WorldWideScience

Sample records for sustainable arable crop

  1. THE NUTRIENTS BALANCE OF CROP ROTATION AS AN INDICATOR OF SUSTAINABLE FARMING ON ARABLE LAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Hanáčková

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The nutrient balance of five crop rotation systems under conventional and minimal tillage with interaction of different fertilization treatments was investigated at the experimental station of Slovak Agricultural University in Nitra Dolná Malanta, during 2004-2005. The five-field crop rotation of maize (Zea mays L. - winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. - spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L. underseeded with red clover - red clover (Trifolium pratense - common pea (Pisum sativum L. and mustard as catch crop was used. The most serious deficit of nitrogen (- 62.2 kg.ha-1.yr-1, phosphorus (- 24.0 kg.ha-1.yr-1 and potassium (- 89.2 kg.ha-1.yr-1 was on control treatments. Deficit of nitrogen was also found-out in treatments with mineral fertilizers application. However higher deficit of nitrogen (- 25.4 kg.ha-1.yr- 1 was registered under conventional tillage. In treatment fertilized with mineral fertilizers together with by - product of pre - crop incorporation into soil (PZ, small balance surplus of nitrogen (8 kg.ha-1.yr-1 - B1, 11.5 kg. ha-1.yr-1 - B2, respectively was calculated. The positive balance of phosphorus achieved in treatments with into soil incorporated by - products of pre - crops (in both systems of soil cultivation amounting value of 3.9 kg.ha-1.yr-1 can contribute to good supply of phosphorous in soil. The negative balance of potassium fluctuating from - 89.2 kg.ha-1.yr-1 (control treatment to - 22 kg.ha-1.yr-1 (PZ is acceptable owing to high content of available potassium in soil of experimental stand.

  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. Dedicated biomass crops can enhance biodiversity in the arable landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haughton, Alison J; Bohan, David A; Clark, Suzanne J; Mallott, Mark D; Mallott, Victoria; Sage, Rufus; Karp, Angela

    2016-11-01

    Suggestions that novel, non-food, dedicated biomass crops used to produce bioenergy may provide opportunities to diversify and reinstate biodiversity in intensively managed farmland have not yet been fully tested at the landscape scale. Using two of the largest, currently available landscape-scale biodiversity data sets from arable and biomass bioenergy crops, we take a taxonomic and functional trait approach to quantify and contrast the consequences for biodiversity indicators of adopting dedicated biomass crops on land previously cultivated under annual, rotational arable cropping. The abundance and community compositions of biodiversity indicators in fields of break and cereal crops changed when planted with the dedicated biomass crops, miscanthus and short rotation coppiced (SRC) willow. Weed biomass was consistently greater in the two dedicated biomass crops than in cereals, and invertebrate abundance was similarly consistently higher than in break crops. Using canonical variates analysis, we identified distinct plant and invertebrate taxa and trait-based communities in miscanthus and SRC willows, whereas break and cereal crops tended to form a single, composite community. Seedbanks were shown to reflect the longer term effects of crop management. Our study suggests that miscanthus and SRC willows, and the management associated with perennial cropping, would support significant amounts of biodiversity when compared with annual arable crops. We recommend the strategic planting of these perennial, dedicated biomass crops in arable farmland to increase landscape heterogeneity and enhance ecosystem function, and simultaneously work towards striking a balance between energy and food security.

  5. Determinants of seasonal arable crop production among selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study, was conducted with a view to identify factors influencing the choice of crop production and seasonal cropping activities of the farm households. A multistage random sampling procedure was used to select 200 arable crop farmers across the four operational zones, comprising Abeokuta, Ilaro, Ikenne and Ijebu, ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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 ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study assessed arable crop farmers' utilization of agro-meteorological services in Oyo State, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling procedure was employed for this study. Oyo State was stratified into rainforest and savannah. One local government each was randomly selected from each of the vegetation zones, which were ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    International Journal of Tropical Agriculture and Food Systems ... their levels of completion; ascertained the impact of the sub projects on farm income, output, productivity and farm size and determined factors influencing Fadama farmer's efficiency. ... Keywords: Agriculture, arable crop, efficiency, Fadama, farmer, rural labor ...

  10. fertilizer−manure substitution among arable crop farmers in akwa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    Due to population pressure and rapid urbanization, the former cropping system was no longer sustainable in term of enhancing soil fertility and increased yield of crops. Hence continuous cropping without appropriate soil management leads to deterioration in soil physical, chemical and biological properties (Chinedu et al., ...

  11. Reconciling Pesticide Reduction with Economic and Environmental Sustainability in Arable Farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechenet, Martin; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Bockstaller, Christian; Boissinot, François; Petit, Marie-Sophie; Petit, Sandrine; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas M.

    2014-01-01

    Reducing pesticide use is one of the high-priority targets in the quest for a sustainable agriculture. Until now, most studies dealing with pesticide use reduction have compared a limited number of experimental prototypes. Here we assessed the sustainability of 48 arable cropping systems from two major agricultural regions of France, including conventional, integrated and organic systems, with a wide range of pesticide use intensities and management (crop rotation, soil tillage, cultivars, fertilization, etc.). We assessed cropping system sustainability using a set of economic, environmental and social indicators. We failed to detect any positive correlation between pesticide use intensity and both productivity (when organic farms were excluded) and profitability. In addition, there was no relationship between pesticide use and workload. We found that crop rotation diversity was higher in cropping systems with low pesticide use, which would support the important role of crop rotation diversity in integrated and organic strategies. In comparison to conventional systems, integrated strategies showed a decrease in the use of both pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers, they consumed less energy and were frequently more energy efficient. Integrated systems therefore appeared as the best compromise in sustainability trade-offs. Our results could be used to re-design current cropping systems, by promoting diversified crop rotations and the combination of a wide range of available techniques contributing to pest management. PMID:24887494

  12. Reconciling pesticide reduction with economic and environmental sustainability in arable farming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Lechenet

    Full Text Available Reducing pesticide use is one of the high-priority targets in the quest for a sustainable agriculture. Until now, most studies dealing with pesticide use reduction have compared a limited number of experimental prototypes. Here we assessed the sustainability of 48 arable cropping systems from two major agricultural regions of France, including conventional, integrated and organic systems, with a wide range of pesticide use intensities and management (crop rotation, soil tillage, cultivars, fertilization, etc.. We assessed cropping system sustainability using a set of economic, environmental and social indicators. We failed to detect any positive correlation between pesticide use intensity and both productivity (when organic farms were excluded and profitability. In addition, there was no relationship between pesticide use and workload. We found that crop rotation diversity was higher in cropping systems with low pesticide use, which would support the important role of crop rotation diversity in integrated and organic strategies. In comparison to conventional systems, integrated strategies showed a decrease in the use of both pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers, they consumed less energy and were frequently more energy efficient. Integrated systems therefore appeared as the best compromise in sustainability trade-offs. Our results could be used to re-design current cropping systems, by promoting diversified crop rotations and the combination of a wide range of available techniques contributing to pest management.

  13. Reconciling pesticide reduction with economic and environmental sustainability in arable farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechenet, Martin; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Bockstaller, Christian; Boissinot, François; Petit, Marie-Sophie; Petit, Sandrine; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas M

    2014-01-01

    Reducing pesticide use is one of the high-priority targets in the quest for a sustainable agriculture. Until now, most studies dealing with pesticide use reduction have compared a limited number of experimental prototypes. Here we assessed the sustainability of 48 arable cropping systems from two major agricultural regions of France, including conventional, integrated and organic systems, with a wide range of pesticide use intensities and management (crop rotation, soil tillage, cultivars, fertilization, etc.). We assessed cropping system sustainability using a set of economic, environmental and social indicators. We failed to detect any positive correlation between pesticide use intensity and both productivity (when organic farms were excluded) and profitability. In addition, there was no relationship between pesticide use and workload. We found that crop rotation diversity was higher in cropping systems with low pesticide use, which would support the important role of crop rotation diversity in integrated and organic strategies. In comparison to conventional systems, integrated strategies showed a decrease in the use of both pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers, they consumed less energy and were frequently more energy efficient. Integrated systems therefore appeared as the best compromise in sustainability trade-offs. Our results could be used to re-design current cropping systems, by promoting diversified crop rotations and the combination of a wide range of available techniques contributing to pest management.

  14. 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...

  15. Impact of heat and drought stress on arable crop production in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Gobin

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Modelling approaches are needed to accelerate understanding of adverse weather impacts on crop performances and yields. The aim was to elicit biometeorological conditions that affect Belgian arable crop yield, commensurate with the scale of climatic impacts. The regional crop model REGCROP (Gobin, 2010 enabled to examine changing weather patterns in relation to the crop season and crop sensitive stages of six arable crops: winter wheat, winter barley, winter rapeseed, potato, sugar beet and maize. The sum of vapour pressure deficit during the growing season is the single best predictor of arable yields, with R2 ranging from 0.55 for sugar beet to 0.76 for wheat. Drought and heat stress, in particular during the sensitive crop stages, occur at different times in the crop season and significantly differ between two climatic periods, 1947–1987 and 1988–2008. Though average yields have risen steadily between 1947 and 2008, there is no evidence that relative tolerance to stress has improved.

  16. On the role of soil organic matter for crop production in European arable farming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hijbeek, Renske

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to improve understanding of the role of organic inputs and soil organic matter (SOM) for crop production in contemporary arable farming in Europe. For this purpose, long-term experiments were analysed on the additional yield effect of organic inputs and savings in

  17. On the role of soil organic matter for crop production in European arable farming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hijbeek, Renske

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to improve understanding of the role of organic inputs and soil organic matter (SOM) for crop production in contemporary arable farming in Europe. For this purpose, long-term experiments were analysed on the additional yield effect of organic inputs and savings in mineral

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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

    was incorporated in the soil in the ‘Mulching’ rotation and removed and used for biogas production in the ‘Biogas’ rotation (and residues from biogas production were simulated to be returned to the field). A method was suggested for allocating effects of fertility building crops in life cycle assessments......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...... organic arable crop rotations with different sources of N supply. Data from long-term field experiments at three different locations in Denmark were used to analyse three different organic cropping systems (‘Slurry’, ‘Biogas’ and ‘Mulching’), one conventional cropping system (‘Conventional’) and a “No...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 reduced...... tillage systems. European agriculture is asked to become less dependent on pesticides and promote crop protection programmes based on integrated pest management (IPM) principles. Conventional non-inversion tillage systems rely entirely on the availability of glyphosate products, and herbicide consumption...... is mostly higher as compared to plough-based cropping systems. Annual grass weeds and catchweed bedstraw often constitute the principal weed problems in non-inversion tillage systems and crop rotations concurrently have very high proportions of winter cereals. There is a need to redesign cropping systems...

  4. 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.)

  5. 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

  6. Do organic inputs matter – a meta-analysis of additional yield effects for arable crops in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hijbeek, R.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Berge, Ten H.F.M.; Gort, G.; Spiegel, H.; Whitmore, A.P.

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Organic inputs have a positive effect on the soil organic matter balance. They are therefore an important asset for soil fertility and crop growth. This study quantifies the additional yield effect due to organic inputs for arable crops in Europe when macro-nutrients are not

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2013-05-02

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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,

  13. 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

  14. Effects of disease control by fungicides on greenhouse gas emissions by U.K. arable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, David J; West, Jonathan S; Atkins, Simon D; Gladders, Peter; Jeger, Michael J; Fitt, Bruce Dl

    2011-09-01

    The U.K. government has published plans to reduce U.K. agriculture's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At the same time, the goal of global food security requires an increase in arable crop yields. Foliar disease control measures such as fungicides have an important role in meeting both objectives. It is estimated that U.K. winter barley production is associated with GHG emissions of 2770 kg CO2 eq. ha(-1) of crop and 355 kg CO2 eq. t(-1) of grain. Foliar disease control by fungicides is associated with decreases in GHG emissions of 42-60 kg CO2 eq. t(-1) in U.K. winter barley and 29-39 kg CO2 eq. t(-1) in U.K. spring barley. The sensitivity of these results to the impact of disease control on yield and to variant GHG emissions assumptions is presented. Fungicide treatment of the major U.K. arable crops is estimated to have directly decreased U.K. GHG emissions by over 1.5 Mt CO2 eq. in 2009. Crop disease control measures such as fungicide treatment reduce the GHG emissions associated with producing a tonne of grain. As national demand for food increases, greater yields as a result of disease control also decrease the need to convert land from non-arable to arable use, which further mitigates GHG emissions. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  15. Do organic inputs matter – a meta-analysis of additional yield effects for arable crops in Europe

    OpenAIRE

    Hijbeek, R.; Ittersum, van, M.K.; Berge, Ten, H.F.M.; Gort, G.; Spiegel, H.; Whitmore, A.P.

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Organic inputs have a positive effect on the soil organic matter balance. They are therefore an important asset for soil fertility and crop growth. This study quantifies the additional yield effect due to organic inputs for arable crops in Europe when macro-nutrients are not a limiting factor. Methods: A meta-analysis was performed using data from 20 long-term experiments in Europe. Maxima of yield response curves to nitrogen were compared, with and without organic inputs...

  16. 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

    consumption appears to be slightly higher as compared to plough based cropping systems. Annual grass weeds and stickywilly often constitute the principal weed problems when the soil is not inverted because crop rotations concurrently have very high proportions of winter cereals. There is a need to redesign......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 (canola) and maize (corn) in Europe. However, new regulations on pesticide use may hinder further...

  17. 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...... of legumes. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate BNF in long-term experiments with a range of organic and conventional arable crop rotations at three sites in Denmark varying in climate and soils (coarse sand, loamy sand and sandy loam) and to identify possible causes of differences in the amount of BNF....... The experiment included 4-year crop rotations with three treatment factors in a factorial design: (i) rotations, i.e. organic with a year of grass-clover (OGC), organic with a year of grain legumes (OGL), and conventional with a year of grain legumes (CGL), (ii) with (+CC) and without (−CC) cover crops, and (iii...

  18. 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.

  19. Land use and soil organic matter in South Africa 2: A review on the influence of arable crop production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pearson N.S. Mnkeni

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The decline of soil organic matter as a result of agricultural land use was identified for a review with the ultimate aim of developing a soil protection strategy and policy for South Africa. Such a policy is important because organic matter, especially the humus fraction, influences the characteristics of soil disproportionately to the quantities thereof present. Part 1 of this review dealt with the spatial variability of soil organic matter and the impact of grazing and burning under rangeland stock production. In this second part of the review, the impact of arable crop production on soil organic matter is addressed. A greater number of studies have addressed the degradation of soil organic matter that is associated with arable crop production than the restoration. However, cropping under dryland has been found to result in significant losses of soil organic matter, which is not always the case with cropping under irrigation. Restoration of soil organic matter has been very slow upon the introduction of conservational practices like zero tillage, minimal tillage, or mulch tillage. Reversion of cropland to perennial pasture has also been found to result in discouragingly slow soil organic matter restoration. Although increases or decreases in soil organic matter levels have occurred in the upper 300 mm, in most instances this took place only in the upper 50 mm. The extent of these changes was dependent inter alia on land use, soil form and environmental conditions. Loss of soil organic matter has resulted in lower nitrogen and sulphur reserves, but not necessarily lower phosphorus reserves. Depletion of soil organic matter coincided with changes in the composition of amino sugars, amino acids and lignin. It also resulted in a decline of water stable aggregates which are essential in the prevention of soil erosion. Although much is known about how arable crop production affects changes in soil organic matter, there are still

  20. 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

    This review summarizes current knowledge from the literature and experimental studies on the role of cover crops (CCs) in reducing nitrogen (N) leaching and phosphorus (P) losses to waters under the marine and humid continental climate conditions of southern Scandinavia and Finland. Field leaching...... CC biomass. CCs have been implemented to varying degrees into agri-environmental programs. They are mandatory in Denmark and subsidized in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. CCs are grown on 8% of arable land in Denmark, 5% in Sweden, 1% in Finland, and 0.5% in Norway, but CC area is now increasing...... systems with harvesting of biomass). There is also a need to devise balanced solutions for maintaining and increasing the frequency of CCs in crop rotations to exploit the possible benefits of CCs in reducing nutrient losses....

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Health risks of thallium in contaminated arable soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater from a sulfuric acid plant in western Guangdong province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chunlin; Chen, Yongheng; Liu, Juan; Wang, Jin; Li, Xiangping; Zhang, Yongbo; Liu, Yimin

    2013-04-01

    Thallium (Tl) contamination in soils poses a significant threat to human health due to the high toxicity of Tl and its ready assimilation by crops. Consumption of food crops contaminated with Tl is a major food chain route for human exposure. The health risks of Tl in contaminated food crops irrigated with wastewater from a sulfuric acid factory were investigated in this paper. Results indicate that long-term Tl-containing wastewater irrigation resulted in Tl contamination of arable soils and crops. The pollution load index values indicated that the arable soils were moderately enriched with Tl. Tl was highly accumulated in the crops. The content of Tl in the edible plant portions of crops ranged from 1.2 mg/kg to 104.8 mg/kg, exceeding the recommended permissible limits for food crops. The daily intake of metals (DIM) values of Tl for both adults and children via the consumption of the food crops except soya beans were higher than the reference oral dose (RfD) limit recommend by the United States environmental protection agency (US-EPA). Health risk index (HRI) values were generally higher than 1, indicating that health risks associated with Tl exposure are significant and assumed to be dangerous to the health of local villagers. Therefore, much attention should be paid to avoid consumption of these Tl-contaminated crops that can cause great potential risks. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    , 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......), and a conventional system without green manure (C4)), 2) catch crop (with and without), and 3) manure (with and without). The experiment consisted of three consecutive cycles using four-course rotations with all crops present every year, i.e. 1997–2000 (1st cycle), 2001–2004 (2nd cycle), and 2005–2008 (3rd cycle...... 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

    Organic agriculture (OA) faces challenges to enhance food production per unit area and simultaneously reduce the environmental and climate impacts, e.g. nitrate leaching per unit land and green-houses gases (GHG) emissions per kg product. Eco-functional intensification (EFI) is suggested as a means...... as an efficient tool for weed management, enhanced product quality (i.e. grain protein concentration of the intercropped cereal). We discuss how ICs contribute to efficient use of soil N sources and minimized losses of N by leaching via “ecological precision farming”. It is concluded, that crop diversification...... 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    and inclusion of catch crops generally increased soil respiration, PMN and PAO. At field capacity, relative gas diffusivity at 0–5 cm depth was >50% higher in the organic than the inorganic fertilizer-based system (P generally lower in the low-input organic rotations than......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...... conducted in plots with winter wheat. In April 2008, prior to field operations, intact soil cores were collected at two depths (0–5 and 5–10 cm) in plots under winter wheat. Water retention characteristics of each core were determined and used to calculate relative gas diffusivity (DP/Do). Finally, crop...

  11. 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

    with and without catch crops, with field operation dates adapted to baseline and future climate change. Model projections showed an increase in the productivity and N leaching in the future that would be dependent on crop rotation and crop management, highlighting the importance of considering the whole rotation...... efficient strategies are required in the future. The uncertainty of climate change scenarios was assessed by using two different climate projections for predicting crop productivity and N leaching in Danish crop rotations, and this showed the consistency of the projected trends when used with the same crop......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...

  12. Systematic analysis of secondary life cycle inventories when modelling agricultural production: A case study for arable crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrado, Sara; Castellani, Valentina; Zampori, Luca; Sala, Serenella

    2018-01-20

    Analysis of agricultural production with life cycle based methodologies is data demanding. To build comprehensive life cycle inventories, secondary datasets are commonly used when primary data are not available. However, different inventory data and modelling approaches are used to populate secondary datasets, leading to different results. The present study analyses the features of twelve secondary datasets to support datasets selection and proper interpretation of results. We assess twelve datasets for arable crop production in France, as modelled in three databases often used in the LCA field (Agri-footprint, ecoinvent and AGRIBALYSE). First, we compared system boundaries and general assumptions. Second, we focused on foreground systems comparing, inventory data, data sources and modelling approaches. Third, we performed a contribution analysis of impact assessment results to identify modelling choices that contribute most to differences in the results. Nine relevant elements were identified and assessed: definition of system boundaries and modelling of agricultural practices, characteristics of inventory data, agricultural operations, fertiliser application and fate, plant protection products application and fate, heavy metals inputs to the agricultural system and fate, irrigation assumptions, land use and transformation. The datasets differ greatly with respect to these elements. Hence, recommendations are drawn from the datasets comparison, supporting the selection of the datasets coherently with the goal and scope of a study and interpretation of results.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 2.80x10(-3) m2 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 0.6x10(-3) m2 kg(-1). For hemp, straw and fibres were mechanically separated and TF to straw was about 0.5x10(-3) m2 kg(-1) and to fibres 1.0x10(-3) m2 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 (>12,300kBq m(-2)). Since hemp fibres are mechanically separated, use of hemp fibres is more restricted (contamination 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 3x10(-3) m2 kg(-1)) consumption of hemp seed products should be considered with care.

  16. 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)]. E-mail: hvandenh@sckcen.be; 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Relay cropping as a sustainable approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanveer, Mohsin; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Hussain, Saddam; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Ashraf, Umair

    2017-01-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. Use of human waste in sustainable crop production in Nigeria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... avoid the disadvantage of conventional fertilizer is the use of human waste. The plant nutrient in both urine and excreta come from arable fields and thus should be recycled as fertilizers to support sustainability and retain fertility of the soil. Urine acts very fast and is very rich in nitrogen. Policy on the use of the technology ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. Women's participation in sustainable crop farming activities in Ogun ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study examined the level of women's participation in sustainable crop farming activities in Ogun state. Determined various sustainable crop farming activities engaged in by women categorised them on the basis of their level of participation and identified various means of improving their level of participation in crop ...

  7. 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 ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nekky Umera

    are capable of ensuring increased and sustained crop production with minimum degradation of the non- renewable soil resource base. Increased population has reduced the effectiveness of shifting cultivation and other Traditional systems for sustainable farming and this gave way to improved practices. Cropping systems ...

  9. 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.

  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. Agriculture and crop science in China: Innovation and sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunbi Xu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The International Crop Science Congress (ICSC is a regularly held event allowing crop scientists from around the world to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The 7th ICSC was held August 14–19, 2016 in Beijing, China, with the theme “Crop Science: Innovation and Sustainability”. The congress included eight thematic areas: crop germplasm and evolution, crop genetics and genomics, crop biotechnology, breeding and seed production, agronomy and crop physiology, climate change and sustainability, crop quality and processing, and crop production and socioeconomic aspects. 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.

  12. THE INFLUENCE OF MINIMUM TILLAGE SYSTEMS UPON THE SOIL PROPERTIES, YIELD AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN SOME ARABLE CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teodor RUSU

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the influence of the conventional ploughing tillage technology in comparison with the minimum tillage, upon the soil properties, weed control, yield and energy efficiency in the case of maize (Zea mays L., soyabean (Glycine hispida L. and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. in a three years crop rotation. For all cultures within the crop rotation, the weed encroachment is maximum for the disc harrow and rotary harrow soil tillage, followed by the chisel and paraplow. The weed encroachment is minimum for the conventional ploughing tillage technology. The results of investigations showed that the yield is a conclusion soil tillage systems influence on soil properties, plant density assurance and on weed control.

  13. 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

    Intercropping is the simultaneous cultivation of more than one crop species on the same piece of land and is regarded as the practical application of basic ecological principles such as diversity, competition and facilitation. Field experiments were carried out on a sandy loam soil and a sandy soil......-270 g m-2). Nitrogen fixation was very constant in grain legume SC over species and location, varying from 13.2 to 15.8 g N m-2, being lowest in peas and highest in faba bean and lupin. The intercropped grain legumes increased the proportion of plant N derived from N2-fixation by on average 10...... was comparable; however, it tended to be the highest in sole cropped faba bean, lupin and unfertilized barley, where the application of urea to barley reduced the weed infestation by around 50%. Reduction in disease was observed in all IC systems compared to the corresponding SC, with a general disease reduction...

  14. Do cover crops enhance N₂O, CO₂ or CH₄ emissions from soil in Mediterranean arable systems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz-Cobena, A; García-Marco, S; Quemada, M; Gabriel, J L; Almendros, P; Vallejo, A

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluates the effect of planting three cover crops (CCs) (barley, Hordeum vulgare L.; vetch, Vicia villosa L.; rape, Brassica napus L.) on the direct emission of N₂O, CO₂ and CH₄ in the intercrop period and the impact of incorporating these CCs on the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) from the forthcoming irrigated maize (Zea mays L.) crop. Vetch and barley were the CCs with the highest N₂O and CO₂ losses (75 and 47% increase compared with the control, respectively) in the fallow period. In all cases, fluxes of N₂O were increased through N fertilization and the incorporation of barley and rape residues (40 and 17% increase, respectively). The combination of a high C:N ratio with the addition of an external source of mineral N increased the fluxes of N₂O compared with -Ba and -Rp. The direct emissions of N₂O were lower than expected for a fertilized crop (0.10% emission factor, EF) compared with other studies and the IPCC EF. These results are believed to be associated with a decreased NO₃(-) pool due to highly denitrifying conditions and increased drainage. The fluxes of CO₂ were in the range of other fertilized crops (i.e., 1118.71-1736.52 kg CO₂-Cha(-1)). The incorporation of CC residues enhanced soil respiration in the range of 21-28% for barley and rape although no significant differences between treatments were detected. Negative CH₄ fluxes were measured and displayed an overall sink effect for all incorporated CC (mean values of -0.12 and -0.10 kg CH₄-Cha(-1) for plots with and without incorporated CCs, respectively). © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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...

  16. Assessing the environmental impacts of cropping systems and cover crops : Life cycle assessment of FAST, a long-term arable farming field experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prechsl, U E; Wittwer, R; van der Heijden, M.G.A.; Luscher, G; Jeanneret, P; Nemecek, T

    2017-01-01

    To reduce environmental impacts of cropping systems, various management strategies are being discussed. Longterm field experiments are particularly suitable to directly compare different management strategies and to perform a comprehensive impact assessment. To identify the key drivers of several

  17. Sustainable harvest: managing plasticity for resilient crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomfield, Justin A; Rose, Terry J; King, Graham J

    2014-06-01

    Maintaining crop production to feed a growing world population is a major challenge for this period of rapid global climate change. No consistent conceptual or experimental framework for crop plants integrates information at the levels of genome regulation, metabolism, physiology and response to growing environment. An important role for plasticity in plants is assisting in homeostasis in response to variable environmental conditions. Here, we outline how plant plasticity is facilitated by epigenetic processes that modulate chromatin through dynamic changes in DNA methylation, histone variants, small RNAs and transposable elements. We present examples of plant plasticity in the context of epigenetic regulation of developmental phases and transitions and map these onto the key stages of crop establishment, growth, floral initiation, pollination, seed set and maturation of harvestable product. In particular, we consider how feedback loops of environmental signals and plant nutrition affect plant ontogeny. Recent advances in understanding epigenetic processes enable us to take a fresh look at the crosstalk between regulatory systems that confer plasticity in the context of crop development. We propose that these insights into genotype × environment (G × E) interaction should underpin development of new crop management strategies, both in terms of information-led agronomy and in recognizing the role of epigenetic variation in crop breeding. © 2014 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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

  19. 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..

  20. Genetically modified organisms and sustainable crop production: A critical review

    OpenAIRE

    Mozumdar, Lavlu; Islam, Mohammad; Saha, Sumitra

    2012-01-01

    Fighting against global hunger in the adverse climatic condition is a major concern of the governments around the globe. The pace of population growth is overwhelmingly defeating the growth in crop production. In this context, introduction of GMO is emerging as a probable solution for sustainable crop production. However, such developments are not beyond criticism. This paper assesses and evaluates the prospects and challenges of introduction of GMO in a global perspective. Experiences of GM ...

  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. The role of transgenic crops in sustainable development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond Park, Julian; McFarlane, Ian; Hartley Phipps, Richard; Ceddia, Graziano

    2011-01-01

    The concept of sustainable development forms the basis for a wide variety of international and national policy making. World population continues to expand at about 80 M people per year, while the demand for natural resources continues to escalate. Important policies, treaties and goals underpin the notion of sustainable development. In this paper, we discuss and evaluate a range of scientific literature pertaining to the use of transgenic crops in meeting sustainable development goals. It is concluded that a considerable body of evidence has accrued since the first commercial growing of transgenic crops, which suggests that they can contribute in all three traditional pillars of sustainability, i.e. economically, environmentally and socially. Management of herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant transgenic crops to minimize the risk of weeds and pests developing resistance is discussed, together with the associated concern about the risk of loss of biodiversity. As the world population continues to rise, the evidence reviewed here suggests it would be unwise to ignore transgenic crops as one of the tools that can help meet aspirations for increasingly sustainable global development. © 2010 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2010 Society for Experimental Biology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. Sustainable use of glyphosate in North American cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafson, David I

    2008-04-01

    Roundup Ready (glyphosate-resistant) cropping systems enable the use of glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide that offers growers several benefits, including superior weed control, flexibility in weed control timing and economic advantages. The rapid adoption of such crops in North America has resulted in greater glyphosate use and concern over the potential for weed resistance to erode the sustainability of its efficacy. Computer modeling is one method that can be used to explore the sustainability of glyphosate when used in glyphosate-resistant cropping systems. Field tests should help strengthen the assumptions on which the models are based, and have been initiated for this purpose. Empirical evaluations of published data show that glyphosate-resistant weeds have an appearance rate of 0.007, defined as the number of newly resistant species per million acres treated, which ranks low among herbicides used in North America. Modeling calculations and ongoing field tests support a practical recommendation for growers occasionally to include other herbicides in glyphosate-resistant cropping systems, to lower further the potential for new resistance to occur. The presented data suggest that the sustainability of glyphosate in North America would be enhanced by prudent use of additional herbicides in glyphosate-resistant cropping systems. Copyright (c) 2008 Society of Chemical Industry.

  5. 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.

  6. Sustainability issues on rice–wheat cropping system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajan Bhatt

    2016-03-01

    In this review, an attempt was made to highlight different issues resulted from the practise of intensive rice–wheat cropping sequence of the region, which must be considered while framing and implementing any integrated approach/project such as conservation agriculture for improving the productions, profits and sustainability of RWCS in the region.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  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. 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

  12. GM as a route for delivery of sustainable crop protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Toby J A

    2012-01-01

    Modern agriculture, with its vast monocultures of lush fertilized crops, provides an ideal environment for adapted pests, weeds, and diseases. This vulnerability has implications for food security: when new pesticide-resistant pest biotypes evolve they can devastate crops. Even with existing crop protection measures, approximately one-third yield losses occur globally. Given the projected increase in demand for food (70% by 2050 according to the UN), sustainable ways of preventing these losses are needed. Development of resistant crop cultivars can make an important contribution. However, traditional crop breeding programmes are limited by the time taken to move resistance traits into elite crop genetic backgrounds and the limited gene pools in which to search for novel resistance. Furthermore, resistance based on single genes does not protect against the full spectrum of pests, weeds, and diseases, and is more likely to break down as pests evolve counter-resistance. Although not necessarily a panacea, GM (genetic modification) techniques greatly facilitate transfer of genes and thus provide a route to overcome these constraints. Effective resistance traits can be precisely and conveniently moved into mainstream crop cultivars. Resistance genes can be stacked to make it harder for pests to evolve counter-resistance and to provide multiple resistances to different attackers. GM-based crop protection could substantially reduce the need for farmers to apply pesticides to their crops and would make agricultural production more efficient in terms of resources used (land, energy, water). These benefits merit consideration by environmentalists willing to keep an open mind on the GM debate.

  13. 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

  14. Remediation of degraded arable steppe soils in Moldova using vetch as green manure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesmeier, M.; Lungu, M.; Hübner, R.; Cerbari, V.

    2015-05-01

    In the Republic of Moldova, non-sustainable arable farming led to severe degradation and erosion of fertile steppe soils (Chernozems). As a result, the Chernozems lost about 40% of their initial amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC). The aim of this study was to remediate degraded arable soils and promote carbon sequestration by implementation of cover cropping and green manuring in Moldova. Thereby, the suitability of the legume hairy vetch (Vicia sativa) as cover crop under the dry continental climate of Moldova was examined. At two experimental sites, the effect of cover cropping on chemical and physical soil properties as well as on yields of subsequent main crops was determined. The results showed a significant increase of SOC after incorporation of hairy vetch mainly due to increases of aggregate-occluded and mineral-associated OC. This was related to a high above- and belowground biomass production of hairy vetch associated with a high input of carbon and nitrogen into arable soils. A calculation of SOC stocks based on equivalent soil masses revealed a sequestration of around 3 t C ha-1yr-1 as a result of hairy vetch cover cropping. The buildup of SOC was associated with an improvement of the soil structure as indicated by a distinct decrease of bulk density and a relative increase of macroaggregates at the expense of microaggregates and clods. As a result, yields of subsequent main crops increased by around 20%. Our results indicated that hairy vetch is a promising cover crop to remediate degraded steppe soils, control soil erosion and sequester substantial amounts of atmospheric C in arable soils of Moldova.

  15. 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

  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. Complementary crops and landscape features sustain wild bee communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    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. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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 2020...... has the aim to improve the exchange of innovative and traditional knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists. An online platform for knowledge exchange has been created, offering innovative education and end-user material as well as communication between stakeholders. A number of specific...

  2. Sustainability of soil fertility and the use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for the production of biofuels: a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reijnders, L

    2013-01-01

    Use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for liquid or gaseous biofuel production may impact soil quality, long-term soil fertility and the major determinants of the latter, stocks of soil organic carbon and nutrients. When soil organic carbon stocks of mineral cropland soils are to be maintained, there is scope for the removal of lignocellulosic harvest residues in several systems with much reduced tillage or no tillage. The scope for such removal might be increased when suitably treated residues from the conversion of harvest residues into biofuel are returned to cropland soils. For mineral cropland soils under conventional tillage, the scope for the production of liquid biofuels from harvest residues is likely to be less than in the case of no-till systems. When fertility of cropland soils is to be sustainable, nutrients present in suitably treated biofuel production residues have to be returned to these soils. Apparently, the actual return of carbon and nutrients present in residues of biofuel production from crop harvest residues to arable soils currently predominantly concerns the application of digestates of anaerobic digestion. The effects thereof on soil fertility and quality need further clarification. Further clarification about the effects on soil fertility and quality of chars and of co-products of lignocellulosic ethanol production is also needed.

  3. 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

  4. Biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts from sustainable agricultural and forest crops: proceedings of the short rotation crops international conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald S., Jr. Zalesny; Rob Mitchell; Jim, eds. Richardson

    2008-01-01

    The goal of this conference was to initiate and provide opportunities for an international forum on the science and application of producing both agricultural and forest crops for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts. There is a substantial global need for development of such systems and technologies that can economically and sustainably produce short rotation crops...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Breeding skylarks (Alauda arvensis) on organic and conventional arable farms in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kragten, S.; Trimbos, K.B.; Snoo, de G.R.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the effects of differences in cropping pattern between organic and conventional arable farms on the breeding activity of skylarks and to assess the effects of arable crop management on skylark nest survival. Skylark nest density was seven times higher on organic

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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...

  13. GM Crops, Organic Agriculture and Breeding for Sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2014-01-01

    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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Integrated plant nutrient management on diversified cropping system in aqua-terrestrial ecosystem for yield potentiality, quality and rural sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    PUSTE, ANANDAMOY DR.; DE, PRALAY ER.; MAITY, TAPAN KUMAR DR.

    2009-01-01

    Balanced and integrated plant nutrient management is imperative in agricultural production system including its quality - more applicable to those of developing country in the world. Like arable land in wetland ecosystem, nitrogen and other essential key plant elements and its management is also an integral part for so many beneficial aquatic crops (food, non-food etc.). With this significant importance of IPNM, number of case studies were undertaken through TOT, TDET based integrated aquacul...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. OK-Net Arable online knowledge platform

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    of specific tools – providing information about how to put existing knowledge from research and practice into use – have been chosen. They are presented on the platform with the possibility to find solutions, evaluate them, comment and discuss them or ask questions about them and to suggest new tools......The complexity of organic farming requires farmers to have a very high level of knowledge and skills, but exchange on organic farming management techniques remains limited. The thematic network OK-Net Arable under Horizon 2020 has the aim to improve the exchange of innovative and traditional...... knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping in Europe. An online platform for knowledge exchange has been created, offering innovative education and end-user material as well as communication opportunities between actors. A number...

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

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

    This book examines the potential for using cover crops to maintain and improve soil fertility in West Africa. It documents past experiences withcover cropping in Africa and will hopefully stimulate future research on priority socioeconomic and biophysical aspects of this important topic. The editors Daniel Buckles is Senior ...

  1. 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

  2. Geospatial technologies for conservation planning: An approach to build more sustainable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current agricultural production systems must adapt to meet increasing demands for more economically and environmentally sustainable cropping systems. The application of precision agricultural technologies and geospatial and environmental modeling for conservation planning can aid in this transition....

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. Plant defense against herbivorous pests: exploiting resistance and tolerance traits for sustainable crop protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn Mitchell

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Gender Analysis of Sustainable Agricultural Practices by Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sustainable agricultural practices describe the effort of farmers at protecting and enhancing the environment to preserve it for further exploitation. Therefore both men and women have important roles to play in preserving their environment. This paper analyzed the gender roles in the use of sustainable agricultural practices ...

  15. 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

  16. 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, ...

  17. Improved Crotalaria cover crop fallow system for sustainable maize ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An on-station trial was carried out at the Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, in the northern Guinea Savanna agroecological zone of Ghana. The study compared different seeding rates of leguminous cover crops, inorganic fertilization, and a combination of the two in a ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    abdulaphyz

    Given these, government, telecommunications operators and other Internet service providers should upgrade the broadband connectivity across the country, particularly in the cities. Key Words: Marketing food crop, internet marketing in Nigeria. Introduction. Since its emergence, information and communication technology ...

  19. 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...

  20. Relation between N input and nitrate concentration of groundwater on arable farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erp, van P.J.; Boumans, L.M.J.; Kloet, C.J.; Oenema, O.; Duijvenbooden, van W.

    1990-01-01

    A statistically significant relation was found between the NO3--N concentration of the shallow groundwater under intensively farmed arable fields in the northern Netherlands and the surplus of N (N supply minus N removal via crops), groundwater level

  1. 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.

  2. Impacts of future biological-technological progress on arable farming

    OpenAIRE

    GOTSCH, NIKOLAUS; BERNEGGER, URS; RIEDER, PETER

    2017-01-01

    This article deals with biological-technological developments in crop production and their impacts on arable farming within the next 20 years. Possible future technological developments are evaluated with the help of a Delphi survey. The impacts of promising new technologies are estimated by means of a Linear Programming model under three different scenarios. An important outcome of the model calculations is that crop production is strongly influenced by the economic and political environment...

  3. Production of forage crops as a basis for sustainable development of Republic of Serbia

    OpenAIRE

    Jovanović, Marijana; Vučković, Savo; Pajčin, Đuro

    2014-01-01

    Production of forage crops, besides of the beneficial effects which manifest during consummation, manifest and qualitative effects on soil on which it is grown. This type of crops production is multipurpose, which is the same level placed the need to create sustainable habitats and biodiversity conservation; economic justification and realization of profit; and retrieve demographic conditions that are particularly pronounced in rural areas, which account for almost 80% of the territory of the...

  4. Integrated crop pollination: Combining strategies to ensure stable and sustainable yields of pollination-dependent crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeting the nutritional needs of our growing human population will be increasingly dependent on bees and other pollinators that provide the essential delivery of pollen to crop flowers during bloom. Honey bees have experienced population declines in some regions, and similar changes are evident for ...

  5. Sustainable soil management practices of crop farmers in Mkpat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sustainability which is the successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy the changing human needs and the capacity to remain productive and at the same time conserving the resource base, is the focus of this study. Therefore, the various conventional methods of managing soil, which are commonly being ...

  6. 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

  7. Ensuring sustainable grain legume-cereal cropping systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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...... as in Denmark using spring and winter cereal-grain legume intercrops. Intercropping involves simultaneously growing two or more crops in the same field for a significant period of time. The practice is ancient as early records from many human societies all over the world have shown. Intercropping systems...... are estimated to still provide as much as 15–20% of the world’s food supply. The practice was widespread in some European farming systems up until the 1950s – before the so-called fossilisation of agriculture. At that time as much as 50 % of all available nitrogen (N) may have originated from symbiotic N2...

  8. Improving Water Sustainability and Food Security through Increased Crop Water Productivity in Malawi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luxon Nhamo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture accounts for most of the renewable freshwater resource withdrawals in Malawi, yet food insecurity and water scarcity remain as major challenges. Despite Malawi’s vast water resources, climate change, coupled with increasing population and urbanisation are contributing to increasing water scarcity. Improving crop water productivity has been identified as a possible solution to water and food insecurity, by producing more food with less water, that is, to produce “more crop per drop”. This study evaluated crop water productivity from 2000 to 2013 by assessing crop evapotranspiration, crop production and agricultural gross domestic product (Ag GDP contribution for Malawi. Improvements in crop water productivity were evidenced through improved crop production and productivity. These improvements were supported by increased irrigated area, along with improved agronomic practices. Crop water productivity increased by 33% overall from 2000 to 2013, resulting in an increase in maize production from 1.2 million metric tons to 3.6 million metric tons, translating to an average food surplus of 1.1 million metric tons. These developments have contributed to sustainable improved food and nutrition security in Malawi, which also avails more water for ecosystem functions and other competing economic sectors.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Prospects of herbivore egg-killing plant defenses for sustainable crop protection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fatouros, Nina E.; Cusumano, Antonino; Danchin, Etienne G.J.; Colazza, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    Due to a growing demand of food production worldwide, new strategies are suggested to allow for sustainable production of food with minimal effects on natural resources. A promising alternative to the application of chemical pesticides is the implementation of crops resistant to insect pests.

  18. Developing robust crop plants for sustaining growth and yield under adverse climatic changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural production and quality are expected to suffer from adverse changes in climatic conditions, including global warming, and this will affect worldwide human and animal food security. Global warming has been shown to negatively impact crop yield and therefore will affect sustainability of a...

  19. 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

  20. 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,

  1. A quantitative framework for evaluating the sustainability of Irish potato cropping systems after the landmark agrarian reform in Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Svubure, O.; Struik, P.C.; Haverkort, A.J.; Steyn, J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Frameworks to evaluate the sustainability of cropping systems in developing countries are scarce. This study proposes a framework to select easily quantifiable indicators that can be used to assess and communicate the sustainability of cropping systems in developing countries. The widely accepted

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

    Biodiesel as a promising alternative energy resource has been a hot spot in chemical engineering nowadays, but there is also an argument about the sustainability of biodiesel. In order to analyze the sustainability of biodiesel production systems and select the most sustainable scenario, various...... 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...... to evaluate the sustainability efficiencies of these options, and the biodiesel production systems based on soybean, sunflower, and palm are considered as DEA efficient, whereas rapeseed-based and jatropha-based scenarios are needed to be improved, and the improved methods have also been specified....

  6. Factors Influencing the Conversion of Arable Land to Urban Use and Policy Implications in Beijing, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daquan Huang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Rapid urban land expansion and the resulting arable land loss have put food security in China at risk. This paper investigates the characteristics and mechanism of arable land conversion in Beijing using a logistic model based on land-use data for 2001 and 2010. The results suggest that (1 arable land conversion tends to occur near built-up areas, city centers and major roads; (2 arable land that lies closer to irrigation canals and country roads is less likely to be converted to urban use; (3 arable land that is bigger in size and has a more regular shape has a lower probability of conversion to urban use; and (4 the Prime Farmland Protection policy and related land-use plan have played a positive role in preserving arable land, demonstrated by the probability for arable land conversion inside a prime farmland boundary is 63.9 percent less than for land outside the boundary. Based on these findings and on sustainable-development principles, we suggest that, rather than an exclusive focus on controlling the quantity of arable land, the location and characteristics of the arable land should be a primary consideration when designing urban policies and plans.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of crop residue harvest on long-term crop yield, soil erosion, and carbon balance: tradeoffs for a sustainable bioenergy feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gregg, Jay S.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.

    2010-08-26

    Agricultural residues are a potential feedstock for bioenergy production, if residue harvest can be done sustainably. The relationship between crop residue harvest, soil erosion, crop yield and carbon balance was modeled with the Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator/ Environment Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) using a factorial design. Four crop rotations (winter wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.)] – sunflower [Helianthus annuus]; spring wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.)] – canola [Brassica napus]; corn [Zea mays L.] – soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]; and cotton [Gossypium hirsutum] – peanut [Arachis hypogaea]) were simulated at four US locations each, under different topographies (0-10% slope), and management practices [crop residue removal rates (0-75%), conservation practices (no till, contour cropping, strip cropping, terracing)].

  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...... to evaluate the sustainability efficiencies of these options, and the biodiesel production systems based on soybean, sunflower, and palm are considered as DEA efficient, whereas rapeseed-based and jatropha-based scenarios are needed to be improved, and the improved methods have also been specified....

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Irrigation treatments, water use efficiency and crop sustainability in cereal-forage rotations in Mediterranean environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasquale Martiniello

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural systems based on crop rotation are beneficial to crop sustainability and productivity. Wheat-forage rotations combined with irrigation are the agronomic techniques best able to exploit Mediterranean environmental conditions. This paper describes a long-term field trial to ascertain the effect of combined irrigation and durum wheat-forage rotations on crop yield and soil chemical properties. The two forage crops: annual grass-clover winter binary mixture and perennial lucerne were carried out through 1991-2008 under rainfed and irrigated treatments. The experiments were used to highlight the effect of irrigation and wheat-forage crop rotations on water use efficiency (WUE and sustainability of organic matter (OM in topsoil. Irrigation increased the dry matter (DM of annual binary mixture and lucerne by 49.1% and 66.9%, respectively. Continuous wheat rotation reduced seed yield (SY, stability of production, and crude protein (CP characteristics of kernel and OM in topsoil. The yearly gain in wheat after forage crops was 0.04 t (ha yr-1 under rainfed and 0.07 t (ha yr-1 under irrigation treatments. The CP and soil OM of wheat forage crops rotations, compared with those of continuous wheat under rainfed and irrigated was a 0.8 and 0.5 % increase in CP and 5.1 and 4.4 in OM, respectively. The rotations of annual grass-clover winter binary mixture and lucerne meadow under both irrigated treatments increased the OM over continuous wheat (9.3 % and 8.5 in annual grass-clover winter binary mixture and 12.5 and 9.5 lucerne meadow under rainfed and irrigation, respectively. Irrigation reduced the impact of weather on crop growing, reducing water use efficiency (mean over rotations for DM production (15.5 in meadow and 17.5 in annual grass-clover winter binary mixture [L water (kg DM-1] and wheat SY. However, the agronomic benefits achieved by forage crops in topsoil are exhausted after three years of continuous wheat rotation.

  16. 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.

  17. A dual indicator set to help farms achieve more sustainable crop protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wustenberghs, Hilde; Delcour, Ilse; D'Haene, Karoline; Lauwers, Ludwig; Marchand, Fleur; Steurbaut, Walter; Spanoghe, Pieter

    2012-08-01

    Farmers are being called to use plant protection products (PPPs) more consciously and adopt more sustainable crop protection strategies. Indicators will help farmers to monitor their progress towards sustainability and will support their learning process. Talking the indicators through in farmers' discussion groups and the resulting peer encouragement will foster knowledge acquirement and can lead to changes in attitudes, norms, perception and behaviour. Using a participatory approach, a conceptual framework for on-farm sustainable crop protection practices was created. The same participatory approach was used to design a dual indicator set, which pairs a pesticide impact assessment system (PIAS) with a farm inquiry. The PIAS measures the risk for human health and the environment exerted by chemical crop protection. The inquiry reveals the farmers' response to this risk, both in terms of the actions they take and their knowledge, awareness and attitude. The dual indicator set allows for implementation in four tiers, each representing increased potential for monitoring and social learning. The indicator set can be adjusted on the basis of new findings, and the participatory approach can be extrapolated to other situations. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  18. Region-wise development of prototypes of integrated arable farming and outdoor horticulture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijnands, F.G.; Vereijken, P.H.

    1992-01-01

    In the Netherlands integrated arable farming systems (IFS) are being developed at three regional experimental farms, with region-specific crop rotations and cropping systems. Most pesticide and fertilizer inputs appear to be replacable by non-chemical methods and organic manure, with economic

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Spugnoli

    2011-02-01

    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

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. From ozone depletion to agriculture: understanding the role of UV radiation in sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wargent, Jason J; Jordan, Brian R

    2013-03-01

    Largely because of concerns regarding global climate change, there is a burgeoning interest in the application of fundamental scientific knowledge in order to better exploit environmental cues in the achievement of desirable endpoints in crop production. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an energetic driver of a diverse range of plant responses and, despite historical concerns regarding the damaging consequences of UV-B radiation for global plant productivity as related to stratospheric ozone depletion, current developments representative of a range of organizational scales suggest that key plant responses to UV-B radiation may be exploitable in the context of a sustainable contribution towards the strengthening of global crop production, including alterations in secondary metabolism, enhanced photoprotection, up-regulation of the antioxidative response and modified resistance to pest and disease attack. Here, we discuss the prospect of this paradigm shift in photobiology, and consider the linkages between fundamental plant biology and crop-level outcomes that can be applied to the plant UV-B response, in addition to the consequences for related biota and many other facets of agro-ecosystem processes. © 2013 The Author. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26916792

  10. 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.

  11. eCROPS-CA: a systematic approach toward effective and sustainable cancer prevention in rural China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Jing; Shen, Xingrong; Feng, Rui; Cheng, Jing; Chen, Yeji; Zha, Zhengqiu; Jia, Shangchun; Liang, Han; Zhao, Ting; Sha, Rui; Shi, Yong; Li, Kaichun; Wang, Debin

    2015-04-08

    Effective prevention against cancers depends heavily on sustained individual efforts practicing protective behaviors and avoiding risk factors in a complex sociocultural context, which requires continuous and personalized supports. Contemporary prevention relies primarily on strategies targeting general population with limited attention being paid to individualized approaches. This study tests a novel package called, in acronym of core intervention components, eCROPS-CA that leverages protective behaviors against over 80% leading cancers among high risk individuals via continuous and tailored counseling by village doctors. The study utilizes a quesi-RCT design involving 4320 high risk individuals selected, via rapid and detailed risk assessments, from about 72,000 farmers aged 35+ in 36 administrative villages randomized into equal intervention and delayed intervention arms. The intervention arm receives baseline and semiannual follow up evaluations plus eCROPS-CA for 5 years; while the control arm, only the baseline and follow-up evaluations for the first 5 years and eCROPS-CA starting from the 6(th) year if the intervention is proved effective. eCROPS-CA comprises electronic supports and supervision (e), counseling cancer prevention (C), recipe for objective behaviors (R), operational toolkit (O), performance-based incentives (P), and screening and assessment (S). Evaluation measures include: incidence and stage of the leading cancers, cancer-related knowledge, attitudes and practices; easy biophysical indicators (e.g., body mass index, blood pressure); intervention compliance, acceptance of the package. The prevention package incorporates key success factors in a synergetic way toward cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability. It targets a set rather than any single cancer; choses village doctors as key solution to the widespread lack of professional manpower in implementing personalized and thus relatively sophisticated prevention; adopts real

  12. Can Novel Management Practice Improve Soil and Environmental Quality and Sustain Crop Yield Simultaneously?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainju, Upendra M

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about management practices that can simultaneously improve soil and environmental quality and sustain crop yields. The effects of novel and traditional management practices that included a combination of tillage, crop rotation, and N fertilization on soil C and N, global warming potential (GWP), greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI), and malt barley (Hordeum vulgarie L.) yield and quality were examined under non-irrigated and irrigated cropping systems from 2008 to 2011 in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, USA. In loamy soil under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana, novel and traditional management practices were no-till malt barley-pea (Pisum sativum L.) with 80 kg N ha(-1) and conventional till malt barley-fallow with 80 kg N ha(-1), respectively. In sandy loam soil under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in western North Dakota, novel and traditional management practices included no-till malt barley-pea with 67 (non-irrigated) to 134 kg N ha(-1) (irrigated) and conventional till malt barley with 67 (non-irrigated) to 134 kg N ha(-1) (irrigated), respectively. Compared with the traditional management practice, soil organic C (SOC) and total N (STN) at 0-120 cm were 5% greater with the novel management practice under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana and under irrigated condition in western North Dakota, but were not different under non-irrigated condition in western North Dakota. In both places under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions, total applied N rate, residual soil NO3-N content at 0-120 cm, global warming potential (GWP), and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) were 15 to 70% lower with the novel than the traditional management practice. Malt barley yield and quality were not different between the two practices in both places. Novel management practices, such as no-till malt barley-pea with reduced N rate, can simultaneously enhance soil and environmental quality, reduce N input, and sustain crop yield compared with

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicity A Edwards

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Exploring sustainable opportunities for family farms in Brazil to grow biodiesel crops in integrated food-energy systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belo Leite, Dal J.G.; Barbosa Justino, F.; Bijman, J.; Costa, L.; Slingerland, M.A.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2012-01-01

    Local governments in Brazil believe that biodiesel can be the motor of rural development in impoverished semi-arid regions. Such policies are increasingly challenged by the search for sustainable biodiesel crop options that best match farmers’objectives. Our aim is to explore socioeconomically and

  1. 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/).

  2. Reducing N2O and NO emissions while sustaining crop productivity in a Chinese vegetable-cereal double cropping system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Zhisheng; Yan, Guangxuan; Zheng, Xunhua; Wang, Rui; Liu, Chunyan; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

    2017-12-01

    High nitrogen (N) inputs in Chinese vegetable and cereal productions played key roles in increasing crop yields. However, emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and atmospheric pollutant nitric oxide (NO) increased too. For lowering the environmental costs of crop production, it is essential to optimize N strategies to maintain high crop productivity, while reducing the associated N losses. We performed a 2 year-round field study regarding the effect of different combinations of poultry manure and chemical N fertilizers on crop yields, N use efficiency (NUE) and N 2 O and NO fluxes from a Welsh onion-winter wheat system in the North China Plain. Annual N 2 O and NO emissions averaged 1.14-3.82 kg N ha -1 yr -1 (or 5.54-13.06 g N kg -1 N uptake) and 0.57-1.87 kg N ha -1 yr -1 (or 2.78-6.38 g N kg -1 N uptake) over all treatments, respectively. Both N 2 O and NO emissions increased linearly with increasing total N inputs, and the mean annual direct emission factors (EF d ) were 0.39% for N 2 O and 0.19% for NO. Interestingly, the EF d for chemical N fertilizers (N 2 O: 0.42-0.48%; NO: 0.07-0.11%) was significantly lower than for manure N (N 2 O: 1.35%; NO: 0.76%). Besides, a negative power relationship between yield-scaled N 2 O, NO or N 2 O + NO emissions and NUE was observed, suggesting that improving NUE in crop production is crucial for increasing crop yields while decreasing nitrogenous gas release. Compared to the current farmers' fertilization rate, alternative practices with reduced chemical N fertilizers increased NUE and decreased annual N 2 O + NO emissions substantially, while crop yields remained unaffected. As a result, annual yield-scaled N 2 O + NO emissions were reduced by > 20%. Our study shows that a reduction of current application rates of chemical N fertilizers by 30-50% does not affect crop productivity, while at the same time N 2 O and NO emissions would be reduced significantly. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.

  5. Sustainable energy crop: An analysis of ethanol production from cassava in Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubolsook, Aerwadee

    The first essay formulates a dynamic general equilibrium optimal control model of an energy crop as part of a country's planned resource use over a period of time. The model attempts to allocate consumption, production, and factors of production to achieve the country's sustainable development goal. A Cobb-Douglas specification is used for both utility and production functions in the model. We calibrate the model with Thailand data. The selected model is used to generate the stationary state solution and to simulate the optimal policy function and optimal time paths. Two methods are used: a linear approximation method and the Runke-Kutta reverse shooting method. The model provides numerical results that can be used as information for decision makers and stakeholders to devise an economic plan to achieve sustainable development goals. The second essay studies the effect of international trade and changes in labor supply, land supply, and the price of imported energy on energy crop production for bio fuel and food, as well as impacts on social welfare. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to describe two baseline scenarios, a closed economy and an open economy. We find that international trade increases welfare and decreases the energy price. Furthermore, resources are allocated to produce more food under the open economy scenario than the quantities produced under a closed economy assumption. An increase in labor supply and land supply result in an increase in social welfare. An increase in imported energy price leads to a welfare loss, higher energy production, and lower food production. The third essay develops a partial equilibrium econometric model to project the impacts of an increase in ethanol production on the Thai agriculture sector over the next ten years. The model is applied to three scenarios for analyzing the effect of government ethanol production targets. The results from the baseline model and scenario analysis indicate that an expansion

  6. Tradeoffs in Crop Residue Utilization in Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems and Implications for Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Land Management

    OpenAIRE

    Jaleta, Moti; Kassie, Menale; Shiferaw, Bekele A.

    2012-01-01

    Crop residue use for soil mulch and animal feed are the two major competing purposes and the basic source of fundamental challenge in conservation agriculture (CA) where residue retention on farm plots is one of the three CA principles. Using survey data from Kenya and applying bivariate ordered Probit and bivariate Tobit models, this paper analyzes the tradeoffs in maize residue use as soil mulch and livestock feed in mixed farming systems. Results show that both the proportion and quantity ...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. Transgenics in crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y.; Wu, Y. H.; McAvoy, R.; Duan, H.

    2001-01-01

    With rapid world population growth and declining availability of fresh water and arable land, a new technology is urgently needed to enhance agricultural productivity. Recent discoveries in the field of crop transgenics clearly demonstrate the great potential of this technology for increasing food production and improving food quality while preserving the environment for future generations. In this review, we briefly discuss some of the recent achievements in crop improvement that have been made using gene transfer technology.

  11. Mixed crop-livestock farming systems: a sustainable way to produce beef? Commercial farms results, questions and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veysset, P; Lherm, M; Bébin, D; Roulenc, M

    2014-08-01

    Mixed crop-livestock (MC-L) farming has gained broad consensus as an economically and environmentally sustainable farming system. Working on a Charolais-area suckler cattle farms network, we subdivided the 66 farms of a constant sample, for 2 years (2010 and 2011), into four groups: (i) 'specialized conventional livestock farms' (100% grassland-based farms (GF), n=7); (ii) 'integrated conventional crop-livestock farms' (specialized farms that only market animal products but that grow cereal crops on-farm for animal feed, n=31); (iii) 'mixed conventional crop-livestock farms' (farms that sell beef and cereal crops to market, n=21); and (iv) organic farms (n=7). We analyse the differences in structure and in drivers of technical, economic and environmental performances. The figures for all the farms over 2 years (2010 and 2011) were pooled into a single sample for each group. The farms that sell crops alongside beef miss out on potential economies of scale. These farms are bigger than specialized beef farms (with or without on-farm feed crops) and all types of farms show comparable economic performances. The big MC-L farms make heavier and consequently less efficient use of inputs. This use of less efficient inputs also weakens their environmental performances. This subpopulation of suckler cattle farms appears unable to translate a MC-L strategy into economies of scope. Organic farms most efficiently exploit the diversity of herd feed resources, thus positioning organic agriculture as a prototype MC-L system meeting the core principles of agroecology.

  12. Management practices for improving sustainable crop production in tropical acid soils. Results of a coordinated research project organized by the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    As a result of the burgeoning world population, there is an urgent need to increase food crop production. This can be achieved through intensification, diversification and specialization of agricultural production systems in existing cultivated land or by expansion of the land under cultivation. According to FAO estimates, only 11% of the earth's surface is currently cultivated (1406 Mha) and about 24% (3900 Mha) is potentially arable, most of which, 2500 Mha, is composed of acid soils with 1700 Mha located in the humid tropics. Thus, the greatest potential for expanding agricultural land lies in the tropical forest and savannah regions dominated by highly weathered, acid, infertile soils, mostly Oxisols and Ultisols. Soil acidification problems are also likely to increase, with rising CO 2 levels in the atmosphere, continuous use of ammonium-based nitrogenous fertilizers, removal of nutrients in farm products without replenishment and nitrate leaching. The savannahs are mainly located in humid and subhumid tropical areas and suitable for rainfed cropping conditions. They comprise a sizeable amount of the agricultural land in many countries of Africa and Latin America and include also the largely anthropic savannahs of tropical Asia. The acid savannah soils are mostly considered marginal because of their inherent low fertility and high susceptibility to rapid degradation. The cultivation of these soils without proper soil management and conservation practices has resulted in an accelerated rate of degradation of the natural resource base. Therefore, management practices must be developed/improved to avoid further degradation of the resource base and to sustain cop productivity in tropical acid soils. This Coordinated Research Project (CRP) was conceived as a follow-up of the CRP on 'The use of nuclear and related techniques to evaluate the agronomic effectiveness of phosphatic fertilizers in particular rock phosphates' (1993-1998), where P fertilizer management

  13. Crop-Livestock-Forestry Integration in Brazil: a sustainable agriculture strategy based on the concepts of Green Economy Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Reis

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This article proposes to transform the current production model through the organization of an agricultural system based on the concepts of crop-livestock-forestry integration (ICLF. We used the guidelines and concepts related to the Green Economy Initiative (GEI, a proposal of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP. Within this framework, the agricultural sector is identified as an important sector due to its strong connection with economic, social and environmental dimensions. We intend to demonstrate that the ICLF proposal is in line with aspects of sustainable agriculture, as proposed by GEI, and that it is an important strategy to increase production in a sustainable manner in Brazil. The adoption of GEI is a consistent strategy for the implementation of policies to promote sustainable development.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Metabolism-based herbicide resistance and cross-resistance in crop weeds: a threat to herbicide sustainability and global crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qin; Powles, Stephen

    2014-11-01

    Weedy plant species that have evolved resistance to herbicides due to enhanced metabolic capacity to detoxify herbicides (metabolic resistance) are a major issue. Metabolic herbicide resistance in weedy plant species first became evident in the 1980s in Australia (in Lolium rigidum) and the United Kingdom (in Alopecurus myosuroides) and is now increasingly recognized in several crop-weed species as a looming threat to herbicide sustainability and thus world crop production. Metabolic resistance often confers resistance to herbicides of different chemical groups and sites of action and can extend to new herbicide(s). Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, glycosyl transferase, and glutathione S-transferase are often implicated in herbicide metabolic resistance. However, precise biochemical and molecular genetic elucidation of metabolic resistance had been stalled until recently. Complex cytochrome P450 superfamilies, high genetic diversity in metabolic resistant weedy plant species (especially cross-pollinated species), and the complexity of genetic control of metabolic resistance have all been barriers to advances in understanding metabolic herbicide resistance. However, next-generation sequencing technologies and transcriptome-wide gene expression profiling are now revealing the genes endowing metabolic herbicide resistance in plants. This Update presents an historical review to current understanding of metabolic herbicide resistance evolution in weedy plant species. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Metabolism-Based Herbicide Resistance and Cross-Resistance in Crop Weeds: A Threat to Herbicide Sustainability and Global Crop Production1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qin; Powles, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Weedy plant species that have evolved resistance to herbicides due to enhanced metabolic capacity to detoxify herbicides (metabolic resistance) are a major issue. Metabolic herbicide resistance in weedy plant species first became evident in the 1980s in Australia (in Lolium rigidum) and the United Kingdom (in Alopecurus myosuroides) and is now increasingly recognized in several crop-weed species as a looming threat to herbicide sustainability and thus world crop production. Metabolic resistance often confers resistance to herbicides of different chemical groups and sites of action and can extend to new herbicide(s). Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, glycosyl transferase, and glutathione S-transferase are often implicated in herbicide metabolic resistance. However, precise biochemical and molecular genetic elucidation of metabolic resistance had been stalled until recently. Complex cytochrome P450 superfamilies, high genetic diversity in metabolic resistant weedy plant species (especially cross-pollinated species), and the complexity of genetic control of metabolic resistance have all been barriers to advances in understanding metabolic herbicide resistance. However, next-generation sequencing technologies and transcriptome-wide gene expression profiling are now revealing the genes endowing metabolic herbicide resistance in plants. This Update presents an historical review to current understanding of metabolic herbicide resistance evolution in weedy plant species. PMID:25106819

  1. Arable crop farmers' perception of agrometeorological services in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The result further showed that 76% of the respondents were married; most of them (79%) had appreciable level of literacy and a fairly large family size of 4-6. Majorities (80%) of the respondents are aware of agro meteorological services, 49% acquired farmland via inheritance and 66% had 2-25years farming experience.

  2. 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 ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thomas Kehinde Adesina

    of hunger and food insecurity, migration and civil unrest. Corroborating this submission, Van der Zaag (2010) opined that grain yields have remained stagnant in Africa because of high temporal variability and inconsistency in rainfall pattern which is evident in 2012 when many, maize, rice, yam and cassava farms were ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

    production. The net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is calculated as the avoided fossil fuel‐derived CO2, where the N2O emission has been subtracted. This value does not include farm machinery CO2 emissions and fuel consumption during biofuel production. Thus, the actual net greenhouse gas reduction......Agro‐biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel‐derived CO2...... 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...

  6. The challenge of protein crops as a sustainable source of food and feed for the future

    OpenAIRE

    2017-01-01

    Grain legumes, together with quinoa and amaranth (pseudocereals) and other crops are attractive candidates to satisfy the growing demand for plant protein production worldwide for food and feed. Despite their high value, many protein crops have not been adequately assessed and numerous species are underutilized. Special attention has to be paid to genetic diversity and landraces, and to the key limiting factors affecting yield, including water deficiency and other abiotic and biotic stresses,...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    -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...... 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...

  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. Genetically modified crops and sustainable agriculture: A proposed way forward in the societal debate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lotz, L.A.P.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Smulders, M.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    A global challenge for the coming decades is to feed the world in a sustainable way. This will require major steps forward across the food production chain, including plant breeding, farming practices, and storage and logistics. Sustainable agriculture requires the implementation of agro-ecological

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Nematode Interactions in Nature: Models for Sustainable Control of Nematode Pests of Crop Plants?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putten, van der W.H.; Cook, R.; Costa, S.; Davies, K.G.; Fargette, M.; Freitas, H.; Hol, W.H.G.; Kerry, B.R.; Maher, N.; Mateille, T.; Moens, M.; Peña, de la E.; Piskiewicz, A.M.; Raeymaekers, A.D.W.; Rodriquez-Echeverria, S.; Wurff, van der A.W.G.

    2006-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes are major crop pests in agro-ecosystems while in nature their impact may range from substantial to no significant growth reduction. The aim of this review is to determine if nematode population control in natural ecosystems may provide us with a model for enhancing

  16. Nematode interactions in nature: models for sustainable control of nematode pests of crop plants?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Putten, W.H.; Cook, R.; Costa, S.R.; Davies, K.G.; Fargette, M.; Freitas, H.; Hol, W.H.G.; Kerry, B.R.; Maher, N.; Mateille, T.; Moens, M.; De la Peña, E.; Piskiewicz, A.; Raeymaekers, A.; Rodríguez-Echeverría, S.; Van der Wurff, A.W.G.

    2006-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes are major crop pests in agro-ecosystems while in nature their impact may range from substantial to no significant growth reduction. The aim of this review is to determine if nematode population control in natural ecosystems may provide us with a model for enhancing

  17. Sustainability of maize-based cropping systems in rural areas of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The residual soil fertility benefits of the preceding legumes to the following maize crop were demonstrated in the study. Incorporating stover of Bambara nut, cowpea, groundnut dry bean and soyabean gave higher maize yields compared to plots where the stover was removed. Total maize dry matter yield increases of 1.30 ...

  18. Sustainable agriculture for a dynamic world: Forage-Crop-Livestock systems research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Grazinglands Research Laboratory is focused on development and delivery of improved technologies, strategies, and planning tools for integrated crop-forage-livestock systems under variable climate, energy, and market conditions. The GRL research p...

  19. 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...

  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. A transgenic approach to enhance phosphorus use efficiency in crops as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaxiola, Roberto A; Edwards, Mark; Elser, James J

    2011-08-01

    Concerns about phosphorus (P) sustainability in agriculture arise not only from the potential of P scarcity but also from the known effects of agricultural P use beyond the field, i.e., eutrophication leading to dead zones in lakes, rivers and coastal oceans due to runoffs from fertilized fields. Plants possess a large number of adaptive responses to P(i) (orthophosphate) limitation that provide potential raw materials to enhance P(i) scavenging abilities of crop plants. Understanding and engineering these adaptive responses to increase the efficiency of crop capture of natural and fertilizer P(i) in soils is one way to optimize P(i) use efficiency (PUE) and, together with other approaches, help to meet the P sustainability challenge in agriculture. Research on the molecular and physiological basis of P(i) uptake is facilitating the generation of plants with enhanced P(i) use efficiency by genetic engineering. Here we describe work done in this direction with emphasis on the up-regulation of plant proton-translocating pyrophosphatases (H(+)-PPases). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Influence of conservation tillage and zero tillage on arable weeds in organic faba bean production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung, Rüdiger

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The field experiments were conducted in 2008, 2009 and 2010 on a Gleyic Cambisol near Goettingen, Lower Saxony, Germany. A crop sequence of summer barley, winter cover crops (intercropped oat and sunflower and summer faba bean was examined under organic farming conditions. Emphasis was given to the studying of arable weeds in faba beans. However, enhancing symbiotic nitrogen fixation of summer faba beans by accumulation of soil-nitrogen by winter cover crops was a second objective in these experiments. The faba bean field plots had been cultivated with three different tillage systems: 1. zero tillage, sowing with cross-slottechnique, 2. conservation tillage (wing share cultivator, rotary harrow sowing with cross-slot-technique and 3. conventional tillage with mouldboard plough followed by rotary harrow, sowing with precision monoseeder. In plots with zero tillage preceding cover crops were left as mulch on the soil surface. Cover crops accumulated adequate nitrogen amounts and following faba beans reacted with significant increase (up to 10% in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Maximum of arable weed biomass was observed in zero tillage-plots at the end of May or early in June. The abundance of the predominant weed wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis increased with tillage intensity, whereas the abundance of creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense increased in 2010 with decreasing tillage intensity. Average grain yield of faba beans was low with only 3.0 and 2.4 t ha-1 in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. How do we cultivate in England? Tillage practices in crop production systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, T J; Ramsden, S J; Wilson, P

    2016-03-01

    Reducing tillage intensity offers the possibility of moving towards sustainable intensification objectives. Reduced tillage (RT) practices, where the plough is not used, can provide a number of environmental and financial benefits, particularly for soil erosion control. Based on 2010 harvest year data from the nationally stratified Farm Business Survey and drawing on a sub-sample of 249 English arable farmers, we estimate that approximately 32% of arable land was established under RT, with 46% of farms using some form of RT. Farms more likely to use some form of RT were larger, located in the East Midlands and South East of England and classified as 'Cereals' farms. Application of RT techniques was not determined by the age or education level of the farmer. Individual crops impacted the choice of land preparation, with wheat and oilseed rape being more frequently planted after RT than field beans and root crops, which were almost always planted after ploughing. This result suggests there can be limitations to the applicability of RT. Average tillage depth was only slightly shallower for RT practices than ploughing, suggesting that the predominant RT practices are quite demanding in their energy use. Policy makers seeking to increase sustainable RT uptake will need to address farm-level capital investment constraints and target policies on farms growing crops, such as wheat and oilseed rape, that are better suited to RT practices.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Food production, crops and sustainability: restoring confidence in science and technology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spiertz, J.H.J.

    2010-01-01

    By 2050, the global food requirement will increase significantly, driven by a population increase to more than nine billion and by a richer diet. There is a need for agricultural and food systems that are not only more productive, but also sustainable. Currently, progress is hampered by a lack of

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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,

  17. 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.

  18. 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 CO 2 fertilization effect compared to an unconstrained GHG emission scenario.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Integrated soil-crop system management: reducing environmental risk while increasing crop productivity and improving nutrient use efficiency in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fusuo; Cui, Zhenling; Fan, Mingsheng; Zhang, Weifeng; Chen, Xinping; Jiang, Rongfeng

    2011-01-01

    During the past 47 yr (1961-2007), Chinese cereal production has increased by 3.2-fold, successfully feeding 22% of the global human population with only 9% of the world's arable land, but at high environmental cost and resource consumption. Worse, crop production has been stagnant since 1996 while the population and demand for food continue to rise. New advances for sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services will be needed during the coming 50 yr to reduce environmental risk while increasing crop productivity and improving nutrient use efficiency. Here, we advocate and develop integrated soil-crop system management (ISSM). In this approach, the key points are (i) to take all possible soil quality improvement measures into consideration, (ii) to integrate the utilization of various nutrient resources and match nutrient supply to crop requirements, and (iii) to integrate soil and nutrient management with high-yielding cultivation systems. Recent field experiments have shed light on how ISSM can lead to significant increases in crop yields while increasing nutrient use efficiency and reducing environmental risk. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Agricultural sustainable intensification improved nitrogen use efficiency and maintained high crop yield during 1980-2014 in Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Bol, Roland; Rahn, Clive; Xiao, Guangmin; Meng, Fanqiao; Wu, Wenliang

    2017-10-15

    Global population increase will require rapid increase of food production from existing agricultural land by 2050, which will inevitably mean the increase of agricultural productivity. Due to agricultural sustainable intensification since the 1990s, crop production in Huantai County of northern China has risen to 15tha -1 yr -1 for the annual wheat-maize rotation system. We examined the temporal dynamics of nitrogen (N) budget, N losses, and N use efficiency (NUE) during the 35years (1980-2014) in Huantai. The results revealed that atmospheric N deposition increased 220% while reactive N losses decreased by 21.5% from 1980s to 2010s. During 1980-2002, annual N partial factor productivity (PFP N ), apparent NUE and N recovery efficiency (RE N ) increased from 20.3 to 40.7kggrainkg -1 N fert , from 36.5% to 71.0%, and from 32.4% to 57.7%, respectively; meanwhile, reactive N losses intensity, land use intensity and N use intensity decreased by 69.8%, 53.4%, 50.0%, respectively, but without further significant changes after 2002. Overall increases in NUE and decreases in N losses were largely due to the introduction of optimized fertilization practice, mechanization and increased incorporation of crop straw in Huantai. Straw incorporation was also significant in soil N stock accrual and fertility improvement. By 2030, northern China may reach the lowest end of PFP N values in developed countries (>45kggrainkg -1 N fert ). These agricultural sustainable intensification practices will be critical in maintaining high grain yields and associated decreases in environmental pollution, although water use efficiency in the region still needs to be improved. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Integrated crop water management might sustainably halve the global food gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jägermeyr, J.; Gerten, D.; Schaphoff, S.; Heinke, J.; Lucht, W.; Rockström, J.

    2016-02-01

    As planetary boundaries are rapidly being approached, humanity has little room for additional expansion and conventional intensification of agriculture, while a growing world population further spreads the food gap. Ample evidence exists that improved on-farm water management can close water-related yield gaps to a considerable degree, but its global significance remains unclear. In this modeling study we investigate systematically to what extent integrated crop water management might contribute to closing the global food gap, constrained by the assumption that pressure on water resources and land does not increase. Using a process-based bio-/agrosphere model, we simulate the yield-increasing potential of elevated irrigation water productivity (including irrigation expansion with thus saved water) and optimized use of in situ precipitation water (alleviated soil evaporation, enhanced infiltration, water harvesting for supplemental irrigation) under current and projected future climate (from 20 climate models, with and without beneficial CO2 effects). Results show that irrigation efficiency improvements can save substantial amounts of water in many river basins (globally 48% of non-productive water consumption in an ‘ambitious’ scenario), and if rerouted to irrigate neighboring rainfed systems, can boost kcal production significantly (26% global increase). Low-tech solutions for small-scale farmers on water-limited croplands show the potential to increase rainfed yields to a similar extent. In combination, the ambitious yet achievable integrated water management strategies explored in this study could increase global production by 41% and close the water-related yield gap by 62%. Unabated climate change will have adverse effects on crop yields in many regions, but improvements in water management as analyzed here can buffer such effects to a significant degree.

  10. Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably with organic agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Adrian; Schader, Christian; El-Hage Scialabba, Nadia; Brüggemann, Judith; Isensee, Anne; Erb, Karl-Heinz; Smith, Pete; Klocke, Peter; Leiber, Florian; Stolze, Matthias; Niggli, Urs

    2017-11-14

    Organic agriculture is proposed as a promising approach to achieving sustainable food systems, but its feasibility is also contested. We use a food systems model that addresses agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture to analyze the role that organic agriculture could play in sustainable food systems. Here we show that a 100% conversion to organic agriculture needs more land than conventional agriculture but reduces N-surplus and pesticide use. However, in combination with reductions of food wastage and food-competing feed from arable land, with correspondingly reduced production and consumption of animal products, land use under organic agriculture remains below the reference scenario. Other indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions also improve, but adequate nitrogen supply is challenging. Besides focusing on production, sustainable food systems need to address waste, crop-grass-livestock interdependencies and human consumption. None of the corresponding strategies needs full implementation and their combined partial implementation delivers a more sustainable food future.

  11. 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.

  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. Climate change impact research on arable weeds – data, methods and applications at various scale levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breitsameter, Laura

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In the past years, a large number of studies have examined various aspects of possible consequences of climate change for the biology and damage potential of arable weeds. However, there are merely a few examples that have comprehensively investigated individual weed species or arable crop systems within a clearly delimited geographical area. In the frame of the research co-operation KLIFF (Climate change impact and adaptation research for Lower Saxony, we tested an approach that combines a number of methods to span several scale levels and types of environmental factors, which was intended to provide as accurate as possible an estimate of the potential distribution and performance of individual arable weed species under the predicted future climate conditions. This approach was put to practice for the species Abutilon theophrasti, Amaranthus retroflexus, Echinochloa crus-galli, Datura stramonium, Iva xanthiifolia and Setaria viridis. We combined projections of the potential future distribution of the individual weed species based on a correlative distribution modelling approach (regional scale level with pot experiments (local scale level on the vegetative and generative performance of these species under climatic conditions predicted for the end of the current century for Lower Saxony. A synopsis revealed that the results obtained from the different approaches corresponded to a large extent. For A. retroflexus, D. stramonium, E. crus-galli, and S. viridis, both approaches indicated a neutral or positive effect of the predicted future climate on their potential distribution and performance, whereas the opposite was found for I. xanthiifolia. Merely for A. theophrasti, results of the two methods did not fully concur. Altogether, our results highlight that investigating climate change impact on weeds by combining several methods to span several scale levels allows fitting various data sets to a comprehensive picture for a delimited region. It has

  14. Bioenergy production from perennial energy crops: A consequential LCA of 12 bioenergy scenarios including land use changes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonini, Davide; Hamelin, Lorie; Wenzel, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    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...... 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...

  15. Carbon Dioxide in Arable Soil Profiles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    ; however, differences may occur in response to soil spatial variability. A better coverage of spatial variability is more easily addressed using manually operated systems whereas temporal variability can be covered using the automated system. Depending on the aim of the study, the two systems may be used......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...... 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...

  16. The role of Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in improving nitrogen use efficiency for sustainable crop production: a focus on wheat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nilde Antonella Di Benedetto

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to the increase in both human population growth and environmental pressure, it is necessary to raise agricultural productivity without enhancing environmental footprint. Within this context, soil inoculation with PGPB (Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria may be considered a promising tool of integrated management systems. In particular, PGPB may improve plant growth either directly, by facilitating resource use or modulating plant hormone levels, or indirectly by decreasing the inhibitory effects of various pathogenic agents. PGPB comprise different functional and taxonomic groups of bacteria like Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Rhizobium and others. Their ability to either mobilize mineral or organic bound nutrients from the pedosphere or to fix atmospheric N2 and make it available to the plants, is a crucial feature in their application. In literature some data are available on the use of commercial PGPB, while less efforts have been made on the study of the effect of autochthonous PGPB isolated from soils on sustainability of cropping systems; thus a literature survey on these aspects was carried out with special focus on wheat, a staple food for a large part of world population. In particular, the main topic of this review is the potential of PGPB to enhance use efficiency of agro-environmental resources focusing on the interaction PGPB-wheat for improving nitrogen use efficiency.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    ajol.infoand www.bioline.org.br/ja. Mycostimulation in a glyphosate treated arable ..... saturation with natural gas. Proceeding of. American Soil Science Society 24: 41-45. Amare, T (2014). Effect of weed management methods on weeds and.

  20. Assessment of nitrogen dynamics and cropping system sustainability in the Andean segion of South America with a new tool available for computers and smartphones

    OpenAIRE

    Delgado, Jorge A.; Alwang, Jeffrey; Escudero, Luis; Saavedra, Ana Karina; Monar, Carlos; Barrera, Victor H.; Botello, Rubén

    2013-01-01

    Implementation of best soil and water conservation practices will be key to addressing challenges we will confront in the 21st century. With challenges such as climate change and continued population growth, there is a need for tools that can help us quickly assess how to maintain sustainability of cropping systems, which will be essential for maximizing agricultural production, especially in fragile soils of the Andean region of South America. Nitrogen (N) inputs are key for agricultural pro...

  1. SoilBioHedge, harnessing hedgerow soil biodiversity for restoration of arable soil quality and resilience to climatic extremes and land use changes: The impacts of arable to ley conversion on soil hydrological properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Richard; Holden, Joseph; Chapman, Pippa; Hunt, Sarah; Leake, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Modern agricultural practices pose a significant threat to soil security. Continuous conventional cultivation has been observed to deplete soil organic matter, degrade soil structure, reduce water drainage and water holding capacity, increase nitrate leaching, damage the ecosystem engineer earthworm and mycorrhiza populations and increase the susceptibility of soil and crops to the impacts of climatic stress through decreased resilience to flood and drought conditions. The SoilBioHedge project aims to determine the effectiveness of using grass-clover leys linking hedgerows to arable fields in restoring functional biodiversity, soil quality and resilience to drought and excess rainfall in arable farming. Paired 70m long ley strips have been inserted in to 4 fields. Within each field one ley is connected to the margin while in the other a small 1m fallow area and a steel mesh barrier inserted to bedrock is being used to disconnect the ley and margin and prevent macrofaunal movement from the margin to the ley. As part of the SoilBioHedge project we are undertaking a range of analyses to establish the impacts of arable to ley conversion on key hydrological properties of agricultural soils. Soil moisture is being continuously monitored at three depths at 48 separate locations, in addition monthly manual measurements are being taken at 1158 locations. Arable-to-ley conversion is expected to increase soil macrofaunal activity especially in locations closer to hedgerows, enhancing macropore development. Therefore the proportion of water percolating into macropores, mesopores and micropores is being measured using tension infiltrometers which also allow the calculation of saturated hydraulic conductivity. Soil cores have been extracted to examine impacts on bulk and particle density and subsequently porosity, with hydraulic conductivity being measured using a lab permeameter. Here we present the results of these analyses over the first 24 months of the project. This

  2. Assessment of yield stability in sorghum | Adugna | African Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. (Moench)) is the third major cereal crop in Ethiopia in terms of area and production next to tef (Eragrostis tef) and maize (Zea mays). It is the major crop in drought stressed lowland areas that cover 66% of the total arable land in the country. Yield stability is one of the setbacks facing plant ...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. First or second generation biofuel crops in Brandenburg, Germany? A model-based comparison of their production-ecological sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, de S.C.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2014-01-01

    We assessed and compared the production-ecological sustainability of first and second generation biofuel production systems in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. Production ecological sustainability was defined by a limited set of sustainability indicators including net energy yield per hectare, GHG

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall), such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this unique 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...

  9. 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

  10. Water Efficient Alternative Crops for Sustainable Agriculture along the Tarim Basin: A Comparison of the Economic Potentials of Apocynum pictum, Chinese Red Date and Cotton in Xinjiang, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aihemaitijiang Rouzi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This study explores a paradigm of sustainable land use in the oases along the Tarim River of northwest China, where a fragile, semi-arid riparian ecosystem is being damaged by excessive land and water use for agriculture, especially for the growing of cotton. The reliance of agriculture on water-demanding cash crops in this region poses a grave threat to survival of the natural Tugai vegetation in the area and to the long-term sustainability of the region. We explored the hypothesis that the species Apocynum pictum (A. pictum, known as Lop-Kendir by locals, and the Chinese red date (Zyzyphus jujube may act as sustainable crop substitutes for the region, thereby replacing the widely distributed cash crop of cotton that has high water demands. Therefore, we investigated current utilization and cost-revenue structure of these two alternative plants and compared the results to cotton. Three natural resource management types of A. pictum were both identified in the wild and cultivation, with cost-revenue analysis carried out for each. The results show that all three types of institutional arrangements of natural resources, which are namely open access, ranching and farming, were present in our study and at various levels for A. pictum. A. pictum farming costs 16,250.25 yuan/ha, generates 49,014.45 yuan/ha of revenue from raw materials and brings a profit of 32,764.2 yuan/ha, which is the highest of all three cash crops compared. The Chinese government encourages Chinese red date plantations with a “Grain for green” campaign in the Tarim Basin with this plant being more profitable than cotton, which could serve to diversify the region’s agriculture. We conclude that A. pictum offers opportunities for the restoration of vegetation in riparian ecosystems on salinized sites under the arid conditions of the Tarim Basin. Furthermore, it can serve as a viable land-use alternative to cotton for cash crop agriculture, as it may generate a certain income

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    compared to the mean density levels of the conventional growing systems in two consecutive growing seasons. Particularly, Bathyphantes gracilis and Tenuiphantes tenuis took advantage of the more heterogeneous conditions with high secondary vegetation layer density and high food animal supply in the bi......-crop plots compared to the more homogeneous conditions under conventional wheat-growing practices with low food animal supply. Structural equation modelling with a data set pooled from four different wheat-growing practices shows that the linyphiid juvenile production is influenced by the number......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...

  15. Sustainability of soil fertility and the use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for the production of biofuels: a literature review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2013-01-01

    Use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for liquid or gaseous biofuel production may impact soil quality, long-term soil fertility and the major determinants of the latter, stocks of soil organic carbon and nutrients. When soil organic carbon stocks of mineral cropland soils are to be

  16. 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,

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  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. Soil carbon varies between different organic and conventional management schemes in arable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Teng; Sørensen, Peter; Olesen, Jørgen Eivind

    2018-01-01

    a range of arable organic and conventional crop systems at three sites (Jyndevad, Foulum and Flakkebjerg) in Denmark through long-term experiments initiated in 1997. The experimental treatments in the organic farming systems included use of whole-year green manure crops, catch crops and animal manure (as...... in measured topsoil SOC. From 2005–2008, the first 4 years of comparison between organic and conventional farming at all three sites, organic farming with animal manure had 0.3 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 higher estimated C input, but SOC measurements showed that conventional farming accumulated 0.4 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 more...... SOC than organic farming. At Foulum from 2005 to 2012, organic farming with animal manure had 0.7 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 more input, and topsoil SOC measurements showed a higher accumulation of 0.4 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 in organic compared with conventional farming. Regressions of changes in topsoil SOC against...

  1. Assessing the agro-environmental sustainability of organic mixed-crop dairy systems on the basis of a multivariate approach

    OpenAIRE

    COQUIL, X.; FIORELLI, J.-L.; MIGNOLET, C.; BLOUET, A.; FOISSY, D.; TROMMENSCHLAGER, J.M.; BAZARD, C.; GAUJOUR, E.; GOUTTENOIRE, L.; SCHRACK, D.

    2009-01-01

    Sustainable development calls upon the farming sector to commit itself to the transmission of natural resources to future generations. The INRA research team of Mirecourt studies the design of environmentally-friendly farming systems. The design of these systems is based on a multitude of objectives, and their evaluation is determined by a wide range of criteria. This work aims at determining the practical conditions for implementing agricultural systems considered to be sustainable from an e...

  2. Studies on Crop Growth Damage due to Ash Fall form Mt. Minamidake of Sakurajima : (1)Experimental Indications of Crop Damage due to Ash Fall

    OpenAIRE

    角, 明夫; 鈴木, 義則; Akio, SUMI; Yoshinori, SUZUKI; 鹿児島大学農学部生物生産学科; 九州大学農学部農業工学科; Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima University; Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyusyu University

    1998-01-01

    The occurrence mechanisms of crop growth damage due to ash fall were examined experimentally. When volcanic ash was mixed into arable soil, the crop growth was reduced with increasing in its amount because of the deterioration in physical and chemical properties of soil. When the normal soil was arranged concentrically around the main root of a crop, the improvement effect by soil admixing could be found on the smaller replacement. The crop growth was also inhibited when volcanic ash accumula...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<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 contribu...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...... 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...... the results. Neither are crop diversification methods restricted to Organic Farming, nor can IWM (Integrated Weed Management) be successfully implemented without respecting the role of weeds in agro-ecosystems. The project “PRODIVA - Crop diversification and weeds“ is supported within the ERA-net CORE Organic...

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Tapping the Potential of Neglected and Underutilized Food Crops for Sustainable Nutrition Security in the Mountains of Pakistan and Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lipy Adhikari

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Neglected and underutilized food crops (NUFCs have high nutritional value, but their role in achieving nutrition security is not adequately understood, and they do not feature in food and nutrition policies and programs of the countries of the Hindu-Kush Himalayan (HKH region. Drawing examples from Pakistan and Nepal, this study investigates the importance of NUFCs in achieving nutrition security in the mountains and identifies key underlying reasons for the decline in their cultivation and use. The study found that the prevalence of malnutrition is significantly higher in the mountains than nationally in both Pakistan and Nepal and identifies the decline in the cultivation and use of micronutrient-rich NUFCs as one of the key reasons for this. The deterioration of local food systems, changing food habits, lack of knowledge about the cultivation, use and nutritional value of NUFCs and lack of attention to NUFCs in programs and policies are the key reasons for the abandoning of NUFCs by mountain communities. There is an urgent need to mainstream these crops into national programs and policies and to integrate them into local food systems. This will not only improve the nutrition security of mountain areas, but also biodiversity and local mountain economies.

  11. Accelerating the domestication of a bioenergy crop: identifying and modelling morphological targets for sustainable yield increase in Miscanthus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, Paul; Jensen, Elaine; Hawkins, Sarah; White, Simon R; Kenobi, Kim; Clifton-Brown, John; Donnison, Iain; Farrar, Kerrie

    2013-11-01

    To accelerate domestication of Miscanthus, an important energy crop, 244 replicated genotypes, including two different species and their hybrids, were analysed for morphological traits and biomass yield over three growing seasons following an establishment phase of 2 years in the largest Miscanthus diversity trial described to date. Stem and leaf traits were selected that contributed both directly and indirectly to total harvested biomass yield, and there was variation in all traits measured. Morphological diversity within the population was correlated with dry matter yield (DMY) both as individual traits and in combination, in order to determine the respective contributions of the traits to biomass accumulation and to identify breeding targets for yield improvement. Predictive morphometric analysis was possible at year 3 within Miscanthus sinensis genotypes but not between M. sinensis, Miscanthus sacchariflorus, and interspecific hybrids. Yield is a complex trait, and no single simple trait explained more than 33% of DMY, which varied from 1 to 5297 g among genotypes within this trial. Associating simple traits increased the power of the morphological data to predict yield to 60%. Trait variety, in combination, enabled multiple ideotypes, thereby increasing the potential diversity of the crop for multiple growth locations and end uses. Both triploids and interspecific hybrids produced the highest mature yields, indicating that there is significant heterosis to be exploited within Miscanthus that might be overlooked in early selection screens within years 1-3. The potential for optimizing biomass yield by selecting on the basis of morphology is discussed.

  12. 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

  13. Sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Harris, Nora; Shealy, Tripp; Klotz, Leidy

    2016-01-01

    Across fields, more sustainable and resilient outcomes are being realized through a whole systems design perspective, which guides decision-makers to consider the entire system affected including interdependent physical and social networks. Although infrastructure is extremely interdependent, consisting of diverse stakeholders and networks, the infrastructure design and construction process is often fragmented. This fragmentation can result in unnecessary tradeoffs, leading to poor outcomes f...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  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. 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...

  2. 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...

  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. Crop Planning using Stochastic Visual Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Sehgal, Gunjan; Gupta, Bindu; Paneri, Kaushal; Singh, Karamjit; Sharma, Geetika; Shroff, Gautam

    2017-01-01

    As the world population increases and arable land decreases, it becomes vital to improve the productivity of the agricultural land available. Given the weather and soil properties, farmers need to take critical decisions such as which seed variety to plant and in what proportion, in order to maximize productivity. These decisions are irreversible and any unusual behavior of external factors, such as weather, can have catastrophic impact on the productivity of crop. A variety which is highly d...

  5. 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.

  6. Crops in silico: A community wide multi-scale computational modeling framework of plant canopies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, V.; Christensen, A.; Borkiewic, K.; Yiwen, X.; Ellis, A.; Panneerselvam, B.; Kannan, K.; Shrivastava, S.; Cox, D.; Hart, J.; Marshall-Colon, A.; Long, S.

    2016-12-01

    Current crop models predict a looming gap between supply and demand for primary foodstuffs over the next 100 years. While significant yield increases were achieved in major food crops during the early years of the green revolution, the current rates of yield increases are insufficient to meet future projected food demand. Furthermore, with projected reduction in arable land, decrease in water availability, and increasing impacts of climate change on future food production, innovative technologies are required to sustainably improve crop yield. To meet these challenges, we are developing Crops in silico (Cis), a biologically informed, multi-scale, computational modeling framework that can facilitate whole plant simulations of crop systems. The Cis framework is capable of linking models of gene networks, protein synthesis, metabolic pathways, physiology, growth, and development in order to investigate crop response to different climate scenarios and resource constraints. This modeling framework will provide the mechanistic details to generate testable hypotheses toward accelerating directed breeding and engineering efforts to increase future food security. A primary objective for building such a framework is to create synergy among an inter-connected community of biologists and modelers to create a realistic virtual plant. This framework advantageously casts the detailed mechanistic understanding of individual plant processes across various scales in a common scalable framework that makes use of current advances in high performance and parallel computing. We are currently designing a user friendly interface that will make this tool equally accessible to biologists and computer scientists. Critically, this framework will provide the community with much needed tools for guiding future crop breeding and engineering, understanding the emergent implications of discoveries at the molecular level for whole plant behavior, and improved prediction of plant and ecosystem

  7. Sustainable biomass production on Marginal Lands (SEEMLA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbera, Federica; Baumgarten, Wibke; Pelikan, Vincent

    2017-04-01

    Sustainable biomass production on Marginal Lands (SEEMLA) The main objective of the H2020 funded EU project SEEMLA (acronym for Sustainable Exploitation of Biomass for Bioenergy from Marginal Lands in Europe) is the establishment of suitable innovative land-use strategies for a sustainable production of plant-based energy on marginal lands while improving general ecosystem services. The use of marginal lands (MagL) could contribute to the mitigation of the fast growing competition between traditional food production and production of renewable bio-resources on arable lands. SEEMLA focuses on the promotion of re-conversion of MagLs for the production of bioenergy through the direct involvement of farmers and forester, the strengthening of local small-scale supply chains, and the promotion of plantations of bioenergy plants on MagLs. Life cycle assessment is performed in order to analyse possible impacts on the environment. A soil quality rating tool is applied to define and classify MagL. Suitable perennial and woody bioenergy crops are selected to be grown in pilot areas in the partner countries Ukraine, Greece and Germany. SEEMLA is expected to contribute to an increasing demand of biomass for bioenergy production in order to meet the 2020 targets and beyond.

  8. Efficiency and environmental indexes to evaluate the sustainability of mineral and organic fertilization in an irrigated melon crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Requejo Mariscal, María Isabel; Villena Gordo, Raquel; Cartagena Causapé, María Carmen; Arce Martínez, Augusto; Ribas Elcorobarrutia, Francisco; Jesús Cabello Cabello, María; María Tarquis Alfonso, Ana; Castellanos Serrano, María Teresa

    2014-05-01

    Melon is traditionally cultivated in fertigated farmlands in the center of Spain with high inputs of water and N fertilizer. Excess N can have a negative impact, from the economic point of view, since it can diminish the production and quality of the fruit, from the environmental point of view, since it is a very mobile element in the soil and can contaminate groundwater. From health point of view, nitrate can be accumulated in fruit pulp, and, in addition, groundwater is the fundamental supply source of human populations. Best management practices are particularly necessary in this region as many zones have been declared vulnerable to NO3- pollution (Directive 91/676/CEE) During successive years, a melon crop (Cucumis melo L.) was grown under field conditions applying mineral and organic fertilizers under drip irrigation. Different doses of ammonium nitrate were used as well as compost derived from the wine-distillery industry which is relevant in this area. The present study reviews the most common N efficiency indexes [1] under the different management options with a view to maximizing yield and minimizing N loss. Acknowledgements: This project has been supported by INIA-RTA04-111-C3 and INIA-RTA2010-00110-C03-01. [1] Castellanos, M., Tarquis, A., Ribas, F., Cabello, M., Arce, A., & Cartagena, M. (2013). Nitrogen fertigation: An integrated agronomic and environmental study. Agricultural Water Management, 120, 46-55.

  9. Halophytes as Bioenergy Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita Sharma

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Shrinking arable land due to soil salinization and, depleting fresh water resources pose serious worldwide constraints to crop productivity. A vision of using plant feedstock for biofuel production can only be realized if we can identify alternate species that can be grown on saline soils and therefore, would not compete for the resources required for conventional agriculture. Halophytes have remarkable ability to grow under high salinity conditions. They can be irrigated with seawater without compromising their biomass and seed yields making them good alternate candidates as bioenergy crops. Both oil produced from the seeds and the lignocellulosic biomass of halophytes can be utilized for biofuel production. Several researchers across the globe have recognized this potential and assessed several halophytes for their tolerance to salt, seed oil contents and composition of their lignocellulosic biomass. Here, we review current advances and highlight the key species of halophytes analyzed for this purpose. We have critically assessed the challenges and opportunities associated with using halophytes as bioenergy crops.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Crop Sequence Calculator, v. 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Producers need to know how to sequence crops to develop sustainable dynamic cropping systems that take advantage of inherent internal resources, such as crop synergism, nutrient cycling, and soil water, and capitalize on external resources, such as weather, markets, and government programs. Version ...

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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 (20cm), using mustard solution.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Simulation and validation of greenhouse gas emissions and SOC stock changes in arable land using the ECOSSE model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, M. I.; Richards, M.; Osborne, B.; Williams, M.; Müller, C.

    2013-12-01

    Model simulations of C and N dynamics, based on country-specific agricultural and environmental conditions, can provide information for compiling national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, as well as insights into potential mitigation options. A multi-pool dynamic model, ‘ECOSSE’ (v5 modified), was used to simulate coupled GHGs and soil organic carbon (SOC) stock changes. It was run for an equivalent time frame of 8 years with inputs from conventionally-tilled arable land cropped with spring barley receiving N fertilizer as calcium ammonium nitrate at 135-159 kg N ha-1 and crop residues (3 t ha-1 yr-1). The simulated daily N2O fluxes were consistent with the measured values, with R2 of 0.33 (p losses were 0.39-0.60% of the N applied, with a modelled estimate of 0.23-0.41%. In contrast, the measured annual N2O loss (integrated) was 0.35% and the corresponding simulated value of 0.45% increased to 0.59% when the sum of the daily fluxes was taken into account. This indicates intermittent gas samplings may miss the peak fluxes. On an 8-year average the modelled N2O emission factor (EF) was 0.53 ± 0.03%. The model successfully predicted the daily heterotrophic respiration (RH), with an R2 of 0.45 (p loss of 516 kg C ha-1 yr-1 was indicated, which is within the uncertainty range for temperate regions. Results suggest that the model is suitable for estimating the GHG balance of arable fields. However, further refinements and analyses to fully determine and narrow down the uncertainty ranges for GHG estimates are required.

  6. 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 .....

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Trade-offs in soil fertility management on arable farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, Jules F.F.P.; Berge, ten Hein F.M.; Verhagen, Jan; Ittersum, van Martin K.

    2017-01-01

    Crop production and soil fertility management implies a multitude of decisions and activities on crop choice, rotation design and nutrient management. In practice, the choices to be made and the resulting outcomes are subject to a wide range of objectives and constraints. Objectives are economic

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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....

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Sustentabilidade de sistemas de rotação e sucessão de culturas em solos de várzea no Sul do Brasil Crop rotations sustainability and successions systems in tilled plain areas in Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco de Jesus Vernetti Junior

    2009-09-01

    [nabo x soja x arroz (PD] apresentam, respectivamente, a maior e a menor sustentabilidade entre aqueles sistemas em que a cultura da soja participa; (c o sistema S5 [campo nativo x soja x arroz (SC] apresenta o menor índice de sustentabilidade; (d o sistema S8 [Consórcio x milho x arroz (PD] apresenta a melhor distribuição e o melhor equilíbrio entre as diversas perspectivas de sustentabilidade consideradas; (e o sistema S10 [campo nativo x milho x arroz (SC] tem pior desempenho, no que se refere à sustentabilidade entre os que incluem o milho; (f o sistema de PD confere maior sustentabilidade às sucessões de cultura.The quantitative analysis with different types of indicators is crucial in determining the sustainability of crop succession. This study aimed to appraise that in tilled plain areas. The research was carried out in Pelotas, RS, Brazil at Embrapa Clima Temperado research area. The treatments consisted of successions of winter and spring-summer crops species for five years, followed by two years of fallow and three years of rice cropping. The spring-summer crops were corn and soybean, besides rice; the winter crops were cereals, leguminous pastures, mixtures species, turnip and native grass species. Seeding was performed either by no-till (NT or conventional (CT. The experiment was planned in a split-plot randomized blocks design with three replications, where the summer crops occupied the plots, while the winter's species were allocated to the subplots. The parameters measured were transformed into index to standardize the variables, each one in relation to the better measurement behavior, and arranged in four categories of analysis: (a Agronomics indices (dry weight and grain yield; (b Environmental indicators (soil fertility; (c Energy Indicators (gain and energy efficiency; d Economic Indicators (profitability and gross value of production. Through harmonic average rates calculated for each indicator, comparisons to the crop succession were then

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A method to assess ecosystem services developed from soil attributes with stakeholders and data of four arable farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutgers, M; van Wijnen, H J; Schouten, A J; Mulder, C; Kuiten, A M P; Brussaard, L; Breure, A M

    2012-01-15

    Ecosystem-service indicators and related accounting units are crucial for the development of decision frameworks for sustainable land management systems. With a management concept using ecosystem services, land-use expectations can be linked to quantifiable soil features in a defendable and transparent way. A method to define a set of site-specific ecosystem services and indication system for quantification was set-up and run. First, we interviewed a wide group of land users profiting from ecosystem services of the soil at four arable farms in the polder Hoeksche Waard (S-SE of Rotterdam, the Netherlands). Subsequently, site-specific ecosystem services were defined and weighted according to land use expectations at different spatial and temporal scales. Second, a practical set of indicators was taken from 'Best Professional Judgment' and used to quantify the performance of the ecosystem services for these four farms. The indicators were derived from biotic and abiotic soil parameters. The performance of ecosystem services was related to a reference situation (MEP: maximum ecological potential) with the same land use and soil type combination (i.e., arable fields on silt loam) taken from the database of our national soil survey. In many cases, the performance of ecosystem services was relatively poor if compared to MEP. However, the performances of natural attenuation and/or climate-related services were better. In addition, the different management of these farms (i.e. conventional, intensive and organic farming) was reflected in the performance of the ecosystem services of their soils. Third, land management measures to improve the targeted ecosystem services were incorporated in the outlined method, but not worked out with illustrative field data in this study. Together with concordant data, we show opportunities for a quantification of ecosystem services to improve land-users' awareness and to assess management sustainability. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All

  20. 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

  1. 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 ...

  2. Nitrate leaching and residual effect in dairy crop rotations with grass-clover leys as influenced by sward age, grazing, cutting and fertilizer regimes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Jørgen; Askegaard, Margrethe; Rasmussen, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Intensive dairy farming, with grass-arable crop rotations is challenged by low N use efficiency that may have adverse environmental consequences. We investigated nitrate leaching and N fertility effects of grass–clover leys for five years in two organic crop rotations with different grassland...

  3. 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

  4. Radioecological monitoring of small vertebrates from reserves and arable lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vojtovich, A.M.; Afonin, V.Yu.

    2002-01-01

    The radioecological monitoring of small vertebrates (frogs and mice) from wild populations was performed. The animals were caught in the heavily radiocontaminated area of Polesskij Radioecological Reserve, Berezinskij Biosphere Reserve and arable lands. Animals from more radiocontaminated areas displayed the highest Cs 137 and Sr 90 accumulation, especially in the first years after the Chernobyl disaster. The radionuclide concentration (Cs 137, Sr 90 and Pu 239,240) in frogs in the vicinity of Cherikov (Mogilev region) is characteristic of water soluble forms of radionuclides. The short-time tendency to concentration of .(-.emitted radionuclides was revealed in frogs in the areas of Berezinskij Reserve and in Minsk district. Incorporated Cs 137 was the main internal dose-forming factor for animals. Contribution of Sr 90 to the absorbed dose was significant in frogs till 1990. The next generations did not have such a high level of Sr 90 accumulation. The Cs 137 accumulation in rodents was the highest in 1990 and then dropped. The Sr 90 accumulation in bank voles was stable with slow tendency to growth. In the territory of Polesskij Reserve in 1991 the hot particles were registered in mice lungs and Pu 239 was observed in liver. In 10...15 year after Chernobyl disaster the highest Cs 137 content was registered in frogs and mice from more contaminated with radiation sites in Polesskij Reserve. In recent years the osteotropic radionuclides form the main dose-forming factor. (authors)

  5. Spatial Distribution of Fungal Communities in an Arable Soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Moll

    Full Text Available Fungi are prominent drivers of ecological processes in soils, so that fungal communities across different soil ecosystems have been well investigated. However, for arable soils taxonomically resolved fine-scale studies including vertical itemization of fungal communities are still missing. Here, we combined a cloning/Sanger sequencing approach of the ITS/LSU region as marker for general fungi and of the partial SSU region for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF to characterize the microbiome in different maize soil habitats. Four compartments were analyzed over two annual cycles 2009 and 2010: a ploughed soil in 0-10 cm, b rooted soil in 40-50 cm, c root-free soil in 60-70 cm soil depth and d maize roots. Ascomycota was the most dominant phylum across all compartments. Fungal communities including yeasts and AMF differed strongly between compartments. Inter alia, Tetracladium, the overall largest MOTU (molecular operational taxonomic unit, occurred in all compartments, whereas Trichosporon dominated all soil compartments. Sequences belonging to unclassified Helotiales were forming the most abundant MOTUs exclusively present in roots. This study gives new insights on spatial distribution of fungi and helps to link fungal communities to specific ecological properties such as varying resources, which characterize particular niches of the heterogeneous soil environment.

  6. 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

  7. Cereal density and N-fertiliser effects on the flora and biodiversity value of arable headlands

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, Markus; Bullock, James M.; Hulmes, Lucy; Hulmes, Sarah; Pywell, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Modern intensive farming caused pronounced changes to the European arable flora. Many species adapted to less intensive traditional farming declined severely, as did the potential of unsown arable vegetation to support higher trophic levels. To reverse these trends, various agri-environment measures were introduced. One such measure is to manage cereal headlands as conservation headlands, involving strict restrictions on pesticide and fertiliser use. An additional modification to management w...

  8. 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......, crop management technologies have been developed, with a special focus on the Mediterranean region, to enhance crop production by increasing land productivity and sustaining soil fertility under influence of climate changes and population increases. The main objective of this study was to analyse...... dryland Mediterranean cropping systems, and to discuss and recommend sustainable cropping technologies that could be used at the small-scale farm level. Four crop management practices were evaluated: crop rotations, reduced tillage, use of organic manure, and supplemental and deficit irrigation. Among...

  9. Evaluating sustainable and profitable cropping sequences with cassave and four legume crops: Effects on soil fertility and maize yields in the forest/savannah transitional agro-ecological zone of Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adjei-Nsiah, S.; Kuyper, T.W.; Leeuwis, C.; Abekoe, M.K.; Giller, K.E.

    2007-01-01

    Rotations are important practices for managing soil fertility on smallholder farms. Six cropping sequences (cassava, pigeonpea, mucuna-maize-mucuna, cowpea-maize-cowpea, maize-maize-maize, and speargrass fallow) were evaluated during 2003-2004 in Wenchi district of Ghana for their effects on the

  10. 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.

  11. Flowering cover crops in winter increase pest control but not trophic link diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Damien , Maxime; Le Lann , Cécile; Desneux , Nicolas; Alford , Lucy; Al Hassan , Diab; Georges , Romain; Van Baaren , Joan

    2017-01-01

    International audience; In agrosystems, the increase in non-crop plant diversity by habitat management in or around arable fields contributes to improved Conservation Biological Control. During winter, plant flower are often used as monospecific ground cover and are expected to die before flowering as a result of recurrent frost events. Decreases in minimal temperature due to climate change offers new possibilities for plants used in such sown cover crops to mature and flowers. Changes in pla...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Estimation of Arable Land Loss in Shandong Province, China based on BFAST Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y.

    2016-12-01

    With the rapid development of national economy and rise of industrialization, China has been one of the countries which has the fastest urbanization process. From 2001 to 2005, China lost over 2000 km2 fertile arable land every year because of urban expansion. Arable land area declining continuously poses a threat to China's food security. Land survey is the direct way to statistic the arable land status, which lasts long time and needs mounts of financial support. Remote sensing is a perfect way to survey land use and its dynamics at large scale. This paper aims to evaluate the detailed status of agricultural land loss of Shandong Province, China by using BFAST (Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend) model. First, the 30m spatial resolution global land cover products GlobeLand30 in 2000 and 2010 are used to locate pixels transforming from agricultural land to artificial cover during this period. Within a MODIS pixel (250m) area, if over half of GlobeLand30 pixels have changed from arable land to artificial cover, then the responding MODIS pixel is classified as changed area, whose phenology reflected by NDVI time series curve will also change. Then, BFAST is used to detect the break point which represents the time of change occurred using MODIS NDVI time series data. From 2002 to 2010, Shandong Province lost its 1063.03 km2 arable land in total. Arable land loss has a declining trend in each year and most loss occurred in 2002 and 2003. Spatially, cities which has higher level of economic development in central and eastern regions lost more arable land. Finally, compare this result with statistical data from China's national Bureau of Statistics, there is a strong positive relationship.

  16. Institutional Factors Influencing Crop Farmers Adoption of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    E M IGBOKWE

    A total of 260 crop farmers who have sustained the use of agrochemicals for at ..... Internet. 105 (40.4). 10th. NAFDAC. 88 (32.3). 11th. EPA. 36 (13.8). 12th. Extension Visits to Crop Farmers. More than 30% of crop farmers were not visited in the last one ..... parameters of eggplant protection in Jessore District of Bangladesh.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The sustainability of quinoa production in Southern Bolivia : from misrepresentations to questionable solutions. Comments on Jacobsen (2011, J. Agron. Crop Sci. 197: 390-399)

    OpenAIRE

    Winkel, Thierry; Bertero, H. D.; Bommel, P.; Bourliaud, J.; Lazo, M. C.; Cortes, G.; Gasselin, P.; Geerts, S.; Joffre, R.; Leger, F.; Avisa, B. M.; Rambal, S.; Rivière, G.; Tichit, M.; Tourrand, J. F.

    2012-01-01

    Reviewing the situation of quinoa production in southern Bolivia, Jacobsen (2011, J. Agron. Crop Sci. 197: 390) argues that the booming export market has a negative effect on the environment and on the home consumption of quinoa, thereby leading to an environmental disaster in the region. In view of the scarcity of scientific knowledge on the rapid social and environmental dynamics in the region, we consider that Jacobsens review misrepresents the situation of quinoa production in southern Bo...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. CROPS Clever Robots for Crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bontsema, J.; Hemming, J.; Pekkeriet, E.J.

    2015-01-01

    In the EU-funded CROPS project robots are developed for site-specific spraying and selective harvesting of fruit
    and fruit vegetables. The robots are being designed to harvest crops, such as greenhouse vegetables, apples,
    grapes and for canopy spraying in orchards and for precision target

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of agricultural tillage practise on green house gas balance of an arable soil in a long term field experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munch, Jean Charles; Schilling, Rolf; Ruth, Bernhard; Fuss, Roland

    2010-05-01

    Soils are an important part of the global carbon cycle. A large proportion of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is released from soils, though carbon sequestration occurs. Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions of soils are also believed to contribute significantly to the green house effect as well as the stratospheric ozone depletion. An important source of N2O emissions is denitrification of nitrate from nitrogen fertilized soils. Although it is desirable to minimize these emissions while maintaining high crop yields it is still poorly understood how green house gas emissions may be steered by agricultural management practise, i.e. tillage and fertilization systems . In an ongoing long term field experiment at the research farm Scheyern, Bavaria, a arable field with one homogenous soil formation was transformed into plots in a randomized design 14 years ago. Since then, they are managed using conventional tillage (CT) and no tillage (NT) as well as low and high fertilization. A conventional crop rotation is maintained on the field. Starting 2007, CO2 and N2O emissions were monitored continuously for 2.5 years. Furthermore water content, temperature and redox potential were measured in-situ as they are major factors on microbial activity and denitrification. Soil was sampled from the Ap horizons of the plots about twice a month and extracts from these soil samples were analyzed for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), ammonium, nitrate/nitrite, and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON). According to the results soil density and hydrology are clearly affected by tillage practise. DOC is more affected by tillage while concentration of nitrogen species is controlled mainly by fertilization. There are distinct differences in redox potential between CT and NT plots with CT plots having more anaerobic periods. CO2 and N2O emissions exhibit a clear seasonal pattern and are affected by both tillage system and fertilization

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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)

    Kumar, Anil; Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-10-01

    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.

  14. Toward sustainable production of protein-rich foods: appraisal of eight crops for Western Europe. Part I. Analysis of the primary links of the production chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnemann, Anita R; Dijkstra, Dolf Swaving

    2002-07-01

    Increased production of plant protein is required to support the production of protein-rich foods that can replace meat in the human diet to reduce the strain that intensive animal husbandry poses to the environment. The suitability of lupin (Lupinus spp.), pea (Pisum sativum), quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), triticale (x Triticosecale), lucerne (Medicago sativa), grasses (Lolium and Festuca spp.), rapeseed/canola (Brassica napus), and potato (Solanum tuberosum) for protein production in Western Europe was studied on the basis of a chain approach. The aspects considered are the familiarity of farmers with the cultivation of the crop, prospects for rapid crop improvement, protein production (kg/ha), protein quality (absence of unwanted substances) and familiarity with the usage for human food in Western Europe. Pea, lucerne, and grasses are the most promising, fair prospects are foreseen for lupin, triticale, rapeseed, and potato, whereas the possibilities for quinoa are judged to lag far behind. Estimated protein production for pea, lucerne, and grasses is 1250, 2500, and 2500 kg/ha, respectively.

  15. Towards sustainable production of protein-rich foods: appraisal of eight crops for Western Europe. PART II: Analysis of the technological aspects of the production chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Dolf Swaving; Linnemann, Anita R; van Boekel, Tiny A J S

    2003-01-01

    Increased production of plant protein is required to support the production of protein-rich foods which can replace meat in the human diet to reduce the strain that intensive animal husbandry poses on the environment. The suitability of lupin (Lupinus spp.), pea (Pisum sativum), quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), triticale (x Triticosecale), lucerne (Medicago sativa), grasses (Lolium and Festuca spp.), rapeseed/canola (Brassica napus) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) for protein production in Western Europe was studied on the basis of a chain-approach. The technological aspects, which are considered in this paper, are the processing methods, and the functional and nutritional properties of the derived protein products. The overall evaluation of the technological prospects of the eight crops as a protein source for Western Europe leads to the conclusion that this part of the production chain is not decisive for that choice. Pea and lupin have a slight advantage over the other crops, because their concentrates and isolates are already commercially available.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Reducing pesticide use and pesticide impact by productivity growth: the case of dutch arable farming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Skevas, T.; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    This paper employs a dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model to measure the composition of productivity growth of pesticides and the environmental impacts of pesticides. The application focuses on panel data of Dutch arable farms over the period 2003–07. A bootstrap regression model is used to

  20. BIOLOGICAL WAYS OF STRUGGLE AGAINST WATER EROSION ON ARABLE SLOPES OF THE CENTRAL RUSSIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatyana ANISIMOVA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In article are proved a choice of ways of struggle against water erosion of arable slopes on the basis of harnessing the potential of bio-based agrocenosis. Efficiency of use long-term lupine in quality green manure and phyto-ameliorant on eroded soddy-podzolic sandy soils of the Vladimir area is shown.

  1. 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

  2. Effect of vegetation manipulation of abandoned arable land on soil microbial properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maly, S.; Korthals, G.W.; Van Dijk, C.; Van der Putten, W.H.; De Boer, W.

    2000-01-01

    The effect of vegetation composition on various soil microbial properties in abandoned arable land was investigated 2 years after agricultural practice had terminated. Microbial numbers and processes were determined in five replicate plots of each of the following treatments: continued agricultural

  3. Analysing Profits and Economic Behaviour of Organic and Conventional Dutch arable farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.; Jensma, K.

    2003-01-01

    This paper uses a micro-econometric model to analyse differences in variable profits and economic behaviour between organic and conventional arable farms. Insight in factors underlying these differences is essential in designing policy measures that aim at encouraging the transition to a more

  4. Species richness and weed abundance in the vegetation of arable field boundaries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.

    1997-01-01


    In the modem arable landscape, the vegetation of perennial field boundaries have important ecological functions such as providing a habitat for farmland wildlife, providing overwintering sites for predatory insects, providing movement corridors, reducing soil erosion and acting as an

  5. Effects of spent engine oil pollution on arable soil of Nekede ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The disposing automobile wastes in the environment; especially spent engine oil on arable soils around mechanic villages is a common practice in Nigeria. Consequently this investigation was carried out in order to assess the effect of spent engine oil on selected soil physical and chemical properties and the ...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Enhancement of late successional plants on ex-arable land by soil inoculations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanesa Carbajo

    Full Text Available Restoration of species-rich grasslands on ex-arable land can help the conservation of biodiversity but faces three big challenges: absence of target plant propagules, high residual soil fertility and restoration of soil communities. Seed additions and top soil removal can solve some of these constraints, but restoring beneficial biotic soil conditions remains a challenge. Here we test the hypotheses that inoculation of soil from late secondary succession grasslands in arable receptor soil enhances performance of late successional plants, especially after top soil removal but pending on the added dose. To test this we grew mixtures of late successional plants in arable top (organic soil or in underlying mineral soil mixed with donor soil in small or large proportions. Donor soils were collected from different grasslands that had been under restoration for 5 to 41 years, or from semi-natural grassland that has not been used intensively. Donor soil addition, especially when collected from older restoration sites, increased plant community biomass without altering its evenness. In contrast, addition of soil from semi-natural grassland promoted plant community evenness, and hence its diversity, but reduced community biomass. Effects of donor soil additions were stronger in mineral than in organic soil and larger with bigger proportions added. The variation in plant community composition was explained best by the abundances of nematodes, ergosterol concentration and soil pH. We show that in controlled conditions inoculation of soil from secondary succession grassland into ex-arable land can strongly promote target plant species, and that the role of soil biota in promoting target plant species is greatest when added after top soil removal. Together our results point out that transplantation of later secondary succession soil can promote grassland restoration on ex-arable land.

  10. Crop yield, weed infestation and soil fertility responses to contrasted ploughing intensity and manure additions in a Mediterranean organic crop rotation

    OpenAIRE

    Baldivieso-Freitas, P.; Blanco-Moreno, José Manuel; Armengot, Laura; Chamorro, Lourdes; Romanyà, Joan; Sans, F. Xavier

    2018-01-01

    Conservation agriculture and organic farming are two alternative strategies that aim to improve soil quality and fertility in arable cropping systems through the deployment of different practices, that are rarely combined. While conservation agriculture practices include reducing tillage intensity and maintaining soil cover all year round to prevent soil erosion, organic farming focuses on nutrient recycling, using farmyard manure and green manure to enhance soil quality. However, these pract...

  11. How does different arable management affect potential N mineralisation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Heide; Sandén, Taru; Dersch, Georg; Baumgarten, Andreas

    2017-04-01

    The production of food and animal feed on agricultural soils and an increasing need to generate biomass for material and energy use on the limited resource soil require optimal nutrient storage and cycling. Especially nitrogen (N) should be managed as accurate as possible to ensure beneficial yields and product qualities and to avoid adverse environmental effects, e.g. N leaching into waters and gaseous losses into the atmosphere. One biological indicator to assess the site specific potential to release N is the "potential N mineralisation". This parameter can be measured by routine analysis with the anaerobic incubation method (KEENEY, 1982), modified according to KANDELER (1993) on dried soils. The results of the potential N mineralisation measurements can be classified (high: > 70 mg N kg-1 7 d-1, medium and low: 35-70 mg and ≤ 35 N kg-1 7d-1, respectively) according to the Austrian guidelines for appropriate fertilisation (BMLFUW, 2017). The results of this biological soil parameter provide information about soil fertility and the nutrient status to the farmers and can be used to adjust N fertilisation recommendations. Furthermore, AGES runs long-term field experiments since several decades. We have evaluated the effects of different agricultural management, such as organic and mineral fertilisation and tillage, on the potential N mineralisation at different sites in Austria. Our results indicate that the potential N mineralisation increases significantly after long-term organic fertilisation (farmyard manure (FYM)), after long-term incorporation of crop residues and the reduction of tillage.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. African Orphan Crops under Abiotic Stresses: Challenges and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zerihun Tadele

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A changing climate, a growing world population, and a reduction in arable land devoted to food production are all problems facing the world food security. The development of crops that can yield under uncertain and extreme climatic and soil growing conditions can play a key role in mitigating these problems. Major crops such as maize, rice, and wheat are responsible for a large proportion of global food production but many understudied crops (commonly known as “orphan crops” including millets, cassava, and cowpea feed millions of people in Asia, Africa, and South America and are already adapted to the local environments in which they are grown. The application of modern genetic and genomic tools to the breeding of these crops can provide enormous opportunities for ensuring world food security but is only in its infancy. In this review, the diversity and types of understudied crops will be introduced, and the beneficial traits of these crops as well as their role in the socioeconomics of Africa will be discussed. In addition, the response of orphan crops to diverse types of abiotic stresses is investigated. A review of the current tools and their application to the breeding of enhanced orphan crops will also be described. Finally, few examples of global efforts on tackling major abiotic constraints in Africa are presented.

  15. 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)

  16. Sustainable agriculture in temporary and permanent crops in Portugal | Agricultura sustentável em culturas temporárias e permanentes em Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Iris Verslype

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Portugal is located in the southwest of Europe, bordered to the north and east by Spain and the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean and has a total area of 92,090 km². It offers most of its territory, temperate climate and from May to September are the months when higher temperatures in summer, depending on the geographic distribution, very high. In this work, the objective is to study the main temporary and permanent crops with an indication to organic farming. The study was conducted during the months of January to May 2016 and were held consultations with census data and scientific articles and these data were crossed for discussion. The data of production, area of cultivation were intertwined with organic farming possibilities and possibilities available for openings boundaries according to the adjustment of culture temperature, photoperiod and precipitation. Portugal has a very favorable climate for diverse cultures. Investing in organic farming can result in benefit food quality adding more value to the products, resulting in higher GDP consequently help the organic farmer.>

  17. Effects of grass-clover management and cover crops on nitrogen cycling and nitrous oxide emissions in a stockless organic crop rotation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brozyna, Michal Adam; Petersen, Søren O; Chirinda, Ngoni

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) supply in stockless organic farming may be improved through use of grass-clover for anaerobic digestion, producing biogas and digested manure for use as fertilizer in the crop rotation. We studied the effects of grass-clover management on N cycling, nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions...... and cash-crop yields in an organic arable crop rotation on a sandy loam soil in a cool temperate climate. The four-course crop rotation included spring barley (with undersown grass-clover), grass-clover, potato and winter wheat (with undersown cover crop). Two fertilization treatments were compared: “−M...... in the rotation (spring barley, potato and winter wheat); actual digestion of grass-clover cuttings was not possible, instead digested pig manure was used as substitute for digested grass-clover. Nitrous oxide fluxes were monitored between April 2008 and May 2009. In general, application of digested manure had...

  18. 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

  19. Variation in Cropping Intensity in Northern China from 1982 to 2012 Based on GIMMS-NDVI Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjun Ding

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Cropping intensity is an important indicator of the intensity of cropland use and plays a very important role in food security. In this study, we reconstructed a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI time-series from 1982 to 2012 using the Savitzky-Golay (S-G technique and used it to derive a multiple cropping index (MCI combined with land use data. Spatial–temporal patterns of variation in the MCI of northern China were as follows: (1 The MCI in northern China increased gradually from north-west to south-east; from 1982 to 2012, the mean cropping index across grid-cells over the study area increased by 4.36% per 10 years (p < 0.001 with fluctuations throughout the study period; (2 The mean MCI across grid-cells over the whole of northern China increased from 107% to 115% with all provinces showing an increasing trend throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Aside from Tianjin, Hebei, Beijing, and Shandong, all provinces also displayed an increasing trend between the 1990s and 2000s. Arable slope played an important role in the variation of the MCI; regions with slope ≤3° and the regions with slope >3° were characterized by inverse temporal MCI trends; (3 Drivers of change in the MCI were diverse and varied across different spatial and temporal scales; the MCI was affected by the changing agricultural population, deployment of food policies, and methods introduced for maximizing farmer benefits. For the protection of national food security, measures are needed to improve the MCI. However, more attention should also be given to the negative impacts that these measures may have on agricultural sustainability, such as soil pollution by chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Patrik Mouron; Chiara Calabrese; Stève Breitenmoser; Simon Spycher; Robert Baur

    2016-01-01

    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 ecolog...

  1. A Global Perspective on the Sustainable Performance of Urbanization

    OpenAIRE

    Liyin Shen; Chenyang Shuai; Liudan Jiao; Yongtao Tan; Xiangnan Song

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  2. Adoption of Recommended Agrochemical Practices among Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study assessed the level of adoption of recommended agrochemical practices among crop farmers in Kaduna and Ondo States of Nigeria. It measured the perception of farmers on pesticides and their knowledge on the harmful effects of pesticides. A total of 260 crop farmers who have sustained the use of ...

  3. Institutional Factors Influencing Crop Farmers Adoption of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study examined the institutional factors influencing adoption of recommended agrochemical practices (RAPs) among crop farmers in Nigeria. A total of 260 crop farmers who have sustained the use of agrochemicals for at least five years were selected for the study using multi-stage sampling technique. Data were ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. Heavy metals relationship in arable and greenhouse soils of SE Spain using a geostatistical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Carlos; Joaquin Ramos-Miras, Jose; Rodríguez Martín, Jose Antonio; Boluda, Rafael; Roca, Núria; Bech, Jaume

    2013-04-01

    This study compares heavy metals contents and the main edaphic parameters in greenhouse soils from the W Almería region one of the most productive agricultural systems in Europe, with agricultural soils (arable soils) in western Andalusia, SW Spain. Heavy metals input in agricultural soils mainly occur through pesticides and phytosanitary control products. The hazardousness of the studied elements (Cr, Ni, Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd) is particularly relevant in soils used for intensive greenhouse farming where such agricultural practices, which centre on maximising production, end up with products that finally enter the human food chain directly. Here we explore a total of 199 greenhouse soils and 142 arable soils, representing two scales of variation in this Mediterranean area. Despite their similar edaphic characteristics, the main differences between arable soils and greenhouse soils lie in nutrients contents (P and K) and in certain heavy metals (Cd, Pb and Zn), which reflect widespread use of pesticides in greenhouse farming. One of the most toxic metals is Cd given its mobility, whose concentrations triple in greenhouse soils, although it does not exceed the limits set by Spanish legislation. We conclude that despite anthropic heavy metals input, the association patterns of these elements were similar on the two spatial variability scales. Cd, Pb and Zn contents, and partly those of Cu, are related with agricultural practices. On the short spatial scale, grouping these heavy metals shows very high contents in greenhouse soils in the central northern area of the W Almería region. On the other hand, the associations of Cr and Ni suggest a lithogenic influence combined with a pedogenic effect on spatial maps. This natural origin input becomes more marked on the long spatial scale (arable soils) where the main Cr and Ni contents are found in the vicinity of the Gádor Mountain Range.

  8. Broad sustainability versus sustainability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hueting, R.; Reijnders, L.

    2002-01-01

    The notion sustainability has many definitions and interpretations, which are not always in favor of the development of sustainability. Therefore, a narrow definition of sustainability is required [nl

  9. 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.

  10. Vertical distribution of soil organic carbon originated from a prior peatland in Greece and impacts on the landscape, after conversion to arable land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayrotis, Theodore; Charoulis, A.; Vavoulidou, E.; Tziouvalekas, M.

    2010-05-01

    The vertical distribution and the status of soil organic carbon (Corg.) in 66 surface and subsurface soil samples were investigated. These soils originated mainly from organic deposits of Philippoi (northern Greece) have been classified as Histosols and belong to the suborder of Saprists. The present study consisted of an area of 10,371 ha where about 90% of the soils are organic. The main crops are maize (Zea mays L.), sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).The surface horizons consist mainly of well-humified organic materials mixed with mineral soil particles. Usually, they have moderate or insufficient drainage regime and conditions become favorable for microbial growth. Microbes decompose and transform the soil organic compounds into mineral forms, which are then available as nutrients for the crop. The organic matter was derived primarily from Cyperaceae (Cladium mariscus, various Carex species, etc.) and from decomposed residues of arable crops. The dominant features of these soils are the high content of organic matter and the obvious stratification of soil horizons. In contrast, most arable soils in Greece are characterized by low organic matter content. The stratification differentiates the physical and chemical properties and the groundwater table even during dry summers lies at depths,150 cm beneath surface. The Corg. content was high and varied greatly among the examined samples. In the surface layers ranged between 3.57 and 336.50 g kg2 (mean 199.26 g kg2) and between 22.10 and 401.10 g kg2 in the subsurface horizons (mean 258.89 g kg2). It can be argued that surface layers are drier and part of soil organic matter was seriously affected by the process of oxidation. At drier sites, soil subsidence was appeared as a consequence of soil organic matter oxidation. Increased contents were found in the northern part of the

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Effects of catch crop type and root depth on nitrogen leaching and yield of spring barley

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sapkota, Tek Bahadur; Askegaard, Margrethe; Lægdsmand, Mette

    2012-01-01

    [chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), fodder radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)] and their effect on soil mineral N (NO3− and NH4+) in different soil layers by using the FASSET model. The simulated results of catch crop biomass and root growth and mineral N in the soil......Catch crop root growth and nitrogen (N) uptake from both shallow and deeper soil layers are important for N management in arable farming systems, particularly in climates where excess winter precipitation induces N leaching. We simulated the root growth and biomass yield of three common catch crops...... simulations showed that fodder radish developed the deepest root system and depleted N from deeper soil layers than chicory and ryegrass. Thirty years of simulations showed that the system with ryegrass catch crop had a smaller amount of N leaching from 1 m depth than the system with other catch crops...

  15. 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...

  16. Rainwater harvesting in catchments for agro-forestry uses: A study focused on the balance between sustainability values and storage capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terêncio, D P S; Sanches Fernandes, L F; Cortes, R M V; Moura, J P; Pacheco, F A L

    2018-02-01

    Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is used to support small-scale agriculture and handle seasonal water availability, especially in regions where populations are scattered or the costs to develop surface or groundwater resources are high. However, questions may arise as whether this technique can support larger-scale irrigation projects and in complement help the struggle against wildfires in agro-forested watersheds. The issue is relevant because harvested rainwater in catchments is usually accumulated in small-capacity reservoirs created by small-height dams. In this study, a RWH site allocation method was improved from a previous model, by introducing the dam wall height as evaluation parameter. The studied watershed (Sabor River basin) is mostly located in the Northeast of Portugal. This is a rural watershed where agriculture and forestry uses are dominant and where ecologically relevant regions (e.g., Montezinho natural park) need to be protected from wildfires. The study aimed at ranking 384 rainfall collection sub-catchments as regards installation of RWH sites for crop irrigation and forest fire combat. The height parameter was set to 3m because this value is a reference to detention basins that hold sustainability values (e.g., landscape integration, environmental protection), but the irrigation capacity under these settings was smaller than 10ha in 50% of cases, while continuous arable lands in the Sabor basin cover on average 222ha. Besides, the number of sub-catchments capable to irrigate the average arable land was solely 7. When the dam wall height increased to 6 and 12m, the irrigation capacity increased to 46 and 124 sub-catchments, respectively, meaning that more engineered dams may not always ensure all sustainability values but warrant much better storage. The limiting parameter was the dam wall height because 217 sub-catchments were found to drain enough water for irrigation and capable to store it if proper dam wall heights were used. Copyright © 2017

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.)

  1. Effects of double cropped on yield and biomass accumulation of cover crops in Kansas

    OpenAIRE

    Roozeboom, K.; Mahama, G.Y.; Mengel, D.B.; Prasad, P.V. Vara

    2013-01-01

    Metadata only record The contribution of nitrogen (N) by cover crops is an important component of sustainable agriculture and alternative source of N. Legume summer and winter cover crops can decrease inorganic N fertilizer requirements and production costs through symbiotic N2 fixation. It is also vital to make maximum use of the available land during the growing season. However, summer crop yields may be decreased due to shortened length of growing season and risk of water shortage. The ...

  2. 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)

  3. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, H.B.

    2008-01-01

    Perennial crops need far less energy to plant, require less fertilizer and pesticides, and show a lower negative environmental impact compared with annual crops like for example corn. This makes the cultivation of perennial crops as energy crops more sustainable than the use of annual crops. The ...... crops competitive to the use of corn and this combination will make the production of biogas from energy crops more sustainable.......Perennial crops need far less energy to plant, require less fertilizer and pesticides, and show a lower negative environmental impact compared with annual crops like for example corn. This makes the cultivation of perennial crops as energy crops more sustainable than the use of annual crops....... The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...... 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...

  8. 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....... From the preliminary results obtained, it is proposed that the cellulolytic activity can be used as an enzymatic approach to study the microbial turnover of organic matter in soils and as indicator of seedling blight of barley caused by F. culmorum. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved....

  9. 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.

  10. How to build additional soil fertility in organic cropping systems

    OpenAIRE

    FertilCrop, Consortium

    2015-01-01

    FertilCrop aims at improving soil fertility using synergies provided by improved crop management techniques. The improvement of organic farming systems by building a higher level of soil fertility is important to develop more sustainable agroecosystems that safeguard soils and guarantee unrestrained crop growth. FertilCrop evaluates farming systems that efficiently build soil fertility based on field trials and farm networks in 13 European countries.

  11. Climate change adaptability of cropping and farming systems for Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justes, Eric; Rossing, Walter; Vermue, Anthony

    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...... 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 possibilities for re-configuration of cropping and farming systems. The strategy evaluation will reveal synergies and trade-offs among objectives and their indicators at different scales under GIEC climatic scenarios. Since adaptation is context-specific, the project is based on “Adaptation Pilots” and local...

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Knapp

    Full Text Available 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Crop-insurance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van der S.

    1945-01-01

    Crop insurance was fairly new in the Netherlands but there was no legal objection or limitation to particular crops. If a crop were insured, it was important that the whole area of the crop were insured. Speculative insurance seemed preferable to mutual insurance.

    Crop insurance covered all risks

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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}.

  1. The content and solubility of lead in arable soils of the Podlasie Province (eastern Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Łukowski Adam

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was the estimation of total content of lead and its fraction in arable soils and permanent grassland of Podlasie Province, eastern Poland. The research material included 104 soil samples from Podlasie Province, which were collected in years 2011–2013 from the topsoil (0–30 cm after plant harvest. The following basic physicochemical properties of soil samples were determined: granulometric composition, organic carbon content and pH in 1 mol·dm−3 KCl solution. Based on the granulometric composition soils were divided into three groups: very light and light, medium and organic soils. The total lead and its content in fractions was determined by means of GFAAS technique using Varian AA-100 apparatus. The fractions of lead were extracted by BCR method. In the case of very light and light soils the lowest percentage share of Pb on average was noted in exchangeable fraction (16.3% of total content and the highest in fraction bound to Fe/Mn oxides (43.5%. Similarly in medium and organic soils the highest amount of Pb was stated in reducible fraction, 43.7 and 41.3% of total content, respectively, and the lowest in exchangeable fraction, 16.5 and 12.2%, respectively. It was found that content of total lead was typical for arable uncontaminated soils.

  2. 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

  3. Allelopathic potential of oil seed crops in production of crops: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Adnan Noor; Iqbal, Javaid; Ullah, Abid; Yang, Guozheng; Yousaf, Muhammad; Fahad, Shah; Tanveer, Mohsin; Hassan, Waseem; Tung, Shahbaz Atta; Wang, Leishan; Khan, Aziz; Wu, Yingying

    2016-08-01

    Agricultural production enhancement has been realized by more consumption of fossil energy such as fertilizer and agrochemicals. However, the production provides the present human with sufficient and diversified commodities, but at the same time, deprives in some extent the resources from the future human as well. In the other hand, it is known that synthetic herbicides face worldwide threats to human's health and environment as well. Therefore, it is a great challenge for agricultural sustainable development. The current review has been focussed on various oilseed crop species which launch efficient allelopathic intervention, either with weeds or other crops. Crop allelopathic properties can make one species more persistent to a native species. Therefore, these crops are potentially harmful to both naturalized as well as agricultural settings. On the other side, allelopathic crops provide strong potential for the development of cultivars that are more highly weed suppressive in managed settings. It is possible to utilize companion plants that have no deleterious effect on neighbor crops and can be included in intercropping system, thus, a mean of contributing to agricultural sustainable development. In mixed culture, replacement method, wherein differing densities of a neighbor species are planted, has been used to study phytotoxic/competitive effects. So, to use alternative ways for weed suppression has become very crucial. Allelochemicals have the ability to create eco-friendly products for weed management, which is beneficial for agricultural sustainable development. Our present study assessed the potential of four oilseed crops for allelopathy on other crops and associated weeds.

  4. 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, ...

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Planetary opportunities in crop water management: Potential to outweigh cropland expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jägermeyr, Jonas; Gerten, Dieter; Lucht, Wolfgang; Heinke, Jens

    2014-05-01

    Global available land and water resources probably cannot feed projected future human populations under current productivity levels. Moreover, the planetary boundaries of both land use change and water consumption are being approached rapidly, and at the same time competition between food production, bioenergy plantations and biodiversity conservation is increasing. Global cropland is expected to expand to meet future demands, while considerable yield gaps remain in many world regions. Yield increases in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, are currently mainly based on expansion of arable land into currently non-agricultural areas - while small-scale irrigation and water conservancy methods are considered very promising to boost yields there. In the here presented modeling study we investigate, at global scale, to what degree different on-farm options to better manage green and blue water might contribute to a global crop yield increase under conditions of current climate and projected future climate change. We consider methods aiming for a maximization of crops' water use efficiency and an optimal use of available on-farm water (precipitation): reducing unproductive soil evaporation (vapor shift, VS), collecting surface runoff after rain events to mitigate subsequent dry-spells (rain-water harvesting, RWH), increasing irrigation efficiency, and expanding irrigated area into rain-fed cropland (based on water savings from higher efficiencies). Global yield simulations based on hypothetical scenarios of these management opportunities are performed with the LPJmL ecohydrological modeling framework driven by reanalysis data and GCM ensemble simulations. We consider a range of about 20 climate change projections to cover respective uncertainties, and we analyze the effects of increasing CO2 concentration on the crops and their water demand. Crops are represented in a process-based and dynamic way by 12 crop functional types, each for rain-fed and irrigated areas, with

  9. Alternative crops. Marketing and economical potentials; Alternative afgroeder. Markedsmaessige og oekonomiske muligheder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-12-31

    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.).

  10. 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.

  11. [Mechanism on biodiversity managing crop diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jing; Shi, Zhu-Feng; Gao, Dong; Liu, Lin; Zhu, You-Yong; Li, Cheng-Yun

    2012-11-01

    Reasonable utilization of natural resource and protection of ecological environment is the foundation for implementing agricultural sustainable development. Biodiversity research and protection are becoming an important issue concerned commonly in the world. Crop disease is one of the important natural disasters for food production and safety, and is also one of the main reasons that confine sustainable development of agricultural production. Large-scale deployment of single highly resistant variety results in reduction of agro-biodiversity level. In this case, excessive loss of agro-biodiversity has become the main challenge in sustainable agriculture. Biodiversity can not only effectively alleviate disease incidence and loss of crop production, but also reduce pollution of agricultural ecological environment caused by excessive application of pesticides and fertilizers to the agricultural ecological environment. Discovery of the mechanism of biodiversity to control crop diseases can reasonably guide the rational deployment and rotation of different crops and establish optimization combinations of different crops. This review summarizes recent advances of research on molecular, physiological, and ecological mechanisms of biodiversity managing crop diseases, and proposes some research that needs to be strengthened in the future.

  12. 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

  13. 78 FR 27178 - Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-09

    ... SCBGP-FB projects, and use cooperative or contractual linkages with other agencies, universities... nuts, horticulture, nursery crops (including floriculture). AMS encourages states to develop projects... varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control; and development of organic and sustainable...

  14. 77 FR 6531 - Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-08

    ... projects, and use cooperative or contractual linkages with other agencies, universities, institutions, and..., horticulture, nursery crops (including floriculture). AMS encourages states to develop projects solely to... varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control; and development of organic and sustainable...

  15. 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

  16. Winter cereal yields as affected by animal manure and green manure in organic arable farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    The effect of nitrogen (N) supply through animal and green manures on grain yield of winter wheat and winter rye was investigated from 1997 to 2004 in an organic farming crop rotation experiment in Denmark on three different soil types varying from coarse sand to sandy loam. Two experimental...... factors were included in the experiment in a factorial design: (1) catch crop (with and without), and (2) manure (with and without). The four-course crop rotation was spring barley undersown with grass/clover - grass/clover - winter wheat or wheat rye - pulse crop. All cuttings of the grass-clover were...... not significantly affect yield. The use of catch crops interacts with other management factors, including row spacing and weed control, and this may have contributed to the negligible effects of catch crops. There was considerable variation in the amount of N (100-600 kg N ha-1 year-1) accumulated in the mulched...

  17. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    . Being predatory and organized as superorganisms, ants possess traits making them suitable agents in IPM. Recent works on weaver ants Oecophylla spp. showcase ants as highly efficient pest controllers. A synthesis shows that weaver ants can reduce pest numbers and their damage and increase yields...... in multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique...... in their properties as control agents. A synthesis of applied work on other ant species illustrates potentials for control of arthropod pests, weeds and plant diseases in orchards, forestry and arable crops. 4. Synthesis and applications. By showing that ant biocontrol can match synthetic pesticides in a wide setting...

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    as to the advantages and shortcomings of the different commonly used prediction methods. Therefore, we compared and evaluated the merits of the median approach, analysis of covariance, mixed models and random forests in the context of prediction of SOC concentrations of mineral soils under arable management in the A......Soil organic carbon (SOC) concentration is an essential factor in biomass production and soil functioning. SOC concentration values are often obtained by prediction but the prediction accuracy depends much on the method used. Currently, there is a lack of evidence in the soil science literature......-horizon. Three soil properties were used in all of the developed models: soil type, physical clay content (particle size

  4. Biogas from ley crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dalemo, M.; Edstroem, M.; Thyselius, L.; Brolin, L.

    1993-01-01

    This report describes the cost of producing biogas from energy crops. Five process systems, sized 0.25-8 MW are studied. The cultivation of biogas-crops is made in three regions in Sweden. Also valued are the positive cultivation effects obtained when cereal dominated crop rotation is broken by biogas crops. 8 refs, 40 figs, 10 tabs

  5. African Crop Science Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The African Crop Science Journal, a quarterly publication, publishes original research papers dealing with all aspects of crop agronomy, production, genetics and breeding, germplasm, crop protection, post harvest systems and utilisation, agro-forestry, crop-animal interactions, information science, environmental science ...

  6. Assessment of sampling and analytical uncertainty of trace element contents in arable field soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczko, Uwe; Kuchenbuch, Rolf O; Ubelhör, Walter; Nätscher, Ludwig

    2012-07-01

    Assessment of trace element contents in soils is required in Germany (and other countries) before sewage sludge application on arable soils. The reliability of measured element contents is affected by measurement uncertainty, which consists of components due to (1) sampling, (2) laboratory repeatability (intra-lab) and (3) reproducibility (between-lab). A complete characterization of average trace element contents in field soils should encompass the uncertainty of all these components. The objectives of this study were to elucidate the magnitude and relative proportions of uncertainty components for the metals As, B, Cd, Co, Cr, Mo, Ni, Pb, Tl and Zn in three arable fields of different field-scale heterogeneity, based on a collaborative trial (CT) (standardized procedure) and two sampling proficiency tests (PT) (individual sampling procedure). To obtain reference values and estimates of field-scale heterogeneity, a detailed reference sampling was conducted. Components of uncertainty (sampling person, sampling repetition, laboratory) were estimated by variance component analysis, whereas reproducibility uncertainty was estimated using results from numerous laboratory proficiency tests. Sampling uncertainty in general increased with field-scale heterogeneity; however, total uncertainty was mostly dominated by (total) laboratory uncertainty. Reproducibility analytical uncertainty was on average by a factor of about 3 higher than repeatability uncertainty. Therefore, analysis within one single laboratory and, for heterogeneous fields, a reduction of sampling uncertainty (for instance by larger numbers of sample increments and/or a denser coverage of the field area) would be most effective to reduce total uncertainty. On the other hand, when only intra-laboratory analytical uncertainty was considered, total sampling uncertainty on average prevailed over analytical uncertainty by a factor of 2. Both sampling and laboratory repeatability uncertainty were highly variable

  7. Sustainable restaurants: A research agenda

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    respective scores. Which components are included in the concept of sustainability? In non-academic publications and in restaurants' own communications, it is mostly local produce and organic crops that are presented as being synonyms for sustainability. For example, students of HSHM developed a Food Zone Model.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    than labor; E is exogenous income We assume households can sell parts or all of food crop, PCC and ... Farmers may also get informal credit from village money lenders based on their credit worthiness, which ..... exogenous at the time of making food crop planting decisions as the latter are annual and the former (PCC and ...

  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.

    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.

  12. "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.

  13. 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.

  14. Faba bean in cropping systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steen Jensen, Erik; Peoples, Mark B.; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik

    2010-01-01

    impact on the environment and climate through new, more sustainable approaches to food production. The aims of this paper are to review the role of faba bean in global plant production systems, the requirements for optimal faba bean production and to highlight the beneficial effects of faba bean......The grain legume (pulse) faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is grown world-wide as a protein source for food and feed. At the same time faba bean offers ecosystem services such as renewable inputs of nitrogen (N) into crops and soil via biological N2 fixation, and a diversification of cropping systems. Even...... though the global average grain yield has almost doubled during the past 50 years the total area sown to faba beans has declined by 56% over the same period. The season-to-season fluctuations in grain yield of faba bean and the progressive replacement of traditional farming systems, which utilized...

  15. 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.

  16. Crop based climate regimes for energy saving in greenhouse cultivation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Körner, O.

    2003-01-01

    Key words: Biocides, cut chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum grandiflorum , CO 2 , crop photosynthesis, DIF , energy saving, fungal diseases, humidity control, plant quality, simulation model, stem elongation, temperature integration.Sustainability is one of the major aims in greenhouse

  17. 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

  18. A Comprehensive Analysis of Adoption of Energy Crops, GM Crops and Conservation Practices

    OpenAIRE

    Gedikoglu, Haluk

    2013-01-01

    The future of the US agriculture relies on sustainable resource use and income generation for farmers, and maintaining the environmental quality. Hence, farmers are expected to adopt various technologies and practices, such as energy crops, genetically modified crops, and conservation practices. The objective of this study is, by using a multivariate probit model, to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the impact of certain socio-economic factors on adoption of Miscanthus, Roundup Ready® soyb...

  19. Why we need GMO crops in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    The fact that in a very short period of 35 years the global population will reach an estimated 9 billion people presents a massive challenge to agriculture: how do we feed all of these people with nutritious food in a sustainable way? At the present time the yields of most of our major crops are sta...

  20. 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.