubborn use of destructive technologies. Clearly, agriculture must undergo a redesign and be better and more effectively managed so as to contribute as well as possible to feeding people, while at the same time we strive to lessen the tragic loss of biodiversity and damage to all of its productive systems that the world is experiencing. For GM crops to be part of the solution, biosafety assessments should not be overly politically-driven or a burdensome impedance to delivering this technology broadly. Biosafety scientists and policy makers need to recognize the undeniable truth that inappropriate actions resulting in indecision also have negative consequences. It is no longer acceptable to delay the use of any strategy that is safe and will help us achieve the ability to feed the world's people.

  12. Crop Sequence Influences on Sustainable Spring Wheat Production in the Northern Great Plains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M. Krupinsky

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Cropping systems in American agriculture are highly successful since World War II, but have become highly specialized, standardized, and simplified to meet the demands of an industrialized food system. Minimal attention has been given to the efficient exploitation of crop diversity and the synergistic and/or antagonistic relationships of crops in crop sequences. Objectives of our research were to determine if previous crop sequences have long-term benefits and/or drawbacks on spring wheat seed yield, seed N concentration, and seed precipitation-use efficiency in the semiarid northern Great Plains, USA. Research was conducted 6 km southwest of Mandan, ND using a 10 × 10 crop matrix technique as a research tool to evaluate multiple crop sequence effects on spring wheat (triticum aestivum L. production in 2004 and 2005. Spring wheat production risks can be mitigated when second year crop residue was dry pea (Pisium sativum L. averaged over all first year crop residues. When compared to spring wheat as second year crop residue in the dry year of 2004, dry pea as the second year residue crop resulted in a 30% spring wheat seed yield increase. Sustainable cropping systems need to use precipitation efficiently for crop production, especially during below average precipitation years like 2004. Precipitation use efficiency average over all treatments, during the below average precipitation year was 23% greater than the above average precipitation year of 2005. Diversifying crops in cropping systems improves production efficiencies and resilience of agricultural systems.

  13. Spatial and temporal diversification of crops dynamics in soil erosion modelling. A case study in the arable land of the upper Enziwigger River, Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrelli, Pasquale; Meusburger, Katrin; Panagos, Panos; Ballabio, Cristiano; Alewell, Christine

    2017-04-01

    Accelerated soil erosion by water is a widespread phenomenon that affects several Mediterranean and Alpine landscapes causing on-site and off-site environmental impacts. Recognized in the EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection as one of the major threats to European soils (COM(2006)231), accelerated soil erosion is a major concern in landscape management and conservation planning (UN SDG 2.4). Agriculture and associated land-use change is the primary cause of accelerated soil erosion. This, because the soil displacement by water erosion mainly occurs when bare-sloped soil surfaces are exposed to the effect of rainfall and overland flow. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and other RUSLE-based models (which account for more than 90% of current worldwide modelling applications) describe the effect of the vegetation in the so called cover and management factor (C). The C-factor is generally the most challenging modelling component to compute over large study sites. To run a GIS-based RUSLE modelling for a study site greater than few hectares, the use of a simplified approach to assess the C-factor is inevitably necessary. In most of the cases, the C-factor values are assigned to the different land-use classes according to i) the C-values proposed in the literature, and ii) through land-use classifications based on vegetation indices (VI). In previous national (Land Use Policy, 50, 408-421, 2016) and pan-European (Environmental Science & Policy, 54, 438-447, 2015) studies, we computed regional C-values through weighted average operations combining crop statistics with remote sensing and GIS modelling techniques. Here, we present the preliminary results of an object-oriented change detection approach that we are testing to acquire spatial as well temporal crops dynamics at field-scale level in complex agricultural systems.

  14. Harnessing Genetic Diversity of Wild Gene Pools to Enhance Wheat Crop Production and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Ceoloni

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Wild species are extremely rich resources of useful genes not available in the cultivated gene pool. For species providing staple food to mankind, such as the cultivated Triticum species, including hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum, 6x and tetraploid durum wheat (T. durum, 4x, widening the genetic base is a priority and primary target to cope with the many challenges that the crop has to face. These include recent climate changes, as well as actual and projected demographic growth, contrasting with reduction of arable land and water reserves. All of these environmental and societal modifications pose major constraints to the required production increase in the wheat crop. A sustainable approach to address this task implies resorting to non-conventional breeding strategies, such as “chromosome engineering”. This is based on cytogenetic methodologies, which ultimately allow for the incorporation into wheat chromosomes of targeted, and ideally small, chromosomal segments from the genome of wild relatives, containing the gene(s of interest. Chromosome engineering has been successfully applied to introduce into wheat genes/QTL for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, quality attributes, and even yield-related traits. In recent years, a substantial upsurge in effective alien gene exploitation for wheat improvement has come from modern technologies, including use of molecular markers, molecular cytogenetic techniques, and sequencing, which have greatly expanded our knowledge and ability to finely manipulate wheat and alien genomes. Examples will be provided of various types of stable introgressions, including pyramiding of different alien genes/QTL, into the background of bread and durum wheat genotypes, representing valuable materials for both species to respond to the needed novelty in current and future breeding programs. Challenging contexts, such as that inherent to the 4x nature of durum wheat when compared to 6x bread wheat, or

  15. Management of crop residues for sustainable crop production. Results of a co-ordinated research project 1996-2001

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-05-01

    Since ancient times, farmers have recognized the importance of organic matter inputs to enhance crop yields. Organic matter contributes to plant growth through beneficial effects on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil, including (i) provision of a carbon and energy source for soil microbes, (ii) improvement of soil aggregation, thus reducing the hazard of erosion, (iii) retaining of nutrients and water, (iv) provision of nutrients through decomposition, and (v) reduction of soil compaction. The amount of soil organic matter is controlled by the balance between additions of plant and animal materials and losses by decomposition. Both additions and losses are directly affected by management practices. This CRP supported national efforts in eleven Member States to identify options managing crop residues for sustainable agricultural production and environmental preservation in a wide range of soils and cropping systems. Various options for the recycling of crop residues that are sustainable and economically attractive to farmers were examined using isotopic techniques. The specific options of this CRP were: to increase the quantity of nutrients available to crops from organic sources and for more effective recycling of those nutrients; to enhance the efficiency of use of nutrients by crops, and minimize losses through improved synchrony between process-level understanding of carbon and nutrient flow through the use of isotopic techniques so that management recommendations can be extrapolated to a wide range of environments using models. A simple mathematical model, descriptive in nature, was developed to synthesize information collected from all experimental sites, allowing comparisons between treatments and sites. Most of the fertilizer N was lost during the first cropping season and only insignificant losses occurred in the following seasons. The losses of N from applied fertilizer ranged from 45 to 85% irrespective of crop

  16. Sustainable crop intensification through surface water irrigation in Bangladesh? A geospatial assessment of landscape-scale production potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupnik, Timothy J; Schulthess, Urs; Ahmed, Zia Uddin; McDonald, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Changing dietary preferences and population growth in South Asia have resulted in increasing demand for wheat and maize, along side high and sustained demand for rice. In the highly productive northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia, farmers utilize groundwater irrigation to assure that at least two of these crops are sequenced on the same field within the same year. Such double cropping has had a significant and positive influence on regional agricultural productivity. But in the risk-prone and food insecure lower Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (EIGP), cropping is less intensive. During the dryer winter months, arable land is frequently fallowed or devoted to lower yielding rainfed legumes. Seeing opportunity to boost cereals production, particularly for rice, donors and land use policy makers have consequently reprioritized agricultural development investments in this impoverished region. Tapping groundwater for irrigation and intensified double cropping, however, is unlikely to be economically viable or environmentally sound in the EIGP. Constraints include saline shallow water tables and the prohibitively high installation and energetic extraction costs from deeper freshwater aquifers. The network of largely underutilized rivers and natural canals in the EIGP could conversely be tapped to provide less energetically and economically costly surface water irrigation (SWI). This approach is now championed by the Government of Bangladesh, which has requested USD 500 million from donors to implement land and water use policies to facilitate SWI and double cropping. Precise geospatial assessment of where freshwater flows are most prominent, or where viable fallow or low production intensity cropland is most common, however remains lacking. In response, we used remotely sensed data to identify agricultural land, detect the temporal availability of freshwater in rivers and canals, and assess crop production intensity over a three-year study period in a 33,750

  17. Integrated Soil, Water and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Rice–Wheat Cropping Systems in Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2016-08-01

    The rice-wheat system is a predominant cropping system in Asia providing food, employment and income, ensuring the livelihoods of about 1 billion of resource poor rural and urban people. However, the productivity of the current rice-wheat systems is seriously threatened by increasing land degradation and scarcity of water and labour, inefficient cropping practices and other emerging socio economic and environmental drivers. Responding to the need to develop alternate crop establishment methods and improved cropping practices, this publication summarizes the results from a joint FAO/IAEA coordinated research project on optimizing productivity and sustainability of rice-wheat cropping systems. It provides relevant information on how to modify existing water and nutrient management systems and improve soil management in both traditional and emerging crop establishment methods for sustainable intensification of cereal production in Asia

  18. Sustainability of Marketing Food Crops through the Internet in Lagos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    abdulaphyz

    Key Words: Marketing food crop, internet marketing in Nigeria .... have been made easy such that prospective customers are exposed to the varieties via ... earlier found a positive relationship between perceived usefulness and adoption of .... crops, varieties and, easy and personalized experience devised as encouraging ...

  19. EUCLID: Leveraging IPM for sustainable production of fruit and vegetable crops in partnership with China

    OpenAIRE

    Nicot , Philippe C.; Bardin , Marc; Leyronas , Christel; Desneux , Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    EUCLID: Leveraging IPM for sustainable production of fruit and vegetable crops in partnership with China. 13. IOBC-WPRS Meeting of the working group "Biological control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens. .

  20. The role of leguminous cover crops in sustainable production of oil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leguminous cover crops have the potential for obtaining high and sustainable crop yields. They have been shown to play an important role in weed suppression, nutrition, growth and yield of oil palm. They also play an important role in soil erosion control and soil moisture conservation in plantations. The development of ...

  1. Assessing the sustainability of wheat-based cropping systems using APSIM: Model parameterisation and evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moeller, C.; Pala, M.; Manschadi, A.M.; Meinke, H.B.; Sauerborn, J.

    2007-01-01

    Assessing the sustainability of crop and soil management practices in wheat-based rotations requires a well-tested model with the demonstrated ability to sensibly predict crop productivity and changes in the soil resource. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) suite of models was

  2. Crop residue is key for sustaining maximum food production and for conservation of our biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop residue is key in our efforts to move towards agricultural sustainability. This paper provides a quick overview of some selected references and looks at some of the newest advances related to cover crops. Several authors have described in detail the benefits derived from improving soil quality ...

  3. Environmental Sustainability of Gm Crops for Food Safety on Risk Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Ramos de Carvalho Neto

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available GM crops are presented as an alternative to the erradication of hunger. The risk society, however, considering the brazilian environmental law - specially the brazilian legislation on biosafety - the food safety and nutritional law and the economic and social data on the subject, it appears that the environmental sustainability of these crops is not yet complete. Producers should adopt additional safeguards if they wish a sustainable agriculture with effective food security.

  4. Genetically Modified Crops: Towards Agricultural Growth, Agricultural Development, or Agricultural Sustainability?

    OpenAIRE

    Azadi, Hossein; Ghanian, Mansour; Ghuchani, Omid M.; Rafiaani, Parisa; Taning, Clauvis N. T.; Hajivand, Roghaye Y.; Dogot, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The present debate on how to increase global food production in a sustainable way has focused on arguments over the pros and cons of genetically modified (GM) crops. Scientists in both public and private sectors clearly regard GM technology as a major new set of tools, whereas industry sees it as an opportunity for increased profits. However, it remains questionable whether GM crops can contribute to agricultural growth, agricultural development, and agricultural sustainability. This review p...

  5. Managing Bioenergy Production on Arable Field Margins for Multiple Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrarini, Andrea; Serra, Paolo; Amaducci, Stefano; Trevisan, Marco; Puglisi, Edoardo

    2013-04-01

    data, it emerges that production of biomass for bioenergy on field margins improves ecosystem services, depending upon the soil/agroecosystem health status of arable land displaced by the bioenergy crop. Considering that climate change is a dominant driver for agroecosystem health and perennial bionergy crops tend to stabilize soil C in arable land, it will be necessary to focus our attention to the improvement of climate regulation ecosystem service value in ecologically-degraded arable field margins. This management option seems to be the most sustainable strategy to enhance a win-win strategy: namely, sequestering carbon, producing biomasses for energetic purposes, improving the whole set of ecosystem services affected by soil organic matter, leaving, at the same time, more arable land for food and fiber crops. * The HEDGE-BIOMASS project is funded by Italian Minister of Agriculture for the period 2013-2016 and is being followed by BIOMASS Research Center at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Piacenza, Italy).

  6. Combined analysis of climate, technological and price changes on future arable farming systems in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolf, J.; Kanellopoulos, Argyris; Kros, J.; Webber, H.; Zhao, G.; Britz, W.; Reinds, G.J.; Ewert, F.; Vries, de W.

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we compare the relative importance of climate change to technological, management, price and policy changes on European arable farming systems. This required linking four models: the SIMPLACE crop growth modelling framework to calculate future yields under climate change for arable

  7. Sustainable irrigation and nitrogen management of fertigated vegetable crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thompson, R.B.; Incrocci, L.; Voogt, W.; Pardossi, A.; Magán, J.J.

    2017-01-01

    Fertigation in combination with drip irrigation is being increasingly used in vegetable crop production. From a nutrient management perspective, this combination provides the technical capacity for precise nitrogen (N) nutrition, both spatially and temporally. With these systems, N and other

  8. Cover Crops in West Africa: Contributing to Sustainable Agriculture ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    It documents past experiences withcover cropping in Africa and will hopefully ... Adaptation strategies for two Colombian cities were discussed at ADAPTO's ... International Water Resources Association, in close collaboration with IDRC, ...

  9. Exploring profit - Sustainability trade-offs in cropping systems using evolutionary algorithms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DeVoil, P.; Rossing, W.A.H.; Hammer, G.L.

    2006-01-01

    Models that implement the bio-physical components of agro-ecosystems are ideally suited for exploring sustainability issues in cropping systems. Sustainability may be represented as a number of objectives to be maximised or minimised. However, the full decision space of these objectives is usually

  10. Do Smallholder, Mixed Crop-Livestock Livelihoods Encourage Sustainable Agricultural Practices? A Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas K. Rudel

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC. Netting, that small-scale, mixed crop-livestock farming, a common livelihood among poor rural peoples, leads to environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. As predicted, mixed crop-livestock farms exhibit more sustainable practices, but, contrary to predictions, a small scale of operation does not predict sustainability. Many smallholders on mixed crop-livestock farms use sustainable practices, but other smallholders practice a degrading, input-scarce agriculture. Some large farm operators use soil-conserving, minimum-tillage techniques while other large operators ignore soil-conserving techniques and practice an industrialized, high chemical input agriculture. The strength and pervasiveness of the link in the data between mixed crop-livestock farming and sustainable agricultural practices argues for agricultural policies that promote mixed crop-livestock livelihoods.

  11. Debates on Genetically Modified Crops in the Context of Sustainable Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimova, Ksenia

    2016-04-01

    The paper discusses conflicts in perceptions of GM crops illustrating the complexities of GM debates and applications of the concept of sustainable development. The concept consists of three discourses that both opponents and supporters of GM crops refer to in their analyses: environmentalism, social and economic development and the two sub-issues of sustainable development-biodiversity loss and food security. This creates a unique situation when both proponents and opponents of GM food use the same framework of sustainable development to support their arguments and do not reach a common ground. This will be illustrated by a review of the arguments brought by these two groups.

  12. Investigation of ethanol productivity of cassava crop as a sustainable ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ethanol productivity of cassava crop was investigated in a laboratory experiment by correlating volumes and masses of ethanol produced to the masses of samples used. Cassava tubers (variety TMS 30555) were peeled, cut and washed. 5, 15, 25 and 35 kg samples of the tubers were weighed in three replicates, ...

  13. Integrated crop management: an approach to sustainable agricultural development.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerman, F.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Keulen, van H.; Breman, H.

    1996-01-01

    In developing countries, agriculture is being intensified to produce more food and agricultural products. In most agricultural development strategies, the order of priorities is on: (i) increasing yields, (ii) crop protection, and (iii) human health, environmental and social aspects. This sequential

  14. Investigation of ethanol productivity of cassava crop as a sustainable ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GREGORY

    2010-08-30

    Aug 30, 2010 ... the most dominant among the plant materials are the energy crops. ... even reverse CO2 emissions by taking carbon out of the air and sequestering it in ... ethanol unsuitable for human consumption. Enzymes are used to ...

  15. Cloud decision model for selecting sustainable energy crop based on linguistic intuitionistic information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Hong-Gang; Wang, Jian-Qiang

    2017-11-01

    In recent years, sustainable energy crop has become an important energy development strategy topic in many countries. Selecting the most sustainable energy crop is a significant problem that must be addressed during any biofuel production process. The focus of this study is the development of an innovative multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) method to handle sustainable energy crop selection problems. Given that various uncertain data are encountered in the evaluation of sustainable energy crops, linguistic intuitionistic fuzzy numbers (LIFNs) are introduced to present the information necessary to the evaluation process. Processing qualitative concepts requires the effective support of reliable tools; then, a cloud model can be used to deal with linguistic intuitionistic information. First, LIFNs are converted and a novel concept of linguistic intuitionistic cloud (LIC) is proposed. The operations, score function and similarity measurement of the LICs are defined. Subsequently, the linguistic intuitionistic cloud density-prioritised weighted Heronian mean operator is developed, which served as the basis for the construction of an applicable MCDM model for sustainable energy crop selection. Finally, an illustrative example is provided to demonstrate the proposed method, and its feasibility and validity are further verified by comparing it with other existing methods.

  16. Self-Sustaining Crop Production Unit, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA's goals to explore deep space through manned missions requires development of self-sustaining life support systems. A diverse team from Freight Farms, Inc. have...

  17. Boosting innate immunity to sustainably control diseases in crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicaise, Valerie

    2017-10-01

    Viruses cause epidemics in all major crops, threatening global food security. The development of efficient and durable resistance able to withstand viral attacks represents a major challenge for agronomy, and relies greatly on the understanding of the molecular dialogue between viral pathogens and their hosts. Research over the last decades provided substantial advances in the field of plant-virus interactions. Remarkably, the advent of studies of plant innate immunity has recently offered new strategies exploitable in the field. This review summarizes the recent breakthroughs that define the mechanisms underlying antiviral innate immunity in plants, and emphasizes the importance of integrating that knowledge into crop improvement actions, particularly by exploiting the insights related to immune receptors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Feed legumes for truly sustainable crop-animal systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Annicchiarico

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Legume cultivation has sharply decreased in Italy during the last 50 years. Lucerne remains widely grown (with about 12% of its area devoted to dehydration, whereas soybean is definitely the most-grown grain legume. Poor legume cropping is mainly due to the gap in yielding ability with major cereals, which has widened up in time according to statistical data. Lucerne displays definitely higher crude protein yield and somewhat lower economic gap with benchmark cereals than feed grain legumes. Pea because of high feed energy production per unit area and rate of genetic progress, and white lupin because of high protein yield per unit area, are particularly interesting for Italian rain-fed environments. Greater legume cultivation in Europe is urged by the need for reducing energy and green-house gas emissions and excessive and unbalanced global N flows through greater symbiotic N fixation and more integrated crop-animal production, as well as to cope with ongoing and perspective raising prices of feed proteins and N fertilisers and insecurity of feed protein supplies. The transition towards greater legume cultivation requires focused research effort, comprehensive stakeholder cooperation and fair economic compensation for legume environmental services, with a key role for genetic improvement dragged by public breeding or pre-breeding. New opportunities for yield improvement arise from the ongoing development of cost-efficient genome-enabled selection procedures, enhanced adaptation to specific cropping conditions via ecophysiological and evolutionary-based approaches, and more thorough exploitation of global genetic resources.

  19. Cover crops for sustainable agrosystems in the Americas. Chapter 2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scholberg, J.M.S.; Dogliotti, S.; Leoni, C.; Zotarelli, L.; Cherr, C.M.; Rossing, W.A.H.

    2010-01-01

    Rapid depletion of global fertilizer and fossil fuel reserves, combined with concerns about global warming, have resulted in increased interest in alternative strategies for sustaining agricultural production. Moreover, many farmers are being caught in a vicious spiral of unsustainability related to

  20. Task-based agricultural mobile robots in arable farming: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aravind, K.R.; Raja, P.; Pérez-Ruiz, M.

    2017-01-01

    In agriculture (in the context of this paper, the terms “agriculture” and “farming” refer to only the farming of crops and exclude the farming of animals), smart farming and automated agricultural technology have emerged as promising methodologies for increasing the crop productivity without sacrificing produce quality. The emergence of various robotics technologies has facilitated the application of these techniques in agricultural processes. However, incorporating this technology in farms has proven to be challenging because of the large variations in shape, size, rate and type of growth, type of produce, and environmental requirements for different types of crops. Agricultural processes are chains of systematic, repetitive, and time-dependent tasks. However, some agricultural processes differ based on the type of farming, namely permanent crop farming and arable farming. Permanent crop farming includes permanent crops or woody plants such as orchards and vineyards whereas arable farming includes temporary crops such as wheat and rice. Major operations in open arable farming include tilling, soil analysis, seeding, transplanting, crop scouting, pest control, weed removal and harvesting and robots can assist in performing all of these tasks. Each specific operation requires axillary devices and sensors with specific functions. This article reviews the latest advances in the application of mobile robots in these agricultural operations for open arable farming and provide an overview of the systems and techniques that are used. This article also discusses various challenges for future improvements in using reliable mobile robots for arable farming.

  1. Task-based agricultural mobile robots in arable farming: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishnaswamy R. Aravind

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In agriculture (in the context of this paper, the terms “agriculture” and “farming” refer to only the farming of crops and exclude the farming of animals, smart farming and automated agricultural technology have emerged as promising methodologies for increasing the crop productivity without sacrificing produce quality. The emergence of various robotics technologies has facilitated the application of these techniques in agricultural processes. However, incorporating this technology in farms has proven to be challenging because of the large variations in shape, size, rate and type of growth, type of produce, and environmental requirements for different types of crops. Agricultural processes are chains of systematic, repetitive, and time-dependent tasks. However, some agricultural processes differ based on the type of farming, namely permanent crop farming and arable farming. Permanent crop farming includes permanent crops or woody plants such as orchards and vineyards whereas arable farmingincludestemporary crops such as wheat and rice. Major operations in open arable farming include tilling, soil analysis, seeding, transplanting, crop scouting, pest control, weed removal and harvesting and robots can assist in performing all of these tasks. Each specific operation requires axillary devices and sensors with specific functions. This article reviews the latest advances in the application of mobile robots in these agricultural operations for open arable farming and provide an overview of the systems and techniques that are used. This article also discusses various challenges for future improvements in using reliable mobile robots for arable farming.

  2. Task-based agricultural mobile robots in arable farming: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aravind, K.R.; Raja, P.; Pérez-Ruiz, M.

    2017-09-01

    In agriculture (in the context of this paper, the terms “agriculture” and “farming” refer to only the farming of crops and exclude the farming of animals), smart farming and automated agricultural technology have emerged as promising methodologies for increasing the crop productivity without sacrificing produce quality. The emergence of various robotics technologies has facilitated the application of these techniques in agricultural processes. However, incorporating this technology in farms has proven to be challenging because of the large variations in shape, size, rate and type of growth, type of produce, and environmental requirements for different types of crops. Agricultural processes are chains of systematic, repetitive, and time-dependent tasks. However, some agricultural processes differ based on the type of farming, namely permanent crop farming and arable farming. Permanent crop farming includes permanent crops or woody plants such as orchards and vineyards whereas arable farming includes temporary crops such as wheat and rice. Major operations in open arable farming include tilling, soil analysis, seeding, transplanting, crop scouting, pest control, weed removal and harvesting and robots can assist in performing all of these tasks. Each specific operation requires axillary devices and sensors with specific functions. This article reviews the latest advances in the application of mobile robots in these agricultural operations for open arable farming and provide an overview of the systems and techniques that are used. This article also discusses various challenges for future improvements in using reliable mobile robots for arable farming.

  3. Crop diversification can contribute to disease risk control in sustainable biofuels production

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, VH; McBride, RC; Shurin, JB; Bever, JD; Crews, TE; Tilman, GD

    2015-01-01

    © The Ecological Society of America. Global demand for transportation fuels will increase rapidly during the upcoming decades, and concerns about fossil-fuel consumption have stimulated research on renewable biofuels that can be sustainably produced from biological feedstocks. However, if unchecked, pathogens and parasites are likely to infect these cultivated biofuel feedstocks, greatly reducing crop yields and potentially threatening the sustainability of renewable bioenergy production effo...

  4. Sustainability assessment of crop protection systems: SustainOS methodology and its application for apple orchards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mouron, P.; Heijne, B.; Naef, A.; Strassemever, J.; Haver, F.; Avilla, J.

    2012-01-01

    Crop protection in general and apple crop protection in particular often rely on pesticides, although several alternative pest management measures are available. In this context European agricultural policy requires the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by 2014. Within IPM, more

  5. On-farm research in Western Siberia: Potential of adapted management practices for sustainable intensification of crop production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühling, Insa; Trautz, Dieter

    2015-04-01

    Western Siberia is of global significance in terms of agricultural production, carbon sequestration and biodiversity preservation. Abandonment of arable land and changes in the use of permanent grasslands were triggered by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in and the following collapse of the state farm system. The peatlands, forests and steppe soils of Western Siberia are one of the most important carbon sinks worldwide. These carbon stocks are, if deteriorated, an important source of radiative forcing even in comparison to anthropogenic emissions. This situation is aggravated by recent and future developments in agricultural land use in the southern part of Western Siberia, in particular in Tyumen province. The increase of drought risk caused by climate change will led to more challenges in these water-limited agricultural production systems. The German-Russian interdisciplinary research project "SASCHA" aims to provide sustainable land management practices to cope with these far-reaching changes for Tyumen province. In particular, on farm scale agricultural strategies are being developed for increased efficiencies in crop production systems. Therefore a 3-factorial field trial with different tillage and seeding operations was installed with spring wheat on 10 ha under practical conditions in 2013. Within all combinations of tillage (no-till/conventional), seed rate (usual/reduced) and seed depth (usual/shallower) various soil parameters as well as plant development and yield components were intensively monitored during the growing seasons. Results after 2-years show significant impacts of the tillage operation on soil moisture and soil temperature. Also a higher trend in nitrogen mineralization could be observed without tillage. Plant development in terms of phenological growth stages took place simultaneously in all variants. Under no-till regime we measured slightly higher grain yields and significant advantages in protein yields. In conjunction with

  6. Farmers typology and crops sustainability in Alto Urubamba, La Convencion – Cusco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaías Merma

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The research was conducted in the geographical region of Alto Urubamba, province of La Convencion, Cusco - Peru. The objective was to identify types of farmers and evaluate crops sustainability on farms of high forest. Surveys were applied to a sample of 106 farmers in both biophysical and socio-economic terms in order to identify typology; this information was analyzed through descriptive statistics. Multivariate analysis using preselected variables was performed to identify types of farmers. In addition, sustainability of eight tropical crops was evaluated; for this purpose, three farms for each crop were selected from 24 evaluated farms. Practical indicators of soil quality and crop health with a valuation from 0 to 10 were used; farmers participated during this evaluation. The results show that there are three types of farmers according to their efficiency in resources management and their economic logic. The crops of tea (6.65 and mango (6.50 obtained the highest values of sustainability, followed by coffee (6.25, cocoa (6.25, citrus (5.50, banana (5.45 and coca (5.10. Papaya (4.60 shows a value less than five; therefore, is considered as unsustainable according to local conditions.

  7. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  8. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  9. Water logging and salinity control for environmentally sustainable crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaudhry, M.R.; Bhutta, M.N.

    2005-01-01

    Irrigation supplies at proper time and adequate quantities are imperative for potential agricultural production under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. To achieve this goal one of the largest integrated irrigation network was established. Without adequate drainage it resulted in the problems of water logging and salinity. To control these problems a big programme of Salinity Control and Reclamation projects (SCARPs) was initiated during 1960 and 82 such SCARPs have been completed and 9 were in progress up to June, 2002 covering an area of 18.6 ma (7.5 mh) at a cost of Rs.93 billions. Under these projects 12746 tube wells in fresh, 3572 in saline groundwater and 13726 km surface and 12612 km tile pipes covering 6391.7 ha, 160 km interceptor drains have been constructed an area of 0.998 ma (GCA). In addition to this some other measures like on farm water management, canal command project, canal lining, construction of evaporation ponds, establishment of research Inst./Organizations were also taken. Many drainage plans like Master Plan (1963), Northern Regional Plan (1967), Water Sector Investment Plan Study (1990), Right Bank Master Plan (1992), Drainage Sector Environmental Assessment (1993) and National Drainage Programme (1995) were prepared and implemented. The cost of the, phase-I of the National Drainage Programme was 785 million US$. The main activities undertaken were remodeling/extension of existing surface and new drains; rehabilitation/replacement of saline ground water (SGW) tube wells; construction of interceptor drains, reclamation of waterlogged areas through biological drainage and transfer of fresh ground water tube wells to the farmers. The data indicate that all the measures taken have played a significant role in reducing the water logging, salinity/sodicity and have increased the crop production and consequently improved the socio-economic conditions of the peoples especially the farming community. The environment in these areas was also

  10. Mycostimulation in a glyphosate treated arable soil: implications on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mycostimulation in a glyphosate treated arable soil: implications on the yield and agronomic characters of Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss. ... If properly managed and stimulated, fungi can contribute significantly to improving soil health, thus improving food security in a sustainable manner. Keywords: Mycoaugmentation ...

  11. A crop production ecology (CPE) approach to sustainable production of biomass for food, feed and fuel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haverkort, A.J.; Bindraban, P.S.; Conijn, J.G.; Ruijter, de F.J.

    2009-01-01

    With the rapid increase in demand for agricultural products for food, feed and fuel, concerns are growing about sustainability issues. Can agricultural production meet the needs of increasing numbers of people consuming more animal products and using a larger share of crops as fuel for transport,

  12. Emergy Analysis and Sustainability Efficiency Analysis of Different Crop-Based Biodiesel in Life Cycle Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; Manzardo, Alessandro; Mazzi, Anna

    2013-01-01

    kinds of crop-based biodiesel including soybean-, rapeseed-, sunflower-, jatropha- and palm-based biodiesel production options are studied by emergy analysis; soybean-based scenario is recognized as the most sustainable scenario that should be chosen for further study in China. DEA method is used...

  13. The potential of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) for sustainable fibre production: a crop physiological appraisal.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werf, van der H.M.G.; Mathijssen, E.W.J.M.; Haverkort, A.J.

    1996-01-01

    Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) fibre can be used as a raw material for paper and textile production. A comprehensive research programme in the Netherlands has concluded that fibre hemp is a potentially profitable crop, having the right profile to fit into sustainable farming systems. This paper presents

  14. Phosphate fertilisers and management for sustainable crop production in tropical acid soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chien, S.H.; Friesen, D.K.

    2000-01-01

    Extensive research has been conducted over the past 25 years on the management of plant nutrients, especially N and P, for crop production on acidic infertile tropical soils. Under certain conditions, the use of indigenous phosphate rock (PR) and modified PR products, such as partially acidulated PR or compacted mixtures of PR with superphosphates, are attractive alternatives, both agronomically and economically, to the use of conventional water-soluble P fertilisers for increasing crop productivity on Oxisols and Ultisols. A combination of the effects of proper P and N management including biological N 2 fixation, judicious use of lime, and the use of acid-soil tolerant and/or P-efficient cultivars in cropping systems that enhance nutrient cycling and use efficiency, can provide an effective technology to sustainably increase crop productivity and production in tropical agro-ecosystems dominated by these acid soils. (author)

  15. Crop residue recycling for economic and environmental sustainability: The case of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devi Saroj

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available India is one of the key producers of food grain, oilseed, sugarcane and other agricultural products. Agricultural crops generate considerable amounts of leftover residues, with increases in food production crop residues also increasing. These leftover residues exhibit not only resource loss but also a missed opportunity to improve a farmer’s income. The use of crop residues in various fields are being explored by researchers across the world in areas such as textile composite non-woven making processes, power generation, biogas production, animal feed, compost and manures, etc. The increasing trend in addition of bio-energy cogeneration plants, increasing demand for animal feedstock and increasing trend for organic agriculture indicates a competitive opportunity forcrop residue in Agriculture. It is to be noted that the use of this left over residue isoften not mutually exclusive which makes measurement of its economic value more difficult.For example, straw can be used as animal bedding and thereafter as a crop fertilizer. In view of this, the main aim of this paper envisaged to know about how much crop residue is left unutilized and how best they can be utilized for alternative purposes for environmental stewardship and sustainability. In this context, an attempt has been made to estimate the total crop residue across the states and its economic value though data available from various government sources and a SWOT analysis performed for possible alternative uses of residue in India. This paper also discusses the successful case studies of India and global level of use of crop residues in economic activities. Over all 516 Mtonnes of crop residue was produced in 2014-15 in India among which cereals were the largest producer of crop residue followed by sugarcane. The energy potential from paddy rice straw crop residue was estimated as 486,955 megawatt for 2014-15 and similarly for coarse cereals it was 226,200megawatt.

  16. The role of short-rotation woody crops in sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shepard, J.P.; Tolbert, V.R.

    1996-01-01

    One answer to increase wood production is by increasing management intensity on existing timberland, especially in plantation forests. Another is to convert land currently in agriculture to timberland. Short-rotation woody crops can be used in both cases. But, what are the environmental consequences? Short-rotation woody crops can provide a net improvement in environmental quality at both local and global scales. Conversion of agricultural land to short-rotation woody crops can provide the most environmental quality enhancement by reducing erosion, improving soil quality, decreasing runoff, improving groundwater quality, and providing better wildlife habitat. Forest products companies can use increased production from intensively managed short-rotation woody crop systems to offset decreased yield from the portion of their timberland that is managed less intensively, e.g. streamside management zones and other ecologically sensitive or unique areas. At the global scale, use of short-rotation woody crops for bioenergy is part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels. Incorporating short-rotation woody crops into the agricultural landscape also increases storage of carbon in the soil, thus reducing atmospheric concentrations. In addition, use of wood instead of alternatives such as steel, concrete, and plastics generally consumes less energy and produces less greenhouse gases. Cooperative research can be used to achieve energy, fiber, and environmental goals. This paper will highlight several examples of ongoing cooperative research projects that seek to enhance the environmental aspects of short-rotation woody crop systems. Government, industry, and academia are conducting research to study soil quality, use of mill residuals, nutrients in runoff and groundwater, and wildlife use of short-rotation woody crop systems in order to assure the role of short-rotation crops as a sustainable way of meeting society's needs

  17. Hemp: A more sustainable annual energy crop for climate and energy policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finnan, John; Styles, David

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the fuel-chain greenhouse gas balance and farm economics of hemp grown for bioenergy with two perennial bioenergy crops, Miscanthus and willow, and two more traditional annual bioenergy crops, sugar beet and oil seed rape (OSR). The GHG burden of hemp cultivation is intermediate between perennial and traditional annual energy crops, but net fuel chain GHG abatement potential of 11 t/CO 2 eq./ha/year in the mid yield estimate is comparable to perennial crops, and 140% and 540% greater than for OSR and sugar beet fuel chains, respectively. Gross margins from hemp were considerably lower than for OSR and sugar beet, but exceeded those from Miscanthus when organic fertilizers were used and in the absence of establishment grants for the latter crop. Extrapolated up to the EU scale, replacing 25% of OSR and sugar beet production with hemp production could increase net GHG abatement by up to 21 Mt CO 2 eq./year. Hemp is a considerably more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops. Integrated into food crop rotations, hemp need not compete with food supplies, and could provide an appealing option to develop more sustainable non-transport bioenergy supply chains. - Highlights: ► The GHG burden of hemp is intermediate between perennial and annual energy crops. ► Replacing 25% of OSR/beet with hemp could increase GHG abatement by 21 Mt/CO 2 eq./year. ► Hemp is a more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops

  18. Assessing the sustainability of Brazilian oleaginous crops - possible raw material to produce biodiesel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, Fabio; Ortega, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to make an emergy assessment of oleaginous crops cultivated in Brazil, available to produce biodiesel, in order to determine which crop is the most sustainable. This study evaluates conventional agro-chemical farms that produce rapeseed (canola), oil palm, soybean, sunflower and cotton. Rapeseed (canola) crop uses 40.41% of renewable energy and it is the most sustainable conventional oil crop; on the other hand, it is not widely produced in Brazil, probably due to climate restrictions or low market demand. The oil palm emergy indicators are contradictory: its emergy exchange ratio (EER) value is the lower, showing the possibility of fair exchange, and the low transformity value indicates high efficiency; however, it also has low renewability (28.31%), indicating a high dependency on agro-chemicals (basically fertilizers). Oil palm is a potential energy source due to its high agricultural productivity, but appropriate management is necessary to increase its sustainability and reduce the use of non-renewable resources.

  19. Assessing the sustainability of Brazilian oleaginous crops - possible raw material to produce biodiesel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takahashi, Fabio, E-mail: fabiotak@fea.unicamp.b [FEA - College of Food Engineering - Unicamp, CP 6121, CEP 13083-862 Campinas, SP (Brazil); Ortega, Enrique, E-mail: fabiotak@gmail.co [FEA - College of Food Engineering - Unicamp, CP 6121, CEP 13083-862 Campinas, SP (Brazil)

    2010-05-15

    The aim of this paper is to make an emergy assessment of oleaginous crops cultivated in Brazil, available to produce biodiesel, in order to determine which crop is the most sustainable. This study evaluates conventional agro-chemical farms that produce rapeseed (canola), oil palm, soybean, sunflower and cotton. Rapeseed (canola) crop uses 40.41% of renewable energy and it is the most sustainable conventional oil crop; on the other hand, it is not widely produced in Brazil, probably due to climate restrictions or low market demand. The oil palm emergy indicators are contradictory: its emergy exchange ratio (EER) value is the lower, showing the possibility of fair exchange, and the low transformity value indicates high efficiency; however, it also has low renewability (28.31%), indicating a high dependency on agro-chemicals (basically fertilizers). Oil palm is a potential energy source due to its high agricultural productivity, but appropriate management is necessary to increase its sustainability and reduce the use of non-renewable resources.

  20. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Jennifer Pc; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N; Elich, Tedd

    2010-09-08

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration.

  1. From the Academy: Colloquium perspective. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, R James

    2006-12-05

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding.

  2. Designing a new cropping system for high productivity and sustainable water usage under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Qingfeng; Wang, Hongfei; Yan, Peng; Pan, Junxiao; Lu, Dianjun; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Fusuo; Chen, Xinping

    2017-02-01

    The food supply is being increasingly challenged by climate change and water scarcity. However, incremental changes in traditional cropping systems have achieved only limited success in meeting these multiple challenges. In this study, we applied a systematic approach, using model simulation and data from two groups of field studies conducted in the North China Plain, to develop a new cropping system that improves yield and uses water in a sustainable manner. Due to significant warming, we identified a double-maize (M-M; Zea mays L.) cropping system that replaced the traditional winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) -summer maize system. The M-M system improved yield by 14-31% compared with the conventionally managed wheat-maize system, and achieved similar yield compared with the incrementally adapted wheat-maize system with the optimized cultivars, planting dates, planting density and water management. More importantly, water usage was lower in the M-M system than in the wheat-maize system, and the rate of water usage was sustainable (net groundwater usage was ≤150 mm yr-1). Our study indicated that systematic assessment of adaptation and cropping system scale have great potential to address the multiple food supply challenges under changing climatic conditions.

  3. Genetic Engineering and Sustainable Crop Disease Management: Opportunities for Case-by-Case Decision-Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Vincelli

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Genetic engineering (GE offers an expanding array of strategies for enhancing disease resistance of crop plants in sustainable ways, including the potential for reduced pesticide usage. Certain GE applications involve transgenesis, in some cases creating a metabolic pathway novel to the GE crop. In other cases, only cisgenessis is employed. In yet other cases, engineered genetic changes can be so minimal as to be indistinguishable from natural mutations. Thus, GE crops vary substantially and should be evaluated for risks, benefits, and social considerations on a case-by-case basis. Deployment of GE traits should be with an eye towards long-term sustainability; several options are discussed. Selected risks and concerns of GE are also considered, along with genome editing, a technology that greatly expands the capacity of molecular biologists to make more precise and targeted genetic edits. While GE is merely a suite of tools to supplement other breeding techniques, if wisely used, certain GE tools and applications can contribute to sustainability goals.

  4. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Wei; Ma, Baoluo

    2015-01-01

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8–150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide. - Highlights: • The increasing pressure to meet global cereal demand poses great challenge. • A changing environment further threatens cereal production. • Literature summary shows 8–150% yield advantage from use of INM method. • INM contributions to mitigation of environmental costs are remarkable. • High crop productivity and less environmental impact can be

  5. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Wei, E-mail: weiwu@nwsuaf.edu.cn [College of Agronomy, Northwest A& F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100 (China); Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC), Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6 (Canada); Ma, Baoluo, E-mail: Baoluo.Ma@AGR.GC.CA [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC), Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6 (Canada)

    2015-04-15

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8–150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide. - Highlights: • The increasing pressure to meet global cereal demand poses great challenge. • A changing environment further threatens cereal production. • Literature summary shows 8–150% yield advantage from use of INM method. • INM contributions to mitigation of environmental costs are remarkable. • High crop productivity and less environmental impact can be

  6. Farmers' Perception of Integrated Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of Rural Areas in Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farouque, Md. Golam; Takeya, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to determine farmers' perception of integrated soil fertility and nutrient management for sustainable crop production. Integrated soil fertility (ISF) and nutrient management (NM) is an advanced approach to maintain soil fertility and to enhance crop productivity. A total number of 120 farmers from eight villages in four districts…

  7. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  8. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  9. Enhancing Adoption of Irrigation Scheduling to Sustain the Viability of Fruit and Nut Crops in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, A.; Snyder, R.; Hillyer, C.; English, M.; Sanden, B.; Munk, D.

    2012-04-01

    Enhancing Adoption of Irrigation Scheduling to Sustain the Viability of Fruit and Nut Crops in California Allan Fulton, Richard Snyder, Charles Hillyer, Marshall English, Blake Sanden, and Dan Munk Adoption of scientific methods to decide when to irrigate and how much water to apply to a crop has increased over the last three decades in California. In 1988, less than 4.3 percent of US farmers employed some type of science-based technique to assist in making irrigation scheduling decisions (USDA, 1995). An ongoing survey in California, representing an industry irrigating nearly 0.4 million planted almond hectares, indicates adoption rates ranging from 38 to 55 percent of either crop evapotranspiration (ETc), soil moisture monitoring, plant water status, or some combination of these irrigation scheduling techniques to assist with making irrigation management decisions (California Almond Board, 2011). High capital investment to establish fruit and nut crops, sensitivity to over and under-irrigation on crop performance and longevity, and increasing costs and competition for water have all contributed to increased adoption of scientific irrigation scheduling methods. These trends in adoption are encouraging and more opportunities exist to develop improved irrigation scheduling tools, especially computer decision-making models. In 2009 and 2010, an "On-line Irrigation Scheduling Advisory Service" (OISO, 2012), also referred to as Online Irrigation Management (IMO), was used and evaluated in commercial walnut, almond, and French prune orchards in the northern Sacramento Valley of California. This specific model has many features described as the "Next Generation of Irrigation Schedulers" (Hillyer, 2010). While conventional irrigation management involves simply irrigating as needed to avoid crop stress, this IMO is designed to control crop stress, which requires: (i) precise control of crop water availability (rather than controlling applied water); (ii) quantifying crop

  10. Tree Crops, a Permanent Agriculture: Concepts from the Past for a Sustainable Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Reed Funk

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available J. Russell Smith (1874–1966, a professor of geography at Columbia University, witnessed the devastation of soil erosion during his extensive travels. He first published his landmark text, Tree Crops, A Permanent Agriculture in 1929, in which he described the value of tree crops for producing food and animal feed on sloping, marginal, and rocky soils as a sustainable alternative to annual crop agriculture less suited to these lands. A cornerstone of his thesis was using wide germplasm collection and plant breeding to improve this largely underutilized and genetically unexploited group of plants to develop locally adapted, high-yielding cultivars for the many climatic zones of North America. Smith proposed an establishment of “Institutes of Mountain Agriculture” to undertake this work. For a variety of reasons, though, his ideas were not implemented to any great degree. However, our growing population’s increasing demands on natural resources and the associated environmental degradation necessitate that Smith’s ideas be revisited. In this review, his concepts, supported by modern scientific understanding and advances, are discussed and expanded upon to emphasize their largely overlooked potential to enhance world food and energy security and environmental sustainability. The discussion leads us to propose that his “institutes” be established worldwide and with an expanded scope of work.

  11. Fitting maize into sustainable cropping systems on acid soils of the tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horst, W.J.

    2000-01-01

    One of the key elements of sustainable cropping systems is the integration of crops and/or crop cultivars with high tolerance of soil acidity and which make most efficient use of the nutrients supplied by soil and fertilizer. This paper is based mainly on on-going work within an EU-funded project combining basic research on plant adaptation mechanisms by plant physiologists, and field experimentation on acid soils in Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia and Guadeloupe by breeders, soil scientists and a agronomists. The results suggest that large genetic variability exists in adaptation of plants to acid soils. A range of morphological and physiological plant characteristics contribute to tolerance of acid soils, elucidation of which has contributed to the development of rapid techniques for screening for tolerance. Incorporation of acid-soil-tolerant species and cultivars into cropping systems contributes to improved nutrient efficiency overall, and thus reduces fertilizer needs. This may help to minimize maintenance applications of fertiliser through various pathways: (i) deeper root growth resulting in more-efficient uptake of nutrients from the sub-soil and less leaching, (ii) more biomass production resulting in less seepage and less leaching, with more intensive nutrient cycling, maintenance of higher soil organic-matter content, and, consequently, less erosion owing to better soil protection by vegetation and mulch. (author)

  12. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  13. The Balanced Scorecard as a Management Tool for Arable Farming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margit Paustian

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Management requirements for crop farming are high and will rise in the future. Arable farms are challenged by volatile markets, growing administrative burdens, increasing operating costs and growing competition for land. Management skills have become much more important for farmers in recent years and this trend will continue in the future. There are numerous instruments like accounting software or crop field cards integrated in daily management practice, but there is a deficiency of a fully integrated management system to give an overview of all areas of the farming business. This gap can be closed by the management tool Balanced Scorecard (BSC that provides an overview of all production and management activities on a farm. Therefore, with the aim to transfer the BSC concept to crop farming, German farmers and agricultural advisors were surveyed to get insights into the success factors and key performance indicators in the four BSC perspectives they consider most relevant for the operational success of arable farms. By the use of a cluster analysis, three different farm types were identified according to their visions and strategies. For the three farm types the key performance indicators that the respondents considered most relevant for farm performance were figured out. Implementation of the BSC to crop farming can result in a big benefit for management practice. The BSC focuses vision and long-term strategy with the main goal to ensure consistency of the farm and increase farm performance.

  14. Sustainability of energy crops. Four papers by the Centre for Agriculture and Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Van Kuik, M.; Van Zeijts, H.

    1998-07-01

    Between 1994 and 1996 CLM developed a method for assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of producing and using energy from agricultural and forest biomass. The method has much in common with environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). CLM has also co-ordinated a concerted action called 'Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'. LCA is at present the best available instrument for assessing the ecological sustainability of energy crops. CLM focused on three topics disseminating the results of the concerted action; updating the work on bioethanol, and proposals for new financial instruments. The results are presented in this report. First, the results from the concerted action and work carried out by CLM were disseminated. Papers were presented at the international conference on 'Implementation of solid biofuels for carbon dioxide mitigation', 29-30 September 1997, Uppsala, Sweden, and at the international workshop on 'Environmental aspects of energy crop production', 9-10 October 1997, Brasimone, Italy. In addition, a paper was written on the need to co-ordinate policy options to stimulate the production and use of energy crops from an energy, agricultural and environmental point of view. Second, a study on bioethanol was carried out in which data obtained elsewhere on the use of bioethanol as a transport fuel were revised and updated. The sustainability of bioethanol production from sugar beet was compared with that of bioethanol from winter wheat. Using bioethanol from sugar beet replaces more fossil energy than bioethanol from winter wheat. For both crops, the costs per ton avoided CO2 decrease over time to 2010, but are still higher than electricity routes. The third action was the development of proposals for new financial instruments to stimulate energy production from biomass in the agricultural and forestry sector. This proposal was presented at the ALTENER Seminar on 'Financial incentives for

  15. Sustainable biochar effects for low carbon crop production: A 5-crop season field experiment on a low fertility soil from Central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

    GHGs emission than with soil property and crop yield. Thus, our study suggested that biochar amended in dry land could sustain a low carbon production both of maize and wheat in terms of its efficient carbon sequestration, lower GHGs emission intensity and soil improvement over 5 crop seasons after a single amendment.

  16. Sustainability of current GM crop cultivation : Review of people, planet, profit effects of agricultural production of GM crops, based on the cases of soybean, maize, and cotton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Franke, A.C.; Breukers, M.L.H.; Broer, W.; Bunte, F.H.J.; Dolstra, O.; Engelbronner-Kolff, d' F.M.; Lotz, L.A.P.; Montfort, J.; Nikoloyuk, J.; Rutten, M.M.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Zijl, M.

    2011-01-01

    This report adresses the question whether the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops abroad for import in the Netherlands, as compared to the cultivation of their conventional (non-GM) counterparts, is in line with Dutch policy and societal aims striving after more sustainable forms of

  17. Improvements in crop water productivity increase water sustainability and food security—a global analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brauman, Kate A; Foley, Jonathan A; Siebert, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Irrigation consumes more water than any other human activity, and thus the challenges of water sustainability and food security are closely linked. To evaluate how water resources are used for food production, we examined global patterns of water productivity—food produced (kcal) per unit of water (l) consumed. We document considerable variability in crop water productivity globally, not only across different climatic zones but also within climatic zones. The least water productive systems are disproportionate freshwater consumers. On precipitation-limited croplands, we found that ∼40% of water consumption goes to production of just 20% of food calories. Because in many cases crop water productivity is well below optimal levels, in many cases farmers have substantial opportunities to improve water productivity. To demonstrate the potential impact of management interventions, we calculated that raising crop water productivity in precipitation-limited regions to the 20th percentile of productivity would increase annual production on rainfed cropland by enough to provide food for an estimated 110 million people, and water consumption on irrigated cropland would be reduced enough to meet the annual domestic water demands of nearly 1.4 billion people. (letter)

  18. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K Thomas; Mullen, Robert T; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2016-02-26

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds.

  19. Uses of glyphosate in German arable farming – operational aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiese, Armin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Glyphosate is the most frequently used herbicide active ingredient in Germany. Studies regarding its usage in non-GMO arable farming are still rare even though it plays an important role in several agronomic situations. Therefore, we conducted a comprehensive survey, which was carried out among conventional German farms in Winter 2014/2015. Based on the results of this survey we analyzed via cluster analysis how types of farms differ in terms of glyphosate usage. An illustration of seven clusters allows deep insights into arable farm structures. The farm types can be distinguished regarding their tillage system and similar to this differentiation also concerning their intensity of glyphosate application. Furthermore, it becomes obvious that farm clusters with a higher level of glyphosate usage are characterized by a lower number of labourers per hectare, more arable land and/or enhanced cover cropping. Moreover, groups of farmers who rely more on glyphosate are more likely to state that they need glyphosate for herbicide resistance management. Farmers’ assessments of the economic importance of glyphosate usage vary depending on the type of farm. By means of the farm clusters, the most important situations of glyphosate usage can be further analyzed economically and scenarios for impact assessments can be made.

  20. Scientific Basis for Sustainable Management of Eucalyptus and Populus as Short-Rotation Woody Crops in the U.S.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric D. Vance

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Short rotation woody crops (SRWC, fast growing tree species that are harvested on short, repeated intervals, can augment traditional fiber sources. These crops have economic and environmental benefits stemming from their capability of supplying fiber on a reduced land base in close proximity to users and when sensitive sites cannot be accessed. Eucalyptus and Populus appear to be genera with the greatest potential to provide supplemental fiber in the U.S. Optimal productivity can be achieved through practices that overcome site limitations and by choosing the most appropriate sites, species, and clones. Some Eucalyptus species are potentially invasive, yet field studies across multiple continents suggest they are slower to disperse than predicted by risk assessments. Some studies have found lower plant and animal diversity in SRWC systems compared to mature, native forests, but greater than some alterative land uses and strongly influenced by stand management, land use history, and landscape context. Eucalyptus established in place of grasslands, arable lands, and, in some cases, native forests can reduce streamflow and lower water tables due to higher interception and transpiration rates but results vary widely, are scale dependent, and are most evident in drier regions.

  1. Soil organic matter dynamics after the conversion of arable land to pasture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Römkens, P.F.A.M.; Plicht, van der J.; Hassink, J.

    1999-01-01

    Conversion of arable land (maize) to pasture will affect the soil organic matter (SOM) content. Changes in the SOM content were studied using a size- and density-fractionation method and 13C analysis. Twenty-six years of maize cropping had resulted in a depletion of carbon stored in the

  2. Allelopathic cover crop of rye for integrated weed control in sustainable agroecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Tabaglio

    2013-02-01

    absorption capability. The insensitivity of A. theophrasti to BOA was due to reduced accumulation in seedlings. Overall, results confirm that the use of a rye cover crop in a suitable crop rotation represents a sustainable weed management practice permitting a reduction in the amount of herbicides used in agroecosystems, thus limiting the environmental risks of intensive agriculture.

  3. Sustainable use of pig slurry, with and without treatment, as an amendment organic in almond crop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dominguez Oliver, S. G.; Faz Cano, A.

    2009-01-01

    This study consists in the use of different forms of slurry, as an organic fertilizer, on almond trees located in La Aljorra (Cartegena, Murcia). The slurry used comes from a farm near the area of study, which has a treatment system composed by tree parts: a phase separator, a bioreactor and 5 constructed wetlands of vertical flow. Different phases of slurry are obtained from each part of the system. The results show the reduction of most of the parameters lime salinity, BOD 5 QOD, nitrate, etc. The use of these effluents as an organic amend in different doses, supposes a sustainable way of management of these residues; at the same time it improves the soil properties and the agronomic quality of the almond tree crop. (Author) 4 refs.

  4. Soil Tillage Conservation and its Effect on Soil Properties Bioremediation and Sustained Production of Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusu, Teodor; Ioana Moraru, Paula; Muresan, Liliana; Andriuca, Valentina; Cojocaru, Olesea

    2017-04-01

    soil features resulted in a positive impact on the water permeability of the soil. Availability of soil moisture during the crop growth resulted in better plant water status. Subsequent release of conserved soil water regulated proper plant water status, soil structure, and lowered soil penetrometer resistance. Productions obtained at STC did not have significant differences for the wheat and maize crop but were higher for soybean. The advantages of minimum soil tillage systems for Romanian pedo-climatic conditions can be used to improve methods in low producing soils with reduced structural stability on sloped fields, as well as measures of water and soil conservation on the whole agroecosystem. Presently, it is necessary to make a change concerning the concept of conservation practices and to consider a new approach regarding the good agricultural practice. We need to focus on an upper level concerning conservation by focusing on soil quality. Carbon management is necessary for a complexity of matters including soil, water management, field productivity, biological fuel and climatic change. In conclusion a Sustainable Agriculture includes a range of complementary agricultural practices: (i) minimum soil tillage (through a system of reduced tillage or no-tillage) to preserve the structure, fauna and soil organic matter; (ii) permanent soil cover (cover crops, residues and mulches) to protect the soil and help to remove and control weeds; (iii) various combinations and rotations of the crops which stimulate the micro-organisms in the soil and controls pests, weeds and plant diseases. Acknowledgements: This paper was performed under the frame of the Partnership in priority domains - PNII, developed with the support of MEN-UEFISCDI, project no. PN-II-PT-PCCA-2013-4-0015: Expert System for Risk Monitoring in Agriculture and Adaptation of Conservative Agricultural Technologies to Climate Change, and International Cooperation Program - Sub-3.1. Bilateral AGROCEO c. no. 21BM

  5. Controlled release for crop and wood protection: Recent progress toward sustainable and safe nanostructured biocidal systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattos, Bruno D; Tardy, Blaise L; Magalhães, Washington L E; Rojas, Orlando J

    2017-09-28

    We review biocide delivery systems (BDS), which are designed to deter or control harmful organisms that damage agricultural crops, forests and forest products. This is a timely topic, given the growing socio-economical concerns that have motivated major developments in sustainable BDS. Associated designs aim at improving or replacing traditional systems, which often consist of biocides with extreme behavior as far as their solubility in water. This includes those that compromise or pollute soil and water (highly soluble or volatile biocides) or those that present low bioavailability (poorly soluble biocides). Major breakthroughs are sought to mitigate or eliminate consequential environmental and health impacts in agriculture and silviculture. Here, we consider the most important BDS vehicles or carriers, their synthesis, the environmental impact of their constituents and interactions with the active components together with the factors that affect their rates of release such as environmental factors and interaction of BDS with the crops or forest products. We put in perspective the state-of-the-art nanostructured carriers for controlled release, which need to address many of the challenges that exist in the application of BDS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Breeding crop plants with deep roots: their role in sustainable carbon, nutrient and water sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas B.

    2011-01-01

    Background The soil represents a reservoir that contains at least twice as much carbon as does the atmosphere, yet (apart from ‘root crops’) mainly just the above-ground plant biomass is harvested in agriculture, and plant photosynthesis represents the effective origin of the overwhelming bulk of soil carbon. However, present estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of soils are based more on what is happening now than what might be changed by active agricultural intervention, and tend to concentrate only on the first metre of soil depth. Scope Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields. The carbon that can be sequestered in the steady state by increasing the rooting depths of crop plants and grasses from, say, 1 m to 2 m depends significantly on its lifetime(s) in different molecular forms in the soil, but calculations (http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html) suggest that this breeding strategy could have a hugely beneficial effect in stabilizing atmospheric CO2. This sets an important research agenda, and the breeding of plants with improved and deep rooting habits and architectures is a goal well worth pursuing. PMID:21813565

  7. Sustainable management in crop monocultures: the impact of retaining forest on oil palm yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Felicity A; Edwards, David P; Sloan, Sean; Hamer, Keith C

    2014-01-01

    Tropical agriculture is expanding rapidly at the expense of forest, driving a global extinction crisis. How to create agricultural landscapes that minimise the clearance of forest and maximise sustainability is thus a key issue. One possibility is protecting natural forest within or adjacent to crop monocultures to harness important ecosystem services provided by biodiversity spill-over that may facilitate production. Yet this contrasts with the conflicting potential that the retention of forest exports dis-services, such as agricultural pests. We focus on oil palm and obtained yields from 499 plantation parcels spanning a total of ≈23,000 ha of oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We investigate the relationship between the extent and proximity of both contiguous and fragmented dipterocarp forest cover and oil palm yield, controlling for variation in oil palm age and for environmental heterogeneity by incorporating proximity to non-native forestry plantations, other oil palm plantations, and large rivers, elevation and soil type in our models. The extent of forest cover and proximity to dipterocarp forest were not significant predictors of oil palm yield. Similarly, proximity to large rivers and other oil palm plantations, as well as soil type had no significant effect. Instead, lower elevation and closer proximity to forestry plantations had significant positive impacts on oil palm yield. These findings suggest that if dipterocarp forests are exporting ecosystem service benefits or ecosystem dis-services, that the net effect on yield is neutral. There is thus no evidence to support arguments that forest should be retained within or adjacent to oil palm monocultures for the provision of ecosystem services that benefit yield. We urge for more nuanced assessments of the impacts of forest and biodiversity on yields in crop monocultures to better understand their role in sustainable agriculture.

  8. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreasen, L.M.; Boon, A.D.

    1992-01-01

    Surplus cereal production in the EEC and decreasing product prices, mainly for cereals, has prompted considerable interest for new earnings in arable farming. The objective was to examine whether suggested new crops (fibre, oil, medicinal and alternative grains crops) could be considered as real alternatives. Whether a specific crop can compete economically with cereals and whether there is a market demand for the crop is analyzed. The described possibilities will result in ca. 50,000 hectares of new crops. It is expected that they would not immediately provide increased earnings, but in the long run expected price developments are more positive than for cereals. The area for new crops will not solve the current surplus cereal problem as the area used for new crops is only 3% of that used for cereals. Preconditions for many new crops is further research activities and development work as well as the establishment of processing units and organizational initiatives. Presumably, it is stated, there will then be a basis for a profitable production of new crops for some farmers. (AB) (47 refs.)

  9. Invited review: Sustainable forage and grain crop production for the US dairy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, N P; Russelle, M P; Powell, J M; Sniffen, C J; Smith, S I; Tricarico, J M; Grant, R J

    2017-12-01

    A resilient US dairy industry will be underpinned by forage and crop production systems that are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Land use for production of perennial and annual forages and grains for dairy cattle must evolve in response to multiple food security and environmental sustainability issues. These include increasing global populations; higher incomes and demand for dairy and other animal products; climate change with associated temperature and moisture changes; necessary reductions in carbon and water footprints; maintenance of soil quality and soil nutrient concerns; and competition for land. Likewise, maintaining producer profitability and utilizing practices accepted by consumers and society generally must also be considered. Predicted changes in climate and water availability will likely challenge current feed and dairy production systems and their national spatial distribution, particularly the western migration of dairy production in the late 20th century. To maintain and stabilize profitability while reducing carbon footprint, particularly reductions in methane emission and enhancements in soil carbon sequestration, dairy production will need to capitalize on genetic and management innovations that enhance forage and grain production and nutritive value. Improved regional and on-farm integration of feed production and manure utilization is needed to reduce environmental nitrogen and phosphorus losses and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Resilient and flexible feed production strategies are needed to address each of these challenges and opportunities to ensure profitable feeding of dairy cattle and a sustainable dairy industry. The Authors. Published by the Federation of Animal Science Societies and Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

  10. Spatial optimization of cropping pattern for sustainable food and biofuel production with minimal downstream pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Femeena, P V; Sudheer, K P; Cibin, R; Chaubey, I

    2018-04-15

    compromising on food and biofuel production. Optimization runs yielded an optimal cropping pattern with 32% of watershed area in stover removal, 15% in switchgrass and 2% in Miscanthus. The optimal scenario resulted in 14% reduction in nitrate and 22% reduction in total phosphorus from the baseline. This framework can be used as an effective tool to take decisions regarding environmentally and economically sustainable strategies to minimize the nutrient delivery at minimal biomass production cost, while simultaneously meeting food and biofuel production targets. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Optimization of Southeastern Forest Biomass Crop Production: A Watershed Scale Evaluation of the Sustainability and Productivity of Dedicated Energy Crop and Woody Biomass Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chescheir, George M. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Nettles, Jami E, [Weyerhaeuser Company; Youssef, Mohamed [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Birgand, Francois [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Amatya, Devendra M. [United States Forest Service; Miller, Darren A. [Weyerhaeuser Company; Sucre, Eric [Weyerhaeuser Company; Schilling, Erik [National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.; Tian, Shiying [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Cacho, Julian F. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Bennett, Erin M. [Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, LLC; Carter, Taylor [HDR; Bowen, Nicole Dobbs [Engineering Design Consultants; Muwamba, Augustine [College of Charleston; Panda, Sudhanshu [University of North Georgia; Christopher, Sheila [Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States); Phillips, Brian D. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Appelboom, Timothy [NC Department of Environmental Quality; Skaggs, Richard W. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Greene, Ethan J. [Land Trust for Central North Carolina; Marshall, Craig D. [Mississippi State University; Allen, Elizabeth [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Schoenholtz, Stephen H. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2018-04-12

    Growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as an intercrop in managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations has emerged as a potential source of bioenergy feedstock. Utilizing land resources between pine trees to produce an energy crop can potentially reduce the demand for land resources used to produce food; however, converting conventionally managed forest land to this new intercropping system constitutes changes in land use and associated management practices, which may affect the environmental and economic sustainability of the land.

    The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the environmental effects of large-scale forest bioenergy crop production and utilize these results to optimize cropping systems in a manner that protects the important ecosystem services provided by forests while contributing to the development of a sustainable and economically-viable biomass industry in the southeastern United States.

    Specific objectives are to:

    1. Quantify the hydrology of different energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments on different landscapes in the southeast.
    2. Quantify the nutrient dynamics of energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments to determine the impact of these systems on water quality.
    3. Evaluate the impacts of energy crop production on soil structure, fertility, and organic matter.
    4. Evaluate the response of flora and fauna populations and habitat quality to energy crop production systems.
    5. Develop watershed and regional scale models to evaluate the environmental sustainability and productivity of energy crop and woody biomass operations.
    6. Quantify the production systems in terms of bioenergy crop yield versus the energy and economic costs of production.
    7. Develop and evaluate best management practice guidelines to ensure the environmental sustainability of energy crop production systems.
    Watershed and plot scale studies

  12. Sustainable development of smallholder crop-livestock farming in developing countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ates, S.; Cicek, H.; Bell, L. W.; Norman, H. C.; Mayberry, D. E.; Kassam, S.; Hannaway, D. B.; Louhaichi, M.

    2018-03-01

    Meeting the growing demand for animal-sourced food, prompted by population growth and increases in average per-capita income in low-income countries, is a major challenge. Yet, it also presents significant potential for agricultural growth, economic development, and reduction of poverty in rural areas. The main constraints to livestock producers taking advantage of growing markets include; lack of forage and feed gaps, communal land tenure, limited access to land and water resources, weak institutions, poor infrastructure and environmental degradation. To improve rural livelihood and food security in smallholder crop-livestock farming systems, concurrent work is required to address issues regarding efficiency of production, risk within systems and development of whole value chain systems. This paper provides a review of several forage based-studies in tropical and non-tropical dry areas of the developing countries. A central tenet of this paper is that forages have an essential role in agricultural productivity, environmental sustainability and livestock nutrition in smallholder mixed farming systems.

  13. Crop rotation in the Valle Calido del Alto Magdalena a sustainable focus of high yield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alfaro Rodriguez, Ricardo; Maria Caicedo, Antonio; Amezquita Collazos, Edgar; Castro Franco, Hugo Eduardo

    1996-01-01

    Experiments were carried out during five years at the Nataima Research Center, located at 431 m.a.s.l, with average temperature of 28 Celsius degrades and annual rainfall of 1274 Boyaca mm, on a soil classified as Arenic Haplustalf, to evaluate different crops rotation based on rice and sorghum; the combinations used were as follows; rice-rice (R-R), rice-- soybean (R-SY), rice-crotalaria-sorghum (R-C-S), sorghum-sorghum (S-S), sorghum-soybean (S-SY) and cotton-sorghum (Al-S). Simultaneously it was evaluated the response to four nitrogen levels, which allowed to find out yield functions and optimum economical. The rotations S-SY, R-SY and AI-S have been the best qualified from an environmental perspective. Sorghum-soybean rotation presents increases in yield compared with expected values, which allows thinking that it is a truly sustainable rotation. This rotation also had an excellent profitability and for that reason is considered the best option within the goals of this work

  14. Influence of time scale wind speed data on sustainability analysis for irrigating greenhouse crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz Méndez, Rodrigo; García Llaneza, Joaquín; Peillón, Manuel; Perdigones, Alicia; Sanchez, Raul; Tarquis, Ana M.; Garcia, Jose Luis

    2014-05-01

    Appropriate water supply at crop/farm level, with suitable costs, is becoming more and more important. Energy management is closely related to water supply in this context, being wind energy one of the options to be considered, using wind pumps for irrigation water supply. Therefore, it is important to characterize the wind speed frequency distribution to study the technical feasibility to use its energy for irrigation management purpose. The general objective of this present research is to analyze the impact of time scale recorded wind speed data in the sustainability for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) grown under greenhouse at Cuban conditions using drip irrigation system. For this porpoise, a daily estimation balance between water needs and water availability was used to evaluate the feasibility of the most economic windmill irrigation system. Several factors were included: wind velocity (W, m/s) in function of the time scale averaged, flow supplied by the wind pump as a function of the elevation height (H, m) and daily greenhouse evapotranspiration. Monthly volumes of water required for irrigation (Dr, m3/ha) and in the water tank (Vd, m3), as well as the monthly irrigable area (Ar, ha), were estimated by cumulative deficit water budgeting taking in account these factors. Three-hourly wind velocity (W3h, m/s) data from 1992 till 2008 was available for this study. The original data was grouped in six and twelve hourly data (W6h and W12h respectively) as well as daily data (W24h). For each time scale the daily estimation balance was applied. A comparison of the results points out a need for at least three-hourly data to be used mainly in the months in which mean wind speed are close or below the pumps threshold speed to start-up functioning. References Manuel Esteban Peillon Mesa, Ana Maria Tarquis Alfonso, José Luis García Fernández, and Raúl Sánchez Calvo. The use of wind pumps for irrigating greenhouse tomato crops: a case study in Cuba. Geophysical

  15. Sustainability of European winter wheat- and maize-based cropping systems: Economic, environmental and social ex-post assessment of conventional and IPM-based systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vasileiadis, V.P.; Dachbrodt-saaydeh, S.; Kudsk, P.; Colnenne-David, C.; Leprince, F.; Holb, I.J.; Kierzek, R.; Furlan, L.; Loddo, D.; Melander, B.; Jørgensen, L.N.; Newton, A.C.; Toque, C.; Dijk, van W.; Lefebvre, M.; Benezit, M.; Sattin, M.

    2017-01-01

    In order to ensure higher sustainability of winter wheat and maize production in Europe, cropping systems featuring different levels of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) need to be tested in the field and validated for their sustainability before being adopted by farmers. However, the sustainability

  16. Constraints and opportunities for sustainable crop production in rainfed areas of pothwar plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghafoor, A.; Shafiq, M.; Aslam, M.

    2006-01-01

    The rainfed areas, commonly known as barani tract, accounts for about 25% of the total cropped area in the Punjab. The Pothwar plateau comprising 1.82 million hectare, is the largest contiguous block of rainfed areas in Punjab. Low and erratic rainfall, water-erosion hazard, inadequate depth of soil and poor soil-fertility are the main limitations affecting the production-potential of these areas. To ensure that farmers readily adopt the agricultural technologies developed by the research-system, these should be based on real-life problems, appropriate to the natural and socio-economic environments in which farmers make decisions. The present study was undertaken in tehsils Fatehjang and Gujar Khan of Pothwar plateau, to broadly understand farmers perceptions and approaches for rainwater-harvesting and soil-fertility management. It was observed that farm size was relatively bigger in Fatehjang than Gujar Khan. About 86% and 63% of respondents in Gujar Khan and Fatehjang cultivated their own lands. Nearly 40% of respondents in both the tehsils had their lands in 3 to 6 parcels, which hindered the farm-operation and soil and water conservation activities. The uses of fertilizers are sub-optimal and imbalanced. The soil-fertility is going down. The rainwater-conservation practices are not being adopted, due to high cost of machinery and disinterest of farmers in agriculture. The farming is going to be come un- economical. The analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) was carried out and the results are discussed. Some recommendations have been proposed to control soil-erosion, moisture-stress and fertility-degradation and to sustain agricultural production in these areas. (author)

  17. Greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of energy crops may affect the sustainability of biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Mette Sustmann; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Heiske, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    will be lower than indicated by our data. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co-production of bioethanol and biogas or by biogas alone produced from either fresh grass-clover or whole crop maize. Here the net reduction corresponded to about 8 tons CO2 per hectare per year...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel-derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye-vetch, vetch and grass......-clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co-production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...

  18. Ecological impacts of arable intensification in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoate, C.; Boatman, N.D.; Borralho, R.J.; Rio Carvalho, C.; Snoo, de G.R.; Eden, P.

    2001-01-01

    Although arable landscapes have a long history, environmental problems have accelerated in recent decades. The effects of these changes are usually externalised, being greater for society as a whole than for the farms on which they operate, and incentives to correct them are therefore largely

  19. Ecology of microarthropods in arable soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vreeken - Buijs, M.J.

    1998-01-01

    Soil microarthropods are all free-living mites and collembolans, living in the soil. The study presented in this thesis formed part of the Dutch Programme on Soil Ecology of Arable Farming Systems, an integrated multidisciplinary research programme, focused on the functioning of two

  20. Occurrence of entomopathogenic fungi in arable soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryszard Miętkiewski

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Samples of soil were taken from arable field and from balk. Larvae of Galleria mellonella and Ephestia kühniella were used as an "insect bait" for isolation of entomopathogenic fungi from soil. Metarhizium anisopliae and Paecilomyces fumosoroseus were isolated from both kind of soil. but Beauveria bassiana was present only in soil taken from balk.

  1. Nutrient surpluses on integrated arable farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schröder, J.J.; Asperen, van P.; Dongen, van G.J.M.; Wijnands, F.G.

    1996-01-01

    From 1990 to 1993 nutrient fluxes were monitored on 38 private arable farms that had adopted farming strategies aiming at reduced nutrient inputs and substitution of mineral fertilizers by organic fertilizers. The nutrient surplus was defined as the difference between inputs (including inputs

  2. Abandonment and expansion of arable land in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hatna, E.; Bakker, M.M.

    2011-01-01

    Abandonment of arable land is often assumed to happen mostly in marginal areas where the conditions for arable cultivation are relatively unfavorable, whereas arable expansion is expected to occur mostly in areas with favorable conditions. This assumption, used in many land-use change forecasts, was

  3. Sustainable conversion of coffee and other crop wastes to biofuels and bioproducts using combined biochemical and thermochemical processes in a multi-stage biorefinery concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    The environmental impact of agricultural waste from processing of food and feed crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Concerted efforts are underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the...

  4. Determinant factors influencing efficiency of Fadama Arable crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... farm income, output, productivity and farm size and determined factors influencing Fadama farmer's efficiency. The multistage sampling technique was employed in the selection of120 Fadama farmers and their location. One hundred and twenty non-Fadama farmers were drawn using the same technique for comparison.

  5. Modeling efficient resource allocation patterns for arable crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    optimum plans. This should be complemented with strong financial support, farm advisory services and adequate supply of modern inputs at fairly competitive prices would enhance the prospects of the small holder farmers. Keywords: efficient, resource allocation, optimization, linear programming, gross margin ...

  6. Gender Factors in Capital Sourcing and Accessibility by Arable Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Female farmers' access to loan was positively influenced by their level of education and length of loan repayment period. The access to loan by the female farmers was significantly and negatively influenced by value of required collaterals, size of their households, and interest charges on the loans. Gender related factors ...

  7. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  8. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  9. one of the keys to attaining and sustaining higher crop yields

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Interim fertiliser recommendations for different crops at selected locations in Uganda. ... However, these recommendations (Table 5) need updating to reflect the decline in soil fertility ... and have longer residual effects in soil compared to high.

  10. Analysis of Multi-Scale Changes in Arable Land and Scale Effects of the Driving Factors in the Loess Areas in Northern Shaanxi, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Zhong

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study, statistical data on the national economic and social development, including the year-end actual area of arable land, the crop yield per unit area and 10 factors, were obtained for the period between 1980 and 2010 and used to analyze the factors driving changes in the arable land of the Loess Plateau in northern Shaanxi, China. The following areas of arable land, which represent different spatial scales, were investigated: the Baota District, the city of Yan’an, and the Northern Shaanxi region. The scale effects of the factors driving the changes to the arable land were analyzed using a canonical correlation analysis and a principal component analysis. Because it was difficult to quantify the impact of the national government policies on the arable land changes, the contributions of the national government policies to the changes in arable land were analyzed qualitatively. The primary conclusions of the study were as follows: between 1980 and 2010, the arable land area decreased. The trends of the year-end actual arable land proportion of the total area in the northern Shaanxi region and Yan’an City were broadly consistent, whereas the proportion in the Baota District had no obvious similarity with the northern Shaanxi region and Yan’an City. Remarkably different factors were shown to influence the changes in the arable land at different scales. Environmental factors exerted a greater effect for smaller scale arable land areas (the Baota District. The effect of socio-economic development was a major driving factor for the changes in the arable land area at the city and regional scales. At smaller scales, population change, urbanization and socio-economic development affected the crop yield per unit area either directly or indirectly. Socio-economic development and the modernization of agricultural technology had a greater effect on the crop yield per unit area at the large-scales. Furthermore, the qualitative analysis

  11. Prospects for arable farm uptake of Short Rotation Coppice willow and miscanthus in England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glithero, Neryssa J; Wilson, Paul; Ramsden, Stephen J

    2013-07-01

    Biomass will play a role in the UK meeting EU targets on renewable energy use. Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and miscanthus are potential biomass feedstocks; however, supply will rely on farmer willingness to grow these crops. Despite attractive crop establishment grants for dedicated energy crops (DECs) in the UK, uptake remains low. Drawing on results from an on-farm survey with 244 English arable farmers, 81.6% (87.7%) of farmers would not consider growing miscanthus (SRC), while respectively, 17.2% (11.9%) would consider growing and 1.2% (0.4%) were currently growing these crops. Farmer age, location, land ownership, farm type, farm size and farmer education level were not significant factors in determining acceptance of DECs. The main reasons cited for not growing DECs were impacts on land quality, lack of appropriate machinery, commitment of land for a long period of time, time to financial return and profitability. Reasons cited for willingness to grow DECs included land quality, ease of crop management, commitment of land for a long period of time, and profitability. Farmers cited a range of 'moral' (e.g. should not be using land for energy crops when there is a shortage of food), land quality, knowledge, profit and current farming practice comments as reasons for not growing DECs, while those willing to grow DECs cited interest in renewable energy, willingness to consider new crops, and low labour needs as rationale for their interest. Farm business objectives indicated that maximising profit and quality of life were most frequently cited as very important objectives. Previous research in the UK indicates that farmers in arable areas are unlikely to convert large areas of land to DECs, even where these farmers have an interest and willingness to grow them. Assuming that those farmers interested in growing DECs converted 9.29% (average percentage of arable land set-aside between 1996 and 2005) of their utilised agricultural area to these crops, 50,700

  12. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE CROPPING SYSTEMS IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA: GENERAL LESSONS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A. Fullen

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Soil conservation in the highlands of South-East Asia is essential for sustainable agro-environmental development. The effectiveness of soil conservation treatments developed in runoff plots was investigated in farmer-managed plots on a natural catchment. This wasachieved by the development and scientific evaluation of modified and novel cropping practices in a representative highland catchment in Yunnan Province, China. Wang Jia Catchment covers 40.1 hectares near Kedu, in Xundian County, north-east Yunnan (25o28'N, 102o53'E. The initial project consisted of an evaluation of the effects of modified cropping practices on maize productivity and soil properties. This programme was extended to investigate ways of increasing the productivity of maize, wheat and soybean on fragile slopes in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. The approach incorporates modified and novel agronomic and soil conservation measures, with the evaluation of their agricultural, environmental and socio-economic impacts using multidisciplinary approaches. This European Union funded project involved an international research team from Belgium, China, Ireland, Thailand and the U.K. Five co-ordinated work packages were implemented. Involving: (1 Background agricultural and environmental assessment of Wang Jia Catchment. (2Implementation and evaluation of modified and novel cropping systems for wheat, maize and soybean in the catchment. (3 Cost-benefit analyses of the socio-economic impacts of the changed cropping practices. (4 Comparative scientific evaluation of the cropping techniques in the highlands of northern Thailand. (5 Dissemination of project outcomes and establishment of training programmes for best practice in highland rural development. The lessons of the Project for promoting sustainable agro-environmental development in tropical and subtropical highlands include: (1 Recognizing the importance of both ‘north-south’ and ‘south-south’ co

  13. Climate Variability and Change in Bihar, India: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Crop Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kindie Tesfaye

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and associated uncertainties have serious direct and indirect consequences for crop production and food security in agriculture-based developing regions. Long-term climate data analysis can identify climate risks and anticipate new ones for planning appropriate adaptation and mitigation options. The aim of this study was to identify near-term (2030 and mid-term (2050 climate risks and/or opportunities in the state of Bihar, one of India’s most populous and poorest states, using weather data for 30 years (1980–2009 as a baseline. Rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, and evapotranspiration will all increase in the near- and mid-term periods relative to the baseline period, with the magnitude of the change varying with time, season and location within the state. Bihar’s major climate risks for crop production will be heat stress due to increasing minimum temperatures in the rabi (winter season and high minimum and maximum temperatures in the spring season; and intense rainfall and longer dry spells in the kharif (monsoon season. The increase in annual and seasonal rainfall amounts, and extended crop growing period in the kharif season generally provide opportunities; but increasing temperature across the state will have considerable negative consequences on (staple crops by affecting crop phenology, physiology and plant-water relations. The study helps develop site-specific adaptation and mitigation options that minimize the negative effects of climate change while maximizing the opportunities.

  14. Smart investments in sustainable food production: revisiting mixed crop-livestock systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, M; Thornton, P K; Notenbaert, A M; Wood, S; Msangi, S; Freeman, H A; Bossio, D; Dixon, J; Peters, M; van de Steeg, J; Lynam, J; Parthasarathy Rao, P; Macmillan, S; Gerard, B; McDermott, J; Seré, C; Rosegrant, M

    2010-02-12

    Farmers in mixed crop-livestock systems produce about half of the world's food. In small holdings around the world, livestock are reared mostly on grass, browse, and nonfood biomass from maize, millet, rice, and sorghum crops and in their turn supply manure and traction for future crops. Animals act as insurance against hard times and supply farmers with a source of regular income from sales of milk, eggs, and other products. Thus, faced with population growth and climate change, small-holder farmers should be the first target for policies to intensify production by carefully managed inputs of fertilizer, water, and feed to minimize waste and environmental impact, supported by improved access to markets, new varieties, and technologies.

  15. EUE (energy use efficiency) of cropping systems for a sustainable agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alluvione, Francesco; Moretti, Barbara; Sacco, Dario; Grignani, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Energy efficiency of agriculture needs improvement to reduce the dependency on non-renewable energy sources. We estimated the energy flows of a wheat-maize-soybean-maize rotation of three different cropping systems: (i) low-input integrated farming (LI), (ii) integrated farming following European Regulations (IFS), and (iii) conventional farming (CONV). Balancing N fertilization with actual crop requirements and adopting minimum tillage proved the most efficient techniques to reduce energy inputs, contributing 64.7% and 11.2% respectively to the total reduction. Large differences among crops in energy efficiency (maize: 2.2 MJ kg -1 grain; wheat: 2.6 MJ kg -1 grain; soybean: 4.1 MJ kg -1 grain) suggest that crop rotation and crop management can be equally important in determining cropping system energy efficiency. Integrated farming techniques improved energy efficiency by reducing energy inputs without affecting energy outputs. Compared with CONV, energy use efficiency increased 31.4% and 32.7% in IFS and LI, respectively, while obtaining similar net energy values. Including SOM evolution in the energy analysis greatly enhanced the energy performance of IFS and, even more dramatically, LI compared to CONV. Improved energy efficiency suggests the adoption of alternative farming systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. However, a thorough evaluation should include net global warming potential assessment. -- Highlights: → We evaluated the energy flows of integrated as alternative to conventional Farming. → Energy flows, soil organic matter evolution included, were analyzed following process analysis. → Energy flows were compared using indicators. → Integrated farming improved energy efficiency without affecting net energy. → Inclusion of soil organic matter in energy analysis accrue environmental evaluation.

  16. Weed vegetation ecology of arable land in Salalah, Southern Oman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sheikh, Mohamed A

    2013-07-01

    This paper applies multivariate statistical methods to a data set of weed relevés from arable fields in two different habitat types of coastal and mountainous escarpments in Southern Oman. The objectives were to test the effect of environmental gradients, crop plants and time on weed species composition, to rank the importance of these particular factors, and to describe the patterns of species composition and diversity associated with these factors. Through the application of TWINSPAN, DCA and CCA programs on data relating to 102 species recorded in 28 plots and farms distributed in the study area, six plant communities were identified: I- Dichanthium micranthum, II- Cynodon dactylon-D. micranthum, III- Convolvulus arvensis, IV- C. dactylon-Sonchus oleraceus, V- Amaranthus viridis and VI- Suaeda aegyptiaca-Achyranthes aspera. The ordination process (CCA) provided a sequence of plant communities and species diversity that correlated with some anthropogenic factors, physiographic variables and crop types. Therefore, length of time since farm construction, disturbance levels and altitude are the most important factors related to the occurrence of the species. The perennial species correlated with the more degraded mountain areas of new farm stands, whereas most of the annuals correlated with old lowland and less disturbed farms.

  17. Fibre crops as sustainable source of biobased material for industrial products in Europe and China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dam, van J.E.G.

    2014-01-01

    Bast fibre industries have a long standing tradition, both in China and Europe. In the past decades significant changes have taken place in the sector and strong competition is faced on the market with manmade fibres on the one hand, and on the other hand at the farm level with other crops that

  18. Next steps in determining the overall sustainability of perennial bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial bioenergy crops are being developed and evaluated in the United States to partially offset petroleum transport fuels. Accurate accounting of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is necessary to measure the overall carbon intensity of new biofuel feedstocks. For example, c...

  19. Potential conflict between the coal and arable land resources in australia: A case for corporate responsiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langkamp, Peter J.

    1985-01-01

    Background information on possible surface-coal-mining operations in arable agricultural areas in Australia is provided. The major co-occurrence of the coal and arable land resources was in the Darling Downs region of Queensland and the Liverpool Plains region of New South Wales; however, coal development will probably only occur in the former region over the next decade. Analysis of the situation in the Darling Downs region, which consists of 11 Shires, found five companies conducting prefeasibility projects for surface-coal development and the size of exploration areas concerned far exceeding final mined-land disturbance estimates. Most of the land included in the prefeasibility studies was classified as “arable with moderate crop restrictions requiring intensive management” (classes II IV). The total area of land that may be disturbed at some time in the future was less than 2% of the arable land in the Shires concerned. Project mutual exclusivity and ongoing rehabilitation of disturbed areas further reduce arable land out of production at any one time. It is suggested that, if self-regulation by the coal industry in Australia on rehabilitation issues is to remain a viable option in these areas, an understanding between the corporate and public sectors on the extent and limitations of its responsibilities must be obtained. The current development of a National Conservation Strategy for Australia should assist this to proceed. Research on various rehabilitation issues may be required prior to project commitment to ensure the responsibilities identified are realizable. Integrative problem-solving, incorporating audit procedures, was suggested as a suitable method to achieve these aims and corporate responsiveness was seen as a necessary first step.

  20. Sustainable introduction of GM crops into european agriculture: a summary report of the FP6 SIGMEA research project*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Messéan Antoine

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003, the European Commission established the principle of coexistence which refers to “the ability of farmers to make a practical choice between conventional, organic and GM-crop production, in compliance with the legal obligations for labelling and/or purity standards” and laid down guidelines defining the context of this coexistence1. In order to determine what is needed for the sustainable introduction of GM crops in Europe, the cross-disciplinary SIGMEA Research Project was set up to create a science-based framework to inform decision-makers. SIGMEA has (i collated and analysed European data on gene flow and the environmental impacts of the major crop species which are likely to be transgenic in the future (maize, rapeseed, sugar beet, rice, and wheat, (ii designed predictive models of gene flow at the landscape level, (iii analysed the technical feasibility and economic impacts of coexistence in the principal farming regions of Europe, (iv developed novel GMO detection methods, (v addressed legal issues related to coexistence, and (vi proposed public and farm scale decisionmaking tools, as well as guidelines regarding management and governance. This publishable version of the final activity report of the FP6 SIGMEA research project, covers the fourteen major issues under investigation.

  1. Proteomics: A Biotechnology Tool for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moustafa eEldakak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improvements in proteomic platforms and many other but related advances in plant biotechnology techniques offer various new ways to encourage the usage of these technologies by plant scientists for crop improvement programs. A combinatorial approach of accelerated gene discovery through genomics, proteomics, and other associated -omic branches of biotechnology, as an applied approach, is proving to be an effective way to speed up the crop improvement programs worldwide. In the near future, swift improvements in -omic databases are becoming critical and demand immediate attention for the effective utilization of these techniques to produce next-generation crops for the progressive farmers. Here, we have reviewed the recent advances in proteomics, as tools of biotechnology, which are offering great promise and leading the path towards crop improvement for sustainable agriculture.

  2. To be or not to be - common and endangered arable weed species in the face of Global Climate Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rühl, Anna Theresa

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Arable weeds are one of the most endangered species groups in Europe. Modern agriculture and intensive land use management with the application of herbicides and fertilisers, enhanced seed cleaning, simplified crop rotations and abandonment of marginal arable sites are the main causes for the continuous decline of arable weeds. However, besides these changes in land use also global climate change may challenge the adaptability of arable weeds. Most scientists agree that the frequency of extreme meteorological conditions will increase in the future. As a consequence, plants of Central Europe will be subject to higher temperatures and reduced water supply due to longer intervals without precipitation during the growing season. We exposed seeds of five common and five endangered arable weed species to different temperatures and water potentials to study i how this plant group responds to higher temperatures and lower moisture during germination in general and ii whether there is a significant difference between common and endangered species in this respect.

  3. Crop Breeding for Low Input Agriculture: A Sustainable Response to Feed a Growing World Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vagner A. Benedito

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available World population is projected to reach its maximum (~10 billion people by the year 2050. This 45% increase of the current world population (approaching seven billion people will boost the demand for food and raw materials. However, we live in a historical moment when supply of phosphate, water, and oil are at their peaks. Modern agriculture is fundamentally based on varieties bred for high performance under high input systems (fertilizers, water, oil, pesticides, which generally do not perform well under low-input situations. We propose a shift of research goals and plant breeding objectives from high-performance agriculture at high-energy input to those with an improved rationalization between yield and energy input. Crop breeding programs that are more focused on nutrient economy and local environmental fitness will help reduce energy demands for crop production while still providing adequate amounts of high quality food as global resources decline and population is projected to increase.

  4. Sustaining soil productivity by integrated plant nutrient management in wheat based cropping system under rainfed conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dilshad, M.; Lone, M.I.

    2011-01-01

    The study of the use of organic (FYM) and inorganic (NPK) nutrient sources with bio fertiliser on wheat-fallow and wheat-maize cropping system under rainfed environment revealed significant increase in bio metric parameters of wheat during winter and summer seasons of two years. During both the seasons, application of half NPK + half FYM + Bio power (brand) produced the highest grain yield (3684 kg/ha) and (3781 kg/ha) of wheat with the maximum N uptake of 357 kg/ha, P uptake of 51 kg/ha and K uptake of 215 kg/ha. Wheat-maize cropping system was found to be profitable economically with integrated use of mineral and organic and/or Bio power under rainfed conditions of Pakistan. (author)

  5. Reduced tillage and green manures for sustainable cropping systems - Overview of the TILMAN-ORG project

    OpenAIRE

    Mäder, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Reduced tillage and green manures are environmentally friendly practices that increase levels of soil organic matter and biological activity, improve soil stability, and reduce fuel consumption and may mitigate the climate impact of crop production. The avoidance of deep ploughing is successfully practiced as no-tillage agriculture in conventional farming systems. However, these no-tillage systems rely on herbicides for weed control and mineral fertilisers for plant nutrients. As these inputs...

  6. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-05

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  7. Potential carbon sequestration of European arable soils estimated by modelling a comprehensive set of management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugato, Emanuele; Bampa, Francesca; Panagos, Panos; Montanarella, Luca; Jones, Arwyn

    2014-11-01

    Bottom-up estimates from long-term field experiments and modelling are the most commonly used approaches to estimate the carbon (C) sequestration potential of the agricultural sector. However, when data are required at European level, important margins of uncertainty still exist due to the representativeness of local data at large scale or different assumptions and information utilized for running models. In this context, a pan-European (EU + Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Norway) simulation platform with high spatial resolution and harmonized data sets was developed to provide consistent scenarios in support of possible carbon sequestration policies. Using the CENTURY agroecosystem model, six alternative management practices (AMP) scenarios were assessed as alternatives to the business as usual situation (BAU). These consisted of the conversion of arable land to grassland (and vice versa), straw incorporation, reduced tillage, straw incorporation combined with reduced tillage, ley cropping system and cover crops. The conversion into grassland showed the highest soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration rates, ranging between 0.4 and 0.8 t C ha(-1)  yr(-1) , while the opposite extreme scenario (100% of grassland conversion into arable) gave cumulated losses of up to 2 Gt of C by 2100. Among the other practices, ley cropping systems and cover crops gave better performances than straw incorporation and reduced tillage. The allocation of 12 to 28% of the European arable land to different AMP combinations resulted in a potential SOC sequestration of 101-336 Mt CO2 eq. by 2020 and 549-2141 Mt CO2 eq. by 2100. Modelled carbon sequestration rates compared with values from an ad hoc meta-analysis confirmed the robustness of these estimates. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Phytoremediation, a sustainable remediation technology? II: Economic assessment of CO2 abatement through the use of phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Witters, N.; Mendelsohn, R.; Van Passel, S.; Van Slycken, S.; Weyens, N.; Schreurs, E.; Meers, E.; Tack, F.; Vanheusden, B.; Vangronsveld, J.

    2012-01-01

    Phytoremediation could be a sustainable remediation alternative for conventional remediation technologies. However, its implementation on a commercial scale remains disappointing. To emphasize its sustainability, this paper examines whether and how the potential economic benefit of CO 2 abatement for different crops used for phytoremediation or sustainable land management purposes could promote phytotechnologies. Our analysis is based on a case study in the Campine region, where agricultural soils are contaminated with mainly cadmium. We use Life Cycle Analysis to show for the most relevant crops (willow (Salix spp), energy maize (Zea mays), and rapeseed (Brassica napus)), that phytoremediation, used for renewable energy production, could abate CO 2 . Converting this in economic numbers through the Marginal Abatement Cost of CO 2 (€ 20 ton −1 ) we can integrate this in the economic analysis to compare phytoremediation crops among each other, and phytoremediation with conventional technologies. The external benefit of CO 2 abatement when using phytoremediation crops for land management ranges between € 55 and € 501 per hectare. The purpose of these calculations is not to calculate a subsidy for phytoremediation. There is no reason why one would prefer phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production over “normal” biomass. Moreover, subsidies for renewable energy already exist. Therefore, we should not integrate these numbers in the economic analysis again. However, these numbers could contribute to making explicit the competitive advantage of phytoremediation compared to conventional remediation technologies, but also add to a more sustainably funded decision on which crop should be grown on contaminated land. -- Highlights: ► We add CO 2 abatement for each remediation crop to the private economic analysis. ► This values the advantage of phytoremediation compared to conventional remediation. ► This leads to a crop choice that considers an

  9. Water footprint of crop production for different crop structures in the Hebei southern plain, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Yingmin; Shen, Yanjun; Yuan, Zaijian

    2017-06-01

    The North China Plain (NCP) has a serious shortage of freshwater resources, and crop production consumes approximately 75 % of the region's water. To estimate water consumption of different crops and crop structures in the NCP, the Hebei southern plain (HSP) was selected as a study area, as it is a typical region of groundwater overdraft in the NCP. In this study, the water footprint (WF) of crop production, comprised of green, blue and grey water footprints, and its annual variation were analyzed. The results demonstrated the following: (1) the WF from the production of main crops was 41.8 km3 in 2012. Winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables were the top water-consuming crops in the HSP. The water footprint intensity (WFI) of cotton was the largest, and for vegetables, it was the smallest; (2) the total WF, WFblue, WFgreen and WFgrey for 13 years (2000-2012) of crop production were 604.8, 288.5, 141.3 and 175.0 km3, respectively, with an annual downtrend from 2000 to 2012; (3) winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables consumed the most groundwater, and their blue water footprint (WFblue) accounted for 74.2 % of the total WFblue in the HSP; (4) the crop structure scenarios analysis indicated that, with approximately 20 % of arable land cultivated with winter wheat-summer maize in rotation, 38.99 % spring maize, 10 % vegetables and 10 % fruiters, a sustainable utilization of groundwater resources can be promoted, and a sufficient supply of food, including vegetables and fruits, can be ensured in the HSP.

  10. Water footprint of crop production for different crop structures in the Hebei southern plain, North China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Chu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The North China Plain (NCP has a serious shortage of freshwater resources, and crop production consumes approximately 75 % of the region's water. To estimate water consumption of different crops and crop structures in the NCP, the Hebei southern plain (HSP was selected as a study area, as it is a typical region of groundwater overdraft in the NCP. In this study, the water footprint (WF of crop production, comprised of green, blue and grey water footprints, and its annual variation were analyzed. The results demonstrated the following: (1 the WF from the production of main crops was 41.8 km3 in 2012. Winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables were the top water-consuming crops in the HSP. The water footprint intensity (WFI of cotton was the largest, and for vegetables, it was the smallest; (2 the total WF, WFblue, WFgreen and WFgrey for 13 years (2000–2012 of crop production were 604.8, 288.5, 141.3 and 175.0 km3, respectively, with an annual downtrend from 2000 to 2012; (3 winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables consumed the most groundwater, and their blue water footprint (WFblue accounted for 74.2 % of the total WFblue in the HSP; (4 the crop structure scenarios analysis indicated that, with approximately 20 % of arable land cultivated with winter wheat–summer maize in rotation, 38.99 % spring maize, 10 % vegetables and 10 % fruiters, a sustainable utilization of groundwater resources can be promoted, and a sufficient supply of food, including vegetables and fruits, can be ensured in the HSP.

  11. In vitro conservation and sustained production of breadfruit ( Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae): modern technologies for a traditional tropical crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murch, Susan J.; Ragone, Diane; Shi, Wendy Lei; Alan, Ali R.; Saxena, Praveen K.

    2008-02-01

    Breadfruit ( Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae) is a traditionally cultivated, high-energy, high-yield crop, but widespread use of the plant for food is limited by poor quality and poor storage properties of the fruit. A unique field genebank of breadfruit species and cultivars exists at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in the Hawaiian Islands and is an important global resource for conservation and sustainable use of breadfruit. However, this plant collection could be damaged by a random natural disaster such as a hurricane. We have developed a highly efficient in vitro plant propagation system to maintain, conserve, mass propagate, and distribute elite varieties of this important tree species. Mature axillary shoot buds were collected from three different cultivars of breadfruit and proliferated using a cytokinin-supplemented medium. The multiple shoots were maintained as stock cultures and repeatedly used to develop whole plants after root differentiation on a basal or an auxin-containing medium. The plantlets were successfully grown under greenhouse conditions and were reused to initiate additional shoot cultures for sustained production of plants. Flow cytometry was used to determine the nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid content and the ploidy status of the in vitro grown population. The efficacy of the micropropagation protocols developed in this study represents a significant advancement in the conservation and sustained mass propagation of breadfruit germplasm in a controlled environment free from contamination.

  12. Adaptation to climate change in desertified lands of the marginal regions in Egypt through sustainable crop and livestock diversification systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hassan M. El Shaer

    2015-01-01

    Environmental degradation resulting from current climate changes, including prolonged drought, land degradation, desertification, and loss of biodiversity, is presenting enormous challenges to achieve food security and eradication of poverty in the marginal regions (about 90%of the total area) of Egypt. In addition to the natural constraints of high temperature, wind erosion, sand dune movement, and recurrent drought, such regions are subjected to improper land and water management. Moreover, there is a lack of knowledge, technologies, and experiences to match with the current severe climatic changes. There is a great need for establishing sustainable integrated ecosystem rehabilitation and management programs to overcome such problems in the marginal areas, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula due to its strategic and social importance. A series of research and development programs have been conducted in 2006 to im-prove the livelihoods of smallholders through enhancing the efficient management and utilization of local resources that can cope with the drastic changes of climate in the Sinai Peninsula. An integrated livestock/salt-tolerant fodder crop system was introduced, in 2010 by the project teamwork of Desert Research center, Egypt, to many smallholders in the South Sinai region, where studies were conducted at both the general research and individual farmer levels. The most important results were:(1) adoption of the most salt-tolerant genotypes of three forage crops:pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and Sudan grass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf.); two cereal crops (triticale and barley);and two oil crops:safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) and Brassica (Mustard). Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. and Medicago arborium), cowpeas (Vigna sinensis L.), fodder beets (Beta vulgaris L.), clumping desert bunchgrass (Panicum turgedum), ryegrass (Lolium perenne) Ray grass, forage shrubs (Kochia indica, Atriplex num-mularia, Sesbania sesban L

  13. Integrated Soil, Water and Nitrogen Management For Sustainable Rice–Wheat Cropping System in Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussain, F.; Yasin, M.; Gurmani, A.R.; Zia, M.S.

    2016-01-01

    The area under the rice–wheat (R–W) cropping system in Pakistan is about 2.2 Mha and despite its great importance as staple foods for the local population, the productivity of the system is poor due to several constraints. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are normally grown in sequence on the same land in the same year. Field experiments with rice and wheat were conducted during four years on a Typic Halorthid soil at Lahore, in the alluvial plain of Punjab, Pakistan to assess nitrogen use efficiency and water productivity under both traditional and emerging crop establishment methods (raised beds, unpuddled soil, direct seeding). The climate in this region is semiarid. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with five crop establishment methods as treatments and four replications. One micro-plot was laid down in each main plot to apply 15 N labelled urea (5 atom % 15 N). Both wheat and rice received a uniform application of 120 kg N ha -1 as urea, 30 kg P ha -1 as triple super phosphate, 50 kg K ha -1 as potassium sulphate and 5 kg Zn ha -1 as zinc sulphate. Pooled data of wheat grown in 2002–03, 2004–05 and 2005–06 showed that the highest wheat grain yield (3.89 t ha -1 ) was produced with conventional flatbed sowing (well pulverised soil) followed by raised bed sowing (3.79–3.82 t ha -1 ), whereas the lowest yield (3.45 t ha -1 ) was obtained in flat bed sowing with zero till rice in sequence. The highest rice paddy yield (4.15 t ha -1 ) was achieved with conventional flooded transplanted rice at 20 × 20 cm spacing and the lowest paddy yield (3.57 t ha -1 ) was recorded with direct seeding of rice in zero tilled soil. Total N uptake in wheat was maximum (117 kg ha -1 ) with conventional flatbed sowing and it was lowest with zero tilled soil. The highest total N uptake by rice (106 kg ha -1 ) was recorded with conventional flooded transplanted rice at 20 × 20 cm spacing and the lowest (89 kg ha -1 ) with

  14. Is current irrigation sustainable in the United States? An integrated assessment of climate change impact on water resources and irrigated crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc, Elodie; Caron, Justin; Fant, Charles; Monier, Erwan

    2017-08-01

    While climate change impacts on crop yields has been extensively studied, estimating the impact of water shortages on irrigated crop yields is challenging because the water resources management system is complex. To investigate this issue, we integrate a crop yield reduction module and a water resources model into the MIT Integrated Global System Modeling framework, an integrated assessment model linking a global economic model to an Earth system model. We assess the effects of climate and socioeconomic changes on water availability for irrigation in the U.S. as well as subsequent impacts on crop yields by 2050, while accounting for climate change projection uncertainty. We find that climate and socioeconomic changes will increase water shortages and strongly reduce irrigated yields for specific crops (i.e., cotton and forage), or in specific regions (i.e., the Southwest) where irrigation is not sustainable. Crop modeling studies that do not represent changes in irrigation availability can thus be misleading. Yet, since the most water-stressed basins represent a relatively small share of U.S. irrigated areas, the overall reduction in U.S. crop yields is small. The response of crop yields to climate change and water stress also suggests that some level of adaptation will be feasible, like relocating croplands to regions with sustainable irrigation or switching to less irrigation intensive crops. Finally, additional simulations show that greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation can alleviate the effect of water stress on irrigated crop yields, enough to offset the reduced CO2 fertilization effect compared to an unconstrained GHG emission scenario.

  15. Food security as a function of Sustainable Intensification of Crop Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodor Friedrich

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The challenge to eradicate hunger and establish food security across all its four pillars (availability, accessibility, health and safety, and continuity is ongoing. The actual situation in global food production leads most of the attention to improving accessibility and safety of food, particularly to vulnerable populations. However, in view of the growth in demand, which includes changes in preferences for example towards food of animal origin, availability and continuity will play larger roles in future. Food production needs to increase over the coming decades at challenging rates, while facing problems of degradation and reduced availability of natural resources for production such as soil and water, and facing increasing challenges from climate change. The actual trends in yield development suggest that a simple gradual improvement of production within the existing concepts will not provide a sustainable or feasible solution, and that more fundamental changes in the agricultural production paradigm are required to face these future challenges. The Sustainable Intensification represents such a change in paradigm in which high production levels are combined with sustainability. The concept of sustainable intensification, the rationale for it and its functional elements, represented by Conservation Agriculture, are presented in this paper.

  16. Do Smallholder, Mixed Crop-Livestock Livelihoods Encourage Sustainable Agricultural Practices? A Meta-Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rudel, Thomas K.; Kwon, Oh-Jung; Paul, B.K.

    2016-01-01

    As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC.

  17. Soil biota enhance agricultural sustainability by improving crop yield, nutrient uptake and reducing nitrogen leaching losses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bender, S.F.; van der Heijden, M.G.A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/240923901

    2015-01-01

    Efficient resource use is a key factor for sustainable production and a necessity for meeting future global food demands. However, the factors that control resource use efficiency in agro-ecosystems are only partly understood. We investigated the influence of soil biota on nutrient leaching,

  18. Sustainability aspects of biobased products : comparison of different crops and products from the vegetable oil platform

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meesters, K.P.H.; Corré, W.J.; Conijn, J.G.; Patel, M.K.; Bos, H.L.

    2012-01-01

    This study focusses on the production of vegetable oil based products. A limited number of aspacts of the sustainability of the full chain (from agriculture to product at the factory gate) was evaluated. Three different vegetable oils were taken into account: palm oil, soy oil and rapeseed oil. Also

  19. Transport and homeostasis of potassium and phosphate: limiting factors for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Mingda; Tang, Ren-Jie; Tang, Yumei; Tian, Wang; Hou, Congong; Zhao, Fugeng; Lan, Wenzhi; Luan, Sheng

    2017-06-01

    Potassium (K) and phosphate (Pi) are both macronutrients essential for plant growth and crop production, but the unrenewable resources of phosphorus rock and potash have become limiting factors for food security. One critical measure to help solve this problem is to improve nutrient use efficiency (NUE) in plants by understanding and engineering genetic networks for ion uptake, translocation, and storage. Plants have evolved multiple systems to adapt to various nutrient conditions for growth and production. Within the NUE networks, transport proteins and their regulators are the primary players for maintaining nutrient homeostasis and could be utilized to engineer high NUE traits in crop plants. A large number of publications have detailed K+ and Pi transport proteins in plants over the past three decades. Meanwhile, the discovery and validation of their regulatory mechanisms are fast-track topics for research. Here, we provide an overview of K+ and Pi transport proteins and their regulatory mechanisms, which participate in the uptake, translocation, storage, and recycling of these nutrients in plants. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. EFFECTIVENESS OF SELECTION OF WHEAT TO MODERN REQUIREMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE III. ENERGY PRODUCTIVITY OF CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisaveta Vasileva

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study was to conclude on adaptation of modern varieties to the requirements of sustainable agriculture and hence the effectiveness of their methods of selection with respect to these requirements. The comparison between genotypes in two directions - by the selection methods by which they were established and according to the time of their creation. Energy assessment shows that the gross energy yield of grain is higher ( in average 5% over standard for varieties produced by the methods of the Intervarietal hybridization and during the period 1995 to 1999. While absolute maximum values of the energy productivity of grain (at N18 and maximum average total gross energy productivity of crops (4% above standard were detected in genotypes generated by the methods of mutagenesis by irradiation with gamma rays. Absolute maximum value of the energy productivity of crops were reported in cultivar Zdravko (at N18, which was established by the method of plant biotechnology by combining and somaclonal variation.

  1. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisca Fernández-Tirado

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA. Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA and two functional units (FUs were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  2. Decreasing Fertilizer use by Optimizing Plant-microbe Interactions for Sustainable Supply of Nitrogen for Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schicklberger, M. F.; Huang, J.; Felix, P.; Pettenato, A.; Chakraborty, R.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential component of DNA and proteins and consequently a key element of life. N often is limited in plants, affecting plant growth and productivity. To alleviate this problem, tremendous amounts of N-fertilizer is used, which comes at a high economic price and heavy energy demand. In addition, N-fertilizer also significantly contributes to rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Therefore, the addition of fertilizer to overcome N limitation is highly undesirable. To explore reduction in fertilizer use our research focuses on optimizing the interaction between plants and diazotrophic bacteria, which could provide adequate amounts of N to the host-plant. Therefore we investigated the diversity of microbes associated with Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), considered as potential energy crop for bioenergy production. Several bacterial isolates with representatives from Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteriodetes and Bacilli were obtained from the roots, leaves, rhizoplane and rhizosphere of these plants. Majority of these isolates grew best with simple sugars and small organic acids. As shown by PCR amplification of nifH, several of these isolates are potential N2-fixing bacteria. We investigated diazotrophs for their response to elevated temperature and salinity (two common climate change induced stresses found on marginal lands), their N2-fixing ability, and their response to root exudates (which drive microbial colonization of the plant). Together this understanding is necessary for the development of eco-friendly, economically sustainable energy crops by decreasing their dependency on fertilizer.

  3. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernández-Tirado, F.; Parra-López, C.; Romero-Gámez, M.

    2017-01-01

    Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and two functional units (FUs) were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  4. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernández-Tirado, F.; Parra-López, C.; Romero-Gámez, M.

    2017-09-01

    Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and two functional units (FUs) were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  5. Restoring crop productivity of eroded lands through , integrated plant nutrient management (IPNM) for sustained production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhatti, A.U.; Ali, S.

    2005-01-01

    Crop productivity of eroded lands is very poor due to removal of top fertile soil losing organic matter and plant nutrients, with consequent exposure of the sub-soil with poor fertility status. Crop productivity of such lands needs to be restored in order to help farmers feed many mouths because of increased population and high land pressure. Three field experiments were laid out at three sites, Thana, Malakand Agency; Kabal and Matta, Swat during 2003-2004 to study the effect of integrated plant nutrient management on the yield of wheat. The fertilizer treatments consisted of farmer's practice (60-45-0 kg N-P/sub 2/O/sub 5/-K/sub 2/O ha/sup -1/), recommended fertilizer rate (120-90-60 kg N-P/sub 2/O/sub 5/-K/sub 2/O ha/sup -l/ + 5 kg Zn ha/sup -1), and combined application of organic and inorganic sources of plant nutrients (FYM at the rate of 20 t ha/sup -1/ plus 60-90-60 kg N-P/sub 2/O/sub 5/-K/sub 2/O ha/sup -1/ + 5 kg Zn ha/sup -1/). The results obtained from these field trails showed that the combined application of FYM with NPK Zn increased the grain yield significantly over the other two treatments with an increase of 50-80% over the farmer's practice and 11 to 23 % over the recommended dose. As regards straw yields, T/sub 2/ and T/sub 3/ increased the yields significantly over farmer's practice (T) at all the sites; However, T/sub 2/ and T/sub 3/ at Thana and Kabal were at par with each other. As regards effect of various treatments on soil properties, organic matter content was improved at Thana and Kabal sites while at Matta the results were inconsistent. Similarly soil P and Zn contents were increased considerably in T/sub 2/ and T/sub 3/ at Thana and Kabal being at par with each other. It is apparent from these results that the crop productivity of eroded lands at all the three sties was considerably restored and the soil fertility status was improved by integrated plant nutrient management. (author)

  6. Optimal Cropping Pattern Based on Multiple Economic, Regional, and Agricultural Sustainability Criteria in Sari, Iran: Application of a Consolidated Model of AHP and Linear Programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Fallahi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Determining a suitable cropping pattern is an important task for planners and requires an exact and realistic decision-making process based on several goals and criteria corresponding to secure the interest of agricultural beneficiaries in long-term. Accordingly, this study reviews the current pattern operated by farmers in Sari, Iran, and intends to provide a cropping pattern that considers the multifold regional and agricultural sustainability criteria along with economic considerations. Materials and Methods: In order to achieve the study goals, a consolidated model of AHP and Linear Programming was applied. For this purpose, we constructed a three-level AHP, including a goal (determining the weight of each crop, seven criteria, and seven alternatives. Profitability, compatibility with regional and geographical conditions, water consumption, environmental effects of cropping, job creation opportunities, skill and proficiency required for producing a crop, and risk taken to cultivate a crop were considered as the criteria in the model. Seven alternative crops including rice, wheat, rapeseed, barley, soybean, clover, and vegetables were considered too. The next step is determining the weight of each criterion with regard to the goal and the weight of each alternative with regard to each criteria. By multiplying these weights, final weights for various crops were obtained from the model. Derived weights for each crop were then applied as objective function coefficients in the Linear Programming model and the model was solved subject to the constraints. Results and Discussion: Optimal cropping pattern determined based on the consolidated model of AHP and Linear Programming and the results compared to a scenario that only looks forward to maximizing the economic interests. Due to the low profitability of rapeseed and barley, these crops eliminated from the pattern in the profit-maximizing scenario. According to the results, the

  7. Ground beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae diversity in Finnish arable land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.K. HELENIUS

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Carabid data compiled from six independent studies, consisting of 97 799 individuals trapped by pitfalls from Finnish agricultural fields and identified to 111 species were analyzed. Shannon-Wiener H' diversity index was typically around 2.5 and expected species number rarefied to 600 trapped individuals was typically around 30 species. The five most abundant species accounted for 42% of the total catch, and the thirty most abundant species made up 98% of the total catch. Percentage similarities among the assemblages by PS-index were from 16% to 48%. In comparison to published data about carabid diversity in boreal forests, which form the dominating habitat matrix in which Finnish farmland is embedded as relatively small patches, arable fields harbor more species rich assemblages, with more even rank-abundance distributions but variable species composition. Importance of landscape (regional level, instead of spatial level of crop fields, in understanding carabid diversity in farmland is discussed. Inclusion of carabids into monitoring schemes of agro-biodiversity at landscape level is suggested.

  8. Factors affecting the species composition of arable field boundary vegetation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Verbeek, M.

    2000-01-01

    1. In recent decades the botanical diversity of arable field boundaries has declined drastically. To determine the most important factors related to the species composition of arable field boundaries, the vegetation composition of 105 herbaceous boundaries, 1-m wide, in the central and eastern

  9. Mapping of Rill Erosion of Arable Soils Based on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashtanov, A. N.; Vernyuk, Yu. I.; Savin, I. Yu.; Shchepot'ev, V. V.; Dokukin, P. A.; Sharychev, D. V.; Li, K. A.

    2018-04-01

    Possibilities of using data obtained from unmanned aerial vehicles for detection and mapping of rill erosion on arable lands are analyzed. Identification and mapping of rill erosion was performed on a key plot with a predominance of arable gray forest soils (Greyzemic Phaeozems) under winter wheat in Tula oblast. This plot was surveyed from different heights and in different periods to determine the reliability of identification of rill erosion on the basis of automated procedures in a GIS. It was found that, despite changes in the pattern of rills during the warm season, only one survey during this season is sufficient for adequate assessment of the area of eroded soils. According to our data, the most reliable identification of rill erosion is based on the aerial survey from the height of 50 m above the soil surface. When the height of the flight is more than 200 m, erosional rills virtually escape identification. The efficiency of identification depends on the type of crops, their status, and time of the survey. The surveys of bare soil surface in periods with maximum possible interval from the previous rain or snowmelt season are most efficient. The results of our study can be used in the systems of remote sensing monitoring of erosional processes on arable fields. Application of multiand hyperspectral cameras can improve the efficiency of monitoring.

  10. Sustainable and resource efficient intensivation of crop production - Perspectives of agro-ecosystem research Policy paper of the DFG Senate Commission on Agroecosystem Research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolters, V.; Isselstein, J.; Stützel, H.; Ordon, F.; Haaren, von C.; Schlecht, E.; Wesseler, J.H.H.; Birner, R.; Lützow, von M.; Brüggemann, N.; Diekkrüger, B.; Fangmeier, A.; Flessa, H.; Kage, H.; Kaupenhohann, M.; Kögel-Knabner, I.; Mosandl, R.; Seppelt, R.

    2014-01-01

    With its policy paper the Senate Commission on Agro-ecosystemResearch of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft(DFG) summarizes potential benefits of basic researchfor the sustainable intensification of crop production. Agro-ecosystems critically contribute to fulfilling the need forincreasing food and

  11. Carbon Dioxide in Arable Soil Profiles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chirinda, Ngoni; Plauborg, Finn; Heckrath, Goswin Johann

    2014-01-01

    on the comparability of results obtained using different methods is limited. We therefore aimed to compare the dynamics in soil CO2 concentrations obtained from an automated system (GMP343 sensors) to those from a manually operated measurement system (i.e., soil gas sampled using stainless steel needles and rods......Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in arable soil profiles are influenced by autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration as well as soil physical properties that regulate gas transport. Whereas different methods have been used to assess dynamics of soil CO2 concentrations, our understanding...... systems. Within the measurement range for the GMP343 sensors (0-20,000 ppm), mean results from the two systems were similar within the plough layer at the upslope (P = 0.060) and footslope (P = 0.139) position, and also below the plough layer at the upslope position (P = 0.795). However, results from...

  12. Camelina as a sustainable oilseed crop: contributions of plant breeding and genetic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmann, Johann; Eynck, Christina

    2015-04-01

    Camelina is an underutilized Brassicaceae oilseed plant with a considerable agronomic potential for biofuel and vegetable oil production in temperate regions. In contrast to most Brassicaceae, camelina is resistant to alternaria black spot and other diseases and pests. Sequencing of the camelina genome revealed an undifferentiated allohexaploid genome with a comparatively large number of genes and low percentage of repetitive DNA. As there is a close relationship between camelina and the genetic model plant Arabidopsis, this review aims at exploring the potential of translating basic Arabidopsis results into a camelina oilseed crop for food and non-food applications. Recently, Arabidopsis genes for drought resistance or increased photosynthesis and overall productivity have successfully been expressed in camelina. In addition, gene constructs affecting lipid metabolism pathways have been engineered into camelina for synthesizing either long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, hydroxy fatty acids or high-oleic oils in particular camelina strains, which is of great interest in human food, industrial or biofuel applications, respectively. These results confirm the potential of camelina to serve as a biotechnology platform in biorefinery applications thus justifying further investment in breeding and genetic research for combining agronomic potential, unique oil quality features and biosafety into an agricultural production system. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. Cropping systems sustainability: Inoculation and fertilisation effect on sulla performances in a new cultivation area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Sulas

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available To assess the feasibility of the sulla [Sulla coronaria (L. Medik] forage legume in a new agroecosystem, its host-specific symbiotic interaction needs to be taken into account. This study aimed to investigate the effects of inoculation and nitrogen (N fertiliser on productive performances and N-fixation ability of sulla established in a new habitat within a Mediterranean agropastoral area. Sulla plants, previously inoculated (with peat-based, liquid inoculants, and using soil from an existing sulla field and unfertilised or N fertilised were evaluated in Sardinia (Italy. During 2013-2014, sulla plants were sampled at four growing stages, from vegetative stage to seed set, and shoot length, shoot dry matter (DM yield and N content were monitored. Moreover, atom% 15N isotopic excess, proportion of N derived from the atmosphere and fixed N of sulla shoots were quantified. Inoculation and N fertilisation both affected growth, DM and N yields, and N-fixation of sulla. Compared to the best inoculated treatment, the DM yield and fixed N of the control only represented 10 to 22% and 2 to 11%, respectively. Nitrogen fertilisation caused temporary decreases in the N fixing ability of sulla. Results pointed out that rhizobial inoculation is essential for the exploitation of sulla outside its traditional cropping area.

  14. A specialist-generalist classification of the arable flora and its response to changes in agricultural practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Theory in ecology points out the potential link between the degree of specialisation of organisms and their responses to disturbances and suggests that this could be a key element for understanding the assembly of communities. We evaluated this question for the arable weed flora as this group has scarcely been the focus of ecological studies so far and because weeds are restricted to habitats characterised by very high degrees of disturbance. As such, weeds offer a case study to ask how specialization relates to abundance and distribution of species in relation to the varying disturbance regimes occurring in arable crops. Results We used data derived from an extensive national monitoring network of approximately 700 arable fields scattered across France to quantify the degree of specialisation of 152 weed species using six different ecological methods. We then explored the impact of the level of disturbance occurring in arable fields by comparing the degree of specialisation of weed communities in contrasting field situations. The classification of species as specialist or generalist was consistent between different ecological indices. When applied on a large-scale data set across France, this classification highlighted that monoculture harbour significantly more specialists than crop rotations, suggesting that crop rotation increases abundance of generalist species rather than sets of species that are each specialised to the individual crop types grown in the rotation. Applied to a diachronic dataset, the classification also shows that the proportion of specialist weed species has significantly decreased in cultivated fields over the last 30 years which suggests a biotic homogenization of agricultural landscapes. Conclusions This study shows that the concept of generalist/specialist species is particularly relevant to understand the effect of anthropogenic disturbances on the evolution of plant community composition and that ecological theories

  15. Report on the consultants meeting on identification of crop species/cultivars for drought and salinity tolerance for sustained crop yields by using nuclear techniques, in particular the carbon isotope discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    A Consultants Meeting on Identification of Crop Species/Cultivars for Drought and Salinity Tolerance for Sustained Crop Yields by Using Nuclear Techniques, in Particular the Carbon Isotope Discrimination. was held in Vienna at the IAEA Headquarters from 12-16 November 2001. This meeting was conducted in conjunction with a Group Meeting on Novel Approaches for Improving Crop Tolerance to Salinity and Drought. Five consultants from Australia, Mexico, Pakistan, UK and the USA and one representative from FAO attended the Consultant Meeting and nine participants from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and the USA attended the Group Meeting. First two days of the meeting consisted of five technical sessions during which the participants presented papers on various approaches for improving crop tolerance to salinity and drought and the role of nuclear techniques in identification of plants tolerant to the above abiotic stresses. After the presentations, two working groups were formed: one consisting of the participants of the Consultants Meeting and the other the participants of the Group Meeting. The consultants proposed various strategies for using the carbon isotope discrimination technique as a selection tool for identifying higher yielding crop genotypes especially in wheat and rice cropping systems under drought and saline conditions. A proposal was formulated to address the above issues in a framework of a CRP. The participants of the Group Meeting reviewed conventional and molecular approaches for improving crop tolerance to salinity and drought and research priorities were identified for future work on crop productivity improvement under the above stress factors. Recommendations of both working groups were presented at the final session of the meeting. This report provides the details of the proposal formulated by the consultants. Refs

  16. Review of Alternative Management Options of Vegetable Crop Residues to Reduce Nitrate Leaching in Intensive Vegetable Rotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Agneessens

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Vegetable crop residues take a particular position relative to arable crops due to often large amounts of biomass with a N content up to 200 kg N ha−1 left behind on the field. An important amount of vegetable crops are harvested during late autumn and despite decreasing soil temperatures during autumn, high rates of N mineralization and nitrification still occur. Vegetable crop residues may lead to considerable N losses through leaching during winter and pose a threat to meeting water quality objectives. However, at the same time vegetable crop residues are a vital link in closing the nutrient and organic matter cycle of soils. Appropriate and sustainable management is needed to harness the full potential of vegetable crop residues. Two fundamentally different crop residue management strategies to reduce N losses during winter in intensive vegetable rotations are reviewed, namely (i on-field management options and modifications to crop rotations and (ii removal of crop residues, followed by a useful and profitable application.

  17. Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li

    2016-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management.

  18. Impact of perennial energy crops income variability on the crop selection of risk averse farmers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, Peter; Moran, Dominic

    2013-01-01

    The UK Government policy is for the area of perennial energy crops in the UK to expand significantly. Farmers need to choose these crops in preference to conventional rotations for this to be achievable. This paper looks at the potential level and variability of perennial energy crop incomes and the relation to incomes from conventional arable crops. Assuming energy crop prices are correlated to oil prices the results suggests that incomes from them are not well correlated to conventional arable crop incomes. A farm scale mathematical programming model is then used to attempt to understand the affect on risk averse farmers crop selection. The inclusion of risk reduces the energy crop price required for the selection of these crops. However yields towards the highest of those predicted in the UK are still required to make them an optimal choice, suggesting only a small area of energy crops within the UK would be expected to be chosen to be grown. This must be regarded as a tentative conclusion, primarily due to high sensitivity found to crop yields, resulting in the proposal for further work to apply the model using spatially disaggregated data. - Highlights: ► Energy crop and conventional crop incomes suggested as uncorrelated. ► Diversification effect of energy crops investigated for a risk averse farmer. ► Energy crops indicated as optimal selection only on highest yielding UK sites. ► Large establishment grant rates to substantially alter crop selections.

  19. Two bee-pollinated plant species show higher seed production when grown in gardens compared to arable farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cussans

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Insect pollinator abundance, in particular that of bees, has been shown to be high where there is a super-abundance of floral resources; for example in association with mass-flowering crops and also in gardens where flowering plants are often densely planted. Since land management affects pollinator numbers, it is also likely to affect the resultant pollination of plants growing in these habitats. We hypothesised that the seed or fruit set of two plant species, typically pollinated by bumblebees and/or honeybees might respond in one of two ways: 1 pollination success could be reduced when growing in a floriferous environment, via competition for pollinators, or 2 pollination success could be enhanced because of increased pollinator abundance in the vicinity.We compared the pollination success of experimental plants of Glechoma hederacea L. and Lotus corniculatus L. growing in gardens and arable farmland. On the farms, the plants were placed either next to a mass-flowering crop (oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. or field beans, Vicia faba L. or next to a cereal crop (wheat, Triticum spp.. Seed set of G. hederacea and fruit set of L. corniculatus were significantly higher in gardens compared to arable farmland. There was no significant difference in pollination success of G. hederacea when grown next to different crops, but for L. corniculatus, fruit set was higher in the plants growing next to oilseed rape when the crop was in flower.The results show that pollination services can limit fruit set of wild plants in arable farmland, but there is some evidence that the presence of a flowering crop can facilitate their pollination (depending on species and season. We have also demonstrated that gardens are not only beneficial to pollinators, but also to the process of pollination.

  20. Quick test for infiltration of arable soils

    OpenAIRE

    Liebl, Boris; Spiegel, Ann-Kathrin

    2018-01-01

    The quick test makes the consequences of soil compaction on water infiltration and the yield of agricultural crops visible. It promotes an understanding of the effects of soil compaction and the importance of soil-conserving cultivation.

  1. Continuous measurements of N2O emissions from arable fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallman, Magdalena; Lammirato, Carlo; Rütting, Tobias; Delin, Sofia; Weslien, Per; Klemedtsson, Leif

    2017-04-01

    Agriculture represents 59 % of the anthropogenic nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, according to the IPCC (Ciais et al. 2013). N2O emissions are typically irregular and vary widely in time and space, which makes it difficult to get a good representation of the emissions (Henault et al. 2012), particularly if measurements have low frequency and/or cover only a short time period. Manual measurements are, for practical reasons, often short-term and low-frequent, or restricted to periods where emissions are expected to be high, e.g. after fertilizing. However, the nature of N2O emissions, being largely unpredictable, calls for continuous or near-continuous measurements over long time periods. So far, rather few long-term, high resolution measurements of N2O emissions from arable fields are reported; among them are Flessa et al. (2002) and Senapati et al. (2016). In this study, we have a two-year data set (2015-2017) with hourly measurements from ten automatic chambers, covering unfertilized controls as well as different nitrogen fertilizer treatments. Grain was produced on the field, and effects of tillage, harvest and other cropping measures were covered. What we can see from the experiment is that (a) the unfertilized control plots seem to follow the same emission pattern as the fertilized plots, at a level similar to the standard mineral fertilized plots (120 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and (b) freeze/thaw emissions are comparable in size to emissions after fertilizing. These two findings imply that the importance of fertilizing to the overall N2O emissions from arable soils may be smaller than previously expected. References: Ciais, P., C. Sabine, G. Bala, L. Bopp, V. Brovkin, J. Canadell et al. 2013: Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung et

  2. Topographic variability influences the carbon sequestration potential of arable soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chirinda, Ngoni; Elsgaard, Lars; Thomsen, Ingrid Kaag

    2012-01-01

    There is presently limited knowledge on the influence of field spatial variability on the carbon (C) sink-source relationships in arable landscapes. This is accompanied by the fact that our understanding of soil profile C dynamics is also limited. This study aimed at investigating how spatial...... results indicated that variability across arable landscapes makes footslope soils both a larger sink of buried soil C and a bigger potential CO2 source than upslope soils....

  3. Advanced Camera Image Cropping Approach for CNN-Based End-to-End Controls on Sustainable Computing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunsick Sung

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent research on deep learning has been applied to a diversity of fields. In particular, numerous studies have been conducted on self-driving vehicles using end-to-end approaches based on images captured by a single camera. End-to-end controls learn the output vectors of output devices directly from the input vectors of available input devices. In other words, an end-to-end approach learns not by analyzing the meaning of input vectors, but by extracting optimal output vectors based on input vectors. Generally, when end-to-end control is applied to self-driving vehicles, the steering wheel and pedals are controlled autonomously by learning from the images captured by a camera. However, high-resolution images captured from a car cannot be directly used as inputs to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs owing to memory limitations; the image size needs to be efficiently reduced. Therefore, it is necessary to extract features from captured images automatically and to generate input images by merging the parts of the images that contain the extracted features. This paper proposes a learning method for end-to-end control that generates input images for CNNs by extracting road parts from input images, identifying the edges of the extracted road parts, and merging the parts of the images that contain the detected edges. In addition, a CNN model for end-to-end control is introduced. Experiments involving the Open Racing Car Simulator (TORCS, a sustainable computing environment for cars, confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed method for self-driving by comparing the accumulated difference in the angle of the steering wheel in the images generated by it with those of resized images containing the entire captured area and cropped images containing only a part of the captured area. The results showed that the proposed method reduced the accumulated difference by 0.839% and 0.850% compared to those yielded by the resized images and cropped images

  4. Reintroduction of rare arable plants by seed transfer. What are the optimal sowing rates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Marion; Prestele, Julia; Fischer, Christina; Kollmann, Johannes; Albrecht, Harald

    2016-08-01

    During the past decades, agro-biodiversity has markedly declined and some species are close to extinction in large parts of Europe. Reintroduction of rare arable plant species in suitable habitats could counteract this negative trend. The study investigates optimal sowing rates of three endangered species (Legousia speculum-veneris (L.) Chaix, Consolida regalis Gray, and Lithospermum arvense L.), in terms of establishment success, seed production, and crop yield losses.A field experiment with partial additive design was performed in an organically managed winter rye stand with study species added in ten sowing rates of 5-10,000 seeds m(-2). They were sown as a single species or as a three-species mixture (pure vs. mixed sowing) and with vs. without removal of spontaneous weeds. Winter rye was sown at a fixed rate of 350 grains m(-2). Performance of the study species was assessed as plant establishment and seed production. Crop response was determined as grain yield.Plant numbers and seed production were significantly affected by the sowing rate, but not by sowing type (pure vs. mixed sowing of the three study species), and weed removal. All rare arable plant species established and reproduced at sowing rates >25 seeds m(-2), with best performance of L. speculum-veneris. Negative density effects occurred to some extent for plant establishment and more markedly for seed production.The impact of the three study species on crop yield followed sigmoidal functions. Depending on the species, a yield loss of 10% occurred at >100 seeds m(-2). Synthesis and applications: The study shows that reintroduction of rare arable plants by seed transfer is a suitable method to establish them on extensively managed fields, for example, in organic farms with low nutrient level and without mechanical weed control. Sowing rates of 100 seeds m(-2) for C. regalis and L. arvense, and 50 seeds m(-2) for L. speculum-veneris are recommended, to achieve successful establishment

  5. Root and soil carbon distribution at shoulderslope and footslope positions of temperate toposequences cropped to winter wheat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chirinda, Ngoni; Roncossek, Svenja Doreen; Heckrath, Goswin Johann

    2014-01-01

    Crop root residues are an important source of soil organic carbon (SOC) in arable systems. However, the spatial distribution of root biomass in arable systems remains largely unknown. In this study, we determined the spatial distribution of macro-root and shoot biomass of winter wheat at shoulder...

  6. Sustainable Agriculture - Enhancing environmental benefits, food nutritional quality and building crop resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeding nutrition-dense food to future world populations presents agriculture with enormous challenges as estimates indicate that crop production must as much as double. Crop production cannot be increased to meet this challenge simply by increasing land acreage or using past agricultural intensific...

  7. Linyphiid spider populations in sustainable wheat‐clover bi‐cropping compared to conventional wheat‐growing practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gravesen, Eigil Vestergaard

    2008-01-01

    Linyphiid web densities in wheat-clover bi-crop systems where winter wheat was grown in an under-storey of white clover were compared with web densities estimated in conventional wheat-growing systems. The web densities in the wheat-clover bi-crop systems were on average between 200 and 250 webs ...

  8. Effects of organic versus conventional arable farming on soil structure and organic matter dynamics in a marine loam in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pulleman, M.M.; Jongmans, A.G.; Marinissen, J.C.Y.; Bouma, J.

    2003-01-01

    We compared the effects of conventional and organic arable farming on soil organic matter (SOM) content, soil structure, aggregate stability and C and N mineralization, which are considered important factors in defining sustainable land management. Within one soil series, three different farming

  9. Biotech crops: imperative for achieving the millenium development goals and sustainability of agriculture in the climate change era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husaini, Amjad M; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    Biotechnological intervention in the development of crops has opened new vistas in agriculture. Central to the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), biotech-agriculture is essential in meeting these targets. Biotech crops have already made modest contributions toward ensuring food and nutrition security by reducing losses and increasing productivity, with less pesticide input. These crops could help address some of the major challenges in agriculture-based economies created by climate change. Projections of global climate change expect the concentration of greenhouse gases to increase, aridization of the environment to increase, temperature fluctuations to occur sharply and frequently, and spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall to be disturbed-all of which will increase abiotic stress-related challenges to crops. Countering these challenges and to meet the food requirement of the ever-increasing world population (expected to reach 9 billion by 2030) we need to (1) develop and use biotech crops for mitigating adverse climatic changes; (2) develop biotech crops resilient to adverse environmental conditions; and (3) address the issues/non-issues raised by NGO's and educate the masses about the benefits of biotech crops.

  10. Asymmetries of cattle and crop productivity and efficiency during Brazil’s agricultural expansion from 1975 to 2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerd Sparovek

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Brazil has global importance for food production and conservation of natural resources. The country has plans to increase yields and commitments to decrease deforestation that require higher productivity. Plans and policies for the growth of Brazilian agriculture, however, have been made without an integrated analysis of the harvest and not supported by a universal metric regarding its efficiency. Applying methods to model flows of energy and matter along food supply chains for agricultural production from 1975 to 2006, we found that crop and cattle harvests and their productivity have increased during the last four decades in consolidated and deforestation frontier regions. Yet in 2006, crop protein production was 20 times larger than cattle protein, using an area 2.6 times smaller than pastures. Crop protein productivity was 0.25 ton.ha–1 with emissions of 2 ton GHG per ton of protein, while cattle productivity was 0.01 ton.ha–1 with emissions of 283 ton GHG per ton of protein. From 1975 to 2006, the portion of crop protein and energy going to feed increased while the portion going to direct human consumption decreased. Our findings suggest that more efficient food systems would be achieved by a combination of intensification of cattle systems, optimization of feed-meat systems and an increase in the share of the consumption of crops as a source of protein. We suggest an initial road map to the expansion of the cultivated area and intensification of agriculture for zero deforestation, efficient and sustainable land use and food systems where cattle pasture intensification is a transition that will last until the expansion of crops replace all pasture present on suitable arable land. During this transition, pasture area will decrease until it is limited only to marginal non-arable lands. Such change could be achieved by a robust strategy that combines penalties and incentives and prevents the risks of a rebound effect for the

  11. Integrated soil, water and nutrient management for sustainable rice-wheat cropping systems in Asia. Report of a FAO/IAEA consultants' meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-01-01

    A Consultants' Meeting on 'Integrated soil, water and nutrient management for sustainable rice-wheat cropping systems in Asia' was held at FAO, Rome, August 22-25, 2000. Five consultants, together with one staff from IAEA headquarters, one staff from IAEA Laboratories, Seibersdorf, five staff from FAO headquarters, two staff from FAO regional offices, one observer from ACIAR, one observer from Cornell University with expertise in crop, nutrient, soil and water management, attended the meeting. The consultants presented reviews of the situation regarding studies of water and nutrient dynamics in rice-wheat systems in South Asia. These were complemented by a paper on the development of 15 N techniques to study the contribution of N from legumes. The consultants also provided recommendations on the formulation and implementation of an FAO/IAEA Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP). Refs, figs, tabs

  12. Huisvuilcompost en zuiveringsslib als organische meststoffen voor bouwlandgewassen op een zware rivierkleigrond in de Bommelerwaard, in vergelijking met stalmest, groenbemesting en turfmolm = Refuse compost and sewage sludge as organic manures for arable crops on a heavy fluviatile clay in the Bommelerwaard, compared with farmyard manure, green manure and peat moss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haan, de S.; Lubbers, J.

    1984-01-01

    In the period 1952-1980 experiments were carried out with potato, sugar beet and spring wheat grown in a fixed rotation. The parameters measured included chemical composition of the soil and of the organic materials applied, crop yields, underwater weight of potatoes and micro-elements (heavy

  13. Spatial patterns of soil organic carbon stocks in Estonian arable soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suuster, Elsa; Astover, Alar; Kõlli, Raimo; Roostalu, Hugo; Reintam, Endla; Penu, Priit

    2010-05-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) determines ecosystem functions, influencing soil fertility, soil physical, chemical and biological properties and crop productivity. Therefore the spatial pattern of SOC stocks and its appropriate management is important at various scales. Due to climate change and the contribution of carbon store in the soils, the national estimates of soil carbon stocks should be determined. Estonian soils have been well studied and mapped at a scale 1:10,000. Previous studies have estimated SOC stocks based on combinations of large groups of Estonian soils and the mean values of the soil profile database, but were not embedded into the geo-referenced databases. These studies have estimated SOC stocks of Estonian arable soils 122.3 Tg. Despite of available soil maps and databases, this information is still very poorly used for spatial soil modelling. The aim of current study is to assess and model spatial pattern of SOC stocks of arable soils on a pilot area Tartu County (area 3089 sq km). Estonian digital soil map and soil monitoring databases are providing a good opportunity to assess SOC stocks at various scales. The qualitative nature of the initial data from a soil map prohibits any straightforward use in modelling. Thus we have used several databases to construct models and linkages between soil properties that can be integrated into soil map. First step was to reorganize the soil map database (44,046 mapping units) so it can be used as an input to modelling. Arable areas were distinguished by a field layer of Agricultural Registers and Information Board, which provides precise information of current land use as it is the basis of paying CAP subsidies. The estimates of SOC content were found by using the arable land evaluation database of Tartu from the Estonian Land Board (comprising 950 sq km and 31,226 fields), where each soil type was assessed separately and average SOC content grouped by texture was derived. SOC content of epipedon varies in

  14. Climate change adaptation in arable land use, and impact on nitrogen load at catchment scale in northern agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katri Rankinen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Prolongation of the growing season due to a warming climate could represent new opportunities for northern agriculture. Climatic and biotic constraints may challenge future crop production. The objective of this study was to speculate how a range of arable land use patterns, resulting from various policy driven choices, could be introduced into a farming system, and how they would affect the risks associated with nutrient leaching. We found that while adaptation to climate change must include consideration of crop choices, there are conflicts associated with allocations and rotations for various market and policy situations. The expected increase in nutrient loading in the simulations caused by climate change was moderate. The increase can partly be compensated for by changes in farmland use, more in the shorter term than in the longer term to mid-century. In the future, adaptation at cropping system level is potentially an efficient way to manage nutrient load risks.

  15. Restoration of soil fertility and improvement of cropping systems for sustainable development in the humid savannahs of Cote d'Ivoire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachmann, T.

    1999-01-01

    The present FAO-project addresses the soil fertility problems by combining organic with inorganic nutrient sources and actively involving farmers and other beneficiaries in an integrated, long-term development process. A major objective of the project is the participatory on-farm testing and validation of available technological innovations for soil fertility improvement. The results should fulfill two main requirements: (i) provide the farmer with a short-term production increase and (ii) improve/maintain soil fertility in the medium and long-term. The strategic framework of the project is based on the following three main elements: the need to take into account all aspects of soil fertility restoration including areas concerned, cost of fertility restoration, and economic profitability and sustainability; - the need to test all fertility improving measures at farm level in representative agro-ecozones of the humid and sub-humid savannas before their extension at large; the need to identify major macro-economic constraints (e.g. marketing) which impede sustainable agricultural development in the savannah region. The primary goal of the project is to replace traditional shifting cultivation in the humid savannas of the country by economically, ecologically and socially more sustainable production systems. In order to achieve this development objective the project focuses on the following main issues: restoration of soil fertility through improved land and crop management and more efficient use of mineral and organic fertilizers; crop diversification through more efficient use of water resources (irrigation); introduction of new cropping systems which have been successfully tested in countries with similar agro-ecological conditions; adapting traditional land tenure to the market economy; involving the private sector in all aspects of regional development assisted by Government through the creation of a favorable environment. Phase 1: constraint analysis and

  16. A RAINFALL SIMULATOR STUDY OF INFILTRATION INTO ARABLE SOILS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    WIERDA, A; VEEN, AWL

    Since Hortonian surface runoff is one possible mechanism for the fast transport of agricultural chemicals from arable soils to surface water, more information is needed on its significance in agricultural areas. The present study concerns the sandy soils of the Dutch Cover Sands area, and is based

  17. Purchase of Catastrophe Insurance by Dutch Dairy and Arable Farmers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ogurtsov, V.; Asseldonk, van M.A.P.M.; Huirne, R.B.M.

    2009-01-01

    This article analyzed the impact of risk perception, risk attitude, and other farmer personal and farm characteristics on the actual purchase of catastrophe insurance by Dutch dairy and arable farmers. The specific catastrophe insurance types considered were hail–fire–storm insurance for buildings,

  18. Pathways for sustainable development of mixed crop livestock systems: Taking a livestock and pro-poor approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tarawali, S.A.; Herrero, M.; Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Grings, E.; Blmmel, M.

    2011-01-01

    Mixed crop livestock systems provide the majority of the cereal and livestock domestic products for households in developing countries. We explore the question of whether such systems can respond to increasing demands for livestock products without compromising future livelihoods of the poor or the

  19. Sustainable conversion of coffee and other crop wastes to biofuels and bioproducts using coupled biochemical and thermochemical processes in a multi-stage biorefinery concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephen R; López-Núñez, Juan Carlos; Jones, Marjorie A; Moser, Bryan R; Cox, Elby J; Lindquist, Mitch; Galindo-Leva, Luz Angela; Riaño-Herrera, Néstor M; Rodriguez-Valencia, Nelson; Gast, Fernando; Cedeño, David L; Tasaki, Ken; Brown, Robert C; Darzins, Al; Brunner, Lane

    2014-10-01

    The environmental impact of agricultural waste from the processing of food and feed crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Concerted efforts are underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from the processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the economies of many countries because its cultivation, processing, trading, and marketing provide employment for millions of people. In coffee-producing countries, improved technology for treatment of the significant amounts of coffee waste is critical to prevent ecological damage. This mini-review discusses a multi-stage biorefinery concept with the potential to convert waste produced at crop processing operations, such as coffee pulping stations, to valuable biofuels and bioproducts using biochemical and thermochemical conversion technologies. The initial bioconversion stage uses a mutant Kluyveromyces marxianus yeast strain to produce bioethanol from sugars. The resulting sugar-depleted solids (mostly protein) can be used in a second stage by the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to produce bio-based ammonia for fertilizer and are further degraded by Y. lipolytica proteases to peptides and free amino acids for animal feed. The lignocellulosic fraction can be ground and treated to release sugars for fermentation in a third stage by a recombinant cellulosic Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which can also be engineered to express valuable peptide products. The residual protein and lignin solids can be jet cooked and passed to a fourth-stage fermenter where Rhodotorula glutinis converts methane into isoprenoid intermediates. The residues can be combined and transferred into pyrocracking and hydroformylation reactions to convert ammonia, protein, isoprenes, lignins, and oils into renewable gas. Any remaining waste can be thermoconverted to biochar as a humus soil enhancer. The integration of multiple technologies for treatment of coffee waste has the potential to

  20. Determinants and the perceived effects of adoption of sustainable improved food crop technologies by smallholder farmers along the value chain in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abiodun Elijah Obayelu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Adoption of improved agricultural technologies is fundamental to transformation of sustainable farming system, and a driving force for increasing agricultural productivity. This study provides empirical evidence on the determinants, and the perceived effects of adoption of improved food crop technologies in Nigeria. It is a cross-sectional survey of available technologies and 1,663 farm households in Nigeria. Data were analyzed with both descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings revealed very low technology adoption index. Available food crop production technologies used by sampled respondents were assessed as effective, appropriate, readily available, affordable, durable, user and gender friendly, with requisite skill to use them. However, processing technologies such as cabinet dryer were observed as unaffordable, not durable, not gender or users friendly. Packaging machines are also not users or gender friendly; washing machine not affordable, durable and gender friendly. Grain processing technologies like De-stoner, grading, and packaging machines are still not locally available and affordable. While parboilers have a negative impact on product quality, farmers’ health and the environment, tomato grinding machines have positive impact on the quality of the product, health of the users, yield and negatively affect the environment. The main determinants of adoption are the crop types, farm size and locations. Adoption of herbicide and inorganic fertilizer were influenced by travel cost to nearest place of acquisition, while the age of farmer has a positive and significant influence on the adoption of pesticide, water management and cassava harvester. Interestingly, male farmers only exhibit greater likelihood of adopting land preparation, inorganic and organic fertilizer technologies compared to their female counterpart. Therefore, policy options that consider all users at the development stages, favour reduction of travel cost

  1. Team-up Crop Diversification and Weed Management: PRODIVA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gerowitt, B.; Melander, B.; Krawczyk, R.

    2015-01-01

    The research-network PRODIVA focuses on a better utilization of crop diversification for weed management in North European arable cropping systems. The goal is to maintain diverse arable weed vegetation that is manageable in the long-term and could fulfil other necessary systemfunctions including...... support of beneficial organisms. The partners in PRODIVA will synthesize knowledge from terminated and running research projects and set-up selected new experiments on cover crops and variety resp. crop mixtures. Moreover, we will interact with partners from farming practice and extension services...... in organic agriculture. Regional fields will be surveyed for weeds to safeguard the relevance of the experimental research. Current cropping practices and their influence on weed pressure and weed diversity will be identified. The project will involve relevant stakeholders from the participating countries...

  2. Biocide plants as a sustainable tool for the control of pests and pathogens in vegetable cropping systems

    OpenAIRE

    Trifone D'Addabbo; Sebastiano Laquale; Stella Lovelli; Vincenzo Candido; Pinarosa Avato

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic pesticides have played a major role in crop protection related to the intensification of agricultural systems. In the recent years, environmental side effects and health concerns raised by an indiscriminate use have led the EU to the ban of many synthetic pesticides. As a result of this drastic revision, currently there is a strong need for new and alternative pest control methods. An interesting source of biorational pesticides may be represented by the biocidal compounds naturally...

  3. Investigating Strategies for Sustainable Vegetable Food Crop System in Three Agro Ecological Zones of the Humid Tropics Area of Cameroon

    OpenAIRE

    TATA NGOME, Precillia Ijang; AFARI-SEFA, Victor; NTSOMBOH-NTSEFONG, Godswill; OKOLLE, Justin; BILLA, Samuel Fru; MOMA, Crescence; ATEMKENG FONJI, Maureen; NGOME, Ajebesone Francis

    2018-01-01

    Vegetable cultivation remains an essential component of local people’s livelihoods. However, marked trend shifts in the varieties of vegetables due to large-scale commercial vegetable farming of exotic varieties in the broader market economy have resulted in the gradual disappearance of biodiversity involving vital species. The present study examined the situation of vegetable crop farming in three agro-ecological zones of Cameroon. Data were collected from a random sample of 235 respondents ...

  4. About the value of species diversity in arable weeds for weed management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerowitt, Bärbel

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Arable weeds accompany arable land use – we define them based on their affiliation to ar able systems. They are adapted to such a degree that most of them cannot exist without arable land use. Weeds are part of the total biodiversity on arable fields, as primary producers they are basic for important functions within the ecosystem. This paper elaborates the relevance of species diversity in arable weeds for their management. Arable systems can be regarded for the number of different methods for preventive and direct weed control which are realized. Historical arable land use is roughly divided into three periods, which differ concerning the diversity of weed management and the occurring diversity in weed species. Obviously divers weed management in arable systems and diversity in weed species depend on each other, this is illustrated with a simple abstract picture. Arable systems, which are characterised by simpleness, favor the domination of few species which ensure an effective use of the resources within the ecosystem. One consequence under continuous pressure of an overused tool in weed management is that the genetic diversity within a dominating weed population is exploited to ensure this resource use. Current herbicides represent this tool – the results are herbicide resistant biotypes within the weed populations. Species diversity in arable weeds as a rationale within arable production can assist to prevent this development.

  5. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. A. Timms

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr−1 such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB. In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8–1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0–2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91–229 t ha−1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m−1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5, whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m−1 with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3–9.5 mm yr−1 (0.7–2.1% rainfall based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total, and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low

  6. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timms, W. A.; Young, R. R.; Huth, N.

    2012-04-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (2000 mm yr-1) such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8-1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0-2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91-229 t ha-1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m-1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5), whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m-1) with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3-9.5 mm yr-1 (0.7-2.1% rainfall) based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total), and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditions after changes in land use and a thick clay dominated vadose zone. This is in

  7. Statistical analysis and modelling of surface runoff from arable fields

    OpenAIRE

    P. Fiener; K. Auerswald; F. Winter; M. Disse

    2013-01-01

    Surface runoff generation on arable fields is an important driver of (local) flooding, on-site and off-site damages by erosion, and of nutrient and agrochemical transport. In general, three different processes generate surface runoff (Hortonian runoff, saturation excess runoff, and return of subsurface flow). Despite the developments in our understanding of these processes it remains difficult to predict, which processes govern runoff generation during the course of an event or through...

  8. Breeding birds on organic and conventional arable farms

    OpenAIRE

    Kragten, Steven

    2009-01-01

    As a result of agricultural intensification, farmland bird populations have been declining dramatically over the past decades. Organic farming is often mentioned to be a possible solution to stop these declines. In order to see whether farmland birds really benefit from organic farming a study was carried out comparing breeding bird densities, breeding success and bird food abundance between organic and conventional arable farms in Flevoland, the Netherlands. skylark (Alauda arvensis) and lap...

  9. How can we improve Mediterranean cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benlhabib, O.; Yazar, A.; Qadir, M.

    2014-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, crop productivity and food security are closely linked to the adaptation of cropping systems to multiple abiotic stresses. Limited and unpredictable rainfall and low soil fertility have reduced agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. For this reason...... the tested interventions, incorporation of crop residues coupled with supplementary irrigation showed a significantly positive effect on crop productivity, yield stability and environmental sustainability....

  10. Patterns of bryophyte diversity in arable fields of Lithuania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danguolė Andriušaitytė

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents research data on bryophyte diversity in arable land throughout the territory of Lithuania. The bryoflora was analyzed regarding systematic structure and morphological forms, life-history strategies, mode of reproduction and frequency of species. Bryophyte diversity in arable fields of Lithuania was compared with that of Slovakia and the British Isles, which are positioned in different geographical regions of Europe. A total of 97 species of bryophytes of 25 families and 48 genera were ascertained. Dominance of acrocarpous mosses and thalloid liverworts, high representation of Pottiaceae, Bryaceae, Mielichhoferiaceae and Ricciaceae families as well as Bryum, Dicranella, Pohlia and Riccia genera, wide distribution of annual shuttles and ephemeral colonists, high reproduction effort of the species (frequent sporophytes and asexual propagules were specific features of the bryophytes of the studied habitats as a result of adaptations to regular disturbances. The distribution of species into six frequency groups seemed to be uneven. The most abundant group of species with the lowest frequency (1–3 records covered 53.6% of all species. The group contained about 90% of all many-year potential life span species recorded in the habitat. Species with short life span were distributed quite evenly throughout frequency groups. No regionally-specific species were ascertained in the studied habitat. Most of arable-land-specific species recorded in Lithuania is distributed throughout different regions of Europe.

  11. Plant litter decomposition and carbon sequestration for arable soils. Final report of works. April 2005

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recous, S.; Barrois, F.; Coppens, F.; Garnier, P.; Grehan, E.; Balesdent, J.; Dambrine, E.; Zeller, B.; Loiseau, P.; Personeni, E.

    2002-01-01

    The general objective of this project was to contribute to the evaluation of land use and management impacts on C sequestration and nitrogen dynamics in soils. The land used through the presence/absence of crops and their species, and the land management through tillage, localisation of crop residues, fertilizer applications,... are important factors that affect the dynamics of organic matters in soils, particularly the mineralization of C and N, the losses to the atmosphere and hydrosphere, the retention of carbon into the soil. This project was conducted by four research groups, three of them having expertise in nutrient cycling of three major agro-ecosystems (arable crops, grasslands, forests) and the fourth one having expertise in modelling long term effects of land use on C storage into the soils. Within this common project one major objective was to better understand the fate of plant litter entering the soil either as above litter or as root litter. The focus was put on two factors that particularly affect decomposition: the initial biochemical quality of plant litter, and the location of the decomposing litter. One innovative aspect of the project was the use of stable isotope as 13 C for carbon, based on the use of enriched or depleted 13 C material, the only option to assess the dynamics of 'new' C entering the soil on the short term, in order to reveal the effects of decomposition factors. Another aspect was the simultaneous study of C and N. The project consisted in experiments relevant for each agro-ecosystem, in forest, grassland and arable soils for which interactions between residue quality and nitrogen availability on the one hand, residue quality and location on the other hand, was investigated. A common experiment was set up to investigate the potential degradability of the various residue used (beech leaf rape straw, young rye, Lolium and dactylic roots) in a their original soils and in a single soil was assessed. Based on these experiments, the

  12. Biochar decelerates soil organic nitrogen cycling but stimulates soil nitrification in a temperate arable field trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Prommer

    Full Text Available Biochar production and subsequent soil incorporation could provide carbon farming solutions to global climate change and escalating food demand. There is evidence that biochar amendment causes fundamental changes in soil nutrient cycles, often resulting in marked increases in crop production, particularly in acidic and in infertile soils with low soil organic matter contents, although comparable outcomes in temperate soils are variable. We offer insight into the mechanisms underlying these findings by focusing attention on the soil nitrogen (N cycle, specifically on hitherto unmeasured processes of organic N cycling in arable soils. We here investigated the impacts of biochar addition on soil organic and inorganic N pools and on gross transformation rates of both pools in a biochar field trial on arable land (Chernozem in Traismauer, Lower Austria. We found that biochar increased total soil organic carbon but decreased the extractable organic C pool and soil nitrate. While gross rates of organic N transformation processes were reduced by 50-80%, gross N mineralization of organic N was not affected. In contrast, biochar promoted soil ammonia-oxidizer populations (bacterial and archaeal nitrifiers and accelerated gross nitrification rates more than two-fold. Our findings indicate a de-coupling of the soil organic and inorganic N cycles, with a build-up of organic N, and deceleration of inorganic N release from this pool. The results therefore suggest that addition of inorganic fertilizer-N in combination with biochar could compensate for the reduction in organic N mineralization, with plants and microbes drawing on fertilizer-N for growth, in turn fuelling the belowground build-up of organic N. We conclude that combined addition of biochar with fertilizer-N may increase soil organic N in turn enhancing soil carbon sequestration and thereby could play a fundamental role in future soil management strategies.

  13. Biochar decelerates soil organic nitrogen cycling but stimulates soil nitrification in a temperate arable field trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prommer, Judith; Wanek, Wolfgang; Hofhansl, Florian; Trojan, Daniela; Offre, Pierre; Urich, Tim; Schleper, Christa; Sassmann, Stefan; Kitzler, Barbara; Soja, Gerhard; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca Clare

    2014-01-01

    Biochar production and subsequent soil incorporation could provide carbon farming solutions to global climate change and escalating food demand. There is evidence that biochar amendment causes fundamental changes in soil nutrient cycles, often resulting in marked increases in crop production, particularly in acidic and in infertile soils with low soil organic matter contents, although comparable outcomes in temperate soils are variable. We offer insight into the mechanisms underlying these findings by focusing attention on the soil nitrogen (N) cycle, specifically on hitherto unmeasured processes of organic N cycling in arable soils. We here investigated the impacts of biochar addition on soil organic and inorganic N pools and on gross transformation rates of both pools in a biochar field trial on arable land (Chernozem) in Traismauer, Lower Austria. We found that biochar increased total soil organic carbon but decreased the extractable organic C pool and soil nitrate. While gross rates of organic N transformation processes were reduced by 50-80%, gross N mineralization of organic N was not affected. In contrast, biochar promoted soil ammonia-oxidizer populations (bacterial and archaeal nitrifiers) and accelerated gross nitrification rates more than two-fold. Our findings indicate a de-coupling of the soil organic and inorganic N cycles, with a build-up of organic N, and deceleration of inorganic N release from this pool. The results therefore suggest that addition of inorganic fertilizer-N in combination with biochar could compensate for the reduction in organic N mineralization, with plants and microbes drawing on fertilizer-N for growth, in turn fuelling the belowground build-up of organic N. We conclude that combined addition of biochar with fertilizer-N may increase soil organic N in turn enhancing soil carbon sequestration and thereby could play a fundamental role in future soil management strategies.

  14. Biochar Decelerates Soil Organic Nitrogen Cycling but Stimulates Soil Nitrification in a Temperate Arable Field Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prommer, Judith; Wanek, Wolfgang; Hofhansl, Florian; Trojan, Daniela; Offre, Pierre; Urich, Tim; Schleper, Christa; Sassmann, Stefan; Kitzler, Barbara; Soja, Gerhard; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca Clare

    2014-01-01

    Biochar production and subsequent soil incorporation could provide carbon farming solutions to global climate change and escalating food demand. There is evidence that biochar amendment causes fundamental changes in soil nutrient cycles, often resulting in marked increases in crop production, particularly in acidic and in infertile soils with low soil organic matter contents, although comparable outcomes in temperate soils are variable. We offer insight into the mechanisms underlying these findings by focusing attention on the soil nitrogen (N) cycle, specifically on hitherto unmeasured processes of organic N cycling in arable soils. We here investigated the impacts of biochar addition on soil organic and inorganic N pools and on gross transformation rates of both pools in a biochar field trial on arable land (Chernozem) in Traismauer, Lower Austria. We found that biochar increased total soil organic carbon but decreased the extractable organic C pool and soil nitrate. While gross rates of organic N transformation processes were reduced by 50–80%, gross N mineralization of organic N was not affected. In contrast, biochar promoted soil ammonia-oxidizer populations (bacterial and archaeal nitrifiers) and accelerated gross nitrification rates more than two-fold. Our findings indicate a de-coupling of the soil organic and inorganic N cycles, with a build-up of organic N, and deceleration of inorganic N release from this pool. The results therefore suggest that addition of inorganic fertilizer-N in combination with biochar could compensate for the reduction in organic N mineralization, with plants and microbes drawing on fertilizer-N for growth, in turn fuelling the belowground build-up of organic N. We conclude that combined addition of biochar with fertilizer-N may increase soil organic N in turn enhancing soil carbon sequestration and thereby could play a fundamental role in future soil management strategies. PMID:24497947

  15. Agro-Forestry system in West Africa: integrating a green solution to cope with soil depletion towards agricultural sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Filipa; Vidigal, Patricia; Romeiras, Maria Manuel; Ribeiro, Ana; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Viegas, Wanda; Catarino, Luís

    2017-04-01

    During the last decades, agriculture in West Africa has been marked by dramatic shifts with the coverage of single crops, increasing pressure over the available arable land. Yet, West African countries are still striving to achieve sustainable production at an increased scale for global market needs. Market-driven rapid intensification is often a major cause for cropland area expansion at the expense of deforestation and soil degradation, especially to export commodities in times of high prices. Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) is nowadays an important export-oriented crop, being produced under intensive cultivation regimes in several tropical regions. Particularly, among the main cashew production areas, West Africa is the most recent and dynamic in the world, accounting for 45% of the world cashew nuts production in 2015. Considering its global market values, several developing countries rely on cashew nuts as national economy revenues, namely in Guinea-Bissau. Considering the intensive regime of cashew production in Guinea-Bissau, and as widely recognized, intensive agriculture linked with extensification can negatively impact ecosystems, affecting natural resources availability, soil erosion and arability compromised by excessive salinity. Ultimately this will result in the disruption of carbon - nitrogen cycle, important to the agricultural ecosystem sustainability. As such, tree intercropped with legumes as cover crops, offers a sustainable management of the land area, thus creating substantial benefits both economically and environmentally, as it enhances diversification of products outputs and proving to be more sustainable than forestry and/or agricultural monocultures. Soil fertility improvement is a key entry point for achieving food security, and also increment agriculture commodities of the agro-system. Without using inorganic fertilizers, the green solution for improving soil management is to incorporate adapted multi-purpose legumes as cover crops

  16. Increase globe artichoke cropping sustainability using sub-surface drip-irrigation systems in a Mediterranean coastal area for reducing groundwater withdrawal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantino, Alberto; Marchina, Chiara; Bonari, Enrico; Fabbrizzi, Alessandro; Rossetto, Rudy

    2017-04-01

    During the last decades in coastal areas of the Mediterranean basin, human growth posed severe stresses on freshwater resources due to increasing demand by agricultural, industrial and civil activities, in particular on groundwater. This in turn led to worsening of water quality, loss/reduction of wetlands, up to soil salinization and abandonment of agricultural areas. Within the EU LIFE REWAT project a number of demonstration measures will take place in the lower Cornia valley (Livorno, Italy), both structural (pilot) and non-structural (education, dissemination and capacity building), aiming at achieving sustainable and participated water management. In particular, the five demonstration actions are related to: (1) set up of a managed aquifer recharge facility, (2) restoration of a Cornia river reach, (3) water saving in the civil water supply sector, (4) water saving in agriculture, (5) reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation purposes. Thus, the REWAT project general objective is to develop a new model of governance for sustainable development of the lower Cornia valley based on the water asset at its core. As per water use in agriculture, the lower Cornia valley is well known for the horticultural production. In this regard, globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus L. (Fiori)) crops, a perennial cool-season vegetable, cover a surface of about 600 ha. In order to increase stability and productivity of the crop, about 2000 - 4000 m3 ha-1 yr-1 of irrigation water is required. Recent studies demonstrated that yield of different crops increases using Sub-surface Drip-Irrigation (SDI) system under high frequency irrigation management enhancing water use efficiency. In the SDI systems, the irrigation water is delivered to the plant root zone, below the soil surface by buried plastic tubes containing embedded emitters located at regular spacing. Within the LIFE REWAT, the specific objectives of the pilot on irrigation efficiency is to (i) demonstrate the

  17. Inorganic phosphorus along with biofertilizers improves profitability and sustainability in soybean (Glycine max–potato (Solanum tuberosum cropping system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushmita Munda

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Present study was conducted to assess role of phosphorus (P fertilization on economics, energy efficiency, P use indices and soil P balance in soybean [Glycine max (L. Merril]–potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cropping system during 2008–09 and 2009–10. Treatments in soybean as main plots consisted of two sources and two levels of phosphorus with or without biofertilizers [phosphorus solubilizing bacteria, PSB and arbuscular mycorrhizae, AM]. Three levels of P were applied to potato as subplots. System productivity was calculated in terms of soybean equivalent yield and found to be better with biofertilizers treated plots. When applied in combination with biofertilizers, 50% recommended dose of P (RDP as diammonium phosphate (DAP recorded B:C ratio at par with 100% RDP. Direct application of 100% RDP to potato resulted in significantly higher returns, enhancing the net returns. Application of biofertilizers alone increased the energy use efficiency over no biofertilizer application. Irrespective of source (DAP or rock phosphate treatments with biofertilizers had improved P use indices and apparent soil P balance even at 50% RDP. This indicates the role of biofertilizers in P solubilization and making it available to plant. Biofertilizers application can help cutting down the fertilizer P application in soybean–potato cropping system without any considerable reduction in yield and economic returns. Keywords: AM, B:C ratio, P use indices, PSB, Rock phosphate, Agronomic use efficiency

  18. Vulnerability of grain crops and croplands in the Midwest to climatic variability and adaptation strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Gylcine max (L.) Merr.) are the dominant grain crops across the Midwest and are grown on 75% of the arable land with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and oats (Avena sativa L.) small but economically important crops. Historically there have been variations in annual yiel...

  19. Innovation and Diffusion of Site-specific Crop Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Søren Marcus; Pedersen, Jørgen Lindgaard

    2006-01-01

    Site-specific crop management or precision farming is a highly complex managementsystem for site-specific input application of lime, fertilizers and pesticides in arable farming. The Global Positioning System (GPS)is the backbone of the system. To conduct precision farming several technical systems...

  20. Innovation and diffusion of site-specific crop management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Søren Marcus; Pedersen, Jørgen Lindgaard

    2004-01-01

    Site-specific crop management or precision farming (PF) is a highly complex management system for site-specific input application of lime, fertilizers and pesticides in arable farming. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the backbone of the system. To conduct PF several technical systems...

  1. Restoration of soil fertility and improvement of cropping systems for sustainable development in the humid savannahs of the Ivory Coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachmann, T.

    2000-01-01

    In late 1998, FAO launched a Technical Co-operation Project to assist the government of the Ivory Coast in rural development by promoting agricultural production as the main source of economic growth, and by improving the management of natural resources. The sustainable development of the humid-savannah region and western highlands is being allotted primary consideration. The goal of the project is to replace traditional shifting cultivation with more-sustainable production systems. This paper describes the origins and scope of the problem and the research strategies being considered and employed. The project will be executed in three phases: constraint analysis and formulation of a pilot project, execution of the pilot project (1999-2003), and long-term extension (15 years) from 2004, based on the data generated in the pilot phase. (author)

  2. Restoration of soil fertility and improvement of cropping systems for sustainable development in the humid savannahs of the Ivory Coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachmann, T [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome (Italy)

    2000-06-01

    In late 1998, FAO launched a Technical Co-operation Project to assist the government of the Ivory Coast in rural development by promoting agricultural production as the main source of economic growth, and by improving the management of natural resources. The sustainable development of the humid-savannah region and western highlands is being allotted primary consideration. The goal of the project is to replace traditional shifting cultivation with more-sustainable production systems. This paper describes the origins and scope of the problem and the research strategies being considered and employed. The project will be executed in three phases: constraint analysis and formulation of a pilot project, execution of the pilot project (1999-2003), and long-term extension (15 years) from 2004, based on the data generated in the pilot phase. (author)

  3. State of the art and perspectives of the cultivation of energy crops in Hesse. Significance, procedure of cultivation, sustainability; Stand und Perspektiven des Energiepflanzenanbaus in Hessen. Bedeutung, Anbauverfahren, Nachhaltigkeit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-07-15

    In line with the further increase in the use of renewable energy sources, the expansion of biomass utilization in Hesse increasingly becomes important. In light of the increasing criticism of the cultivation of energy crops, it is important to learn about the situation in the Federal State Hessen (Federal Republic of Germany). Under this aspect, the booklet under consideration contributes to proper information and creating acceptance in the current discussion on the development of bioenergy in Hessen. In particular, the brochure reports on the following topics: (1) What is the advantage of the bioenergy in Hessen?; (2) Scope of the cultivation of energy crops in the Hessian agriculture?; (3) Economic aspects of the cultivation of energy crops for biogas plants; (4) Cultivation of oil crops for the production of biodiesel oil and vegetable oil; (5) Cultivation of cereals and sugar beet for bioethanol production; (6) One-year-old energy crops; (7) Perennial energy crops; (8) Aspects of sustainability in the cultivation of energy crops; (9) Areas of conflict in the cultivation of energy crops.

  4. Sustainability Assessment of Plant Protection Strategies in Swiss Winter Wheat and Potato Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Mouron

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Production of arable crops in Switzerland is subsidized for services performed within the Proof of Ecological Performance (PEP program, the crop protection part of which is based on IPM principles. Within PEP, chemical insect control must rely on those approved insecticides that are deemed harmless for beneficial arthropods. Approved insecticides potentially impacting beneficial arthropods may also be applied, but only if unavoidable and with an official permit. In order to assess the ecological and economic sustainability of this PEP program, a reference insecticide strategy illustrating the current PEP requirements was compared with other strategies. For this purpose, a sustainability assessment taking account of ecotoxicological risks and economic viability in addition to the preservation of beneficial arthropods was performed according to the SustainOS methodology. The results show that the one-off use of Audienz (spinosad to control cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus—a key pest in winter wheat—would significantly improve sustainability vis-à-vis the reference (Nomolt (teflubenzuron plus Biscaya (thiacloprid. However, in the case of the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata, in potato crops, where Audienz is considered the reference, no alternative would exhibit better sustainability. Moreover, the study shows that strategies using Novodor (Bacillus thuringiensis protect beneficial species well but have the drawbacks of increased yield risk and higher costs. The conclusions drawn from these analyses allow recommendations for modifications of the PEP requirements for these two pest insects. The SustainOS methodology, a multi-step process combining expert knowledge with quantitative assessments including a sensitivity analysis of key target parameters and a rule-based aggregation of assessment results, yielded valuable insights into the sustainability of different crop protection strategies.

  5. Dynamics of the agrochemical fertility parameters of arable soils in the southwestern region of Central Chernozemic zone of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukin, S. V.

    2017-11-01

    Data of the agrochemical survey of arable soils in Belgorod oblast during the period from 1964 to 2014 have been analyzed. The soil cover mainly consists of typical chernozems (Haplic Chernozems) and leached chernozems (Luvic Chernozems) in the forest-steppe zone and ordinary chernozems (Calcic Chernozems) in the steppe zone. Under long-term agricultural use (from 1964 to 2014), the content of mobile phosphorus in arable soils of the region under study has increased from 55 to 137 mg/kg, and the content of mobile potassium has increased from 105 to 147 mg/kg. During the period of 1976-2014, the share of acid soils has increased from 22.8 to 45.8%, including medium-acid soils from 1.5 to 12.6%. No significant changes in the weighted average content of soil organic matter are revealed for the period from 1985 to 2014. The value of this parameter is within the range of 4.8-5.0%. In the 2010-2014, 95.0% of arable soils belonged to the category of low supplied with mobile sulfur; 99.2, 96.9, 94.1, and 54.4% of soils were poorly supplied with zinc, copper, cobalt, and manganese, respectively. During the same period, the maximum average productivity of the crop area (3710 f. u./ha) was noted at the application of 4.8 t/ha organic fertilizers and 97.9 kg/ha organic fertilizers on the average. The maximum long-term yields of sugar beet (36.8 t/ha) and corn grain (4.97 t/ha) were obtained at the application of relatively low fertilizer rates.

  6. Can Arable Land Alone Ensure Food Security? The Concept of Arable Land Equivalent Unit and Its Implications in Zhoushan City, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongzhong Tan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The requisition–compensation balance of farmlands (RCBF is a strict Chinese policy that aims to ensure food security. However, the process of supplementing arable land has substantially damaged the ecological environment through the blind development of grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands to supplement arable land. Can arable land alone ensure food security? To answer this question, this study introduced the concepts of arable land equivalent unit (ALEU and food equivalent unit (FEU based on the idea of food security. Zhoushan City in Zhejiang Province, China was selected as the research area. This study analyzed the ALEU supply and demand capabilities in the study area and presented the corresponding policy implications for the RCBF improvement. The results showed that the proportion of ALEU from arable land and waters for aquaculture is from 46:54 in 2009 to 31:69 in 2015, thereby suggesting that aquaculture waters can also be important in food security. Under three different living standards (i.e., adequate food and clothing, well-off, and affluence, ALEU from arable land can barely meet the needs of the permanent resident population in the study area. However, ALEU from aquaculture waters can provide important supplementation. Therefore, we suggest that food supply capability from land types other than the arable land be taken seriously. Furthermore, RCBF can be improved with ALEU as core of the balance.

  7. Distinct germination response of endangered and common arable weeds to reduced water potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rühl, A T; Eckstein, R L; Otte, A; Donath, T W

    2016-01-01

    Arable weeds are one of the most endangered species groups in Europe. Modern agriculture and intensive land-use management are the main causes of their dramatic decline. However, besides the changes in land use, climate change may further challenge the adaptability of arable weeds. Therefore, we investigated the response pattern of arable weeds to different water potential and temperature regimes during the phase of germination. We expected that endangered arable weeds would be more sensitive to differences in water availability and temperature than common arable weeds. To this end, we set up a climate chamber experiment where we exposed seeds of five familial pairs of common and endangered arable weed species to different temperatures (5/15, 10/20 °C) and water potentials (0.0 to -1.2 MPa). The results revealed a significant relationship between the reaction of arable weed species to water availability and their Red List status. The effects of reduced water availability on total germination, mean germination time and synchrony were significantly stronger in endangered than in common arable weeds. Therefore, global climate change may present a further threat to the survival of endangered arable weed species. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  8. Crop diversity loss as primary cause of grey partridge and common pheasant decline in Lower Saxony, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronnenberg, Katrin; Strauß, Egbert; Siebert, Ursula

    2016-09-09

    The grey partridge (Perdix perdix) and the common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) are galliform birds typical of arable lands in Central Europe and exhibit a partly dramatic negative population trend. In order to understand general habitat preferences we modelled grey partridge and common pheasant densities over the entire range of Lower Saxony. Spatially explicit developments in bird densities were modelled using spatially explicit trends of crop cultivation. Pheasant and grey partridge densities counted annually by over 8000 hunting district holders over 10 years in a range of 3.7 Mio ha constitute a unique dataset (wildlife survey of Lower Saxony). Data on main landscape groups, functional groups of agricultural crops (consisting of 9.5 million fields compiled by the Integrated Administration and Control System) and landscape features were aggregated to 420 municipalities. To model linear 8 or 10 year population trends (for common pheasant and grey partridge respectively) we use rho correlation coefficients of densities, but also rho coefficients of agricultural crops. All models confirm a dramatic decline in population densities. The habitat model for the grey partridge shows avoidance of municipalities with a high proportion of woodland and water areas, but a preference for areas with a high proportion of winter grains and high crop diversity. The trend model confirms these findings with a linear positive effect of diversity on grey partridge population development. Similarly, the pheasant avoids wooded areas but showed some preference for municipalities with open water. The effect of maize was found to be positive at medium densities, but negative at very high proportions. Winter grains, landscape features and high crop diversity are favorable. The positive effect of winter grains and higher crop diversity is also supported by the trend model. The results show the strong importance of diverse crop cultivation. Most incentives favor the cultivation of

  9. Bioethanol production from crops - recent developments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dalton, Colin

    1992-01-01

    The author notes much higher rates of ethanol production in Brazil and the United States of America than in the European Economic Community. While bioethanol from arable crops makes environmental sense there is, at present, a sizeable difference between the value of fuel ethanol (Pound 100-130/t) and the cost of producing it (Pound 236-Pound 450/t). This gap could be remedied using excise duty. Farmers would like to change crop production but await a political initiative. The technology for bioethanol production still needs some fine tuning, with ETBE (an ether produced from reacting isobutylene with ethanol) being preferred to other methods. (UK)

  10. Integrated Decision Tools for Sustainable Watershed/Ground Water and Crop Health using Predictive Weather, Remote Sensing, and Irrigation Decision Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. S.; Andales, A.; McGovern, C.; Smith, G. E. B.; David, O.; Fletcher, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    US agricultural and Govt. lands have a unique co-dependent relationship, particularly in the Western US. More than 30% of all irrigated US agricultural output comes from lands sustained by the Ogallala Aquifer in the western Great Plains. Six US Forest Service National Grasslands reside within the aquifer region, consisting of over 375,000 ha (3,759 km2) of USFS managed lands. Likewise, National Forest lands are the headwaters to many intensive agricultural regions. Our Ogallala Aquifer team is enhancing crop irrigation decision tools with predictive weather and remote sensing data to better manage water for irrigated crops within these regions. An integrated multi-model software framework is used to link irrigation decision tools, resulting in positive management benefits on natural water resources. Teams and teams-of-teams can build upon these multi-disciplinary multi-faceted modeling capabilities. For example, the CSU Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships program has formed a new multidisciplinary team that will address "Rural Wealth Creation" focusing on the many integrated links between economic, agricultural production and management, natural resource availabilities, and key social aspects of govt. policy recommendations. By enhancing tools like these with predictive weather and other related data (like in situ measurements, hydrologic models, remotely sensed data sets, and (in the near future) linking to agro-economic and life cycle assessment models) this work demonstrates an integrated data-driven future vision of inter-meshed dynamic systems that can address challenging multi-system problems. We will present the present state of the work and opportunities for future involvement.

  11. Crop diversity for yield increase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengyun Li

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Traditional farming practices suggest that cultivation of a mixture of crop species in the same field through temporal and spatial management may be advantageous in boosting yields and preventing disease, but evidence from large-scale field testing is limited. Increasing crop diversity through intercropping addresses the problem of increasing land utilization and crop productivity. In collaboration with farmers and extension personnel, we tested intercropping of tobacco, maize, sugarcane, potato, wheat and broad bean--either by relay cropping or by mixing crop species based on differences in their heights, and practiced these patterns on 15,302 hectares in ten counties in Yunnan Province, China. The results of observation plots within these areas showed that some combinations increased crop yields for the same season between 33.2 and 84.7% and reached a land equivalent ratio (LER of between 1.31 and 1.84. This approach can be easily applied in developing countries, which is crucial in face of dwindling arable land and increasing food demand.

  12. Biocide plants as a sustainable tool for the control of pests and pathogens in vegetable cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trifone D'Addabbo

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic pesticides have played a major role in crop protection related to the intensification of agricultural systems. In the recent years, environmental side effects and health concerns raised by an indiscriminate use have led the EU to the ban of many synthetic pesticides. As a result of this drastic revision, currently there is a strong need for new and alternative pest control methods. An interesting source of biorational pesticides may be represented by the biocidal compounds naturally occurring in plants as products of the secondary metabolism. Groups of plant secondary metabolites most promising for the development of pesticidal formulations are glucosinolates, saponins, and more generally terpenoid phytoconstituents, such as essential oil and their constituents. Glucosinolates are thioglucosidic secondary metabolites occurring mainly in the Brassicaceae and, at a less extent, in Capparidaceae families. The incorporation of glucosinolate- containing plant material into the soil results in degradation products highly toxic to soilborne pest, pathogens and weeds. This practice, known as biofumigation, may be considered as an ecological alternative to soil toxic fumigants. Plant-derived saponins are triterpene glycosides present in top and root tissues of plant species of the families Leguminosae, Alliaceae, Asteraceae, Polygalaceae and Agavaceae. Saponins and saponin-rich plant materials have been also reported for a biocidal activity on phytoparasites and soilborne plant pathogens. Essential oils are volatile, natural, heterogeneous mixtures of single substances, mainly terpenes and phenolics, formed as secondary metabolites by aromatic plants belonging to several botanical families. Among terpenes, limonoid triterpenes have been demonstrated to possess interesting insecticidal, nematicidal and antifungal properties. Occurrence of these compounds is mainly limited to Meliaceae and Rutaceae. Alkaloids, phenolics, cyanogenic glucosides

  13. Assessment of various practices of the mitigation of N2O emissions from the arable soils of Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sosulski Tomasz

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This review assesses the adaptability and effectiveness of the basic practices to mitigate the N2O emissions from the arable land in the climate, soil and agricultural conditions of Poland. We have analyzed the decrease in the nitrogen-based fertilization, selection of the fertilizer nitrogen forms, use of biological inhibitors of nitrogen transformation in the soil, control of the acidic soil reaction, reduction in the natural fertilizers use and afforestation of the low productive soils. The challenge evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation practices lies in the inadequacy of the national data on N2O soil emissions in particular agrotechnical conditions. In Poland, circumstances that favor intensive N2O emissions from the arable soils occur uncommonly, as shows the analysis of the literature reporting on the country climate, soil and agricultural conditions alongside the N2O emissions from soils under various cultivation conditions. Consequently, the effectiveness of mitigation practices that relies on an extensification of plant production may be insufficient. It can be assumed that, at the doses of nitrogen fitting the nutritional needs of crops, the soil N2O emissions are low and do not meaningfully differ from the emissions from untreated soils (literature data point to limited N2O emission from arable soils treated with N doses of ≤150-200 kg N·ha-1. The effectiveness of the nitrogen fertilization reduction as an N2O emissions mitigation practice is restricted to intensive farming. A universal registry of the mineral and natural fertilization use could help identify the agricultural holdings with a potential for high N2O emission and foster a targeted application of mitigation practices. It is suggested that normalization and maintenance of the optimum (i.e. close to neutral soil pH should become a more common practice of N2O emissions mitigation in Poland in view of the extent of arable soils acidification and the literature data

  14. Towards domestication of Dimorphotheca pluvialis : studies on the genetic improvement of a potential oilseed crop for industrial applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hof, L.

    2000-01-01

    World-wide, but particularly in Western Europe and the USA, the interest in arable crops for non-food use has increased substantially over the past few decades. Surpluses of the major food crops and the industrial interest for renewable resources have led to research and development

  15. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp), a renewed multipurpose crop for a more sustainable agri-food system: nutritional advantages and constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Alexandre; Goufo, Piebiep; Barros, Ana; Domínguez-Perles, Raúl; Trindade, Henrique; Rosa, Eduardo A S; Ferreira, Luis; Rodrigues, Miguel

    2016-07-01

    The growing awareness of the relevance of food composition for human health has increased the interest of the inclusion of high proportions of fruits and vegetables in diets. To reach the objective of more balanced diets, an increased consumption of legumes, which constitutes a sustainable source of essential nutrients, particularly low-cost protein, is of special relevance. However, the consumption of legumes also entails some constraints that need to be addressed to avoid a deleterious impact on consumers' wellbeing and health. The value of legumes as a source of nutrients depends on a plethora of factors, including genetic characteristics, agro-climatic conditions, and postharvest management that modulate the dietary effect of edible seeds and vegetative material. Thus, more comprehensive information regarding composition, especially their nutritional and anti-nutritional compounds, digestibility, and alternative processing procedures is essential. These were the challenges to write this review, which focusses on the nutritional and anti-nutritional composition of Vigna unguiculata L. Walp, an emerging crop all over the world intended to provide a rational support for the development of valuable foods and feeds of increased commercial value. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Combination of a crop model and a geochemical model as a new approach to evaluate the sustainability of an intensive agriculture system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, Gihan; Trolard, Fabienne; Gillon, Marina; Cognard-Plancq, Anne-Laure; Chanzy, André; Bourrié, Guilhem

    2017-10-01

    By combining a crop model (STICS) and a geochemical model (PHREEQC), a new approach to assess the sustainability of agrosystems is proposed. It is based upon aqueous geochemistry and the stepwise modifications of soil solution during its transfer from the surface till aquifer. Meadows of Crau (SE France), irrigated since the 16th century, were field monitored (2012-2015) and modelled. Except for N, the mineral requirements of hay are largely covered by dissolved elements brought by irrigation water with only slight deficits in K and P, which are compensated by P-K fertilizers and the winter pasture by sheep. N cycle results in a very small nitrate leakage. The main determinants of the chemical composition changes of water are: concentration by evaporation, equilibration with soil pCO 2 , mineral nutrition of plants, input of fertilizers, sheep grazing, mineral-solution interactions in superficial formations till the aquifer, including ion exchange. Inverse modelling with PHREEQC allows for quantifying these processes. For groundwater, measured composition fit statistically very well with those computed, validating thus this approach. This long-term established agrosystem protects both soil and water resources: soil nutritional status remains constant with even some P and (minor) K fixation in soils; long-term decarbonatation occurs but it is greatly slowed by saturation of irrigation water by carbonate; P fixation in soil protects groundwater from eutrophication. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Direct and Indirect Short-term Effects of Biochar on Physical Characteristics of an Arable Sandy Loam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Zhencai; Moldrup, Per; Elsgaard, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Biochar addition to agricultural soil is reported in several studies to reduce climate gas emissions, boost carbon storage, and improve soil fertility and crop productivity. These effects may be partly related to soil physical changes resulting from biochar amendment, but knowledge of how biochar...... application mechanistically affects soil physical characteristics is limited. This study investigated the effect of biochar application on soil structural and functional properties, including specific surface area, water retention, and gas transport parameters. Intact soil cores were taken from a field...... experiment on an arable sandy loam that included four reference plots without biochar and four plots with 20 tons ha(-1) biochar incorporated into the upper 20 cm 7 months before sampling. Water retention was measured at matric potentials ranging from wet (pF 1.0) to extremely dry conditions (pF similar to 6...

  18. Nitrogen cycling in organic farming systems with rotational grass-clover and arable crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berntsen, Jørgen; Grant, Ruth; Olesen, Jørgen E.

    2006-01-01

    Organic farming is considered an effective means of reducing nitrogen losses compared with more intensive conventional farming systems. However, under certain conditions, organic farming may also be susceptible to large nitrogen (N) losses. This i especially the case for organic .....

  19. Towards an agronomic assessment of N2O emissions: a case study for arable crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groenigen, van J.W.; Velthof, G.L.; Oenema, O.; Groenigen, van K.J.; Kessel, van C.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural soils are the main anthropogenic source of nitrous oxide (N2O), largely because of nitrogen (N) fertilizer use. Commonly, N2O emissions are expressed as a function of N application rate. This suggests that smaller fertilizer applications always lead to smaller N2O emissions. Here we

  20. VARIABILITY OF ARABLE AND FOREST SOILS PROPERTIES ON ERODED SLOPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paweł Wiśniewski

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The basic method of reducing soil and land erosion is a change of land use, for example, from arable to forest. Particularly effective as a protective role – according to the Polish law – soil-protecting forests. The thesis presents differences in the deformation of the basic soil properties on moraine slopes, depending on land use. There has been presented the function and the efficiency of the soil-protecting forests in erosion control. The soil cross section transects and soil analysis displayed that soil-protecting forests are making an essential soil cover protection from degradation, inter alia, limiting the decrease of humus content, reduction of upper soil horizons and soil pedons layer. On the afforested slopes it was stated some clear changes of grain size and chemical properties of soils in relation to adjacent slopes agriculturally used.

  1. Adapting crop rotations to climate change in regional impact modelling assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Edmar I; de Ruiter, John; Ausseil, Anne-Gaelle; Daigneault, Adam; Johnstone, Paul; Holmes, Allister; Tait, Andrew; Ewert, Frank

    2018-03-01

    The environmental and economic sustainability of future cropping systems depends on adaptation to climate change. Adaptation studies commonly rely on agricultural systems models to integrate multiple components of production systems such as crops, weather, soil and farmers' management decisions. Previous adaptation studies have mostly focused on isolated monocultures. However, in many agricultural regions worldwide, multi-crop rotations better represent local production systems. It is unclear how adaptation interventions influence crops grown in sequences. We develop a catchment-scale assessment to investigate the effects of tactical adaptations (choice of genotype and sowing date) on yield and underlying crop-soil factors of rotations. Based on locally surveyed data, a silage-maize followed by catch-crop-wheat rotation was simulated with the APSIM model for the RCP 8.5 emission scenario, two time periods (1985-2004 and 2080-2100) and six climate models across the Kaituna catchment in New Zealand. Results showed that direction and magnitude of climate change impacts, and the response to adaptation, varied spatially and were affected by rotation carryover effects due to agronomical (e.g. timing of sowing and harvesting) and soil (e.g. residual nitrogen, N) aspects. For example, by adapting maize to early-sowing dates under a warmer climate, there was an advance in catch crop establishment which enhanced residual soil N uptake. This dynamics, however, differed with local environment and choice of short- or long-cycle maize genotypes. Adaptation was insufficient to neutralize rotation yield losses in lowlands but consistently enhanced yield gains in highlands, where other constraints limited arable cropping. The positive responses to adaptation were mainly due to increases in solar radiation interception across the entire growth season. These results provide deeper insights on the dynamics of climate change impacts for crop rotation systems. Such knowledge can be used

  2. Sustainable pest regulation in agricultural landscapes: a review on landscape composition, biodiversity and natural pest control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, F J J A; Booij, C J H; Tscharntke, T

    2006-07-22

    Agricultural intensification has resulted in a simplification of agricultural landscapes by the expansion of agricultural land, enlargement of field size and removal of non-crop habitat. These changes are considered to be an important cause of the rapid decline in farmland biodiversity, with the remaining biodiversity concentrated in field edges and non-crop habitats. The simplification of landscape composition and the decline of biodiversity may affect the functioning of natural pest control because non-crop habitats provide requisites for a broad spectrum of natural enemies, and the exchange of natural enemies between crop and non-crop habitats is likely to be diminished in landscapes dominated by arable cropland. In this review, we test the hypothesis that natural pest control is enhanced in complex patchy landscapes with a high proportion of non-crop habitats as compared to simple large-scale landscapes with little associated non-crop habitat. In 74% and 45% of the studies reviewed, respectively, natural enemy populations were higher and pest pressure lower in complex landscapes versus simple landscapes. Landscape-driven pest suppression may result in lower crop injury, although this has rarely been documented. Enhanced natural enemy activity was associated with herbaceous habitats in 80% of the cases (e.g. fallows, field margins), and somewhat less often with wooded habitats (71%) and landscape patchiness (70%). The similar contributions of these landscape factors suggest that all are equally important in enhancing natural enemy populations. We conclude that diversified landscapes hold most potential for the conservation of biodiversity and sustaining the pest control function.

  3. Nitrate leaching from organic and conventional crop production farms

    OpenAIRE

    Olesen, J.E.; Berntsen, J.; Petersen, B.M.; Kristensen, I.S.

    2004-01-01

    Farm accounting data from the Institute of Food Economics and from Central Agricultural Registers in Denmark were used to define the import of nitrogen (N) to farmed fields on conventional and organic arable farms to 129 and 51 kg N ha-1 yr-1, respectively. Based on the recorded distribution of crops, a generalised crop rotation was defined for each of the two farming systems. The crop rotation for the organic farm had a high share of spring cereals and additionally 20% grass-clover in the ro...

  4. Aquatic weeds as the next generation feedstock for sustainable bioenergy production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Manpreet; Kumar, Manoj; Sachdeva, Sarita; Puri, S K

    2018-03-01

    Increasing oil prices and depletion of existing fossil fuel reserves, combined with the continuous rise in greenhouse gas emissions, have fostered the need to explore and develop new renewable bioenergy feedstocks that do not require arable land and freshwater resources. In this regard, prolific biomass growth of invasive aquatic weeds in wastewater has gained much attention in recent years in utilizing them as a potential feedstock for bioenergy production. Aquatic weeds have an exceptionally higher reproduction rates and are rich in cellulose and hemicellulose with a very low lignin content that makes them an efficient next generation biofuel crop. Considering their potential as an effective phytoremediators, this review presents a model of integrated aquatic biomass production, phytoremediation and bioenergy generation to reduce the land, fresh water and fertilizer usage for sustainable and economical bioenergy. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Sustainable Soil Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Ole; Evgrafova, Alevtina; Kirkegaard Nielsen, Søren

    Linket til højre henviser til rapporten i trykt format til download. This report provides an overview on new technologies for integrate sustainable and resilient management practices in arable ecosystems for advanced farmers, consultants, NGOs and policy makers. By following sustainable soil...... and soil quality in short- and long-terms. This report also illustrates the importance to combine a system approach for plant production by assessing field readiness, managing in-field traffic management, implementing the sitespecific controlled as well as sensor-controlled seedbed preparation, seeding...

  6. Energy performance and efficiency of two sugar crops for the biofuel supply chain. Perspectives for sustainable field management in southern Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garofalo, Pasquale; D'Andrea, Laura; Vonella, A. Vittorio; Rinaldi, Michele; Palumbo, A. Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Improvement of the energy balance and efficiency for reduced input of cropping systems is one of the main goals for the cultivation of energy crops. In this field study, two sugar crops for bioethanol production were cultivated under different soil tillage management (conventional; no tillage) and mineral nitrogen application (0, 75, 150 kg N ha"−"1): sweet sorghum and sugar beet. The energy performance and efficiency along the bioethanol supply chain were analysed and compared. Both of these crops showed good growth adaptation to the different soil and nitrogen management, and thus the energy return, resource and energy efficiencies were significantly improved in the low-input system. Sweet sorghum provided better responses in terms of water and nitrogen use efficiency for biomass accumulation, as well as its energy yield and net gain, compared to sugar beet, whereas sugar beet showed higher energy efficiency than sorghum. According to these data, both of these crops can be cultivated in a Mediterranean environment with low energy input, which guarantees good crop and energy performances for biofuel strategy planning. - Highlights: • Two sugar crops for the bioethanol supply chain were evaluated. • Energy performances and efficiencies were assessed under different energy input. • Sugar yield resulted not compromised by the different crop management. • The energy gain was improved with low energy input at field level. • Sweet sorghum gave the highest energy yield, sugar beet the energy efficiency.

  7. Small Scale Farmers’ Indigenous Agricultural Adaptation Options in the Face of Declining or Stagnant Crop Yields in the Fako and Meme Divisions of Cameroon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terence Epule Epule

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Research has proven that, at a national scale in Cameroon, arable crop production is either declining or stagnant. In the face of these trends, governments, local and international organizations, communities and peasant farmers have developed adaptation options to sustain arable production and reduce poverty. Given this general context, and based on population perceptions and four study sites in the Southwest region of Cameroon, this study aims at verifying current trends in arable production and farmers’ adaptation options based on their indigenous knowledge. These analyses are based on the administration of 200 questionnaires and two focus group discussions (FGDs. The data were analysed using SPSS version 20 in which frequencies, percentages and means were calculated. In addition, the chi-squared statistical test of goodness of fit was calculated and the stated hypothesis was validated accordingly. The FGDs were analysed through verbatim transcriptions and with the aid of the context analysis software, Wordstat 7. The results show that current yields (2010–2014 in all the study sites are declining due to deforestation, poor governance, inadequate access to farm inputs such as fertilizers, increased economic opportunities elsewhere and a breakdown of cultural practices, while 10 years (2000–2010 previously, they had been increasing. It has also been found that the main adaptation options/coping mechanisms reported by the respondents in order of highest frquencies are: expansion of farm size, help from relatives and dependents that live on the farm, supplemental occupations or livelihood diversification and usage of organic fertilizers. From the chi-squared test, the alternate hypothesis that, “there is some difference between population proportions for different adaptation options or coping mechanisms” is validated.

  8. Agroecology of Novel Annual and Perennial Crops for Biomass Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Jørgensen, Uffe; Lærke, Poul Erik

    The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production.......The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production....

  9. Crop improvement projects in Peru

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broeshart, H.

    1978-01-01

    Only two percent of the territory of Peru consists of arable land. Sixteen million people depend on the production of about three million hectares of land, which means that on the average only 1800 square metres is available per person. It is clear that Peru is one of the poorest countries of the world as far as available arable land is concerned and consequently it will have to drastically increase its agricultural production per unit area or import large quantities of agricultural products to feed its rapidly growing population. Agricultural research on the efficient use of fertilizers is being carried out by the regional experiment station (CRIA), by the National University of Agriculture, La Molina, Lima, dealing with programmes on maize, potatoes, cereals and forage crops, by national universities in the country and by specialized research institutes for tropical agriculture on sugar-cane, cotton, coffee and tea. Isotope and radiation techniques are a particularly effective means of determining the best cultural practices for the efficient use of fertilizers and water, and the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture has been involved in the organization of field and greenhouse programmes at experiment stations and universities in Peru since 1963

  10. COMPARISON OF THE CHOSEN ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES OF THE ARABLE LAND AND FALLOW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanisław Włodek

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The results and analysis of the chosen physico-chemical soil properties of the fallow, which was not cultivated for 7 years and of the arable land, situated close to it, are presented in this work. Soil moisture content was higher and the weed infestation rate was bigger on the arable land in comparison to fallow. Significant increase of C.org. as well as P, K and Mg availability for plant was noticed on the fallow. On the arable land segetal species were common, whereas on the fallow ruderal species occurred as well. In spite of the close neighborhood of fallow with Solidago gigantea and Solidago canadensis species domination, this species was not reported on the arable land.

  11. Organizing data in arable farming : towards an ontology of processing potato

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haverkort, A.J.; Top, J.L.; Verdenius, F.

    2006-01-01

    Arable farmers and their suppliers, consultants and procurers are increasingly dealing with gathering and processing of large amounts of data. Data sources are related to mandatory and voluntary registration (certification, tracing and tracking, quality control). Besides data collected for

  12. Effect of storage conditions on losses and crop utilization of nitrogen from solid cattle manure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shah, G.M.; Shah, G.A.; Groot, J.C.J.; Oenema, O.; Raza, A.S.; Lantinga, E.A.

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of the present study were to quantify the effects of contrasting methods for storing solid cattle manure on: (i) total carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) balances during storage, and (ii) crop apparent N recovery (ANR) following manure application to arable land, with maize as a test

  13. Variability of effects of spatial climate data aggregation on regional yield simulation by crop models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, H.; Zhao, G.; Bussel, van L.G.J.

    2015-01-01

    Field-scale crop models are often applied at spatial resolutions coarser than that of the arable field. However, little is known about the response of the models to spatially aggregated climate input data and why these responses can differ across models. Depending on the model, regional yield

  14. Plant adaptation to acid soils: the molecular basis for crop aluminum resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aluminum (Al) toxicity on acid soils is a significant limitation to crop production worldwide, as approximately 50% of the world’s potentially arable soils are acidic. Because acid soils are such an important constraint to agriculture, understanding the mechanisms and genes conferring resistance to ...

  15. 2. symposium energy crops 2009; 2. Symposium Energiepflanzen 2009

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-27

    Within the meeting '2nd Symposium energy plants 2009', held at 17th to 18th November, 2009, in Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany), the following lectures were held: (1) The bio energy policy of the Federal Government in the area of attention between climatic protection, ecology and economy (Ilse Aigner); (2) Chances and threatens of cultivation of energy plants for a sustainable energy supply (Alois Heissenhuber); (3) Certification as a prerequisite of the global exploration of bio energy (Andreas Feige); (4) A project support in the field of cultivation of energy plants, a review (Andreas Schuette); (5) Results from the investigation of the crop rotation in the EVA network (Armin Vater); (6) Optimisation of the cultivation technology of sorghum millets (Christian Roehricht); (7) The two-culture utilization system - a comparison between ecologic and conventional cultivation (Reinhold Stuelpnagel); (8) Crop rotation with energy plants - Chances and threatens for the plant protection (Baerbel Gerowitt); (9) Efficiency of utilization of water for energy plants (Siegfried Schittenhelm); (10) Utilization of arable food grasses and permanent grassland as a substrate for biogas (Matthias Benke); (11) Economical evaluation of plant fermentation substrates (Dominik Reus); (12) Energy plants as a challenge for the agricultural engineering (Heiner Bruening); (13) Influence of the design of cultivation on the subsequent effects of the cultivation of energy plants (Michael Glemnitz); (14) Energy plants and waters protection - Key aspects and possible options of action (Heike Nitsch); (15) Neophytes as energy plants - Chances and threatens (Werner Kuhn); (16) Manifold in te landscape - extensive cultivation systems with renewable raw materials as an option for nature protection? (Peer Heck); (17) Ecologic aspects of agro forestry systems (Holger Gruenewald); (18) Enhancement of the potential of energy yield of winter wheat (Wolfgang Friedt); (19) Interspersed silphie

  16. Improving rice-based rainfed production systems in Southeast Asia for contributing towards food security and rural development through sustainable crop production intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abha Mishra

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Continuing degradation of the environment and the cumulating food, energy, water and financial crises have led to a situation where many people’s access to sufficient, nutritious food is affected as well as their livelihoods, income, and ultimate food and nutrition security. In the wake of these stresses and crises, there is an emerging interest to find efficient, easily accessible and sustainable approaches that can address these crises. One candidate for this is the System of Rice Intensification (SRI with its “less can produce more” prescription. A regional collaborative project currently underway is being implemented in rainfed areas of the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB countries. This involves smallholder rice farmers, researchers, extension personnel, and development professionals, together with staff of relevant government ministries (http://www.sri-lmb.ait.asia/. The project objective is to produce healthier and profitable rice crops under rainfed conditions using SRI methods, evaluated and refined through farmers’ participatory action research (FPAR. As part of the action-research, more than 120 sets of field experiments have been carried out at 60 FPAR sites in Cambodia and Thailand, directly involving 3600 farmers. The experiments have ranged from the integration of many SRI principles with farmers’ current local practices or improved practices which was termed as “SRI-transition” to full demonstrations and assessments of SRI methodology, i.e., SRI demonstration. The initial calculation of yields has showed an average paddy yield of 5.03 t/ha with SRI-transition, whereas with SRI-demonstration the average yield was 6.41 t/ha. These yields were 60 and 100% higher than the average baseline yield in the region, 3.14 t/ha, for the same farmers and same locales. Productivity gains (dollars gained/dollars spent per ha were calculated for both rainfed and irrigated production areas. In comparative terms, the economic gains for

  17. Report of the consultants' meeting on the identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    A Consultants' Meeting on 'The identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries' was held at IAEA, Vienna, April 12- 14, 2000. Four consultants, with expertise in nutrient dynamics drawn from National Agricultural Research Organisations and Universities, attended the meeting together with staff members of the Joint FAO/IAEA Divisions. The consultants presented reviews of the situation regarding studies of nutrient dynamics in crop/pasture/ livestock systems in developing and developed agricultural systems. These were complemented by a paper on the development of 15 N techniques to study the contribution of N from crop residues and human, animal and industrial waste products developed at the Seibersdorf Laboratory. The consultants were of the opinion that in view of of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division's comparative advantage in operating (both technically and administratively) Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) the proposal to initiate an FAO/IAEA CRP on quantification of nutrient budget and flows in integrated crop/livestock systems is appropriate. They identified a well focused area of the CRP and also provided recommendations on its formulation and implementation

  18. Report of the consultants' meeting on the identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2002-07-01

    A Consultants' Meeting on 'The identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries' was held at IAEA, Vienna, April 12- 14, 2000. Four consultants, with expertise in nutrient dynamics drawn from National Agricultural Research Organisations and Universities, attended the meeting together with staff members of the Joint FAO/IAEA Divisions. The consultants presented reviews of the situation regarding studies of nutrient dynamics in crop/pasture/ livestock systems in developing and developed agricultural systems. These were complemented by a paper on the development of {sup 15}N techniques to study the contribution of N from crop residues and human, animal and industrial waste products developed at the Seibersdorf Laboratory. The consultants were of the opinion that in view of of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division's comparative advantage in operating (both technically and administratively) Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) the proposal to initiate an FAO/IAEA CRP on quantification of nutrient budget and flows in integrated crop/livestock systems is appropriate. They identified a well focused area of the CRP and also provided recommendations on its formulation and implementation.

  19. Responses of tropical root crops to climate change: implications for Pacific food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleadow, R.; Webber, B.; Macness, N.; Lisson, S.; Nauluvula, P.; Hargraves, J.; Crimp, S. J.

    2013-12-01

    Cassava and taro are an important source of calories in many parts of the developing world and hold much promise for meeting the need for food security in equatorial regions. Communities in the Pacific Island countries reliant on agriculture-based livelihood systems have been identified as particularly at risk from climate change, due to likely increases in crop failure, new patterns of pests and diseases, lack of appropriate seed and plant material, loss of livestock and potential loss of arable land. Recent shortfalls in agricultural production resulting from changing export markets, commodity prices, climatic variation, and population growth and urbanisation, have contributed further to regional food insecurity concerns. Cassava and taro contain herbivore defense chemicals that are detrimental to human health (cyanogenic glucosides and calcium oxalate). Unprocessed cassava can cause acute cyanide intoxication, paralysis and even death, especially during droughts. A number of activities are already underway in the Pacific region to identify ways to ameliorate existing climate risk and enhance current agricultural production. Whilst these activities are important to ensure long-term agricultural sustainability, there remains a significant degree of uncertainty as to how effective these strategies may be in the face of a changing and increasingly variable future climate. We present our current understanding of the impact of climate change on key Pacific production systems - specifically those based on the staple root crops, taro and cassava. This includes (1) Our understanding of the responses of cassava and taro crops to existing environmental drivers (climate, soil and nutrient interactions); (2) The responses of cassava and taro crops to enhanced CO2 conditions; and (3) Efforts to model productivity responses (within the APSIM framework) and results for locations in the Pacific.

  20. SUSTAINABLE DIVERSIFIED AGRICULTURE AND LAND MANAGEMENT IN THE HIMALAYA: IMPLICATIONS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. M. Bajracharya

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The soil and land resources play a vital role in sustaining the local livelihoods of rural communities in the Himalaya. Most of the arable land has already been brought under cultivation, hence the ever-increasing demand for food and fiber has left farmers with no choice but to intensify agriculture. However, producing more crops and greater quantities of food, fiber and other materials on the same parcel of land can to soil fertility and productivity decline with overall degradation of land quality. Therefore, ways and means to intensify agriculture to enhance productivity without degrading the soil and land resource base have become imperative. Agro-forestry, agro-slivi-pastoral systems, and the adoption of a variety of crop, soil and water management and conservation practices offer potential to deliver multiple benefits without sacrificing the very resource upon which the human population depends. Presented herein are findings on approaches to sustainable intensification of agriculture and land management related to soil OM management and C sequestration for multiple benefits, and, agro-forestry as a crop diversification strategy with both livelihood, and climate change adaptation/mitigation benefits. The results indicate that sustainable soil management practices could lead to significant SOC accumulations (4-8 t/ha over 6 yrs. SOC and soil C stocks tend to increase with elevation due to cooler climate and slow decomposition rates. Carbon stocks for the 3 LU types was in the order CF>AF/LH>AG, suggesting that diversified cropping practices including agro-forestry have good potential sequester C while providing livelihood opportunities and climate adaptive capacity for local farming communities. Biochar amendment increased growth of both coffee plants and radish with mixed grass/weed biochar being most effective. Biochar application also significantly decreased emission of GHGs, especially N2O.

  1. Global Crop Monitoring: A Satellite-Based Hierarchical Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingfang Wu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Taking advantage of multiple new remote sensing data sources, especially from Chinese satellites, the CropWatch system has expanded the scope of its international analyses through the development of new indicators and an upgraded operational methodology. The approach adopts a hierarchical system covering four spatial levels of detail: global, regional, national (thirty-one key countries including China and “sub-countries” (for the nine largest countries. The thirty-one countries encompass more that 80% of both production and exports of maize, rice, soybean and wheat. The methodology resorts to climatic and remote sensing indicators at different scales. The global patterns of crop environmental growing conditions are first analyzed with indicators for rainfall, temperature, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR as well as potential biomass. At the regional scale, the indicators pay more attention to crops and include Vegetation Health Index (VHI, Vegetation Condition Index (VCI, Cropped Arable Land Fraction (CALF as well as Cropping Intensity (CI. Together, they characterize crop situation, farming intensity and stress. CropWatch carries out detailed crop condition analyses at the national scale with a comprehensive array of variables and indicators. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, cropped areas and crop conditions are integrated to derive food production estimates. For the nine largest countries, CropWatch zooms into the sub-national units to acquire detailed information on crop condition and production by including new indicators (e.g., Crop type proportion. Based on trend analysis, CropWatch also issues crop production supply outlooks, covering both long-term variations and short-term dynamic changes in key food exporters and importers. The hierarchical approach adopted by CropWatch is the basis of the analyses of climatic and crop conditions assessments published in the quarterly “CropWatch bulletin” which

  2. State and trends of oil crops production in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Tiankui

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper attempts to present a full picture of current situation and future trends of Chinese oil crop production. The total oil crop production remained broadly constant during 2011–2014. The top three oil crops are soybean, peanut and rapeseed, together accounting for more than 70% of total oil crop production. The area under cultivation and the production of peanuts will keep steadily increasing because most Chinese like its pleasant roasted flavor. Because of their high content in polyunsaturated fatty acids and the natural minor functional components in their oils, more attention is being paid to sunflower seed and rice bran. The diminishing availability of arable land and concern over the security of edible oil supplies is driving both a change in cultivation structure of crops and improvements in the efficiency of oilseed production in China.

  3. Fallow land mapping for better crop monitoring in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain using HJ-1 CCD data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Miao; Wu, Bingfang; Meng, Jihua; Dong, Taifeng; You, Xingzhi

    2014-01-01

    The prediction of grain production is essential for socio-economic development planning, guidance and control of macro cropping structure adjustment. Fallow areas should be identified each growing season which is critical for grain production prediction. This paper focuses on fallow arable land monitoring during summer grain season in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain using China Environment Satellite HJ-1 CCD data. With the two satellites HJ-1A and HJ-1B, high temporal Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) can be obtained. HJ-1 CCD data were acquired from early March to early June in 2010 over the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. Multi-temporal HJ-1 CCD data were pre-processed and time series of NDVI were derived. An algorithm for separating cropped and fallow areas was developed based on three key periods of NDVI in early-March, mid-April and mid-May, 2010. The influence of fallow arable lands to yield estimation and crop condition monitoring over the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain were also investigated and analyzed. Preliminary results in this paper showed that HJ-1 CCD data are capable for fallow land monitoring. Information of fallow arable lands is an essential part of crop monitoring and it should be incorporated into crop monitoring systems. In the future, the fallow lands over autumn grain season should also be identified and information of fallow arable lands should be generated yearly in order to get more reliable production prediction

  4. Biogas production from energy crops and crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtomaeki, A.

    2006-07-01

    the feedstock increased methane production per digester volume by 16-65% above that obtained from digestion of manure alone. In anaerobic digestion of energy crops in batch leach bed reactors, with and without a second stage methanogenic reactor, the highest methane yields were obtained in the two-stage process without pH adjustment. This process was well suited for anaerobic digestion of the highly degradable sugar beet and grass-clover silage, yielding 0.382-0.390 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} within the 50-55 day solids retention time, corresponding to 85-105% of the methane potential in the substrates. With the more recalcitrant substrates, first year shoots of willow and clover-free grass silage, the methane yields in this process remained at 59-66% of the methane potential in substrates. Only 20% of the methane potential in grass silage was extracted in the one-stage leach bed process, while up to 98% of the total methane yield in the two-stage process originated from the second stage methanogenic reactor. Liquid and solid residues from digestion of grass-clover silage and sugar beet in two-stage leach bed - MF processes were suitable for incorporation to soil as fertiliser and soil-improvement media, whereas in the solid residue from digestion of willow, cadmium concentration exceeded the limit value for use of digestates as fertiliser in arable land. (orig.)

  5. An econometric analysis of changes in arable land utilization using multinomial logit model in Pinggu district, Beijing, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yueqing; McNamara, Paul; Wu, Yanfang; Dong, Yue

    2013-10-15

    Arable land in China has been decreasing as a result of rapid population growth and economic development as well as urban expansion, especially in developed regions around cities where quality farmland quickly disappears. This paper analyzed changes in arable land utilization during 1993-2008 in the Pinggu district, Beijing, China, developed a multinomial logit (MNL) model to determine spatial driving factors influencing arable land-use change, and simulated arable land transition probabilities. Land-use maps, as well as social-economic and geographical data were used in the study. The results indicated that arable land decreased significantly between 1993 and 2008. Lost arable land shifted into orchard, forestland, settlement, and transportation land. Significant differences existed for arable land transitions among different landform areas. Slope, elevation, population density, urbanization rate, distance to settlements, and distance to roadways were strong drivers influencing arable land transition to other uses. The MNL model was proved effective for predicting transition probabilities in land use from arable land to other land-use types, thus can be used for scenario analysis to develop land-use policies and land-management measures in this metropolitan area. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Facing the challenge of sustainable bioenergy production: Could halophytes be part of the solution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debez, Ahmed; Belghith, Ikram; Friesen, Jan; Montzka, Carsten; Elleuche, Skander

    2017-01-01

    Due to steadily growing population and economic transitions in the more populous countries, renewable sources of energy are needed more than ever. Plant biomass as a raw source of bioenergy and biofuel products may meet the demand for sustainable energy; however, such plants typically compete with food crops, which should not be wasted for producing energy and chemicals. Second-generation or advanced biofuels that are based on renewable and non-edible biomass resources are processed to produce cellulosic ethanol, which could be further used for producing energy, but also bio-based chemicals including higher alcohols, organic acids, and bulk chemicals. Halophytes do not compete with conventional crops for arable areas and freshwater resources, since they grow naturally in saline ecosystems, mostly in semi-arid and arid areas. Using halophytes for biofuel production may provide a mid-term economically feasible and environmentally sustainable solution to producing bioenergy, contributing, at the same time, to making saline areas - which have been considered unproductive for a long time - more valuable. This review emphasises on halophyte definition, global distribution, and environmental requirements. It also examines their enzymatic valorization, focusing on salt-tolerant enzymes from halophilic microbial species that may be deployed with greater advantage compared to their conventional mesophilic counterparts for faster degradation of halophyte biomass.

  7. Sustainability aspects of biobased applications : comparison of different crops and products from the sugar platform BO-12.05-002-008

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, H.L.; Meesters, K.P.H.; Conijn, J.G.; Corre, W.J.; Patel, M.

    2011-01-01

    In this study different uses of biomass are compared. In order to allow for a systematic comparison the study focuses on three different chemicals that can be produced from sugar. In this way it is also, in principle, possible to compare different crops for the production of the same product. The

  8. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M J; Christian, D; Wilkins, C

    1997-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  9. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M.J.; Christian, D.; Wilkins, C.

    1996-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  10. 7th International Crop Science Congress Announcement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2016-01-01

    August 14–19,2016 Beijing,China Crop Science—Innovation and SustainabilityInternational Crop Science Congress(ICSC)is a regular forum for crop scientists from around the world to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications.The Congress is organized about every four years beginning in July,1992.The International Crop Science Society has primary oversight for general

  11. Molecular mechanisms involved in convergent crop domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenser, Teresa; Theißen, Günter

    2013-12-01

    Domestication has helped to understand evolution. We argue that, vice versa, novel insights into evolutionary principles could provide deeper insights into domestication. Molecular analyses have demonstrated that convergent phenotypic evolution is often based on molecular changes in orthologous genes or pathways. Recent studies have revealed that during plant domestication the causal mutations for convergent changes in key traits are likely to be located in particular genes. These insights may contribute to defining candidate genes for genetic improvement during the domestication of new plant species. Such efforts may help to increase the range of arable crops available, thus increasing crop biodiversity and food security to help meet the predicted demands of the continually growing global population under rapidly changing environmental conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Trade-offs between economic and environmental impacts of introducing legumes into cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz eReckling

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Europe’s agriculture is highly specialized, dependent on external inputs and responsible for negative environmental impacts. Legume crops are grown on less than 2 % of the arable land and more than 70 % of the demand for protein feed supplement is imported from overseas. The integration of legumes into cropping systems has the potential to contribute to the transition to a more resource-efficient agriculture and reduce the current protein deficit. Legume crops influence the production of other crops in the rotation making it difficult to evaluate the overall agronomic effects of legumes in cropping systems. A novel assessment framework was developed and applied in five case study regions across Europe with the objective of evaluating trade-offs between economic and environmental effects of integrating legumes into cropping systems. Legumes resulted in positive and negative impacts when integrated into various cropping systems across the case studies. On average, cropping systems with legumes reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 18 % and 33 % and N fertilizer use by 24 % and 38 % in arable and forage systems, respectively, compared to systems without legumes. Nitrate leaching was similar with and without legumes in arable systems and reduced by 22 % in forage systems. However, grain legumes reduced gross margins in 3 of 5 regions. Forage legumes increased gross margins in 3 of 3 regions. Among the cropping systems with legumes, systems could be identified that had both relatively high economic returns and positive environmental impacts. Thus, increasing the cultivation of legumes could lead to economic competitive cropping systems and positive environmental impacts, but achieving this aim requires the development of novel management strategies informed by the involvement of advisors and farmers.

  13. Field-based estimates of global warming potential in bioenergy systems of Hawaii: Crop choice and deficit irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C) stock are critical to the system-level bal...

  14. Soil, crop and emission responses to seasonal-controlled traffic in organic vegetable farming on loam soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, G.D.; Mosquera Losada, J.

    2009-01-01

    Some organic arable and vegetable farms in the Netherlands use cm-precise guidance of machinery to restrict wheel traffic to fixed traffic lanes and to achieve non-trafficked cropping zones with optimized soil structure in between the lanes. Contrary to controlled traffic farming (CTF) the traffic

  15. Earthworm-induced N2O emissions in a sandy soil with surface-applied crop residues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giannopoulos, G.; Groenigen, van J.W.; Pulleman, M.M.

    2011-01-01

    Earlier research with endogeic and epigeic earthworm species in loamy arable soil has shown that both earthworm groups can increase nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, provided that crop residue placement matches the feeding strategy of the earthworm ecological group(s). However, it is not yet clear

  16. Differences in soil quality between organic and conventional farming over a maize crop season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Carla; Veiga, Adelcia; Puga, João; Kikuchi, Ryunosuke; Ferreira, António

    2017-04-01

    Land degradation in agricultural areas is a major concern. The large number of mechanical interventions and the amount of inputs used to assure high crop productivity, such as fertilizers and pesticides, have negative impacts on soil quality and threaten crop productivity and environmental sustainability. Organic farming is an alternative agriculture system, based on organic fertilizers, biological pest control and crop rotation, in order to mitigate soil degradation. Maize is the third most important cereal worldwide, with 2008 million tons produced in 2013 (IGN, 2016). In Portugal, 120000 ha of arable land is devoted to maize production, leading to annual yields of about 930000 ton (INE, 2015). This study investigates soil quality differences in maize farms under organic and conventional systems. The study was carried out in Coimbra Agrarian Technical School (ESAC), in central region of Portugal. ESAC campus comprises maize fields managed under conventional farming - Vagem Grande (32 ha), and organic fields - Caldeirão (12 ha), distancing 2.8 km. Vagem Grande has been intensively used for grain maize production for more than 20 years, whereas Caldeirão was converted to organic farming in 2008, and is being used to select regional maize varieties. The region has a Mediterranean climate. The maize fields have Eutric Fluvisols, with gentle slopes (analyses. Additional soil samples were also collected with soil ring samplers (137 cm3) for bulk density analyses after sowing. Surface water infiltration was also measured with tension infiltrometer (membrane of 20cm), using different tensions (0 cm, -3cm, -6 cm e -15cm). Decomposition rate and litter stabilisation was assessed over a 3-month period through the Tea Bag Index (Keuskamp et al., 2013). The number and diversity of earthworms were also measured at the surface (0-20cm), through extraction, and at the subsurface (>20cm), using mustard solution.

  17. Converting loss-on-ignition to organic carbon content in arable topsoil: pitfalls and proposed procedure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Johannes Lund; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup; Schjønning, Per

    2018-01-01

    Assessments of changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks depend heavily on reliable values of SOC content obtained by automated high‐temperature C analysers. However, historical as well as current research often relies on indirect SOC estimates such as loss‐on‐ignition (LOI). In this study, we...... revisit the conversion of LOI to SOC using soil from two long‐term agricultural field experiments and one arable field with different contents of SOC, clay and particles fractions were isolated from the arable soil. Samples were analysed for texture, LOI (500...

  18. The Impact of Field Size on the Environment and Energy Crop Production Efficiency for a Sustainable Indigenous Bioenergy Supply Chain in the Republic of Ireland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rory Deverell

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates, using the GIS platform, the potential impacts of meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous sources of feedstock on the habitats and carbon stores that exist within Ireland’s field boundaries. A survey of the Republic of Irelands field was conducted in order to estimate and map the size and geographic distribution of the Republic of Ireland’s field boundaries. The planting and harvesting costs associated with possible bioenergy crop production systems were determined using the relationship between the seasonal operating efficiency and the average field size. The results indicate that Ireland will need a large proportion of its current agricultural area (at least 16.5% in order to its meet national bioenergy targets by 2020. The demand cannot be met by the current area that both has suitable soil type for growing the bioenergy crops and is large enough for the required operating efficiency. The results of this study indicate that implementing and meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous feedstock will likely impact the country’s field boundary resources negatively, as crop producers seek to improve production efficiency through field consolidation and field boundary removal. It was found that such boundary removal results in a loss of up to 6 tC/km2 and 0.7 ha/km of previously permanent habitat where average field size is small. The impact of field consolidation on these resources reduces substantially as larger fields become consolidated.

  19. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaritopoulou, Theoni; Roka, Loukia; Alexopoulou, Efi; Christou, Myrsini; Rigas, Stamatis; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Milioni, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    New crops are gradually establishing along with cultivation systems to reduce reliance on depleting fossil fuel reserves and sustain better adaptation to climate change. These biological assets could be efficiently exploited as bioenergy feedstocks. Bioenergy crops are versatile renewable sources with the potential to alternatively contribute on a daily basis towards the coverage of modern society's energy demands. Biotechnology may facilitate the breeding of elite energy crop genotypes, better suited for bio-processing and subsequent use that will improve efficiency, further reduce costs, and enhance the environmental benefits of biofuels. Innovative molecular techniques may improve a broad range of important features including biomass yield, product quality and resistance to biotic factors like pests or microbial diseases or environmental cues such as drought, salinity, freezing injury or heat shock. The current review intends to assess the capacity of biotechnological applications to develop a beneficial bioenergy pipeline extending from feedstock development to sustainable biofuel production and provide examples of the current state of the art on future energy crops.

  20. SOME ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT AGRICULTURAL LAND USE AREAS WITHIN THE TERRITORIAL COMMUNITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kapinos N.

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Land Fund in Ukraine is experiencing excessive human impact, which is reflected in its performance exceeding the allowable agricultural development and land structure imbalance. The environmental condition of land resources close to critical. Among the largest land area occupied by agricultural land (71% of which - 76% is arable land. Violation environmentally acceptable ratio of arable land, natural grasslands and forests negatively affected the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. Throughout the widespread land degradation processes, among which the most ambitious is the erosion (about 57.5% of the territory, pollution (20% of the territory, flooding (about 12% of the territory. Sustainable (balanced land is one of the key factors of sustainable nature of territorial entities and may be formed of a priority, taking into account environmental factors. In ecological optimization based on value criteria ekolohostabilizuyuchyh and anthropogenic pressures lands should necessarily provide for withdrawal of intensive land use, which in its modal properties can not ensure sustainability of land use. However, today in Ukraine within the territories of communities no project development to optimize land use on the basis of sustainable development. Accordingly, the purpose of the article was the study of certain aspects of Land Management sustainable development of agricultural land within the territories of local communities. The current structure of the land fund of Ukraine was actually formed in the Soviet period, under the influence of policies of extensive agricultural development. Violation environmentally acceptable ratio of arable land, natural grasslands and forests negatively affected the stability and condition of land, which is confirmed by relevant research. In such circumstances, balancing the land proposed to carry out in two stages - the ecological and economic. In ecological optimization criteria based on land value necessarily

  1. Will breeding for nitrogen use efficient crops lead to nitrogen use efficient cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dresbøll, Dorte Bodin; Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian

    2014-01-01

    The benefits of improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops are typically studied through the performance of the individual crop. However, in order to increase yields in a sustainable way, improving NUE of the cropping systems must be the aim. We did a model simulation study to investigate h...

  2. Winter cover crop effect on corn seedling pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crops are an excellent management tool to improve the sustainability of agriculture. Winter rye cover crops have been used successfully in Iowa corn-soybean rotations. Unfortunately, winter rye cover crops occasionally reduce yields of the following corn crop. We hypothesize that one potential...

  3. Economic and ecological impacts of bioenergy crop production—a modeling approach applied in Southwestern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans-Georg Schwarz-v. Raumer

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper considers scenarios of cultivating energy crops in the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg to identify potentials and limitations of a sustainable bioenergy production. Trade-offs are analyzed among income and production structure in agriculture, bioenergy crop production, greenhouse gas emissions, and the interests of soil, water and species habitat protection. An integrated modelling approach (IMA was implemented coupling ecological and economic models in a model chain. IMA combines the Economic Farm Emission Model (EFEM; key input: parameter sets on farm production activities, the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (EPIC; key input: parameter sets on environmental cropping effects and GIS geo-processing models. EFEM is a supply model that maximizes total gross margins on farm level with simultaneous calculation of greenhouse gas emission from agriculture production. Calculations by EPIC result in estimates for soil erosion by water, nitrate leaching, Soil Organic Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from soil. GIS routines provide land suitability analyses, scenario settings concerning nature conservation and habitat models for target species and help to enable spatial explicit results. The model chain is used to calculate scenarios representing different intensities of energy crop cultivation. To design scenarios which are detailed and in step to practice, comprehensive data research as well as fact and effect analyses were carried out. The scenarios indicate that, not in general but when considering specific farm types, energy crop share extremely increases if not restricted and leads to an increase in income. If so this leads to significant increase in soil erosion by water, nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. It has to be expected that an extension of nature conservation leads to an intensification of the remaining grassland and of the arable land, which were not part of nature conservation measures

  4. Liming impacts on soils, crops and biodiversity in the UK: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J E; Bennett, A E; Newton, A C; White, P J; McKenzie, B M; George, T S; Pakeman, R J; Bailey, J S; Fornara, D A; Hayes, R C

    2018-01-01

    Fertile soil is fundamental to our ability to achieve food security, but problems with soil degradation (such as acidification) are exacerbated by poor management. Consequently, there is a need to better understand management approaches that deliver multiple ecosystem services from agricultural land. There is global interest in sustainable soil management including the re-evaluation of existing management practices. Liming is a long established practice to ameliorate acidic soils and many liming-induced changes are well understood. For instance, short-term liming impacts are detected on soil biota and in soil biological processes (such as in N cycling where liming can increase N availability for plant uptake). The impacts of liming on soil carbon storage are variable and strongly relate to soil type, land use, climate and multiple management factors. Liming influences all elements in soils and as such there are numerous simultaneous changes to soil processes which in turn affect the plant nutrient uptake; two examples of positive impact for crops are increased P availability and decreased uptake of toxic heavy metals. Soil physical conditions are at least maintained or improved by liming, but the time taken to detect change varies significantly. Arable crops differ in their sensitivity to soil pH and for most crops there is a positive yield response. Liming also introduces implications for the development of different crop diseases and liming management is adjusted according to crop type within a given rotation. Repeated lime applications tend to improve grassland biomass production, although grassland response is variable and indirect as it relates to changes in nutrient availability. Other indicators of liming response in grassland are detected in mineral content and herbage quality which have implications for livestock-based production systems. Ecological studies have shown positive impacts of liming on biodiversity; such as increased earthworm abundance that

  5. PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF THE SOLID AND LIQUID WASTE PRODUCTS FROM THE HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATED ENERGY CROPS GASIFICATION PROCESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Werle

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of basic physico-chemical properties of solid (ash and liquid (tar waste products of the gasification process of the heavy metal contaminated energy crops. The gasification process has carried out in a laboratory fixed bed reactor. Three types of energy crops: Miscanthus x giganteus, Sida hermaphrodita and Spartina Pectinata were used. The experimental plots were established on heavy metal contaminated arable land located in Bytom (southern part of Poland, Silesian Voivodship.

  6. Disentangling the root- and detritus-based food chain in the micro-food web of an arable soil by plant removal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olena Glavatska

    Full Text Available Soil food web structure and function is primarily determined by the major basal resources, which are living plant tissue, root exudates and dead organic matter. A field experiment was performed to disentangle the interlinkage of the root-and detritus-based soil food chains. An arable site was cropped either with maize, amended with maize shoot litter or remained bare soil, representing food webs depending on roots, aboveground litter and soil organic matter as predominant resource, respectively. The soil micro-food web, i.e. microorganisms and nematodes, was investigated in two successive years along a depth transect. The community composition of nematodes was used as model to determine the changes in the rhizosphere, detritusphere and bulk soil food web. In the first growing season the impact of treatments on the soil micro-food web was minor. In the second year plant-feeding nematodes increased under maize, whereas after harvest the Channel Index assigned promotion of the detritivore food chain, reflecting decomposition of root residues. The amendment with litter did not foster microorganisms, instead biomass of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as that of fungi declined in the rooted zone. Likely higher grazing pressure by nematodes reduced microbial standing crop as bacterial and fungal feeders increased. However, populations at higher trophic levels were not promoted, indicating limited flux of litter resources along the food chain. After two years of bare soil microbial biomass and nematode density remained stable, pointing to soil organic matter-based resources that allow bridging periods with deprivation. Nematode communities were dominated by opportunistic taxa that are competitive at moderate resource supply. In sum, removal of plants from the system had less severe effects than expected, suggesting considerable food web resilience to the disruption of both the root and detrital carbon channel, pointing to a legacy of

  7. Disentangling the root- and detritus-based food chain in the micro-food web of an arable soil by plant removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavatska, Olena; Müller, Karolin; Butenschoen, Olaf; Schmalwasser, Andreas; Kandeler, Ellen; Scheu, Stefan; Totsche, Kai Uwe; Ruess, Liliane

    2017-01-01

    Soil food web structure and function is primarily determined by the major basal resources, which are living plant tissue, root exudates and dead organic matter. A field experiment was performed to disentangle the interlinkage of the root-and detritus-based soil food chains. An arable site was cropped either with maize, amended with maize shoot litter or remained bare soil, representing food webs depending on roots, aboveground litter and soil organic matter as predominant resource, respectively. The soil micro-food web, i.e. microorganisms and nematodes, was investigated in two successive years along a depth transect. The community composition of nematodes was used as model to determine the changes in the rhizosphere, detritusphere and bulk soil food web. In the first growing season the impact of treatments on the soil micro-food web was minor. In the second year plant-feeding nematodes increased under maize, whereas after harvest the Channel Index assigned promotion of the detritivore food chain, reflecting decomposition of root residues. The amendment with litter did not foster microorganisms, instead biomass of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as that of fungi declined in the rooted zone. Likely higher grazing pressure by nematodes reduced microbial standing crop as bacterial and fungal feeders increased. However, populations at higher trophic levels were not promoted, indicating limited flux of litter resources along the food chain. After two years of bare soil microbial biomass and nematode density remained stable, pointing to soil organic matter-based resources that allow bridging periods with deprivation. Nematode communities were dominated by opportunistic taxa that are competitive at moderate resource supply. In sum, removal of plants from the system had less severe effects than expected, suggesting considerable food web resilience to the disruption of both the root and detrital carbon channel, pointing to a legacy of organic matter

  8. Nitrous oxide and nitrate concentration in under-drainage from arable fields subject to diffuse pollution mitigation measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hama-Aziz, Zanist; Hiscock, Kevin; Adams, Christopher; Reid, Brian

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric nitrous oxide concentrations are increasing by 0.3% annually and a major source of this greenhouse gas is agriculture. Indirect emissions of nitrous oxide (e.g. from groundwater and surface water) account for about quarter of total nitrous oxide emissions. However, these indirect emissions are subject to uncertainty, mainly due to the range in reported emission factors. It's hypothesised in this study that cover cropping and implementing reduced (direct drill) cultivation in intensive arable systems will reduce dissolved nitrate concentration and subsequently indirect nitrous oxide emissions. To test the hypothesis, seven fields with a total area of 102 ha in the Wensum catchment in eastern England have been chosen for experimentation together with two fields (41 ha) under conventional cultivation (deep inversion ploughing) for comparison. Water samples from field under-drainage have been collected for nitrate and nitrous oxide measurement on a weekly basis from April 2013 for two years from both cultivation areas. A purge and trap preparation line connected to a Shimadzu GC-8A gas chromatograph fitted with an electron capture detector was used for dissolved nitrous oxide analysis. Results revealed that with an oilseed radish cover crop present, the mean concentration of nitrate, which is the predominant form of N, was significantly depleted from 13.9 mg N L-1 to 2.5 mg N L-1. However, slightly higher mean nitrous oxide concentrations under the cover crop of 2.61 μg N L-1 compared to bare fields of 2.23 μg N L-1 were observed. Different inversion intensity of soil tended to have no effect on nitrous oxide and nitrate concentrations. The predominant production mechanism for nitrous oxide was nitrification process and the significant reduction of nitrate was due to plant uptake rather than denitrification. It is concluded that although cover cropping might cause a slight increase of indirect nitrous oxide emission, it can be a highly effective

  9. Earthworm-induced distribution of organic matter in macro-aggregates from differently managed arable fields.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marinissen, J.C.Y.; Hillenaar, S.I.

    1997-01-01

    To study the influence of soil structure on organic matter decomposition, and the possible role of earthworms therein, aggregates of the size of earthworm casts (3-4.8 mm) were sieved from air-dry soil of three arable fields. Due to different management histories (in terms of manuring and pesticide

  10. Soil organic (14)C dynamics : Effects of pasture installation on arable land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romkens, P.F A M; Hassink, J; van der Plicht, Johannes

    1998-01-01

    In a study addressing composition and recovery of soil carbon following pasture installation on arable land, radiocarbon isotope ratios were measured in size- and density-separated soil organic matter (SOM) fractions in a pasture and maize plot. The average soil carbon age increased with depth from

  11. Modelling soil organic carbon concentration of mineral soils in arable lands using legacy soil data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Suuster, E; Ritz, Christian; Roostalu, H

    2012-01-01

    is appropriate if the study design has a hierarchical structure as in our scenario. We used the Estonian National Soil Monitoring data on arable lands to predict SOC concentrations of mineral soils. Subsequently, the model with the best prediction accuracy was applied to the Estonian digital soil map...

  12. Sensitive indicators of side-effects of pesticides on the epigeal fauna of Arable land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Everts, J.W.

    1990-01-01

    The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the possible impact of pesticides on epigeal arthropods in arable land. It was also envisaged to develop a predictive model for possible undesirable effects of pesticides on the epigeal arthropod fauna using an indicator species from

  13. Conversion of Forests to Arable Land and its Effect on Soil Physical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prof. Ogunji

    Conversion of Forests to Arable Land and its Effect on Soil ... greater hydraulic conductivity than those under cultivation and this may indicate greater pore ... stability and clay dispersion index were 10% higher and 28% lower in the .... degraded the physical properties, making the soil more prone to soil erosion by water.

  14. Soil health: a comparison between organically and conventionally managed arable soils in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diepeningen, van A.D.; Blok, W.J.; Korthals, G.W.; Bruggen, van A.H.C.; Ariena, H.C.

    2005-01-01

    A comparative study of 13 organic and 13 neighboring conventional arable farming systems was conducted in the Netherlands to determine the effect of management practices on chemical and biological soil properties and soil health. Soils were analyzed using a polyphasic approach combining traditional

  15. Projekt OK-NET-ARABLE : mahetootmiseks vajalik teave tuleb tuua praktikuteni / Airi Vetemaa

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Vetemaa, Airi

    2015-01-01

    OK-NET-ARABLE, mida võiks tõlkida kui põllukultuuride kasvatuse alast maheteabe võrgustikku, on ELi teadusrahastu Horisont 2020 projekt, mille eesmärk on vahendada innovaatilist ja traditsioonilist teavet mahetootjate, nõustajate ja teadlaste vahel, suurendamaks mahepõllukultuuride produktiivsust ja kvaliteeti üle Euroopa

  16. Analysing Production Technology and Risk in Organic and Conventional Dutch Arable Farming using Panel Data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gardebroek, C.; Chavez Clemente, M.D.; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract This paper compares the production technology and production risk of organic and conventional arable farms in the Netherlands. Just–Pope production functions that explicitly account for output variability are estimated using panel data of Dutch organic and conventional farms. Prior

  17. Soil structure and earthworm activity in an marine silt loam under pasture versus arable land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongmans, A.G.; Pulleman, M.M.; Marinissen, J.C.Y.

    2001-01-01

    Agricultural management influences soil organic matter (SOM) and earthworm activity which interact with soil structure. We aimed to describe the change in earthworm activity and related soil (micro)structure and SOM in a loamy Eutrodept as affected by permanent pasture (PP) and conventional arable

  18. Soil organic 14C dynamics: effects of pasture installation on arable land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Römkens, P.F.A.M.; Plicht, van der J.; Hassink, J.

    1998-01-01

    In a study addressing composition and recovery of soil carbon following pasture installation on arable land, radiocarbon isotope ratios were measured in size-and density-separated soil organic matter (SOM) fractions in a pasture and maize plot. The average soil carbon age increased with depth from

  19. Crop 3D-a LiDAR based platform for 3D high-throughput crop phenotyping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qinghua; Wu, Fangfang; Pang, Shuxin; Zhao, Xiaoqian; Chen, Linhai; Liu, Jin; Xue, Baolin; Xu, Guangcai; Li, Le; Jing, Haichun; Chu, Chengcai

    2018-03-01

    With the growing population and the reducing arable land, breeding has been considered as an effective way to solve the food crisis. As an important part in breeding, high-throughput phenotyping can accelerate the breeding process effectively. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is an active remote sensing technology that is capable of acquiring three-dimensional (3D) data accurately, and has a great potential in crop phenotyping. Given that crop phenotyping based on LiDAR technology is not common in China, we developed a high-throughput crop phenotyping platform, named Crop 3D, which integrated LiDAR sensor, high-resolution camera, thermal camera and hyperspectral imager. Compared with traditional crop phenotyping techniques, Crop 3D can acquire multi-source phenotypic data in the whole crop growing period and extract plant height, plant width, leaf length, leaf width, leaf area, leaf inclination angle and other parameters for plant biology and genomics analysis. In this paper, we described the designs, functions and testing results of the Crop 3D platform, and briefly discussed the potential applications and future development of the platform in phenotyping. We concluded that platforms integrating LiDAR and traditional remote sensing techniques might be the future trend of crop high-throughput phenotyping.

  20. Effects of Genetically Modified Crops on Food Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MS Hosseini

    2018-03-01

    CONCLUSION: Therefore, discussing the existing concerns about production of GM crops should be with caution because there is little information on the impact of GM crops on sustainable agriculture. Thus, it requires decision making at national and even international levels.

  1. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  2. Sustainable use of pig slurry, with and without treatment, as an amendment organic in almond crop; Utilizacion sostenible de purines de cerdo, con y sin tratamiento, como enmienda organica en cultivos de almendro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dominguez Oliver, S. G.; Faz Cano, A.

    2009-07-01

    This study consists in the use of different forms of slurry, as an organic fertilizer, on almond trees located in La Aljorra (Cartegena, Murcia). The slurry used comes from a farm near the area of study, which has a treatment system composed by tree parts: a phase separator, a bioreactor and 5 constructed wetlands of vertical flow. Different phases of slurry are obtained from each part of the system. The results show the reduction of most of the parameters lime salinity, BOD{sub 5} QOD, nitrate, etc. The use of these effluents as an organic amend in different doses, supposes a sustainable way of management of these residues; at the same time it improves the soil properties and the agronomic quality of the almond tree crop. (Author) 4 refs.

  3. Sustainable Table | Welcome to Sustainable Table

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainable Seafood Industrial Agriculture Industrial Livestock Production Antibiotics Hormones rBGH Animal , safeguarding animal welfare and supporting local communities. Questions to Ask Asking questions is the best way Livestock Husbandry Sustainable Crop Production Innovative Agriculture New Farmers Organic Agriculture Local

  4. The Application of Soil-Agroclimatic Index for Assessing the Agronomic Potential of Arable Lands in the Forest-Steppe Zone of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgakov, D. S.; Rukhovich, D. I.; Shishkonakova, E. A.; Vil'chevskaya, E. V.

    2018-04-01

    An assessment of the agronomic potential of arable lands in the forest-steppe zone of Russia (by the example of separate soil-agronomic districts) on the basis of the soil-agroclimatic index developed under the supervision of I.I. Karmanov is considered. The agricultural areas (64) separated on the territory of Russia and characterizing soil-agroclimatic conditions for cultivation of major and accompanying crops are differentiated into soil-agronomic districts (SADs) with due account for the administrative division of the country. A large diversity of agroclimatic and agronomical conditions creates the prerequisites for the inclusion of administrative regions into different SADs. The SADs concept implies a detailed analysis of information on the soil properties, geomorphic conditions, and farming conditions. The agronomic potential for major crops in the key SADs in the forest-steppe zone of the East European Plain (Voronezh and Penza oblasts) is high, though it is 25-30% lower than that in the North Caucasus (for winter wheat, sugar beet, sunflower, and spring barley) and in Kaliningrad oblast (for oats). In Western Siberia (Tyumen, Omsk, and Novosibirsk oblasts) and Eastern Siberia (Krasnoyarsk region and Irkutsk oblast), the agronomic potential of spring crops (wheat, barley, and oats) is only utilized by 35-45% in comparison with their European analogues. In the Far East with its monsoon climate and soil conditions (meadow podbels, brown forest soils), the crops characteristic of the European forest-steppe (soybean, rice, sugar beet) and the Trans-Ural forest-steppe (spring wheat) are cultivated. Their biological potential is utilized by only 50-60% in comparison with the European analogues. The materials of this study give us information on the degree of correspondence between the soilagroclimatic potential of the territory and the biological potential of cultivated crops. This is important in the context of improving the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia

  5. THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF REMOTE SENSING IN TRANSGENIC CROP MONITORING PROGRAMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainable agriculture combines efficient production with wise stewardship of the earth's resources. Development of environmentally benign production techniques is one focus of sustainable agriculture. The new transgenic crops producing toxic proteins that target specific crop p...

  6. BLACK PEPPER: IMPORTANCE OF CROP DEFENSE TO THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE ACTIVITY IN THE NORTH OF THE ESPÍRITO SANTO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Sérgio Oliveira e Silva

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The fusarium wilt disease is the main crop, whether restricted to Brazil. The disease is caused by the fungus Fusarium solani f. sp. piperis., and in the last years the disease has reduced the life of peppers ranging 12-15 years, for a range of four to six years. Discussing subjects about etiology, symptoms, epidemiology and control, this research is part of a larger project being developed with the Postgraduate Program in Tropical Agriculture in the Centro Universitário Norte do Espírito Santo / UFES. The disease can start from the roots or branches with the evolution of the disease is observed in a drying plant. Conditions of high humidity favor the production of conidia and more efficient control methods to be adopted in the control of fusarium wilt of black pepper are preventive yet.

  7. Canaryseed Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano Cogliatti

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Canaryseed (Phalaris canariensis L. is a graminaceous crop species with production practices and cycle similar to those of other winter cereal crops such as spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. and oat (Avena sativa L.. Currently its grains are used almost exclusively as feed for birds, alone or mixed with other grains like millet, sunflower seed, and flaxseed. Canaryseed is a genuine cereal with a unique composition that suggests its potential for food use. P. canariensis is cultivated in many areas of temperate climates. Currently, its production is concentrated in the southwestern provinces of Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and on a smaller scale in Argentina, Thailand and Australia. Globally it is considered to be a minor crop with regional relevance, with a production about of 250000 tonnes per year, which restricts private investment and public research on its genetic and technological improvement. For this reason, the type of crop management that is applied to this species largely depends on innovations made in other similar crops. This work provides an updated summary of the available information on the species: its requirements, distribution, genetic resources, cultivation practices, potential uses, marketing and other topics of interest to researchers and producers.

  8. Sustainable Soil Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Ole; Evgrafova, Alevtina; Kirkegaard Nielsen, Søren

    management strategies, which consider the site- and field-specific parameters and agricultural machinery’s improvements, it is possible to maximize production and income, while reducing negative environmental impacts and human health issues induced by agricultural activities as well as improving food......Linket til højre henviser til rapporten i trykt format til download. This report provides an overview on new technologies for integrate sustainable and resilient management practices in arable ecosystems for advanced farmers, consultants, NGOs and policy makers. By following sustainable soil...... and soil quality in short- and long-terms. This report also illustrates the importance to combine a system approach for plant production by assessing field readiness, managing in-field traffic management, implementing the sitespecific controlled as well as sensor-controlled seedbed preparation, seeding...

  9. Ammonia volatilization from crop residues and frozen green manure crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Ruijter, F. J.; Huijsmans, J. F. M.; Rutgers, B.

    2010-09-01

    Agricultural systems can lose substantial amounts of nitrogen (N). To protect the environment, the European Union (EU) has adopted several directives that set goals to limit N losses. National Emission Ceilings (NEC) are prescribed in the NEC directive for nitrogen oxides and ammonia. Crop residues may contribute to ammonia volatilization, but sufficient information on their contribution to the national ammonia volatilization is lacking. Experiments were carried out with the aim to assess the ammonia volatilization of crop residues left on the soil surface or incorporated into the soil under the conditions met in practice in the Netherlands during late autumn and winter. Ammonia emission from residues of broccoli, leek, sugar beet, cut grass, fodder radish (fresh and frozen) and yellow mustard (frozen) was studied during two winter seasons using volatilization chambers. Residues were either placed on top of soil or mixed with soil. Mixing residues with soil gave insignificant ammonia volatilization, whereas volatilization was 5-16 percent of the N content of residues when placed on top of soil. Ammonia volatilization started after at least 4 days. Total ammonia volatilization was related to C/N-ratio and N concentration of the plant material. After 37 days, cumulative ammonia volatilization was negligible from plant material with N concentration below 2 percent, and was 10 percent of the N content of plant material with 4 percent N. These observations can be explained by decomposition of plant material by micro-organisms. After an initial built up of the microbial population, NH 4+ that is not needed for their own growth is released and can easily emit as NH 3 at the soil surface. The results of the experiments were used to estimate the contribution of crop residues to ammonia volatilization in the Netherlands. Crop residues of arable crops and residues of pasture topping may contribute more than 3 million kg NH 3-N to the national ammonia volatilization of the

  10. The Crop Journal: A new scientific journal for the global crop science community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianmin Wan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available As global population increases and demands for food supplies become greater, we face great challenges in providing more products and in larger quantities from less arable land. Crop science has gained increasing importance in meeting these challenges and results of scientific research must be communicated worldwide on a regular basis. In many countries, however, crop scientists have to publish the results of their investigations in national journals with heterogeneous contents and in their native languages. As a consequence, valuable work often remains unknown to scientists elsewhere. As a big country with a large number of crop scientists, China has a wide range of climatic and ecological environments, diverse plant species and cropping systems, and different regional needs for food supplies, which justify the recent decision by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science within the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, to launch a new communication channel, The Crop Journal. The goal of The Crop Journal is to meet an urgent need for a major Asia-based journal that covers the diverse fields of crop science. Our aim is to create a vital and thought-provoking journal that will highlight state-of-the-art original work and reviews by high-profile crop scientists and investigative groups throughout the world — a journal that will respond to the needs of specialists in strategic crop research. We will work with scientific and publishing colleagues worldwide, using The Plant Journal and Crop Science as models, to establish The Crop Journal as a broadly based high quality journal and a premier forum for issues in crop science. The Crop Journal will cover a wide range of topics, including crop genetics, breeding, agronomy, crop physiology, germplasm resources, grain chemistry, grain storage and processing, crop management practices, crop biotechnology, and biomathematics. The journal also encourages the submission of review

  11. Integrating social and value dimensions into sustainability assessment of lignocellulosic biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Sujatha; Mohr, Alison; Helliwell, Richard; Ribeiro, Barbara; Shortall, Orla; Smith, Robert; Millar, Kate

    2015-11-01

    The paper clarifies the social and value dimensions for integrated sustainability assessments of lignocellulosic biofuels. We develop a responsible innovation approach, looking at technology impacts and implementation challenges, assumptions and value conflicts influencing how impacts are identified and assessed, and different visions for future development. We identify three distinct value-based visions. From a techno-economic perspective, lignocellulosic biofuels can contribute to energy security with improved GHG implications and fewer sustainability problems than fossil fuels and first-generation biofuels, especially when biomass is domestically sourced. From socio-economic and cultural-economic perspectives, there are concerns about the capacity to support UK-sourced feedstocks in a global agri-economy, difficulties monitoring large-scale supply chains and their potential for distributing impacts unfairly, and tensions between domestic sourcing and established legacies of farming. To respond to these concerns, we identify the potential for moving away from a one-size-fits-all biofuel/biorefinery model to regionally-tailored bioenergy configurations that might lower large-scale uses of land for meat, reduce monocultures and fossil-energy needs of farming and diversify business models. These configurations could explore ways of reconciling some conflicts between food, fuel and feed (by mixing feed crops with lignocellulosic material for fuel, combining livestock grazing with energy crops, or using crops such as miscanthus to manage land that is no longer arable); different bioenergy applications (with on-farm use of feedstocks for heat and power and for commercial biofuel production); and climate change objectives and pressures on farming. Findings are based on stakeholder interviews, literature synthesis and discussions with an expert advisory group.

  12. Biochar: a novel tool to enhance wheat productivity and soil fertility on sustainable basis under wheat-maize-wheat cropping pattern

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, K.; Jan, M.T.; Munsif, F.

    2015-01-01

    The application of organic matter is an important element for preserving long-term soil fertility because it is the reservoir of metabolic energy, which drives soil biological processes involved in nutrient availability. Two years field experiments were conducted for the assessment of the interactive effect of biochar with synthetic fertilizer and farmyard manure. Biochar application at the rate of 25 t ha-1 increased spikes m-2 by 6.64%, grains spike-1 by 5.6%, thousand grain weight by 3.73, grain yield by 9.96%, biological yield by 15.36%, phosphorus use efficiency by 29.03% and grain phosphorus uptake by 19.67% in comparison with no biochar treated plots. Likewise, biochar application significantly increased soil carbon (C), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) by 54.02, 61.39 and 18.41%, respectively. Similarly, farmyard manure at the rate of 10 t ha-1 resulted in significantly higher yield components, grain yield, soil C, P and K than 5 t ha-1. Likewise, mineral nitrogen application at the rate of 120 kg ha-1 improved wheat yield and yield components with no significant effect on soil C, P and K contents. It is concluded that application biochar either alone or in combination with FYM or mineral nitrogen improved yield and yield components of wheat and soil quality in wheat-maize cropping pattern. (author)

  13. Neonicotinoid concentrations in arable soils after seed treatment applications in preceding years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Ainsley; Harrington, Paul; Turnbull, Gordon

    2014-12-01

    Concentrations of the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid were determined in arable soils from a variety of locations in England. In soil samples taken from the central area of fields, concentrations of clothianidin ranged from 0.02 to 13.6 µg kg(-1) . Thiamethoxam concentrations were between clothianidin and thiamethoxam were lower in soil samples taken from the edges of fields than from the centres of fields, but this difference was less pronounced for imidacloprid. This work gives a clear indication of the levels of neonicotinoids in arable soils after typical use of these compounds as seed dressings in the United Kingdom. There was evidence that imidacloprid was more persistent in the soils studied than clothianidin and thiamethoxam. As clothianidin and thiamethoxam have largely superseded imidacloprid in the United Kingdom, neonicotinoid levels were lower than suggested by predictions based on imidacloprid alone. © 2014 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. Water balance in afforestation chronosequences of common oak and Norway spruce on former arable land in Denmark and southern Sweden

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosenqvist, L.; Hansen, K.; Vesterdal, L.; Salm, van der C.

    2010-01-01

    Precipitation, throughfall and soil moisture were measured, and interception, transpiration and water recharge were estimated in four afforestation chronosequences on former arable land at two Danish locations (Vestskoven and Gejlvang) and at one southern Swedish location (Tonnersjoheden).

  15. Comparison of infiltration capacity of permanent grassland and arable land during the 2011 growing season

    OpenAIRE

    Tomáš Mašíček; F. Toman; M. Vičanová

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper was to compare the rate of infiltration and cumulative infiltration in permanent grassland (PG) and in arable land over the course of the 2011 growing season. The measurement of water infiltration into soil was conducted via ponded infiltration method based on the use of two concentric cylinders in field conditions. Kostiakov equations were applied to evaluate the ponded infiltration. Based on field measurements, the dependence of infiltration rate (v) on time (t) was de...

  16. Phosphorus requirement for symbiotic N2 fixation: a major challenge for sustainable agro-ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Drevon, Jean-Jacques; Abadie, Josiane; Amenc, Laurie; Bargaz, Adnane; Domergue, Odile; Lazali, Mohamed; Pernot, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Low phophorus availability in about 40% of the world’s arable land limits crop yield, most particularly for leguminous crops when their growth depends upon symbiotic N2-fixation (SNF). Therefore, our work aims to increase the phosphorus use efficiency (PUE) for SNF, and its contribution to a more effective coupling between the P and N bio-geochemical cycles. Myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (phytate) constitutes the main source of organic P in soils, but is unavailable to plants. Phytases are th...

  17. Effects of a copper-tolerant grass (Agrostis capillaris) on the ecosystem of a copper-contaminated arable soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boon, G.T. [State Univ. Groningen (Netherlands); Bouwman, L.A.; Bloem, J.; Roemkens, P.F.A.M. [Research Inst. for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility, Haren (Netherlands)

    1998-10-01

    To test how a dysfunctioning ecosystem of a severely metal-polluted soil responds to renewed plant growth, a pot experiment was conducted with soil from an experimental arable field with pH and copper gradients imposed 13 years ago. In this experiment, four pH/copper combinations from this field were either planted with a pH- and copper-resistant grass cultivar or remained fallow. During a 10-week period, the dynamics of the microbial activity and of the abundances of bacteria, protozoa. and nematodes were measured, as were the dynamics of several chemical soil parameters. After 13 years of copper, which had resulted in severely reduced crop growth, no effects were observed on bacterial numbers, respiration, or protozoan numbers, but bacterial growth was strongly reduced in the low pH plots, and even more so in low pH plots enriched with copper. Of the organisms, only nematodes were negatively affected under conditions of high copper load at low pH. In these plots, numbers belonging to all feeding categories were strongly reduced. Planting of a copper-tolerant grass variety, Agrostis capillaris L. var. Parys Mountain, resulted within 10 weeks in faster bacterial growth and more protozoa and bacterivorous nematodes in comparison with fallow controls; these effects were markedly strongest in the acidic, copper-enriched soils. During incubation, fungivorous nematodes increased in all treatments, in fallow and in planted pots and in the pots with high-copper, low-pH soil. The results of this experiment suggest that introduction of plant growth is one of the major causes of increased biological activity in acidic contaminated soils. Planting such soils with metal-tolerant plant species can reestablish the necessary food base to support soil organism growth, and this can lead to numerous positive effects, reversing the loss of soil functions due to the high copper levels under acidic conditions.

  18. Meteorological risks and impacts on crop production systems in Belgium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobin, Anne

    2013-04-01

    Extreme weather events such as droughts, heat stress, rain storms and floods can have devastating effects on cropping systems. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by projected increases of extreme events with climate change. More limits to aid received for agricultural damage and an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers further impacts farmers' resilience. Based on insurance claims, potatoes and rapeseed are the most vulnerable crops, followed by cereals and sugar beets. Damages due to adverse meteorological events are strongly dependent on crop type, crop stage and soil type. Current knowledge gaps exist in the response of arable crops to the occurrence of extreme events. The degree of temporal overlap between extreme weather events and the sensitive periods of the farming calendar requires a modelling approach to capture the mixture of non-linear interactions between the crop and its environment. The regional crop model REGCROP (Gobin, 2010) enabled to examine the likely frequency and magnitude of drought, heat stress and waterlogging in relation to the cropping season and crop sensitive stages of six arable crops: winter wheat, winter barley, winter rapeseed, potato, sugar beet and maize. Since crop development is driven by thermal time, crops matured earlier during the warmer 1988-2008 period than during the 1947-1987 period. Drought and heat stress, in particular during the sensitive crop stages, occur at different times in the cropping season and significantly differ between two climatic periods, 1947-1987 and 1988-2008. Soil moisture deficit increases towards harvesting, such that earlier maturing winter crops may avoid drought stress that occurs in late spring and summer. This is reflected in a decrease both in magnitude and frequency of soil moisture deficit around the sensitive stages during the 1988-2008 period when atmospheric drought may be compensated for with soil moisture. The risk of drought spells during

  19. Influence of management and environment on Australian wheat: information for sustainable intensification and closing yield gaps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, B A; King, D; Zhao, G

    2014-01-01

    In the future, agriculture will need to produce more, from less land, more sustainably. But currently, in many places, actual crop yields are below those attainable. We quantified the ability for agricultural management to increase wheat yields across 179 Mha of potentially arable land in Australia. Using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM), we simulated the impact on wheat yield of 225 fertilization and residue management scenarios at a high spatial, temporal, and agronomic resolution from 1900 to 2010. The influence of management and environmental variables on wheat yield was then assessed using Spearman’s non-parametric correlation test with bootstrapping. While residue management showed little correlation, fertilization strongly increased wheat yield up to around 100 kg N ha −1  yr −1 . However, this effect was highly dependent on the key environment variables of rainfall, temperature, and soil water holding capacity. The influence of fertilization on yield was stronger in cooler, wetter climates, and in soils with greater water holding capacity. We conclude that the effectiveness of management intensification to increase wheat yield is highly dependent upon local climate and soil conditions. We provide context-specific information on the yield benefits of fertilization to support adaptive agronomic decision-making and contribute to the closure of yield gaps. We also suggest that future assessments consider the economic and environmental sustainability of management intensification for closing yield gaps. (paper)

  20. NASA's GreenLab Research Facility: A Guide for a Self-Sustainable Renewable Energy Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomani, B. M. McDowell; Hendricks, R. C.; Elbuluk, Malik; Okon, Monica; Lee, Eric; Gigante, Bethany

    2011-01-01

    There is a large gap between the production and demand for energy from alternative fuel and alternative renewable energy sources. The sustainability of humanity, as we know it, directly depends on the ability to secure affordable fuel, food, and freshwater. NASA Glenn Research Center (Glenn) has initiated a laboratory pilot study on using biofuels as viable alternative fuel resources for the field of aviation, as well as utilizing wind and solar technology as alternative renewable energy resources. The GreenLab Research Facility focuses on optimizing biomass feedstock using algae and halophytes as the next generation of renewable aviation fuels. The unique approach in this facility helps achieve optimal biomass feedstock through climatic adaptation of balanced ecosystems that do not use freshwater, compete with food crops, or use arable land. In addition, the GreenLab Research Facility is powered, in part, by alternative and renewable energy sources, reducing the major environmental impact of present electricity sources. The ultimate goal is to have a 100 percent clean energy laboratory that, when combined with biomass feedstock research, has the framework in place for a self-sustainable renewable energy ecosystem that can be duplicated anywhere in the world and can potentially be used to mitigate the shortage of food, fuel, and water. This paper describes the GreenLab Research Facility at Glenn and its power and energy sources, and provides recommendations for worldwide expansion and adoption of the facility s concept.

  1. Influence of management and environment on Australian wheat: information for sustainable intensification and closing yield gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, B. A.; King, D.; Zhao, G.

    2014-04-01

    In the future, agriculture will need to produce more, from less land, more sustainably. But currently, in many places, actual crop yields are below those attainable. We quantified the ability for agricultural management to increase wheat yields across 179 Mha of potentially arable land in Australia. Using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM), we simulated the impact on wheat yield of 225 fertilization and residue management scenarios at a high spatial, temporal, and agronomic resolution from 1900 to 2010. The influence of management and environmental variables on wheat yield was then assessed using Spearman’s non-parametric correlation test with bootstrapping. While residue management showed little correlation, fertilization strongly increased wheat yield up to around 100 kg N ha-1 yr-1. However, this effect was highly dependent on the key environment variables of rainfall, temperature, and soil water holding capacity. The influence of fertilization on yield was stronger in cooler, wetter climates, and in soils with greater water holding capacity. We conclude that the effectiveness of management intensification to increase wheat yield is highly dependent upon local climate and soil conditions. We provide context-specific information on the yield benefits of fertilization to support adaptive agronomic decision-making and contribute to the closure of yield gaps. We also suggest that future assessments consider the economic and environmental sustainability of management intensification for closing yield gaps.

  2. Relationship between ammonia stomatal compensation point and nitrogen metabolism in arable crops: Current status of knowledge and potential modelling approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Massad, Raia Silvia [Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Environnement et Grandes Cultures, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France)], E-mail: massad@grignon.inra.fr; Loubet, Benjamin; Tuzet, Andree; Cellier, Pierre [Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Environnement et Grandes Cultures, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France)

    2008-08-15

    The ammonia stomatal compensation point of plants is determined by leaf temperature, ammonium concentration ([NH{sub 4}{sup +}]{sub apo}) and pH of the apoplastic solution. The later two depend on the adjacent cells metabolism and on leaf inputs and outputs through the xylem and phloem. Until now only empirical models have been designed to model the ammonia stomatal compensation point, except the model of Riedo et al. (2002. Coupling soil-plant-atmosphere exchange of ammonia with ecosystem functioning in grasslands. Ecological Modelling 158, 83-110), which represents the exchanges between the plant's nitrogen pools. The first step to model the ammonia stomatal compensation point is to adequately model [NH{sub 4}{sup +}]{sub apo}. This [NH{sub 4}{sup +}]{sub apo} has been studied experimentally, but there are currently no process-based quantitative models describing its relation to plant metabolism and environmental conditions. This study summarizes the processes involved in determining the ammonia stomatal compensation point at the leaf scale and qualitatively evaluates the ability of existing whole plant N and C models to include a model for [NH{sub 4}{sup +}]{sub apo}. - A model for ammonia stomatal compensation point at the leaf level scale was developed.

  3. Relationship between ammonia stomatal compensation point and nitrogen metabolism in arable crops: Current status of knowledge and potential modelling approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Massad, Raia Silvia; Loubet, Benjamin; Tuzet, Andree; Cellier, Pierre

    2008-01-01

    The ammonia stomatal compensation point of plants is determined by leaf temperature, ammonium concentration ([NH 4 + ] apo ) and pH of the apoplastic solution. The later two depend on the adjacent cells metabolism and on leaf inputs and outputs through the xylem and phloem. Until now only empirical models have been designed to model the ammonia stomatal compensation point, except the model of Riedo et al. (2002. Coupling soil-plant-atmosphere exchange of ammonia with ecosystem functioning in grasslands. Ecological Modelling 158, 83-110), which represents the exchanges between the plant's nitrogen pools. The first step to model the ammonia stomatal compensation point is to adequately model [NH 4 + ] apo . This [NH 4 + ] apo has been studied experimentally, but there are currently no process-based quantitative models describing its relation to plant metabolism and environmental conditions. This study summarizes the processes involved in determining the ammonia stomatal compensation point at the leaf scale and qualitatively evaluates the ability of existing whole plant N and C models to include a model for [NH 4 + ] apo . - A model for ammonia stomatal compensation point at the leaf level scale was developed

  4. Spring aphid-parasitoid (Hom., Aphididae, Hym., Braconidae) associations and interactions in a Mediterranean arable crop ecosystem, including Bt maize

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pons, X.; Starý, Petr

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 76, - (2003), s. 133-138 ISSN 1436-5693 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IBS5007102 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : Cereal aphids * Iberian peninsula Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.197, year: 2003

  5. Bringing diversity back to agriculture: Smaller fields and non-crop elements enhance biodiversity in intensively managed arable farmlands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Hula, V.; Kipson, M.; Daňková, R.; Niedobová, J.; Gamero, A.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 90, July (2018), s. 65-73 ISSN 1470-160X Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Common Agricultural Policy * Conservation measures * Field size * Habitat heterogeneity * Species richness * Abundance * Biodiversity indicators Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.898, year: 2016

  6. The ability of cover crops to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses from arable land in southern Scandinavia and Finland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aronsson, H.; Hansen, Elly Møller; Thomsen, Ingrid Kaag

    2016-01-01

    ]). The data indicate that CCs do not substantially reduce total P losses by runoff and leaching. The effects of CCs on total P leaching varied between a relative increase of 86% and a decrease of 43%. Climate conditions involving freezing-thawing during winter increased the risk of losses of dissolved P from...

  7. Enhancing Sustainable Development of Diverse Agriculture in Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    Alam, Jahangir

    2005-01-01

    The report presents the current status of some selected CGPRT Crops (secondary crops) and examines their potentials in enhancing the sustainable development of diverse agriculture in Bangladesh. Agriculture in Bangladesh is composed of crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry subsectors. This study deals primarily with crop agriculture and the scope of diversification is limited to crop rather than agricultural diversification.

  8. Bioenergy production from perennial energy crops: a consequential LCA of 12 bioenergy scenarios including land use changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonini, Davide; Hamelin, Lorie; Wenzel, Henrik; Astrup, Thomas

    2012-12-18

    In the endeavor of optimizing the sustainability of bioenergy production in Denmark, this consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluated the environmental impacts associated with the production of heat and electricity from one hectare of Danish arable land cultivated with three perennial crops: ryegrass (Lolium perenne), willow (Salix viminalis) and Miscanthus giganteus. For each, four conversion pathways were assessed against a fossil fuel reference: (I) anaerobic co-digestion with manure, (II) gasification, (III) combustion in small-to-medium scale biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plants and IV) co-firing in large scale coal-fired CHP plants. Soil carbon changes, direct and indirect land use changes as well as uncertainty analysis (sensitivity, MonteCarlo) were included in the LCA. Results showed that global warming was the bottleneck impact, where only two scenarios, namely willow and Miscanthus co-firing, allowed for an improvement as compared with the reference (-82 and -45 t CO₂-eq. ha⁻¹, respectively). The indirect land use changes impact was quantified as 310 ± 170 t CO₂-eq. ha⁻¹, representing a paramount average of 41% of the induced greenhouse gas emissions. The uncertainty analysis confirmed the results robustness and highlighted the indirect land use changes uncertainty as the only uncertainty that can significantly change the outcome of the LCA results.

  9. Life cycle assessment of various cropping systems utilized for producing biofuels: Bioethanol and biodiesel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

    2005-01-01

    A life cycle assessment of different cropping systems emphasizing corn and soybean production was performed, assuming that biomass from the cropping systems is utilized for producing biofuels (i.e., ethanol and biodiesel). The functional unit is defined as 1 ha of arable land producing biomass for biofuels to compare the environmental performance of the different cropping systems. The external functions are allocated by introducing alternative product systems (the system expansion allocation approach). Nonrenewable energy consumption, global warming impact, acidification and eutrophication are considered as potential environmental impacts and estimated by characterization factors given by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-TRACI). The benefits of corn stover removal are (1) lower nitrogen related environmental burdens from the soil, (2) higher ethanol production rate per unit arable land, and (3) energy recovery from lignin-rich fermentation residues, while the disadvantages of corn stover removal are a lower accumulation rate of soil organic carbon and higher fuel consumption in harvesting corn stover. Planting winter cover crops can compensate for some disadvantages (i.e., soil organic carbon levels and soil erosion) of removing corn stover. Cover crops also permit more corn stover to be harvested. Thus, utilization of corn stover and winter cover crops can improve the eco-efficiency of the cropping systems. When biomass from the cropping systems is utilized for biofuel production, all the cropping systems studied here offer environmental benefits in terms of nonrenewable energy consumption and global warming impact. Therefore utilizing biomass for biofuels would save nonrenewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gases. However, unless additional measures such as planting cover crops were taken, utilization of biomass for biofuels would also tend to increase acidification and eutrophication, primarily because large nitrogen (and phosphorus

  10. Yield gap analysis of feed-crop livestock systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linden, van der Aart; Oosting, Simon J.; Ven, van de Gerrie W.J.; Veysset, Patrick; Boer, de Imke J.M.; Ittersum, van Martin K.

    2018-01-01

    Sustainable intensification is a strategy contributing to global food security. The scope for sustainable intensification in crop sciences can be assessed through yield gap analysis, using crop growth models based on concepts of production ecology. Recently, an analogous cattle production model

  11. International bioenergymarkets - the effects of biofuelpolicies on agriculture and arable area; Kansainvaelinen bioenergiakauppa. Biopolttoainetavoitteiden vaikutukset maatalouteen ja viljelyalan kaeyttoeoen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rintamaeki, H.; Aro-Heinilae, E.

    2012-11-01

    is based on corn and the oil seed affects the prices of foods and weakens access of especially the world's poorest to the food market. Biofuels production has increased so direct as indirect changes into the use of the land. Direct changes refer to the introduction of the new land to the biofuels production. The indirect changes in the use of the land can be the result from biofuels production displacing services or commodities (food, feed, fiber products) on land currently in production. It is supposed the growth of the arable land in the different biofuel scenarios being 1-4 per cent at a global level compared with a situation without the production of biofuels. Growth pressure of arable land remain moderate, however effects to food prices with firs generation biofuels are high, which dilutes food security. This comes crucial when taken into account pressure that comes from population growth, as well as the fact that effects allocates the most towards the most poor which use prominent share of their income for staple foodstuff purchase. Development of second generation biofuels, which production is based on byproduct and wastes or biomass that is cultivated in marginal lands, is essential to meet political biofuel targets in sustainable manner. (orig.)

  12. Synthetic biology assemblies for sustainable space exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The work utilized synthetic biology to create sustainable food production processes by developing technology to efficiently convert inedible crop waste to...

  13. Mobility of fertiliser-derived uranium in arable soils and its contribution to uranium concentrations in groundwater and tap water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smidt, Geerd Ahlrich

    2011-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) mineral fertilisers are found to contain high concentrations of uranium (U) (up to 206 mg U kg -1 ) and other trace elements (TE), such as Cd, Pb, Ni, Cu, Zn, Th, Nb, Sr, V, and rare earth elements. The content of U and other trace elements is depended on the sedimentary of igneous origin of the rock phosphate. In this study, the production of P fertilisers has been shown to contaminate top soil horizons with U and other trace elements in the close vicinity of a factory located in Southern Brazil. In contrast to this point source, agricultural P fertilisation leads to a diffuse contamination of the agro-ecosystem with U and other fertiliser-derived trace elements on a large scale. Top soil horizons of arable land accumulate fertiliser-derived U. According to the geochemical behaviour of U(VI) species under oxidising conditions, the mobilisation capacity for U in top soil horizons is considered to be high, contrary to other fertiliser-derived heavy metals (e.g. Cd). Hence, it is assumed that U can be leached to shallow groundwater and can reach fresh water resources potentially used for drinking water supply. The aims of this study were to investigate the concentration of U and other contaminants in P fertilisers, to identify geochemical processes of fertiliser-derived U mobility and mobilisation from arable top soil horizons to the groundwater, and to evaluate the origin of U in German groundwater and tap water. This study presents the broadest recent data set on regional distribution of U concentrations in German tap water to which 76 % of the German population has access. The mean U concentration was 0.68 μg L -1 , the median 0.50 μg L -1 . 1.3 % or 1 million of the 80.6 million inhabitants in Germany are exposed to U concentrations in tap water which are higher than the German drinking water threshold limit of 10 μg L -1 . The regional distribution of U concentrations largely agrees with the geological setting reported for mineral waters

  14. Mobility of fertiliser-derived uranium in arable soils and its contribution to uranium concentrations in groundwater and tap water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smidt, Geerd Ahlrich

    2011-12-20

    Phosphorus (P) mineral fertilisers are found to contain high concentrations of uranium (U) (up to 206 mg U kg{sup -1}) and other trace elements (TE), such as Cd, Pb, Ni, Cu, Zn, Th, Nb, Sr, V, and rare earth elements. The content of U and other trace elements is depended on the sedimentary of igneous origin of the rock phosphate. In this study, the production of P fertilisers has been shown to contaminate top soil horizons with U and other trace elements in the close vicinity of a factory located in Southern Brazil. In contrast to this point source, agricultural P fertilisation leads to a diffuse contamination of the agro-ecosystem with U and other fertiliser-derived trace elements on a large scale. Top soil horizons of arable land accumulate fertiliser-derived U. According to the geochemical behaviour of U(VI) species under oxidising conditions, the mobilisation capacity for U in top soil horizons is considered to be high, contrary to other fertiliser-derived heavy metals (e.g. Cd). Hence, it is assumed that U can be leached to shallow groundwater and can reach fresh water resources potentially used for drinking water supply. The aims of this study were to investigate the concentration of U and other contaminants in P fertilisers, to identify geochemical processes of fertiliser-derived U mobility and mobilisation from arable top soil horizons to the groundwater, and to evaluate the origin of U in German groundwater and tap water. This study presents the broadest recent data set on regional distribution of U concentrations in German tap water to which 76 % of the German population has access. The mean U concentration was 0.68 μg L{sup -1}, the median 0.50 μg L{sup -1}. 1.3 % or 1 million of the 80.6 million inhabitants in Germany are exposed to U concentrations in tap water which are higher than the German drinking water threshold limit of 10 μg L{sup -1}. The regional distribution of U concentrations largely agrees with the geological setting reported for

  15. Development of Trombay pulse crop varieties mutation through induced mutation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dhole, V.J.; Reddy, K.S.

    2016-01-01

    The food prices including pulses were beginning to increase from 2008, something that was not expected to happen before 2020. It was due to climate change, a scarcity of good arable land, water and nutrients. With these obstacles, we must produce almost double than what we are producing now to achieve food security by 2050. It can be achieved through crop improvement. Crop improvement is the art and science of changing the genetic make of crop plant in desire direction through various method of plant breeding. Mutation breeding is one of the techniques which utilize the physical and chemical mutagens to create genetic variability. Till date more than 3200 mutant varieties have been developed worldwide in which two physical mutagens i.e. X-rays and gamma rays have major contributions. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is one of the leading institutes in India where nuclear energy is used for crop improvement, which resulted in to development of 43 improved high yielding varieties in different crops including 19 varieties of pulse crops. These varieties are contributing significantly to production of pulses and ultimately to national food security. (author)

  16. Making biofuels sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallagher, Ed

    2008-01-01

    Full text: As the twentieth century drew to a close, there was considerable support for the use of biofuels as a source of renewable energy. To many people, they offered significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, an opportunity for reduced dependency on oil for transport, and potential as a counter weight to increasing oil prices. They also promised an opportunity for rural economies to benefit from a new market for their products and a chance of narrowing the gap between rich and poor nations. Biofuel development was encouraged by government subsidies, and rapid growth occurred in many parts of the world. Forty per cent of Brazilian sugar cane is used for biofuel production, for example, as is almost a quarter of maize grown in the United States. Although only around 1 per cent of arable land is cultivated to grow feedstock for biofuels, there has been increasing concern over the way a largely unchecked market has developed, and about its social and environmental consequences. Recent research has confirmed that food prices have been driven significantly higher by competition for prime agricultural land and that savings in greenhouse gas emissions are much smaller - and in some cases entirely eliminated - when environmentally important land, such as rainforest, is destroyed to grow biofuels. As a result, many now believe that the economic benefits of biofuels have been obtained at too high a social and environmental price, and they question whether they can be a truly sustainable source of energy. The United Kingdom has always had sustainability at the heart of its biofuel policies and set up the Renewable Fuels Agency to ensure that this goal was met. The direct effects of biofuel production are already being assessed through five measures of environmental performance and two measures of social performance, as well as measures of the energy efficiency of the production processes used and of the greenhouse gas savings achieved

  17. ESTIMATION OF EROSION ACTIVITY IN THE RAVINE COMPLEX OF ARABLE SLOPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. N. Trofimetz

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the results of the evaluation of erosion on arable slopes (in the thalweg part of the ancient microravines, no more than 400 m in length. The radiocesium method has been applied, augmented by the methods of the topographic survey, remote sensing and GIS analysis. It has been shown that layer-by-layer soil sampling in the thalwegs of the modern streams (which are clearly visible on arable slopes allows obtaining the dependence of soil runoff (in centimeters of layer from the activity of Cesium-137 presented in the arable horizon. Conversion of Cesium-137 activities onto a common time scale (by taking into account the radioactive decay made it possible to increase the analyzed data series (in comparison to the previously published data and to obtain the linear dependence with the correlation coefficient of 0.98 (significant at confidence level p=0.05. The 1 cm soil layer was washed out during 26 years on the watershed surface, according to the obtained dependence. About 6 cm layer over the same period was washed out in the thalwegs of the ravines in the lower part of the slope (in its concave part that is accumulation zone. We have found that very high resolution satellite imagery, or aerial photographs, of field surveys are needed for the correct implementation of the GIS analysis when modeling erosion activity of the streambeds. These supporting data have to be collected during the period of snowmelt or rainfall to understand the behavior of streams in the accumulation zones identified by negative values of profile curvature of the relief.

  18. Biochar boosts tropical but not temperate crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, Simon; Abalos, Diego; Prodana, Marija; Catarina Bastos, Ana; van Groenigen, Jan Willem; Hungate, Bruce A.; Verheijen, Frank

    2017-05-01

    Applying biochar to soil is thought to have multiple benefits, from helping mitigate climate change [1, 2], to managing waste [3] to conserving soil [4]. Biochar is also widely assumed to boost crop yield [5, 6], but there is controversy regarding the extent and cause of any yield benefit [7]. Here we use a global-scale meta-analysis to show that biochar has, on average, no effect on crop yield in temperate latitudes, yet elicits a 25% average increase in yield in the tropics. In the tropics, biochar increased yield through liming and fertilization, consistent with the low soil pH, low fertility, and low fertilizer inputs typical of arable tropical soils. We also found that, in tropical soils, high-nutrient biochar inputs stimulated yield substantially more than low-nutrient biochar, further supporting the role of nutrient fertilization in the observed yield stimulation. In contrast, arable soils in temperate regions are moderate in pH, higher in fertility, and generally receive higher fertilizer inputs, leaving little room for additional benefits from biochar. Our findings demonstrate that the yield-stimulating effects of biochar are not universal, but may especially benefit agriculture in low-nutrient, acidic soils in the tropics. Biochar management in temperate zones should focus on potential non-yield benefits such as lime and fertilizer cost savings, greenhouse gas emissions control, and other ecosystem services.

  19. Vertical migration of 85Sr, 137Cs and 131I in various arable and undisturbed soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palagyi, S.; Palagyiova, J.

    2003-01-01

    The vertical migration of 85 Sr, 137 Cs and 131 I in some arable and undisturbed single-contaminated soils was studied by gamma-spectrometry measurements under lysimetric laboratory conditions during irrigation of the soil profiles with wet atmospheric precipitation for about one year, except 131 I. A new simple exponential compartment (box) model was derived, which makes it possible to calculate the migration rate constants and migration rates in the individual soil layers (vertical sections) as well as the total vertical migration rate constants and total vertical migration rates of radionuclides in the bulk soil horizon. The relaxation times of radionuclides in respective soil horizons can also be evaluated. (author)

  20. Magnetic Measurements as a Useful Tool for the Evaluation of Spatial Variability of the Arable Horizon Thickness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattakhova, Leysan; Shinkarev, Alexandr; Ryzhikh, Lyudmila; Kosareva, Lina

    2017-04-01

    In normal practice, the thickness of the arable horizon is determined on the basis of field morphological descriptions, allowing the subjectivity of perception and judgment at the crucial role of experience of the researcher. The subject of special interest are independent analytical and technically relatively simple in design approaches to the diagnosis of the lower boundary of the blended plowing the profiles part. Theoretical premises to use spectrophotometry and magnetometry to arable horizon depth diagnose is based on the concept of regular color and magnetic properties vertical differentiation in a profile of virgin soils. This work is devoted to the comparative assessment of the possibility to objectively and reliably diagnose the lower boundary of the arable horizon in gray forest soils by determining the color characteristics and the magnetic susceptibility of their layer-wise samples. It was shown with arable gray forest soil (Cutanic Luvisols (Anthric)) as example that the magnetic susceptibility profile distribution curves can provide more reliable and objective assessment of the arable horizon thickness spatial variability than the profile curves of the color characteristics in the CIELAB coordinates. Therefore, magnetic measurements can be a useful tool for the tillage erosion estimation in the monitoring of soil characteristics in connection with the development of precision agriculture technologies and the organizing of agricultural field plot experiments.

  1. Transfer factors of radionuclides from Andsols to some selected crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ban-nai, Tadaaki; Yoshida, Satoshi; Muramatsu, Yasuyuki

    2007-01-01

    In order to obtain the applicable transfer factor for Japanese environment, we performed radiotracer experiments on the uptake of 137 Cs, 85 Sr, 54 Mn, 60 Co and 65 Zn by leaf vegetables (two cabbages, komatsuna, spinach and lettuce), root vegetables (radish and carrot) and other crops (wheat, soy bean sweet potato and tomato) using the Andosol (Kuroboku soil), the most common of Japanese arable soils. The ranges of TFs (on a dry weight basis) of 137 Cs, 85 Sr, 60 Co, 54 Mn and 65 Zn for edible parts of crops (leaf vegetables, root vegetables, wheat and soy bean) were 0.09 - 1.42, 0.24 - 3.7, 0.019 - 1.5, 0.31 - 12 and 0.68 - 14, respectively. TFs were, in most cases in the order Mn, Zn, Sr > Cs > Co. (author)

  2. How much Nitrous Oxide is produced in cultivation of biofuels on arable land in Sweden?; Hur mycket lustgas blir det vid odling av biobraenslen paa aakermark i Sverige?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kasimir Klemedtsson, Aasa (Univ. of Goeteborg, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Goeteborg (Sweden). Physical Geography)

    2010-03-15

    Several methods that can be used to estimate the emission of nitrous oxide from arable land are discussed, all of them with their pros and cons. 1 The base for all estimation methods is field measurements, well executed with a technique designed for the production of high quality data. Published field data of good quality were collected from areas in north Europe and America, both from grain and rape crops and unfertilised grasslands where natural background emission is assumed. The compilation shows that grasslands emit in average 0.3 +- 0.1 kg N{sub 2}O-N/ha/year. In crop systems where a high amount of nitrogen is repeatedly added to the soil, the soil N store will contribute to N{sub 2}O emission coming years. This is one reason why emission is higher for unfertilised arable land (where nitrogen have been added previous years) compared to unfertilised grassland, 1 +- 0.1 kg N{sub 2}O-N/ha/year. Fertilised arable lands have higher emission, in average around 3 kg N{sub 2}O-N/ha/year. In comparison, field measurements in Sweden have shown lower emission, 0.6 and 2 kg N{sub 2}O-N/ha/year from clay and sandy soil respectively. 2 The IPCC method is the best known, where the emission from arable land is estimated as a function of added nitrogen. In reality there is no correlation between a low N-addition and the emission of nitrous oxide since the N-addition needs to be high to have influence on the nitrous oxide emission..25 or the new factor 1% of added N has been used in many LCA's as an estimator for nitrous oxide and the uncertainty span of 0,3 and 3% is seldom used. The method underestimates the size of nitrous oxide emission in many systems and cannot estimate a true emission from individual fields. 3 Globally there is a connection between the increase in reactive nitrogen and the increase of atmospheric nitrous oxide, which is the base for a method suggested by Crutzen et al. Nitrous oxide emission has been estimated to be 3-5% of both biological nitrogen

  3. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  4. Growth rate of Heterobasidion annosum in Picea abies established on forest land and arable land

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bendz-Hellgren, M.; Johansson, Martin; Swedjemark, G.; Stenlid, J. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Forest Mycology and Pathology; Brandtberg, P.O. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Research

    1999-07-01

    The growth rates of Heterobasidion annosum in Norway spruce were investigated in southern Sweden. In one study, stump and tree roots in stands established on previous forest or arable land were inoculated with H. annosum-infested sawdust. After 1-3 yrs, the linear extent of colonization by the fungus was measured, based on detection of its conidiophores on incubated samples. The average growth rate was 25 cm yr{sup -1} in stump roots and 9 cm yr{sup -1} in tree roots, neither of which differed significantly between forest and arable land. The feeling of a decayed tree could enhance the spread of H. annosum within root systems. In the second study, the height of discoloration and extent of colonization by H. annosum, measured as above, were assessed in naturally infected trees. On average, discoloration moved through the roots and stem at a rate of 36 cm yr{sup -1}. Heterobasidion annosum was found 60 cm in advance of the discoloration, corresponding to a growth rate of 52 cm yr{sup -1}.

  5. Heavy Metals Technogenic Pollution of Plough Lands Arable Layer in the Chelyabinsk Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantorova, G. F.

    2017-11-01

    Environmental protection and rational use of natural resources in agriculture are the main directions of this scientific research. Contamination is caused by the substances of chemical, radiation and biological origin above the maximum permissible concentration (MPC). The main source of soil contamination in the arable land, hayfields and pastures is the waste of livestock complexes, agricultural chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides), motor vehicle exhausts, industrial emissions, sewage from settlements, etc. The ecological state of the soil and vegetation cover is largely determined by agricultural activities. The agricultural production technology complicating is accompanied by increase in the degree of environmental risk, especially in the chemicalization of agriculture. Pollution also enters the soil with atmospheric precipitation, surface waste. They are also introduced into the soil layer by soil and groundwater. The most dangerous for human health is considered to be contamination with heavy metals (HM)-lead, mercury and cadmium. However, the concentration of the rest elements is no less harmful. The paradox of heavy metals is that in certain quantities they are necessary to ensure the normal life of plants and organisms but their excess can lead to serious diseases and even death. A nutritional cycle causes harmful compounds to enter the human body and often cause great harm to health. The present work reveals the results of the research of a long-term experience on accumulation and distribution of heavy metals on the arable layer profile depending on the concentration in humus soil and the system of ground processing.

  6. Fate of metal resistance genes in arable soil after manure application in a microcosm study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Wenguang; Zeng, Zhenling; Zhang, Yiming; Ding, Xueyao; Sun, Yongxue

    2015-03-01

    Manure application contributes to the spread and persistence of metal resistance genes (MRGs) in the environment. We investigated the fate of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) resistance genes (pcoA, pcoD and zntA) in arable soil after Cu/Zn-containing manure application. Manure with or without addition of metals (Cu/Zn) was added in a soil microcosm over 2 months. Soil samples were collected for analysis on day 0, 30 and 60. The abundances of all MRGs (pcoA, pcoD and zntA) in manure group were significantly higher than those in untreated soil and manure+metals groups. All MRGs dissipated 1.2-1.3 times faster in manure group (from -90 ± 8% to -93 ± 7%) than those in manure+metals group (from -68 ± 8% to -78 ± 5%). The results indicated that manure from healthy pigs contributed to the occurrence of metals (Cu/Zn) and MRGs (pcoA, pcoD and zntA) in arable soil. The significant effects of manure application on the accumulation of pcoA, pcoD and zntA lasted for 1-2 months. Cu/Zn can slow down the dissipation of pcoA, pcoD and zntA after manure application. This is the first report to investigate the fate of MRGs in soil after manure application. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Vertical migration of 85Sr, 137Cs and 131I in various arable and undisturbed soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palagyi, S.; Palagyiova, J.

    2002-01-01

    Vertical migration of 85 Sr, 137 Cs and 131 I in some arable and undisturbed single-contaminated soils was studied by gamma-spectrometry measurements in lysimetric laboratory conditions applying irrigation of the soil profiles with wet atmospheric precipitation for about one year (except radioiodine). A new simple exponential compartment (box) model was derived, allowing us to calculate the migration rate constants and migration rates in the individual soil layers (vertical sections) as well as the total vertical migration rate constants and total vertical migration rates of radionuclides in the bulk soil horizon. The data from the time dependence of the depth activity distribution (radionuclide concentration along the vertical soil profile) were used to test the model. The migration rate constants and migration rates were found to be affected by the contaminating radionuclides as well as by the site, type and depth of the soil. The relaxation times of the radionuclides in the soil horizons were calculated. The effects on the rate parameters of the permanent grass cover and the zeolite applied onto the arable soil surfaces were also investigated

  8. Relating soil biochemistry to sustainable crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amino acids, amino sugars, carbohydrates, phenols, and fatty acids together comprise appreciable proportions of soil organic matter (SOM). Their cycling contribute to soil processes, including nitrogen availability, carbon sequestration and aggregation. For example, soil accumulation of phenols has ...

  9. Yields of crops on a rhodic ferralsol in southern Brazil in relation to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Even though no-tillage, crop rotation management systems have been accepted as useful for sustaining crop production, there is the need to identify which crops can be used for such rotations. This study evaluated the dry matter and grain yields of eight winter and two summer crops (maize, Zea mays L. and soybean, ...

  10. Achieving sustainable cultivation of potatoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Every phase of the production cycle impacts the sustainability of potato. Potato physiology determines how genetically encoded developmental attributes interact with local environmental conditions as modified through agricultural practice to produce a perishable crop. In this chapter we highlight ho...

  11. Enhancing productivity of salt affected soils through crops and cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, S.S.; Khan, A.R.

    2002-05-01

    The reclamation of salt affected soils needs the addition of soil amendment and enough water to leach down the soluble salts. The operations may also include other simple agronomic techniques to reclaim soils and to know the crops and varieties that may be grown and other management practices which may be followed on such soils (Khan, 2001). The choice of crops to be grown during reclamation of salt affected soils is very important to obtain acceptable yields. This also decides cropping systems as well as favorable diversification for early reclamation, desirable yield and to meet the other requirements of farm families. In any salt affected soils, the following three measures are adopted for reclamation and sustaining the higher productivity of reclaimed soils. 1. Suitable choice of crops, forestry and tree species; 2. Suitable choice of cropping and agroforestry system; 3. Other measures to sustain the productivity of reclaimed soils. (author)

  12. Statistical analysis and modelling of surface runoff from arable fields in central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Fiener

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Surface runoff generation on arable fields is an important driver of flooding, on-site and off-site damages by erosion, and of nutrient and agrochemical transport. In general, three different processes generate surface runoff (Hortonian runoff, saturation excess runoff, and return of subsurface flow. Despite the developments in our understanding of these processes it remains difficult to predict which processes govern runoff generation during the course of an event or throughout the year, when soil and vegetation on arable land are passing many states. We analysed the results from 317 rainfall simulations on 209 soils from different landscapes with a resolution of 14 286 runoff measurements to determine temporal and spatial differences in variables governing surface runoff, and to derive and test a statistical model of surface runoff generation independent from an a priori selection of modelled process types. Measured runoff was related to 20 time-invariant soil properties, three variable soil properties, four rain properties, three land use properties and many derived variables describing interactions and curvilinear behaviour. In an iterative multiple regression procedure, six of these properties/variables best described initial abstraction and the hydrograph. To estimate initial abstraction, the percentages of stone cover above 10% and of sand content in the bulk soil were needed, while the hydrograph could be predicted best from rain depth exceeding initial abstraction, rainfall intensity, soil organic carbon content, and time since last tillage. Combining the multiple regressions to estimate initial abstraction and surface runoff allowed modelling of event-specific hydrographs without an a priori assumption of the underlying process. The statistical model described the measured data well and performed equally well during validation. In both cases, the model explained 71 and 58% of variability in accumulated runoff volume and instantaneous

  13. Effect of crop rotation on soil nutrient balance and weediness in soddy podzolic organic farming fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarina, Livija; Zarina, Liga

    2017-04-01

    The nutrient balance in different crop rotations under organic cropping system has been investigated in Latvia at the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics since 2006. Latvia is located in a humid and moderate climatic region where the rainfall exceeds evaporation (soil moisture coefficient > 1) and the soil moisture regime is characteristic with percolation. The average annual precipitation is 670-850 mm. The average temperature varies from -6.7° C in January to 16.5 °C in July. The growing season is 175 - 185 days. The most widespread are podzolic soils and mainly they are present in agricultural fields in all regions of Latvia. In a wider sense the goal of the soil management in organic farming is a creation of the biologically active flora and fauna in the soil by maintaining a high level of soil organic matter which is good for crops nutrient balance. Crop rotation is a central component of organic farming systems and has many benefits, including growth of soil microbial activity, which may increase nutrient availability. The aim of the present study was to calculate nutrient balance for each crop in the rotations and average in each rotation. Taking into account that crop rotations can limit build-up of weeds, additionally within the ERA-net CORE Organic Plus transnational programs supported project PRODIVA the information required for a better utilization of crop diversification for weed management in North European organic arable cropping systems was summarized. It was found that the nutrient balance was influenced by nutrients uptake by biomass of growing crops in crop rotation. The number of weeds in the organic farming fields with crop rotation is dependent on the cultivated crops and the succession of crops in the crop rotation.

  14. TEKNIK PENGELOLAAN USAHATANI TANAMAN CABAI BERKELANJUTAN DI DATARAN TINGGI KECAMATAN CIKAJANG KABUPATEN GARUT (Management Technique of Sustainable Red Pepper Crop Farming System in Upland Distric of Cikajang Garut Regency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wa Ode Muliastuty

    2016-02-01

    farming on the upland area is the decrease in the crops productivity due to a mismatch between agrotechnology with the land characteristics and the needs of the crops. This condition accelerates the erosion process and increase the loss of top soil, which are more fertile. All of those things has in turn decrease land productivity. This objectives of the study are to gain knowledge about the extension of erosion, to analyze the contribution of farm income to the farmers Need of Decent Living (NDL, and to study alternative technique of soil and water conservation. Erosion is analyzed by USLE equations. Farm income is analyzed by using cash flow budget analysis. NDL is calculated based on amount of family member in one family farmer, which is approached by minimum physical necessities added by additional life necessities. Soil conservation technique were tested in erosion experimental plots with 2 x 20 meters size made at the 40 % slope. Randomized block design is used that are consist of two factors. The first is cropping pattern which are monoculture red pepper (T1 and intercropping red pepper with cabbage (T2. The second is soil conservation technique which are the ridges in the direction of the slope as the control (K1, the ridges in the direction of the slope + the ridges cut off the slopes in every 6.6 meters (K2, the ridges across the slope (K3, and ridges across the slope with 20° tilted (K4. The research result shows that as the slope is getting steeper, the erosion is getting higher and exceeded the TSL and the contribution of farm income to the farmers NDL is getting lower. Monoculture red pepper cropping patterns have a greater erosion and the contribution of farm income to the farmers NDL is smaller than the intercropping. Conservation technique T1K3, T2K3, T1K4 and T2K4 can be applied to the upland area because it is capable to decrease the erosion less than or equal to the TSL (30.92 ton.ha-1.yr-1 and increasing farming income more than or equal to the

  15. Visualisation of uncertainty for the trade-off triangle used in sustainable agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Paul; Takahashi, Taro; Lee, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Agriculture at the global-scale is at a critical juncture where competing requirements for maximal production and minimal pollution have led to the concept of sustainable intensification. All farming systems (arable, grasslands, etc.) are part of this debate, where each have particular associated environmental risks such as water and air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation, as well as issues affecting production efficiency, product quality and consumer acceptability, reflected in the development of agricultural sustainability policies. These challenges necessitate multidisciplinary solutions that can only be properly researched, implemented and tested in real-world production systems which are suited to their geographical and climatic production practice. In this respect, various high-profile agricultural data collection experiments have been set up, such as the North Wyke Farm Platform (http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/farmplatform) to research agricultural productivity and ecosystem responses to different management practices. In this farm-scale grasslands experiment, data on hydrology, emissions, nutrient cycling, biodiversity, productivity and livestock welfare/health are collected, that in turn, are converted to trade-off metrics with respect to: (i) economic profits, (ii) societal benefits and (iii) environmental concerns, under the umbrella of sustainable intensification. Similar agriculture research platforms have similar objectives, where data collections are ultimately synthesised into trade-off metrics. Trade-offs metrics can then be usefully visualized via the usual sustainable triangle, with a new triangle for each key time period (e.g. baseline versus post-baseline). This enables a visual assessment of change in sustainability harmony or discord, according to the remit of the given research experiment. In this paper, we discuss different approaches to calculation of the sustainability trade-off metrics that are required from the farm

  16. Reduced soil cultivation and organic fertilization on organic farms: effects on crop yield and soil physical traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surböck, Andreas; Gollner, Gabriele; Klik, Andreas; Freyer, Bernhard; Friedel, Jürgen K.

    2017-04-01

    A continuous investment in soil fertility is necessary to achieve sustainable yields in organic arable farming. Crucial factors here besides the crop rotation are organic fertilization and the soil tillage system. On this topic, an operational group (Project BIOBO*) was established in the frame of an European Innovation Partnership in 2016 consisting of organic farmers, consultants and scientists in the farming region of eastern Austria. The aim of this group is the development and testing of innovative, reduced soil cultivation, green manure and organic fertilization systems under on-farm and on-station conditions to facilitate the sharing and transfer of experience and knowledge within and outside the group. Possibilities for optimization of the farm-specific reduced soil tillage system in combination with green manuring are being studied in field trials on six organic farms. The aim is to determine, how these measures contribute to an increase in soil organic matter contents, yields and income, to an improved nitrogen and nutrient supply to the crops, as well as support soil fertility in general. Within a long-term monitoring project (MUBIL), the effects of different organic fertilization systems on plant and soil traits have been investigated since 2003, when the farm was converted to organic management. The examined organic fertilization systems, i.e. four treatments representing stockless and livestock keeping systems, differ in lucerne management and the supply of organic manure (communal compost, farmyard manure, digestate from a biogas plant). Previous results of this on-station experiment have shown an improvement of some soil properties, especially soil physical properties, since 2003 in all fertilization systems and without differences between them. The infiltration rate of rainwater has increased because of higher hydraulic conductivity. The aggregate stability has shown also positive trends, which reduces the susceptibility to soil erosion by wind and

  17. Sustainable intensification of China's agroecosystems by conservation agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rattan Lal

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture in China started about 8000 BCE with cultivation of millet and rice. Thus, China's modern agriculture is rooted in a long evolutionary history of agricultural practices. China's population of 211 million in 1700 increased to 295 million in 1800, 400 million in 1900, 1266 million in 2000, and is 1409 million in 2017. Thus, China has to feed 18.5% of the world population on merely 7% of the world's arable land and with even scarcer water resources. Yet, between 1950 and 2017, the grain production in China increased at a faster rate than that of the population. Total grain production (million ton or Tg was 113 in 1949, 305 in 1970, 462 in 2000, and 603 in 2015. The high agricultural productivity is attributed to high consumption of fertilizers (58.8 Tg in 2015, pesticides (1.81 Tg in 2014, and irrigation (65.7 Mha in 2014. However, the high production is also associated with the severe problems of soil degradation (erosion, water contamination and air pollution. It is estimated that ~40% of China's arable land is degraded to some degree. Thus, there is a strong need for a paradigm shift of sustaining high productivity while restoring quality of natural resources of soil, water and air. In this context, conversion to a system-based conservation agriculture (CA may be an important strategy of sustainable intensification of agro-ecosystems for advancing and sustaining high production while restoring soil health, purifying water and air and improving the environment. The CA has been practiced in China since 1990s and was adopted on ~8.0 Mha in 2015. The available literature shows that conversion to CA increases soil organic C (SOC concentration and stocks mostly in the surface layer while also producing an equivalent agronomic yield. Therefore, a widespread adoption of CA in China would necessitate a deeper understanding of its ecological underpinnings. To be effective, site-specific CA practices must reduce risks of soil erosion under

  18. Manual for prototyping integrated and ecological arable farming systems (I/EAFS) in interaction with pilot farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vereijken, P.

    1999-01-01

    A manual for prototyping Integrated and Ecological Arable Farming Systems (I/EAFS) in interaction with pilot farms is presented. It concerns a comprehensive and consistent approach of 5 steps. Step 1 is establishing a hierarchy of objectives considering the shortcomings of current farming systems in

  19. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on ex-arable land: Seed addition outweighs soil fertility reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Van der Wal, A.; Bezemer, T.M.; De Boer, W.; Duyts, H.; Holtkamp, R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2008-01-01

    A common practice in biodiversity conservation is restoration of former species-rich grassland on ex-arable land. Major constraints for grassland restoration are high soil fertility and limited dispersal ability of plant species to target sites. Usually, studies focus on soil fertility or on methods

  20. Effects of a copper tolerant grass (Agrostis capillaris) on the ecosystem of a copper-contaminated arable soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boon, G.T.; Bouwman, L.A.; Bloem, J.; Römkens, P.F.A.M.

    1998-01-01

    To test how a dysfunctioning ecosystem of a severely metal-polluted soil responds to renewed plant growth, a pot experiment was conducted with soil from an experimental arable field with pH and copper gradients imposed 13 years ago. In this experimentfour pH/copper combinations from this field were

  1. Exploring the Patterns and Mechanisms of Reclaimed Arable Land Utilization under the Requisition-Compensation Balance Policy in Wenzhou, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Lin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Arable land in China is undergoing significant changes, with massive losses of arable land due to rapid urbanization and the reclamation of arable land from other lands to compensate for these losses. Many studies have analyzed arable land loss, but less attention has been paid to land reclamation, and the utilization of reclaimed land remains unclear. The goal of our study was to characterize the patterns and efficiency of the utilization of reclaimed land and to identify the factors influencing the land utilization process in Wenzhou using remote sensing, geographic information systems and logistic regression. Our results showed that only 37% of the total reclaimed land area was under cultivation, and other lands were still bare or had been covered by trees and grasses. The likelihood that reclaimed land was used for cultivation was highly correlated with the land use type of its neighboring or adjacent parcels. Reclaimed land utilization was also limited at high elevations in lands with poor soil fertility and in lands at a great distance from rural residential areas. In addition, parcels located in the ecological protection zone were less likely to be cultivated. Therefore, we suggest that the important determinants should be considered when identifying the most suitable land reclamation areas.

  2. The Use of Organic vs. Chemical Fertilizer with a Mineral Losses Tax: The Case of Dutch Arable Farmers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feinerman, E.; Komen, M.H.C.

    2005-01-01

    The paper focuses on farm-level nitrogen fertilization strategies of Dutch arable farmers for analyzing the substitution of organic fertilizers (manure) with chemical fertilizers. The model developed investigates the impact of the major parameters affecting the inferiority of manure compared with

  3. Crop-water-environment models; selected papers to the workshop organized by the ICID Working Group on `Sustainable Crops and Water Use' at the occasion of the 16th Congress of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage at Cairo, Egypt

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ragab, R.; El-Din El-Quosy, D.; Broek, van den B.J.; Pereira, L.S.

    1996-01-01

    The main aim of this workshop was to bring individuals and organizations together who contribute to the development and upgrading of crop-water-environment models. Twenty-four model papers were presented in three sessions: pesticides and nitrates, salinity, and crop water balance. Each presentation

  4. Relationship between soil cellulolytic activity and suppression of seedling blight of barley in arable soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Peter Have; Knudsen, I.; Elmholt, S.

    2002-01-01

    the Hanes-Wolf transformation of the Michaelis-Menten equation. Soil samples from 6 to 13 cm depth were collected in the early spring as undisturbed blocks from 10 arable soils with different physico-chemical properties and cultivation history. Significant correlations were found between soil suppresiveness......The objective was to investigate the relationship between soil suppression of seedling blight of barley caused by Fusarium culmorum (W.G. Smith) Sacc. and the soil cellulolytic activity of beta-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase and endocellulase. Disease suppression was investigated in bioassays...... with test soils mixed with sand, and barley seeds inoculated with F. culmorum. After 19 days, disease severity was evaluated on the barley seedlings. Soil cellulolytic activities were measured using 4-methylumbelliferyl-labelled fluorogenic substrates, and were expressed as V-max values obtained by using...

  5. Anthrosols in Iron Age Shetland: Implications for Arable and Economic Activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guttmann, Erika B.; Simpson, Ian A.; Nielsen, Nina

    2008-01-01

    The soils surrounding three Iron Age settlements on South Mainland, Shetland, were sampled and compared for indicators of soil amendment. Two of the sites (Old Scatness and Jarlshof) were on lower-lying, better-drained, sheltered land; the third (Clevigarth) was in an acid, exposed environment...... at a higher elevation. The hypothesis, based on previous regional assessments, soil thicknesses, and excavations at Old Scatness, was that the lowland sites would have heavily fertilized soils and that the thin upland soil would show little if any amendment. Our findings indicate that the Middle Iron Age...... soils at Old Scatness had extremely high phosphorus levels, while the soil at Jarlshof had lower levels of enhancement. At Clevigarth, where charcoal from the buried soil was 14C dated to the Neolithic and Bronze Age, there was no evidence of arable activity or soil amendment associated with the Iron...

  6. Seedling emergence response of rare arable plants to soil tillage varies by species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torra, Joel; Recasens, Jordi; Royo-Esnal, Aritz

    2018-01-01

    Very little information is available on emergence of rare arable plants (RAP) in relation to soil disturbance and seed burial conditions in Europe. This information is essential to design conservation and soil management strategies to prevent the decline of these species in agroecosystems. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of soil cultivation with burial time on the emergence and seed persistence of RAP. Seeds of 30 RAP species were collected from Spanish arable fields and subjected to two tillage treatments: (a) no soil disturbance, and (b) autumnal soil disturbance down to 10 cm depth every year. The treatments simulated no-till and tilled (disking), respectively. In plots under no-till, RAP seeds were sown at 1-cm depth. In the tilled plots, seeds were sown homogeneously mixed in the top 1-10 cm of soil. The trial was established every two consecutive seasons, and each trial was maintained for two years. Annual cumulative plant emergence was calculated each year; whereas the first trial was monitored for a third year to estimate seed longevity using a persistence index. The response in emergence of the 30 RAP to annual tillage varied among species. With burial time (number of years), higher emergence was observed for seeds sown in tilled soil. This was true across all species, and with strong season effects. The persistence index was correlated with seed weight, species with bigger seeds had low persistence indices while no pattern was observed for small seeded species. Most RAP species, particularly those with high persistence, showed induction of secondary dormancy processes, highlighting the importance of tillage to promote RAP emergence, and hence, seed bank replenishment. Therefore, as time passes the absence of soil tillage may represent a driver of RAP seed bank decline for those species with secondary dormancy processes. In conclusion, it is important to design soil management strategies, such as regular tillage to promote

  7. Energy crops for biogas plants. Bavaria; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Bayern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aigner, A.; Biertuempel, A.; Conrad, M. (and others)

    2012-08-15

    For agriculturists in Bavaria (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  8. Greenhouse gas emissions in the life-cycle of carrots and tomatoes. Methods, data and results from a study of the types and amounts of carrots and tomatoes consumed in Sweden. With arable land use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsson Kanyama, Annika

    1997-03-01

    Methods, data and results from an assessment of the arable land use and some greenhouse gas emissions during part of the life-cycle of the consumed carrots and tomatoes in Sweden during 1992-1993 are presented in the report. The life-cycle was delineated to transportation, storage, farm production and production of fertilizers. Carrots from six countries and tomatoes from four countries were analyzed. The study is reported with full transparency. The results are presented as the use of arable land (in m{sup 2}) and as the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (in g CO{sub 2} equivalents) required to sustain current Swedish consumption patterns of carrots and tomatoes. Emissions per kg of consumed tomato were 10 times higher than for carrots. Emissions from carrots were lowest when they were produced within or close to Sweden, while the opposite was the case for tomatoes. The key issues in the life-cycle of the analyzed carrots and tomatoes are identified and discussed. The general conclusions are that storage may be a key issue for vegetables with a long durability and adapted to a northern European climate. For vegetables with short durability, the key issue may be transportation if they are not adapted to a northern European climate but still cultivated in the open. The key issue for vegetables with a short durability may be energy requirements during farm production if the vegetables are not adapted to a northern European climate and therefore cultivated under glass. 3 figs, 57 tabs

  9. Effect of Mixed Systems on Crop Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas; Cihacek, Larry; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    The goals of this non-irrigated research has been to determine the effect of mixed systems integration on crop, soil, and beef cattle production in the northern Great Plains region of the United States. Over a 5-year period, growing spring wheat (HRSW-C) continuously year after year was compared to a 5-year crop rotation that included spring wheat (HRSW-R), cover crop (dual crop consisting of winter triticale/hairy vetch seeded in the fall and harvested for hay followed by a 7-species cover crop that was seeded in June after hay harvest), forage corn, field pea/barley, and sunflower. Control 5-year HRSW yield was 2690 kg/ha compared to 2757 kg/ha for HRSW grown in rotation. Available soil nitrogen (N) is often the most important limitation for crop production. Expensive fertilizer inputs were reduced in this study due to the mixed system's complementarity in which the rotation system that included beef cattle grazing sustained N availability and increased nutrient cycling, which had a positive effect on all crops grown in the rotation. Growing HRSW continuously requires less intensive management and in this research was 14.5% less profitable. Whereas, when crop management increased and complementing crops were grown in rotation to produce crops and provide feed for grazing livestock, soil nutrient cycling improved. Increased nutrient cycling increased crop rotation yields and yearling beef cattle steers that grazing annual forages in the rotation gain more body weight than similar steers grazing NGP native range. Results of this long-term research will be presented in a PICO format for participant discussion.

  10. Green Planet Architecture - A Methodology for Self-Sustainable Distributed Renewable Energy Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxena, Nikita T.; Thomas, Anna E.; Johnson, Shawana; Venners, John P.; Hendricks, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Our planet has been endowed with a host of natural mechanisms to keep the environment and climate in balance. Humans are now facing the need to restore this balance that has been upset in the past years because of a growing population and resource demands. To steer dependency away from freshwater crops and decrease environmental damage from humanity s fuel and energy demands, it is necessary to take advantage of the natural adaptive biomass resources that are already in place. Using methods of Green Planet Architecture, based on compilations of current research and procedures, could lead to new forms of energy and fueling as well as new sources for food and feed. Green Planet Architecture involves climatic adaptive biomass; geospatial intelligence; agri- and aqua-culture life cycles; and soil, wetland, and shoreline restoration. Plants such as Salicornia, seashore mallow, castor, mangroves, and perhaps Moringa can be modified (natural, model-assisted, or genetically modified) to thrive in salt-water and brackish water or otherwise not arable conditions, making them potentially new crops that will not displace traditional farming. These fueling sources also have potential to be used in other rapid-growth industries, such as the aviation industry, that have incentive to move towards more sustainable fuel supplies. This paper highlights an example of how synergistic development of biomass resources and geospatial intelligence high-performance computing capabilities can be focused to resolve potential drought-famine problems. These techniques, provide a basis for future e-science-based discovery (and access) through technology that can be expanded to support global societal applications.

  11. "Green Planet Architecture"-A Methodology for Self-Sustainable Distributed Renewable Energy Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxena, Nikita T.; Thomas, Anna E.; Johnson, Shawana; Venners, John P.; Hendricks, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    This planet has been endowed with a host of natural mechanisms to keep the environment and climate in balance. Humans are now facing the need to restore this balance that has been upset in the past years because of a growing population and resource demands. To steer dependency away from freshwater crops and decrease environmental damage from humanity s fuel and energy demands, it is necessary to take advantage of the natural adaptive biomass resources that are already in place. Using methods of "Green Planet Architecture," based on compilations of current research and procedures, could lead to new forms of energy and fueling as well as new sources for food and feed. Green Planet Architecture involves climatic adaptive biomass; geospatial intelligence; agri- and aqua-culture life cycles; and soil, wetland, and shoreline restoration. Plants such as Salicornia, seashore mallow, castor, mangroves, and perhaps Moringa can be modified (naturally, model-assisted, or genetically) to thrive in salt water and brackish water or otherwise not arable conditions, making them potentially new crops that will not displace traditional farming. These fueling sources also have potential to be used in other rapid-growth industries, such as the aviation industry, that have incentive to move towards more sustainable fuel supplies. This report highlights an example of how synergistic development of biomass resources and geospatial intelligence high-performance computing capabilities can be focused to resolve potential drought-famine problems. These techniques provide a basis for future e-science-based discovery (and access) through technology that can be expanded to support global societal applications.

  12. Effect of Conversion from Natural Grassland to Arable Land on Soil Carbon Reserve in the Argentinean Rolling Pampas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriulo, A. E.; Irizar, A. B.; Mary, B.; Wilson, M. G.

    2012-04-01

    The evaluation of the effect of land use change on accumulation of soil organic carbon (SOC) requires reliable data obtained from georeferenced sites with land use history records. The purpose of this study was to evaluate long term changes in the reserves of SOC in a typical Argiudol of the Pergamino series after the introduction of agriculture. Measures of soil organic carbon concentration and bulk density of Ap and A12 horizons were carried out in three sites of the Pergamino County (N of Buenos Aires province): a reference field with untilled pristine soil (33° 57' S; 60° 34' W), a field with 31 years (1980-2011) of agriculture (31Y) located next to the former, and a third field (33° 46' S; 60° 37' W) with 80 years (1910/1990) of agriculture (80Y). 31Y has been under continuous soybean cultivation with conventional tillage (CT) that consists of moldboard plow or double disk harrowing. At 80K the cultivation sequence was: 44 years of corn + 9 years of flax + 2 years of wheat + 17 years of wheat/soybean double cropping + 1 year of lentil; mostly under CT, some years under chisel plow during the 70's and a few years under zero tillage in soybean after wheat sown with conventional tillage during the 80's. Before the introduction of mechanical harvesting (1947) crop residues were burnt as well as the wheat stubble during the conventional double cropping period (1970-1980). Soil texture (23±1% clay, with predominance of illite) and field slopes (<0.5%) were similar in the three sites. Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization rates were minimal due to the low crop response. The results are expressed in Mg ha-1 for an A soil horizon mass of 2500 Mg ha-1. The introduction of agriculture decreased SOC stock: 31Y varied from 68.3 to 40.1 Mg ha-1 (41.3% loss) and 80Y from 68.3 to 47.2 Mg ha-1 (30% loss). The SOC loss was the result of the mineralization of a large amount labile SOC present in the pristine soil and low annual additions of carbon issued from crop residue

  13. Interactions of glyphosate use with farm characteristics and cropping patterns in Central Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiese, Armin; Schulte, Michael; Theuvsen, Ludwig; Steinmann, Horst-Henning

    2018-05-01

    Although glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the European Union, little is known about the patterns of its usage in arable farming. Therefore, a nationwide survey of 2026 German farmers was analysed to obtain further knowledge about glyphosate applications in conventional European arable farming. Given its broad range of agri-environmental and farm-type conditions, Germany can be regarded as a suitable study region to represent Central European farming. The growing season 2013/2014 was set as a reference. Farmers who participated in the survey employ diverse patterns of glyphosate use. While 23% stated that they did not use glyphosate in the season in question, others applied glyphosate to their total arable area. However, most applications occurred on specific parts of the farm. Application patterns of oilseed rape, winter wheat, maize and sugar beet were studied in detail, and U-shaped distributions of glyphosate use intensity were observed. The effects of farm type and management practices on glyphosate use patterns were mixed in the various crops. Motivation for glyphosate use differs widely within the farming community. Agricultural researchers, extension services and policy makers are recommended to mitigate vulnerabilities associated with glyphosate use, such as routine spraying and practices that increase selection pressure for the evolution of glyphosate-resistant weeds. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. Suppression of soilborne pathogens in mixed cropping systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddink, G.A.

    2008-01-01

    Since the green revolution, agricultural production has increased tremendously due to synthetic fertilizers, chemical crop protectants and high yielding plant varieties. However, soilborne pathogens remain yield-limiting factors in agricultural production. Hardly any sustainable solutions are

  15. Energy crops in rotation. A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zegada-Lizarazu, Walter; Monti, Andrea [Department of Agroenvironmental Science and Technology, University of Bologna, Viale G. Fanin, 44 - 40127, Bologna (Italy)

    2011-01-15

    The area under energy crops has increased tenfold over the last 10 years, and there is large consensus that the demand for energy crops will further increase rapidly to cover several millions of hectares in the near future. Information about rotational systems and effects of energy crops should be therefore given top priority. Literature is poor and fragmentary on this topic, especially about rotations in which all crops are exclusively dedicated to energy end uses. Well-planned crop rotations, as compared to continuous monoculture systems, can be expected to reduce the dependence on external inputs through promoting nutrient cycling efficiency, effective use of natural resources, especially water, maintenance of the long-term productivity of the land, control of diseases and pests, and consequently increasing crop yields and sustainability of production systems. The result of all these advantages is widely known as crop sequencing effect, which is due to the additional and positive consequences on soil physical-chemical and biological properties arising from specific crops grown in the same field year after year. In this context, the present review discusses the potential of several rotations with energy crops and their possibilities of being included alongside traditional agriculture systems across different agro-climatic zones within the European Union. Possible rotations dedicated exclusively to the production of biomass for bioenergy are also discussed, as rotations including only energy crops could become common around bio-refineries or power plants. Such rotations, however, show some limitations related to the control of diseases and to the narrow range of available species with high production potential that could be included in a rotation of such characteristics. The information on best-known energy crops such as rapeseed (Brassica napus) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) suggests that conventional crops can benefit from the introduction of energy crops in

  16. Investigating an Ethical Approach to Genetically Modified Crops in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetically modified (GM) crops gained attention in southern Africa in the context of broader debates about the struggle for food security and poverty alleviation to achieve sustainable development. The prospects of GM crops as a technological innovation have provoked numerous debates and environmental concern ...

  17. Energy crops for biogas plants. Brandenburg; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Brandenburg

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adam, L.; Barthelmes, G.; Biertuempfel, A. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    In the brochure under consideration, the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzen-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reported on recommendations on alternative cropping systems for energy crop rotations in order to achieve high yields in combination with high diversity, risk spreading and sustainability. In particular, the natural site conditions in the Federal State of Brandenburg (Federal Republic of Germany) are determined.

  18. (Hordeum Vulgare) Crop Coefficient and Comparative Assessment

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    The second prerequisite for sustainable use of water was developing/ ... Following the construction of .... pond capacity, the irrigation method, soil type, major crops grown in the area, and the ... determines the viability of any irrigation project. .... lack of awareness, lack of skill, technology and lack of adequate knowledge in ...

  19. Nest success of Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) on organic and conventional arable farms in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kragten, S.; Snoo, de G.R.

    2007-01-01

    Increasing agricultural intensification has put farmland bird populations under great stress. Although organically managed farms tend to have higher densities of farmland birds than conventionally managed holdings, differences in crop management may also lead to differences in breeding success. With

  20. Climate change adaptability of cropping and farming systems for Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justes, Eric; Rossing, Walter; Vermue, Anthony

    systems to CC through a gradient of adaptation strategies. Methods: The adaptation strategies are evaluated at cropping and farming systems as well as regional levels for nine “Adaptation Pilots” along a North-South climate gradient in the EU. Three categories of strategies are evaluated: i) Resistance...... and foster learning in participatory co-design workshops. Results and expectations: The expected results of the Climate-CAFE on-going project will produce an overview of potential CC adaptation measures for selected sites across the EU, along with mutual learning experiences for improved understanding......Introduction: Prospective studies showed that the European agriculture will be impacted by climate change (CC) with different effects depending on the geographic region. The ERA-Net+ project Climate-CAFE (call of FACCE-JPI) aims to improve the “adaptive capacity” of arable and forage based farming...

  1. Crop and livestock enterprise integration: Effects of annual crops used for fall forage production on livestock productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diversification of farm enterprises is important to maintain sustainable production systems. Systems that integrate crops and livestock may prove beneficial to each enterprise. Our objectives were to determine the effects of annual crops grazed in the fall and early-winter period on cow and calf gro...

  2. Rainfed intensive crop systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed.......This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed....

  3. Post-dispersal seed predation of woody forest species limits recolonization of forest plantations on ex-arable land

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Hans Henrik; Valtinat, Karin; Kollmann, Johannes

    2010-01-01

    be differences in recruitment. The present study addresses post-dispersal seed predation, mainly of woody plants, as the factor limiting the recolonization of young oak plantations in southern Sweden. Our objectives were to investigate differences in dispersal and post-dispersal seed predation between first......, the colonization of forest plantations by native shrubs and trees appears to be habitat-limited; the only exception being Rhamnus catharticus, for which poor dispersal ability may be more important. Post-dispersal seed predation of forest shrubs and trees was marked, especially in relatively small and isolated...... plantations on ex-arable land. There was a high seed predation of Crataegus monogyna, Sorbus aucuparia and Viburnum opulus on ex-arable land, while that of Frangula alnus and Sambucus racemosa was not associated with site placement and land-use history. Seed predation is probably a more important factor...

  4. Potential for fuel production from crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hurduc, N.; Teaci, D.; Serbanescu, E.; Hartia, S.

    1986-07-01

    Studies conducted during the last few years show that the various ecological conditions in Romania determine different pathways of energetic phytomass production and transformation into fuel. There are approximately 22 million ha of land covered by terrestrial vegetation of which 10 million is arable land and one-fifth of this is of poor productivity. Waters cover approximately 0.7 million ha. The technologies used for the production of energetic phytomass from various agricultural, forest and aquatic species tend to yield 20-25 t of dry matter for the terrestrial forms and 20-40 t of dry matter for the aquatic ones; this represents a mean annual output of 2000-2500 l of ethanol per ha. For agricultural lands having a high fertility, the following species were shown to be important from an energy point of view: sugar beet (roots), sweet sorghum at the milk-dough stage, kernel maize, Jerusalem artichoke (tubers and green above-ground parts), potatoes (tubers), and oil rape. Some laticiferous plants are also being studied. On fertile soils in the southern irrigated areas, high yields of energetic phytomass were obtained in stubble crops with maize, sorghum X Sudan grass and grain sorghum. Investigations are being conducted with a view to improving the fertility of poorly productive soils, which cannot be used for agricultural purposes at the present time. 3 figs., 6 tabs., 2 refs.

  5. Emission of CO2 from the arable soils polluted by heavy metals of Baikal forest-steppe region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Semenova, Yu.V.; Pomazkina, L.V.

    2008-01-01

    The influence of arable soil contamination by heavy metals on C0 2 emission in Lake Baikal region had been studied during the period from 1992 till 2005. It was shown, that the way of agroecosystems response on technogenic impact vary from year to year following the changes in both the temperature and humidity. The contamination mostly resulted in soil organic matter mineralization increase and, consequently, increased carbon losses in the form of CO 2 .

  6. Interspecific competition of early successional plant species in ex-arable fields as influenced by plant-soil feedback

    OpenAIRE

    Jing, Jingying; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Van der Putten, Wim H.

    2015-01-01

    Plant–soil feedback can affect plants that belong to the same (intraspecific feedback) or different species (interspecific feedback). However, little is known about how intra- and interspecific plant–soil feedbacks influence interspecific plant competition. Here, we used plants and soil from early-stage ex-arable fields to examine how intra- and interspecific plant–soil feedbacks affect the performance of 10 conditioning species and the focal species, Jacobaea vulgaris. Plants were grown alon...

  7. The benefits of herbicide-resistant crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jerry M

    2012-10-01

    Since 1996, genetically modified herbicide-resistant crops, primarily glyphosate-resistant soybean, corn, cotton and canola, have helped to revolutionize weed management and have become an important tool in crop production practices. Glyphosate-resistant crops have enabled the implementation of weed management practices that have improved yield and profitability while better protecting the environment. Growers have recognized their benefits and have made glyphosate-resistant crops the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture. Weed management systems with glyphosate-resistant crops have often relied on glyphosate alone, have been easy to use and have been effective, economical and more environmentally friendly than the systems they have replaced. Glyphosate has worked extremely well in controlling weeds in glyphosate-resistant crops for more than a decade, but some key weeds have evolved resistance, and using glyphosate alone has proved unsustainable. Now, growers need to renew their weed management practices and use glyphosate with other cultural, mechanical and herbicide options in integrated systems. New multiple-herbicide-resistant crops with resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides will expand the utility of existing herbicide technologies and will be an important component of future weed management systems that help to sustain the current benefits of high-efficiency and high-production agriculture. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Erosion Losses of Soils on Arable Land in the European part of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltsev, K. A.; Yermolaev, O. P.

    2018-01-01

    The quantitative assessment of potential soil losses in arable lands of the European part of Russia is carried out in the article. The assessment was carried out using a mathematical model based on the mathematical dependencies of the universal soil loss equation and the mathematical dependencies of the State Hydrological Institute of Russia. Assessment of potential soil losses was performed using calculations in a geographic information system. To perform the calculations the database was created containing information on: the relief; properties of soils; climate and land use. The raster model of data organization was used to create the database and subsequent calculations. The assessment shows that the average amount of soil loss in the plowed land of the European territory of Russia is 11 t/ha per year. At the same time, about half of the territories are located in conditions where the soil loss value does not exceed 0.5 t/ha per year. The potential loss of soil taking into account the soil protection role of vegetation is 3.3 tons/ha per year. In addition, a spatial analysis of the distribution of soil loss by landscape zones shows that there is a consistent reduction in the potential loss of soil from the forest zone (20.92 t/ha per year) to the forest-steppe (10.84 t / ha per year), steppe (8.13 t/ha per year) and semi-desert (4.7 tons/ha per year) zone.

  9. The arable plant ecosystem as battleground for emergence of human pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo eVan Overbeek

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Disease incidences related to Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica infections by consumption of (fresh vegetables, sprouts and occasionally fruits made clear that these pathogens are not only transmitted to humans via the ‘classical’ routes of meat, eggs and dairy products, but also can be transmitted to humans via plants or products derived from plants. Nowadays, it is of major concern that these human pathogens, especially the ones belonging to the taxonomical family of Enterobacteriaceae, become adapted to environmental habitats without losing their virulence to humans. Adaptation to the plant environment would lead to longer persistence in plants, increasing their chances on transmission to humans via consumption of plant-derived food. One of the mechanisms of adaptation to the plant environment in human pathogens, proposed in this paper, is horizontal transfer of genes from different microbial communities present in the arable ecosystem, like the ones originating from soil, animal digestive track systems (manure, water and plants themselves. Genes that would confer better adaptation to the phytosphere might be genes involved in plant colonization, stress resistance and nutrient acquisition and utilization. Because human pathogenic enterics often were prone to genetic exchanges via phages and conjugative plasmids, it was postulated that these genetic elements may be hold key responsible for horizontal gene transfers between human pathogens and indigenous microbes in agroproduction systems. In analogy to zoonosis, we coin the term phytonosis for a human pathogen that is transmitted via plants and not exclusively via animals.

  10. Spatial distribution of arable and abandoned land across former Soviet Union countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesiv, Myroslava; Schepaschenko, Dmitry; Moltchanova, Elena; Bun, Rostyslav; Dürauer, Martina; Prishchepov, Alexander V.; Schierhorn, Florian; Estel, Stephan; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Alcántara, Camilo; Kussul, Natalia; Shchepashchenko, Maria; Kutovaya, Olga; Martynenko, Olga; Karminov, Viktor; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Havlik, Petr; Kraxner, Florian; See, Linda; Fritz, Steffen

    2018-04-01

    Knowledge of the spatial distribution of agricultural abandonment following the collapse of the Soviet Union is highly uncertain. To help improve this situation, we have developed a new map of arable and abandoned land for 2010 at a 10 arc-second resolution. We have fused together existing land cover and land use maps at different temporal and spatial scales for the former Soviet Union (fSU) using a training data set collected from visual interpretation of very high resolution (VHR) imagery. We have also collected an independent validation data set to assess the map accuracy. The overall accuracies of the map by region and country, i.e. Caucasus, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine, are 90±2%, 84±2%, 92±1%, 78±3%, 95±1%, 83±2%, respectively. This new product can be used for numerous applications including the modelling of biogeochemical cycles, land-use modelling, the assessment of trade-offs between ecosystem services and land-use potentials (e.g., agricultural production), among others.

  11. The dissolved organic matter as a potential soil quality indicator in arable soils of Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filep, Tibor; Draskovits, Eszter; Szabó, József; Koós, Sándor; László, Péter; Szalai, Zoltán

    2015-07-01

    Although several authors have suggested that the labile fraction of soils could be a potential soil quality indicator, the possibilities and limitations of using the dissolved organic matter (DOM) fraction for this purpose have not yet been investigated. The objective of this study was to evaluate the hypothesis that DOM is an adequate indicator of soil quality. To test this, the soil quality indices (SQI) of 190 arable soils from a Hungarian dataset were estimated, and these values were compared to DOM parameters (DOC and SUVA254). A clear difference in soil quality was found between the soil types, with low soil quality for arenosols (average SQI 0.5) and significantly higher values for gleysols, vertisols, regosols, solonetzes and chernozems. The SQI-DOC relationship could be described by non-linear regression, while a linear connection was observed between SQI and SUVA. The regression equations obtained for the dataset showed only one relatively weak significant correlation between the variables, for DOC (R (2) = 0.157(***); n = 190), while non-significant relationships were found for the DOC and SUVA254 values. However, an envelope curve operated with the datasets showed the robust potential of DOC to indicate soil quality changes, with a high R (2) value for the envelope curve regression equation. The limitations to using the DOM fraction of soils as a quality indicator are due to the contradictory processes which take place in soils in many cases.

  12. Assessing and analysing the impact of land take pressures on arable land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Aksoy

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Land, and in particular soil, is a finite and essentially non-renewable resource. Across the European Union, land take, i.e. the increase of settlement area over time, annually consumes more than 1000 km2 of which half is actually sealed and hence lost under impermeable surfaces. Land take, and in particular soil sealing, has already been identified as one of the major soil threats in the 2006 European Commission Communication Towards a Thematic Strategy on Soil Protection and the Soil Thematic Strategy and has been confirmed as such in the report on the implementation of this strategy. The aim of this study is to relate the potential of land for a particular use in a given region with the actual land use. This allows evaluating whether land (especially the soil dimension is used according to its (theoretical potential. To this aim, the impact of several land cover flows related to urban development on soils with good, average, and poor production potentials were assessed and mapped. Thus, the amount and quality (potential for agricultural production of arable land lost between the years 2000 and 2006 was identified. In addition, areas with high productivity potential around urban areas, indicating areas of potential future land use conflicts for Europe, were identified.

  13. Heavy metal contamination in arable soils and vegetables around a sulfuric acid factory, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Juan [Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou (China); Department of Earth Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei (China); Wang, Jin; Li, Xiangping; Chen, Yongheng; Wu, Yingjuan [Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou (China); Qi, Jianying [South China Institute of Environmental Science, Ministry of Environmental Protection (SCIES-MEP), Guangzhou (China); Wang, Chunlin [Research Center for Environmental Science, Guangdong Provincial Academy of Environmental Science, Guangzhou (China)

    2012-07-15

    This study was designed to investigate heavy metal (Tl, Pb, Cu, Zn, and Ni) contamination levels of arable soils and vegetables grown in the vicinity of a sulfuric acid factory in the Western Guangdong Province, China. Health risks associated with these metals by consumption of vegetables were assessed based on the hazard quotient (HQ). The soils show a most significant contamination of Tl, followed by Pb, Cu, Zn, and Ni. The heavy metal contents ({mu}g/g, dry weight basis) in the edible parts of vegetables range from 5.60 to 105 for Tl, below detection limit to 227 for Pb, 5.0-30.0 for Cu, 10.0-82.9 for Zn, and 0.50-26.0 for Ni, mostly exceeding the proposed maximum permissible level in Germany or China. For the studied vegetables, the subterranean part generally bears higher contents of Tl and Zn than the aerial part, while the former has lower contents of Cu and Ni than the latter. In addition, the results reveal that Tl is the major risk contributor for the local people since its HQ values are mostly much higher than 1.0. The potential health risk of Tl pollution in the food chain and the issue of food safety should be highly concerned and kept under continued surveillance and control. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  14. Ecotoxicological Impact of the Bioherbicide Leptospermone on the Microbial Community of Two Arable Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romdhane, Sana; Devers-Lamrani, Marion; Barthelmebs, Lise; Calvayrac, Christophe; Bertrand, Cédric; Cooper, Jean-François; Dayan, Franck E.; Martin-Laurent, Fabrice

    2016-01-01

    The ecotoxicological impact of leptospermone, a β-triketone bioherbicide, on the bacterial community of two arable soils was investigated. Soil microcosms were exposed to 0 × (control), 1 × or 10 × recommended dose of leptospermone. The β-triketone was moderately adsorbed to both soils (i.e.,: Kfa ~ 1.2 and Koc ~ 140 mL g−1). Its dissipation was lower in sterilized than in unsterilized soils suggesting that it was mainly influenced by biotic factors. Within 45 days, leptospermone disappeared almost entirely from one of the two soils (i.e., DT50 < 10 days), while 25% remained in the other. The composition of the microbial community assessed by qPCR targeting 11 microbial groups was found to be significantly modified in soil microcosms exposed to leptospermone. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons showed a shift in the bacterial community structure and a significant impact of leptospermone on the diversity of the soil bacterial community. Changes in the composition, and in the α- and β-diversity of microbial community were transient in the soil able to fully dissipate the leptospermone, but were persistent in the soil where β-triketone remained. To conclude the bacterial community of the two soils was sensitive to leptospermone and its resilience was observed only when leptospermone was fully dissipated. PMID:27252691

  15. Distribution and Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Arable Soils in Bijiang Watershed, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HUANG Wei-heng

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available It has been paid much attention to soil heavy metal pollution in the Bijiang watershed caused by the Lanping lead-zinc mine. We collected 35 arable soil samples along Bijiang, then sampled and tested the contents of As, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Hg. And then with Nemerow Multi-Factor Index and the Potential Ecological Risk Index method, we evaluated the heavy metal pollution risk. The results showed:(1The accumulation of Pb, Zn, Cd was in a relatively high level, the average was 1 146.97, 579.15, 4.85 mg·kg-1 respectively, which was seriously polluted; the average accumulation of As was 26.85 mg·kg-1; but Cu, Hg was slightly polluted. (2Statistical analysis showed that Lanping area was a main point source pollution of As, Zn, Pb, Cd, while Cu, Hg was pollution caused by different non-point source pollution.(3Within this basin, the Nemerow index was 17.69, which was serious heavy metal pollution, while the comprehensive potential ecological risk index was 773.38, which was a strong potential ecological risk. The contribution of pollutants was Cd > Pb > Zn> As> Hg > Cu. (4As a whole, the soil heavy metal pollution of paddy field was higher than of the dry land.

  16. Impacts of crop insurance on water withdrawals for irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deryugina, Tatyana; Konar, Megan

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural production remains particularly vulnerable to weather fluctuations and extreme events, such as droughts, floods, and heat waves. Crop insurance is a risk management tool developed to mitigate some of this weather risk and protect farmer income in times of poor production. However, crop insurance may have unintended consequences for water resources sustainability, as the vast majority of freshwater withdrawals go to agriculture. The causal impact of crop insurance on water use in agriculture remains poorly understood. Here, we determine the empirical relationship between crop insurance and irrigation water withdrawals in the United States. Importantly, we use an instrumental variables approach to establish causality. Our methodology exploits a major policy change in the crop insurance system - the 1994 Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act - which imposed crop insurance requirements on farmers. We find that a 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.223% increase in irrigation withdrawals, with most coming from groundwater aquifers. We identify farmers growing more groundwater-fed cotton as an important mechanism contributing to increased withdrawals. A 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.624% increase in cotton acreage, or 95,602 acres. These results demonstrate that crop insurance causally leads to more irrigation withdrawals. More broadly, this work underscores the importance of determining causality in the water-food nexus as we endeavor to achieve global food security and water resources sustainability.

  17. Influence of ecohydrologic feedbacks from simulated crop growth on integrated regional hydrologic simulations under climate scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Walsum, P. E. V.; Supit, I.

    2012-06-01

    Hydrologic climate change modelling is hampered by climate-dependent model parameterizations. To reduce this dependency, we extended the regional hydrologic modelling framework SIMGRO to host a two-way coupling between the soil moisture model MetaSWAP and the crop growth simulation model WOFOST, accounting for ecohydrologic feedbacks in terms of radiation fraction that reaches the soil, crop coefficient, interception fraction of rainfall, interception storage capacity, and root zone depth. Except for the last, these feedbacks are dependent on the leaf area index (LAI). The influence of regional groundwater on crop growth is included via a coupling to MODFLOW. Two versions of the MetaSWAP-WOFOST coupling were set up: one with exogenous vegetation parameters, the "static" model, and one with endogenous crop growth simulation, the "dynamic" model. Parameterization of the static and dynamic models ensured that for the current climate the simulated long-term averages of actual evapotranspiration are the same for both models. Simulations were made for two climate scenarios and two crops: grass and potato. In the dynamic model, higher temperatures in a warm year under the current climate resulted in accelerated crop development, and in the case of potato a shorter growing season, thus partly avoiding the late summer heat. The static model has a higher potential transpiration; depending on the available soil moisture, this translates to a higher actual transpiration. This difference between static and dynamic models is enlarged by climate change in combination with higher CO2 concentrations. Including the dynamic crop simulation gives for potato (and other annual arable land crops) systematically higher effects on the predicted recharge change due to climate change. Crop yields from soils with poor water retention capacities strongly depend on capillary rise if moisture supply from other sources is limited. Thus, including a crop simulation model in an integrated

  18. Using the CLM Crop Model to assess the impacts of changes in Climate, Atmospheric CO2, Irrigation, Fertilizer and Geographic Distribution on Historical and Future Crop Yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, P.

    2015-12-01

    Since the start of the green revolution global crop yields have increased linearly for most major cereal crops, so that present day global values are around twice those of the 1960s. The increase in crop yields have allowed for large increases in global agricultural production without correspondingly large increases in cropping area. Future projections under the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP) framework and other assessments result in increases of global crop production of greater than 100% by the year 2050. In order to meet this increased agricultural demand within the available arable land, future production gains need to be understood in terms of the yield changes due to changes in climate, atmospheric CO2, and adaptive management such as irrigation and fertilizer application. In addition to the changes in crop yield, future agricultural demand will need to be met through increasing cropping areas into what are currently marginal lands at the cost of existing forests and other natural ecosystems. In this study we assess the utility of the crop model within the Community Land Model (CLM Crop) to provide both historical and future guidance on changes in crop yields under a range of global idealized crop modeling experiments. The idealized experiments follow the experimental design of the AgMIP Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison (GGCMI) in which CLM Crop is a participating model. The idealized experiments consist of global crop simulations for Cotton, Maize, Rice, Soy, Sugarcane, and Wheat under various climate, atmospheric CO2 levels, irrigation prescription, and nitrogen fertilizer application. The time periods simulated for the experiments are for the Historical period (1901 - 2005), and for the two Representative Concentration Pathways of RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 (2006 - 2100). Each crop is simulated on all land grid cells globally for each time period with atmospheric forcing that is a combination of: 1. transient climate and CO2; 2. transient climate

  19. The Danish energy crop research and development project - main conclusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gylling, Morten

    2003-01-01

    Production of energy crops in Denmark is more or less non-existent in Denmark at the time being. However, the need for biomass on the other side of year 2005 exceeds the existing biomass resources and a substantial amount of energy crops will be necessary in order to fulfil the goals in Energy 21. The targeted share of the use of renewable energy sources by year 2030 is approximately 30%. Energy crops are seen as the most important new resource in order to create a balanced input mix of renewable in the energy system. The energy crops are mainly seen as fuel in small and medium sized CHP plants and in the big power plants. The Danish energy crop project consists of three main parts: a demonstration part, a research and development part, and an overall assessment part. Based on the results from the project the following overall conclusions can be made: Seen from a strictly market and production economic point of view energy crops will not be competitive in a foreseeable future, neither as a production for farmers nor as a fuel at the utility companies; The costs per GJ of energy crops are still higher than a GJ of straw; The cost difference between annual and perennial energy crops are slightly in favour of perennials, however the conditions on the individual farms should govern the choice between annual and perennial energy crops; Energy crops must be seen as part of an overall environmental scheme covering both agriculture and the energy sector; Given the right production scheme energy crops can be grown on environmental sensitive areas and on most ground water protection areas; Adding the potential sustainability benefits like reduced nutrient leakage and reduced CO 2 emissions energy crops seem to be a sensible and sustainable solution; Due to different handling, storage and fuel characteristics an all year delivery scheme of energy crops should include a mix of different energy crops to keep overall cost down. (BA)

  20. Plant litter decomposition and carbon sequestration for arable soils. Final report of works. April 2005; Biodegradation des litieres et sequestration du carbone dans les ecosystemes cultives et perennes. Rapport final des travaux Avril 2005

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Recous, S.; Barrois, F.; Coppens, F.; Garnier, P.; Grehan, E. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques (INRA), Unite d' Agronomie Laon-Reims-Mons (France); Balesdent, J. [CNRS-CEA-Univ.de la Mediterranee, UMR 6191, Lab. d' Ecologie Microbienne de la Rhizosphere, 13 - Saint Paul lez Durance (France); Dambrine, E.; Zeller, B. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques (INRA), Unite Biogeochimie des Ecosystemes Forestiers, 54 - Nancy (France); Loiseau, P.; Personeni, E. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques (INRA), Unite d' Agronomie, 63 - Clermont-Ferrand (France)

    2002-07-01

    The general objective of this project was to contribute to the evaluation of land use and management impacts on C sequestration and nitrogen dynamics in soils. The land used through the presence/absence of crops and their species, and the land management through tillage, localisation of crop residues, fertilizer applications,... are important factors that affect the dynamics of organic matters in soils, particularly the mineralization of C and N, the losses to the atmosphere and hydrosphere, the retention of carbon into the soil. This project was conducted by four research groups, three of them having expertise in nutrient cycling of three major agro-ecosystems (arable crops, grasslands, forests) and the fourth one having expertise in modelling long term effects of land use on C storage into the soils. Within this common project one major objective was to better understand the fate of plant litter entering the soil either as above litter or as root litter. The focus was put on two factors that particularly affect decomposition: the initial biochemical quality of plant litter, and the location of the decomposing litter. One innovative aspect of the project was the use of stable isotope as {sup 13}C for carbon, based on the use of enriched or depleted {sup 13}C material, the only option to assess the dynamics of 'new' C entering the soil on the short term, in order to reveal the effects of decomposition factors. Another aspect was the simultaneous study of C and N. The project consisted in experiments relevant for each agro-ecosystem, in forest, grassland and arable soils for which interactions between residue quality and nitrogen availability on the one hand, residue quality and location on the other hand, was investigated. A common experiment was set up to investigate the potential degradability of the various residue used (beech leaf rape straw, young rye, Lolium and dactylic roots) in a their original soils and in a single soil was assessed. Based on

  1. Assessment of Relationships between Earthworms and Soil Abiotic and Biotic Factors as a Tool in Sustainable Agricultural

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radoslava Kanianska

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Earthworms are a major component of soil fauna communities. They influence soil chemical, biological, and physical processes and vice versa, their abundance and diversity are influenced by natural characteristics or land management practices. There is need to establish their characteristics and relations. In this study earthworm density (ED, body biomass (EB, and diversity in relation to land use (arable land—AL, permanent grasslands—PG, management, and selected abiotic (soil chemical, physical, climate related and biotic (arthropod density and biomass, ground beetle density, carabid density indicators were analysed at seven different study sites in Slovakia. On average, the density of earthworms was nearly twice as high in PG compared to AL. Among five soil types used as arable land, Fluvisols created the most suitable conditions for earthworm abundance and biomass. We recorded a significant correlation between ED, EB and soil moisture in arable land. In permanent grasslands, the main climate related factor was soil temperature. Relationships between earthworms and some chemical properties (pH, available nutrients were observed only in arable land. Our findings indicate trophic interaction between earthworms and carabids in organically managed arable land. Comprehensive assessment of observed relationships can help in earthworm management to achieve sustainable agricultural systems.

  2. Heavy metal content in ash of energy crops growing in sewage-contaminated natural wetlands: Potential applications in agriculture and forestry?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonanno, Giuseppe; Cirelli, Giuseppe Luigi; Toscano, Attilio; Giudice, Rosa Lo; Pavone, Pietro

    2013-01-01

    One of the greatest current challenges is to find cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions to the ever increasing needs of modern society. Some plant species are suitable for a multitude of biotechnological applications such as bioenergy production and phytoremediation. A sustainable practice is to use energy crops to clean up polluted lands or to treat wastewater in constructed wetlands without claiming further arable land for biofuel production. However, the disposal of combustion by-products may add significant costs to the whole process, especially when it deals with toxic waste. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of recycling ash from energy biomass as a fertilizer for agriculture and forestry. In particular, the concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn were analyzed in the plant tissues and corresponding ash of the grasses Phragmites australis and Arundo donax, collected in an urban stream affected by domestic sewage. Results showed that the metal concentration in ash is 1.5–3 times as high as the values in plant tissues. However, metal enriched ash showed much lower element concentrations than the legal limits for ash reutilization in agriculture and forestry. This study found that biomass ash from constructed wetlands may be considered as a potential fertilizer rather than hazardous waste. Energy from biomass can be a really sustainable and clean option not only through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also through ash recycling for beneficial purposes, thus minimizing the negative impacts of disposal. - Highlights: • Metal content in ash reflects the element concentrations in Phragmites australis and Arundo donax. • Metal enriched ash of both species may be recycled as fertilizers in agriculture and forestry. • Constructed wetlands may produce a large amount of plant ash-based fertilizers from P. australis and A. donax

  3. Heavy metal content in ash of energy crops growing in sewage-contaminated natural wetlands: Potential applications in agriculture and forestry?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonanno, Giuseppe, E-mail: bonanno.giuseppe@unict.it [Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, Via Longo 19, 95125, Catania (Italy); Cirelli, Giuseppe Luigi; Toscano, Attilio [Department of Agri-Food and Environmental Systems Management, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 100, 95123, Catania (Italy); Giudice, Rosa Lo; Pavone, Pietro [Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, Via Longo 19, 95125, Catania (Italy)

    2013-05-01

    One of the greatest current challenges is to find cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions to the ever increasing needs of modern society. Some plant species are suitable for a multitude of biotechnological applications such as bioenergy production and phytoremediation. A sustainable practice is to use energy crops to clean up polluted lands or to treat wastewater in constructed wetlands without claiming further arable land for biofuel production. However, the disposal of combustion by-products may add significant costs to the whole process, especially when it deals with toxic waste. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of recycling ash from energy biomass as a fertilizer for agriculture and forestry. In particular, the concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn were analyzed in the plant tissues and corresponding ash of the grasses Phragmites australis and Arundo donax, collected in an urban stream affected by domestic sewage. Results showed that the metal concentration in ash is 1.5–3 times as high as the values in plant tissues. However, metal enriched ash showed much lower element concentrations than the legal limits for ash reutilization in agriculture and forestry. This study found that biomass ash from constructed wetlands may be considered as a potential fertilizer rather than hazardous waste. Energy from biomass can be a really sustainable and clean option not only through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also through ash recycling for beneficial purposes, thus minimizing the negative impacts of disposal. - Highlights: • Metal content in ash reflects the element concentrations in Phragmites australis and Arundo donax. • Metal enriched ash of both species may be recycled as fertilizers in agriculture and forestry. • Constructed wetlands may produce a large amount of plant ash-based fertilizers from P. australis and A. donax.

  4. Cover crops mitigate direct greenhouse gases balance but reduce drainage under climate change scenarios in temperate climate with dry summers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tribouillois, Hélène; Constantin, Julie; Justes, Eric

    2018-02-14

    Cover crops provide ecosystem services such as storing atmospheric carbon in soils after incorporation of their residues. Cover crops also influence soil water balance, which can be an issue in temperate climates with dry summers as for example in southern France and Europe. As a consequence, it is necessary to understand cover crops' long-term influence on greenhouse gases (GHG) and water balances to assess their potential to mitigate climate change in arable cropping systems. We used the previously calibrated and validated soil-crop model STICS to simulate scenarios of cover crop introduction to assess their influence on rainfed and irrigated cropping systems and crop rotations distributed among five contrasted sites in southern France from 2007 to 2052. Our results showed that cover crops can improve mean direct GHG balance by 315 kg CO 2 e ha -1  year -1 in the long term compared to that of bare soil. This was due mainly to an increase in carbon storage in the soil despite a slight increase in N 2 O emissions which can be compensated by adapting fertilization. Cover crops also influence the water balance by reducing mean annual drainage by 20 mm/year but increasing mean annual evapotranspiration by 20 mm/year compared to those of bare soil. Using cover crops to improve the GHG balance may help to mitigate climate change by decreasing CO 2 e emitted in cropping systems which can represent a decrease from 4.5% to 9% of annual GHG emissions of the French agriculture and forestry sector. However, if not well managed, they also could create water management issues in watersheds with shallow groundwater. Relationships between cover crop biomass and its influence on several variables such as drainage, carbon sequestration, and GHG emissions could be used to extend our results to other conditions to assess the cover crops' influence in a wider range of areas. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Distribution patterns of segetal weeds of cereal crops in tajikistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowak, A.; Nowak, S.

    2015-01-01

    Using the literature data and field research conducted in 2009-2013 the distribution patterns, habitat conditions, phytogeographical characterisation and endangerment of weeds occurring in cereal crops in Tajikistan were analysed. We found out that Tajik weed flora of cereal crops counts 686 taxa. The most species rich families include Asteraceae, Poaceae and Fabaceae. The highest number of cereal weeds were noted in large river valleys of Syr-Daria, Amu-Daria and their tributaries in south-western and northern Tajikistan. This subregions have the warmest climate conditions and extensive arable lands. The greatest weed species richness was observed in submontane and montane elevations between approx. 700 and 1,900 m a.s. Cereal weeds occur frequently outside segetal communities in Tajikistan. They were noted usually in screes, wastelands, xerothermophilous grasslands, river gravel beds and in steppes habitats. The assessment of threat status reveals that ca. 33% of total cereal weed flora in Tajikistan are disappearing or occur very rarely. According to the chorological data we find that in the cereals of Tajikistan, 35 endemic and 14 subendemic species occur. The most numerous chorological elements of threatened weed flora of Tajikistan are Irano-Turanian (55%), pluriregional (16%), cosmopolitan (14,5%), Mediterranean (9%) and Eurosiberian (5%) species. Further research is suggested to explore the distribution patterns of all weed species in Tajikistan as it should be useful for economy and effectiveness of crop production as well as conservation of most valuable species. (author)

  6. Biomass energy: Sustainable solution for greenhouse gas emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadrul Islam, A. K. M.; Ahiduzzaman, M.

    2012-06-01

    Biomass is part of the carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide is produced after combustion of biomass. Over a relatively short timescale, carbon dioxide is renewed from atmosphere during next generation of new growth of green vegetation. Contribution of renewable energy including hydropower, solar, biomass and biofuel in total primary energy consumption in world is about 19%. Traditional biomass alone contributes about 13% of total primary energy consumption in the world. The number of traditional biomass energy users expected to rise from 2.5 billion in 2004 to 2.6 billion in 2015 and to 2.7 billion in 2030 for cooking in developing countries. Residential biomass demand in developing countries is projected to rise from 771 Mtoe in 2004 to 818 Mtoe in 2030. The main sources of biomass are wood residues, bagasse, rice husk, agro-residues, animal manure, municipal and industrial waste etc. Dedicated energy crops such as short-rotation coppice, grasses, sugar crops, starch crops and oil crops are gaining importance and market share as source of biomass energy. Global trade in biomass feedstocks and processed bioenergy carriers are growing rapidly. There are some drawbacks of biomass energy utilization compared to fossil fuels viz: heterogeneous and uneven composition, lower calorific value and quality deterioration due to uncontrolled biodegradation. Loose biomass also is not viable for transportation. Pelletization, briquetting, liquefaction and gasification of biomass energy are some options to solve these problems. Wood fuel production is very much steady and little bit increase in trend, however, the forest land is decreasing, means the deforestation is progressive. There is a big challenge for sustainability of biomass resource and environment. Biomass energy can be used to reduce greenhouse emissions. Woody biomass such as briquette and pellet from un-organized biomass waste and residues could be used for alternative to wood fuel, as a result, forest will be saved and

  7. Science management in the Plant Health Research Institute and its contribution to the environment protection and sustainability of the Cuban agricultural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muiño-García Berta Lina

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The mission of INISAV is to contribute to the reduction of risks and losses by pests without affecting the environment on a sustainable basis. Its management is based on a science model linked with environment and characterized by 4 phases: the planning of research’s, their implementation, validation and adoption in the agriculture practice. Three main results of research are described: Biological control Program (PBC, Pest Management Programs (PMP and the Elimination of the use of methyl bromide. A national network of 251 Laboratories for reproduction of entomophagues and entomopathogens (CREE was designed and implemented, together with 4 biopesticide production plants. Thirteen (13 biological products and technologies were created. Furthermore, pest management programs (PMP were extended in more than 25 crops for conventional and agro-ecological systems, as well as adoption of PMP to replace methyl bromide. The impacts of the results to the environment, agricultural production, the country's economy, and rural communities, were confirmed by the significant reduction of imports of chemical pesticides, from 40 000 t in 1974 to about 3000 t in 2012. In 1988 the arable area benefited by bioproducts was 300 000 ha while in 2012 amounted to 1 354 000 ha. The elimination of 80 t of methyl bromide in tobacco, 35 t in the other sectors, the reduction of other agrochemicals, the incorporation of biological control applications and some management measures, are considered the main basis for sustainability in crops. At present, 72% of the total area planted is under applications of pesticides in PMP. Of these, 38% with only biological products, 34% the combination of biological and chemical pesticides and in the remaining 28% apply phytosanitary alternatives included in the pest management programs.

  8. Wettability, soil organic matter and structure-properties of typical chernozems under the forest and under the arable land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bykova, Galina; Umarova, Aminat; Tyugai, Zemfira; Milanovskiy, Evgeny; Shein, Evgeny

    2017-04-01

    Intensive tillage affects the properties of soil: decrease in content of soil organic matter and in hydrophobicity of the soil's solid phase, the reduction of amount of water stable aggregates - all this leads to deterioration of the structure of the soil and affects the process of movement of moisture in the soil profile. One of the hypotheses of soil's structure formation ascribes the formation of water stable aggregates with the presence of hydrophobic organic substances on the surface of the soil's solid phase. The aim of this work is to study the effect of tillage on properties of typical chernozems (pachic Voronic Chernozems, Haplic Chernozems) (Russia, Kursk region), located under the forest and under the arable land. The determination of soil-water contact angle was performed by a Drop Shape Analyzer DSA100 (Krüss GmbH, Germany) by the static sessile drop method. For all samples the content of total and organic carbon by dry combustion in oxygen flow and the particle size distribution by the laser diffraction method on the device Analysette 22 comfort, FRITCH, Germany were determined. The estimation of aggregate composition was performed by dry sieving (AS 200, Retsch, Germany), the content of water stable aggregates was estimated by the Savvinov method. There was a positive correlation between the content of organic matter and soil's wettability in studied soils, a growth of contact angle with the increasing the content of organic matter. Under the forest the content of soil organic matter was changed from 6,41% on the surface up to 1,9% at the depth of 100 cm. In the Chernozem under the arable land the organic carbon content in arable horizon is almost two times less. The maximum of hydrophobicity (78.1o) was observed at the depth of 5 cm under the forest. In the profile under the arable land the contact angle value at the same depth was 50o. The results of the structure analysis has shown a decrease in the content of agronomically valuable and water

  9. Responsive Polymers for Crop Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serban F. Peteu

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available This review outlines the responsive polymer methods currently in use with their potential application to plant protection and puts forward plant-specific mechanisms as stimuli in newly devised methods for smart release of crop protection agents (CPAs. CPAs include chemicals (fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, biochemicals (antibiotics, RNA-based vaccines for plant viruses, semiochemicals (pheromones, repellents, allomones, microbial pesticides, growth regulators (insect and plant or micronutrients, all with crop protection effects. This appraisal focuses on emerging uses of polymer nano-encapsulated CPAs. Firstly, the most interesting advances in controlled release methods are critically discussed with their advantages and drawbacks. Secondly, several plant-specific stimuli-based smart methods are anticipated for use alongside the polymer nano- or micro-capsules. These new CPA release methods are designed to (i protect plants against infection produced by fungi or bacteria, and (ii apply micro-nutrients when the plants need it the most. Thus, we foresee (i the responsive release of nano- encapsulated bio-insecticides regulated by plant stress enzymes, and (ii the delivery of micro-nutrients synchronized by the nature or intensity of plant root exudates. Such continued advances of nano-scale smart polymer-based CPAs for the protection of crops herald a “small revolution” for the benefit of sustainable agriculture.

  10. Macronutrients and trace metals in soil and food crops of Isfahan Province, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keshavarzi, Behnam; Moore, Farid; Ansari, Maryam; Rastegari Mehr, Meisam; Kaabi, Helena; Kermani, Maryam

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of 10 macronutrients and trace metals in the arable soils of Isfahan Province, their phytoavailability, and associated health risks were investigated; 134 plant and 114 soil samples (from 114 crop fields) were collected and analyzed at harvesting time. Calculation of the soil pollution index (SPI) revealed that arable soil polluted by metals was more severe in the north and southwest of the study area. The results of cluster analysis indicated that Pb, Zn, and Cu share a similar origin from industries and traffic. The concentrations of macronutrients and trace metals in the sampled crops were found in the order of K > Ca > S > Mg > P and Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu > Pb, respectively, whereas calculation of the bioconcentration factor (BCF) indicated that the accumulation of the investigated elements in crops was generally in the order of S ≈ K > P > Mg > Ca and Zn > Cu > Mn > Pb > Fe, respectively. Thus, various parameters including crop species and the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil also affected the bioavailability of the elements besides the total element contents in soil. Daily intake (DI) values of elements were lower than the recommended daily intake (RDI) levels in rice grains except for Fe and Mn, but for wheat grains, all elements displayed DI values higher than the RDI. Moreover, based on the hazard index (HI) values, inhabitants are experiencing a significant potential health risk solely due to the consumption of wheat and rice grains (particularly wheat grains). Mn health quotient (HQ) also indicated a high risk of Mn absorption for crop consumer inhabitants.

  11. The CSAICLAWPS project: a multi-scalar, multi-data source approach to providing climate services for both modelling of climate change impacts on crop yields and development of community-level adaptive capacity for sustainable food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsythe, N. D.; Fowler, H. J.

    2017-12-01

    The "Climate-smart agriculture implementation through community-focused pursuit of land and water productivity in South Asia" (CSAICLAWPS) project is a research initiative funded by the (UK) Royal Society through its Challenge Grants programme which is part of the broader UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). CSAICLAWPS has three objectives: a) development of "added-value" - bias assessed, statistically down-scaled - climate projections for selected case study sites across South Asia; b) investigation of crop failure modes under both present (observed) and future (projected) conditions; and c) facilitation of developing local adaptive capacity and resilience through stakeholder engagement. At AGU we will be presenting both next steps and progress to date toward these three objectives: [A] We have carried out bias assessments of a substantial multi-model RCM ensemble (MME) from the CORDEX South Asia (CORDEXdomain for case studies in three countries - Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka - and (stochastically) produced synthetic time-series for these sites from local observations using a Python-based implementation of the principles underlying the Climate Research Unit Weather Generator (CRU-WG) in order to enable probabilistic simulation of current crop yields. [B] We have characterised present response of local crop yields to climate variability in key case study sites using AquaCrop simulations parameterised based on input (agronomic practices, soil conditions, etc) from smallholder farmers. [C] We have implemented community-based hydro-climatological monitoring in several case study "revenue villages" (panchayats) in the Nainital District of Uttarakhand. The purpose of this is not only to increase availability of meteorological data, but also has the aspiration of, over time, leading to enhanced quantitative awareness of present climate variability and potential future conditions (as projected by RCMs). Next steps in our work will include: 1) future crop yield

  12. The scientific grand challenges of the 21st century for the Crop Science Society of America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop science is a highly integrative science field employing expertise from multiple disciplines to broaden our understanding of agronomic, turf, and forage crops. A major goal of crop science is to ensure an adequate and sustainable production of food, feed, fuel, and fiber for our world’s growing ...

  13. Summary of the subsidy regulations and the exploitation result of wood on arable land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1994-01-01

    Part of the EWAB program concerns studies on the feasibility of a large-scale implementation of energy crops in the Netherlands. Next to developments of the processing and conversion techniques attention is paid to the cultivation of crops. The aim of the study on the title subject is to gain insight in the application of relevant subsidy regulations for energy wood, and to determine the costs and benefits for the farmer of energy crops. The overview of subsidies concern support from the European Community, support for projects, and fiscal consequences of wood cultivation. Exploitation results are calculated for two concepts: (1) a four year harvest and a cultivation period of 24 years. Also, the Dutch calculations are compared to results of energy wood exploitation in Sweden; and (2) a comparison of cultivation of wheat, barley, sugar beet, potatoes and energy wood for six different production areas in the Netherlands. 3 figs., 5 appendices

  14. Hierarchical Satellite-based Approach to Global Monitoring of Crop Condition and Food Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Y.; Wu, B.; Gommes, R.; Zhang, M.; Zhang, N.; Zeng, H.; Zou, W.; Yan, N.

    2014-12-01

    The assessment of global food security goes beyond the mere estimate of crop production: It needs to take into account the spatial and temporal patterns of food availability, as well as physical and economic access. Accurate and timely information is essential to both food producers and consumers. Taking advantage of multiple new remote sensing data sources, especially from Chinese satellites, such as FY-2/3A, HJ-1 CCD, CropWatch has expanded the scope of its international analyses through the development of new indicators and an upgraded operational methodology. The new monitoring approach adopts a hierarchical system covering four spatial levels of detail: global (sixty-five Monitoring and Reporting Units, MRU), seven major production zones (MPZ), thirty-one key countries (including China) and "sub- countries." The thirty-one countries encompass more that 80% of both global exports and production of four major crops (maize, rice, soybean and wheat). The methodology resorts to climatic and remote sensing indicators at different scales, using the integrated information to assess global, regional, and national (as well as sub-national) crop environmental condition, crop condition, drought, production, and agricultural trends. The climatic indicators for rainfall, temperature, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) as well as potential biomass are first analysed at global scale to describe overall crop growing conditions. At MPZ scale, the key indicators pay more attention to crops and include Vegetation health index (VHI), Vegetation condition index (VCI), Cropped arable land fraction (CALF) as well as Cropping intensity (CI). Together, they characterise agricultural patterns, farming intensity and stress. CropWatch carries out detailed crop condition analyses for thirty one individual countries at the national scale with a comprehensive array of variables and indicators. The Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), cropped areas and crop condition are

  15. Dynamics of plant nutrient uptake as affected by biopore-associated root growth in arable subsoil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Han, Eusun; Kautz, Timo; Huang, Ning

    2017-01-01

    %) precrops, respectively. On average root diameter and root dry mass of following crops were greater by 11 and 15 % after chicory than tall fescue. At anthesis chicory-barley treatment accumulated 10 % more K in comparison to tall fescue-barley treatment. P uptake of canola was greater (7 %) after tall...... fescue compared with chicory at the stage of fruit development. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the subsoil heterogenization by altered soil biopores hold relevance for plant root growth and overall crop performance. However, the effects depended on biopore size classes, root characteristics...

  16. Identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems in East Asia and Latin America with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair, Graeme

    2002-01-01

    Between 1979/81 and 1999 livestock numbers increased throughout S.E. Asia and Tropical America despite the increasing human population density in these regions Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand dominate the large ruminant population in S.E. Asia. . The large ruminant population in these countries is dwarfed by that in China. In tropical America Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela have the largest large ruminant populations . In S.E. Asia, between 1979/81 and 1999, cattle numbers increased by 91% but buffalo numbers decreased by 3%. The cattle population in Tropical America has increased by 19%. The largest small ruminant population in S. E. Asia occurs in Indonesia and, in Tropical America, in Brazil and Mexico. There has been a very significant (90%) increase in small ruminants in S.E. Asia. The major needs of the largely cut and carry systems used in much of S E Asia and Africa is to provide a year-round supply of high quality forages to supplement low quality crop residues and forages cut from roadsides and wastelands. Because of the reluctance of farmers to fertilise forages in these systems it is an imperative that the flow of nutrients from the soil to the plant and then to the animal be as efficient as possible. In the past legumes, particularly tree and shrub legumes, have been the preferred supplementary forage supply but as systems become more intensive increased attention needs to be paid to N fertilised grasses and direct supplementation of animals with N, P, and other nutrients. The research to be undertaken needs to trace the flow and balance of nutrients (particularly N,P,K,S,Zn and C) through the plant production cycle, particularly the recycling of nutrients when associated with carbon in crop residues and specialist supplementary fodder crops. Studies are also needed on the efficiency of animal feeding and nutrient utilisation, especially in the re- utilisation of manure, urine and bedding material in subsequent crop production. Additional research is

  17. Structural properties of dissolved organic carbon in deep soil horizons of an arable and temporarily grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavaud, A.; Chabbi, A.; Croue, J. P.

    2009-04-01

    It is commonly accepted that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the bio-available fraction of the largest amount of soil organic matter (SOM), even if it does represent only a very small proportion. Because most of the studies on DOC dynamics were mainly restricted to forest soils, studies on the factors governing the dynamics of DOC in deep soil horizons (>1 m) in arable system are still very little limited. The objective of this work is to better define the proportion of DOC in deep soil horizons and indicate their main characteristics and structural properties. The study was conducted on the long term observatory for environmental research- biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity Lusignan site). DOC collected using lysimeters plates inserted to a depth of 105 cm was fractionated into 3 fractions using the two column array of XAD-8 and XAD-4 resins. The HPO (hydrophobic) fraction (i.e. humic substances) isolated from the XAD-8 resin, the TPH (Transphilic) fraction from the XAD-4 resin and the HPI (hydrophilic) fraction which corresponds to the DOC that does not adsorbed onto the two resins under the acid condition used (pH 2). DOM adsorbed onto the resins is recovered with a 75%/25% acetonitrile/water mixture and lyophilized. Depend on the amount of material; the chemical composition of DOC was performed using UV254 nm, fluorescence EEM, NMR and HPSEC/UV/COD. The results show that the concentration and structural properties of DOC in deep soil horizon were similar to those of groundwater (low SUVA (1.2 m-1.L.mg C-1), structures composed mainly of low molecular weight). Because of the relatively recent establishment of the treatment, the monitoring of the dynamics of the DOC concentrations did not show significant differences between arable and grassland. However, the temporal dynamic shows a slight increase in the DOC content regardless of the of land use. DOC concentrations between winter and the middle of spring tend to double going from 1 to 2.5 mg / L and then

  18. A Global Perspective on the Sustainable Performance of Urbanization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyin Shen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization, particularly in developing countries, is a major strategy for development. However, major concerns accompany it, such as air pollution, habitat destruction, and loss of arable land. In responding to these challenges, governments throughout the world have been implementing various policy mechanisms to guide the practice of urbanization towards sustainable development. It appears that there is little research investigating the outcomes of those efforts in implementing sustainable urbanization strategies. This paper provides a profile of sustainable urbanization from a global perspective. Data used for this research cover 111 countries and are collected from the World Bank database and the United Nation database. A ranking list of sustainable performance of urbanization between these countries is produced and discussed. The study suggests that countries at different stages of urbanization have achieved different levels of sustainable performance. The research results provide significant references for future study in the field of urbanization from a global perspective.

  19. Crop and livestock enterprise integration: Livestock impacts on forage, stover, and grain production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enterprise diversity is the key to ensure productive and sustainable agriculture for the future. Integration of crops and livestock enterprises is one way to improve agricultural sustainability, and take advantage of beneficial enterprise synergistic effects. Our objectives were to develop cropping ...

  20. Nitrogen removal in shallow groundwater below three arable land systems in a high nitrogen loading region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, X.; Zhou, W.

    2017-12-01

    The Taihu Lake region (TLR) is one of the most intensive agricultural regions with high nitrogen (N) loading in eastern China. Large inputs of synthetic N fertilizer have led to a series of environmental problems including eutrophication of surface waters, nitrate (NO3-) pollution of groundwater. To fully evaluate the risk of NO3- on groundwater environments, it is necessary to know the natural NO3- removal ability. In this study, denitrification capacity was assessed for two years through measuring the concentration of different N species (NO3-, NH4+, TN, excess N2 and dissolved N2O) in groundwater below three typical agricultural land-use types in the TLR. The results suggested that the conversion of paddy field (PF) to vineyard (VY) and vegetable (VF) significantly increased the groundwater NO3-N concentration, but denitrification consumed 76%, 83% and 65% of the groundwater NO3-N in VY, VF and PF, respectively. Because of the low O2 and high DOC concentrations in groundwater, denitrification activity was high in the study sites, resulting in high excess N2 accumulation in groundwater, and the concentration even exceeded the total active N in the deep layer. The large amounts of excess N2 observed in the VY and VF over all the sample times indicated that considerable N was stored as gaseous N2 in groundwater and should not be ignored in balancing N budgets in aquifers where denitrification is high. Our results also demonstrated that the indirect N2O emission factor (EF5-g) in VY (0.0052)and VF (0.0057)was significantly higher than PF (0.0011)as well as higher than the IPCC default values (0.0025. In view of the increasing trend of paddy fields being converted to uplands combined with the low GWT in the TLR, we thus concluded that the risk of NO3- contamination in groundwater and indirect N2O emission will intensify below arable land.

  1. Nutrient production from dairy cattle manure and loading on arable land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seunggun Won

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective Along with increasing livestock products via intensive rearing, the accumulation of livestock manure has become a serious issue due to the fact that there is finite land for livestock manure recycling via composting. The nutrients from livestock manure accumulate on agricultural land and the excess disembogues into streams causing eutrophication. In order to systematically manage nutrient loading on agricultural land, quantifying the amount of nutrients according to their respective sources is very important. However, there is a lack of research concerning nutrient loss from livestock manure during composting or storage on farms. Therefore, in the present study we quantified the nutrients from dairy cattle manure that were imparted onto agricultural land. Methods Through investigation of 41 dairy farms, weight reduction and volatile solids (VS, total nitrogen (TN, and total phosphorus (TP changes of dairy cattle manure during the storage and composting periods were analyzed. In order to support the direct investigation and survey on site, the three cases of weight reduction during the storing and composting periods were developed according to i experiment, ii reference, and iii theoretical changes in phosphorus content (ΔP = 0. Results The data revealed the nutrient loading coefficients (NLCs of VS, TN, and TP on agricultural land were 1.48, 0.60, and 0.66, respectively. These values indicated that the loss of nitrogen and phosphorus was 40% and 34%, respectively, and that there was an increase of VS since bedding materials were mixed with excretion in the barn. Conclusion As result of nutrient-footprint analyses, the amounts of TN and TP particularly entered on arable land have been overestimated if applying the nutrient amount in fresh manure. The NLCs obtained in this study may assist in the development of a database to assess the accurate level of manure nutrient loading on soil and facilitate systematic nutrient management.

  2. Evaluation of mitigation strategies to reduce ammonia losses from slurry fertilisation on arable lands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carozzi, M., E-mail: marco.carozzi@unimi.it [University of Milan, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan (Italy); Ferrara, R.M.; Rana, G. [Consiglio per la Ricerca e sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Research Unit for Cropping Systems in Dry Environments, via C. Ulpiani, 5 – 70125 Bari (Italy); Acutis, M. [University of Milan, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan (Italy)

    2013-04-01

    To evaluate the best practices in reducing ammonia (NH{sub 3}) losses from fertilised arable lands, six field trials were carried out in three different locations in northern Italy. NH{sub 3} emissions from cattle slurry were estimated considering the spreading techniques and the field incorporation procedures. The measurements were performed using long term exposure samplers associated to the determination of the atmospheric turbulence and the use of the backward Lagrangian stochastic (bLS) model WindTrax. The results obtained indicate that the NH{sub 3} emission process was exhausted in the first 24–48 h after slurry spreading. The slurry incorporation technique was able to reduce the NH{sub 3} losses with respect to the surface spreading, where a contextual incorporation led to reductions up to 87%. However, the best abatement strategy for NH{sub 3} losses from slurry applications has proved to be the direct injection into the soil, with a reduction of about 95% with respect to the surface spreading. The results obtained highlight the strong dependence of the volatilisation phenomenon by soil and weather conditions. - Highlights: ► Ammonia emissions from land-application of slurry were quantified. ► We examined and compared six different agronomic treatments in three locations. ► The faster was the soil-incorporation of slurry, the lower was the ammonia loss. ► The direct injection of slurry was found to be the best abatement strategy. ► The environmental factors were able to strongly influence the ammonia emission.

  3. Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Vaissière, Bernard E; Cane, James H; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Cunningham, Saul A; Kremen, Claire; Tscharntke, Teja

    2007-02-07

    The extent of our reliance on animal pollination for world crop production for human food has not previously been evaluated and the previous estimates for countries or continents have seldom used primary data. In this review, we expand the previous estimates using novel primary data from 200 countries and found that fruit, vegetable or seed production from 87 of the leading global food crops is dependent upon animal pollination, while 28 crops do not rely upon animal pollination. However, global production volumes give a contrasting perspective, since 60% of global production comes from crops that do not depend on animal pollination, 35% from crops that depend on pollinators, and 5% are unevaluated. Using all crops traded on the world market and setting aside crops that are solely passively self-pollinated, wind-pollinated or parthenocarpic, we then evaluated the level of dependence on animal-mediated pollination for crops that are directly consumed by humans. We found that pollinators are essential for 13 crops, production is highly pollinator dependent for 30, moderately for 27, slightly for 21, unimportant for 7, and is of unknown significance for the remaining 9. We further evaluated whether local and landscape-wide management for natural pollination services could help to sustain crop diversity and production. Case studies for nine crops on four continents revealed that agricultural intensification jeopardizes wild bee communities and their stabilizing effect on pollination services at the landscape scale.

  4. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    significant effects on food crop production and productivity. ... 2 Department of Economics and Resource management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway ... food markets work well, the problem of imperfect markets does not allow ..... prices at the time of purchase with the remaining balance due at the end of the.

  5. Gender in crop agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Food and Agriculture Organization; The World Bank; IFAD

    2008-01-01

    Metadata only record This is a module in the "Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook" published by the World Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Fund for Agricultural Development. This module examines the role of gender in crop agriculture as an essential component of development and poverty reduction. Gender is an integral aspect of crop agriculture because women's roles in crop production and household subsistence, as well as their knowledge of complex production syst...

  6. Changes in Arable Land Demand for Food in India and China: A Potential Threat to Food Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reshmita Nath

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available India and China are two similar developing countries with huge populations, rapid economic growth and limited natural resources, therefore facing the massive pressure of ensuring food security. In this paper, we will discuss the food security situations in these two countries by studying the historical changes of food supply-demand balance with the concept of agricultural land requirements for food (LRF from 1963–2009. LRF of a country is a function of population, per capita consumption/diet, cropping yield and cropping intensity. We have attempted to discuss and compare our results in a framework which links consumption of different groups of food items to diet patterns; then, to the total land requirement for food in a scenario when population is growing rapidly and diet diversification and urbanization due to economic reform impose excessive pressure on food security of both countries. We also elaborate on the role of technology dissemination and critically analyze the achievements and drawbacks of government policies to ensure food self-sufficiency and food security of nations. Our results show that the total LRF increases approximately by 42% and 40%, whereas per capita LRF decreases significantly by about 48% and 30% from 1963–2009, for India and China, respectively. Furthermore, our studies reveal that population growth dominates most of the increase in total LRF for India; whereas diet pattern change induced by income growth drives the major increase in LRF for China. Therefore, sustainable management of agricultural land resource is an urgent need both for India and China as there will be demand for more food to meet the diet requirement for the entire population. We also demonstrate the role of India and China in future global food security programs and the challenges to implement the new land reform policies domestically.

  7. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolt Jeffrey D

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Transgenic modification of plants is a key enabling technology for developing sustainable biofeedstocks for biofuels production. Regulatory decisions and the wider acceptance and development of transgenic biofeedstock crops are considered from the context of science-based risk assessment. The risk assessment paradigm for transgenic biofeedstock crops is fundamentally no different from that of current generation transgenic crops, except that the focus of the assessment must consider the unique attributes of a given biofeedstock crop and its environmental release. For currently envisioned biofeedstock crops, particular emphasis in risk assessment will be given to characterization of altered metabolic profiles and their implications relative to non-target environmental effects and food safety; weediness and invasiveness when plants are modified for abiotic stress tolerance or are domesticated; and aggregate risk when plants are platforms for multi-product production. Robust risk assessments for transgenic biofeedstock crops are case-specific, initiated through problem formulation, and use tiered approaches for risk characterization.

  8. Variation of Bacterial Community Diversity in Rhizosphere Soil of Sole-Cropped versus Intercropped Wheat Field after Harvest

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Zhenping; Yang, Wenping; Li, Shengcai; Hao, Jiaomin; Su, Zhifeng; Sun, Min; Gao, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Chunlai

    2016-01-01

    As the major crops in north China, spring crops are usually planted from April through May every spring and harvested in fall. Wheat is also a very common crop traditionally planted in fall or spring and harvested in summer year by year. This continuous cropping system exhibited the disadvantages of reducing the fertility of soil through decreasing microbial diversity. Thus, management of microbial diversity in the rhizosphere plays a vital role in sustainable crop production. In this study, ...

  9. Augmentation of Water Resources Potential and Cropping Intensification Through Watershed Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Biswajit; Singh, Alka; Singh, S D; Kalra, B S; Samal, P; Sinha, M K; Ramajayam, D; Kumar, Suresh

    2018-02-01

      This paper presents the biophysical impact of various interventions made under watershed development programs, in terms of the creation of additional water resources, and resultant changes in land use and cropping patterns in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh State, India. Both primary and secondary data gathered from randomly selected watersheds and their corresponding control villages were used in this study. Analysis revealed that emphasis was given primarily to the creation of water resources potential during implementation of the programs, which led to augmentation of surface and groundwater availability for both irrigation and non-agricultural purposes. In addition, other land based interventions for soil and moisture conservation, plantation activities, and so forth, were taken up on both arable and nonarable land, which helped to improve land slope and land use, cropping pattern, agricultural productivity, and vegetation cover.

  10. Defining a land boundary for sustainable livestock consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Zanten, Hannah H E; Herrero, Mario; Hal, Ollie Van; Röös, Elin; Muller, Adrian; Garnett, Tara; Gerber, Pierre J; Schader, Christian; De Boer, Imke J M

    2018-05-22

    The need for more sustainable production and consumption of animal-source food is central to the achievement of the sustainable development goals: within this context, wise use of land is a core challenge and concern. A key question in feeding the future world is: how much animal-source food should we eat? We demonstrate that livestock raised under the circular economy concept could provide a significant, non-negligible part (9-23g/per capita) of our daily protein needs (~50-60 g/per capita). This livestock then would not consume human-edible biomass, such as grains, but mainly convert leftovers from arable land and grass resources into valuable food, implying that production of livestock feed is largely decoupled from arable land. The availability of these biomass streams for livestock then determines the boundaries for livestock production and consumption. Under this concept, the competition for land for feed or food would be minimized and compared to no animal-source food, including some animal-source food in the human diet could free up about one quarter of global arable land. Our results also demonstrate that restricted growth in consumption of animal-source food in Africa and Asia would be feasible under these boundary conditions, while reductions in the rest of the world would be necessary to meet land use sustainability criteria. Managing this expansion and contraction of future consumption of animal-source food is essential for achieving sustainable nutrition security. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular, Genetic and Agronomic Approaches to Utilizing Pulses as Cover Crops and Green Manure into Cropping Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tani, Eleni; Abraham, Eleni; Chachalis, Demosthenis; Travlos, Ilias

    2017-06-05

    Cover crops constitute one of the most promising agronomic practices towards a more sustainable agriculture. Their beneficial effects on main crops, soil and environment are many and various, while risks and disadvantages may also appear. Several legumes show a high potential but further research is required in order to suggest the optimal legume cover crops for each case in terms of their productivity and ability to suppress weeds. The additional cost associated with cover crops should also be addressed and in this context the use of grain legumes such as cowpea, faba bean and pea could be of high interest. Some of the aspects of these grain legumes as far as their use as cover crops, their genetic diversity and their breeding using conventional and molecular approaches are discussed in the present review. The specific species seem to have a high potential for use as cover crops, especially if their noticeable genetic diversity is exploited and their breeding focuses on several desirable traits.

  12. Analysing Structure Dynamics in Arable Soils using X-ray Micro-Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlüter, S.; Weller, U.; Vogel, H.-J.

    2009-04-01

    Structure is a dynamic property of soil. It interacts with many biotic and abiotic features and controls various soil functions. We analyzed soil structure within different plots of the ''Static Fertilisation Experiment'' at the agricultural research station in Bad Lauchstaedt (Germany) using X-ray micro tomography. The aim was to investigate in how far different levels of organic carbon, increased microbial activity and enhanced plant growth affects structural properties of an arable soil. Since 106 years one plot has experienced a constant application of farmyard manure and fertilisers, whereas the other has never been fertilised in this period. Intact soil cores from the chernozem soil at the two plots were taken from a depth of 5 to 15 cm (Ap-horizon) and 35 to 45 cm (Ah-horizon) to analyse structural changes with depth and in two different seasons (spring and summer) to investigate structure dynamics. The pore structure was analysed by quantifying the mean geometrical and topological characteristics of the pore network as a function of pore size. This was done by a combination of Minkowski functionals and morphological size distibution. For small structural features close to the image resolution the results clearly depend on the applied filtering technique and segmentation thresholds. Therefore the application of different image enhancement techniques is discussed. Furthermore, a new method for an automated determination of grey value thesholds for the segmentation of CT-images into pore space and solid is developed and evaluated. We highlight the relevance of image resolution for structure analysis. Results of the structure analysis reveal that the spring samples of the ploughed layer (Ap-horizon) from the fertilised plot have significantly higher macroporosities (P connectivity of the pore network is better in the fertilised plot and the pore size distribution was found to be different, too. The differences in porosity and pore connectivity increase from

  13. [Impacts of rice straw biochar on organic carbon and CO2 release in arable soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Yue-Jin; Hu, Xue-Yu; Yi, Qing; Yu, Zhong

    2014-01-01

    In order to investigate the stability of biochar and the effect of biochar when added into soil on soil organic carbon, a 130-day incubation experiment was conducted with rice straw biochar produced at 500 degrees C and 700 degrees C (RBC500 and RBC700) and with addition rates of 0% (control), 3%, 6% and 100% (pure biochar), to detect the change of total organic carbon (TOC), easily oxidized carbon (EOC) and status of CO2 release, following addition of biochar in arable soil. Results showed that: the content of both TOC and EOC in soil increased with biochar addition rates comparing with the control. RBC500 had greater contributions to both TOC and EOC increasing amounts than those of RBC700 under the same biochar addition rate. TOC contents of all treatments decreased during the initial 30 days with the largest decreasing amplitude of 15.8%, and tended to be stable in late incubation stages. Same to that of TOC, EOC contents of all treatments also tended to remain stable after 30 days, but in the 30 days of early incubation, EOC in the soil decreased by 72.4% and 81.7% respectively when the added amount of RBC500 was 3% and 6% , while it was reduced by 61.3% and 69.8% respectively when the added amount of RBC700 was 3% and 6%. EOC contents of soil added with biochar produced at the same temperature were similar in the end of incubation. The reduction of soil EOC content in early incubation may be related to mineralization caused by labile fractions of biochar. During the 130-day incubation, the accumulated CO2 releases showed an order of soil and biochar mixtures soil could reduce CO2 release, the largest reduction amplitude is 41.05%. In a long time scale, biochar as a soil amendment is favorable to the deduction of greenhouse gas release and soil carbon immobilization. Biochar could be used as a soil carbon sequestration carrier.

  14. The dynamics of cultivation and floods in arable lands of Central Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. F. Viglizzo

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Although floods in watersheds have been associated with land-use change since ancient times, the dynamics of flooding is still incompletely understood. In this paper we explored the relations between rainfall, groundwater level, and cultivation to explain the dynamics of floods in the extremely flat and valuable arable lands of the Quinto river watershed, in central Argentina. The analysis involved an area of 12.4 million hectare during a 26-year period (1978–2003, which comprised two extensive flooding episodes in 1983–1988 and 1996–2003. Supported by information from surveys as well as field and remote sensing measurements, we explored the correlation among precipitation, groundwater levels, flooded area and land use. Flood extension was associated to the dynamics of groundwater level. While no correlation with rainfall was recorded in lowlands, a significant correlation (P<0.01 between groundwater and rainfall in highlands was found when estimations comprise a time lag of one year. Correlations between groundwater level and flood extension were positive in all cases, but while highly significant relations (P<0.01 were found in highlands, non significant relations (P>0.05 predominate in lowlands. Our analysis supports the existence of a cyclic mechanism driven by the reciprocal influence between cultivation and groundwater in highlands. This cycle would involve the following stages: (a cultivation boosts the elevation of groundwater levels through decreased evapotranspiration; (b as groundwater level rises, floods spread causing a decline of land cultivation; (c flooding propitiates higher evapotranspiration favouring its own retraction; (d cultivation expands again following the retreat of floods. Thus, cultivation would trigger a destabilizing feedback self affecting future cultivation in the highlands. It is unlikely that such sequence can work in lowlands. The results suggest that rather than responding directly

  15. Fluxes of total reactive atmospheric nitrogen (ΣNr using eddy covariance above arable land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe R. Flechard

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The amount and timing of reactive nitrogen exchange between agricultural land and the atmosphere play a key role in evaluating ecosystem productivity and in addressing atmospheric nitrogen budgets and transport. With the recent development of the Total Reactive Atmospheric Nitrogen Converter (TRANC apparatus, a methodology has been provided for continuous measurement of the sum of all airborne nitrogen containing species (ΣNr allowing for diurnal and seasonal investigations. We present ΣNr concentration and net flux data from an 11-month field campaign conducted at an arable field using the TRANC system within an eddy-covariance setup. Clear diurnal patterns of both ΣNr concentrations and fluxes with significant dependencies on atmospheric stability and stomatal regulation were observed in the growing season. TRANC data were compared with monthly-averaged concentrations and dry deposition rates of selected Nr compounds using DELTA denuders and ensemble-averages of four inferential models, respectively. Similar seasonal trends were found for Nr concentrations from DELTA and TRANC measurements with values from the latter being considerably higher than those of DELTA denuders. The variability of the difference between these two systems could be explained by seasonally changing source locations of NOx contributions to the TRANC signal. As soil and vegetation Nr emissions to the atmosphere are generally not treated by inferential (dry deposition models, TRANC data showed lower monthly deposition rates than those obtained from inferential modelling. Net ΣNr exchange was almost neutral (~0.072 kg N ha−1 at the end of the observation period. However, during most parts of the year, slight but permanent net ΣNr deposition was found. Our measurements demonstrate that fertilizer addition followed by substantial ΣNr emissions plays a crucial role in a site's annual atmospheric nitrogen budget. As long-term Nr measurements with high temporal

  16. Energy potential of agricultural crops in Kosovo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahiti, Naser; Sfishta, Avni; Gramatikov, Plamen

    2015-01-01

    Primary energy mix in Kosovo with 98 % consisting of lignite and only 2 % of water is far from portfolio of primary energy sources which could contribute to a sustainable and environmental friendly energy supply of the country. In order to improve the situation, government is supporting activities in favor of upgrading of electricity production capacities based on Renewable Energy Sources. Corresponding action plans and feed in tariffs are already in place. However, prior to any investment, one needs specific results on available potential. Current study provides results of the analysis of Kosovo potential for energy production by using of agricultural crops. Study is based on national statistics on available agricultural crops in Kosovo and provides results on biomass potential of crops, corresponding energy potential and an assessment of financial cost of energy produced.

  17. Numerical simulation of cropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tvergaard, Viggo; Hutchinson, John W.

    2014-01-01

    Cropping is a cutting process whereby opposing aligned blades create a shearing failure by exerting opposing forces normal to the surfaces of a metal sheet or plate. Building on recent efforts to quantify cropping, this paper formulates a plane strain elastic-plastic model of a plate subject to s...

  18. Applied Crop Protection 2017

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup; Nielsen, Bent Jørgen; Mathiassen, Solvejg Kopp

    Linket til højre henviser til rapporten i trykt format til download. This publication contains results from crop protection trials which were carried out at the Department of Agroecology within the area of gricultural crops. Most of the results come from field trials, but results from greenhouse...

  19. Applied Crop Protection 2017

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup; Nielsen, Bent Jørgen; Mathiassen, Solvejg Kopp

    Linket til højre henviser til rapporten i trykt format til download. This publication contains results from crop protection trials which were carried out at the Department of Agroecology within the area of gricultural crops. Most of the results come from field trials, but results from greenhouse ...

  20. Applied crop protection 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup; Nielsen, Bent Jørgen; Jensen, Peter Kryger

    This publication contains results from crop protection trials which were carried out at the Department of Agroecology within the area of agricultural crops. Most of the results come from field trials, but results from greenhouse and semi-field trials are also included. The report contains results...