Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural sustainability problems

  1. Is rangeland agriculture sustainable?

    PubMed

    Heitschmidt, R K; Vermeire, L T; Grings, E E

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to examine the sustainability of rangeland agriculture (i.e., managed grazing) on a world-wide basis, with a focus on North America. Sustainability is addressed on three fronts: 1) ecological, 2) economic, and 3) social acceptance. Based on previous and on-going research, we suggest that employment of science-based rangeland grazing management strategies and tactics can ensure ecological sustainability. The formidable challenge in employing such technology centers around the need to balance efficiency of solar energy capture and subsequent harvest efficiencies across an array of highly spatially and temporally variable vegetation growing conditions using animals that graze selectively. Failure to meet this fundamental challenge often accelerates rangeland desertification processes, and in some instances, enhances rate and extent of the invasion of noxious weeds. We also suggest that the fundamental reason that ecologically sound grazing management technologies are often not employed in the management of grazed ecological systems is because social values drive management decisions more so than ecological science issues. This is true in both well-developed societies with substantial economic resources and in less-developed societies with few economic resources. However, the social issues driving management are often entirely different, ranging from multiple-use issues in developed countries to human day-to-day survival issues in poorly developed countries. We conclude that the long-term sustainability of rangeland agriculture in 1) developed societies depends on the ability of rangeland agriculturalists to continually respond in a dynamic, positive, proactive manner to ever-changing social values and 2) less-developed societies on their ability to address the ecological and social consequences arising from unsustainable human populations before the adoption of science-based sustainable rangeland management technologies. PMID:15471792

  2. Sustaining Rural Communities through Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ikerd, John

    A 5-year collaborative project between Missouri, Michigan State, and Nebraska Universities to provide new opportunities for rural community self-development through sustainable agriculture had mixed results. This happened because community members did not understand the principles of sustainability, and because the extension education system was…

  3. A Farming Revolution: Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klinkenborg, Verlyn

    1995-01-01

    Growing realization of the economic, social, and environmental costs of conventional agriculture has led many U.S. farmers to embrace and become advocates for agricultural practices that limit the need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers, decrease soil erosion, and improve soil health. Some hope that sustainable agriculture can promote smaller…

  4. The transition to agricultural sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Ruttan, Vernon W.

    1999-01-01

    The transition to sustainable growth in agricultural production during the 21st century will take place within the context of a transition to a stable population and a possible transition to a stable level of material consumption. If the world fails to successfully navigate a transition to sustainable growth in agricultural production, the failure will be due more to a failure in the area of institutional innovation than to resource and environmental constraints. PMID:10339524

  5. Toward a Sustainable Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Future trends in population growth, energy use, climate change, and globalization will challenge agriculturists to develop innovative production systems that are highly productive and environmentally sound. Furthermore, future agricultural production systems must possess an inherent capacity to adap...

  6. Agriculture - Sustainable biofuels Redux

    SciTech Connect

    Robertson, G. Phillip; Dale, Virginia H; Doering, Otto C.; Hamburg, Steven P; Melillo, Jerry M; Wander, Michele M; Parton, William

    2008-10-01

    Last May's passage of the 2008 Farm Bill raises the stakes for biofuel sustainability: A substantial subsidy for the production of cellulosic ethanol starts the United States again down a path with uncertain environmental consequences. This time, however, the subsidy is for both the refiners ($1.01 per gallon) and the growers ($45 per ton of biomass), which will rapidly accelerate adoption and place hard-to-manage pressures on efforts to design and implement sustainable production practices - as will a 2007 legislative mandate for 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year by 2022. Similar directives elsewhere, e.g., the European Union's mandate that 10% of all transport fuel in Europe be from renewable sources by 2020, make this a global issue. The European Union's current reconsideration of this target places even more emphasis on cellulosic feedstocks (1). The need for knowledge- and science-based policy is urgent. Biofuel sustainability has environmental, economic, and social facets that all interconnect. Tradeoffs among them vary widely by types of fuels and where they are grown and, thus, need to be explicitly considered by using a framework that allows the outcomes of alternative systems to be consistently evaluated and compared. A cellulosic biofuels industry could have many positive social and environmental attributes, but it could also suffer from many of the sustainability issues that hobble grain-based biofuels, if not implemented the right way.

  7. [Organic agriculture and sustainable development].

    PubMed

    Li, Yu; Wang, Gang

    2004-12-01

    Basing on the research and practice of organic agriculture at home and abroad, this paper discussed the objectives of developing green food and the principles that must be persisted in the practice in China. In the light of the arguments concerning with sustainable agriculture, we also discussed the significance of "alternative agriculture" in theory and practice. Compared with conventional high-intensity agriculture, the production approaches of organic alternatives can improve soil fertility and have fewer detrimental effects on the environment. It is unclear whether conventional agriculture can be sustained because of the shortcomings presented in this paper, and it has taken scientists approximately one century to research and practice organic farming as a representative of alternative agriculture. The development of green food in China has only gone through more than ten years, and there would be some practical and theoretical effects on the development of China's green food if we exploit an environment-friendly production pattern of organic agriculture which majors in keeping human health and maintaining sustainable agriculture.

  8. Methylotrophic bacteria in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manish; Tomar, Rajesh Singh; Lade, Harshad; Paul, Diby

    2016-07-01

    Excessive use of chemical fertilizers to increase production from available land has resulted in deterioration of soil quality. To prevent further soil deterioration, the use of methylotrophic bacteria that have the ability to colonize different habitats, including soil, sediment, water, and both epiphytes and endophytes as host plants, has been suggested for sustainable agriculture. Methylotrophic bacteria are known to play a significant role in the biogeochemical cycle in soil ecosystems, ultimately fortifying plants and sustaining agriculture. Methylotrophs also improve air quality by using volatile organic compounds such as dichloromethane, formaldehyde, methanol, and formic acid. Additionally, methylotrophs are involved in phosphorous, nitrogen, and carbon cycling and can help reduce global warming. In this review, different aspects of the interaction between methylotrophs and host plants are discussed, including the role of methylotrophs in phosphorus acquisition, nitrogen fixation, phytohormone production, iron chelation, and plant growth promotion, and co-inoculation of these bacteria as biofertilizers for viable agriculture practices.

  9. Methylotrophic bacteria in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manish; Tomar, Rajesh Singh; Lade, Harshad; Paul, Diby

    2016-07-01

    Excessive use of chemical fertilizers to increase production from available land has resulted in deterioration of soil quality. To prevent further soil deterioration, the use of methylotrophic bacteria that have the ability to colonize different habitats, including soil, sediment, water, and both epiphytes and endophytes as host plants, has been suggested for sustainable agriculture. Methylotrophic bacteria are known to play a significant role in the biogeochemical cycle in soil ecosystems, ultimately fortifying plants and sustaining agriculture. Methylotrophs also improve air quality by using volatile organic compounds such as dichloromethane, formaldehyde, methanol, and formic acid. Additionally, methylotrophs are involved in phosphorous, nitrogen, and carbon cycling and can help reduce global warming. In this review, different aspects of the interaction between methylotrophs and host plants are discussed, including the role of methylotrophs in phosphorus acquisition, nitrogen fixation, phytohormone production, iron chelation, and plant growth promotion, and co-inoculation of these bacteria as biofertilizers for viable agriculture practices. PMID:27263015

  10. Agricultural sustainability: concepts, principles and evidence.

    PubMed

    Pretty, Jules

    2008-02-12

    Concerns about sustainability in agricultural systems centre on the need to develop technologies and practices that do not have adverse effects on environmental goods and services, are accessible to and effective for farmers, and lead to improvements in food productivity. Despite great progress in agricultural productivity in the past half-century, with crop and livestock productivity strongly driven by increased use of fertilizers, irrigation water, agricultural machinery, pesticides and land, it would be over-optimistic to assume that these relationships will remain linear in the future. New approaches are needed that will integrate biological and ecological processes into food production, minimize the use of those non-renewable inputs that cause harm to the environment or to the health of farmers and consumers, make productive use of the knowledge and skills of farmers, so substituting human capital for costly external inputs, and make productive use of people's collective capacities to work together to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems, such as for pest, watershed, irrigation, forest and credit management. These principles help to build important capital assets for agricultural systems: natural; social; human; physical; and financial capital. Improving natural capital is a central aim, and dividends can come from making the best use of the genotypes of crops and animals and the ecological conditions under which they are grown or raised. Agricultural sustainability suggests a focus on both genotype improvements through the full range of modern biological approaches and improved understanding of the benefits of ecological and agronomic management, manipulation and redesign. The ecological management of agroecosystems that addresses energy flows, nutrient cycling, population-regulating mechanisms and system resilience can lead to the redesign of agriculture at a landscape scale. Sustainable agriculture outcomes can be positive for food

  11. Agricultural sustainability: concepts, principles and evidence.

    PubMed

    Pretty, Jules

    2008-02-12

    Concerns about sustainability in agricultural systems centre on the need to develop technologies and practices that do not have adverse effects on environmental goods and services, are accessible to and effective for farmers, and lead to improvements in food productivity. Despite great progress in agricultural productivity in the past half-century, with crop and livestock productivity strongly driven by increased use of fertilizers, irrigation water, agricultural machinery, pesticides and land, it would be over-optimistic to assume that these relationships will remain linear in the future. New approaches are needed that will integrate biological and ecological processes into food production, minimize the use of those non-renewable inputs that cause harm to the environment or to the health of farmers and consumers, make productive use of the knowledge and skills of farmers, so substituting human capital for costly external inputs, and make productive use of people's collective capacities to work together to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems, such as for pest, watershed, irrigation, forest and credit management. These principles help to build important capital assets for agricultural systems: natural; social; human; physical; and financial capital. Improving natural capital is a central aim, and dividends can come from making the best use of the genotypes of crops and animals and the ecological conditions under which they are grown or raised. Agricultural sustainability suggests a focus on both genotype improvements through the full range of modern biological approaches and improved understanding of the benefits of ecological and agronomic management, manipulation and redesign. The ecological management of agroecosystems that addresses energy flows, nutrient cycling, population-regulating mechanisms and system resilience can lead to the redesign of agriculture at a landscape scale. Sustainable agriculture outcomes can be positive for food

  12. 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

  13. Participatory approach: from problem identification to setting strategies for increased productivity and sustainability in small scale irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habtu, Solomon; Ludi, Eva; Jamin, Jean Yves; Oates, Naomi; Fissahaye Yohannes, Degol

    2014-05-01

    Practicing various innovations pertinent to irrigated farming at local field scale is instrumental to increase productivity and yield for small holder farmers in Africa. However the translation of innovations from local scale to the scale of a jointly operated irrigation scheme is far from trivial. It requires insight on the drivers for adoption of local innovations within the wider farmer communities. Participatory methods are expected to improve not only the acceptance of locally developed innovations within the wider farmer communities, but to allow also an estimation to which extend changes will occur within the entire irrigation scheme. On such a base, more realistic scenarios of future water productivity within an irrigation scheme, which is operated by small holder farmers, can be estimated. Initial participatory problem and innovation appraisal was conducted in Gumselassa small scale irrigation scheme, Ethiopia, from Feb 27 to March 3, 2012 as part of the EAU4FOOD project funded by EC. The objective was to identify and appraise problems which hinder sustainable water management to enhance production and productivity and to identify future research strategies. Workshops were conducted both at local (Community of Practices) and regional (Learning Practice Alliance) level. At local levels, intensive collaboration with farmers using participatory methods produced problem trees and a "Photo Safari" documented a range of problems that negatively impact on productive irrigated farming. A range of participatory methods were also used to identify local innovations. At regional level a Learning Platform was established that includes a wide range of stakeholders (technical experts from various government ministries, policy makers, farmers, extension agents, researchers). This stakeholder group did a range of exercise as well to identify major problems related to irrigated smallholder farming and already identified innovations. Both groups identified similar problems

  14. Sustainable agriculture: an explanation of a concept.

    PubMed

    Jones, M J

    1993-01-01

    Close relationships between agriculture and many areas of human activity determine countless interlinkages with global issues of natural environment protection, human population increase, food supply, industry and world trade. This broad context promotes different perceptions of sustainable agriculture by different interest groups. Profitable diversification away from overproduction of basic commodities and satisfaction of environmental pressure groups are major preoccupations in developed countries. Elsewhere the main concerns is to maintain a trend of increasing production: food security with a future dimension. Achieving this depends essentially on protecting the agricultural resource base. Inputs and input substitution are important co-related issues but the core of sustainability is the avoidance of any attrition of the potential for future production; this demands that we guard soil, water sources, grazing lands and gene pools against loss and degradation. Though superficially biophysical or technical in nature, most problems of resource degradation and eroding potential are rooted in economic, social and political issues; few such problems will be solved unless the primacy of these issues is recognized and addressed. Sustainable agriculture will likely remain elusive until governments and other agencies accept it as arising only as the outcome of a synthesis of strategies on population, employment, economic planning, technical research and national investment.

  15. Soil Erosion and Agricultural Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, D. R.

    2009-04-01

    Data drawn from a global compilation of studies support the long articulated contention that erosion rates from conventionally plowed agricultural fields greatly exceed rates of soil production, erosion under native vegetation, and long-term geological erosion. Whereas data compiled from around the world show that soil erosion under conventional agriculture exceeds both rates of soil production and geological erosion rates by up to several orders of magnitude, similar global distributions of soil production and geological erosion rates suggest an approximate balance. Net soil erosion rates in conventionally plowed fields on the order of 1 mm/yr can erode typical hillslope soil profiles over centuries to millennia, time-scales comparable to the longevity of major civilizations. Well-documented episodes of soil loss associated with agricultural activities date back to the introduction of erosive agricultural methods in regions around the world, and stratigraphic records of accelerated anthropogenic soil erosion have been recovered from lake, fluvial, and colluvial stratigraphy, as well as truncation of soil stratigraphy (such as truncated A horizons). A broad convergence in the results from studies based on various approaches employed to study ancient soil loss and rates of downstream sedimentation implies that widespread soil loss has accompanied human agricultural intensification in examples drawn from around the world. While a broad range of factors, including climate variability and society-specific social and economic contexts — such as wars or colonial relationships — all naturally influence the longevity of human societies, the ongoing loss of topsoil inferred from studies of soil erosion rates in conventional agricultural systems has obvious long-term implications for agricultural sustainability. Consequently, modern agriculture — and therefore global society — faces a fundamental question over the upcoming centuries. Can an agricultural system

  16. Ecosystems, sustainability, and animal agriculture.

    PubMed

    Heitschmidt, R K; Short, R E; Grings, E E

    1996-06-01

    The long-term sustainability of animal agriculture is examined in an ecological context. As an aid to defining agriculture, animal agriculture, and sustainable agriculture, a broad overview of the structural and functional aspects of ecosystems is presented. Energy output/cultural energy input ratios were then calculated for 11 beef cattle management systems as relative measures of their long-term sustainability. Energy output was estimated by direct conversion of whole body mass of steers to caloric values. Cultural energy inputs were estimated using published forage and cereal grain production budgets in combination with estimated organic matter intakes. Cultural energy inputs included raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, and depreciation of all equipment and products used in a 250-animal cow-calf farm/ranch operation. Management systems evaluated included 1) spring calving with slaughter beginning at either weaning (age of calf approximately 6 mo) or after 84, 168, or 252 d in postweaning finishing lot; 2) spring calving with slaughter beginning at about 18 mo of age after either 0, 42, 84, or 126 d in finishing lot; and 3) fall calving with slaughter beginning at about 14 mo of age after either 63, 126, or 189 d in finishing lot. Estimated efficiencies were < 1.0 in all treatments, even when assumed marketed calf crop was 100%. Product energy output/cultural energy input ratios ranged from a high of .40 in the spring calving--stocker--126 d in finishing lot treatment to a low of .23 in the spring calving--slaughter at weaning treatment. The low levels of efficiency were found to be largely the result of the interaction effects of the high levels of cultural energy required to maintain a productive cow herd and grow and finish calves in the rather harsh environment of the Northern Great Plains. Results pointedly reveal the high level of dependency of the U.S. beef cattle industry on fossil fuels. These findings in turn bring into question the

  17. Ecosystems, sustainability, and animal agriculture.

    PubMed

    Heitschmidt, R K; Short, R E; Grings, E E

    1996-06-01

    The long-term sustainability of animal agriculture is examined in an ecological context. As an aid to defining agriculture, animal agriculture, and sustainable agriculture, a broad overview of the structural and functional aspects of ecosystems is presented. Energy output/cultural energy input ratios were then calculated for 11 beef cattle management systems as relative measures of their long-term sustainability. Energy output was estimated by direct conversion of whole body mass of steers to caloric values. Cultural energy inputs were estimated using published forage and cereal grain production budgets in combination with estimated organic matter intakes. Cultural energy inputs included raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, and depreciation of all equipment and products used in a 250-animal cow-calf farm/ranch operation. Management systems evaluated included 1) spring calving with slaughter beginning at either weaning (age of calf approximately 6 mo) or after 84, 168, or 252 d in postweaning finishing lot; 2) spring calving with slaughter beginning at about 18 mo of age after either 0, 42, 84, or 126 d in finishing lot; and 3) fall calving with slaughter beginning at about 14 mo of age after either 63, 126, or 189 d in finishing lot. Estimated efficiencies were < 1.0 in all treatments, even when assumed marketed calf crop was 100%. Product energy output/cultural energy input ratios ranged from a high of .40 in the spring calving--stocker--126 d in finishing lot treatment to a low of .23 in the spring calving--slaughter at weaning treatment. The low levels of efficiency were found to be largely the result of the interaction effects of the high levels of cultural energy required to maintain a productive cow herd and grow and finish calves in the rather harsh environment of the Northern Great Plains. Results pointedly reveal the high level of dependency of the U.S. beef cattle industry on fossil fuels. These findings in turn bring into question the

  18. Rationale for Research on Including Sustainable Agriculture in the High School Agricultural Education Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, David L.; Dollisso, Awoke D.

    1998-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture is a multidisciplinary approach to food and fiber problems. Its inclusion in the secondary curriculum would enrich and align it with social concerns. Research is needed in the scholarship functions of discovery, integrative approaches, and teaching. (SK)

  19. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops. PMID:26785813

  20. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops.

  1. A science framework (SF) for agricultural sustainability.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Ferdous; Al-Amin, Abul Q; Masud, Muhammad M; Kari, Fatimah; Mohamad, Zeeda

    2015-09-01

    The significance of Science Framework (SF) to date is receiving more acceptances all over the world to address agricultural sustainability. The professional views, however, advocate that the SF known as Mega Science Framework (MSF) in the transitional economies is not converging effectively in many ways for the agricultural sustainability. Specially, MSF in transitional economies is mostly incapable to identify barriers in agricultural research, inadequate to frame policy gaps with the goal of strategizing the desired sustainability in agricultural technology and innovation, inconsistent in finding to identify the inequities, and incompleteness to rebuild decisions. Therefore, this study critically evaluates the components of MSF in transitional economies and appraises the significance, dispute and illegitimate issue to achieve successful sustainable development. A sound and an effective MSF can be developed when there is an inter-linkage within principal components such as of (a) national priorities, (b) specific research on agricultural sustainability, (c) adequate agricultural research and innovation, and (d) alternative policy alteration. This maiden piece of research which is first its kind has been conducted in order to outline the policy direction to have an effective science framework for agricultural sustainability.

  2. Sustainable Agriculture Course Delivered Nationally via Satellite.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salvador, R. J.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Describes an instructional model for a sustainable agriculture telecourse offered nationally by Iowa State University. Includes preproduction activities; technology employed; budget; time requirements; course content; student postevaluation results. Provides information and suggestions for individuals and institutions considering production or…

  3. 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 ...

  4. Geologic research in support of sustainable agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.P.; Herring, J.R.

    1993-01-01

    The importance and role of the geosciences in studies of sustainable agriculture include such traditional research areas as, agromineral resource assessments, the mapping and classification of soils and soil amendments, and the evaluation of landscapes for their vulnerability to physical and chemical degradation. Less traditional areas of study, that are increasing in societal importance because of environmental concerns and research into sustainable systems in general, include regional geochemical studies of plant and animal trace element deficiencies and toxicities, broad-scale water quality investigations, agricultural chemicals and the hydrogeologic interface, and minimally processed and ion-exchange agrominerals. We discuss the importance and future of phosphate in the US and world based on human population growth, projected agromineral demands in general, and the unavailability of new, high-quality agricultural lands. We also present examples of studies that relate geochemistry and the hydrogeologic characteristics of a region to the bioavailability and cycling of trace elements important to sustainable agricultural systems. ?? 1993.

  5. The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Peter R; Sayre, Ken; Gupta, Raj

    2008-02-12

    The paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till, NT) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations, as a more sustainable cultivation system for the future. Cultivation and tillage play an important role in agriculture. The benefits of tillage in agriculture are explored before introducing conservation tillage (CT), a practice that was borne out of the American dust bowl of the 1930s. The paper then describes the benefits of CA, a suggested improvement on CT, where NT, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. The paper concludes that CA is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly management system for cultivating crops. Case studies from the rice-wheat areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia and the irrigated maize-wheat systems of Northwest Mexico are used to describe how CA practices have been used in these two environments to raise production sustainably and profitably. Benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming are also discussed. The paper concludes that agriculture in the next decade will have to sustainably produce more food from less land through more efficient use of natural resources and with minimal impact on the environment in order to meet growing population demands. Promoting and adopting CA management systems can help meet this goal.

  6. The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Peter R; Sayre, Ken; Gupta, Raj

    2008-02-12

    The paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till, NT) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations, as a more sustainable cultivation system for the future. Cultivation and tillage play an important role in agriculture. The benefits of tillage in agriculture are explored before introducing conservation tillage (CT), a practice that was borne out of the American dust bowl of the 1930s. The paper then describes the benefits of CA, a suggested improvement on CT, where NT, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. The paper concludes that CA is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly management system for cultivating crops. Case studies from the rice-wheat areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia and the irrigated maize-wheat systems of Northwest Mexico are used to describe how CA practices have been used in these two environments to raise production sustainably and profitably. Benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming are also discussed. The paper concludes that agriculture in the next decade will have to sustainably produce more food from less land through more efficient use of natural resources and with minimal impact on the environment in order to meet growing population demands. Promoting and adopting CA management systems can help meet this goal. PMID:17720669

  7. Genetic contributions to agricultural sustainability.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Elizabeth S; Ellis, Jeffrey; Green, Allan; Llewellyn, Danny; Morell, Matthew; Tabe, Linda; Peacock, W J

    2008-02-12

    The current tools of enquiry into the structure and operation of the plant genome have provided us with an understanding of plant development and function far beyond the state of knowledge that we had previously. We know about key genetic controls repressing or stimulating the cascades of gene expression that move a plant through stages in its life cycle, facilitating the morphogenesis of vegetative and reproductive tissues and organs. The new technologies are enabling the identification of key gene activity responses to the range of biotic and abiotic challenges experienced by plants. In the past, plant breeders produced new varieties with changes in the phases of development, modifications of plant architecture and improved levels of tolerance and resistance to environmental and biotic challenges by identifying the required phenotypes in a few plants among the large numbers of plants in a breeding population. Now our increased knowledge and powerful gene sequence-based diagnostics provide plant breeders with more precise selection objectives and assays to operate in rationally planned crop improvement programmes. We can expect yield potential to increase and harvested product quality portfolios to better fit an increasing diversity of market requirements. The new genetics will connect agriculture to sectors beyond the food, feed and fibre industries; agri-business will contribute to public health and will provide high-value products to the pharmaceutical industry as well as to industries previously based on petroleum feedstocks and chemical modification processes.

  8. Farmers' Attitudes and Behavior toward Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petrzelka, Peggy; Korsching, Peter F.; Malia, James E.

    1996-01-01

    A mail survey of Iowa farmers with membership in Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), a sustainable agriculture organization, was used to examine the attitude-behavior relationship of these farmers and the role social influences played in this relationship. Results indicate that when controlling explanatory factors, the attitude-behavior relationship…

  9. 7 CFR 3430.312 - Emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... sustainable agriculture. NIFA shall ensure that grants made under this subpart are, where appropriate, consistent with the development of systems of sustainable agriculture as defined in section 1404 of NARETPA. ... 7 Agriculture 15 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Emphasis on sustainable agriculture. 3430.312...

  10. 7 CFR 3430.312 - Emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... sustainable agriculture. NIFA shall ensure that grants made under this subpart are, where appropriate, consistent with the development of systems of sustainable agriculture as defined in section 1404 of NARETPA. ... 7 Agriculture 15 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Emphasis on sustainable agriculture. 3430.312...

  11. 7 CFR 3430.312 - Emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... sustainable agriculture. NIFA shall ensure that grants made under this subpart are, where appropriate, consistent with the development of systems of sustainable agriculture as defined in section 1404 of NARETPA. ... 7 Agriculture 15 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Emphasis on sustainable agriculture. 3430.312...

  12. 7 CFR 3430.312 - Emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... sustainable agriculture. NIFA shall ensure that grants made under this subpart are, where appropriate, consistent with the development of systems of sustainable agriculture as defined in section 1404 of NARETPA. ... 7 Agriculture 15 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Emphasis on sustainable agriculture. 3430.312...

  13. Comparative review of multifunctionality and ecosystem services in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jiao; Tichit, Muriel; Poulot, Monique; Darly, Ségolène; Li, Shuangcheng; Petit, Caroline; Aubry, Christine

    2015-02-01

    Two scientific communities with broad interest in sustainable agriculture independently focus on multifunctional agriculture or ecosystem services. These communities have limited interaction and exchange, and each group faces research challenges according to independently operating paradigms. This paper presents a comparative review of published research in multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. The motivation for this work is to improve communication, integrate experimental approaches, and propose areas of consensus and dialog for the two communities. This extensive analysis of publication trends, ideologies, and approaches enables formulation of four main conclusions. First, the two communities are closely related through their use of the term "function." However, multifunctional agriculture considers functions as agricultural activity outputs and prefers farm-centred approaches, whereas ecosystem services considers ecosystem functions in the provision of services and prefers service-centred approaches. Second, research approaches to common questions in these two communities share some similarities, and there would be great value in integrating these approaches. Third, the two communities have potential for dialog regarding the bundle of ecosystem services and the spectrum of multifunctional agriculture, or regarding land sharing and land sparing. Fourth, we propose an integrated conceptual framework that distinguishes six groups of ecosystem services and disservices in the agricultural landscape, and combines the concepts of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. This integrated framework improves applications of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services for operational use. Future research should examine if the framework can be readily adapted for modelling specific problems in agricultural management.

  14. Earthworms, pesticides and sustainable agriculture: a review.

    PubMed

    Datta, Shivika; Singh, Joginder; Singh, Sharanpreet; Singh, Jaswinder

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this review is to generate awareness and understand the importance of earthworms in sustainable agriculture and effect of pesticides on their action. The natural resources are finite and highly prone to degradation by the misuse of land and mismanagement of soil. The world is in utter need of a healthy ecosystem that provides with fertile soil, clean water, food and other natural resources. Anthropogenic activities have led to an increased contamination of land. The intensification of industrial and agricultural practices chiefly the utilization of pesticides has in almost every way made our natural resources concave. Earthworms help in a number of tasks that support many ecosystem services that favor agrosystem sustainability but are degraded by exhaustive practices such as the use of pesticides. The present review assesses the response of earthworm toward the pesticides and also evaluates the relationship between earthworm activity and plant growth. We strictly need to refresh and rethink on the policies and norms devised by us on sustainable ecology. In an equivalent way, the natural resources should be utilized and further, essential ways for betterment of present and future livelihood should be sought. PMID:26951221

  15. Earthworms, pesticides and sustainable agriculture: a review.

    PubMed

    Datta, Shivika; Singh, Joginder; Singh, Sharanpreet; Singh, Jaswinder

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this review is to generate awareness and understand the importance of earthworms in sustainable agriculture and effect of pesticides on their action. The natural resources are finite and highly prone to degradation by the misuse of land and mismanagement of soil. The world is in utter need of a healthy ecosystem that provides with fertile soil, clean water, food and other natural resources. Anthropogenic activities have led to an increased contamination of land. The intensification of industrial and agricultural practices chiefly the utilization of pesticides has in almost every way made our natural resources concave. Earthworms help in a number of tasks that support many ecosystem services that favor agrosystem sustainability but are degraded by exhaustive practices such as the use of pesticides. The present review assesses the response of earthworm toward the pesticides and also evaluates the relationship between earthworm activity and plant growth. We strictly need to refresh and rethink on the policies and norms devised by us on sustainable ecology. In an equivalent way, the natural resources should be utilized and further, essential ways for betterment of present and future livelihood should be sought.

  16. 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…

  17. Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Agricultural Development--With Special Reference to Kenya.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiragu, Consolater Wambuku; Goode, Pamela M.

    1990-01-01

    The concept of sustainable agriculture from the perspective of development in Kenya is discussed. The steps in an Environmental Impact Assessment which takes into account the physical, cultural, social, and ecological aspects of the problem are presented. (CW)

  18. Students' Knowledge of and Expected Impact from Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, David L.

    2000-01-01

    High school agricultural students in Iowa (n=386) rated their knowledge of sustainable agriculture as limited. They expected it to have high impact environmentally and socially. Results provide a basis for curriculum development in this area. (SK)

  19. Empowering Women in Agricultural Education for Sustainable Rural Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ugbomeh, George M. M.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses the concepts of agricultural education, women empowerment, and sustainable rural development. Suggests that, because women make up more than half of Nigeria's population, their empowerment would assist the efforts for sustainable rural development. (Contains 48 references.) (JOW)

  20. The Concept of Sustainable Agriculture: Challenges and Prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abubakar, M. S.; Attanda, M. L.

    2013-12-01

    Agriculture has changed dramatically, especially since the end of World War II. Food and fibre productivity raised due to new technologies, mechanization, increased chemical use, specialization and government policies that favoured maximizing production. Sustainable agriculture is a subject of great interest and lively debate in many parts of the world. Most agriculturalists agree that the concept of sustainable agriculture is of paramount importance to the sustainability of our biosphere and its ever increasing human population. This paper is an effort to identify the ideas, practices and policies that constitute concept of sustainable agriculture.

  1. 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.

  2. Transgenic Crops: Implications for Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Maria Alice; Altieri, Miguel A.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for genetically modified (GM) crops to threaten biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture is substantial. Megadiverse countries and centers of origin and/or diversity of crop species are particularly vulnerable regions. The future of sustainable agriculture may be irreversibly jeopardized by contamination of in situ…

  3. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service Professionals' Attitudes toward Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minarovic, Rosanne E.; Mueller, J. Paul

    2000-01-01

    Responses from 369 of 500 extension professionals reflected a shared vision for sustainable agriculture and recognition of a need for environmentally sound farming practices. There was less unanimity about endorsing the social aspects of sustainable agriculture, though they agreed on the need for more systems research. (SK)

  4. Policy Perspectives on Social, Agricultural, and Rural Sustainability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wimberley, Ronald C.

    1993-01-01

    Introduces three types of agricultural policy dealing with the sustainability of society, the agricultural sector, and rural people and places. Outlines sustainability issues and special interest groups related to each policy type, common ground, and the impact on rural policy of the environment, economic change, physical infrastructure, social…

  5. Sustainability of natural attenuation of nitrate in agricultural aquifers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, Christopher T.; Bekins, Barbara A.

    2010-01-01

    Increased concentrations of nitrate in groundwater in agricultural areas, coinciding with increased use of chemical and organic fertilizers, have raised concern because of risks to environmental and human health. At some sites, these problems are mitigated by natural attenuation of nitrate as a result of microbially mediated reactions. Results from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research under the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program show that reactions of dissolved nitrate with solid aquifer minerals and organic carbon help lower nitrate concentrations in groundwater beneath agricultural fields. However, increased fluxes of nitrate cause ongoing depletion of the finite pool of solid reactants. Consumption of the solid reactants diminishes the capacity of the aquifer to remove nitrate, calling into question the long-term sustainability of these natural attenuation processes.

  6. Impact of Azotobacter exopolysaccharides on sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gauri, Samiran S; Mandal, Santi M; Pati, Bikas R

    2012-07-01

    Recently, increasing attention have lead to search other avenue of biofertilizers with multipurpose activities as a manner of sustainable soil health to improve the plant productivity. Azotobacter have been universally accepted as a major inoculum used in biofertilizer to restore the nitrogen level into cultivated field. Azotobacter is well characterized for their profuse production of exopolysaccharides (EPS). Several reviews on biogenesis and multifunctional role of Azotobacter EPS have been documented with special emphasis on industrial applications. But the impact of Azotobacter EPS in plant growth promotion has not received adequate attention. This review outlines the evidence that demonstrates not only the contribution of Azotobacter EPS in global nutrient cycle but also help to compete successfully in different adverse ecological and edaphic conditions. This also focuses on new insights and concepts of Azotobacter EPS which have positive effects caused by the biofilm formation on overall plant growth promotion with other PGPRs. In addition, their potentials in agricultural improvement are also discussed. Recent data realized that Azotobacter EPS have an immense agro-economical importance including the survivability and maintenance of microbial community in their habitat. This leads us to confirm that the next generation Azotobacter inoculum with high yielding EPS and high nitrogen fixing ability can be utilized to satisfy the future demand of augmented crop production attributed to increase plant growth promoting agents.

  7. Toward malaysian sustainable agriculture in 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khorramnia, K.; Shariff, A. R. M.; Rahim, A. Abdul; Mansor, S.

    2014-02-01

    Sustainable agriculture should be able to meet various social goals and objectives so that it can be maintained for an indefinite period without significant negative impacts on environment and natural resources. A wide variety of agricultural activities are running in Malaysia. Maintaining high quality of agricultural products with lower environmental impacts through a sustainable economic viability and life satisfaction of farmers and community are important factors helping to meet sustainable agriculture. Human resources are playing key role in directing the community toward sustainable development. The trend of improving the human development index in Malaysia is highest in the East Asia and the Pacific, high human development countries and the world, since 2000. Precision agriculture is providing strong tools to achieve sustainable agriculture. Different types of sensors, positioning and navigation systems, GIS, software and variable rate technology are well known components of precision agriculture. Drones and robots are promising tools that enabling farmers and managers to collect information or perform particular actions in remote areas or tough conditions. According to a survey, forestry and timber, rubber production and oil palm estates are three main agricultural divisions that precision agriculture may improve the productivity in respect to area of cropland/worker. Main factors affecting the adoption of precision agriculture in Malaysia are: a) Political and legal supports, b) Decision support systems and user interfaces c) Experienced research team works d) National educational policy e) Success in commercialization of precision agriculture system.

  8. 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)

  9. Sustaining Irrigated Agriculture in Arid Areas: Lessons Learned in the San Joaquin Valley

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The conventional wisdom is that drainage is required to sustain irrigation in arid and semiarid areas. However, disposal of saline drainage water is a problem throughout the world that is challenging the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. The presence of elements besides salt in the drainage w...

  10. Sustainable land use and agricultural soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable land use is the management of the natural environment and the built environment to conserve the resources that help to sustain the current human population of the area and that of future generations. This concept of sustainable land use requires an analysis of the existing resources, the...

  11. How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture.

    PubMed

    Horrigan, Leo; Lawrence, Robert S; Walker, Polly

    2002-05-01

    The industrial agriculture system consumes fossil fuel, water, and topsoil at unsustainable rates. It contributes to numerous forms of environmental degradation, including air and water pollution, soil depletion, diminishing biodiversity, and fish die-offs. Meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat--instead of feeding it directly to humans--involves a large energy loss, making animal agriculture more resource intensive than other forms of food production. The proliferation of factory-style animal agriculture creates environmental and public health concerns, including pollution from the high concentration of animal wastes and the extensive use of antibiotics, which may compromise their effectiveness in medical use. At the consumption end, animal fat is implicated in many of the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict industrial and newly industrializing societies, particularly cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In terms of human health, both affluent and poor countries could benefit from policies that more equitably distribute high-protein foods. The pesticides used heavily in industrial agriculture are associated with elevated cancer risks for workers and consumers and are coming under greater scrutiny for their links to endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction. In this article we outline the environmental and human health problems associated with current food production practices and discuss how these systems could be made more sustainable. PMID:12003747

  12. How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture.

    PubMed

    Horrigan, Leo; Lawrence, Robert S; Walker, Polly

    2002-05-01

    The industrial agriculture system consumes fossil fuel, water, and topsoil at unsustainable rates. It contributes to numerous forms of environmental degradation, including air and water pollution, soil depletion, diminishing biodiversity, and fish die-offs. Meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat--instead of feeding it directly to humans--involves a large energy loss, making animal agriculture more resource intensive than other forms of food production. The proliferation of factory-style animal agriculture creates environmental and public health concerns, including pollution from the high concentration of animal wastes and the extensive use of antibiotics, which may compromise their effectiveness in medical use. At the consumption end, animal fat is implicated in many of the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict industrial and newly industrializing societies, particularly cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In terms of human health, both affluent and poor countries could benefit from policies that more equitably distribute high-protein foods. The pesticides used heavily in industrial agriculture are associated with elevated cancer risks for workers and consumers and are coming under greater scrutiny for their links to endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction. In this article we outline the environmental and human health problems associated with current food production practices and discuss how these systems could be made more sustainable.

  13. How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture.

    PubMed Central

    Horrigan, Leo; Lawrence, Robert S; Walker, Polly

    2002-01-01

    The industrial agriculture system consumes fossil fuel, water, and topsoil at unsustainable rates. It contributes to numerous forms of environmental degradation, including air and water pollution, soil depletion, diminishing biodiversity, and fish die-offs. Meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat--instead of feeding it directly to humans--involves a large energy loss, making animal agriculture more resource intensive than other forms of food production. The proliferation of factory-style animal agriculture creates environmental and public health concerns, including pollution from the high concentration of animal wastes and the extensive use of antibiotics, which may compromise their effectiveness in medical use. At the consumption end, animal fat is implicated in many of the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict industrial and newly industrializing societies, particularly cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In terms of human health, both affluent and poor countries could benefit from policies that more equitably distribute high-protein foods. The pesticides used heavily in industrial agriculture are associated with elevated cancer risks for workers and consumers and are coming under greater scrutiny for their links to endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction. In this article we outline the environmental and human health problems associated with current food production practices and discuss how these systems could be made more sustainable. PMID:12003747

  14. Adding Professional Ethics to an Introductory Course on Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fick, Gary W.

    1996-01-01

    Presents the details and evaluation of a laboratory exercise that introduces professional and agricultural ethics into a course on sustainable agriculture. Concludes that including material on ethics in existing courses appears to be an effective way to increase the ethical content of a curriculum and emphasizes ethical decision making as an…

  15. Common Ground: Agriculture for a Sustainable Future. Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selfridge, Deborah J.

    This document contains lesson plans for a four-unit course in agriculture for sustainable development and is accompanied by a video tape and a booklet that discusses existing and future agricultural practices. Each unit of the document contains some or all of the following components: an introduction; objectives and competencies addressed; a list…

  16. A Professional Development Climate Course for Sustainable Agriculture in Australia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, David; Clewett, Jeff; Birch, Colin; Wright, Anthony; Allen, Wendy

    2009-01-01

    There are few professional development courses in Australia for the rural sector concerned with climate variability, climate change and sustainable agriculture. The lack of educators with a sound technical background in climate science and its applications in agriculture prevents the delivery of courses either stand-alone or embedded in other…

  17. Water resource management for sustainable agriculture in Punjab, India.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Rajan; Kaushal, Mohinder; Kaur, Samanpreet; Farmaha, Bhupinder

    2009-01-01

    The state of Punjab comprising 1.5% area of the country has been contributing 40-50% rice and 60-65% wheat to the central pool since last three decades. During last 35 years The area under foodgrains has increased from 39,200 sq km ha to 63,400 sq km and the production of rice and wheat has increased from 0.18 to 0.32 kg/m2 and 0.22 to 0.43 kg/m2 respectively. This change in cropping pattern has increased irrigation water requirement tremendously and the irrigated area has increased from 71 to 95% in the state. Also the number of tube wells has increased from 0.192 to 1.165 million in the last 35 years. The excessive indiscriminate exploitation of ground water has created a declining water table situation in the state. The problem is most critical in central Punjab. The average rate of decline over the last few years has been 55 cm per year. The worst affected districts are Moga, Sangrur, Nawanshahar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. This has resulted in extra power consumption, affects the socio-economic conditions of the small farmers, destroy the ecological balance and adversely affect the sustainable agricultural production and economy of the state. Therefore, in this paper attempt has been made to analyse the problem of declining water table, possible factors responsible for this and suggest suitable strategies for arresting declining water table for sustainable agriculture in Punjab. The strategies include shift of cropping pattern, delay in paddy transplantation, precision irrigation and rainwater harvesting for artificial groundwater recharge.

  18. Linking knowledge and action through mental models of sustainable agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Matthew; Lubell, Mark; Hillis, Vicken

    2014-01-01

    Linking knowledge to action requires understanding how decision-makers conceptualize sustainability. This paper empirically analyzes farmer “mental models” of sustainability from three winegrape-growing regions of California where local extension programs have focused on sustainable agriculture. The mental models are represented as networks where sustainability concepts are nodes, and links are established when a farmer mentions two concepts in their stated definition of sustainability. The results suggest that winegrape grower mental models of sustainability are hierarchically structured, relatively similar across regions, and strongly linked to participation in extension programs and adoption of sustainable farm practices. We discuss the implications of our findings for the debate over the meaning of sustainability, and the role of local extension programs in managing knowledge systems. PMID:25157158

  19. Linking knowledge and action through mental models of sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Matthew; Lubell, Mark; Hillis, Vicken

    2014-09-01

    Linking knowledge to action requires understanding how decision-makers conceptualize sustainability. This paper empirically analyzes farmer "mental models" of sustainability from three winegrape-growing regions of California where local extension programs have focused on sustainable agriculture. The mental models are represented as networks where sustainability concepts are nodes, and links are established when a farmer mentions two concepts in their stated definition of sustainability. The results suggest that winegrape grower mental models of sustainability are hierarchically structured, relatively similar across regions, and strongly linked to participation in extension programs and adoption of sustainable farm practices. We discuss the implications of our findings for the debate over the meaning of sustainability, and the role of local extension programs in managing knowledge systems.

  20. Diffuse pollution from intensive agriculture: sustainability, challenges, and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Burkart, M R

    2007-01-01

    Global expansion and intensification of industrialized agriculture during the last 50 years was facilitated by the replacement of labor by imported chemicals and energy, thus changing the economics and the social fabric of rural communities as well as impairing water, air, and soil resources essential to sustaining food and fiber production in a world with an increasing appetite. To effectively understand and solve complex problems resulting from this agricultural revolution, expanded communications are needed at a variety of levels. It is critical for the technical community to communicate through greater interdisciplinary research among agronomists, soil scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, and others to reduce diffuse pollution from agriculture. Also, more effective translations of technical problems and solutions are needed to influence policy. Accurate advice is needed in spite of the uncertainties that scientists too often use to obscure useful information. Education will be needed for producers and conservationists to gain confidence that promised environmental responses will occur if solutions are to be implemented at more than experimental or demonstration scales. The search for comprehensive solutions to environmental degradation will require understanding the ultimate causes of pollution, not just the proximal causes. The ultimate causes will only be found by examining the systems that facilitate the release of contaminants to the environment such as the wholesale landscape changes that replaced grazing land with annual crops leading to increased leaching and runoff. Research and demonstration projects increasingly need collaborations among agronomists, livestock scientists, soil scientists, hydrologists, economists, sociologists and others who have a stake in the study of diffuse pollution and the outcomes of any proposed solutions. Partnerships developed at the working level where basic principles can be shared will help avoid the pursuit of

  1. Diffuse pollution from intensive agriculture: sustainability, challenges, and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Burkart, M R

    2007-01-01

    Global expansion and intensification of industrialized agriculture during the last 50 years was facilitated by the replacement of labor by imported chemicals and energy, thus changing the economics and the social fabric of rural communities as well as impairing water, air, and soil resources essential to sustaining food and fiber production in a world with an increasing appetite. To effectively understand and solve complex problems resulting from this agricultural revolution, expanded communications are needed at a variety of levels. It is critical for the technical community to communicate through greater interdisciplinary research among agronomists, soil scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, and others to reduce diffuse pollution from agriculture. Also, more effective translations of technical problems and solutions are needed to influence policy. Accurate advice is needed in spite of the uncertainties that scientists too often use to obscure useful information. Education will be needed for producers and conservationists to gain confidence that promised environmental responses will occur if solutions are to be implemented at more than experimental or demonstration scales. The search for comprehensive solutions to environmental degradation will require understanding the ultimate causes of pollution, not just the proximal causes. The ultimate causes will only be found by examining the systems that facilitate the release of contaminants to the environment such as the wholesale landscape changes that replaced grazing land with annual crops leading to increased leaching and runoff. Research and demonstration projects increasingly need collaborations among agronomists, livestock scientists, soil scientists, hydrologists, economists, sociologists and others who have a stake in the study of diffuse pollution and the outcomes of any proposed solutions. Partnerships developed at the working level where basic principles can be shared will help avoid the pursuit of

  2. Beginning Farmer Sustainable Agriculture Project. Interim Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center for Rural Affairs, Hartington, NE.

    This project increases opportunities for beginning farmers to learn about and implement sustainable farming methods through mutual-help discussion groups and continuing education opportunities. Local groups established in six areas in northeast Nebraska in 1991 constitute the Beginning Farmer Support Network (BFSN). At workshops held throughout…

  3. Sustainable nanomaterials using waste agricultural residues

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sustainable synthetic processes developed during the past two decades involving the use of alternate energy inputs and greener reaction media are summarized. Learning from nature, one can produce a wide variety of nanoparticles using completely safe and benign materials such as ...

  4. Perceptions of Iowa Secondary School Agricultural Education Teachers and Students Regarding Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, David L.; Wise, Kenneth L.

    1997-01-01

    Responses from 41 of 60 Iowa secondary agriculture teachers and 464 11th- and 12th-grade students indicated both teachers and students had high perceptions of sustainable agriculture and its impact on the environment. Both groups felt the need to learn more about it. (SK)

  5. Modeling Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal at the Subfield Scale

    SciTech Connect

    Muth, D.J.; McCorkle, D.S.; Koch, J.B.; Bryden, K.M.

    2012-05-02

    This study developed a computational strategy that utilizes data inputs from multiple spatial scales to investigate how variability within individual fields can impact sustainable residue removal for bioenergy production. Sustainable use of agricultural residues for bioenergy production requires consideration of the important role that residues play in limiting soil erosion and maintaining soil C, health, and productivity. Increased availability of subfield-scale data sets such as grain yield data, high-fidelity digital elevation models, and soil characteristic data provides an opportunity to investigate the impacts of subfield-scale variability on sustainable agricultural residue removal. Using three representative fields in Iowa, this study contrasted the results of current NRCS conservation management planning analysis with subfield-scale analysis for rake-and-bale removal of agricultural residue. The results of the comparison show that the field-average assumptions used in NRCS conservation management planning may lead to unsustainable residue removal decisions for significant portions of some fields. This highlights the need for additional research on subfield-scale sustainable agricultural residue removal including the development of real-time variable removal technologies for agricultural residue.

  6. Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs Workshop Two: Agricultural Landscapes

    SciTech Connect

    Negri, M. Cristina; Ssegane, H.

    2015-08-01

    The Bioenergy Technologies Office hosted two workshops on Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs with Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories in 2014. The second workshop focused on agricultural landscapes and took place in Argonne, IL from June 24—26, 2014. The workshop brought together experts to discuss how landscape design can contribute to the deployment and assessment of sustainable bioenergy. This report summarizes the discussions that occurred at this particular workshop.

  7. Educational and Training Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture. 8th Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, Jane Potter

    This directory provides information on over 200 institutions and organizations that are involved in organic, alternative, or sustainable agriculture and that also focus on education, training, or provision of information. The directory was compiled by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC), which is 1 of 10 information centers…

  8. Educational and Training Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture. 5th Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, Jane Potter

    This directory lists 151 programs in alternative farming systems (systems that aim at maintaining agricultural productivity and profitability, while protecting natural resources, especially sustainable, low-input, regenerative, biodynamic or organic farming and gardening). It includes programs conducted by colleges and universities, research…

  9. 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...

  10. Innovating towards Sustainable Agriculture: A Greek Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koutsouris, Alex

    2008-01-01

    Agronomists (scientists and extensionists), despite the emergence of interactive approaches, still have troubles with (the introduction of) innovations, such as sustainable forms of agriculture. This article critically addresses such difficulties based on the evaluation of a project mainly concerning the introduction of Integrated Crop Management…

  11. Educational and Training Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture. 7th Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, Jane Potter

    This directory contains information about institutions and organizations involved in organic, alternative, or sustainable agriculture, and its focus is on education, training, and provision of information. The directory contains program and contact information for 122 institutions, associations, centers, universities, and foundations; and 4…

  12. Facilitating North-South Partnerships for Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Termeer, C. J. A. M.; Hilhorst, T.; Oorthuizen, J.

    2010-01-01

    The increased number of development cooperation and sustainable agriculture partnerships brings with it new challenges for professionals who are asked to facilitate these partnering processes. In this article we shed more light on the world of development cooperation and we explore questions that facilitators working with North-South partnerships…

  13. Educational Delivery Methods to Encourage Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gamon, Julia; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Comparison of 143 farmers who attended sustainable agriculture conferences (76% response) with 143 controls (57% response) found no significant differences between the 2 groups, suggesting a need to change delivery methods for extension programming. Chemical dealers were the top source of information for both groups. (SK)

  14. Educational and Training Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture. Third Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, Jane Potter

    This directory contains an updated list of institutions involved in organic, low input, or sustainable agriculture that provide education, training, or information. Scope of coverage is the United States and Canada, with 124 listings for the United States and 5 for Canada. Arranged alphabetically, listings consist of institution name, address,…

  15. 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

  16. Estimates of sustainable agricultural water use in northern China based on the equilibrium of groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yali, Y.; Yu, C.

    2015-12-01

    The northern plain is the important food production region in China. However, due to the lack of surface water resources, it needs overmuch exploitation of groundwater to maintain water use in agriculture, which leads to serious environmental problems. Based on the assumption that the reserves of groundwater matches the statistics and keeps on stable, the author explores the reasonable agricultural water and its spatial distribution based on the principle of sustainable utilization of water resources. According to the priorities of water resources allocation (domestic water and ecological water>industrial water>agricultural water), it is proposed to reduce agricultural water use to balance the groundwater reserves on condition that the total water supply is constant. Method: Firstly, we calculate annual average of northern groundwater reserves changes from 2004 to 2010, which is regarded as the reduction of agricultural water; Then, we estimate the food production changes using variables of typical crop water requirements and unit yields assuming that the efficiency of water use keeps the same during the entire study period; Finally, we evaluate the usage of sustainable agricultural water. The results reveal that there is a significant reduction of groundwater reserves in Haihe river basin and Xinjiang oasis regions; And the annual loss of the corn and wheat production is about 1.86 billion kg and 700 million kg respectively due to the reduction of agricultural water; What's more, in order to ensure China's food security and sustainable agricultural water use, in addition to great efforts to develop water-saving agriculture, an important adjustment in the distribution of food production is in need. This study provided a basis to the availability of agricultural water and a new perspective was put forth for an estimation of agricultural water.

  17. Sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley, California.

    PubMed

    Schoups, Gerrit; Hopmans, Jan W; Young, Chuck A; Vrugt, Jasper A; Wallender, Wesley W; Tanji, Ken K; Panday, Sorab

    2005-10-25

    The sustainability of irrigated agriculture in many arid and semiarid areas of the world is at risk because of a combination of several interrelated factors, including lack of fresh water, lack of drainage, the presence of high water tables, and salinization of soil and groundwater resources. Nowhere in the United States are these issues more apparent than in the San Joaquin Valley of California. A solid understanding of salinization processes at regional spatial and decadal time scales is required to evaluate the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. A hydro-salinity model was developed to integrate subsurface hydrology with reactive salt transport for a 1,400-km(2) study area in the San Joaquin Valley. The model was used to reconstruct historical changes in salt storage by irrigated agriculture over the past 60 years. We show that patterns in soil and groundwater salinity were caused by spatial variations in soil hydrology, the change from local groundwater to snowmelt water as the main irrigation water supply, and by occasional droughts. Gypsum dissolution was a critical component of the regional salt balance. Although results show that the total salt input and output were about equal for the past 20 years, the model also predicts salinization of the deeper aquifers, thereby questioning the sustainability of irrigated agriculture.

  18. Bioprospecting bacterial and fungal volatiles for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Maffei, Massimo E

    2015-04-01

    Current agricultural practice depends on a wide use of pesticides, bactericides, and fungicides. Increased demand for organic products indicates consumer preference for reduced chemical use. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel sustainable strategies for crop protection and enhancement that do not rely on genetic modification and/or harmful chemicals. An increasing body of evidence indicates that bacterial and fungal microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) might provide an alternative to the use of chemicals to protect plants from pathogens and provide a setting for better crop welfare. It is well known that MVOCs can modulate the physiology of plants and microorganisms and in this Opinion we propose that MVOCs can be exploited as an ecofriendly, cost-effective, and sustainable strategy for agricultural practices.

  19. Multi-objective optimisation for a sustainable groundwater resources and agricultural management in arid coastal regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundmann, Jens; Heck, Vera; Schütze, Niels

    2014-05-01

    The scarcity of freshwater in coastal arid regions, coupled with an ongoing population growth, makes optimal water management crucial. Excessive use of groundwater for irrigation in agriculture puts those regions at risk of saltwater intrusion which limits the agricultural opportunities. To solve these problems, a simulation based integrated water management system has been developed to ensure a long-term profitable and sustainable water resources and agricultural management. Within the system, a groundwater module, assessing the water resources availability, and an agricultural module, controlling irrigation and cultivation, are connected in an optimisation module, optimising the water management. To reduce the computational complexity of the optimisation procedure, surrogate models are applied which describe the behaviour of the groundwater and agriculture process models regarding the most relevant variables for management. Furthermore, the optimisation problem is decomposed into a two-step optimisation. An analytical inner optimisation estimates irrigation practices and crop patterns, while an outer evolutionary optimisation algorithm determines the overall water abstraction scenarios, based on results of the inner optimisation. By these two features, consequent surrogate model application and decomposition of optimisation, the computational complexity of the optimisation problem is reduced considerably, allowing the consideration of specific regional and temporal aspects in the management tool. The methodology is demonstrated by an exemplary application of the south Batinah region in the Sultanate of Oman which is affected by saltwater intrusion into a coastal aquifer system due to excessive groundwater withdrawal for irrigated agriculture. Due to contradicting objectives like profit-oriented agriculture vs. aquifer sustainability, multi-objective optimisation is performed. Optimisation runs for different simulation periods and management strategies show that a

  20. Assessment of the Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture Practices: Implications for Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alonge, Adewale Johnson; Martin, Robert A.

    1995-01-01

    Surveyed farmers (115 of 150) were very positive about the profitability and compatibility of sustainable agriculture, although certain practices elicited negative reactions. They wanted research and development directed toward maximizing profitability and compatibility to facilitate their adoption of these practices. (SK)

  1. Reading the Farm-Training Agricultural Professionals in Whole Farm Analysis for Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallory, Ellen; White, Charles; Morris, Thomas; Kiernan, Nancy Ellen

    2011-01-01

    Reading the Farm is a 2- to 3-day professional development program that brings together agricultural service providers from a range of agencies, with various expertise and levels of experience, to explore whole-farm systems and sustainability through in-depth study of two case-study farms. Over 90% of past participants reported that the program…

  2. 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.

  3. Epichloë grass endophytes in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, Miia; Saikkonen, Kari; Helander, Marjo; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Wäli, Piippa R

    2016-02-03

    There is an urgent need to create new solutions for sustainable agricultural practices that circumvent the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides and increase the resilience of agricultural systems to environmental change. Beneficial microbial symbionts of plants are expected to play an important role in integrated pest management schemes over the coming decades. Epichloë endophytes, symbiotic fungi of many grass species, can protect plants against several stressors, and could therefore help to increase the productivity of forage grasses and the hardiness of turf grasses while reducing the use of synthetic pesticides. Indeed, Epichloë endophytes have successfully been developed and commercialized for agricultural use in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Many of the host grass species originate from Europe, which is a biodiversity hotspot for both grasses and endophytes. However, intentional use of endophyte-enhanced grasses in Europe is virtually non-existent. We suggest that the diversity of European Epichloë endophytes and their host grasses should be exploited for the development of sustainable agricultural, horticultural and landscaping practices, and potentially for bioremediation and bioenergy purposes, and for environmental improvement.

  4. Epichloë grass endophytes in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, Miia; Saikkonen, Kari; Helander, Marjo; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Wäli, Piippa R

    2016-01-01

    There is an urgent need to create new solutions for sustainable agricultural practices that circumvent the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides and increase the resilience of agricultural systems to environmental change. Beneficial microbial symbionts of plants are expected to play an important role in integrated pest management schemes over the coming decades. Epichloë endophytes, symbiotic fungi of many grass species, can protect plants against several stressors, and could therefore help to increase the productivity of forage grasses and the hardiness of turf grasses while reducing the use of synthetic pesticides. Indeed, Epichloë endophytes have successfully been developed and commercialized for agricultural use in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Many of the host grass species originate from Europe, which is a biodiversity hotspot for both grasses and endophytes. However, intentional use of endophyte-enhanced grasses in Europe is virtually non-existent. We suggest that the diversity of European Epichloë endophytes and their host grasses should be exploited for the development of sustainable agricultural, horticultural and landscaping practices, and potentially for bioremediation and bioenergy purposes, and for environmental improvement. PMID:27249195

  5. [Towards a renewable and sustainable agriculture. Biological agriculture: from marginal vanguard to spearhead of the agriculture of the future].

    PubMed

    Diek Van Mansvelt, J

    1992-01-01

    This work seeks to demonstrate how different types of organic agriculture can meet the need for renewable and sustainable agriculture, rural development, and management of the land and water resources. An obstacle to the spread of organic agriculture is the widespread perception that without intensive factors of production, demographic growth will necessarily outstrip the available food resources. Calculation of economic costs and benefits at present carries greater weight in planning than do soil erosion, deforestation, extinction of species, disappearance of habitats, and similar environmental damage. The different types of organic agriculture do not follow rigid rules and are not defined solely by the nonuse of nitrogenous fertilizers and pesticides. One of the main principles or organic agriculture is to respect local soil and climatic conditions. Self-sufficiency regarding external factors of production and an emphasis on recycling and optimal use of natural resources were concept ahead of their time when they initially were introduced in the 1920s. The specialization which restructured agriculture over the past century has seriously damaged the system of mixed agriculture and the chain of food production. The solution will be to seek for each region an appropriate balance linking animals and agricultural production in an organic process. The objective of organic agriculture, also known as autonomous ecosystem management, is to preserve as far as possible the balance between needs for food and fiber on the 1 hand and the potential of local ecosystems on the other. General principles of organic agriculture include mixed exploitation in which both plants and animals have specific functions in the context of their local soil and climatic characteristics. Different types of crop rotation are practiced to optimize mutual interactions between crops, and the varied organic cycles are also optimized within the framework of anorganic management in accord with nature

  6. Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant–environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts—the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems. PMID:21546547

  7. Plant genetics, sustainable agriculture and global food security.

    PubMed

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-05-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant-environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts-the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems.

  8. Measuring biodiversity and sustainable management in forests and agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Dudley, Nigel; Baldock, David; Nasi, Robert; Stolton, Sue

    2005-01-01

    Most of the world's biodiversity will continue to exist outside protected areas and there are also managed lands within many protected areas. In the assessment of millennium targets, there is therefore a need for indicators to measure biodiversity and suitability of habitats for biodiversity both across the whole landscape/seascape and in specific managed habitats. The two predominant land uses in many inhabited areas are forestry and agriculture and these are examined. Many national-level criteria and indicator systems already exist that attempt to assess biodiversity in forests and the impacts of forest management, but there is generally less experience in measuring these values in agricultural landscapes. Existing systems are reviewed, both for their usefulness in providing indicators and to assess the extent to which they have been applied. This preliminary gap analysis is used in the development of a set of indicators suitable for measuring progress towards the conservation of biodiversity in managed forests and agriculture. The paper concludes with a draft set of indicators for discussion, with suggestions including proportion of land under sustainable management, amount of produce from such land, area of natural or high quality semi-natural land within landscapes under sustainable management and key indicator species. PMID:15814357

  9. Measuring biodiversity and sustainable management in forests and agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Dudley, Nigel; Baldock, David; Nasi, Robert; Stolton, Sue

    2005-02-28

    Most of the world's biodiversity will continue to exist outside protected areas and there are also managed lands within many protected areas. In the assessment of millennium targets, there is therefore a need for indicators to measure biodiversity and suitability of habitats for biodiversity both across the whole landscape/seascape and in specific managed habitats. The two predominant land uses in many inhabited areas are forestry and agriculture and these are examined. Many national-level criteria and indicator systems already exist that attempt to assess biodiversity in forests and the impacts of forest management, but there is generally less experience in measuring these values in agricultural landscapes. Existing systems are reviewed, both for their usefulness in providing indicators and to assess the extent to which they have been applied. This preliminary gap analysis is used in the development of a set of indicators suitable for measuring progress towards the conservation of biodiversity in managed forests and agriculture. The paper concludes with a draft set of indicators for discussion, with suggestions including proportion of land under sustainable management, amount of produce from such land, area of natural or high quality semi-natural land within landscapes under sustainable management and key indicator species.

  10. Food sustainability: problems, perspectives and solutions.

    PubMed

    Garnett, Tara

    2013-02-01

    The global food system makes a significant contribution to climate changing greenhouse gas emissions with all stages in the supply chain, from agricultural production through processing, distribution, retailing, home food preparation and waste, playing a part. It also gives rise to other major environmental impacts, including biodiversity loss and water extraction and pollution. Policy makers are increasingly aware of the need to address these concerns, but at the same time they are faced with a growing burden of food security and nutrition-related problems, and tasked with ensuring that there is enough food to meet the needs of a growing global population. In short, more people need to be fed better, with less environmental impact. How might this be achieved? Broadly, three main 'takes' or perspectives, on the issues and their interactions, appear to be emerging. Depending on one's view point, the problem can be conceptualised as a production challenge, in which case there is a need to change how food is produced by improving the unit efficiency of food production; a consumption challenge, which requires changes to the dietary drivers that determine food production; or a socio-economic challenge, which requires changes in how the food system is governed. This paper considers these perspectives in turn, their implications for nutrition and climate change, and their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, an argument is made for a reorientation of policy thinking which uses the insights provided by all three perspectives, rather than, as is the situation today, privileging one over the other. PMID:23336559

  11. Food sustainability: problems, perspectives and solutions.

    PubMed

    Garnett, Tara

    2013-02-01

    The global food system makes a significant contribution to climate changing greenhouse gas emissions with all stages in the supply chain, from agricultural production through processing, distribution, retailing, home food preparation and waste, playing a part. It also gives rise to other major environmental impacts, including biodiversity loss and water extraction and pollution. Policy makers are increasingly aware of the need to address these concerns, but at the same time they are faced with a growing burden of food security and nutrition-related problems, and tasked with ensuring that there is enough food to meet the needs of a growing global population. In short, more people need to be fed better, with less environmental impact. How might this be achieved? Broadly, three main 'takes' or perspectives, on the issues and their interactions, appear to be emerging. Depending on one's view point, the problem can be conceptualised as a production challenge, in which case there is a need to change how food is produced by improving the unit efficiency of food production; a consumption challenge, which requires changes to the dietary drivers that determine food production; or a socio-economic challenge, which requires changes in how the food system is governed. This paper considers these perspectives in turn, their implications for nutrition and climate change, and their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, an argument is made for a reorientation of policy thinking which uses the insights provided by all three perspectives, rather than, as is the situation today, privileging one over the other.

  12. Problems of Manpower in Agriculture. OECD Documentation in Food and Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris (France).

    Problems related to rapid reduction of the agricultural labor force were examined in the 21 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. The size and changes of the agricultural labor force, economic forces tending towards change, technical requirements for labor in agriculture, and obstacles hindering economic adjustment of…

  13. Studying Sustainable Development: Problems and Possibilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jickling, Bob

    1994-01-01

    The incompatibility between educating for "sustainable development" and the broader concept of education is discussed, pointing out the imprecision of the term "sustainable development." Alternative, and more educationally justifiable, approaches to studying environmental education and development are explored. (SLD)

  14. Importance of Animals in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lawrence P; Wulster-Radcliffe, Meghan C; Aaron, Debra K; Davis, Teresa A

    2015-07-01

    A conservative projection shows the world's population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food will require a substantial increase in efficiency. In this article, we highlight the importance of animals to achieving food security in terms of their valuable contributions to agricultural sustainability, especially in developing countries, and the high nutritional value of animal products in the diet.

  15. Importance of Animals in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lawrence P; Wulster-Radcliffe, Meghan C; Aaron, Debra K; Davis, Teresa A

    2015-07-01

    A conservative projection shows the world's population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food will require a substantial increase in efficiency. In this article, we highlight the importance of animals to achieving food security in terms of their valuable contributions to agricultural sustainability, especially in developing countries, and the high nutritional value of animal products in the diet. PMID:25972529

  16. Operational indicators for measuring agricultural sustainability in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Zhen, Lin; Routray, Jayant K

    2003-07-01

    This paper reviews relevant literature on the sustainability indicators theoretically proposed and practically applied by scholars over the past 15 years. Although progress is being made in the development and critical analysis of sustainability indicators, in many cases existing or proposed indicators are not the most sensitive or useful measures in developing countries. Indicator selection needs to meet the following criteria: relative availability of data representing the indicators, sensitivity to stresses on the system, existence of threshold values and guidelines, predictivity, integratability and known response to disturbances, anthropogenic stresses, and changes over time. Based on these criteria, this paper proposes a set of operational indicators for measuring agricultural sustainability in developing countries. These indicators include ecological indicators involving amounts of fertilizers and pesticides used, irrigation water used, soil nutrient content, depth to the groundwater table, water use efficiency, quality of groundwater for irrigation, and nitrate content of both groundwater and crops. Economic indicators include crop productivity, net farm income, benefit-cost ratio of production, and per capita food grain production. Social indicators encompass food self-sufficiency, equality in food and income distribution among farmers, access to resources and support services, and farmers' knowledge and awareness of resource conservation. This article suggests that the selection of indicators representing each aspect of sustainability should be prioritized according to spatial and temporal characteristics under consideration.

  17. Ecologically sustainable chemical recommendations for agricultural pest control?

    PubMed

    Thomson, Linda J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2007-12-01

    Effective pest control remains an essential part of food production, and it is provided both by chemicals and by natural enemies within agricultural ecosystems. These methods of control are often in conflict because of the negative impact of chemicals on natural enemies. There are already well-established approaches such as those provided by the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control-Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms for testing, collecting, and publishing information on responses of natural enemies to chemicals based on laboratory responses of specific organisms; however, these tests do not assess the cumulative impact of chemical inputs across an entire season or consider impacts on the complex communities of natural enemies that can provide effective pest control on a farm. Here, we explore the potential of different approaches for assessing the impact of chemicals on agricultural ecosystems and we propose a simple metric for sustainable chemical use on farms that minimizes overall impact on beneficial groups. We suggest ways in which the effectiveness of metrics can be extended to include persistence and habitat features. Such metrics can assist farmers in developing targets for sustainable chemical use as demonstrated in the viticultural industry.

  18. Ecologically sustainable chemical recommendations for agricultural pest control?

    PubMed

    Thomson, Linda J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2007-12-01

    Effective pest control remains an essential part of food production, and it is provided both by chemicals and by natural enemies within agricultural ecosystems. These methods of control are often in conflict because of the negative impact of chemicals on natural enemies. There are already well-established approaches such as those provided by the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control-Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms for testing, collecting, and publishing information on responses of natural enemies to chemicals based on laboratory responses of specific organisms; however, these tests do not assess the cumulative impact of chemical inputs across an entire season or consider impacts on the complex communities of natural enemies that can provide effective pest control on a farm. Here, we explore the potential of different approaches for assessing the impact of chemicals on agricultural ecosystems and we propose a simple metric for sustainable chemical use on farms that minimizes overall impact on beneficial groups. We suggest ways in which the effectiveness of metrics can be extended to include persistence and habitat features. Such metrics can assist farmers in developing targets for sustainable chemical use as demonstrated in the viticultural industry. PMID:18232389

  19. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-12-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment. PMID:16512206

  20. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-09-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment. PMID:20549439

  1. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-09-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment.

  2. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-12-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment.

  3. Sustainable Agriculture as a Recruitment Tool for Geoscience Majors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enright, K. P.; Gilbert, L. A.; McGillis, A.

    2014-12-01

    Small-scale agriculture has exploded with popularity in recent years, as teenagers and college students gain interest in local food sources. Outdoor experiences, including gardening and farming, are often among the motivations for students to take their first geoscience courses in college. The methods and theories of small agriculture translate well into geologic research questions, especially in the unique setting of college campus farms and gardens. We propose an activity or assignment to engage student-farmers in thinking about geosciences, and connect them with geoscience departments as a gateway to the major and career field. Furthermore, the activity will encourage a new generation of passionate young farmers to integrate the principles of earth science into their design and implementation of more sustainable food systems. The activity includes mapping, soil sampling, and interviewing professionals in agriculture and geology, and results in the students writing a series of recommendations for their campus or other farm. The activity includes assessment tools for instructors and can be used to give credit for a summer farming internship or as part of a regular course. We believe reaching out to students interested in farming could be an important recruitment tool for geosciences and helps build interdisciplinary and community partnerships.

  4. Students' Experiential Learning and Use of Student Farms in Sustainable Agriculture Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parr, Damian M.; Trexler, Cary J.

    2011-01-01

    Student farms, developed largely out of student efforts, have served as centers for the development of experiential learning and sustainable agriculture and food systems educational activities on land-grant colleges of agriculture well before most formal sustainable agriculture and food systems programs were proposed. This study explored students'…

  5. Seeds of Knowledge: The Evolution of the Louis Bromfield Sustainable Agriculture Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miraglia, Laurie L.

    The Louis Bromfield Sustainable Agriculture Library is located in Lucas, Ohio, at Malabar Farm State Park. Established in 1992, the library is jointly maintained by the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Program and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The library's namesake, Louis Bromfield, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and noted…

  6. College Students' View of Biotechnology Products and Practices in Sustainable Agriculture Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, William A.

    2008-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture implies the use of products and practices that sustain production, protect the environment, ensure economic viability, and maintain rural community viability. Disagreement exists as to whether or not the products and practices of modern biotechnological support agricultural sustainability. The purpose of this study was to…

  7. World Food and Agriculture. Economic Problems and Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asefa, Sisay, Ed.

    This book contains a series of essays based on public lectures delivered by six agricultural economists during the 1986-1987 academic year at Western Michigan University. Some of the main issues and problems addressed in the essays are the role of technical change in agricultural development, the value of learning from historical and comparative…

  8. Climate Change and Agricultural Sustainability - A Global Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, X.; Zhang, X.

    2012-12-01

    This study provides a spatially explicit estimate of climate change impact on world-wide agricultural sustainability, considering uncertainty in climate change projections. The potential changes in agricultural land and crop water requirement and availability are assessed by region in the world. Uncertainty in General Circulation Model (GCM) projections is addressed using data assembled from a number of GCMs and representative emission scenarios. Erroneous data and the uncertain nature of land classifications based on multiple indices (i.e., soil properties, land slope, temperature, and humidity) are handled with fuzzy logic modeling. It is found that global arable land area is likely to be affected by emission scenarios, for example, it may decrease by 0.8% ~ 1.7% under scenario A1B (CO2-equivalent GHG concentrations of 850 ppmv) but increase by 2.0% ~ 4.4% under scenario B1 (CO2-equivalent GHG concentrations of 600 ppmv, which represents a greener economy than A1B). However, at the regional scale, although the magnitudes of the projected changes vary by scenario, the increasing or decreasing trends in arable land area are consistent: Regions with relative high latitudes - Russia, China and the U.S. - could see a significant increase in arable land in coming years, but South America, Africa, Europe and India could lose land area. For agricultural water use, the following questions are addressed: Where will there be a need for irrigation expansion and by how much? Where and how much of current irrigation pressures or water deficits for rainfed crops can be mitigated or aggravated? And finally, what is the overall situation for the entire world? It is found that despite the universally rising mean temperature, the global irrigation requirements are likely to decrease. This is probably due to the declining diurnal temperature range, which plays a key role in the evapotranspiration control, as well as the increasing precipitation in many areas contributing to the

  9. Balancing water scarcity and quality for sustainable irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assouline, Shmuel; Russo, David; Silber, Avner; Or, Dani

    2015-05-01

    The challenge of meeting the projected doubling of global demand for food by 2050 is monumental. It is further exacerbated by the limited prospects for land expansion and rapidly dwindling water resources. A promising strategy for increasing crop yields per unit land requires the expansion of irrigated agriculture and the harnessing of water sources previously considered "marginal" (saline, treated effluent, and desalinated water). Such an expansion, however, must carefully consider potential long-term risks on soil hydroecological functioning. The study provides critical analyses of use of marginal water and management approaches to map out potential risks. Long-term application of treated effluent (TE) for irrigation has shown adverse impacts on soil transport properties, and introduces certain health risks due to the persistent exposure of soil biota to anthropogenic compounds (e.g., promoting antibiotic resistance). The availability of desalinated water (DS) for irrigation expands management options and improves yields while reducing irrigation amounts and salt loading into the soil. Quantitative models are used to delineate trends associated with long-term use of TE and DS considering agricultural, hydrological, and environmental aspects. The primary challenges to the sustainability of agroecosystems lies with the hazards of saline and sodic conditions, and the unintended consequences on soil hydroecological functioning. Multidisciplinary approaches that combine new scientific knowhow with legislative, economic, and societal tools are required to ensure safe and sustainable use of water resources of different qualities. The new scientific knowhow should provide quantitative models for integrating key biophysical processes with ecological interactions at appropriate spatial and temporal scales.

  10. Experimental learning projects address contemporary issues related to energy, environment, and sustainable agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The “Bio-Fuel, sustainability, and geospatial information technologies to enhance experiential learning paradigm for precision agriculture project”, recently funded by USDA extends the environmental stewardship archetype of the preceding project titled “Environmentally conscious precision agricultur...

  11. Agricultural Education for Sustainable Rural Development: Challenges for Developing Countries in the 21st Century.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Crowder, L.; Lindley, W. I.; Bruening, T. H.; Doron, N.

    1998-01-01

    Agricultural education institutions in developing countries must address immediate production needs as well as food security, sustainable agricultural, and rural development needs. This will mean moving to an interdisciplinary, systems approach that incorporates new topics. (Author/JOW)

  12. Modeling Halophytic Plants in APEX for Sustainable Water and Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeRuyter, T.; Saito, L.; Nowak, B.; Rossi, C.; Toderich, K.

    2013-12-01

    A major problem for irrigated agricultural production is soil salinization, which can occur naturally or can be human-induced. Human-induced, or secondary salinization, is particularly a problem in arid and semi-arid regions, especially in irrigated areas. Irrigated land has more than twice the production of rainfed land, and accounts for about one third of the world's food, but nearly 20% of irrigated lands are salt-affected. Many farmers worldwide currently seasonally leach their land to reduce the soil salt content. These practices, however, create further problems such as a raised groundwater table, and salt, fertilizer, and pesticide pollution of nearby lakes and groundwater. In Uzbekistan, a combination of these management practices and a propensity to cultivate 'thirsty' crops such as cotton has also contributed to the Aral Sea shrinking nearly 90% by volume since the 1950s. Most common agricultural crops are glycophytes that have reduced yields when subjected to salt-stress. Some plants, however, are known as halophytic or 'salt-loving' plants and are capable of completing their life-cycle in higher saline soil or water environments. Halophytes may be useful for human consumption, livestock fodder, or biofuel, and may also be able to reduce or maintain salt levels in soil and water. To assess the potential for these halophytes to assist with salinity management, we are developing a model that is capable of tracking salinity under different management practices in agricultural environments. This model is interdisciplinary as it combines fields such as plant ecology, hydrology, and soil science. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) model, Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (APEX), is being augmented with a salinity module that tracks salinity as separate ions across the soil-plant-water interface. The halophytes Atriplex nitens, Climacoptera lanata, and Salicornia europaea are being parameterized and added into the APEX model database. Field sites

  13. Antimony bioavailability: knowledge and research perspectives for sustainable agricultures.

    PubMed

    Pierart, Antoine; Shahid, Muhammad; Séjalon-Delmas, Nathalie; Dumat, Camille

    2015-05-30

    The increasing interest in urban agriculture highlights the crucial question of crop quality. The main objectives for environmental sustainability are a decrease in chemical inputs, a reduction in the level of pollutants, and an improvement in the soil's biological activity. Among inorganic pollutants emitted by vehicle traffic and some industrial processes in urban areas, antimony (Sb) is observed on a global scale. While this metalloid is known to be potentially toxic, it can transfer from the soil or the atmosphere to plants, and accumulate in their edible parts. Urban agriculture is developing worldwide, and could therefore increasingly expose populations to Sb. The objective of this review was in consequences to gather and interpret actual knowledge of Sb uptake and bioaccumulation by crops, to reveal investigative fields on which to focus. While there is still no legal maximal value for Sb in plants and soils, light has to be shed on its accumulation and the factors affecting it. A relative absence of data exists about the role of soil flora and fauna in the transfer, speciation and compartmentation of Sb in vegetables. Moreover, little information exists on Sb ecotoxicity for terrestrial ecosystems. A human risk assessment has finally been reviewed, with particular focus on Sb bioaccessibility.

  14. Chitosan nanoparticle based delivery systems for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kashyap, Prem Lal; Xiang, Xu; Heiden, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Development of technologies that improve food productivity without any adverse impact on the ecosystem is the need of hour. In this context, development of controlled delivery systems for slow and sustained release of agrochemicals or genetic materials is crucial. Chitosan has emerged as a valuable carrier for controlled delivery of agrochemicals and genetic materials because of its proven biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, and adsorption abilities. The major advantages of encapsulating agrochemicals and genetic material in a chitosan matrix include its ability to function as a protective reservoir for the active ingredients, protecting the ingredients from the surrounding environment while they are in the chitosan domain, and then controlling their release, allowing them to serve as efficient gene delivery systems for plant transformation or controlled release of pesticides. Despite the great progress in the use of chitosan in the area of medical and pharmaceutical sciences, there is still a wide knowledge gap regarding the potential application of chitosan for encapsulation of active ingredients in agriculture. Hence, the present article describes the current status of chitosan nanoparticle-based delivery systems in agriculture, and to highlight challenges that need to be overcome.

  15. Implication of soil C sequestration on sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Mondini, C; Sequi, P

    2008-01-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is the largest C stock of the continental biosphere with 1550Pg. The size of C reservoir in the soil and environmental concerns on climate change have recently attracted the attention of scientist and politicians on C sequestration as an effective strategy to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It has been estimated that the potential for C storage in world cropland is relevant (about 0.6-1.2PgCy(-1)). However, there are several constraints of C sequestration that raise concern about its effectiveness as a strategy to offset climate change. C sequestration is finite in quantity and time, reversible, and can be further decreased by socio-economic restrictions. Given these limitations, C sequestration can play only a minor role in the reduction of emissions (2-5% of total GHG emission under the highest emission scenarios). Yet, C sequestration is still attractive for two main reasons: it is likely to be particularly effective in reducing atmospheric CO2 levels in the first 20-30yr of its implementation and presents ancillary benefits for environment and sustainability that make it a real win-win strategy. These beneficial implications are discussed in this paper with emphasis on the need of C sequestration not only to offset climatic changes, but also for the equilibria of the environment and for the sustainability of agriculture and of entire human society.

  16. Strategies and models for agricultural sustainability in developing Asian countries.

    PubMed

    Kesavan, P C; Swaminathan, M S

    2008-02-27

    The green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s which resulted in dramatic yield increases in the developing Asian countries is now showing signs of fatigue in productivity gains. Intensive agriculture practiced without adherence to the scientific principles and ecological aspects has led to loss of soil health, and depletion of freshwater resources and agrobiodiversity. With progressive diversion of arable land for non-agricultural purposes, the challenge of feeding the growing population without, at the same time, annexing more forestland and depleting the rest of life is indeed daunting. Further, even with food availability through production/procurement, millions of marginal farming, fishing and landless rural families have very low or no access to food due to lack of income-generating livelihoods. Approximately 200 million rural women, children and men in India alone fall in this category. Under these circumstances, the evergreen revolution (pro-nature, pro-poor, pro-women and pro-employment/livelihood oriented ecoagriculture) under varied terms are proposed for achieving productivity in perpetuity. In the proposed 'biovillage paradigm', eco-friendly agriculture is promoted along with on- and non-farm eco-enterprises based on sustainable management of natural resources. Concurrently, the modern ICT-based village knowledge centres provide time- and locale-specific, demand-driven information needed for evergreen revolution and ecotechnologies. With a system of 'farm and marine production by masses', the twin goals of ecoagriculture and eco-livelihoods are addressed. The principles, strategies and models of these are briefly discussed in this paper.

  17. Sustainability of current agriculture practices, community perception, and implications for ecosystem health: an Indian study.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Atanu; Patil, Shantagouda; Hugar, Lingappa B; vanLoon, Gary

    2011-12-01

    In order to support agribusiness and to attain food security for ever-increasing populations, most countries in the world have embraced modern agricultural technologies. Ecological consequences of the technocentric approaches, and their sustainability and impacts on human health have, however, not received adequate attention particularly in developing countries. India is one country that has undergone a rapid transformation in the field of agriculture by adopting strategies of the Green Revolution. This article provides a comparative analysis of the effects of older and newer paradigms of agricultural practices on ecosystem and human health within the larger context of sustainability. The study was conducted in three closely situated areas where different agricultural practices were followed: (a) the head-end of a modern canal-irrigated area, (b) an adjacent dryland, and (c) an area (the ancient area) that has been provided with irrigation for some 800 years. Data were collected by in-depth interviews of individual farmers, focus-group discussions, participatory observations, and from secondary sources. The dryland, receiving limited rainfall, continues to practice diverse cropping centered to a large extent on traditional coarse cereals and uses only small amounts of chemical inputs. On the other hand, modern agriculture in the head-end emphasizes continuous cropping of rice supported by extensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. Market forces have, to a significant degree, influenced the ancient area to abandon much of its early practices of organic farming and to take up aspects of modern agricultural practice. Rice cultivation in the irrigated parts has changed the local landscape and vegetation and has augmented the mosquito population, which is a potential vector for malaria, Japanese encephalitis and other diseases. Nevertheless, despite these problems, perceptions of adverse environmental effects are lowest in the heavily irrigated area.

  18. Sustainability of current agriculture practices, community perception, and implications for ecosystem health: an Indian study.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Atanu; Patil, Shantagouda; Hugar, Lingappa B; vanLoon, Gary

    2011-12-01

    In order to support agribusiness and to attain food security for ever-increasing populations, most countries in the world have embraced modern agricultural technologies. Ecological consequences of the technocentric approaches, and their sustainability and impacts on human health have, however, not received adequate attention particularly in developing countries. India is one country that has undergone a rapid transformation in the field of agriculture by adopting strategies of the Green Revolution. This article provides a comparative analysis of the effects of older and newer paradigms of agricultural practices on ecosystem and human health within the larger context of sustainability. The study was conducted in three closely situated areas where different agricultural practices were followed: (a) the head-end of a modern canal-irrigated area, (b) an adjacent dryland, and (c) an area (the ancient area) that has been provided with irrigation for some 800 years. Data were collected by in-depth interviews of individual farmers, focus-group discussions, participatory observations, and from secondary sources. The dryland, receiving limited rainfall, continues to practice diverse cropping centered to a large extent on traditional coarse cereals and uses only small amounts of chemical inputs. On the other hand, modern agriculture in the head-end emphasizes continuous cropping of rice supported by extensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. Market forces have, to a significant degree, influenced the ancient area to abandon much of its early practices of organic farming and to take up aspects of modern agricultural practice. Rice cultivation in the irrigated parts has changed the local landscape and vegetation and has augmented the mosquito population, which is a potential vector for malaria, Japanese encephalitis and other diseases. Nevertheless, despite these problems, perceptions of adverse environmental effects are lowest in the heavily irrigated area. PMID

  19. Arsenic in groundwater: a threat to sustainable agriculture in South and South-east Asia.

    PubMed

    Brammer, Hugh; Ravenscroft, Peter

    2009-04-01

    The problem of arsenic pollution of groundwater used for domestic water supplies is now well recognised in Bangladesh, India and some other countries of South and South-east Asia. However, it has recently become apparent that arsenic-polluted water used for irrigation is adding sufficient arsenic to soils and rice to pose serious threats to sustainable agricultural production in those countries and to the health and livelihoods of affected people. This paper reviews the nature of those threats, taking into account the natural sources of arsenic pollution, areas affected, factors influencing arsenic uptake by soils and plants, toxicity levels and the dietary risk to people consuming arsenic-contaminated rice.

  20. Impact of Sustainable Agriculture on Secondary School Agricultural Education Teachers and Programs in the North Central Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agbaje, Kehinde Aderemi Ajaiyeoba; Martin, Robert A.; Williams, David L.

    2001-01-01

    Responses from 298 of 600 secondary agriculture teachers in north central United States revealed limited impact of sustainable agriculture. Most teachers had neutral perceptions; a moderate number taught it, but not from a systems perspective. However, related agronomy topics were taught, providing a possible foundation for future inclusion of…

  1. Sustainable agriculture for Alaska and the circumpolar north: Part 1. Development and status of northeren agriculture and food security

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alaska is food insecure, importing an estimated 95% of all agricultural products and 50 commodities and only maintaining a year round food supply of about three to five days. We 51 review the history, development and current state of sustainable agriculture at high-latitudes, 52 especially Alaska, a...

  2. Teaching the Nature of Science in a Course in Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cessna, Stephen; Neufeld, Douglas Graber; Horst, S. Jeanne

    2013-01-01

    Claims of the (non-)sustainability of a given agricultural practice generally hinge on scientific evidence and the reliability of that evidence, or at least the perception of its reliability. Advocates of sustainable agriculture may dismiss science as purely subjective, or at the other extreme, may inappropriately elevate scientific findings to…

  3. The sources of deforestation - implications for sustainable agriculture in Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Torres-Zorrilla, J.; Arnode, C.

    1992-12-01

    Agricultural equilibrium conditions are used to identify the sources of deforestation in Brazil. The rate which forestland can be converted into agricultural land and meet agricultural and environmental goals is calculated. This serves the task of determining how long agricultural land growth can be maintained until environmental targets are violated.

  4. Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Practices Through Remote Sensing Education and Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driese, K. L.; Sivanpillai, R.

    2007-12-01

    Ever increasing demand for food and fiber calls for farm management strategies such as effective use of chemicals and efficient water use that will maximize productivity while reducing adverse impacts on the environment. Remotely sensed data collected by satellites are a valuable resource for farmers and ranchers for gaining insights about farm and ranch productivity. While researchers in universities and agencies have made tremendous advances, technology transfer to end-users has lagged, preventing the farmers from taking advantage of this valuable resource. To overcome this barrier, the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC), a NASA funded program headed by the University of North Dakota, has been working with end-users to promote the use of remote sensing technology for sustainable agricultural practices. We will highlight the UMAC activities in Wyoming aimed at promoting this technology to sugar-beet farmers in the Big Horn Basin. To assist farmers who might not have a computer at home, we provide them to local county Cooperative Extension Offices pre-loaded with relevant imagery. Our targeted outreach activities have resulted in farmers requesting and using new and old Landsat images to identify growth anomalies and trends which have enabled them to develop management zones within their croplands.

  5. [Discussion on agricultural product quality and safety problem from ecological view].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Ming; Dong, Nan; Lyu, Xin

    2015-08-01

    There are many different perspectives about the sustainable agriculture, which had been proposed since the last three decades in the world. While China's ecologists and agronomists proposed a similar concept named 'ecological agriculture'. Although ecological agriculture in China has achieved substantial progress, including theory, models and supporting technologies nearly several decades of practice and development, its application guidance still is not yet clear. The organic agriculture model proposed by European Union is popular, but it is limited in the beneficiary groups and the social and ecological responsibility. In this context, the article based on an ecological point of view, analyzed the shortcomings of ecological imbalance caused by a single mode of agricultural production and the negative impact on the quality of agricultural products, and discussed the core values of ecological agriculture. On this basis, we put forward the concept of sustainable security of agricultural products. Based on this concept, an agricultural platform was established under the healthy ecosysphere environment, and from this agricultural platform, agricultural products could be safely and sustainably obtained. Around the central value of the concept, we designed the agricultural sustainable and security production model. Finally, we compared the responsibility, benefiting groups, agronomic practices selection and other aspects of sustainable agriculture with organic agriculture, and proved the advancement of sustainable agricultural model in agricultural production quality and safety. PMID:26685623

  6. [Discussion on agricultural product quality and safety problem from ecological view].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Ming; Dong, Nan; Lyu, Xin

    2015-08-01

    There are many different perspectives about the sustainable agriculture, which had been proposed since the last three decades in the world. While China's ecologists and agronomists proposed a similar concept named 'ecological agriculture'. Although ecological agriculture in China has achieved substantial progress, including theory, models and supporting technologies nearly several decades of practice and development, its application guidance still is not yet clear. The organic agriculture model proposed by European Union is popular, but it is limited in the beneficiary groups and the social and ecological responsibility. In this context, the article based on an ecological point of view, analyzed the shortcomings of ecological imbalance caused by a single mode of agricultural production and the negative impact on the quality of agricultural products, and discussed the core values of ecological agriculture. On this basis, we put forward the concept of sustainable security of agricultural products. Based on this concept, an agricultural platform was established under the healthy ecosysphere environment, and from this agricultural platform, agricultural products could be safely and sustainably obtained. Around the central value of the concept, we designed the agricultural sustainable and security production model. Finally, we compared the responsibility, benefiting groups, agronomic practices selection and other aspects of sustainable agriculture with organic agriculture, and proved the advancement of sustainable agricultural model in agricultural production quality and safety.

  7. Farming with Grass: Achieving Sustainable Mixed Agricultural Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Grassla...

  8. Remote sensing, GIS, and GPS technologies for assessment potentialities of sustainable eco-agriculture development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlova, Albena V.; Tsvetkovski, Mitko M.

    2004-02-01

    The problem of ecological agriculture production is a question of present interest all over the world. For the past few years in Bulgaria were performed a number of reforms associated with utilization and management of agricultural and forest areas. Contemporary the problem cover eco-monitoring, specification of the trends and rehabilitation criteria determination on the basis of satellite technologies. The recent work presents a methodic for determination of suitable areas for sustainable ecoagriculture development. The main item in this methodic is test area definition based on remote sensing basis. It is proposed "point-polygon" method for correlation links between test point objects and certain test polygon. The test point objects are defined by GPS techniques. This approach enables complex quantitative assessment of the region with minimum resources consumption. For precise results obtaining is performed interpretatation of multispectral and panchromatic aerophoto and satellite images of different time periods, it is specified crop phenology and field check. Data are integrated in GIS for more efficient monitoring of the characteristics of the region of interest. The methodologies developed during these investigations can be applied to other regions, and have potential for providing modelers with extended data sets of independently derived agriculture data and monitoring studies.

  9. 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.

  10. Adaptation Options for Land Drainage Systems Towards Sustainable Agriculture and Environment: A Czech Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulhavý, Zbyněk; Fučík, Petr

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, issues of agricultural drainage systems are introduced and discussed from the views of their former, current and future roles and functioning in the Czech Republic (CR). A methodologically disparate survey was done on thirty-nine model localities in CR with different intensity and state of land drainage systems, aimed at description of commonly occurred problems and possible adaptations of agricultural drainage as perceived by farmers, land owners, landscape managers or by protective water management. The survey was focused on technical state of drainage, fragmentation of land ownership within drained areas as well as on possible conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests in a landscape. Achieved results confirmed that there is obviously an increasing need to reassess some functions of prevailingly single-purpose agricultural drainage systems. Drainage intensity and detected unfavourable technical state of drainage systems as well as the risks connected with the anticipated climate change from the view of possible water scarcity claims for a complex solution. An array of adaptation options for agricultural drainage systems is presented, aiming at enhancement of water retention time and improvement of water quality. It encompasses additional flow-controlling measures on tiles or ditches, or facilities for making selected parts of a drainage system inoperable in order to retain or slow down the drainage runoff, to establish water accumulation zones and to enhance water self-cleaning processes. However, it was revealed that the question of landowner parcels fragmentation on drained land in CR would dramatically complicate design and realization of these measures. Presented solutions and findings are propounded with a respect to contemporary and future state policies and international strategies for sustainable agriculture, water management and environment.

  11. [Heavy metal problems in the agricultural utilization of sewage sludge].

    PubMed

    Leschber, R

    1983-09-01

    Introductory comments on the problems linked with sewage sludge disposal and utilization are given and it is demonstrated that agricultural use of sludge must definitely be given preference over other disposal methods for reasons related to waste utilization and ecology. The legal development which led from the promulgation of the Waste Disposal Act via its recent revision to the Sewage Sludge Decree according to para 15 of this Act, is illustrated. Subsequently the objectives of the decree, which in particular also attempts to solve the problems associated with heavy metals in agricultural sludge utilization, as well as the technical contents of the draft are dealt with. Reference is made to the Sewage Sludge Decree promulgated by the Swiss Bundesrat and to a corresponding draft of guidelines prepared by the Commission of the EEC and the measures which must be adopted to solve the heavy metal problem in the future are then mentioned.

  12. Sustainable development in agriculture, food and nutrition--a patent analysis.

    PubMed

    Vani, Kohila P; Doble, Mukesh

    2011-05-01

    The paper discusses the patents that have been filed in the areas of sustainable development in agriculture, food and nutrition and use of natural resources in achieving this goal. A large number of patents deal with the production of fertilizers from animal manure, plant sources and other organic wastes, which are more sustainable that the chemical fertilizers that are being currently used. Sustainability in agriculture is achieved in developing processes for the manufacture of biopesticides/insecticides and bioactive agricultural products. Development of novel sustainable agricultural processes has also been the focus of researchers and technologists. Plant derived nutritious food products are sustainable and can cater for the growing population burden. This has been the focus of several patents. Processes for enhancing the nutrition in food also serve the purpose of catering for the under nourished population. PMID:21428874

  13. Sustainable development in agriculture, food and nutrition--a patent analysis.

    PubMed

    Vani, Kohila P; Doble, Mukesh

    2011-05-01

    The paper discusses the patents that have been filed in the areas of sustainable development in agriculture, food and nutrition and use of natural resources in achieving this goal. A large number of patents deal with the production of fertilizers from animal manure, plant sources and other organic wastes, which are more sustainable that the chemical fertilizers that are being currently used. Sustainability in agriculture is achieved in developing processes for the manufacture of biopesticides/insecticides and bioactive agricultural products. Development of novel sustainable agricultural processes has also been the focus of researchers and technologists. Plant derived nutritious food products are sustainable and can cater for the growing population burden. This has been the focus of several patents. Processes for enhancing the nutrition in food also serve the purpose of catering for the under nourished population.

  14. Innovative type of Reproduction of Agriculture of the Komi Republic - the Basis of its Sustainable Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponomareva, Anna

    2013-04-01

    The necessity of transition of agriculture to sustainability is complicated by the necessity to increase production of local environmentally safe food, unemployment indigenous growth of living standards of the peasant community, stable and balanced nature management. Due to the difficult economic conditions of natural and agricultural development for the Komi Republic principle of food self-sufficiency is unacceptable, but the production of basic food products, for which favorable there are conditions, is objective necessity in the short term. Priority directions of development of the agricultural and fisheries sectors: the production of socially significant food products - potatoes, vegetables of the local range, milk, fresh meat, eggs, dietary, preservation and development of traditional industries, and collecting wild mushrooms and berries and its processing. Off forecast in the northern agricultural areas three scenarios selected: a base (slow), optimistic and pessimistic. For all versions of the forecast to be considered systemic crisis of the agricultural sector of the North is ongoing. Functioning of on sector under a particular scenario will depend on the factors and conditions that affect the stability of the agricultural enterprises and farms. At the base, especially under unfavorable conditions, negative external factors and conditions will prevail. The baseline scenario of recent years assumes the maintenance of the rate of change indicators of agriculture, of the levels of state industry conditions of interbranch exchange in agriculture, of access to economic entities in the financial markets, of the pricing and taxation policies, of relatively low investment opportunities to upgrade production capacity. In this embodiment the growth of agricultural production and its reduction will occur in suburban (peripheral areas). The optimistic scenario will be characterized by protectionist policies of the state, increase investment to improve soil fertility

  15. Contributions to Sustainability by Communities and Individuals: Problems and Prospects

    SciTech Connect

    MacGregor, D.; Tonn, B.E.

    1998-11-01

    This report examines relationships between a comprehensive set of definitions of and viewpoints on the concept of Sustainability and the abilities of communities and individuals in the United States to meet the behavioral prescriptions inherent in these definitions and viewpoints. This research is timely because sustainability is becoming a cornerstone of national and international environmental strategies designed to simultaneously achieve environmental, economic, and social goals. In the United States, many communities have adopted sustainability principles as the foundation for both their environmental protection efforts and their socioeconomic development initiatives. This research is important because it highlights serious problems communities and inviduals may have in achieving sustainability expectations, and illustrates how much work is needed to help communities and individuals overcome numerous considerable and complex constraints to sustainability.

  16. Sustainable agricultural residue removal for bioenergy: A spatially comprehensive US national assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Muth, David J.; Bryden, Kenneth Mark; Nelson, R. G.

    2012-10-06

    This study provides a spatially comprehensive assessment of sustainable agricultural residue removal potential across the United States for bioenergy production. Earlier assessments determining the quantity of agricultural residue that could be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at the regional and national scale faced a number of computational limitations. These limitations included the number of environmental factors, the number of land management scenarios, and the spatial fidelity and spatial extent of the assessment. This study utilizes integrated multi-factor environmental process modeling and high fidelity land use datasets to perform the sustainable agricultural residue removal assessment. Soil type represents the base spatial unit for this study and is modeled using a national soil survey database at the 10–100 m scale. Current crop rotation practices are identified by processing land cover data available from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer database. Land management and residue removal scenarios are identified for each unique crop rotation and crop management zone. Estimates of county averages and state totals of sustainably available agricultural residues are provided. The results of the assessment show that in 2011 over 150 million metric tons of agricultural residues could have been sustainably removed across the United States. Projecting crop yields and land management practices to 2030, the assessment determines that over 207 million metric tons of agricultural residues will be able to be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at that time. This biomass resource has the potential for producing over 68 billion liters of cellulosic biofuels.

  17. Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal for Bioenergy: A Spatially Comprehensive National Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    D. Muth, Jr.; K. M. Bryden; R. G. Nelson

    2013-02-01

    This study provides a spatially comprehensive assessment of sustainable agricultural residue removal potential across the United States. Earlier assessments determining the quantity of agricultural residue that could be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at the regional and national scale faced a number of computational limitations. These limitations included the number of environmental factors, the number of land management scenarios, and the spatial fidelity and spatial extent of the assessment. This study utilizes integrated multi-factor environmental process modeling and high fidelity land use datasets to perform a spatially comprehensive assessment of sustainably removable agricultural residues across the conterminous United States. Soil type represents the base spatial unit for this study and is modeled using a national soil survey database at the 10 – 100 m scale. Current crop rotation practices are identified by processing land cover data available from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer database. Land management and residue removal scenarios are identified for each unique crop rotation and crop management zone. Estimates of county averages and state totals of sustainably available agricultural residues are provided. The results of the assessment show that in 2011 over 150 million metric tons of agricultural residues could have been sustainably removed across the United States. Projecting crop yields and land management practices to 2030, the assessment determines that over 207 million metric tons of agricultural residues will be able to be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at that time.

  18. Human Constraints to Sustainable Agriculture in the Arid Regions of South Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duvel, G. H.; Botha, A. J.

    1999-01-01

    Interviews with 79 South African farmers in arid regions showed that their conservation practices were influenced by such human factors as needs, perceptions, and knowledge. Direct influence on adoption behaviors was recommended to encourage sustainable agriculture practices. (SK)

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N.; Singh, Devendra P.

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet. PMID:27148218

  1. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N; Singh, Devendra P

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet. PMID:27148218

  2. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N; Singh, Devendra P

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet.

  3. Building Better Rural Places: Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Conservation and Community Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berton, Valerie; Butler, Jennifer

    This guide is written for those seeking help from federal programs to foster innovative enterprises in agriculture and forestry in the United States. The guide describes program resources in value-added and diversified agriculture and forestry, sustainable land management, and community development. Programs are included based upon whether they…

  4. People of the Corn: Teachings in Hopi Traditional Agriculture, Spirituality, and Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wall, Dennis; Masayesva, Virgil

    2004-01-01

    This article describes aspects of a unique relationship between an ancient agricultural practice and the culture that it sustains. Hopi agriculture, known as "dry farming" because it relies strictly on precipitation and runoff water (along with hard work and prayer), has kept the Hopi culture intact for nearly a thousand years. But aside from the…

  5. Perceptions of Sustainable Agriculture: A Longitudinal Study of Young and Potential Producers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gamon, Julia A.; Scofield, Gaylan G.

    1998-01-01

    Comparison of an older group of agricultural producers (n=45), young producers (n=102) , and potential producers (n=77) showed the following: potential producers were more positive about sustainable agriculture, younger and potential groups were more likely than older to use dealers as information sources, and potentials were more likely to be…

  6. Where the Grass Grows Again: Knowledge Exchange in the Sustainable Agriculture Movement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hassanein, Neva; Kloppenburg, Jack R., Jr.

    1995-01-01

    Intensive rotational grazing by Wisconsin dairy farmers represents a local expression of the sustainable agriculture movement. Contrary to interpretations that view local knowledge in agriculture as idiosyncratic, these graziers use horizontal forms of organizing and information exchange to overcome the limits of personal experience and share…

  7. Sustaining the Earth's Watersheds-Agricultural Research Data System: Data development, user interaction, and operations management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To support the Agricultural Research Service’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) in assessing USDA conservation programs and practices on soil and water quality, a publicly available web-based watershed data system, called Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds, Agricultural Research Data Sy...

  8. Sustainable Agriculture in Print: Current Books. Special Reference Briefs: SRB 95-02.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD.

    Prepared by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) staff and volunteers, this annotated bibliography provides a list of 85 recently published books pertaining to sustainable agriculture. AFSIC focuses on alternative farming systems (e.g., sustainable, low-input, regenerative, biodynamic, and organic) that maintain agricultural…

  9. Corn-based feedstock for biofuels: Implications for agricultural sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Crop residue as a source of feedstock for biofuels production must retain ecosystem services and be sustainable. The challenge is to develop cropping system management strategies that balance the demand for increasing biofuel needs with ecosystem sustainability. This study was designed to evaluate impacts of changes in land use and management caused by corn-based biofuel production (grain, cob, stover) on soil fertility and ecosystem sustainability. Our specific goal was to investigate how the levels of corn residue removal influence current soil carbon and nutrient budgets and how these budgets are maintained under proposed production scenarios. Soil organic carbon (SOC), an important carbon component in the life cycle of biofuel production, is a sensitive indicator of cropping system sustainability. We used a soil carbon and nutrient balance approach developed from published field observations and a validated mechanistic model to analyze historical corn grain yields and fertilizer usage associated with various management practices at the county scale across the United States. Our analyses show that ecosystem carbon flux demonstrates significant spatial variability, relying heavily on the total biomass production level and residue harvest intensity; SOC budgets depend mainly on the proportion of residue removal, tillage type, and previous SOC stock level. Our results also indicate that corn cob removal for biofuel has little effect on soil carbon and nutrient balances under conventional management practices, while necessary irrigation can contribute greatly to corn-based biofuel production and ecosystem sustainability in the western side of the Great Plains and the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

  10. Prospects for land-use sustainability on the agricultural frontier of the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Galford, Gillian L; Soares-Filho, Britaldo; Cerri, Carlos E P

    2013-06-01

    The Brazilian Amazon frontier shows how remarkable leadership can work towards increased agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability without new greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to initiatives among various stakeholders, including national and state government and agents, farmers, consumers, funding agencies and non-governmental organizations. Change has come both from bottom-up and top-down actions of these stakeholders, providing leadership, financing and monitoring to foster environmental sustainability and agricultural growth. Goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land-cover and land-use change in Brazil are being achieved through a multi-tiered approach that includes policies to reduce deforestation and initiatives for forest restoration, as well as increased and diversified agricultural production, intensified ranching and innovations in agricultural management. Here, we address opportunities for the Brazilian Amazon in working towards low-carbon rural development and environmentally sustainable landscapes. PMID:23610175

  11. Prospects for land-use sustainability on the agricultural frontier of the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Galford, Gillian L.; Soares-Filho, Britaldo; Cerri, Carlos E. P.

    2013-01-01

    The Brazilian Amazon frontier shows how remarkable leadership can work towards increased agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability without new greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to initiatives among various stakeholders, including national and state government and agents, farmers, consumers, funding agencies and non-governmental organizations. Change has come both from bottom-up and top-down actions of these stakeholders, providing leadership, financing and monitoring to foster environmental sustainability and agricultural growth. Goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land-cover and land-use change in Brazil are being achieved through a multi-tiered approach that includes policies to reduce deforestation and initiatives for forest restoration, as well as increased and diversified agricultural production, intensified ranching and innovations in agricultural management. Here, we address opportunities for the Brazilian Amazon in working towards low-carbon rural development and environmentally sustainable landscapes. PMID:23610175

  12. Sustainable agriculture: possible trajectories from mutualistic symbiosis and plant neodomestication.

    PubMed

    Duhamel, Marie; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe

    2013-11-01

    Food demand will increase concomitantly with human population. Food production therefore needs to be high enough and, at the same time, minimize damage to the environment. This equation cannot be solved with current strategies. Based on recent findings, new trajectories for agriculture and plant breeding which take into account the belowground compartment and evolution of mutualistic strategy, are proposed in this opinion article. In this context, we argue that plant breeders have the opportunity to make use of native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis in an innovative ecologically intensive agriculture.

  13. Definition and use of Solution-focused Sustainability Assessment: A novel approach to generate, explore and decide on sustainable solutions for wicked problems.

    PubMed

    Zijp, Michiel C; Posthuma, Leo; Wintersen, Arjen; Devilee, Jeroen; Swartjes, Frank A

    2016-05-01

    This paper introduces Solution-focused Sustainability Assessment (SfSA), provides practical guidance formatted as a versatile process framework, and illustrates its utility for solving a wicked environmental management problem. Society faces complex and increasingly wicked environmental problems for which sustainable solutions are sought. Wicked problems are multi-faceted, and deriving of a management solution requires an approach that is participative, iterative, innovative, and transparent in its definition of sustainability and translation to sustainability metrics. We suggest to add the use of a solution-focused approach. The SfSA framework is collated from elements from risk assessment, risk governance, adaptive management and sustainability assessment frameworks, expanded with the 'solution-focused' paradigm as recently proposed in the context of risk assessment. The main innovation of this approach is the broad exploration of solutions upfront in assessment projects. The case study concerns the sustainable management of slightly contaminated sediments continuously formed in ditches in rural, agricultural areas. This problem is wicked, as disposal of contaminated sediment on adjacent land is potentially hazardous to humans, ecosystems and agricultural products. Non-removal would however reduce drainage capacity followed by increased risks of flooding, while contaminated sediment removal followed by offsite treatment implies high budget costs and soil subsidence. Application of the steps in the SfSA-framework served in solving this problem. Important elements were early exploration of a wide 'solution-space', stakeholder involvement from the onset of the assessment, clear agreements on the risk and sustainability metrics of the problem and on the interpretation and decision procedures, and adaptive management. Application of the key elements of the SfSA approach eventually resulted in adoption of a novel sediment management policy. The stakeholder

  14. Definition and use of Solution-focused Sustainability Assessment: A novel approach to generate, explore and decide on sustainable solutions for wicked problems.

    PubMed

    Zijp, Michiel C; Posthuma, Leo; Wintersen, Arjen; Devilee, Jeroen; Swartjes, Frank A

    2016-05-01

    This paper introduces Solution-focused Sustainability Assessment (SfSA), provides practical guidance formatted as a versatile process framework, and illustrates its utility for solving a wicked environmental management problem. Society faces complex and increasingly wicked environmental problems for which sustainable solutions are sought. Wicked problems are multi-faceted, and deriving of a management solution requires an approach that is participative, iterative, innovative, and transparent in its definition of sustainability and translation to sustainability metrics. We suggest to add the use of a solution-focused approach. The SfSA framework is collated from elements from risk assessment, risk governance, adaptive management and sustainability assessment frameworks, expanded with the 'solution-focused' paradigm as recently proposed in the context of risk assessment. The main innovation of this approach is the broad exploration of solutions upfront in assessment projects. The case study concerns the sustainable management of slightly contaminated sediments continuously formed in ditches in rural, agricultural areas. This problem is wicked, as disposal of contaminated sediment on adjacent land is potentially hazardous to humans, ecosystems and agricultural products. Non-removal would however reduce drainage capacity followed by increased risks of flooding, while contaminated sediment removal followed by offsite treatment implies high budget costs and soil subsidence. Application of the steps in the SfSA-framework served in solving this problem. Important elements were early exploration of a wide 'solution-space', stakeholder involvement from the onset of the assessment, clear agreements on the risk and sustainability metrics of the problem and on the interpretation and decision procedures, and adaptive management. Application of the key elements of the SfSA approach eventually resulted in adoption of a novel sediment management policy. The stakeholder

  15. Breaking New Ground: The Search for a Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodale, Robert

    1983-01-01

    Conventional farming methods attempt to dominate nature. This approach is leading farmers toward self-destruction. If farmers use regenerative agriculture, farming would change from a battle against nature into the art of encouraging nature to release the most benefits for human use with the least possible effort. (AM)

  16. The Communication of Innovations and the Case of Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgins, Mary Anne

    This paper begins by providing a thorough history and review of the diffusion of innovations research tradition. It then focuses on undesirable, indirect, and unanticipated consequences of innovations based on the dominant paradigm of development. In the case of high-input agriculture, the consequences have affected the quality of the environment…

  17. Environmental Education, Sustainable Agriculture, and CGIAR: History and Future Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelles, Wayne

    2011-01-01

    The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a global network of 15 specialized centers employing around 2,000 international scientists and 6,000 national staff in over 100 countries. CGIAR educational approaches to environmental issues have varied amid conflicting perspectives. Inadequate policies, learning resources,…

  18. Sustainable corn stover harvest strategies for Midwest agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To support emerging U.S. cellulosic bioenergy industries, 239 site-years of data from field studies at 36 sites in seven states were recently summarized in BioEnergy Research by the ARS Resilient Economic Agricultural Practices (REAP) team [formerly the Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP) tea...

  19. Challenges and opportunities in supporting sustainable agriculture and food security

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 2014 IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry (San Francisco, August, 2014) included a symposium on “Challenges Associated with Global Adoption of Agricultural Biotechnology” to review current obstacles in promoting GM crops. Challenges identified by symposium presenters included i) ...

  20. Learning about Agriculture within the Framework of Education for Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tal, Tali

    2008-01-01

    The last two decades have seen increased threats to agricultural landscapes in Israel. Key factors include population growth, strong pressure from construction entrepreneurs and possible profit to land owners who benefit from a legal conversion of farmland into lands allocated for construction. While each Israeli elementary school student used to…

  1. 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.

  2. The role of biotechnology for agricultural sustainability in Africa.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Jennifer A

    2008-02-27

    Sub-Saharan Africa could have a shortfall of nearly 90Mt of cereals by the year 2025 if current agricultural practices are maintained. Biotechnology is one of the ways to improve agricultural production. Insect-resistant varieties of maize and cotton suitable for the subcontinent have been identified as already having a significant impact. Virus-resistant crops are under development. These include maize resistant to the African endemic maize streak virus and cassava resistant to African cassava mosaic virus. Parasitic weeds such as Striga attack the roots of crops such as maize, millet, sorghum and upland rice. Field trials in Kenya using a variety of maize resistant to a herbicide have proven very successful. Drought-tolerant crops are also under development as are improved varieties of local African crops such as bananas, cassava, sorghum and sweet potatoes.

  3. Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture.

    PubMed

    Tilman, David; Balzer, Christian; Hill, Jason; Befort, Belinda L

    2011-12-13

    Global food demand is increasing rapidly, as are the environmental impacts of agricultural expansion. Here, we project global demand for crop production in 2050 and evaluate the environmental impacts of alternative ways that this demand might be met. We find that per capita demand for crops, when measured as caloric or protein content of all crops combined, has been a similarly increasing function of per capita real income since 1960. This relationship forecasts a 100-110% increase in global crop demand from 2005 to 2050. Quantitative assessments show that the environmental impacts of meeting this demand depend on how global agriculture expands. If current trends of greater agricultural intensification in richer nations and greater land clearing (extensification) in poorer nations were to continue, ~1 billion ha of land would be cleared globally by 2050, with CO(2)-C equivalent greenhouse gas emissions reaching ~3 Gt y(-1) and N use ~250 Mt y(-1) by then. In contrast, if 2050 crop demand was met by moderate intensification focused on existing croplands of underyielding nations, adaptation and transfer of high-yielding technologies to these croplands, and global technological improvements, our analyses forecast land clearing of only ~0.2 billion ha, greenhouse gas emissions of ~1 Gt y(-1), and global N use of ~225 Mt y(-1). Efficient management practices could substantially lower nitrogen use. Attainment of high yields on existing croplands of underyielding nations is of great importance if global crop demand is to be met with minimal environmental impacts.

  4. "Development of an interactive crop growth web service architecture to review and forecast agricultural sustainability"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seamon, E.; Gessler, P. E.; Flathers, E.; Walden, V. P.

    2014-12-01

    As climate change and weather variability raise issues regarding agricultural production, agricultural sustainability has become an increasingly important component for farmland management (Fisher, 2005, Akinci, 2013). Yet with changes in soil quality, agricultural practices, weather, topography, land use, and hydrology - accurately modeling such agricultural outcomes has proven difficult (Gassman et al, 2007, Williams et al, 1995). This study examined agricultural sustainability and soil health over a heterogeneous multi-watershed area within the Inland Pacific Northwest of the United States (IPNW) - as part of a five year, USDA funded effort to explore the sustainability of cereal production systems (Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture - award #2011-68002-30191). In particular, crop growth and soil erosion were simulated across a spectrum of variables and time periods - using the CropSyst crop growth model (Stockle et al, 2002) and the Water Erosion Protection Project Model (WEPP - Flanagan and Livingston, 1995), respectively. A preliminary range of historical scenarios were run, using a high-resolution, 4km gridded dataset of surface meteorological variables from 1979-2010 (Abatzoglou, 2012). In addition, Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5) global climate model (GCM) outputs were used as input to run crop growth model and erosion future scenarios (Abatzoglou and Brown, 2011). To facilitate our integrated data analysis efforts, an agricultural sustainability web service architecture (THREDDS/Java/Python based) is under development, to allow for the programmatic uploading, sharing and processing of variable input data, running model simulations, as well as downloading and visualizing output results. The results of this study will assist in better understanding agricultural sustainability and erosion relationships in the IPNW, as well as provide a tangible server-based tool for use by researchers and farmers - for both

  5. Utilization of Live Localized Weather Information for Sustainable Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, J.; Usher, J.

    2010-09-01

    Authors: Jim Anderson VP, Global Network and Business Development WeatherBug® Professional Jeremy Usher Managing Director, Europe WeatherBug® Professional Localized, real-time weather information is vital for day-to-day agronomic management of all crops. The challenge for agriculture is twofold in that local and timely weather data is not often available for producers and farmers, and it is not integrated into decision-support tools they require. Many of the traditional sources of weather information are not sufficient for agricultural applications because of the long distances between weather stations, meaning the data is not always applicable for on-farm decision making processes. The second constraint with traditional weather information is the timeliness of the data. Most delivery systems are designed on a one-hour time step, whereas many decisions in agriculture are based on minute-by-minute weather conditions. This is especially true for decisions surrounding chemical and fertilizer application and frost events. This presentation will outline how the creation of an agricultural mesonet (weather network) can enable producers and farmers with live, local weather information from weather stations installed in farm/field locations. The live weather information collected from each weather station is integrated into a web-enabled decision support tool, supporting numerous on-farm agronomic activities such as pest management, or dealing with heavy rainfall and frost events. Agronomic models can be used to assess the potential of disease pressure, enhance the farmer's abilities to time pesticide applications, or assess conditions contributing to yield and quality fluctuations. Farmers and industry stakeholders may also view quality-assured historical weather variables at any location. This serves as a record-management tool for viewing previously uncharted agronomic weather events in graph or table form. This set of weather tools is unique and provides a

  6. Linking international agricultural research knowledge with action for sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Kristjanson, Patti; Reid, Robin S; Dickson, Nancy; Clark, William C; Romney, Dannie; Puskur, Ranjitha; Macmillan, Susan; Grace, Delia

    2009-03-31

    We applied an innovation framework to sustainable livestock development research projects in Africa and Asia. The focus of these projects ranged from pastoral systems to poverty and ecosystems services mapping to market access by the poor to fodder and natural resource management to livestock parasite drug resistance. We found that these projects closed gaps between knowledge and action by combining different kinds of knowledge, learning, and boundary spanning approaches; by providing all partners with the same opportunities; and by building the capacity of all partners to innovate and communicate.

  7. The role of nitrogen-efficient cultivars in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Weisler, F; Behrens, T; Horst, W J

    2001-11-01

    To improve nitrogen (N) efficiency in agriculture, integrated N management strategies that take into consideration improved fertilizer, soil, and crop management practices are necessary. This paper reports results of field experiments in which maize (Zea mays L.) and oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) cultivars were compared with respect to their agronomic N efficiency (yield at a given N supply), N uptake efficiency (N accumulation at a given N supply), and N utilization efficiency (dry matter yield per unit N taken up by the plant). Under conditions of high N supply, significant differences among maize cultivars were found in shoot N uptake, soil nitrate depletion during the growing season, and the related losses of nitrate through leaching after the growing season. Experiments under conditions of reduced N supply indicated a considerable genotypic variation in reproductive yield formation of both maize and oilseed rape. High agronomic efficiency was achieved by a combination of high uptake and utilization efficiency (maize), or exclusively by high uptake efficiency (rape). N-efficient cultivars of both crops were characterized by maintenance of a relatively high N-uptake activity during the reproductive growth phase. In rape this trait was linked with leaf area and photosynthetic activity of leaves. We conclude that growing of N-efficient cultivars may serve as an important element of integrated nutrient management strategies in both low- and high-input agriculture. PMID:12805782

  8. Sustainable management of a coupled groundwater-agriculture hydrosystem using multi-criteria simulation based optimisation.

    PubMed

    Grundmann, Jens; Schütze, Niels; Lennartz, Franz

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we present a new simulation-based integrated water management tool for sustainable water resources management in arid coastal environments. This tool delivers optimised groundwater withdrawal scenarios considering saltwater intrusion as a result of agricultural and municipal water abstraction. It also yields a substantially improved water use efficiency of irrigated agriculture. To allow for a robust and fast operation we unified process modelling with artificial intelligence tools and evolutionary optimisation techniques. The aquifer behaviour is represented using an artificial neural network (ANN) which emulates a numerical density-dependent groundwater flow model. The impact of agriculture is represented by stochastic crop water production functions (SCWPF). Simulation-based optimisation techniques together with the SCWPF and ANN deliver optimal groundwater abstraction and cropping patterns. To address contradicting objectives, e.g. profit-oriented agriculture vs. sustainable abstraction scenarios, we performed multi-objective optimisations using a multi-criteria optimisation algorithm.

  9. Considering the normative, systemic and procedural dimensions in indicator-based sustainability assessments in agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Binder, Claudia R.; Feola, Giuseppe; Steinberger, Julia K.

    2010-02-15

    This paper develops a framework for evaluating sustainability assessment methods by separately analyzing their normative, systemic and procedural dimensions as suggested by Wiek and Binder [Wiek, A, Binder, C. Solution spaces for decision-making - a sustainability assessment tool for city-regions. Environ Impact Asses Rev 2005, 25: 589-608.]. The framework is then used to characterize indicator-based sustainability assessment methods in agriculture. For a long time, sustainability assessment in agriculture has focused mostly on environmental and technical issues, thus neglecting the economic and, above all, the social aspects of sustainability, the multi-functionality of agriculture and the applicability of the results. In response to these shortcomings, several integrative sustainability assessment methods have been developed for the agricultural sector. This paper reviews seven of these that represent the diversity of tools developed in this area. The reviewed assessment methods can be categorized into three types: (i) top-down farm assessment methods; (ii) top-down regional assessment methods with some stakeholder participation; (iii) bottom-up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary methods with stakeholder participation throughout the process. The results readily show the trade-offs encountered when selecting an assessment method. A clear, standardized, top-down procedure allows for potentially benchmarking and comparing results across regions and sites. However, this comes at the cost of system specificity. As the top-down methods often have low stakeholder involvement, the application and implementation of the results might be difficult. Our analysis suggests that to include the aspects mentioned above in agricultural sustainability assessment, the bottom-up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary methods are the most suitable ones.

  10. Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Watershed under Limited Water Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wechsung, F.; Möhring, J.; Otto, I. M.; Wang, X.; Guanting Project Team

    2012-04-01

    The Yongding River System is an important water source for the northeastern Chinese provinces Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, and Tianjin. The Guanting Reservoir within this river system is one of the major water sources for Beijing, which is about 70 km away. Original planning assumed a discharge of 44 m3/s for the reservoir, but the current mean discharge rate is only about 5 m3/s; there is often hardly any discharge at all. Water scarcity is a major threat for the socio-economic development of the area. The situation is additionally aggravated by climate change impacts. Typical upstream-downstream conflicts with respect to water quantity and quality requests are mixed up with conflicts between different sectors, mainly mining, industry, and agriculture. These conflicts can be observed on different administrative levels, for example between the provinces, down to households. The German-Chinese research project "Sustainable water and agricultural land use in the Guanting Watershed under limited water resources" investigates problems and solutions related to water scarcity in the Guanting Catchment. The aim of the project is to create a vulnerability study in order to assess options for (and finally achieve) sustainable water and land use management in the Guanting region. This includes a comprehensive characterization of the current state by gap analysis and identification of pressures and impacts. The presentation gives an overview of recent project results regarding regionalization of global change scenarios and specification for water supply, evaluation of surface water quantity balances (supply-demand), evaluation of the surface water quality balances (emissions-impact thresholds), and exploration of integrative measurement planning. The first results show that climate in the area is becoming warmer and drier which leads to even more dramatically shrinking water resources. Water supply is expected to be reduced between one and two thirds. Water demand might be

  11. Deficit irrigation and sustainable water-resource strategies in agriculture for China's food security.

    PubMed

    Du, Taisheng; Kang, Shaozhong; Zhang, Jianhua; Davies, William J

    2015-04-01

    More than 70% of fresh water is used in agriculture in many parts of the world, but competition for domestic and industrial water use is intense. For future global food security, water use in agriculture must become sustainable. Agricultural water-use efficiency and water productivity can be improved at different points from the stomatal to the regional scale. A promising approach is the use of deficit irrigation, which can both save water and induce plant physiological regulations such as stomatal opening and reproductive and vegetative growth. At the scales of the irrigation district, the catchment, and the region, there can be many other components to a sustainable water-resources strategy. There is much interest in whether crop water use can be regulated as a function of understanding of physiological responses. If this is the case, then agricultural water resources can be reallocated to the benefit of the broader community. We summarize the extent of use and impact of deficit irrigation within China. A sustainable strategy for allocation of agricultural water resources for food security is proposed. Our intention is to build an integrative system to control crop water use during different cropping stages and actively regulate the plant's growth, productivity, and development based on physiological responses. This is done with a view to improving the allocation of limited agricultural water resources.

  12. Deficit irrigation and sustainable water-resource strategies in agriculture for China’s food security

    PubMed Central

    Du, Taisheng; Kang, Shaozhong; Zhang, Jianhua; Davies, William J.

    2015-01-01

    More than 70% of fresh water is used in agriculture in many parts of the world, but competition for domestic and industrial water use is intense. For future global food security, water use in agriculture must become sustainable. Agricultural water-use efficiency and water productivity can be improved at different points from the stomatal to the regional scale. A promising approach is the use of deficit irrigation, which can both save water and induce plant physiological regulations such as stomatal opening and reproductive and vegetative growth. At the scales of the irrigation district, the catchment, and the region, there can be many other components to a sustainable water-resources strategy. There is much interest in whether crop water use can be regulated as a function of understanding of physiological responses. If this is the case, then agricultural water resources can be reallocated to the benefit of the broader community. We summarize the extent of use and impact of deficit irrigation within China. A sustainable strategy for allocation of agricultural water resources for food security is proposed. Our intention is to build an integrative system to control crop water use during different cropping stages and actively regulate the plant’s growth, productivity, and development based on physiological responses. This is done with a view to improving the allocation of limited agricultural water resources. PMID:25873664

  13. Reliable conjunctive use rules for sustainable irrigated agriculture and reservoir spill control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoups, Gerrit; Addams, C. Lee; Minjares, Jose Luis; Gorelick, Steven M.

    2006-12-01

    We develop optimal conjunctive use water management strategies that balance two potentially conflicting objectives: sustaining irrigated agriculture during droughts and minimizing unnecessary spills and resulting water losses from the reservoir during wet periods. Conjunctive use is specified by a linear operating rule, which determines the maximum surface water release as a function of initial reservoir storage. Optimal strategies are identified using multiobjective interannual optimization for sustainability and spill control, combined with gradient-based annual profit maximization. Application to historical conditions in the irrigated system of the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, yields a Pareto curve of solutions illustrating the trade-off between sustaining agriculture and minimizing spills and water losses. Minimal water losses are obtained by maximizing surface water use and limiting groundwater pumping, such that reservoir levels are kept sufficiently low. Maximum agricultural sustainability, on the other hand, results from increased groundwater use and keeping surface water reservoir levels high during wet periods. Selected optimal operating rules from the multiobjective optimization are tested over a large number of equally probable streamflow time series, generated with a stochastic time series model. In this manner, statistical properties, such as the mean sustainability and sustainability percentiles, are determined for each optimal rule. These statistical properties can be used to select rules for water management that are reliable over a wide range of streamflow conditions.

  14. Biogeosystem technique as a base of Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batukaev, Abdulmalik

    2016-04-01

    The world water strategy is to be changed because the current imitational gravitational frontal isotropic-continual paradigm of irrigation is not sustainable. This paradigm causes excessive consumption of fresh water - global deficit - up to 4-15 times, adverse effects on soils and landscapes. Current methods of irrigation does not control the water spread throughout the soil continuum. The preferable downward fluxes of irrigation water are forming, up to 70% and more of water supply loses into vadose zone. The moisture of irrigated soil is high, soil loses structure in the process of granulometric fractions flotation decomposition, the stomatal apparatus of plant leaf is fully open, transpiration rate is maximal. We propose the Biogeosystem technique - the transcendental, uncommon and non-imitating methods for Sustainable Natural Resources Management. New paradigm of irrigation is based on the intra-soil pulse discrete method of water supply into the soil continuum by injection in small discrete portions. Individual volume of water is supplied as a vertical cylinder of soil preliminary watering. The cylinder position in soil is at depth form 10 to 30 cm. Diameter of cylinder is 1-2 cm. Within 5-10 min after injection the water spreads from the cylinder of preliminary watering into surrounding soil by capillary, film and vapor transfer. Small amount of water is transferred gravitationally to the depth of 35-40 cm. The soil watering cylinder position in soil profile is at depth of 5-50 cm, diameter of the cylinder is 2-4 cm. Lateral distance between next cylinders along the plant raw is 10-15 cm. The soil carcass which is surrounding the cylinder of non-watered soil remains relatively dry and mechanically stable. After water injection the structure of soil in cylinder restores quickly because of no compression from the stable adjoining volume of soil and soil structure memory. The mean soil thermodynamic water potential of watered zone is -0.2 MPa. At this potential

  15. From subsistence farming towards a multifunctional agriculture: sustainability in the Chinese rural reality.

    PubMed

    Prändl-Zika, Veronika

    2008-04-01

    The rural economic situation in China-with a living standard mostly at subsistence level-lags far behind the prosperous development in the cities and coastal areas. To balance this disequilibrium, comprehensive concepts and endeavors are necessary keeping in view all-not just economic-interests and needs that contribute to lively rural identities. In this context the role of agriculture, where still 50% of the Chinese population are working, will be newly defined, and sustainability concepts can help to find a readjusted position within the Chinese economy focusing on environmental health and food safety as main targets of political and other supporting measures. Within the SUCCESS project, a Concept of Sustainable Agriculture was developed and it drafts one conceivable relation between the exposure to natural resources and economy and tries to find new answers to the broad range of rural challenges in China. It is a qualitative model and, therefore, not always fully applicable, but in the concrete situation of villages, it shows possible directions of sustainability-oriented development by considering the typical local potentials. In the Chinese context that means identifying the different functions of agriculture-the well-known and the hidden-to make them explicit for the Chinese public and therewith to give them new significance. The article is based on a 3-years study within the EU-China Project SUCCESS with field research in four Chinese rural communities. It analyzes the agricultural sustainability potential of these selected villages against the background of massive structural changes within the next 20 years in rural China. Starting from the current agricultural reality, based on a qualitative analysis of the actual situation, local potentials and needs towards sustainable production and marketing are identified, and possible functions of the Chinese agriculture are formulated for the future.

  16. Ecologically asynchronous agricultural practice erodes sustainability of the Loess Plateau of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tianming; Wu, Jianguo; Kou, Xiaojun; Oliver, Chadwick; Mou, Pu; Ge, Jianping

    2010-06-01

    Sustainability of agricultural landscapes depends largely on land-use practices. As one of the most productive and widespread agricultural soils, loess is often deep and easily eroded, posing grand challenges for environmental sustainability around the world. One prime example is the Loess Plateau of China, which has been cultivated for more than 7500 years. Based on long-term data sets, this study demonstrates that the dominant agricultural practice, winter wheat cropping, continues to be the primary driver for the massive soil erosion and landscape modifications on the Loess Plateau. This traditional farming system is asynchronous with the dynamic rhythm between natural vegetation and climate in the region. In particular, the long summer fallow period for winter wheat fields is concurrent with the heavy-rainstorm season, which greatly accelerates soil erosion. Our finding indicates that common land-use practices that have lasted for thousands of years in China are not environmentally sustainable. Agriculture in this region has relied primarily on the continuous "mining" of the soil for the past several thousand years but does not have a one-thousand-year future because of myriad environmental and socioeconomic factors associated with soil erosion. To contain soil erosion and promote sustainability on the Loess Plateau, therefore, a change in the agricultural regime is needed to make sure that current and future agricultural practices follow the vegetation-climate rhythm. In addition, to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability in this region, multifunctional land-use planning is required to increase landscape diversity and functions (e.g., proper arrangement of crop fields, orchards, and protected areas).

  17. 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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Sustainable agriculture and plant diseases: an epidemiological perspective.

    PubMed

    Gilligan, Christopher A

    2008-02-27

    The potential for modern biology to identify new sources for genetical, chemical and biological control of plant disease is remarkably high. Successful implementation of these methods within globally and locally changing agricultural environments demands new approaches to durable control. This, in turn, requires fusion of population genetics and epidemiology at a range of scales from the field to the landscape and even to continental deployment of control measures. It also requires an understanding of economic and social constraints that influence the deployment of control. Here I propose an epidemiological framework to model invasion, persistence and variability of epidemics that encompasses a wide range of scales and topologies through which disease spreads. By considering how to map control methods onto epidemiological parameters and variables, some new approaches towards optimizing the efficiency of control at the landscape scale are introduced. Epidemiological strategies to minimize the risks of failure of chemical and genetical control are presented and some consequences of heterogeneous selection pressures in time and space on the persistence and evolutionary changes of the pathogen population are discussed. Finally, some approaches towards embedding epidemiological models for the deployment of control in an economically plausible framework are presented.

  2. Is current biochar soil study addressing global soil constraints for sustainable agriculture?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Genxing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Yan, Ming; Niu, Yaru; Liu, Xiaoyu; van Zwieten, Lukas; Chen, De; Bian, Rongjun; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Zheng, Jinwei; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jufeng; Crowley, David; Filley, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    Global soil degradation has been increasingly threatened sustainability of world agriculture. Use of biochar from bio-wastes has been proposed as a global option for its great potential in tackling soil degradation and mitigating climate change in agriculture. For last 10 years, there have been greatly increasing interests in application of charred biomass, more recently termed biochar, as a soil amendment for addressing soil constraints for sustainable agriculture. Biochar soil studies could deliver reliable information for appropriate application of biochar to soils where for sustainable agriculture has been challenged. Here we review the literature of 798 publications reporting biochar soil studies by August, 2015 to address potential gaps in understanding of biochar's role in agriculture. We have found some substantial biases and gaps inherent in the current biochar studies. 1) The majority of published studies were from developed regions where the soils are less constrained and were much more frequent in laboratory and glasshouse pot experiments than field studies under realistic agriculture. 2) The published biochar soil studies have used more often small kiln or lab prepared biochar than commercial scale biochars, more often wood and municipal waste derived biochars than crop straw biochars. Overall, the lack of long-term well designed field studies using biochar produced in commercial processes may have limited our current understanding of biochar's potential to enhance global crop production and climate change mitigation. We have also recommended a global alliance between longer-term research experiments and biochar production facilities to foster the uptake of this important technology at a global scale. Keywords: biochar, soil study, literature review, research gap, global perspective, quantitative assessment, sustainable agriculture

  3. Biogeosystem technique as a base of Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batukaev, Abdulmalik

    2016-04-01

    The world water strategy is to be changed because the current imitational gravitational frontal isotropic-continual paradigm of irrigation is not sustainable. This paradigm causes excessive consumption of fresh water - global deficit - up to 4-15 times, adverse effects on soils and landscapes. Current methods of irrigation does not control the water spread throughout the soil continuum. The preferable downward fluxes of irrigation water are forming, up to 70% and more of water supply loses into vadose zone. The moisture of irrigated soil is high, soil loses structure in the process of granulometric fractions flotation decomposition, the stomatal apparatus of plant leaf is fully open, transpiration rate is maximal. We propose the Biogeosystem technique - the transcendental, uncommon and non-imitating methods for Sustainable Natural Resources Management. New paradigm of irrigation is based on the intra-soil pulse discrete method of water supply into the soil continuum by injection in small discrete portions. Individual volume of water is supplied as a vertical cylinder of soil preliminary watering. The cylinder position in soil is at depth form 10 to 30 cm. Diameter of cylinder is 1-2 cm. Within 5-10 min after injection the water spreads from the cylinder of preliminary watering into surrounding soil by capillary, film and vapor transfer. Small amount of water is transferred gravitationally to the depth of 35-40 cm. The soil watering cylinder position in soil profile is at depth of 5-50 cm, diameter of the cylinder is 2-4 cm. Lateral distance between next cylinders along the plant raw is 10-15 cm. The soil carcass which is surrounding the cylinder of non-watered soil remains relatively dry and mechanically stable. After water injection the structure of soil in cylinder restores quickly because of no compression from the stable adjoining volume of soil and soil structure memory. The mean soil thermodynamic water potential of watered zone is -0.2 MPa. At this potential

  4. The Status of Literacy of Sustainable Agriculture in Iran: A Systematic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vaninee, Hassan Sadough; Veisi, Hadi; Gorbani, Shiva; Falsafi, Peyman; Liaghati, Houman

    2016-01-01

    This study analyzes heterogeneous research with a focus on the knowledge, attitude, and behavior of farmers and the components of sustainable agriculture literacy through an interdisciplinary, systematic literature review for the time frame from 1996 to 2013. The major research databases were searched and 170 papers were identified. Paper…

  5. The Living Soil: Exploring Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture with Your Guide, The Earthworm. Unit I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Eldon C.; And Others

    This instructional packet introduces students to soil biology, ecology, and specific farming practices that promote sustainable agriculture. It helps students to discover the role of earthworms in improving the environment of all other soil-inhabiting organisms and in making the soil more fertile. The activities (classroom as well as outdoor)…

  6. Do You See What I See? Examining the Epistemic Barriers to Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carolan, Michael S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper examines the epistemic barriers to sustainable agriculture, which are those aspects of food production that are not readily revealed by direct perception: such as decreases in rates of soil and nutrient loss, increases in levels of beneficial soil micro-organisms, and reductions in the amount of chemicals leaching into the water table.…

  7. A Conceptual Evaluation of Sustainable Variable-Rate Agricultural Residue Removal

    SciTech Connect

    David J. Muth, Jr.; K. M. Bryden

    2012-10-01

    Agricultural residues have near-term potential as a feedstock for bioenergy production, but their removal must be managed carefully to maintain soil health and productivity. Recent studies have shown that subfield scale variability in soil properties (e.g., slope, texture, and organic matter content) that affect grain yield significantly affect the amount of residue that can be sustainably removed from different areas within a single field. This modeling study examines the concept of variable-rate residue removal equipment that would be capable of on-the-fly residue removal rate adjustments ranging from 0 to 80%. Thirteen residue removal rates (0% and 25–80% in 5% increments) were simulated using a subfield scale integrated modeling framework that evaluates residue removal sustainability considering wind erosion, water erosion, and soil carbon constraints. Three Iowa fields with diverse soil, slope, and grain yield characteristics were examined and showed sustainable, variable-rate agricultural residue removal that averaged 2.35, 7.69, and 5.62 Mg ha-1, respectively. In contrast, the projected sustainable removal rates using rake and bale removal for the entire field averaged 0.0, 6.40, and 5.06 Mg ha-1, respectively. The modeling procedure also projected that variable-rate residue harvest would result in 100% of the land area in all three fields being managed in a sustainable manner, whereas Field 1 could not be sustainably managed using rake and bale removal, and only 83 and 62% of the land area in Fields 2 and 3 would be managed sustainably using a rake and bale operation for the entire field. In addition, it was found that residue removal adjustments of 40 to 65% are sufficient to collect 90% of the sustainably available agricultural residue.

  8. Microbial interactions in the mycorrhizosphere and their significance for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Jonas F; Paul, Leslie R; Finlay, Roger D

    2004-04-01

    In sustainable, low-input cropping systems the natural roles of microorganisms in maintaining soil fertility and biocontrol of plant pathogens may be more important than in conventional agriculture where their significance has been marginalised by high inputs of agrochemicals. Better understanding of the interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and other microorganisms is necessary for the development of sustainable management of soil fertility and crop production. Many studies of the influence of mycorrhizal colonisation on associated bacterial communities have been conducted, however, the mechanisms of interaction are still poorly understood. Novel approaches including PCR-based methods, stable isotope profiling, and molecular markers have begun to shed light on the activity, identity and spatiotemporal location of bacteria in the mycorrhizosphere. This paper reviews current knowledge concerning the interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and other microorganisms, particularly bacteria, and discusses the implications these interactions may have in sustainable agriculture.

  9. Technology-Driven and Innovative Training for Sustainable Agriculture in The Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wishart, D. N.

    2015-12-01

    Innovative training in 'Sustainable Agriculture' for an increasingly STEM-dependent agricultural sector will require a combination of approaches and technologies for global agricultural production to increase while offsetting climate change. Climate change impacts the water resources of nations as normal global weather patterns are altered during El Nino events. Agricultural curricula must incorporate awareness of 'climate change' in order to find novel ways to (1) assure global food security; (2) improve soil productivity and conservation; (3) improve crop yields and irrigation; (4) inexpensively develop site specific principles of crop management based on variable soil and associated hydrological properties; and (5) improve precision farming. In February 2015, Central State University (CSU), Ohio became an 1890 Land-Grant institution vital to the sustainability of Ohio's agricultural sector. Besides agricultural extension, the agriculture curriculum at CSU integrates multidisciplinary courses in science, technology engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STEAM). The agriculture program could benefit from a technology-driven, interdisciplinary soil science course that promotes climate change education and climate literacy while being offered in both a blended and collaborative learning environment. The course will focus on the dynamics of microscale to mesoscale processes occurring in farming systems, those of which impact climate change or could be impacted by climate change. Elements of this course will include: climate change webinars; soil-climate interactions; carbon cycling; the balance of carbon fluxes between soil storage and atmosphere; microorganisms and soil carbon storage; paleoclimate and soil forming processes; geophysical techniques used in the characterization of soil horizons; impact of climate change on soil fertility; experiments; and demonstrations.

  10. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  11. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  12. The Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Strength of the Sustainable Agriculture Movement.

    PubMed

    Wiseman, Samuel R

    2015-01-01

    In the wake of growing public concerns over salmonella outbreaks and other highly publicized food safety issues, Congress passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011, which placed more stringent standards on food growing and packaging operations. In negotiations preceding the Act's passage, farmers of local, sustainable food argued that these rules would unduly burden local agricultural operations or, at the extreme, drive them out of business by creating overly burdensome rules. These objections culminated in the addition of the Tester-Hagan Amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act, which created certain exemptions for small farms. Proposed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules to implement the Act threatened to weaken this victory for small farm groups, however, prompting a loud response from small farmers and local food proponents. The FDA's second set of proposed rules, issued in September 2014 in response to these and other complaints, were, perhaps surprisingly, responsive to small farmers' concerns. Using comments submitted to the FDA, this article explores the responses of the agriculture industry and public health organizations, as well as small farm groups, consumers of local food, and sustainable agriculture interests (which, for simplicity, I alternately describe as comprising the "sustainable agriculture" or "small farm" movement), to three aspects of the FDA's proposed rules--involving manure application, on-farm packing activities, and exemptions for very small farms--to assess the strength of the sustainable agriculture movement. The rules involving manure application and on-farm packing, it turns out, reveal little about the independent political strength of the local food movement, as large industry groups also objected to these provisions. But for the third issue discussed here--exemptions for very small farms--the interests of sustainable agriculture groups were directly opposed to both industry and public health organizations

  13. The Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Strength of the Sustainable Agriculture Movement.

    PubMed

    Wiseman, Samuel R

    2015-01-01

    In the wake of growing public concerns over salmonella outbreaks and other highly publicized food safety issues, Congress passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011, which placed more stringent standards on food growing and packaging operations. In negotiations preceding the Act's passage, farmers of local, sustainable food argued that these rules would unduly burden local agricultural operations or, at the extreme, drive them out of business by creating overly burdensome rules. These objections culminated in the addition of the Tester-Hagan Amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act, which created certain exemptions for small farms. Proposed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules to implement the Act threatened to weaken this victory for small farm groups, however, prompting a loud response from small farmers and local food proponents. The FDA's second set of proposed rules, issued in September 2014 in response to these and other complaints, were, perhaps surprisingly, responsive to small farmers' concerns. Using comments submitted to the FDA, this article explores the responses of the agriculture industry and public health organizations, as well as small farm groups, consumers of local food, and sustainable agriculture interests (which, for simplicity, I alternately describe as comprising the "sustainable agriculture" or "small farm" movement), to three aspects of the FDA's proposed rules--involving manure application, on-farm packing activities, and exemptions for very small farms--to assess the strength of the sustainable agriculture movement. The rules involving manure application and on-farm packing, it turns out, reveal little about the independent political strength of the local food movement, as large industry groups also objected to these provisions. But for the third issue discussed here--exemptions for very small farms--the interests of sustainable agriculture groups were directly opposed to both industry and public health organizations

  14. The responding relationship between plants and environment is the essential principle for agricultural sustainable development on the globe.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi; Shao, Hong-Bo

    2008-04-01

    The mutual-responding relationship between plants and environment is involved in all life processes, which are the essential bases for different types of sustainable development on the globe, particularly the critical basis for agricultural sustainable development. How to regulate the above relationship between plants and the corresponding environment (in particular soil environment) is the key problem to modern sustainable agriculture development under global climate change, which is one of the hot topics in the field of plant biology. Detailed dissection of this responding relationship is also important for conducting global eco-environmental restoration and construction. Although powerful methodology and dataset related to genomics, post-genomics, and metabolomics have provided some insights into this relationship, crop physiological measures are also critical for crop full performance in field. With the increase of tested plants (including model plants) and development of integrated molecular biology, a complete understanding of the relationship at different scales under biotic and abiotic stresses will be accelerated. In the current paper, we will cover some important aspects in combination with the recent work from our laboratory and related advances reflected by international academic journals, as follows: plant physiological function performance under natural condition, plant gene regulatory network system under abiotic stresses, gene regulatory network system and drought resistance improvement, summary of the related work from our laboratory, conclusions, and acknowledgement.

  15. [Good agricultural practice (GAP) of Chinese materia medica (CMM) for ten years: achievements, problems and proposals].

    PubMed

    Guo, Lan-Ping; Zhang, Yan; Zhu, Shou-Dong; Wang, Gui-Hua; Wang, Xiu; Zhang, Xiao-Bo; Chen, Mei-Lan; He, Ya-Li; Han, Bang-Xing; Chen, Nai-Fu; Huang, Lu-Qi

    2014-04-01

    This paper aims to summarize the achievements during the implementation process of good agricultural practice (GAP) in Chinese Materia Medica (CMM), and on basis of analyzing the existing problems of GAP, to propose further implementation of GAP in TCM growing. Since the launch of GAP in CMM growing ten years ago, it has acquired great achievements, including: (1) The promulgation of a series of measures for the administration of the GAP approval in the CMM growing; (2) The expanded planting area of CMM; (3) The increased awareness of standardized CMM growing among farmers and enterprises; (4) The establishment of GAP implementation bases for CMM growing; (5) The improvement of theory and methodology for CMM growing; (6) The development of a large group of experts and scholars in GAP approval for CMM production. The problems existing in the production include: (1) A deep understanding of GAP and its certification is still needed; (2) The distribution of the certification base is not reasonable; (3) The geo-economics effect and the backward farming practices are thought to be the bottlenecks in the standardization of CMM growing and the scale production of CMM; (4) Low comparative effectiveness limits the development of the GAP; (5) The base of breeding improved variety is blank; (6) The immature of the cultivation technique lead to the risk of production process; (7) The degradation of soil microbial and the continuous cropping obstacle restrict the sustainable development of the GAP base. To further promote the health and orderly GAP in the CMM growing, the authors propose: (1) To change the mode of production; (2) To establish a sound standard system so as to ensure quality products for fair prices; (3) To fully consider the geo-economic culture and vigorously promote the definite cultivating of traditional Chinese medicinal materials; (4) To strengthen the transformation and generalization of basic researches and achievements, in order to provide technical

  16. [Good agricultural practice (GAP) of Chinese materia medica (CMM) for ten years: achievements, problems and proposals].

    PubMed

    Guo, Lan-Ping; Zhang, Yan; Zhu, Shou-Dong; Wang, Gui-Hua; Wang, Xiu; Zhang, Xiao-Bo; Chen, Mei-Lan; He, Ya-Li; Han, Bang-Xing; Chen, Nai-Fu; Huang, Lu-Qi

    2014-04-01

    This paper aims to summarize the achievements during the implementation process of good agricultural practice (GAP) in Chinese Materia Medica (CMM), and on basis of analyzing the existing problems of GAP, to propose further implementation of GAP in TCM growing. Since the launch of GAP in CMM growing ten years ago, it has acquired great achievements, including: (1) The promulgation of a series of measures for the administration of the GAP approval in the CMM growing; (2) The expanded planting area of CMM; (3) The increased awareness of standardized CMM growing among farmers and enterprises; (4) The establishment of GAP implementation bases for CMM growing; (5) The improvement of theory and methodology for CMM growing; (6) The development of a large group of experts and scholars in GAP approval for CMM production. The problems existing in the production include: (1) A deep understanding of GAP and its certification is still needed; (2) The distribution of the certification base is not reasonable; (3) The geo-economics effect and the backward farming practices are thought to be the bottlenecks in the standardization of CMM growing and the scale production of CMM; (4) Low comparative effectiveness limits the development of the GAP; (5) The base of breeding improved variety is blank; (6) The immature of the cultivation technique lead to the risk of production process; (7) The degradation of soil microbial and the continuous cropping obstacle restrict the sustainable development of the GAP base. To further promote the health and orderly GAP in the CMM growing, the authors propose: (1) To change the mode of production; (2) To establish a sound standard system so as to ensure quality products for fair prices; (3) To fully consider the geo-economic culture and vigorously promote the definite cultivating of traditional Chinese medicinal materials; (4) To strengthen the transformation and generalization of basic researches and achievements, in order to provide technical

  17. Sustainable Agricultural and Watershed Management in Developing Countries - An India Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiliszek, A.; Vaicunas, R.; Zook, K.; Popkin, J.; Inamdar, S. P.; Duke, J.; Awokuse, T.; Sims, T.; Hansen, D.; Wani, S. P.

    2011-12-01

    The goal of sustainable agricultural and watershed management is to enhance agricultural productivity while protecting and preserving our environment and natural resources. The vast majority of information on sustainable watershed management practices is primarily derived from studies in developed nations with very few inputs from developing nations. Through a USDA-funded project, the University of Delaware (UD) initiated a collaboration with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) located in Hyderabad, India to study sustainable agricultural management practices in developing countries and their impacts on the environment, crop productivity, and socioeconomic conditions of the watershed community. As a part of this project, ICRISAT provided us with a vast amount of data on sustainable agricultural practices and their impacts on runoff, soil and water quality, crop yields, nutrient management and socioeconomic conditions. Conservation practices that were implemented included check dams, groundwater recharge wells, intercropping, nutrient management, integrated pest management and a suite of other practices. Using this information, students and faculty at UD developed teaching modules that were used for education and enrichment of existing UD courses and are also being used for the development of a stand-alone online course. The students and faculty visited India in July 2010 to get a first-hand experience of the conditions in the agricultural watersheds and the impacts of sustainable management practices. The project was a tremendous learning experience for US students and faculty and highlighted the challenges people face in developing countries and how that affects every aspect of their lives. Such challenges include environmental, agricultural, technological, economic, and transportation. Although we experience many of the same challenges, developing countries do not have the technology or economic infrastructure in place to

  18. An Integrated Model for Assessment of Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal Limits for Bioenergy Systems

    SciTech Connect

    D. Muth; K. M. Bryden

    2003-12-01

    Agricultural residues have been identified as a significant potential resource for bioenergy production, but serious questions remain about the sustainability of harvesting residues. Agricultural residues play an important role in limiting soil erosion from wind and water and in maintaining soil organic carbon. Because of this, multiple factors must be considered when assessing sustainable residue harvest limits. Validated and accepted modeling tools for assessing these impacts include the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation Version 2 (RUSLE2), the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS), and the Soil Conditioning Index. Currently, these models do not work together as a single integrated model. Rather, use of these models requires manual interaction and data transfer. As a result, it is currently not feasible to use these computational tools to perform detailed sustainable agricultural residue availability assessments across large spatial domains or to consider a broad range of land management practices. This paper presents an integrated modeling strategy that couples existing datasets with the RUSLE2 water erosion, WEPS wind erosion, and Soil Conditioning Index soil carbon modeling tools to create a single integrated residue removal modeling system. This enables the exploration of the detailed sustainable residue harvest scenarios needed to establish sustainable residue availability. Using this computational tool, an assessment study of residue availability for the state of Iowa was performed. This study included all soil types in the state of Iowa, four representative crop rotation schemes, variable crop yields, three tillage management methods, and five residue removal methods. The key conclusions of this study are that under current management practices and crop yields nearly 26.5 million Mg of agricultural residue are sustainably accessible in the state of Iowa, and that through the adoption of no till practices residue removal could sustainably approach 40

  19. Aquatic microphylla Azolla: a perspective paradigm for sustainable agriculture, environment and global climate change.

    PubMed

    Kollah, Bharati; Patra, Ashok Kumar; Mohanty, Santosh Ranjan

    2016-03-01

    This review addresses the perspectives of Azolla as a multifaceted aquatic resource to ensure ecosystem sustainability. Nitrogen fixing potential of cyanobacterial symbiont varies between 30 and 60 kg N ha(-1) which designates Azolla as an important biological N source for agriculture and animal industry. Azolla exhibits high bioremediation potential for Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn. Azolla mitigates greenhouse gas emission from agriculture. In flooded rice ecosystem, Azolla dual cropping decreased CH4 emission by 40 % than did urea alone and also stimulated CH4 oxidation. This review highlighted integrated approach using Azolla that offers enormous public health, environmental, and cost benefits.

  20. Evaluation of Agricultural Professionals' Perceptions and Knowledge on Sustainable Agriculture: A Useful Step in the Development of an Online Extension Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menalled, Fabian D.; Grimberg, Bruna I.; Jones, Clain A.

    2009-01-01

    This study assessed needs, knowledge, and interests of agricultural professionals who were likely to enroll in an online extension course in sustainable agriculture. The objectives of the study were: to (1) describe their demographic characteristics, (2) identify their concerns and interests related to farming, (3) evaluate participants' knowledge…

  1. Evaluating sustainable water quality management in the U.S.: Urban, Agricultural, and Environmental Protection Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Oel, P. R.; Alfredo, K. A.; Russo, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    Sustainable water management typically emphasizes water resource quantity, with focus directed at availability and use practices. When attention is placed on sustainable water quality management, the holistic, cross-sector perspective inherent to sustainability is often lost. Proper water quality management is a critical component of sustainable development practices. However, sustainable development definitions and metrics related to water quality resilience and management are often not well defined; water quality is often buried in large indicator sets used for analysis, and the policy regulating management practices create sector specific burdens for ensuring adequate water quality. In this research, we investigated the methods by which water quality is evaluated through internationally applied indicators and incorporated into the larger idea of "sustainability." We also dissect policy's role in the distribution of responsibility with regard to water quality management in the United States through evaluation of three broad sectors: urban, agriculture, and environmental water quality. Our research concludes that despite a growing intention to use a single system approach for urban, agricultural, and environmental water quality management, one does not yet exist and is even hindered by our current policies and regulations. As policy continues to lead in determining water quality and defining contamination limits, new regulation must reconcile the disparity in requirements for the contaminators and those performing end-of-pipe treatment. Just as the sustainable development indicators we researched tried to integrate environmental, economic, and social aspects without skewing focus to one of these three categories, policy cannot continue to regulate a single sector of society without considering impacts to the entire watershed and/or region. Unequal distribution of the water pollution burden creates disjointed economic growth, infrastructure development, and policy

  2. SALSA: a simulation tool to assess ecological sustainability of agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Ingrid Strid; Elmquist, Helena; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    In order to assess the ecological sustainability of agricultural production systems, there is a need for effective tools. We describe an environmental systems analysis tool called SALSA (Systems Ana/ysis for Sustainable Agriculture). It consists of substance/material flow models in which the simulation results are interpreted with life-cycle assessment methodology. The application of SALSA is demonstrated in a case study in which three different ways of producing pigs are compared with respect to energy input and the environmental impacts of global warming, eutrophication, and acidification. The scenario that combined a low-protein diet without soy meal with an improved manure-management technique with low nitrogen losses was the best for all impact categories studied. The strength of the SALSA models was their capacity to capture consequences of management options that had an influence on several processes on a farm, which enabled the type of complex studies we describe. PMID:16092274

  3. SALSA: a simulation tool to assess ecological sustainability of agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Ingrid Strid; Elmquist, Helena; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    In order to assess the ecological sustainability of agricultural production systems, there is a need for effective tools. We describe an environmental systems analysis tool called SALSA (Systems Ana/ysis for Sustainable Agriculture). It consists of substance/material flow models in which the simulation results are interpreted with life-cycle assessment methodology. The application of SALSA is demonstrated in a case study in which three different ways of producing pigs are compared with respect to energy input and the environmental impacts of global warming, eutrophication, and acidification. The scenario that combined a low-protein diet without soy meal with an improved manure-management technique with low nitrogen losses was the best for all impact categories studied. The strength of the SALSA models was their capacity to capture consequences of management options that had an influence on several processes on a farm, which enabled the type of complex studies we describe.

  4. The importance of an alternative for sustainability of agriculture around the periphery of the Amazon rainforest.

    PubMed

    Moura, Emanoel G; Sena, Virley G L; Corrêa, Mariana S; Aguiar, Alana das C F

    2013-04-01

    The unsustainable use of the soil of the deforested area at the Amazonian border is one of the greatest threats to the rainforest, because it is the predominant cause of shifting cultivation in the region. The sustainable management of soils with low natural fertility is a major challenge for smallholder agriculture in the humid tropics. In the periphery of Brazilian Amazonia, agricultural practices that are recommended for the Brazilian savannah, such as saturating soils with soluble nutrients do not ensure the sustainability of agroecosystems. Improvements in the tilled topsoil cannot be maintained if deterioration of the porous soil structure is not prevented and nutrient losses in the root zone are not curtailed. The information gleaned from experiments affirms that in the management of humid tropical agrosystems, the processes resulting from the interaction between climatic factors and indicators of soil quality must be taken into consideration. It must be remembered that these interactions manifest themselves in ways that cannot be predicted from the paradigm established in the other region like the southeast of Brazil, which is based only on improving the chemical indicators of soil quality. The physical indicators play important role in the sustainable management of the agrosystems of the region and for these reasons must be considered. Therefore, alley cropping is a potential substitute for slash and burn agriculture in the humid tropics with both environmental and agronomic advantages, due to its ability to produce a large amount of residues on the soil surface and its effect on the increase of economic crop productivity in the long term. The article presents some promising patents on the importance of an alternative for sustainability of agriculture. PMID:23305424

  5. The importance of an alternative for sustainability of agriculture around the periphery of the Amazon rainforest.

    PubMed

    Moura, Emanoel G; Sena, Virley G L; Corrêa, Mariana S; Aguiar, Alana das C F

    2013-04-01

    The unsustainable use of the soil of the deforested area at the Amazonian border is one of the greatest threats to the rainforest, because it is the predominant cause of shifting cultivation in the region. The sustainable management of soils with low natural fertility is a major challenge for smallholder agriculture in the humid tropics. In the periphery of Brazilian Amazonia, agricultural practices that are recommended for the Brazilian savannah, such as saturating soils with soluble nutrients do not ensure the sustainability of agroecosystems. Improvements in the tilled topsoil cannot be maintained if deterioration of the porous soil structure is not prevented and nutrient losses in the root zone are not curtailed. The information gleaned from experiments affirms that in the management of humid tropical agrosystems, the processes resulting from the interaction between climatic factors and indicators of soil quality must be taken into consideration. It must be remembered that these interactions manifest themselves in ways that cannot be predicted from the paradigm established in the other region like the southeast of Brazil, which is based only on improving the chemical indicators of soil quality. The physical indicators play important role in the sustainable management of the agrosystems of the region and for these reasons must be considered. Therefore, alley cropping is a potential substitute for slash and burn agriculture in the humid tropics with both environmental and agronomic advantages, due to its ability to produce a large amount of residues on the soil surface and its effect on the increase of economic crop productivity in the long term. The article presents some promising patents on the importance of an alternative for sustainability of agriculture.

  6. Water Resources and Sustainable Agriculture in 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asrar, G.

    2008-05-01

    Global agriculture faces some unique challenges and opportunities for the rest of this century. The need for food, feed and fiber will continues to grow as the world population continue to increase in the future. Agricultural ecosystems are also expected to be the source of a significant portion of renewable energy and fuels around the world, without further compromising the integrity of the natural resources base. How can agriculture continue to provide these services to meet the growing needs of world population while sustaining the integrity of agricultural ecosystems and natural resources, the very foundation it depends on? In the last century, scientific discoveries and technological innovations in agriculture resulted in significant increase in food, feed and fiber production globally, while the total amount of water, energy, fertilizers and other input used to achieve this growth remained the same or even decreased significantly in some parts of the world. Scientific and technical advances in understanding global and regional water and energy cycles, water resources management, soil and water conservation practices, weather prediction, plant breeding and biotechnology, and information and communication technologies contributed to this tremendous achievement. The projected increase in global population, urbanization, and changing lifestyles will continue the pressure on both agriculture and other managed and natural ecosystems to provide necessary goods and services for the rest of this century. To meet these challenges, we must obtain the requisite scientific and technical advances in the functioning of Earth's water, energy, carbon and biogeochemical cycles. We also need to apply the knowledge we gain and technologies we develop in assessing Earth's ecosystems' conditions, and their management and stewardship. In agricultural ecosystems, management of soil and water quality and quantity together with development of new varieties of plants based on advances

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-08

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

  9. The economic impact of more sustainable water use in agriculture: A computable general equilibrium analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calzadilla, Alvaro; Rehdanz, Katrin; Tol, Richard S. J.

    2010-04-01

    SummaryAgriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater resources - around 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals are used for food production. These agricultural products are traded internationally. A full understanding of water use is, therefore, impossible without understanding the international market for food and related products, such as textiles. Based on the global general equilibrium model GTAP-W, we offer a method for investigating the role of green (rain) and blue (irrigation) water resources in agriculture and within the context of international trade. We use future projections of allowable water withdrawals for surface water and groundwater to define two alternative water management scenarios. The first scenario explores a deterioration of current trends and policies in the water sector (water crisis scenario). The second scenario assumes an improvement in policies and trends in the water sector and eliminates groundwater overdraft world-wide, increasing water allocation for the environment (sustainable water use scenario). In both scenarios, welfare gains or losses are not only associated with changes in agricultural water consumption. Under the water crisis scenario, welfare not only rises for regions where water consumption increases (China, South East Asia and the USA). Welfare gains are considerable for Japan and South Korea, Southeast Asia and Western Europe as well. These regions benefit from higher levels of irrigated production and lower food prices. Alternatively, under the sustainable water use scenario, welfare losses not only affect regions where overdrafting is occurring. Welfare decreases in other regions as well. These results indicate that, for water use, there is a clear trade-off between economic welfare and environmental sustainability.

  10. The Solutions of the Agricultural Land Use Monitoring Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vershinin, Valentin V.; Murasheva, Alla A.; Shirokova, Vera A.; Khutorova, Alla O.; Shapovalov, Dmitriy A.; Tarbaev, Vladimir A.

    2016-01-01

    Modern landscape--it's a holistic system of interconnected and interacting components. To questions of primary importance belongs evaluation of stability of modern landscape (including agrarian) and its optimization. As a main complex characteristic and landscape inhomogeneity in a process of agricultural usage serves materials of quantitative and…

  11. Human health problems associated with current agricultural food production.

    PubMed

    Bhat, Ramesh V

    2008-01-01

    Scientific and technological developments in the agricultural sectors in the recent past has resulted in increased food production and at the same time led to certain public health concerns. Unseasonal rains at the time of harvest and improper post harvest technology often results in agricultural commodities being contaminated with certain fungi and results in the production of mycotoxins. Consumption of such commodities has resulted in human disease outbreaks. Naturally occurring toxins, inherently present in foods and either consumed as such or mixed up with grains, had been responsible for disease outbreaks. Other possible causes of health concern include the application of various agrochemicals such as pesticides and the use of antibiotics in aquaculture and veterinary practices. Foodborne pathogens entering the food chain during both traditional and organic agriculture pose a challenge to public health. Modern biotechnology, producing genetically modified foods, if not regulated appropriately could pose dangers to human health. Use of various integrated food management systems like the Hazard Analysis and critical control system approach for risk prevention, monitoring and control of food hazards are being emphasized with globalization to minimise the danger posed to human health from improper agricultural practices.

  12. Sustainability Assessment for Agriculture Scenarios in Europe's Mountain Areas: Lessons from Six Study Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Partidário, Maria Rosário; Sheate, William R.; Bina, Olivia; Byron, Helen; Augusto, Bernardo

    2009-01-01

    Sustainability assessment (SA) is a holistic and long-range strategic instrument capable of assisting policy-making in electing, and deciding upon, future development priorities. The outcomes of an SA process become more relevant and strengthened when conducted with multi-stakeholder engagement, which provides for multiple dialogues and perspectives. This was the object of research of the SA team in the context of BioScene ( Scenarios for Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation with Declining Agriculture Use in Mountain Areas in Europe), a three-year project (2002-2005) funded by the European Union 5th Framework Program, which aimed to investigate the implications of agricultural restructuring and decline for biodiversity conservation in the mountain areas of Europe, using three distinct methodological streams: the ecological, the socio-economic, and the SA approaches. The SA approach drew on the previous two to assess the importance for biodiversity management of different scenarios of agri-environmental change and rural policy in six countries (France, Greece, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), develop causal chains, include stakeholder views, and identify potential contributions for, or conflicts with, sustainability. This article tells how SA was used, what sustainability meant in each study area through different objectives of sustainability considered, discusses the methods used in SA, and the benefits arising. The SA was conducted by a team independent of any study area, who developed and oversaw the application of the SA methodology, assisting national teams, and developing a cross-country understanding of the sustainability of proposed scenarios in the different geographical and social contexts, and their implications for policy-making. Finally, it reflects on the persistent challenges of interdisciplinary research, compounded by multi-cultural teams, and concludes on the BioScene’s lessons for the further development and application

  13. Alternative approaches to the construction of a composite indicator of agricultural sustainability: An application to irrigated agriculture in the Duero basin in Spain.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Limón, José A; Riesgo, Laura

    2009-08-01

    This paper describes a comparative analysis of alternative methods of constructing composite indicators to measure the sustainability of the agricultural sector. The three methods employed were Principal Component Analysis, the Analytic Hierarchy Process and a Multi-Criteria technique. The comparison focused on the irrigated agriculture of the Duero basin in Spain as a case study, using a dataset of indicators previously calculated for various farm types and policy scenarios. The results enabled us to establish a hierarchy of preferred policy scenarios on the basis of the level of sustainability achieved, and show that the most recent CAP reform is the most sustainable agricultural policy scenario. By analyzing the heterogeneity of different farms types in each scenario, we can also determine the main features of the most sustainable farms in each case. The analysis demonstrates that full-time farmers with small to medium-sized farms and sowing profitable crops are the most sustainable farm types in all the policy scenarios. All of this information is useful for the support of agricultural policy design and its implementation, as we attempt to improve the sustainability of this sector.

  14. A Multi-Factor Analysis of Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal Potential

    SciTech Connect

    Jared Abodeely; David Muth; Paul Adler; Eleanor Campbell; Kenneth Mark Bryden

    2012-10-01

    Agricultural residues have significant potential as a near term source of cellulosic biomass for bioenergy production, but sustainable removal of agricultural residues requires consideration of the critical roles that residues play in the agronomic system. Previous work has developed an integrated model to evaluate sustainable agricultural residue removal potential considering soil erosion, soil organic carbon, greenhouse gas emission, and long-term yield impacts of residue removal practices. The integrated model couples the environmental process models WEPS, RUSLE2, SCI, and DAYCENT. This study uses the integrated model to investigate the impact of interval removal practices in Boone County, Iowa, US. Residue removal of 4.5 Mg/ha was performed annually, bi-annually, and tri-annually and were compared to no residue removal. The study is performed at the soil type scale using a national soil survey database assuming a continuous corn rotation with reduced tillage. Results are aggregated across soil types to provide county level estimates of soil organic carbon changes and individual soil type soil organic matter content if interval residue removal were implemented. Results show interval residue removal is possible while improving soil organic matter. Implementation of interval removal practices provide greater increases in soil organic matter while still providing substantial residue for bioenergy production.

  15. The 'Terra Preta' phenomenon: a model for sustainable agriculture in the humid tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaser, Bruno; Haumaier, Ludwig; Guggenberger, Georg; Zech, Wolfgang

    2001-01-01

    Many soils of the lowland humid tropics are thought to be too infertile to support sustainable agriculture. However, there is strong evidence that permanent or semi-permanent agriculture can itself create sustainably fertile soils known as 'Terra Preta' soils. These soils not only contain higher concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, but also greater amounts of stable soil organic matter. Frequent findings of charcoal and highly aromatic humic substances suggest that residues of incomplete combustion of organic material (black carbon) are a key factor in the persistence of soil organic matter in these soils. Our investigations showed that 'Terra Preta' soils contained up to 70 times more black carbon than the surrounding soils. Due to its polycyclic aromatic structure, black carbon is chemically and microbially stable and persists in the environment over centuries. Oxidation during this time produces carboxylic groups on the edges of the aromatic backbone, which increases its nutrient-holding capacity. We conclude that black carbon can act as a significant carbon sink and is a key factor for sustainable and fertile soils, especially in the humid tropics.

  16. A Need for Education in Water Sustainability in the Agricultural Realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krajewski, J.

    2015-12-01

    This study draws upon the definition of water sustainability from the National Water Research Institute as the continual supply of clean water for human uses and for other living beings without compromising the water welfare of future generations. Currently, the greatest consumer of water resources worldwide is irrigation. The move from small-scale, family farms towards corporately owned and market driven, mass scale operations have drastically increased corn production and large-scale factory hog farming in the American Midwest—and the water quality related costs associated with this shift are well-documented. In the heart of the corn belt, the state of Iowa has dealt with issues over the past two decades ranging from flooding of historic proportions, to yield destroying droughts. Most recently, the state's water quality is intensely scrutinized due to nutrient levels higher than almost anywhere else in the world. While the changed agricultural landscape is ultimately responsible for these environmental costs, they can be mitigated if the farmers adopt practices that support water sustainability. However, many Iowa farmers have yet to embrace these necessary practices because of a lack of proper education in this context. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore how water sustainability is being conceptualized within the agricultural realm, and ultimately, how the issues are being communicated and understood within various subgroups in Iowa, such as the farmers, the college students, and the general public.

  17. Incorporating Problem-Based Experiential Teaching in the Agricultural Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salvador, R. J.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    A forestry and agronomy course at Iowa State University incorporates problem-based team projects on real-world situations as a means of providing students with integrative and meaningful experiential learning. Student evaluations of these courses indicate that students recognize and appreciate the integrative nature of the problem-based team…

  18. Effects of the Problem Solving and Subject Matter Approaches on the Problem Solving Ability of Secondary School Agricultural Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olowa, O. W.

    2009-01-01

    The approach used by teachers is very important to the success of the teaching process. This is why this study seeks to determine which teaching approaches--problem solving and subject-matter, would best improve the problem solving ability of selected secondary agricultural education students in Ikorodu Local Government Area. Ten classes and 150…

  19. Interactions between Niche and Regime: An Analysis of Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture across Europe

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ingram, Julie; Maye, Damian; Kirwan, James; Curry, Nigel; Kubinakova, Katarina

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to reveal, and contribute to an understanding of, the processes that connect learning and innovation networks in sustainable agriculture to elements of the mainstream agricultural regime. Drawing on the innovations and transition literature, the paper frames the analysis around niche-regime interaction using the notion of…

  20. The local view on the role of plant protection in sustainable agriculture in India.

    PubMed

    Jayaraj, S; Rabindra, R J

    1993-01-01

    Indiscriminate use of chemical insecticides has affected humans and their environment and contributed significantly to reduced productivity of crops. With the increasing realization of the importance of sustainable agriculture, the concept of integrated pest management (IPM) for sustainable agriculture has emerged. In the recent past entomologists and the farmers have identified methods of pest management that are ecologically non-disruptive and stable. Concurrently indigenous crop varieties with resistance to pests and diseases have been developed and cultivated. According to the principle of 'organic farming', several non-chemical methods have become popular among the local farmers. Simple cultural practices like increasing the seed rate to compensate for pest damage, adjusting the time of sowing to avoid pest damage, mulching, intercropping, trap cropping and crop rotation have been found to provide adequate protection from pest damage with no additional cost and without harmful effects on the environment. The age-old method of catch and kill is still being practised by farmers, particularly for cotton. Mechanical methods like the bow trap for control of rats and provision of tin sheets around coconut tree trunks to prevent rats damaging the nuts are still being adopted. The use of botanical materials such as the neem products for pest management has been well received almost all over the world. Biological control using the natural enemies of insect pests has become very popular among the farmers in the 1980s. The farmers who clamoured for chemical pesticides in the 1960s and 1970s are now disillusioned with these poisonous eco-destabilizing substances; they want sensible, biologically rational methods of IPM. Pest surveillance and monitoring play an important role in IPM for sustainable agriculture.

  1. Ethnography of a Sustainable Agriculture Program: A Case Study of a Social Movement's Inception and Growth on a University Campus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Triana, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    This ethnography documents how the message of sustainability was interpreted and communicated through a sustainable agricultural (SAG) program at an American higher education institution. The ethnography documents the evolution of the program as the program tackled obstacles and accomplished its goals during the initial phases of the program's…

  2. Providing Semantic Metadata to Online Learning Resources on Sustainable Agriculture and Farming: Combining Values and Technical Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia-Barriocanal, Elena; Sicilia, Miguel-Angel; Sanchez-Alonso, Salvador

    2013-01-01

    Sustainable or organic agriculture aims at harmonizing the efficient production of food with the preservation of the environmental conditions for continuing production in a sustained way. As such, it embodies a set of environmental values that are currently taught and learnt worldwide in specific courses or as part of broader programs or…

  3. Measuring environmental sustainability in agriculture: A composite environmental impact index approach.

    PubMed

    Sabiha, Noor-E; Salim, Ruhul; Rahman, Sanzidur; Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay

    2016-01-15

    The present study develops a composite environmental impact index (CEII) to evaluate the extent of environmental degradation in agriculture after successfully validating its flexibility, applicability and relevance as a tool. The CEII tool is then applied to empirically measure the extent of environmental impacts of High Yield Variety (HYV) rice cultivation in three districts of north-western Bangladesh for a single crop year (October, 2012-September, 2013). Results reveal that 27 to 69 per cent of the theoretical maximum level of environmental damage is created due to HYV rice cultivation with significant regional variations in the CEII scores, implying that policy interventions are required in environmentally critical areas in order to sustain agriculture in Bangladesh.

  4. Measuring environmental sustainability in agriculture: A composite environmental impact index approach.

    PubMed

    Sabiha, Noor-E; Salim, Ruhul; Rahman, Sanzidur; Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay

    2016-01-15

    The present study develops a composite environmental impact index (CEII) to evaluate the extent of environmental degradation in agriculture after successfully validating its flexibility, applicability and relevance as a tool. The CEII tool is then applied to empirically measure the extent of environmental impacts of High Yield Variety (HYV) rice cultivation in three districts of north-western Bangladesh for a single crop year (October, 2012-September, 2013). Results reveal that 27 to 69 per cent of the theoretical maximum level of environmental damage is created due to HYV rice cultivation with significant regional variations in the CEII scores, implying that policy interventions are required in environmentally critical areas in order to sustain agriculture in Bangladesh. PMID:26492465

  5. Irrigated agriculture and groundwater resources - towards an integrated vision and sustainable relationship.

    PubMed

    Foster, Stephen; Garduño, Héctor

    2013-01-01

    Globally, irrigated agriculture is the largest abstractor, and predominant consumer, of groundwater resources, with large groundwater-dependent agro-economies now having widely evolved especially in Asia. Such use is also causing resource depletion and degradation in more arid and drought-prone regions. In addition crop cultivation practices on irrigated land exert a major influence on groundwater recharge. The interrelationship is such that cross-sector action is required to agree more sustainable land and water management policies, and this paper presents an integrated vision of the challenges in this regard. It is recognised that 'institutional arrangements' are critical to the local implementation of management policies, although the focus here is limited to the conceptual understanding needed for formulation of an integrated policy and some practical interventions required to promote more sustainable groundwater irrigation.

  6. Irrigated agriculture and groundwater resources - towards an integrated vision and sustainable relationship.

    PubMed

    Foster, Stephen; Garduño, Héctor

    2013-01-01

    Globally, irrigated agriculture is the largest abstractor, and predominant consumer, of groundwater resources, with large groundwater-dependent agro-economies now having widely evolved especially in Asia. Such use is also causing resource depletion and degradation in more arid and drought-prone regions. In addition crop cultivation practices on irrigated land exert a major influence on groundwater recharge. The interrelationship is such that cross-sector action is required to agree more sustainable land and water management policies, and this paper presents an integrated vision of the challenges in this regard. It is recognised that 'institutional arrangements' are critical to the local implementation of management policies, although the focus here is limited to the conceptual understanding needed for formulation of an integrated policy and some practical interventions required to promote more sustainable groundwater irrigation. PMID:23508138

  7. Agriculture in Africa: strategies to improve and sustain smallholder production systems.

    PubMed

    Jama, Bashir; Pizarro, Gonzalo

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural development lies at the heart of poverty reduction and increased food security of most developing nations. Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter referred to as Africa) is, however, the only region in the world where per capita agricultural productivity has remained stagnant over the past 40 years. In Asia and Latin America, the use of tailored techniques and technologies has transformed agricultural practice and its productivity, leading to what has been called the "green revolution." The dissemination of uniquely African green revolution technologies has not occurred on the continent. This chapter will argue that the same results in increased productivity and food security can be achieved in Africa if the appropriate investments are made in key interventions: soil fertility improvement, improved seeds, water management, market access, extension services, access to credit, and improvements in weather forecasting. Where these have happened, even partially, the outcome has been remarkable. However, bringing them to scale in ways that sustainably increase agricultural productivity and alleviate poverty requires increased investments and innovative institutional arrangements. Fortunately, several research and development projects on the continent, including the Millennium Villages Project, are providing valuable insights. Finally, this chapter outlines the key remaining challenges.

  8. Productivity ranges of sustainable biomass potentials from non-agricultural land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schueler, Vivian; Fuss, Sabine; Steckel, Jan Christoph; Weddige, Ulf; Beringer, Tim

    2016-07-01

    Land is under pressure from a number of demands, including the need for increased supplies of bioenergy. While bioenergy is an important ingredient in many pathways compatible with reaching the 2 °C target, areas where cultivation of the biomass feedstock would be most productive appear to co-host other important ecosystems services. We categorize global geo-data on land availability into productivity deciles, and provide a geographically explicit assessment of potentials that are concurrent with EU sustainability criteria. The deciles unambiguously classify the global productivity range of potential land currently not in agricultural production for biomass cultivation. Results show that 53 exajoule (EJ) sustainable biomass potential are available from 167 million hectares (Mha) with a productivity above 10 tons of dry matter per hectare and year (tD Mha-1 a-1), while additional 33 EJ are available on 264 Mha with yields between 4 and 10 tD M ha-1 a-1: some regions lose less of their highly productive potentials to sustainability concerns than others and regional contributions to bioenergy potentials shift when less productive land is considered. Challenges to limit developments to the exploitation of sustainable potentials arise in Latin America, Africa and Developing Asia, while new opportunities emerge for Transition Economies and OECD countries to cultivate marginal land.

  9. Challenges and Alternatives to Sustainable Management of Agriculture and Pastoral Ecosystems in Asian Drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, J.

    2015-12-01

    There is no question that human must produce additional 70% food to feed the new 2.2 billion of people on the planet by 2050, but the question is where to grow the additional food. The demand for the additional food lies not only in producing the basic resources needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also from a changing diet, especially in rapidly developing countries in the dryland regions around the world. It is forecast that this demand for meat will require an additional 0.2 billion tons per year by 2050, which is almost a doubling of present meat consumption. These new demands create mounting pressures on agriculture and pastoral ecosystems and the reported trajectory of warmer and drier climate in the future increases uncertainties in food security, adding further stresses to the already stressed nations in the Asian dryland belt. Different approaches are being either proposed or practiced in the region but the question is whether or not the current practices are sustainable or optimal in addressing the emerging issues. Given the complexity and interplay among the food, water and energy, what are alternatives to ensure a sustainable trajectory of regional development to meet the new food demand? This presentation reviews existing practices and proposes alternative solutions, by specifically examining the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that drylands in Asian may provide. Preliminary analysis suggested that the current trajectory of meat and milk production is likely not on a sustainable pathway.

  10. Productivity ranges of sustainable biomass potentials from non-agricultural land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schueler, Vivian; Fuss, Sabine; Steckel, Jan Christoph; Weddige, Ulf; Beringer, Tim

    2016-07-01

    Land is under pressure from a number of demands, including the need for increased supplies of bioenergy. While bioenergy is an important ingredient in many pathways compatible with reaching the 2 °C target, areas where cultivation of the biomass feedstock would be most productive appear to co-host other important ecosystems services. We categorize global geo-data on land availability into productivity deciles, and provide a geographically explicit assessment of potentials that are concurrent with EU sustainability criteria. The deciles unambiguously classify the global productivity range of potential land currently not in agricultural production for biomass cultivation. Results show that 53 exajoule (EJ) sustainable biomass potential are available from 167 million hectares (Mha) with a productivity above 10 tons of dry matter per hectare and year (tD Mha‑1 a‑1), while additional 33 EJ are available on 264 Mha with yields between 4 and 10 tD M ha‑1 a‑1: some regions lose less of their highly productive potentials to sustainability concerns than others and regional contributions to bioenergy potentials shift when less productive land is considered. Challenges to limit developments to the exploitation of sustainable potentials arise in Latin America, Africa and Developing Asia, while new opportunities emerge for Transition Economies and OECD countries to cultivate marginal land.

  11. GIS support for precision agriculture: problems and possibilities.

    PubMed

    Bregt, A K

    1997-01-01

    Precision farming aims to optimize the use of soil resources and external inputs on a site-specific basis. Base ingredients for research in the field of precision farming are spatial data, including a characterization of the spatial variability, and simulation models for the characterization of the processes that take place. Geographical information systems (GIS) are systems for the storage, analysis and presentation of spatial data. A combination of GIS and simulation models is highly relevant for precision farming. Currently only static one- or two-dimensional simulation models can be fully supported by commercial GIS systems. Within precision agriculture an engineering component can be also distinguished, in which the research findings are translated into operational systems for use at farm level. GIS can support this engineering activity by providing a good platform for storage of base data, simple modelling, presentation of results, development of a user interface and, in combination with a global positioning system, controlling the navigation of farm vehicles. On the basis of GIS a decision support system could be developed for operational application of precision agriculture at farm level.

  12. Creating Sustainable Development Change Agents through Problem-Based Learning: Designing Appropriate Student PBL Projects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobson, Helen E.; Tomkinson, C. Bland

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the issues involved in designing appropriate problems or scenarios suitable for sustainable development (SD) education, in the context of problem-based learning (PBL) and experiential learning. Manchester's PBL approach to interdisciplinary Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has been well…

  13. Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Agricultural Sustainability-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru

    2016-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability. PMID:27136521

  14. Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Agricultural Sustainability-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru

    2016-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability.

  15. Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Approach to Support Sustainable Soil Management

    PubMed Central

    Crossman, Neville D.; MacEwan, Richard J.; Wallace, D. Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T.

    2014-01-01

    Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes. PMID:24616632

  16. Ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes: a spatially explicit approach to support sustainable soil management.

    PubMed

    Forouzangohar, Mohsen; Crossman, Neville D; MacEwan, Richard J; Wallace, D Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T

    2014-01-01

    Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km(2) in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes.

  17. Apcocynum Pictum and Sustainable Agriculture Along the Tarim River In Arid Northwest, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aihemaitijiang, R.

    2014-12-01

    Water scarcity and population increase have been a major limiting factor in oasis development along the Tarim River in Xinjiang, Northwest China which has very continental and dry climate, and all the agriculture and livelihoods depend on glacier melt water from Tarim River. Due to vast land reclamation along the Tarim River to grow cotton, native plant species are facing a severe competition for water, which is essential for their survival. Decreasing river runoff and inefficient water use practices by agriculture and industry has exacerbated already serious situation even worse. In addition, a large influx of migrant famers from Eastern China is being settled in this region to cultivate new agricultural lands that consumed even more water. Under those conditions, the natural riparian vegetation and the irrigation agriculture, especially along the lower reaches, suffers water shortage leading the degradation and economic losses, respectively. Along with the enlargement of irrigation area and periods of water shortage, soil salinization has become a major concern for farmers in the area. Alternative cash crops are much needed to reduce water use, so both native vegetation and human demand for water would be fulfilled. We hypothesized Apocynum Pictum, perennial herb species with multiple uses as potential substitute. Multidisciplinary approach is being used in this study to investigate three related issues to offer a basis for Apocynum's role in sustainable agriculture, such as Biomass production of Apocynum; Water budget of Apocynum; and Economic utilization of Apocynum. A.Pictum is perennial plant distributed in Central Asia and China, which its roots are perennial, while the stems die every year. Thus, A.pictum grow under the arid climate of Central Asia and provide utilization options without irrigation. We initially estimate water requirement for this plant is much less than cotton. In order to validate our hypothesis, we have measured water consumption of the

  18. Review: Balancing Limiting Factors and Economic Drivers to Achieve Sustainable Midwestern US Agricultural Residue Feedstock Supplies

    SciTech Connect

    Wally W. Wilhelm; J. Richard Hess; Douglas L. Karlen; David J. Muth; Jane M. F. Johnson; John M. Baker; Hero T. Gollany; Jeff M. Novak; Diane E. Stott; Gary E. Varvel

    2010-10-01

    Advanced biofuels will be developed using cellulosic feedstock rather than grain or oilseed crops that can also be used for food and feed. To be sustainable, these new agronomic production systems must be economically viable without degrading soil resources. This review examines six agronomic factors that collectively define many of the limits and opportunities for harvesting crop residue for biofuel feedstock. These six “limiting factors” are discussed in relationship to economic drivers associated with harvesting corn (Zea mays L.) stover as a potential cellulosic feedstock. The limiting factors include soil organic carbon, wind and water erosion, plant nutrient balance, soil water and temperature dynamics, soil compaction, and off-site environmental impacts. Initial evaluations using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2.0 (RUSLE2) show that a single factor analysis based on simply meeting tolerable soil loss might indicate stover could be harvested sustainably, but the same analysis based on maintaining soil organic carbon shows the practice to be non-sustainable. Modifying agricultural management to include either annual or perennial cover crops is shown to meet both soil erosion and soil carbon requirements. The importance of achieving high yields and planning in a holistic manner at the landscape scale are also shown to be crucial for balancing limitations and drivers associated with renewable bioenergy production.

  19. Sustainability and Improvement: A Problem "of" Education and "for" Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, Paul

    2009-01-01

    In this short discussion article I develop some earlier writing on the theme of education, improvement and sustainability (see references). It builds upon my primary criticism of the school improvement movement that it is accustomed to thinking of education as good in and of itself. As David Orr suggests candidly in his essay in the early 1990s,…

  20. Sustainability of Italian Agriculture: A Methodological Approach for Assessing Crop Water Footprint at Local Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altobelli, F.; Dalla Marta, A.; Cimino, O.; Orlandini, S.; Natali, F.

    2014-12-01

    In a world where population is rapidly growing and where several planetary boundaries (i.e. climate change, biodiversity loss and nitrogen cycle) have already been crossed, agriculture is called to respond to the needs of food security through a sustainable use of natural resources. In particular, water is one of the main elements of fertility so the agricultural activity, and the whole agro-food chain, is one of the productive sectors more dependent on water resource and it is able to affect, at regional level, its availability for all the other sectors. In this study, we proposed a methodology for assessing the green and blue water footprint of the main Italian crops typical of the different geographical areas (northwest, northeast, center, and south) based on data extracted from Italian Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). FADN is an instrument for evaluating the income of agricultural holdings and the impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy. Crops were selected based on incidence of cultivated area on the total arable land of FADN farms net. Among others, the database contains data on irrigation management (irrigated surface, length of irrigation season, volumes of water, etc.), and crop production. Meteorological data series were obtained by a combination of local weather stations and ECAD E-obs spatialized database. Crop water footprints were evaluated against water availability and risk of desertification maps of Italy. Further, we compared the crop water footprints obtained with our methodology with already existing data from similar studies in order to highlight the effects of spatial scale and level of detail of available data.

  1. Local soil fertility management on small-scale farming systems for sustainable agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Namriah, Kilowasid, Laode Muhammad Harjoni

    2015-09-01

    The sustainability of small-scale farming systems on marginal lands is still being a topic of debate in scientific and institutional communities. To address this, a study was conducted to find a method of sustaining the productivity of marginal lands for food crop production. Agricultural practices (fallow and traditional cultivation) used by the local small-scale farmers in managing soil fertility to meet the natural biological processes above and below the ground were studied in Muna Island Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Participatory approach was used to gather data and information on soil and land as well as to collect soil macrofauna. The results showed that the practices of local small-scale farmers are based on local soil and land suitability. Organic materials are the source of nutrient inputs to sustain the productivity of their lands by fallowing, burning natural vegetation, putting back the crop residues, doing minimum tillage and mix- and inter-crops. In conclusion, the sustainability of local small-scale farming systems will be established by knowing and understanding local soil and land classification systems and preferred crops being planted. Following the nature of fallow and monitoring soil macrofauna diversity and abundance, all preferred crops should be planted during rainy season with different time of harvest until the next rainy season. Therefore, soils are still covered with crops during dry season. It was suggested that planting time should be done in the rainy season. Doing more researches in other locations with different socio-cultural, economical, and ecological conditions is suggested to validate and refine the method.

  2. Potential of extensification of European agriculture for a more sustainable food system, focusing on nitrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Grinsven, Hans J. M.; Willem Erisman, Jan; de Vries, Wim; Westhoek, Henk

    2015-02-01

    Most global strategies for future food security focus on sustainable intensification of production of food and involve increased use of nitrogen fertilizer and manure. The external costs of current high nitrogen (N) losses from agriculture in the European Union, are 0.3-1.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008. We explore the potential of sustainable extensification for agriculture in the EU and The Netherlands by analysing cases and scenario studies focusing on reducing N inputs and livestock densities. Benefits of extensification are higher local biodiversity and less environmental pollution and therefore less external costs for society. Extensification also has risks such as a reduction of yields and therewith a decrease of the GDP and farm income and a smaller contribution to the global food production, and potentially an i0ncrease of global demand for land. We demonstrate favourable examples of extensification. Reducing the N fertilization rate for winter wheat in Northwest Europe to 25-30% below current N recommendations accounts for the external N cost, but requires action to compensate for a reduction in crop yield by 10-20%. Dutch dairy and pig farmers changing to less intensive production maintain or even improve farm income by price premiums on their products, and/or by savings on external inputs. A scenario reducing the Dutch pig and poultry sector by 50%, the dairy sector by 20% and synthetic N fertilizer use by 40% lowers annual N pollution costs by 0.2-2.2 billion euro (40%). This benefit compensates for the loss of GDP in the primary sector but not in the supply and processing chain. A 2030 scenario for the EU27 reducing consumption and production of animal products by 50% (demitarean diet) reduces N pollution by 10% and benefits human health. This diet allows the EU27 to become a food exporter, while reducing land demand outside Europe in 2030 by more than 100 million hectares (2%), which more than compensates increased land demand when

  3. Administrative Problems of Technical Assistance to Community Development and Agricultural Extension.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Safa-Isfahani, Manouchehr

    An attempt was made to analyze the administrative problems of United States technical assistance to community development and agricultural extension programs in the Philippines, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, and Nigeria, with emphasis on field problems and on the point of view of local administrators, field technicians, and local people. The concept…

  4. Assessing the impacts of sustainable agricultural practices for water quality improvements in the Vouga catchment (Portugal) using the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas

    2015-12-01

    The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods.

  5. Assessing the impacts of sustainable agricultural practices for water quality improvements in the Vouga catchment (Portugal) using the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas

    2015-12-01

    The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods. PMID:26196068

  6. 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

    to nutrient losses to air and water. This paper discusses the sustainable recycling N resources in biosolids and biowastes in agriculture in Australia using specific recent research examples from Western Australia, including lime amended biosolids, alum sludge and dewatered biosolids cake, and from Tasmania, papermill sludge. The primary focus is the N fertiliser replacement value of different biosolids and biowaste types under different environmental conditions, and management issues relating to the sustainable recycling of N. Experimental work included field trials and soil incubation studies. The findings are compared with research findings conducted in different climatic regions and soil types across Australia (Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales) and internationally.

  7. Introducing Future Engineers to Sustainable Ecology Problems: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filipkowski, A.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of Earth environmental destruction by human activities is becoming dangerous. Engineers responsible for the production of any goods should be well aware of the negative influence of their activities on the state of the planet. This is why the understanding of ecological problems is essential for people responsible for production and…

  8. Child labor in agriculture: some new developments to an ancient problem.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Dorianne

    2012-01-01

    Advocates for working children worldwide strive to eradicate the employment that minimizes a child's opportunities for education, good health and future potential. In agriculture, some promising developments in corporate social responsibility may generate partial solutions to child labor problems that have persisted for generations across world regions where food, fiber and fuel are produced. The purpose of this paper is to review these promising developments and propose recommendations in the context of a future of continued agricultural globalization and industrialization.

  9. Child labor in agriculture: some new developments to an ancient problem.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Dorianne

    2012-01-01

    Advocates for working children worldwide strive to eradicate the employment that minimizes a child's opportunities for education, good health and future potential. In agriculture, some promising developments in corporate social responsibility may generate partial solutions to child labor problems that have persisted for generations across world regions where food, fiber and fuel are produced. The purpose of this paper is to review these promising developments and propose recommendations in the context of a future of continued agricultural globalization and industrialization. PMID:22490031

  10. Remotely Sensed Hydrometeorological and Agrometeorological Drought Risk Identification for Sustainable Agriculture.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalezios, Nicolas R.; Blanta, Anna; Spyropoulos, Nicos

    2013-04-01

    Drought is considered as one of the major environmental hazards with significant impacts to agriculture, environment, economy and society. This paper addresses drought as a hazard within the risk management framework. Indeed, hazards may be defined as a potential threat to humans and their welfare and risk (or consequence) as the probability of a hazard occurring and creating loss. Besides, risk management consists of risk assessment and feedback of the adopted risk reduction measures. And risk assessment comprises three distinct steps, namely risk identification, risk estimation and risk evaluation. In order to ensure sustainability in agricultural production a better understanding of the natural disasters, in particular droughts, that impact agriculture is essential. Droughts may result in environmental degradation of an area, which is one of the factors contributing to the vulnerability of agriculture, because it directly magnifies the risk of natural disasters. This paper deals with drought risk identification, which involves hazard quantification, event monitoring including early warning systems and statistical inference. For drought quantification the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) combined with Vegetation Health Index (VHI) is employed. RDI is a new index based on hydrometeorological parameters, and in particular precipitation and potential evapotranspiration, which has been recently modified to incorporate monthly satellite (NOAA/AVHAA) data for a period of 20 years (1981-2001). VHI is based on NDVI. The study area is Thessaly in central Greece, which is one of the major agricultural areas of the country occasionally facing droughts. Drought monitoring is conducted by monthly remotely sensed RID and VHI images and several drought features are extracted such as severity, duration, areal extent, onset and end time. Drought early warning is developed using empirical relationships of the above mentioned features. In particular, two second-order polynomials

  11. Chemodynamics of methyl parathion and ethyl parathion: adsorption models for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Tabassum, Noshabah; Rafique, Uzaira; Balkhair, Khaled S; Ashraf, Muhammad Aqeel

    2014-01-01

    The toxicity of organophosphate insecticides for nontarget organism has been the subject of extensive research for sustainable agriculture. Pakistan has banned the use of methyl/ethyl parathions, but they are still illegally used. The present study is an attempt to estimate the residual concentration and to suggest remedial solution of adsorption by different types of soils collected and characterized for physicochemical parameters. Sorption of pesticides in soil or other porous media is an important process regulating pesticide transport and degradation. The percentage removal of methyl parathion and ethyl parathion was determined through UV-Visible spectrophotometer at 276 nm and 277 nm, respectively. The results indicate that agricultural soil as compared to barren soil is more efficient adsorbent for both insecticides, at optimum batch condition of pH 7. The equilibrium between adsorbate and adsorbent was attained in 12 hours. Methyl parathion is removed more efficiently (by seven orders of magnitude) than ethyl parathion. It may be attributed to more available binding sites and less steric hindrance of methyl parathion. Adsorption kinetics indicates that a good correlation exists between distribution coefficient (Kd) and soil organic carbon. A general increase in Kd is noted with increase in induced concentration due to the formation of bound or aged residue.

  12. From rainfed agriculture to stress-avoidance irrigation: II. Sustainability, crop yield, and profitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vico, Giulia; Porporato, Amilcare

    2011-02-01

    The optimality of irrigation strategies may be sought with respect to a number of criteria, including water requirements, crop yield, and profitability. To explore the suitability of different demand-based irrigation strategies, we link the probabilistic description of irrigation requirements under stochastic hydro-climatic conditions, provided in a companion paper [Vico G, Porporato A. From rainfed agriculture to stress-avoidance irrigation: I. A generalized irrigation scheme with stochastic soil moisture. Adv Water Resour 2011;34(2):263-71], to crop-yield and economic analyses. Water requirements, application efficiency, and investment costs of different irrigation methods, such as surface, sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, are described via a unified conceptual and theoretical approach, which includes rainfed agriculture and stress-avoidance irrigation as extreme cases. This allows us to analyze irrigation strategies with respect to sustainability, productivity, and economic return, using the same framework, and quantify them as a function of climate, crop, and soil parameters. We apply our results to corn ( Zea mays), a food staple and biofuel source, which is currently mainly irrigated through surface systems. As our analysis shows, micro-irrigation maximizes water productivity, but more traditional solutions may be more profitable at least in some contexts.

  13. Community supported agriculture membership in Arizona. An exploratory study of food and sustainability behaviours.

    PubMed

    MacMillan Uribe, Alexandra L; Winham, Donna M; Wharton, Christopher M

    2012-10-01

    Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs have become a viable source of locally produced foods and represent a new way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals. Because CSAs represent a way for consumers to acquire healthy foods while providing financial support to local farmers, CSA involvement could reflect, and be related to, greater concern with both health and environmental impact of food choice. As such, the aim of this study was to examine whether ecological attitudes of CSA members could predict food- and sustainability-related behaviours. Using an online survey, respondents answered questions about attitudes towards the environment, as well behaviours related to food purchases, family food preparation, composting, recycling and minimising food-packaging waste. A total of 115 CSA member responses were collected. Ordinary least squares (OLS) multivariate regression analysis was used to investigate the predictive validity of environmental attitudes on measures of behaviours. A large portion of participants reported the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables their households ate increased as a result of joining a CSA program. Ecological sensitivity was a significant predictor of sustainability-related behaviours as well as money spent eating out and times eaten away from home per week. However, it was not predictive of family involvement in home food preparation. PMID:22698977

  14. Community supported agriculture membership in Arizona. An exploratory study of food and sustainability behaviours.

    PubMed

    MacMillan Uribe, Alexandra L; Winham, Donna M; Wharton, Christopher M

    2012-10-01

    Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs have become a viable source of locally produced foods and represent a new way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals. Because CSAs represent a way for consumers to acquire healthy foods while providing financial support to local farmers, CSA involvement could reflect, and be related to, greater concern with both health and environmental impact of food choice. As such, the aim of this study was to examine whether ecological attitudes of CSA members could predict food- and sustainability-related behaviours. Using an online survey, respondents answered questions about attitudes towards the environment, as well behaviours related to food purchases, family food preparation, composting, recycling and minimising food-packaging waste. A total of 115 CSA member responses were collected. Ordinary least squares (OLS) multivariate regression analysis was used to investigate the predictive validity of environmental attitudes on measures of behaviours. A large portion of participants reported the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables their households ate increased as a result of joining a CSA program. Ecological sensitivity was a significant predictor of sustainability-related behaviours as well as money spent eating out and times eaten away from home per week. However, it was not predictive of family involvement in home food preparation.

  15. The potential and sustainability of agricultural land use in a changing ecosystem in southern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunziker, Matthias; Caviezel, Chatrina; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2015-04-01

    Southern Greenland currently experiences an increase in summer temperatures and a prolonged growing season (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2012), resulting in an increased potential regarding agricultural land use. Subsequently, the agricultural sector is expected to grow. Thereby, a higher hay production and grazing capacity is pursued by applying more efficient farming practices (Greenland Agriculture Advisory Board 2009). However, agricultural potential at borderline ecotones is not only influenced by factors like temperature and growing season but also by other ecologic parameters. In addition, the intensification of land use in the fragile boreal - tundra border ecotone has various environmental impacts (Perren et al. 2012; Normand et al. 2013). Already the Norse settlers practiced animal husbandry in southern Greenland between 986-1450 AD. Several authors mention the unadapted land use as main reason for the demise of the Norse in Greenland, as grazing pressure exceeded the resilience of the landscape and pasture economy failed (Fredskild 1988; Perren et al. 2012). During the field work in summer 2014, we compared the pedologic properties of already used hay fields, grazed land, birch woodland and barren, unused land around Igaliku (South Greenland), in order to estimate the potential and the sustainability of the land use in southern Greenland. Beside physical soil properties, nutrient condition of the different land use types, the shrub woodland and barren areas was analyzed. The results of the study show that the most suitable areas for intensive agricultural activity are mostly occupied. Further on, the fields, which were used by the Norse, seem to be the most productive sites nowadays. Less productive hay fields are characterized by a higher coarse fraction, leading to a reduced ability to store water and to an unfavorable nutrient status. An intensification of the agricultural land use by applying fertilizer would lead to an increased environmental impact

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-22

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

  17. Development of Groundwater Management Model for Sustainable Groundwater Use in the Agricultural Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, D.; Bae, G.; Lee, K.

    2010-12-01

    In many agricultural regions, high dependence of irrigation on groundwater has brought about serious concerns about unplanned groundwater developments and over-pumping. Various agricultural activities including fertilization and livestock husbandry usually result in groundwater contamination in those regions. Field works in Icheon, Korea showed that in this region the rice farming still requires a significant amount of water and continuous construction of greenhouse can make the contamination from the fertilization more serious. In this study, a groundwater management model based on the simulation-optimization methodology is developed to achieve sufficient groundwater supply and groundwater quality conservation together on regional-scale. This model can obtain the on-ground contaminant loading mass by integrating an analytical model for 1-D solute transport in unsaturated zone with 3-D groundwater flow and solute transport model, HydroGeosphere. The outputs of the 1-D unsaturated transport model, concentrations of the contaminant leaching on water table, work as contaminant sources in the 3-D solute transport model in saturated zone. This integrated simulation model is linked to genetic algorithm that searches the global optimum for the sustainable groundwater use. And, in order for the design on the contaminant sources to be more effective, it also links the backward transport model useful for evaluating the contamination from contaminant sources to each pumping well. The first objective of the management in this study is to obtain the optimal pumping rates that not only can supply sufficient amount of the groundwater but protect the groundwater from the excessive drawdown and contamination. The second objective is to control the periodic loading of the contaminant by suggesting the allowable contaminant loading mass. For this multi-objective groundwater management, the objective function to maximize both pumping rates and allowable contaminant loading mass and at

  18. The Unsustainability Imperative? Problems with "Sustainability" and "Sustainable Development" as Regulative Ideals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stables, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Normality is imminently catastrophic. Climate change is a contemporary instantiation of the perpetual sense of crisis that characterises the human condition, and concepts such as sustainability and resilience serve as regulative ideals (cf. beauty, perfection, and truth) in the fight against ubiquitous unsustainability. Unsustainability is an…

  19. Sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and rural development: An analysis of bio-energy systems used by small farms in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Aiming

    Renewable energy needs to be incorporated into the larger picture of sustainable agriculture and rural development if it is to serve the needs of the 3.25 billion human beings whose livelihoods and based on rural economies and ecologies. For rural communities, increasing agriculture production is key to raising income generation and improving social well-being, but this linkage depends also upon not harming natural resources. This dissertation provides an overview of recent Chinese agriculture history, discusses the role of energy in contemporary's China's agriculture and rural development, and introduces a new approach---the integrated agricultural bio-energy (IAB) system---to address the challenge of sustainable agriculture and rural development. IAB is an innovative design and offers a renewable energy solution for improving agricultural productivity, realizing efficient resource management, and enhancing social well-being for rural development. In order to understand how the IAB system can help to achieve sustainable agricultural and rural development in China, a comprehensive evaluation methodology is developed from health, ecological, energy and economic (HE3) perspectives. With data from surveys of 200 small farm households, a detailed study of IAB and conventional agricultural energy (CAE) system applications (in China's Liaoning and Yunnan Province) is conducted. The HE3 impacts of IAB systems in China's rural areas (compared to existing CAE systems) are quantified. The dissertation analyzes the full life-cycle costs and benefits of IAB systems, including their contributions to energy savings, CO2 emissions reduction, agricultural waste reduction, increased rural incomes, better rural health, and improved ecosystem sustainability. The analysis relies upon qualitative and quantitative modeling in order to produce a comprehensive assessment of IAB system impacts. Finally, the dissertation discusses the barriers to greater diffusion of the IAB systems

  20. Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants: problems, progress, and prospects.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shi-Lin; Yu, Hua; Luo, Hong-Mei; Wu, Qiong; Li, Chun-Fang; Steinmetz, André

    2016-01-01

    Medicinal plants are globally valuable sources of herbal products, and they are disappearing at a high speed. This article reviews global trends, developments and prospects for the strategies and methodologies concerning the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plant resources to provide a reliable reference for the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. We emphasized that both conservation strategies (e.g. in situ and ex situ conservation and cultivation practices) and resource management (e.g. good agricultural practices and sustainable use solutions) should be adequately taken into account for the sustainable use of medicinal plant resources. We recommend that biotechnical approaches (e.g. tissue culture, micropropagation, synthetic seed technology, and molecular marker-based approaches) should be applied to improve yield and modify the potency of medicinal plants.

  1. Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants: problems, progress, and prospects.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shi-Lin; Yu, Hua; Luo, Hong-Mei; Wu, Qiong; Li, Chun-Fang; Steinmetz, André

    2016-01-01

    Medicinal plants are globally valuable sources of herbal products, and they are disappearing at a high speed. This article reviews global trends, developments and prospects for the strategies and methodologies concerning the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plant resources to provide a reliable reference for the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. We emphasized that both conservation strategies (e.g. in situ and ex situ conservation and cultivation practices) and resource management (e.g. good agricultural practices and sustainable use solutions) should be adequately taken into account for the sustainable use of medicinal plant resources. We recommend that biotechnical approaches (e.g. tissue culture, micropropagation, synthetic seed technology, and molecular marker-based approaches) should be applied to improve yield and modify the potency of medicinal plants. PMID:27478496

  2. Stakeholder Effect: A Qualitative Study of the Influence of Farm Leaders' Ideas on a Sustainable Agriculture Education Program for Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grudens-Schuck, Nancy

    2001-01-01

    In a Canadian adult education program on sustainable agriculture, stakeholder participation in planning reconfigured power relationships. Farmers successfully influenced program design, even when their assumptions differed from educators. The project showed the importance of social and political dimensions of learning and of educators' recognition…

  3. Where Are the Gardens in the Garden State? Middle School Lessons on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmland Preservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Loris

    This unit helps middle school students explore the local face of a global challenge: vanishing farmland and the need for sustainable agriculture. With an eye on the National Geography Standards and five areas of the New Jersey core curriculum standards, this unit also develops the skills needed to contribute toward creative solutions for such…

  4. Results of an Assessment to Identify Potential Barriers to Sustainable Agriculture on American Indian Reservations in the Western United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singletary, Loretta; Emm, Staci; Brummer, Fara Ann; Hill, George C.; Lewis, Steve; Hebb, Vicki

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reports the results of survey research conducted with tribal producers between 2011 and 2012 on 19 of the largest American Indian reservations in Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. The purpose of the research was to identify potential barriers to sustainable agriculture on reservation lands. This…

  5. Sustainability.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  6. Sustainability.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management. PMID:27620092

  7. Improved phosphorus use efficiency in agriculture: a key requirement for its sustainable use.

    PubMed

    Schröder, J J; Smit, A L; Cordell, D; Rosemarin, A

    2011-08-01

    Mineral phosphorus (P) fertilizers processed from fossil reserves have enhanced food production over the past 50 years and, hence, the welfare of billions of people. Fertilizer P has, however, not only been used to lift the fertility level of formerly poor soils, but also allowed people to neglect the reuse of P that humans ingest in the form of food and excrete again as faeces and urine and also in other organic wastes. Consequently, P mainly moves in a linear direction from mines to distant locations for crop production, processing and consumption, where a large fraction eventually may become either agronomically inactive due to over-application, unsuitable for recycling due to fixation, contamination or dilution, and harmful as a polluting agent of surface water. This type of P use is not sustainable because fossil phosphate rock reserves are finite. Once the high quality phosphate rock reserves become depleted, too little P will be available for the soils of food-producing regions that still require P supplements to facilitate efficient utilization of resources other than P, including other nutrients. The paper shows that the amounts of P applied in agriculture could be considerably smaller by optimizing land use, improvement of fertilizer recommendations and application techniques, modified livestock diets, and adjustment of livestock densities to available land. Such a concerted set of measures is expected to reduce the use of P in agriculture whilst maintaining crop yields and minimizing the environmental impact of P losses. The paper also argues that compensation of the P exported from farms should eventually be fully based on P recovered from 'wastes', the recycling of which should be stimulated by policy measures.

  8. LandSoil model application for erosion management in sustainable agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smetanova, Anna; Follain, Stéphane; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion and land degradation can lead to irreversible changes and landscape degradation. In order to achieve the sustainability of agricultural landscapes, the land use scenarios might be developed and tested for their erosion mitigation effects. Despite the importance of the long-term scenarios (which are complicated by predictability of climate change in a small scale, its effect on change in soil properties and crops, and the societal behaviour of individual players), the management decision have to be applied already now. Therefore the short-term and medium term scenarios to achieve the most effective soil management and the least soil erosion footprint are necessary to develop. With increasing importance of individual large erosion events, the event-based models, considering soil properties and landscape structures appears to be suitable. The LandSoil model (Ciampalini et al., 2012) - a landscape evolution model operating at the field/small catchment scale, have been applied in order to analyse the effect of different soil erosion mitigation and connectivity management practices in two different Mediterranean catchments. In the soil erosion scenarios the proposed measures targeted soil erosion on field or on catchment scale, and the effect of different extreme events on soil redistribution was evaluated under different spatial designs. Anna Smetanová has received the support of the AgreenSkills fellowship (under grant agreement n°267196). R. Ciampalini, S. Follain, Y. Le Bissonnais, LandSoil: A model for analysing the impact of erosion on agricultural landscape evolution, Geomorphology, 175-176, 2012, 25-37.

  9. Evaluation of current state of agricultural land using problem-oriented fuzzy indicators in GIS environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current state of agricultural lands is defined under influence of processes in soil, plants and atmosphere and is described by observation data, complicated models and subjective opinion of experts. Problem-oriented indicators summarize this information in useful form for decision of the same specif...

  10. Introducing future engineers to sustainable ecology problems: a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipkowski, A.

    2011-12-01

    The problem of Earth environmental destruction by human activities is becoming dangerous. Engineers responsible for the production of any goods should be well aware of the negative influence of their activities on the state of the planet. This is why the understanding of ecological problems is essential for people responsible for production and industrial design. The energy, which they consume, is increasing the greenhouse effect and the waste poisons the environment. So far, most courses on ecology are offered to specialists in environmental engineering. These courses are filled with many details. The Warsaw Academy of Computer Science, Management and Administration teaches students in the direction of management and production engineering. Upon completion, the students receive the degree of 'engineer'. Their future work will mainly concern management of different types of industrial enterprises and they will be responsible for organising it in such a way as to avoid a dangerous contribution to environmental pollution and climate change. This is why it was decided to introduce a new course entitled 'Principles of Ecology and Environmental Management'. This course is quite broad, concerning almost all technical, law and organisational aspects of the problem. The presentation is made in a spectacular way, aiming to convince students that their future activity must be environmentally friendly. It contains information about international activities in ecology, legal aspects concerning pollution, technical and information methods of monitoring and, finally, the description of 'green' solutions. Altogether, 27 hours of lectures and 15 hours of discussions and students' presentations complete the course. Details of this course are described in this paper.

  11. Agricultural management practices to sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities.

    PubMed

    Sainju, Upendra M; Whitehead, Wayne F; Singh, Bharat P

    2003-08-20

    In the past several decades, agricultural management practices consisting of intensive tillage and high rate of fertilization to improve crop yields have resulted in the degradation of soil and environmental qualities by increasing erosion and nutrient leaching in the groundwater and releasing greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that cause global warming in the atmosphere by oxidation of soil organic matter. Consequently, management practices that sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities are needed. This paper reviews the findings of the effects of tillage practices, cover crops, and nitrogen (N) fertilization rates on crop yields, soil organic carbon (C) and N concentrations, and nitrate (NO3)-N leaching from the soil. Studies indicate that conservation tillage, such as no-till or reduced till, can increase soil organic C and N concentrations at 0- to 20-cm depth by as much as 7-17% in 8 years compared with conventional tillage without significantly altering crop yields. Similarly, cover cropping and 80-180 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) fertilization can increase soil organic C and N concentrations by as much as 4-12% compared with no cover cropping or N fertilization by increasing plant biomass and amount of C and N inputs to the soil. Reduced till, cover cropping, and decreased rate of N fertilization can reduce soil N leaching compared with conventional till, no cover cropping, and full rate of N fertilization. Management practices consisting of combinations of conservation tillage, mixture of legume and nonlegume cover crops, and reduced rate of N fertilization have the potentials for sustaining crop yields, increasing soil C and N storage, and reducing soil N leaching, thereby helping to improve soil and water qualities. Economical and social analyses of such practices are needed to find whether they are cost effective and acceptable to the farmers.

  12. Problem-Solving in Technology Education as an Approach to Education for Sustainable Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middleton, Howard

    2009-01-01

    This paper explores the issue of how students might learn about sustainability in technology--education classrooms and the relevance of problem-solving in that learning. One of the emerging issues in technology education research is the nature of problem-solving specified in curriculum documents and the kinds of learning activities undertaken by…

  13. Evaluation for sustainable agriculture water use from River, Reservoirs and Groundwater in the 20th century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, S.; Yamada, H.; Hanasaki, N.; Kanae, S.

    2011-12-01

    High water stress due to economic growth and climate change (ex. global warming) will be falling into 2 billion people to 4 billion people in the future. Agricultural water use accounting for about 70% of global water consumption might continue to increase due to production of foods and biofuels occurred by population growth in the future. In particular, water demand, food and biofuel production have an inextricable link. It is very important to evaluate these relationship for sustainable water use from past to the future. In this study, we focused on the objective to assess the impact of water withdrawal from various sources (stream flow, medium-sized reservoirs and nonrenewable nonlocal blue water) in the 20th century by considering irrigation area and climate change. Irrigation water withdrawal is the most important water use sector accounting for about 90% of total water withdrawal. First, we make the global spatial database of equipped irrigation area change and medium-sized reservoirs capacity. Then, water withdrawal from each sources for 50 years from 1950 to 2000 were simulated in global-scale at a resolution of 1.0 degree x 1.0 degree using an integrated global water resources model (hereafter, the H08 model). The H08 model can simulate both natural or anthropogenic water flow and anthropogenic water withdrawals. For comparison with our results, distribution of agricultural, industrial and domestic water withdrawals from 1950 to 2000 were estimated by distributing the country-based withdrawal data from AQUASTAT with irrigation area, urban population and total population, respectively. Groundwater withdrawal was then estimated by distributing the country-based withdrawal data based on statistical data from WRI, IGRAC and AQUASTAT with the total water withdrawal. As a result, agricultural water withdrawal change from nonrenewable nonlocal blue water during the past 50 years agreed well with the observed groundwater abstraction based on statistical data. In

  14. Decision support for on-farm water management and long-term agricultural sustainability in a semi-arid region of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Ajay

    2010-09-01

    SummaryThe long-term success of irrigated agriculture for sustainable crop production in India depends largely on the careful management of land and water resources. Currently, some serious environmental problems of waterlogging and soil salinization are burgeoning in parts of Haryana State of India; half a million hectare area of the State is already waterlogged. Poor irrigation and drainage management and inadequate exploitation of saline ground water are the main factors responsible for this phenomenon. In order to prevent further degradation and to maintain the food production for the growing population, judicious use of natural resources is a must. A wide range of solutions could be considered to address the problems. But the effectiveness of all the solutions and their combinations cannot be verified with on-farm experiments. Simulation models by way of their predictive capability are often the only viable means of providing input to management decisions. These models can help to forecast the likely impacts of a particular alternative management strategy. In the present study a physical based one-dimensional simulation model SWASALT was employed to evaluate on-farm irrigation water management options. After successful calibration and validation with field experimentation data, several scenario building exercises have been conducted under different crop, soil and rainfall conditions. The water and salt balance component obtained for each simulation run were used to derive water management response indicators. The simulation study revealed that in most conditions, saline water of up to 7.5 dS/m can be used safely on long term basis for crop production. The simulation study further revealed that alternative use of canal and saline water had an edge over mix use. Several alternatives have been suggested for sustainable agricultural production in the region. The strategies suggested, if followed, would lend sustainability to the agricultural production besides

  15. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Danuso, Francesco

    2008-06-18

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed. SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Joergensen, 1994) in which systems are modeled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  16. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    ScienceCinema

    Danuso, Francesco [University of Udine, Italy

    2016-07-12

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed.  SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Jørgensen, 1994) in which systems are modelled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower  management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  17. New mixes based on collagen extracts with bioactive properties, for treatment of seeds in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gaidau, Carmen; Niculescu, Mihaela; Stepan, Emil; Epure, Doru-Gabriel; Gidea, Mihai

    2013-01-01

    The world's population, areas intended for the production of bio-mass and bio-fuels and the food demand of mankind are on a continuous ascending trend. In this context, an increased efficiency in obtaining large and steady productions, in compliance with the requirements of sustainable development of the agricultural eco-system, is a priority. To be effective, the seed treatment will fulfill the following requirements: shall disinfect and protect the seeds against the pests and pathogen agents found in the soil, shall ensure the system protection, shall not pollute the soil, water and environment, shall have no remnant effect onto the environment and onto the crops and shall be bio-degradable, easy to transport and to use. This paper aims at presenting new collagen based materials for cereal seed treatment, which generates an increase of the quality and protection indicators for treated seeds. Creation of a new and advanced technology for treatment of cereal seeds, by using pesticide-collagen hydrolysate mixes has the objectives of increasing seed quality indexes; reducing pesticide consumption, which will in turn decrease environmental pollution and the cost of treatment for cereal seeds; achieving a better management of resources; reducing production expenses while preserving the environment. The technologies developed for protein raw material processing and characteristics of collagen hydrolysates with bioactive properties are presented. The future route for ecological treatment of seeds is the use of microencapsulated plant extracts (thyme and cinnamon essential oils) with insecticidal and antifungal properties in a shell made using collagen hydrolysate.

  18. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Danuso, Francesco

    2008-06-18

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed.  SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Jørgensen, 1994) in which systems are modelled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower  management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  19. Effective utilization of waste water through recycling, reuse, and remediation for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Raman, Rajamani; Krishnamoorthy, Renga

    2014-01-01

    Water is vital for human, animal, and plant life. Water is one of the most essential inputs for the production of crops. Plants need it in enormous quantities continuously during their life. The role of water is felt everywhere; its scarcity causes droughts and famines, its excess causes floods and deluge. During the next two decades, water will increasingly be considered a critical resource for the future survival of the arid and semiarid countries. The requirement of water is increasing day by day due to intensive agriculture practices, urbanization, population growth, industrialization, domestic use, and other uses. On the other hand, the availability of water resources is declining and the existing water is not enough to meet the needs. To overcome this problem, one available solution is utilization of waste water by using recycling, reuse, and remediation process.

  20. Exploring Corn-Ethanol As A Complex Problem To Teach Sustainability Concepts Across The Science-Business-Liberal Arts Curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oches, E. A.; Szymanski, D. W.; Snyder, B.; Gulati, G. J.; Davis, P. T.

    2012-12-01

    The highly interdisciplinary nature of sustainability presents pedagogic challenges when sustainability concepts are incorporated into traditional disciplinary courses. At Bentley University, where over 90 percent of students major in business disciplines, we have created a multidisciplinary course module centered on corn ethanol that explores a complex social, environmental, and economic problem and develops basic data analysis and analytical thinking skills in several courses spanning the natural, physical, and social sciences within the business curriculum. Through an NSF-CCLI grant, Bentley faculty from several disciplines participated in a summer workshop to define learning objectives, create course modules, and develop an assessment plan to enhance interdisciplinary sustainability teaching. The core instructional outcome was a data-rich exercise for all participating courses in which students plot and analyze multiple parameters of corn planted and harvested for various purposes including food (human), feed (animal), ethanol production, and commodities exchanged for the years 1960 to present. Students then evaluate patterns and trends in the data and hypothesize relationships among the plotted data and environmental, social, and economic drivers, responses, and unintended consequences. After the central data analysis activity, students explore corn ethanol production as it relates to core disciplinary concepts in their individual classes. For example, students in Environmental Chemistry produce ethanol using corn and sugar as feedstocks and compare the efficiency of each process, while learning about enzymes, fermentation, distillation, and other chemical principles. Principles of Geology students examine the effects of agricultural runoff on surface water quality associated with extracting greater agricultural yield from mid-continent croplands. The American Government course examines the role of political institutions, the political process, and various

  1. Assessing the impact of pluriactivity on sustainable agriculture. A case study in rural areas of Beotia in Greece.

    PubMed

    Giourga, Christina; Loumou, Angeliki

    2006-06-01

    Pluriactivity of farms, or part-time farming, is a common feature of agriculture in all countries regardless of their socioeconomic system and level of development. Currently, pluriactivity is related to the values of sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study is to delineate those specific characteristics of pluriactive farms that contribute to sustainable agriculture. In rural areas of Boetia in Greece, a socioeconomic survey was carried out on 114 farms to determine the types of farming applied. The results demonstrate that pluriactivity is a stable component of the agricultural structure in the rural areas of Boetia. It is widespread in plains, but its presence is more important in mountainous and semimountainous areas. The choice of young farmers is to opt for pluriactivity. Farm size does not differ between pluriactive and full-time farms. Pluriactive and full- time farms use the same level of input and get the same output for the same type of crop. However, pluriactive farmers under the same land-productive conditions are oriented toward a more extensive farming system, managing their land with crops that need less inputs. Considering these findings, it can be claimed that pluriactivity can contribute to diminishing the demand on natural resources in favored (level and irrigated) areas, to continue agricultural production in unfavorable (mountainous and semimountainous) areas, and to help the sustenance of the rural population.

  2. Review: Computer-based models for managing the water-resource problems of irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Ajay

    2015-09-01

    Irrigation is essential for achieving food security to the burgeoning global population but unplanned and injudicious expansion of irrigated areas causes waterlogging and salinization problems. Under this backdrop, groundwater resources management is a critical issue for fulfilling the increasing water demand for agricultural, industrial, and domestic uses. Various simulation and optimization approaches were used to solve the groundwater management problems. This paper presents a review of the individual and combined applications of simulation and optimization modeling for the management of groundwater-resource problems associated with irrigated agriculture. The study revealed that the combined use of simulation-optimization modeling is very suitable for achieving an optimal solution for groundwater-resource problems, even with a large number of variables. Independent model tools were used to solve the problems of uncertainty analysis and parameter estimation in groundwater modelling studies. Artificial neural networks were used to minimize the problem of computational complexity. The incorporation of socioeconomic aspects into the groundwater management modeling would be an important development in future studies.

  3. New mixes based on collagen extracts with bioactive properties, for treatment of seeds in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gaidau, Carmen; Niculescu, Mihaela; Stepan, Emil; Epure, Doru-Gabriel; Gidea, Mihai

    2013-01-01

    The world's population, areas intended for the production of bio-mass and bio-fuels and the food demand of mankind are on a continuous ascending trend. In this context, an increased efficiency in obtaining large and steady productions, in compliance with the requirements of sustainable development of the agricultural eco-system, is a priority. To be effective, the seed treatment will fulfill the following requirements: shall disinfect and protect the seeds against the pests and pathogen agents found in the soil, shall ensure the system protection, shall not pollute the soil, water and environment, shall have no remnant effect onto the environment and onto the crops and shall be bio-degradable, easy to transport and to use. This paper aims at presenting new collagen based materials for cereal seed treatment, which generates an increase of the quality and protection indicators for treated seeds. Creation of a new and advanced technology for treatment of cereal seeds, by using pesticide-collagen hydrolysate mixes has the objectives of increasing seed quality indexes; reducing pesticide consumption, which will in turn decrease environmental pollution and the cost of treatment for cereal seeds; achieving a better management of resources; reducing production expenses while preserving the environment. The technologies developed for protein raw material processing and characteristics of collagen hydrolysates with bioactive properties are presented. The future route for ecological treatment of seeds is the use of microencapsulated plant extracts (thyme and cinnamon essential oils) with insecticidal and antifungal properties in a shell made using collagen hydrolysate. PMID:24372268

  4. Pedagogy for Addressing the Worldview Challenge in Sustainable Development of Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Bawden, Richard J.; Bergmann, Luke

    2008-01-01

    Agriculture is offering new forms of support to society, as evidenced by rapid development of an agricultural "bio-economy," and increasing emphasis on production of ecological services in farmed landscapes. The advent of these innovations will engage agricultural professionals in critical civic debates about matters that are complex and that will…

  5. Sustainable agricultural practices: energy inputs and outputs, pesticide, fertilizer and greenhouse gas management.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yue-Wen

    2009-01-01

    The food security issue was addressed by the development of "modern agriculture" in the last century. But food safety issues and environment degradation were the consequences suffered as a result. Climate change has been recognized as the result of release of stored energy in fossil fuel into the atmosphere. Homogeneous crop varieties, machinery, pesticides and fertilizers are the foundation of uniform commodities in modern agriculture. Fossil fuels are used to manufacture fertilizers and pesticides as well as the energy source for agricultural machinery, thus characterizes modern agriculture. Bio-fuel production and the possibility of the agriculture system as a form of energy input are discussed. PMID:19965338

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

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

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

  8. Developing an Integrated Model Framework for the Assessment of Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal Limits for Bioenergy Systems

    SciTech Connect

    David Muth, Jr.; Jared Abodeely; Richard Nelson; Douglas McCorkle; Joshua Koch; Kenneth Bryden

    2011-08-01

    Agricultural residues have significant potential as a feedstock for bioenergy production, but removing these residues can have negative impacts on soil health. Models and datasets that can support decisions about sustainable agricultural residue removal are available; however, no tools currently exist capable of simultaneously addressing all environmental factors that can limit availability of residue. The VE-Suite model integration framework has been used to couple a set of environmental process models to support agricultural residue removal decisions. The RUSLE2, WEPS, and Soil Conditioning Index models have been integrated. A disparate set of databases providing the soils, climate, and management practice data required to run these models have also been integrated. The integrated system has been demonstrated for two example cases. First, an assessment using high spatial fidelity crop yield data has been run for a single farm. This analysis shows the significant variance in sustainably accessible residue across a single farm and crop year. A second example is an aggregate assessment of agricultural residues available in the state of Iowa. This implementation of the integrated systems model demonstrates the capability to run a vast range of scenarios required to represent a large geographic region.

  9. ASIT--A Problem Solving Strategy for Education and Eco-Friendly Sustainable Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Steve

    2009-01-01

    There is growing recognition of the role teaching and learning experiences in technology education can contribute to Education for Sustainable Development. It appears, however, that in the Technology Education classroom little or no change has been achieved to the practice of designing and problem solving strategies oriented towards sustainable…

  10. Gender and Environmental Sustainability: Issues and Problems Involved for Persons with Special Needs in Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egaga, Patrick I.; Aderibigbe, S. Akinwumi

    2015-01-01

    Sustainability of the environment is one of the major problems facing African people, most especially Nigerians. It is unfortunate that women, by the nature of their daily activities of managing the homes and families are in touch with nature and environment and are at greater risk of health hazards and foetal damage. This paper focuses on the…

  11. Sustained Attention at Age 5 Predicts Attention-Related Problems at Age 9

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Anne; Razza, Rachel A.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne

    2012-01-01

    This study tested whether two aspects of sustained attention (focused attention and lack of impulsivity) measured at child age 5 predicted attention problems reported by mothers and teachers at age 9. Because lack of impulsivity reflects the executive control network, and ADHD is commonly characterized as a deficit in executive function, it was…

  12. Long-term fluctuations of water resources availability and its implications for a sustainable management of arid agricultural coastal regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundmann, Jens; Schütze, Niels

    2015-04-01

    Freshwater scarcity and ongoing population growth associated with increasing water demands are major challenges for water management in coastal arid regions. Excessive use of groundwater for irrigation in agriculture puts those regions at risk of saltwater intrusion which limits agricultural opportunities. Additionally, some arid regions are characterised by a cyclic climate in which longer periods of dry years are followed by longer periods of wet years. This results also in long-term fluctuations of groundwater replenishment rates and water resources availability which may reach the same order of magnitude like long-term average values. Therefore, these long-term fluctuations should be considered for water resources management planning and operation. In order to evaluate their impact a simulation-based integrated water management system for coastal arid regions is used. The management system couples a groundwater module, assessing the water resources availability, and an agricultural module, controlling irrigation and cultivation within an optimisation module which allow for multi-objective optimisation of the water management regarding profitable and sustainable water resources and agricultural management on farm and regional scale. To achieve a fast and robust operation of the water management system, surrogate models are used which emulate the behaviour of physically based process models and a hierarchical optimisation scheme is applied. The water management system is driven by different scenarios of the water resources availability which were generated by using time series analyses and modelling of local groundwater replenishment rates. An application is performed for the south Batinah coastal region in the Sultanate of Oman which is affected by saltwater intrusion into a coastal aquifer system due to excessive groundwater withdrawal for irrigated agriculture. Several scenarios of water resources availability are used to compare long-term and adaptive

  13. Towards a more sustainable agriculture: wheat mycorrhization to protect against powdery mildew.

    PubMed

    Mustafa, G; Tisserant, B; Randoux, B; Fontaine, J; Reignault, Ph; Sahraoui, A Lounes-Hadj

    2013-01-01

    One of the means to reduce the use of pesticides, which are harmful for humans and the environment, is the development of alternative methods to control crop diseases. In this context, arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation possesses a great potential for crop production by a more sustainable agriculture. Our work aims to (i) determine the optimal conditions for wheat mycorrhization (ii) study the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation on a foliar disease of wheat, powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f.sp. tritici, Bgt), (iii) evaluate the stimulation of natural defences of wheat (Triticuma estivum). Therefore, this work consisted firstly of defining the parameters, affecting the establishment of wheat mycorrhization, such as: phosphorus concentration (62, 12.5, 6.2 mg/L), culture time (4, 5, 6, 7 weeks), arbuscular mycorrhizal species used as an inoculum (Rhizophagus irregularis (Ri), Glomus masseae (Gm) and the mixture of (Ri+Gm)) and wheat cultivars (Orvantis and Lord, sensitive and moderately resistant to Bgt, respectively). Secondly, the protective effect of mycorrhizal inoculation against Bgt was estimated by comparing infection rates of wheat seedlings subjected and non-subjected to AMF. Finally, to better understand the biochemical mechanisms involved in the protection, two enzymatic activities described as defense markers [lipoxygenase (LOX) and peroxidase (POX)] were also assessed. Extensive mycorrhization (about 31%) was obtained at P/5 concentration (12.5 mg/L) when wheat plants were 6 weeks old. The highest colonization rate was obtained when wheat was inoculated with Gm compared to SZE and Ri. The higher resistance level of Lord wheat cultivar against Bgt did not affect the mycorrhizal rate compared to the more susceptible cultivar Orvantis. Our work showed a significant protection level in mycorrhizal (M) wheat plants against Bgt, estimated to about 25 and 43% with Ri and SZE respectively compared to non-mycorrhizal (NM) Orvantis plants. The

  14. Towards a more sustainable agriculture: wheat mycorrhization to protect against powdery mildew.

    PubMed

    Mustafa, G; Tisserant, B; Randoux, B; Fontaine, J; Reignault, Ph; Sahraoui, A Lounes-Hadj

    2013-01-01

    One of the means to reduce the use of pesticides, which are harmful for humans and the environment, is the development of alternative methods to control crop diseases. In this context, arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation possesses a great potential for crop production by a more sustainable agriculture. Our work aims to (i) determine the optimal conditions for wheat mycorrhization (ii) study the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation on a foliar disease of wheat, powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f.sp. tritici, Bgt), (iii) evaluate the stimulation of natural defences of wheat (Triticuma estivum). Therefore, this work consisted firstly of defining the parameters, affecting the establishment of wheat mycorrhization, such as: phosphorus concentration (62, 12.5, 6.2 mg/L), culture time (4, 5, 6, 7 weeks), arbuscular mycorrhizal species used as an inoculum (Rhizophagus irregularis (Ri), Glomus masseae (Gm) and the mixture of (Ri+Gm)) and wheat cultivars (Orvantis and Lord, sensitive and moderately resistant to Bgt, respectively). Secondly, the protective effect of mycorrhizal inoculation against Bgt was estimated by comparing infection rates of wheat seedlings subjected and non-subjected to AMF. Finally, to better understand the biochemical mechanisms involved in the protection, two enzymatic activities described as defense markers [lipoxygenase (LOX) and peroxidase (POX)] were also assessed. Extensive mycorrhization (about 31%) was obtained at P/5 concentration (12.5 mg/L) when wheat plants were 6 weeks old. The highest colonization rate was obtained when wheat was inoculated with Gm compared to SZE and Ri. The higher resistance level of Lord wheat cultivar against Bgt did not affect the mycorrhizal rate compared to the more susceptible cultivar Orvantis. Our work showed a significant protection level in mycorrhizal (M) wheat plants against Bgt, estimated to about 25 and 43% with Ri and SZE respectively compared to non-mycorrhizal (NM) Orvantis plants. The

  15. Introduction and domestication of woody plants for sustainable agriculture in desert areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelef, Oren; Soloway, Elaine; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2014-05-01

    plantation in arid conditions. 5) Balanites aegyptiaca is potentially a good biomass crop and good feed for grazers as goats. We illuminated differences related to drought tolerance between two distinct ecotypes. Attempts to develope sustainable agriculture based on local species will save resources (water, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides), keep endangered plant species and enhance vegetation reestablishment.

  16. Avoid, Control, Succumb, or Balance: Engineering Students' Approaches to a Wicked Sustainability Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lönngren, Johanna; Ingerman, Åke; Svanström, Magdalena

    2016-07-01

    Wicked sustainability problems (WSPs) are an important and particularly challenging type of problem. Science and engineering education can play an important role in preparing students to deal with such problems, but current educational practice may not adequately prepare students to do so. We address this gap by providing insights related to students' abilities to address WSPs. Specifically, we aim to (I) describe key constituents of engineering students' approaches to a WSP, (II) evaluate these approaches in relation to the normative context of education for sustainable development (ESD), and (III) identify relevant aspects of learning related to WSPs. Aim I is addressed through a phenomenographic study, while aims II and III are addressed by relating the results to research literature about human problem solving, sustainable development, and ESD. We describe four qualitatively different ways of approaching a specific WSP, as the outcome of the phenomenographic study: A. Simplify and avoid, B. Divide and control, C. Isolate and succumb, and D. Integrate and balance. We identify approach D as the most appropriate approach in the context of ESD, while A and C are not. On this basis, we identify three learning objectives related to students' abilities to address WSPs: learn to use a fully integrative approach, distinguish WSPs from tame and well-structured problems, and understand and consider the normative context of SD. Finally, we provide recommendations for how these learning objectives can be used to guide the design of science and engineering educational activities.

  17. Sustainable Sourcing of Global Agricultural Raw Materials: Assessing Gaps in Key Impact and Vulnerability Issues and Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Nathaniel P.; Garbach, Kelly; Guillozet, Kathleen; Haden, Van R.; Hedao, Prashant; Hollander, Allan D.; Huber, Patrick R.; Ingersoll, Christina; Langner, Megan; Lipari, Genevieve; Mohammadi, Yaser; Musker, Ruthie; Piatto, Marina; Riggle, Courtney; Schweisguth, Melissa; Sin, Emily; Snider, Sara; Vidic, Nataša; White, Aubrey; Brodt, Sonja; Quinn, James F.; Tomich, Thomas P.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how to source agricultural raw materials sustainably is challenging in today’s globalized food system given the variety of issues to be considered and the multitude of suggested indicators for representing these issues. Furthermore, stakeholders in the global food system both impact these issues and are themselves vulnerable to these issues, an important duality that is often implied but not explicitly described. The attention given to these issues and conceptual frameworks varies greatly—depending largely on the stakeholder perspective—as does the set of indicators developed to measure them. To better structure these complex relationships and assess any gaps, we collate a comprehensive list of sustainability issues and a database of sustainability indicators to represent them. To assure a breadth of inclusion, the issues are pulled from the following three perspectives: major global sustainability assessments, sustainability communications from global food companies, and conceptual frameworks of sustainable livelihoods from academic publications. These terms are integrated across perspectives using a common vocabulary, classified by their relevance to impacts and vulnerabilities, and categorized into groups by economic, environmental, physical, human, social, and political characteristics. These issues are then associated with over 2,000 sustainability indicators gathered from existing sources. A gap analysis is then performed to determine if particular issues and issue groups are over or underrepresented. This process results in 44 “integrated” issues—24 impact issues and 36 vulnerability issues —that are composed of 318 “component” issues. The gap analysis shows that although every integrated issue is mentioned at least 40% of the time across perspectives, no issue is mentioned more than 70% of the time. A few issues infrequently mentioned across perspectives also have relatively few indicators available to fully represent them

  18. Sustainable Sourcing of Global Agricultural Raw Materials: Assessing Gaps in Key Impact and Vulnerability Issues and Indicators.

    PubMed

    Springer, Nathaniel P; Garbach, Kelly; Guillozet, Kathleen; Haden, Van R; Hedao, Prashant; Hollander, Allan D; Huber, Patrick R; Ingersoll, Christina; Langner, Megan; Lipari, Genevieve; Mohammadi, Yaser; Musker, Ruthie; Piatto, Marina; Riggle, Courtney; Schweisguth, Melissa; Sin, Emily; Snider, Sara; Vidic, Nataša; White, Aubrey; Brodt, Sonja; Quinn, James F; Tomich, Thomas P

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how to source agricultural raw materials sustainably is challenging in today's globalized food system given the variety of issues to be considered and the multitude of suggested indicators for representing these issues. Furthermore, stakeholders in the global food system both impact these issues and are themselves vulnerable to these issues, an important duality that is often implied but not explicitly described. The attention given to these issues and conceptual frameworks varies greatly--depending largely on the stakeholder perspective--as does the set of indicators developed to measure them. To better structure these complex relationships and assess any gaps, we collate a comprehensive list of sustainability issues and a database of sustainability indicators to represent them. To assure a breadth of inclusion, the issues are pulled from the following three perspectives: major global sustainability assessments, sustainability communications from global food companies, and conceptual frameworks of sustainable livelihoods from academic publications. These terms are integrated across perspectives using a common vocabulary, classified by their relevance to impacts and vulnerabilities, and categorized into groups by economic, environmental, physical, human, social, and political characteristics. These issues are then associated with over 2,000 sustainability indicators gathered from existing sources. A gap analysis is then performed to determine if particular issues and issue groups are over or underrepresented. This process results in 44 "integrated" issues--24 impact issues and 36 vulnerability issues--that are composed of 318 "component" issues. The gap analysis shows that although every integrated issue is mentioned at least 40% of the time across perspectives, no issue is mentioned more than 70% of the time. A few issues infrequently mentioned across perspectives also have relatively few indicators available to fully represent them. Issues in the

  19. Prehistorically modified soils of central Amazonia: a model for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Glaser, Bruno

    2007-02-28

    Terra Preta soils of central Amazonia exhibit approximately three times more soil organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus and 70 times more charcoal compared to adjacent infertile soils. The Terra Preta soils were generated by pre-Columbian native populations by chance or intentionally adding large amounts of charred residues (charcoal), organic wastes, excrements and bones. In this paper, it is argued that generating new Terra Preta sites ('Terra Preta nova') could be the basis for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century to produce food for billions of people, and could lead to attaining three Millennium Development Goals: (i) to combat desertification, (ii) to sequester atmospheric CO2 in the long term, and (iii) to maintain biodiversity hotspots such as tropical rainforests. Therefore, large-scale generation and utilization of Terra Preta soils would decrease the pressure on primary forests that are being extensively cleared for agricultural use with only limited fertility and sustainability and, hence, only providing a limited time for cropping. This would maintain biodiversity while mitigating both land degradation and climate change. However, it should not be overlooked that the infertility of most tropical soils (and associated low population density) is what could have prevented tropical forests undergoing large-scale clearance for agriculture. Increased fertility may increase the populations supported by shifting cultivation, thereby maintaining and increasing pressure on forests. PMID:17255028

  20. Prehistorically modified soils of central Amazonia: a model for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Glaser, Bruno

    2007-02-28

    Terra Preta soils of central Amazonia exhibit approximately three times more soil organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus and 70 times more charcoal compared to adjacent infertile soils. The Terra Preta soils were generated by pre-Columbian native populations by chance or intentionally adding large amounts of charred residues (charcoal), organic wastes, excrements and bones. In this paper, it is argued that generating new Terra Preta sites ('Terra Preta nova') could be the basis for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century to produce food for billions of people, and could lead to attaining three Millennium Development Goals: (i) to combat desertification, (ii) to sequester atmospheric CO2 in the long term, and (iii) to maintain biodiversity hotspots such as tropical rainforests. Therefore, large-scale generation and utilization of Terra Preta soils would decrease the pressure on primary forests that are being extensively cleared for agricultural use with only limited fertility and sustainability and, hence, only providing a limited time for cropping. This would maintain biodiversity while mitigating both land degradation and climate change. However, it should not be overlooked that the infertility of most tropical soils (and associated low population density) is what could have prevented tropical forests undergoing large-scale clearance for agriculture. Increased fertility may increase the populations supported by shifting cultivation, thereby maintaining and increasing pressure on forests.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  2. Agricultural nematology in East and Southern Africa: problems, management strategies and stakeholder linkages.

    PubMed

    Talwana, Herbert; Sibanda, Zibusiso; Wanjohi, Waceke; Kimenju, Wangai; Luambano-Nyoni, Nessie; Massawe, Cornel; Manzanilla-López, Rosa H; Davies, Keith G; Hunt, David J; Sikora, Richard A; Coyne, Danny L; Gowen, Simon R; Kerry, Brian R

    2016-02-01

    By 2050, Africa's population is projected to exceed 2 billion. Africa will have to increase food production more than 50% in the coming 50 years to meet the nutritional requirements of its growing population. Nowhere is the need to increase agricultural productivity more pertinent than in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is currently static or declining. Optimal pest management will be essential, because intensification of any system creates heightened selection pressures for pests. Plant-parasitic nematodes and their damage potential are intertwined with intensified systems and can be an indicator of unsustainable practices. As soil pests, nematodes are commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed, particularly where appropriate expertise and knowledge transfer systems are meager or inadequately funded. Nematode damage to roots results in less efficient root systems that are less able to access nutrients and water, which can produce symptoms typical of water or nutrient deficiency, leading to misdiagnosis of the underlying cause. Damage in subsistence agriculture is exacerbated by growing crops on degraded soils and in areas of low water retention where strong root growth is vital. This review focuses on the current knowledge of economically important nematode pests affecting key crops, nematode control methods and the research and development needs for sustainable management, stakeholder involvement and capacity building in the context of crop security in East and Southern Africa, especially Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. PMID:26299755

  3. Parent-Reported Homework Problems in the MTA Study: Evidence for Sustained Improvement with Behavioral Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Langberg, Joshua M.; Arnold, L. Eugene; Flowers, Amanda M.; Epstein, Jeffery N.; Altaye, Mekibib; Hinshaw, Stephen P.; Swanson, James M.; Kotkin, Ronald; Simpson, Stephen; Molina, Brooke S.G.; Jensen, Peter S.; Abikoff, Howard; Pelham, William E.; Vitiello, Benedetto; Wells, Karen C.; Hechtman, Lily

    2011-01-01

    Parent-report of child homework problems was examined as a treatment outcome variable in the MTA - Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Five hundred seventy-nine children ages 7.0–9.9 were randomly assigned to either medication management, behavioral treatment, combination treatment, or routine community care. Results showed that only participants who received behavioral treatment (behavioral and combined treatment) demonstrated sustained improvements in homework problems in comparison to routine community care. The magnitude of the sustained effect at the 24-month assessment was small to moderate for combined and behavioral treatment over routine community care (d = .37; .40, respectively). Parent ratings of initial ADHD symptom severity was the only variable found to moderate these effects. PMID:20390813

  4. Theme: Is Problem-Solving Teaching and SAE Needed in Agricultural Education in the 21st Century?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wardlow, George, Ed.

    1999-01-01

    Nine articles in this theme issue address problem-solving teaching and supervised agricultural experience. Topics covered include systems approaches to SAE, SAE for Y2K, SAE for science, applied SAE, types of SAE, and examples of activities. (JOW)

  5. Traditional agricultural practices enable sustainable remediation of highly polluted soils in Southern Spain for cultivation of food crops.

    PubMed

    Madejón, P; Barba-Brioso, C; Lepp, N W; Fernández-Caliani, J C

    2011-07-01

    This study relates elemental content of a range of edible crops grown in soils severely polluted by metals and metalloids as affected by traditional smallholder management practices. Five agricultural plots close to a sulfidic waste dump were monitored. Soil analysis demonstrated elevated concentrations of As, Cu, Pb and Zn that were greatly in excess of maximum statutory limits for agricultural soils in the studied region. The main vegetables (lettuce, chard, onion, potatoes) and lemon, together with their associated soils, were measured for elemental content. Extractable soil element concentrations were very low. There were differences in elemental accumulation between crops, but none exceeded statutory concentrations in edible parts. Soil-plant transfer factors were uniformly low for all elements and crops. It is concluded that traditional soil management practices (annual liming and application of animal manures) have created conditions for sustainable long-term safety use, with potential for multiple end-use, of these highly polluted soils.

  6. Sociopolitical crisis and the reconstruction of sustainable periurban agriculture in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

    PubMed

    Babo, Alfred

    2010-01-01

    This article examines the effects of the post-2002 sociopolitical crisis in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on urban and peri-urban agriculture. Based on the case study of Abidjan, it argues for a conceptualization of sustainability that includes social as well as environmental dimensions and focuses on coping strategies of producers and merchants. In Abidjan, these strategies included internal migration within the city and its periphery, the use of organic fertilizers, and changes in market structure. The study illustrates how such strategies allowed producers to continue to supply produce to the market, despite the difficulties of war. PMID:21322900

  7. Sociopolitical crisis and the reconstruction of sustainable periurban agriculture in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

    PubMed

    Babo, Alfred

    2010-01-01

    This article examines the effects of the post-2002 sociopolitical crisis in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on urban and peri-urban agriculture. Based on the case study of Abidjan, it argues for a conceptualization of sustainability that includes social as well as environmental dimensions and focuses on coping strategies of producers and merchants. In Abidjan, these strategies included internal migration within the city and its periphery, the use of organic fertilizers, and changes in market structure. The study illustrates how such strategies allowed producers to continue to supply produce to the market, despite the difficulties of war.

  8. Health and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Kjӕrgård, Bente; Land, Birgit; Bransholm Pedersen, Kirsten

    2014-09-01

    In the present article, we explore how sustainable development strategies and health promotion strategies can be bridged. The concept of the 'duality of structure' is taken as our starting point for understanding the linkages between health promotion and sustainable development, and for uncovering the structural properties or conditions which either enable or constrain sustainable public health initiatives. We argue that strategies towards health promotion are not sufficiently integrated with strategies for sustainable development, and thus political strategies aimed at solving health problems or sustainability problems may cause new, undesired and unforeseen environmental or health problems. First, we explore how the relation between health and sustainability is articulated in international policy documents. Next, we develop a model for understanding the relation between health promotion and sustainability. Third, we use examples from agriculture and food production to illustrate that health and sustainability are mutually enabling and constraining. We conclude that while the renewed focus on food security and food inequalities has brought the health and sustainability dimensions of the food system onto the political agenda, the conceptualization of duality between health and sustainability could be a new platform for a critical and theoretical stance towards the market-oriented food system strategy. Thinking along the lines of duality means that the integration of health promotion strategies and sustainable development strategies cannot be based on an approach to integration in which either health or sustainability is given precedence over the other. From a duality perspective, integration means conceiving sustainability from a health perspective and health from a sustainability perspective.

  9. Dairy farming and river condition: investigating the sustainable use of water resources in an agricultural area.

    PubMed

    Christesen, L

    2002-01-01

    This paper explores some of the factors that may contribute to the sustainable use of water on irrigated dairy farms in Victoria, Australia. The paper begins with a discussion of the principles of sustainable water use as they would apply to dairy farms in the Gippsland region of Victoria. A series of indicators are used to link aspects of sustainable water use at a regional scale, and the observable trends are discussed. Of particular interest is the way that local river systems contribute to the dairy industry in this region and the aspects of dairying and other significant regional factors that may be impacting on the sustainability of river systems in this area. The indicators are structured and analysed using the Pressure-State-Response (PSR) framework developed by the OECD, most commonly used in State of the Environment reporting. The trends highlighted by the indicator set are discussed in terms of the implications that current patterns of water use may have for possible shifts towards more sustainable water use on individual dairy farms in Gippsland. PMID:12171355

  10. Identifying, monitoring and implementing "sustainable" agricultural practices for smallholder farmers over large geographic areas in India and Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kritee, K.; Ahuja, R.; Nair, D.; Esteves, T.; Rudek, J.; Thu Ha, T.

    2015-12-01

    Industrial agriculture systems, mostly in developed and some emerging economies, are far different from the small-holder farms (size <1 acre) in Asia and Africa. Along with our partners from non-governmental, corporate, academic and government sectors and tens of thousands of farming families, we have worked actively in five states in India and two provinces in Vietnam for the last five years to understand how sustainable and climate smart farming practices can be monitored at small-holder farms. Here, any approach to monitor farming must begin by accounting for the tremendous management variability from farm to farm and also the current inability to ground-truth remote sensing data due to lack of relaible basic parameters (e.g., yields, N use, farm boundaries) which are necessary for calibrating empirical/biogeochemical models. While we continue to learn from new research, we have found that it is crucial to follow some steps if sustainable farming programs are to succeed at small-holder farms Demographic data collection and GPS plot demarcation to establish farm size and ownership Baseline nutrient, water & energy use and crop yield determination via surveys and self-reporting which are verifiable through farmer networks given the importance of peer to peer learning in the dissemination of new techniques in such landscapes "Sustainable" practice determination in consultation with local universities/NGO experts Measurements on representative plots for 3-4 years to help calibrate biogeochemical models and/or empirical equations and establish which practices are truly "sustainable" (e.g., GHG emission reduction varies from 0-7 tCO2e/acre for different sustainable practices). Propagation of sustainable practices across the landscape via local NGOs/governments after analyzing the replicability of identified farming practices in the light of local financial, cultural or socio-political barriers. We will present results from representative plots (including soil and

  11. Application of nanotechnology for the encapsulation of botanical insecticides for sustainable agriculture: prospects and promises.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Jhones Luiz; Campos, Estefânia Vangelie Ramos; Bakshi, Mansi; Abhilash, P C; Fraceto, Leonardo Fernandes

    2014-12-01

    This review article discusses the use of nanotechnology in combination with botanical insecticides in order to develop systems for pest control in agriculture. The main types of botanical insecticides are described, together with different carrier systems and their potential uses. The botanical insecticides include those based on active principles isolated from plant extracts, as well as essential oils derived from certain plants. The advantages offered by the systems are highlighted, together with the main technological challenges that must be resolved prior to future implementation of the systems for agricultural pest control. The use of botanical insecticides associated with nanotechnology offers considerable potential for increasing agricultural productivity, while at the same time reducing impacts on the environment and human health.

  12. [Theories and methodologies of engineering designs on sustainable agricultural land consolidation project--a case study of Xuemeiyang land consolidation project in Changtai County, Fujian Province].

    PubMed

    Ye, Yanmei; Wu, Cifang; Cheng, Chengbiao; Qiu, Lingzhang; Huang, Shengyu; Zheng, Ruihui

    2002-09-01

    The concept and characteristics of engineering designs on sustainable agricultural land consolidation project were discussed in this paper. Principles, basic methods and procedures of engineering designs on agricultural land consolidation project were put forward, which were successfully adopted for designing agricultural land consolidation in Xuemeiyang region of Changtai County, including diversity designs of sustainable land use, engineering designs of soil improvement, roads, ditches, and drains for protecting existent animal environments, and design of ecological shelter-forests in farmland. Moreover, from sustainable economic, ecological and social points, the results of these engineering designs were evaluated based on fouteen important indexes. After carrying out these engineeringdesigns, the eco-environments and agricultural production conditions were significantly improved, and the farm income was increased in planned regions.

  13. [Theories and methodologies of engineering designs on sustainable agricultural land consolidation project--a case study of Xuemeiyang land consolidation project in Changtai County, Fujian Province].

    PubMed

    Ye, Yanmei; Wu, Cifang; Cheng, Chengbiao; Qiu, Lingzhang; Huang, Shengyu; Zheng, Ruihui

    2002-09-01

    The concept and characteristics of engineering designs on sustainable agricultural land consolidation project were discussed in this paper. Principles, basic methods and procedures of engineering designs on agricultural land consolidation project were put forward, which were successfully adopted for designing agricultural land consolidation in Xuemeiyang region of Changtai County, including diversity designs of sustainable land use, engineering designs of soil improvement, roads, ditches, and drains for protecting existent animal environments, and design of ecological shelter-forests in farmland. Moreover, from sustainable economic, ecological and social points, the results of these engineering designs were evaluated based on fouteen important indexes. After carrying out these engineeringdesigns, the eco-environments and agricultural production conditions were significantly improved, and the farm income was increased in planned regions. PMID:12561177

  14. The nitrogen fate beyond the current nutrient mitigation measures: sustainability of an integrated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieu, V.; Billen, G. F.; Garnier, J.; Lancelot, C.; Gypens, N.

    2010-12-01

    Located in the North-Western Europe the terrestrial continuum that includes the Seine, Somme, and Scheldt River basins offers an interesting example of a transborder territory (France, Belgium, and Netherlands) with high-intensity anthropogenic pressures. It well-illustrates the rapid development of modern agriculture in industrialised countries and the resulting severe alteration of water resources and jeopardising the capacity of rural territories to produce drinking water. The corresponding nutrient loads delivered then into the Southern Bight of the North Sea, strongly affect the ecological functioning of the coastal zone. An integrated ‘river-ocean’ assessment, coupling two deterministic models - the SENEQUE RIVESTRAHLER model simulating nutrient dynamic in the drainage network and the MIRO model describing the ecological functioning coastal ecosystem - points out the relevance of current policy based measures (improvement of waste water treatment) to mitigate phosphorous emissions, while the nitrogen pollution related to agriculture will remain critical despite the implementation of classical management measure (good agricultural practices). Therefore and irrespectively of the current political agenda, a more radical alternative is established, consisting of a generalised shift to an integrated agriculture of all agricultural areas in the three basins, excluding the use of synthetically compounded fertilisers and the importation of livestock feed. Such scenario aims at evaluating whether agriculture, by essence, can conciliate (i) the demand for food and feed by local populations, (ii) a good ecological functioning of aquatic ecosystems and (iii) a balanced nutrient status for the adjacent coastal area. This scenario involves an increased livestock density in the Seine and Somme and a decrease in livestock in the Scheldt basin. It leads to a significant reduction of agricultural production that finally brings the three basins closer to autotrophy

  15. Climate Change, Agriculture and Sustainable Groundwater Management: Groundwater Reserves as a Hedge Against Climate Change and Drought (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langridge, R.; Fisher, A. T.

    2010-12-01

    In regions of California and the Southwestern United States, climate change is projected to increase the frequency of prolonged drought events. While there is a critical need for proactive strategies to cushion the effects of future water shortages on agriculture, drought planning is essentially reactive, centered on how to manage water shortages after a dry period occurs. Our paper discusses a proactive approach to improve water supply security for agriculture during droughts, the development and maintenance of strategic groundwater reserves. This would involve bringing groundwater basins into hydrologic balance through recharge processes to reduce groundwater level decline rates and maintaining sufficient groundwater levels to sustain a reserve. Recovery of water to satisfy reasonable short-term demand would occur so long as the reserve is maintained. We discuss the physical and institutional opportunities and constraints to developing reserves in several sites along California’s north and central coast where groundwater levels have been declining and communities are particularly vulnerable to future droughts and concomitant water shortages. We examine preliminary hydrologic and social metrics for a reserve, developed on the basis of local and regional conditions, as well as mechanisms and incentives to sustain a reserve.

  16. Enhancing Cultural Awareness through an Agricultural Sustainability Course in Costa Rica

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unruh-Snyder, Lori J.; Lamm, Alexa J.; Brendemuhl, Joel; Irani, Tracy; Roberts, T. Grady; Rodriguez, Mary T.; Navarro, Julia

    2011-01-01

    International learning experiences are increasingly considered critical by universities in order to address the breadth of knowledge and skills required by food and agricultural scientists. An international experience helps create an awareness of international perspectives and prepares students for a global workforce. This article discusses the…

  17. Agricultural Extension in South-Eastern Europe: Issues of Transition and Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daku, Lefter; Norton, George W.; Taylor, Daniel B.; Qenani-Petrela, Eivis

    2005-01-01

    Following the economic reforms in the early 90's, most of the south-eastern European countries (SEE) made efforts to establish agricultural extension services. However, a number of factors including tight governmental budgets, lack of experience, and the existence of vested interests have constrained the development of extension services. This…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Barriers to the Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture on Rented Land: An Examination of Contesting Social Fields

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carolan, Michael S.

    2005-01-01

    While over half of the cropland in the United States is rented, interest in land tenancy within sociological circles has been sporadic at best. In light of the prevalence of rented land in agriculture--particularly in the Midwest--it is vital that further research be conducted to investigate the effect that the rental relationship has upon the…

  20. Acting as a Change Agent in Supporting Sustainable Agriculture: How to Cope with New Professional Situations?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cerf, M.; Guillot, M. N.; Olry, P.

    2011-01-01

    How do change agents deal with the diversity of farmers' attitudes towards the future of agriculture? How do they themselves cope with change and understand their role as change agents? We chose a comprehensive, action-training approach to answer such questions and worked with agents belonging to two different extension networks. The agents…

  1. Agroecology and the Sustainable Production of Food and Fiber: Emergy Evaluation of Agriculture in the Montado

    EPA Science Inventory

    The silvopastoral, agricultural system of the montado in Southern Portugal is an example of the self-organization of an agroecological system adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the Mediterranean basin. This system with its consistent production of food, fiber, and ecos...

  2. Sustaining the earth's watersheds-agricultural research data system: Overview of development and challenges

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Comprehensive, long-term data for watershed systems across diverse locations are essential for interdisciplinary hydrologic and ecosystem analysis and model development, calibration and validation. The USDA and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have supported watershed research since the 1930’s w...

  3. Soybean (Glycine max L.) N-Turnover Effects on Sustainable Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    László, Márton, ,, Dr.

    2010-05-01

    A lysimeter N-experiment was carried out over a period of three years (1986-1988) in Hungary on a slightly calcareous Ramann sandy-loam brown forest soil. In a trial without seed inoculation, the effect of N-fertiliser was studied on yield and N-uptake and the mineral (NO3+ NO2 ) N-content of 0-90 cm soil-layer of soybean. On the given soil with regulated optimal water supply the highest quantity of 200 kg/ha N-dose seemed to give alredy over-fertilization and lowered in its tendency the grain and pod yield. About one third of the dry matter production without roots and foliage at harvest was given by the grain yield, which ranged between 1.8-5.4 t/ha, depending on the treatment applied and on years. The N-content was accumulated chiefly in the grain, its concentration exceeded about 7-10 times the N-content of roots and stalk. The half of the total N-uptake, on an average 102-256 kg/ha, was built in the grain. The highest N-yield = 631 kg/ha was achieved in 1988 by 150 kg/ha N-fertilization per year. In the first years the N-uptake of the plants agreed with the total supply (mineral reserve of soil + given in the form of fertilizer + precipitation N), while in the 3th year a double amount was recorded. The mineral reserve of N in the soil did not decrease at the end of the trial. Presumably, the soil of soybean in monoculture lost gradually its "Rhisobium japonicum sterility", the biological N-fixation increased with the time. In the first years without seed inoculation however, soybean may be in need of N-fertilization. Key Words: soybean, nitrogen, sustainable agriculture Introduction Soya is an important crop and is now grown all over the world (Márton et al. 1998, Márton et al. 1998, Kádár and Márton 1999, Márton and Kádár 1999, Márton and Kádár 1998). This crop originated in the Far East and has been grown in China for more than four thousand years. It has for long been regarded as one of the five sacred grains with rice, wheat, barley and millet

  4. Facilitating Systemic Research and Learning and the Transition to Agricultural Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eksvard, Karin

    2010-01-01

    This article focuses on how a facilitated process of triple loop learning can enable transition toward more sustainable forms of farming. The article is a case-based study of Participatory Learning and Action Research with organic tomato growers in Malardalen, Sweden. The importance of negotiating learning and action, capacity building, and…

  5. REMOTE SENSING, VISUALIZATION AND DECISION SUPPORT FOR WATERSHED MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The integration of satellite and airborne remote sensing, scientific visualization and decision support tools is discussed within the context of management techniques for minimizing the non-point source pollution load of inland waterways and the sustainability of food crop produc...

  6. Social Capital, Organic Agriculture, and Sustainable Livelihood Security: Rethinking Agrarian Change in Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getz, Christy

    2008-01-01

    This paper explores the relevance of extra local market linkages and local-level social capital to sustainable livelihood outcomes in two agrarian communities on Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Contextualized by the specificity of Mexico's transition from state-directed rural development to neoliberally-guided rural development in the 1990s, findings…

  7. A chaotic model of sustaining attention problem in attention deficit disorder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baghdadi, G.; Jafari, S.; Sprott, J. C.; Towhidkhah, F.; Hashemi Golpayegani, M. R.

    2015-01-01

    The problem of keeping an attention level is one of the common symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Dopamine deficiency is introduced as one of the causes of this disorder. Based on some physiological facts about the attention control mechanism and chaos intermittency, a behavioral model is presented in this paper. This model represents the problem of undesired alternation of attention level, and can also suggest different valuable predictions about a possible cause of attention deficit disorder. The proposed model reveals that there is a possible interaction between different neurotransmitters which help the individual to adaptively inhibit the attention switching over time. The result of this study can be used to examine and develop a new practical and more appropriate treatment for the problem of sustaining attention.

  8. Incorporating Sustainability and 21st-Century Problem Solving into Physics Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Michael; Pfaff, Tom; Hamilton, Jason; Erkan, Ali

    2013-09-01

    As educators we are facing an unprecedented challenge to prepare our students not only for traditional careers but also for future careers that don't exist today. Many of these careers will require a firm grounding in disciplines such as physics, along with multidisciplinary, Global, and systems thinking skill sets. Our Multidisciplinary Sustainability Education (MSE) project is addressing this challenge by creating sustainability-themed modules where a variety of courses in a range of disciplines tackle relevant, real-world problems from each discipline's perspective. Each course involved in a module, which addresses an overarching question, has students write technical reports, using their discipline knowledge to address the question, and they are expected to read and synthesize reports from other discipline-based courses. This paper discusses one of our modules, "What Are the Current and Future Impacts of Global Climate Change on Polar Bears?" and how students studying thermal physics can help answer this question.

  9. Anaerobic co-digestion plants for the revaluation of agricultural waste: Sustainable location sites from a GIS analysis.

    PubMed

    Villamar, Cristina Alejandra; Rivera, Diego; Aguayo, Mauricio

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to establish sustainably feasible areas for the implementation of anaerobic co-digestion plants for agricultural wastes (cattle/swine slurries and cereal crop wastes). The methodology was based on the use of geographic information systems (GIS), the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and map algebra generated from hedges related to environmental, social and economic constraints. The GIS model obtained was applied to a region of Chile (Bío Bío Region) as a case study showing the energy potential (205 MW-h) of agricultural wastes (swine/cattle manures and cereal crop wastes) and thereby assessing its energy contribution (3.5%) at country level (Chile). From this model, it was possible to spatially identify the influence of each factor (environmental, economic and social) when defining suitable areas for the siting of anaerobic co-digestion plants. In conclusion, GIS-based models establish appropriate areas for the location of anaerobic co-digestion plants in the revaluation of agricultural waste from the production of energy through biogas production. PMID:26862147

  10. Seed coating with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as an ecotechnologicalapproach for sustainable agricultural production of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Rui S; Rocha, Inês; Ma, Ying; Vosátka, Miroslav; Freitas, Helena

    2016-01-01

    The exploitation of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi has become of great interest in agriculture due to their potential roles in reducing the need for agrochemicals, while improving plant growth and nutrition. Nevertheless, the application of AM fungi by dispersing inocula in granular form to open agricultural fields is not feasible because nontargeted spreading of inocula over large surface areas results in high cost per plant. Seed coating has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of inoculum needed, resulting in cost reduction and increased efficiency. The aim of this study was to assess whether seed coating with AM fungal inoculum is a feasible delivery system for production of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Wheat seeds were coated with inoculum of Rhizophagus irregularis BEG140 and grown under different fertilization conditions: (1) none, (2) partial, or (3) complete. Data indicated that mycorrhizal inoculation via seed coating significantly increased the dry weight of shoot and seed spikes of wheat associated with reduced fertilization. Assessment of nutritional status of wheat showed that plants inoculated with R. irregularis via seed coating displayed enhanced stem concentrations of potassium (K), sulfur (S), and zinc (Zn). There were no significant differences in root colonization between plants conventionally inoculated with R. irregularis in soil and those inoculated via seed coating. Seed coating with AM fungi may be as effective as conventional soil inoculation and may contribute to reduce the utilization of chemical fertilizers. The application of AM via seed coating is proposed as an ecotechnological approach for sustainable agricultural wheat production. PMID:27077274

  11. Seed coating with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as an ecotechnologicalapproach for sustainable agricultural production of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Rui S; Rocha, Inês; Ma, Ying; Vosátka, Miroslav; Freitas, Helena

    2016-01-01

    The exploitation of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi has become of great interest in agriculture due to their potential roles in reducing the need for agrochemicals, while improving plant growth and nutrition. Nevertheless, the application of AM fungi by dispersing inocula in granular form to open agricultural fields is not feasible because nontargeted spreading of inocula over large surface areas results in high cost per plant. Seed coating has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of inoculum needed, resulting in cost reduction and increased efficiency. The aim of this study was to assess whether seed coating with AM fungal inoculum is a feasible delivery system for production of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Wheat seeds were coated with inoculum of Rhizophagus irregularis BEG140 and grown under different fertilization conditions: (1) none, (2) partial, or (3) complete. Data indicated that mycorrhizal inoculation via seed coating significantly increased the dry weight of shoot and seed spikes of wheat associated with reduced fertilization. Assessment of nutritional status of wheat showed that plants inoculated with R. irregularis via seed coating displayed enhanced stem concentrations of potassium (K), sulfur (S), and zinc (Zn). There were no significant differences in root colonization between plants conventionally inoculated with R. irregularis in soil and those inoculated via seed coating. Seed coating with AM fungi may be as effective as conventional soil inoculation and may contribute to reduce the utilization of chemical fertilizers. The application of AM via seed coating is proposed as an ecotechnological approach for sustainable agricultural wheat production.

  12. Anaerobic co-digestion plants for the revaluation of agricultural waste: Sustainable location sites from a GIS analysis.

    PubMed

    Villamar, Cristina Alejandra; Rivera, Diego; Aguayo, Mauricio

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to establish sustainably feasible areas for the implementation of anaerobic co-digestion plants for agricultural wastes (cattle/swine slurries and cereal crop wastes). The methodology was based on the use of geographic information systems (GIS), the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and map algebra generated from hedges related to environmental, social and economic constraints. The GIS model obtained was applied to a region of Chile (Bío Bío Region) as a case study showing the energy potential (205 MW-h) of agricultural wastes (swine/cattle manures and cereal crop wastes) and thereby assessing its energy contribution (3.5%) at country level (Chile). From this model, it was possible to spatially identify the influence of each factor (environmental, economic and social) when defining suitable areas for the siting of anaerobic co-digestion plants. In conclusion, GIS-based models establish appropriate areas for the location of anaerobic co-digestion plants in the revaluation of agricultural waste from the production of energy through biogas production.

  13. Which environmental problems get policy attention? Examining energy and agricultural sector policies in Sweden

    SciTech Connect

    Engstroem, Rebecka Nilsson, Mans Finnveden, Goeran

    2008-05-15

    Not all environmental problems get the same level of policy attention. An interesting question is thus why certain aspects receive attention and others do not. This paper studies the level of policy attention given to different environmental aspects in agriculture and energy policy in Sweden and explores empirically some factors that can explain the level of attention. The first step was to explore the link between environmental issue characteristics and the level of policy attention. The level of policy attention was measured through a content analysis of Swedish government bills. The results from the content analysis are clear and stable over the studied time period. In the agriculture sector biodiversity and toxicity are in focus whereas in the energy sector climate change and resources are given the attention. Besides these aspects, the attention is limited. These results were compared with the results from sector-wide environmental assessments of the same sectors. These assessments were based on hybrid input-output analysis and life cycle assessment methodologies. A main finding from the study is that issue importance is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for policy attention. Other explanations are needed to understand which environmental issues get attention in sectoral policy. Our assessment showed that while the level of knowledge does not provide an explanation, the presence of strong and well-organised stakeholders within the sector, with an interest in having a certain issue on the agenda, might be decisive for issue attention. Path dependency and limited attention capacity are other important factors.

  14. Effects of the Problem Solving Approach on Achievement, Retention, and Attitudes of High School Vocational Agriculture Students in Illinois.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flowers, Jim

    A study compared the effects on student achievement and retention between the problem-solving approach and the subject-matter approach in teaching a selected problem area in vocational agriculture. A quasi-experimental design, a variation of a nonequivalent control group design, was used. Treatments were randomly assigned to classes enrolled in…

  15. Boundary work for sustainable development: Natural resource management at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

    PubMed

    Clark, William C; Tomich, Thomas P; van Noordwijk, Meine; Guston, David; Catacutan, Delia; Dickson, Nancy M; McNie, Elizabeth

    2016-04-26

    Previous research on the determinants of effectiveness in knowledge systems seeking to support sustainable development has highlighted the importance of "boundary work" through which research communities organize their relations with new science, other sources of knowledge, and the worlds of action and policymaking. A growing body of scholarship postulates specific attributes of boundary work that promote used and useful research. These propositions, however, are largely based on the experience of a few industrialized countries. We report here on an effort to evaluate their relevance for efforts to harness science in support of sustainability in the developing world. We carried out a multicountry comparative analysis of natural resource management programs conducted under the auspices of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. We discovered six distinctive kinds of boundary work contributing to the successes of those programs-a greater variety than has been documented in previous studies. We argue that these different kinds of boundary work can be understood as a dual response to the different uses for which the results of specific research programs are intended, and the different sources of knowledge drawn on by those programs. We show that these distinctive kinds of boundary work require distinctive strategies to organize them effectively. Especially important are arrangements regarding participation of stakeholders, accountability in governance, and the use of "boundary objects." We conclude that improving the ability of research programs to produce useful knowledge for sustainable development will require both greater and differentiated support for multiple forms of boundary work.

  16. Climate change adaptation options for sustainable management of agriculture in the Eastern Lower Danube Plain, Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popovici, Elena-Ana; Sima, Mihaela; Balteanu, Dan; Dragota, Carmen-Sofia; Grigorescu, Ines; Kucsicsa, Gheorghe

    2013-04-01

    The current study was carried out within the FP7 ECLISE project in the Eastern Lower Danube Plain (Bărăgan Plain), one of the major agricultural areas in Romania. In this region, climate change signals are becoming more evident being predominantly characterized by increasing temperatures, decreasing of precipitations and intensification of extreme events in terms of frequency, intensity and duration. Over the past decades, the effects of extreme climatic phenomena on crop production have been ever more severe (very low outputs in the droughty years, significant crop losses during flooding periods, hailstorms, etc.). Concurrently, these effects have been the result of a whole range of complex interactions with other environmental, social, economic and political factors over the post-communist period. Using questionnaires survey for small individual households and large agricultural farms, focus group interviews and direct field observation, this study analyses the farmers' perception in terms of climate change, the impact of climate change on agriculture and how the farmers react and adapt to these changes. The current study have revealed that all farmers believe drought as being by far the most important climatic factor with major impact on agricultural production, followed by acid rains, hail storms and ground frost, facts evidenced also by the climatic diagnosis of the region. The majority of respondents have taken adaptation agricultural measures in response to changes in climate conditions (drought resistant seeds, modern technology to keep the moisture in the soil, etc.), but they consider that a national strategy for mitigating the effects of climate change would be more effective in this respect. Also, in order to correlate the farmers' perception of climate change and climatic factors, the authors used and processed a wide range of meteorological data (daily, monthly and annual from the most representative meteorological stations in the study-area), as

  17. The central role of agricultural water-use productivity in sustainable water management (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleick, P. H.

    2013-12-01

    As global and regional populations continue to rise for the next several decades, the need to grow more food will worsen old -- and produce new -- challenges for water resources. Expansion of irrigated agriculture is slowing due to constraints on land and water, and as a result, some have argued that future new food demands will only be met through improvements in agricultural productivity on existing irrigated and rainfed cropland, reductions in field losses and food waste, and social changes such as dietary preferences. This talk will address the central role that improvements in water-use productivity can play in the food/water/population nexus. In particular, the ability to grow more food with less water will have a great influence on whether future food demands will be met successfully. Such improvements can come about through changes in technology, regulatory systems, economic incentives and disincentives, and education of water users. Example of potential savings from three different strategies to improve agricultural water productivity in California. (From Pacific Institute).

  18. sunliquid(®): Sustainable and competitive cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues.

    PubMed

    Rarbach, Markus; Söltl, Yvonne

    2013-01-01

    The use of lignocellulosic plant material instead of food-based cereals for the production of biobased chemicals and fuels has been a matter of interest for academia and industry over the past years. The crux is the commercial viability of such processes, to be competitive in the fuels and chemicals market. Now, we are at the brink of commercialization with first processes already being implemented worldwide, offering more sustainability, energy security and economic growth. PMID:24388140

  19. Characterisation and change detection of the agricultural terraced landscape of Costa Viola (Calabria, Italy) in view of its sustainable management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modica, Giuseppe; Praticò, Salvatore; Lanucara, Simone; Di Fazio, Salvatore

    2015-04-01

    The research presented in this paper aimed at the dynamic characterisation of the historical terraced landscape of 'Costa Viola', a coastal region in South Italy, in view of its sustainable management. Here the agricultural terraces, used for vineyards, over time have occupied very steep sites and today are recognised as worthy of protection because of their high cultural and scenic value. During the last century, because of the loss of economic competitiveness, the agricultural terraces have undergone progressive abandonment, followed by landscape deterioration and increase of hydrogeologic risk. As a consequence it has recently emerged the need to support the permanence of terraced agriculture through a sensitive management of the area, based on a precise and updated knowledge of the landscape system and its ongoing dynamics of change. To this end the main characteristics of the Costa Viola dry-stone terraces and the Land Use/Land Cover (LU/LC) evolution between 1955 and 2012 were analysed. Taking into consideration the very steep slopes of Costa Viola and the need to analyse with high precision the historical evolution of the terraced landscape, they were implemented investigation methods coupling the use of precision tools with in-situ detailed surveys. A parallel diachronic study was also carried out, covering nearly 60 years and aiming to identify the local geomorphological processes and forms (such as landslides) through stereoscopic analysis of high resolution historic aerial photograms (1955 and 1976) compared to full colour digital orthophotos (1988, 2006, 2008, 2012), direct on-field verification, analysis of cadastral data and pluviometric data series. The geomorphological processes were analysed also in relation with the changes occurred over time in the agricultural terraces and in the urban/rural interface evolution. They were implemented a geographic database based on PostGIS and a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) developed in a GFOSS (Geographic

  20. Implications for sustainability of a changing agricultural mosaic in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucero, C. E.; Deverel, S. J.; Jacobs, P.; Kelsey, R.

    2015-12-01

    Transformed from the largest wetland system on the west coast of the United States to agriculture, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is an extreme teaching example of anthropogenic threats to sustainability. For over 6,000 years, over 280,000 ha of intertidal freshwater marsh accreted due to seal level rise and sediment deposition. Farming of organic soils since 1850 resulted in land subsidence caused primarily by oxidation. Over 2 billion cubic meters of soil were lost resulting in elevations on Delta islands ranging from -1 to -8 m and increased risk of levee failures and water supply disruption. Alteration of water flows and habitat caused dramatic declines in aquatic species. A cycle in which oxidation of organic soils leads to deepening of drainage ditches to maintain an aerated root zone which in turn results in sustained oxidation and subsidence is perpetuated by the momentum of the status quo despite evidence that agricultural practices are increasingly unsustainable. Flooding of the soils breaks the oxidation/subsidence cycle. We assessed alternate land uses and the carbon market as a potential impetus for change. Using the peer-reviewed and locally calibrated SUBCALC model, we estimated net global warming potential for a range of scenarios for a representative island, from status quo to incorporating significant proportions of subsidence-mitigating land use. We analyzed economic implications by determining profit losses or gains when a simulated GHG offset market is available for wetlands using a regional agricultural production and economic optimization model, We estimated baseline GHG emissions at about 60,000 tons CO2-e per year. In contrast, modeled implementation of rice and wetlands resulted in substantial emissions reductions to the island being a net GHG sink. Subsidence would be arrested or reversed where these land uses are implemented. Results of economic modeling reveal that conversion to wetlands can have significant negative farm financial

  1. Future state of the climate change, mitigation and development of sustainable agriculture in Bulgaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazandjiev, V.; Georgieva, V.; Moteva, M.; Marinova, T.; Dimitrov, P.

    2010-09-01

    The farming is one of the most important branches that bring the increase to the gross internal production in Bulgaria. At the same time, the agriculture is the only branch, as in home, so in world scale in which the made as well direct production spending and investing regenerating (or not) only in the frameworks to one vegetative season. In addition on this, development of the intensive farming without using the most advanced technologies such as irrigation, automation, selection - for obtaining stable cultivars and hybrids, permanent weather monitoring and agroclimatic zoning and integrated and biochemical protection to the cultures and plantations had not possible. Analysis of long-term meteorological data from different regions shows clear tendencies to warming and drying for the period of contemporary climate (1971-2000) as well in Bulgaria. Hydro-meteorological conditions in the country are worsened. The most entire estimate is made from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) 2007. Most of authors proven that the last decades are really warmest for last century, even for the entire period of the most instrumental observations. The causes for global warming was long time debatable, but the last investigations prove it anthropogenetic derive. The main goal of the paper is framing in conditions of the expected climate changes in our country for period 2020-2050-2070 and the most likely impacts on the agriculture with inspection padding to the consequences in them and making physical conditions for development of proof farming in production regions of the country. By the means of the systematized database of meteorological and agrometeorological data which we have at disposition for the period of this survey (1971-2000); Provide assignment of the expected climatic changes according to the scenarios in the centers for observing and investigations of climatic changes in Europe, US., Canada and Australia (ECHAM 4, HadCM 2, CGCM 1, CSIRO-MK2 Bs and

  2. Using Coastal Fog to Support Sustainable Water Use in a California Agricultural System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baguskas, S. A.; Loik, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Impacts of climate change threaten California farmers in a number of ways, most importantly through a decline in freshwater availability, concurrent with a rise in water demand. The future of California's multibillion-dollar agricultural industry depends on increasing water use efficiency on farms. In coastal California, the growing season of economically important crops overlaps with the occurrence of coastal fog, which buffers the summer dry season through shading effects and direct water inputs. While the impacts of coastal fog on plant biology have been extensively studied in natural ecosystems, very few studies have evaluated its direct effects on the water and energy budgets of agricultural systems. The objective of this study was to develop a mechanistic understanding of the relationships between coastal fog and the water and energy budgets of croplands in order to improve estimates of crop-scale evapotranspiration rates, which has potential to curtail groundwater use based on local cloud meteorology. We established three sites on strawberry farms along a coastal-inland gradient in the Salinas Valley, California. At each site, we installed a passive fog collector and a micrometeorological station to monitor variation in microclimate conditions. Flow meters were installed in drip lines to quantify irrigation amount and timing. To assess plant response to foggy and non-foggy conditions, we collected measurements of photosynthesis and transpiration rates at the leaf and canopy-scale between June-September 2015. We found that canopy-level transpiration rates on foggy days were reduced by half compared to sunny, clear days (1.5 and 3 mmol H2O m-2 s-1, respectively). Whereas the amount of direct fog water inputs to the soil did not differ significantly between foggy and clear days, average photosynthetically active radiation between 0900-1100 hr. was reduced from 1500 to 500 μmol photons m-2 s-1 between these sampling periods. Our results provide convincing

  3. A New Health Care Prevention Agenda: Sustainable Food Procurement and Agricultural Policy

    PubMed Central

    Harvie, Jamie; Mikkelsen, Leslie; Shak, Linda

    2009-01-01

    Health care leaders are broadening their awareness to include the need to address the food system as a means to individual, public, and global health, above and beyond basic nutritional factors. Key voices from the health care sector have begun to engage in market transformation and are aggregating to articulate the urgency for engagement in food and agricultural policy. Systemic transformation requires a range of policies that complement one another and address various aspects of the food system. Health care involvement in policy and advocacy is vital to solve the expanding ecological health crises facing our nation and globe and will require an urgency that may be unprecedented. PMID:23144678

  4. Implementation of efficient irrigation management for a sustainable agriculture. LIFE+ project IRRIMAN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Pastor, Alejandro; Garcia-Vila, Margarita; Gamero-Ojeda, Pedro; Ascensión Carmona, M.°; Hernandez, David; José Alarcón, Juan; Nicolás, Emilio; Nortes, Pedro; Aroca, Antonio; María de la Rosa, Jose; Zornoza, Raúl; Faz, Ángel; Molina, Angel; Torres, Roque; Ruiz, Manuel; Calatrava, Javier

    2016-04-01

    In water scarcity areas, it must be highlighted that the maximum productions of the crops do not necessarily imply maximum profitability. Therefore, during the last years a special interest in the development of deficit irrigation strategies based on significant reductions of the seasonal ET without affecting production or quality has been observed. The strategies of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) are based on the reduction of water supply during non critical periods, the covering of water needs during critical periods and maximizing, at the same time, the production by unit of applied water. But its success greatly depends on the adequate application of the water deficit and requires a continuous and precise control of the plant and soil water status to adjust the water supplies at every crop phenological period. The main objective of this project is to implement, demonstrate and disseminate a sustainable irrigation strategy based on deficit irrigation to promote its large scale acceptance and use in woody crops in Mediterranean agroecosystems, characterized by water scarcity, without affecting the quality standards demanded by exportation markets. With the adoption of this irrigation management we mean to ensure efficient use of water resources, improving quantitative water management, preserving high level of water quality and avoiding misuse and deterioration of water resources. The adoption of efficient irrigation will also lead to increments in water productivity, increments in the potential carbon fixation of the agroecosystem, and decrease energy costs of pressurized irrigation, together with mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The project will achieve the general objective by implication of farmers, irrigation communities, agronomists, industry, consultants, associations and public administration, by increments in social awareness for sustainable irrigation benefits, optimization of irrigation scheduling, improvements in technology, and

  5. Management of water for irrigation agriculture in semi-arid areas: Problems and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mvungi, A.; Mashauri, D.; Madulu, N. F.

    Most of the Mwanga district is classified as semi-arid with a rainfall range of 300 and 600 mm. Rainfall patterns in the district are unpredictable and are subject to great fluctuations. Like other semi-arid areas, the district is characterized with land degradation, unreliable rainfall, repeated water shortage, periodic famine, overgrazing, dry land cultivation in the marginal areas and heavy competition for limited biomass between farmers and cattle. Vulnerability here is high due to unreliability of weather. The people of Mwanga are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. However agriculture is difficult in the area due to inadequate rainfall. For a very long time the people have been dependent on irrigation agriculture to ensure food security. Of late the traditional irrigation system is on the decline threatening food security in the area. This paper examines the state and status of the irrigation canal system in Mwanga district with the view of recommending ways in which it can be improved. The study used participatory, survey and in-depth interviews to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data. The major findings are that social, political, environmental and demographic bases that supported the traditional irrigation system have changed drastically. As a corollary to this, the cultural and religious belief systems that supported and guided the traditional canal system management have been replaced by mistrust and corruption in water allocation. In addition the ownership and management system of the water resources that was vested in the initiator clans has changed and now water user groups own the canals/furrows but they do not own the water sources. This has rendered the control of the water sources difficult if not impossible. Currently the system is faced by a number of problems including shortage of water and poor management as demand for water increases and this has led to serious conflicts among and between crop producers and pastoralists

  6. Application of the MIKE SHE hydrological model in exploring sustainable development of water resources for agricultural activities in the White Volta Basin, Ghana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oteng, F. M.; Alo, C. A.; Bitew, M. M.; Yidana, S. M.

    2013-12-01

    Sustainable abstraction of groundwater resources for commercial irrigation in the White Volta Basin (WVB) holds promise for a fledging agricultural industry in the basin. This is because erratic rainfall patterns attending climate change/variability has imposed mixed fortunes in terms of rain-fed agricultural activities currently practiced in the WVB. Addressing the sustainability of groundwater for commercial abstraction will require the integration of surface and subsurface flows and analysis of the impacts of climate change scenarios on the resource, employing a surface-subsurface flow model. Here, we present early results from surface flow simulation over the basin using the physically-based surface-subsurface flow model MIKE SHE.

  7. The role of trees in agroecology and sustainable agriculture in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Leakey, Roger R B

    2014-01-01

    Shifting agriculture in the tropics has been replaced by sedentary smallholder farming on a few hectares of degraded land. To address low yields and low income both, the soil fertility, the agroecosystem functions, and the source of income can be restored by diversification with nitrogen-fixing trees and the cultivation of indigenous tree species that produce nutritious and marketable products. Biodiversity conservation studies indicate that mature cash crop systems, such as cacao and coffee with shade trees, provide wildlife habitat that supports natural predators, which, in turn, reduce the numbers of herbivores and pathogens. This review offers suggestions on how to examine these agroecological processes in more detail for the most effective rehabilitation of degraded land. Evidence from agroforestry indicates that in this way, productive and environmentally friendly farming systems that provide food and nutritional security, as well as poverty alleviation, can be achieved in harmony with wildlife.

  8. Measuring pesticide ecological and health risks in West African agriculture to establish an enabling environment for sustainable intensification

    PubMed Central

    Jepson, P. C.; Guzy, M.; Blaustein, K.; Sow, M.; Sarr, M.; Mineau, P.; Kegley, S.

    2014-01-01

    We outline an approach to pesticide risk assessment that is based upon surveys of pesticide use throughout West Africa. We have developed and used new risk assessment models to provide, to our knowledge, the first detailed, geographically extensive, scientifically based analysis of pesticide risks for this region. Human health risks from dermal exposure to adults and children are severe enough in many crops to require long periods of up to three weeks when entry to fields should be restricted. This is impractical in terms of crop management, and regulatory action is needed to remove these pesticides from the marketplace. We also found widespread risks to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife throughout the region, and if these results were extrapolated to all similar irrigated perimeters in the Senegal and Niger River Basins, they suggest that pesticides could pose a significant threat to regional biodiversity. Our analyses are presented at the regional, national and village levels to promote regulatory advances but also local risk communication and management. Without progress in pesticide risk management, supported by participatory farmer education, West African agriculture provides a weak context for the sustainable intensification of agricultural production or for the adoption of new crop technologies. PMID:24535399

  9. Enhancing Drought Early Warning System for Sustainable Water Resources and Agricultural Management through Apllication of Space Science - Nigeria in Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okpara, J. N.; Akeh, L. E.; Anuforom, A. C.; Aribo, P. B.; Olayanju, S. O.

    Enhancing Drought Early Warning System for Sustainable Water Resources and Agriculture Management through Application of Space Science - Nigeria in Perspective BY J N Okpara L E Akeh Anuforom P B Aribo and S O Olayanju Directorate of Applied Meteorological Services Nigerian Meteorological Agency NIMET P M B 615 Garki Abuja Nigeria e-mail underline Juddy Okpara yahoo co uk and underline tonycanuforom yahoo com underline Abstract This paper attempts to highlight the importance of drought early warning system in water resources and agricultural management in Nigeria Various studies have shown that the negative impacts of droughts and other forms of extreme weather phenomena can be substantially reduced by providing early warning on any impending weather extremes X-rayed in this study are the various techniques presently used by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency NIMET in generating information for meteorological Early Warning System EWS which are based on models that make use of ground-based raingauge data and sea surface temperatures SST Komuscu standardized precipitation index SPI inclusive These methods are often limited by such factors as network density of stations limited communication infrastructure human inefficiency etc NIMET is therefore embarking on the development of a new Satellite Agrometeorological Information System SAMIS-Nigeria for famine and drought early warning The system combines satellite data with raingauge data to give a range of

  10. Sustainable Agricultural Paradigm Of mountain-Oasis-Ecotone-Desert System in Inland Manasi River Basin, Xinjiang Province, Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Huiming; Chen, Weiming; Dong, Xiaobin; Zhang, Xinshi

    Manasi River basin is located in the north foot of Tianshan Mountain, south edge of Zhunger Basin, central-north Xinjiang province, with typical aridfeatures of northern China. As the pressure on water resources in Manasi river basin is mounting because of rapid economic development, its conservation becomes ever more important. Climate change is another major threat to the future of water resources of Manasi river basin. How the water resourcechanges in Manasi river basin caused by glacial ablation, will affect the typical mountain-basin terrestrial ecosystems and agricultural production in Manasi river basin? What can we cope with the ecological issues caused by glacial ablation? In this paper we show how the water-saving stratagem such asconstructing reservoir in the mountainous region, building water pipes and be used in combination with the potential of water-saving resources, and build up sustainable agricultural paradigm of mountain-oasis-ecotone-desert system to coping with the glacier retreat and ablation. The potential of water-saving instudy area were calculated which presumed that if mountainous reservoirs and water pipes were built and water-saving technology were adopted, optimized eco-productive paradigm for mountain-basin system in Manasi river basin is proposed in desertification controlling, constructing artificial grassland in the oasis is the measure to protect vegetation in the downstream desert in Manasi river basin, and stopping grazing or forbidding grazing in the downstream of serious degradation in Manasi river basin.

  11. Measuring pesticide ecological and health risks in West African agriculture to establish an enabling environment for sustainable intensification.

    PubMed

    Jepson, P C; Guzy, M; Blaustein, K; Sow, M; Sarr, M; Mineau, P; Kegley, S

    2014-04-01

    We outline an approach to pesticide risk assessment that is based upon surveys of pesticide use throughout West Africa. We have developed and used new risk assessment models to provide, to our knowledge, the first detailed, geographically extensive, scientifically based analysis of pesticide risks for this region. Human health risks from dermal exposure to adults and children are severe enough in many crops to require long periods of up to three weeks when entry to fields should be restricted. This is impractical in terms of crop management, and regulatory action is needed to remove these pesticides from the marketplace. We also found widespread risks to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife throughout the region, and if these results were extrapolated to all similar irrigated perimeters in the Senegal and Niger River Basins, they suggest that pesticides could pose a significant threat to regional biodiversity. Our analyses are presented at the regional, national and village levels to promote regulatory advances but also local risk communication and management. Without progress in pesticide risk management, supported by participatory farmer education, West African agriculture provides a weak context for the sustainable intensification of agricultural production or for the adoption of new crop technologies.

  12. Measuring pesticide ecological and health risks in West African agriculture to establish an enabling environment for sustainable intensification.

    PubMed

    Jepson, P C; Guzy, M; Blaustein, K; Sow, M; Sarr, M; Mineau, P; Kegley, S

    2014-04-01

    We outline an approach to pesticide risk assessment that is based upon surveys of pesticide use throughout West Africa. We have developed and used new risk assessment models to provide, to our knowledge, the first detailed, geographically extensive, scientifically based analysis of pesticide risks for this region. Human health risks from dermal exposure to adults and children are severe enough in many crops to require long periods of up to three weeks when entry to fields should be restricted. This is impractical in terms of crop management, and regulatory action is needed to remove these pesticides from the marketplace. We also found widespread risks to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife throughout the region, and if these results were extrapolated to all similar irrigated perimeters in the Senegal and Niger River Basins, they suggest that pesticides could pose a significant threat to regional biodiversity. Our analyses are presented at the regional, national and village levels to promote regulatory advances but also local risk communication and management. Without progress in pesticide risk management, supported by participatory farmer education, West African agriculture provides a weak context for the sustainable intensification of agricultural production or for the adoption of new crop technologies. PMID:24535399

  13. Key role of China and its agriculture in global sustainable phosphorus management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sattari, S. Z.; van Ittersum, M. K.; Giller, K. E.; Zhang, F.; Bouwman, A. F.

    2014-05-01

    Growing global demand for food leads to increased pressure on phosphorus (P), a finite and dwindling resource. China is the largest producer and consumer of P fertilizer in the world. A mass balance analysis of historical P use on China’s arable land shows that P input substantially exceeds crop P uptake leading to the accumulation of residual soil P. A Dynamic P Pool Simulator (DPPS) model is applied to estimate future P demand in China’s arable land. Our simulations show that more sustainable use of P accounting for the residual P can save ca. 20% of the P fertilizer needed until 2050 in China relative to the Rio + 20 Trend scenario. This saving would be equivalent to half of the P required in Africa or sufficient for Western Europe to achieve target crop P uptake in 2050.

  14. A combined remote sensing and modeling based approach to identify sustainable pathways for urban and peri-urban agriculture in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wattenbach, M.; Delgado, J. M.; Roessner, S.; Bochow, M.; Güntner, A.; Kropp, J.; Cantu Ros, A. G.; Hattermann, F.; Kolbe, T.; Sodoudi, S.; Cubasch, U. Ulrich; Zeitz, J.; Ross, L.; Böckel, K.; Fang, C.; Bo, L.; Pan, G.

    2012-04-01

    As the world's biggest economy, China is becoming the biggest consumer of resources globally. Given this trend, the over-proportional fast increase in urbanization presents China with fundamental problems. Among the most urgent ones is the increasing loss of agricultural land as urbanization takes place in the most productive regions along the coast. The latter is being responsible for a shift in agriculture production towards climatically less favorable areas. At the same time, the loss of green areas in and around growing cities is increasing the effect of the urban heat island. The perception of the potential risks related to this phenomenon, in the context of climate change, has led the Shanghai city administration to increase its urban-greening efforts, expanding the per capita area of green from 1m2 in 1990 to 12.5m2 in 2008. In this context, this paper aims at identifying the influence of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) on the sustainability of the urban regions of Shanghai and Nanjing. In particular, it focuses on the effects of UPA on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil nutrients and water balances, local climate and the structure and functions of the urbanized areas. We propose an interdisciplinary framework combining remote sensing, model simulations and GHG field observations and targeted at identifying "win-win" strategies for sustainable planning pathways showing high potentials for UPA. The framework is based on spatial scenario modeling, automatic classification of urban structure types and on a prototype of a high-quality spatial database consisting of a 3D city model. Dynamic boundary conditions for climate and urban development are provided by state of the art models. These approaches meet the needs of stakeholders and planners in China. A special emphasis is put on interdependencies between small holder farming in the urban and peri-urban zone and climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies focusing on improved management of

  15. Soybean (Glycine max L.) N-Turnover Effects on Sustainable Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    László, Márton, ,, Dr.

    2010-05-01

    A lysimeter N-experiment was carried out over a period of three years (1986-1988) in Hungary on a slightly calcareous Ramann sandy-loam brown forest soil. In a trial without seed inoculation, the effect of N-fertiliser was studied on yield and N-uptake and the mineral (NO3+ NO2 ) N-content of 0-90 cm soil-layer of soybean. On the given soil with regulated optimal water supply the highest quantity of 200 kg/ha N-dose seemed to give alredy over-fertilization and lowered in its tendency the grain and pod yield. About one third of the dry matter production without roots and foliage at harvest was given by the grain yield, which ranged between 1.8-5.4 t/ha, depending on the treatment applied and on years. The N-content was accumulated chiefly in the grain, its concentration exceeded about 7-10 times the N-content of roots and stalk. The half of the total N-uptake, on an average 102-256 kg/ha, was built in the grain. The highest N-yield = 631 kg/ha was achieved in 1988 by 150 kg/ha N-fertilization per year. In the first years the N-uptake of the plants agreed with the total supply (mineral reserve of soil + given in the form of fertilizer + precipitation N), while in the 3th year a double amount was recorded. The mineral reserve of N in the soil did not decrease at the end of the trial. Presumably, the soil of soybean in monoculture lost gradually its "Rhisobium japonicum sterility", the biological N-fixation increased with the time. In the first years without seed inoculation however, soybean may be in need of N-fertilization. Key Words: soybean, nitrogen, sustainable agriculture Introduction Soya is an important crop and is now grown all over the world (Márton et al. 1998, Márton et al. 1998, Kádár and Márton 1999, Márton and Kádár 1999, Márton and Kádár 1998). This crop originated in the Far East and has been grown in China for more than four thousand years. It has for long been regarded as one of the five sacred grains with rice, wheat, barley and millet

  16. Boundary work for sustainable development: Natural resource management at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

    PubMed Central

    Clark, William C.; Tomich, Thomas P.; van Noordwijk, Meine; Guston, David; Catacutan, Delia; Dickson, Nancy M.; McNie, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Previous research on the determinants of effectiveness in knowledge systems seeking to support sustainable development has highlighted the importance of “boundary work” through which research communities organize their relations with new science, other sources of knowledge, and the worlds of action and policymaking. A growing body of scholarship postulates specific attributes of boundary work that promote used and useful research. These propositions, however, are largely based on the experience of a few industrialized countries. We report here on an effort to evaluate their relevance for efforts to harness science in support of sustainability in the developing world. We carried out a multicountry comparative analysis of natural resource management programs conducted under the auspices of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. We discovered six distinctive kinds of boundary work contributing to the successes of those programs—a greater variety than has been documented in previous studies. We argue that these different kinds of boundary work can be understood as a dual response to the different uses for which the results of specific research programs are intended, and the different sources of knowledge drawn on by those programs. We show that these distinctive kinds of boundary work require distinctive strategies to organize them effectively. Especially important are arrangements regarding participation of stakeholders, accountability in governance, and the use of “boundary objects.” We conclude that improving the ability of research programs to produce useful knowledge for sustainable development will require both greater and differentiated support for multiple forms of boundary work. PMID:21844351

  17. Potentials and problems of sustainable irrigation with water high in salts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben-Gal, Alon

    2015-04-01

    Water scarcity and need to expand agricultural productivity have led to ever growing utilization of poor quality water for irrigation of crops. Almost in all cases, marginal or alternative water sources for irrigation contain relatively high concentrations of dissolved salts. When salts are present, irrigation water management, especially in the dry regions where water requirements are highest, must consider leaching in addition to crop evapotranspiration requirements. Leaching requirements for agronomic success are calculable and functions of climate, soil, and very critically, of crop sensitivity and the actual salinity of the irrigation water. The more sensitive the crop and more saline the water, the higher the agronomic cost and the greater the quantitative need for leaching. Israel is a forerunner in large-scale utilization of poor quality water for irrigation and can be used as a case study looking at long term repercussions of policy alternatively encouraging irrigation with recycled water or brackish groundwater. In cases studied in desert conditions of Israel, as much of half of the water applied to crops including bell peppers in greenhouses and date palms is actually used to leach salts from the root zone. The excess water used to leach salts and maintain agronomic and economic success when irrigating with water containing salts can become an environmental hazard, especially in dry areas where natural drainage is non-existent. The leachate often contains not only salts but also agrochemicals including nutrients, and natural contaminants can be picked up and transported as well. This leachate passes beyond the root zone and eventually reaches ground or surface water resources. This, together with evidence of ongoing increases in sodium content of fresh produce and increased SAR levels of soils, suggest that the current policy and practice in Israel of utilization of high amounts of low quality irrigation water is inherently non- sustainable. Current

  18. Establishing sustainable GHG inventory systems in African countries for Agriculture and Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wirth, T. C.; Troxler, T.

    2015-12-01

    As signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developing countries are required to produce greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories every two years. For many developing countries, including many of those in Africa, this is a significant challenge as it requires establishing a robust and sustainable GHG inventory system. In order to help support these efforts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked in collaboration with the UNFCCC to assist African countries in establishing sustainable GHG inventory systems and generating high-quality inventories on a regular basis. The sectors we have focused on for these GHG inventory capacity building efforts in Africa are Agriculture and Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) as these tend to represent a significant portion of their GHG emissions profile and the data requirements and methodologies are often more complex than for other sectors. To support these efforts, the U.S. EPA has provided technical assistance in understanding the methods in the IPCC Guidelines, assembling activity data and emission factors, including developing land-use maps for representing a country's land base, and implementing the calculations. EPA has also supported development of various tools such as a Template Workbook that helps the country build the institutional arrangement and strong documentation that are necessary for generating GHG inventories on a regular basis, as well as performing other procedures as identified by IPCC Good Practice Guidance such as quality assurance/quality control, key category analysis and archiving. Another tool used in these projects and helps country's implement the methods from the IPCC Guidelines for the Agriculture and LULUCF sectors is the Agriculture and Land Use (ALU) tool. This tool helps countries assemble the activity data and emission factors, including supporting the import of GIS maps, and applying the equations from the IPPC Guidelines to

  19. Phosphate solubilizing microbes: sustainable approach for managing phosphorus deficiency in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Seema B; Sayyed, Riyaz Z; Trivedi, Mrugesh H; Gobi, Thivakaran A

    2013-01-01

    Phosphorus is the second important key element after nitrogen as a mineral nutrient in terms of quantitative plant requirement. Although abundant in soils, in both organic and inorganic forms, its availability is restricted as it occurs mostly in insoluble forms. The P content in average soil is about 0.05% (w/w) but only 0.1% of the total P is available to plant because of poor solubility and its fixation in soil (Illmer and Schinner, Soil Biol Biochem 27:257-263, 1995). An adequate supply of phosphorus during early phases of plant development is important for laying down the primordia of plant reproductive parts. It plays significant role in increasing root ramification and strength thereby imparting vitality and disease resistance capacity to plant. It also helps in seed formation and in early maturation of crops like cereals and legumes. Poor availability or deficiency of phosphorus (P) markedly reduces plant size and growth. Phosphorus accounts about 0.2 - 0.8% of the plant dry weight. To satisfy crop nutritional requirements, P is usually added to soil as chemical P fertilizer, however synthesis of chemical P fertilizer is highly energy intensive processes, and has long term impacts on the environment in terms of eutrophication, soil fertilility depletion, carbon footprint. Moreover, plants can use only a small amount of this P since 75-90% of added P is precipitated by metal-cation complexes, and rapidly becomes fixed in soils. Such environmental concerns have led to the search for sustainable way of P nutrition of crops. In this regards phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms (PSM) have been seen as best eco-friendly means for P nutrition of crop. Although, several bacterial (pseudomonads and bacilli) and fungal strains (Aspergilli and Penicillium) have been identified as PSM their performance under in situ conditions is not reliable and therefore needs to be improved by using either genetically modified strains or co-inoculation techniques. This review

  20. 4-Hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase inhibitors in combination with safeners: solutions for modern and sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ahrens, Hartmut; Lange, Gudrun; Müller, Thomas; Rosinger, Chris; Willms, Lothar; van Almsick, Andreas

    2013-09-01

    Inhibitors of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) prevent plant carotenoid pigment formation, which in turn leads to chlorophyll degradation. This "bleaching" herbicide mode of action provides weed-control products for various crops, such as rice, corn, and cereals. Combinations with suitable safeners allow the full exploitation of the potential of this compound class to selectively control major weed problems, including rapidly increasing cases of resistance against other important herbicide classes.

  1. Polymeric and Solid Lipid Nanoparticles for Sustained Release of Carbendazim and Tebuconazole in Agricultural Applications

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Estefânia Vangelie Ramos; Oliveira, Jhones Luiz de; da Silva, Camila Morais Gonçalves; Pascoli, Mônica; Pasquoto, Tatiane; Lima, Renata; Abhilash, P. C.; Fernandes Fraceto, Leonardo

    2015-01-01

    Carbendazim (MBC) (methyl-2-benzimidazole carbamate) and tebuconazole (TBZ) ((RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-3-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl)pentan-3-ol) are widely used in agriculture for the prevention and control of fungal diseases. Solid lipid nanoparticles and polymeric nanocapsules are carrier systems that offer advantages including changes in the release profiles of bioactive compounds and their transfer to the site of action, reduced losses due to leaching or degradation, and decreased toxicity in the environment and humans. The objective of this study was to prepare these two types of nanoparticle as carrier systems for a combination of TBZ and MBC, and then investigate the release profiles of the fungicides as well as the stabilities and cytotoxicities of the formulations. Both nanoparticle systems presented high association efficiency (>99%), indicating good interaction between the fungicides and the nanoparticles. The release profiles of MBC and TBZ were modified when the compounds were loaded in the nanoparticles, and cytotoxicity assays showed that encapsulation of the fungicides decreased their toxicity. These fungicide systems offer new options for the treatment and prevention of fungal diseases in plants. PMID:26346969

  2. Polymeric and Solid Lipid Nanoparticles for Sustained Release of Carbendazim and Tebuconazole in Agricultural Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campos, Estefânia Vangelie Ramos; Oliveira, Jhones Luiz De; da Silva, Camila Morais Gonçalves; Pascoli, Mônica; Pasquoto, Tatiane; Lima, Renata; Abhilash, P. C.; Fernandes Fraceto, Leonardo

    2015-09-01

    Carbendazim (MBC) (methyl-2-benzimidazole carbamate) and tebuconazole (TBZ) ((RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-3-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl)pentan-3-ol) are widely used in agriculture for the prevention and control of fungal diseases. Solid lipid nanoparticles and polymeric nanocapsules are carrier systems that offer advantages including changes in the release profiles of bioactive compounds and their transfer to the site of action, reduced losses due to leaching or degradation, and decreased toxicity in the environment and humans. The objective of this study was to prepare these two types of nanoparticle as carrier systems for a combination of TBZ and MBC, and then investigate the release profiles of the fungicides as well as the stabilities and cytotoxicities of the formulations. Both nanoparticle systems presented high association efficiency (>99%), indicating good interaction between the fungicides and the nanoparticles. The release profiles of MBC and TBZ were modified when the compounds were loaded in the nanoparticles, and cytotoxicity assays showed that encapsulation of the fungicides decreased their toxicity. These fungicide systems offer new options for the treatment and prevention of fungal diseases in plants.

  3. Nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization in plants: challenges for sustainable and productive agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Masclaux-Daubresse, Céline; Daniel-Vedele, Françoise; Dechorgnat, Julie; Chardon, Fabien; Gaufichon, Laure; Suzuki, Akira

    2010-01-01

    Background Productive agriculture needs a large amount of expensive nitrogenous fertilizers. Improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crop plants is thus of key importance. NUE definitions differ depending on whether plants are cultivated to produce biomass or grain yields. However, for most plant species, NUE mainly depends on how plants extract inorganic nitrogen from the soil, assimilate nitrate and ammonium, and recycle organic nitrogen. Efforts have been made to study the genetic basis as well as the biochemical and enzymatic mechanisms involved in nitrogen uptake, assimilation, and remobilization in crops and model plants. The detection of the limiting factors that could be manipulated to increase NUE is the major goal of such research. Scope An overall examination of the physiological, metabolic, and genetic aspects of nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization is presented in this review. The enzymes and regulatory processes manipulated to improve NUE components are presented. Results obtained from natural variation and quantitative trait loci studies are also discussed. Conclusions This review presents the complexity of NUE and supports the idea that the integration of the numerous data coming from transcriptome studies, functional genomics, quantitative genetics, ecophysiology and soil science into explanatory models of whole-plant behaviour will be promising. PMID:20299346

  4. Integrated Pest Management for Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Asia and Africa.

    PubMed

    Pretty, Jules; Bharucha, Zareen Pervez

    2015-03-05

    Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a leading complement and alternative to synthetic pesticides and a form of sustainable intensification with particular importance for tropical smallholders. Global pesticide use has grown over the past 20 years to 3.5 billion kg/year, amounting to a global market worth $45 billion. The external costs of pesticides are $4-$19 (€3-15) per kg of active ingredient applied, suggesting that IPM approaches that result in lower pesticide use will benefit, not only farmers, but also wider environments and human health. Evidence for IPM's impacts on pesticide use and yields remains patchy. We contribute an evaluation using data from 85 IPM projects from 24 countries of Asia and Africa implemented over the past twenty years. Analysing outcomes on productivity and reliance on pesticides, we find a mean yield increase across projects and crops of 40.9% (SD 72.3), combined with a decline in pesticide use to 30.7% (SD 34.9) compared with baseline. A total of 35 of 115 (30%) crop combinations resulted in a transition to zero pesticide use. We assess successes in four types of IPM projects, and find that at least 50% of pesticide use is not needed in most agroecosystems. Nonetheless, policy support for IPM is relatively rare, counter-interventions from pesticide industry common, and the IPM challenge never done as pests, diseases and weeds evolve and move.

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

    PubMed

    Wargent, Jason J; Jordan, Brian R

    2013-03-01

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

  6. Integrated Pest Management for Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Asia and Africa

    PubMed Central

    Pretty, Jules; Pervez Bharucha, Zareen

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a leading complement and alternative to synthetic pesticides and a form of sustainable intensification with particular importance for tropical smallholders. Global pesticide use has grown over the past 20 years to 3.5 billion kg/year, amounting to a global market worth $45 billion. The external costs of pesticides are $4–$19 (€3–15) per kg of active ingredient applied, suggesting that IPM approaches that result in lower pesticide use will benefit, not only farmers, but also wider environments and human health. Evidence for IPM’s impacts on pesticide use and yields remains patchy. We contribute an evaluation using data from 85 IPM projects from 24 countries of Asia and Africa implemented over the past twenty years. Analysing outcomes on productivity and reliance on pesticides, we find a mean yield increase across projects and crops of 40.9% (SD 72.3), combined with a decline in pesticide use to 30.7% (SD 34.9) compared with baseline. A total of 35 of 115 (30%) crop combinations resulted in a transition to zero pesticide use. We assess successes in four types of IPM projects, and find that at least 50% of pesticide use is not needed in most agroecosystems. Nonetheless, policy support for IPM is relatively rare, counter-interventions from pesticide industry common, and the IPM challenge never done as pests, diseases and weeds evolve and move. PMID:26463073

  7. Women Farmers' Perceptions of the Economic Problems Influencing Their Productivity in Agricultural Systems: Meme Division of the Southwest Province, Cameroon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Endeley, Joyce B.

    Women farmers produce about 60% of the food in Cameroon, but face more problems and constraints than men in performing their agricultural activities. Cash crop farmers (mostly men) are the targeted beneficiaries of government and international aids, and have better access to extension services, loans, subsidized production input (herbicides,…

  8. "Sustainability On Earth" WebQuests: Do They Qualify as Problem-Based Learning Activities?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leite, Laurinda; Dourado, Luís; Morgado, Sofia

    2015-02-01

    Information and communication technologies (ICT), namely the Internet, can play a valuable educational role in several school subjects, including science education. The same applies to problem-based learning (PBL), that is, a student-centered active learning methodology that can prepare students for lifelong learning. WebQuests (WQs) combine PBL and Internet use, and they can reduce the probability of having students surfing the Internet without any clear purpose. The objective of this paper is to investigate to what extent WQs available from Portuguese schools' and universities' websites, focusing on the "Sustainability on Earth" eighth-grade school science theme, are consistent with a PBL perspective. Results from content analysis of 92 WQs indicate that the WQs selected for this paper are rarely consistent with PBL requirements. Teachers should be both aware of this issue and ready to improve the WQs available before using them in their science classes so that greater educational advantage can be generated from this powerful tool.

  9. A bio-economic analysis of a sustainable agricultural transition using green biorefinery.

    PubMed

    Cong, Rong-Gang; Termansen, Mette

    2016-11-15

    Traditional pig production often relies on cereal-based feed, which has adverse environmental effects, e.g. nitrogen leaching and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Alternative production systems are therefore sought to improve the sustainability of pig production. A promising alternative is to use proteinaceous feed from grass, produced in a green bio-refinery (GBR), to substitute part of the cereals in the feed. Cultivation of grass on arable land can reduce nitrogen leaching and pesticide application, and increase carbon storage. The GBR using grass as feedstock also produces valuable byproducts, e.g. fibre and biogas. In this study we combine a life-cycle analysis (LCA) and a cost-benefit analysis to compare the economic and environmental effects of producing the pig feed to produce 1ton of pork using two feeding systems. We apply this approach to the intensive Danish pork production as a case study. The results show that compared with traditional cereal-based feeding system for producing a ton of pork, using proteinaceous concentrate from small-scale GBR will (1) decrease the average feed cost by 5.01%; (2) produce a profit of 96€ before tax in the GBR; and (3) decrease the nitrogen leaching (NO3-N) by 28.2%. However, in most of the scenarios (except for G2), the nitrogen emissions into the air (N2O-N) will also increase because of the increased N fertilizer application compared to a cereal-based system. In most of the scenarios (except for S1 and G1), the energy and land use will also be saved. However, some important factors, e.g. the soil characteristics, pressed juice fraction in fresh biomass and scale of GBR, could subvert the conclusion about energy and land use saving in the alternative feeding system. PMID:27471980

  10. A bio-economic analysis of a sustainable agricultural transition using green biorefinery.

    PubMed

    Cong, Rong-Gang; Termansen, Mette

    2016-11-15

    Traditional pig production often relies on cereal-based feed, which has adverse environmental effects, e.g. nitrogen leaching and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Alternative production systems are therefore sought to improve the sustainability of pig production. A promising alternative is to use proteinaceous feed from grass, produced in a green bio-refinery (GBR), to substitute part of the cereals in the feed. Cultivation of grass on arable land can reduce nitrogen leaching and pesticide application, and increase carbon storage. The GBR using grass as feedstock also produces valuable byproducts, e.g. fibre and biogas. In this study we combine a life-cycle analysis (LCA) and a cost-benefit analysis to compare the economic and environmental effects of producing the pig feed to produce 1ton of pork using two feeding systems. We apply this approach to the intensive Danish pork production as a case study. The results show that compared with traditional cereal-based feeding system for producing a ton of pork, using proteinaceous concentrate from small-scale GBR will (1) decrease the average feed cost by 5.01%; (2) produce a profit of 96€ before tax in the GBR; and (3) decrease the nitrogen leaching (NO3-N) by 28.2%. However, in most of the scenarios (except for G2), the nitrogen emissions into the air (N2O-N) will also increase because of the increased N fertilizer application compared to a cereal-based system. In most of the scenarios (except for S1 and G1), the energy and land use will also be saved. However, some important factors, e.g. the soil characteristics, pressed juice fraction in fresh biomass and scale of GBR, could subvert the conclusion about energy and land use saving in the alternative feeding system.

  11. The Use of the Persian Translation of the Learning Transfer System Inventory in the Context of Agricultural Sustainability Learning in Iran

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zamani, Naser; Ataei, Pouria; Bates, Reid

    2016-01-01

    The Learning Transfer System Inventory considers 16 factors likely to influence the transfer of training to the workplace. This study uses the Persian translation of the inventory and applies it to agricultural sustainability learning in Iran. The aim is to examine the internal structure and predictive ability of the inventory as translated into…

  12. Recycling biosolids and lake-dredged materials to pasture-based animal agriculture: Alternative nutrient sources for forage productivity and sustainability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Domestic sewage sludge or biosolids and lake-dredged materials are examples of materials that can be used to cut fertilizer costs in pasture-based animal agriculture. Sustainable biosolids and lake-dredged materials management is based upon controlling and influencing the quantity, quality and chara...

  13. Circles of live buffer strips in a center pivot to improve multiple ecosystem services and sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the southern great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining Ogallala Aquifer has threatened sustainability of highly productive irrigated agriculture in the region. The region, known for the dust bowl of thirties, is scared of its return. Lower well outputs and increasing pumping costs have compelled farmers to adapt alternative conservation strate...

  14. Paper versus plastic, water versus carbon and sustainable agriculture in the US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, L. C.

    2011-12-01

    It is increasingly recognized that food and energy security are inextricably linked to climate and climate change, resulting in the so-called climate, energy, food nexus, with the water cycle at its hub. The ability to provide sufficient and consistent energy and food for this generation, while not depleting soil, climate and water resources for future generations involves interconnected feedbacks along the paths of this wheel. In the US corn belt, for example, agricultural water management in the form of subsurface drainage lowers the regional water table to enhance crop production, while at the same time providing a conduit for the more efficient export of nitrate-nitrogen to the Gulf of Mexico and increasing rates of decomposition and subsidence in organic-rich soils. The use of control structures to regulate drainage water has the potential to reduce nitrate and carbon dioxide losses, while at the same time increasing the emissions of other greenhouse gases. Increased biofuels production offers the potential to increase domestic energy security, but at the cost of increased water demand and threats to food security. Just as budding US consumer environmentalists of the last decade struggled with the question of paper versus plastic for bagging their groceries, today's informed consumers are being asked to tacitly choose between water and carbon. The local foods movement encourages consumption of locally-produced foods as a means of reducing carbon emissions associated with food transportation, among other perceived benefits. At the same time, the concept of virtual water trade recognizes that importing the water embedded in production in the form of food can balance a local water deficit. Taking into account the virtual water of food production and carbon emissions of food transportation, the spatial arrangement of the current US crop portfolio minimizes neither water nor carbon footprints. Changes in crop distribution result in trade-offs between the per capita

  15. Water quality assessment for sustainable agriculture in the Wet Tropics--a community-assisted approach.

    PubMed

    Faithful, John; Finlayson, Wendy

    2005-01-01

    A number of studies in north Queensland over the past two decades have concluded that large amounts of nutrients and sediments are exported from agricultural watersheds, particularly during wet season rainfall events. With the co-operation of a number of growers, runoff from Queensland Wet Tropics banana and cane farm paddocks in two distinct tropical river catchments was examined to provide an estimate of nutrient and sediment concentrations and export, with comparison to water quality of flow through a small urban lakes system. Median total nitrogen concentrations in cane drainage runoff (3110 microg N/L) were higher than for banana paddock drainage (2580 microg N/L), although the maximum concentration was recorded from a banana paddock (20,900 microg N/L). Nitrogen losses during post-event drainage flow were supplemented by high proportions of NO(X) (nitrate + nitrite) sourced from groundwater inputs. Banana paddocks had the highest maximum and median total phosphorus and TSS concentrations (5120 and 286 microg P/L, and 7250 and 75 mg/L respectively) compared to the cane farms (1430 and 50 microg P/L, and 1840 and 14 mg/L respectively). The higher phosphorus and TSS concentrations in the banana runoff were attributed to higher paddock slopes and a greater proportion of exposed ground surface during the wet season. Highest nutrient and TSS concentrations corresponded with samples collected near the peak discharge periods; however, the rising stage of the drainage flows, where the highest nutrient and TSS concentrations are often reported, were difficult to target because of the manual sampling strategy used. This study shows that high concentrations of nutrients and TSS occur in the runoff from cane and banana paddocks. Median total nitrogen, total phosphorus and TSS concentrations in flow through the urban lakes were 369 microg N/L, 16 microg P/L and 11 mg/L, respectively. Flux estimates of 9.2 kg N, 0.8 kg P and 126 kg TSS/ha were determined for drainage runoff

  16. The Problem of Agricultural and Industrial Education for African Americans: A Historical Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Croom, Dan B.; Alston, Antoine

    2009-01-01

    The model of agricultural and industrial education for African Americans in the United States was created by Samuel Chapman Armstrong, founder of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Armstrong developed a paternal approach to educating African Americans and developed the Hampton Institute curriculum with moral education as its base. Booker…

  17. Simulating Sustainable P Management Practices in Tile-Drained Landscapes of Central Ohio Using the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, W. I., III; King, K.; Williams, M.

    2014-12-01

    Despite extensive application of conservation practices to minimize sediment P delivery to streams, hypoxic conditions and harmful algal blooms persist in receiving water bodies. Tile-drainage networks are a focal point for reducing soluble P in the food-producing Midwestern United States in that they promote higher connectivity between upland soils and stream channels which decreases soil contact time, and biogeochemical alterations. A critical next step to reduce the environmental impact and maintain sustainable agriculture is to implement best management practices (BMPs) under a holistic framework that considers adverse effects to water resources and crop production, while maintaining economic feasibility. The objective of this study was to apply a robust numerical model, the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX), in a tile-drained landscape in Central Ohio in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a suite of BMPs on soluble and particulate P delivery to stream channels. The model was applied and evaluated at two adjacent edge-of-field sites with similar soil, topographic and management characteristics (except for tillage and tile installation on the south field in 2012, preceded by more than 20 years of no-till operations). Three years of daily discharge, total suspended solids, soluble P, soluble N (NO3 and NH4), total P, total N, and crop yields were utilized to verify the model performance. Prevalent BMPs simulated within the modeling framework included drainage water management, tillage and crop rotations, the 4Rs framework (right fertilizer source, rate, time, and placement), and bioreactors. Results of the study quantify the ability of the numerical model to simulate hydrology and P transport for surface runoff and subsurface tile drainage and highlight modifications that improve model performance. Further, results highlight BMPs that effectively reduce P loads to streams while maintaining crop yields, which can later be used to inform BMPs

  18. Sustained stimulation of soil respiration and CO2 release from an agricultural soil after 10 years of experimental warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munch, Jean Charles; Graf, Wolfgang; Reichenstein, Markus; Reth, Sascha

    2010-05-01

    A number of forest and grassland studies indicated that stimulation of the soil respiration by soil warming ceases after a couple of years (Luo et al 2001). A long-term soil warming lysimeter experiment (soil monolythes from an agricultural field, 1m2 x 2 Meter depth, temperature = ambient + 3°C; with a regionally usual crop rotation with 5 crops) was conducted in southern Germany. It results in a sustained stimulation of soil respiration after 10 years. Moreover, both warmed and control treatments exhibited a similar temperature response of soil respiration indicating that adaptation in terms of temperature sensitivity was absent. Carbon dioxide concentration measurements within the profiles are supporting these findings. The increased soil respiration occurred although vegetation productivity in the warmed treatment was not higher than in the control plots. These findings strongly contrast current soil carbon modeling concepts, where carbon pools decay according to first-order kinetics, and thus a depletion of labile soil carbon pools leads to an apparent down-regulation of microbial respiration (Knorr et al 2005). Consequently, the potential for positive carbon-climate cycle feedback may be larger than represented in current models of soil carbon turnover and in general assessments. Literatur Knorr W, Prentice I C, House J I and Holland A 2005 Long-term sensitivity of soil carbon turnover to warming Nature 433 298-301 Luo Y, Wan S, Hui D and Wallace L L 2001 Acclimatization of soil respiration to warming in a tall grass prairie Nature 413 622 - 5 Reth S. Graf W, Reichenstein M, Munch J.C. 2009 Sustained stimulation of soil respiration after 10 years of experimental warming Environmental Research Letters 4(2) 024005

  19. Using problem-based learning for occupational and environmental health nursing education: pesticide exposures among migrant agricultural workers.

    PubMed

    Ivicek, Kristy; de Castro, A B; Salazar, Mary K; Murphy, Helen H; Keifer, Matthew

    2011-03-01

    Problem-based learning, which emphasizes group collaboration to solve real-world case scenarios, is an instructional approach that is well suited to occupational and environmental health nursing education. Learners actively work through case studies rather than passively receive information presented through lectures. Problem-based learning methods promote critical thinking skills and motivate learning, preparing learners for professional practice in complex, ever-changing environments. Despite these advantages, problem-based learning is under-utilized in nursing education compared to more traditional lecture methods. This article presents key concepts of problem-based learning, discusses problem-based learning in educating occupational and environmental health nurses, and describes the development of a problem-based learning case aimed at increasing occupational and environmental health nurses capacity to address pesticide exposure among migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

  20. [Repetition of teaching contents between genetics and relative courses in agricultural and forestry colleges and approaches to solving the problem].

    PubMed

    Liang, Shun-Xiang; He, Tao; Li, Shu-Juan; Shen, Ning-Dong; Wei, Mei-Qin; Xiong, Hui-Yan; Wei, Guo-Liang; Meng, Xiao-Ping

    2011-09-01

    Genetics is one of the main courses in agricultural and forestry colleges. However, there is large repetition of teaching contents and joining problems between genetics and the relative courses. The negative effects of above problems are discussed in this paper. In order to relieve the conflict between the increase of genetics contents and the decrease of teaching hours in genetics teaching of undergraduates and provide reference for future textbook compilation, some approaches on solving repetition of teaching content and suggestions on joining problems are put forward.

  1. Sustained Attention at Age 5 Predicts Attention-Related Problems at Age 9

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Anne; Razza, Rachel; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne

    2012-01-01

    This study tested whether two aspects of sustained attention (focused attention and lack of impulsivity) measured at child age 5 predicted attention problems reported by mothers and teachers at age 9. Because lack of impulsivity reflects the executive control network, and ADHD is commonly characterized as a deficit in executive function, it was expected to have more predictive power than focused attention. Data were drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Focused attention and lack of impulsivity, measured in a laboratory task at age 5, were equally predictive of attention problems at age 9, including the mother’s report of whether the child had been diagnosed with ADHD. However, age 9 teacher-reported hyperactivity was not predicted by focused attention, and only marginally predicted by lack of impulsivity. Results complement an earlier study showing that both focused attention and lack of impulsivity at age 5 predicted children’s approaches to learning at age 9 (Razza, Martin, & Brooks-Gunn, 2011). PMID:23226909

  2. Impact of conservation agriculture on harnessing sustainability and building resilience against land degradation in the northern Ethiopian highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Tesfay; Cornelis, Wim M.; Govaerts, Bram; Bauer, Hans; Deckers, Jozef; Nyssen, Jan

    2013-04-01

    compared to CT, specifically at 0-10 cm depth. Aggregate instability index, crack size at harvest, relative water capacity and plastic limit were significantly larger in CT compared to CA treatments. Adoption of improved local practices of DER+ and TER+ planting systems that employ conservation agriculture principles can reduce runoff, soil loss and improve crop yield and soil quality and thus, sustainability in Vertisols. Keywords: Soil resilience, Vertisol, conservation agriculture, field conservation practices, soil quality

  3. Structural and mechanistic analysis of engineered trichodiene synthase enzymes from Trichoderma harzianum: towards higher catalytic activities empowering sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Indu; Chaudhary, Nitika; Sandhu, Padmani; Ahmed, Mushtaq; Akhter, Yusuf

    2016-06-01

    Trichoderma spp. are well-known bioagents for the plant growth promotion and pathogen suppression. The beneficial activities of the fungus Trichoderma spp. are attributed to their ability to produce and secrete certain secondary metabolites such as trichodermin that belongs to trichothecene family of molecules. The initial steps of trichodermin biosynthetic pathway in Trichoderma are similar to the trichothecenes from Fusarium sporotrichioides. Trichodiene synthase (TS) encoded by tri5 gene in Trichoderma catalyses the conversion of farnesyl pyrophosphate to trichodiene as reported earlier. In this study, we have carried out a comprehensive comparative sequence and structural analysis of the TS, which revealed the conserved residues involved in catalytic activity of the protein. In silico, modelled tertiary structure of TS protein showed stable structural behaviour during simulations. Two single-substitution mutants, i.e. D109E, D248Y and one double-substitution mutant (D109E and D248Y) of TS with potentially higher activities are screened out. The mutant proteins showed more stability than the wild type, an increased number of electrostatic interactions and better binding energies with the ligand, which further elucidates the amino acid residues involved in the reaction mechanism. These results will lead to devise strategies for higher TS activity to ultimately enhance the trichodermin production by Trichoderma spp. for its better exploitation in the sustainable agricultural practices.

  4. Structural and mechanistic analysis of engineered trichodiene synthase enzymes from Trichoderma harzianum: towards higher catalytic activities empowering sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Indu; Chaudhary, Nitika; Sandhu, Padmani; Ahmed, Mushtaq; Akhter, Yusuf

    2016-06-01

    Trichoderma spp. are well-known bioagents for the plant growth promotion and pathogen suppression. The beneficial activities of the fungus Trichoderma spp. are attributed to their ability to produce and secrete certain secondary metabolites such as trichodermin that belongs to trichothecene family of molecules. The initial steps of trichodermin biosynthetic pathway in Trichoderma are similar to the trichothecenes from Fusarium sporotrichioides. Trichodiene synthase (TS) encoded by tri5 gene in Trichoderma catalyses the conversion of farnesyl pyrophosphate to trichodiene as reported earlier. In this study, we have carried out a comprehensive comparative sequence and structural analysis of the TS, which revealed the conserved residues involved in catalytic activity of the protein. In silico, modelled tertiary structure of TS protein showed stable structural behaviour during simulations. Two single-substitution mutants, i.e. D109E, D248Y and one double-substitution mutant (D109E and D248Y) of TS with potentially higher activities are screened out. The mutant proteins showed more stability than the wild type, an increased number of electrostatic interactions and better binding energies with the ligand, which further elucidates the amino acid residues involved in the reaction mechanism. These results will lead to devise strategies for higher TS activity to ultimately enhance the trichodermin production by Trichoderma spp. for its better exploitation in the sustainable agricultural practices. PMID:26207800

  5. Creating an agricultural world order: regional plant protection problems and international phytopathology, 1878-1939.

    PubMed

    Castonguay, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    Beginning in 1878 with the International Phylloxera Convention of Berne, international conventions have sought to relieve national agricultural industries from two specific burdens. First, by defining phytosanitary practices to be enforced by national plant protection services, these conventions attempted to prevent the introduction of plant diseases and pests into national territories from which they were previously absent. Second, by standardizing these practices - especially through the design of a unique certificate of inspection - the conventions attempted to eliminate barriers such as quarantines affection international agricultural trade. The succession of phytopathological conventions seemed to epitomize the coalescence of an international community against agricultural pests. What actually coalesced was bio-geopolitics wherein plant pathologists and economic entomologists from North America and the British Empire questioned the so-called internationality of the environmental and economic specificities of continental European agriculture, embodied in "international" conventions. Although an international phenomenon, the dissemination of agricultural pests provided opportunities for cooperation on a strictly regional albeit transnational basis that pitted bio-geopolitical spaces against each other. This article retraces the formation of these spaces by analyzing the deliberations of committees and congresses that gathered to define an international agricultural order based on the means to prevent the spread of plant diseases and pests. PMID:20329355

  6. Creating an agricultural world order: regional plant protection problems and international phytopathology, 1878-1939.

    PubMed

    Castonguay, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    Beginning in 1878 with the International Phylloxera Convention of Berne, international conventions have sought to relieve national agricultural industries from two specific burdens. First, by defining phytosanitary practices to be enforced by national plant protection services, these conventions attempted to prevent the introduction of plant diseases and pests into national territories from which they were previously absent. Second, by standardizing these practices - especially through the design of a unique certificate of inspection - the conventions attempted to eliminate barriers such as quarantines affection international agricultural trade. The succession of phytopathological conventions seemed to epitomize the coalescence of an international community against agricultural pests. What actually coalesced was bio-geopolitics wherein plant pathologists and economic entomologists from North America and the British Empire questioned the so-called internationality of the environmental and economic specificities of continental European agriculture, embodied in "international" conventions. Although an international phenomenon, the dissemination of agricultural pests provided opportunities for cooperation on a strictly regional albeit transnational basis that pitted bio-geopolitical spaces against each other. This article retraces the formation of these spaces by analyzing the deliberations of committees and congresses that gathered to define an international agricultural order based on the means to prevent the spread of plant diseases and pests.

  7. Sustain

    SciTech Connect

    2013-08-20

    Current building energy simulation technology requires excessive labor, time and expertise to create building energy models, excessive computational time for accurate simulations and difficulties with the interpretation of the results. These deficiencies can be ameliorated using modern graphical user interfaces and algorithms which take advantage of modern computer architectures and display capabilities. To prove this hypothesis, we developed an experimental test bed for building energy simulation. This novel test bed environment offers an easy-to-use interactive graphical interface, provides access to innovative simulation modules that run at accelerated computational speeds, and presents new graphics visualization methods to interpret simulation results. Our system offers the promise of dramatic ease of use in comparison with currently available building energy simulation tools. Its modular structure makes it suitable for early stage building design, as a research platform for the investigation of new simulation methods, and as a tool for teaching concepts of sustainable design. Improvements in the accuracy and execution speed of many of the simulation modules are based on the modification of advanced computer graphics rendering algorithms. Significant performance improvements are demonstrated in several computationally expensive energy simulation modules. The incorporation of these modern graphical techniques should advance the state of the art in the domain of whole building energy analysis and building performance simulation, particularly at the conceptual design stage when decisions have the greatest impact. More importantly, these better simulation tools will enable the transition from prescriptive to performative energy codes, resulting in better, more efficient designs for our future built environment.

  8. Collaborative Problem Solving Effectively Implemented, But Not Sustained: A Case for Aligning the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Santangelo, Tanya

    2009-01-01

    This 2-year qualitative case study examined factors influencing implementation and sustainability of collaborative problem-solving programs. One selected elementary school served as the focus site. Using a participant-observer field-based approach, data were collected via observations, interviews, mute evidence, and field notes. During Year 1 of…

  9. Micronutrients for Sustainable Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The micronutrients are essential for plant growth and reproduction, however deficiencies of these elements is major cause of yield decline in many parts of the world. Micronutrients are essential for proper physiological and biological functions in plant. Climatic factors (hot humid climate), soil d...

  10. Sustain

    2013-08-20

    Current building energy simulation technology requires excessive labor, time and expertise to create building energy models, excessive computational time for accurate simulations and difficulties with the interpretation of the results. These deficiencies can be ameliorated using modern graphical user interfaces and algorithms which take advantage of modern computer architectures and display capabilities. To prove this hypothesis, we developed an experimental test bed for building energy simulation. This novel test bed environment offers an easy-to-use interactivemore » graphical interface, provides access to innovative simulation modules that run at accelerated computational speeds, and presents new graphics visualization methods to interpret simulation results. Our system offers the promise of dramatic ease of use in comparison with currently available building energy simulation tools. Its modular structure makes it suitable for early stage building design, as a research platform for the investigation of new simulation methods, and as a tool for teaching concepts of sustainable design. Improvements in the accuracy and execution speed of many of the simulation modules are based on the modification of advanced computer graphics rendering algorithms. Significant performance improvements are demonstrated in several computationally expensive energy simulation modules. The incorporation of these modern graphical techniques should advance the state of the art in the domain of whole building energy analysis and building performance simulation, particularly at the conceptual design stage when decisions have the greatest impact. More importantly, these better simulation tools will enable the transition from prescriptive to performative energy codes, resulting in better, more efficient designs for our future built environment.« less

  11. Surface protection treatments of highly porous building stones and sustainability problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calia, Angela; Lettieri, Maria Teresa; Matera, Loredana; Sileo, Maria

    2013-04-01

    The growing attention to the cultural value and the potential touristic attraction of the historic towns has led to increasing activities of rehabilitation and conservation of the historical built heritage. Chemical treatments have become a common practice for the protection of the stone building surface against the decay agents and traditional methods of protection, such as the application of sacrificial layers, have been even more neglected. The use of chemical products on large scale works on the historical built heritage draws the attention towards the sustainability of the conservation treatments, that involve peculiar features with relation to the different types of stones. Sustainability is undoubtedly in terms of human and environmental impact of the used products, so that the use of new formulations based on aqueous solvent should be preferred. Sustainability also means the equilibrium between the required performances of the treatments and the preservation of the original stone properties (colour, permeability, etc), namely harmlessness and effectiveness of the treatments. This can be a critical aspect when we deal with very porous stones, namely having porosity between 30-40%, that are widely used in many countries as traditional building materials. In most cases no information - or very general recommendations - is reported in the technical sheets of the conservation products with reference to the application to these types of stones. Relevant problems of compatibility can arise from the significant amounts absorbed by the high porous structure, as well as in terms of cost effectiveness of the treatments. In this work several calcarenites with different petro-physic characteristics and porosity between 30 and 45% are concerned for the assessment of the performance of two commercial water based products for stone protection, respectively an alcoxy-siloxane with low molecular weight and a modified organo-silane. This activity is a part of the Apulia

  12. Education and Training for Sustainable Tourism: Problems, Possibilities and Cautious First Steps.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gough, Stephen; Scott, William

    1999-01-01

    Advances a possible theoretical approach to education for sustainable tourism and describes a small-scale research project based on this approach. Seeks to integrate education for sustainable tourism into an established management curriculum using an innovative technique based on the idea of an adaptive concept. (Author/CCM)

  13. Effects of Zero Tillage (No-Till) Conservation Agriculture on soil physical and biological properties and their contributions to sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landers, John N.; Rass, Gerard; de Freitas, Pedro L.; Basch, Gottlieb; González Sanchez, Emilio J.; Tabaglio, Vincenzo; Kassan, Amir; Derpsch, Rolf; Friedrich, Theodor; Giupponi, Luca

    2013-04-01

    Not cultivating soil, rotating crops over the years, and leaving crop residues on the surface in the practice of zero tillage/conservation agriculture (ZT/CA) reverses the historically accelerating degradation of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil structure, while increasing soil biological activity by a factor of 2 to 4. The results of this are many: (a) not cultivating reduces soil compaction, leaving old root holes to facilitate internal drainage, averts the pulverization of soil aggregates and formation of pans, reduces draft power for planting and gives shelter, winter food and nesting sites for fauna, (b) crop residues on the surface practically eliminate wind and water erosion, reduce soil moisture loss through the mulch effect, slow spring warm-up (possibly offset by a lower specific heat demand with less water retention in surface soil) and act as a reserve of organically-compounded nutrients (as they decompose to humus), (c) more SOM means higher available water and nutrient retention, higher biological activity year round (enhancing biological controls), higher levels of water-stable aggregates and a positive carbon sink in incremental SOM. The positive impacts for society are: (i) more and cheaper food, (ii) reduced flood and drought-induced famine risks, (iii) a positive carbon sink in SOM and possible reductions in NO2 emissions, (iv) cleaner water and greater aquifer recharge due to reduced runoff, (v) cleaner air through effective elimination of dust as a product of cultivation (vi) less water pollution and greater aquifer recharge from reduced rainfall runoff, (vii) farm diesel consumption halved, (viii) reduced demand for (tropical) de-forestation, by permitting crop expansion on steeper lands, (ix) increased wildlife populations (skylarks, plovers, partridge and peccaries) and (x) an improved conservation mindset in farmers. It is notable that, in spite of successful practitioners in all European countries, mainstream adoption is still to come

  14. Capitalism and population in Latin American agriculture: recent trends and problems.

    PubMed

    Miro, C A; Rodriguez, D

    1982-04-01

    "On the basis of a body of empirical research, the authors explore the relationship between agrarian structure and population [in Latin America]. After an introduction in which they present their theoretical and methodological orientation, they describe the current changing trends in agrarian structure, among which are the 'intensification' of the process of the penetration of capitalistic forms into agriculture." They then discuss the relationships between agrarian structure and demographic variables, particularly fertility and migration. In the final section, some guidelines for future research are presented. This paper is a revised version of an evaluation study carried out to assess the contributions of 14 research projects financed by the Programme of Social Research on Population in Latin America (PISPAL).

  15. Environmental Communication Pedagogy for Sustainability: Developing Core Capacities to Engage with Complex Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGreavy, Bridie; Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk; Sprain, Leah; Thompson, Jessica L.; Lindenfeld, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Pedagogy informed by environmental communication can enhance collaboration within and outside the classroom. Through our collaborative, sustainability-focused work within the United States and internationally, we identified core capacities that prepare people to work together to form inclusive organizations and identify and respond to pressing…

  16. Delivering Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development in Southern Africa: Problems and Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maruatona, Tonic L.

    2012-01-01

    Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations in principle endorse lifelong learning (LLL) as a useful framework for sustainable development. However, in spite of the rhetoric, only a few member states such as South Africa, Botswana and Namibia have officially endorsed LLL in their educational policies. The sub-region is plagued by social…

  17. Black water sludge reuse in agriculture: are heavy metals a problem?

    PubMed

    Tervahauta, Taina; Rani, Sonia; Hernández Leal, Lucía; Buisman, Cees J N; Zeeman, Grietje

    2014-06-15

    Heavy metal content of sewage sludge is currently the most significant factor limiting its reuse in agriculture within the European Union. In the Netherlands most of the produced sewage sludge is incinerated, mineralizing the organic carbon into the atmosphere rather than returning it back to the soil. Source-separation of black water (toilet water) excludes external heavy metal inputs, such as industrial effluents and surface run-offs, producing sludge with reduced heavy metal content that is a more favorable source for resource recovery. The results presented in this paper show that feces is the main contributor to the heavy metal loading of vacuum collected black water (52-84%), while in sewage the contribution of feces is less than 10%. To distinguish black water from sewage in the sludge reuse regulation, a control parameter should be implemented, such as the Hg and Pb content that is significantly higher in sewage sludge compared to black water sludge (from 50- to 200-fold). The heavy metals in feces and urine are primarily from dietary sources, and promotion of the soil application of black water sludge over livestock manure and artificial fertilizers could further reduce the heavy metal content in the soil/food cycle.

  18. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  19. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes.

  20. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  1. Sustained adoption of an evidence-based treatment: a survey of clinicians certified in problem-solving therapy.

    PubMed

    Crabb, Rebecca M; Areán, Patricia A; Hegel, Mark T

    2012-01-01

    Training models that incorporate case supervision in addition to didactic instruction appear to be effective in maximizing clinicians' proficiency in evidence-based treatments (EBTs). However, it is unknown the extent to which these models promote sustained adoption of EBTs. We describe the results of an online survey on post-training utilization of an EBT, problem-solving therapy (PST), among 40 clinicians highly trained in PST. Seventy-five percent of the survey's 40 respondents reported that they continued to use PST in their clinical practices. Many PST-trained clinicians reported that they had modified the PST protocol in their clinical practices according to patient characteristics or preferences. Considering these results, we recommend emphasizing patient variability and treatment tailoring throughout the training process as a means for promoting clinicians' sustained adoption of EBTs.

  2. Sustained Adoption of an Evidence-Based Treatment: A Survey of Clinicians Certified in Problem-Solving Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Crabb, Rebecca M.; Areán, Patricia A.; Hegel, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    Training models that incorporate case supervision in addition to didactic instruction appear to be effective in maximizing clinicians' proficiency in evidence-based treatments (EBTs). However, it is unknown the extent to which these models promote sustained adoption of EBTs. We describe the results of an online survey on post-training utilization of an EBT, problem-solving therapy (PST), among 40 clinicians highly trained in PST. Seventy-five percent of the survey's 40 respondents reported that they continued to use PST in their clinical practices. Many PST-trained clinicians reported that they had modified the PST protocol in their clinical practices according to patient characteristics or preferences. Considering these results, we recommend emphasizing patient variability and treatment tailoring throughout the training process as a means for promoting clinicians' sustained adoption of EBTs. PMID:23008764

  3. Something fishy: Chile's blue revolution, commodity diseases, and the problem of sustainability.

    PubMed

    Soluri, John

    2011-01-01

    The United Nations describes aquaculture as the fastest-growing method of food production, and some industry boosters have heralded the coming of a sustainable blue revolution. This article interprets the meteoric rise and sudden collapse of Atlantic salmon aquaculture in southern Chile (1980-2010) by integrating concepts from commodity studies and comparative environmental history. I juxtapose salmon aquaculture to twentieth-century export banana production to reveal the similar dynamics that give rise to "commodity diseases"—events caused by the entanglement of biological, social, and political-economic processes that operate on local, regional, and transoceanic geographical scales. Unsurprisingly, the risks and burdens associated with commodity diseases are borne disproportionately by production workers and residents in localities where commodity disease events occur. Chile's blue revolution suggests that evaluating the sustainability of aquaculture in Latin America cannot be divorced from processes of accumulation.

  4. Bacteriological monitoring and sustainable management of beach water quality in Malaysia: problems and prospects.

    PubMed

    Dada, Ayokunle Christopher; Asmat, Ahmad; Gires, Usup; Heng, Lee Yook; Deborah, Bandele Oluwaseun

    2012-05-01

    Despite the growing demand of tourism in Malaysia, there are no resolute efforts to develop beaches as tourist destinations. With no incentives to monitor public beaches or to use them in a sustainable manner, they might eventually degenerate in quality as a result of influx of pollutants. This calls for concerted action plans with a view to promoting their sustainable use. The success of such plans is inevitably anchored on the availability of robust quality monitoring schemes. Although significant efforts have been channelled to collation and public disclosure of bacteriological quality data of rivers, beach water monitoring appears left out. This partly explains the dearth of published information related to beach water quality data. As part of an on-going nation-wide surveillance study on the bacteriological quality of recreational beaches, this paper draws on a situation analysis with a view to proffering recommendations that could be adapted for ensuring better beach water quality in Malaysia. PMID:22980239

  5. Bacteriological Monitoring and Sustainable Management of Beach Water Quality in Malaysia: Problems and Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Dada, Ayokunle Christopher; Asmat, Ahmad; Gires, Usup; Heng, Lee Yook; Deborah, Bandele Oluwaseun

    2012-01-01

    Despite the growing demand of tourism in Malaysia, there are no resolute efforts to develop beaches as tourist destinations. With no incentives to monitor public beaches or to use them in a sustainable manner, they might eventually degenerate in quality as a result of influx of pollutants. This calls for concerted action plans with a view to promoting their sustainable use. The success of such plans is inevitably anchored on the availability of robust quality monitoring schemes. Although significant efforts have been channelled to collation and public disclosure of bacteriological quality data of rivers, beach water monitoring appears left out. This partly explains the dearth of published information related to beach water quality data. As part of an on-going nation-wide surveillance study on the bacteriological quality of recreational beaches, this paper draws on a situation analysis with a view to proffering recommendations that could be adapted for ensuring better beach water quality in Malaysia. PMID:22980239

  6. Sustainable Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Auerbach, Raymond

    1994-01-01

    Discusses South African national development priorities, sustainable development, and the future of agriculture and presents three scenarios of possible national action: production for sale and export, household food security, and conservation of natural resources. (MKR)

  7. Immediate and Sustained Effects of Planning in a Problem-Solving Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delaney, Peter F.; Ericsson, K. Anders; Knowles, Martin E.

    2004-01-01

    In 4 experiments, instructions to plan a task (water jugs) that normally produces little planning altered how participants solved the problems and resulted in enhanced learning and memory. Experiment 1 identified planning strategies that allowed participants to plan full solutions to water jugs problems. Experiment 2 showed that experience with…

  8. Adapting an Outcome-Based Education Development Process to Meet Near Real-Time Challenges to Sustainable Agricultural Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbleib, Mary L.; Jepson, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This paper examines the benefits of using an outcome-based education (OBE) method within agricultural extension outreach programmes for professional and farmer audiences. Design/Methodology/Approach: The method is elaborated through two practical examples, which show that focused, short-duration programmes can produce meaningful skill…

  9. Contribution of biocontrol agents to sustainable agriculture: do insights from microbiome research and BCA “omics” pay off

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    By the year 2050 there will be 9 to 11 billion people on earth to feed using the same amount or less land and water as is currently available for agricultural production. The United Nations estimated that global food production will need to increase by 70% by 2050. Currently, about one-third of all ...

  10. Delivery Strategies to Enhance the Sustainability of Training: Lessons from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Rosa, Cecilia; Nadeau, Andrew; Hernandez, Emilio; Kafeero, Fred; Zahiga, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) utilizes training as a major component of the support it provides to its member countries in Africa. In the past, stand-alone training events targeting individual actors were the norm. However, an external evaluation indicated that this type of training scores low in terms of…

  11. The Social Practice of Sustainable Agriculture under Audit Discipline: Initial Insights from the ARGOS Project in New Zealand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Hugh; Rosin, Christopher; Hunt, Lesley; Fairweather, John

    2012-01-01

    One of the most interesting recent developments in global agri-food systems has been the rapid emergence and elaboration of market audit systems claiming environmental qualities or sustainability. In New Zealand, as a strongly export-oriented, high-value food producer, these environmental market audit systems have emerged as an important pathway…

  12. Biochar: Is it a sustainable solution to dry land agriculture, forest soil reclamation and greenhouse gas mitigation?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biochar is the carbon-rich solid co-product of thermochemical biofuel production, which has been advocated as a soil amendment capable of sequestering carbon while simultaneously improving crop yields and ecosystem sustainability. The recovery of biochar from biofuel production systems and its use a...

  13. Unified heuristics to solve routing problem of reverse logistics in sustainable supply chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anbuudayasankar, S. P.; Ganesh, K.; Lenny Koh, S. C.; Mohandas, K.

    2010-03-01

    A reverse logistics problem, motivated by many real-life applications, is examined where bottles/cans in which products are delivered from a processing depot to customers in one period are available for return to the depot in the following period. The picked-up bottles/cans need to be adjusted in the place of delivery load. This problem is termed as simultaneous delivery and pick-up problem with constrained capacity (SDPC). We develop three unified heuristics based on extended branch and bound heuristic, genetic algorithm and simulated annealing to solve SDPC. These heuristics are also designed to solve standard travelling salesman problem (TSP) and TSP with simultaneous delivery and pick-up (TSDP). We tested the heuristics on standard, derived and randomly generated datasets of TSP, TSDP and SDPC and obtained satisfying results with high convergence in reasonable time.

  14. Spatio-temporal optimization of agricultural practices to achieve a sustainable development at basin level; framework of a case study in Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uribe, Natalia; corzo, Gerald; Solomatine, Dimitri

    2016-04-01

    The flood events present during the last years in different basins of the Colombian territory have raised questions on the sensitivity of the regions and if this regions have common features. From previous studies it seems important features in the sensitivity of the flood process were: land cover change, precipitation anomalies and these related to impacts of agriculture management and water management deficiencies, among others. A significant government investment in the outreach activities for adopting and promoting the Colombia National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is being carried out in different sectors and regions, having as a priority the agriculture sector. However, more information is still needed in the local environment in order to assess were the regions have this sensitivity. Also the continuous change in one region with seasonal agricultural practices have been pointed out as a critical information for optimal sustainable development. This combined spatio-temporal dynamics of crops cycle in relation to climate change (or variations) has an important impact on flooding events at basin areas. This research will develop on the assessment and optimization of the aggregated impact of flood events due to determinate the spatio-temporal dynamic of changes in agricultural management practices. A number of common best agricultural practices have been identified to explore their effect in a spatial hydrological model that will evaluate overall changes. The optimization process consists on the evaluation of best performance in the agricultural production, without having to change crops activities or move to other regions. To achieve this objectives a deep analysis of different models combined with current and future climate scenarios have been planned. An algorithm have been formulated to cover the parametric updates such that the optimal temporal identification will be evaluated in different region on the case study area. Different hydroinformatics

  15. Traditional Agriculture and Permaculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Dick

    1997-01-01

    Discusses benefits of combining traditional agricultural techniques with the concepts of "permaculture," a framework for revitalizing traditions, culture, and spirituality. Describes school, college, and community projects that have assisted American Indian communities in revitalizing sustainable agricultural practices that incorporate cultural…

  16. Development of Denticap, a matrix based sustained release formulation for treatment of toothache, dental infection and other gum problem.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Biswajit; Roy, Gopa; Ghosh, Soma

    2009-04-01

    Toothache is a serious problem worldwide. To give relief from this intolerable toothache, doctors prescribe painkillers along with antibiotics. Most of the painkillers, if not all, produce hyperacidity and gastric irritation upon oral administration. Oral antibiotics have slow onset of action and undergo hepatic "first-pass" effect. Moreover, available dental formulations are mostly liquid and last only few hours upon application, before being washed out by saliva. To overcome the above-mentioned problems, a soft polymeric mold containing antibiotic and analgesic drugs and having an appropriate consistency to adhere to the tooth, was developed for sustained drug release to provide better relief in dental patients. Eudragit L 100-55, carbopol 971 P, gum karaya powder and ethyl cellulose were used to prepare the mold "Denticaps" containing Lidocaine hydrochloride and Amoxicillin trihydrate individually and in combination, by mixing and solvent evaporation technique. Different physicochemical characterization studies such as mucoadhesion test, water absorption capacity and swelling index were carried out. In vitro drug release studies showed sustained release of Lidocaine hydrochloride and Amoxicillin trihydrate in simulated saliva for 24 h. Further studies are warranted to succeed with these formulations in humans. Upon success, this type of dosage form may open up new avenues towards dentistry.

  17. Toward a sustainable utilization of land resources in China: problems, policies, and practices.

    PubMed

    Hong, Wuyang; Li, Feixue; Li, Manchun; Zhang, Fangfang; Tong, Lihua; Huang, Qiuhao

    2014-10-01

    China's economy is growing explosively with double-digit rates of growth. However, behind the scenes of this economic miracle, a dark underbelly exists. The potential impact of the unsustainable use of land resources is increasing. Each parcel of land has a stationary geographic location, while its utilization is optional. The re-adjustment and optimization of land use patterns ought to be encouraged. Spatial reconstruction refers to the combination of various land elements, which can promote the rational and efficient allocation of land resources through a four-layer action framework: the development of unused land, urban renewal, ecological reconstruction, and spatial displacement. The feasibility and validity of these methods are illustrated by practical cases in different provinces in China. We thus propose that pursuing sustainable development and building an ecological civilization will be necessary for China in future decades.

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

    PubMed

    Husaini, Amjad M; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Parent-Reported Homework Problems in the MTA Study: Evidence for Sustained Improvement with Behavioral Treatment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langberg, Joshua M.; Arnold, L. Eugene; Flowers, Amanda M.; Epstein, Jeffery N.; Altaye, Mekibib; Hinshaw, Stephen P.; Swanson, James M.; Kotkin, Ronald; Simpson, Stephen; Molina, Brooke S. G.; Jensen, Peter S.; Abikoff, Howard; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Vitiello, Benedetto; Wells, Karen C.; Hechtman, Lily

    2010-01-01

    Parent-report of child homework problems was examined as a treatment outcome variable in the MTA-Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Five hundred seventy-nine children ages 7.0 to 9.9 were randomly assigned to either medication management, behavioral treatment, combination treatment, or…

  20. "Sustainability on Earth" Webquests: Do They Qualify as Problem-Based Learning Activities?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leite, Laurinda; Dourado, Luís; Morgado, Sofia

    2015-01-01

    Information and communication technologies (ICT), namely the Internet, can play a valuable educational role in several school subjects, including science education. The same applies to problem-based learning (PBL), that is, a student-centered active learning methodology that can prepare students for lifelong learning. WebQuests (WQs) combine PBL…

  1. Energy in rural Ethiopia: Consumption patterns, associated problems, and prospects for a sustainable energy strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Mulugetta, Y.

    1999-07-01

    This paper provides a picture of energy resources and their current use in rural Ethiopia and presents an analysis of energy supply patterns and consumption trends. This exercise aims to build an empirical knowledge of real energy systems in the country and also to synthesize and analyze the general and specific problems that exist within the current energy system. Based on these lines of analysis, a series of technical and policy-oriented recommendations for rural energy development are discussed.

  2. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ling; Zhang, Panpan; Shu, Huajie; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014. PMID:27620093

  3. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ling; Zhang, Panpan; Shu, Huajie; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014.

  4. Towards sustainable management of Louisiana’s coastal wetland forests: problems, constraints, and a new beginning

    SciTech Connect

    Chambers, J. L.; Keim, R. F.; Faulkner, S. P.; Day Jr., J. W.; Gardiner, E. S.; Hughes, M. S.; King, S. L.; McLeod, K. W.; Miller, C. A.; Nyman, J. A.; Shaffer, G. P.

    2006-01-01

    Over 345,000 ha of forested swamps occur throughout the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain. Natural and anthropogenic changes in hydrology and geomorphology at local and landscape levels have reduced the productivity in many of these coastal wetland forests areas and have caused the complete loss of forest cover in some places. A summary and interpretation of the available science, suggestions for policy change, and a multidisciplinary (multi-responsibility) approach were needed to address these issues [in the context of private land]. In response, the Louisiana Governor's office formed a Coastal Wetland Forest Conservation and Use Science Working Group (SWG) and an associated Advisory Panel to provide the Governor with information and suggestions of strategies for environmental and economic utilization, conservation, and protection of Louisiana's coastal wetland forest ecosystem in the long-term. The process of engaging scientists, resource managers, and other stakeholders in this effort is described, and the recommendations of the SWG are presented relative to forestry practices and the potential for sustainable management of coastal wetland forests.

  5. Towards sustainable management of louisiana's coastal wetland forests: Problems, constraints, and a new beginning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chambers, J.L.; Conner, W.H.; Keim, R.F.; Faulkner, S.P.; Day, J.W.; Gardiner, E.S.; Hughes, M.S.; King, S.L.; McLeod, K.W.; Miller, C.A.; Nyman, J.A.; Shaffer, G.P.

    2006-01-01

    Over 345,000 ha of forested swamps occur throughout the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain. Natural and anthropogenic changes in hydrology and geomorphology at local and landscape levels have reduced the productivity in many of these coastal wetland forests areas and have caused the complete loss of forest cover in some places. A summary and interpretation of the available science, suggestions for policy change, and a multidisciplinary (multi-responsibility) approach were needed to address these issues [in the context of private land]. In response, the Louisiana Governor's office formed a Coastal Wetland Forest Conservation and Use Science Working Group (SWG) and an associated Advisory Panel to provide the Governor with information and suggestions of strategies for environmental and economic utilization, conservation, and protection of Louisiana's coastal wetland forest ecosystem in the long-term. The process of engaging scientists, resource managers, and other stakeholders in this effort is described, and the recommendations of the SWG are presented relative to forestry practices and the potential for sustainable management of coastal wetland forests.

  6. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  7. The impact of policy and institutional environment on costs and benefits of sustainable agricultural land uses: the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rasul, Golam; Thapa, Gopal B

    2007-08-01

    As in other mountain regions of Asia, agricultural lands in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh are undergoing degradation due primarily to environmentally incompatible land-use systems such as shifting cultivation (jhum) and annual cash crops. The suitable land-use systems such as agroforestry and timber tree plantation provide benefit to the society at large, but they might not provide attractive economic benefits to farmers, eventually constraining a wide-scale adoption of such land-use systems. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate agricultural land-use systems from both societal and private perspectives in the pursuit of promoting particularly environmentally sustainable systems. This article evaluated five major land-use systems being practiced in CHT, namely jhum, annual cash crops, horticulture, agroforestry, and timber plantation. The results of the financial analysis revealed the annual cash crops as the most attractive land use and jhum as the least attractive of the five land-use systems considered under the study. Horticulture, timber plantation, and agroforestry, considered to be suitable land-use systems particularly for mountainous areas, held the middle ground between these two systems. Annual cash crops provided the highest financial return at the cost of a very high rate of soil erosion. When the societal cost of soil erosion is considered, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, followed by jhum and horticulture. Although financially less attractive compared to annual cash crops and horticulture, agroforestry and timber plantation are the socially most beneficial land-use systems. Findings of the alternative policy analyses indicate that there is a good prospect for making environmentally sustainable land-use systems, such as agroforestry and timber plantation, attractive for the farmers by eliminating existing legal and institutional barriers, combined with the provision of necessary support services and

  8. The impact of policy and institutional environment on costs and benefits of sustainable agricultural land uses: the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rasul, Golam; Thapa, Gopal B

    2007-08-01

    As in other mountain regions of Asia, agricultural lands in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh are undergoing degradation due primarily to environmentally incompatible land-use systems such as shifting cultivation (jhum) and annual cash crops. The suitable land-use systems such as agroforestry and timber tree plantation provide benefit to the society at large, but they might not provide attractive economic benefits to farmers, eventually constraining a wide-scale adoption of such land-use systems. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate agricultural land-use systems from both societal and private perspectives in the pursuit of promoting particularly environmentally sustainable systems. This article evaluated five major land-use systems being practiced in CHT, namely jhum, annual cash crops, horticulture, agroforestry, and timber plantation. The results of the financial analysis revealed the annual cash crops as the most attractive land use and jhum as the least attractive of the five land-use systems considered under the study. Horticulture, timber plantation, and agroforestry, considered to be suitable land-use systems particularly for mountainous areas, held the middle ground between these two systems. Annual cash crops provided the highest financial return at the cost of a very high rate of soil erosion. When the societal cost of soil erosion is considered, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, followed by jhum and horticulture. Although financially less attractive compared to annual cash crops and horticulture, agroforestry and timber plantation are the socially most beneficial land-use systems. Findings of the alternative policy analyses indicate that there is a good prospect for making environmentally sustainable land-use systems, such as agroforestry and timber plantation, attractive for the farmers by eliminating existing legal and institutional barriers, combined with the provision of necessary support services and

  9. The Impact of Policy and Institutional Environment on Costs and Benefits of Sustainable Agricultural Land Uses: The Case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasul, Golam; Thapa, Gopal B.

    2007-08-01

    As in other mountain regions of Asia, agricultural lands in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh are undergoing degradation due primarily to environmentally incompatible land-use systems such as shifting cultivation ( jhum) and annual cash crops. The suitable land-use systems such as agroforestry and timber tree plantation provide benefit to the society at large, but they might not provide attractive economic benefits to farmers, eventually constraining a wide-scale adoption of such land-use systems. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate agricultural land-use systems from both societal and private perspectives in the pursuit of promoting particularly environmentally sustainable systems. This article evaluated five major land-use systems being practiced in CHT, namely jhum, annual cash crops, horticulture, agroforestry, and timber plantation. The results of the financial analysis revealed the annual cash crops as the most attractive land use and jhum as the least attractive of the five land-use systems considered under the study. Horticulture, timber plantation, and agroforestry, considered to be suitable land-use systems particularly for mountainous areas, held the middle ground between these two systems. Annual cash crops provided the highest financial return at the cost of a very high rate of soil erosion. When the societal cost of soil erosion is considered, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, followed by jhum and horticulture. Although financially less attractive compared to annual cash crops and horticulture, agroforestry and timber plantation are the socially most beneficial land-use systems. Findings of the alternative policy analyses indicate that there is a good prospect for making environmentally sustainable land-use systems, such as agroforestry and timber plantation, attractive for the farmers by eliminating existing legal and institutional barriers, combined with the provision of necessary support services and

  10. Agricultural Microbiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brill, Winston J.

    1981-01-01

    Elucidates strategies for applying microbiological techniques to traditional agricultural practices. Discusses the manipulation of microorganisms that live with plants and also the problems involved in the introduction of new genes into crop plants by recombinant DNA methods. (CS)

  11. Several problems on a rational structure for agricultural production and the agro-ecology of the Tai region of Tiangsu province

    SciTech Connect

    Ma Xiangyong

    1983-08-01

    This article presents a method of determining whether the output value structure, the soil structure, and the labor force structure are relatively balanced in an agricultural region of a Chinese province. Topics covered include several rational agricultural production structures for different types of soil, and several problems in setting up a rational agricultural production structure. A rational agricultural production structure is a consequence of the integrated development of farming, forestry, animal husbandry, sideline occupations, fisheries, and industry. The Tai Region has nine distinct types of soil. It is indicated that the level of grain production directly bears on the size and speed of development of economic diversification. Tables are presented on the output value structure of several representative communes and brigades, and soil nutrient content.

  12. Agricultural and green infrastructures: the role of non-urbanised areas for eco-sustainable planning in a metropolitan region.

    PubMed

    La Greca, Paolo; La Rosa, Daniele; Martinico, Francesco; Privitera, Riccardo

    2011-01-01

    Non-Urbanised Areas (NUAs) are part of agricultural and green infrastructures that provide ecosystem services. Their role is fundamental for the minimization of urban pollution and adaptation to climate change. Like all natural ecosystems, NUAs are endangered by urban sprawl. The regulation of sprawl is a key issue for land-use planning. We propose a land use suitability strategy model to orient Land Uses of NUAs, based on integration of Land Cover Analysis (LCA) and Fragmentation Analysis (FA). With LCA the percentage of evapotranspiring surface is defined for each land use. Dimensions and densities of NUAs patches are assessed in FA. The model has been developed with Geographical Information Systems, using an extensive set of geodatabases, including orthophotos, vectorial cartographies and field surveys. The case of the municipality of Mascalucia in Catania metropolitan area (Italy), characterized by a considerable urban sprawl, is presented. PMID:21163564

  13. Evaluating sustainable adaptation strategies for vulnerable mega-deltas using system dynamics modelling: Rice agriculture in the Mekong Delta's An Giang Province, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Alexander; Darby, Stephen

    2016-07-15

    Challenging dynamics are unfolding in social-ecological systems around the globe as society attempts to mitigate and adapt to climate change while sustaining rapid local development. The IPCC's 5th assessment suggests these changing systems are susceptible to unforeseen and dangerous 'emergent risks'. An archetypal example is the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) where the river dyke network has been heightened and extended over the last decade with the dual objectives of (1) adapting the delta's 18 million inhabitants and their livelihoods to increasingly intense river-flooding, and (2) developing rice production through a shift from double to triple-cropping. Negative impacts have been associated with this shift, particularly in relation to its exclusion of fluvial sediment deposition from the floodplain. A deficit in our understanding of the dynamics of the rice-sediment system, which involve unintuitive delays, feedbacks, and tipping points, is addressed here, using a system dynamics (SD) approach to inform sustainable adaptation strategies. Specifically, we develop and test a new SD model which simulates the dynamics between the farmers' economic system and their rice agriculture operations, and uniquely, integrates the role of fluvial sediment deposition within their dyke compartment. We use the model to explore a range of alternative rice cultivation strategies. Our results suggest that the current dominant strategy (triple-cropping) is only optimal for wealthier groups within society and over the short-term (ca. 10years post-implementation). The model suggests that the policy of opening sluice gates and leaving paddies fallow during high-flood years, in order to encourage natural sediment deposition and the nutrient replenishment it supplies, is both a more equitable and a more sustainable policy. But, even with this approach, diminished supplies of sediment-bound nutrients and the consequent need to compensate with artificial fertilisers will mean that smaller

  14. Evaluating sustainable adaptation strategies for vulnerable mega-deltas using system dynamics modelling: Rice agriculture in the Mekong Delta's An Giang Province, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Alexander; Darby, Stephen

    2016-07-15

    Challenging dynamics are unfolding in social-ecological systems around the globe as society attempts to mitigate and adapt to climate change while sustaining rapid local development. The IPCC's 5th assessment suggests these changing systems are susceptible to unforeseen and dangerous 'emergent risks'. An archetypal example is the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) where the river dyke network has been heightened and extended over the last decade with the dual objectives of (1) adapting the delta's 18 million inhabitants and their livelihoods to increasingly intense river-flooding, and (2) developing rice production through a shift from double to triple-cropping. Negative impacts have been associated with this shift, particularly in relation to its exclusion of fluvial sediment deposition from the floodplain. A deficit in our understanding of the dynamics of the rice-sediment system, which involve unintuitive delays, feedbacks, and tipping points, is addressed here, using a system dynamics (SD) approach to inform sustainable adaptation strategies. Specifically, we develop and test a new SD model which simulates the dynamics between the farmers' economic system and their rice agriculture operations, and uniquely, integrates the role of fluvial sediment deposition within their dyke compartment. We use the model to explore a range of alternative rice cultivation strategies. Our results suggest that the current dominant strategy (triple-cropping) is only optimal for wealthier groups within society and over the short-term (ca. 10years post-implementation). The model suggests that the policy of opening sluice gates and leaving paddies fallow during high-flood years, in order to encourage natural sediment deposition and the nutrient replenishment it supplies, is both a more equitable and a more sustainable policy. But, even with this approach, diminished supplies of sediment-bound nutrients and the consequent need to compensate with artificial fertilisers will mean that smaller

  15. From waste to resource: a systems-based approach to sustainable community development through equitable enterprise and agriculturally-derived polymeric composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teipel, Elisa

    Rural communities in developing countries are most vulnerable to the plight of requiring repeated infusions of charitable aid over time. Micro-business opportunities that effectively break the cycle of poverty in resource-rich countries in the developing world are limited. However, a strong model for global commerce can break the cycle of donor-based economic supplements and limited local economic growth. Sustainable economic development can materialize when a robust framework combines engineering with the generous investment of profits back into the community. This research presents a novel, systems-based approach to sustainable community development in which a waste-to-resource methodology catalyzes the disruption of rural poverty. The framework developed in this thesis was applied to the rural communities of Cagmanaba and Badian, Philippines. An initial assessment of these communities showed that community members are extremely poor, but they possess an abundant natural resource: coconuts. The various parts of the coconut offer excellent potential value in global commerce. Today the sale of coconut water is on the rise, and coconut oil is an established $3 billion market annually that is also growing rapidly. Since these current industries harvest only two parts of the coconut (meat and water), the 50 billion coconuts that grow annually leave behind approximately 100 billion pounds of coconut shell and husk as agricultural waste. Coconuts thus provide an opportunity to create and test a waste-to-resource model. Intensive materials analysis, research, development, and optimization proved that coconut shell, currently burned as a fuel or discarded as agricultural waste, can be manufactured into high-grade coconut shell powder (CSP), which can be a viable filler in polymeric composites. This framework was modeled and tested as a case study in a manufacturing facility known as a Community Transformation Plant (CTP) in Cagmanaba, Philippines. The CTP enables local

  16. The American Land. Its History, Soil, Water, Wildlife, Agricultural Land Planning, and Land Problems of Today and Tomorrow.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soil Conservation Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    Presented in this booklet is the commentary for "The American Land," a television series prepared by the Soil Conservation Service and the Graduate School, United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with WETA - TV, Washington, D.C. It explores the resource of land in America, its history, soil, water, wildlife, agricultural land…

  17. SOCIO-CULTURAL PROBLEMS AND THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC (PH.D. THESIS).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ABDEL-HAMID FAWZI ABDEL-AZIZ

    IN THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC, MANY GRADUATES OF AGRICULTURAL SCHOOLS HAVE NOT BECOME ESTABLISHED IN FARMING. THIS STUDY WAS MADE TO (1) EXAMINE THE FACTORS WHICH AFFECT THE DECISION TO ENTER UPON FARMING, (2) PROPOSE THE ROLE OF SOCIAL CHANGE AGENT FOR AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION, AND (3) PROVIDE A GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL…

  18. Water harvesting experience in sub-Saharan Africa - lessons for sustainable intensification of rainfed agriculture and the influence of available soils and rainfall data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowin, John; Bunclark, Lisa

    2013-04-01

    Africa is seen by many as the continent with the greatest potential for agricultural growth, but land degradation and environmental change threaten the African soil resource more severely than in many other regions of the planet. Achieving future food security will depend mainly on increasing production from rainfed agriculture. The challenge of delivering the required sustainable intensification in rainfed agriculture is most acute in the drylands - the semi-arid and dry sub-humid climatic regions. There are two broad strategies for increasing yields under these circumstances: (1) capturing more rainwater and storing it (increasing water availability), and (2) using the available water more effectively by increasing the plant growth and/or reducing non-productive soil evaporation (increasing water productivity). We focus on the first of these options - water harvesting, which is defined as, "the collection and concentration of rainfall runoff, or floodwaters, for plant production". The benefits of water harvesting have been documented from small scale experimental plot studies, but evidence of successful adoption and impact is weak. As a contribution to improving the evidence base, we present results from an investigation conducted in SSA to gather information on progress with efforts to promote adoption of water harvesting. The intention was to investigate in detail the processes and outcomes on a large enough sample area to draw some common conclusions. This was not a comprehensive analysis of all that is happening in each country, nor was it a random sample; this was a purposive sample guided by available baseline information to permit comparative analysis. Water harvesting seems to have made the most progress where techniques can be adopted by individual farmers: in Burkina Faso and Niger micro- scale zaï /tassa and demi-lune systems; in Sudan and Tanzania meso-scale majaruba and teras systems. Macro-scale systems requiring social organisation may offer

  19. Biochar of animal origin: a sustainable solution to the global problem of high-grade rock phosphate scarcity?

    PubMed

    Vassilev, Nikolay; Martos, Eva; Mendes, Gilberto; Martos, Vanessa; Vassileva, Maria

    2013-06-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for all living organisms. However, in soil-plant systems, this nutrient is the most limiting, leading to frequent applications of soluble P fertilisers. Their excessive use provokes alterations in the natural P cycle, soil biodiversity and ecological equilibrium and is the main reason for the eutrophication of water, with consequences on food safety. Biotechnology offers a number of sustainable solutions that can mitigate these problems by using various waste materials as a source of P and, on the other hand, their solubilisation by selected micro-organisms. This review present results on the solubilisation of animal bone char with high phosphate content by micro-organisms to produce organic acids such as lactic acid, citric acid and itaconic acid. All experiments were performed under conditions of liquid submerged and solid state fermentation processes. Freely suspended and immobilised cells of the corresponding microbial cultures were employed using substrates characterised by low cost and abundance. Other alternative technologies are discussed as well in order to stimulate further studies in this field, bearing in mind the progressive increase in P fertiliser prices based on high global P consumption and the scarcity of rock phosphate reserves.

  20. Training Children with Developmentally Disabilities and Severe Behavior Problems to Use Self-Management Procedures to Sustain Attention to Preacademic/Academic Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kapadia, Shireen; Fantuzzo, John W.

    1988-01-01

    Three children (ages 8, 12, and 14) with developmental disabilities and severe behavior problems were successfully trained to use self-management procedures to sustain attention to preacademic/academic tasks. A prompting ribbon (motorized red/green ribbon) was designed to help the children visually monitor time while increasing sustained…

  1. Multifunctional Agriculture in Policy and Practice? A Comparative Analysis of Norway and Australia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bjorkhaug, Hilde; Richards, Carol Ann

    2008-01-01

    Ideals of productivist agriculture in the Western world have faded as the unintended consequences of intensive agriculture and pastoralism have contributed to rural decline and environmental problems. In Norway and Australia, there has been an increasing acceptance of the equal importance of social and environmental sustainability as well as…

  2. Allelopathic principles for sustainable agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Allelopathic research of the past few decades has established the feasibility of weed and plant disease management by allelopathic crop plants, plant residues, cultural manipulation, and microorganisms as bioherbicides and rhizobacteria. Inconsistency in the effectiveness of plant-growth-promoting ...

  3. Theme: In-Agriculture Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elliot, Jack, Ed.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Seven theme articles review the history and philosophy of vocational agriculture, its relationship to the national goals for education, the place of sustainable agriculture and supervised experience in the curriculum, diversifying the curriculum, and fisheries education programs in Alaska. (SK)

  4. Assessing the biophysical and socio-economic potential of Sustainable Land Management and Water Harvesting Technologies for rainfed agriculture across semi-arid Africa.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, Brian; Fleskens, Luuk; Kirkby, Mike

    2016-04-01

    Stakeholders in recent EU projects identified soil erosion as the most frequent driver of land degradation in semi-arid environments. In a number of sites, historic land management and rainfall variability are recognised as contributing to the serious environmental impact. In order to consider the potential of sustainable land management and water harvesting techniques stakeholders and study sites from the projects selected and trialled both local technologies and promising technologies reported from other sites . The combined PESERA and DESMICE modelling approach considered the regional effects of the technologies in combating desertification both in environmental and socio-economical terms. Initial analysis was based on long term average climate data with the model run to equilibrium. Current analysis, primarily based on the WAHARA study sites considers rainfall variability more explicitly in time series mode. The PESERA-DESMICE approach considers the difference between a baseline scenario and a (water harvesting) technology scenario, typically, in terms of productivity, financial viability and scope for reducing erosion risk. A series of 50 year rainfall realisations are generated from observed data to capture a full range of the climatic variability. Each realisation provides a unique time-series of rainfall and through modelling can provide a simulated time-series of crop yield and erosion risk for both baseline conditions and technology scenarios. Subsequent realisations and model simulations add to an envelope of the potential crop yield and cost-benefit relations. The development of such envelopes helps express the agricultural and erosional risk associated with climate variability and the potential for conservation measures to absorb the risk, highlighting the probability of achieving a given crop yield or erosion limit. Information that can directly inform or influence the local adoption of conservation measures under the climatic variability in semi

  5. An approach to integrate spatial and climatological data as support to drought monitoring and agricultural management problems in South Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonetto, Sabrina; Facello, Anna; Camaro, Walther; Isotta Cristofori, Elena; Demarchi, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    Drought is a natural hazard characterized by an abnormally dry event in the hydrological cycle caused by insufficient precipitation over an extended period of time, which affects more people than any other natural disaster and results in social, economic and environmental costs. In Africa, the economic system is based primarily on natural resources for example farming. For this reason, climate variability and events such as drought are phenomena that can represent significant disturbances and threats in the agricultural systems. In particular, this study concerns the monitoring of environmental changes in the south sector of South Sudan. The climate and environment in the South Sudan have shown localised changes during the course of this century and recurrent wars and droughts in the last years determined a large food-crisis. Actually, the security situation is stabilised with sporadic fighting concentrated in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States. With the stabilisation of the conflict, many refugees have returned to their regions, trying to recover the economic structure based mainly on agriculture. For this reason, it is important to monitoring and analysis the vegetation and drought trend over the last years to support agricultural development and food security, in particular in post-conflict areas. This study focuses on the analysis of the relationship between the temporal variations of state of vegetation and the precipitation patterns. A historical analysis of the vegetation behaviour (NDVI) and the drought during the year is developed. In addition, with the aim to identify the wet and dry seasons, an analysis of precipitation is performed. Based on the vegetation and precipitation trends obtained, it is possible to characterize the best areas to start an agricultural system, giving priority to certain areas in order to plan the land use for agricultural purposes and programming crop (which and where). Consequently, with the aim to identify possible

  6. Agricultural Research Service

    MedlinePlus

    ... Protection Crop Production and Protection Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems Nutrition, Food Safety, and Quality Overseas ... LA, MS, NC, PR, SC) Footer Content ARS Home | USDA.gov | Site Map | Statements and Disclaimers | Plain ...

  7. Effects of electrical voltage/current on farm animals: How to detect and remedy problems. Agriculture handbook

    SciTech Connect

    Lefcourt, A.M.

    1991-12-01

    The handbook examines (1) the history of stray voltage/current problems on farms, (2) the physical and electrical sources of stray voltage/current phenomena, (3) the physiological and behavioral bases for losses in milk production, (4) methods for identifying and detecting stray voltage/current problems, (5) methods for mitigating such problems, and (6) areas where further research may be warranted. While the primary emphasis is on cattle and dairy farms, the theories and procedures discussed are completely relevant to all types of livestock and livestock housing facilities. Recommendations are made for action levels and concerning mitigation techniques. The fundamental conclusion of the handbook is that stray voltages/currents can be reduced to acceptable levels.

  8. Selective and Sustained Attention as Predictors of Social Problems in Children with Typical and Disordered Attention Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrade, Brendan F.; Brodeur, Darlene A.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.; Stewart, Sherry H.; McGee, Robin

    2009-01-01

    Objective: Investigated the relationship between selective and sustained attention and social behavior in children with different degrees of attentional disturbance. Method: Participants were 101 6- to 12-year-old children, including 18 who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), 61 who were clinically referred for…

  9. Information for Agricultural Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaungamno, E. E.

    This paper describes the major international agricultural information services, sources, and systems; outlines the existing information situation in Tanzania as it relates to problems of agricultural development; and reviews the improvements in information provision resources required to support the process of agricultural development in Tanzania.…

  10. Agriculture, Environmental Education Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Project I-C-E, Green Bay, WI.

    This agriculture guide, for use at the secondary level, is one of a series of guides, K-12, which were developed by teachers to help introduce environmental education into the total curriculum. Environmental problems are present in every community where agriculture education is offered, and therefore many agriculture teachers have included some…

  11. Issues of sustainable irrigated agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley of California in a changing regulatory environment concerning water quality and protection of wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, N.W.T.; Delamore, M.L.

    1994-06-01

    Since the discovery of selenium toxicosis in the Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley, California, public perception of irrigated agriculture as a benign competitor for California`s developed water supply has been changed irrevocably. Subsurface return flows from irrigated agriculture were implicated as the source of selenium which led to incidents of reproductive failure in waterfowl and threatened survival of other fish and wildlife species. Stringent water quality objectives were promulgated to protect rivers, tributaries, sloughs and other water bodies receiving agricultural discharges from selenium contamination. Achieving these objectives was left to the agricultural water districts, federal and state agencies responsible for drainage and water quality enforcement in the San Joaquin Basin. This paper describes some of the strategies to improve management of water resources and water quality in response to these new environmental objectives. Similar environmental objectives will likely be adopted by other developed and developing countries with large regions of arid zone agriculture and susceptible wildlife resources. A series of simulation models have been developed over the past four years to evaluate regional drainage management strategies such as: irrigation source control; drainage recycling; selective retirement of agricultural land; regional shallow ground water pumping; coordination of agricultural drainage, wetland and reservoir releases; and short-term ponding of drainage water. A new generation of Geographic Information Service-based software is under development to bridge the gap between planning and program implementation. Use of the decision support system will allow water districts and regulators to continuously monitor drainage discharges to the San Joaquin River in real-time and to assess impacts of management strategies that have been implemented to take advantage of the River`s assimilative capacity for trace elements and salts.

  12. 7 CFR 2.68 - Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... promote and support the development of a viable and sustainable global agricultural system. Such work may... committees concerned with agricultural science, education, and development activities, including library...

  13. 7 CFR 2.68 - Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... promote and support the development of a viable and sustainable global agricultural system. Such work may... committees concerned with agricultural science, education, and development activities, including library...

  14. The emergence of Taenia solium cysticercosis in Eastern and Southern Africa as a serious agricultural problem and public health risk.

    PubMed

    Phiri, Isaac K; Ngowi, Helena; Afonso, Sonia; Matenga, Elizabeth; Boa, Mathias; Mukaratirwa, Samson; Githigia, Samuel; Saimo, Margaret; Sikasunge, Chummy; Maingi, Ndichu; Lubega, George W; Kassuku, Ayub; Michael, Lynne; Siziya, Seter; Krecek, Rosina C; Noormahomed, Emilia; Vilhena, Manuela; Dorny, Pierre; Willingham, A Lee

    2003-06-01

    pigs positive. In Zimbabwe, a retrospective study in official abattoirs around the country from 1994 to 2001 reported a mean prevalence of 0.34% which is in contrast to a post-mortem survey in 1999, which showed that the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis in rural west Zimbabwe where smallholder pig keeping is popular was 28.6%. In Zambia, abattoir records reported porcine cysticercosis in six of the nine provinces. Routine meat inspection of 1316 pigs at a slaughter slab in Lusaka showed that 20.6% of the pigs had cysticercosis whereas serological testing of 874 pigs at the same abattoir indicated that 56.6% were found to have circulating antigens of Taenia solium. Field surveys based on lingual palpation in Southern and Eastern Provinces of Zambia revealed prevalences of 8.2-28.4 and 5.2%, respectively. South Africa has the largest number of pigs in Southern Africa and cysticercosis has been recognised as a problem in the country for many decades. There is strong evidence supporting the high prevalence of neurocysticercosis infecting humans from resource-poor areas of the country where pigs are being raised under smallholder conditions. In spite of this community-based surveys on porcine cysticercosis have never been conducted in South Africa and the last slaughterhouse survey was conducted nearly 40 years ago. The prevalences of porcine cysticercosis found in these ESA countries rank among the highest in the world and the disease is emerging as an important constraint for the nutritional and economic well being of resource-poor smallholder farming communities. The current findings suggest the widespread presence of human tapeworm carriers and thus a high risk of human cysticercosis in both rural areas and urban centres in the ESA region. More research is required in the region to assess the extent and public health and economic impact of T. solium infection in order to determine whether and what prevention and control efforts are needed.

  15. Problem-Oriented and Project-Based Learning (POPBL) as an Innovative Learning Strategy for Sustainable Development in Engineering Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehmann, M.; Christensen, P.; Du, X.; Thrane, M.

    2008-01-01

    In a world where systems are increasingly larger, where their boundaries are often difficult to identify, and where societal rather than technical issues play increasingly bigger roles, problems cannot be solved by applying a technical solution alone. It thus becomes important for engineers to be skilled not only in terms of their particular…

  16. Promoting Proper Education for Sustainability: An Exploratory Study of ICT Enhanced Problem Based Learning in a Developing Country

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roy, Amit; Kihoza, Patrick; Suhonen, Jarkko; Vesisenaho, Mikko; Tukiaianen, Markku

    2014-01-01

    One of the goals of education is to create responsible citizens who can adequately understand the problems faced by their societies and who can then act to help solve them. Such behaviour can be fostered through proper education that facilitates expert knowledge about social issues, nurtures the ability to think critically and grows the skills…

  17. Envisioning Agricultural Sustainability from Field to Plate: Comparing Producer and Consumer Attitudes and Practices toward "Environmentally Friendly" Food and Farming in Washington State, USA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selfa, Theresa; Jussaume, Raymond A., Jr.; Winter, Michael

    2008-01-01

    A substantial body of sociological research has examined the relationship between farmers' environmental attitudes and their conservation behaviors, but little research has compared the attitudes of producers and consumers toward the environment with their behaviors or practices in support of sustainable agri-food systems. This paper addresses…

  18. Sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Dudani, A T

    1996-01-01

    Many attempts have been made over the last decade to define sustainable development (SD). However, it is much easier to describe one's expectations of SD. The discussion over SD grew in the wake of the Brundlandt Commission report, Our Common Future (OCF), which describes SD as a process of change in which resources, the direction of investment, orientation of technological development, and institutional change all enhance the potential to meet human needs today and in the future. The OCF stresses the interrelationship between SD and economic development such that nothing can be at the expense of environmental destruction. Close cooperation is needed at the domestic and international political, social, and economic levels and spheres in order to achieve long-term SD. The author discusses the state of affairs in the US and sustainable agriculture and SD.

  19. Teachers' Use of Agricultural Laboratories in Secondary Agricultural Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shoulders, Catherine W.; Myers, Brian E.

    2012-01-01

    Trends in the agriculture industry require students to have the ability to solve problems associated with scientific content. Agricultural laboratories are considered a main component of secondary agricultural education, and are well suited to provide students with opportunities to develop problem-solving skills through experiential learning. This…

  20. Chapter 9, Land and Bioenergy in Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), Bioenergy & Sustainability: bridging the gaps.

    SciTech Connect

    Woods J, Lynd LR; Laser, M; Batistella M, De Castro D; Kline, Keith L; Faaij, Andre

    2015-01-01

    In this chapter we address the questions of whether and how enough biomass could be produced to make a material contribution to global energy supply on a scale and timeline that is consistent with prominent low carbon energy scenarios. We assess whether bioenergy provision necessarily conflicts with priority ecosystem services including food security for the world s poor and vulnerable populations. In order to evaluate the potential land demand for bioenergy, we developed a set of three illustrative scenarios using specified growth rates for each bioenergy sub-sector. In these illustrative scenarios, bioenergy (traditional and modern) increases from 62 EJ/yr in 2010 to 100, 150 and 200 EJ/yr in 2050. Traditional bioenergy grows slowly, increasing by between 0.75% and 1% per year, from 40 EJ/yr in 2010 to 50 or 60 EJ/ yr in 2050, continuing as the dominant form of bioenergy until at least 2020. Across the three scenarios, total land demand is estimated to increase by between 52 and 200 Mha which can be compared with a range of potential land availability estimates from the literature of between 240 million hectares to over 1 billion hectares. Biomass feedstocks arise from combinations of residues and wastes, energy cropping and increased efficiency in supply chains for energy, food and materials. In addition, biomass has the unique capability of providing solid, liquid and gaseous forms of modern energy carriers that can be transformed into analogues to existing fuels. Because photosynthesis fixes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, biomass supply chains can be configured to store at least some of the fixed carbon in forms or ways that it will not be reemitted to the atmosphere for considerable periods of time, so-called negative emissions pathways. These attributes provide opportunities for bioenergy policies to promote longterm and sustainable options for the supply of energy for the foreseeable future.

  1. Multiple factors drive regional agricultural abandonment.

    PubMed

    Osawa, Takeshi; Kohyama, Kazunori; Mitsuhashi, Hiromune

    2016-01-15

    An understanding of land-use change and its drivers in agroecosystems is important when developing adaptations to future environmental and socioeconomic pressures. Agricultural abandonment occurs worldwide with multiple potentially positive and negative consequences; however, the main factors causing agricultural abandonment in a country i.e., at the macro scale, have not been identified. We hypothesized that socio-environmental factors driving agricultural abandonment could be summarized comprehensively into two, namely "natural" and "social", and the relative importance of these differs among regions. To test this postulate, we analyzed the factors currently leading to agricultural abandonment considering ten natural environment variables (e.g., temperature) and five social variables (e.g., number of farmers) using the random forest machine learning method after dividing Japan into eight regions. Our results showed that agricultural abandonment was driven by various socio-environmental factors, and the main factors leading to agricultural abandonment differed among regions, especially in Hokkaido in northern Japan. Hokkaido has a relatively large area of concentrated farmland, and abandonment might have resulted from the effectiveness of cultivation under specific climate factors, whereas the other regions have relatively small areas of farmland with many elderly part-time farmers. In such regions, abandonment might have been caused by the decreasing numbers of potential farmers. Thus, two different drivers of agricultural abandonment were found: inefficient cultivation and decreasing numbers of farmers. Therefore, agricultural abandonment cannot be prevented by adopting a single method or policy. Agricultural abandonment is a significant problem not only for food production but also for several ecosystem services. Governments and decision-makers should develop effective strategies to prevent further abandonment to ensure sustainable future management of agro-ecosystems.

  2. Multiple factors drive regional agricultural abandonment.

    PubMed

    Osawa, Takeshi; Kohyama, Kazunori; Mitsuhashi, Hiromune

    2016-01-15

    An understanding of land-use change and its drivers in agroecosystems is important when developing adaptations to future environmental and socioeconomic pressures. Agricultural abandonment occurs worldwide with multiple potentially positive and negative consequences; however, the main factors causing agricultural abandonment in a country i.e., at the macro scale, have not been identified. We hypothesized that socio-environmental factors driving agricultural abandonment could be summarized comprehensively into two, namely "natural" and "social", and the relative importance of these differs among regions. To test this postulate, we analyzed the factors currently leading to agricultural abandonment considering ten natural environment variables (e.g., temperature) and five social variables (e.g., number of farmers) using the random forest machine learning method after dividing Japan into eight regions. Our results showed that agricultural abandonment was driven by various socio-environmental factors, and the main factors leading to agricultural abandonment differed among regions, especially in Hokkaido in northern Japan. Hokkaido has a relatively large area of concentrated farmland, and abandonment might have resulted from the effectiveness of cultivation under specific climate factors, whereas the other regions have relatively small areas of farmland with many elderly part-time farmers. In such regions, abandonment might have been caused by the decreasing numbers of potential farmers. Thus, two different drivers of agricultural abandonment were found: inefficient cultivation and decreasing numbers of farmers. Therefore, agricultural abandonment cannot be prevented by adopting a single method or policy. Agricultural abandonment is a significant problem not only for food production but also for several ecosystem services. Governments and decision-makers should develop effective strategies to prevent further abandonment to ensure sustainable future management of agro

  3. Implementing interactive decision support: A case for combining cyberinfrastructure, data fusion, and social process to mobilize scientific knowledge in sustainability problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    Geosciences are becoming increasingly data intensive, particularly in relation to sustainability problems, which are multi-dimensional, weakly structured and characterized by high levels of uncertainty. In the case of complex resource management problems, the challenge is to extract meaningful information from data and make sense of it. Simultaneously, scientific knowledge alone is insufficient to change practice. Creating tools, and group decision support processes for end users to interact with data are key challenges to transforming science-based information into actionable knowledge. The ENCOMPASS project began as a multi-year case study in the Atacama Desert of Chile to design and implement a knowledge transfer model for energy-water-mining conflicts in the region. ENCOMPASS combines the use of cyberinfrastructure (CI), automated data collection, interactive interfaces for dynamic decision support, and participatory modelling to support social learning. A pilot version of the ENCOMPASS CI uses open source systems and serves as a structure to integrate and store multiple forms of data and knowledge, such as DEM, meteorological, water quality, geomicrobiological, energy demand, and groundwater models. In the case study, informatics and data fusion needs related to scientific uncertainty around deep groundwater flowpaths and energy-water connections. Users may upload data from field sites with handheld devices or desktops. Once uploaded, data assets are accessible for a variety of uses. To address multi-attributed decision problems in the Atacama region a standalone application with touch-enabled interfaces was created to improve real-time interactions with datasets by groups. The tool was used to merge datasets from the ENCOMPASS CI to support exploration among alternatives and build shared understanding among stakeholders. To date, the project has increased technical capacity among stakeholders, resulted in the creation of both for-profit and non

  4. Is Sustainability Sustainable?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonevac, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    The most important concept in current environmental thinking is "sustainability". Environmental policies, economic policies, development, resource use--all of these things, according to the consensus, ought to be sustainable. But what is sustainability? What is its ethical foundation? There is little consensus about how these questions ought to be…

  5. Perspectives on the Structure of American Agriculture. Volume I: The View from the Farm--Special Problems of Minority and Low-Income Farmers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coughlin, Kenneth M., Ed.

    This is the first of two volumes of papers examining the impact of national agricultural policy on the rural poor. The seven articles in this volume offer personal accounts of minority and low-income farmers struggling to gain a foothold in American agriculture. "'It's Too Late for Our Family,'" by Marian Lenzen, describes a family's struggle to…

  6. Sustainable development: a regional perspective.

    PubMed

    Icamina, P

    1988-12-01

    This article discusses sustainable development in Asia and current environmental problems in this region. Droughts and rainy seasons pose a major concern indicating environmental limitations: India's 1987 drought halted world grain production and China suffered US $435 million in flooding damage. Deforestation and land degradation are consequences of a rising population's demand for agriculture, fuelwood, irrigation, and hydroelectric projects; 1815 million hectares of forest are cleared/year and 40% of the land could possible be subjected to soil erosion. Although population growth is declining in some Asian countries, the continent inhabits the greatest proportion of world population; 300 million are underfed. Food production remains a problem for this region because of bad weather, highly populated areas, less cropland, soil erosion, and limited water supply. Efforts currently employed to conserve natural resources include community reforestation, providing available drinking water, substituting firewood for fuelwood, and delivering primary health care.

  7. Agricultural use of wetlands: opportunities and limitations

    PubMed Central

    Verhoeven, Jos T. A.; Setter, Tim L.

    2010-01-01

    Background Wetlands are species-rich habitats performing valuable ecosystem services such as flood protection, water quality enhancement, food chain support and carbon sequestration. Worldwide, wetlands have been drained to convert them into agricultural land or industrial and urban areas. A realistic estimate is that 50 % of the world's wetlands have been lost. Scope This paper reviews the relationship between wetlands and agriculture with the aim to identify the successes and failures of agricultural use in different types of wetlands, with reference to short-term and long-term benefits and issues of sustainability. It also addresses a number of recent developments which will lead to pressure to reclaim and destroy natural wetlands, i.e. the continuous need for higher production to feed an increasing world population and the increasing cultivation of energy crops. Finally, attention is paid to the development of more flood-tolerant crop cultivars. Conclusions Agriculture has been carried out in several types of (former) wetlands for millennia, with crop fields on river floodplain soils and rice fields as major examples. However, intensive agricultural use of drained/reclaimed peatlands has been shown to lead to major problems because of the oxidation and subsidence of the peat soil. This does not only lead to severe carbon dioxide emissions, but also results in low-lying land which needs to be protected against flooding. Developments in South-East Asia, where vast areas of tropical peatlands are being converted into oil palm plantations, are of great concern in this respect. Although more flood-tolerant cultivars of commercial crop species are being developed, these are certainly not suitable for cultivation in wetlands with prolonged flooding periods, but rather will survive relatively short periods of waterlogging in normally improved agricultural soils. From a sustainability perspective, reclamation of peatlands for agriculture should be strongly discouraged

  8. Agricultural aviation research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chevalier, H. L. (Compiler); Bouse, L. F. (Compiler)

    1977-01-01

    A compilation of papers, comments, and results is provided during a workshop session. The purpose of the workshop was to review and evaluate the current state of the art of agricultural aviation, to identify and rank potentially productive short and long range research and development areas, and to strengthen communications between research scientists and engineers involved in agricultural research. Approximately 71 individuals actively engaged in agricultural aviation research were invited to participate in the workshop. These were persons familiar with problems related to agricultural aviation and processing expertise which are of value for identifying and proposing beneficial research.

  9. The North Wyke Farm Platform, a UK national capability for research into sustainability of temperate agricultural grassland management: progress and developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Paul; Dungait, Jennifer; Griffith, Bruce; Shepherd, Anita; Sint, Hadewij; Blackwell, Martin; Cardenas, Laura; Collins, Adrian; Goulding, Keith; Lee, Michael; Orr, Robert

    2015-04-01

    The North Wyke Farm Platform (NWFP) at Rothamsted Research in the South-West of England, is a large, farm-scale experiment for collaborative research, training and knowledge exchange in agro-environmental sciences; with the aim of addressing agricultural productivity and ecosystem responses to different management practices. The 63 ha NWFP site, captures the spatial and/or temporal data necessary to develop a better understanding of the dynamic processes and underlying mechanisms that can be used to model how agricultural grassland systems respond to different management inputs. Here, via beef and sheep production, the underlying principle is to manage each of three farmlets (each consisting of five man-made, hydrologically-isolated sub-catchments) in three contrasting ways: (i) improvement through use of mineral fertilizers; (ii) improvement through use of legumes; and (iii) improvement through innovation. The connectivity between the timing and intensity of the different management operations, together with the transport of nutrients and potential pollutants from the NWFP is evaluated using various data collection and data modelling exercises. The primary data collection strategy involves the use of a ground-based, wireless sensor network, where in each of the fifteen sub-catchments, water characteristics such as flow, turbidity and chemistry are measured at a flume laboratory that captures the sub-catchment's water drainage (via a system of directed French drains). This sensor network also captures: precipitation, soil moisture and soil temperature data for each sub-catchment; greenhouse gas data across key subsets of the fifteen sub-catchments; and meteorological data (other than precipitation) at a single site only (representative of the NWFP site, as a whole). Such high temporal resolution data sets (but with limited spatial resolution) are coupled with a secondary data collection strategy, for high spatial resolution data sets (but with limited temporal

  10. The Campesino-to-Campesino agroecology movement of ANAP in Cuba: social process methodology in the construction of sustainable peasant agriculture and food sovereignty.

    PubMed

    Rosset, Peter Michael; Sosa, Braulio Machín; Jaime, Adilén María Roque; Lozano, Dana Rocío Ávila

    2011-01-01

    Agroecology has played a key role in helping Cuba survive the crisis caused by the collapse of the socialist bloc in Europe and the tightening of the US trade embargo. Cuban peasants have been able to boost food production without scarce and expensive imported agricultural chemicals by first substituting more ecological inputs for the no longer available imports, and then by making a transition to more agroecologically integrated and diverse farming systems. This was possible not so much because appropriate alternatives were made available, but rather because of the Campesino-a-Campesino (CAC) social process methodology that the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) used to build a grassroots agroecology movement. This paper was produced in a 'self-study' process spearheaded by ANAP and La Via Campesina, the international agrarian movement of which ANAP is a member. In it we document and analyze the history of the Campesino-to-Campesino Agroecology Movement (MACAC), and the significantly increased contribution of peasants to national food production in Cuba that was brought about, at least in part, due to this movement. Our key findings are (i) the spread of agroecology was rapid and successful largely due to the social process methodology and social movement dynamics, (ii) farming practices evolved over time and contributed to significantly increased relative and absolute production by the peasant sector, and (iii) those practices resulted in additional benefits including resilience to climate change. PMID:21284238

  11. The Campesino-to-Campesino agroecology movement of ANAP in Cuba: social process methodology in the construction of sustainable peasant agriculture and food sovereignty.

    PubMed

    Rosset, Peter Michael; Sosa, Braulio Machín; Jaime, Adilén María Roque; Lozano, Dana Rocío Ávila

    2011-01-01

    Agroecology has played a key role in helping Cuba survive the crisis caused by the collapse of the socialist bloc in Europe and the tightening of the US trade embargo. Cuban peasants have been able to boost food production without scarce and expensive imported agricultural chemicals by first substituting more ecological inputs for the no longer available imports, and then by making a transition to more agroecologically integrated and diverse farming systems. This was possible not so much because appropriate alternatives were made available, but rather because of the Campesino-a-Campesino (CAC) social process methodology that the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) used to build a grassroots agroecology movement. This paper was produced in a 'self-study' process spearheaded by ANAP and La Via Campesina, the international agrarian movement of which ANAP is a member. In it we document and analyze the history of the Campesino-to-Campesino Agroecology Movement (MACAC), and the significantly increased contribution of peasants to national food production in Cuba that was brought about, at least in part, due to this movement. Our key findings are (i) the spread of agroecology was rapid and successful largely due to the social process methodology and social movement dynamics, (ii) farming practices evolved over time and contributed to significantly increased relative and absolute production by the peasant sector, and (iii) those practices resulted in additional benefits including resilience to climate change.

  12. Achieving sustainable cultivation of potatoes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Every phase of the production cycle impacts the sustainability of potato. Potato physiology determines how genetically encoded developmental attributes interact with local environmental conditions as modified through agricultural practice to produce a perishable crop. In this chapter we highlight ho...

  13. Sustainable agriculture and nitrogen reduction: an open field experiment using natural zeolitites in silty-clay reclaimed soil at Codigoro (Po River Delta, Ferrara, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccini, Barbara; Di Giuseppe, Dario; Mastrocicco, Micòl; Coltorti, Massimo; Colombani, Nicolò; Ferretti, Giacomo

    2014-05-01

    Following the guidelines of Nitrate and Water Framework Directives (91/676/CEE, 200/60/CE) an innovative integrated zeolitite cycle is being tested on a reclaimed clayey-silt soil in the Po Delta area (Ferrara Province, Italy), in the framework of the EU-funded ZeoLIFE project (LIFE+10 ENV/IT/000321). Natural zeolitites are pyroclastic rocks containing more than 50% of zeolites, a kind of hydrous minerals with peculiar physical and chemical properties, like high and selective cation exchange capacity (CEC), molecular adsorption and reversible dehydration. Zeolitites can trap NH4+ from solutions and release it gradually to the plant roots once they have been mixed in agricultural soils, allowing both fertilization and irrigation reduction and improvement of the yield. The fertilization reduction can result in a decrease of the nitrate content in groundwater and surface waters, ultimately leading to a mitigation of nutrient excess in the environment. Similarly, reduction of irrigation water means a minor exploitation of the water resource. The selected material used in the project is a chabazite zeolitite coming from a quarry near Sorano in Central Italy (Bolsena volcanic district). The open-field experimentation foresees two year of cultivation. A surface of about 6 ha has been divided into six parcels: three control parcels are cultivated and irrigated in traditional way; two parcels have been added with coarse-grained (ø = 3- 6 mm) natural zeolitite at different zeolitite/soil ratios (5 kg/m2 and 15 kg/m2) and one has been mixed with fine-grained (ø < 3 mm) NH4+-charged zeolitite at 10 kg/m2. Zeolitite/soil ratios have been determined upon a series of greenhouse tests, and the ammonium enriched material is obtained by cation exchange with swine manure in a specifically conceived prototype. The environmental quality of soil and water in each parcel is monitored by periodic soil, groundwater and porewater analyses. Soil EC, temperature and volumetric water content

  14. Regional climatic mapping as a tool for sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Katzschner, Lutz; Mülder, Jochen

    2008-04-01

    In the framework of an EU project on sustainable village development in China (SUCCESS), the natural climate resource was evaluated. Climate is seen as a potential for sustainability, an improvement of social life, agricultural production and reduction of air pollution problems. In this respect, thermal comfort conditions, microclimates and ventilation patterns were studied in seven Chinese villages and climate maps were drawn. Following planning recommendations, they can be transferred to decision-makers for their village development. In this framework, the paper presents a general methodology of urban climate mapping, carried out in China, applicable to all countries and climates.

  15. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from: shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Degrad...

  16. The sustainability of functional foods.

    PubMed

    Sibbel, Anne

    2007-02-01

    In times of climate change, growing world populations, and with clear evidence of the depletion or damage to critical resources, it is imperative to take action to sustain and develop the capacity of agricultural and manufacturing systems to continue to provide food, the most basic of human needs. Functional foods, generally defined as foods that provide benefits beyond basic nutrition, represent an important growth category for the commercial sector in many countries around the world. Because of widespread concerns about risks to health, the public is vulnerable to messages about potential health protective advantages of foods formulated in response to emerging nutrition science. This paper argues that it is important to finds ways to evaluate the effects of innovation in this sector. Now more broadly defined, the concept of sustainability provides guidelines for decision-making and a framework for assessing the impact of the development of functional foods as a health protective panacea for diet-related human health problems. However, this paper concludes that when criteria for sustainable practice are applied, there are some strong arguments in support of delaying investment in the development and promotion of functional foods to the general public. PMID:17098344

  17. Developing sustainable food supply chains.

    PubMed

    Smith, B Gail

    2008-02-27

    This paper reviews the opportunities available for food businesses to encourage consumers to eat healthier and more nutritious diets, to invest in more sustainable manufacturing and distribution systems and to develop procurement systems based on more sustainable forms of agriculture. The important factors in developing more sustainable supply chains are identified as the type of supply chain involved and the individual business attitude to extending responsibility for product quality into social and environmental performance within their own supply chains. Interpersonal trust and working to standards are both important to build more sustainable local and many conserved food supply chains, but inadequate to transform mainstream agriculture and raw material supplies to the manufactured and commodity food markets. Cooperation among food manufacturers, retailers, NGOs, governmental and farmers' organizations is vital in order to raise standards for some supply chains and to enable farmers to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices. PMID:17766237

  18. [A review of research on sustainable use of medicinal plants cropland in China].

    PubMed

    Gao, Wei-Wei; Zhao, Yang-Jing; Wang, Yu-Ping; Chen, Shi-Lin

    2006-10-01

    In China, about 40% of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) comes from cultivation in agrarian systems. The cropland is fundamental to the productions of medicinal plants, and the sustainable soil management is essential for sustainable using of the TCM resources, furthermore it affects the local economies of the medicinal plant production regions and the sustainable development of TCM agriculture. In this paper, the concept of the sustainable use of TCM cropland was discussed and the problems on sustainable soil management in China were analyzed from the aspects of resources and quality. The research advances in sustainable use of the medicinal plants cropland were reviewed from the aspects of continuous cropping obstacles, faming systems and degraded soil remediation. The strengthening research fields in the further were suggested.

  19. Agricultural Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehigh County Area Vocational-Technical School, Schnecksville, PA.

    This brochure describes the philosophy and scope of a secondary-level course in agricultural production. Addressed in the individual units of the course are the following topics: careers in agriculture and agribusiness, animal science and livestock production, agronomy, agricultural mechanics, supervised occupational experience programs, and the…

  20. Precision agriculture and food security.

    PubMed

    Gebbers, Robin; Adamchuk, Viacheslav I

    2010-02-12

    Precision agriculture comprises a set of technologies that combines sensors, information systems, enhanced machinery, and informed management to optimize production by accounting for variability and uncertainties within agricultural systems. Adapting production inputs site-specifically within a field and individually for each animal allows better use of resources to maintain the quality of the environment while improving the sustainability of the food supply. Precision agriculture provides a means to monitor the food production chain and manage both the quantity and quality of agricultural produce.

  1. Adapting agriculture to climate change.

    PubMed

    Howden, S Mark; Soussana, Jean-François; Tubiello, Francesco N; Chhetri, Netra; Dunlop, Michael; Meinke, Holger

    2007-12-11

    The strong trends in climate change already evident, the likelihood of further changes occurring, and the increasing scale of potential climate impacts give urgency to addressing agricultural adaptation more coherently. There are many potential adaptation options available for marginal change of existing agricultural systems, often variations of existing climate risk management. We show that implementation of these options is likely to have substantial benefits under moderate climate change for some cropping systems. However, there are limits to their effectiveness under more severe climate changes. Hence, more systemic changes in resource allocation need to be considered, such as targeted diversification of production systems and livelihoods. We argue that achieving increased adaptation action will necessitate integration of climate change-related issues with other risk factors, such as climate variability and market risk, and with other policy domains, such as sustainable development. Dealing with the many barriers to effective adaptation will require a comprehensive and dynamic policy approach covering a range of scales and issues, for example, from the understanding by farmers of change in risk profiles to the establishment of efficient markets that facilitate response strategies. Science, too, has to adapt. Multidisciplinary problems require multidisciplinary solutions, i.e., a focus on integrated rather than disciplinary science and a strengthening of the interface with decision makers. A crucial component of this approach is the implementation of adaptation assessment frameworks that are relevant, robust, and easily operated by all stakeholders, practitioners, policymakers, and scientists.

  2. Adapting agriculture to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Howden, S. Mark; Soussana, Jean-François; Tubiello, Francesco N.; Chhetri, Netra; Dunlop, Michael; Meinke, Holger

    2007-01-01

    The strong trends in climate change already evident, the likelihood of further changes occurring, and the increasing scale of potential climate impacts give urgency to addressing agricultural adaptation more coherently. There are many potential adaptation options available for marginal change of existing agricultural systems, often variations of existing climate risk management. We show that implementation of these options is likely to have substantial benefits under moderate climate change for some cropping systems. However, there are limits to their effectiveness under more severe climate changes. Hence, more systemic changes in resource allocation need to be considered, such as targeted diversification of production systems and livelihoods. We argue that achieving increased adaptation action will necessitate integration of climate change-related issues with other risk factors, such as climate variability and market risk, and with other policy domains, such as sustainable development. Dealing with the many barriers to effective adaptation will require a comprehensive and dynamic policy approach covering a range of scales and issues, for example, from the understanding by farmers of change in risk profiles to the establishment of efficient markets that facilitate response strategies. Science, too, has to adapt. Multidisciplinary problems require multidisciplinary solutions, i.e., a focus on integrated rather than disciplinary science and a strengthening of the interface with decision makers. A crucial component of this approach is the implementation of adaptation assessment frameworks that are relevant, robust, and easily operated by all stakeholders, practitioners, policymakers, and scientists. PMID:18077402

  3. Heterogeneity and topsoil depletion due to tillage erosion and soil co-extraction with root vegetables: a serious threat to sustainable agricultural land use in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quine, Timothy; van Oost, Kristof

    2010-05-01

    The term soil erosion has become almost synonymous with water erosion and yet tillage erosion and soil loss with root crop harvest, although less visible, may be responsible for the majority of the on-site costs of soil erosion in many arable areas of the UK. The study reported here is a first attempt to model soil erosion associated with these processes in England and Wales, at the National scale. A GIS-based modelling approach in the Arc/Info environment is employed in order to meet the requirement for large-scale evaluation of erosion severity. Existing models that have been subject to independent test are used or adapted and widely available data is employed in model parameterisation. Tillage erosion is simulated using a diffusion-type model and a slope curvature index derived from coarse-scale topographic data. The curvature index is calibrated by statistical comparison to curvature values derived from a high resolution digital terrain model. Soil loss with root crop harvest is simulated using information concerning patterns of sugar beet and potato cultivation and estimation of soil moisture during the crop harvest season. Soil loss associated with root crop harvest may be as high as 1 t ha-1 year-1 if land is permanently used for root crops in a 3 year rotation. However, when the arable area of the UK is considered as a whole root crop harvest is responsible for a mean rate of soil loss of approximately 0.1 t ha-1 year-1. Tillage erosion is found to be the dominant process of soil redistribution and onsite erosion on arable land, in comparison with both soil loss through root crop harvest and with long-term water erosion rates. Mean gross rates of tillage erosion were found to be 3.7 t ha-1 year-1, representing approximately 7.4 t ha-1 year-1 erosion and the same rate of deposition. Soil redistribution at these rates is generating an heterogeneous soilscape in which continued functioning for food and fibre production may be jeopardized. These problems may be

  4. Sustainable development: women as partners.

    PubMed

    Dem, M

    1993-02-01

    The economic recession and the structural adjustment programs imposed y the International Monetary Fund have caused sluggish or no economic growth and a decline in living conditions in sub-Saharan Africa. Senegal's New Agricultural Policy has eliminated subsidies for agricultural inputs, worsening the already declining living conditions. Population growth in Senegal exceeds food production; it is very rapid in cities (urban growth rate, 2.7%). Women, especially, suffer from the economic crisis; it increases the burden on women for income generation, but the increased workload does not equate more income. This workload restricts women's opportunities to improve their physical environment and does not improve their status within society. Women still face discrimination daily; power lies with men. Oxfam supports urban women financially and technically as they organize and pursue income generation activities to institute change leading to sustainable development. It has helped a Serere women's group in Dakar to organize and provided credit funds to support their trading activities and family planning sensitization training. Oxfam also finances rural women coming to Dakar during the dry season to pound millet to sell. Problems which have to be overcome to achieve sustainable development acceptable to women are numerous. Women need access to the ways and means of food production. Resources are insufficient and inaccessible to women because women are excluded from the decision-making process. Women generally do not have access to information and training which would help them make their own choices and manage their own lives. Political and sociocultural environments, especially those of the poor, do not easily allow women opportunities for independent reflection and expression. Grassroots women's groups provide the best base to develop female solidarity and women's representation, leading to sustainable development. Development organizations must take up a new dynamic

  5. Agricultural Business and Management Materials for Agricultural Education Programs. Core Agricultural Education Curriculum, Central Cluster.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Univ., Urbana. Office of Agricultural Communications and Education.

    This curriculum guide contains 5 teaching units for 44 agricultural business and management cluster problem areas. These problem areas have been selected as suggested areas of study to be included in a core curriculum for secondary students enrolled in an agricultural education program. The five units are as follows: (1) agribusiness operation and…

  6. Sustainability as Moral Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, Merrily S.; Hart-Steffes, Jeanne S.

    2012-01-01

    When one considers sustainability as a moral action, there are equally complex realities at hand--climate change, resource depletion, water and land rights. One author describes this broad sense of sustainability as "the connection of specific social and environmental problems to the functioning of human and ecological systems" (Jenkins, 2011).…

  7. Optimal integrated management of groundwater resources and irrigated agriculture in arid coastal regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundmann, J.; Schütze, N.; Heck, V.

    2014-09-01

    Groundwater systems in arid coastal regions are particularly at risk due to limited potential for groundwater replenishment and increasing water demand, caused by a continuously growing population. For ensuring a sustainable management of those regions, we developed a new simulation-based integrated water management system. The management system unites process modelling with artificial intelligence tools and evolutionary optimisation techniques for managing both water quality and water quantity of a strongly coupled groundwater-agriculture system. Due to the large number of decision variables, a decomposition approach is applied to separate the original large optimisation problem into smaller, independent optimisation problems which finally allow for faster and more reliable solutions. It consists of an analytical inner optimisation loop to achieve a most profitable agricultural production for a given amount of water and an outer simulation-based optimisation loop to find the optimal groundwater abstraction pattern. Thereby, the behaviour of farms is described by crop-water-production functions and the aquifer response, including the seawater interface, is simulated by an artificial neural network. The methodology is applied exemplarily for the south Batinah re-gion/Oman, which is affected by saltwater intrusion into a coastal aquifer system due to excessive groundwater withdrawal for irrigated agriculture. Due to contradicting objectives like profit-oriented agriculture vs aquifer sustainability, a multi-objective optimisation is performed which can provide sustainable solutions for water and agricultural management over long-term periods at farm and regional scales in respect of water resources, environment, and socio-economic development.

  8. GREENSCOPE: Sustainable Process Modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA researchers are responding to environmental problems by incorporating sustainability into process design and evaluation. EPA researchers are also developing a tool that allows users to assess modifications to existing and new chemical processes to determine whether changes in...

  9. Bioenergy Sustainability in China: Potential and Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Jie; Gentry, Randall W.; Yu, Gui-Rui; Sayler, Gary S.; Bickham, John W.

    2010-10-01

    The sustainability implications of bioenergy development strategies are large and complex. Unlike conventional agriculture, bioenergy production provides an opportunity to design systems for improving eco-environmental services. Different places have different goals and solutions for bioenergy development, but they all should adhere to the sustainability requirements of the environment, economy, and society. This article serves as a brief overview of China’s bioenergy development and as an introduction to this special issue on the impacts of bioenergy development in China. The eleven articles in this special issue present a range of perspectives and scenario analyses on bioenergy production and its impacts as well as potential barriers to its development. Five general themes are covered: status and goals, biomass resources, energy plants, environmental impacts, and economic and social impacts. The potential for bioenergy production in China is huge, particularly in the central north and northwest. China plans to develop a bioenergy capacity of 30GW by 2020. However, realization of this goal will require breakthroughs in bioenergy landscape design, energy plant biotechnology, legislation, incentive policy, and conversion facilities. Our analyses suggest that (1) the linkage between bioenergy, environment, and economy are often circular rather than linear in nature; (2) sustainability is a core concept in bioenergy design and the ultimate goal of bioenergy development; and (3) each bioenergy development scheme must be region-specific and designed to solve local environmental and agricultural problems.

  10. Breeding for abiotic stresses for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Witcombe, J R; Hollington, P A; Howarth, C J; Reader, S; Steele, K A

    2008-02-27

    Using cereal crops as examples, we review the breeding for tolerance to the abiotic stresses of low nitrogen, drought, salinity and aluminium toxicity. All are already important abiotic stress factors that cause large and widespread yield reductions. Drought will increase in importance with climate change, the area of irrigated land that is salinized continues to increase, and the cost of inorganic N is set to rise. There is good potential for directly breeding for adaptation to low N while retaining an ability to respond to high N conditions. Breeding for drought and salinity tolerance have proven to be difficult, and the complex mechanisms of tolerance are reviewed. Marker-assisted selection for component traits of drought in rice and pearl millet and salinity tolerance in wheat has produced some positive results and the pyramiding of stable quantitative trait locuses controlling component traits may provide a solution. New genomic technologies promise to make progress for breeding tolerance to these two stresses through a more fundamental understanding of underlying processes and identification of the genes responsible. In wheat, there is a great potential of breeding genetic resistance for salinity and aluminium tolerance through the contributions of wild relatives.

  11. The sustainability solutions agenda.

    PubMed

    Sarewitz, Daniel; Clapp, Richard; Crumbley, Cathy; Kriebel, David; Tickner, Joel

    2012-01-01

    Progress toward a more sustainable society is usually described in a "knowledge-first" framework, where science characterizes a problem in terms of its causes and mechanisms as a basis for subsequent action. Here we present a different approach-A Sustainability Solutions Agenda (SSA)-which seeks from the outset to identify the possible pathways to solutions. SSA focuses on uncovering paths to sustainability by improving current technological practice, and applying existing knowledge to identify and evaluate technological alternatives. SSA allows people and organizations to transition toward greater sustainability without sacrificing essential technological functions, and therefore does not threaten the interests that depend on those functions. Whereas knowledge-first approaches view scientific information as sufficient to convince people to take the right actions, even if those actions are perceived as against their immediate interests, SSA allows values to evolve toward greater attention to sustainability as a result of the positive experience of solving a problem. PMID:22776577

  12. The sustainability solutions agenda.

    PubMed

    Sarewitz, Daniel; Clapp, Richard; Crumbley, Cathy; Kriebel, David; Tickner, Joel

    2012-01-01

    Progress toward a more sustainable society is usually described in a "knowledge-first" framework, where science characterizes a problem in terms of its causes and mechanisms as a basis for subsequent action. Here we present a different approach-A Sustainability Solutions Agenda (SSA)-which seeks from the outset to identify the possible pathways to solutions. SSA focuses on uncovering paths to sustainability by improving current technological practice, and applying existing knowledge to identify and evaluate technological alternatives. SSA allows people and organizations to transition toward greater sustainability without sacrificing essential technological functions, and therefore does not threaten the interests that depend on those functions. Whereas knowledge-first approaches view scientific information as sufficient to convince people to take the right actions, even if those actions are perceived as against their immediate interests, SSA allows values to evolve toward greater attention to sustainability as a result of the positive experience of solving a problem.

  13. Agricultural Wastes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, W. J.; Switzenbaum, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of agricultural wastes, covering publications of 1976-77. Some of the areas covered are: (1) water characteristics and impacts; (2) waste treatment; (3) reuse of agricultural wastes; and (4) nonpoint pollution sources. A list of 150 references is also presented. (HM)

  14. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Research Coordinating Unit.

    TO ASSIST THOSE WHO MAKE DECISIONS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN AGRICULTURE, RECENT RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE IS SUMMARIZED. A 1963 STUDY TREATS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORK EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS, PLANS, AND ASPIRATIONS. STUDIES ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION CONCERN GUIDELINES FOR TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS, JUSTIFICATION…

  15. The macroecology of sustainability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burger, Joseph R.; Allen, Craig D.; Brown, James H.; Burnside, William R.; Davidson, Ana D.; Fristoe, Trevor S.; Hamilton, Marcus J.; Mercado-Silva, Norman; Nekola, Jeffrey C.; Okie, Jordan G.; Zuo, Wenyun

    2012-01-01

    The discipline of sustainability science has emerged in response to concerns of natural and social scientists, policymakers, and lay people about whether the Earth can continue to support human population growth and economic prosperity. Yet, sustainability science has developed largely independently from and with little reference to key ecological principles that govern life on Earth. A macroecological perspective highlights three principles that should be integral to sustainability science: 1) physical conservation laws govern the flows of energy and materials between human systems and the environment, 2) smaller systems are connected by these flows to larger systems in which they are embedded, and 3) global constraints ultimately limit flows at smaller scales. Over the past few decades, decreasing per capita rates of consumption of petroleum, phosphate, agricultural land, fresh water, fish, and wood indicate that the growing human population has surpassed the capacity of the Earth to supply enough of these essential resources to sustain even the current population and level of socioeconomic development.

  16. Sustainable Development, Education and Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dale, Ann; Newman, Lenore

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: To distinguish sustainable development education from environmental education and stress the importance of problem-based interdisciplinary learning to sustainable development education. Design/methodology/approach: A range of published works relating to sustainable development education are critiqued, an introduction to complexity theory…

  17. “The problem is ours, it is not CRAIDS’ ”. Evaluating sustainability of Community Based Organisations for HIV/AIDS in a rural district in Zambia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background While sustainability of health programmes has been the subject of empirical studies, there is little evidence specifically on the sustainability of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) for HIV/AIDS. Debates around optimal approaches in community health have centred on utilitarian versus empowerment approaches. This paper, using the World Bank Multi-Country AIDS Program (MAP) in Zambia as a case study, seeks to evaluate whether or not this global programme contributed to the sustainability of CBOs working in the area of HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Lessons for optimising sustainability of CBOs in lower income countries are drawn. Methods In-depth interviews with representatives of all CBOs that received CRAIDS funding (n = 18) and district stakeholders (n= 10) in Mumbwa rural district in Zambia, in 2010; and national stakeholders (n=6) in 2011. Results Funding: All eighteen CBOs in Mumbwa that received MAP funding between 2003 and 2008 had existed prior to receiving MAP grants, some from as early as 1992. This was contrary to national level perceptions that CBOs were established to access funds rather than from the needs of communities. Funding opportunities for CBOs in Mumbwa in 2010 were scarce. Health services: While all CBOs were functioning in 2010, most reported reductions in service provision. Home visits had reduced due to a shortage of food to bring to people living with HIV/AIDS and scarcity of funding for transport, which reduced antiretroviral treatment adherence support and transport of patients to clinics. Organisational capacity and viability: Sustainability had been promoted during MAP through funding Income Generating Activities. However, there was a lack of infrastructure and training to make these sustainable. Links between health facilities and communities improved over time, however volunteers’ skills levels had reduced. Conclusions Whilst the World Bank espoused the idea of sustainability in their plans, it remained on the periphery of

  18. The Development of a National Agricultural Extension Policy in Bangladesh.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, M.; Sarkar, A. A.

    1996-01-01

    The background of agriculture in Bangladesh and the process of developing a national agricultural extension policy focused on sustainable development are described. The policy explicates the meaning of agricultural extension, use of agricultural knowledge and information systems, and 11 core principles. (SK)

  19. Biosurfactants in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Sachdev, Dhara P; Cameotra, Swaranjit S

    2013-02-01

    Agricultural productivity to meet growing demands of human population is a matter of great concern for all countries. Use of green compounds to achieve the sustainable agriculture is the present necessity. This review highlights the enormous use of harsh surfactants in agricultural soil and agrochemical industries. Biosurfactants which are reported to be produced by bacteria, yeasts, and fungi can serve as green surfactants. Biosurfactants are considered to be less toxic and eco-friendly and thus several types of biosurfactants have the potential to be commercially produced for extensive applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food industries. The biosurfactants synthesized by environmental isolates also has promising role in the agricultural industry. Many rhizosphere and plant associated microbes produce biosurfactant; these biomolecules play vital role in motility, signaling, and biofilm formation, indicating that biosurfactant governs plant-microbe interaction. In agriculture, biosurfactants can be used for plant pathogen elimination and for increasing the bioavailability of nutrient for beneficial plant associated microbes. Biosurfactants can widely be applied for improving the agricultural soil quality by soil remediation. These biomolecules can replace the harsh surfactant presently being used in million dollar pesticide industries. Thus, exploring biosurfactants from environmental isolates for investigating their potential role in plant growth promotion and other related agricultural applications warrants details research. Conventional methods are followed for screening the microbial population for production of biosurfactant. However, molecular methods are fewer in reaching biosurfactants from diverse microbial population and there is need to explore novel biosurfactant from uncultured microbes in soil biosphere by using advanced methodologies like functional metagenomics.

  20. The Problem of Soil Erosion in Developing Countries--Direct and Indirect Causes and Recommendations for Reducing It to a Sustainable Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middlebrook, Cathy H.; Goode, Pamela M.

    1992-01-01

    Presents direct and indirect causes of erosion in developing countries. Identifies soil conservation developments ranging from major international policy reforms to small-scale, local farming programs. Suggests that strategies at all levels, and the political will to implement them, are needed if erosion is to be reduced to a sustainable rate. (23…