Science.gov

Sample records for organic agricultural systems

  1. Soil Organic Matter in Agricultural Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In agricultural systems, soil organic matter (SOM) has been recognized as an important source of nutrients and maintains favorable soil structure. Organic matter is considered a major binding agent that stabilizes soil aggregates. Soil aggregates especially, water stable aggregates, are important i...

  2. SOIL QUALITY IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Building and maintaining soil quality is the basis for successful organic farming. However, before developing a soil management plan focused on soil quality in organic systems, farmers should become knowledgeable regarding the overall philosophies, legalities, and marketing opportunities in organic ...

  3. Reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions: role of biotechnology, organic systems, and consumer behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    All agricultural systems have environmental and societal costs and benefits that should be objectively quantified before recommending specific management practices. Agricultural biotechnology, which takes advantage of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs), along with organic cropping systems, econ...

  4. Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics under Conservation Agricultural Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a key element in the valuation of natural resources and the evaluation of how management affects soil quality and ecosystem services derived from soil. This paper describes a summary of some recent research aimed at understanding how SOC contributes to (a) various soil ...

  5. The Impacts of Agricultural Land Use on Dissolved Organic Matter in a Dryland River System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wise, J. L.; Bergamaschi, B. A.; Van Horn, D. J.; Diefendorf, A. F.

    2015-12-01

    Globally, expanding agriculture is significantly impacting aquatic nutrient cycles. In mesic systems, agriculture is a source of nitrogen and phosphorus and increases concentrations of structurally simple dissolved organic carbon (DOC). In contrast, recent studies suggest in dryland systems, where wastewater effluent is a primary nutrient source, agriculture is a nutrient sink—retaining nitrogen and phosphorous. Importantly, very little, is known about the influence of agriculture on DOC dynamics in dryland systems. To address this gap we used synoptic sampling, UV-absorbance, and fluorescence spectroscopy to elucidate source, character, and concentration of riverine and runoff DOC in a dryland agricultural system. Samples were collected along a 25 km stretch of the Rio Grande River in New Mexico (USA). The Rio Grande is an impoundment/irrigation-withdrawal controlled river that receives water from snowmelt, monsoonal storms, and wastewater effluent. During irrigation approximately 80% of the river's water is diverted into a manmade network where it waters crops and percolates through the soil before it enters a series of drains that return water to the river. Our preliminary characterization of the DOC reentering the river (DOCmean=3.23 mg/L, sd=0.81; SUVAmean=4.05, sd=1.37) indicates the agricultural pool is similar in concentration and aromaticity to riverine DOC (DOCmean= 3.10 mg/L, sd=1.17; SUVAmean= 4.64, sd=1.12). However, riverine organic matter is more terrestrially derived (FImean=1.68, sd=0.17) than organic matter in the drains (FImean=1.9, sd=0.24). Additionally, drains directly adjacent to actively irrigated fields show high concentrations (DOCmean=58.35; sd=0.91) of low aromaticity organic matter (SUVAmean=0.33; sd=0.11). We are continuing analysis throughout the irrigation season to further explore organic matter quality (traits such as bioavailability and freshness) and identify locations and processes of DOC transformation within the system

  6. Teaching Diversified Organic Crop Production Using the Community Supported Agriculture Farming System Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falk, Constance L.; Pao, Pauline; Cramer, Christopher S.

    2005-01-01

    An organic garden operated as a community supported agriculture (CSA) venture on the New Mexico State University (NMSU) main campus was begun in January 2002. Students enroll in an organic vegetable production class during spring and fall semesters to help manage and work on the project. The CSA model of farming involves the sale of shares to…

  7. Soil organic carbon sequestration with conservation agricultural systems in the southeastern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The southeastern USA has approximately 111 million acres (45 Mha) in agricultural production. This extensive land resource has the potential to sequester soil organic C (SOC), especially following historical conversion of land, first from native forest to intensively cultivated cropland and more re...

  8. Application of methane fermentation technology into organic wastes in closed agricultural system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endo, Ryosuke; Kitaya, Yoshiaki

    Sustainable and recycling-based systems are required in space agriculture which takes place in an enclosed environment. Methane fermentation is one of the most major biomass conversion technologies, because (1) it provides a renewable energy source as biogas including methane, suitable for energy production, (2) the nutrient-rich solids left after digestion can be used as compost for agriculture. In this study, the effect of the application of methane fermentation technology into space agriculture on the material and energy cycle was investigated.

  9. The impact of roots on soil organic carbon dynamics in annual and perennial agricultural systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beniston, J.; Dupont, T.; Glover, J.; Lal, R.

    2012-12-01

    Identifying and developing agricultural systems capable of transferring large quantities of carbon (C) to the soil and sustaining ecosystem processes and services is a priority for ecological researchers and land managers. Temperate grasslands have extensive root systems and transfer large quantities of C to the soil organic C (SOC) pool, which has lead to widespread interest in utilizing perennial grasses as both bioenergy crops and as a model for perennial grains. This study examined five sites in north central Kansas (U.S.A.) that contain the unique land use pairing of tall grass prairie meadows (PM) that have been harvested annually for hay for the past 75 years and annual grain (wheat) production fields (AG) that have been cultivated for a similar length of time, all on deep alluvial soils. Specific research objectives included: 1) To quantify below-ground biomass pools and root C contributions in the two systems; 2) To analyze and compare SOC pools and SOC concentration in primary particle size fractions in the two systems; 3) To utilize natural abundance δ13C signatures to determine the source and turnover of SOC in the soils of the AG sites; and 4) To elucidate the relationship of roots to both SOC pools and nematode food webs. Soil core samples were collected to a depth of 1 m in May and June 2008. Soil samples were analyzed for SOC, microbial biomass C (MBC), nematodes, and a particle size fractionation of SOC in coarse (>250 μm), particulate organic matter (POM) (53-250 μm), silt (2-53 μm), and clay (<2 μm) sized fractions. Root biomass, root length and root C were also analyzed to a depth of 1 m. Natural abundance δ13C values were obtained for all C parameters. Soils under PM had 4 times as much root C as AG soils to 1 m depth in mid May (PM 2.8 Mg ha-1 and AG 0.7 Mg ha-1) and 7 times as much root C to 1 m depth in late June (PM 3.5 Mg ha-1 and AG 0.5 Mg ha-1). The MBC pools were significantly larger in grassland soils to a depth of 60 cm in May

  10. A threshold area ratio of organic to conventional agriculture causes recurrent pathogen outbreaks in organic agriculture.

    PubMed

    Adl, S; Iron, D; Kolokolnikov, T

    2011-05-01

    Conventional agriculture uses herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers that have the potential to pollute the surrounding land, air and water. Organic agriculture tries to avoid using these and promotes an environmentally friendly approach to agriculture. Instead of relying on herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, organic agriculture promotes a whole system approach to managing weeds, pests and nutrients, while regulating permitted amendments. In this paper, we consider the effect of increasing the total area of agricultural land under organic practices, against a background of conventional agriculture. We hypothesized that at a regional scale, organic agriculture plots benefit from existing in a background of conventional agriculture, that maintains low levels of pathogens through pesticide applications. We model pathogen dispersal with a diffusive logistic equation in which the growth/death rate is spatially heterogeneous. We find that if the ratio of the organic plots to conventional plots remains below a certain threshold l(c), the pest population is kept small. Above this threshold, the pest population in the organic plots grows rapidly. In this case, the area in organic agriculture will act as a source of pest to the surrounding region, and will always infect organic plots as they become more closely spaced. Repeated localized epidemics of pest outbreaks threaten global food security by reducing crop yields and increasing price volatility. We recommend that regional estimates of this threshold are necessary to manage the growth of organic agriculture region by region. PMID:21420722

  11. Soil Management Effects on Gas Fluxes from an Organic Soil Agricultural System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jennewein, S. P.; Bhadha, J. H.; Lang, T. A.; Singh, M.; Daroub, S. H.; McCray, M.

    2015-12-01

    The role of soil management on gas flux isn't well understood for Histosols of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) of southern Florida. The region is responsible for roughly half of sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) production in the USA along with supplying winter vegetable crops to the eastern USA. Future productivity in the EAA is jeopardized by soil subsidence resulting from oxidation of organic matter. Establishing the role of tillage, water-table depth, nitrogen fertilizer, and soil depth on gas flux will help determine how effective various managements are on conserving soil. Ongoing lysimeter and field studies examined effects of management practices (water-table, tillage, and nitrogen fertilizer), and soil depth on, gas emission and microbial biomass. The trials were set in Belle Glade, FL, on Lauderhill muck (Lithic Haplosaprists). Results to be presented include soil microbial biomass and soil gas (CO2, CH4, and N2O) flux. This study provides insight into management effectiveness and agriculture sustainability on shallow muck soils of the EAA and will help farmers mitigate problems associated with soil subsidence and seasonally high water-tables.

  12. Modeling the impacts of regulatory frameworks on self-organization in dryland agricultural systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gower, D.; Caylor, K. K.; McCord, P. F.; Evans, T. P.

    2015-12-01

    The climatological conditions that characterize dryland environments - high potential evapotranspiration combined with low and variable total rainfall - pose challenges for farmers deciding when and how much to irrigate. These challenges are greater in developing countries where the absence of sufficient storage infrastructure means that irrigation water is sometimes applied to agricultural fields directly from rivers. Because soil moisture and river flow both depend on recent rainfall, high irrigation demand often coincides with low river flow, limiting access to water when it is most needed. These feedbacks can constrain the yield increases expected from irrigation in such settings. Scaled up to the catchment level, irrigation water availability varies spatially as well as temporally. Irrigators in upstream areas of the catchment have first access to river water but rely on a smaller drainage network while those in downstream areas are affected by the opposite conditions. During periods of high rainfall, downstream users have the greatest access to water while upstream users are then favored during drought intervals. In the absence of rules governing water access, these flow dynamics will constrain the distribution of potential agricultural yields within the catchment. A simple numerical model simulating catchment and irrigation processes was constructed in order to better understand how climate and geomorphologic characteristics affect crop yield, economic returns and the spatial distribution of irrigated areas. By assuming a statistically representative river network structure, the model was first used to explore the effect of unregulated irrigation withdrawals on these variables. Multiple water management programs, including withdrawal limits, rotational systems and flow minima, were then simulated and the results compared to the unregulated case. This analysis shows the potential for simple models to provide insight into complex irrigation systems and to make

  13. Financial competitiveness of organic agriculture on a global scale.

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W; Reganold, John P

    2015-06-16

    To promote global food and ecosystem security, several innovative farming systems have been identified that better balance multiple sustainability goals. The most rapidly growing and contentious of these systems is organic agriculture. Whether organic agriculture can continue to expand will likely be determined by whether it is economically competitive with conventional agriculture. Here, we examined the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture by conducting a meta-analysis of a global dataset spanning 55 crops grown on five continents. When organic premiums were not applied, benefit/cost ratios (-8 to -7%) and net present values (-27 to -23%) of organic agriculture were significantly lower than conventional agriculture. However, when actual premiums were applied, organic agriculture was significantly more profitable (22-35%) and had higher benefit/cost ratios (20-24%) than conventional agriculture. Although premiums were 29-32%, breakeven premiums necessary for organic profits to match conventional profits were only 5-7%, even with organic yields being 10-18% lower. Total costs were not significantly different, but labor costs were significantly higher (7-13%) with organic farming practices. Studies in our meta-analysis accounted for neither environmental costs (negative externalities) nor ecosystem services from good farming practices, which likely favor organic agriculture. With only 1% of the global agricultural land in organic production, our findings suggest that organic agriculture can continue to expand even if premiums decline. Furthermore, with their multiple sustainability benefits, organic farming systems can contribute a larger share in feeding the world. PMID:26034271

  14. Life cycle assessment of energy self-sufficiency systems based on agricultural residues for organic arable farms.

    PubMed

    Kimming, M; Sundberg, C; Nordberg, A; Baky, A; Bernesson, S; Norén, O; Hansson, P-A

    2011-01-01

    The agricultural industry today consumes large amounts of fossil fuels. This study used consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) to analyse two potential energy self-sufficient systems for organic arable farms, based on agricultural residues. The analysis focused on energy balance, resource use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A scenario based on straw was found to require straw harvest from 25% of the farm area; 45% of the total energy produced from the straw was required for energy carrier production and GHG emissions were reduced by 9% compared with a fossil fuel-based reference scenario. In a scenario based on anaerobic digestion of ley, the corresponding figures were 13%, 24% and 35%. The final result was sensitive to assumptions regarding, e.g., soil carbon content and handling of by-products. PMID:20970998

  15. Spatially governed climate factors dominate management in determining the quantity and distribution of soil organic carbon in dryland agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Hoyle, Frances C; O'Leary, Rebecca A; Murphy, Daniel V

    2016-01-01

    Few studies describe the primary drivers influencing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and the distribution of carbon (C) fractions in agricultural systems from semi-arid regions; yet these soils comprise one fifth of the global land area. Here we identified the primary drivers for changes in total SOC and associated particulate (POC), humus (HOC) and resistant (ROC) organic C fractions for 1347 sample points in the semi-arid agricultural region of Western Australia. Total SOC stock (0-0.3 m) varied from 4 to 209 t C ha(-1) with 79% of variation explained by measured variables. The proportion of C in POC, HOC and ROC fractions averaged 28%, 45% and 27% respectively. Climate (43%) and land management practices (32%) had the largest relative influence on variation in total SOC. Carbon accumulation was constrained where average daily temperature was above 17.2 °C and annual rainfall below 450 mm, representing approximately 42% of the 197,300 km(2) agricultural region. As such large proportions of this region are not suited to C sequestration strategies. For the remainder of the region a strong influence of management practices on SOC indicate opportunities for C sequestration strategies associated with incorporation of longer pasture phases and adequate fertilisation. PMID:27530805

  16. Spatially governed climate factors dominate management in determining the quantity and distribution of soil organic carbon in dryland agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Hoyle, Frances C.; O’Leary, Rebecca A.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2016-01-01

    Few studies describe the primary drivers influencing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and the distribution of carbon (C) fractions in agricultural systems from semi-arid regions; yet these soils comprise one fifth of the global land area. Here we identified the primary drivers for changes in total SOC and associated particulate (POC), humus (HOC) and resistant (ROC) organic C fractions for 1347 sample points in the semi-arid agricultural region of Western Australia. Total SOC stock (0–0.3 m) varied from 4 to 209 t C ha−1 with 79% of variation explained by measured variables. The proportion of C in POC, HOC and ROC fractions averaged 28%, 45% and 27% respectively. Climate (43%) and land management practices (32%) had the largest relative influence on variation in total SOC. Carbon accumulation was constrained where average daily temperature was above 17.2 °C and annual rainfall below 450 mm, representing approximately 42% of the 197,300 km2 agricultural region. As such large proportions of this region are not suited to C sequestration strategies. For the remainder of the region a strong influence of management practices on SOC indicate opportunities for C sequestration strategies associated with incorporation of longer pasture phases and adequate fertilisation. PMID:27530805

  17. Nitrogen Effects on Organic Dynamics and Soil Communities in Forest and Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grandy, S.; Neff, J.; Sinsabaugh, B.; Wickings, K.

    2008-12-01

    Human activities have doubled the global flux of biologically available N to terrestrial ecosystems but the effects of N on soil organic matter dynamics and soil communities remain difficult to predict. We examined soil organic matter chemistry and enzyme kinetics in three soil fractions (>250, 63-250, and <63 μm) following six years of simulated atmospheric N deposition in two forest ecosystems with contrasting litter biochemistry (sugar maple/basswood and black oak/white oak). Ambient and simulated atmospheric N deposition (80 kg nitrate-N/ha/y) were studied in three replicate stands in each ecosystem type. Using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy, we found striking, ecosystem-specific effects of N deposition on carbohydrate abundance. Furfural, the dominant pyrolysis product of polysaccharides, was significantly decreased by simulated N deposition in the sugar maple/basswood system (15.87 versus 4.99%) but increased by N in the black oak/white oak system (8.83 versus 24.01%). There were ca. 3-fold increases in the ratio of total lignin derivatives to total polysaccharides in the >250 μm fraction of the sugar maple/basswood system but there were no changes in other size classes or in the black oak/white oak system. We also measured significant increases in the ratio of lignin derivatives to N-bearing compounds in the 63-250 and >250 μm fractions in both ecosystems but not in the <63 μm fraction. We compare these results to a study looking at changes in enzyme activities and soil communities along a N fertilizer gradient in a corn-based cropping system. Our results demonstrate that changes in soil organic matter chemistry resulting from atmospheric N deposition or fertilization are directly linked to variation in enzyme responses to increased N availability across ecosystems and soil size fractions.

  18. Food and Agriculture Organization: A Clearinghouse for Agricultural Information.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joling, Carole

    1989-01-01

    Describes the functions of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is an international clearinghouse for agricultural information. The discussion focuses on the information formats provided by the agency and the dissemination channels used for FAO information. Lists of finding aids for FAO materials and libraries…

  19. Financial competitiveness of organic agriculture on a global scale

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, David W.; Reganold, John P.

    2015-01-01

    To promote global food and ecosystem security, several innovative farming systems have been identified that better balance multiple sustainability goals. The most rapidly growing and contentious of these systems is organic agriculture. Whether organic agriculture can continue to expand will likely be determined by whether it is economically competitive with conventional agriculture. Here, we examined the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture by conducting a meta-analysis of a global dataset spanning 55 crops grown on five continents. When organic premiums were not applied, benefit/cost ratios (−8 to −7%) and net present values (−27 to −23%) of organic agriculture were significantly lower than conventional agriculture. However, when actual premiums were applied, organic agriculture was significantly more profitable (22–35%) and had higher benefit/cost ratios (20–24%) than conventional agriculture. Although premiums were 29–32%, breakeven premiums necessary for organic profits to match conventional profits were only 5–7%, even with organic yields being 10–18% lower. Total costs were not significantly different, but labor costs were significantly higher (7–13%) with organic farming practices. Studies in our meta-analysis accounted for neither environmental costs (negative externalities) nor ecosystem services from good farming practices, which likely favor organic agriculture. With only 1% of the global agricultural land in organic production, our findings suggest that organic agriculture can continue to expand even if premiums decline. Furthermore, with their multiple sustainability benefits, organic farming systems can contribute a larger share in feeding the world. PMID:26034271

  20. Anticipating impacts of climate change on organic agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conventional and organic agriculture are inextricably linked to climate and will be impacted by climate change. Organic agriculture, unlike conventional agriculture, encompasses heterogeneous agricultural management methods and practices owing to its multiple origins around the world. Although it re...

  1. Detecting transition in agricultural systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neary, P. J.; Coiner, J. C.

    1979-01-01

    Remote sensing of agricultural phenomena has been largely concentrated on analysis of agriculture at the field level. Concern has been to identify crop status, crop condition, and crop distribution, all of which are spatially analyzed on a field-by-field basis. A more general level of abstraction is the agricultural system, or the complex of crops and other land cover that differentiate various agricultural economies. The paper reports on a methodology to assist in the analysis of the landscape elements of agricultural systems with Landsat digital data. The methodology involves tracing periods of photosynthetic activity for a fixed area. Change from one agricultural system to another is detected through shifts in the intensity and periodicity of photosynthetic activity as recorded in the radiometric return to Landsat. The Landsat-derived radiometric indicator of photosynthetic activity appears to provide the ability to differentiate agricultural systems from each other as well as from conterminous natural vegetation.

  2. Precision agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture is a new farming practice that has been developing since late 1980s. It has been variously referred to as precision farming, prescription farming, site-specific crop management, to name but a few. There are numerous definitions for precision agriculture, but the central concept...

  3. Effects of crop rotation and management system on water-extractable organic matter concentration, structure, and bioavailability in a chernozemic agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Xu, Na; Wilson, Henry F; Saiers, James E; Entz, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Water-extractable organic matter (WEOM) in soil affects contaminant mobility and toxicity, heterotrophic production, and nutrient cycling in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This study focuses on the influences of land use history and agricultural management practices on the water extractability of organic matter and nutrients from soils. Water-extractable organic matter was extracted from soils under different crop rotations (an annual rotation of wheat-pea/bean-wheat-flax or a perennial-based rotation of wheat-alfalfa-alfalfa-flax) and management systems (organic or conventional) and examined for its concentration, composition, and biodegradability. The results show that crop rotations including perennial legumes increased the concentration of water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) and water-extractable organic nitrogen (WEON) and the biodegradability of WEOC in soil but depleted the quantity of water-extractable organic phosphorus (WEOP) and water-extractable reactive phosphorus. The 30-d incubation experiments showed that bioavailable WEOC varied from 12.5% in annual systems to 22% for perennial systems. The value of bioavailable WEOC was found to positively correlate with WEON concentrations and to negatively correlate with C:N ratio and the specific ultraviolet absorbance of WEOM. No significant treatment effect was present with the conventional and organic management practices, which suggested that WEOM, as the relatively labile pool in soil organic matter, is more responsive to the change in crop rotation than to mineral fertilizer application. Our results indicated that agricultural landscapes with contrasting crop rotations are likely to differentially affect rates of microbial cycling of organic matter leached to soil waters. PMID:23673753

  4. Work and technological innovation in organic agriculture.

    PubMed

    Tereso, M J A; Abrahão, R F; Gemma, S F B; Montedo, U B; Menegon, N L; Guarneti, J E; Ribeiro, I A V

    2012-01-01

    Organic agriculture is a sustainable cultivation ecologically, economically and socially. Several researches in organic agriculture have been made from technical perspectives, economic traits or related to ecological aspects. There are practically no investigations into the nature of the technology used in organic agriculture, especially from an ergonomic perspective. From the activity analysis, this study aimed to map the technology used in the production of organic vegetables. Properties producing organic vegetables were selected representing the State of São Paulo. It was applied an instrument (questionnaire and semi-structured interview) with their managers and it was made visual records to identify adaptations, innovations and technological demands that simultaneously minimize the workload and the difficulties in performing the tasks and increase work productivity. For some of the technological innovations a digital scanner was used to generate a virtual solid model to facilitate its redesign and virtual prototyping. The main results show that organic farmers have little technology in product form. The main innovations that enable competitive advantage or allow higher labor productivity occur in the form of processes, organization and marketing. PMID:22317490

  5. Organic agriculture in the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Reganold, John P; Wachter, Jonathan M

    2016-01-01

    Organic agriculture has a history of being contentious and is considered by some as an inefficient approach to food production. Yet organic foods and beverages are a rapidly growing market segment in the global food industry. Here, we examine the performance of organic farming in light of four key sustainability metrics: productivity, environmental impact, economic viability and social wellbeing. Organic farming systems produce lower yields compared with conventional agriculture. However, they are more profitable and environmentally friendly, and deliver equally or more nutritious foods that contain less (or no) pesticide residues, compared with conventional farming. Moreover, initial evidence indicates that organic agricultural systems deliver greater ecosystem services and social benefits. Although organic agriculture has an untapped role to play when it comes to the establishment of sustainable farming systems, no single approach will safely feed the planet. Rather, a blend of organic and other innovative farming systems is needed. Significant barriers exist to adopting these systems, however, and a diversity of policy instruments will be required to facilitate their development and implementation. PMID:27249193

  6. Transition Pathways towards a Robust Ecologization of Agriculture and the Need for System Redesign. Cases from Organic Farming and IPM

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamine, Claire

    2011-01-01

    The growing criticism of intensive agricultural practices that lead to a deterioration of natural resources and a decrease of biodiversity has progressively led to more environmental constraints being put on agricultural activities through an "ecologization" of agricultural policies. The aims of these policies have been to protect environmentally…

  7. Redistribution of soil and soil organic carbon on agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) vary widely across the landscape leading to large uncertainties in the SOC budgets for agricultural systems especially for landscapes where water, tillage, and wind erosion redistributes soil and SOC across the landscape. It is often assumed that soil erosion r...

  8. Soil biota and agriculture production in conventional and organic farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrama, Maarten; de Haan, Joj; Carvalho, Sabrina; Kroonen, Mark; Verstegen, Harry; Van der Putten, Wim

    2015-04-01

    Sustainable food production for a growing world population requires a healthy soil that can buffer environmental extremes and minimize its losses. There are currently two views on how to achieve this: by intensifying conventional agriculture or by developing organically based agriculture. It has been established that yields of conventional agriculture can be 20% higher than of organic agriculture. However, high yields of intensified conventional agriculture trade off with loss of soil biodiversity, leaching of nutrients, and other unwanted ecosystem dis-services. One of the key explanations for the loss of nutrients and GHG from intensive agriculture is that it results in high dynamics of nutrient losses, and policy has aimed at reducing temporal variation. However, little is known about how different agricultural practices affect spatial variation, and it is unknown how soil fauna acts this. In this study we compare the spatial and temporal variation of physical, chemical and biological parameters in a long term (13-year) field experiment with two conventional farming systems (low and medium organic matter input) and one organic farming system (high organic matter input) and we evaluate the impact on ecosystem services that these farming systems provide. Soil chemical (N availability, N mineralization, pH) and soil biological parameters (nematode abundance, bacterial and fungal biomass) show considerably higher spatial variation under conventional farming than under organic farming. Higher variation in soil chemical and biological parameters coincides with the presence of 'leaky' spots (high nitrate leaching) in conventional farming systems, which shift unpredictably over the course of one season. Although variation in soil physical factors (soil organic matter, soil aggregation, soil moisture) was similar between treatments, but averages were higher under organic farming, indicating more buffered conditions for nutrient cycling. All these changes coincide with

  9. Sustainable intensification in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Pretty, Jules; Bharucha, Zareen Pervez

    2014-01-01

    Background Agricultural systems are amended ecosystems with a variety of properties. Modern agroecosystems have tended towards high through-flow systems, with energy supplied by fossil fuels directed out of the system (either deliberately for harvests or accidentally through side effects). In the coming decades, resource constraints over water, soil, biodiversity and land will affect agricultural systems. Sustainable agroecosystems are those tending to have a positive impact on natural, social and human capital, while unsustainable systems feed back to deplete these assets, leaving fewer for the future. Sustainable intensification (SI) is defined as a process or system where agricultural yields are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the conversion of additional non-agricultural land. The concept does not articulate or privilege any particular vision or method of agricultural production. Rather, it emphasizes ends rather than means, and does not pre-determine technologies, species mix or particular design components. The combination of the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘intensification’ is an attempt to indicate that desirable outcomes around both more food and improved environmental goods and services could be achieved by a variety of means. Nonetheless, it remains controversial to some. Scope and Conclusions This review analyses recent evidence of the impacts of SI in both developing and industrialized countries, and demonstrates that both yield and natural capital dividends can occur. The review begins with analysis of the emergence of combined agricultural–environmental systems, the environmental and social outcomes of recent agricultural revolutions, and analyses the challenges for food production this century as populations grow and consumption patterns change. Emergent criticisms are highlighted, and the positive impacts of SI on food outputs and renewable capital assets detailed. It concludes with observations on policies and

  10. Dynamics and sources of reduced sulfur, humic substances and dissolved organic carbon in a temperate river system affected by agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Marie, Lauriane; Pernet-Coudrier, Benoît; Waeles, Matthieu; Gabon, Marine; Riso, Ricardo

    2015-12-15

    Although reduced organic sulfur substances (RSS) as well as humic substances (HS) are widely suspected to play a role in, for example, metal speciation or used as a model of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in laboratory studies, reports of their quantification in natural waters are scarce. We have examined the dynamics and sources of reduced sulfur, HS and DOC over an annual cycle in a river system affected by agricultural practices. The new differential pulse cathodic stripping voltammetry was successfully applied to measure glutathione-like compounds (GSHs), thioacetamide-like compounds (TAs) and the liquid chromatography coupled to organic detector to analyze HS and DOC at high frequency in the Penzé River (NW France). The streamflow-concentration patterns, principal components analysis and flux analysis allowed discrimination of the source of each organic compound type. Surprisingly, the two RSS and HS detected in all samples, displayed different behavior. As previously shown, manuring practice is the main source of DOC and HS in this watershed where agricultural activity is predominant. The HS were then transferred to the river systems via runoff, particularly during the spring and autumn floods, which are responsible of >60% of the annual flux. TAs had a clear groundwater source and may be formed underground, whereas GSHs displayed two sources: one aquagenic in spring and summer probably linked to the primary productivity and a second, which may be related to bacterial degradation. High sampling frequency allowed a more accurate assessment of the flux values which were 280 tC y(-1) for DOC representing 20 kg C ha(-1) y(-1). HS, TAs and GSHs fluxes represented 60, 13, and 4% of the total annual DOC export, respectively. PMID:26278374

  11. Integrated agricultural energy system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, R. M.

    1985-08-01

    The purpose of this program is to show New England farmers and other New England energy users how they can use alternative energy sources to reduce their energy cost and dependency on conventional sources. The project demonstrates alternative energy technologies in solar, alcohol and methane. Dissemination is planned through tours to be conducted by the Worcester County Extension Service. Most of these goals were completed as planned. A few things have yet to be completed. The solar panels and solar hot water tanks have to be installed. The fermenter's agitating and cooling system have to be secured inside the fermenter. Once these items are complete tours will begin early in the spring.

  12. Can the soil conditioning index predict soil organic carbon sequestration with conservation agricultural systems in the South?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The soil conditioning index (SCI) is a relatively simple model used by NRCS to predict changes in soil organic C. It is based on three important conditions: (1) organic material (OM), (2) field operations (FO), and (3) erosion (ER). Our objective was to develop quantitative relationships between (...

  13. Conventionalization, Civic Engagement, and the Sustainability of Organic Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldberger, Jessica R.

    2011-01-01

    It is often assumed that organic farming is synonymous with sustainable agriculture. The broad goals of sustainable agriculture include economic profitability, environmental stewardship, and community vitality. However, the "question of sustainability" (Ikerd, 2008) can be asked of any type of farming, including organic production. One way to…

  14. Carbon dynamics in agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The soil carbon (C) pool constitutes the largest reservoir of C in terrestrial ecosystems. Full accounting of C emissions and sequestration to obtain net C flux budgets for agriculture indicate that agricultural land can function as a net source or sink of C, depending on land use and management. Ad...

  15. Education and Research Related to Organic Waste Management at Agricultural Engineering Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soliva, Montserrat; Bernat, Carles; Gil, Emilio; Martinez, Xavier; Pujol, Miquel; Sabate, Josep; Valero, Jordi

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the experience of the Agriculture Engineering School of Barcelona (ESAB), where undergraduate students were involved in field research experiments on organic waste use in agricultural systems. Design/methodology/approach: The paper outlines how the formation of professionals oriented to work for…

  16. ORGANIC AGRICULTURE: INNOVATIONS IN ORGANIC MARKETING, TECHNOLOGY, AND RESEARCH - INTRODUCTION TO THE PROCEEDINGS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Additional research and education is needed to provide the U.S. organic agricultural sector with the tools necessary to meet growing consumer demand for organic products. The papers presented at the USDA Organic Agriculture Workshop, held on October 6-7, 2005, identified key obstacles and explored n...

  17. Sustainable systems as organisms?

    PubMed

    Ho, Mae-Wan; Ulanowicz, Robert

    2005-10-01

    Schrödinger [Schrödinger, E., 1944. What is Life? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge] marvelled at how the organism is able to use metabolic energy to maintain and even increase its organisation, which could not be understood in terms of classical statistical thermodynamics. Ho [Ho, M.W., 1993. The Rainbow and the Worm, The Physics of Organisms, World Scientific, Singapore; Ho, M.W., 1998a. The Rainbow and the Worm, The Physics of Organisms, 2nd (enlarged) ed., reprinted 1999, 2001, 2003 (available online from ISIS website www.i-sis.org.uk)] outlined a novel "thermodynamics of organised complexity" based on a nested dynamical structure that enables the organism to maintain its organisation and simultaneously achieve non-equilibrium and equilibrium energy transfer at maximum efficiency. This thermodynamic model of the organism is reminiscent of the dynamical structure of steady state ecosystems identified by Ulanowicz [Ulanowicz, R.E., 1983. Identifying the structure of cycling in ecosystems. Math. Biosci. 65, 210-237; Ulanowicz, R.E., 2003. Some steps towards a central theory of ecosystem dynamics. Comput. Biol. Chem. 27, 523-530]. The healthy organism excels in maintaining its organisation and keeping away from thermodynamic equilibrium--death by another name--and in reproducing and providing for future generations. In those respects, it is the ideal sustainable system. We propose therefore to explore the common features between organisms and ecosystems, to see how far we can analyse sustainable systems in agriculture, ecology and economics as organisms, and to extract indicators of the system's health or sustainability. We find that looking at sustainable systems as organisms provides fresh insights on sustainability, and offers diagnostic criteria for sustainability that reflect the system's health. In the case of ecosystems, those diagnostic criteria of health translate into properties such as biodiversity and productivity, the richness of cycles, the

  18. Sustainability of Agricultural Systems: Concept to Application

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agriculture not only feeds the planet, it also is the biggest overall factor affecting the environment. Thus, innovative sustainable farming systems that produce healthy food and protect the environment at the same time are very much needed. We, as agricultural engineers, need ...

  19. Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force (ADMSTF)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Drainage Management Systems (ADMS) Task Force was initiated during a Charter meeting in the fall of 2002 by dedicated professional employees of Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies and Universities. The Agricultural Drainage Management (ADM) Coalition was established in 200...

  20. The Food and Agriculture Organization's Gridded Livestock of the World.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Timothy P; Franceschini, Gianluca; Wint, William

    2007-01-01

    Livestock sector planning, policy development and analysis are frequently hampered by the paucity of reliable and accessible information on the distribution, abundance and use of livestock. In an attempt to redress this shortfall, the Food and Agriculture Organization's Animal Production and Health Division (FAO-AGA) has, in collaboration with the Environmental Research Group Oxford, developed the 'Gridded Livestock of the World' database which provide the first standardised global, sub-national resolution maps of the major agricultural livestock species. These are now freely available for download on the FAO website. The data are produced in Environmental Systems Research Institute grid format for cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and other poultry. The map values are animal densities per square kilometre, at a resolution of 3 minutes of arc (approximately 5 km at the Equator), and are derived from official census and survey data. Reported statistics are then processed using a combination of suitability masking and spatial disaggregation by statistical modelling of livestock densities based on empirical relationships between livestock densities and environmental variables in similar agro-ecological zones. The spatial nature of these livestock data allows a wide array of applications. Livestock distribution data give an estimation of production; they evaluate impact (both of and on livestock) by applying a variety of rates; and they provide the denominator in prevalence and incidence estimates for epidemiological applications, and the host distributions for transmission models. PMID:20422554

  1. Organic matter matters for ice nuclei of agricultural soil origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobo, Y.; DeMott, P. J.; Hill, T. C. J.; Prenni, A. J.; Swoboda-Colberg, N. G.; Franc, G. D.; Kreidenweis, S. M.

    2014-04-01

    Heterogeneous ice nucleation is a~crucial process for forming ice-containing clouds and subsequent ice-induced precipitation. The importance for ice nucleation of airborne desert soil dusts composed predominantly of minerals is relatively well understood. On the other hand, the potential influence of agricultural soil dusts on ice nucleation has been poorly recognized, despite recent estimates that they may account for up to ∼25% of the global atmospheric dust load. We have conducted freezing experiments with various dusts, including agricultural soil dusts derived from the largest dust source region in North America. Here we show evidence for the significant role of soil organic matter (SOM) in particles acting as ice nuclei (IN) under mixed-phase cloud conditions. We find that the ice nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts is similar to that of desert soil dusts, but is reduced to almost the same level as that of clay minerals (e.g., kaolinite) after either H2O2 digestion or dry heating to 300 °C. In addition, based on chemical composition analysis, we show that organic-rich particles are more important than mineral particles for the ice nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts at temperatures warmer than about -36 °C. Finally, we suggest that such organic-rich particles of agricultural origin (namely, SOM particles) may contribute significantly to the ubiquity of organic-rich IN in the global atmosphere.

  2. Organic matter matters for ice nuclei of agricultural soil origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobo, Y.; DeMott, P. J.; Hill, T. C. J.; Prenni, A. J.; Swoboda-Colberg, N. G.; Franc, G. D.; Kreidenweis, S. M.

    2014-08-01

    Heterogeneous ice nucleation is a crucial process for forming ice-containing clouds and subsequent ice-induced precipitation. The importance for ice nucleation by airborne desert soil dusts composed predominantly of minerals is widely acknowledged. However, the potential influence of agricultural soil dusts on ice nucleation has been poorly recognized, despite recent estimates that they may account for up to 20-25% of the global atmospheric dust load. We have conducted freezing experiments with various dusts, including agricultural soil dusts derived from the largest dust-source region in North America. Here we show evidence for the significant role of soil organic matter (SOM) in particles acting as ice nuclei (IN) under mixed-phase cloud conditions. We find that the ice-nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts is similar to that of desert soil dusts, but is clearly reduced after either H2O2 digestion or dry heating to 300 °C. In addition, based on chemical composition analysis, we demonstrate that organic-rich particles are more important than mineral particles for the ice-nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts at temperatures warmer than about -36 °C. Finally, we suggest that such organic-rich particles of agricultural origin (namely, SOM particles) may contribute significantly to the ubiquity of organic-rich IN in the global atmosphere.

  3. After the "Organic Industrial Complex": An Ontological Expedition through Commercial Organic Agriculture in New Zealand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Hugh; Rosin, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    This article uses the evolving understandings of commercial organic agriculture within two research programmes in New Zealand to address three problematic claims and associated framings that have underpinned analysis of the political economy of commercial organic agriculture. These three framings are: 1) that recent commercial developments in…

  4. Involvement of Vocational Agriculture Students in Vocational Education Student Organizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbertson, O. S.; And Others

    The major purpose of the study was to determine the basic reasons for nonparticipation of California vocational agriculture students in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization and to develop strategies for increasing membership percentages. After calculating a 1973-74 FFA membership percentage for each California school, schools were…

  5. Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture within the United States is varied and produces a large value ($200 billion in 2002) of production across a wide range of plant and animal production systems. Because of this diversity, changes in climate will likely impact agriculture throughout the United States. Climate affects crop, ...

  6. [Preliminary determination of organic pollutants in agricultural fertilizers].

    PubMed

    Mo, Ce-hui; Li, Yun-hui; Cai, Quan-ying; Zeng, Qiao-yun; Wang, Bo-guang; Li, Hai-qin

    2005-05-01

    Organic pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in agricultural fertilizers are new problem deserved more study. Eight kinds of organic pollutants including 43 compounds classified as US EPA priority pollutants in twenty one agricultural fertilizers which were universally used in China were determined by Gas chromatography-mass spectrum (GC-MS). Three kinds of organic pollutants including more than 5 compounds were detected in most fertilizers, composing mainly of phthalic acid esters (PAEs), nitrobenzenes (NBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). There were 26 compounds detected in at least one fertilizer, five of them especially PAEs detected in most fertilizer and even in all fertilizers. Benzo(a)pyrene, a strongly carcinogenic compound was detected in two fertilizers. Higher concentrations of compounds were determined in those fertilizers such as multifunction compound fertilizers and coated fertilizers. PMID:16124498

  7. Sustainable Uses of FGD Gypsum in Agricultural Systems: Introduction.

    PubMed

    Watts, Dexter B; Dick, Warren A

    2014-01-01

    Interest in using gypsum as a management tool to improve crop yields and soil and water quality has recently increased. Abundant supply and availability of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, a by-product of scrubbing sulfur from combustion gases at coal-fired power plants, in major agricultural producing regions within the last two decades has attributed to this interest. Currently, published data on the long-term sustainability of FGD gypsum use in agricultural systems is limited. This has led to organization of the American Society of Agronomy's Community "By-product Gypsum Uses in Agriculture" and a special collection of nine technical research articles on various issues related to FGD gypsum uses in agricultural systems. A brief review of FGD gypsum, rationale for the special collection, overviews of articles, knowledge gaps, and future research directions are presented in this introductory paper. The nine articles are focused in three general areas: (i) mercury and other trace element impacts, (ii) water quality impacts, and (iii) agronomic responses and soil physical changes. While this is not an exhaustive review of the topic, results indicate that FGD gypsum use in sustainable agricultural production systems is promising. The environmental impacts of FGD gypsum are mostly positive, with only a few negative results observed, even when applied at rates representing cumulative 80-year applications. Thus, FGD gypsum, if properly managed, seems to represent an important potential input into agricultural systems. PMID:25602557

  8. Changes in Information Systems in Czech Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slavik, Milan

    2004-01-01

    A study carried out in 1998 (reported in the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 2003) of the information systems used by farmers in the Czech Republic to access information and advice was repeated in 2003. The research aim was to assess whether, and how, the systems had changed during these five years. The perceived importance of 10…

  9. Grasslands, Rangelands, and Agricultural Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable agro-ecosystems are those systems whose production does not negatively affect energy flow, nutrient cycling or ecosystem services. We examined literature reports in each of these different arenas to determine if cellulosic biomass production in rangelands met these criteria. We focused...

  10. Organic management systems to enhance ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic grain cropping systems can enhance a number of ecosystem services compared to conventional tilled systems. Recent results from a limited number of long-term agricultural research (LTAR) studies suggest that organic grain cropping systems can also increase several ecosystem services relative...

  11. 76 FR 55000 - Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-06

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share... Applications from State Departments of Agriculture for the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic...) for the allocation of organic certification cost-share funds. The AMS has allocated $1.5 million...

  12. 78 FR 5164 - Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-24

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share... Applications From State Departments of Agriculture for the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic...) for the allocation of organic certification cost-share funds. The AMS has allocated $1.425 million...

  13. Effects of agricultural practices on organic matter degradation in ditches.

    PubMed

    Hunting, Ellard R; Vonk, J Arie; Musters, C J M; Kraak, Michiel H S; Vijver, Martina G

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain. This study determined the effect of agricultural practices (dairy farm grasslands and hyacinth bulb fields) on OM degradation by microorganisms and invertebrates with a consumption and food preference experiment in the field and in the laboratory using natural OM collected from the field. Freshly cut grass and hyacinths were also offered to control for OM composition and large- and small mesh-sizes were used to distinguish microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption. Results show that OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates was similar throughout the study area, but that OM collected from ditches adjacent grasslands and freshly cut grass and hyacinths were preferred over OM collected from ditches adjacent to a hyacinth bulb field. In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides. This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26892243

  14. Global effects of agriculture on fluvial dissolved organic matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graeber, Daniel; Boëchat, Iola G.; Encina-Montoya, Francisco; Esse, Carlos; Gelbrecht, Jörg; Goyenola, Guillermo; Gücker, Björn; Heinz, Marlen; Kronvang, Brian; Meerhoff, Mariana; Nimptsch, Jorge; Pusch, Martin T.; Silva, Ricky C. S.; von Schiller, Daniel; Zwirnmann, Elke

    2015-11-01

    Agricultural land covers approximately 40% of Earth’s land surface and affects hydromorphological, biogeochemical and ecological characteristics of fluvial networks. In the northern temperate region, agriculture also strongly affects the amount and molecular composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM), which constitutes the main vector of carbon transport from soils to fluvial networks and to the sea, and is involved in a large variety of biogeochemical processes. Here, we provide first evidence about the wider occurrence of agricultural impacts on the concentration and composition of fluvial DOM across climate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres. Both extensive and intensive farming altered fluvial DOM towards a more microbial and less plant-derived composition. Moreover, intensive farming significantly increased dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentrations. The DOM composition change and DON concentration increase differed among climate zones and could be related to the intensity of current and historical nitrogen fertilizer use. As a result of agriculture intensification, increased DON concentrations and a more microbial-like DOM composition likely will enhance the reactivity of catchment DOM emissions, thereby fuelling the biogeochemical processing in fluvial networks, and resulting in higher ecosystem productivity and CO2 outgassing.

  15. Global effects of agriculture on fluvial dissolved organic matter

    PubMed Central

    Graeber, Daniel; Boëchat, Iola G.; Encina-Montoya, Francisco; Esse, Carlos; Gelbrecht, Jörg; Goyenola, Guillermo; Gücker, Björn; Heinz, Marlen; Kronvang, Brian; Meerhoff, Mariana; Nimptsch, Jorge; Pusch, Martin T.; Silva, Ricky C. S.; von Schiller, Daniel; Zwirnmann, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural land covers approximately 40% of Earth’s land surface and affects hydromorphological, biogeochemical and ecological characteristics of fluvial networks. In the northern temperate region, agriculture also strongly affects the amount and molecular composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM), which constitutes the main vector of carbon transport from soils to fluvial networks and to the sea, and is involved in a large variety of biogeochemical processes. Here, we provide first evidence about the wider occurrence of agricultural impacts on the concentration and composition of fluvial DOM across climate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres. Both extensive and intensive farming altered fluvial DOM towards a more microbial and less plant-derived composition. Moreover, intensive farming significantly increased dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentrations. The DOM composition change and DON concentration increase differed among climate zones and could be related to the intensity of current and historical nitrogen fertilizer use. As a result of agriculture intensification, increased DON concentrations and a more microbial-like DOM composition likely will enhance the reactivity of catchment DOM emissions, thereby fuelling the biogeochemical processing in fluvial networks, and resulting in higher ecosystem productivity and CO2 outgassing. PMID:26541809

  16. Effects of agricultural practices on organic matter degradation in ditches

    PubMed Central

    Hunting, Ellard R.; Vonk, J. Arie; Musters, C.J.M.; Kraak, Michiel H.S.; Vijver, Martina G.

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain. This study determined the effect of agricultural practices (dairy farm grasslands and hyacinth bulb fields) on OM degradation by microorganisms and invertebrates with a consumption and food preference experiment in the field and in the laboratory using natural OM collected from the field. Freshly cut grass and hyacinths were also offered to control for OM composition and large- and small mesh-sizes were used to distinguish microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption. Results show that OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates was similar throughout the study area, but that OM collected from ditches adjacent grasslands and freshly cut grass and hyacinths were preferred over OM collected from ditches adjacent to a hyacinth bulb field. In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides. This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26892243

  17. Global effects of agriculture on fluvial dissolved organic matter.

    PubMed

    Graeber, Daniel; Boëchat, Iola G; Encina-Montoya, Francisco; Esse, Carlos; Gelbrecht, Jörg; Goyenola, Guillermo; Gücker, Björn; Heinz, Marlen; Kronvang, Brian; Meerhoff, Mariana; Nimptsch, Jorge; Pusch, Martin T; Silva, Ricky C S; von Schiller, Daniel; Zwirnmann, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural land covers approximately 40% of Earth's land surface and affects hydromorphological, biogeochemical and ecological characteristics of fluvial networks. In the northern temperate region, agriculture also strongly affects the amount and molecular composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM), which constitutes the main vector of carbon transport from soils to fluvial networks and to the sea, and is involved in a large variety of biogeochemical processes. Here, we provide first evidence about the wider occurrence of agricultural impacts on the concentration and composition of fluvial DOM across climate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres. Both extensive and intensive farming altered fluvial DOM towards a more microbial and less plant-derived composition. Moreover, intensive farming significantly increased dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentrations. The DOM composition change and DON concentration increase differed among climate zones and could be related to the intensity of current and historical nitrogen fertilizer use. As a result of agriculture intensification, increased DON concentrations and a more microbial-like DOM composition likely will enhance the reactivity of catchment DOM emissions, thereby fuelling the biogeochemical processing in fluvial networks, and resulting in higher ecosystem productivity and CO2 outgassing. PMID:26541809

  18. Commercial Crop Yields Reveal Strengths and Weaknesses for Organic Agriculture in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Steven D.; Jabbour, Randa

    2016-01-01

    Land area devoted to organic agriculture has increased steadily over the last 20 years in the United States, and elsewhere around the world. A primary criticism of organic agriculture is lower yield compared to non-organic systems. Previous analyses documenting the yield deficiency in organic production have relied mostly on data generated under experimental conditions, but these studies do not necessarily reflect the full range of innovation or practical limitations that are part of commercial agriculture. The analysis we present here offers a new perspective, based on organic yield data collected from over 10,000 organic farmers representing nearly 800,000 hectares of organic farmland. We used publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture to estimate yield differences between organic and conventional production methods for the 2014 production year. Similar to previous work, organic crop yields in our analysis were lower than conventional crop yields for most crops. Averaged across all crops, organic yield averaged 80% of conventional yield. However, several crops had no significant difference in yields between organic and conventional production, and organic yields surpassed conventional yields for some hay crops. The organic to conventional yield ratio varied widely among crops, and in some cases, among locations within a crop. For soybean (Glycine max) and potato (Solanum tuberosum), organic yield was more similar to conventional yield in states where conventional yield was greatest. The opposite trend was observed for barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestevum), and hay crops, however, suggesting the geographical yield potential has an inconsistent effect on the organic yield gap. PMID:27552217

  19. Commercial Crop Yields Reveal Strengths and Weaknesses for Organic Agriculture in the United States.

    PubMed

    Kniss, Andrew R; Savage, Steven D; Jabbour, Randa

    2016-01-01

    Land area devoted to organic agriculture has increased steadily over the last 20 years in the United States, and elsewhere around the world. A primary criticism of organic agriculture is lower yield compared to non-organic systems. Previous analyses documenting the yield deficiency in organic production have relied mostly on data generated under experimental conditions, but these studies do not necessarily reflect the full range of innovation or practical limitations that are part of commercial agriculture. The analysis we present here offers a new perspective, based on organic yield data collected from over 10,000 organic farmers representing nearly 800,000 hectares of organic farmland. We used publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture to estimate yield differences between organic and conventional production methods for the 2014 production year. Similar to previous work, organic crop yields in our analysis were lower than conventional crop yields for most crops. Averaged across all crops, organic yield averaged 80% of conventional yield. However, several crops had no significant difference in yields between organic and conventional production, and organic yields surpassed conventional yields for some hay crops. The organic to conventional yield ratio varied widely among crops, and in some cases, among locations within a crop. For soybean (Glycine max) and potato (Solanum tuberosum), organic yield was more similar to conventional yield in states where conventional yield was greatest. The opposite trend was observed for barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestevum), and hay crops, however, suggesting the geographical yield potential has an inconsistent effect on the organic yield gap. PMID:27552217

  20. Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agricultural Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Through proper management, agricultural systems (cropland, pasture, and forest) have the ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it in soils and wood products. The carbon thus sequestered can help slow the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide currently occurring as a res...

  1. Immunological and Inflammatory Responses to Organic Dust in Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Poole, Jill A.; Romberger, Debra J.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review Agriculture represents a major industry worldwide, and despite protection against the development of IgE-mediated diseases, chronic exposure to agriculture-related organic dusts is associated with an increased risk of developing respiratory disease. This article will review the literature regarding new knowledge of important etiologic agents in the dusts and focus on the immunologic responses following acute and repetitive organic dust exposures. Recent findings Although endotoxin remains important, there is an emerging role for non-endotoxin components such as peptidoglycans from Gram-positive bacteria. Pattern recognition receptors including Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), TLR2 and intracellular nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptors are partially responsible for mediating the inflammatory consequences. Repeated organic dust exposures modulate innate and adaptive immune function with a resultant adaptation-like response. However, repetitive exposures cause lung parenchymal inflammation, chronic disease, and lung function decline over time. Summary The immunological consequences of organic dust exposure in the farming industry are likely explained by the diversity of microbial motifs in dust that can elicit differing innate immune receptor signaling pathways. Whereas initial activation results in a robust inflammatory response, repetitive dust exposures modulate immunity. This can result in low-grade, chronic inflammation and/or protection against allergic disease. PMID:22306554

  2. Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Knowledge: Environmental Adult Education and Organic Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sumner, Jennifer

    2008-01-01

    Given today's pressing environmental issues, environmental adult educators can help us learn to live more sustainably. One of the models for more sustainable ways of life is organic agriculture, based in a knowledge system that works with nature, not against it. In order to understand this knowledge, we need to frame it in a way that captures all…

  3. 75 FR 54591 - Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-08

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share... Applications for the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. SUMMARY: This... Organic Certification Cost-Share Funds. The AMS has allocated $1.495 million for this...

  4. The CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project: Location, cropping system, and genetic background influence carrot performance including top height and flavor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. organic farmers surveyed listed improved seedling germination and Alternaria leaf blight resistance as top breeding priorities for field production of organic carrots. Nematode resistance is also very important for growers. Flavor was deemed the most important consumer trait to improve in carro...

  5. Location, cropping system, and genetic background influence carrot performance including top height and flavor in the CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. organic farmers surveyed listed improved seedling germination and Alternaria leaf blight resistance as top breeding priorities for field production of organic carrots. Nematode resistance is also very important for growers. Flavor was deemed the most important consumer trait to improve in carro...

  6. Utilizing Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Agricultural Education to Promote Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, David L.; Muchena, Olivia N.

    1991-01-01

    Understanding and appreciation of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) are essential for promoting sustainable agriculture development. IKS provides a cultural basis for nonformal agricultural programs that is absent in technology transfer approaches. (SK)

  7. AgBase: supporting functional modeling in agricultural organisms.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Fiona M; Gresham, Cathy R; Buza, Teresia J; Chouvarine, Philippe; Pillai, Lakshmi R; Kumar, Ranjit; Ozkan, Seval; Wang, Hui; Manda, Prashanti; Arick, Tony; Bridges, Susan M; Burgess, Shane C

    2011-01-01

    AgBase (http://www.agbase.msstate.edu/) provides resources to facilitate modeling of functional genomics data and structural and functional annotation of agriculturally important animal, plant, microbe and parasite genomes. The website is redesigned to improve accessibility and ease of use, including improved search capabilities. Expanded capabilities include new dedicated pages for horse, cat, dog, cotton, rice and soybean. We currently provide 590 240 Gene Ontology (GO) annotations to 105 454 gene products in 64 different species, including GO annotations linked to transcripts represented on agricultural microarrays. For many of these arrays, this provides the only functional annotation available. GO annotations are available for download and we provide comprehensive, species-specific GO annotation files for 18 different organisms. The tools available at AgBase have been expanded and several existing tools improved based upon user feedback. One of seven new tools available at AgBase, GOModeler, supports hypothesis testing from functional genomics data. We host several associated databases and provide genome browsers for three agricultural pathogens. Moreover, we provide comprehensive training resources (including worked examples and tutorials) via links to Educational Resources at the AgBase website. PMID:21075795

  8. AgBase: supporting functional modeling in agricultural organisms

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Fiona M.; Gresham, Cathy R.; Buza, Teresia J.; Chouvarine, Philippe; Pillai, Lakshmi R.; Kumar, Ranjit; Ozkan, Seval; Wang, Hui; Manda, Prashanti; Arick, Tony; Bridges, Susan M.; Burgess, Shane C.

    2011-01-01

    AgBase (http://www.agbase.msstate.edu/) provides resources to facilitate modeling of functional genomics data and structural and functional annotation of agriculturally important animal, plant, microbe and parasite genomes. The website is redesigned to improve accessibility and ease of use, including improved search capabilities. Expanded capabilities include new dedicated pages for horse, cat, dog, cotton, rice and soybean. We currently provide 590 240 Gene Ontology (GO) annotations to 105 454 gene products in 64 different species, including GO annotations linked to transcripts represented on agricultural microarrays. For many of these arrays, this provides the only functional annotation available. GO annotations are available for download and we provide comprehensive, species-specific GO annotation files for 18 different organisms. The tools available at AgBase have been expanded and several existing tools improved based upon user feedback. One of seven new tools available at AgBase, GOModeler, supports hypothesis testing from functional genomics data. We host several associated databases and provide genome browsers for three agricultural pathogens. Moreover, we provide comprehensive training resources (including worked examples and tutorials) via links to Educational Resources at the AgBase website. PMID:21075795

  9. Organic watermelon production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The increasing perception by consumers that organic food tastes better and is healthier continues to expand the demand for organically produced crops. Research investigating certified organic production requires a systems approach to determine the optimum combination of individual components to max...

  10. 7 CFR 205.201 - Organic production and handling system plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Organic production and handling system plan. 205.201 Section 205.201 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS...

  11. Soil Enzyme Activities, Microbial Communities and Carbon and Nitrogen Availability in Organic Agroecosystems Across an Intensively-Managed Agricultural Landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Variability in the activity and composition of soil microbial communities may have important implications for the suite of microbially-derived ecosystem functions upon which agricultural systems rely, particularly organic agriculture. An on-farm approach was used to investigate microbial communitie...

  12. Biodiversity management of organic farming enhances agricultural sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V.; Jiang, Gaoming

    2016-04-01

    Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits.

  13. Biodiversity management of organic farming enhances agricultural sustainability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V; Jiang, Gaoming

    2016-01-01

    Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits. PMID:27032369

  14. Biodiversity management of organic farming enhances agricultural sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V.; Jiang, Gaoming

    2016-01-01

    Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits. PMID:27032369

  15. Biodiversity in Organic Farmland - How Does Landscape Context Influence Species Diversity in Organic Vs. Conventional Agricultural Fields?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seufert, V.; Wood, S.; Reid, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Rhemtulla, J.; Ramankutty, N.

    2014-12-01

    The most important current driver of biodiversity loss is the conversion of natural habitats for human land uses, mostly for the purpose of food production. However, by causing this biodiversity loss, food production is eroding the very same ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and soil fertility) that it depends on. We therefore need to adopt more wildlife-friendly agricultural practices that can contribute to preserving biodiversity. Organic farming has been shown to typically host higher biodiversity than conventional farming. But how is the biodiversity benefit of organic management dependent on the landscape context farms are situated in? To implement organic farming as an effective means for protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services we need to understand better under what conditions organic management is most beneficial for species. We conducted a meta-analysis of the literature to answer this question, compiling the most comprehensive database to date of studies that monitored biodiversity in organic vs. conventional fields. We also collected information about the landscape surrounding these fields from remote sensing products. Our database consists of 348 study sites across North America and Europe. Our analysis shows that organic management can improve biodiversity in agricultural fields substantially. It is especially effective at preserving biodiversity in homogeneous landscapes that are structurally simplified and dominated by either cropland or pasture. In heterogeneous landscapes conventional agriculture might instead already hold high biodiversity, and organic management does not appear to provide as much of a benefit for species richness as in simplified landscapes. Our results suggest that strategies to maintain biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services should include a combination of pristine natural habitats, wildlife-friendly farming systems like organic farming, and high-yielding conventional systems, interspersed in structurally

  16. Environmental impacts of organic and conventional agricultural products--are the differences captured by life cycle assessment?

    PubMed

    Meier, Matthias S; Stoessel, Franziska; Jungbluth, Niels; Juraske, Ronnie; Schader, Christian; Stolze, Matthias

    2015-02-01

    Comprehensive assessment tools are needed that reliably describe environmental impacts of different agricultural systems in order to develop sustainable high yielding agricultural production systems with minimal impacts on the environment. Today, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is increasingly used to assess and compare the environmental sustainability of agricultural products from conventional and organic agriculture. However, LCA studies comparing agricultural products from conventional and organic farming systems report a wide variation in the resource efficiency of products from these systems. The studies show that impacts per area farmed land are usually less in organic systems, but related to the quantity produced impacts are often higher. We reviewed 34 comparative LCA studies of organic and conventional agricultural products to analyze whether this result is solely due to the usually lower yields in organic systems or also due to inaccurate modeling within LCA. Comparative LCAs on agricultural products from organic and conventional farming systems often do not adequately differentiate the specific characteristics of the respective farming system in the goal and scope definition and in the inventory analysis. Further, often only a limited number of impact categories are assessed within the impact assessment not allowing for a comprehensive environmental assessment. The most critical points we identified relate to the nitrogen (N) fluxes influencing acidification, eutrophication, and global warming potential, and biodiversity. Usually, N-emissions in LCA inventories of agricultural products are based on model calculations. Modeled N-emissions often do not correspond with the actual amount of N left in the system that may result in potential emissions. Reasons for this may be that N-models are not well adapted to the mode of action of organic fertilizers and that N-emission models often are built on assumptions from conventional agriculture leading to even greater

  17. Organic agriculture promotes evenness and natural pest control.

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W; Northfield, Tobin D; Strand, Michael R; Snyder, William E

    2010-07-01

    Human activity can degrade ecosystem function by reducing species number (richness) and by skewing the relative abundance of species (evenness). Conservation efforts often focus on restoring or maintaining species number, reflecting the well-known impacts of richness on many ecological processes. In contrast, the ecological effects of disrupted evenness have received far less attention, and developing strategies for restoring evenness remains a conceptual challenge. In farmlands, agricultural pest-management practices often lead to altered food web structure and communities dominated by a few common species, which together contribute to pest outbreaks. Here we show that organic farming methods mitigate this ecological damage by promoting evenness among natural enemies. In field enclosures, very even communities of predator and pathogen biological control agents, typical of organic farms, exerted the strongest pest control and yielded the largest plants. In contrast, pest densities were high and plant biomass was low when enemy evenness was disrupted, as is typical under conventional management. Our results were independent of the numerically dominant predator or pathogen species, and so resulted from evenness itself. Moreover, evenness effects among natural enemy groups were independent and complementary. Our results strengthen the argument that rejuvenation of ecosystem function requires restoration of species evenness, rather than just richness. Organic farming potentially offers a means of returning functional evenness to ecosystems. PMID:20596021

  18. Organic matter composition of soil macropore surfaces under different agricultural management practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glæsner, Nadia; Leue, Marin; Magid, Jacob; Gerke, Horst H.

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the heterogeneous nature of soil, i.e. properties and processes occurring specifically at local scales is essential for best managing our soil resources for agricultural production. Examination of intact soil structures in order to obtain an increased understanding of how soil systems operate from small to large scale represents a large gap within soil science research. Dissolved chemicals, nutrients and particles are transported through the disturbed plow layer of agricultural soil, where after flow through the lower soil layers occur by preferential flow via macropores. Rapid movement of water through macropores limit the contact between the preferentially moving water and the surrounding soil matrix, therefore contact and exchange of solutes in the water is largely restricted to the surface area of the macropores. Organomineral complex coated surfaces control sorption and exchange properties of solutes, as well as availability of essential nutrients to plant roots and to the preferentially flowing water. DRIFT (Diffuse Reflectance infrared Fourier Transform) Mapping has been developed to examine composition of organic matter coated macropores. In this study macropore surfaces structures will be determined for organic matter composition using DRIFT from a long-term field experiment on waste application to agricultural soil (CRUCIAL, close to Copenhagen, Denmark). Parcels with 5 treatments; accelerated household waste, accelerated sewage sludge, accelerated cattle manure, NPK and unfertilized, will be examined in order to study whether agricultural management have an impact on the organic matter composition of intact structures.

  19. A GEO Global Agricultural Water Productivity Mapping System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thenkabail, P. S.; Pozzi, W.; Miller, N. L.; Fekete, B.; Sheffield, J.; Dumenil-Gates, L.

    2009-12-01

    Agriculture is the main consumer of freshwater, and improved precision and accuracy of the terrestrial water cycle requires a more reliable way of monitoring agricultural water use and agricultural water productivity. Wisser et al 2008 reported that agricultural water consumption over the satellite-determined crop acreage (from AVHRR, SPOT VGT), particularly for India and China (Thenkabail et al 2006) was 30% higher than the commonly used Food and Agricultural Organization country-reported agricultural crop census data. We propose further quantification and clarification of this error through the following methodology: 1) greater accuracy in measuring actual area and precise spatial distribution of irrigated and rainfed cropland areas, along with identification of crop types and cropping intensities; 2) satellite monitoring of actual evapotranspiration (water use) by croplands; 3) reconciling agricultural plot information and evapotranspiration against calculated stores of water and water budgets, as derived from a Global Hydrologic Model Multi-Model Ensemble; and (d) modeling and pin-pointing areas of low and high water productivity (WP) to optimize agricultural water use and thus save large quanta of water. We propose producing global irrigated and rainfed areas at finer scales using Landsat 30 m imagery in fusion with MODIS 250 m imagery using the spectral matching technique (Thenkabail et al 2009). Crop water use (water transpired by the crop) and crop water productivity maps can be prepared for terrestrial areas, by using the surface energy balance model, in which evapotranspiration fraction is provided from Landsat ETM+ and\\or MODIS thermal data, combined with locally derived meteorological data such as wind speed, humidity, incoming radiation, and other surface values to derive turbulent diffusion and finally computing reference evapotranspiration (e.g., Penman-Montieth approach), so that sensible heat flux may be deducted from net radiation to derive

  20. Soil Organic Carbon dynamics in agricultural soils of Veneto Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bampa, F. B.; Morari, F. M.; Hiederer, R. H.; Toth, G. T.; Giandon, P. G.; Vinci, I. V.; Montanarella, L. M.; Nocita, M.

    2012-04-01

    One of the eight soil threats expressed in the European Commission's Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (COM (2006)231 final) it's the decline in Soil Organic Matter (SOM). His preservation is recognized as with the objective to ensure that the soils of Europe remain healthy and capable of supporting human activities and ecosystems. One of the key goals of the strategy is to maintain and improve Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) levels. As climate change is identified as a common element in many of the soil threats, the European Commission (EC) intends to assess the actual contribution of the soil protection to climate change mitigation and the effects of climate change on the possible depletion of SOM. A substantial proportion of European land is occupied by agriculture, and consequently plays a crucial role in maintaining natural resources. Organic carbon preservation and sequestration in the EU's agricultural soils could have some potential to mitigate the effects of climate change, particularly linked to preventing certain land use changes and maintaining SOC stocks. The objective of this study is to assess the SOC dynamics in agricultural soils (cropland and grassland) at regional scale, focusing on changes due to land use. A sub-objective would be the evaluation of the most used land management practices and their effect on SOC content. This assessment aims to determine the geographical distribution of the potential GHG mitigation options, focusing on hot spots in the EU, where mitigation actions would be particularly efficient and is linked with the on-going work in the JRC SOIL Action. The pilot area is Veneto Region. The data available are coming from different sources, timing and involve different variables as: soil texture, climate, soil disturbance, managements and nutrients. The first source of data is the LUCAS project (Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame statistical Survey). Started in 2001, the LUCAS project aims to monitor changes in land cover/use and

  1. A geographic information system on the potential distribution and abundance of Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica in east Africa based on Food and Agriculture Organization databases.

    PubMed

    Malone, J B; Gommes, R; Hansen, J; Yilma, J M; Slingenberg, J; Snijders, F; Nachtergaele, F; Ataman, E

    1998-07-31

    An adaptation of a previously developed climate forecast computer model and digital agroecologic database resources available from FAO for developing countries were used to develop a geographic information system risk assessment model for fasciolosis in East Africa, a region where both F. hepatica and F. gigantica occur as a cause of major economic losses in livestock. Regional F. hepatica and F. gigantica forecast index maps were created. Results were compared to environmental data parameters, known life cycle micro-environment requirements and to available Fasciola prevalence survey data and distribution patterns reported in the literature for each species (F. hepatica above 1200 m elevation, F. gigantica below 1800 m, both at 1200-1800 m). The greatest risk, for both species, occurred in areas of extended high annual rainfall associated with high soil moisture and surplus water, with risk diminishing in areas of shorter wet season and/or lower temperatures. Arid areas were generally unsuitable (except where irrigation, water bodies or floods occur) due to soil moisture deficit and/or, in the case of F. hepatica, high average annual mean temperature >23 degrees C. Regions in the highlands of Ethiopia and Kenya were identified as unsuitable for F. gigantica due to inadequate thermal regime, below the 600 growing degree days required for completion of the life cycle in a single year. The combined forecast index (F. hepatica+F. gigantica) was significantly correlated to prevalence data available for 260 of the 1220 agroecologic crop production system zones (CPSZ) and to average monthly normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values derived from the advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) sensor on board the NOAA polar-orbiting satellites. For use in Fasciola control programs, results indicate that monthly forecast parameters, developed in a GIS with digital agroecologic zone databases and monthly climate databases, can be used to define the

  2. Certified Organic Agriculture in Mexico: Market Connections and Certification Practices in Large and Small Producers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tovar, Laura Gomez; Martin, Lauren; Cruz, Manuel Angel Gomez; Mutersbaugh, Tad

    2005-01-01

    Certification within organic agriculture exhibits flexibility with respect to practices used to demonstrate that a product meets published quality standards. This case study of Mexican certified-organic agriculture finds two forms. Indigenous smallholders of southern Mexico undertake a low-input, process-oriented organic farming in which…

  3. 78 FR 52131 - Notice of Funds Availability: Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-22

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service Notice of Funds Availability: Agricultural Management Assistance Organic... Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. SUMMARY: This Notice invites the following 16 eligible...) for organic certification cost- share funds. A total of $1,352,850 is available to the 16...

  4. An Obstacle Alerting System for Agricultural Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeMaio, Joe

    2003-01-01

    Wire strikes are a significant cause of helicopter accidents. The aircraft most at risk are aerial applicators. The present study examines the effectiveness of a wire alert delivered by way of the lightbar, a GPS-based guidance system for aerial application. The alert lead-time needed to avoid an invisible wire is compared with that to avoid a visible wire. A flight simulator was configured to simulate an agricultural application helicopter. Two pilots flew simulated spray runs in fields with visible wires, invisible wires, and no wires. The wire alert was effective in reducing wire strikes. A lead-time of 3.5 sec was required for the alert to be effective. The lead- time required was the same whether the pilot could see the wire or not.

  5. Organic Phosphorus Characterisation in Agricultural Soils by Enzyme Addition Assays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarosch, Klaus; Frossard, Emmanuel; Bünemann, Else K.

    2013-04-01

    by various soil specific variables. Thus, the characterisation of soil organic P by enzyme addition assays was further developed and shown to be applicable on a very wide range of soil types. The method also bears the potential for describing translocation processes of dissolved organic P species in soil - aquifer systems. Key words: soil organic phosphorus characterisation, enzyme additions, dissolved organic P

  6. Evidence of varietal adaptation to organic farming systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Consumer demand regarding the impacts of conventional agriculture on the environment and human health have spurred the growth of organic farming systems; however, organic agriculture is often criticized as low-yielding and unable to produce enough food to supply the world’s population. Using wheat a...

  7. External Economic Drivers and U.S. Agricultural Production Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S agriculture operates in a market driven economy. As with other businesses, agricultural producers respond to economic incentives and disincentives and make decisions to maximize their welfare. In this paper we examine external economic drivers that shape agricultural systems. Specifically, we c...

  8. Bee Pollination in Agricultural Eco-Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For many agricultural crops, bees play a vital role as pollinators, and this book discusses the interplay between bees, agriculture and the environment. Although honey bees are well recognized as pollinators, managed bumble bees and solitary bees are also critical for the successful pollination of c...

  9. Quantification of isotopic turnover in agricultural systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, A.; Auerswald, K.; Schnyder, H.

    2012-04-01

    The isotopic turnover, which is a proxy for the metabolic rate, is gaining scientific importance. It is quantified for an increasing range of organisms, from microorganisms over plants to animals including agricultural livestock. Additionally, the isotopic turnover is analyzed on different scales, from organs to organisms to ecosystems and even to the biosphere. In particular, the quantification of the isotopic turnover of specific tissues within the same organism, e.g. organs like liver and muscle and products like milk and faeces, has brought new insights to improve understanding of nutrient cycles and fluxes, respectively. Thus, the knowledge of isotopic turnover is important in many areas, including physiology, e.g. milk synthesis, ecology, e.g. soil retention time of water, and medical science, e.g. cancer diagnosis. So far, the isotopic turnover is quantified by applying time, cost and expertise intensive tracer experiments. Usually, this comprises two isotopic equilibration periods. A first equilibration period with a constant isotopic input signal is followed by a second equilibration period with a distinct constant isotopic input signal. This yields a smooth signal change from the first to the second signal in the object under consideration. This approach reveals at least three major problems. (i) The input signals must be controlled isotopically, which is almost impossible in many realistic cases like free ranging animals. (ii) Both equilibration periods may be very long, especially when the turnover rate of the object under consideration is very slow, which aggravates the first problem. (iii) The detection of small or slow pools is improved by large isotopic signal changes, but large isotopic changes also involve a considerable change in the input material; e.g. animal studies are usually carried out as diet-switch experiments, where the diet is switched between C3 and C4 plants, since C3 and C4 plants differ strongly in their isotopic signal. The

  10. Nematode Communities in Organically and Conventionally Managed Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Neher, Deborah A.

    1999-01-01

    Interpretation of nematode community indices requires a reference to a relatively undisturbed community. Maturity and trophic diversity index values were compared for five pairs of certified organically and conventionally managed soils in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Available nitrogen (nitrate, ammonium) was estimated at various lag periods relative to times of sampling for nematode communities to determine the strength of correlative relationship between nematode communities and nitrogen availability. Soils were sampled six times yearly in 1993 and 1994 to determine the best time of year to sample. Maturity values for plant parasites were greater in organically than conventionally managed soils, and differences between management systems were greater in fall than spring months. However, other maturity and diversity indices did not differ between the two management practices. Differences in crop species grown in the two systems accounted for most differences observed in the community of plant-parasitic nematodes. Indices of free-living nematodes were correlated negatively with concentrations of ammonium, whereas indices of plant-parasitic nematodes were correlated positively with concentrations of nitrate. Due to the similarity of index values between the two systems, organically managed soils are not suitable reference sites for monitoring and assessing the biological aspects of soil quality for annually harvested crops. PMID:19270884

  11. The organic Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibb, Bruce C.

    2015-05-01

    In the second of two essays looking at organic chemistry that can be found in the Solar System, Bruce C. Gibb focuses on the gas and ice giants as well as their satellites -- concluding the tour on Saturn's fascinating moon Titan.

  12. 26 CFR 1.501(c)(5)-1 - Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 7 2011-04-01 2009-04-01 true Labor, agricultural, and horticultural... Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations. (a) The organizations contemplated by section 501... those engaged in such pursuits, the improvement of the grade of their products, and the development of...

  13. 26 CFR 1.501(c)(5)-1 - Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 7 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 true Labor, agricultural, and horticultural... Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations. (a) The organizations contemplated by section 501... those engaged in such pursuits, the improvement of the grade of their products, and the development of...

  14. 26 CFR 1.501(c)(5)-1 - Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... agreement between labor union K and multiple employers. Trust A forms part of a plan that is established and... 26 Internal Revenue 7 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Labor, agricultural, and horticultural... Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations. (a) The organizations contemplated by section...

  15. 26 CFR 1.501(c)(5)-1 - Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... agreement between labor union K and multiple employers. Trust A forms part of a plan that is established and... 26 Internal Revenue 7 2014-04-01 2013-04-01 true Labor, agricultural, and horticultural... Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations. (a) The organizations contemplated by section...

  16. 26 CFR 1.501(c)(5)-1 - Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... agreement between labor union K and multiple employers. Trust A forms part of a plan that is established and... 26 Internal Revenue 7 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Labor, agricultural, and horticultural... Labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations. (a) The organizations contemplated by section...

  17. Enhancing the Undergraduate Experience: The Role of a Student Organization for Preservice Agricultural Science Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, T. Grady; Harlin, Julie F.; Murphrey, Theresa P.; Dooley, Kim E.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if a need exists to establish an organization specifically for preservice agricultural science teachers and if so, the attributes of such an organization. Selected peer preservice agricultural education programs were examined and focus groups were conducted with preservice and inservice teachers. Results…

  18. Current organic waste recycling and the potential for local recycling through urban agriculture in Metro Manila.

    PubMed

    Hara, Yuji; Furutani, Takashi; Murakami, Akinobu; Palijon, Armando M; Yokohari, Makoto

    2011-11-01

    Using the solid waste management programmes of three barangays (the smallest unit of local government in the Philippines) in Quezon City, Metro Manila, as a case study, this research aimed to further the development of efficient organic waste recycling systems through the promotion of urban agricultural activities on green and vacant spaces. First, the quantity of organic waste and compost produced through ongoing barangay projects was measured. The amount of compost that could potentially be utilized on farmland and vacant land within the barangays was then identified to determine the possibility of a local recycling system. The results indicate that, at present, securing buyers for compost is difficult and, therefore, most compost is distributed to large neighbouring farm villages. However, the present analysis of potential compost use within the barangay demonstrates that a more local compost recycling system is indeed feasible. PMID:20952443

  19. Quality assurance of weather data for agricultural system model input

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is well known that crop production and hydrologic variation on watersheds is weather related. Rarely, however, is meteorological data quality checks reported for agricultural systems model research. We present quality assurance procedures for agricultural system model weather data input. Problems...

  20. Integrating Sensory/Actuation Systems in Agricultural Vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Emmi, Luis; Gonzalez-de-Soto, Mariano; Pajares, Gonzalo; Gonzalez-de-Santos, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, there have been major advances in the development of new and more powerful perception systems for agriculture, such as computer-vision and global positioning systems. Due to these advances, the automation of agricultural tasks has received an important stimulus, especially in the area of selective weed control where high precision is essential for the proper use of resources and the implementation of more efficient treatments. Such autonomous agricultural systems incorporate and integrate perception systems for acquiring information from the environment, decision-making systems for interpreting and analyzing such information, and actuation systems that are responsible for performing the agricultural operations. These systems consist of different sensors, actuators, and computers that work synchronously in a specific architecture for the intended purpose. The main contribution of this paper is the selection, arrangement, integration, and synchronization of these systems to form a whole autonomous vehicle for agricultural applications. This type of vehicle has attracted growing interest, not only for researchers but also for manufacturers and farmers. The experimental results demonstrate the success and performance of the integrated system in guidance and weed control tasks in a maize field, indicating its utility and efficiency. The whole system is sufficiently flexible for use in other agricultural tasks with little effort and is another important contribution in the field of autonomous agricultural vehicles. PMID:24577525

  1. Integrating sensory/actuation systems in agricultural vehicles.

    PubMed

    Emmi, Luis; Gonzalez-de-Soto, Mariano; Pajares, Gonzalo; Gonzalez-de-Santos, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, there have been major advances in the development of new and more powerful perception systems for agriculture, such as computer-vision and global positioning systems. Due to these advances, the automation of agricultural tasks has received an important stimulus, especially in the area of selective weed control where high precision is essential for the proper use of resources and the implementation of more efficient treatments. Such autonomous agricultural systems incorporate and integrate perception systems for acquiring information from the environment, decision-making systems for interpreting and analyzing such information, and actuation systems that are responsible for performing the agricultural operations. These systems consist of different sensors, actuators, and computers that work synchronously in a specific architecture for the intended purpose. The main contribution of this paper is the selection, arrangement, integration, and synchronization of these systems to form a whole autonomous vehicle for agricultural applications. This type of vehicle has attracted growing interest, not only for researchers but also for manufacturers and farmers. The experimental results demonstrate the success and performance of the integrated system in guidance and weed control tasks in a maize field, indicating its utility and efficiency. The whole system is sufficiently flexible for use in other agricultural tasks with little effort and is another important contribution in the field of autonomous agricultural vehicles. PMID:24577525

  2. Organic LED system applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cropper, A. D.; Cok, Ronald S.; Feldman, Rodney D.

    2001-02-01

    Organic LED (OLED) technology promises superior performance in brightness and color resolution, wider viewing angles, lower power consumption, thin displays, and robust physical characteristics. These advantages make OLED displays attractive for next-generation flat panel displays. This paper describes the state-of-the-art in OLED technology and addresses some of the benefits and difficulties facing the integration of OLED devices into a range of imaging equipment applications. We will review OLED performance from a systems perspective and will compare it to OLED material and panel properties. We will also describe the competitive attributes of a flat panel display and recent work done at Kodak on interfacing to OLED devices.

  3. A Landscape Perspective on Sustainability of Agricultural Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H; Kline, Keith L; Kaffka, Stephen R; Langeveld, J.W.A.

    2013-01-01

    Landscape sustainability of agricultural systems considers effects of farm activities on social, economic, and ecosystem services at local and regional scales. Sustainable agriculture entails: defining sustainability, developing easily measured indicators of sustainability, moving toward integrated agricultural systems, and offering incentives or imposing regulations to affect farmer behavior. A landscape perspective is useful because landscape ecology provides theory and methods for dealing with spatial heterogeneity, scaling, integration, and complexity. To implement agricultural sustainability, we propose adopting a systems perspective, recognizing spatial heterogeneity, addressing the influences of context, and integrating landscape-design principles. Topics that need further attention at local and regional scales include (1) protocols for quantifying material and energy flows; (2) effects of management practices; (3) incentives for enhancing social, economic, and ecosystem services; (4) integrated landscape planning and management; (5) monitoring and assessment; (6) effects of societal demand; and (7) consistent and holistic policies for promoting agricultural sustainability.

  4. Phosphorus modeling in tile drained agricultural systems using APEX

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phosphorus losses through tile drained systems in agricultural landscapes may be causing the persistent eutrophication problems observed in surface water. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the state of the science in the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model related to surf...

  5. From LACIE to GEOGLAM: Integrating Earth Observations into Operational Agricultural Monitoring Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker-Reshef, I.; Justice, C. O.

    2012-12-01

    Earth observation data, owing to their synoptic, timely and repetitive coverage, have long been recognized as an indispensible tool for agricultural monitoring at local to global scales. Research and development over the past several decades in the field of agricultural remote sensing has led to considerable capacity for crop monitoring within the current operational monitoring systems. These systems are relied upon nationally and internationally to provide crop outlooks and production forecasts as the growing season progresses. This talk will discuss the legacy and current state of operational agricultural monitoring using earth observations. In the US, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been collaborating to monitor global agriculture from space since the 1970s. In 1974, the USDA, NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated the Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment (LACIE) which demonstrated that earth observations could provide vital information on crop production, with unprecedented accuracy and timeliness, prior to harvest. This experiment spurred many agencies and researchers around the world to further develop and evaluate remote sensing technologies for timely, large area, crop monitoring. The USDA and NASA continue to closely collaborate. More recently they jointly initiated the Global Agricultural Monitoring Project (GLAM) to enhance the agricultural monitoring and the crop-production estimation capabilities of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service by using the new generation of NASA satellite observations including from MODIS and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instruments. Internationally, in response to the growing calls for improved agricultural information, the Group on Earth Observations (partnership of governments and international organizations) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative which was adopted

  6. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  7. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Bowles, Timothy M.; Hollander, Allan D.; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E.

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  8. Nitrate loading and isotopic signatures in subsurface agricultural drainage systems.

    PubMed

    Smith, E L; Kellman, L M

    2011-01-01

    Artificially draining soils using subsurface tiles is a common practice on many agricultural fields. High levels of nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) are often released from these systems; therefore, knowledge on the sources and processes controlling NO-N in drainage systems is needed. A dual isotope study (δN and δO) was used to investigate three subsurface drainage systems (shallow, conventional, and controlled) in Onslow, Nova Scotia, Canada. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify which drainage system more effectively reduced the NO-N loading, (ii) to examine differences in isotopic signatures under identical nutrient and cropping regimes for a fixed soil type, and (iii) to identify the utility of different drainage systems in controlling nutrient flows. Nitrate concentrations measured ranged from 0.92 to 11.8, from 2.3 to 17.3, and from 2.1 to 19.8 mg L for the shallow, conventional, and controlled drains, respectively. Total NO-N loading from shallow and controlled drains were 20 and 5.6 kg ha, respectively, lower than conventional (39.1 kg ha). The isotopic composition of NO-N for all drainage types appeared to be a mixture of two organic sources (manure and soil organic matter) via the process of nitrification. There was no evidence that denitrification played a significant role in removing NO-N during transport. Overall, shallow drainage reduced NO-N loading but offered no water conservation benefits. Combining the benefits of decreased NO-N loading from shallow systems with water control capability may offer the best solution to reducing nutrient loadings into water systems, achieving optimal crop yield, and decreasing drainage installation costs. PMID:21712595

  9. Organic Research Activities of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic research is a vital and ongoing part of the overall ARS research portfolio and occurs at approximately 20 % of ARS research locations across the United States. The vision for ARS organic agriculture research is to help the organic industry overcome the challenges it faces related to producti...

  10. A living demonstration of certified organic farming by Oklahoma State University and USDA, Agricultural Research Service

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic crop production is the fastest growing portion of U.S. agriculture, increasing a minimum of 20% annually during the last 15 years. The establishment of federal guidelines for organic certification in 2002 provided a structure for producers and processors to market certified organic foods. ...

  11. A Qualitative Study of Agricultural Literacy in Urban Youth: What Do Elementary Students Understand about the Agri-Food System?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hess, Alexander J.; Trexler, Cary J.

    2011-01-01

    Agricultural literacy of K-12 students is a national priority for both scientific and agricultural education professional organizations. Development of curricula to address this priority has not been informed by research on what K-12 students understand about the agri-food system. While students' knowledge of food and fiber system facts have been…

  12. Agricultural practices that store organic carbon in soils: is it only a matter of inputs ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenu, Claire; Cardinael, Rémi; Autret, Bénédicte; Chevallier, Tiphaine; Girardin, Cyril; Mary, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    Increasing the world soils carbon stocks by a factor of 4 per mil annually would compensate the annual net increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This statement is the core of an initiative launched by the French government at the recent COP21, followed by many countries and international bodies, which attracts political attention to the storage potential of C in soils. Compared to forest and pasture soils, agricultural soils have a higher C storage potential, because they are often characterized by low C contents, and increasing their C content is associated with benefits in terms of soil properties and ecosystem services. Here we quantified, under temperate conditions, the additional C storage related to the implementation of two set of practices that are recognized to be in the framework of agroecology: conservation tillage on the one hand and agroforestry on the other hand. These studies were based on long-term experiments, a 16-years comparison on cropping systems on luvisols in the Paris area and a 18-year-old silvoarable agroforestry trial, on fluvisols in southern France, the main crops being cereals in both cases. C stocks were measured on an equivalent soil mass basis. Both systems allowed for a net storage of C in soils, which are, for the equivalent of the 0-30 cm tilled layer, of 0.55 ± 0.16 t ha‑ 1 yr‑ 1 for conservation agriculture (i.e. no tillage with permanent soil coverage with an associated plant, fescue or alfalfa) and of 0.25 ± 0.03 t ha-1 yr-1 for the agroforestry system. These results are in line with estimates proposed in a recent French national assessment concerning the potential of agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to recent literature, they further show that practices that increase C inputs to soil through additional biomass production would be more effective to store C in soil (tree rows, cover crops in conservation agriculture) than practices, such as no-tillage, that are assumed to

  13. Successful organic dairy systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Demand for organic dairy products has continually increased and at times outpaced supply for a number of years. This has created favorable milk pricing for certified organic dairy farmers, as the stability of organic milk prices has provided organic dairy farmers with a security not found in the con...

  14. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    PubMed

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security. PMID:27197837

  15. Effects of Nitrogen Fertilizer and Harvesting Frequency on Soil Organic Matter Pools Under Switchgrass Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valdez, Z. P.; Hockaday, W. C.; Gallagher, M. E.; Masiello, C. A.; Gao, X.

    2013-12-01

    Intensive agriculture has the potential to reduce soil carbon stocks in the years following initial cultivation, although the magnitude and direction of the effect can vary with ecosystem and management factors. The cropping of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) for biomass shows potential for high yields in marginal lands with low fertilizer inputs, while the extensive root system can act to improve soil quality and sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in the soil carbon pool. We are investigating the impact of nitrogen fertilizer inputs and harvesting frequency on soil organic matter quantity and quality in a biofuels cropping trial in Michigan. Here we test the hypothesis that harvest and fertilization rate can affect the partitioning of organic matter into different storage pools within the 0-60 cm of soil: roots, particulate organic matter (POM) (density <1.8 g/cm3), and protected organic matter (density > 1.8 g/cm3). Additionally, we use 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study the bulk chemistry (carbohydrate, lignin, lipid, and protein) of the roots and POM. The NMR data also allow us to estimate the relative decomposition of the soil organic matter using a standard decomposition index (alkyl/O-alkyl peak ratio). We use the data to infer the influence of crop management on the mechanisms of soil C storage and mechanisms of stabilization in switchgrass agriculture. Initial results have shown a significant change in carbon stocks at depths between 15-60 cm for the high and low fertilization rates, 196 kg/m3 and 0kg/m3 respectively, although the harvesting time and frequency did not create a substantial difference on carbon stocks. The root bulk chemistry has not shown consistent results among management practices

  16. Organic matter removal from saline agricultural drainage wastewater using a moving bed biofilm reactor.

    PubMed

    Ateia, Mohamed; Nasr, Mahmoud; Yoshimura, Chihiro; Fujii, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the effect of salinity on the removal of organics and ammonium from agricultural drainage wastewater (ADW) using moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs). Under the typical salinity level of ADW (total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration up to 2.5 g·L(-1)), microorganisms were acclimated for 40 days on plastic carriers and a stable slime layer of attached biofilm was formed. Next, six batch mode MBBRs were set up and run under different salinity conditions (0.2-20 g-TDS·L(-1)). The removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N) in 6 hours decreased from 98 and 68% to 64 and 21% with increasing salt concentrations from 2.5 to 20 g-TDS·L(-1), respectively. In addition, at decreasing salt levels of 0.2 g-TDS·L(-1), both COD removal and nitrification were slightly lowered. Kinetic analysis indicated that the first-order reaction rate constant (k1) and specific substrate utilization rate (U) with respect to the COD removal remained relatively constant (10.9-11.0 d(-1) and 13.1-16.1 g-COD-removed.g-biomass(-1)·d(-1), respectively) at the salinity range of 2.5-5.0 g-TDS·L(-1). In this study, the treated wastewater met the standard criteria of organic concentration for reuse in agricultural purposes, and the system performance remained relatively constant at the salinity range of typical ADW. PMID:26465302

  17. Systems in peril: Climate change, agriculture and biodiversity in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cocklin, Chris; Dibden, Jacqui

    2009-11-01

    This paper reflects on the interplay amongst three closely linked systems - climate, agriculture and biodiversity - in the Australian context. The advance of a European style of agriculture has imperilled Australian biodiversity. The loss and degradation of biodiversity has, in turn, had negative consequences for agriculture. Climate change is imposing new pressures on both agriculture and biodiversity. From a policy and management perspective, though, it is possible to envisage mitigation and adaptation responses that would alleviate pressures on all three systems (climate, agriculture, biodiversity). In this way, the paper seeks to make explicit the important connections between science and policy. The paper outlines the distinctive features of both biodiversity and agriculture in the Australian context. The discussion then addresses the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, followed by an overview of how climate change is impacting on both of these systems. The final section of the paper offers some commentary on current policy and management strategies that are targeted at mitigating the loss of biodiversity and which may also have benefits in terms of climate change.

  18. Application of principles of integrated agricultural systems: results from farmer panels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An Integrated Agricultural Systems working group comprised of USDA-ARS scientists is examining different agricultural systems from various geographic regions of the United States to determine fundamental principles that underlie successful integrated agricultural systems. Our hypothesis is that prin...

  19. Organic Farming Benefits Local Plant Diversity in Vineyard Farms Located in Intensive Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G.

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  20. Traceability System For Agricultural Productsbased on Rfid and Mobile Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugahara, Koji

    In agriculture, it is required to establish and integrate food traceability systems and risk management systems in order to improve food safety in the entire food chain. The integrated traceability system for agricultural products was developed, based on innovative technology of RFID and mobile computing. In order to identify individual products on the distribution process efficiently,small RFID tags with unique ID and handy RFID readers were applied. On the distribution process, the RFID tags are checked by using the readers, and transit records of the products are stored to the database via wireless LAN.Regarding agricultural production, the recent issues of pesticides misuse affect consumer confidence in food safety. The Navigation System for Appropriate Pesticide Use (Nouyaku-navi) was developed, which is available in the fields by Internet cell-phones. Based on it, agricultural risk management systems have been developed. These systems collaborate with traceability systems and they can be applied for process control and risk management in agriculture.

  1. AGDEX: A System for Classifying, Indexing, and Filing Agricultural Publications. Revised Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Howard L.; Woodin, Ralph J.

    This document provides an introduction to and instructions for the use of AGDEX, a comprehensive numeric filing system to classify and organize a wide variety of agricultural publications. The index is subdivided and color coded according to the following categories: (1) field crops; (2) horticulture; (3) forestry; (4) animal science; (5) soils;…

  2. ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF THE SHUNDE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM UNDER CHINA'S SMALL CITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development of small cities has been adopted as the main strategy to make full use of extra labor in the rural areas of China. The ecological and economic consequences of this development will affect over 100 million people and change the organization of agricultural systems ...

  3. Certified organic farming research and demonstration project by Oklahoma State University and USDA's Agricultural Research Service at Lane, Oklahoma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2003, Oklahoma State University and USDA, Agricultural Research Service, South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory received organic certification for 8 acres at the Lane Agricultural Center, Lane, OK. The certified organic land was used to develop a cooperative project with a diversity of a...

  4. 78 FR 23970 - In the Matter of China Organic Agriculture, Inc. and Guilin Paper, Inc.; Order of Suspension of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-23

    ... COMMISSION In the Matter of China Organic Agriculture, Inc. and Guilin Paper, Inc.; Order of Suspension of... Agriculture, Inc., and Guilin Paper, Inc. because Biopharm Asia, Inc. and China Organic Agriculture, Inc. have... Paper, Inc. has not filed any periodic reports for any reporting period subsequent to September 30,...

  5. APPLICATIONS OF AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM MODELS IN ASSESSING AND MANAGING CONTAMINATION OF THE SOIL-WATER-ATMOSPHERE CONTINUUM IN AGRICULTURE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980's, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems that wi...

  6. Application of Agricultural System Models in Assessing and Managing Contamination of Soil-Water-Atmosphere Continuum in Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980s, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems th...

  7. Climate change effects on soil organic carbon changes in agricultural lands of Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvaro-Fuentes, J.; Easter, M.; Arrúe, J. L.; Cantero-Martínez, C.; Paustian, K.

    2012-04-01

    Climate is a key factor to explain changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) at regional scales. Experimental data have showed that spatial and temporal changes in soil temperature and moisture modify microbial activity and thus SOC decomposition. Furthermore, precipitation amount and distribution have a main impact on crop growth and residue production. According to predictions based on atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCM) for the next decades in the Mediterranean region, air temperature will significantly increase and precipitation decrease with a significant impact on SOC turnover. However, in agricultural systems, the study of the impacts of climate on SOC dynamics is a complex task since climate effects will be determined by both soil characteristics and management practices. The establishment of soil monitoring networks within a specific region is a recommended approach to study the interactive effects of climate, management and soil on SOC changes. However, in large areas, the establishment and maintenance of these networks can imply significant cost and time. A lower cost and time consuming approach can be the use of soil organic matter (SOM) models. The use of process based SOM models linked to spatial data through geographical information systems (GIS) permits to integrate the spatial variability of the parameters that control SOM dynamics. This approach can be appropriate for Spanish conditions where the complex orography results in a large range of local climates. Moreover, the large agricultural heterogeneity in terms of management systems could have a noteworthy impact on the effects of climate on SOC turnover in Spanish agroecosystems. Thus, in this study we used the Century model to analyse the impact of climate on SOC changes in a representative area of 40498 km2 located in northeast Spain. The spatial distribution of the different land use categories and their change over time was obtained from the European Corine database. Soil

  8. Phosphorus cycling in Montreal's food and urban agriculture systems.

    PubMed

    Metson, Geneviève S; Bennett, Elena M

    2015-01-01

    Cities are a key system in anthropogenic phosphorus (P) cycling because they concentrate both P demand and waste production. Urban agriculture (UA) has been proposed as a means to improve P management by recycling cities' P-rich waste back into local food production. However, we have a limited understanding of the role UA currently plays in the P cycle of cities or its potential to recycle local P waste. Using existing data combined with surveys of local UA practitioners, we quantified the role of UA in the P cycle of Montreal, Canada to explore the potential for UA to recycle local P waste. We also used existing data to complete a substance flow analysis of P flows in the overall food system of Montreal. In 2012, Montreal imported 3.5 Gg of P in food, of which 2.63 Gg ultimately accumulated in landfills, 0.36 Gg were discharged to local waters, and only 0.09 Gg were recycled through composting. We found that UA is only a small sub-system in the overall P cycle of the city, contributing just 0.44% of the P consumed as food in the city. However, within the UA system, the rate of recycling is high: 73% of inputs applied to soil were from recycled sources. While a Quebec mandate to recycle 100% of all organic waste by 2020 might increase the role of UA in P recycling, the area of land in UA is too small to accommodate all P waste produced on the island. UA may, however, be a valuable pathway to improve urban P sustainability by acting as an activity that changes residents' relationship to, and understanding of, the food system and increases their acceptance of composting. PMID:25826256

  9. Effects of agriculture production systems on nitrate and nitrite accumulation on baby-leaf salads

    PubMed Central

    Aires, Alfredo; Carvalho, Rosa; Rosa, Eduardo A S; Saavedra, Maria J

    2013-01-01

    Nitrate and nitrite are widespread contaminants of vegetables, fruits, and waters. The levels of these compounds are increased as a result of using organic wastes from chemical industries, domestic wastes, effluents, nitrogenous fertilizers, and herbicides in agriculture. Therefore, determining the nitrate and nitrite levels in biological, food, and environmental samples is important to protect human health and the environment. In this context, we set this study, in which we report the effect of production system (conventional and organic) on the accumulation of nitrates and nitrites in fresh baby-leaf samples. The average levels of the nitrate () and nitrite () contents in six different baby-leaf salads of a single species (green lettuce, red lettuce, watercress, rucola, chard, and corn salad) produced in organic and conventional agriculture system were evaluated. Spectrophotometric analytical method recently published was validated and used. Nitrates and nitrites were detected in all samples. The nitrates levels from organic production varied between 1.45 and 6.40 mg/kg fresh weight (FW), whereas those from conventional production ranged from 10.5 to 45.19 mg/kg FW. The nitrites content was lower than nitrates and ranged from 0.32 to 1.89 mg/kg FW in organic production system and between 0.14 and 1.41 mg/kg FW in conventional production system. Our results showed that the nitrate content was dependent on the agricultural production system, while for nitrites, this dependency was less pronounced. PMID:24804008

  10. A Food Systems Approach To Healthy Food And Agriculture Policy.

    PubMed

    Neff, Roni A; Merrigan, Kathleen; Wallinga, David

    2015-11-01

    Food has become a prominent focus of US public health policy. The emphasis has been almost exclusively on what Americans eat, not what is grown or how it is grown. A field of research, policy, and practice activities addresses the food-health-agriculture nexus, yet the work is still often considered "alternative" to the mainstream. This article outlines the diverse ways in which agriculture affects public health. It then describes three policy issues: farm-to-school programming, sustainability recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and antibiotic use in animal agriculture. These issues illustrate the progress, challenges, and public health benefits of taking a food systems approach that brings together the food, agriculture, and public health fields. PMID:26526249

  11. Organic amendments' dissolved organic carbon influences bioavailability of agricultural soil DOC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straathof, Angela L.; Chincarini, Riccardo; Hoffland, Ellis; Comans, Rob N. J.

    2013-04-01

    Agricultural soils benefit from additions of organic amendments because they improve soil structure, are a source of plant nutrients, and increase concentrations of soil organic carbon (SOC). The latter fuels microbial processes important for plant growth, including nutrient mineralization and the suppression of plant diseases. However, these amendment additions range in quality and quantity of C and little is known about how their properties interact with native soil C and affect turnover. The dissolved pool of SOC (DOC) may be the most important C source for these processes as it is more biologically available and thus relatively easily turned over by the soil microbial biomass. Using a rapid-batch DOC fractionation procedure, we studied the composition of different organic amendments' DOC pools and measured how their additions change the quantity and turnover of soil DOC. Fractions isolated and quantified with this procedure include humic and fulvic acids, hydrophobic neutral and hydrophilic compounds. We hypothesized that these range from biologically recalcitrant to readily available, respectively. Amendments analysed included composts of different source materials and maturation stages collected from two different compost facilities in the Netherlands. Both total DOC concentrations and proportions of the aforementioned fractions ranged highly between composts. Composts cured for >10 days had a lower proportion of hydrophilic C compounds, suggesting that these are the most bioavailable and released as CO2 via microbial activity during maturation. To measure the effects of compost DOC on soil DOC, we extracted the former and added it to a sandy soil in an incubation experiment. The amendment increased soil total DOC, CO2 production from the soil, and the pools of humic and fulvic acids as a proportion of total DOC. Turnover of C from the incubated soil was measured by substrate-induced CO2 production (an indicator of microbial activity) from a 96-well

  12. Emission factors for organic fertilizer-induced N2O emissions from Japanese agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sano, T.; Nishina, K.; Sudo, S.

    2013-12-01

    1. Introduction Agricultural fields are significant sources of nitrous oxide (N2O), which is one of the important greenhouse gases with a contribution of 7.9% to the anthropogenic global warming (IPCC, 2007). Direct fertilizer-induced N2O emission from agricultural soil is estimated using the emission factor (EF). National greenhouse gas inventory of Japan defines direct EF for N2O associated with the application of chemical and organic fertilizers as the same value (0.62%) in Japanese agricultural fields. However, it is necessary to estimate EF for organic fertilizers separately, because there are some differences in factors controlling N2O emissions (e.g. nutrient content) between chemical and organic fertilizers. The purpose of this study is to estimate N2O emissions and EF for applied organic fertilizers in Japanese agricultural fields. 2. Materials and Methods We conducted the experiments at 10 prefectural agricultural experimental stations in Japan (Yamagata, Fukushima, Niigata, Ibaraki, Aichi, Shiga, Tokushima, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima) to consider the variations of cultivation and environmental conditions among regions. Field measurements had been conducted for 2-2.5 years during August 2010-April 2013. Each site set experimental plots with the applications of composted manure (cattle, swine, and poultry), chemical fertilizer, and non-nitrogen fertilizer as a control. The annual amount of applied nitrogen ranged from 16 g-N m-2 y-1 to 60 g-N m-2 y-1 depending on cropping system and cultivated crops (e.g. cabbage, potato) at each site. N2O fluxes were measured using a closed-chamber method. N2O concentrations of gas samples were measured with gas chromatography. The EF value of each fertilizer was calculated as the N2O emission from fertilizer plots minus the background N2O emission (emission from a control plot), and was expressed as a percentage of the applied nitrogen. The soil NH4+ and NO3-, soil temperature, precipitation, and WFPS (water

  13. Sustaining the Earth's watersheds, agricultural research data system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The USDA-ARS water resources program has developed a web-based data system, STEWARDS: Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds, Agricultural Research Data System to support research that encompasses a broad range of topics such as water quality, hydrology, conservation, land use, and soils. The data syst...

  14. Private Agricultural Extension System in Kenya: Practice and Policy Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muyanga, Milu; Jayne, T. S.

    2008-01-01

    Private extension system has been at the centre of a debate triggered by inefficient public agricultural extension. The debate is anchored on the premise that the private sector is more efficient in extension service delivery. This study evaluates the private extension system in Kenya. It employs qualitative and quantitative methods. The results…

  15. Modelling the effect of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon stocks: does soil erosion matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadeu, Elisabet; Van Wesemael, Bas; Van Oost, Kristof

    2014-05-01

    Over the last decades, an increasing number of studies have been conducted to assess the effect of soil management practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. At regional scales, biogeochemical models such as CENTURY or Roth-C have been commonly applied. These models simulate SOC dynamics at the profile level (point basis) over long temporal scales but do not consider the continuous lateral transfer of sediment that takes place along geomorphic toposequences. As a consequence, the impact of soil redistribution on carbon fluxes is very seldom taken into account when evaluating changes in SOC stocks due to agricultural management practices on the short and long-term. To address this gap, we assessed the role of soil erosion by water and tillage on SOC stocks under different agricultural management practices in the Walloon region of Belgium. The SPEROS-C model was run for a 100-year period combining three typical crop rotations (using winter wheat, winter barley, sugar beet and maize) with three tillage scenarios (conventional tillage, reduced tillage and reduced tillage in combination with additional crop residues). The results showed that including soil erosion by water in the simulations led to a general decrease in SOC stocks relative to a baseline scenario (where no erosion took place). The SOC lost from these arable soils was mainly exported to adjacent sites and to the river system by lateral fluxes, with magnitudes differing between crop rotations and in all cases lower under conservation tillage practices than under conventional tillage. Although tillage erosion plays an important role in carbon redistribution within fields, lateral fluxes induced by water erosion led to a higher spatial and in-depth heterogeneity of SOC stocks with potential effects on the soil water holding capacity and crop yields. This indicates that studies assessing the effect of agricultural management practices on SOC stocks and other soil properties over the landscape should

  16. 7 CFR 205.201 - Organic production and handling system plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... ingredients or food group(s))” must develop an organic production or handling system plan that is agreed to by... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Organic production and handling system plan. 205.201...) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Organic Production and...

  17. 7 CFR 205.201 - Organic production and handling system plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... ingredients or food group(s))” must develop an organic production or handling system plan that is agreed to by... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Organic production and handling system plan. 205.201...) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Organic Production and...

  18. 7 CFR 205.201 - Organic production and handling system plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... ingredients or food group(s))” must develop an organic production or handling system plan that is agreed to by... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Organic production and handling system plan. 205.201...) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Organic Production and...

  19. 7 CFR 205.201 - Organic production and handling system plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... ingredients or food group(s))” must develop an organic production or handling system plan that is agreed to by... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Organic production and handling system plan. 205.201...) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Organic Production and...

  20. Analysis And Assistant Planning System Ofregional Agricultural Economic Inform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Jie; Zhang, Junfeng

    For the common problems existed in regional development and planning, we try to design a decision support system for assisting regional agricultural development and alignment as a decision-making tool for local government and decision maker. The analysis methods of forecast, comparative advantage, liner programming and statistical analysis are adopted. According to comparative advantage theory, the regional advantage can be determined by calculating and comparing yield advantage index (YAI), Scale advantage index (SAI), Complicated advantage index (CAI). Combining with GIS, agricultural data are presented as a form of graph such as area, bar and pie to uncover the principle and trend for decision-making which can't be found in data table. This system provides assistant decisions for agricultural structure adjustment, agro-forestry development and planning, and can be integrated to information technologies such as RS, AI and so on.

  1. Deep ploughing increases agricultural soil organic matter stocks.

    PubMed

    Alcántara, Viridiana; Don, Axel; Well, Reinhard; Nieder, Rolf

    2016-08-01

    Subsoils play an important role within the global C cycle, since they have high soil organic carbon (SOC) storage capacity due to generally low SOC concentrations. However, measures for enhancing SOC storage commonly focus on topsoils. This study assessed the long-term storage and stability of SOC in topsoils buried in arable subsoils by deep ploughing, a globally applied method for breaking up hard pans and improving soil structure to optimize crop growing conditions. One effect of deep ploughing is translocation of SOC formed near the surface into the subsoil, with concomitant mixing of SOC-poor subsoil material into the 'new' topsoil. Deep-ploughed croplands represent unique long-term in situ incubations of SOC-rich material in subsoils. In this study, we sampled five loamy and five sandy soils that were ploughed to 55-90 cm depth 35-50 years ago. Adjacent, similarly managed but conventionally ploughed subplots were sampled as reference. The deep-ploughed soils contained on average 42 ± 13% more SOC than the reference subplots. On average, 45 years after deep ploughing, the 'new' topsoil still contained 15% less SOC than the reference topsoil, indicating long-term SOC accumulation potential in the topsoil. In vitro incubation experiments on the buried sandy soils revealed 63 ± 6% lower potential SOC mineralisation rates and also 67 ± 2% lower SOC mineralisation per unit SOC in the buried topsoils than in the reference topsoils. Wider C/N ratio in the buried sandy topsoils than in the reference topsoils indicates that deep ploughing preserved SOC. The SOC mineralisation per unit SOC in the buried loamy topsoils was not significantly different from that in the reference topsoils. However, 56 ± 4% of the initial SOC was preserved in the buried topsoils. It can be concluded that deep ploughing contributes to SOC sequestration by enlarging the storage space for SOC-rich material. PMID:26994321

  2. Estimation of PCB content in agricultural soils associated with long-term fertilization with organic waste.

    PubMed

    Antolín-Rodríguez, Juan M; Sánchez-Báscones, Mercedes; Martín-Ramos, Pablo; Bravo-Sánchez, Carmen T; Martín-Gil, Jesús

    2016-06-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollution related to the use of organic waste as fertilizers in agricultural soils is a cause of major concern. In the study presented herein, PCB concentration was studied through a field trial conducted in two agricultural soils in the province of Palencia (Spain) over a 4-year period, assessing the impact of irrigation and of different types of organic waste materials. The amounts of organic waste added to the soil were calculated according to the nitrogen needs of the crop, and the concentration of PCBs was determined before and after the application of the organic waste. The resulting persistence of the total PCB content in the agricultural soils, compared with the PCB concentration in the original soils, ranged from 27% to 90%, with the lowest value corresponding to irrigated soils treated with municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) and the highest value to non-irrigated soils treated with composted sewage sludge (CSS). An estimate of the PCB content in agricultural soils after the application of organic waste materials until year 2050 was obtained, resulting in a value below 5 ng·g(-1), considered a background value for soils in sites far away from potential pollution sources. PMID:26983809

  3. Concentrations, loads, and yields of organic carbon in streams of agricultural watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kronholm, Scott; Capel, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Carbon is cycled to and from large reservoirs in the atmosphere, on land, and in the ocean. Movement of organic carbon from the terrestrial reservoir to the ocean plays an important role in the global cycling of carbon. The transition from natural to agricultural vegetation can change the storage and movement of organic carbon in and from a watershed. Samples were collected from 13 streams located in hydrologically and agriculturally diverse watersheds, to better understand the variability in the concentrations and loads of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC) in the streams, and the variability in watershed yields. The overall annual median concentrations of DOC and POC were 4.9 (range: 2.1–6.8) and 1.1 (range: 0.4–3.8) mg C L−1, respectively. The mean DOC watershed yield (± SE) was 25 ± 6.8 kg C ha−1 yr−1. The yields of DOC from these agricultural watersheds were not substantially different than the DOC yield from naturally vegetated watersheds in equivalent biomes, but were at the low end of the range for most biomes. Total organic carbon (DOC + POC) annually exported from the agricultural watersheds was found to average 0.03% of the organic carbon that is contained in the labile plant matter and top 1 m of soil in the watershed. Since the total organic carbon exported from agricultural watersheds is a relatively small portion of the sequestered carbon within the watershed, there is the great potential to store additional carbon in plants and soils of the watershed, offsetting some anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  4. Impacts of agricultural expansion on sedimentary organic matter composition in Lake Soyang (South Korea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Sujin; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Gal, Jong-Ku; Lee, Dong-Hun; Lee, Sang-Han; Kim, Bomchul; Shin, Kyung-Hoon

    2016-04-01

    The agricultural area has been expanded since the 19th century and agricultural activities such as eroded soils, nutrient, and organic matters may impact aquatic environments. The Lake Soyang is the deepest and largest artificial dam reservoir constructed in South Korea in 1973. Lake Soyang has been experienced an expansion of agricultural area since the 1990s. In this study, we investigated the impact of agricultural expansion on sedimentary organic matter in Lake Soyang. We collected soils (n=7), lake surface sediments (n=9) and a 50-cm sediment core at near the dam for the analysis of total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) contents, stable isotopic composition of TOC and TN (δ13CTOC and δ15N), and glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs). The age model of the sediment core is based on 210Pb analysis. In lake surface sediments, bulk and GDGT-derived geochemical data indicate that C3-derived soil OM was the major source in the upper part of the lake while an aquatic contribution increased in the lower part of the lake. The sediment core showed a distinctive shift in all parameters considered at 15 cm core depth. However, it was difficult to constrain the exact age of this depth due to the dating uncertainties. Nonetheless, our study implies the potential influence of agricultural expansion on changes in sedimentary OM composition in Lake Soyang.

  5. A pragmatic assessment of government support for organic agriculture in Ireland.

    PubMed

    Duram, Leslie A

    2010-01-01

    Drawing on a pragmatic approach, this paper provides an analysis of government support for organic farming in Ireland. Varying levels of encouragement and programmes are provided to farmers in their conversion from conventional to organic production, and in their maintenance of organic production. As support policies vary across regions and are linked to European Union legislation, it is challenging to document the many types of support in place. This paper investigates relevant technical, financial, and policy support available to organic farmers in Ireland. As an exploratory study, it develops an assessment of Ireland within eight key categories of organic agricultural support: policy, leadership, technical support, financial support, research, education and information, marketing and promotion, and future outlook. Information and data from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), and other government and semi-governmental agencies were utilized to assess the level of support in each category. This assessment provides key findings which will allow policymakers, organizations and citizens to better understand the current situation and set a path for the future development of organic farming in Ireland. PMID:22066154

  6. Ohio Agricultural Business and Production Systems. Technical Competency Profile (TCP).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ray, Gayl M.; Kershaw, Isaac; Mokma, Arnie

    This document describes the essential competencies from secondary through post-secondary associate degree programs for a career in agricultural business and production systems. Following an introduction, the Ohio College Tech Prep standards and program, and relevant definitions are described. Next are the technical competency profiles for these…

  7. Remote sensing with unmanned aircraft systems for precision agriculture applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Federal Aviation Administration is revising regulations for using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace. An important potential application of UAS may be as a remote-sensing platform for precision agriculture, but simply down-scaling remote sensing methodologies developed usi...

  8. Transformation and Transport Processes of Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The transformation and transport processes of nitrogen (N) in agricultural systems are discussed and information is provided on overall reservoir sizes for N. Nitrogen is ubiquitous in the environment and is required for the survival of all living things. It is also one of the most important essen...

  9. Increasing organic carbon stocks in Swedish agricultural soils due to unexpected socio-economic drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poeplau, Christopher; Bolinder, Martin A.; Eriksson, Jan O.; Lundblad, Mattias; Kätterer, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Management changes can induce significant alterations of soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. Including trends in SOC within a certain land-use category can thus strongly influence the annual national inventory reports for greenhouse gas emissions. In 2013, the European Union has therefore decided that all member states shall report the evolvement of SOC within agricultural soils to increase the incentives to mitigate climate change by improving the management of those soils. Here, we present the country and county-wise SOC trends in Swedish agricultural mineral soils on the basis of three soil inventories conducted between 1988 and 2013. In the past two decades, the average topsoil (0-20 cm) SOC content of the whole country increased from 2.48% to 2.67% representing a relative change of 7.7% or 0.38% yr-1. This is in contrast to trends observed in neighboring countries such as Norway and Finland. We attributed this positive SOC trend to the increasing cultivation of leys throughout the country. Indeed, the below-ground carbon input of perennial grasses is up to fourfold as compared to cereals, which leads to a significant soil carbon sequestration potential under cropping systems with ley. The increase in ley proportion was significantly correlated to the increase in horse population in each county (R2=0.71), which has more than doubled in the past three decades. Due to subsidies introduced in the early 1990s, the area as long-term set-aside land (mostly old leys) also contributed to an increase in leys. This discloses the strong impact of rather local socio-economic trends on soil carbon storage, which also need to be considered in larger-scale model applications. This database is used in the continuous validation process of the Swedish national system for reporting changes in SOC stocks.

  10. Organic agricultural production in the United States: An old wheel being reinvented

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic production is not a new concept that has been developed in the United States during the last part of the 20th century as an alternative to conventional agriculture. It can better be described as a resurgence of old ideas that have been combined with modern technology. The problems faced by...

  11. Factors Influencing an Agricultural Education Student's Perception of the FFA Organization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Croom, D. Barry; Flowers, James L.

    2001-01-01

    A survey of secondary agriscience students in North Carolina (167 Future Farmers of America members, 237 nonmembers) indicated that the decision to join/not join the organization was influenced by its image in the school and its ability to meet affiliation needs. Gender, ethnicity, agriculture coursetaking, and grade level did not influence…

  12. Extension for Organic Agriculture: A Comparative Study between Baden-Württemberg, Germany and Crete, Greece

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Österle, Nina; Koutsouris, Alex; Livieratos, Yannis; Kabourakis, Emmanuil

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this paper is to compare the extension services offered in the field of organic agriculture (OA) in Baden-Württemberg (BW), Germany and Crete, Greece. Design/methodology approach: 16 in-depth interviews, 10 in BW and 6 in Crete, were carried out with representatives of OA extension providers; interviews were qualitatively…

  13. Predicting agricultural management influence on long-term soil organic carbon dynamics: implications for biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Long-term field experiments (LTE) are ideal for predicting the influence of agricultural management on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics and examining biofuel crop residue removal policy questions. Our objectives were (i) to simulate SOC dynamics in LTE soils under various climates, crop rotations,...

  14. Historic Assessment of Agricultural Impacts on Soil and Soil Organic Carbon Erosion in an Ohio Watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Hao, Yueli; Lal, Rattan; Izaurralde, R Cesar C. ); Ritchie, Jerry; Owens, Lloyd; Hothem, Daniel

    2002-02-01

    Agricultural management affects soil and soil organic carbon (SOC) erosion. The effect was assessed for a watershed (o.79 ha, 10% slope steepness, 132 m slope length) at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed research station near Coshocton, Ohio, from 1951 to 1998

  15. Biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in an agricultural management continuum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Relationships among biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in a claypan soil were evaluated across a continuum of long-term agricultural practices in Missouri, USA. In addition to chemical and physical soil quality indicators, dehydrogenase and phenol oxidase a...

  16. An environmental impact assessment system for agricultural R and D

    SciTech Connect

    Rodrigues, Geraldo Stachetti; Campanhola, Clayton; Kitamura, Paulo Choji

    2003-03-01

    A strategic planning process has been implemented at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency (Embrapa) to introduce sustainable agriculture concepts in all steps of Research and Development (R and D). An essential part of the devised mission statement called for the impact assessment of all technology innovation resulting from R and D, under field conditions (ex-post). However, methods for impact assessment of technology innovations at the farmstead level appropriate for the institutional context were lacking. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) system (AMBITEC-AGRO) developed to attend that demand is composed by a set of weighing matrices constructed in an electronic spreadsheet. Impact indicators are evaluated in the field in an interview/survey, and weighed according to their spatial scale and importance toward effecting environmental impacts. The results of these weighing procedures are expressed graphically in the assessment spreadsheets. Finally, the indicator evaluations are composed into an Environmental Impact Index for the agricultural technology innovation.

  17. Net carbon flux in organic and conventional olive production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saeid Mohamad, Ramez; Verrastro, Vincenzo; Bitar, Lina Al; Roma, Rocco; Moretti, Michele; Chami, Ziad Al

    2014-05-01

    Agricultural systems are considered as one of the most relevant sources of atmospheric carbon. However, agriculture has the potentiality to mitigate carbon dioxide mainly through soil carbon sequestration. Some agricultural practices, particularly fertilization and soil management, can play a dual role in the agricultural systems regarding the carbon cycle contributing to the emissions and to the sequestration process in the soil. Good soil and input managements affect positively Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) changes and consequently the carbon cycle. The present study aimed at comparing the carbon footprint of organic and conventional olive systems and to link it to the efficiency of both systems on carbon sequestration by calculating the net carbon flux. Data were collected at farm level through a specific and detailed questionnaire based on one hectare as a functional unit and a system boundary limited to olive production. Using LCA databases particularly ecoinvent one, IPCC GWP 100a impact assessment method was used to calculate carbon emissions from agricultural practices of both systems. Soil organic carbon has been measured, at 0-30 cm depth, based on soil analyses done at the IAMB laboratory and based on reference value of SOC, the annual change of SOC has been calculated. Substracting sequestrated carbon in the soil from the emitted on resulted in net carbon flux calculation. Results showed higher environmental impact of the organic system on Global Warming Potential (1.07 t CO2 eq. yr-1) comparing to 0.76 t CO2 eq. yr-1 in the conventional system due to the higher GHG emissions caused by manure fertilizers compared to the use of synthetic foliar fertilizers in the conventional system. However, manure was the main reason behind the higher SOC content and sequestration in the organic system. As a resultant, the organic system showed higher net carbon flux (-1.7 t C ha-1 yr-1 than -0.52 t C ha-1 yr-1 in the conventional system reflecting higher efficiency as a

  18. An examination on the modern significance of "Yakushokudougen" in transferring to organic agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hu, Bai

    2015-08-01

    This study attempts to identify whether and why the difference in corruption progress exists between organic and conventional farm products by conducting two corruption experiments of farm products and separation experiment of bacteria, as well as farmer survey. The results of corruption experiments for Wenzhou mandarin oranges (Citrus unshiu) and polished rice showed that conventional farm products demonstrated fast-growing corruption with strong unpleasant smell distinctively different from organic farm products. The separation experiment of bacteria indicated a high possibility of fungus appearance in organic farm products and coccus or bacillus appearance in conventional farm products, which are significantly consistent with the results of two corruption experiments and the fact that organic farmers are strongly conscious of the use of fermented organic fertilizers with effective microorganism in their cultivation. These results offer empirical evidences for supporting the development of organic agriculture and the consumption expansion of organic farm products, but further works are necessary. PMID:26370525

  19. Rapid assessment methods of resilience for natural and agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Torrico, Juan C; Janssens, Marc J J

    2010-12-01

    The resilience, ecological function and quality of both agricultural and natural systems were evaluated in the mountainous region of the Atlantic Rain Forest of Rio de Janeiro through Rapid Assessment Methods. For this goal new indicators were proposed, such as eco-volume, eco-height, bio-volume, volume efficiency, and resilience index. The following agricultural and natural systems have been compared according: (i) vegetables (leaf, fruit and mixed); (ii) citrus; (iii) ecological system; (iv) cattle, (v) silvo-pastoral system, (vi) forest fragment and (vii) forest in regeneration stage (1, 2 and 3 years old). An alternative measure (index) of resilience was proposed by considering the actual bio-volume as a function of the potential eco-volume. The objectives and hypotheses were fulfilled; it is shown that there does exist a high positive correlation between resilience index, biomass, energy efficiency and biodiversity. Cattle and vegetable systems have lowest resilience, whilst ecological and silvo-pastoral systems have greatest resilience. This new approach offers a rapid, though valuable assessment tool for ecological studies, agricultural development and landscape planning, particularly in tropical countries. PMID:21152779

  20. Development and Implementation of Production Area of Agricultural Product Data Collection System Based on Embedded System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xi, Lei; Guo, Wei; Che, Yinchao; Zhang, Hao; Wang, Qiang; Ma, Xinming

    To solve problems in detecting the origin of agricultural products, this paper brings about an embedded data-based terminal, applies middleware thinking, and provides reusable long-range two-way data exchange module between business equipment and data acquisition systems. The system is constructed by data collection node and data center nodes. Data collection nodes taking embedded data terminal NetBoxII as the core, consisting of data acquisition interface layer, controlling information layer and data exchange layer, completing the data reading of different front-end acquisition equipments, and packing the data TCP to realize the data exchange between data center nodes according to the physical link (GPRS / CDMA / Ethernet). Data center node consists of the data exchange layer, the data persistence layer, and the business interface layer, which make the data collecting durable, and provide standardized data for business systems based on mapping relationship of collected data and business data. Relying on public communications networks, application of the system could establish the road of flow of information between the scene of origin certification and management center, and could realize the real-time collection, storage and processing between data of origin certification scene and databases of certification organization, and could achieve needs of long-range detection of agricultural origin.

  1. TMDL Implementation in Agricultural Landscapes: A Communicative and Systemic Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Slotterback, Carissa Schively; Cadieux, Kirsten Valentine; Mulla, David J.; Pitt, David G.; Olabisi, Laura Schmitt; Kim, Jin-Oh

    2011-07-01

    Increasingly, total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits are being defined for agricultural watersheds. Reductions in non-point source pollution are often needed to meet TMDL limits, and improvements in management of annual crops appear insufficient to achieve the necessary reductions. Increased adoption of perennial crops and other changes in agricultural land use also appear necessary, but face major barriers. We outline a novel strategy that aims to create new economic opportunities for land-owners and other stakeholders and thereby to attract their voluntary participation in land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Our strategy has two key elements. First, focused efforts are needed to create new economic enterprises that capitalize on the productive potential of multifunctional agriculture (MFA). MFA seeks to produce a wide range of goods and ecosystem services by well-designed deployment of annual and perennial crops across agricultural landscapes and watersheds; new revenue from MFA may substantially finance land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Second, efforts to capitalize on MFA should use a novel methodology, the Communicative/Systemic Approach (C/SA). C/SA uses an integrative GIS-based spatial modeling framework for systematically assessing tradeoffs and synergies in design and evaluation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes, closely linked to deliberation and design processes by which multiple stakeholders can collaboratively create appropriate and acceptable MFA landscape designs. We anticipate that application of C/SA will strongly accelerate TMDL implementation, by aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders whose active support is needed to change agricultural land use and thereby meet TMDL goals.

  2. TMDL implementation in agricultural landscapes: a communicative and systemic approach.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Nicholas R; Slotterback, Carissa Schively; Cadieux, Kirsten Valentine; Mulla, David J; Pitt, David G; Olabisi, Laura Schmitt; Kim, Jin-Oh

    2011-07-01

    Increasingly, total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits are being defined for agricultural watersheds. Reductions in non-point source pollution are often needed to meet TMDL limits, and improvements in management of annual crops appear insufficient to achieve the necessary reductions. Increased adoption of perennial crops and other changes in agricultural land use also appear necessary, but face major barriers. We outline a novel strategy that aims to create new economic opportunities for land-owners and other stakeholders and thereby to attract their voluntary participation in land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Our strategy has two key elements. First, focused efforts are needed to create new economic enterprises that capitalize on the productive potential of multifunctional agriculture (MFA). MFA seeks to produce a wide range of goods and ecosystem services by well-designed deployment of annual and perennial crops across agricultural landscapes and watersheds; new revenue from MFA may substantially finance land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Second, efforts to capitalize on MFA should use a novel methodology, the Communicative/Systemic Approach (C/SA). C/SA uses an integrative GIS-based spatial modeling framework for systematically assessing tradeoffs and synergies in design and evaluation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes, closely linked to deliberation and design processes by which multiple stakeholders can collaboratively create appropriate and acceptable MFA landscape designs. We anticipate that application of C/SA will strongly accelerate TMDL implementation, by aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders whose active support is needed to change agricultural land use and thereby meet TMDL goals. PMID:21547434

  3. CQESTR Simulation of Soil Organic Matter Dynamics in Long-term Agricultural Experiments across USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gollany, H.; Liang, Y.; Albrecht, S.; Rickman, R.; Follett, R.; Wilhelm, W.; Novak, J.

    2009-04-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) has important chemical (supplies nutrients, buffers and adsorbs harmful chemical compounds), biological (supports the growth of microorganisms and micro fauna), and physical (improves soil structure and soil tilth, stores water, and reduces surface crusting, water runoff) functions. The loss of 20 to 50% of soil organic carbon (SOC) from USA soils after converting native prairie or forest to production agriculture is well documented. Sustainable management practices for SOC is critical for maintaining soil productivity and responsible utilization of crop residues. As crop residues are targeted for additional uses (e.g., cellulosic ethanol feedstock) developing C models that predict change in SOM over time with change in management becomes increasingly important. CQESTR, pronounced "sequester," is a process-based C balance model that relates organic residue additions, crop management and soil tillage to SOM accretion or loss. The model works on daily time-steps and can perform long-term (100-year) simulations. Soil organic matter change is computed by maintaining a soil C budget for additions, such as crop residue or added amendments like manure, and organic C losses through microbial decomposition. Our objective was to simulate SOM changes in agricultural soils under a range of soil parent materials, climate and management systems using the CQESTR model. Long-term experiments (e.g. Champaign, IL, >100 yrs; Columbia, MO, >100 yrs; Lincoln, NE, 20 yrs) under various tillage practices, organic amendments, crop rotations, and crop residue removal treatments were selected for their documented history of the long-term effects of management practice on SOM dynamics. Simulated and observed values from the sites were significantly related (r2 = 94%, P < 0.001) with slope not significantly different from 1. Recent interest in crop residue removal for biofuel feedstock prompted us to address that as a management issue. CQESTR successfully simulated a

  4. How does pyrogenic organic matter affect the N dynamic in agricultural soils? An incubation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de La Rosa, José M.; Knicker, Heike

    2010-05-01

    Besides other environmental factors, N availability drives the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles in grasslands. Since grass-dominated ecosystems cover approximately 40% of the terrestrial surface and store more than 30% of global soil organic carbon (SOC), alterations to those ecosystems could have significant consequences and potential implications for global C and N cycles and climate (Schlesinger et al., 1990). Understanding the processes that govern the efficient cycling of nutrients through soil/plant systems remains an important topic to underpin the choice of strategies aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of ecosystems. In Mediterranean ecosystems, wild-fires occur frequently. Whereas factors such as water shortage or erosion contribute to reduced N-availability by lowering the litter input, burning additionally increase the refractory N and C-pools by charring litter and humic material (charred pyrogenic organic matter-PyOM) (Gonzalez-Pérez, 2004). In general, the addition of organic matter either as plant residues or farmyard manure has been shown to significantly increase biological activity, microbial biomass and enzyme activity in soil (Dick, 1992). Even in situations where microbial biomass appears to be unaffected, the activity of specific processes (e.g. N mineralization) can be significantly influenced by the addition of organic residues). However, little is known about the changes of the N cycle caused by the addition of PyOM. Therefore, the interest of our research was to study the impact of 15N enriched-biochars either alone or in conjunction with a 15N enriched fertilizer (K15NO3) on aggregate stability and organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) distribution among the different soil fractions. The latter may help to elucidate both, the quality of the stored organic matter and if the accumulation is related to interaction with the mineral matter. Therefore, biochar derived from grass material grown on 15N-enriched fertilizer was added

  5. Dissolved and particulate organic carbon fluxes from an agricultural watershed during consecutive tropical storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caverly, Emma; Kaste, James M.; Hancock, Gregory S.; Chambers, Randolph M.

    2013-10-01

    Low-frequency high-magnitude hydrologic events mobilize a disproportionate amount of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from watersheds, but few studies measure the role of extreme storms in exporting organic carbon from croplands. We use high-resolution measurements of storm runoff to quantify DOC and particulate organic carbon (POC) fluxes from an agricultural field during consecutive tropical storms that delivered 41 cm of rainfall to the Virginia Coastal Plain. Over a 2 week period, we measured exports of 22 kg DOC ha-1 and 11.3 kg POC ha-1. Ultraviolet absorbance measurements indicate that the aromatic DOC fraction systematically increased as plant-derived aliphatic carbon was depleted during the initial event. Croplands can have event-scale carbon losses that equal or exceed published estimates of annual export for perennial streams draining forested and mixed land use watersheds. We quantify aromatic DOC fractions approaching 50%, indicating that agricultural stormflow can produce a significant load of relatively photoreactive carbon.

  6. Impacts of Forest and Agricultural Land Use on Stream Dissolved Organic Carbon During Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, N. H.; Shin, Y.; Jeon, Y. J.; Lee, E. J.; Eom, J. S.; Kim, B.

    2015-12-01

    Although many studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of land use on concentrations and compositions of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in streams and rivers, the relationships are still not clear. To elucidate the impacts of forest and agricultural land use on stream DOC during storm events, we investigated concentrations, optical properties, δ13C, and Δ 14C of DOC in forest and agriculture dominated headwater streams in South Korea. Stream DOC concentrations were the highest in a forested subwatershed, and a significant positive correlation was observed between stream DOC concentrations and the proportion of forested area in watersheds, which was strengthened by increased rain intensity. Four PARAFAC components were extracted including terrestrial humic substances, terrestrial fulvic acids, microbial organic matter, and protein-like organic matter, all of which showed a positive correlation with stream DOC concentration although relative proportion of components were dependent on land use. While DOC in a forest stream was mostly composed of terrestrially derived and 14C-enriched, DOC in an agricultural stream included aged DOC up to ~1,000 years old. Although the impacts of hydrological changes due to irrigation, fertilizer use, and selected crop species were not examined, the results of this study suggest that agricultural land use can be a source of aged terrestrial DOC to streams during summer monsoon storms, potentially changing the balance of the regional carbon cycle.

  7. Greenhouse gas budget of agricultural systems: real possibility or dream?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neftel, A.; Ammann, C.; Calanca, P.; Fuhrer, J.; Leifeld, J.; Jocher, M.; Volk, M.

    2003-04-01

    It is now widely accepted that emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) by human activities are causing an increase of global mean temperature. Model calculations have shown that the rate of increase might have a decisive influence on the stability of the climate. It is therefore crucial to slow down the increase of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere. Storage of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere is mentioned as one possibility in the Kyoto protocol. Mitigation options to decrease GHG emissions in agricultural systems as well as to increase carbon stock in agricultural soils are in discussion. The quantification and verification of the GHG budget is a prerequisite to establish a trade within the Kyoto protocol. On the scientific level this comes down to a greenhouse gas budget for agricultural systems. Comparability and interpretation of GHG budgets depends on an appropriate and consistent choice of the considered system, especially the system boundaries. In this presentation we discuss the feasibility of such a budget for a the smallest unit: the yearly budget of grassland system. Differences between GHG budget and carbon budget will be assessed.

  8. AN INNOVATIVE SYSTEM FOR BIOREMEDIATION OF AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agricultural chemicals (both inorganic and organic) in drainage discharge from watersheds have raised concerns about the quality of surface water resources. For example, hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico has been related to the nutrients discharging from agricultural watersheds...

  9. Denitrification 'Woodchip' Bioreactors for Productive and Sustainable Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianson, L. E.; Summerfelt, S.; Sharrer, K.; Lepine, C.; Helmers, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Growing alarm about negative cascading effects of reactive nitrogen in the environment has led to multifaceted efforts to address elevated nitrate-nitrogen levels in water bodies worldwide. The best way to mitigate N-related impacts, such as hypoxic zones and human health concerns, is to convert nitrate to stable, non-reactive dinitrogen gas through the natural process of denitrification. This means denitrification technologies need to be one of our major strategies for tackling the grand challenge of managing human-induced changes to our global nitrogen cycle. While denitrification technologies have historically been focused on wastewater treatment, there is great interest in new lower-tech options for treating effluent and drainage water from one of our largest reactive nitrogen emitters -- agriculture. Denitrification 'woodchip' bioreactors are able to enhance this natural N-conversion via addition of a solid carbon source (e.g., woodchips) and through designs that facilitate development of anoxic conditions required for denitrification. Wood-based denitrification technologies such as woodchip bioreactors and 'sawdust' walls for groundwater have been shown to be effective at reducing nitrate loads in agricultural settings around the world. Designing these systems to be low-maintenance and to avoid removing land from agricultural production has been a primary focus of this "farmer-friendly" technology. This presentation provides a background on woodchip bioreactors including design considerations, N-removal performance, and current research worldwide. Woodchip bioreactors for the agricultural sector are an accessible new option to address society's interest in improving water quality while simultaneously allowing highly productive agricultural systems to continue to provide food in the face of increasing demand, changing global diets, and fluctuating weather.

  10. Agricultural biodiversity, social-ecological systems and sustainable diets.

    PubMed

    Allen, Thomas; Prosperi, Paolo; Cogill, Bruce; Flichman, Guillermo

    2014-11-01

    The stark observation of the co-existence of undernourishment, nutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity, the triple burden of malnutrition, is inviting us to reconsider health and nutrition as the primary goal and final endpoint of food systems. Agriculture and the food industry have made remarkable advances in the past decades. However, their development has not entirely fulfilled health and nutritional needs, and moreover, they have generated substantial collateral losses in agricultural biodiversity. Simultaneously, several regions are experiencing unprecedented weather events caused by climate change and habitat depletion, in turn putting at risk global food and nutrition security. This coincidence of food crises with increasing environmental degradation suggests an urgent need for novel analyses and new paradigms. The sustainable diets concept proposes a research and policy agenda that strives towards a sustainable use of human and natural resources for food and nutrition security, highlighting the preeminent role of consumers in defining sustainable options and the importance of biodiversity in nutrition. Food systems act as complex social-ecological systems, involving multiple interactions between human and natural components. Nutritional patterns and environment structure are interconnected in a mutual dynamic of changes. The systemic nature of these interactions calls for multidimensional approaches and integrated assessment and simulation tools to guide change. This paper proposes a review and conceptual modelling framework that articulate the synergies and tradeoffs between dietary diversity, widely recognised as key for healthy diets, and agricultural biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, crucial resilience factors to climate and global changes. PMID:25068204

  11. Landscape patterns and soil organic carbon stocks in agricultural bocage landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viaud, Valérie; Lacoste, Marine; Michot, Didier; Walter, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) has a crucial impact on global carbon storage at world scale. SOC spatial variability is controlled by the landscape patterns resulting from the continuous interactions between the physical environment and the society. Natural and anthropogenic processes occurring and interplaying at the landscape scale, such as soil redistribution in the lateral and vertical dimensions by tillage and water erosion processes or spatial differentiation of land-use and land-management practices, strongly affect SOC dynamics. Inventories of SOC stocks, reflecting their spatial distribution, are thus key elements to develop relevant management strategies to improving carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change and soil degradation. This study aims to quantify SOC stocks and their spatial distribution in a 1,000-ha agricultural bocage landscape with dairy production as dominant farming system (Zone Atelier Armorique, LTER Europe, NW France). The site is characterized by high heterogeneity on short distance due to a high diversity of soils with varying waterlogging, soil parent material, topography, land-use and hedgerow density. SOC content and stocks were measured up to 105-cm depth in 200 sampling locations selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling. Additive sampling was designed to specifically explore SOC distribution near to hedges: 112 points were sampled at fixed distance on 14 transects perpendicular from hedges. We illustrate the heterogeneity of spatial and vertical distribution of SOC stocks at landscape scale, and quantify SOC stocks in the various landscape components. Using multivariate statistics, we discuss the variability and co-variability of existing spatial organization of cropping systems, environmental factors, and SOM stocks, over landscape. Ultimately, our results may contribute to improving regional or national digital soil mapping approaches, by considering the distribution of SOC stocks within each modeling unit and

  12. Quantifying faecal indicator organism hydrological transfer pathways and phases in agricultural catchments.

    PubMed

    Murphy, S; Jordan, P; Mellander, P-E; O' Flaherty, V

    2015-07-01

    Faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) can impact on water quality and pose a health and environmental risk. The transfer of FIOs, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), from land to water is driven by hydrological connectivity and may follow the same flowpaths as nutrients, from agricultural and human sources. This study investigated E. coli transfer in two catchment areas with high source and transport pressures. These pressures were: organic phosphorus (P) loading; human settlement; conduits and fissures in a grassland karst area; and clay rich and impermeable soils in a mixed arable area. The occurrence of E. coli and its transport pathways, along with the pathways of nutrients, were studied using a combination of targeted FIO sampling, during different hydrological phases and events, and high resolution nutrient analysis. The quick flow component in both catchments was found to be a more potent vector for E. coli, and was coincident with the total P flowpaths using a P Loadograph Recession Analysis (LRA). The karst grassland catchment was found to be a transport limited system and the mixed arable catchment a source limited system. Hence, despite the grassland catchment being a potentially higher FIO source, the E. coli loads leaving the catchment were low compared to the mixed arable catchment. E. coli load whole-event comparisons also indicated that the grassland karst transfers tended to be much lower on falling phases of runoff, while the arable catchment, over greywacke and mudstone geology, showed little change between the phases. Furthermore, the arable catchment showed asymptotic decline of sustained E. coli loads towards low flows, which may be indicative of chronic point sources. These results indicate the dominance of transport mechanisms over source mechanisms for mass E. coli loads and also chronic loads during low flow. These will be important considerations for risk assessment and mitigation. PMID:25840482

  13. Transformations in soil organic matter and aggregate stability after conversion of Mediterranean forest to agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Recio Vázquez, Lorena; Almendros, Gonzalo; Carral, Pilar; Knicker, Heike; González Pérez, José Antonio; González Vila, Francisco Javier

    2013-04-01

    HA and FA increased in the cultivated soils. Considering the differences in molecular characteristics of the HAs, cultivation increased aromaticity and humification degree, reflected in the reduction of the H/C atomic ratio and the increase of the E465 nm optical density of the HAs. The 13C NMR spectra of the whole soils showed increased signal intensity in the alkyl and O-alkyl regions in NV sites compared to agricultural systems. Infrared spectroscopy displayed a less conspicuous pattern in HAs from CC sites. Moreover, the major aromatic pyrolytic products in CC soils were alkylphenols, naphthalenes, benzenes, pyrenes and N-compounds (pyrroles, indoles...), with lower abundance of methoxyphenols regarding NV sites. Cultivation reduced SOM concentration and macroaggregate stability in the studied soils. The loss of organic C mainly affected labile pools of SOM, which could be partly explained as the organic debris (fungal hyphae, fine roots, polysaccharides) are the main binding agents, so the breakdown of macroaggregates with the tillage exposes the fresh organic materials to microbial degradation. The final consequence is an enrichment on recalcitrant C fractions in the cultivated soils.

  14. REDUCING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF AGRICULTURAL AND NON-AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS: MITIGATING OFF-SITE TRANSPORT OF PESTICIDES WITH RUNOFF

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water quality surveys have detected numerous pesticides in surface waters of urban and agricultural areas. The intense use of pesticides in highly managed turf systems and agriculture is of concern due to their potential adverse effects on the quality of surface waters, impacting drinking water reso...

  15. 3-D Imaging Systems for Agricultural Applications-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Arellano, Manuel; Griepentrog, Hans W; Reiser, David; Paraforos, Dimitris S

    2016-01-01

    Efficiency increase of resources through automation of agriculture requires more information about the production process, as well as process and machinery status. Sensors are necessary for monitoring the status and condition of production by recognizing the surrounding structures such as objects, field structures, natural or artificial markers, and obstacles. Currently, three dimensional (3-D) sensors are economically affordable and technologically advanced to a great extent, so a breakthrough is already possible if enough research projects are commercialized. The aim of this review paper is to investigate the state-of-the-art of 3-D vision systems in agriculture, and the role and value that only 3-D data can have to provide information about environmental structures based on the recent progress in optical 3-D sensors. The structure of this research consists of an overview of the different optical 3-D vision techniques, based on the basic principles. Afterwards, their application in agriculture are reviewed. The main focus lays on vehicle navigation, and crop and animal husbandry. The depth dimension brought by 3-D sensors provides key information that greatly facilitates the implementation of automation and robotics in agriculture. PMID:27136560

  16. 3-D Imaging Systems for Agricultural Applications—A Review

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Arellano, Manuel; Griepentrog, Hans W.; Reiser, David; Paraforos, Dimitris S.

    2016-01-01

    Efficiency increase of resources through automation of agriculture requires more information about the production process, as well as process and machinery status. Sensors are necessary for monitoring the status and condition of production by recognizing the surrounding structures such as objects, field structures, natural or artificial markers, and obstacles. Currently, three dimensional (3-D) sensors are economically affordable and technologically advanced to a great extent, so a breakthrough is already possible if enough research projects are commercialized. The aim of this review paper is to investigate the state-of-the-art of 3-D vision systems in agriculture, and the role and value that only 3-D data can have to provide information about environmental structures based on the recent progress in optical 3-D sensors. The structure of this research consists of an overview of the different optical 3-D vision techniques, based on the basic principles. Afterwards, their application in agriculture are reviewed. The main focus lays on vehicle navigation, and crop and animal husbandry. The depth dimension brought by 3-D sensors provides key information that greatly facilitates the implementation of automation and robotics in agriculture. PMID:27136560

  17. Conservation agriculture practices to enhance soil organic in Lombardy plain (Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perego, Alessia; Giussani, Andrea; Corsi, Stefano; Tosini, Andrea; Acutis, Marco

    2016-04-01

    It has been demonstrated that conservation agriculture (CA) determines a long-term increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in cropland. The present study aimed to estimate the amount of SOC stored in soil of Lombardy plain (Northern Italy) following the change from tillage agriculture (TA) to CA by using crop ARMOSA crop over 23 years (1989-2011). The territorial analysis was performed at agrarian region scale (AR) after identification of the representative crops rotation and soil types. The land use information were data available at cadastral scale and referred to 5 years (from 2007 to 2011). The meteorological data (i.e. maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation) were measured at 14 monitoring stations. Solar radiation was estimated using the equation of the Bristow and Campbell model (1994). A spatial interpolation method was used to extend the meteorological data throughout the entire plain of the region by employing Thiessen polygon method; the meteorological data of the polygon were assigned to each AR. ARMOSA was parameterized to simulate the two tillage systems. For TA and CA scenario the depth of tillage was limited to 35 and 10 cm, respectively; crop residual incorporation was not simulated under CA. In TA scenario, we used the parameters calibrated and validated by Perego et al.(2013) on a wide dataset collected at six monitoring sites in Lombardy plain. In CA, the rate of C decomposition of humified organic C was assumed to be smaller by 30% in no-tillage than in TA (Oorts et al., 2007). The model results showed a significant improve of SOC (p<0.01) from TA to CA under all the crop rotations with a potential SOC sequestration ranged from 0.1 to 0.48 t C ha-1 y-1. While soil type did not affect significantly the SOC sequestration, crop residue determined relevant increases in SOC. That was particularly evident in grain maize monoculture with or without cover crop. References: Oorts K., Garnier P., Findeling A., Mary B., Richard G., Nicolardot B

  18. Effects of agriculture production systems on nitrate and nitrite accumulation on baby-leaf salads.

    PubMed

    Aires, Alfredo; Carvalho, Rosa; Rosa, Eduardo A S; Saavedra, Maria J

    2013-01-01

    Nitrate and nitrite are widespread contaminants of vegetables, fruits, and waters. The levels of these compounds are increased as a result of using organic wastes from chemical industries, domestic wastes, effluents, nitrogenous fertilizers, and herbicides in agriculture. Therefore, determining the nitrate and nitrite levels in biological, food, and environmental samples is important to protect human health and the environment. In this context, we set this study, in which we report the effect of production system (conventional and organic) on the accumulation of nitrates and nitrites in fresh baby-leaf samples. The average levels of the nitrate ([Formula: see text]) and nitrite ([Formula: see text]) contents in six different baby-leaf salads of a single species (green lettuce, red lettuce, watercress, rucola, chard, and corn salad) produced in organic and conventional agriculture system were evaluated. Spectrophotometric analytical method recently published was validated and used. Nitrates and nitrites were detected in all samples. The nitrates levels from organic production varied between 1.45 and 6.40 mg/kg fresh weight (FW), whereas those from conventional production ranged from 10.5 to 45.19 mg/kg FW. The nitrites content was lower than nitrates and ranged from 0.32 to 1.89 mg/kg FW in organic production system and between 0.14 and 1.41 mg/kg FW in conventional production system. Our results showed that the nitrate content was dependent on the agricultural production system, while for nitrites, this dependency was less pronounced. PMID:24804008

  19. Evaluation of the micronutrient composition of plant foods produced by organic and conventional agricultural methods.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Duncan; Foster, Meika; McArthur, Jennifer O; Ojha, Rachel; Petocz, Peter; Samman, Samir

    2011-07-01

    The aim of the present analysis was to evaluate the micronutrient content of plant foods produced by organic and conventional agricultural methods. Studies were identified from a search of electronic databases (1980-2007, inclusive) as well as manual searches. A total of 66 studies (describing 1440 micronutrient comparisons) were identified. Thirty-three studies (908 comparisons) satisfied the screening criteria which considered cultivar, harvesting, and soil conditions. In studies that satisfied the screening criteria, the absolute levels of micronutrients were higher in organic foods more often than in conventional foods (462 vs 364 comparisons, P=0.002), and the total micronutrient content, expressed as a percent difference, was higher in organic (+5.7%, P<0.001) as compared to conventionally grown produce. The micronutrient content of food groups was more frequently reported to be higher for organic vegetables and legumes compared to their conventional counterparts (vegetables, 267 vs 197, P<0.001; legumes, 79 vs 46, P=0.004). This trend was supported by a mean percent difference in micronutrient content favoring organic vegetables (+5.9%, P<0.001) and legumes (+5.7%, P<0.001). Further research is required to determine the effect of organic agricultural methods on a broader range of nutrients and their potential impact on health. PMID:21929333

  20. Detection of Manure-Derived Organic Compounds in Rivers Draining Agricultural Areas of Intensive Manure Spreading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jardé, E.; Gruau, G.

    2006-12-01

    This study presents the potentiality of organic markers to trace the impact of animal manure in soils and rivers draining agricultural watersheds. As described by Gruau et al. (in this session), the analysis of long term records of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in five watersheds in Brittany (western of France) shows divergent trends which can not be explained solely by global changes. One alternative explanation could be that long- term records of DOM in rivers are controlled by human activities, and notably by agricultural practices. In Brittany, the agricultural intensification led to an over-application of animal manures to soils. This practice can strongly increase the amount of soil-water extractable organic matter, thereby leading to an increase of organic matter fluxes in agricultural landscapes and then to a contamination of river waters. Such an hypothesis deserves consideration in view of the massive manure fluxes that are disposed on agricultural land in many parts of the world. In this goal, our study aimed at determining potential sources of organic matter and molecular markers or specific distributions in rivers draining agricultural watersheds. In this study we focused on the analysis of pig slurries because of the importance of pig production in Brittany. The analysis of pig slurry evidenced the presence of coprostanol (5β) as a specific marker, originating from the bio- hydrogenation of cholesterol by anaerobic bacteria. The difference with other animal or human wastes has been evidenced by two ratios: 5β/C27 and C29/C27. After the validation of the ability of coprostanol to be a molecular marker of pig slurry, our analysis has been focused on the OM of watersheds in Brittany showing divergent evolutions. The results show a systematic relation between the C29/C27 and 5β/C27 ratios and the type of animal breeding in each watershed. This study allows us to evidence the impact of animal breeding activities in the analysed rivers. Such a study

  1. Soil enzyme activities as affected by anthropogenic alterations: intensive agricultural practices and organic pollution.

    PubMed

    Gianfreda, Liliana; Antonietta Rao, Maria; Piotrowska, Anna; Palumbo, Giuseppe; Colombo, Claudio

    2005-04-01

    The activity of a range of enzymes related to the cycling of the main biologically important nutrients C, N, P and S was investigated in cultivated and non-cultivated soils from various parts of Europe. Two agricultural sites from North Italy under continuous corn (Zea mays L.) with and without organic fertilization were compared. Two other agricultural sites from South Italy under hazel (Corylus avellana L.) never flooded or repeatedly flooded over by uncontrolled urban and industrial wastes were investigated. The non-cultivated soils were from Middle and South Europe with different pollution history such as no-pollution and pollution with organic contaminants, which is phenanthrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Agricultural soils showed significant differences in some of physical-chemical properties (i.e. organic C, total and labile phosphate contents, available Ca and Mg) between the two sites studied. Enzyme activities of hazel sites periodically flooded by wastes were mainly higher than in the hazel sites never flooded. Sites under many years of continuous corn showed dehydrogenase, invertase, arylsulphatase and beta-glucosidase activities generally lower than the soils under hazel either flooded or not by wastes. As compared to agricultural soils, non-cultivated soils heavily or moderately polluted by organic contaminants displayed much lower values or complete absence of enzymatic activities. Dissimilar, contradictory correlations between soil enzyme activities and the majority of soil properties were observed separately in the two groups of soils. When the whole set of enzyme activities and soil properties were considered, all significant correlations found separately for the groups of soils were lost. The overall results seem to confirm that no direct cause-effect relationships can be derived between the changes of a soil in response to a given factor and both the variations of the activity and the behaviour of the enzymes in soil

  2. Evolutionary ecology of mycorrhizal functional diversity in agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Verbruggen, Erik; Toby Kiers, E

    2010-09-01

    The root systems of most agronomic crops are colonized by diverse assemblages of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), varying in the functional benefits (e.g. nutrient transfer, pathogen protection, water uptake) provided to hosts. Little is known about the evolutionary processes that shape the composition of these fungal assemblages, nor is it known whether more diverse assemblages are beneficial to crop productivity. In this review we aim to identify the evolutionary selection pressures that shape AMF diversity in agricultural systems and explore whether promotion of AMF diversity can convincingly be linked to increases in agricultural productivity and/or sustainability. We then ask whether farmers can (and should) actively modify evolutionary selection pressures to increase AMF functioning. We focus on three agriculturally imposed selection regimes: tillage, fertilization, and continuous monoculture. We find that the uniform nature of these practices strongly selects for dominance of few AMF species. These species exhibit predictable, generally non-beneficial traits, namely heavy investment in reproduction at the expense of nutrient scavenging and transfer processes that are beneficial for hosts. A number of focus-points are given based on empirical and theoretical evidence that could be utilized to slow down negative selection pressures on AMF functioning, therein increasing crop benefit. PMID:25567946

  3. Evolutionary ecology of mycorrhizal functional diversity in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Verbruggen, Erik; Toby Kiers, E

    2010-01-01

    The root systems of most agronomic crops are colonized by diverse assemblages of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), varying in the functional benefits (e.g. nutrient transfer, pathogen protection, water uptake) provided to hosts. Little is known about the evolutionary processes that shape the composition of these fungal assemblages, nor is it known whether more diverse assemblages are beneficial to crop productivity. In this review we aim to identify the evolutionary selection pressures that shape AMF diversity in agricultural systems and explore whether promotion of AMF diversity can convincingly be linked to increases in agricultural productivity and/or sustainability. We then ask whether farmers can (and should) actively modify evolutionary selection pressures to increase AMF functioning. We focus on three agriculturally imposed selection regimes: tillage, fertilization, and continuous monoculture. We find that the uniform nature of these practices strongly selects for dominance of few AMF species. These species exhibit predictable, generally non-beneficial traits, namely heavy investment in reproduction at the expense of nutrient scavenging and transfer processes that are beneficial for hosts. A number of focus-points are given based on empirical and theoretical evidence that could be utilized to slow down negative selection pressures on AMF functioning, therein increasing crop benefit. PMID:25567946

  4. System for analysis of LANDSAT agricultural data: Automatic computer-assisted proportion estimation of local areas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nalepka, R. F. (Principal Investigator); Kauth, R. J.; Thomas, G. S.

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. A conceptual man machine system framework was created for a large scale agricultural remote sensing system. The system is based on and can grow out of the local recognition mode of LACIE, through a gradual transition wherein computer support functions supplement and replace AI functions. Local proportion estimation functions are broken into two broad classes: (1) organization of the data within the sample segment; and (2) identification of the fields or groups of fields in the sample segment.

  5. Self-Organized Criticality Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aschwanden, M. J.

    2013-07-01

    Contents: (1) Introduction - Norma B. Crosby --- (2) Theoretical Models of SOC Systems - Markus J. Aschwanden --- (3) SOC and Fractal Geometry - R. T. James McAteer --- (4) Percolation Models of Self-Organized Critical Phenomena - Alexander V. Milovanov --- (5) Criticality and Self-Organization in Branching Processes: Application to Natural Hazards - Álvaro Corral, Francesc Font-Clos --- (6) Power Laws of Recurrence Networks - Yong Zou, Jobst Heitzig, Jürgen Kurths --- (7) SOC computer simolations - Gunnar Pruessner --- (8) SOC Laboratory Experiments - Gunnar Pruessner --- (9) Self-Organizing Complex Earthquakes: Scaling in Data, Models, and Forecasting - Michael K. Sachs et al. --- (10) Wildfires and the Forest-Fire Model - Stefan Hergarten --- (11) SOC in Landslides - Stefan Hergarten --- (12) SOC and Solar Flares - Paul Charbonneau --- (13) SOC Systems in Astrophysics - Markus J. Aschwanden ---

  6. A Remote Sensing-based Global Agricultural Drought Monitoring and Forecasting System for Supporting GEOSS (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di, L.; Yu, G.; Han, W.; Deng, M.

    2010-12-01

    Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a voluntary partnership of governments and international organizations. GEO is coordinating the implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), a worldwide effort to make Earth observation resources more useful to the society. As one of the important technical contributors to GEOSS, the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems (CSISS), George Mason University, is implementing a remote sensing-based global agricultural drought monitoring and forecasting system (GADMFS) as a GEOSS societal benefit areas (agriculture and water) prototype. The goals of the project are 1) to establish a system as a component of GEOSS for providing global on-demand and systematic agriculture drought information to users worldwide, and 2) to support decision-making with improved monitoring, forecasting, and analyses of agriculture drought. GADMFS has adopted the service-oriented architecture and is based on standard-compliant interoperable geospatial Web services to provide online on-demand drought conditions and forecasting at ~1 km spatial and daily and weekly temporal resolutions for any part of the world to world-wide users through the Internet. Applicable GEOSS recommended open standards are followed in the system implementation. The system’s drought monitoring relies on drought-related parameters, such as surface and root-zone soil moisture and NDVI time series derived from remote sensing data, to provide the current conditions of agricultural drought. The system links to near real-time satellite remote sensing data sources from NASA and NOAA for the monitoring purpose. For drought forecasting, the system utilizes a neural-network based modeling algorithm. The algorithm is trained with inputs of current and historic vegetation-based and climate-based drought index data, biophysical characteristics of the environment, and time-series weather data. The trained algorithm will establish per-pixel model for

  7. Multiscale Land surface feedbacks within agricultural and urban systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niyogi, D.

    2012-12-01

    This presentation will first discuss the interplay between agricultural landscapes and regional hydroclimatology with particular emphasis on the US Corn Belt. Results and experiences from studies underway as part of a multistate project (Making Climate Information Useful 2 Usable- U2U) will be summarized. The presentation will also highlight experiences regarding the different challenges in developing the regional assessment and guidance regarding sustainable futures. Study results will also be compared with findings from other geographical regions where agriculture - climate linkages are stretching the limits of sustainable water use. A vulnerability framework that can be considered for such agriculture - climate - water links will also be presented. The second issue the presentation will discuss relates to the urban land surface feedbacks and efforts underway to guide efforts related to greening as well as regional landuse planning. The complex links between city structures, urban layouts, and regional climate will be synthesized and the framework regarding a decision support system that is being developed will be presented. Salient points of the modeling efforts, data challenges, and the need for linking multiple disciplines will be presented with special focus on droughts and the need for considering complex multiscale coupled interactions within the analysis.

  8. Sewage sludge, compost and other representative organic wastes as agricultural soil amendments: Benefits versus limiting factors.

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, Paula; Mourinha, Clarisse; Farto, Márcia; Santos, Teresa; Palma, Patrícia; Sengo, Joana; Morais, Marie-Christine; Cunha-Queda, Cristina

    2015-06-01

    Nine different samples of sewage sludges, composts and other representative organic wastes, with potential interest to be used as agricultural soil amendments, were characterized: municipal sewage sludge (SS1 and SS2), agro industrial sludge (AIS), municipal slaughterhouse sludge (MSS), mixed municipal solid waste compost (MMSWC), agricultural wastes compost (AWC), compost produced from agricultural wastes and sewage sludge (AWSSC), pig slurry digestate (PSD) and paper mill wastes (PMW). The characterization was made considering their: (i) physicochemical parameters, (ii) total and bioavailable heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn and Hg), (iii) organic contaminants, (iv) pathogenic microorganisms and (v) stability and phytotoxicity indicators. All the sludges, municipal or other, comply with the requirements of the legislation regarding the possibility of their application to agricultural soil (with the exception of SS2, due to its pathogenic microorganisms content), with a content of organic matter and nutrients that make them interesting to be applied to soil. The composts presented, in general, some constraints regarding their application to soil, and their impairment was due to the existence of heavy metal concentrations exceeding the proposed limit of the draft European legislation. As a consequence, with the exception of AWSSC, most compost samples were not able to meet these quality criteria, which are more conservative for compost than for sewage sludge. From the results, the composting of sewage sludge is recommended as a way to turn a less stabilized waste into a material that is no longer classified as a waste and, judging by the results of this work, with lower heavy metal content than the other composted materials, and without sanitation problems. PMID:25708406

  9. Exploring agricultural production systems and their fundamental components with system dynamics modeling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural production in the United States is undergoing marked changes due to rapid shifts in consumer demands, input costs, and concerns for food safety and environmental impact. Agricultural production systems are comprised of multidimensional components and drivers that interact in complex wa...

  10. Organic carbon concentration profiles in recent cave sediments: records of agricultural pollution or diagenesis?

    PubMed

    Bottrell, S H

    1996-01-01

    Recent (<7 years old) cave sediments in Speedwell Cavern, Derbyshire, show an approximately exponential decay of organic carbon with depth. This phenomenon was thought to be due to one of two causes: (i) changing agricultural practice within the catchment feeding the cave, especially the increased use of sewage sludge and animal slurry as fertilizer; (ii) a relatively constant organic carbon concentration over time in the input sediment, with subsequent carbon mineralization during diagenesis. Carbon isotope composition of the organic material and the evolution of H/C ratio with depth indicate that the latter hypothesis is correct and that the profiles result from microbial diagenesis, not increased organic carbon inputs. By comparison with sediment of known (7 years) age, temporal decay constants for organic matter can be derived; these lie between rates previously determined for organic matter decomposition in marine sediments and soils. The H/C ratio of organic matter can be modelled as a function of time and proceeds in a similar fashion to soil organic material. PMID:15091425

  11. 1986 Agricultural Chartbook. Agriculture Handbook No. 663.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.

    This book contains 310 charts, tables, and graphs containing statistical information about agriculture-related commodities and services, primarily in the United States, in 1986. The book is organized in seven sections that cover the following topics: (1) the farm (farm income, farm population, farm workers, food and fiber system, agriculture and…

  12. Volatile organic compound sensor system

    DOEpatents

    Schabron, John F.; Rovani, Jr., Joseph F.; Bomstad, Theresa M.; Sorini-Wong, Susan S.; Wong, Gregory K.

    2011-03-01

    Generally, this invention relates to the development of field monitoring methodology for new substances and sensing chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and terrorist substances. It also relates to a portable test kit which may be utilized to measure concentrations of halogenated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the field. Specifically it relates to systems for reliably field sensing the potential presence of such items while also distinguishing them from other elements potentially present. It also relates to overall systems and processes for sensing, reacting, and responding to an indicated presence of such substance, including modifications of existing halogenated sensors and arrayed sensing systems and methods.

  13. Volatile organic compound sensor system

    DOEpatents

    Schabron, John F.; Rovani, Jr., Joseph F.; Bomstad, Theresa M.; Sorini-Wong, Susan S.

    2009-02-10

    Generally, this invention relates to the development of field monitoring methodology for new substances and sensing chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and terrorist substances. It also relates to a portable test kit which may be utilized to measure concentrations of halogenated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the field. Specifically it relates to systems for reliably field sensing the potential presence of such items while also distinguishing them from other elements potentially present. It also relates to overall systems and processes for sensing, reacting, and responding to an indicated presence of such substance, including modifications of existing halogenated sensors and arrayed sensing systems and methods.

  14. Design of a solar controlled environment agriculture system (SCEAS)

    SciTech Connect

    Landstrom, D.K.; Stickford, G.H.; Talbert, S.G.; Wilkinson, W.H.

    1983-06-01

    The overall objective of the SCEAS project was to integrate advanced greenhouse agriculture technology with various energy sources and innovative cooling/ventilation concepts to demonstrate technical and economic feasibility of these facilities in several climatic regions where conventional greenhouse technology will not permit yearround growing of certain crops. The designed facility is capable of high yields of practically any crop, even temperaturesensitive vegetables such as lettuce, in extremely hostile external environments. The recirculation and ventilation system provides considerable flexibility in precise control of temperature and humidity throughout the year and in reducing water and energy consumption.

  15. A seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for food-insecure regions of East Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shukla, Shraddhanand; McNally, Amy; Husak, Gregory; Funk, Christopher C.

    2014-01-01

     The increasing food and water demands of East Africa's growing population are stressing the region's inconsistent water resources and rain-fed agriculture. More accurate seasonal agricultural drought forecasts for this region can inform better water and agricultural management decisions, support optimal allocation of the region's water resources, and mitigate socio-economic losses incurred by droughts and floods. Here we describe the development and implementation of a seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for East Africa (EA) that provides decision support for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network's science team. We evaluate this forecast system for a region of equatorial EA (2° S to 8° N, and 36° to 46° E) for the March-April-May growing season. This domain encompasses one of the most food insecure, climatically variable and socio-economically vulnerable regions in EA, and potentially the world: this region has experienced famine as recently as 2011. To assess the agricultural outlook for the upcoming season our forecast system simulates soil moisture (SM) scenarios using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model forced with climate scenarios for the upcoming season. First, to show that the VIC model is appropriate for this application we forced the model with high quality atmospheric observations and found that the resulting SM values were consistent with the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI), an index used by FEWS NET to estimate crop yields. Next we tested our forecasting system with hindcast runs (1993–2012). We found that initializing SM forecasts with start-of-season (5 March) SM conditions resulted in useful SM forecast skill (> 0.5 correlation) at 1-month, and in some cases at 3 month lead times. Similarly, when the forecast was initialized with mid-season (i.e. 5 April) SM conditions the skill until the end-of-season improved. This shows that early-season rainfall

  16. A seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for food-insecure regions of East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, S.; McNally, A.; Husak, G.; Funk, C.

    2014-03-01

    The increasing food and water demands of East Africa's growing population are stressing the region's inconsistent water resources and rain-fed agriculture. More accurate seasonal agricultural drought forecasts for this region can inform better water and agricultural management decisions, support optimal allocation of the region's water resources, and mitigate socio-economic losses incurred by droughts and floods. Here we describe the development and implementation of a seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for East Africa (EA) that provides decision support for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network's science team. We evaluate this forecast system for a region of equatorial EA (2° S to 8° N, and 36° to 46° E) for the March-April-May growing season. This domain encompasses one of the most food insecure, climatically variable and socio-economically vulnerable regions in EA, and potentially the world: this region has experienced famine as recently as 2011. To assess the agricultural outlook for the upcoming season our forecast system simulates soil moisture (SM) scenarios using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model forced with climate scenarios for the upcoming season. First, to show that the VIC model is appropriate for this application we forced the model with high quality atmospheric observations and found that the resulting SM values were consistent with the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI), an index used by FEWS NET to estimate crop yields. Next we tested our forecasting system with hindcast runs (1993-2012). We found that initializing SM forecasts with start-of-season (5 March) SM conditions resulted in useful SM forecast skill (> 0.5 correlation) at 1-month, and in some cases at 3 month lead times. Similarly, when the forecast was initialized with mid-season (i.e. 5 April) SM conditions the skill until the end-of-season improved. This shows that early-season rainfall is

  17. Photocatalytic degradation of agricultural N-heterocyclic organic pollutants using immobilized nanoparticles of titania.

    PubMed

    Mahmoodi, Niyaz Mohammad; Arami, Mokhtar; Limaee, Nargess Yousefi; Gharanjig, Kamaladin

    2007-06-25

    Degradation and mineralization of two agricultural organic pollutants (Diazinon and Imidacloprid as N-heterocyclic aromatics) in aqueous solution by nanophotocatalysis using immobilized titania nanoparticles were investigated. Insecticides, Diazinon and Imidacloprid, are persistent pollutants in agricultural soil and watercourses. A simple and effective method was developed to immobilization of titania nanoparticles. UV-vis, ion chromatography (IC) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) analyses were employed. The effects of operational parameters such as H(2)O(2) and inorganic anions (NO(3)(-), Cl(-) and SO(4)(2-)) were investigated. The mineralization of Diazinon and Imidacloprid was evaluated by monitoring of the formed inorganic anions. The selected pollutants are effectively degraded following first order kinetics model. Results show that the nanophotocatalysis using immobilized titania nanoparticle is an effective method for treatment Diazinon and Imidacloprid from contaminated water. PMID:17145132

  18. Hydrologic control of dissolved organic matter concentration and quality in a semiarid artificially drained agricultural catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellmore, Rebecca A.; Harrison, John A.; Needoba, Joseph A.; Brooks, Erin S.; Kent Keller, C.

    2015-10-01

    Agricultural practices have altered watershed-scale dissolved organic matter (DOM) dynamics, including in-stream concentration, biodegradability, and total catchment export. However, mechanisms responsible for these changes are not clear, and field-scale processes are rarely directly linked to the magnitude and quality of DOM that is transported to surface water. In a small (12 ha) agricultural catchment in eastern Washington State, we tested the hypothesis that hydrologic connectivity in a catchment is the dominant control over the concentration and quality of DOM exported to surface water via artificial subsurface drainage. Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and humic-like components of DOM decreased while the Fluorescence Index and Freshness Index increased with depth through the soil profile. In drain discharge, these characteristics were significantly correlated with drain flow across seasons and years, with drain DOM resembling deep sources during low-flow and shallow sources during high flow, suggesting that DOM from shallow sources bypasses removal processes when hydrologic connectivity in the catchment is greatest. Assuming changes in streamflow projected for the Palouse River (which contains the study catchment) under the A1B climate scenario (rapid growth, dependence on fossil fuel, and renewable energy sources) apply to the study catchment, we project greater interannual variability in annual DOC export in the future, with significant increases in the driest years. This study highlights the variability in DOM inputs from agricultural soil to surface water on daily to interannual time scales, pointing to the need for a more nuanced understanding of agricultural impacts on DOM dynamics in surface water.

  19. Evolution of the knowledge system for agricultural development in the Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico.

    PubMed

    McCullough, Ellen B; Matson, Pamela A

    2016-04-26

    Knowledge systems-networks of linked actors, organizations, and objects that perform a number of knowledge-related functions that link knowledge and know how with action-have played a key role in fostering agricultural development over the last 50 years. We examine the evolution of the knowledge system of the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, a region often described as the home of the green revolution for wheat, tracing changes in the functions of critical knowledge system participants, information flows, and research priorities. Most of the knowledge system's key players have been in place for many decades, although their roles have changed in response to exogenous and endogenous shocks and trends (e.g., drought, policy shifts, and price trends). The system has been agile and able to respond to challenges, in part because of the diversity of players (evolving roles of actors spanning research-decision maker boundaries) and also because of the strong and consistent role of innovative farmers. Although the agricultural research agenda in the Valley is primarily controlled from within the agricultural sector, outside voices have become an important influence in broadening development- and production-oriented perspectives to sustainability perspectives. PMID:21606365

  20. Influence of Organic Agriculture on the Net Greenhouse Effect in the Red River Valley, Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. L.

    2004-12-01

    Fluxes for the suite of biologically-produced greenhouse gases (CH4, N2O and CO2) are strongly influenced by agriculture, yet the influence of organic agriculture on all three gases, which comprise the net greenhouse effect (GHE), is not clear in the context of large-scale agricultural production. Greenhouse gas mitigation potential will depend upon the net balance for all three gases [GHE balance (CO2 equiv.)= CO2 flux+ 23CH4flux + 296N2Oflux]. On-farm, field-scale experiments were performed to test the hypothesis that the net GHE at the soil-atmosphere interface is reduced under organic wheat production, compared with conventional, and that effects vary inter-seasonally. Trace gas fluxes were measured at the soil-atmosphere interface for organic and conventional wheat farms in the Red River Valley, Minnesota, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the US. We utilized 40-60 ha field pairs planted with hard red spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Treatment pairs were located 6km apart and consisted of fields continuously cropped for wheat/soybean/sugar beet production for over 20 yr. Ten random, permanent points were generated for each 8.1 ha sub-plot nested inside each field. Each field pair was similar with respect to crop, climate, cultivation history, tillage, rotation, soil texture, pH, macronutrients, bulk density, and water holding capacity. Differences between treatments for the last five years were soil amendments (compost or urea) and herbicide/fungicide application versus mechanical weed control. We collected gas fluxes at each of the 41 points from April (wheat emergence) until the end of July (maturity) to determine the hourly and seasonally integrated net GHE for each management practice, given similar soil/plant/climatic conditions. Moreover, we analyzed inter-seasonal variability to determine the relationship between wheat phenology and flux under field conditions for soil temperature and moisture (water-filled pore space). The net GHE

  1. Effect of organic amendments on quality indexes in an italian agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, R.; Rao, M. A.; D'Ascoli, R.; Scelza, R.; Marzaioli, R.; Rutigliano, F. A.; Gianfreda, L.

    2009-04-01

    Intensive agricultural practices can determine a decline in soil fertility which represents the main constraint to agricultural productivity. In particular, the progressive reduction in soil organic matter, without an adequate restoration, may threaten soil fertility and agriculture sustainability. Some soil management practices can improve soil quality by adding organic amendments as alternative to the sole use of mineral fertilizers for increasing plant quality and growth. A large number of soil properties can be used to define changes in soil quality. In particular, although more emphasis has been given in literature to physical and chemical properties, biological properties, strictly linked to soil fertility, can be valid even more sensitive indicators. Among these, soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass may provide an "early warning" of soil quality and health changes. The aim of this work was to study the effect of preventive sterilization treatment and organic fertilization on enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase, arylsulphatase, beta-glucosidase, phosphatase, urease) and microbial biomass C in an agricultural soil under crop rotation. The study was carried out on an agricultural soil sited in Campania region (South Italy). At the beginning of experiment sterilizing treatments to control soilborne pathogens and weeds were performed by solarization and calcium cyanamide addition to soil. Organic fertilization was carried out by adding compost from vegetable residues, ricin seed exhaust (Rigen) and straw, singly or in association. Three samplings were performed at three different stages of crop rotation: I) September 2005, immediately after the treatments; II) December 2005, after a lettuce cycle; III) January 2007, after peppers and lettuce cycles. The soil sampling followed a W scheme, with five sub-samples for each plot. Soils were sieved at 2 mm mesh and air dried to determine physical and chemical properties; in addition a suitable amount of soils

  2. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications worldwide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabraal, A.; Delasanta, D.; Rosen, J.; Nolfi, J.; Ulmer, R.

    1981-01-01

    Agricultural sector PV market assessments conducted in the Phillippines, Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco, and Colombia are extrapolated worldwide. The types of applications evaluated are those requiring less than 15 kW of power and operate in a stand alone mode. The major conclusions were as follows: PV will be competitive in applications requiring 2 to 3 kW of power prior to 1983; by 1986 PV system competitiveness will extend to applications requiring 4 to 6 kW of power, due to capital constraints, the private sector market may be restricted to applications requiring less than about 2 kW of power; the ultimate purchase of larger systems will be governments, either through direct purchase or loans from development banks. Though fragmented, a significant agriculture sector market for PV exists; however, the market for PV in telecommunications, signalling, rural services, and TV will be larger. Major market related factors influencing the potential for U.S. PV Sales are: lack of awareness; high first costs; shortage of long term capital; competition from German, French and Japanese companies who have government support; and low fuel prices in capital surplus countries. Strategies that may aid in overcoming some of these problems are: setting up of a trade association aimed at overcoming problems due to lack of awareness, innovative financing schemes such as lease arrangements, and designing products to match current user needs as opposed to attempting to change consumer behavior.

  3. Systems and methods for autonomously controlling agricultural machinery

    DOEpatents

    Hoskinson, Reed L.; Bingham, Dennis N.; Svoboda, John M.; Hess, J. Richard

    2003-07-08

    Systems and methods for autonomously controlling agricultural machinery such as a grain combine. The operation components of a combine that function to harvest the grain have characteristics that are measured by sensors. For example, the combine speed, the fan speed, and the like can be measured. An important sensor is the grain loss sensor, which may be used to quantify the amount of grain expelled out of the combine. The grain loss sensor utilizes the fluorescence properties of the grain kernels and the plant residue to identify when the expelled plant material contains grain kernels. The sensor data, in combination with historical and current data stored in a database, is used to identify optimum operating conditions that will result in increased crop yield. After the optimum operating conditions are identified, an on-board computer can generate control signals that will adjust the operation of the components identified in the optimum operating conditions. The changes result in less grain loss and improved grain yield. Also, because new data is continually generated by the sensor, the system has the ability to continually learn such that the efficiency of the agricultural machinery is continually improved.

  4. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabraal, A.; Delasanta, D.; Rosen, J.; Nolfi, J.; Ulmer, R.

    1981-11-01

    Agricultural sector PV market assessments conducted in the Phillippines, Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco, and Colombia are extrapolated worldwide. The types of applications evaluated are those requiring less than 15 kW of power and operate in a stand alone mode. The major conclusions were as follows: PV will be competitive in applications requiring 2 to 3 kW of power prior to 1983; by 1986 PV system competitiveness will extend to applications requiring 4 to 6 kW of power, due to capital constraints, the private sector market may be restricted to applications requiring less than about 2 kW of power; the ultimate purchase of larger systems will be governments, either through direct purchase or loans from development banks. Though fragmented, a significant agriculture sector market for PV exists; however, the market for PV in telecommunications, signalling, rural services, and TV will be larger. Major market related factors influencing the potential for U.S. PV Sales are: lack of awareness; high first costs; shortage of long term capital; competition from German, French and Japanese companies who have government support; and low fuel prices in capital surplus countries. Strategies that may aid in overcoming some of these problems are: setting up of a trade association aimed at overcoming problems due to lack of awareness, innovative financing schemes such as lease arrangements, and designing products to match current user needs as opposed to attempting to change consumer behavior.

  5. The organic agricultural waste as a basic source of biohydrogen production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sriwuryandari, Lies; Priantoro, E. Agung; Sintawardani, Neni; Astuti, J. Tri; Nilawati, Dewi; Putri, A. Mauliva Hada; Mamat, Sentana, Suharwadji; Sembiring, T.

    2016-02-01

    Biohydrogen production research was carried out using raw materials of agricultural organic waste that was obtained from markets around the Bandung city. The organic part, which consisted of agricultural waste material, mainly fruit and vegetable waste, was crushed and milled using blender. The sludge that produced from milling process was then used as a substrate for mixed culture microorganism as a raw material to produce biohydrogen. As much as 1.2 kg.day-1 of sludge (4% of total solid) was fed into bioreactor that had a capacity of 30L. Experiment was done under anaerobic fermentation using bacteria mixture culture that maintained at pH in the range of 5.6-6.5 and temperature of 25-30oC on semi-continuous mode. Parameters of analysis include pH, temperature, total solid (TS), organic total solid (OTS), total gas production, and hydrogen gas production. The results showed that from 4% of substrate resulted 897.86 L of total gas, which contained 660.74 L (73.59%) of hydrogen gas. The rate of hydrogen production in this study was 11,063 mol.L-1.h-1.

  6. Use of aerial photographs for assessment of soil organic carbon and delineation of agricultural management zones.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomeus, H.; Kooistra, L.

    2012-04-01

    For quantitative estimation of soil properties by means of remote sensing, often hyperspectral data are used. But these data are scarce and expensive, which prohibits wider implementation of the developed techniques in agricultural management. For precision agriculture, observations at a high spatial resolution are required. Colour aerial photographs at this scale are widely available, and can be acquired at no of very low costs. Therefore, we investigated whether publically available aerial photographs can be used to a) automatically delineate management zones and b) estimate levels of organic carbon spatially. We selected three study areas within the Netherlands that cover a large variance in soil type (peat, sand, and clay). For the fields of interest, RGB aerial photographs with a spatial resolution of 50 cm were extracted from a publically available data provider. Further pre-processing exists of geo-referencing only. Since the images originate from different sources and are potentially acquired under unknown illumination conditions, the exact radiometric properties of the data are unknown. Therefore, we used spectral indices to emphasize the differences in reflectance and normalize for differences in radiometry. To delineate management zones we used image segmentation techniques, using the derived indices as input. Comparison with management zone maps as used by the farmers shows that there is good correspondence. Regression analysis between a number of soil properties and the derived indices shows that organic carbon is the major explanatory variable for differences in index values within the fields. However, relations do not hold for large regions, indicating that local models will have to be used, which is a problem that is also still relevant for hyperspectral remote sensing data. With this research, we show that low-cost aerial photographs can be a valuable tool for quantitative analysis of organic carbon and automatic delineation of management zones

  7. Influence of subsurface drainage on quantity and quality of dissolved organic matter export from agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalzell, Brent J.; King, Jennifer Y.; Mulla, David J.; Finlay, Jacques C.; Sands, Gary R.

    2011-06-01

    Despite its importance for aquatic ecosystem function and watershed carbon budgets, little is known about how land use influences dissolved organic matter (DOM) export. We investigated the influence of subsurface soil drainage, widespread in the Midwestern United States, on DOM export from agricultural fields designed to drain water at either 13 mm d-1 (conventional) or 51 mm d-1 (intense). Intense drainage exported 55% (±22%) more dissolved organic carbon (DOC) per year than conventional drainage due to both increased concentration and water yield. DOC export from plots was strongly dependent on precipitation and showed considerable interannual variability. Mean DOC concentrations in drainage water were low (1.62 and 1.87 mg L-1 for conventional and intense treatments), and fluorescence index (FI) measurements showed that it had a microbial source with little evidence of terrestrially derived material, suggesting that flow through deeper, organic-poor soil horizons is important in regulating DOC export from these plots. We compared DOM in subsurface drains with downstream ditch and stream sites. Increases in DOC concentration and molecular weight accompanied by decreasing FI values at downstream sites showed that streams gain a large amount of terrestrially derived DOM during base flow transport through agricultural landscapes, probably from riparian zones. These results show that DOM compositional characteristics change with catchment area and that the relevant observation scale for DOM dynamics is likely to vary among watersheds. This study also demonstrates that land management practices can directly affect DOC via changes to water flow paths. These results are critical for improving model estimates of DOM export from agricultural landscapes as well as predicting how DOC export will respond to changing land use and climate.

  8. 7 CFR 205.670 - Inspection and testing of agricultural products to be sold or labeled as “100 percent organic...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... food group(s)).â 205.670 Section 205.670 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture... ingredients or food group(s)).” (a) All agricultural products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as “100 percent organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))”...

  9. 7 CFR 205.670 - Inspection and testing of agricultural products to be sold or labeled as “100 percent organic...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... food group(s)).â 205.670 Section 205.670 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture... ingredients or food group(s)).” (a) All agricultural products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as “100 percent organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))”...

  10. TECHNOLOGY, COMPLEXITY AND CHANGE IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technological advances have greatly impacted agricultural production. Some innovations have been specifically designed to address problems or shortcomings in current production practices, while others have been borrowed from other disciplines and adapted to agriculture. Many of the advances in agric...

  11. Evolution of the knowledge system for agricultural development in the Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    McCullough, Ellen B.; Matson, Pamela A.

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge systems—networks of linked actors, organizations, and objects that perform a number of knowledge-related functions that link knowledge and know how with action—have played a key role in fostering agricultural development over the last 50 years. We examine the evolution of the knowledge system of the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, a region often described as the home of the green revolution for wheat, tracing changes in the functions of critical knowledge system participants, information flows, and research priorities. Most of the knowledge system's key players have been in place for many decades, although their roles have changed in response to exogenous and endogenous shocks and trends (e.g., drought, policy shifts, and price trends). The system has been agile and able to respond to challenges, in part because of the diversity of players (evolving roles of actors spanning research–decision maker boundaries) and also because of the strong and consistent role of innovative farmers. Although the agricultural research agenda in the Valley is primarily controlled from within the agricultural sector, outside voices have become an important influence in broadening development- and production-oriented perspectives to sustainability perspectives. PMID:21606365

  12. Influence of sustainable management on aggregate stability and soil organic matter on agricultural soil of southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugan-Coronado, Alicia; Arcenegui, Victoria; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Gomez-Lucas, Ignacio; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2016-04-01

    Intensive agriculture has increased crop yields but also posed severe environmental problems. Unsustainable land management such as excessive tillage can lead to a loss of soil fertility and a drastic reduction in the aggregate stability and soil organic matter content. However sustainable agriculture can keep good crop yields with minimal impact on ecological factors conserving the soil quality and its ecosystem services. Sustainable agriculture management promotes the maintenance of soil organic matter levels providing plant nutrients through the microbial decomposition of organic materials. Also this management has a positive effect on soil structure with the improvement of stability of aggregates. The resistance of soil aggregates to the slaking and dispersive effects of water (aggregate stability) is important for maintaining the structure in arable soils. Our purpose was to investigate and compare the effects of sustainable agricultural practices versus intensive agriculture on aggregate stability and soil organic matter. Three agricultural areas are being monitored in the southern of Spain, two of them with citrus orchards (AL) and (FE) and one with grapevine(PA). In all of them two agricultural treatments are being developed, organic with no-tillage management(O) and inorganic fertilization with herbicide application and intensive tillage (I). The sustainable agricultural management (manure, no tillage and vegetation cover) contributed to the improve of soil conditions, increasing organic matter and aggregate stability. Meanwhile, herbicide treatment and intensive tillage with inorganic fertilization managements resulted in the decreasing of aggregate stability and low levels of soil organic carbon. Soil organic matter content is generally low in all unsustainable treatments plots and tends to decline in aggregate stability and soil physical condition. In both treatments the crop yield are comparable.

  13. Differences in Aquatic Communities Between Wetlands Created by an Agricultural Water Recycling System

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Establishment of an agricultural water recycling system known as the wetland reservoir subirrigation system (WRSIS) results in the creation of wetlands adjacent to agricultural fields. Each WRSIS consists of one wetland designed to process agricultural chemicals (WRSIS wetlands) and one wetland to s...

  14. Soil organic carbon fractionation for improving agricultural soil quality diagnosis in different management practices.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigalet, Sylvain; Chartin, Caroline; Kruger, Inken; Carnol, Monique; Van Oost, Kristof; van Wesemael, Bas

    2016-04-01

    Preserving ecosystem functions of soil organic matter (SOM) in soils is a key challenge. The need for an efficient diagnosis of SOM state in agricultural soils is a priority in order to facilitate the detection of changes in soil quality as a result of changes in management practices. The nature of SOM is complex and cannot readily be monitored due to the heterogeneity of its components. Assessment of the SOM level dynamics, typically characterized as the bulk soil organic carbon (SOC), can be refined by taking into account carbon pools with different turnover rates and stability. Fractionating bulk SOC in meaningful soil organic fractions helps to better diagnose SOC status. By separating carbon associated with clay and fine silt particles (stable carbon with slow turnover rate) and carbon non-associated with this fraction (labile and intermediate carbon with higher turnover rates), effects of management can be detected more efficiently at different spatial and temporal scales. Until now, most work on SOC fractionation has focused on small spatial scales along management or time gradients. The present case study focuses on SOC fractionation applied in order to refine the interpretation of organic matter turnover and SOC sequestration for regional units in Wallonia with comparable climate, management and, to a certain extent, soil conditions. In each unit, random samples from specific land uses are analyzed in order to assess the Normal Operative Ranges (NOR) of SOC fraction contents for each unit and land use combination. Thus, SOC levels of the different fractions of a specific field in a given unit can be compared to its corresponding NOR. It will help to better diagnose agricultural soil quality in terms of organic carbon compared to a bulk SOC diagnosis.

  15. The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial 1981 to 2005: Long Term Analysis of Organic and Conventional Maize and Soybean Cropping Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The high cost of farmers transitioning to organic agriculture, the low nitrogen availability, and high weed competition associated with organic production systems are viewed as the chief obstacles of organic competing with conventional agriculture. The Rodale Institute, in collaboration with USDA A...

  16. Carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural soils amended with livestock-derived organic materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pezzolla, D.; Said-Pullicino, D.; Gigliotti, G.

    2009-04-01

    Carbon dioxide gas xchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, as well as the carbon sink strength of various arable land ecosystems, is of primary interest for global change research. Measures for increasing soil C inputs include the preferential use of livestock-derived organic materials (e.g. animal manure and slurries, digestate from biogas production plants and compost). The application of such materials to agricultural soils returns essential nutrients for plant growth and organic matter to maintain long-term fertility. Whether or not such practices ultimately result in sustained C sequestration at the ecosystem level will depend on their mineralization rates. This work presents preliminary results from a laboratory incubation trial to evaluate carbon dioxide fluxes from two agricultural soils (a calcareous silt loam and a silty clay loam) amended with agricultural doses of (i) pig slurry (PSL), (ii) the digestate from the anaerobic fermentation of pig slurries (AAS) and (ii) a compost from the aerobic stabilisation of the digestate (LDC). These subsequent steps of slurry stabilisation resulted in a decrease in the content of labile organic matter which was reflected in a reduction in maximum carbon dioxide emission rates from amended soils. Measurements have shown that peak emissions from soils occur immediately after application of these organic materials (within 5 days) and decrease in the order PSL > AAS > LDC. Moreover, mean cumulative emissions over the first 40 days showed that a higher percentage (about 44%) of the C added with PSL was mineralised respect to C added with AAS (39%) and LDC (25%). Although it was hypothesised that apart from the quantity and stability of the added organic materials, even soil characteristics could influence C mineralisation rates, no significant differences were observed between emission fluxes for similarly treated soils. Mean cumulative emission fluxes after 40 days from treatment were of 114, 103 and

  17. How can soil organic carbon stocks in agriculture be maintained or increased?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Don, Axel; Leifeld, Jens

    2015-04-01

    CO2 emissions from soils are 10 times higher than anthropogenic CO2 emissions from fossil burning with around 60 Pg C a-1. At the same time around 60 Pg of carbon is added to the soils as litter from roots and leaves. Thus, the balance between both fluxes is supposed to be zero for the global earth system in steady state without human perturbations. However, the global carbon flux has been altered by humans since thousands of years by extracting biomass carbon as food, feed and fiber with global estimate of 40% of net primary productivity (NPP). This fraction is low in forests but agricultural systems, in particular croplands, are systems with a high net exported carbon fraction. Soils are mainly input driven systems. Agricultural soils depend on input to compensate directly for i) respiration losses, ii) extraction of carbon (and nitrogen) and depletion (e.g. via manure) or indirectly via enhances NPP (e.g. via fertilization management). In a literature review we examined the role of biomass extraction and carbon input via roots, crop residues and amendments (manure, slurry etc.) to agricultural soil's carbon stocks. Recalcitrance of biomass carbon was found to be of minor importance for long-term carbon storage. Thus, also the impact of crop type on soil carbon dynamics seems mainly driven by the amount of crop residuals of different crop types. However, we found distinct differences in the efficiency of C input to refill depleted soil C stocks between above ground C input or below ground root litter C input, with root-C being more efficient due to slower turnover rates. We discuss the role of different measures to decrease soil carbon turnover (e.g. decreased tillage intensity) as compared to measures that increase C input (e.g. cover crops) in the light of global developments in agricultural management with ongoing specialization and segregation between catch crop production and dairy farms.

  18. The limitations of environmental management systems in Australian agriculture.

    PubMed

    Cary, John; Roberts, Anna

    2011-03-01

    The efficacy of government-supported programs to encourage improved management of land and water systems associated with agricultural land in Australia has been mixed. The broad approach of Australian governments is reviewed briefly. Evidence is presented from case assessments of a program to promote adoption of environmental management systems (EMSs) to improve environmental outcomes from agricultural practices. EMSs are systems implemented to manage the environmental impacts and ameliorate environmental risk associated with business activity. Data are presented on reported EMS activity and experience of four selected groups of farmers in Victoria, south-eastern Australia, representing broad-acre cropping, beef and dairy farming. The pro-environmental behaviours of farmers were mediated through voluntary adoption of government and industry sponsored EMSs, often with financial incentives and other support. Findings from the study were that adoption of EMS practices with sufficient public benefits is unlikely to occur at sufficient scale for significant environmental impact. Farmers more readily adopted practices which were financially beneficial than those which had a positive environmental impact. Although the focus on voluntary market-based instrument (MBI) type programs is popular in western countries, enforcing regulation is an important, but usually politically unpopular, component of land use policy. The comparative advantage of EMSs differed for the industries studied, but overall there were insufficient market drivers for widespread EMS adoption in Australia. Environmental outcomes could be more effectively achieved by directly funding land management practices which have highest public net benefits. Having a clear and unambiguous management objective for a particular land management policy is more likely to achieve outcomes than having multiple objectives as occurs in a number of international programs currently. PMID:21084146

  19. WEBGIS based CropWatch online agriculture monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, X.; Wu, B.; Zeng, H.; Zhang, M.; Yan, N.

    2015-12-01

    CropWatch, which was developed by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has achieved breakthrough results in the integration of methods, independence of the assessments and support to emergency response by periodically releasing global agricultural information. Taking advantages of the multi-source remote sensing data and the openness of the data sharing policies, CropWatch group reported their monitoring results by publishing four bulletins one year. In order to better analysis and generate the bulletin and provide an alternative way to access agricultural monitoring indicators and results in CropWatch, The CropWatch online system based on the WEBGIS techniques has been developed. Figure 1 shows the CropWatch online system structure and the system UI in Clustering mode. Data visualization is sorted into three different modes: Vector mode, Raster mode and Clustering mode. Vector mode provides the statistic value for all the indicators over each monitoring units which allows users to compare current situation with historical values (average, maximum, etc.). Users can compare the profiles of each indicator over the current growing season with the historical data in a chart by selecting the region of interest (ROI). Raster mode provides pixel based anomaly of CropWatch indicators globally. In this mode, users are able to zoom in to the regions where the notable anomaly was identified from statistic values in vector mode. Data from remote sensing image series at high temporal and low spatial resolution provide key information in agriculture monitoring. Clustering mode provides integrated information on different classes in maps, the corresponding profiles for each class and the percentage of area of each class to the total area of all classes. The time series data is categorized into limited types by the ISODATA algorithm. For each clustering type, pixels on the map, profiles, and percentage legend are all linked

  20. Public Sector Agricultural Extension System Reform and the Challenges Ahead

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivera, William M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper is organized into two main sections. The first section examines extension as an engine for innovation and reviews the numerous priorities confronting extension systems. Section two highlights the current knowledge imperative and the critical connection of extension to post-secondary higher education and training, organizational…

  1. Agroforestry Systems in Zimbabwe: Promoting Trees in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vukasin, Helen L., Ed.

    Agroforestry has been defined as a sustainable crop management system which combines the production of forest crops with field crops. In June, 1987, an agroforestry workshop took place in Nyanga, Manicaland, Zimbabwe. This document was prepared to share the information presented at this workshop with other non-government organizations around the…

  2. Dissolved Organic Carbon as a Drinking Water Constituent of Concern in California Agricultural Watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellerin, B. A.; Bergamaschi, B. A.; Downing, B. D.; Bachand, P. A.; Deverel, S.; Kendall, C.

    2007-12-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the breakdown of plant and animal material is a concern for drinking water quality in California due to the potential formation of carcinogenic byproducts during disinfection. Agricultural DOC loading to surface water is a significant concern, but the sources and reactivity in agricultural runoff remains poorly understood. Here we present data on DOC dynamics in surface water from the Willow Slough watershed, a 425\\- km2 agricultural catchment in the Sacramento Valley, California. Samples collected weekly during 2006 and 2007 were analyzed for DOC concentration, optical properties (UV absorbance and fluorescence), 13C\\- DOC isotopes, and trihalomethane formation potential (a regulated disinfection byproduct formed during chlorination). DOC concentrations at the watershed mouth ranged from 2 to 4 mg/L during winter and spring, with a clear increase in DOC concentrations to more than 7 mg L following the onset of summer irrigation. The 13C\\- DOC values revealed a large range (-19 to -27 ‰), with lowest values during winter baseflow and higher values during summer and winter storms. Spectral slopes also varied seasonally (0.012 to 0.020), with steeper slopes during winter baseflow. Both isotopic and optical data provide evidence for algal\\- derived DOC during the winter baseflow and terrestrial sources during winter storms and summer irrigation. Total THM formation potential was higher in winter than summer, and is strongly correlated to DOC concentrations in surface waters (r2 = 0.87). In contrast to the total THM formation potential, the specific THM formation potential (e.g., total THM normalized to DOC) decreased during the summer irrigation season, suggesting a change in reactivity related to DOC source or degradation. Additional data from plant leachates and ground water will be discussed, as well as the implications of watershed management on DOC dynamics and reactivity in agriculturally-dominated landscapes.

  3. Resistance and resilience of N and P cycling microbes in differently managed agricultural systems after heat perturbation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Priyashiela; Scow, Kate

    2013-04-01

    Agricultural management and resistance and resilience of microbial communities is key to long-term agricultural sustainability. Agricultural management practices impact soil through physical disturbance, inputs of fertilizers and pesticides, and cultivation of monoculture or low-diversity plant systems. Resistance and resilience of soil microbial communities to disturbance events is a topic of growing importance with predicted rising temperatures and large unpredictability in rainfall patterns associated with global climate change. Diverse microbial communities are essential for the sustainability of agriculture. Previous research has focused on the resistance of soil systems in relation to total microbial biomass but has ignored relationships with specific functional groups of microbes. Denitrifiers are key organisms in N cycling and these organisms control the pools of plant-available N in soil, while alkaline phosphatase is a key microbially produced enzyme involved in the regulation of pools of available phosphate. In this soil incubation experiment abundance of total bacteria and archaea were quantified along with denitrifying and alkaline phosphatase genes after subjecting differently managed agricultural soils to severe temperature perturbation (60 oC for 15 minutes). The organic treatment showed the lowest resistance and resilience in terms of total bacterial and archaeal abundance but was resilient in terms of respiration activity. The high input systems show lower resistance for key functional groups of N and P cycling organisms compared to low input systems. However, all of the differently managed soils have similar resilience and show higher levels of N cycling organisms and lower levels of P cycling organisms after 30 days compared to starting levels.

  4. Analysis agriculture's impact in a system of lakes on a karst environment with tropical climate.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olea Olea, Selene; Escolero Fuentes, Oscar

    2015-04-01

    This paper has as main object to analyze the impact of agriculture in the water quality of the "Lagos de Montebello" area; which is located in the Southeast of Mexico. This area is prominent by its tropical climate and a karstic environment. The issue arises in a lake system affected by pollution in the later years, which has turned its former clear water into a highly sedimented muddy water in the topographically lower terrains while no polluted on the higher ones; therefore it is intended to determine if the rise in agricultural activity in the lower terrains has induced this phenomenon. The impact of agriculture has been historically studied in temperate climates with karstic environments; nevertheless it has not been very well studied in tropical climates; which are the reason of this proposal to perform a study to analyze the impact of the intensive agriculture running in the area. To develop this project we studied the area regarding to the types of crops that has being established in the zone, being mostly tomato, corn, and bean; and the fertilizers and pesticides applied to them. A groundwater monitoring plan was designed with a variety of phases such as: piezometers building, measurement of groundwater levels, measurement of field parameters, with a two months intervals (Ph, temperature, electric conductivity, total dissolved solids), and water samplings for laboratory analysis (major ions, nutrients, total organic carbon, pesticides) at twice a year, once during rainy season and then on drought. The rates of pollution agents infiltration depends on the type of soil retention and volume of water. The materials found in the soil by the piezometers are clay, silt, sand and variations between them. We determined that the geochemical qualities of the groundwater vary from calcic bicarbonate to calcic sulfated. The results reached with this monitoring provides a preliminary diagnosis on the possible causes and other implications that intensive agriculture in a

  5. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    PubMed

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row

  6. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N.; Robertson, G. Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and NO3--N levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4–5 times during each growing season and analyzed for NO3--N and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3—N. Red clover cover crop increased NO3--N by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on NO3--N in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row-crop agricultural systems. PMID:26600462

  7. The role of hydrologic regimes on dissolved organic carbon composition in an agricultural watershed

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hernes, P.J.; Spencer, R.G.M.; Dyda, R.Y.; Pellerin, B.A.; Bachand, P.A.M.; Bergamaschi, B.A.

    2008-01-01

    Willow Slough, a seasonally irrigated agricultural watershed in the Sacramento River valley, California, was sampled weekly in 2006 in order to investigate seasonal concentrations and compositions of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Average DOC concentrations nearly doubled from winter baseflow (2.75 mg L-1) to summer irrigation (5.14 mg L-1), while a concomitant increase in carbon-normalized vanillyl phenols (0.11 mg 100 mg OC-1 increasing to 0.31 mg 100 mg OC-1, on average) indicates that this additional carbon is likely vascular plant-derived. A strong linear relationship between lignin concentration and total suspended sediments (r2 = 0.79) demonstrates that agricultural management practices that mobilize sediments will likely have a direct and significant impact on DOC composition. The original source of vascular plant-derived DOC to Willow Slough appears to be the same throughout the year as evidenced by similar syringyl to vanillyl and cinnamyl to vanillyl ratios. However, differing diagenetic pathways during winter baseflow as compared to the rest of the year are evident in acid to aldehyde ratios of both vanillyl and syringyl phenols. The chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) absorption coefficient at 350 nm showed a strong correlation with lignin concentration (r2 = 0.83). Other CDOM measurements related to aromaticity and molecular weight also showed correlations with carbon-normalized yields (e.g. specific UV absorbance at 254 nm (r2 = 0.57) and spectral slope (r2 = 0.54)). Our overall findings suggest that irrigated agricultural watersheds like Willow Slough can potentially have a significant impact on mainstem DOC concentration and composition when scaled to the entire watershed of the main tributary. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Modeling Soil Organic Carbon for Agricultural Land Use Under Various Management Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotamarthi, V. R.; Drewniak, B.; Song, J.; Prell, J.; Jacob, R. L.

    2009-12-01

    Bioenergy is generating tremendous interest as an alternative energy source that is both environmentally friendly and economically competitive. The amount of land designated for agriculture is expected to expand, including changes in the current distribution of crops, as demand for biofuels increases as a carbon neutral alternative fuel source. However, the influence of agriculture on the carbon cycle is complex, and varies depending on land use change and management practices. The purpose of this research is to integrate agriculture in the carbon-nitrogen based Community Land Model (CLM) to evaluate the above and below ground carbon storage for corn, soybean, and wheat crop lands. The new model, CLM-Crop simulates carbon allocation during four growth stages, a soybean nitrogen fixation scheme, fertilizer, and harvest practices. We present results from this model simulation, which includes the impact of a new dynamic roots module to simulate the changing root structure and depth with growing season based on the availability of water and nitrogen in the root zone and a retranslocation scheme to simulate redistribution of nitrogen from leaves, roots, and stems to grain during organ development for crop yields, leaf area index (LAI), carbon allocation, and changes in soil carbon budgets under various practices such as fertilizer and residue management. Simulated crop yields for corn, soybean and wheat are in general agreement with measurements. Initial model results indicate a loss of soil organic carbon over cultivated lands after removal of natural vegetation which continues in the following years. Soil carbon in crop lands is a strong function of the residue management and has the potential to impact crop yields significantly.

  9. In situ measurements of organic matter dynamics during a storm event in an agricultural watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellerin, B. A.; Saraceno, J.; Downing, B. D.; Bachand, P. A.; Bergamaschi, B. A.

    2008-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the breakdown of plant and animal material is a significant concern for drinking water quality in California due to the potential formation of carcinogenic disinfection byproducts during treatment. Winter storms are important forcing events on the California landscape, but the extent to which they impart rapid changes in DOM and other biogeochemical variables is poorly understood. In situ optical measurements are useful as they can be made autonomously at high temporal resolution, aiding in the quantification of rapid changes in the DOM pool. We collected in situ and discrete samples during a storm event period (Feb 22-March 3, 2008) at the mouth of the 415 km2 agricultural Willow Slough watershed. The watershed is characterized by steep grasslands in the headwaters and agriculture (largely in alfalfa, rice, tomato, grasses and orchard) in the valley. The in situ optical measurements included turbidity, chromophoric DOM fluorescence (cDOM), and nitrate (NO3-) concentrations, along with a suite of ancillary parameters. Discharge and turbidity were strongly correlated at peak flow and increased by over two orders of magnitude, while the peak cDOM lagged the peak in turbidity by ten hours. The cDOM values increased by nearly 4 fold and were highly correlated with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations (r2=0.97), providing a highly resolved proxy for DOC throughout the flow event. Specific UV absorbance (an indicator of DOM aromaticity) doubled at the DOC peak, while decreases in both the spectral slope (a proxy for DOM molecular weight) and δ13C-DOM during the same period support terrestrially- derived DOM contributions at peak flows. The lag to peak cDOM behind peak discharge presumably reflects the draining of watershed soils and delayed surface runoff of natural and agricultural landscapes. Together, laboratory and in situ data provide insights into the timing and magnitude of changes in DOM quantity and quality during

  10. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications worldwide

    SciTech Connect

    Cabraal, A.; Delasanta, D.; Rosen, J.; Nolfi, J.; Ulmer, R.

    1981-11-01

    This report integrates and extrapolates worldwide the results of the agricultural sector PV market assessments conducted in the Philippines, Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco, and Colombia. The types of applications evaluated are those requiring less than 15 kW of power and operate in a stand-alone mode. The study focused on the needs of low- and middle-income countries. The major conclusions derived from the studies were as follows: PV will be competitive in applications requiring 2 - 3 kW of power prior to 1983; by 1986 PV system competitiveness will extend to applications requiring 4 - 6 kW of power, due to capital constraints, the private sector market may be restricted to applications requiring less than about 2 kW of power; the ultimate purchase of larger systems will be governments, either through direct purchase or loans from development banks. Though fragmented, significant agriculture sector market for PV exists; however the market for PV in telecommunications, signalling, rural services, and TV will be larger. Major market-related factors influencing the potential for US PV sales are: lack of awareness; high first costs; shortage of long-term capital; competition from German, French and Japanese companies who have their governments support; and low fuel prices in capital surplus countries. Strategies that may aid in overcoming some of these problems are: setting up of a trade association aimed at overcoming problems due to lack of awareness, innovative financing schemes such as lease arrangements, and designing products to match current user needs as opposed to attempting to change consumer behavior.

  11. A speech recognition system for data collection in precision agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dux, David Lee

    Agricultural producers have shown interest in collecting detailed, accurate, and meaningful field data through field scouting, but scouting is labor intensive. They use yield monitor attachments to collect weed and other field data while driving equipment. However, distractions from using a keyboard or buttons while driving can lead to driving errors or missed data points. At Purdue University, researchers have developed an ASR system to allow equipment operators to collect georeferenced data while keeping hands and eyes on the machine during harvesting and to ease georeferencing of data collected during scouting. A notebook computer retrieved locations from a GPS unit and displayed and stored data in Excel. A headset microphone with a single earphone collected spoken input while allowing the operator to hear outside sounds. One-, two-, or three-word commands activated appropriate VBA macros. Four speech recognition products were chosen based on hardware requirements and ability to add new terms. After training, speech recognition accuracy was 100% for Kurzweil VoicePlus and Verbex Listen for the 132 vocabulary words tested, during tests walking outdoors or driving an ATV. Scouting tests were performed by carrying the system in a backpack while walking in soybean fields. The system recorded a point or a series of points with each utterance. Boundaries of points showed problem areas in the field and single points marked rocks and field corners. Data were displayed as an Excel chart to show a real-time map as data were collected. The information was later displayed in a GIS over remote sensed field images. Field corners and areas of poor stand matched, with voice data explaining anomalies in the image. The system was tested during soybean harvest by using voice to locate weed patches. A harvester operator with little computer experience marked points by voice when the harvester entered and exited weed patches or areas with poor crop stand. The operator found the

  12. Fate of Escherichia coli O157: H7 in agricultural soils amended with different organic fertilizers.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zhiyuan; Yang, Li; Wang, Haizhen; Wu, Jianjun; Xu, Jianming

    2015-10-15

    Five organic fertilizers (vermicompost, pig manure, chicken manure, peat and oil residue) were applied to agricultural soils to study their effects on the survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7). Results showed that E. coli O157:H7 survival changed greatly after organic fertilizers application, with shorter td values (survival time needed to reach the detection limit of 100 CFU g(-1)) (12.57±6.57 days) in soils amended with chicken manure and the longest (25.65±7.12 days) in soils amended with pig manure. Soil pH, EC and free Fe/Al (hydro) oxides were significant explanatory factors for E. coli O157:H7 survival in the original soils. Soil constituents (minerals and organic matter) and changes in their surface charges with pH increased the effect of soil pH on E. coli O157:H7 survival. However, electrical conductivity played a more important role in regulating E. coli O157:H7 survival in fertilizer-amended soils. This study highlighted the importance of choosing appropriate organic fertilizers in the preharvest environment to reduce food-borne bacterial contamination. PMID:25910457

  13. A new baseline of organic carbon stock in European agricultural soils using a modelling approach.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Proposed European policy in the agricultural sector will place higher emphasis on soil organic carbon (SOC), both as an indicator of soil quality and as a means to offset CO2 emissions through soil carbon (C) sequestration. Despite detailed national SOC data sets in several European Union (EU) Member States, a consistent C stock estimation at EU scale remains problematic. Data are often not directly comparable, different methods have been used to obtain values (e.g. sampling, laboratory analysis) and access may be restricted. Therefore, any evolution of EU policies on C accounting and sequestration may be constrained by a lack of an accurate SOC estimation and the availability of tools to carry out scenario analysis, especially for agricultural soils. In this context, a comprehensive model platform was established at a pan-European scale (EU + Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Norway) using the agro-ecosystem SOC model CENTURY. Almost 164 000 combinations of soil-climate-land use were computed, including the main arable crops, orchards and pasture. The model was implemented with the main management practices (e.g. irrigation, mineral and organic fertilization, tillage) derived from official statistics. The model results were tested against inventories from the European Environment and Observation Network (EIONET) and approximately 20 000 soil samples from the 2009 LUCAS survey, a monitoring project aiming at producing the first coherent, comprehensive and harmonized top-soil data set of the EU based on harmonized sampling and analytical methods. The CENTURY model estimation of the current 0-30 cm SOC stock of agricultural soils was 17.63 Gt; the model uncertainty estimation was below 36% in half of the NUTS2 regions considered. The model predicted an overall increase of this pool according to different climate-emission scenarios up to 2100, with C loss in the south and east of the area

  14. Efficient nitrogen recycling through sustainable use of organic wastes in agriculture - an Australian case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigby, Hannah; Landman, Michael; Collins, David; Walton, Katrina; Penney, Nancy; Pritchard, Deborah

    2014-05-01

    The effective recycling of nutrients in treated sewage sludge (biosolids) domestic (e.g. source separated food waste), agricultural, and commercial and industrial (C&I) biowastes (e.g. food industry wastes, papermill sludge) for use on land, generally following treatment (e.g. composting, anaerobic digestion or thermal conversion technologies) as alternatives to conventional mineral fertilisers in Australia can have economic benefits, ensure food security, and close the nutrient loop. In excess of 75% of Australian agricultural soils have less than 1% organic matter (OM), and, with 40 million tonnes of solid waste per year potentially available as a source of OM, biowastes also build soil carbon (C) stocks that improve soil structure, fertility and productivity, and enhance soil ecosystem services. In recent years, the increasing cost of conventional mineral fertilisers, combined with changing weather patterns have placed additional pressure on regional and rural communities. Nitrogen (N) is generally the most limiting nutrient to crop production, and the high-energy required and GHGs associated with its manufacture mean that, additionally, it is critical to use N efficiently and recycle N resources where possible. Biosolids and biowastes have highly variable organic matter (OM) and nutrient contents, with N often present in a variety of forms only some of which are plant-available. The N value is further influenced by treatment process, storage and fundamental soil processes. The correct management of N in biowastes is essential to reduce environmental losses through leaching or runoff and negative impacts on drinking water sources and aquatic ecosystems. Gaseous N emissions also impact upon atmospheric quality and climate change. Despite the body of work to investigate N supply from biosolids, recent findings indicate that historic and current management of agricultural applications of N from biosolids and biowastes in Australia may still be inefficient leading

  15. Application Of Colored Petri Net In Modeling Ofan Agricultural Enterprise Informationmanagement System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Fangtian; Wang, Kaiyi; Sui, Jin; Liu, Chang; Liu, Zhongqiang

    Business system modeling of an agricultural enterprise is one of the difficulties in developing and researching an agricultural enterprise management information system. Given the inadequate description of concurrent and synchronal events in the traditional modeling methods, this paper presents a modeling method, which uses Colored Petri Net. The paper discusses the application of Colored Petri Net in system modeling with the example of an agricultural enterprise production management system model, and analyzes the feasibility and effectiveness of that model.

  16. Economic feasibility of agricultural alcohol production within a biomass system

    SciTech Connect

    Hertzmark, D.; Flaim, S.; Ray, D.; Parvin, G.

    1980-12-01

    The technical and economic feasibility of agricultural alcohol production in the United States is discussed. The beverage fermentation processes are compared and contrasted with the wet milling of corn, and alternative agricultural products for alcohol production are discussed. Alcohol costs for different fermentation methods and for various agricultural crops (corn, sugar cane, sugar beets, etc.) are presented, along with a brief discussion of US government policy implications. (JMT)

  17. Participatory geographic information systems for agricultural water management scenario development: A Tanzanian case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cinderby, Steve; Bruin, Annemarieke de; Mbilinyi, Boniface; Kongo, Victor; Barron, Jennie

    One of the keys to environmental management is to understand the impact and interaction of people with natural resources as a means to improve human welfare and the consequent environmental sustainability for future generations. In terms of water management one of the on-going challenges is to assess what impact interventions in agriculture, and in particularly different irrigation strategies, will have on livelihoods and water resources in the landscape. Whilst global and national policy provide the overall vision of desired outcomes for environmental management, agricultural development and water use strategies they are often presented with local challenges to embed these policies in the reality on the ground, with different stakeholder groups. The concept that government agencies, advocacy organizations, and private citizens should work together to identify mutually acceptable solutions to environmental and water resource issues is increasing in prominence. Participatory spatial engagement techniques linked to geographic information systems (commonly termed participatory GIS (PGIS)) offers one solution to facilitate such stakeholder dialogues in an efficient and consultative manner. In the context of agricultural water management multi-scale PGIS techniques have recently been piloted as part of the ‘Agricultural Water Management Solutions’ project to investigate the current use and dependencies of water by small-holder farmers a watershed in Tanzania. The piloted approach then developed PGIS scenarios describing the effects on livelihoods and water resources in the watershed when introducing different management technologies. These relatively rapid PGIS multi-scale methods show promise for assessing current and possible future agriculture water management technologies in terms of their bio-physical and socio-economic impacts at the watershed scale. The paper discusses the development of the methodology in the context of improved water management decision

  18. Polar and non-polar organic aerosols from large-scale agricultural-waste burning emissions in Northern India: Implications to organic mass-to-organic carbon ratio.

    PubMed

    Rajput, Prashant; Sarin, M M

    2014-05-01

    This study focuses on characteristics of organic aerosols (polar and non-polar) and total organic mass-to-organic carbon ratio (OM/OC) from post-harvest agricultural-waste (paddy- and wheat-residue) burning emissions in Northern India. Aerosol samples from an upwind location (Patiala: 30.2°N, 76.3°E) in the Indo-Gangetic Plain were analyzed for non-polar and polar fractions of organic carbon (OC1 and OC2) and their respective mass (OM1 and OM2). On average, polar organic aerosols (OM2) contribute nearly 85% of the total organic mass (OM) from the paddy- and wheat-residue burning emissions. The water-soluble-OC (WSOC) to OC2 ratio, within the analytical uncertainty, is close to 1 from both paddy- and wheat-residue burning emissions. However, temporal variability and relatively low WSOC/OC2 ratio (Av: 0.67±0.06) is attributed to high moisture content and poor combustion efficiency during paddy-residue burning, indicating significant contribution (∼30%) of aromatic carbon to OC2. The OM/OC ratio for non-polar (OM1/OC1∼1.2) and polar organic aerosols (OM2/OC2∼2.2), hitherto unknown for open agricultural-waste burning emissions, is documented in this study. The total OM/OC ratio is nearly identical, 1.9±0.2 and 1.8±0.2, from paddy- and wheat-residue burning emissions. PMID:24331033

  19. Life cycle assessment of domestic and agricultural rainwater harvesting systems.

    PubMed

    Ghimire, Santosh R; Johnston, John M; Ingwersen, Wesley W; Hawkins, Troy R

    2014-04-01

    To further understanding of the environmental implications of rainwater harvesting and its water savings potential relative to conventional U.S. water delivery infrastructure, we present a method to perform life cycle assessment of domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH) and agricultural rainwater harvesting (ARWH) systems. We also summarize the design aspects of DRWH and ARWH systems adapted to the Back Creek watershed, Virginia. The baseline design reveals that the pump and pumping electricity are the main components of DRWH and ARWH impacts. For nonpotable uses, the minimal design of DRWH (with shortened distribution distance and no pump) outperforms municipal drinking water in all environmental impact categories except ecotoxicity. The minimal design of ARWH outperforms well water in all impact categories. In terms of watershed sustainability, the two minimal designs reduced environmental impacts, from 58% to 78% energy use and 67% to 88% human health criteria pollutants, as well as avoiding up to 20% blue water (surface/groundwater) losses, compared to municipal drinking water and well water. We address potential environmental and human health impacts of urban and rural RWH systems in the region. The Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) model-based life cycle inventory data were used for this study. PMID:24605844

  20. Distribution of soil organic carbon in two small agricultural Mediterranean catchments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, J. A.; Burguet, M.; Taguas, M. E.; Perez, R.; Ayuso, J. L.; Vanwallgehem, T.; Giraldez, J. V.; Vanderlinden, K.

    2012-04-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a key indicator of soil quality and a major factor for evaluating carbon sequestration schemes in forest and agricultural soils. However, at the farm or catchment scale SOC presents a large spatial variability which complicates the evaluation of soil quality (Gomez et al., 2009) and the certification of the potential for carbon sequestration. We hypothesize that the typical row crop configuration of olive orchards, with cover crops or bare soil in-between the rows, can explain a vast proportion of this variability. However, it is also expected that agricultural activities and topography-driven erosion processes at different scales (Van Oost et al., 2007) will contribute to SOC variability. Given the complexity of this problem and the important experimental effort required to resolve it, there are to our knowledge relatively few studies that have addressed this issue, especially in agricultural soils under Mediterranean conditions. This communications presents a preliminary evaluation of the top 1-m SOC content at two small, 8 and 6.7-ha, catchments in Southern Spain, covered by olive groves, that were intensively sampled in 2011. Spatial variability of SOC is analyzed across tree rows, areas in-between tree rows, and at different depths. The SOC distribution is evaluated against the topography of the catchment and the intensity of the water erosion processes analyzed by a simple model, such as SEDD, as used by Ferro and Porto (2000) and Taguas et al. (2011). The results of this communication will explore and discuss the differences between both catchments, and suggest guidelines for further exploring the sources of SOC variability, while providing guidelines to improve SOC estimation at the field scale for certification purposes.

  1. The fate of organic carbon in colluvial soils in a subtropical agricultural catchment (Arvorezinha, Brazil)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van de Broek, Marijn; Van Oost, Kristof; Minella, Jean; Govers, Gerard

    2016-04-01

    One of the main reasons as to why soil erosion is considered to be a carbon sink for the atmosphere is that eroded carbon is often redeposited and buried in depositional environments. However, the quantification of the magnitude of this effect is still uncertain because the residence time of soil organic carbon in depositional environments is ill defined. The latter is especially true for tropical and subtropical areas as field data for these climatic zones are largely lacking. This is an important hiatus as ca. 40% of the total global arable land is located in the (sub-)tropics [1]. We collected samples from four depositional and one stable agricultural profile in a small agricultural catchment in Arvorezinha (Brazil) where deforestation started ca. 90 yrs ago. δ13C depth profiles allowed to identify the bottom of the original A-horizon: this is because δ13C values of the buried forest soils are significantly heavier than those of the colluvial deposits. The results show that soil organic carbon contents systematically decrease with depth below the actual plough layer. This is due to the fact that a significant fraction of the organic carbon that was originally deposited is removed by mineralization from these soils over decadal time scales. As the time of deforestation is known, age-depth curves could be established. Combining this information with SOC measurements allowed for a first estimate of carbon preservation rates and showed that after 70 years ca. 25% of the deposited organic carbon is released to the atmosphere: results were very consistent across profiles. In temperate environments, the time necessary for this fraction of the deposited carbon to be mineralized is somewhat longer, i.e. 100 years [2]. This suggests that soil organic carbon may be decomposed faster in sub-tropical environments in comparison to temperate environments. This is not unexpected, given the fact that average soil temperatures are higher and soils are, in this climate

  2. Organic particulate emissions from field burning of garden and agriculture residues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonçalves, Cátia; Evtyugina, Margarita; Alves, Célia; Monteiro, Cristina; Pio, Casimiro; Tomé, Mário

    2011-08-01

    To assess the particulate matter (PM) composition, the smoke from three different agriculture and garden residues, commonly subjected to open field burning in Northern Portugal (potato haulm (A), arable weed vegetation (B) and collard greens stalks/pruned green leafy-twigs (C)) have been sampled into 3 different size fractions (PM 2.5, PM 2.5-10 and PM > 10 ). To replicate another frequent practise of reducing or dispose agriculture/garden debris, residue C was complementarily burned in a metal container with addition of used lubricant oil. The size-segregated aerosol samples were analysed for elemental (EC) and organic (OC) carbon by a thermal-optical transmission technique. The organosoluble OC was fractionated by vacuum flash chromatography and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Burning of residue C produced the highest PM emissions. OC was the dominant carbonaceous component in all aerosol samples, contributing to about 98% of total carbon (TC). The detailed chemical profiles of particulate emissions, including organic tracer compounds, have been assessed. The contribution of phenolics (0.2-39% OC, w/w) and organic acids (1.5-13% OC, w/w) to OC was always predominant over other organic compounds, whose distribution patterns were found to vary from one residue to another. The polyphenols, as the guaiacyl derivatives, were particularly abundant in PM from the residue C burning, but anthropogenic constituents completely superimposed the emission profiles after addition of used lubricant oil. It was shown that the prevailing ambient conditions (such as high humidity) likely contributed to atmospheric processes (e.g. coagulation and hygroscopic growth), which influenced the particle size characteristics of the smoke tracers, shifting their distribution to larger diameters. Since it was shown that the relative contribution of different carbon forms and organic compounds may strongly depend on the size of the particulate matter, the barely

  3. Development of sensor systems for precision agriculture in cotton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture (PA) is an information-based technology, using detailed information within an agricultural field to optimize production inputs on a spatially variable basis, maximize farm profit, and minimize environmental impact. Information collection and processing plays a very important ro...

  4. Representative Agricultural Pathways and Climate Impact Assessment for Pacific Northwest Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MU, J.; Antle, J. M.; Zhang, H.; Capalbo, S. M.; Eigenbrode, S.; Kruger, C.; Stockle, C.; Wolfhorst, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) are projections of plausible future biophysical and socio-economic conditions used to carry out climate impact assessments for agriculture. The development of RAPs iss motivated by the fact that the various global and regional models used for agricultural climate change impact assessment have been implemented with individualized scenarios using various data and model structures, often without transparent documentation or public availability. These practices have hampered attempts at model inter-comparison, improvement, and synthesis of model results across studies. This paper aims to (1) present RAPs developed for the principal wheat-producing region of the Pacific Northwest, and to (2) combine these RAPs with downscaled climate data, crop model simulations and economic model simulations to assess climate change impacts on winter wheat production and farm income. This research was carried out as part of a project funded by the USDA known as the Regional Approaches to Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest (REACCH). The REACCH study region encompasses the major winter wheat production area in Pacific Northwest and preliminary research shows that farmers producing winter wheat could benefit from future climate change. However, the future world is uncertain in many dimensions, including commodity and input prices, production technology, and policies, as well as increased probability of disturbances (pests and diseases) associated with a changing climate. Many of these factors cannot be modeled, so they are represented in the regional RAPS. The regional RAPS are linked to global agricultural and shared social-economic pathways, and used along with climate change projections to simulate future outcomes for the wheat-based farms in the REACCH region.

  5. Litter contribution to soil organic carbon in the agriculture abandons processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, Agata; Francaviglia, Dario; La Mantia, tommaso; Gristina, Luciano; La Bella, Salvatore; Tuttolomondo, Teresa

    2015-04-01

    Mechanisms of litter decomposition, translocation and stabilization into soil layers are fundamental processes in ecosystem functioning as it regulates the cycle of soil organic matter (SOM), CO2 emission into the atmosphere, carbon sequestration into the soil. In this study, it was investigated the contribution of litters of different stages of Mediterranean secondary succession on Carbon sequestration, analyzing the role of earthworms on translocation of SOM into soil profile. For this purpose δ13C difference between meadow C4-C soil and C3-C litter were used in a field experiment. Four undisturbed litters of different stages of succession were collected (45, 70, 100 and 120 since agriculture abandon) and placed on the top of isolated soil cores. The litter contribution to C stock was affected by plant species and increased with the age of the stage of secondary succession. The soil organic carbon after 1 year since litter position increased up to 40% in comparison to no litter treatment in soil with litter of 120 years since abandon. The new carbon derived from C3-litter was decomposed and transferred into soil profile thanks to earthworms and dissolved organic carbon leaching. After 1 years the carbon increase attributed to earthworm activity ranged from 6% to 13% in soil under litter in field abandoned since 120 and 45 years, respectively.

  6. Litter contribution to soil organic carbon in the agriculture abandons processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, A.; Rühl, J.; La Mantia, T.; Gristina, L.; La Bella, S.; Tuttolomondo, T.

    2015-02-01

    Mechanisms of litter decomposition, translocation and stabilization into soil layers are fundamental processes in ecosystem functioning as it regulates the cycle of soil organic matter (SOM), CO2 emission into the atmosphere, carbon sequestration into the soil. In this study, it was investigated the contribution of litters of different stages of Mediterranean secondary succession on Carbon sequestration, analyzing the role of earthworms on translocation of SOM into soil profile. For this purpose δ13C difference between meadow C4-Csoil and C3-Clitter were used in a field experiment. Four undisturbed litters of different stages of succession were collected (45, 70, 100 and 120 since agriculture abandon) and placed on the top of isolated soil cores. The litter contribution to C stock was affected by plant species and increased with the age of the stage of secondary succession. The soil organic carbon after 1 year since litter position increased up to 40% in comparison to no litter treatment in soil with litter of 120 years since abandon. The new carbon derived from C3-litter was decomposed and transferred into soil profile thanks to earthworms and dissolved organic carbon leaching. After 1 years the carbon increase attributed to earthworm activity ranged from 6 to 13% in soil under litter in field abandoned since 120 and 45 years, respectively.

  7. Litter contribution to soil organic carbon in the processes of agriculture abandon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, A.; Rühl, J.; La Mantia, T.; Gristina, L.; La Bella, S.; Tuttolomondo, T.

    2015-04-01

    The mechanisms of litter decomposition, translocation and stabilization into soil layers are fundamental processes in the functioning of the ecosystem, as they regulate the cycle of soil organic matter (SOM) and CO2 emission into the atmosphere. In this study the contribution of litters of different stages of Mediterranean secondary succession on carbon sequestration was investigated, analyzing the role of earthworms in the translocation of SOM into the soil profile. For this purpose the δ13C difference between meadow C4-C soil and C3-C litter was used in a field experiment. Four undisturbed litters of different stages of succession (45, 70, 100 and 120 since agriculture abandon) were collected and placed on the top of isolated C4 soil cores. The litter contribution to C stock was affected by plant species and it increased with the age of the stage of secondary succession. One year after the litter position, the soil organic carbon increased up to 40% in comparison to soils not treated with litter after 120 years of abandon. The new carbon derived from C3 litter was decomposed and transferred into soil profile thanks to earthworms and the leaching of dissolved organic carbon. After 1 year the carbon increase attributed to earthworm activity was 6 and 13% in the soils under litter of fields abandoned for 120 and 45 years, respectively.

  8. Distribution and accumulation of hexachlorobutadiene in soils and terrestrial organisms from an agricultural area, East China.

    PubMed

    Tang, Zhenwu; Huang, Qifei; Cheng, Jiali; Qu, Dan; Yang, Yufei; Guo, Wei

    2014-10-01

    Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) is a potential persistent organic pollutant that has been found in abiotic environments and organisms. However, information on HCBD in soils and its accumulation in terrestrial food chains is scarce. This study investigated the accumulation of HCBD in soils, plants, and terrestrial fauna in a typical agricultural area in Eastern China, and drew comparisons with organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). The HCBD concentrations in soils were <0.02-3.1ng/g dry weight, which were similar to α-endosulfan concentrations but much lower than the concentrations of some other OCPs. The HCBD soil-plant accumulation factors, 8.5-38.1, were similar to those of o,p'-DDT and higher than those of HCHs and p,p'-DDT, indicating that HCBD is strongly bioaccumulated by rice and vegetables. HCBD concentrations of 1.3-8.2ng/g lipid weight were found in herbivorous insects, earthworms, and Chinese toads. The biomagnification factor, the ratio between the lipid-normalized concentrations in the predator and the prey, was found to be 0.16-0.64 for different food chains of Chinese toads, so HCBD was found not to biomagnify, which is in contrast with OCPs. Further research into whether HCBD is biomagnified in high trophic level organisms or through the entire terrestrial food web is required. PMID:25124679

  9. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) overexpression attenuates agricultural organic dust extract-induced inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, KL; Wyatt, TA; Wells, SM; Klein, EB; Robinson, JE; Romberger, DJ; Poole, JA

    2013-01-01

    Modern, industrialized farming practices have lead to working conditions that include high levels of airborne dust. Agricultural workers inhale these complex organic dusts on a daily basis, leading to airway inflammation and higher risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The mechanisms regulating the organic dust-induced airway inflammatory response are not well-defined. We investigated whether overexpression of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) would lead to diminished pulmonary inflammation in an animal model of organic dust extract exposure. We instilled wild-type (WT) and DDAH overexpressing mice with an aqueous organic dust extract (ODE) collected from a swine confinement building. We found that inflammatory indices such as neutrophil influx and inflammatory cytokine production was lower in the DDAH overexpressing mice compared to WT after organic dust extract (ODE) instillation. We went on to determine how DDAH was mediating the decrease in inflammation induced by ODE. PKCα and PKCε play an essential role in the ODE inflammatory response. In a model of lung slices from WT and DDAH overexpressing mice, we demonstrated an increase in PKCα and PKCε in the WT mice exposed to ODE. This increase was diminished in the DDAH overexpressing mice exposed to ODE. We also tested an important component of the ODE, peptidoglycan (PGN). We noted a similar decrease in neutrophils and inflammatory cytokines in the DDAH overexpressing animals instilled with PGN compared to WT. In conclusion, our studies found a role for DDAH in regulating the ODE-triggered activation of epithelial PKCα and PKCε, a previously unrecognized mechanism of action. This ultimately results in diminished pulmonary inflammation. PMID:25221746

  10. Low occurrence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in agricultural soils with and without organic amendment

    PubMed Central

    Deredjian, Amélie; Colinon, Céline; Hien, Edmond; Brothier, Elisabeth; Youenou, Benjamin; Cournoyer, Benoit; Dequiedt, Samuel; Hartmann, Alain; Jolivet, Claudy; Houot, Sabine; Ranjard, Lionel; Saby, Nicolas P. A.; Nazaret, Sylvie

    2014-01-01

    The occurrence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was monitored at a broad spatial scale in French agricultural soils, from various soil types and under various land uses to evaluate the ability of soil to be a natural habitat for that species. To appreciate the impact of agricultural practices on the potential dispersion of P. aeruginosa, we further investigated the impact of organic amendment at experimental sites in France and Burkina Faso. A real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) approach was used to analyze a set of 380 samples selected within the French RMQS (“Réseau de Mesures de la Qualité des Sols”) soil library. In parallel, a culture-dependent approach was tested on a subset of samples. The results showed that P. aeruginosa was very rarely detected suggesting a sporadic presence of this bacterium in soils from France and Burkina Faso, whatever the structural and physico-chemical characteristics or climate. When we analyzed the impact of organic amendment on the prevalence of P. aeruginosa, we found that even if it was detectable in various manures (at levels from 103 to 105 CFU or DNA targets (g drywt)−1 of sample), it was hardly ever detected in the corresponding soils, which raises questions about its survival. The only case reports were from a vineyard soil amended with a compost of mushroom manure in Burgundy, and a few samples from two fields amended with raw urban wastes in the sub-urban area of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In these soils the levels of culturable cells were below 10 CFU (g drywt)−1. PMID:24809025