Science.gov

Sample records for agriculture environmental benefits

  1. Utilization of FGD gypsum in agriculture for environmental benefits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper will discuss the utilization of FGD gypsum in agriculture for environmental benefits. Gypsum (CaSO4 .2H2O) has been used as an agricultural soil amendment for over 250 years. It is a soluble source of calcium and sulfur for crops and has been shown to improve soil physical and chemical pr...

  2. Management considerations and environmental benefit analysis for turning food garbage into agricultural resources.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Wen-Tien

    2008-09-01

    The management of food garbage is of great importance because of its high energy consumption, potential environmental hazards and public health risks. In Taiwan, through the competent authorities at all levels and the citizens' participation in sorting household wastes, many recycling efforts have recently been implemented to further utilize it as available resources such as swine feeds and organic fertilizer by composting. As a result, a total of approximately 570 thousand metric tons was recycled with a recycling ratio of about 21.2% on a basis of food garbage generation in 2006, rising over 22% from a year earlier. These figures showed that compulsory garbage sorting has indeed dramatically increased the recycling of food garbage. The objective of this paper is to present and discuss some management considerations in turning food garbage into agricultural resources due to the compulsory garbage sorting directive in Taiwan. The description first aims at the current status in food garbage generation and its recycling, and at the regulatory polices which have become effective since 2000. It also centers on the environmental and agricultural measures on upgrading food garbage recycling. Based on the preliminary analysis of environmental benefit by the Revised 1996 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, it is obvious that composting food garbage is superior to that by traditional treatments (i.e., incineration and sanitary landfill) from the viewpoint of reducing greenhouse gases (i.e., CO(2) and CH(4)) emissions.

  3. Applications of remote sensing to precision agriculture with dual economic and environmental benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seielstad, George; Laguette, Soizik; Seelan, Santhosh K.; Lawrence, Rick; Nielsen, Gerald A.; Clay, David; Dalsted, Kevin

    2002-01-01

    In the U.S. Northern Great Plains, growing seasons are short but extremely productive. Farms and ranches are large, so many of precision agriculture's early adopters reside in the region. Crop yield maps at season's end reveal sizable variations across fields. Farm management relying upon uniform chemical applications is ineffective and wasteful. We provided information about crop and range status in near- real-time, so that in-season decisions could be made to optimize final yields and minimize environmental degradation. We created learning communities, in which information is shared among scientists, farmers, ranchers, and data providers. The new information for agricultural producers was satellite and aerial imagery. Value-added information was derived from ETM+, AVHRR, IKONOS, and MIDOS sensors. The emphasis was on reducing the time between acquisition of data by a satellite and delivery of value-added products to farmers and ranchers. To distribute large spatial data sets in short times to rural users we relied upon satellite transmission (Direct PC). Results include: (1) management zone delineation, (2) variable-rate fertilizer applications, (3) weed detection, (4) irrigation efficiency determination, (5) detection of insect infestation, (6) specification of crop damage due to inadvertent chemical application, and (7) determination of livestock carrying capabilities on rangelands.

  4. Projecting Future Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Agriculture: Importance of Ecological Feedbacks and the Environmental Benefits of Improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, D.; Zhang, X.; Shevliakova, E.; Malyshev, S.; Mauzerall, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) presents a triple threat to the global environment: it is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, the largest remaining anthropogenic contributor to stratospheric ozone depletion, and an important component of the nitrogen (N) cascade - where one atom of N can interconvert between a number of forms, each with a unique set of environmental impacts. Here we use a dynamic vegetation model (Princeton-Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) LM3 - the interactive land component of the GFDL Earth System Model) to assess how changes in future climate, land-use, and global fertilizer and manure application are projected to affect global N2O emissions from agriculture by 2050. Agricultural land is defined in this study as the sum of cropland and pasture. In a baseline scenario assuming little improvement in global N use efficiency (NUE) by 2050, the model projects a 24-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions (with the uncertainty range stemming from differences in climate forcing, land-use and fertilizer and manure consumption between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, the two climate scenarios used in this study) - rising from 2.9 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 1990-2000 to 3.6-3.8 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 2040-2050. This emission increase is considerably less than the projected increases in global fertilizer and manure consumption (42-44%) and previously published projections of global agricultural N2O emission increases (38-75% - again, the uncertainty range reflecting the differences between the climate scenarios used). This disparity appears to be a result of ecological feedbacks captured by the model, where a considerable portion of the increase in fertilizer and manure use is absorbed by agricultural plant biomass rather than lost to the environment. In addition to this dynamic, the model projects that improvements in global NUE of 20-50% could reduce global N2O emissions significantly, delivering important climate and stratospheric ozone benefits over the period

  5. 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…

  6. Environmental benefits of biochar.

    PubMed

    Ippolito, James A; Laird, David A; Busscher, Warren J

    2012-01-01

    Understanding and improving environmental quality by reducing soil nutrient leaching losses, reducing bioavailability of environmental contaminants, sequestering C, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and enhancing crop productivity in highly weathered or degraded soils, has been the goal of agroecosystem researchers and producers for years. Biochar, produced by pyrolysis of biomass, may help attain these goals. The desire to advance understanding of the environmental and agronomic implication of biochar utilization led to the organization of the 2010 American Society of Agronomy-Soil Science Society of America Environmental Quality Division session titled "Biochar Effects on the Environment and Agricultural Productivity." This specialized session and sessions from other biochar conferences, such as the 2010 U.S. Biochar Initiative and the Biochar Symposium 2010 are the sources for this special manuscript collection. Individual contributions address improvement of the biochar knowledge base, current information gaps, and future biochar research needs. The prospect of biochar utilization is promising, as biochars may be customized for specific environmental applications.

  7. Changes in historical Iowa land cover as context for assessing the environmental benefits of current and future conservation efforts on agricultural lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, Alisa L.; Sadinski, Walt; Roth, Mark F.; Rewa, Charles A.

    2011-01-01

    Conservationists and agriculturists face unprecedented challenges trying to minimize tradeoffs between increasing demands for food, fiber, feed, and biofuels and the resulting loss or reduced values of other ecosystem services, such as those derived from wetlands and biodiversity (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment 2005a, 2005c; Maresch et al. 2008). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-234, Stat. 923, HR 2419, also known as the 2008 Farm Bill) reauthorized the USDA to provide financial incentives for agricultural producers to reduce environmental impacts via multiple conservation programs. Two prominent programs, the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide incentives for producers to retire environmentally sensitive croplands, minimize erosion, improve water quality, restore wetlands, and provide wildlife habitat (USDA FSA 2008a, 2008b; USDA NRCS 2002). Other conservation programs (e.g., Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program) provide incentives to implement structural and cultural conservation practices to improve the environmental performance of working agricultural lands. Through its Conservation Effects Assessment Project, USDA is supporting evaluation of the environmental benefits obtained from the public investment in conservation programs and practices to inform decisions on where further investments are warranted (Duriancik et al. 2008; Zinn 1997).

  8. The costly benefits of opposing agricultural biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Apel, Andrew

    2010-11-30

    Rigorous application of a simple definition of what constitutes opposition to agricultural biotechnology readily encompasses a wide array of key players in national and international systems of food production, distribution and governance. Even though the sum of political and financial benefits of opposing agricultural biotechnology appears vastly to outweigh the benefits which accrue to providers of agricultural biotechnology, technology providers actually benefit from this opposition. If these barriers to biotechnology were removed, subsistence farmers still would not represent a lucrative market for improved seed. The sum of all interests involved ensures that subsistence farmers are systematically denied access to agricultural biotechnology.

  9. Benefits to world agriculture through remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffalano, A. C.; Kochanowski, P.

    1976-01-01

    Remote sensing of agricultural land permits crop classification and mensuration which can lead to improved forecasts of production. This technique is particularly important for nations which do not already have an accurate agricultural reporting system. Better forecasts have important economic effects. International grain traders can make better decisions about when to store, buy, and sell. Farmers can make better planting decisions by taking advantage of production estimates for areas out of phase with their own agricultural calendar. World economic benefits will accrue to both buyers and sellers because of increased food supply and price stabilization. This paper reviews the econometric models used to establish this scenario and estimates the dollar value of benefits for world wheat as 200 million dollars annually for the United States and 300 to 400 million dollars annually for the rest of the world.

  10. Environmental benefits of chemical propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, Joyce A.; Goldberg, Benjamin E.; Anderson, David M.

    1995-01-01

    This paper identifies the necessity of chemical propulsion to satellite usage and some of the benefits accrued through monitoring global resources and patterns, including the Global Climate Change Model (GCM). The paper also summarized how the satellite observations are used to affect national and international policies. Chemical propulsion, like all environmentally conscious industries, does provide limited, controlled pollutant sources through its manufacture and usage. However, chemical propulsion is the sole source which enables mankind to launch spacecraft and monitor the Earth. The information provided by remote sensing directly affects national and international policies designed to protect the environment and enhance the overall quality of life on Earth. The resultant of chemical propulsion is the capability to reduce overall pollutant emissions to the benefit of mankind.

  11. Climate Action Benefits: Agriculture and Forestry

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This page provides background on the relationship between agriculture, forestry, and climate change and describes what the CIRA Agriculture and Forestry analyses cover. It provides links to the subsectors Crop and Forest Yields and Market Impacts.

  12. Evaluating the Benefits of Peri-Urban Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Brinkley, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    By uniting literature from farmland preservation, growth management, food systems, economics, bioengineering, and environmental studies, this article provides an overview and valuation of the services that farms provide for urban areas. This article first analyzes the mission statements of 130 nationally accredited land trusts to ascertain the criteria used in preserving farmland. Land trusts present uniform preference for parcels that provide ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, viewsheds, local heritage, and agricultural productivity. The list of benefits provided by land trusts was compared to a literature review drawing from farmland amenity, agritourism, farmland preservation, and ecosystems studies to reveal the range of market values for the various benefits of farmland. The market value of farmland services varies from −$37,541 to 124,000 per acre depending on the method of analysis and location of the farm. This research has strong implications for land-use planning, economic opportunities, and ecosystems infrastructure in peri-urban areas. PMID:25324593

  13. Evaluating the Benefits of Peri-Urban Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Brinkley, Catherine

    2012-08-01

    By uniting literature from farmland preservation, growth management, food systems, economics, bioengineering, and environmental studies, this article provides an overview and valuation of the services that farms provide for urban areas. This article first analyzes the mission statements of 130 nationally accredited land trusts to ascertain the criteria used in preserving farmland. Land trusts present uniform preference for parcels that provide ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, viewsheds, local heritage, and agricultural productivity. The list of benefits provided by land trusts was compared to a literature review drawing from farmland amenity, agritourism, farmland preservation, and ecosystems studies to reveal the range of market values for the various benefits of farmland. The market value of farmland services varies from -$37,541 to 124,000 per acre depending on the method of analysis and location of the farm. This research has strong implications for land-use planning, economic opportunities, and ecosystems infrastructure in peri-urban areas.

  14. Benefits of Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs: A Synthesis of Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, David L.; Dyer, James E.

    1997-01-01

    A review of literature from 1964 to 1993 identified the benefits of supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs, including agriculture knowledge and positive work attitudes. Classroom, SAE, and Future Farmers of America complemented each other. The research base is state specific and fragmented and lacks cohesiveness. (SK)

  15. The benefits of improved technologies in agricultural aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lietzke, K.; Abram, P.; Braen, C.; Givens, S.; Hazelrigg, G. A., Jr.; Fish, R.; Clyne, F.; Sand, F.

    1977-01-01

    The results are present for a study of the economic benefits attributed to a variety of potential technological improvements in agricultural aviation. Part 1 gives a general description of the ag-air industry and discusses the information used in the data base to estimate the potential benefits from technological improvements. Part 2 presents the benefit estimates and provides a quantitative basis for the estimates in each area study. Part 3 is a bibliography of references relating to this study.

  16. Environmental costing for agriculture: Will it be standard fare in the farm bill of 2000

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, V.K. )

    1992-12-01

    This paper starts by discussing and estimating the environmental costs of agricultural production. The author uses a separate benefit transfer intended to expose methodological issues to construct each cost category of agricultures's external effects. This is followed by a simple description of the framework for production decisions that account for environmental costs. Included are attribution of environmental externalities and measurement of environmental costs. Finally the author discusses research implications of environmental costing, including TQM and environmental policy analyses, environmental services and their unit values, strategies for measuring environmental values, and prognosis for agricultural adders. 42 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  17. Impacts of antibiotic use in agriculture: what are the benefits and risks?

    PubMed

    Durso, Lisa M; Cook, Kimberly L

    2014-06-01

    Antibiotic drugs provide clear benefits for food animal health and welfare, while simultaneously providing clear risks due to enrichment of resistant microorganisms. There is no consensus, however, on how to evaluate benefits and risks of antibiotic use in agriculture, or the impact on public health. Recent soil resistome work emphasizes the importance of environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance (AR), and provides a starting point for distinguishing AR that can be impacted by agricultural practices from AR naturally present in a system. Manure is the primary vehicle introducing antibiotic drugs, AR bacteria and AR genes from animals into the environment. Manure management, therefore, impacts the transfer of AR from agricultural to human clinical settings via soil, water, and food. Ongoing research on the ecology of naturally occurring and anthropogenically derived AR in agroecosystems is necessary to adequately quantify the benefits and risks associated with use of antibiotics in food animals.

  18. Environmental benefits vs. costs of geologic mapping

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bhagwat, S.B.; Berg, R.C.

    1992-01-01

    Boone and Winnebago Counties, Illinois, U.S.A., were selected for this study, required by the Illinois State Senate, because mapping and environmental interpretations were completed there in 1981. Costs of geologic mapping in these counties in 1990 dollars were $290,000. Two estimates of costs of statewide mapping were made, one extrapolated from Boone and Winnebago Counties ($21 million), the other estimated on the basis of differences between the Boone/Winnebago program and proposed mapping program for the State of Illinois ($55 million). Benefits of geologic information come in the form of future avoided costs for environmental cleanup. Only the quantifiable data, available from a few sites, were included. Data collection, based on 55 personal interviews in Boone and Winnebago Counties, were grouped into four cumulative categories with increasing variability. Geologic maps alone cannot account for all avoided costs of future cleanup. Therefore, estimated benefits were reduced by 50, 75, and 90 percent in three scenarios. To account for delays in proper utilization of knowledge gained from a mapping program, a 10-yr delay in benefit realization was assumed. All benefits were converted to 1990 dollars. In benefit category 4, benefit-cost ratios for Boone/Winnebago Counties ranged between 5 and 55. Statewide projection of benefits was based on county areas and an aquifer contamination potential score for each county. Statewide benefit-cost ratio in benefit category 4 ranged from 1.2 to 14 ($21 million mapping costs) and from 0.5 to 5.4 ($55 million mapping costs). ?? 1992 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  19. Environmental benefits of underground coal gasification.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shu-qin; Liu, Jun-hua; Yu, Li

    2002-04-01

    Environmental benefits of underground coal gasification are evaluated. The results showed that through underground coal gasification, gangue discharge is eliminated, sulfur emission is reduced, and the amount of ash, mercury, and tar discharge are decreased. Moreover, effect of underground gasification on underground water is analyzed and CO2 disposal method is put forward.

  20. Environmental behavior and analysis of agricultural sulfur.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Corey M; Woodrow, James E; Seiber, James N

    2015-11-01

    Sulfur has been widely used for centuries as a staple for pest and disease management in agriculture. Presently, it is the largest-volume pesticide in use worldwide. This review describes the sources and recovery methods for sulfur, its allotropic forms and properties and its agricultural uses, including development and potential advantages of nanosulfur as a fungicide. Chemical and microbial reactivity, interactions in soil and water and analytical methods for determination in environmental samples and foodstuffs, including inexpensive analytical methods for sulfur residues in wine, beer and other food/beverage substrates, will be reviewed. The toxicology of sulfur towards humans and agriculturally important fungi is included, with some restrictions on use to promote safety. The review concludes with areas for which more research is warranted.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cary, John; Roberts, Anna

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Guide to Calculating Environmental Benefits from EPA Enforcement Cases

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The “Guide to Calculating Environmental Benefits from EPA Enforcement Cases” establishes a framework for identifying and characterizing environmental benefits that are reported on the CCDS and entered in the Integrated Information Compliance System (ICIS).

  5. Climate change mitigation for agriculture: water quality benefits and costs.

    PubMed

    Wilcock, Robert; Elliott, Sandy; Hudson, Neale; Parkyn, Stephanie; Quinn, John

    2008-01-01

    New Zealand is unique in that half of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory derives from agriculture--predominantly as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), in a 2:1 ratio. The remaining GHG emissions predominantly comprise carbon dioxide (CO2) deriving from energy and industry sources. Proposed strategies to mitigate emissions of CH4 and N2O from pastoral agriculture in New Zealand are: (1) utilising extensive and riparian afforestation of pasture to achieve CO2 uptake (carbon sequestration); (2) management of nitrogen through budgeting and/or the use of nitrification inhibitors, and minimizing soil anoxia to reduce N2O emissions; and (3) utilisation of alternative waste treatment technologies to minimise emissions of CH4. These mitigation measures have associated co-benefits and co-costs (disadvantages) for rivers, streams and lakes because they affect land use, runoff loads, and receiving water and habitat quality. Extensive afforestation results in lower specific yields (exports) of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), suspended sediment (SS) and faecal matter and also has benefits for stream habitat quality by improving stream temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH regimes through greater shading, and the supply of woody debris and terrestrial food resources. Riparian afforestation does not achieve the same reductions in exports as extensive afforestation but can achieve reductions in concentrations of N, P, SS and faecal organisms. Extensive afforestation of pasture leads to reduced water yields and stream flows. Both afforestation measures produce intermittent disturbances to waterways during forestry operations (logging and thinning), resulting in sediment release from channel re-stabilisation and localised flooding, including formation of debris dams at culverts. Soil and fertiliser management benefits aquatic ecosystems by reducing N exports but the use of nitrification inhibitors, viz. dicyandiamide (DCD), to achieve this may under some circumstances

  6. Environmental Protection Tools in Agricultural Management Works

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glowacka, Agnieszka; Taszakowski, Jaroslaw; Janus, Jaroslaw; Bozek, Piotr

    2016-10-01

    Land consolidation is a fundamental instrument for agricultural management. It facilitates comprehensive changes in the agricultural, social, and ecological domains. Consolidation and post-consolidation development-related investments are an opportunity to improve living conditions in rural areas, and simultaneously ensure its positive impact on the environment. One of the primary goals of consolidation, directly specified in the Act on land consolidation, is to improve farming conditions. In Poland, consolidation is possible due to EU funds: RDP 2007-2013 and RDP 2014-2020. In order for individual villages to be granted EU funds for consolidation and post-consolidation development under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, their consolidation has to implement actions with positive impact on the environment and the landscape. The goal of this paper is to analyse documentation in the form of assumptions for a land consolidation project enclosed to an RDP 2014-2020 grant application and project information sheets as the basis for environmental impact assessment in the context of detailed presentation of environmental protection solutions that ensure a positive impact of the project on the environment and landscape. The detailed study involved 9 villages in the Malopolskie Voivodeship, which applied for EU grants for land consolidation in the current financial perspective. The paper specifies the existing state of the analysed villages as regards the natural environment, lists agricultural management instruments that have a positive impact on the environment, and demonstrates that planning of actions aimed at environmental protection is a necessary element of assumptions for land consolidation projects.

  7. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  8. Plastic mulching in agriculture. Trading short-term agronomic benefits for long-term soil degradation?

    PubMed

    Steinmetz, Zacharias; Wollmann, Claudia; Schaefer, Miriam; Buchmann, Christian; David, Jan; Tröger, Josephine; Muñoz, Katherine; Frör, Oliver; Schaumann, Gabriele Ellen

    2016-04-15

    Plastic mulching has become a globally applied agricultural practice for its instant economic benefits such as higher yields, earlier harvests, improved fruit quality and increased water-use efficiency. However, knowledge of the sustainability of plastic mulching remains vague in terms of both an environmental and agronomic perspective. This review critically discusses the current understanding of the environmental impact of plastic mulch use by linking knowledge of agricultural benefits and research on the life cycle of plastic mulches with direct and indirect implications for long-term soil quality and ecosystem services. Adverse effects may arise from plastic additives, enhanced pesticide runoff and plastic residues likely to fragment into microplastics but remaining chemically intact and accumulating in soil where they can successively sorb agrochemicals. The quantification of microplastics in soil remains challenging due to the lack of appropriate analytical techniques. The cost and effort of recovering and recycling used mulching films may offset the aforementioned benefits in the long term. However, comparative and long-term agronomic assessments have not yet been conducted. Furthermore, plastic mulches have the potential to alter soil quality by shifting the edaphic biocoenosis (e.g. towards mycotoxigenic fungi), accelerate C/N metabolism eventually depleting soil organic matter stocks, increase soil water repellency and favour the release of greenhouse gases. A substantial process understanding of the interactions between the soil microclimate, water supply and biological activity under plastic mulches is still lacking but required to estimate potential risks for long-term soil quality. Currently, farmers mostly base their decision to apply plastic mulches rather on expected short-term benefits than on the consideration of long-term consequences. Future interdisciplinary research should therefore gain a deeper understanding of the incentives for farmers

  9. Parental Perceptions of the Benefits Vocational Agriculture Students Derive from Supervised Occupational Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rawls, Willie J.

    1980-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine the benefits vocational agriculture students derive from supervised occupational experience (SOE) as perceived by parents. Three clusters of benefits which vocational agriculture students derived from SOE were identified: work attitude, occupational development, and human relations skills. (LRA)

  10. Environmental Response Laboratory Network Membership and Benefits

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Member laboratories must meet core requirements including quality systems, policies and procedures, sample and data management, and analytical capabilities. Benefits include training and exercise opportunities, information sharing and technical support.

  11. Benefits for agriculture and the environment from urban waste.

    PubMed

    Sortino, Orazio; Montoneri, Enzo; Patanè, Cristina; Rosato, Roberta; Tabasso, Silvia; Ginepro, Marco

    2014-07-15

    Soluble bio-based substances (SBO) that have been isolated from urban biowaste have recently been reported to enhance plant leaf chlorophyll content and growth. The same SBO have also been shown to enhance the photochemical degradation of organic pollutants in industrial effluent. These findings suggest that SBO may promote either C fixation or mineralization, according to operating conditions. The present work aims to investigate SBO performance, as a function of source material. Thus, three materials have been sampled from a municipal waste treatment plant: (i) the digestate of the anaerobic fermentation of a humid organic fraction, (ii) a whole vegetable compost made from gardening residues and (iii) compost made from a mixture of digestate, gardening residues and sewage sludge. These materials were hydrolyzed at pH13 and 60°C to yield SBO that display different chemical compositions. These products were applied to soil at 30, 145 and 500 kg ha(-1) doses for tomato cultivation. Soil and plant leaf chemical composition, plant growth, leaf chlorophyll content and CO2 exchange rate as well as fruit quality and production rate were measured. Although it did not affect the soil's chemical composition, SBO were found to significantly increase plant photosynthetic activity, growth and productivity up to the maximum value achieved at 145 kg ha(-1). The effects were analyzed as a function of SBO chemical composition and applied dose. The results of this work, compared with those of previous works, indicate that urban biowaste, if properly exploited, may furnish conjugate economic and environmental benefits, within a friendly sustainable ecosystem.

  12. The Benefits of Improving Indoor Environmental Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamping, Jerry

    2012-01-01

    As school funding levels nationwide continue to plummet amid public demands for increased student performance, an expanding body of research in the field of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is providing greater statistical validity about the relationship between environmental conditions in school facilities and student achievement. Since the…

  13. Environmental impacts and production performances of organic agriculture in China: A monetary valuation.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fanqiao; Qiao, Yuhui; Wu, Wenliang; Smith, Pete; Scott, Steffanie

    2017-03-01

    Organic agriculture has developed rapidly in China since the 1990s, driven by the increasing domestic and international demand for organic products. Quantification of the environmental benefits and production performances of organic agriculture on a national scale helps to develop sustainable high yielding agricultural production systems with minimum impacts on the environment. Data of organic production for 2013 were obtained from a national survey organized by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China. Farming performance and environmental impact indicators were screened and indicator values were defined based on an intensive literature review and were validated by national statistics. The economic (monetary) values of farming inputs, crop production and individual environmental benefits were then quantified and integrated to compare the overall performances of organic vs. conventional agriculture. In 2013, organically managed farmland accounted for approximately 0.97% of national arable land, covering 1.158 million ha. If organic crop yields were assumed to be 10%-15% lower than conventional yields, the environmental benefits of organic agriculture (i.e., a decrease in nitrate leaching, an increase in farmland biodiversity, an increase in carbon sequestration and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions) were valued at 1921 million RMB (320.2 million USD), or 1659 RMB (276.5 USD) per ha. By reducing the farming inputs, the costs saved was 3110 million RMB (518.3 million USD), or 2686 RMB (447.7 USD) per ha. The economic loss associated with the decrease in crop yields from organic agriculture was valued at 6115 million RMB (1019.2 million USD), or 5280 RMB (880 USD) per ha. Although they were likely underestimated because of the complex relationships among farming operations, ecosystems and humans, the production costs saved and environmental benefits of organic agriculture that were quantified in our study compensated substantially for the

  14. Valuing the Environmental Benefits of Urban WaterConservation

    SciTech Connect

    Coughlin, Katie M.; Bolduc, Chris A.; Chan, Peter T.; Dunham-Whitehead, C.; Van Buskirk, R.D.

    2007-05-01

    This report documents a project undertaken for theCalifornia Urban Water Conservation Council (the Council) to create a newmethod of accounting for the diverse environmental benefits of raw watersavings. The environmental benefits (EB) model was designed to providewater utilities with a practical tool that they can use to assign amonetary value to the benefits that may accrue from implementing any ofthe Council-recommended Best Management Practices. The model treats onlyenvironmental services associated directly with water, and is intended tocover miscellaneous impacts that are not currently accounted for in anyother cost-benefit analysis.

  15. Economic and environmental benefits of fluidized bed

    SciTech Connect

    Maitland, J.

    1997-12-31

    The control of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides within the process design, with little need for additional environmental controls external to the boiler, is a unique feature of the fluid bed technology. CFB`s unparalleled ability to achieve low NOx emissions is possible due to its low combustion temperature and by the careful design of air admission to the combustion zones. The addition of selected sorbents to capture sulfur dioxide within the boiler results in low SOx emissions and a dry waste product for ease of disposal. This paper will focus on the design and operating performance of CFBs from the environmental viewpoint. What factors affect emissions? What options are available? Case histories will be used to illustrate the proven track record of CFB in meeting specific emissions requirements for different plant sites.

  16. Teaching Materials for Environmental Related Courses in Agriculture Occupations Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bohning, Kermit B.; Stitt, Thomas R.

    The lesson plans were designed to provide the practicing applied biological and agricultural occupations teacher with a series of units setting down a basic foundation in Environmental Education. Nine lesson plans cover (1) ecosystems and agriculture, (2) biotic communities and food chains, (3) energy and nutrient flow, (4) land use and supply,…

  17. Motivational Postures and Compliance with Environmental Law in Australian Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartel, Robyn; Barclay, Elaine

    2011-01-01

    Motivational posture theory is applied and extended to the context of Australian agriculture and environmental regulation. Regulatory failure in this area has been observed but little was known of the compliance attitudes and behaviours of farmers prior to this study. Agriculture covers over 60% of Australia's land surface so this information is…

  18. Hands-On Activities and Challenge Tests in Agricultural and Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poudel, D. D.; Vincent, L. M.; Anzalone, C.; Huner, J.; Wollard, D.; Clement, T.; DeRamus, A.; Blakewood, G.

    2005-01-01

    Many agricultural and environmental problems are interrelated and overlapping. Several agencies, including nonprofit organizations, have developed programs to educate schoolchildren about agricultural and environmental issues; however, programs that integrate both agricultural and environmental learning, especially among middle and high school…

  19. The Benefits of FFA Membership as Part of Agricultural Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Chelsea; Stephens, Carrie A.; Stripling, Christopher; Cross, Tim; Sanok, Danielle E.; Brawner, Shelby

    2016-01-01

    The study sought to identify the benefits of FFA membership based on the fulfillment of three basic human needs: love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. The study focused on the fulfillment of FFA members' basic human needs as defined by Abraham Maslow. The three needs on which this study focused are: love and belonging,…

  20. Tracking environmental dynamics and agricultural intensification in southern Mali

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tappan, Gary; McGahuey, M.

    2007-01-01

    The Office de la Haute Vallée du Fleuve Niger (OHVN) zone in southern Mali is a small but important agricultural production region. Against a background of environmental degradation including decades of declining rainfall, soil erosion, and human pressure on forest resources, numerous farming communities stand out through the use of improved soil and water management practices that have improved agricultural and environmental conditions. Field surveys conducted in 1998–2001 indicated that environmental and agricultural conditions have improved in the past decade. In an effort to better quantify environmental trends, we conducted a study using medium- and high-resolution remotely sensed images from 1965 to 2001 in order to analyze land use and land cover trends in 21 village territories. The trends show clear indications of agricultural intensification and diversification among villages that have received assistance from the OHVN agricultural development agency. Some communities have improved environmental conditions by protecting their forest resources through community management actions. Four decades of remotely sensed images played a practical role in tracking and quantifying environmental and agricultural conditions over time.

  1. Assessing multiregion avian benefits from strategically targeted agricultural buffers.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kristine O; Burger, L Wes; Riffell, Sam; Smith, Mark D

    2014-08-01

    Mounting evidence of wildlife population gains from targeted conservation practices has prompted the need to develop and evaluate practices that are integrated into production agriculture systems and targeted toward specific habitat objectives. However, effectiveness of targeted conservation actions across broader landscapes is poorly understood. We evaluated multiregion, multispecies avian densities on row-crop fields with native grass field margins (i.e., buffers) as part of the first U.S. agricultural conservation practice designed to support habitat and population recovery objectives of a national wildlife conservation initiative. We coordinated breeding season point transect surveys for 6 grassland bird species on 1151 row-crop fields with and without native grass buffers (9-37 m) in 14 U.S. states (10 ecoregions) from 2006 to 2011. In most regions, breeding season densities of 5 of 6 targeted bird species were greater in the 500-m surrounding survey points centered on fields with native grass buffers than in landscapes without buffers. Relative effect sizes were greatest for Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), and Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla) in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Eastern Tallgrass Prairie regions. Other species (e.g., Eastern Meadowlark [Sturnella magna], Grasshopper Sparrow [Ammodramus savannarum]) exhibited inconsistent relative effect sizes. Bird densities on fields with and without buffers were greatest in the Central Mixed-grass Prairie region. Our results suggest that strategic use of conservation buffers in regions with the greatest potential for relative density increases in target species will elicit greater range-wide population response than diffuse, uninformed, and broadly distributed implementation of buffers. We recommend integrating multiple conservation practices in broader agricultural landscapes to maximize conservation effectiveness for a larger suite of species.

  2. 16 CFR 260.4 - General environmental benefit claims.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... USE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MARKETING CLAIMS § 260.4 General environmental benefit claims. (a) It is... is now “Greener than our previous packaging.” The packaging weighs 15% less than previous packaging... deceptive because reasonable consumers likely would interpret “Greener” in this context to mean that...

  3. Ecological risk assessment benefits environmental management

    SciTech Connect

    Fairbrother, A.; Kapustka, L.A.; Williams, B.A.; Glicken, J.

    1994-12-31

    The ecological risk assessment process in its ideal form is an unbiased approach for assessing the probability of harm to the environment as a consequence of a given action. This information can then be combined with other societal values and biases in the management of such risks. However, as the process currently is understood, decision makers often are accused of manipulating information in order to generate decisions or achieve buy in from the public in support of a particular political agenda. A clear understanding of the nature of the risk management process can help define areas where information should be free from social or personal bias, and areas where values and judgments are critical. The authors do not propose to discuss the individual`s decision-making process, but rather to address the social process of risk communication and environmentally-related decision-making, identifying which parts of that process require bias-free, scientifically generated information about the consequences of various actions and which parts need an understanding of the social values which underlie the informed choices among those possible actions.

  4. Environmental Co-Benefit Opportunities of Solar Energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, R. R.; Armstrong, A.; Burney, J. A.; Easter, S. B.; Hoffacker, M. K.; Moore, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Solar energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an order of magnitude when substituted for fossil fuels. Nonetheless, the strategic deployment of solar energy—from single, rooftop modules to utility-scale solar energy power plants—can confer additional environmental co-benefits beyond its immediate use as a low carbon energy source. In this study, we identify a diverse portfolio of environmental co-benefit opportunities of solar energy technologies resulting from synergistic innovations in land, food, energy, and water systems. For each opportunity, we provide a demonstrative, quantitative framework for environmental co-benefit valuation—including, equations, models, or case studies for estimating carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) and cost savings ($US) averted by environmental co-benefit opportunities of solar energy—and imminent research questions to improve certainty of valuations. As land-energy-food-water nexus issues are increasingly exigent in 21st century, we show that environmental co-benefit opportunities of solar energy are feasible in numerous environments and at a wide range of spatial scales thereby able to contribute to local and regional environmental goals and for the mitigation of climate change.

  5. Estimating environmental benefits of energy programs

    SciTech Connect

    Baechler, M.C.; Schrock, D.W.

    1995-07-01

    Three national reporting programs that either collect or report information on energy savings and the associated emissions reductions from DSM programs are the Conservation Verification Protocols (CVP), the Greenhouse Gas Voluntary Reporting Program (VRP), and the Green Lights Program. The CVP were enacted to report the atmospheric emissions reductions of S0{sub 2} and N0{sub 2}. The VRP was mandated in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) Section 1605(b) to report CO{sub 2}, emissions reductions. Green Lights is a program designed to reduce emissions by encouraging energy-efficient lighting. In this paper we concentrate on how the verification methods, default emission factors and reporting mechanisms affect the accuracy of the reported energy and emissions savings. Additionally, we focus on the dynamic nature of predicted emissions reductions to gauge the accuracy of predictions over time. If conservation programs are designed to affect existing powerplants, if no load growth is anticipated, and if existing plants will not require replacement, a simple static analysis based on an existing resource mix may be acceptable. This approach is enhanced by defining base case, intermediate, and peak resources. However, if today`s decisions will affect tomorrow`s resource decisions, or if the estimates will be used to establish important milestones (such as emission credits), it is prudent to conduct an analysis that captures most incumbent uncertainties. These uncertainties include future resource decisions and the regional character of energy resources, which may not be captured by national estimates and simple extrapolation techniques. While some estimation methods, such as use of default emission factors, produce reasonable national average numbers, the estimates may not be applicable to specific regions. The environmental and economic value of programs may be misstated.

  6. Impacts of antibiotic use in agriculture: what are the benefits and risks?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Antibiotic drugs provide clear benefits for food animal health and welfare, while simultaneously providing clear risks due to enrichment of resistant microorganisms. There is no consensus, however, on how to evaluate benefits and risks of antibiotic use in agriculture, or the impact on public health...

  7. Quantification of biophysical adaptation benefits from Climate-Smart Agriculture using a Bayesian Belief Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Nijs, Patrick J.; Berry, Nicholas J.; Wells, Geoff J.; Reay, Dave S.

    2014-10-01

    The need for smallholder farmers to adapt their practices to a changing climate is well recognised, particularly in Africa. The cost of adapting to climate change in Africa is estimated to be $20 to $30 billion per year, but the total amount pledged to finance adaptation falls significantly short of this requirement. The difficulty of assessing and monitoring when adaptation is achieved is one of the key barriers to the disbursement of performance-based adaptation finance. To demonstrate the potential of Bayesian Belief Networks for describing the impacts of specific activities on climate change resilience, we developed a simple model that incorporates climate projections, local environmental data, information from peer-reviewed literature and expert opinion to account for the adaptation benefits derived from Climate-Smart Agriculture activities in Malawi. This novel approach allows assessment of vulnerability to climate change under different land use activities and can be used to identify appropriate adaptation strategies and to quantify biophysical adaptation benefits from activities that are implemented. We suggest that multiple-indicator Bayesian Belief Network approaches can provide insights into adaptation planning for a wide range of applications and, if further explored, could be part of a set of important catalysts for the expansion of adaptation finance.

  8. Quantification of biophysical adaptation benefits from Climate-Smart Agriculture using a Bayesian Belief Network.

    PubMed

    de Nijs, Patrick J; Berry, Nicholas J; Wells, Geoff J; Reay, Dave S

    2014-10-20

    The need for smallholder farmers to adapt their practices to a changing climate is well recognised, particularly in Africa. The cost of adapting to climate change in Africa is estimated to be $20 to $30 billion per year, but the total amount pledged to finance adaptation falls significantly short of this requirement. The difficulty of assessing and monitoring when adaptation is achieved is one of the key barriers to the disbursement of performance-based adaptation finance. To demonstrate the potential of Bayesian Belief Networks for describing the impacts of specific activities on climate change resilience, we developed a simple model that incorporates climate projections, local environmental data, information from peer-reviewed literature and expert opinion to account for the adaptation benefits derived from Climate-Smart Agriculture activities in Malawi. This novel approach allows assessment of vulnerability to climate change under different land use activities and can be used to identify appropriate adaptation strategies and to quantify biophysical adaptation benefits from activities that are implemented. We suggest that multiple-indicator Bayesian Belief Network approaches can provide insights into adaptation planning for a wide range of applications and, if further explored, could be part of a set of important catalysts for the expansion of adaptation finance.

  9. Reuse of Spent Foundry Sands Yields Environmental Benefits

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Ohio State University, today released a risk assessment concluding that silica-based spent foundry sands from iron, st

  10. Stakeholder attitudes toward the risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology in developing countries: a comparison between Mexico and the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Aerni, Philipp

    2002-12-01

    Public perceptions and political debates regarding the risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology are well documented in industrialized countries. Yet, hardly any surveys have been conducted in developing countries. The following study aims to contribute to a better understanding of stakeholder attitudes toward agricultural biotechnology in developing countries. For this purpose, stakeholder representatives in the public debates in Mexico and the Philippines were asked to complete two nearly identical questionnaires on the risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology. A comparison of stakeholder attitudes in the Philippines and Mexico is interesting because it shows how the different political systems, cultural and ecological backgrounds, and the regional context of food and agriculture influence perceptions. In general, the results of the surveys indicate that the participants in both countries consider genetic engineering to be an important tool to address agricultural, nutritional, and environmental problems, and they do not regard transgenic foods as risky for consumers. However, they are concerned about the potential impact of such transgenic crops on their countries' rich biological diversity and do not believe that national biosafety guidelines will be implemented properly. Although the surveys show that stakeholder attitudes in the Philippines and Mexico are quite similar, they also highlight significant differences in perception often related to cultural and political aspects.

  11. Multiple benefits arising from novel management of agricultural ditches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jonczyk, Jennine; Barber, Nick; Quinn, Paul

    2016-04-01

    The opportunity to modify the function and dynamics of farm ditches is very high. There are many kilometres of ditch that could offer multiple benefits to pollution control and lowering flood risk. However, there is first a perception problem to overcome, in that most farmers wish to remove water from the land quickly and are irritated by the accumulation of sediment. Hence, we have built a series of demonstration ditches where the new operation of the ditch can be shown to trap substantial amounts of sediment and nutrients and also not cause any local flooding or water logging problems. The ditch itself is radically changed in shape and is widened as much as possible and usually has a flat bottom. The ditch will also contain a series of leaky barriers that will retain flow during storm events. In very large events an overflow structure is required. These features do have to be engineered to a good level of safety to avoid failure. Sediment must also be recovered from the ditch frequently (at least annually) which again could be a role fulfilled by the farmer. We will show a number of example ditch designs and the data captured in experiments. One feature typically captures 50% of the suspended sediment, 30% of total phosphorus and 20% of the nitrate in a single storm.

  12. Zoonosis emergence linked to agricultural intensification and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Jones, Bryony A; Grace, Delia; Kock, Richard; Alonso, Silvia; Rushton, Jonathan; Said, Mohammed Y; McKeever, Declan; Mutua, Florence; Young, Jarrah; McDermott, John; Pfeiffer, Dirk Udo

    2013-05-21

    A systematic review was conducted by a multidisciplinary team to analyze qualitatively best available scientific evidence on the effect of agricultural intensification and environmental changes on the risk of zoonoses for which there are epidemiological interactions between wildlife and livestock. The study found several examples in which agricultural intensification and/or environmental change were associated with an increased risk of zoonotic disease emergence, driven by the impact of an expanding human population and changing human behavior on the environment. We conclude that the rate of future zoonotic disease emergence or reemergence will be closely linked to the evolution of the agriculture-environment nexus. However, available research inadequately addresses the complexity and interrelatedness of environmental, biological, economic, and social dimensions of zoonotic pathogen emergence, which significantly limits our ability to predict, prevent, and respond to zoonotic disease emergence.

  13. The benefits of improved technologies in agricultural aviation. [economic impact and aircraft configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The economic benefits attributable to a variety of potential technological improvements in agricultural aviation are discussed. Topics covered include: the ag-air industry, the data base used to estimate the potential benefits and a summary of the potential benefits from technological improvements; ag-air activities in the United States; foreign ag-air activities; major ag-air aircraft is use and manufacturers' sales and distribution networks; and estimates of the benefits to the United States of proposed technological improvements to the aircraft and dispersal equipment. A bibliography of references is appended.

  14. Environmental benefits of growing perennial legumes in cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa offers several environmental benefits to farmers and society. Reduced nitrate leaching due to slower water flow and excellent nitrate removal are valuable in farm fields and at remediation sites. Improved N supply to following crops reduces energy use, economic costs, and greenhouse gas emis...

  15. Targeting environmental priorities in agriculture: Reforming program strategies

    SciTech Connect

    1995-09-01

    This report responds to a bipartisan request from the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. The analysis identifies priority environmental tergets across the country for quality, wildlife, and soil quality. A triparite set of programs designed to lower cost and achieve more enduring solutions illustrates possible approaches to the targets. One program strategy, the development of a new generation of technologies that retain frame profits while achieving environmental gains, has received litle emphasis but appears to hold considerable promise.

  16. Environmental Benefits and Burdens of Phosphorus Recovery from Municipal Wastewater.

    PubMed

    Bradford-Hartke, Zenah; Lane, Joe; Lant, Paul; Leslie, Gregory

    2015-07-21

    The environmental benefits and burdens of phosphorus recovery in four centralized and two decentralized municipal wastewater systems were compared using life cycle assessment (LCA). In centralized systems, phosphorus recovered as struvite from the solids dewatering liquid resulted in an environmental benefit except for the terrestrial ecotoxicity and freshwater eutrophication impact categories, with power and chemical use offset by operational savings and avoided fertilizer production. Chemical-based phosphorus recovery, however, generally required more resources than were offset by avoided fertilizers, resulting in a net environmental burden. In decentralized systems, phosphorus recovery via urine source separation reduced the global warming and ozone depletion potentials but increased terrestrial ecotoxicity and salinization potentials due to application of untreated urine to land. Overall, mineral depletion and eutrophication are well-documented arguments for phosphorus recovery; however, phosphorus recovery does not necessarily present a net environmental benefit. While avoided fertilizer production does reduce potential impacts, phosphorus recovery does not necessarily offset the resources consumed in the process. LCA results indicate that selection of an appropriate phosphorus recovery method should consider both local conditions and other environmental impacts, including global warming, ozone depletion, toxicity, and salinization, in addition to eutrophication and mineral depletion impacts.

  17. Environmentally Sound Small-Scale Agricultural Projects. Guidelines for Planning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohonk Trust, New Paltz, NY.

    This publication is the first of a series of manuals that present environmental guidelines for planning and implementing ecologically sustainable projects. Attention is particularly directed to the agricultural situation and needs of developing nations. Subject areas discussed include: (1) users and uses (identifying the major purposes of the…

  18. Environmental and Agricultural Sciences. Georgia Core Standards for Occupational Clusters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgia Univ., Athens. Dept. of Occupational Studies.

    This document lists core standards and occupational knowledge amd skills that have been identified/validated by industry as necessary to all Georgia students in secondary-level environmental and agricultural sciences programs. First, foundation skills are grouped as follows: basic skills (reading, writing, arithmetic/mathematics, listening,…

  19. 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,…

  20. Critical Thinking for Natural Resource, Agricultural, and Environmental Ethics Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinn, Courtney; Burbach, Mark E.; Matkin, Gina S.; Flores, Kevin

    2009-01-01

    Future decision makers in natural resource fields will be required to make judgments on issues that lack clear solutions and with information complicated by ethical challenges. Therefore, natural resource, environmental, and agricultural professionals must possess the ability to think critically about the consequences of policy, economic systems,…

  1. Introduction to biochar as an agricultural and environmental amendment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This introductory chapter justifies and outlines biochar for current and potential agricultural and environmental applications. Biochar is fine-grained, recalcitrant charcoal made from heating vegetative biomass, bones, manure solids, and other plant-derived organic residues in an oxygen-free or oxy...

  2. Rejuvenation of agriculture in India: Cost benefits in using EO products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayaraman, V.; Parihar, J. S.; Srivastava, S. K.

    2008-07-01

    India is looking for rejuvenating its sagging agricultural production and productivity by integrating high technology space inputs for both irrigated and rainfed areas. The Earth Observations (EO) products today serve as major inputs to policy, planning and targeted interventions, contributing to building social capitals, natural resources assets and environmental gains on the long-term basis. The benefits are mostly indirect and often difficult to quantify in terms of money. The cost benefit analysis of EO products is therefore an involved exercise and not many examples exist globally. The present paper, taking into account major national as well as some local level agriprojects in India, highlights the criticality of EO products in terms of their short-term as well as long-term economic and social values. Three aspects viz., catalytic, timeliness and enabling have been analyzed to visualize the role of EO products in a holistic fashion. In the catalytic role, EO inputs have been found to play a role in the successful implementation of major natural resources development projects. The cost of EO inputs may be of less than 2-5% to the total cost of the development projects, but the nature of such inputs are critical and catalytic. For example, a major project on reclamation of around 0.6 Mha sodic soils in Indo-Gangetic Plans costs US89 million where EO products costs less than 2%; but demonstrates their catalytic roles in terms of identification, monitoring and evaluation and as inputs to mid-course corrections. The second aspect is timeliness in terms of opportunity cost. In India, Forecasting Agricultural Output Using Space-borne, Agro-meteorological and Land Observations (FASAL) project is carried out for in-season multiple crop production forecasting in support of strategic decision on trade, price and procurements. In the past, timely forecasts from FASAL have been found to be accurate and helpful for the country to plan many of its activities, including

  3. From the Cover: Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Jason; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Tiffany, Douglas

    2006-07-01

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3%, and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels. corn | soybean | life-cycle accounting | agriculture | fossil fuel

  4. Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, J. |; Tilman, D.; Polasky, S.; Tiffany, D.

    2006-07-25

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. The authors use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3% and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels.

  5. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

  6. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

  7. Quantifying the multiple, environmental benefits of reintroducing the Eurasian Beaver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard; Puttock, Alan; Graham, Hugh; Anderson, Karen; Cunliffe, Andrew; Elliott, Mark

    2016-04-01

    Beavers are ecological engineers with an ability to modify the structure and flow of fluvial systems and create complex wetland environments with dams, ponds and canals. Consequently, beaver activity has potential for river restoration, management and the provision of multiple environmental ecosystem services including biodiversity, flood risk mitigation, water quality and sustainable drinking water provision. With the current debate surrounding the reintroduction of beavers into the United Kingdom, it is critical to monitor the impact of beavers upon the environment. We have developed and implemented a monitoring strategy to quantify the impact of reintroducing the Eurasian Beaver on multiple environmental ecosystem services and river systems at a range of scales. First, the experimental design and preliminary results will be presented from the Mid-Devon Beaver Trial, where a family of beavers has been introduced to a 3 ha enclosure situated upon a first order tributary of the River Tamar. The site was instrumented to monitor the flow rate and quality of water entering and leaving the site. Additionally, the impacts of beavers upon riparian vegetation structure, water/carbon storage were investigated. Preliminary results indicate that beaver activity, particularly the building of ponds and dams, increases water storage within the landscape and moderates the river response to rainfall. Baseflow is enhanced during dry periods and storm flow is attenuated, potentially reducing the risk of flooding downstream. Initial analysis of water quality indicates that water entering the site (running off intensively managed grasslands upslope), has higher suspended sediment loads and nitrate levels, than that leaving the site, after moving through the series of beaver ponds. These results suggest beaver activity may also act as a means by which the negative impact of diffuse water pollution from agriculture can be mitigated thus providing cleaner water in rivers downstream

  8. Climate change impacts on US agriculture and forestry: benefits of global climate stabilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beach, Robert H.; Cai, Yongxia; Thomson, Allison; Zhang, Xuesong; Jones, Russell; McCarl, Bruce A.; Crimmins, Allison; Martinich, Jeremy; Cole, Jefferson; Ohrel, Sara; DeAngelo, Benjamin; McFarland, James; Strzepek, Kenneth; Boehlert, Brent

    2015-09-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and other climate change impacts have already begun to affect US agriculture and forestry, with impacts expected to become more substantial in the future. There have been numerous studies of climate change impacts on agriculture or forestry, but relatively little research examining the long-term net impacts of a stabilization scenario relative to a case with unabated climate change. We provide an analysis of the potential benefits of global climate change mitigation for US agriculture and forestry through 2100, accounting for landowner decisions regarding land use, crop mix, and management practices. The analytic approach involves a combination of climate models, a crop process model (EPIC), a dynamic vegetation model used for forests (MC1), and an economic model of the US forestry and agricultural sector (FASOM-GHG). We find substantial impacts on productivity, commodity markets, and consumer and producer welfare for the stabilization scenario relative to unabated climate change, though the magnitude and direction of impacts vary across regions and commodities. Although there is variability in welfare impacts across climate simulations, we find positive net benefits from stabilization in all cases, with cumulative impacts ranging from 32.7 billion to 54.5 billion over the period 2015-2100. Our estimates contribute to the literature on potential benefits of GHG mitigation and can help inform policy decisions weighing alternative mitigation and adaptation actions.

  9. Climate change impacts on US agriculture and forestry: benefits of global climate stabilization

    SciTech Connect

    Beach, Robert H.; Cai, Yongxia; Thomson, Allison; Zhang, Xuesong; Jones, Russell; McCarl, Bruce A.; Crimmins, Allison; Martinich, Jeremy; Cole, Jefferson; Ohrel, Sara; DeAngelo, Benjamin; McFarland, James; Strzepek, Kenneth; Boehlert, Brent

    2015-09-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and other climate change impacts have already begun to affect US agriculture and forestry, with impacts expected to become more substantial in the future. There have been numerous studies of climate change impacts on agriculture or forestry, but relatively little research examining the long-term net impacts of a stabilization scenario relative to a case with unabated climate change. We provide an analysis of the potential benefits of global climate change mitigation for US agriculture and forestry through 2100, accounting for landowner decisions regarding land use, crop mix, and management practices. The analytic approach involves a combination of climate models, a crop process model (EPIC), a dynamic vegetation model used for forests (MC1), and an economic model of the US forestry and agricultural sector (FASOM-GHG). We find substantial impacts on productivity, commodity markets, and consumer and producer welfare for the stabilization scenario relative to unabated climate change, though the magnitude and direction of impacts vary across regions and commodities. Although there is variability in welfare impacts across climate simulations, we find positive net benefits from stabilization in all cases, with cumulative impacts ranging from $32.7 billion to $54.5 billion over the period 2015-2100. Our estimates contribute to the literature on potential benefits of GHG mitigation and can help inform policy decisions weighing alternative mitigation and adaptation actions.

  10. Trade in the US and Mexico helps reduce environmental costs of agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Melendez, Luz A.; Bennett, Elena M.

    2016-05-01

    Increasing international crop trade has enlarged global shares of cropland, water and fertilizers used to grow crops for export. Crop trade can reduce the environmental burden on importing countries, which benefit from embedded environmental resources in imported crops, and from avoided environmental impacts of production in their territory. International trade can also reduce the universal environmental impact of food production if crops are grown where they are produced in the most environmentally efficient way. We compared production efficiencies for the same crops in the US and Mexico to determine whether current crop trade between these two countries provides an overall benefit to the environment. Our economic and environmental accounting for the key traded crops from 2010 to 2014 shows that exports to Mexico are just 3% (∼16 thousand Gg) of the total production of these crops in the US, and exports to US represent roughly 0.13% (∼46 Gg) of Mexican total production of the same crops. Yields were higher in US than Mexico for all crops except wheat. Use of nitrogen fertilizer was higher in US than in Mexico for all crops except corn. Current trade reduces some, but not all, environmental costs of agriculture. A counterfactual trade scenario showed that an overall annual reduction in cultivated land (∼371 thousand ha), water use (∼923 million m3), fertilizer use (∼122 Gg; ∼68 Gg nitrogen) and pollution (∼681 tonnes of N2O emissions to the atmosphere and ∼511 tonnes of leached nitrogen) can be achieved by changing the composition of food products traded. In this case, corn, soybeans and rice should be grown in the US, while wheat, sorghum and barley should be grown in Mexico. Assigning greater economic weight to the environmental costs of agriculture might improve the balance of trade to be more universally beneficial, environmentally.

  11. Environmental Emissions Nonenergy Benefits Working Paper: ARRA Period

    SciTech Connect

    Carroll, David; Bausch, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    Weatherization reduces energy usage by low-income households, and thereby reduces the environmental impacts of the production and consumption of energy and reduces the social costs associated with those environmental impacts. The nonenergy benefits study conducted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) evaluation focused on measuring the emissions reductions resulting from WAP program energy usage reductions and estimating the societal value of those emission reductions. While there are other environmental impacts associated with the WAP program, this study focused on emissions impacts because the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) report Hidden Costs of Energy: The Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use recommended that Congress focus on emissions costs because they have the highest documented social impact costs

  12. Environmental Salmonella in agricultural fair poultry exhibits in Colorado.

    PubMed

    Pabilonia, K L; Cadmus, K J; Lingus, T M; Bolte, D S; Russell, M M; Van Metre, D C; Erdman, M M

    2014-03-01

    Salmonella enterica is a common zoonotic pathogen in humans. Transmission typically occurs through consumption of contaminated food products or contact with infected animals, including poultry or their environment. The objective of this study was to estimate the frequency of Salmonella contamination in the environment in poultry exhibits at agricultural fairs. Samples were collected from cages, feed, floors and tables in the exhibit and cultured for Salmonella. At least one environmental sample was positive for Salmonella in 10 of 11 fairs (91%), and Salmonella was isolated from 28 of 55 environmental samples (50.9%). Eleven different serotypes were detected. Results of this study demonstrate that environmental surfaces at agricultural fairs can be contaminated with Salmonella and could potentially serve as a route of transmission to bird owners and the general public. Poultry owners and the general public should be educated about the risks of Salmonella infection from the poultry exhibit environment. Agricultural fairs should consider instituting policies and practices to improve hygiene and mitigate the risk of zoonotic salmonellosis.

  13. Green roof valuation: a probabilistic economic analysis of environmental benefits.

    PubMed

    Clark, Corrie; Adriaens, Peter; Talbot, F Brian

    2008-03-15

    Green (vegetated) roofs have gained global acceptance as a technologythat has the potential to help mitigate the multifaceted, complex environmental problems of urban centers. While policies that encourage green roofs exist atthe local and regional level, installation costs remain at a premium and deter investment in this technology. The objective of this paper is to quantitatively integrate the range of stormwater, energy, and air pollution benefits of green roofs into an economic model that captures the building-specific scale. Currently, green roofs are primarily valued on increased roof longevity, reduced stormwater runoff, and decreased building energy consumption. Proper valuation of these benefits can reduce the present value of a green roof if investors look beyond the upfront capital costs. Net present value (NPV) analysis comparing a conventional roof system to an extensive green roof system demonstrates that at the end of the green roof lifetime the NPV for the green roof is between 20.3 and 25.2% less than the NPV for the conventional roof over 40 years. The additional upfront investment is recovered at the time when a conventional roof would be replaced. Increasing evidence suggests that green roofs may play a significant role in urban air quality improvement For example, uptake of N0x is estimated to range from $1683 to $6383 per metric ton of NOx reduction. These benefits were included in this study, and results translate to an annual benefit of $895-3392 for a 2000 square meter vegetated roof. Improved air quality leads to a mean NPV for the green roof that is 24.5-40.2% less than the mean conventional roof NPV. Through innovative policies, the inclusion of air pollution mitigation and the reduction of municipal stormwater infrastructure costs in economic valuation of environmental benefits of green roofs can reduce the cost gap that currently hinders U.S. investment in green roof technology.

  14. Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels.

    PubMed

    Hill, Jason; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Tiffany, Douglas

    2006-07-25

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3%, and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels.

  15. [Assessing environmental and economical benefits of integrated sewage treatment systems].

    PubMed

    Li, Jin-rong; Zhang, Xiao-hong; Zhang, Hang-bin; Pan, Heng-yu; Liu, Qiang

    2015-08-01

    Sewage treatment, treated water treatment and sludge treatment are three basic units of an integrated sewage treatment system. This work assessed the influence of reusing or discharge of treated water and sludge landfill or compost on the sustainability of an integrated sewage treatment system using emergy analysis and newly proposed emergy indicators. This system's value included its environmental benefits and the products. Environmental benefits were the differences of the environmental service values before and after sewage treatment. Due to unavailability of data of the exchanged substance and energy in the internal system, products' values were attained by newly proposed substitution values. The results showed that the combination of sewage treatment, treated water reuse and sludge landfill had the strongest competitiveness, while the combination of sewage treatment, treated water reuse and earthworm compost was the most sustainable. Moreover, treated water reuse and earthworm compost were helpful for improving the sustainability of the integrated sewage treatment system. The quality of treated water and local conditions should be also considered when implementing the treated water reuse or discharge. The resources efficiency of earthworm compost unit needed to be further improved. Improved emergy indices were more suitable for integrated sewage treatment systems.

  16. A commentary on domestic animals as dual-purpose models that benefit agricultural and biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Ireland, J J; Roberts, R M; Palmer, G H; Bauman, D E; Bazer, F W

    2008-10-01

    Research on domestic animals (cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, horses, and aquatic species) at land grant institutions is integral to improving the global competitiveness of US animal agriculture and to resolving complex animal and human diseases. However, dwindling federal and state budgets, years of stagnant funding from USDA for the Competitive State Research, Education, and Extension Service National Research Initiative (CSREES-NRI) Competitive Grants Program, significant reductions in farm animal species and in numbers at land grant institutions, and declining enrollment for graduate studies in animal science are diminishing the resources necessary to conduct research on domestic species. Consequently, recruitment of scientists who use such models to conduct research relevant to animal agriculture and biomedicine at land grant institutions is in jeopardy. Concerned stakeholders have addressed this critical problem by conducting workshops, holding a series of meetings with USDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials, and developing a white paper to propose solutions to obstacles impeding the use of domestic species as dual-purpose animal models for high-priority problems common to agriculture and biomedicine. In addition to shortfalls in research support and human resources, overwhelming use of mouse models in biomedicine, lack of advocacy from university administrators, long-standing cultural barriers between agriculture and human medicine, inadequate grantsmanship by animal scientists, and a scarcity of key reagents and resources are major roadblocks to progress. Solutions will require a large financial enhancement of USDA's Competitive Grants Program, educational programs geared toward explaining how research using agricultural animals benefits both animal agriculture and human health, and the development of a new mind-set in land grant institutions that fosters greater cooperation among basic and applied researchers. Recruitment of

  17. Systemic solutions for multi-benefit water and environmental management.

    PubMed

    Everard, Mark; McInnes, Robert

    2013-09-01

    The environmental and financial costs of inputs to, and unintended consequences arising from narrow consideration of outputs from, water and environmental management technologies highlight the need for low-input solutions that optimise outcomes across multiple ecosystem services. Case studies examining the inputs and outputs associated with several ecosystem-based water and environmental management technologies reveal a range from those that differ little from conventional electro-mechanical engineering techniques through methods, such as integrated constructed wetlands (ICWs), designed explicitly as low-input systems optimising ecosystem service outcomes. All techniques present opportunities for further optimisation of outputs, and hence for greater cumulative public value. We define 'systemic solutions' as "…low-input technologies using natural processes to optimise benefits across the spectrum of ecosystem services and their beneficiaries". They contribute to sustainable development by averting unintended negative impacts and optimising benefits to all ecosystem service beneficiaries, increasing net economic value. Legacy legislation addressing issues in a fragmented way, associated 'ring-fenced' budgets and established management assumptions represent obstacles to implementing 'systemic solutions'. However, flexible implementation of legacy regulations recognising their primary purpose, rather than slavish adherence to detailed sub-clauses, may achieve greater overall public benefit through optimisation of outcomes across ecosystem services. Systemic solutions are not a panacea if applied merely as 'downstream' fixes, but are part of, and a means to accelerate, broader culture change towards more sustainable practice. This necessarily entails connecting a wider network of interests in the formulation and design of mutually-beneficial systemic solutions, including for example spatial planners, engineers, regulators, managers, farming and other businesses, and

  18. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: food and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Friel, Sharon; Dangour, Alan D; Garnett, Tara; Lock, Karen; Chalabi, Zaid; Roberts, Ian; Butler, Ainslie; Butler, Colin D; Waage, Jeff; McMichael, Anthony J; Haines, Andy

    2009-12-12

    Agricultural food production and agriculturally-related change in land use substantially contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide. Four-fifths of agricultural emissions arise from the livestock sector. Although livestock products are a source of some essential nutrients, they provide large amounts of saturated fat, which is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We considered potential strategies for the agricultural sector to meet the target recommended by the UK Committee on Climate Change to reduce UK emissions from the concentrations recorded in 1990 by 80% by 2050, which would require a 50% reduction by 2030. With use of the UK as a case study, we identified that a combination of agricultural technological improvements and a 30% reduction in livestock production would be needed to meet this target; in the absence of good emissions data from Brazil, we assumed for illustrative purposes that the required reductions would be the same for our second case study in São Paulo city. We then used these data to model the potential benefits of reduced consumption of livestock products on the burden of ischaemic heart disease: disease burden would decrease by about 15% in the UK (equivalent to 2850 disability-adjusted life-years [DALYs] per million population in 1 year) and 16% in São Paulo city (equivalent to 2180 DALYs per million population in 1 year). Although likely to yield benefits to health, such a strategy will probably encounter cultural, political, and commercial resistance, and face technical challenges. Coordinated intersectoral action is needed across agricultural, nutritional, public health, and climate change communities worldwide to provide affordable, healthy, low-emission diets for all societies.

  19. Ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems.

    PubMed

    Groffman, P M

    1997-01-01

    In this paper, I address three topics relevant to the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. First, I describe the fundamental ecological factors that influence the environmental performance of these systems and address how precision agriculture practices can or cannot interact with these factors. Second, I review the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture relative to agricultural inputs to determine whether managing these processes can significantly affect system environmental performance. Finally, I address scale incongruencies between ecological processes and precision agriculture techniques that could limit the ability of these techniques to manage variability in these processes. The analysis suggests that there are significant ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture techniques to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. The primary constraint is that these techniques do not address many of the key factors that cause poor environmental performance in these systems. Further, the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture are quite small relative to agricultural inputs and, finally, these processes vary on scales that are incongruent with precision management techniques.

  20. Environmental tipping points significantly affect the cost-benefit assessment of climate policies.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yongyang; Judd, Kenneth L; Lenton, Timothy M; Lontzek, Thomas S; Narita, Daiju

    2015-04-14

    Most current cost-benefit analyses of climate change policies suggest an optimal global climate policy that is significantly less stringent than the level required to meet the internationally agreed 2 °C target. This is partly because the sum of estimated economic damage of climate change across various sectors, such as energy use and changes in agricultural production, results in only a small economic loss or even a small economic gain in the gross world product under predicted levels of climate change. However, those cost-benefit analyses rarely take account of environmental tipping points leading to abrupt and irreversible impacts on market and nonmarket goods and services, including those provided by the climate and by ecosystems. Here we show that including environmental tipping point impacts in a stochastic dynamic integrated assessment model profoundly alters cost-benefit assessment of global climate policy. The risk of a tipping point, even if it only has nonmarket impacts, could substantially increase the present optimal carbon tax. For example, a risk of only 5% loss in nonmarket goods that occurs with a 5% annual probability at 4 °C increase of the global surface temperature causes an immediate two-thirds increase in optimal carbon tax. If the tipping point also has a 5% impact on market goods, the optimal carbon tax increases by more than a factor of 3. Hence existing cost-benefit assessments of global climate policy may be significantly underestimating the needs for controlling climate change.

  1. 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.

  2. Economic and environmental benefits of higher-octane gasoline.

    PubMed

    Speth, Raymond L; Chow, Eric W; Malina, Robert; Barrett, Steven R H; Heywood, John B; Green, William H

    2014-06-17

    We quantify the economic and environmental benefits of designing U.S. light-duty vehicles (LDVs) to attain higher fuel economy by utilizing higher octane (98 RON) gasoline. We use engine simulations, a review of experimental data, and drive cycle simulations to estimate the reduction in fuel consumption associated with using higher-RON gasoline in individual vehicles. Lifecycle CO2 emissions and economic impacts for the U.S. LDV fleet are estimated based on a linear-programming refinery model, a historically calibrated fleet model, and a well-to-wheels emissions analysis. We find that greater use of high-RON gasoline in appropriately tuned vehicles could reduce annual gasoline consumption in the U.S. by 3.0-4.4%. Accounting for the increase in refinery emissions from production of additional high-RON gasoline, net CO2 emissions are reduced by 19-35 Mt/y in 2040 (2.5-4.7% of total direct LDV CO2 emissions). For the strategies studied, the annual direct economic benefit is estimated to be $0.4-6.4 billion in 2040, and the annual net societal benefit including the social cost of carbon is estimated to be $1.7-8.8 billion in 2040. Adoption of a RON standard in the U.S. in place of the current antiknock index (AKI) may enable refineries to produce larger quantities of high-RON gasoline.

  3. Environmental care in agricultural catchments: Toward the communicative catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Peter

    1991-11-01

    Substantial land degradation of agricultural catchments in Australia has resulted from the importation of European farming methods and the large-scale clearing of land. Rural communities are now being encouraged by government to take responsibility for environmental care. The importance of community involvement is supported by the view that environmental problems are a function of interactions between people and their environment. It is suggested that the commonly held view that community groups cannot care for their resources is due to inappropriate social institutions rather that any inherent disability in people. The communicative catchment is developed as a vision for environmental care into the future. This concept emerges from a critique of resource management through the catchment metaphors of the reduced, mechanical, and the complex, evolving catchment, which reflect the development of systemic and people-centered approaches to environmental care. The communicative catchment is one where both community and resource managers participate collaboratively in environmental care. A methodology based on action research and systemic thinking (systemic action research) is proposed as a way of moving towards the communicative catchment of the future. Action research is a way of taking action in organizations and communities that is participative and informed by theory, while systemic thinking takes into account the interconnections and relationships between social and natural worlds. The proposed vision, methodology, and practical operating principles stem from involvement in an action research project looking at extension strategies for the implementation of total catchment management in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

  4. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    SciTech Connect

    K. Rasmuson; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-14

    This analysis is one of 10 technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) (i.e., the biosphere model). It documents development of agricultural and environmental input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters.

  5. Potential environmental benefits of prospective genetic changes in broiler traits.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, I; Williams, A G; Kyriazakis, I

    2016-02-01

    A system approach-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, combined with a simple mechanistic model of bird energy balance was used to predict the potential effects of 15 y prospective broiler breeding on the environmental impacts of the standard UK broiler production system. The year 2014 Ross 308 genotype was used as a baseline, and a future scenario was specified from rates of genetic improvement predicted by the industry. The scenario included changes in the traits of growth rate (reducing the time to reach a target weight 2.05 kg from 34 d to 27 d), body lipid content, carcass yield, mortality and the number of chicks produced by a breeder hen. Diet composition was adjusted in order to accommodate the future nutrient requirements of the birds following the genetic change. The results showed that predicted changes in biological performance due to selective breeding could lead to reduced environmental impacts of the broiler production chain, most notably in the Eutrophication Potential (by 12%), Acidification Potential (by 10%) and Abiotic Resource Use (by 9%) and Global Warming Potential (by 9%). These reductions were mainly caused by the reduced maintenance energy requirement and thus lower feed intake, resulting from the shorter production cycle, together with the increased carcass yield. However, some environmental benefits were limited by the required changes in feed composition (e.g., increased inclusion of soy meal and vegetable oil) as a result of the changes in bird nutrient requirements. This study is the first one aiming to link the mechanistic animal modeling approach to predicted genetic changes in order to produce quantitative estimates of the future environmental impacts of broiler production. Although a more detailed understanding on the mechanisms of the potential changes in bird performance and their consequences on feeding and husbandry would be still be needed, the modeling framework produced in this study provides a starting point for

  6. ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT REDUCES THE MNEMONIC AND NEURAL BENEFITS OF ESTROGEN

    PubMed Central

    GRESACK, J. E.; FRICK, K. M.

    2006-01-01

    The degree to which memory is enhanced by estrogen replacement in postmenopausal women may depend on environmental factors such as education. The present study utilized an animal model of environmental enrichment to determine whether environmental factors influence the mnemonic and neural response to estrogen. Female mice were raised in standard (SC) or enriched (EC) conditions from weaning until adulthood (7 months). All mice were ovariectomized at 10 weeks, and tested in object recognition and water-escape motivated radial arm maze (WRAM) tasks at 6 months. Each day at the completion of training, mice received injections of 0.1 mg/kg cyclodextrin-encapsulated 17-β-estradiol (E2), 0.2 mg/kg E2, or cyclodextrin vehicle (VEH). At the completion of behavioral testing, hippocampal levels of the presynaptic protein synaptophysin and of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were measured. Enrichment effects were evident in VEH-treated mice; relative to SC-VEH females, EC-VEH females committed fewer working memory errors in the WRAM and exhibited increased hippocampal synaptophysin levels. Estrogen effects depended on environmental conditions. E2 (0.2 mg/kg) improved object memory only in SC females. The same dose improved working memory in SC females, but somewhat impaired working memory in EC females. Furthermore, both doses reduced hippocampal synaptophysin levels in EC, but not SC, females. In contrast, E2 reduced hippocampal BDNF levels in SC, but not EC, females. This study is the first to compare the effects of estrogen on memory and hippocampal function in enriched and non-enriched female mice. The results suggest that: (1) estrogen benefits object and working memory more in mice raised in non-enriched environments than in those raised in enriched environments, and (2) the changes induced by estrogen and/or enrichment may be associated with alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. PMID:15381276

  7. Environmental-benefit analysis of two urban waste collection systems.

    PubMed

    Aranda Usón, Alfonso; Ferreira, Germán; Zambrana Vásquez, David; Zabalza Bribián, Ignacio; Llera Sastresa, Eva

    2013-10-01

    Sustainable transportation infrastructure and travel policies aim to optimise the use of transportation systems to achieve economic and related social and environmental goals. To this end, a novel methodology based on life cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed in this study, with the aim of quantifying, in terms of CO2 emissions equivalent, the impact associated with different alternatives of waste collection systems in different urban typologies. This new approach is focussed on saving energy and raw materials and reducing the environmental impact associated with the waste collection system in urban areas, as well as allowing the design and planning of the best available technologies and most environment-friendly management. The methodology considers a large variety of variables from the point of view of sustainable urban transport such as the location and size of the urban area, the amount of solid waste generated, the level of social awareness on waste separation procedures, the distance between houses and waste collection points and the distance from the latter to the possible recovery plants and/or landfills, taking into account the material and energy recovery ratio within an integrated waste management system. As a case study, two different waste collection systems have been evaluated with this methodology in the ecocity Valdespartera located in Zaragoza, Spain, consisting of approximately 10,000 homes: (i) a system based on traditional truck transportation and manual collection, and (ii) a stationary vacuum waste collection system. Results show that, when operating at loads close to 100%, the stationary collection system has the best environmental performance in comparison with the conventional system. In contrast, when operating at load factors around 13% the environmental benefits in terms of net CO2-eq. emissions for the stationary collection system are around 60% lower in comparison with the conventional one.

  8. Environmental and socioeconomic benefits and limitations of water harvesting techniques in semiarid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Asunción Romero-Díaz, María; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Under climate change, sustainable management of soil and water resources is increasingly important, especially in rainfed agroecosystems of semiarid environments. Water harvesting refers to a range of techniques for the collection and management of flood or rainwater for domestic and agricultural use and for water retention in natural ecosystems. Water harvesting represents a good example of sustainable management of water resources that contribute to water and food security. However, there are often environmental and socioeconomic constraints for implementation of water harvesting techniques, so each condition asks for a specific solution. Here we aim to highlight the environmental and socioeconomic benefits, requirements and limitations of different water harvesting techniques and to characterize their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We reviewed 62 water harvesting techniques for semiarid regions extracted from the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. We discuss aspects related to: i) human and environmental characteristics, ii) cost-benefit ratio during implementation and maintenance phases, iii) socioeconomic and environmental impacts at local and regional scales, and, iv) impacts on ecosystem services. Our review reveals that water harvesting represents very diverse methods of collecting and managing floodwaters and surface runoff. We grouped techniques as 'floodwater harvesting', 'macro-catchment water harvesting', 'micro-catchment water harvesting', and 'rooftop and courtyard' water harvesting. Almost half of all technologies originates from traditional knowledge. The implementation of water harvesting is generally positive on the short-term, to very positive on the long-term, while its maintenance is very positive at short and long-term. However, perception depends on the type of water harvesting and local conditions. Most relevant socioeconomic benefits from

  9. Energy, Economic, and Environmental Benefits of the Solar America Initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Grover, S.

    2007-08-01

    The President's Solar America Initiative (SAI) was launched in January 2006 as part of the administration's Advanced Energy Initiative. The SAI is being led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP), with NREL providing analytical and technical support. The SAI has a goal of installing 5-10 GW of photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States by 2015 and 70-100 GW of PV systems in the United States by 2030. To make PV cost-competitive with other energy resources, this requires that the installed cost of PV fall from approximately $8/Wdc in 2005 to $3.3/Wdc in 2015 and $2.5/Wdc in 2030. This report presents estimates of the potential energy, economic, and environmental benefits that could result should the SAI PV installation goals be achieved.

  10. Environmental benefits of transport and stationary fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, David; Hörmandinger, Günter

    The potential environmental benefits of using fuel cells in cars, buses and stationary combined heat and power (CHP) plants of different sizes have not been well-researched. This environmental analysis was conducted for the UK on a `full fuel cycle' basis, encompassing all greenhouse gas and regulated pollutant emissions for the supply chain and end-use technology under consideration. Solid polymer fuel cells (SPFCs) with methanol or natural gas reformers were analysed for cars, SPFCs and phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) with on-board hydrogen for buses. CHP plants were PAFCs or solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Each option was compared with one or more conventional technologies. In all cases fuel cell technologies have substantially reduced emissions in comparison with conventional technologies. Regulated emissions are lowest, by up to two orders of magnitude, and those that do occur are primarily in the fuel supply chain. The fuel cell technologies are more efficient in all cases, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are reduced broadly in line with energy savings. Methane emissions increase due to fuel switching, e.g. from petrol to natural gas powered buses, but from a very low base. The study pinpoints some areas in which alternative approaches could be made - the methods for generating and transporting hydrogen have a significant bearing on energy consumption and emissions. However, it is clear that from an overall emissions perspective the use of fuel cells in transport and power generation is highly beneficial.

  11. Potential Environmental Benefits from Increased Use of Bioenergy in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Shuyang; Freedman, Bill; Gao, Jixi

    2007-09-01

    Because of its large population and rapidly growing economy, China is confronting a serious energy shortage and daunting environmental problems. An increased use of fuels derived from biomass could relieve some demand for nonrenewable sources of energy while providing environmental benefits in terms of cleaner air and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2003, China generated about 25.9 × 108 metric tons of industrial waste (liquid + solid), 14.7 × 108 metric tons/year (t/y) of manure (livestock + human), 7.1 × 108 t/y of crop residues and food-processing byproducts, 2 × 108 t/y of fuelwood and wood manufacturing residues, and 1.5 × 108 t/y of municipal waste. Biofuels derived from these materials could potentially displace the use of about 4.12 × 108 t/y of coal and 3.75 × 106 t/y of petroleum. An increased bioenergy use of this magnitude would help to reduce the emissions of key air pollutants: SO2 by 11.6 × 106 t/y, NOX by 1.48 × 106 t/y, CO2 by 1.07 × 109 t/y, and CH4 by 50 × 106 t/y. The reduced SO2 emissions would be equivalent to 54% of the national emissions in 2003, whereas those for CO2 are 30%. It is important to recognize, however, that large increases in the use of biomass fuels also could result in socioeconomic and environmental problems such as less production of food and damage caused to natural habitats.

  12. Potential environmental benefits from increased use of bioenergy in China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Shuyang; Freedman, Bill; Gao, Jixi

    2007-09-01

    Because of its large population and rapidly growing economy, China is confronting a serious energy shortage and daunting environmental problems. An increased use of fuels derived from biomass could relieve some demand for nonrenewable sources of energy while providing environmental benefits in terms of cleaner air and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2003, China generated about 25.9 x 10(8) metric tons of industrial waste (liquid + solid), 14.7 x 10(8) metric tons/year (t/y) of manure (livestock + human), 7.1 x 10(8) t/y of crop residues and food-processing byproducts, 2 x 10(8) t/y of fuelwood and wood manufacturing residues, and 1.5 x 10(8) t/y of municipal waste. Biofuels derived from these materials could potentially displace the use of about 4.12 x 10(8) t/y of coal and 3.75 x 10(6) t/y of petroleum. An increased bioenergy use of this magnitude would help to reduce the emissions of key air pollutants: SO(2 )by 11.6 x 10(6) t/y, NO(X) by 1.48 x 10(6) t/y, CO2 by 1.07 x 10(9) t/y, and CH4 by 50 x 10(6) t/y. The reduced SO(2) emissions would be equivalent to 54% of the national emissions in 2003, whereas those for CO2 are 30%. It is important to recognize, however, that large increases in the use of biomass fuels also could result in socioeconomic and environmental problems such as less production of food and damage caused to natural habitats.

  13. The environmental cost of reducing agricultural fine particulate matter emissions.

    PubMed

    Funk, Paul A

    2010-06-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in 2006, reducing acceptable fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels; state environmental protection agencies in states with nonattainment areas are required to draft State Implementation Plans (SIPs) detailing measures to reduce regional PM2.5 levels by reducing PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor emissions. These plans need to account for increases in emissions caused by operating control technologies. Potential PM2.5 emissions reductions realized by adding a second set of dust cyclones were estimated for the cotton ginning industry. Increases in energy consumption were calculated based on dust cyclone air pressure drop. Additional energy required was translated into increased emissions using published emission factors and state emissions inventories. Reductions in gin emissions were compared with increases in emissions at the power plant. Because of the electrical energy required, reducing one unit of agricultural PM2.5 emissions at a cotton gin results in emitting 0.11-2.67 units of direct PM2.5, 1.39-69.1 units of PM2.5 precursors, 1.70-76.8 units of criteria pollutants, and 692-15,400 units of greenhouse gases at the point where electricity is produced. If regulations designed to reduce rural PM2.5 emissions increase electrical power consumption, the unintended net effect may be more emissions, increased environmental damage, and a greater risk to public health.

  14. Advances in Nanotechnology as They Pertain to Food and Agriculture: Benefits and Risks.

    PubMed

    Sadeghi, Rohollah; Rodriguez, Randol J; Yao, Yuan; Kokini, Jozef L

    2017-02-28

    Nanotechnology is an emerging and rapidly developing toolbox that has novel and unique applications to food science and agriculture. Fast and impressive developments in nanotechnology for food and agriculture have led to new experimental prototype technologies and products. Developing various types of nanodelivery systems, detection tools, nanoscale modifications of bulk or surface properties, fabrication of wide-range bionanosensors, and biodegradable nanoplatforms can potentially improve consumer health and safety, product shelf life and stability, bioavailability, environmental sustainability, efficiency of processing and packaging, and real-time monitoring. Some recently developed nanotechnology techniques and potential product applications of nanotechnology are summarized in this review. Exposure to nanomaterials may be harmful to the consumer and the environment and might increase the potential of risk. For this reason, evaluation of the potential risks resulting from the interaction of nanomaterials with biological systems, humans, and the environment is also reviewed.

  15. Translational research in agricultural biology - enhancing crop resistivity against environmental stress alongside nutritional quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural security, including producing nutritious food, is needed to make agriculture sustainable. All kinds of genetically engineered (transgenic) lines have been developed, including transgenic lines that have promise of withstanding environmental extremes (abiotic and biotic) and others that...

  16. Agricultural livelihoods in coastal Bangladesh under climate and environmental change--a model framework.

    PubMed

    Lázár, Attila N; Clarke, Derek; Adams, Helen; Akanda, Abdur Razzaque; Szabo, Sylvia; Nicholls, Robert J; Matthews, Zoe; Begum, Dilruba; Saleh, Abul Fazal M; Abedin, Md Anwarul; Payo, Andres; Streatfield, Peter Kim; Hutton, Craig; Mondal, M Shahjahan; Moslehuddin, Abu Zofar Md

    2015-06-01

    Coastal Bangladesh experiences significant poverty and hazards today and is highly vulnerable to climate and environmental change over the coming decades. Coastal stakeholders are demanding information to assist in the decision making processes, including simulation models to explore how different interventions, under different plausible future socio-economic and environmental scenarios, could alleviate environmental risks and promote development. Many existing simulation models neglect the complex interdependencies between the socio-economic and environmental system of coastal Bangladesh. Here an integrated approach has been proposed to develop a simulation model to support agriculture and poverty-based analysis and decision-making in coastal Bangladesh. In particular, we show how a simulation model of farmer's livelihoods at the household level can be achieved. An extended version of the FAO's CROPWAT agriculture model has been integrated with a downscaled regional demography model to simulate net agriculture profit. This is used together with a household income-expenses balance and a loans logical tree to simulate the evolution of food security indicators and poverty levels. Modelling identifies salinity and temperature stress as limiting factors to crop productivity and fertilisation due to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as a reinforcing factor. The crop simulation results compare well with expected outcomes but also reveal some unexpected behaviours. For example, under current model assumptions, temperature is more important than salinity for crop production. The agriculture-based livelihood and poverty simulations highlight the critical significance of debt through informal and formal loans set at such levels as to persistently undermine the well-being of agriculture-dependent households. Simulations also indicate that progressive approaches to agriculture (i.e. diversification) might not provide the clear economic benefit from the perspective of

  17. Pest Control and Pollination Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hedgerow Restoration in a Simplified Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Morandin, L A; Long, R F; Kremen, C

    2016-05-11

    Field edge habitat in homogeneous agricultural landscapes can serve multiple purposes including enhanced biodiversity, water quality protection, and habitat for beneficial insects, such as native bees and natural enemies. Despite this ecosystem service value, adoption of field border plantings, such as hedgerows, on large-scale mono-cropped farms is minimal. With profits primarily driving agricultural production, a major challenge affecting hedgerow plantings is linked to establishment costs and the lack of clear economic benefits on the restoration investment. Our study documented that hedgerows are economically viable to growers by enhancing beneficial insects and natural pest control and pollination on farms. With pest control alone, our model shows that it would take 16 yr to break even from insecticide savings on the US$4,000 cost of a typical 300-m hedgerow field edge planting. By adding in pollination benefits by native bees, where honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) may be limiting, the return time is reduced to 7 yr. USDA cost share programs allow for a quicker return on a hedgerow investment. Our study shows that over time, small-scale restoration can be profitable, helping to overcome the barrier of cost associated with field edge habitat restoration on farms.

  18. Agricultural pollution control under Spanish and European environmental policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez, Yolanda; Albiac, José

    2004-10-01

    Nonpoint pollution from agriculture is an important environmental policy issue in Spain and the European Union. Agricultural pollution in Spain is being addressed by the National Irrigation Plan and by the European Water Framework Directive. This article contributes to the ongoing policy decision process by analyzing nonpoint pollution control and presenting results on the efficiency of abatement measures. Results question the reliance of the Water Framework Directive on water pricing as a pollution instrument for reaching good status for all waters because higher water prices close to full recovery cost advocated by the directive appear to be inefficient as an emission control instrument. Another important result is that abatement measures based on input taxes and standards on nitrogen appear to be more suitable than the National Irrigation Plan subsidies designed to promote irrigation investments. The results also contribute with further evidence to the discussion on the appropriate instrument base for pollution control, proving that nonpoint pollution control instruments cannot be assessed accurately without a correct understanding of the key underlying biophysical processes. Nonpoint pollution is characterized by nonlinearities, dynamics, and spatial dependency, and neglect of the dynamic aspects may lead to serious consequences for the design of measures. Finally, a quantitative assessment has been performed to explore discriminating measures based on crop pollution potential on vulnerable soils. No significant welfare gains are found from discriminating control, although results are contingent upon the level of damage, and discrimination could be justified in areas with valuable ecosystems and severe pollution damages.

  19. The effects of buffer strips and bioretention facilities on agricultural productivity and environmental quality in Central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilroy, Kristin L.; McCuen, Richard H.

    2010-05-01

    SummaryLand degradation is a growing concern in Central Africa as poor management practices continue to cause erosion and increase water runoff in agricultural fields. The implementation of best management practices (BMPs) is needed; however, productivity is often indirectly related to the environmental benefits of such practices and resource constraints often exist. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of bioretention facilities and buffer strips on environmental quality with productivity and resources as constraints. A water quantity and quality model for an agricultural field in Central Africa was developed. Analyses were conducted to assess the marginal benefits of each BMP, the effect of different BMP combinations on environmental quality and productivity, and the effect of data uncertainty and location uncertainty on model predictions. The results showed that bioretention pits were more effective than buffer strips in increasing environmental quality. Productivity was shown to be directly related to bioretention pits, thus environmental quality can be attained without sacrificing productivity. Data uncertainties resulted in changes in the environmental quality values, but trends remained the same. Guidelines were provided to assist design engineers in developing BMP scenarios that provide the greatest productivity and environmental quality for the constraints involved. The results of this study will bring awareness to the ability of attaining environmental quality without sacrificing productivity as well as the need for accurate data in Central Africa.

  20. Pectic oligosaccharides from agricultural by-products: production, characterization and health benefits.

    PubMed

    Babbar, Neha; Dejonghe, Winnie; Gatti, Monica; Sforza, Stefano; Elst, Kathy

    2016-08-01

    Pectin containing agricultural by-products are potential sources of a new class of prebiotics known as pectic oligosaccharides (POS). In general, pectin is made up of homogalacturonan (HG, α-1,4-linked galacturonic acid monomers) and rhamnogalacturonan (RG, alternate galacturonic acid and rhamnose backbone with neutral side chains). Controlled hydrolysis of pectin containing agricultural by-products like sugar beet, apple, olive and citrus by chemical, enzymatic and hydrothermal can be used to produce oligo-galacturonides (GalpOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GalOS), rhamnogalacturonan-oligosaccharides (RGOS), etc. However, extensive research is needed to establish the role of POS, both as a prebiotic as well as therapeutic agent. This review comprehensively covers different facets of POS, including the nature and chemistry of pectin and POS, potential agricultural residual sources of pectin, pre-treatment methods for facilitating selective extraction of pectin, identification and characterization of POS, health benefits and important applications of POS in food and feed. This review has been compiled to establish a platform for future research in the purification and characterization of POS and for in vivo and in vitro studies of important POS, so that they could be commercially exploited.

  1. Assessment of benefits and risks of landfill materials for agriculture in Eritrea.

    PubMed

    Tesfai, Mehreteab; Dresher, Silke

    2009-02-01

    In Eritrea, farmers have applied landfill materials as fertiliser to their fields for several decades. A sampling scheme in the landfill site of Asmara and selected farmers' fields was carried out to investigate the benefits and risks of using landfill materials for agriculture. Soil samples were collected from farmers' fields (7 samples) and from the Asmara landfill site (12 samples). The samples were analysed for major plant nutrients, heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Hg and Zn), and some physical properties. Nearly 65% (by weight) of the total landfill material mined from the landfill site constituted waste fractions of various substances. The remaining 35% was composed of soil-like materials, which are apparently used to fertilize agricultural soils. The average organic matter, total nitrogen, and available phosphorus contents of soils with landfill material measured 2.4%, 0.13%, and 45 mg kg(-1), respectively. However, soils without landfill material consisted of 1.1 % organic matter, 0.04% total N, and <40 mg kg(-1) of available P. Except for Hg, all the other heavy metals in the landfill site showed values above the permissible limits. In particular, the average concentrations of Cu (913 mg kg(-1)) and Pb (598 mg kg(-1)) in the landfill site were nine-fold and four-fold greater than the allowable limits, respectively. It is, therefore, suggested that composting fresh organic wastes should be considered and tested as an alternative material for fertilising agricultural soils and to maintain the quality of the environment.

  2. Estimating the benefits of land imagery in environmental applications: a case study in nonpoint source pollution of groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bernknopf, Richard L.; Forney, William M.; Raunikar, Ronald P.; Mishra, Shruti K.; Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Maccauley, Molly K.

    2012-01-01

    Moderate-resolution land imagery (MRLI) is crucial to a more complete assessment of the cumulative, landscape-level effect of agricultural land use and land cover on environmental quality. If this improved assessment yields a net social benefit, then that benefit reflects the value of information (VOI) from MRLI. Environmental quality and the capacity to provide ecosystem services evolve because of human actions, changing natural conditions, and their interaction with natural physical processes. The human actions, in turn, are constrained and redirected by many institutions and regulations such as agricultural, energy, and environmental policies. We present a general framework for bringing together sociologic, biologic, physical, hydrologic, and geologic processes at meaningful scales to interpret environmental implications of MRLI applications. We set out a specific application using MRLI observations to identify crop planting patterns and thus estimate surface management activities that influence groundwater resources over a regional landscape. We tailor the application to the characteristics of nonpoint source groundwater pollution hazards in Iowa to illustrate a general framework in a land use-hydrologic-economic system. In the example, MRLI VOI derives from reducing the risk of both losses to agricultural production and damage to human health and other consequences of contaminated groundwater.

  3. Environmental behavior of benalaxyl and furalaxyl enantiomers in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Qin, Fang; Gao, Yong X; Guo, Bao Y; Xu, Peng; Li, Jian Z; Wang, Hui L

    2014-01-01

    The enantioselective environmental behavior of the chiral fungicides benalaxy and furalaxyl in agricultural soils in China was studied. Although sorption onto soils was non-enantioselective, the leaching of benalaxy and furalaxyl was enantioselective in soil columns. The concentrations of the S-enantiomers of both fungicides in the leachates were higher than the R-enantiomers. This can be attributed to enantioselective degradation of the two fungicides in the soil column. Enantioselective degradation of the two fungicides was verified by soil dissipation experiments, and the R-enantiomers degraded faster than the S-enantiomers in partial soils. The half-life was 27.7-57.8 days for S-benalaxyl, 20.4-53.3 days for R-benalaxyl, 19.3-49.5 days for S-furalaxyl and 11.4-34.7 days for R-furalaxyl. The degradation process of the two fungicide enantiomers followed the first-order kinetics (R(2) > 0.96). Compared to furalaxyl, benalaxyl degraded more slowly and degradation was less enantioselective. These results are attributed to the influence of soil physicochemical properties, soil microorganisms, and environmental factors.

  4. Economic and environmental benefits of landfill gas utilisation in Oman.

    PubMed

    Abushammala, Mohammed Fm; Qazi, Wajeeha A; Azam, Mohammed-Hasham; Mehmood, Umais A; Al-Mufragi, Ghithaa A; Alrawahi, Noor-Alhuda

    2016-08-01

    Municipal solid waste disposed in landfill sites decomposes under anaerobic conditions and produces so-called landfill-gas, which contains 30%-40% of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 50%-60% of methane (CH4). Methane has the potential of causing global warming 25 times more than CO2 Therefore, migration of landfill-gas from landfills to the surrounding environment can potentially affect human life and environment. Thus, this research aims to determine municipal solid waste generation in Oman over the years 1971-2030, to quantify annual CH4 emissions inventory that resulted from this waste over the same period of time, and to determine the economic and environmental benefits of capturing the CH4 gas for energy production. It is found that cumulative municipal solid waste landfilled in Oman reaches 3089 Giga gram (Gg) in the year 2030, of which approximately 85 Gg of CH4 emissions are produced in the year 2030. The study also found that capturing CH4 emissions between the years 2016 and 2030 could attract revenues of up to US$333 million and US$291 million from the carbon reduction and electricity generation, simultaneously. It is concluded that CH4 emissions from solid waste in Oman increases enormously with time, and capture of this gas for energy production could provide a sustainable waste management solution in Oman.

  5. Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Decision Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singer, S. Fred

    1977-01-01

    Discusses how to set the ambient standards for water and air based on cost-benefit analysis. Describes marginal analysis, the basis of cost-benefit analysis and how dynamic cost-benefit analysis is carried out with application to the automobile pollution problem. (HM)

  6. Environmental assessment of energy generation from agricultural and farm waste through anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Nayal, Figen Sisman; Mammadov, Aydin; Ciliz, Nilgun

    2016-12-15

    While Turkey is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of agricultural goods, it is also, at the same time a net importer of energy carriers. This dichotomy offers a strong incentive to generate energy from agricultural and farming waste; something which could provide energy security for rural areas. Combined with the enhanced energy security for farming areas, the production of energy in this manner could conceivably contribute to the overall national effort to reduce the Turkey's carbon footprint. This study explores the environmental benefits and burdens of one such option, that is, biogas production from a mixture of agricultural and animal waste through anaerobic digestion (AD), and its subsequent use for electricity and heat generation. A life-cycle assessment methodology was used, to measure the potential environmental impact of this option, in terms of global warming and total weighed impact, and to contrast it with the impact of producing the same amount of energy via an integrated gasification combined cycle process and a hard coal power plant. This study concentrates on an AD and cogeneration pilot plant, built in the Kocaeli province of Turkey and attempts to evaluate its potential environmental impacts. The study uses laboratory-scale studies, as well as literature and LCI databases to derive the operational parameters, yield and emissions of the plant. The potential impacts were calculated with EDIP 2003 methodology, using GaBi 5 LCA software. The results indicate that N2O emissions, resulting from the application of liquid and solid portions of digestate (a by-product of AD), as an organic fertilizer, are by far the largest contributors to global warming among all the life cycle stages. They constitute 68% of the total, whereas ammonia losses from the same process are the leading cause of terrestrial eutrophication. The photochemical ozone formation potential is significantly higher for the cogeneration phase, compared to other life cycle

  7. Climate change mitigation: potential benefits and pitfalls of enhanced rock weathering in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David P; Lim, Felix; James, Rachael H; Pearce, Christopher R; Scholes, Julie; Freckleton, Robert P; Beerling, David J

    2017-04-01

    Restricting future global temperature increase to 2°C or less requires the adoption of negative emissions technologies for carbon capture and storage. We review the potential for deployment of enhanced weathering (EW), via the application of crushed reactive silicate rocks (such as basalt), on over 680 million hectares of tropical agricultural and tree plantations to offset fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Warm tropical climates and productive crops will substantially enhance weathering rates, with potential co-benefits including decreased soil acidification and increased phosphorus supply promoting higher crop yields sparing forest for conservation, and reduced cultural eutrophication. Potential pitfalls include the impacts of mining operations on deforestation, producing the energy to crush and transport silicates and the erosion of silicates into rivers and coral reefs that increases inorganic turbidity, sedimentation and pH, with unknown impacts for biodiversity. We identify nine priority research areas for untapping the potential of EW in the tropics, including effectiveness of tropical agriculture at EW for major crops in relation to particle sizes and soil types, impacts on human health, and effects on farmland, adjacent forest and stream-water biodiversity.

  8. Benefits of Career Development Events as Perceived by School-Based, Agricultural Education Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lundry, Jerrod; Ramsey, Jon W.; Edwards, M. Craig; Robinson, J. Shane

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture is the nation's largest employer with more than 24 million people working in some phase of the agricultural industry; however, the knowledge and skills needed in today's agricultural industry are lacking. Assuring future generations are agriculturally literate and taught the significance of agriculture is crucial. Systematic delivery…

  9. Agricultural Chemicals and Radiation. Ag Ed Environmental Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tulloch, Rodney W.

    The document is designed to be used as a resource in teaching vocational agriculture high school students about the environment. Agricultural chemicals are the major focus, with some attention to radiation. The importance of safety in agricultural chemical use is stressed, with descriptions of the pesticide label; protective clothing; respiratory…

  10. Perceptions of Environmental and Occupational Health Hazards Among Agricultural Workers in Washington State

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Jonathan N.; Crowe, Jennifer; Postma, Julie; Ybarra, Vickie; Keifer, Matthew C.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to describe perceptions of environmental and occupational health issues among agricultural workers. Interviews were conducted with 389 agricultural workers in the Yakima Valley in central Washington State in the summers of 2004 and 2005. Undergraduate students from the community conducted interviews in Spanish or English. Environmental and occupational health issues were ranked by frequency of concern, and differences by demographic characteristics were evaluated using multivariate analyses. In both 2004 and 2005, agricultural workers expressed high levels of concern about working in hot weather, agricultural injuries, pesticides, and pediatric asthma. Perceptions of environmental and occupational health issues among agricultural workers differed by certain demographic characteristics, particularly age and ethnicity. Consideration should be given to these issues when designing research studies, creating educational materials, and developing interventions related to environmental and occupational hazards among agricultural workers. PMID:19715263

  11. Environmental effects of planting energy crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  12. Environmental effects of planting biomass crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.E.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous. and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  13. Environmental fate of double-stranded RNA in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Dubelman, Samuel; Fischer, Joshua; Zapata, Fatima; Huizinga, Kristin; Jiang, Changjian; Uffman, Joshua; Levine, Steven; Carson, David

    2014-01-01

    A laboratory soil degradation study was conducted to determine the biodegradation potential of a DvSnf7 dsRNA transcript derived from a Monsanto genetically modified (GM) maize product that confers resistance to corn rootworm (CRW; Diabrotica spp.). This study provides new information to improve the environmental assessment of dsRNAs that become pesticidal through an RNAi process. Three agricultural soils differing in their physicochemical characteristics were obtained from the U.S., Illinois (IL; silt loam), Missouri (MO; loamy sand) and North Dakota (ND; clay loam), and exposed to the target dsRNA by incorporating insect-protected maize biomass and purified (in vitro-transcribed) DvSnf7 RNA into soil. The GM and control (non-GM maize) materials were added to each soil and incubated at ca. 22 °C for 48 hours (h). Samples were collected at 12 time intervals during the incubation period, extracted, and analyzed using QuantiGene molecular analysis and insect bioassay methods. The DT50 (half-life) values for DvSnf7 RNA in IL, MO, and ND soils were 19, 28, and 15 h based on QuantiGene, and 18, 29, and 14 h based on insect bioassay, respectively. Furthermore, the DT90 (time to 90% degradation) values for DvSnf7 RNA in all three soils were <35 h. These results indicate that DvSnf7 RNA was degraded and biological activity was undetectable within approximately 2 days after application to soil, regardless of texture, pH, clay content and other soil differences. Furthermore, soil-incorporated DvSnf7 RNA was non-detectable in soil after 48 h, as measured by QuantiGene, at levels ranging more than two orders of magnitude (0.3, 1.5, 7.5 and 37.5 µg RNA/g soil). Results from this study indicate that the DvSnf7 dsRNA is unlikely to persist or accumulate in the environment. Furthermore, the rapid degradation of DvSnf7 dsRNA provides a basis to define relevant exposure scenarios for future RNA-based agricultural products.

  14. Landsat and agriculture—Case studies on the uses and benefits of Landsat imagery in agricultural monitoring and production

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leslie, Colin R.; Serbina, Larisa O.; Miller, Holly M.

    2017-03-29

    Executive SummaryThe use of Landsat satellite imagery for global agricultural monitoring began almost immediately after the launch of Landsat 1 in 1972, making agricultural monitoring one of the longest-standing operational applications for the Landsat program. More recently, Landsat imagery has been used in domestic agricultural applications as an input for field-level production management. The enactment of the U.S. Geological Survey’s free and open data policy in 2008 and the launch of Landsat 8 in 2013 have both influenced agricultural applications. This report presents two primary sets of case studies on the applications and benefits of Landsat imagery use in agriculture. The first set examines several operational applications within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the second focuses on private sector applications for agronomic management.  Information on the USDA applications is provided in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Uses of Landsat Imagery for Global and Domestic Agricultural Monitoring section of the report in the following subsections:Estimating Crop Production.—Provides an overview of how Landsat satellite imagery is used to estimate crop production, including the spectral bands most frequently utilized in this application.Monitoring Consumptive Water Use.—Highlights the role of Landsat imagery in monitoring consumptive water use for agricultural production. Globally, a significant amount of agricultural production relies on irrigation, so monitoring water resources is a critical component of agricultural monitoring. National Agricultural Statistics Service—Cropland Data Layer.—Highlights the use of Landsat imagery in developing the annual Cropland Data Layer, a crop-specific land cover classification product that provides information on more than 100 crop categories grown in the United States. Foreign Agricultural Service—Global Agricultural Monitoring.—Highlights Landsat’s role in monitoring global agricultural

  15. Mitigating Environmental Risks of Wastewater Reuse for Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Busaidi, Ahmed; Ahmed, Mushtaque

    2016-04-01

    Low rainfall and overexploitation of conventional water resources present a critical problem in many regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Therefore, there is a dire need for judicious management of existing water supplies, including incorporating the use of non-conventional water resources. Treated wastewater has shown high potential for reuse in agricultural production, which can thereby contribute to the conservation of surface water and groundwater resources. Therefore, the aim of the study was to optimize treated wastewater reuse in conjunction with other available water resources by taking into consideration their quantity and quality, in addition to the agronomic, environmental, and economic components. It was a joint project between three countries (Oman, Jordan and Tunisia) and funded by USAID. In Oman, the study was done in open field at Sultan Qaboos University. Three types of crops (sweet corn, okra and maize) were grown and irrigated by four types of water (A: 50% groundwater and 50% treated wastewater, B: 100% groundwater, C: 75% treated wastewater and 25% groundwater, and D: 100% treated wastewater). Soil physicochemical properties did not show significant differences with treated wastewater irrigation as compared to groundwater. Heavy metals concentrations for both waters (treated wastewater & groundwater) were very close to each other. However, some significant differences were found between some treatments which could be an indicator for long term changes in soil chemical properties. On other hand, some chemical properties significantly increased (p<0.05) when treated wastewater was applied such as soil electrical conductivity, total carbon and some major elements (N, K, Mg). Soil biological analysis indicated that treated wastewater had no effect in contaminating soil horizons. Whereas, crop physical analysis showed significant increases in plant productivity when plants were irrigated with treated wastewater. The good supply of different

  16. Science-based Framework for Environmental Benefits Assessment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-03-01

    characteristics of the system. Ecosystem form, or structure, refers to both the composition of the ecosystem and to its physical and biological...example, system morphology, size and distribution of bed sediments, composition of the biotic community, and the system’s hydrodynamic regime. ERDC/EL...Benefits Social Benefits (goods and services) EPA /State DEQ USFWS/NMFS/ State DFW Local Government Local Landowner Trout Unlimited Water

  17. Environmental footprints of Mediterranean versus Western dietary patterns: beyond the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Dietary patterns can substantially vary the resource consumption and environmental impact of a given population. Dietary changes such as the increased consumption of vegetables and reduced consumption of animal products reduce the environmental footprint and thus the use of natural resources. The adherence of a given population to the Mediterranean Dietary Pattern (MDP) through the consumption of the food proportions and composition defined in the new Mediterranean Diet pyramid can thus not only influence human health but also the environment. The aim of the study was to analyze the sustainability of the MDP in the context of the Spanish population in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural land use, energy consumption and water consumption. Furthermore, we aimed to compare the current Spanish diet with the Mediterranean Diet and in comparison with the western dietary pattern, exemplified by the U.S.A. food pattern, in terms of their corresponding environmental footprints. Methods The environmental footprints of the dietary patterns studied were calculated from the dietary make-up of each dietary pattern, and specific environmental footprints of each food group. The dietary compositions were obtained from different sources, including food balance sheets and household consumption surveys. The specific environmental footprints of food groups were obtained from different available life-cycle assessments. Results The adherence of the Spanish population to the MDP has a marked impact on all the environmental footprints studied. Increasing adherence to the MDP pattern in Spain will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (72%), land use (58%) and energy consumption (52%), and to a lower extent water consumption (33%). On the other hand, the adherence to a western dietary pattern implies an increase in all these descriptors of between 12% and 72%. Conclusions The MDP is presented as not only a cultural model but also as a healthy and environmentally

  18. APEX simulation: environmental benefits of agroforestry and grass buffers on corn-soybean watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX) model has the ability to simulate the effects of vegetative filter strips on runoff and pollutant loadings from agricultural watersheds. The objectives of this study were to calibrate and validate the APEX model for three adjacent watersheds and...

  19. Apex simulation: environmental benefits of agroforestry and grass buffers for corn-soybean watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX) model is used to simulate the effects of vegetative filter strips on runoff and pollutant loadings from agricultural watersheds. A long-term paired watershed study under corn (Zea mays L-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation with agroforestr...

  20. Investigating the Benefits of Participatory Action Research for Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bywater, Krista

    2014-01-01

    Environmental education (EE) continues to focus on enhancing people's ecological knowledge to encourage sustainable actions. This deficit approach presumes that once informed about environmental harms, people will work towards sustainable solutions for healthy societies. Yet research overwhelmingly demonstrates that knowledge of environmental…

  1. Modeling analysis of the benefits of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) for sustainable agriculture in arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartlett, M. S.; Vico, G.; Porporato, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    In view of the pressing needs to sustainably manage water and soil resources, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, here we propose a new carbon assimilation model that couples a simple yet mechanistic description of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis to the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. The model captures the full coupling of the CAM photosynthetic pathway with fluctuations in environmental conditions (cycles of light availability and air humidity, changes in soil moisture as driven by plant transpiration and rainfall occurrence). As such, the model is capable of reproducing the different phases of CAM, including daytime stomatal closure and photosynthesis from malic acid, afternoon stomatal opening for direct carbon assimilation, and nighttime stomatal opening for CO2 uptake and malic acid synthesis. Thanks to its versatility, our model allows us to relate CAM productivity, for both obligate and facultative CAM plants, to various soil moisture conditions including hydroclimatic scenarios of rainfall frequency and intensity as well as different night-time conditions of temperature, wind speed, and humidity. Our analyses show the potential productive benefits of CAM cultivation in dryland environments as feedstock and possible biofuel source, in terms of sustainable water use and economic benefits. In particular, the model is used to explore conditions where CAM plant resiliency to water stress makes these plants a more sustainable alternative to C3 and C4 species for potential deficit irrigation.

  2. The Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (Apex) Model: An Emerging Tool for Landscape and Watershed Environmental Analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Gassman, Philip W.; Williams, Jimmy R.; Wang, Xiuying; Saleh, Ali; Osei, Edward; Hauck, Larry; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Flowers, Joan

    2010-06-01

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model was developed by the Blacklands Research and Extension Center in Temple, Texas. APEX is a flexible and dynamic tool that is capable of simulating a wide array of management practices, cropping systems, and other land uses across a broad range of agricultural landscapes, including whole farms and small watersheds.

  3. Environmental Services from Agricultural Stormwater Detention Systems in Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, A.; Shukla, S.; Knowles, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    Agricultural Stormwater Detention Areas (ADAs) commonly exist for the purpose of downstream flood protection in high water table regions of Florida. In addition to flood protection, they are also considered an important Best Management Practice due to their presumed effectiveness in reducing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loads to the Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades (KLE) ecosystem. The KLE ecosystem has been adversely impacted due to excessive P loads. Despite their presumed water quality effectiveness, limited data exist on actual N and P treatment efficiencies. A study was conducted at two ADAs (ADA 1 and ADA 2) located in two row crop farms to quantify the total N and P treatment efficiencies. Water, N, and P inflow and outflows at both ADAs were monitored for a year. Results from ADA 1 suggested that P treatment efficiency was below zero indicating that the ADA was a source of P rather than a sink. On the other hand, N treatment efficiency was found to be 20%. Mean inflow and outflow N concentrations for ADA 1 were 1.6 and 1.4 mg/l respectively, indicating a 9% reduction. Mean inflow and outflow P concentrations were 0.04 and 0.06 mg/l respectively, showing an increase of 67%. Although ADA 1 was effective in retaining N it was not for P. In contrast to ADA 1, the P treatment efficiency of ADA 2 was positive (20%). Nitrogen treatment efficiency of ADA 2 was 22%. Mean inflow and outflow N concentrations for ADA 2 were 4.0 and 2.0 mg/l respectively, indicating 50% reduction. A reduction of 32% was observed for P concentrations with mean inflow and outflow P concentrations of 0.5 and 0.3 mg/l respectively. No P retention at ADA 1 was mainly due to low P adsorption capacity of the soil. Analysis of surface (0-10 cm) and subsurface (10-20 cm) soil P retention characteristics suggested that ADA 1 had no remaining P storage capacity which resulted in it being a source of P. At ADA 2, a large fraction of the area still had P storage capacity which resulted in

  4. Risk-Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Atrazine In Drinking Water From Agricultural Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aklilu, T. A.; Jagath, K. J.; Arthur, C. J.

    2004-12-01

    This study provides a new methodology for investigating the trade-offs between the health risks and economic benefits of using atrazine in the agricultural sector and a more holistic insight to pesticide management issues. Regression models are developed to predict the stream atrazine concentrations and finished water atrazine concentration at high-risk community water supplies in the US using surface water. The predicted finished water atrazine concentrations are then used in health risk assessment. The computed health risks are compared with the total surplus in the US corn market for different atrazine application rates using the demand and supply functions developed in this work. Analysis of different scenarios with consumer price premiums (preferences) for chemical-free to reduced chemical corn provided interesting results on the potential for future pesticide and land use management. This is an interdisciplinary work that has attempted to integrate and consider the interaction between weed sciences, economics, water quality, human health risk and human reaction to changes in different pesticide use scenarios. The results showed that this methodology provides a scientific framework for future decision-making and policy evaluation in pesticide management, especially when better regional and national data are available.

  5. Charcoal addition to soils in NE England: a carbon sink with environmental co-benefits?

    PubMed

    Bell, M J; Worrall, F

    2011-04-01

    Interest in the application of biochar (charcoal produced during the pyrolysis of biomass) to agricultural land is increasing across the world, recognised as a potential way to capture and store atmospheric carbon. Its interest is heightened by its potential co-benefits for soil quality and fertility. The majority of research has however been undertaken in tropical rather than temperate regions. This study assessed the potential for lump-wood charcoal addition (as a substitute for biochar) to soil types which are typically under arable and forest land-use in North East England. The study was undertaken over a 28 week period and found: i) No significant difference in net ecosystem respiration (NER) between soils containing charcoal and those without, other than in week 1 of the trial. ii) A significantly higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux from soils containing large amounts of charcoal than from those untreated, when planted with ryegrass. iii) That when increased respiration or DOC loss did occur, neither was sufficiently large to alter the carbon sink benefits of charcoal application. iv) That charcoal incorporation resulted in a significantly lower nitrate flux in soil leachate from mineral soils. v) That charcoal incorporation caused significant increases in soil pH, from 6.98 to 7.22 on bare arable soils when 87,500 kg charcoal/ha was applied. Consideration of both the carbon sink and environmental benefits observed here suggests that charcoal application to temperate soils typical of North East England should be considered as a method of carbon sequestration. Before large scale land application is encouraged, further large scale trials should be undertaken to confirm the positive results of this research.

  6. An Analysis of the Perceived Benefits and Affordances of Course Websites by On-Campus Agricultural Students and Faculty Members.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Tim H.

    2002-01-01

    A survey of 1,304 agriculture students and 263 faculty showed that course websites were perceived as benefiting students more than faculty. Faculty found website components more useful than students. Components deemed most useful were those easiest to implement. (Contains 23 references.) (SK)

  7. Environmental Enterprise Risk Management Benefits for a Government Contractor

    SciTech Connect

    Linda Guinn

    2012-05-01

    An often overlooked advantage that an Environmental Enterprise Risk Management System (ERMS) has to organizations is the added protection from the Civil False Claims Act (FCA) for activities under a government contract.

  8. The Benefits of Teaching and Learning about Agriculture in Elementary and Junior High Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knobloch, Neil A.; Ball, Anna L.; Allen, Crystal

    2007-01-01

    The beliefs and mental images that teachers have about agriculture likely influence what and how they integrate agriculture into their instruction. The purpose of this action research study was to explore the beliefs and needs of elementary and junior high school teachers in regard to integrating agriculture into their classrooms. The sample…

  9. Cover crops effect on farm benefits and nitrate leaching: linking economic and environmental analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    Introducing cover crops interspersed with intensively fertilized crops in rotation has the potential to reduce nitrate leaching. However, despite the evident environmental services provided and the range of agronomic benefits documented in the literature, farmers' adoption of the technique is still limited because growing CC could lead to extra costs for the farm in three different forms: direct, indirect, and opportunity costs. Environmental studies are complex, and evaluating the indicators that are representative of the environmental impact of an agricultural system is a complicated task that is conducted by specialized groups and methodologies. Multidisciplinary studies may help to develop reliable approaches that would contribute to choosing the best agricultural strategies based on linking economic and environmental benefits. This study evaluates barley (Hordeum vulgare L., cv. Vanessa), vetch (Vicia villosa L., cv. Vereda) and rapeseed (Brassica napus L., cv. Licapo) as cover crops between maize, leaving the residue in the ground or selling it for animal feeding, and compares the economic and environmental results with respect to a typical maize-fallow rotation. Nitrate leaching for different weather conditions was calculated using the mechanistic-deterministic WAVE model, using the Richards equation parameterised with a conceptual model for the soil hydraulic properties for describing the water flow in the vadose zone, combined with field observed data. The economic impact was evaluated through stochastic (Monte-Carlo) simulation models of farms' profits using probability distribution functions of maize yield and cover crop biomass developed fitted with data collected from various field trials (during more than 5 years) and probability distribution functions of maize and different cover crop forage prices fitted from statistical sources. Stochastic dominance relationships are obtained to rank the most profitable strategies from a farm financial perspective

  10. GMOs in animal agriculture: time to consider both costs and benefits in regulatory evaluations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    In 2012, genetically engineered (GE) crops were grown by 17.3 million farmers on over 170 million hectares. Over 70% of harvested GE biomass is fed to food producing animals, making them the major consumers of GE crops for the past 15 plus years. Prior to commercialization, GE crops go through an extensive regulatory evaluation. Over one hundred regulatory submissions have shown compositional equivalence, and comparable levels of safety, between GE crops and their conventional counterparts. One component of regulatory compliance is whole GE food/feed animal feeding studies. Both regulatory studies and independent peer-reviewed studies have shown that GE crops can be safely used in animal feed, and rDNA fragments have never been detected in products (e.g. milk, meat, eggs) derived from animals that consumed GE feed. Despite the fact that the scientific weight of evidence from these hundreds of studies have not revealed unique risks associated with GE feed, some groups are calling for more animal feeding studies, including long-term rodent studies and studies in target livestock species for the approval of GE crops. It is an opportune time to review the results of such studies as have been done to date to evaluate the value of the additional information obtained. Requiring long-term and target animal feeding studies would sharply increase regulatory compliance costs and prolong the regulatory process associated with the commercialization of GE crops. Such costs may impede the development of feed crops with enhanced nutritional characteristics and durability, particularly in the local varieties in small and poor developing countries. More generally it is time for regulatory evaluations to more explicitly consider both the reasonable and unique risks and benefits associated with the use of both GE plants and animals in agricultural systems, and weigh them against those associated with existing systems, and those of regulatory inaction. This would represent a shift away

  11. GMOs in animal agriculture: time to consider both costs and benefits in regulatory evaluations.

    PubMed

    Van Eenennaam, Alison L

    2013-09-25

    In 2012, genetically engineered (GE) crops were grown by 17.3 million farmers on over 170 million hectares. Over 70% of harvested GE biomass is fed to food producing animals, making them the major consumers of GE crops for the past 15 plus years. Prior to commercialization, GE crops go through an extensive regulatory evaluation. Over one hundred regulatory submissions have shown compositional equivalence, and comparable levels of safety, between GE crops and their conventional counterparts. One component of regulatory compliance is whole GE food/feed animal feeding studies. Both regulatory studies and independent peer-reviewed studies have shown that GE crops can be safely used in animal feed, and rDNA fragments have never been detected in products (e.g. milk, meat, eggs) derived from animals that consumed GE feed. Despite the fact that the scientific weight of evidence from these hundreds of studies have not revealed unique risks associated with GE feed, some groups are calling for more animal feeding studies, including long-term rodent studies and studies in target livestock species for the approval of GE crops. It is an opportune time to review the results of such studies as have been done to date to evaluate the value of the additional information obtained. Requiring long-term and target animal feeding studies would sharply increase regulatory compliance costs and prolong the regulatory process associated with the commercialization of GE crops. Such costs may impede the development of feed crops with enhanced nutritional characteristics and durability, particularly in the local varieties in small and poor developing countries. More generally it is time for regulatory evaluations to more explicitly consider both the reasonable and unique risks and benefits associated with the use of both GE plants and animals in agricultural systems, and weigh them against those associated with existing systems, and those of regulatory inaction. This would represent a shift away

  12. Benefits of On-Site Management of Environmental Restoration Wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Irwin, Michael J. ,P.E.; Wood, Craig, R.E.M.; Kwiecinski, Daniel, P.E.; Alanis, Saul

    2003-02-27

    As Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico (SNL/NM) began assessing options under which to conduct the remediation of environmental restoration sites, it became clear that the standard routes for permanent disposal of waste contaminated with hazardous materials would be difficult. Publicly, local citizens' groups resisted the idea of large volumes of hazardous waste being transported through their communities. Regulations for the off-site disposal are complicated due to the nature of the environmental restoration waste, which included elevated tritium levels. Waste generated from environmental restoration at SNL/NM included debris and soils contaminated with a variety of constituents. Operationally, disposal of environmental restoration waste was difficult because of the everchanging types of waste generated during site remediation. As an alternative to standard hazardous waste disposal, SNL/NM proposed and received regulatory approval to construct a Corrective Action Management Unit (CAMU). By containing the remediation wastes on-site, SNL/NM's Environmental Restoration (ER) Program managed to eliminate transportation concerns from the public, worked with regulatory agencies to develop a safe, permanent disposal, and modified the waste disposal procedures to accommodate operational changes. SNL/NM accomplished the task and saved approximately $200 million over the life of the CAMU project, as compared to off-site disposal options.

  13. Agricultural land management options following large-scale environmental contamination - evaluation for Fukushima affected agricultural land

    SciTech Connect

    Vandenhove, Hildegarde

    2013-07-01

    The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has raised questions about the accumulation of radionuclides in soils, the transfer in the food chain and the possibility of continued restricted future land use. This paper summarizes what is generally understood about the application of agricultural countermeasures as a land management option to reduce the radionuclides transfer in the food chain and to facilitate the return of potentially affected soils to agricultural practices in areas impacted by a nuclear accident. (authors)

  14. Selected historic agricultural data important to environmental quality in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grey, Katia M.; Capel, Paul D.; Baker, Nancy T.; Thelin, Gail P.

    2012-01-01

    This report and the accompanying tables summarize some of the important changes in American agriculture in the form of a timeline and a compilation of selected annual time-series data that can be broadly related to environmental quality. Although these changes have been beneficial for increasing agricultural production, some of them have resulted in environmental concerns. The agriculture timeline is divided into four categories (1) crop and animal changes, (2) mechanical changes, (3) biological and chemical changes, and (4) regulatory and societal changes. The timeline attempts to compile events that have had a lasting impact on agriculture in the United States. The events and data presented in this report may help to improve the connections between agricultural activist and environmental concerns.

  15. Biochar soil amendment for environmental and agronomic benefits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Char(coal), and a broader term black carbon (that includes soot) has long been recognized as a normal environmental (including soil) constituent resulting from fire and industrial activities. Biochar soil amendment has received global interests as a tool for carbon sequestration in conjunction with...

  16. Unintended environmental consequences and co-benefits of economic restructuring.

    PubMed

    Liang, Sai; Xu, Ming; Suh, Sangwon; Tan, Raymond R

    2013-11-19

    Current economic restructuring policies have ignored unintended environmental consequences and cobenefits, the understanding of which can provide foundations for effective policy decisions for green economy transformation. Using the input-output life cycle assessment model and taking China as an example, we find that household consumption, fixed capital formation, and export are main drivers to China's environmental impacts. At the product scale, major contributors to environmental impacts vary across different types of impacts. Stimulating the development of seven strategic emerging industries will cause unintended consequences, such as increasing nonferrous metal ore usage, terrestrial acidification, photochemical oxidant formation, human toxicity, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Limiting the surplus outputs in the construction materials industry and metallurgy industry may only help mitigate some of the environmental impacts caused by China's regulated pollutants, with little effect on reducing other impacts, such as marine eutrophication, terrestrial acidification, photochemical oxidant formation, and particulate matter formation. However, it will bring cobenefits by simultaneously reducing mineral ore usage, human toxicity, marine ecotoxicity, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Sustainable materials management and integrated policy modeling are possible ways for policy-making to avoid unintended consequences and effectively utilize cobenefits.

  17. Environmental Hazard and General Labeling for Pyrethroid and Synergized Pyrethrins Non-Agricultural Outdoor Products

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA approved certain optional modifications to the “Environmental Hazard Statements” and general “Directions for Use” for pyrethroid and pyrethrins non-agricultural outdoor products. Find out about these changes.

  18. Agricultural Machinery 01.0301 for Agribusiness, Natural Resources and Environmental Occupations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, John; And Others

    The document presents unit plans which offer lists of experiences and competencies to be learned in the area of agricultural machinery for agribusiness, natural resources, and environmental occupations. The units include: (1) safety; (2) agricultural service center; (3) component parts--bearings, gears, pulleys, clutches, and others; (4) metal…

  19. Integrated crop–livestock systems: Strategies to achieve synergy between agricultural production and environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world for food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce agriculture’s negative environmental impacts. We suggest that a cause of this dichotomy is loss of diversity within agricultural systems at field, farm and landscape scales....

  20. Grassland-cropping rotations: An avenue for agricultural diversification to reconcile high production with environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity...

  1. Regional variations in the health, environmental, and climate benefits of wind and solar generation.

    PubMed

    Siler-Evans, Kyle; Azevedo, Inês Lima; Morgan, M Granger; Apt, Jay

    2013-07-16

    When wind or solar energy displace conventional generation, the reduction in emissions varies dramatically across the United States. Although the Southwest has the greatest solar resource, a solar panel in New Jersey displaces significantly more sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter than a panel in Arizona, resulting in 15 times more health and environmental benefits. A wind turbine in West Virginia displaces twice as much carbon dioxide as the same turbine in California. Depending on location, we estimate that the combined health, environmental, and climate benefits from wind or solar range from $10/MWh to $100/MWh, and the sites with the highest energy output do not yield the greatest social benefits in many cases. We estimate that the social benefits from existing wind farms are roughly 60% higher than the cost of the Production Tax Credit, an important federal subsidy for wind energy. However, that same investment could achieve greater health, environmental, and climate benefits if it were differentiated by region.

  2. Agriculture/Natural Resources Environmental Technician Task List. Occupational Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henrico County Public Schools, Glen Allen, VA. Virginia Vocational Curriculum and Resource Center.

    This publication contains a worker task list and supplementary information for occupations in the agriculture and natural resources cluster of occupations. The task list were generated through the DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) process and/or by analysis by a panel of experts. Tasks are listed in 10 categories: (1) performing investigative…

  3. Why geese benefit from the transition from natural vegetation to agriculture.

    PubMed

    Fox, Anthony D; Abraham, Kenneth F

    2017-03-01

    The energy and nutrient content of most agricultural crops are as good as or superior to natural foods for wild geese and they tend to be available in agricultural landscapes in far greater abundance. Artificial grasslands (fertilised native swards and intensively managed reseeds) offer far superior quality forage and higher intake rates than seminatural or natural grasslands. The availability of such abundant artificial food explains the abandonment of traditional habitats for farmland by geese over the last 50-100 years and favours no reduction in current levels of exploitation of agriculture. Continental scale spatial and temporal shifts among geese undergoing spring fattening confirm their flexibility to respond rapidly to broadscale changes in agriculture. These dramatic changes support the hypothesis that use of agricultural landscapes has contributed to elevated reproductive success and that European and North American farmland currently provides unrestricted winter carrying capacity for goose populations formerly limited by wetlands habitats prior to the agrarian revolution of the last century.

  4. Innovative grassland management systems for environmental and livelihood benefits

    PubMed Central

    Kemp, David R.; Guodong, Han; Xiangyang, Hou; Michalk, David L.; Fujiang, Hou; Jianping, Wu; Yingjun, Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands occupy 40% of the world’s land surface (excluding Antarctica and Greenland) and support diverse groups, from traditional extensive nomadic to intense livestock-production systems. Population pressures mean that many of these grasslands are in a degraded state, particularly in less-productive areas of developing countries, affecting not only productivity but also vital environmental services such as hydrology, biodiversity, and carbon cycles; livestock condition is often poor and household incomes are at or below poverty levels. The challenge is to optimize management practices that result in “win-win” outcomes for grasslands, the environment, and households. A case study is discussed from northwestern China, where it has been possible to reduce animal numbers considerably by using an energy-balance/market-based approach while improving household incomes, providing conditions within which grassland recovery is possible. This bottom-up approach was supported by informing and working with the six layers of government in China to build appropriate policies. Further policy implications are considered. Additional gains in grassland rehabilitation could be fostered through targeted environmental payment schemes. Other aspects of the livestock production system that can be modified are discussed. This work built a strategy that has implications for many other grassland areas around the world where common problems apply. PMID:23671092

  5. Environmental and economic benefits of variable rate nitrogen fertilization in a nitrate vulnerable zone.

    PubMed

    Basso, Bruno; Dumont, Benjamin; Cammarano, Davide; Pezzuolo, Andrea; Marinello, Francesco; Sartori, Luigi

    2016-03-01

    Agronomic input and management practices have traditionally been applied uniformly on agricultural fields despite the presence of spatial variability of soil properties and landscape position. When spatial variability is ignored, uniform agronomic management can be both economically and environmentally inefficient. The objectives of this study were to: i) identify optimal N fertilizer rates using an integrated spatio-temporal analysis of yield and site-specific N rate response; ii) test the sensitivity of site specific N management to nitrate leaching in response to different N rates; and iii) demonstrate the environmental benefits of variable rate N fertilizer in a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. This study was carried out on a 13.6 ha field near the Venice Lagoon, northeast Italy over four years (2005-2008). We utilized a validated crop simulation model to evaluate crop response to different N rates at specific zones in the field based on localized soil and landscape properties under rainfed conditions. The simulated rates were: 50 kg N ha(-1) applied at sowing for the entire study area and increasing fractions, ranging from 150 to 350 kg N ha(-1) applied at V6 stage. Based on the analysis of yield maps from previous harvests and soil electrical resistivity data, three management zones were defined. Two N rates were applied in each of these zones, one suggested by our simulation analysis and the other with uniform N fertilization as normally applied by the producer. N leaching was lower and net revenue was higher in the zones where variable rates of N were applied when compared to uniform N fertilization. This demonstrates the efficacy of using crop models to determine variable rates of N fertilization within a field and the application of variable rate N fertilizer to achieve higher profit and reduce nitrate leaching.

  6. Carrying capacity in agriculture: environmental significance and some related patents.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Alexandre M

    2009-06-01

    Agriculture is one of the most important and possibly the oldest economic activity developed by humans. This activity was developed extensively and is becoming more and more dependent on development of technologies. The goal of this manuscript was examining some patents related to technologies developed for improving crop yields. Such patents are mainly related to more efficient formulations of agrochemicals and management techniques of plants, cattle and natural resources. A brief comment is carried out about bioprospection and related problems, relating, for example the case of Cupuaçu. The article is concluded mentioning that the development of policies and management strategies that increase agricultural yield and simultaneously preserve or conserve natural resources should also be prioritized, because certainly this is the only way we have to get the real sustainability and to improve life quality abroad the world.

  7. Using Microbial Source Tracking to Enhance Environmental Stewardship of Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Sherry; Rose, Joan; Flood, Matthew; Aw, Tiong; Hyndman, David

    2016-04-01

    Large scale agriculture relies on the application of chemical fertilizers and animal manure. It is well known that nutrients in excess of a plant's uptake and soil retention capacity can travel to nearby waterways via surface run-off and groundwater pathways, indirectly fertilizing these aquatic ecosystems. It has not yet been possible to distinguish water quality impacts of fertilizer from those derived from human and animal waste sources. However, new microbial source tracking (MST) tools allow specific identification of fecal pollution. Our objective was to examine pollution risks at the regional scale using MST, mapping and classification and regression tree analysis. We present results Bovine M2 genetic marker data from three flow regimes (baseflow, snow melt, and post-planting rain). Key landscape characteristics were related to the presence of the bovine markers and appear to be related to fate and transport. Impacts at this regional watershed scale will be discussed. Our research aims to identify the impacts of agricultural management practices on water quality by linking nutrient concentrations with fecal pollution sources. We hope that our research will provide guidance that will help improve water quality through agricultural best management practices to reduce pathogen contamination.

  8. Meeting multiple demands: Water transaction opportunities for environmental benefits promoting adaptation to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, Amy

    2015-04-01

    In arid regions, the challenge of balancing water use among a diversity of sectors expands in lock step with conditions of water stress that are exacerbated by climate variability, prolonged drought, and growing water-use demands. The elusiveness of achieving a sustainable balance under conditions of environmental change in the southwestern United States is evidenced by reductions in both overall water availability and freshwater ecosystem health, as well as by recent projections of shortages on the Colorado River within the next five years. The water sustainability challenge in this region, as well as drylands throughout the world, can therefore be viewed through the lens of water stress, a condition wherein demands on land and water -- including the needs of freshwater ecosystems -- exceed reliable supplies, and the full range of water needs cannot be met without tradeoffs across multiple uses. Water stress influences not only ecosystems, but a region's economy, land management, quality of life, and cultural heritage -- each of which requires water to thrive. With respect to promoting successful adaptation to climate change, achieving full water sustainability would allow for water to be successfully divided among water users -- including municipalities, agriculture, and freshwater ecosystems -- at a level that meets the goals of water users and the governing body. Over the last ten to fifteen years, the use of transactional approaches in the western U.S., Mexico, and Australia has proven to be a viable management tool for achieving stream flow and shallow aquifer restoration. By broad definition, environmental water transactions are an equitable and adaptable tool that brings diverse stakeholders to the table to facilitate a fair-market exchange of rights to use water in a manner that benefits both water users and the environment. This talk will present a basic framework of necessary stakeholder engagement, hydrologic conditions, enabling laws and policies

  9. Benefits, Motivations, and Barriers Related to Environmental Volunteerism for Older Adults: Developing a Research Agenda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bushway, Lori J.; Dickinson, Janis L.; Stedman, Richard C.; Wagenet, Linda P.; Weinstein, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Interest in civic engagement focused on the natural environment has grown dramatically, as has the population of older adults. Our article explores the potential for increased environmental volunteerism among older adults to enrich the lives of volunteers while benefitting the community and environmental quality. Curiously, this convergence has…

  10. ENVIRONMENTAL GOODS AND SERIVCES FROM RESTORATION ALTERNATIVES: EMERGY-BASED METHOD OF BENEFIT VALUE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although economic benefit-cost analyses of environmental regulations has been conducted since the 1970s, an effective methodology has yet to be developed for the integrated assessment of regulatory impacts on the larger system as a whole, including its social and environmental as...

  11. Environmental & Agricultural Systems Career Cluster ITAC for Career-Focused Education. Integrated Technical & Academic Competencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Vocational Instructional Materials Lab.

    Designed for Ohio educators responsible for planning programs to prepare high school students for careers in environmental and agricultural systems, this document presents an overview of Ohio's Integrated Technical and Academic Competencies (ITAC) system of career-focused education and specific information about the environmental and agricultural…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sumner, Jennifer

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Solar Program Assessment: Environmental Factors - Solar Agricultural and Industrial Process Heat.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Energy Research and Development Administration, Washington, DC. Div. of Solar Energy.

    The purpose of this report is to present and prioritize the major environmental issues associated with the further development of solar energy as a source of process heat in the industrial and agricultural sectors. To provide a background for this environmental analysis, the basic concepts and technologies of solar process heating are reviewed.…

  14. Benefits of Mobile Phone Technology for Personal Environmental Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Carrasco-Turigas, Glòria; Seto, Edmund; Jerrett, Michael; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J

    2016-01-01

    Background Tracking individuals in environmental epidemiological studies using novel mobile phone technologies can provide valuable information on geolocation and physical activity, which will improve our understanding of environmental exposures. Objective The objective of this study was to assess the performance of one of the least expensive mobile phones on the market to track people's travel-activity pattern. Methods Adults living and working in Barcelona (72/162 bicycle commuters) carried simultaneously a mobile phone and a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker and filled in a travel-activity diary (TAD) for 1 week (N=162). The CalFit app for mobile phones was used to log participants’ geographical location and physical activity. The geographical location data were assigned to different microenvironments (home, work or school, in transit, others) with a newly developed spatiotemporal map-matching algorithm. The tracking performance of the mobile phones was compared with that of the GPS trackers using chi-square test and Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test. The minute agreement across all microenvironments between the TAD and the algorithm was compared using the Gwet agreement coefficient (AC1). Results The mobile phone acquired locations for 905 (29.2%) more trips reported in travel diaries than the GPS tracker (P<.001) and had a median accuracy of 25 m. Subjects spent on average 57.9%, 19.9%, 9.0%, and 13.2% of time at home, work, in transit, and other places, respectively, according to the TAD and 57.5%, 18.8%, 11.6%, and 12.1%, respectively, according to the map-matching algorithm. The overall minute agreement between both methods was high (AC1 .811, 95% CI .810-.812). Conclusions The use of mobile phones running the CalFit app provides better information on which microenvironments people spend their time in than previous approaches based only on GPS trackers. The improvements of mobile phone technology in microenvironment determination are because the mobile

  15. Indoor Environmental Quality Benefits of Apartment Energy Retrofits

    SciTech Connect

    Noris, Federico; Adamkiewicz, Gary; Delp, William W.; Hotchi, Toshifumi; Russell, Marion; Singer, Brett C.; Spears, Michael; Vermeer, Kimberly; Fisk, William J.

    2013-06-01

    Sixteen apartments serving low-income populations in three buildings were retrofit with the goal of simultaneously reducing energy consumption and improving indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Retrofit measures varied among apartments and included, among others, envelope sealing, installation of continuous mechanical ventilation systems, upgrading bathroom fans and range hoods, attic insulation, replacement of heating and cooling systems, and adding wall-mounted particle air cleaners. IEQ parameters were measured, generally for two one-week periods before and after the retrofits. The measurements indicate an overall improvement in IEQ conditions after the retrofits. Comfort conditions, bathroom humidity, and concentrations of carbon dioxide, acetaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, and particles generally improved. Formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide levels decreased in the building with the highest concentrations, were unchanged in a second building, and increased in a third building. IEQ parameters other than particles improved more in apartments with continuous mechanical ventilation systems installed. In general, but not consistently, larger percent increases in air exchange rates were associated with larger percent decreases in indoor levels of the pollutants that primarily come from indoor sources.

  16. Potential Economic Benefits of Adapting Agricultural Production Systems to Future Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prato, Tony; Zeyuan, Qiu; Pederson, Gregory; Fagre, Dan; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Williams, Jimmy R.

    2010-03-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960-2005) and future climate period (2006-2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO2 emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting APSs to

  17. Potential economic benefits of adapting agricultural production systems to future climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel B.; Pederson, Gregory; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Prato, Tony; Qui, Zeyuan; Williams, Jimmie R.

    2010-01-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960–2005) and future climate period (2006–2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO2 emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting

  18. Potential economic benefits of adapting agricultural production systems to future climate change.

    PubMed

    Prato, Tony; Zeyuan, Qiu; Pederson, Gregory; Fagre, Dan; Bengtson, Lindsey E; Williams, Jimmy R

    2010-03-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960-2005) and future climate period (2006-2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO(2) emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting APSs

  19. Environmental flow deficit at global scale - implication on irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastor, Amandine; Ludwig, Fulco; Biemans, Hester; Kabat, Pavel

    2016-04-01

    Freshwater species belong to the most degraded ecosystem on earth. At the beginning of the 21st century, scientists have developed the concept of environmental flow requirements (Brisbane declaration 2003) with the aim of protecting freshwater species in the long term. However, the ecological state of rivers is different across the world depending on their fragmentation, on the presence of dams and reservoirs and on the degree of pollution. To implement new regulations on river flow, it is necessary to evaluate the degree of alteration of rivers which we called "environmental flow deficit". The European water framework directive is still working on evaluating the ecological states of river across Europe. In this study, we calculated monthly environmental flow deficit with the global vegetation dynamic and hydrological model LPJml. Environmental flow requirements were first calculated with the Variable Monthly Flow method (Pastor et al., 2014). Then, we checked in each river basin where and when the actual flow (flow minus abstraction for irrigation) does not satisfy environmental flow requirements. We finally show examples of different river basins such as the Nile and the Amazon to show how climate and irrigation can impact river flow and harm freshwater ecosystems.

  20. Agricultural environmental management; case studies from theory to practice.

    PubMed

    Frost, A; Stewart, S; Kerr, D; MacDonald, J; D'Arcy, B

    2004-01-01

    Six farms were examined, each from a different sector of Scottish agriculture. Surveys were carried out to identify both diffuse pollution risks and options for habitat conservation and enhancement. Financial data were also gathered to determine the current sources of farm income, both from sale of produce and from grants. Whole farm plans were produced aimed at bringing about reductions in diffuse pollution to water, soil and air and also habitat improvements. The assembled information was used to devise a possible agri-environment grant scheme to aid the implementation of the whole farm plans.

  1. Valuing Indigenous Knowledge in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea: A Model for Agricultural and Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radcliffe, Chris; Parissi, Cesidio; Raman, Anantanarayanan

    2016-01-01

    Current methods of agricultural and environmental education for indigenous farmers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) fail to provide high level engagement. Indigenous knowledge (IK) forms the basis of natural resource management, agriculture and health of farmers in PNG, yet its value to agricultural and environmental education in PNG is rarely…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Bacterial-Fungal Interactions: Hyphens between Agricultural, Clinical, Environmental, and Food Microbiologists

    PubMed Central

    Frey-Klett, P.; Burlinson, P.; Deveau, A.; Barret, M.; Tarkka, M.; Sarniguet, A.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Bacteria and fungi can form a range of physical associations that depend on various modes of molecular communication for their development and functioning. These bacterial-fungal interactions often result in changes to the pathogenicity or the nutritional influence of one or both partners toward plants or animals (including humans). They can also result in unique contributions to biogeochemical cycles and biotechnological processes. Thus, the interactions between bacteria and fungi are of central importance to numerous biological questions in agriculture, forestry, environmental science, food production, and medicine. Here we present a structured review of bacterial-fungal interactions, illustrated by examples sourced from many diverse scientific fields. We consider the general and specific properties of these interactions, providing a global perspective across this emerging multidisciplinary research area. We show that in many cases, parallels can be drawn between different scenarios in which bacterial-fungal interactions are important. Finally, we discuss how new avenues of investigation may enhance our ability to combat, manipulate, or exploit bacterial-fungal complexes for the economic and practical benefit of humanity as well as reshape our current understanding of bacterial and fungal ecology. PMID:22126995

  5. The environmental and health impacts of tobacco agriculture, cigarette manufacture and consumption.

    PubMed

    Novotny, Thomas E; Bialous, Stella Aguinaga; Burt, Lindsay; Curtis, Clifton; da Costa, Vera Luiza; Iqtidar, Silvae Usman; Liu, Yuchen; Pujari, Sameer; Tursan d'Espaignet, Edouard

    2015-12-01

    The health consequences of tobacco use are well known, but less recognized are the significant environmental impacts of tobacco production and use. The environmental impacts of tobacco include tobacco growing and curing; product manufacturing and distribution; product consumption; and post-consumption waste. The World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control addresses environmental concerns in Articles 17 and 18, which primarily apply to tobacco agriculture. Article 5.3 calls for protection from policy interference by the tobacco industry regarding the environmental harms of tobacco production and use. We detail the environmental impacts of the tobacco life-cycle and suggest policy responses.

  6. The environmental and health impacts of tobacco agriculture, cigarette manufacture and consumption

    PubMed Central

    Novotny, Thomas E; Bialous, Stella Aguinaga; Burt, Lindsay; Curtis, Clifton; Luiza da Costa, Vera; Iqtidar, Silvae Usman; Liu, Yuchen; Pujari, Sameer

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The health consequences of tobacco use are well known, but less recognized are the significant environmental impacts of tobacco production and use. The environmental impacts of tobacco include tobacco growing and curing; product manufacturing and distribution; product consumption; and post-consumption waste. The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control addresses environmental concerns in Articles 17 and 18, which primarily apply to tobacco agriculture. Article 5.3 calls for protection from policy interference by the tobacco industry regarding the environmental harms of tobacco production and use. We detail the environmental impacts of the tobacco life-cycle and suggest policy responses. PMID:26668440

  7. Assessment of life cycle environmental benefits of an industrial symbiosis cluster in China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fei; Han, Feng; Cui, Zhaojie

    2015-04-01

    Reusing industrial waste may have impressive potential environmental benefits, especially in terms of the total life cycle, and life cycle assessment (LCA) has been proved to be an effective method to evaluate industrial symbiosis (IS). Circular economy and IS have been developed for decades and have been successful in China. However, very few studies about the environmental benefit assessment of IS applied by LCA in China have been conducted. In the current article, LCA was used to evaluate the environmental benefits and costs of IS, compared with a no-IS scenario for four environmental impact categories. The results showed that four environmental benefits were avoided by the 11 symbiosis performances, namely, 41.6 thousand TJ of primary energy, 4.47 million t CO2e of greenhouse gasses, 19.7 thousand t SO2e of acidification, and 81.1 t PO4(3+)e of eutrophication. Among these IS performances, the comprehensive utilization of red mud produced the most visible benefit. The results also present that energy conservation was the distinctive feature of IS in China.

  8. Focus on Agriculture and Forestry Benefits of Reducing Climate Change Impacts

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this focus issue is to present the methods and results of modeling exercises that estimate the impacts of climate change on agriculture and forestry under a consistent set of climate projections that represent futures with and without global-scale GHG mitigation....

  9. Does symbolism benefit environmental and business performance in the adoption of ISO 14001?

    PubMed

    Ferrón-Vílchez, Vera

    2016-12-01

    Much research has focused on the organisational and reputational benefits of ISO 14001. However, less discussed is the symbolic adoption that some firms are implementing without experiencing significant reductions in environmental impacts. This work analyses the relationships between the different ISO 14001 adoption profiles (from symbolic profile to factual approach) and both environmental performance and profitability. These relationships are examined using a sample of 1214 manufacturing firms in 7 OECD countries while controlling for selection bias. The results suggest that only ISO 14001 adopters that monitor an extensive set of negative environmental impacts are associated with real improvements in both environmental performance and business performance.

  10. Precision agriculture: introduction to the spatial and temporal variability of environmental quality.

    PubMed

    Bouma, J

    1997-01-01

    Precision agriculture aims at adjusting and fine-tuning land and crop management to the needs of plants within heterogeneous fields. Production aspects have to be balanced against environmental threshold values and modern information technology has made it possible to devise operational field systems. A reactive approach is described, using yield maps and sensors. A proactive approach uses simulation modelling of plant growth and solute fluxes to predict optimal timing of management practices. Precision agriculture, combining both approaches, is seen as making a major contribution towards the development of sustainable agricultural production systems.

  11. CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF CONDUCTING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE RESEARCH IN A SCHOOL SETTING

    PubMed Central

    GUIDRY, VIRGINIA T.; LOWMAN, AMY; HALL, DEVON; BARON, DOTHULA; WING, STEVE

    2015-01-01

    Environmental justice (EJ) research requires attention to consequences for research participants beyond those typically considered by institutional review boards. The imbalance of power between impacted communities and those who create and regulate pollution creates challenges for participation, yet research can also benefit those involved. Our community-academic partnership designed the Rural Air Pollutants and Children's Health (RAPCH) study to provide positive impacts while measuring health effects at three low-resource public middle schools near concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in North Carolina. We evaluated perceived benefits and challenges of study involvement by interviewing school staff and community liaisons who facilitated data collection. Reported benefits included enhancement of students’ academic environment and increased community environmental awareness; challenges were associated mainly with some participants’ immaturity. Leadership from a strong community-based organization was crucial to recruitment, yet our approach entailed minimal focus on EJ, which may have limited opportunities for community education or organizing for environmental health. PMID:25085828

  12. Economic and environmental impacts of water quality restrictions on agriculture: An application to cotton farming

    SciTech Connect

    Cruthfield, S.; Ribaudo, M.; Hansen, L.; Quiroga, R.

    1992-12-01

    Survey data on agrichemical use on cotton were used to assess consequences of policies to reduce or prevent degradation of water resources from chemicals and sediment. Reducing erosion or restricting chemical use on environmentally risky cropland would raise prices, but could generate environmental benefits by improving water quality.

  13. Economic valuation of environmental benefits from wastewater treatment processes: an empirical approach for Spain.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Sancho, Francesc; Molinos-Senante, María; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2010-01-15

    Economic research into the design and implementation of policies for the efficient management of water resources has been emphasized by the European Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). The efficient implementation of policies to prevent the degradation and depletion of water resources requires determining their value in social and economic terms and incorporating this information into the decision-making process. A process of wastewater treatment has many associated environmental benefits. However, these benefits are often not calculated because they are not set by the market, due to inadequate property rights, the presence of externalities, and the lack of perfect information. Nevertheless, the valuation of these benefits is necessary to justify a suitable investment policy and a limited number of studies exist on the subject of the economic valuation of environmental benefits. In this paper, we propose a methodology based on the estimation of shadow prices for the pollutants removed in a treatment process. This value represents the environmental benefit (avoided cost) associated with undischarged pollution. This is a pioneering approach to the economic valuation of wastewater treatment. The comparison of these benefits with the internal costs of the treatment process will provide a useful indicator for the feasibility of wastewater treatment projects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  15. [Impact of Phosphogypsum Wastes on the Wheat Growth and CO2 Emissions and Evaluation of Economic-environmental Benefit].

    PubMed

    Li, Ji; Wu, Hong-sheng; Gao, Zhi-qiu; Shang, Xiao-xia; Zheng, Pei-hui; Yin, Jin; Kakpa, Didier; Ren, Qian-qi; Faustin, Ogou Katchele; Chen, Su-yun; Xu, Ya; Yao, Tong-yan; Ji, Wei; Qian, Jing-shan; Ma, Shi-jie

    2015-08-01

    Phosphogypsum is a phosphorus chemical waste which has not been managed and reused well, resultantly, causing environmental pollution and land-occupation. Phosphogypsum wastes were used as a soil amendment to assess the effect on wheat growth, yield and CO2 emissions from winter wheat fields. Its economic and environmental benefits were analyzed at the same time. The results showed that wheat yield was increased by 37.71% in the treatment of phosphogypsum of 2 100 kg x hm(-2). Compared with the control treatment, throughout the wheat growing season, CO2 emission was accumulatively reduced by 3% in the treatment of phosphogypsum waste of 1050 kg x hm(-2), while reduced by 8% , 10% , and 6% during the jointing stage, heading date and filling period of wheat, respectively; while CO2 emission was accumulatively reduced by 7% in the treatment of phosphogypsum waste of 2 100 kg x hm(-2) throughout the wheat growing season, as reduced by 11% , 4% , and 12% during the reviving wintering stage, heading date and filling period of wheat, respectively. It was better for CO2 emission reduction in the treatment of a larger amount of phosphogypsum waste. In the case of application of phosphogypsum waste residue within a certain range, the emission intensity of CO2 ( CO2 emissions of per unit of fresh weight or CO2 emissions of per unit of yield) , spike length, fresh weight and yield showed a significantly negative correlation--the longer the ear length, the greater fresh weight and yield and the lower the CO2 emissions intensity. As to the carbon trading, phosphogypsum utilization was of high economic and environmental benefits. Compared with the control, the ratio of input to output changed from 1: 8.3 to 1: 10.7, which in the same situation of investment the output could be increased by 28.92% ; phosphogypsum as a greenhouse gas reducing agent in the wheat field, it could decrease the cost and increase the environmental benefit totally about 290 yuan per unit of ton. The

  16. Extracting Environmental Benefits from a New Canal in Nicaragua: Lessons from Panama

    PubMed Central

    Condit, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Biologists have raised objections to a new canal in Nicaragua, but in this Essay I argue that dire predictions of environmental catastrophe are exaggerated. I present an alternative view based on my research experience in Panama, where Canal operations foster forest conservation. Currently in Nicaragua, the rate of forest loss is so rapid that the canal cannot make it worse. Rather, I contend, adoption of international standards in canal construction could lead to net environmental and social benefits for the country. PMID:26214182

  17. Extracting Environmental Benefits from a New Canal in Nicaragua: Lessons from Panama.

    PubMed

    Condit, Richard

    2015-07-01

    Biologists have raised objections to a new canal in Nicaragua, but in this Essay I argue that dire predictions of environmental catastrophe are exaggerated. I present an alternative view based on my research experience in Panama, where Canal operations foster forest conservation. Currently in Nicaragua, the rate of forest loss is so rapid that the canal cannot make it worse. Rather, I contend, adoption of international standards in canal construction could lead to net environmental and social benefits for the country.

  18. The future of irrigated agriculture under environmental flow requirements restrictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastor, Amandine; Palazzo, Amanda; Havlik, Petr; Kabat, Pavel; Obersteiner, Michael; Ludwig, Fulco

    2016-04-01

    Water is not an infinite resource and demand from irrigation, household and industry is constantly increasing. This study focused on including global water availability including environmental flow requirements with water withdrawal from irrigation and other sectors at a monthly time-step in the GLOBIOM model. This model allows re-adjustment of land-use allocation, crop management, consumption and international trade. The GLOBIOM model induces an endogenous change in water price depending on water supply and demand. In this study, the focus was on how the inclusion of water resources affects land-use and, in particular, how global change will influence repartition of irrigated and rainfed lands at global scale. We used the climate change scenario including a radiative forcing of 8.5 W/m2 (RCP8.5), the socio-economic scenario (SSP2: middle-of-road), and the environmental flow method based on monthly flow allocation (the Variable Monthly Flow method) with high and low restrictions. Irrigation withdrawals were adjusted to a monthly time-step to account for biophysical water limitations at finer time resolution. Our results show that irrigated land might decrease up to 40% on average depending on the choice of EFR restrictions. Several areas were identified as future hot-spots of water stress such as the Mediterranean and Middle-East regions. Other countries were identified to be in safe position in terms of water stress such as North-European countries. Re-allocation of rainfed and irrigated land might be useful information for land-use planners and water managers at an international level to decide on appropriate legislations on climate change mitigation/adaptation when exposure and sensitivity to climate change is high and/or on adaptation measures to face increasing water demand. For example, some countries are likely to adopt measures to increase their water use efficiencies (irrigation system, soil and water conservation practices) to face water shortages, while

  19. The potential benefit of improving the dissemination of agricultural weather information to the Mississippi cotton farmer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Priddy, K. T.; Marlatt, W. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1978-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The potential benefit of improved dissemination of weather information to the Mississippi cotton farmer was estimated at $36,000 per 1000 acres. This is 16% of production cost of cotton in 1976. On a statewide basis, the total potential savings exceeds 100 million dollars.

  20. Biogas from waste materials as transportation fuel-benefits from an environmental point of view.

    PubMed

    Börjesson, P

    2008-01-01

    In this paper various biogas systems based on waste materials have been analysed from an environmental point of view. The analyses are based on Swedish conditions using a systems analysis approach from an energy and life cycle perspective. The biogas produced is used as a transportation fuel replacing petrol in light-duty vehicles. The overall aims are to quantify the potential environmental effects when current waste handling and transportation fuel systems are replaced. A general conclusion is that the indirect environmental benefits (e.g. reduced emissions of ammonia and methane, and nitrogen leaching) from altered handling of organic waste materials and land-use may often significantly exceed the direct environmental benefits achieved when biogas replaces petrol (e.g. reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollutants). Such indirect benefits are seldom considered when biogas is evaluated from an environmental point of view. However, the environmental impact from different biogas systems can vary significantly due to factors such as the waste materials utilised, different reference systems being replaced, and local conditions.

  1. Exploratory benefit-cost analysis of environmental controls on hydrothermal energy

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, M.J.; Wells, K.D.; Currie, J.W.; King, M.J.

    1981-02-01

    A study of the value of environmental benefits generated by environmental regulation of hydrothermal sites was initiated to compare these benefits with the estimated costs of regulation. Primary objectives were to 1) evaluate the environmental damages caused by unregulated hydrothermal resource development, 2) use existing environmental and economic data to estimate the dollar value of preventing expected environmental damages at two sites, and 3) compare the benefits and costs of preventing the damages. The sites chosen for analyses were in the Imperial Valley at Heber and Niland, California. Reasons for this choice were 1) there is a high level of commercial interest in developing the Heber known geothermal resource area (KGRA) and the Salton Sea KGRA; 2) the potential for environmental damage is high; 3) existing data bases for these two sites are more comprehensive than at other sites. The primary impacts analyzed were those related to hydrogen sulfide (H/sub 2/S) emissions and those related to disposal of spent hydrothermal brine. (MHR)

  2. Environmental quality alters female costs and benefits of evolving under enforced monogamy

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Currently many habitats suffer from quality loss due to environmental change. As a consequence, evolutionary trajectories might shift due to environmental effects and potentially increase extinction risk of resident populations. Nevertheless, environmental variation has rarely been incorporated in studies of sexual selection and sexual conflict, although local environments and individuals’ condition undoubtedly influence costs and benefits. Here, we utilise polyandrous and monogamous selection lines of flour beetles, which evolved in presence or absence of sexual selection for 39 generations. We specifically investigated effects of low vs. standard food quality (i.e. stressful vs. benign environments) on reproductive success of cross pairs between beetles from the contrasting female and male selection histories to assess gender effects driving fitness. Results We found a clear interaction of food quality, male selection history and female selection history. Monogamous females generally performed more poorly than polyandrous counterparts, but reproductive success was shaped by selection history of their mates and environmental quality. When monogamous females were paired with polyandrous males in the standard benign environment, females seemed to incur costs, possibly due to sexual conflict. In contrast, in the novel stressful environment, monogamous females profited from mating with polyandrous males, indicating benefits of sexual selection outweigh costs. Conclusions Our findings suggest that costs and benefits of sexually selected adaptations in both sexes can be profoundly altered by environmental quality. With regard to understanding possible impacts of environmental change, our results further show that the ecology of mating systems and associated selection pressures should be considered in greater detail. PMID:24499414

  3. National assessment of capacity in public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratories--United States, 2011.

    PubMed

    2013-03-08

    In 2011, the University of Michigan's Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) assessed the workforce and program capacity in U.S. public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratories. During April-August 2011, APHL sent a web-based questionnaire to 105 public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratory directors comprising all 50 state public health laboratories, 41 local public health laboratories, eight environmental laboratories, and six agricultural laboratories. This report summarizes the results of the assessment, which inquired about laboratory capacity, including total number of laboratorians by occupational classification and self-assessed ability to carry out functions in 19 different laboratory program areas. The majority of laboratorians (74%) possessed a bachelor's degree, associate's degree, or a high school education or equivalency; 59% of all laboratorians were classified as laboratory scientists. The greatest percentage of laboratories reported no, minimal, or partial program capacity in toxicology (45%), agricultural microbiology (54%), agricultural chemistry (50%), and education and training for their employees (51%). Nearly 50% of laboratories anticipated that more than 15% of their workforce would retire, resign, or be released within 5 years, lower than the anticipated retirement eligibility rate of 27% projected for state public health workers. However, APHL and partners in local, state, and federal public health should collaborate to address gaps in laboratory capacity and rebuild the workforce pipeline to ensure an adequate future supply of public health laboratorians.

  4. Environmental challenges threatening the growth of urban agriculture in the United States.

    PubMed

    Wortman, Sam E; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-09-01

    Urban agriculture, though often difficult to define, is an emerging sector of local food economies in the United States. Although urban and agricultural landscapes are often integrated in countries around the world, the establishment of mid- to large-scale food production in the U.S. urban ecosystem is a relatively new development. Many of the urban agricultural projects in the United States have emerged from social movements and nonprofit organizations focused on urban renewal, education, job training, community development, and sustainability initiatives. Although these social initiatives have traction, critical knowledge gaps exist regarding the science of food production in urban ecosystems. Developing a science-based approach to urban agriculture is essential to the economic and environmental sustainability of the movement. This paper reviews abiotic environmental factors influencing urban cropping systems, including soil contamination and remediation; atmospheric pollutants and altered climatic conditions; and water management, sources, and safety. This review paper seeks to characterize the limited state of the science on urban agricultural systems and identify future research questions most relevant to urban farmers, land-use planners, and environmental consultants.

  5. Response of benthic algae to environmental gradients in an agriculturally dominated landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munn, M.D.; Black, R.W.; Gruber, S.J.

    2002-01-01

    Benthic algal communities were assessed in an agriculturally dominated landscape in the Central Columbia Plateau, Washington, to determine which environmental variables best explained species distributions, and whether algae species optima models were useful in predicting specific water-quality parameters. Land uses in the study area included forest, range, urban, and agriculture. Most of the streams in this region can be characterized as open-channel systems influenced by intensive dryland (nonirrigated) and irrigated agriculture. Algal communities in forested streams were dominated by blue-green algae, with communities in urban and range streams dominated by diatoms. The predominance of either blue-greens or diatoms in agricultural streams varied greatly depending on the specific site. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated a strong gradient effect of several key environmental variables on benthic algal community composition. Conductivity and % agriculture were the dominant explanatory variables when all sites (n = 24) were included in the CCA; water velocity replaced conductivity when the CCA included only agricultural and urban sites. Other significant explanatory variables included dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), orthophosphate (OP), discharge, and precipitation. Regression and calibration models accurately predicted conductivity based on benthic algal communities, with OP having slightly lower predictability. The model for DIN was poor, and therefore may be less useful in this system. Thirty-four algal taxa were identified as potential indicators of conductivity and nutrient conditions, with most indicators being diatoms except for the blue-greens Anabaenasp. and Lyngbya sp.

  6. Regional variations in the health, environmental, and climate benefits of wind and solar generation

    PubMed Central

    Siler-Evans, Kyle; Azevedo, Inês Lima; Morgan, M. Granger; Apt, Jay

    2013-01-01

    When wind or solar energy displace conventional generation, the reduction in emissions varies dramatically across the United States. Although the Southwest has the greatest solar resource, a solar panel in New Jersey displaces significantly more sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter than a panel in Arizona, resulting in 15 times more health and environmental benefits. A wind turbine in West Virginia displaces twice as much carbon dioxide as the same turbine in California. Depending on location, we estimate that the combined health, environmental, and climate benefits from wind or solar range from $10/MWh to $100/MWh, and the sites with the highest energy output do not yield the greatest social benefits in many cases. We estimate that the social benefits from existing wind farms are roughly 60% higher than the cost of the Production Tax Credit, an important federal subsidy for wind energy. However, that same investment could achieve greater health, environmental, and climate benefits if it were differentiated by region. PMID:23798431

  7. Environmental Effects of Agricultural Practices - Summary of Workshop Held on June 14-16, 2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2006-01-01

    A meeting between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its partners was held June 14-16, 2005, in Denver, CO, to discuss science issues and needs related to agricultural practices. The goals of the meeting were to learn about the (1) effects of agricultural practices on the environment and (2) tools for identifying and quantifying those effects. Achieving these goals required defining the environmental concerns, developing scientific actions to address assessment of environmental effects, and creating collaborations to identify future research requirements and technical gaps. Five areas of concern were discussed-emerging compounds; water availability; genetically modified organisms; effects of conservation practices on ecosystems; and data, methods, and tools for assessing effects of agricultural practices.

  8. Making the Case for Green Building: Cataloging the Benefits of Environmentally Responsible Design & Construction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Alex

    2008-01-01

    To those entrenched in the green building world, the benefits seem obvious. Why would anyone choose to build in a way that isn't comfortable, healthy, energy efficient, and environmentally responsible? Even within a single college or university project, different team members often have different reasons for promoting a green agenda. Architects…

  9. Environmental and Natural Resources Occupations in Agricultural Education. A Teacher's Guide. Preliminary Draft.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercer, R. J., Ed.

    The guide was developed for teachers of a one-year high school course in environmental and natural resources occupations and was part of larger project to revise the total agricultural education curriculum in South Carolina. A curriculum paradigm is presented with units and subunits diagramed and time periods suggested for each. Basic supportive…

  10. The Role of Agricultural Consultants in New Zealand in Environmental Extension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, Neels; Coutts, Jeff; Roth, Hein

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the role that agricultural consultants in New Zealand were undertaking in the Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) system--and in particular in relation to environmental extension. New Zealand does not have a public extension service and hence there is a strong reliance on consultants and regional…

  11. Determination of arsenic and selenium in environmental and agricultural samples by hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Hershey, J.W.; Oostdyk, T.S.; Keliher, P.N.

    1988-11-01

    Agricultural and environmental samples are digested with acid, and arsenic and selenium are determined using hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry. Interelement interferences are eliminated by high acid concentrations or cation-exchange resins. Agreement with standard reference material is excellent. The technique is also applied to actual samples.

  12. A Culturally Relevant Agricultural and Environmental Course for K-12 Teachers in Hawaii

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sylva, Traci; Chinn, Pauline; Kinoshita, Charles

    2010-01-01

    A Hawaiian cultural-based agricultural and environmental science professional development course was transformed based on the precepts of situated learning in communities of practice, and offered to K-12 teachers. In this article we describe the format and content of the transformed course based on lessons learned from previous years offered to…

  13. Management technologies can reduce the environmental risk of pesticides in agricultural production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pesticide use in agriculture, the potential risk posed by pesticides when they are transported beyond the intended target, and their effects on human and environmental health have been of public concern for many years. We utilized 5 years of field data, quantifying pesticide transport with runoff fr...

  14. Can foraging behavior of Criollo cattle help increase agricultural production and reduce environmental impacts in the arid Southwest?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Longterm Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR) was formed to help the nation’s agricultural systems simultaneously increase production and reduce environmental impacts. Eighteen networked sites are conducting a Common Experiment to understand the environmental and economic problems associated wi...

  15. Irrigation water quality and the benefits of implementing good agricultural practices during tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) production.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Acosta, M; Jiménez, M; Chaidez, C; León-Félix, J; Castro-Del Campo, N

    2014-07-01

    The implementation of good agricultural practices (GAP) from irrigation water to the tomato packaging process enhances the safety of fresh produce and its value throughout the food chain. The aim of the present study was to show that fresh produce farms that apply and enforce GAP could reduce the presence of Salmonella in finished produce. Samples were collected biweekly from six packing houses from the central region of Sinaloa, México, for the isolation of Salmonella spp by the ISO 6579:2002 method, and the isolated strains were serotyped and genotyped by the Kauffmman-White scheme and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), respectively. Salmonella strains were detected in 13 (36.1 %) irrigation water samples, while only two tomato samples were positive (5.5 %). Eight different serotypes were identified in irrigation water, and Salmonella Oranienburg (34 %) was the most prevalent; however, only Salmonella Agona and Salmonella Weltevreden were present on tomatoes. Salmonella Oranienburg was the most widely dispersed and variable serotype, with 10 different PFGE profiles. Salmonella Weltevreden was isolated from both types of samples, albeit with distinct genetic profiles, implying that the sources of contamination differ. These results confirm the utility of implementing good agricultural practices to reduce Salmonella contamination in irrigation water and the packaging process.

  16. A model for evaluating the environmental benefits of elementary school facilities.

    PubMed

    Ji, Changyoon; Hong, Taehoon; Jeong, Kwangbok; Leigh, Seung-Bok

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a model that is capable of evaluating the environmental benefits of a new elementary school facility was developed. The model is composed of three steps: (i) retrieval of elementary school facilities having similar characteristics as the new elementary school facility using case-based reasoning; (ii) creation of energy consumption and material data for the benchmark elementary school facility using the retrieved similar elementary school facilities; and (iii) evaluation of the environmental benefits of the new elementary school facility by assessing and comparing the environmental impact of the new and created benchmark elementary school facility using life cycle assessment. The developed model can present the environmental benefits of a new elementary school facility in terms of monetary values using Environmental Priority Strategy 2000, a damage-oriented life cycle impact assessment method. The developed model can be used for the following: (i) as criteria for a green-building rating system; (ii) as criteria for setting the support plan and size, such as the government's incentives for promoting green-building projects; and (iii) as criteria for determining the feasibility of green building projects in key business sectors.

  17. Economical and environmental implications of solid waste compost applications to agricultural fields in Punjab, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Qazi, M Akram; Akram, M; Ahmad, N; Artiola, Janick F; Tuller, M

    2009-09-01

    Application of municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) to agricultural soils is becoming an increasingly important global practice to enhance and sustain soil organic matter (SOM) and fertility levels. Potential risks associated with heavy metals and phosphorus accumulations in surface soils may be minimized with integrated nutrient management strategies that utilize MSWC together with mineral fertilizers. To explore the economic feasibility of MSWC applications, nutrient management plans were developed for rice-wheat and cotton-wheat cropping systems within the Punjab region of Pakistan. Three-year field trials were conducted to measure yields and to determine the economic benefits using three management strategies and two nutrient doses. Management strategies included the application of mineral fertilizers as the sole nutrient source and application of mineral fertilizers in combination with MSWC with and without pesticide/herbicide treatments. Fertilizer doses were either based on standard N, P and K recommendations or on measured site-specific soil plant available phosphorus (PAP) levels. It was found that combining MSWC and mineral fertilizer applications based on site-specific PAP levels with the use of pesticides and herbicides is an economically and environmentally viable management strategy. Results show that incorporation of MSWC improved soil physical properties such as bulk density and penetration resistance. The PAP levels in the surface layer increased by the end of the trials relative to the initial status. No potential risks of heavy metal (Zn, Cd, Cr, Pb and Ni) accumulation were observed. Treatments comprised of MSWC and mineral fertilizer adjusted to site-specific PAP levels and with common pest management showed highest cumulative yields. A basic economic analysis revealed a significantly higher cumulative net profit and value-to-cost ratio (VCR) for all site-specific doses.

  18. Environmental mitigation at hydroelectric projects: Volume II. Benefits and costs of fish passage and protection

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, J. E.; Cada, G. F.; Dauble, D. D.; Hunt, R. T.; Jones, D. W.; Rinehart, B. N.; Sommers, G. L.; Costello, R. J.

    1994-01-01

    The Department of Energy, through its hydropower program, is studying environmental mitigation practices at hydroelectric projects. The study of environmental mitigation is intended to provide greater understanding of environmental problems and solutions that are associated with conventional hydroelectric projects. This volume examines upstream and downstream fish passage/protection technologies and the associated practices, benefits, and costs. Fish passage/protection mitigation technologies are investigated by three methods: (a) national, regional (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regions), and temporal frequencies of fish passage/protection mitigation are examined at 1,825 operating and conventional (excludes pumped storage) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulated hydroelectric sites in the United States; (b) general fish passage/protection mitigation costs are discussed for 50 FERC regulated hydroelectric projects; and (c) 16 case studies are used to examine specific fish passage/protection mitigation practices, benefits, and costs.

  19. A Multi-module Approach to Calculation of Oyster ( Crassostrea virginica) Environmental Benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerco, Carl F.

    2015-08-01

    Environmental benefits are one of the motivations for management restoration of depleted bivalve populations. We describe a series of linked modules for benefits calculation. The modules include: oyster ( Crassostrea virginica) bioenergetics, materials transport via the tidal prism, and benefits quantification. Quantified benefits include carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus removal and shell production. The modules are demonstrated through application to the Great Wicomico River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, USA. Oysters on seven reefs (total area 2.8 × 105 m2) are calculated to remove 15.2, 6.2, and 0.2 tons per annum of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, respectively, from the Great Wicomico. Oyster mortality contributes 108 tons per annum dry weight shell to the reefs.

  20. Biogeophysical benefits of no-till agriculture for mitigating heat wave impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davin, Edouard; Seneviratne, Sonia; Ciais, Philippe; Olioso, Albert; Wang, Tao

    2014-05-01

    Changes in agricultural practices are considered a possible option to mitigate climate change[1]. In particular, reducing or suppressing tillage (no-till) may have the potential to sequester carbon in soils, which could help slow global warming[1]. On the other hand, such practices also have a direct effect on regional climate by altering the physical properties of the land surface[2]. These biogeophysical effects, however, are still poorly known. Here we show that no-till management increases the surface albedo of croplands in summer and that the resulting cooling effect is amplified during hot extremes, thus attenuating peak temperatures reached during heatwaves. Using a regional climate model accounting for the observed effects of no-till farming on surface albedo, as well as possible reductions in soil evaporation, we investigate the potential consequences of a full conversion to no-till agriculture in Europe. We find that the summer cooling from cropland albedo increase is strongly amplified during hot summer days, when surface albedo has more impact on the Earth's radiative balance due to clear-sky conditions. The reduced evaporation associated with the crop residue cover tends to counteract the albedo-induced cooling, but during hot days the albedo effect is the dominating factor. For heatwave summer days the local cooling effect gained from no-till practice is of the order of 2 degrees. The identified asymmetric impact of surface albedo change on summer temperature opens new avenues for climate engineering measures targeting high impact events rather than mean climate properties. References: [1] Smith, P., D. Martino, Z. Cai, D. Gwary, H. Janzen, P. Kumar, B. McCarl, S. Ogle, F. O'Mara, C. Rice, B. Scholes, O. Sirotenko (2007): Agriculture. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds

  1. Climate benefits of changes in agricultural practices in the context of heat wave mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davin, E.; Seneviratne, S. I.; Ciais, P.; Olioso, A.; Wang, T.

    2014-12-01

    About half of the terrestrial biosphere is under direct human influence through land management (i.e., agricultural areas and managed forests). Changing management practices is therefore a promising avenue for climate change mitigation. The mitigation potential arising from changes in land management practices has been mainly evaluated in terms of carbon storage and GHG emissions [2]. On the other hand, these practices can also influence climate by altering the physical properties of the land surface, but these effects have received less attention so far. Here we show that peak temperatures during heat heaves can be attenuated through cropland albedo management [2]. We first present observational evidence that a substantial summer albedo increase can be obtained by switching from conventional to no-till agriculture. Then, using a regional climate model, we investigate the biogeophysical effect of a full conversion to no-till management over Europe. The cooling effect owing to albedo increase under no-till farming appears to be strongly amplified during warm events. This is due to the low cloud cover during these events, thus leading to a more efficient radiative cooling from albedo change. This implies a strong potential of no-till farming to mitigate heat wave impacts. The reduced evaporation associated with the crop residue cover tends to counteract the albedo-induced cooling, but during hot days the albedo effect remains the dominating factor. For heatwave summer days the local cooling effect gained from no-till practice is of the order of 2 degrees. These findings strongly suggest that the biogeophysical effect of management practices should be considered in the design of climate mitigation policies involving land management. References:[1] Smith, P. et al. (2014): Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). In Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel

  2. Assessing the benefits of OHER (Office of Health and Environmental Research) research: Three case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Nesse, R.J.; Callaway, J.M.; Englin, J.E.; Klan, M.S.; Nicholls, A.K.; Serot, D.E.

    1987-09-01

    This research was undertaken to estimate the societal benefits and costs of selected past research performed for the Office of Health and Environmental Research (OHER) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). Three case studies of representative OHER and DOE research were performed. One of these, the acid rain case study, includes research conducted elsewhere in DOE. The other two cases were the OHER marine research program and the development of high-purity germanium that is used in radiation detectors. The acid rain case study looked at the research benefits and costs of furnace sorbent injection and duct injection, technologies that might reduce acid deposition precursors. Both appear to show benefits in excess of costs. We examined in detail one of the OHER marine research program's accomplishments - the increase in environmental information used by the Outer Continental Shelf leasing program to manage bidding for off-shore oil drilling. The results of an econometric model show that environmental information of the type supported by OHER is unequivocally linked to government and industry leasing decisions. The germanium case study indicated that the benefits of germanium radiation detectors were significant.

  3. The Impacts and Economic Costs of Climate Change in Agriculture and the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias, A.; Quiroga, S.; Garrote, L.; Cunningham, R.

    2012-04-01

    This paper provides monetary estimates of the effects of agricultural adaptation to climate change in Europe. The model computes spatial crop productivity changes as a response to climate change linking biophysical and socioeconomic components. It combines available data sets of crop productivity changes under climate change (Iglesias et al 2011, Ciscar et al 2011), statistical functions of productivity response to water and nitrogen inputs, catchment level water availability, and environmental policy scenarios. Future global change scenarios are derived from several socio-economic futures of representative concentration pathways and regional climate models. The economic valuation is conducted by using GTAP general equilibrium model. The marginal productivity changes has been used as an input for the economic general equilibrium model in order to analyse the economic impact of the agricultural changes induced by climate change in the world. The study also includes the analysis of an adaptive capacity index computed by using the socio-economic results of GTAP. The results are combined to prioritize agricultural adaptation policy needs in Europe.

  4. Environmental effects of growing short-rotation woody crops on former agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Thornton, F.C.; Joslin, J.D.

    1997-10-01

    Field-scale studies in the Southeast have been addressing the environmental effects of converting agricultural lands to biomass crop production since 1994. Erosion, surface water quality and quantity and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops are being compared. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes and crop productivity are also being monitored at the three sites. Maximum sediment losses occurred in the spring and fall. Losses were greater from sweetgum planted without a cover crop than with a cover crop. Nutrient losses of N and P in runoff and subsurface water occurred primarily after spring fertilizer application.

  5. Optimizing cultivation of agricultural products using socio-economic and environmental scenarios.

    PubMed

    RaheliNamin, Behnaz; Mortazavi, Samar; Salmanmahiny, Abdolrassoul

    2016-11-01

    The combination of degrading natural conditions and resources, climate change, growing population, urban development, and competition in a global market complicate optimization of land for agricultural products. The use of pesticides and fertilizers for crop production in the agricultural fields has become excessive in the recent years and Golestan Province of Iran is no exception in this regard. For this, effective management with an efficient and cost-effective practice should be undertaken, maintaining public service at a high level and preserving the environment. Improving the production efficiency of agriculture, efficient use of water resources, decreasing the use of pesticides and fertilizers, improving farmer revenue, and conservation of natural resources are the main objectives of the allocation, ranking, and optimization of agricultural products. The goal of this paper is to use an optimization procedure to lower the negative effects of agriculture while maintaining a high production rate, which is currently a gap in the study area. We collected information about fertilizer and pesticide consumption and other data in croplands of eastern Golestan Province through face-to-face interviews with farmers to optimize cultivation of the agricultural products. The toxicity of pesticides according to LD50 was also included in the optimization model. A decision-support software system called multiple criteria analysis tool was used to simultaneously minimize consumption of water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides and maximize socio-economic returns. Three scenarios for optimization of agricultural products were generated that alternatively emphasized on environmental and socio-economic goals. Comparing socio-economic and environmental performance of the optimized agricultural products under the three scenarios illustrated the conflict between social, economic, and environmental objectives. Of the six crops studied (wheat, barley, rice, soybeans, oilseed rape

  6. Antibiotics Resistance in Rhizobium: Type, Process, Mechanism and Benefit for Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Naamala, Judith; Jaiswal, Sanjay K; Dakora, Felix D

    2016-06-01

    The use of high-quality rhizobial inoculants on agricultural legumes has contributed substantially to the N economy of farming systems through inputs from biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). Large populations of symbiotically effective rhizobia should be available in the rhizosphere for symbiotic BNF with host plants. The rhizobial populations should also be able to compete and infect host plants. However, the rhizosphere comprises large populations of different microorganisms. Some of these microorganisms naturally produce antibiotics which are lethal to susceptible rhizobial populations in the soil. Therefore, intrinsic resistance to antibiotics is a desirable trait for the rhizobial population. It increases the rhizobia's chances of growth, multiplication and persistence in the soil. With a large population of rhizobia in the soil, infectivity of host plants and the subsequent BNF efficiency can be guaranteed. This review, therefore, puts together findings by various researchers on antibiotic resistance in bacteria with the main emphasis on rhizobia. It describes the different modes of action of different antibiotics, the types of antibiotic resistance exhibited by rhizobia, the mechanisms of acquisition of antibiotic resistance in rhizobia and the levels of tolerance of different rhizobial species to different antibiotics.

  7. Phytoremediation of lead using corn in contaminated agricultural land—an in situ study and benefit assessment.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shu-Fen; Huang, Chin-Yuan; Lin, Yung-Cheng; Lin, Sheng-Chien; Chen, Kuo-Lin

    2015-01-01

    Phytoremediation is an environmentally friendly and economically feasible remediation technology for mitigating soil contamination in agricultural lands. However, phytoremediation can be a slow process, and for highly contaminated soils this approach would require hundreds to thousands of years to meet soil environmental quality standards. Such a long period of phytoremediation is relatively unfeasible without economic revenue from crop production. This study involves growth of corn in plots of lead-contaminated agricultural land with Pb concentrations of about 6000 mg/kg. Our results showed that Bright Jean No. 7 corn was highly tolerant to lead, as evidenced by minimal effects on its growth and biomass production. Annually, each hectare of corn could produce up to 93.4 tons of dry matter and removed up to 7.2 kg of lead. The corn biomass grown on such contaminated fields could be used as a bioenergy fuel, and each hectare of corn biomass could produce 1545 GJ of thermal energy every year, which is equivalent to the heat from combustion of 57 tons of hard coal. The lead content in the corn kernel was less than the EU standard limit for animal consumption. Each hectare could produce approximately 25 tons of corn grains for animal feed per year, and the remaining parts of the plant could be used as the bioenergy fuel to generate heat energy equivalent to 40 tons of hard coal.

  8. School Indoor Environmental Quality Assessments and Interventions: Benefits of Effective Partnerships in California

    SciTech Connect

    Shendell, Derek G.; Apte, Michael G.; Kim, Janice; Smorodinsky, Svetlana

    2002-07-01

    Public, private, government, and university stakeholders have focused increasing attention on children's environmental health. Priority areas have been healthy school environments including indoor air and environmental quality (IEQ); susceptibilities of children to environmental factors and associated illness; and, understanding exposure to biological, chemical, and physical agents. As multidisciplinary teams, studies and intervention demonstrations in California public schools were conducted. A common theme among them was a ''partnership,'' the collaboration between stakeholders from the aforementioned sectors. Federal funding and local bond measures for planning, maintenance, and modernization of school facilities have recently been authorized. Therefore, beneficial ''partnerships'' should be established to conduct needed IEQ, environmental health, and productivity research, development and demonstration. This commentary describes benefits for stakeholders and five strategies for future effective collaborations.

  9. South America's neoliberal agricultural frontiers: places of environmental sacrifice or conservation opportunity?

    PubMed

    Brannstrom, Christian

    2009-05-01

    Neoliberal agricultural frontiers, defined as export-oriented farming areas motivated more by global demand and land privatization than by government subsidies, present at least two major challenges for environmental researchers: estimating land change and understanding governance types and outcomes. Environmental governance, the "filter" between human and biophysical systems, is considered in terms of two models in light of empirical evidence from a neoliberal frontier in the Brazilian Cerrado (savanna) ecoregion. Land-change analysis indicates that agricultural land uses increased from 12% of the study region in 1986 to 44% in 2000 and 55% in 2005, with a corresponding loss of native Cerrado. A prominent farming organization formed in 1990 has participated in or led several environmental policy initiatives. Evidence of both governance models is found, and dilemmas facing environmental activists and managers, as well as the farming sector, are presented. For organizations representing large commercial farmers, compliance with environmental regulations may be seen as both a cost to be borne by the farming sector and as a means to establish environmental credentials. Suggestions are made for future longitudinal work on compliance, information, agenda-setting, and discursive strategies of nonstate actors in neoliberal frontiers.

  10. Organic farming benefits local plant diversity in vineyard farms located in intensive agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  11. Climate Change Impacts on US Agriculture and the Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monier, E.; Sue Wing, I.; Stern, A.

    2014-12-01

    As contributors to the US EPA's Climate Impacts and Risk Assessment (CIRA) project, we present empirically-based projections of climate change impacts on the yields of five major US crops. Our analysis uses a 15-member ensemble of climate simulations using the MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) linked to the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), forced by 3 emissions scenarios (a "business as usual" reference scenario and two stabilization scenarios at 4.5W/m2 and 3.7 W/m2 by 2100), quantify the agricultural impacts avoided due to greenhouse gas emission reductions. Our innovation is the coupling of climate model outputs with empirical estimates of the long-run relationship between crop yields and temperature, precipitation and soil moisture derived from the co-variation between yields and weather across US counties over the last 50 years. Our identifying assumption is that since farmers' planting, management and harvesting decisions are based on land quality and expectations of weather, yields and meteorological variables share a long-run equilibrium relationship. In any given year, weather shocks cause yields to diverge from their expected long-run values, prompting farmers to revise their long-run expectations. We specify a dynamic panel error correction model (ECM) that statistically distinguishes these two processes. The ECM is estimated for maize, wheat, soybeans, sorghum and cotton using longitudinal data on production and harvested area for ~1,100 counties from 1948-2010, in conjunction with spatial fields of 3-hourly temperature, precipitation and soil moisture from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) forcing and output files, binned into annual counts of exposure over the growing season and mapped to county centroids. For scenarios of future warming the identical method was used to calculate counties' current (1986-2010) and future (2036-65 and 2086-2110) distributions of simulated 3-hourly growing season temperature, precipitation

  12. Assessment of private economic benefits and positive environmental externalities of tea plantation in China.

    PubMed

    Xue, Hui; Ren, Xiaoyi; Li, Shiyu; Wu, Xu; Cheng, Hao; Xu, Bin; Gu, Baojing; Yang, Guofu; Peng, Changhui; Ge, Ying; Chang, Jie

    2013-10-01

    Tea plantations are rapidly expanding in China and other countries in the tropical and subtropical zones, driven by relatively high private economic benefit. However, the impact of tea plantations on the regional environment, including ecosystem services and disservices are unclear. In this study, we developed an assessment framework for determining the private economic benefits and environmental externalities (the algebraic sum of the regulating services and disservices) of tea plantations in China. Our results showed that tea plantations provided private economic benefits of 5,652 yuan ha(-1) year(-1) (7.6 yuan = 1 USD in 2007) for tea farmers, plus positive environmental externalities of 6,054 yuan ha(-1) year(-1) for the society. The environmental externalities were calculated as the sum of the value of four regulating services, including carbon sequestration (392 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)); soil retention (72 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)); soil fertility protection (3,189 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)) and water conservation (2,685 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)), and three disservices, including CO2 emission (-39 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)), N2O emission (-137 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)) and nonpoint source pollution (-108 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)). Before the private optimal level, the positive environmental externalities can be maintained by private economic benefits; if a social optimal level is required, subsidies from government are necessary.

  13. Environmental factors that influence the location of crop agriculture in the conterminous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.; Capel, Paul D.

    2011-01-01

    Most crops are grown on land with shallow slope where the temperature, precipitation, and soils are favorable. In areas that are too steep, wet, or dry, landscapes have been modified to allow cultivation. Some of the limitations of the environmental factors that determine the location of agriculture can be overcome through modifications, but others cannot. On a larger-than-field scale, agricultural modifications commonly influence water availability through irrigation and (or) drainage and soil fertility and (or) organic-matter content through amendments such as manure, commercial fertilizer and lime. In general, it is not feasible to modify the other environmental factors, soil texture, soil depth, soil mineralogy, temperature, and terrain at large scales.

  14. Flexing the PECs: Predicting environmental concentrations of veterinary drugs in Canadian agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Kullik, Sigrun A; Belknap, Andrew M

    2017-03-01

    Veterinary drugs administered to food animals primarily enter ecosystems through the application of livestock waste to agricultural land. Although veterinary drugs are essential for protecting animal health, their entry into the environment may pose a risk for nontarget organisms. A means to predict environmental concentrations of new veterinary drug ingredients in soil is required to assess their environmental fate, distribution, and potential effects. The Canadian predicted environmental concentrations in soil (PECsoil) for new veterinary drug ingredients for use in intensively reared animals is based on the approach currently used by the European Medicines Agency for VICH Phase I environmental assessments. The calculation for the European Medicines Agency PECsoil can be adapted to account for regional animal husbandry and land use practices. Canadian agricultural practices for intensively reared cattle, pigs, and poultry differ substantially from those in the European Union. The development of PECsoil default values and livestock categories representative of typical Canadian animal production methods and nutrient management practices culminates several years of research and an extensive survey and analysis of the scientific literature, Canadian agricultural statistics, national and provincial management recommendations, veterinary product databases, and producers. A PECsoil can be used to rapidly identify new veterinary drugs intended for intensive livestock production that should undergo targeted ecotoxicity and fate testing. The Canadian PECsoil model is readily available, transparent, and requires minimal inputs to generate a screening level environmental assessment for veterinary drugs that can be refined if additional data are available. PECsoil values for a hypothetical veterinary drug dosage regimen are presented and discussed in an international context. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:331-341. © 2016 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada

  15. Comprehensive evaluation of environmental and economic benefits of China's urban underground transportation construction projects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaobin; Chen, Zhilong; Guo, Dongjun

    2015-07-01

    Urban underground transportation projects are introduced to address problems of scarce green land and traffic pollution. As construction of urban underground transportation is still in its infancy, there is no definite quantitative measurement on whether the construction is beneficial and what influences it will place on the region in China. This study intends to construct a comprehensive evaluation method for evaluating social, economic and environmental benefits of urban underground transportation projects and proposes the concept, role and principle for evaluation of environmental and economic benefits. It figures out relationship between the environment and factors of city development. It also summarizes three relevant factors, including transportation, biophysics and social economy, and works out indicators to evaluate the influence of urban underground transportation construction. Based on Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), Cost of Illness Approach (CIA), Human Capital Approach (HCA), this paper constructs 13 monetization calculation models for social, economic and environmental benefits in response to seven aspects, namely, reducing noise pollution and air pollution, using land efficiently, improving traffic safety, reducing traffic congestion, saving shipping time and minimizing transportation costs.

  16. 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.

  17. Siting is a constraint to realize environmental benefits from carbon capture and storage.

    PubMed

    Sekar, Ashok; Williams, Eric; Chester, Mikhail

    2014-10-07

    Carbon capture and storage (CCS) for coal power plants reduces onsite carbon dioxide emissions, but affects other air emissions on and offsite. This research assesses the net societal benefits and costs of Monoethanolamine (MEA) CCS, valuing changes in emissions of CO2, SO2, NOX, NH3 and particulate matter (PM), including those in the supply chain. Geographical variability and stochastic uncertainty for 407 coal power plant locations in the U.S. are analyzed. The results show that the net environmental benefits and costs of MEA CCS depend critically on location. For a few favorable sites of both power plant and upstream processes, CCS realizes a net benefit (benefit-cost ratio >1) if the social cost of carbon exceeds $51/ton. For much of the U.S. however, the social cost of carbon must be much higher to realize net benefits from CCS, up to a maximum of $910/ton. While the social costs of carbon are uncertain, typical estimates are in the range of $32-220 per ton, much lower than the breakeven value for many potential CCS locations. Increased impacts upstream from the power plant can dramatically change the social acceptability of CCS and needs further consideration and analysis.

  18. Net environmental benefit: introducing a new LCA approach on wastewater treatment systems.

    PubMed

    Godin, D; Bouchard, C; Vanrolleghem, P A

    2012-01-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) allows evaluating the potential environmental impacts of a product or a service in relation to its function and over its life cycle. In past LCAs applied to wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), the system function definition has received little attention despite its great importance. This has led to some limitations in LCA results interpretation. A new methodology to perform LCA on WWTPs is proposed to avoid those limitations. It is based on net environmental benefit (NEB) evaluation and requires assessing the potential impact of releasing wastewater without and with treatment besides assessing the impact of the WWTP's life cycle. The NEB allows showing the environmental trade-offs between avoided impact due to wastewater treatment and induced impact by the WWTP's life cycle. NEB is compared with a standard LCA through the case study of a small municipal WWTP consisting of facultative aerated lagoons. The NEB and standard LCA show similar results for impact categories solely related to the WWTP's life cycle but differ in categories where wastewater treatment environmental benefit is accounted for as NEB considers influent wastewater quality whereas standard LCA does not.

  19. Current United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service research on understanding agrochemical fate and transport to prevent and mitigate adverse environmental impacts.

    PubMed

    Hapeman, Cathleen J; McConnell, Laura L; Rice, Clifford P; Sadeghi, Ali M; Schmidt, Walter F; McCarty, Gregory W; Starr, James L; Rice, Pamela J; Angier, Jonathan T; Harman-Fetcho, J A

    2003-01-01

    Environmentally and economically viable agriculture requires a variety of cultivation practices and pest management options as no one system will be appropriate for every situation. Agrochemicals are some of the many pest control tools used in an integrated approach to pest management. They are applied with the intent of maximizing efficacy while minimizing off-site movement; however, their judicious use demands a practical knowledge of their fate and effects in agricultural and natural ecosystems. Agrochemical distribution into environmental compartments is influenced by the physical and chemical properties of the agrochemical and environmental conditions, ie soil type and structure, and meteorological conditions. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers working in the area of agrochemical fate have focused on accurately describing those processes that govern the transport, degradation and bioavailability of these chemicals under conditions reflecting actual agronomic practices. Results from ARS research concerning the environmental fate and effects of agrochemicals have led to the development of science-based management practices that will protect vulnerable areas of the ecosystem. The new challenge is to identify these vulnerable areas and the temporal and spatial variations prior to use of the chemical by predicting how it will behave in environmental matrices, and using that information, predict its transport and transformation within an air- or watershed. With the development of better predictive tools and GIS (Geographic Information System)-based modeling, the risks of agricultural management systems can be assessed at the watershed and basin levels, and management strategies can be identified that minimize negative environmental impacts.

  20. Benefits and applications of interdisciplinary digital tools for environmental meta-reviews and analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grubert, Emily; Siders, Anne

    2016-09-01

    Digitally-aided reviews of large bodies of text-based information, such as academic literature, are growing in capability but are not yet common in environmental fields. Environmental sciences and studies can benefit from application of digital tools to create comprehensive, replicable, interdisciplinary reviews that provide rapid, up-to-date, and policy-relevant reports of existing work. This work reviews the potential for applications of computational text mining and analysis tools originating in the humanities to environmental science and policy questions. Two process-oriented case studies of digitally-aided environmental literature reviews and meta-analyses illustrate potential benefits and limitations. A medium-sized, medium-resolution review (∼8000 journal abstracts and titles) focuses on topic modeling as a rapid way to identify thematic changes over time. A small, high-resolution review (∼300 full text journal articles) combines collocation and network analysis with manual coding to synthesize and question empirical field work. We note that even small digitally-aided analyses are close to the upper limit of what can be done manually. Established computational methods developed in humanities disciplines and refined by humanities and social science scholars to interrogate large bodies of textual data are applicable and useful in environmental sciences but have not yet been widely applied. Two case studies provide evidence that digital tools can enhance insight. Two major conclusions emerge. First, digital tools enable scholars to engage large literatures rapidly and, in some cases, more comprehensively than is possible manually. Digital tools can confirm manually identified patterns or identify additional patterns visible only at a large scale. Second, digital tools allow for more replicable and transparent conclusions to be drawn from literature reviews and meta-analyses. The methodological subfields of digital humanities and computational social

  1. Contribution of agricultural and non-agricultural use of pesticides to the environmental impact on aquatic life in regional surface water systems.

    PubMed

    Jongbloed, R H; Hulskotte, J H J; Kempenaar, C

    2004-01-01

    By means of a modelling tool an analysis was made of the local variation in the use of pesticides in the province of Utrecht in The Netherlands, and the potential environmental impact of pesticide emissions on the aquatic ecosystems. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the major sources of pesticide use and environmental impact, taking the regional variation of pesticide use into account. The analysis was targeted at different levels: detailed (individual active substances, individual agricultural crops, civil land-use types, hydrological catchment basins) and globally covering agricultural use, non-agricultural use (some civil sectors) and recreational shipping. The results can be used for the (re)design of environmental monitoring programmes of pesticides in surface waters and for the development of region based policies towards sustainable pesticide use. The analysis tool that was developed is considered to be applicable for other regions as well.

  2. Investigating the Environmental Effects of Agriculture Practices on Natural Resources: Scientific Contributions of the U.S. Geological Survey to Enhance the Management of Agricultural Landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) enhances and protects the quality of life in the United States by advancing scientific knowledge to facilitate effective management of hydrologic, biologic, and geologic resources. Results of selected USGS research and monitoring projects in agricultural landscapes are presented in this Fact Sheet. Significant environmental and social issues associated with agricultural production include changes in the hydrologic cycle; introduction of toxic chemicals, nutrients, and pathogens; reduction and alteration of wildlife habitats; and invasive species. Understanding environmental consequences of agricultural production is critical to minimize unintended environmental consequences. The preservation and enhancement of our natural resources can be achieved by measuring the success of improved management practices and by adjusting conservation policies as needed to ensure long-term protection.

  3. Reducing environmental risk by improving N management in intensive Chinese agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Ju, Xiao-Tang; Xing, Guang-Xi; Chen, Xin-Ping; Zhang, Shao-Lin; Zhang, Li-Juan; Liu, Xue-Jun; Cui, Zhen-Ling; Yin, Bin; Christie, Peter; Zhu, Zhao-Liang; Zhang, Fu-Suo

    2009-03-03

    Excessive N fertilization in intensive agricultural areas of China has resulted in serious environmental problems because of atmospheric, soil, and water enrichment with reactive N of agricultural origin. This study examines grain yields and N loss pathways using a synthetic approach in 2 of the most intensive double-cropping systems in China: waterlogged rice/upland wheat in the Taihu region of east China versus irrigated wheat/rainfed maize on the North China Plain. When compared with knowledge-based optimum N fertilization with 30-60% N savings, we found that current agricultural N practices with 550-600 kg of N per hectare fertilizer annually do not significantly increase crop yields but do lead to about 2 times larger N losses to the environment. The higher N loss rates and lower N retention rates indicate little utilization of residual N by the succeeding crop in rice/wheat systems in comparison with wheat/maize systems. Periodic waterlogging of upland systems caused large N losses by denitrification in the Taihu region. Calcareous soils and concentrated summer rainfall resulted in ammonia volatilization (19% for wheat and 24% for maize) and nitrate leaching being the main N loss pathways in wheat/maize systems. More than 2-fold increases in atmospheric deposition and irrigation water N reflect heavy air and water pollution and these have become important N sources to agricultural ecosystems. A better N balance can be achieved without sacrificing crop yields but significantly reducing environmental risk by adopting optimum N fertilization techniques, controlling the primary N loss pathways, and improving the performance of the agricultural Extension Service.

  4. Environmental law applications of hormesis concepts: risk assessment and cost-benefit implications.

    PubMed

    Juni, R L; McElveen, J C

    2000-01-01

    This article focuses on legal structures that influence the degree to which hormesis can be incorporated into environmental law and policy. Three statutes-the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Food Quality Protection Act, and the Clean Air Act-are used to illustrate the varied ways in which Congress, agencies and the courts have approached risk assessment and cost-benefit analyses that are relevant to the hormesis issue. This discussion features several examples of regulations and judicial decisions that have begun to recognize hormetic effects. The article concludes that hormesis concepts could be incorporated effectively into present risk assessment and cost-benefit mechanisms. In the context of agency action, an express policy decision might be made to broaden the typical scope of risk assessment and cost-benefit processes by including hormetic effects. In the judicial context, recognition of hormesis may occur where relevant statutory language is read to contemplate that an agency will consider both the beneficial and the detrimental effects of a particular substance in formulating regulations; in this circumstance, a reviewing court could reverse an agency decision that focuses solely on detrimental effects and ignores hormetic effects. Based on these evolving trends, the time may be ripe to seek further incorporation of hormesis concepts into environmental law and policy decisions.

  5. Confronting reality in strategic environmental assessment in Slovenia — Costs and benefits

    SciTech Connect

    Kontić, Branko Dermol, Urška

    2015-01-15

    We enlarge on the viewpoint published in the Environmental Impact Assessment Review in 2012 — A viewpoint on the approval context of strategic environmental assessments. Additional alerts concerning the procedural ineffectiveness of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process from the cost–benefit point of view are advanced. The major contribution to the long lasting, costly SEA processes, comes from ultraistic treatment of Natura 2000. The case study deals with a plan for constructing a traffic bypass around Škofljica, a town near Ljubljana. Based on their conclusions the authors propose that the following elements of the SEA procedure should be improved and optimised: –CBA for SEA should become a regular component when measuring its effectiveness. –Concretisation of expected SEA inputs to the plan should clarify its role at the earliest stage of the process. –SEA should contribute interactively to the optimisation of alternatives; cost–benefit analysis of the SEA process could support this process. –Nature protection interest should be confronted and balanced with wider development interests as formulated in the plan and should not be applied in absolute terms (e.g. Natura 2000). - Highlights: • SEA in Slovenia is ineffective and costly • SEA serves fundamentalism of nature protection through the Natura 2000 system • SEA does not support optimization and improvement of development projects.

  6. Quantifying life cycle environmental benefits from the reuse of industrial materials in Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Eckelman, Matthew J; Chertow, Marian R

    2009-04-01

    Local reuse of waste materials from industrial processes has many potential environmental benefits, but these have been difficult to aggregate and measure across industries on a broad geographic scale. Nonhazardous industrial waste is a high volume flow principally constituted of wastewater with some solid materials. The state of Pennsylvania produced some 20 million metric tons of these residual wastes in 2004. An innovative reporting requirement for industrial generators implemented and compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has resulted in a rich database collected since 1992 of residual waste generation, detailing the fate of more than 100 materials. By combining these records with life cycle inventory (LCI) data, the current and potential environmental benefits of residual waste use have been assessed. Results for Pennsylvania indicate a savings in 2004 of 13 PJ of primary energy, 0.9 million metric tons of CO2eq, 4300 tons of SO2eq, and 4200 tons of NOx emissions from reuse of residual wastes. While these energy savings constitute less than 1% of total industrial primary energy use in the state, it is a greater quantity of energy than that generated by the state's renewable energy sector. The framework and constraints surrounding reuse of residualwaste in Pennsylvania are discussed.

  7. Benefits and environmental determinants of physical activity in children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Loprinzi, Paul D; Cardinal, Bradley J; Loprinzi, Kristina L; Lee, Hyo

    2012-01-01

    In this review, we identify the health benefits associated with physical activity (PA); address the physical activity and sedentary guidelines issued by public health scientists as well as children's compliance to these guidelines; discuss the importance of motor skill acquisition during early childhood; and identify different settings that contribute to physical activity participation and strategies for improving PA in these settings. Results show that regular participation in PA during childhood has numerous immediate benefits, including positive changes in adiposity, skeletal health, psychological health, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Additionally, motor skill development during early childhood may have immediate health benefits as well as long-lasting effects in adulthood. Furthermore, the benefits of PA during childhood also appear to positively influence adult health outcomes, such as increased bone mineral density. Key environmental settings that have been shown to influence children's PA behavior include child care, active commuting to and from school, school recess, school physical education, after-school programs, churches, medical settings, and the home environment. Recommendations for practitioners and researchers are discussed.

  8. Environmental security benefits arising from Russian/Norwegian/US cooperation in the high Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, R.S.; Moskowitz, P.D.; Czajkowski, C.J.

    1997-05-01

    Past practices associated with the civilian and military use of nuclear power in NW Russia present large environmental security risks of international concern. These risks arise from a variety of practices associated with weapons production, testing, power production and waste management. The threats presented by these activities are multimedia in nature, span political boundaries and cannot be simply or inexpensively remediated. Today, cooperative efforts are being undertaken to improve environmental security by remediating existing and potential emission sources. Initial efforts focused on the upgrade and expansion of the Murmansk Low-level Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, Murmansk, Russia. This facility handles wastes generated during the decommissioning of Russian Nuclear Navy submarines and from the operation of the Russian commercial nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet. This upgraded facility is now being constructed and is expected to be completed by March 1998. Completion of this facility will result in the cessation of any future dumping of liquid radioactive wastes into the Barents and Kara Seas. Another large environmental security risk is the LEPSE. The LEPSE is a ship docked in Murmansk, Russia, that contains {approximately}650 spent fuel elements as well as other solid and liquid wastes from Russian nuclear vessels. International efforts are now being mounted to remove the spent and damaged fuel from this ship, including the safe removal and storage/disposal of the fuel elements. This paper will summarize the environmental security problems presented by these different sources and the likely environmental security benefits associated with their remediation. 5 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  9. Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of BMPs in controlling agricultural nonpoint source pollution in China based on the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ruimin; Zhang, Peipei; Wang, Xiujuan; Wang, Jiawei; Yu, Wenwen; Shen, Zhenyao

    2014-12-01

    Best management practices (BMPs) have been widely used in managing agricultural nonpoint source pollution (ANSP) at the watershed level. Most BMPs are related to land use, tillage management, and fertilizer levels. In total, seven BMP scenarios (Reforest1, Reforest2, No Tillage, Contour tillage, and fertilizer level 1-4) that are related to these three factors were estimated in this study. The objectives were to investigate the effectiveness and cost-benefit of these BMPs on ANSP reduction in a large tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) in China, which are based on the simulation results of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The results indicated that reforestation was the most economically efficient of all BMPs, and its net benefits were up to CNY 4.36×10(7) years(-1) (about USD 7.08×10(6) years(-1)). Regarding tillage practices, no tillage practice was more environmentally friendly than other tillage practices, and contour tillage was more economically efficient. Reducing the local fertilizer level to 0.8-fold less than that of 2010 can yield a satisfactory environmental and economic efficiency. Reforestation and fertilizer management were more effective in reducing total phosphorus (TP), whereas tillage management was more effective in reducing total nitrogen (TN). When CNY 10,000 (about USD 162) was applied to reforestation, no tillage, contour tillage, and an 0.8-fold reduction in the fertilizer level, then annual TN load can be reduced by 0.08, 0.16, 0.11, and 0.04 t and annual TP load can be reduced by 0.04, 0.02, 0.01 and 0.03 t, respectively. The cost-benefit (CB) ratios of the BMPs were as follows: reforestation (207 %) > contour tillage (129 %) > no tillage (114 %) > fertilizer management (96 and 89 %). The most economical and effective BMPs can be designated as follows: BMP1 (returning arable land with slopes greater than 25° to forests and those lands with slopes of 15-25° to orchards), BMP2 (implementing no tillage

  10. Life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental impact of biochar implementation in conservation agriculture in Zambia.

    PubMed

    Sparrevik, Magnus; Field, John L; Martinsen, Vegard; Breedveld, Gijs D; Cornelissen, Gerard

    2013-02-05

    Biochar amendment to soil is a potential technology for carbon storage and climate change mitigation. It may, in addition, be a valuable soil fertility enhancer for agricultural purposes in sandy and/or weathered soils. A life cycle assessment including ecological, health and resource impacts has been conducted for field sites in Zambia to evaluate the overall impacts of biochar for agricultural use. The life cycle impacts from conservation farming using cultivation growth basins and precision fertilization with and without biochar addition were in the present study compared to conventional agricultural methods. Three different biochar production methods were evaluated: traditional earth-mound kilns, improved retort kilns, and micro top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier stoves. The results confirm that the use of biochar in conservation farming is beneficial for climate change mitigation purposes. However, when including health impacts from particle emissions originating from biochar production, conservation farming plus biochar from earth-mound kilns generally results in a larger negative effect over the whole life cycle than conservation farming without biochar addition. The use of cleaner technologies such as retort kilns or TLUDs can overcome this problem, mainly because fewer particles and less volatile organic compounds, methane and carbon monoxide are emitted. These results emphasize the need for a holistic view on biochar use in agricultural systems. Of special importance is the biochar production technique which has to be evaluated from both environmental/climate, health and social perspectives.

  11. Review on water leakage control in distribution networks and the associated environmental benefits.

    PubMed

    Xu, Qiang; Liu, Ruiping; Chen, Qiuwen; Li, Ruonan

    2014-05-01

    Water supply is the primary element of an urban system. Due to rapid urbanization and water scarcity, maintaining a stable and safe water supply has become a challenge to many cities, whereas a large amount of water is lost from the pipes of distribution systems. Water leakage is not only a waste of water resources, but also incurs great socio-economic costs. This article presents a comprehensive review on the potential water leakage control approaches and specifically discusses the benefits of each to environmental conservation. It is concluded that water leakage could be further reduced by improving leakage detection capability through a combination of predictive modeling and monitoring instruments, optimizing pipe maintenance strategy, and developing an instant pressure regulation system. The environment could benefit from these actions because of water savings and the reduction of energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

  12. A survey of unmanned ground vehicles with applications to agricultural and environmental sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonadies, Stephanie; Lefcourt, Alan; Gadsden, S. Andrew

    2016-05-01

    Unmanned ground vehicles have been utilized in the last few decades in an effort to increase the efficiency of agriculture, in particular, by reducing labor needs. Unmanned vehicles have been used for a variety of purposes including: soil sampling, irrigation management, precision spraying, mechanical weeding, and crop harvesting. In this paper, unmanned ground vehicles, implemented by researchers or commercial operations, are characterized through a comparison to other vehicles used in agriculture, namely airplanes and UAVs. An overview of different trade-offs of configurations, control schemes, and data collection technologies is provided. Emphasis is given to the use of unmanned ground vehicles in food crops, and includes a discussion of environmental impacts and economics. Factors considered regarding the future trends and potential issues of unmanned ground vehicles include development, management and performance. Also included is a strategy to demonstrate to farmers the safety and profitability of implementing the technology.

  13. Global environmental impacts of agricultural expansion: The need for sustainable and efficient practices

    PubMed Central

    Tilman, David

    1999-01-01

    The recent intensification of agriculture, and the prospects of future intensification, will have major detrimental impacts on the nonagricultural terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of the world. The doubling of agricultural food production during the past 35 years was associated with a 6.87-fold increase in nitrogen fertilization, a 3.48-fold increase in phosphorus fertilization, a 1.68-fold increase in the amount of irrigated cropland, and a 1.1-fold increase in land in cultivation. Based on a simple linear extension of past trends, the anticipated next doubling of global food production would be associated with approximately 3-fold increases in nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization rates, a doubling of the irrigated land area, and an 18% increase in cropland. These projected changes would have dramatic impacts on the diversity, composition, and functioning of the remaining natural ecosystems of the world, and on their ability to provide society with a variety of essential ecosystem services. The largest impacts would be on freshwater and marine ecosystems, which would be greatly eutrophied by high rates of nitrogen and phosphorus release from agricultural fields. Aquatic nutrient eutrophication can lead to loss of biodiversity, outbreaks of nuisance species, shifts in the structure of food chains, and impairment of fisheries. Because of aerial redistribution of various forms of nitrogen, agricultural intensification also would eutrophy many natural terrestrial ecosystems and contribute to atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases. These detrimental environmental impacts of agriculture can be minimized only if there is much more efficient use and recycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in agroecosystems. PMID:10339530

  14. Environmental characteristics, agricultural land use, and vulnerability to degradation in Malopolska Province (Poland).

    PubMed

    Nowak, Agnieszka; Schneider, Christian

    2017-07-15

    Environmental degradation encompasses multiple processes that are rarely combined in analyses. This study refers to three types of environmental degradation resulting from agricultural activity: soil erosion, nutrient loss, and groundwater pollution. The research was conducted in seven distinct study areas in the Malopolska Province, Poland, each characterized by different environmental properties. Calculations were made on the basis of common models, i.e., USLE (soil erosion), InVEST (nutrient loss), and DRASTIC (groundwater pollution). Two scenarios were calculated to identify the areas contributing to potential and actual degradation. For the potential degradation scenario all study areas were treated as arable land. To identify the areas actually contributing to all three types of degradation, the de facto land use pattern was used for a second scenario. The results show that the areas most endangered by agricultural activity are located in the mountainous region, whereas most of the degraded zones were located in valley bottoms and areas with intensive agriculture. The different hazards rarely overlap spatially in the given study areas - meaning that different areas require different management approaches. The distribution of arable land was negatively correlated with soil erosion hazard, whereas no linkage was found between nutrient loss or groundwater pollution hazards and the proportion of arable land. This indicates that the soil erosion hazard is the most influential factor in the distribution of arable land, whereas nutrient loss and groundwater pollution is widely ignored during land use decision-making. Slope largely and most frequently influences all hazard types, whereas land use also played an important role in the case of soil and nutrient losses. In this study we presented a consistent methodology to capture complex degradation processes and provide robust indicators which can be included in existing impact assessment approaches like Life Cycle

  15. Beyond the throwaway society: A life cycle-based assessment of the environmental benefit of reuse.

    PubMed

    Castellani, Valentina; Sala, Serenella; Mirabella, Nadia

    2015-07-01

    In the context of a circular economy, sustainable consumption is often seen as the antithesis of current consumption patterns, which have led to the definition of the so-called throwaway society. Reuse may provide a preferred alternative to other waste management options, because it promotes resource efficiency and may significantly reduce environmental impacts. To appraise the environmental benefits related to reuse of goods, a methodology adopting life cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed. A standardized procedure has been developed, identifying reference products within product category subject to reuse, and collecting reliable inventory data as a basis for calculating environmental impact through LCA. A case study on a second-hand shop is presented, and the avoided impacts are quantified. Inventory data were taken both from the literature and directly from sales and surveys submitted to customers. The results are presented, highlighting: 1) for each product category, the average avoided impacts for 1 unit of reused product considered; and 2) for the overall activities of the second-hand shop, the cumulative avoided impacts in 1 yr. In the case study, the higher contribution to avoided impacts comes from the apparel sector, due to the high amount of items sold, followed by the furniture sector, because of the high amount of environmental impacts avoided by the reuse of each single item.

  16. Report: EPA Needs to Assess Environmental and Economic Benefits of Completed Clean Water State Revolving Fund Green Projects

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report #16-P-0162, May 2, 2016. The EPA needs to collect and evaluate data on the environmental and economic benefits of over $3.24 billion in public funds invested in green projects from 2009 through 2014.

  17. Biochem-Env: a platform of biochemistry for research in environmental and agricultural sciences.

    PubMed

    Cheviron, Nathalie; Grondin, Virginie; Mougin, Christian

    2017-04-07

    Biochemical indicators are potent tools to assess ecosystem functioning under anthropic and global pressures. Nevertheless, additional work is needed to improve the methods used for the measurement of these indicators, and for a more relevant interpretation of the obtained results. To face these challenges, the platform Biochem-Env aims at providing innovative and standardized measurement protocols, as well as database and information system favoring result interpretation and opening. Its skills and tools are also offered for expertise, consulting, training, and standardization. In addition, the platform is a service of a French Research Infrastructure for Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems, for research in environmental and agricultural sciences.

  18. Recent progress in agricultural, food and environmental applications of thermal lens spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franko, Mladen

    1999-03-01

    A review of some recent applications of thermal lens spectrometry (TLS), which demonstrated the versatility and advantages of TLS detection in analysis of agricultural, food and environmental samples is presented. Application of TLS for detection of pesticides in combination with capillary electrophoresis or flow injection analysis (FIA) based on a biosensor and detection of carotenoids following their high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) separation is discussed. A novel differential TLS spectrometer and its application for IR detection of pesticides and organic acids is also described.

  19. Design-with-Nature for Multifunctional Landscapes: Environmental Benefits and Social Barriers in Community Development

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Bo; Li, Ming-Han; Li, Shujuan

    2013-01-01

    Since the early 1970s, Ian McHarg’s design-with-nature concept has been inspiring landscape architects, community and regional planners, and liked-minded professionals to create designs that take advantage of ecosystem services and promote environmental and public health. This study bridges the gap in the literature that has resulted from a lack of empirical examinations on the multiple performance benefits derived through design-with-nature and the under-investigated social aspect emanated from McHarg’s Ecological Determinism design approach. The Woodlands, TX, USA, an ecologically designed community development under McHarg’s approach, is compared with two adjacent communities that follow the conventional design approach. Using national environmental databases and multiple-year residents’ survey information, this study assesses three landscape performance metrics of McHarg’s approach: stormwater runoff, urban heat island effect, and social acceptance. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to assess the development extent and land surface temperature distribution. Results show that McHarg’s approach demonstrates benefits in reducing runoff and urban heat island effect, whereas it confronts challenges with the general acceptance of manicured landscapes and thus results in a low safety perception level when residents interact with naturally designed landscapes. The authors argue that design-with-nature warrants multifunctionality because of its intrinsic interdisciplinary approach. Moreover, education and dissemination of successful examples can achieve a greater level of awareness among the public and further promote multifunctional design for landscape sustainability. PMID:24169408

  20. Benefits, environmental risks, social concerns, and policy implications of biotechnology in aquaculture

    SciTech Connect

    Kapuscinski, A.R.; Hallerman, E.M.

    1994-10-01

    Among the many methodologies encompassing biotechnology in aquaculture, this report addresses: the production of genetically modified aquatic organisms (aquatic GMOs) by gene transfer, chromosome set manipulation, or hybridization or protoplast fusion between species; new health management tools, including DNA-Based diagnostics and recombinant DNA vaccines; Marker-assisted selection; cryopreservation; and stock marking. These methodologies pose a wide range of potential economic benefits for aquaculture by providing improved or new means to affect the mix of necessary material inputs, enhance production efficiency, or improve product quality. Advances in aquaculture through biotechnology could simulate growth of the aquaculture industry to provide a larger proportion of consummer demand, and thereby reduce pressure and natural stocks from over-harvest. Judicious application of gamete cryopreservation and chromosome set manipulations to achieve sterilization could reduce environmental risks of some aquaculture operations. Given the significant losses to disease in many aquaculture enterprises, potential benefits of DNA-based health management tools are very high and appear to pose no major environmental risks or social concerns.

  1. The doubtful environmental benefit of reduced maximum sulfur limit in international shipping fuel.

    PubMed

    Mestl, Thomas; Løvoll, Grunde; Stensrud, Erik; Le Breton, Arnaud

    2013-06-18

    On January 1st, 2012, the maximum limit for sulfur concentration in marine fuels on the high seas was lowered from 4.50% to 3.50% by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It was one of a series of planned steps toward reducing the negative environmental and health impacts of international shipping. This study investigates the effectiveness of the IMO regulation in reducing global sulfur emissions. We found a reduction in global average sulfur concentration of only 0.07% points from 2011 to 2012. On the positive side, we also found that only 2.3% of the bunkerings were noncompliant in 2012, that is, exceeded the new 3.50% sulfur concentration cap. The analysis furthermore suggests that compliance with the new regulation is achieved by blending high sulfur fuel with lower sulfur fuel, rather than by removing high sulfur fuel from the market or removing the excess sulfur. The main conclusion is that the regulation has been effective in reducing the maximum sulfur concentration but has not been very effective in reducing the average sulfur concentration. Thus, the regulation may have resulted in local environmental benefits but has not resulted in global benefits with respect to global sulfur emissions from international shipping.

  2. Frontiers of sustainability: Environmentally sound agriculture, forestry, transportation, and power production

    SciTech Connect

    Dower, R.; Ditz, D.

    1998-11-01

    The book presents the first practical vision of the sustainable future of the United States and the steps needed to get there. Authors examine the environmental performance and trends in four key economic sectors; agriculture, electricity generation, transportation, and pulp and paper manufacturing. They map out and explore the implications of potentially dangerous trends and developments, and detail methods for reducing or managing emergency threats. Each chapter sets forth a technologically feasible vision of the future in which the unwanted trends one sees unfolding now are reversed. Frontiers of sustainability presents an adaptable formula for moving the United States toward a future that ensures generations to come a healthy stock of environmental and natural resource assets.

  3. Environmentally-friendly agricultural practices and their acceptance by smallholder farmers in China-A case study in Xinxiang County, Henan Province.

    PubMed

    Luo, Liangguo; Qin, Lihuan; Wang, Yan; Wang, Qian

    2016-11-15

    Intensive agriculture with high inputs has resulted in rapid development of crop production in China, accompanied by negative environmental effects such as serious non-point source agricultural pollution. Implementation of environmentally-friendly agricultural practices can effectively prevent such pollution. However, the acceptance and adoption of such practices are related not only to associated risks and potential benefits, but also to farmers' attitudes to and knowledge of scientifically validated practices. In the presented study we surveyed views of a stratified sample of 150 smallholder farmers and 10 extension service experts from Xinxiang, a high grain-producing county in Henan Province, China. Their opinions were explored in personal interviews using a questionnaire with three sections. The first section mainly sought information on surveyed farmers' demographic characteristics like gender, age and education. The second section concerned their awareness of the environmental problems and losses of yields associated with customary over-fertilization practices, and their main concerns about new practices. The third section addressed farmers' attitudes to, and the extension service experts' professional evaluations of, five selected practices in terms of the importance of seven factors (time demands, costs, risks, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability). Acceptance indices were calculated from the responses to rank farmers' willingness to accept the five environmentally-friendly agricultural practices, and thus identify the most appropriate to promote in the study area. The results show that costs, followed by risks and observability, are the more important factors affecting farmers' decisions to adopt a practice. The results also indicate that no or minimum tillage and returning straw to the field are the most appropriate practices to promote initially at large scale in Xinxiang. The others could be popularized gradually after providing

  4. Rapid screening of flonicamid residues in environmental and agricultural samples by a sensitive enzyme immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhenjiang; Zhang, Zhen; Zhu, Gangbing; Sun, Jianfan; Zou, Bin; Li, Ming; Wang, Jiagao

    2016-05-01

    A fast and sensitive polyclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the analysis of flonicamid in environmental and agricultural samples. Two haptens of flonicamid differing in spacer arm length were synthesized and conjugated to proteins to be used as immunogens for the production of polyclonal antibodies. To obtain most sensitive combination of antibody/coating antigen, two antibodies were separately screened by homologous and heterologous assays. After optimization, the flonicamid ELISA showed that the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50 value) was 3.86mgL(-1), and the limit of detection (IC20 value) was 0.032mgL(-1). There was no cross-reactivity to similar tested compounds. The recoveries obtained after the addition of standard flonicamid to the samples, including water, soil, carrot, apple and tomato, ranged from 79.3% to 116.4%. Moreover, the results of the ELISA for the spiked samples were largely consistent with the gas chromatography (R(2)=0.9891). The data showed that the proposed ELISA is an alternative tool for rapid, sensitive and accurate monitoring of flonicamid in environmental and agricultural samples.

  5. Effects of multi-scale environmental characteristics on agricultural stream biota in eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzpatrick, F.A.; Scudder, B.C.; Lenz, B.N.; Sullivan, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey examined 25 agricultural streams in eastern Wisconsin to determine relations between fish, invertebrate, and algal metrics and multiple spatial scales of land cover, geologic setting, hydrologic, aquatic habitat, and water chemistry data. Spearman correlation and redundancy analyses were used to examine relations among biotic metrics and environmental characteristics. Riparian vegetation, geologic, and hydrologic conditions affected the response of biotic metrics to watershed agricultural land cover but the relations were aquatic assemblage dependent. It was difficult to separate the interrelated effects of geologic setting, watershed and buffer land cover, and base flow. Watershed and buffer land cover, geologic setting, reach riparian vegetation width, and stream size affected the fish IBI, invertebrate diversity, diatom IBI, and number of algal taxa; however, the invertebrate FBI, percentage of EPT, and the diatom pollution index were more influenced by nutrient concentrations and flow variability. Fish IBI scores seemed most sensitive to land cover in the entire stream network buffer, more so than watershed-scale land cover and segment or reach riparian vegetation width. All but one stream with more than approximately 10 percent buffer agriculture had fish IBI scores of fair or poor. In general, the invertebrate and algal metrics used in this study were not as sensitive to land cover effects as fish metrics. Some of the reach-scale characteristics, such as width/depth ratios, velocity, and bank stability, could be related to watershed influences of both land cover and geologic setting. The Wisconsin habitat index was related to watershed geologic setting, watershed and buffer land cover, riparian vegetation width, and base flow, and appeared to be a good indicator of stream quality. Results from this study emphasize the value of using more than one or two biotic metrics to assess water quality and the importance of environmental

  6. Optimal Management of Nitrate Pollution of Groundwater in Agricultural Watersheds Considering Environmental and Economic Constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almasri, M. N.; Kaluarachchi, J. J.

    2007-05-01

    Groundwater pollution due to nitrogen species from various land use activities and practices is a common concern in most agricultural watersheds. Minimization of nonpoint source nitrogen pollution can be achieved by appropriate changes to land use practices to the extent of not affecting local economies that depend heavily on agricultural activities. Most prior research work focused on predicting nitrogen loading and/or fate and transport of nitrate in groundwater due to various agricultural activities. In this work, however, we propose to present a broad integrated methodology for the optimal management of nitrate contamination of ground water combining environmental assessment and economic cost evaluation through multi-criteria decision analysis. The proposed methodology incorporates an integrated physical modeling framework accounting for on-ground nitrogen loading and losses, soil nitrogen dynamics, and fate and transport of nitrate in ground water to compute the sustainable on-ground nitrogen loading such that the maximum contaminant level is not violated. A number of protection alternatives to stipulate the predicted sustainable on-ground nitrogen loading are evaluated using the decision analysis that employs the importance order of criteria approach for ranking and selection of the protection alternatives. The methodology was successfully demonstrated for the Sumas-Blaine aquifer in Washington State. The results showed the importance of using this integrated approach that predicts the sustainable on-ground nitrogen loadings and provides an insight to the economic consequences generated in satisfying the environmental constraints. The results also show that the proposed decision analysis framework, within certain limitation, is effective when selecting alternatives with competing demands.

  7. Environmental enhancement using short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses as alternative agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Schiller, A.

    1996-10-01

    Short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses are grown as biomass feedstocks for energy and fiber. When replacing traditional row crops on similar lands, these alternative crops can provide multiple environmental benefits in addition to enhancing rural economies and providing valuable resources. The DOE is supporting research to address how these crops can provide environmental benefits to soil, water, and native wildlife species in addition to providing bioenergy feedstocks. Research is underway to address the potential for biomass crops to provide soils conservation and water quality improvements in crop settings. Replacement of traditional erosive row drops with biomass crops on marginal lands and establishment of biomass plantations as filter strips adjacent to streams and wetlands are being studied. The habitat value of different crops for wildlife species is also considered. Combining findings on wildlife use of individual plantations with information on the cumulative effects of multiple plantations on wildlife populations can provide guidance for establishing and managing biomass crops to enhance biodiversity while providing feedstocks. Data from site-specific environmental studies can provide input for evaluation of the effects of large-scale plantings at both landscape and regional levels of resolution.

  8. Environmental enhancement using short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses as alternative agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Schiller, A.

    1995-12-31

    Short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses are grown as biomass feedstocks for energy and fiber. When replacing traditional row crops on similar lands, these alternative crops can provide multiple environmental benefits in addition to enhancing rural economies and providing valuable feedstock resources. The Department of Energy is supporting research to address how these crops can provide environmental benefits to soil, water and native wildlife species in addition to providing bioenergy feedstocks. Research is underway to address the potential for biomass crops to provide soil conservation and water quality improvements in crop settings. Replacement of traditional erosive row crops with biomass crops on marginal lands and establishment of biomass plantations as filter strips adjacent to streams and wetlands are being studied. The habitat value of different biomass crops for selected wildlife species is also under study. To date, these studies have shown that in comparison with row crops biomass plantings of both grass and tree crops increased biodiversity of birds; however, the habitat value of tree plantations is not equivalent to natural forests. The effects on native wildlife of establishing multiple plantations across a landscape are being studied. Combining findings on wildlife use of individual plantations with information on the cumulative effects of multiple plantations on wildlife populations can provide guidance for establishing and managing biomass crops to enhance biodiversity while providing biomass feedstocks. Data from site-specific environmental studies can provide input for evaluation of the probable effects of large-scale plantings at both landscape and regional levels of resolution.

  9. Mindful Climate Action: Health and Environmental Co-Benefits from Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Training.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Bruce; Grabow, Maggie; Middlecamp, Cathy; Mooney, Margaret; Checovich, Mary M; Converse, Alexander K; Gillespie, Bob; Yates, Julia

    2016-10-01

    Greenhouse gases from human activities are causing climate change, creating risks for people around the globe. Behaviors involving transportation, diet, energy use, and purchasing drive greenhouse gas emissions, but are also related to health and well-being, providing opportunity for co-benefits. Replacing shorter automobile trips with walking or cycling, or eating plants rather than animals, for example, may increase personal health, while also reducing environmental impact. Mindfulness-based practices have been shown to enhance a variety of health outcomes, but have not been adapted towards environmental purposes. We designed the Mindful Climate Action (MCA) curriculum to help people improve their health while simultaneously lowering their carbon footprints. Combining mindfulness-based practices with the Stages of Change theory, the MCA program aims to: (1) improve personal health and well-being; (2) decrease energy use; (3) reduce automobile use; (4) increase active transport; (5) shift diet towards plant-based foods; and (6) reduce unnecessary purchasing. Mindfulness practices will foster attentional awareness, openness, and response flexibility, supporting positive behavior change. We plan to test MCA in a randomized controlled trial, with rigorous assessment of targeted outcomes. Our long-term goal is to refine and adapt the MCA program to a variety of audiences, in order to enhance public health and environmental sustainability.

  10. Mindful Climate Action: Health and Environmental Co-Benefits from Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Training

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Bruce; Grabow, Maggie; Middlecamp, Cathy; Mooney, Margaret; Checovich, Mary M.; Converse, Alexander K.; Gillespie, Bob; Yates, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Greenhouse gases from human activities are causing climate change, creating risks for people around the globe. Behaviors involving transportation, diet, energy use, and purchasing drive greenhouse gas emissions, but are also related to health and well-being, providing opportunity for co-benefits. Replacing shorter automobile trips with walking or cycling, or eating plants rather than animals, for example, may increase personal health, while also reducing environmental impact. Mindfulness-based practices have been shown to enhance a variety of health outcomes, but have not been adapted towards environmental purposes. We designed the Mindful Climate Action (MCA) curriculum to help people improve their health while simultaneously lowering their carbon footprints. Combining mindfulness-based practices with the Stages of Change theory, the MCA program aims to: (1) improve personal health and well-being; (2) decrease energy use; (3) reduce automobile use; (4) increase active transport; (5) shift diet towards plant-based foods; and (6) reduce unnecessary purchasing. Mindfulness practices will foster attentional awareness, openness, and response flexibility, supporting positive behavior change. We plan to test MCA in a randomized controlled trial, with rigorous assessment of targeted outcomes. Our long-term goal is to refine and adapt the MCA program to a variety of audiences, in order to enhance public health and environmental sustainability. PMID:28008371

  11. 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

  12. A Case Study of Environmental Benefits of Sensor-Based Nitrogen Application in Corn.

    PubMed

    Li, Ao; Duval, Benjamin D; Anex, Robert; Scharf, Peter; Ashtekar, Jenette M; Owens, Phillip R; Ellis, Charles

    2016-03-01

    Crop canopy reflectance sensors make it possible to estimate crop N demand and apply appropriate N fertilizer rates at different locations in a field, reducing fertilizer input and associated environmental impacts while maintaining crop yield. Environmental benefits, however, have not been quantified previously. The objective of this study was to estimate the environmental impact of sensor-based N fertilization of corn using model-based environmental Life Cycle Assessment. Nitrogen rate and corn grain yield were measured during a sensor-based, variable N-rate experiment in Lincoln County, MO. Spatially explicit soil properties were derived using a predictive modeling technique based on in-field soil sampling. Soil NO emissions, volatilized NH loss, and soil NO leaching were predicted at 60 discrete field locations using the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model. Life cycle cumulative energy consumption, global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential, and eutrophication potential were estimated using model predictions, experimental data, and life cycle data. In this experiment, variable-rate N management reduced total N fertilizer use by 11% without decreasing grain yield. Precision application of N is predicted to have reduced soil NO emissions by 10%, volatilized NH loss by 23%, and NO leaching by 16%, which in turn reduced life cycle nonrenewable energy consumption, GWP, acidification potential, and eutrophication potential by 7, 10, 22, and 16%, respectively. Although mean N losses were reduced, the variations in N losses were increased compared with conventional, uniform N application. Crop canopy sensor-based, variable-rate N fertilization was predicted to increase corn grain N use efficiency while simultaneously reducing total life-cycle energy use, GWP, acidification, and eutrophication.

  13. The environmental costs and benefits of biomass energy use in California

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, G.

    1997-05-01

    The California renewable energy industries have worked diligently during the past couple of years to develop public policies conducive to the future of renewable energy production within the context of electric market restructuring and the evolving competitive electric services industry. The state`s biomass power industry has organized itself as the California Biomass Energy Alliance (CBEA), and has participated vigorously in the regulatory and legislative processes. In order to reward biomass power generators for the special services they provide, CBEA has promoted the concept of providing incentives specifically targeted to biomass within the context of any renewables program enacted in the state. This concept has been embraced by the other renewables industry organizations, but resisted by the utilities. This study represents an effort to identify, characterize, ad quantify the environmental costs and benefits of biomass energy use in California, and to elucidate the future role of biomass power production within the context of the evolving deregulation of the California electricity industry. The report begins with a review of the development and growth of the California biomass power industry during the past 15 years. This is followed by an analysis of the biomass fuels market development during the same period. It examines trends in the types and costs of biomass fuels. The environmental performance of the mature California biomass energy industry is analyzed, and takes into account the environmental impacts of the industry, and the impacts that would be associated with disposing of the materials used as fuels if the biomass power industry were not in operation. The analysis is then extended to consider the environmental and economic consequences of the loss of biomass generating capacity since 1993. The report ends with a consideration of the future prospects for the industry in the context of restructuring.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Reaping Environmental Benefits of a Global Hydrogen Economy: How Large, Fow Soon, and at What Risks?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubey, M. K.; Horowitz, L. W.; Rahn, T. A.; Kinnison, D. E.

    2004-12-01

    The Western world has taken an aggressive posture to transition to a global hydrogen economy. While numerous technical challenges need to be addressed to achieve this it is timely to examine the environmental benefits and risks of this transition. Hydrogen provides an efficient energy carrier that promises to enhance urban and regional air quality that will benefit human health. It could also reduce risks of climate change if large-scale hydrogen production by renewable or nuclear energy sources becomes viable. While it is well known that the byproduct of energy produced from hydrogen is water vapor, it is not well known that the storage and transfer of hydrogen is inevitably accompanied by measurable leakage of hydrogen. Unintended consequences of hydrogen leakage include reduction in global oxidative capacity, changes in tropospheric ozone, and increase in stratospheric water that would exacerbate halogen induced ozone losses as well as impact the earth's radiation budget and climate. We construct plausible global hydrogen energy use and leak scenarios and assess their impacts using global 3-D simulations by the Model for Ozone And Related Trace species (MOZART). The hydrogen fluxes and photochemistry in our model successfully reproduce the contemporary hydrogen cycle as observed by a network of remote global stations. Our intent is to determine environmentally tolerable leak rates and also facilitate a gradual phasing in of a hydrogen economy over the next several decades as the elimination of the use of halocarbons gradually reduces halogen induced stratospheric ozone loss rates. We stress that the leak rates in global hydrogen infrastructure and the future evolution of microbial soil sink of hydrogen that determines its current lifetime (about 2 years) are principal sources of uncertainty in our assessment.

  16. NEON: Contributing continental-scale long-term environmental data for the benefit of society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wee, B.; Aulenbach, S.

    2011-12-01

    natural-human systems cannot be understood in the absence of data about the human dimension. Another essential element is the community of tool and platform developers who create the infrastructure for scientists, educators, resource managers, and policy analysts to discover, analyze, and collaborate on problems using the diverse data that are required to address emerging large-scale environmental challenges. These challenges are very unlikely to be problems confined to this generation: they are urgent, compelling, and long-term problems that require a sustained effort to generate and curate data and information from observations, models, and experiments. NEON's long-term national physical and information infrastructure for environmental observation is one of the cornerstones of a framework that transforms science and information for the benefit of society.

  17. Dealing with electronic waste: modeling the costs and environmental benefits of computer monitor disposal.

    PubMed

    Macauley, Molly; Palmer, Karen; Shih, Jhih-Shyang

    2003-05-01

    The importance of information technology to the world economy has brought about a surge in demand for electronic equipment. With rapid technological change, a growing fraction of the increasing stock of many types of electronics becomes obsolete each year. We model the costs and benefits of policies to manage 'e-waste' by focusing on a large component of the electronic waste stream-computer monitors-and the environmental concerns associated with disposal of the lead embodied in cathode ray tubes (CRTs) used in most monitors. We find that the benefits of avoiding health effects associated with CRT disposal appear far outweighed by the costs for a wide range of policies. For the stock of monitors disposed of in the United States in 1998, we find that policies restricting or banning some popular disposal options would increase disposal costs from about US dollar 1 per monitor to between US dollars 3 and US dollars 20 per monitor. Policies to promote a modest amount of recycling of monitor parts, including lead, can be less expensive. In all cases, however, the costs of the policies exceed the value of the avoided health effects of CRT disposal.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS IN SUPPORT OF RIPARIAN RESTORATION: WATER QUALITY BENEFITS AND HABITAT RESTORATION IN DELAWARE AGRICULTURAL AREAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Surface water runoff from agricultural landscapes is one of the major sources of water quality impairment in the United States. With the advent of buffer strips and conservation minded tilling practices the agricultural community has made significant reductions in overland runof...

  1. Monitoring of the risk of farmland abandonment as an efficient tool to assess the environmental and socio-economic impact of the Common Agriculture Policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milenov, Pavel; Vassilev, Vassil; Vassileva, Anna; Radkov, Radko; Samoungi, Vessela; Dimitrov, Zlatomir; Vichev, Nikola

    2014-10-01

    Farmland abandonment (FLA) could be defined as the cessation of agricultural activities on a given surface of land (Pointereau et al., 2008). FLA, often associated with social and economic problems in rural areas, has significant environmental consequences. During the 1990s, millions of hectares of farmland in the new EU Member States, from Central and Eastern Europe, were abandoned as a result of the transition process from centralized and planned to market economy. The policy tools adopted gradually within the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union (EU CAP), as well as the EU environmental and structural policies, aimed to prevent further expansion of this phenomenon and to facilitate the revival of the agriculture land, being abandoned (ComReg 1122/2009). The Agri-Environment (AGRI-ENV) component of the Core Information Service (CIS), developed within the scope of the FP7-funded project "geoland2" were designed to support the agricultural user community at pan-European and national levels by contributing to the improvement of more accurate and timely monitoring of the status of agricultural land use in Europe and its change. The purpose of the product 'Farmland abandonment', as part of the AGRI-ENV package, is to detect potentially abandoned agriculture land, based on multi-annual SPOT data with several acquisitions per year. It provides essential independent information on the status of the agricultural land as recorded in the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS), which is one of the core instruments of the implementation of CAP. The production line is based on object-based image analysis and benefits from the extensive availability of Biophysical parameters derived from the satellite data (geoland2). The method detects/tracks those land (or so-called reference) parcels in the LPIS, holding significant amount of land agriculture found as potentially abandoned. Reference parcels with such change are flagged and reported, enabling the National

  2. Influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrient enrichment in agricultural streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maret, Terry R.; Konrad, Christopher P.; Tranmer, Andrew W.

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p < 0.001). A TN threshold of 0.48 mg/l was identified where eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes.

  3. Using agricultural practices information for multiscale environmental assessment of phosphorus risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matos Moreira, Mariana; Lemercier, Blandine; Michot, Didier; Dupas, Rémi; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2015-04-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plant growth. In intensively farmed areas, excessive applications of animal manure and mineral P fertilizers to soils have raised both economic and ecological concerns. P accumulation in agricultural soils leads to increased P losses to surface waterbodies contributing to eutrophication. Increasing soil P content over time in agricultural soils is often correlated with agricultural practices; in Brittany (NW France), an intensive livestock farming region, soil P content is well correlated with animal density (Lemercier et al.,2008). Thus, a better understanding of the factors controlling P distribution is required to enable environmental assessment of P risk. The aim of this study was to understand spatial distribution of extractable (Olsen method) and total P contents and its controlling factors at the catchment scale in order to predict P contents at regional scale (Brittany). Data on soil morphology, soil tests (including P status, particles size, organic carbon…) for 198 punctual positions, crops succession since 20 years, agricultural systems, field and animal manure management were obtained on a well-characterized catchment (ORE Agrhys, 10 km²). A multivariate analysis with mixed quantitative variables and factors and a digital soil mapping approach were performed to identify variables playing a significant role in soil total and extractable P contents and distribution. Spatial analysis was performed by means of the Cubist model, a decision tree-based algorithm. Different scenarios were assessed, considering various panels of predictive variables: soil data, terrain attributes derived from digital elevation model, gamma-ray spectrometry (from airborne geophysical survey) and agricultural practices information. In the research catchment, mean extractable and total P content were 140.0 ± 63.4 mg/kg and 2862.7 ± 773.0 mg/kg, respectively. Organic and mineral P inputs, P balance, soil pH, and Al contents were

  4. Assessment of nitrogen ceilings for Dutch agricultural soils to avoid adverse environmental impacts.

    PubMed

    de Vries, W; Kros, H; Oenema, O; Erisman, J W

    2001-11-09

    In the Netherlands, high traffic density and intensive animal husbandry have led to high emissions of reactive nitrogen (N) into the environment. This leads to a series of environmental impacts, including: (1) nitrate (NO3) contamination of drinking water, (2) eutrophication of freshwater lakes, (3) acidification and biodiversity impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, (4) ozone and particle formation affecting human health, and (5) global climate change induced by emissions of N2O. Measures to control reactive N emissions were, up to now, directed towards those different environmental themes. Here we summarize the results of a study to analyse the agricultural N problem in the Netherlands in an integrated way, which means that all relevant aspects are taken into account simultaneously. A simple N balance model was developed, representing all crucial processes in the N chain, to calculate acceptable N inputs to the farm (so-called N ceiling) and to the soil surface (application in the field) by feed concentrates, organic manure, fertiliser, deposition, and N fixation. The N ceilings were calculated on the basis of critical limits for NO 3 concentrations in groundwater, N concentrations in surface water, and ammonia (NH3) emission targets related to the protection of biodiversity of natural areas. Results show that in most parts of the Netherlands, except the western and the northern part, the N ceilings are limited by NH 3 emissions, which are derived from critical N loads for nature areas, rather than limits for both ground- and surface water. On the national scale, the N ceiling ranges between 372 and 858 kton year(-1) depending on the choice of critical limits. The current N import is 848 kton year(-1). A decrease of nearly 60% is needed to reach the ceilings that are necessary to protect the environment against all adverse impacts of N pollution from agriculture.

  5. Trace elements assessment in agricultural and desert soils of Aswan area, south Egypt: Geochemical characteristics and environmental impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darwish, Mohamed Abdallah Gad; Pöllmann, Hebert

    2015-12-01

    Determination of chemical elements, Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, Sc, Sr, Ti, Y, and Zn have been performed in agricultural and desert soils and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) at Aswan area. Consequently, the pollution indices, univariate and multivariate statistical methods have been applied, in order to assess the geochemical characteristics of these elements and their impact on soil environmental quality and plant, and to reach for their potential input sources. The investigation revealed that the mean and range values of all element concentrations in agricultural soil are higher than those in desert soil. Furthermore, the agricultural soil displayed various degrees of enrichment and pollution of Cd, Zn, Mo, Co, P, Ti, Pb. The geochemical pattern of integrated pollution indices gave a clear image of extreme and strong pollution in the agricultural soil stations, their poor quality with high risk to human health and considered as a tocsin for an alert. In contrast, the desert soil is the good environmental quality and safe for plant, animal and human health. Alfalfa is tolerant plant and considered as a biomarker for P and Mo in polluted agricultural soil. Four geochemical associations of analyzing elements in agricultural soil and three ones in desert soil have been generated, and their enhancements were essentially caused by various anthropogenic activities and geogenic sources. The investigation also revealed that the broad extended desert soil is fruitful and promising as cultivable lands for agricultural processes in the futures.

  6. Compounding Effects of Agricultural Land Use and Water Use in Free-Flowing Rivers: Confounding Issues for Environmental Flows.

    PubMed

    Hardie, Scott A; Bobbi, Chris J

    2017-03-03

    Defining the ecological impacts of water extraction from free-flowing river systems in altered landscapes is challenging as multiple stressors (e.g., flow regime alteration, increased sedimentation) may have simultaneous effects and attributing causality is problematic. This multiple-stressor context has been acknowledged in environmental flows science, but is often neglected when it comes to examining flow-ecology relationships, and setting and implementing environmental flows. We examined the impacts of land and water use on rivers in the upper Ringarooma River catchment in Tasmania (south-east Australia), which contains intensively irrigated agriculture, to support implementation of a water management plan. Temporal and spatial and trends in river condition were assessed using benthic macroinvertebrates as bioindicators. Relationships between macroinvertebrate community structure and environmental variables were examined using univariate and multivariate analyses, focusing on the impacts of agricultural land use and water use. Structural changes in macroinvertebrate communities in rivers in the catchment indicated temporal and spatial declines in the ecological condition of some stretches of river associated with agricultural land and water use. Moreover, water extraction appeared to exacerbate impairment associated with agricultural land use (e.g., reduced macroinvertebrate density, more flow-avoiding taxa). The findings of our catchment-specific bioassessments will underpin decision-making during the implementation of the Ringarooma water management plan, and highlight the need to consider compounding impacts of land and water use in environmental flows and water planning in agricultural landscapes.

  7. Agriculture: Newsroom

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Agriculture Newsroom. News releases, reports, and other documents from around EPA that are of interest or direct importance to the environmental management or compliance efforts of the agricultural community.

  8. 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...

  9. ISO 14 001 at the farm level: analysis of five methods for evaluating the environmental impact of agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Galan, M B; Peschard, D; Boizard, H

    2007-02-01

    Faced with society's increasing expectations, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) review considers environmental management to be an ever more critical criterion in the allocation of farm subsidies. With the goal of evaluating the environmental friendliness of farm practices, France's agricultural research and extension services have built a range of agricultural/environmental diagnostic tools over recent years. The objective of the present paper is to compare the five tools most frequently used in France: IDEA, DIAGE, DIALECTE, DIALOGUE and INDIGO. All the tools have the same purpose: evaluation of the impact of farm practices on the environment via indicators and monitoring of farm management practices. When tested on a sample of large-scale farms in Picardie, the five tools sometimes produced completely different results: for a given farm, the most supposedly significant environmental impacts depend on the tool used. These results lead to differing environmental management plans and raise the question of the methods' pertinence. An analysis grid of diagnostic tools aimed at specifying their field of validity, limits and relevance was drawn up. The resulting comparative analysis enables to define each tool's domain of validity and allows to suggest lines of thought for developing more relevant tools for (i) evaluating a farm's environmental performance and (ii) helping farmers to develop a plan for improving practices within the framework of an environmental management system.

  10. Responsiveness of Food Security Reporting to Environmental Variability and Agricultural Production Deficits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brickley, E. B.; Brown, M. E.

    2010-12-01

    This paper uses 1342 food security update reports from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) in an analysis that focuses on the environmental, market, and livelihood influences on the food security in 17 countries in Africa from 2000-2009. A textual analysis was conducted using the reports as a primary data source to evaluate the responsiveness of food security analysis to environmental variability and food production deficits. The research shows that FEWS NET analysts demonstrate a consistent approach across all 17 countries as to the discussion and use of rainfall information, agricultural production, food prices and food access parameters. There are significant differences in the use of remote sensing and other technical information between East, West and Southern African country analysts, with satellite remote sensing of vegetation being used 28% of the time, rainfall imagery 84% and gridded crop models only 10% of the time. Significantly more discussion of biophysical information was seen during the rainy season than during the dry season, and different satellite products were used during periods of drought than periods of adequate moisture. As the demand for early warning information grows to more countries in different ecosystems, there is likely to be an increased need for the effective utilization of remote sensing, market, and livelihood data, and it is also probable that this information will be critical for improved policy-making regarding climate extremes in the future.

  11. Perceived and actual environmental benefits of the Los Angeles urban forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pataki, D. E.; McCarthy, H. R.

    2011-12-01

    There has been a widespread movement to plant more trees and increase canopy cover in cities throughout the United States, in order to enhance ecosystem services provided by urban forests. The city of Los Angeles has been engaged in a widespread tree planting program with the goal of increasing tree cover, particularly in low income neighborhoods. However, the Los Angeles urban forest is almost entirely non-native, located predominately in former semi-arid shrublands and grasslands. We used multiple approaches to evaluate environmental costs and benefits of urban trees in Los Angeles, both as they are perceived by local residents, as well as actual physical impacts of urban tree processes on the environment. We conducted an internet survey of attitudes and preferences for specific tree functional types, ecosystem services, and potential costs. We also directly measured urban forest structure and function including species and functional biodiversity, transpiration, basal area increments, hydraulic architecture, and leaf gas exchange. We translated these processes into categories of ecosystem services and costs such as water use, latent heat fluxes, water use efficiency, growth rates, sensitivity to drought stress, and aesthetic traits (flowering, fruiting, etc.). We found that provision of shade by urban trees is highly valued by local residents, and in fact, the urban forest has a significant impact on surface temperatures. Aesthetics benefits are also commonly cited as desirable traits. Although aesthetic and other cultural ecosystem services are difficult to quantify, we found spatial patterns in aesthetic traits influenced by neighborhood socioeconomic variables. Local residents seemed less concerned about the water use of irrigated urban trees, but we found significant rates of transpiration in urban trees and forest plots depending on species that may be important in the local hydrologic budget, which is increasingly constrained by water shortages. There was

  12. Assessment of the environmental benefits of transport and stationary fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauen, A.; Hart, D.

    Fuel cells (FCs) offer significant environmental benefits over competing technologies and hence the environment is a strong driving force behind the development of FC systems for transport and stationary applications. This paper provides a comprehensive comparison of FC and competing systems, and points out strengths and weaknesses of the different FC systems, suggesting areas for improvement. The results presented build on earlier work [D. Hart, G. Hörmandinger, Initial assessment of the environmental characteristics of fuel cells and competing technologies, ETSU F/02/00111/REP/1, ETSU, Harwell, UK, 1997.] and provide a detailed analysis of a wider range of systems. The analysis takes the form of a model, which compares system emissions (global, regional and local pollutants) and energy consumption on a full fuel cycle basis. It considers a variety of primary energy sources, intermediate fuel supply steps and FC systems for transport and stationary end-uses. These are compared with alternative systems for transport and stationary applications. Energy and pollutant emission reductions of FC systems compared to alternative vehicle technology vary considerably, though all FC technologies show reductions in energy use and CO 2 emissions of at least 20%; as well as reductions of several orders of magnitude in regulated pollutants compared to the base-case vehicle. The location of emissions is also of importance, with most emissions in the case of FC vehicles occurring in the fuel supply stage. The energy, CO 2 and regulated emissions advantages of FC systems for distributed and baseload electricity are more consistent than for transport applications, with reductions in regulated pollutants generally larger than one order of magnitude compared to competing technologies. For CHP applications, the advantages of FC systems with regard to regulated pollutants remain large. However, energy and CO 2 emission advantages are reduced, depending largely on the assumptions made

  13. Quantify the energy and environmental benefits of implementing energy-efficiency measures in China’s iron and steel production

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Ding; Chen, Wenying; Xu, Tengfang

    2015-08-21

    As one of the most energy-, emission- and pollution-intensive industries, iron and steel production is responsible for significant emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutants. Although many energy-efficiency measures have been proposed by the Chinese government to mitigate GHG emissions and to improve air quality, lacking full understanding of the costs and benefits has created barriers against implementing these measures widely. This paper sets out to advance the understanding by addressing the knowledge gap in costs, benefits, and cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures in iron and steel production. Specifically, we build a new evaluation framework to quantify energy benefits and environmental benefits (i.e., CO2 emission reduction, air-pollutants emission reduction and water savings) associated with 36 energy-efficiency measures. Results show that inclusion of benefits from CO2 and air-pollutants emission reduction affects the cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures significantly, while impacts from water-savings benefits are moderate but notable when compared to the effects by considering energy benefits alone. The new information resulted from this study should be used to augment future programs and efforts in reducing energy use and environmental impacts associated with steel production.

  14. Quantify the energy and environmental benefits of implementing energy-efficiency measures in China’s iron and steel production

    DOE PAGES

    Ma, Ding; Chen, Wenying; Xu, Tengfang

    2015-08-21

    As one of the most energy-, emission- and pollution-intensive industries, iron and steel production is responsible for significant emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutants. Although many energy-efficiency measures have been proposed by the Chinese government to mitigate GHG emissions and to improve air quality, lacking full understanding of the costs and benefits has created barriers against implementing these measures widely. This paper sets out to advance the understanding by addressing the knowledge gap in costs, benefits, and cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures in iron and steel production. Specifically, we build a new evaluation framework to quantify energy benefits andmore » environmental benefits (i.e., CO2 emission reduction, air-pollutants emission reduction and water savings) associated with 36 energy-efficiency measures. Results show that inclusion of benefits from CO2 and air-pollutants emission reduction affects the cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures significantly, while impacts from water-savings benefits are moderate but notable when compared to the effects by considering energy benefits alone. The new information resulted from this study should be used to augment future programs and efforts in reducing energy use and environmental impacts associated with steel production.« less

  15. Hydrological and environmental controls of the stream nitrate concentration and flux in a small agricultural watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Y.; Xu, J. F.; Yin, W.; Ai, L.; Fang, N. F.; Tan, W. F.; Yan, F. L.; Shi, Z. H.

    2017-02-01

    Nitrate exports from diffuse sources constitute a major cause of eutrophication and episodic acidification in inland aquatic systems, and remedial action requires the identification of the influencing factors associated with these nitrate exports. This paper examines the combined effects of watershed complexity on nitrate concentration and flux in terms of the hydrological and environmental factors in heterogeneous nested subwatersheds in the Danjiangkou Reservoir Area (DRA), China. We established 15 sampling sites in the main stream and tributaries and conducted biweekly sampling in 2008-2012 to monitor the nitrate exports. The hydrological and environmental indices within the watershed were divided into subwatersheds and considered as potential influencing factors. In consideration of the high co-linearity of these influencing factors, we used partial least squares regression (PLSR) to determine the associations between the stream nitrate concentration or flux and 26 selected watershed characteristics. The number of components was unequal for the nitrate concentration and flux models. The optimal models explained 66.4%, 60.0% and 59.9% of the variability in nitrate concentration and 74.7%, 67.1% and 58.0% of the variability in nitrate flux annually, in the dry season, and in the wet season, respectively. According to the variable importance in the projection (VIP) values, the dominant first-order factors for the nitrate concentration were as follows: the areal percentages of agricultural, forest and residential areas; followed by the slope; the largest patch index (LPI); the flow path gradient (FPG); the slope gradient variance (SGV); and the splitting index (SPLIT). In addition to these factors, the runoff coefficient (RC), flashiness index (FI), and patch density (PD) affected the changes in the nitrate flux. This study illustrates the influence of hydrological and environmental factors on seasonal water quality and can serve as guidelines for better watershed

  16. Advances in shrub-willow crops for bioenergy, renewable products, and environmental benefits

    SciTech Connect

    Volk, Timothy A.; Heavey, Justin P.; Eisenbies, Mark H.

    2016-05-02

    Short-rotation coppice systems like shrub willow are projected to be an important source of biomass in the United States for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and renewable bio-based products, with the potential for auxiliary environmental benefits and multifunctional systems. Almost three decades of research has focused on the development of shrub willow crops for biomass and ecosystem services. The current expansion of willow in New York State (about 500 ha) for the production of renewable power and heat has been possible because of incentive programs offered by the federal government, commitments by end users, the development of reliable harvesting systems, and extension services offered to growers. Improvements in the economics of the system are expected as willow production expands further, which should help lower establishment costs, enhance crop management options and increase efficiencies in harvesting and logistics. As a result, deploying willow in multifunctional value-added systems provides opportunities for both potential producers and end users to learn about the system and the quality of the biomass feedstock, which in turn will help overcome barriers to expansion.

  17. Advances in shrub-willow crops for bioenergy, renewable products, and environmental benefits

    DOE PAGES

    Volk, Timothy A.; Heavey, Justin P.; Eisenbies, Mark H.

    2016-05-02

    Short-rotation coppice systems like shrub willow are projected to be an important source of biomass in the United States for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and renewable bio-based products, with the potential for auxiliary environmental benefits and multifunctional systems. Almost three decades of research has focused on the development of shrub willow crops for biomass and ecosystem services. The current expansion of willow in New York State (about 500 ha) for the production of renewable power and heat has been possible because of incentive programs offered by the federal government, commitments by end users, the development of reliable harvesting systems,more » and extension services offered to growers. Improvements in the economics of the system are expected as willow production expands further, which should help lower establishment costs, enhance crop management options and increase efficiencies in harvesting and logistics. As a result, deploying willow in multifunctional value-added systems provides opportunities for both potential producers and end users to learn about the system and the quality of the biomass feedstock, which in turn will help overcome barriers to expansion.« less

  18. Benefits and disadvantages of self-regulation of environmental noise from military training

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luz, George A.

    2002-05-01

    In a 1981 Executive decision, the Administration's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told the Environmental Protection Agency to end funding of the Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC). This decision, coupled with a specific exemption for military equipment contained in the Noise Control Act of 1972, ensured that the military departments would be self-regulating in regard to noise. This self-regulation for noise stands in contrast to the external regulation of other pollutants, such as air and water emissions. Two possible disadvantages of self-regulation are (1) reduced funding for noise management compared with funding for externally regulated pollutants, and (2) lack of an independent and external set of standards for determining acceptable limits on community noise exposure. Three possible benefits are (1) avoiding the costs of mitigating trivial violations of external standards, (2) maintaining a long-standing policy of preventing noise problems through land use planning, and (3) enabling negotiated solutions between installations and their neighboring communities. The paper ends with an examination of a negotiated solution for a community subjected to noise from the detonation of obsolete ammunition.

  19. Change in Environmental Benefits of Urban Land Use and Its Drivers in Chinese Cities, 2000-2010.

    PubMed

    Song, Xiaoqing; Chang, Kang-Tsung; Yang, Liang; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-05-26

    Driven by rising income and urban population growth, China has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1980s. Urbanization can have positive effects on the urban environment; however, improvement of urban environment quality, especially its divergence between relatively developed and undeveloped cities in China, is currently a rather rudimentary and subjective issue. This study analyzed urban environmental benefits among China's prefectural cities based on their structure of urban land use in 2000 and 2010. First, we divided 347 prefectural cities into two groups, 81 coastal and capital cities in the relatively developed group (RD) and 266 other prefectural cities in the undeveloped group (RP). Then, we defined three areas of urban environmental benefits, including green infrastructure, industrial upgrade, and environmental management, and developed an assessment index system. Results showed that all prefectural cities saw improvement in urban environmental quality in 2000-2010. Although the RD cities had higher income and more population growth, they had less improvement than the RP cities during the same period. We also found that demographic and urban land agglomeration among RD cities restrained green infrastructure expansion, making green infrastructure unsuitable as a permanent solution to environmental improvement. It is therefore urgent for China to promote balanced improvement among the three areas of urban environmental benefits and between the RD and RP cities through regional differentiation policies.

  20. Change in Environmental Benefits of Urban Land Use and Its Drivers in Chinese Cities, 2000–2010

    PubMed Central

    Song, Xiaoqing; Chang, Kang-tsung; Yang, Liang; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Driven by rising income and urban population growth, China has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1980s. Urbanization can have positive effects on the urban environment; however, improvement of urban environment quality, especially its divergence between relatively developed and undeveloped cities in China, is currently a rather rudimentary and subjective issue. This study analyzed urban environmental benefits among China’s prefectural cities based on their structure of urban land use in 2000 and 2010. First, we divided 347 prefectural cities into two groups, 81 coastal and capital cities in the relatively developed group (RD) and 266 other prefectural cities in the undeveloped group (RP). Then, we defined three areas of urban environmental benefits, including green infrastructure, industrial upgrade, and environmental management, and developed an assessment index system. Results showed that all prefectural cities saw improvement in urban environmental quality in 2000–2010. Although the RD cities had higher income and more population growth, they had less improvement than the RP cities during the same period. We also found that demographic and urban land agglomeration among RD cities restrained green infrastructure expansion, making green infrastructure unsuitable as a permanent solution to environmental improvement. It is therefore urgent for China to promote balanced improvement among the three areas of urban environmental benefits and between the RD and RP cities through regional differentiation policies. PMID:27240386

  1. Influence of Environmental Factors on Biotic Responses to Nutrient Enrichment in Agricultural Streams1

    PubMed Central

    Maret, Terry R; Konrad, Christopher P; Tranmer, Andrew W

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (<0.004-0.361 mg/l), but biotic responses including periphytic and sestonic chlorophyll a (RCHL and SCHL, respectively), and percent of stream bed with aquatic macrophyte (AQM) growth were not strongly related to concentrations of TN or TP. Pearson’s coefficient of determination (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p < 0.001). A TN threshold of 0.48 mg/l was identified where eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes. PMID:22457568

  2. Environmental impact of recycling nutrients in human excreta to agriculture compared with enhanced wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Spångberg, J; Tidåker, P; Jönsson, H

    2014-09-15

    Human excreta are potential sources of plant nutrients, but are today usually considered a waste to be disposed of. The requirements on wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to remove nitrogen and phosphorus are increasing and to meet these requirements, more energy and chemicals are needed by WWTPs. Separating the nutrient-rich wastewater fractions at source and recycling them to agriculture as fertiliser is an alternative to removing them at the WWTP. This study used life cycle assessment methodology to compare the environmental impact of different scenarios for recycling the nutrients in the human excreta as fertiliser to arable land or removing them in an advanced WWTP. Three scenarios were assessed. In blackwater scenario, blackwater was source-separated and used as fertiliser. In urine scenario, the urine fraction was source-separated and used as fertiliser and the faecal water treated in an advanced WWTP. In NP scenario, chemical fertiliser was used as fertiliser and the toilet water treated in an advanced WWTP. The emissions from the WWTP were the same for all scenarios. This was fulfilled by the enhanced reduction in the WWTP fully removing the nutrients from the excreta that were not source-separated in the NP and urine scenarios. Recycling source-separated wastewater fractions as fertilisers in agriculture proved efficient for conserving energy and decreasing global warming potential (GWP). However, the blackwater and urine scenarios had a higher impact on potential eutrophication and potential acidification than the WWTP-chemical fertiliser scenario, due to large impacts by the ammonia emitted from storage and after spreading of the fertilisers. The cadmium input to the arable soil was very small with urine fertiliser. Source separation and recycling of excreta fractions as fertiliser thus has potential for saving energy and decreasing GWP emissions associated with wastewater management. However, for improved sustainability, the emissions from storage and

  3. African agricultural subsidy impacts food security, poverty, drought tolerance, and environmental quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galford, G. L.; Palm, C.; DeFries, R. S.; Nziguheba, G.; Droppelmann, K.; Nkonya, E.; Michelson, H.; Clark, C.; Kathewera, F.; Walsh, M.

    2011-12-01

    Malawi has spearheaded an unprecedented policy change in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since 2005 when it started a widespread agricultural inputs subsidy program (AISP) targeting small farmer maize production with mineral fertilizer and improved seeds. Since then, the mean N fertilizer load has increased significantly, from ~ 0 to a modest 35 kg N/ha or 7 times greater than SSA's average 5 kg N/ha average. During the tenure of AISP, Malawi has transitioned from a food aid recipient to an exporter. Maize yields each year of AISP are double the long-term average (0.8 tons/ha/yr, 1960-2005). In 2007, subsidy inputs combined with good rains led to of an unprecedented increase in national average yields of 2.7 tons/ha. National-scale assessments covering, agriculture, poverty, and environment such as this one are required to understand the trade-offs between development, climate and the environment. Environmentally, N2O emissions from fertilizer are a concern. First order estimates put emissions from AISP fertilizers at 2,600 Mg N2O/year (0.81 Tg CO2-e). While globally insignificant, these emissions may be equivalent to 16% of Malawi's annual fossil fuel and deforestation emissions. However, our partial nutrient budgets indicate that crop removal is still higher than N applied and therefore little loss of N to the environment is expected. Mineral fertilizers are a rapid first step to increase soil N after 40 years of serious depletion. Once restored, the soils will support robust agroforestry and other forms of organic inputs produced on-farm. Fertilizer use increases carbon sequestration on agricultural soils and reduces pressure to clear forests, which may partially compensate for the N2O emissions. We find evidence that AISP significantly increases food security and mitigates the impacts of drought on maize production. This is the first work linking the distribution of fertilizer subsidies to local crop yields using government records, remotely-sensed time series of

  4. Whole-Genome Sequence of Mesorhizobium hungaricum sp. nov. Strain UASWS1009, a Potential Resource for Agricultural and Environmental Uses

    PubMed Central

    Crovadore, Julien; Cochard, Bastien; Calmin, Gautier; Chablais, Romain; Schulz, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    We report here the whole-genome shotgun sequences of the strain UASWS1009 of the species Mesorhizobium hungaricum sp. nov., which are different from any other known Mesorhizobium species. This is the first genome registered for this new species, which could be considered as a potential resource for agriculture and environmental uses. PMID:27738050

  5. Aggregating the benefits of environmental improvements: distance-decay functions for use and non-use values.

    PubMed

    Hanley, Nick; Schläpfer, Felix; Spurgeon, James

    2003-07-01

    One of the main problems in using environmental cost-benefit analysis is deciding on the relevant population: whose benefits should we count? This is important since aggregate benefits depend on both per-person benefit and the number of beneficiaries. Yet this latter term is often hard to evaluate. Distance-decay functions are one way of addressing this problem. In this paper, we present estimates of distance-decay functions for a particular environmental improvement, namely a reduction in low flow problems on the River Mimram in Southern England. We do this both for users and non-users, in the context of a contingent valuation study of the benefits of improving low flow conditions. We test whether distance-decay effects for mean Willingness to Pay are stronger for a single environmental good (the River Mimram, in this case) than for a more inclusive set (here, all rivers in Thames region which suffer from low flow problems). Finally, we explore the impact on part-whole bias, in terms of the relationship between WTP for an individual site and WTP for a more inclusive group of sites, of allowing for distance-decay effects.

  6. Estimating Environmental Co-benefits of U.S. GHG Reduction Pathways Using the GCAM-USA Integrated Assessment Model

    EPA Science Inventory

    Previous studies have shown that mitigating climate change through curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can bring about substantial environmental co-benefits, such as for air quality and reductions in energy-related water demand. A variety of pathways are available for reducing...

  7. Effects of Vicarious Experiences of Nature, Environmental Attitudes, and Outdoor Recreation Benefits on Support for Increased Funding Allocations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kil, Namyun

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the effects of vicarious experiences of nature, environmental attitudes, and recreation benefits sought by participants on their support for funding of natural resources and alternative energy options. Using a national scenic trail user survey, results demonstrated that vicarious experiences of nature influenced environmental…

  8. Agricultural Knowledge in Urban and Resettled Communities: Applications to Social-Ecological Resilience and Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shava, Soul; Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.; Zazu, Cryton

    2010-01-01

    In light of globalising trends toward urbanisation and resettlement, we explore how agricultural knowledges may be adapted and applied among relocated people. Although indigenous and related forms of practice-based knowledge may be temporarily lost as people adopt commercial agricultural practices and switch to non-agricultural livelihoods, they…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of Environmental Change on Carbon and Nitrogen Fluxes from a Midwestern Agricultural Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riha, K. M.; Michalski, G.; Filley, T. R.; Dalzell, B. J.

    2009-12-01

    Climate change is expected to change precipitation patterns, which would alter the runoff of excess carbon and nitrogen into the surrounding waterways. If agricultural areas experience an increase in precipitation, then coastal areas downstream from these areas could expect to develop hypoxic conditions that are more widespread, continual, and severe causing loss of biodiversity in the ocean and economical loss to fishing industries. In the Midwest, these waterways feed into local drinking water reservoirs increasing the nitrate concentration and could easily surpass the EPA maximum nitrate concentration of 10ppm. In order to evaluate the damage to the environment due to excess nitrogen, and the possible gains by its mitigation, requires a thorough assessment of the environmental controls on nitrogen and carbon fluxes. To understand the extent of nitrogen and carbon runoff from agricultural ecosystems we are studying an 850 km2 Midwestern United States agricultural watershed located in west central Indiana. Previous studies by Dalzell et. al. examined organic carbon export from this watershed as a function of stream flow and precipitation events and observed shifts in the amount and type of carbon with season. We are interested in the nitrate concentration and how it couples with the carbon fluxes. Anions (Cl-, NO3-, and SO42-) were analyzed for the samples that were collected in 2002 and 2003. A correlation was seen between storm events, fertilizer application, and the nitrate runoff; with the highest nitrate concentration seen in April 2002 with a storm event. Recent fertilizer application is believed to be the cause. Cations were analyzed (Ca2+, Na+, K+, Fe2+, Mn2+ and Mg2+) to qualitatively determine a relationship between DOC and nitrate and determine possible flowpaths. Relationships were seen with storm events and cation fluxes, with highest concentrations seen in April 2002 during a storm event and a dilution peak seen in May 2002 which is characteristic of

  12. A clomazone immunoassay to study the environmental fate of the herbicide in rice (Oryza sativa) agriculture.

    PubMed

    Carlomagno, Mariana; Mathó, Cecilia; Cantou, Guillermina; Sanborn, James R; Last, Jerold A; Hammock, Bruce D; Roel, Alvaro; González, David; González-Sapienza, Gualberto

    2010-04-14

    The environmental impact of rice agriculture is poorly studied in developing countries, mainly due to limitations of the analytical capacity. Here, we report the development of a clomazone enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as a fast and cost-effective tool to monitor the dissipation of this herbicide along the harvest. Antibodies were prepared using different strategies of hapten conjugation, and the best hapten/antibody pair was selected. It proved to be a reliable tool to measure the herbicide in the 2.0-20 ng/mL range in field samples, with excellent correlation with high-performance liquid chromatography results. The assay was used to study the dissipation of the herbicide in the floodwater of experimental rice paddies in Uruguay. Large differences in the residual amounts of herbicide were observed depending on the flooding practices. Because of its robustness and simplicity, the assay may be useful to delineate and monitor management practices that can contribute to minimizing the release of the herbicide in the environment.

  13. Pilot test of Pickliq{reg_sign} process to determine energy and environmental benefits & economic feasibility

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, D.R.

    1997-07-13

    Green Technology Group (GTG) was awarded Grant No. DE-FG01-96EE 15657 in the amount of $99,904 for a project to advance GTG`s Pickliq{reg_sign} Process in the Copper and Steel Industries. The use of the Pickliq{reg_sign} Process can significantly reduce the production of waste acids containing metal salts. The Pickliq{reg_sign} Process can save energy and eliminate hazardous waste in a typical copper rod or wire mill or a typical steel wire mill. The objective of this pilot project was to determine the magnitude of the economic, energy and environmental benefits of the Pickliq{reg_sign} Process in two applications within the metal processing industry. The effectiveness of the process has already been demonstrated at facilities cleaning iron and steel with sulfuric acid. 9207 companies are reported to use sulfuric and hydrochloric acid in the USA. The USEPA TRI statistics of acid not recycled in the US is 2.4 x 10{sup 9} lbs (net) for Hydrochloric Acid and 2.0 x 10{sup 9} lbs (net) for Sulfuric Acid. The energy cost of not reclaiming acid is 10.7 x 10{sup 6} BTU/ton for Hydrochloric Acid and 21.6 x 10{sup 6} BTU/Ton for Sulfuric Acid. This means that there is a very large market for the application of the Pickliq{reg_sign} Process and the widespread use of the process will bring significant world wide savings of energy to the environment.

  14. Controlled application rate of water treatment residual for agronomic and environmental benefits.

    PubMed

    Oladeji, Olawale O; O'Connor, George A; Sartain, Jerry B; Nair, Vimala D

    2007-01-01

    Water treatment residuals (WTR) are useful soil amendments to control excessive soluble phosphorus (P) in soils, but indiscriminate additions can result in inadequate control or excessive immobilization of soluble P, leading to crop deficiencies. We evaluated the influence of application rates of an Al-WTR and various P-sources on plant yields, tissue P concentrations, and P uptake and attempted to identify a basis for determining WTR application rates. Bahiagrass (paspalum notatum Fluggae) was grown in a P-deficient soil amended with four P-sources at two application levels (N- and P-based rates) and three WTR rates (0, 10, and 25 g kg(-1) oven dry basis) in a glasshouse pot experiment. The glasshouse results were compared with data from a 2-yr field experiment with similar treatments that were surface applied to an established bahiagrass. Soil P storage capacity (SPSC) values increased with application rate of WTR, and the increase varied with sources of P applied. Soil soluble P concentrations increased as SPSC was reduced, and a change point was identified at 0 mg kg(-1) SPSC in the glasshouse and the field studies. A change point was identified in the bahiagrass yields at a tissue P concentration of 2.0 g kg(-1), corresponding to zero SPSC. Zero SPSC was shown to be an agronomic threshold above which yields and P concentrations of plants declined and below which there is little or no yield response to increased plant P concentrations. Applying P-sources at N-based rates, along with WTR sufficient to give SPSC value of 0 mg kg(-1) SPSC, enhanced the environmental benefits (reduced P loss potential) without negative agronomic impacts.

  15. Environmental and Health Benefits and Risks of a Global Hydrogen Economy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubey, M.; Horowitz, L. W.; Rahn, T. A.; Kinnison, D. E.

    2003-12-01

    Rapid development in hydrogen fuel-cell technologies will create a strong impetus for a massive hydrogen supply and distribution infrastructure in the coming decades. Hydrogen provides an efficient energy carrier that promises to enhance urban and regional air quality that will benefit human health. It could also reduce risks of climate change if large-scale hydrogen production by renewable or nuclear energy sources becomes viable. While it is well known that the byproduct of energy produced from hydrogen is water vapor, it is not well known that the storage and transfer of hydrogen is inevitably accompanied by measurable leakage of hydrogen. Unintended consequences of hydrogen leakage include reduction in global oxidative capacity, changes in tropospheric ozone, and increase in stratospheric water that would exacerbate halogen induced ozone losses as well as impact the earth's radiation budget and climate. Stratospheric ozone depletion would increase exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and increased risk to melanoma. We construct plausible global hydrogen energy use and leak scenarios and assess their impacts using global 3-D simulations by the Model for Ozone And Related Trace species (MOZART). The hydrogen fluxes and photochemistry in our model successfully reproduce the contemporary hydrogen cycle as observed by a network of remote global stations. Our intent is to determine environmentally tolerable leak rates and also facilitate a gradual phasing in of a hydrogen economy over the next several decades as the elimination of the use of halocarbons gradually reduces halogen induced stratospheric ozone loss rates. We stress that the future evolution of microbial soil sink of hydrogen that determines its current lifetime (about 2 years) is the principal source of uncertainty in our assessment. We propose global monitoring of hydrogen and its deuterium content to define a baseline and track its budget to responsibly prepare for a global hydrogen economy.

  16. Use of portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for environmental quality assessment of peri-urban agriculture.

    PubMed

    Weindorf, David C; Zhu, Yuanda; Chakraborty, Somsubhra; Bakr, Noura; Huang, Biao

    2012-01-01

    Urban expansion into traditional agricultural lands has augmented the potential for heavy metal contamination of soils. This study examined the utility of field portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry for evaluating the environmental quality of sugarcane fields near two industrial complexes in Louisiana, USA. Results indicated that PXRF provided quality results of heavy metal levels comparable to traditional laboratory analysis. When coupled with global positioning system technology, the use of PXRF allows for on-site interpolation of heavy metal levels in a matter of minutes. Field portable XRF was shown to be an effective tool for rapid assessment of heavy metals in soils of peri-urban agricultural areas.

  17. The Agricultural Job Opportunity Benefits and Security Act of 1999. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Immigration of the Committee on the Judiciary. United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, Second Session (May 4, 2000).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

    This publication documents a congressional hearing on the Agricultural Job Opportunity Benefits and Security Act of 1999, which focuses on these three major concerns: the United States (US) is the home of a large and growing number of undocumented agricultural workers; the current H-2A Program is administratively burdensome, does not work well for…

  18. Environmental setting of benchmark streams in agricultural areas of eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rheaume, S.J.; Stewart, J.S.; Lenz, B.N.

    1996-01-01

    Differences in land use/land cover, and riparian vegetation and instream habitat characteristics are presented. Summaries of field measurements of water temperature, pH, specific conductance and concentrations of dissolved oxygen, total organic plus ammonia nitrogen, dissolved ammonium, nitrate plus nitrte as nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved orthophosphate, and atrazine are listed. Concentrations of dissolved oxygen for the sampled streams ranged from 6 A to 14.3 and met the standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for supporting fish and aquatic life. Specific conductance ranged from 98 to 753 u,Scm with values highest in RHU's 1 and 3, where streams are underlain by carbonate bedrock. Median pH did not vary greatly among the four RHU's and ranged from 6.7 to 8.8 also meeting the WDNR standards. Concentrations of total organic plus ammonia nitrogen, dissolved ammonium, total phosphorus, and dissolved orthophosphate show little variation between streams and are generally low, compared to concentrations measured in agriculturally-affected streams in the same RHU's during the same sampling period. Concentrations of the most commonly used pesticide in the study unit, atrazine, were low in all streams, and most concentrations were below trn 0.1 u,g/L detection limit. Riparian vegetation for the benchmark streams were characterized by lowland species of the native plant communities described by John T. Curtis in the "Vegetation of Wisconsin." Based on the environmental setting and water-quality information collected to date, these streams appear to show minimal adverse effects from human activity.

  19. Nitrogen loadings and environmental impacts in rice agriculture catchments in subtropical central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The severe deterioration of water quality in rice agriculture catchments challenges ecologists and hydrologists in exploring how rice agriculture affects nutrient loadings and water quality. This research observed the nitrogen (N) concentrations in stream water and groundwater in one forest and five rice agriculture catchments in subtropical central China to quantify the relationships between rice agriculture intensification, water quality of water bodies, and catchment N loadings. Our results indicate that intensive rice agriculture deteriorated stream water quality. A non-linear fitting analysis using a Boltzmann sigmoid function suggests that the concentrations and mass fluxes of ammonium-N (NH4+-N), nitrate-N (NO3--N), and total N (TN) in stream water increase with the areal proportion of rice agriculture in the catchments; however, these increases can only be detected when the areal proportions of rice agriculture in the catchments are greater than 13-30%, highlighting the importance of reasonable land use planning for managing stream water quality as well as N loadings from catchments. The factorial correspondence analysis (FCA) also suggests that rice agriculture has a potential to impose groundwater NH4+-N pollution, particularly in the soil exhausting season of July - October. And, the great N fertilizer application rates for rice cropping can increase the groundwater NO3-N and TN concentrations due to large quantities of N leaching into groundwater system beneath the paddy fields. The high N concentrations in groundwater result in strong N loadings via the base flow process. The NO3--N loadings via the base flow reaches 0.12-0.27 kg N ha-1 month-1 in the rice agriculture catchments, contributing 27.3%-36.5% of the total NO3--N loadings by the stream discharge. Therefore, the best management practices for N reduction and the smart land use planning should be applied in the rice agriculture catchments to improve water quality and mitigate N loadings.

  20. Benefit evaluation of multidimensional environmental policy: An application to Ohio's Big Darby Creek

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Peiing.

    1991-01-01

    This study estimates a multidimensionally designed regulatory and management policy agenda in Central Ohio's Big Darby Creek, one of the most biologically diverse creeks found in the mainland United States. The projects proposed in the area are efforts to maintain biological diversity, improve streambed visibility, and increase the mileage of hiking trails. The estimated use benefits are relatively larger than the existence benefits. Nevertheless, the existence values are significant. Furthermore, it is evident that the independent valuation and summation (IVS) procedure results in a substantial bias. Results provide strong evidence that substitution effects exist among the components of the complex policy under evaluation. On the average, the benefits from IVS procedure result in calculated total benefits about twice as great as the value estimated with a holistic or a sequential total-valuation procedure.

  1. Experiential Benefits, Place Meanings, and Environmental Setting Preferences Between Proximate and Distant Visitors to a National Scenic Trail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kil, Namyun; Holland, Stephen M.; Stein, Taylor V.

    2015-05-01

    Effective management of conserved natural areas often requires a good understanding of recreation visitors who possess various values for those areas. This study examined differences in experiential benefits sought, place meanings, and environmental setting preferences between proximate and distant visitors to a publicly managed national scenic trail, which transects a variety of conserved public lands. Data were collected using on-site post-hike interviews with visitors at low, moderate, and high use trailheads. Proximate visitors sought mental and physical health more strongly than distant visitors, while distant visitors sought environmental exploration more strongly than proximate visitors. No significant difference in family bonding and achievement benefits existed between the two groups. Meanings related to place dependence, family identity, community identity, and place identity were more strongly ascribed by proximate visitors, and both groups rated ecological integrity meanings highly. Distant visitors showed stronger tendencies toward preferring a lesser level of trail development, lower level of encounters with other groups, and higher level of natural landscapes, which indicated an inclination toward natural settings. These findings indicate a managerially relevant role of the degree of proximity to environmental resources on individuals' recreation behaviors, meanings ascribed to the resources and setting conditions. Understanding differences and similarities between groups dichotomized by proximity to natural resources should advance more effective management of recreation and benefit opportunities for diverse visitor groups.

  2. Economic valuation of environmental benefits of removing pharmaceutical and personal care products from WWTP effluents by ozonation.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, M; Reif, R; Garrido-Baserba, M; Hernández-Sancho, F; Omil, F; Poch, M; Sala-Garrido, R

    2013-09-01

    Continuous release of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) present in effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is nowadays leading to the adoption of specific measures within the framework of the Directive 2000/60/EC (Water Framework Directive). The ozonation process, normally employed for drinking water production, has also proven its potential to eliminate PPCPs from secondary effluents in spite of their low concentrations. However, there is a significant drawback related with the costs associated with its implementation. This lack of studies is especially pronounced regarding the economic valuation of the environmental benefits associated to avoid the discharge of these pollutants into water bodies. For the first time the shadow prices of 5 PPCPs which are ethynilestradiol, sulfamethoxazole, diclofenac, tonalide and galaxolide from treated effluent using a pilot-scale ozonation reactor have been estimated. From non-sensitive areas their values are -73.73; -34.95; -42.20; -10.98; and -8.67 respectively and expressed in €/kg. They represent a proxy to the economic value of the environmental benefits arisen from undischarged pollutants. This paper contributes to value the environmental benefits of implementing post-treatment processes aimed to achieve the quality standards required by the Priority Substances Directive.

  3. 7 CFR 2902.8 - Determining life cycle costs, environmental and health benefits, and performance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... analytical approaches: The BEES analytical tool along with the qualifications of the independent testing... standard for evaluating and reporting on environmental performance of biobased products D7075. Both...

  4. 7 CFR 2902.8 - Determining life cycle costs, environmental and health benefits, and performance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... analytical approaches: The BEES analytical tool along with the qualifications of the independent testing... standard for evaluating and reporting on environmental performance of biobased products D7075. Both...

  5. Synchronous Environmental and Cultural Change in the Emergence of Agricultural Economies 10,000 Years Ago in the Levant

    PubMed Central

    Borrell, Ferran; Junno, Aripekka; Barceló, Joan Antón

    2015-01-01

    The commonly held belief that the emergence and establishment of farming communities in the Levant was a smooth socio-economic continuum during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (ca. 12,000-9,000 cal BP) with only rare minor disruptions is challenged by recently obtained evidence from this region. Using a database of archaeological radiocarbon dates and diagnostic material culture records from a series of key sites in the northern Levant we show that the hitherto apparent long-term continuity interpreted as the origins and consolidation of agricultural systems was not linear and uninterrupted. A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant. Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations. PMID:26241310

  6. Synchronous Environmental and Cultural Change in the Emergence of Agricultural Economies 10,000 Years Ago in the Levant.

    PubMed

    Borrell, Ferran; Junno, Aripekka; Barceló, Joan Antón

    2015-01-01

    The commonly held belief that the emergence and establishment of farming communities in the Levant was a smooth socio-economic continuum during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (ca. 12,000-9,000 cal BP) with only rare minor disruptions is challenged by recently obtained evidence from this region. Using a database of archaeological radiocarbon dates and diagnostic material culture records from a series of key sites in the northern Levant we show that the hitherto apparent long-term continuity interpreted as the origins and consolidation of agricultural systems was not linear and uninterrupted. A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant. Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations.

  7. Environmental Globalization, Organizational Form, and Expected Benefits from Protected Areas in Central America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfeffer, Max J.; Schelhas, John W.; Meola, Catherine

    2006-01-01

    Environmental globalization has led to the implementation of conservation efforts like the creation of protected areas that often promote the interests of core countries in poorer regions. The creation of protected areas in poor areas frequently creates tensions between human needs like food and shelter and environmental conservation. Support for…

  8. Lessons in Learning: Making the Environmental Grade--The Benefits of Going Green in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Canadian Council on Learning, 2009

    2009-01-01

    Over the past two decades, public interest in environmental issues has risen dramatically and stories about the environment are regularly featured on the front page of newspapers and are the focus of successful documentary films. Today, environmental education has become an element of many provincial curricula, with the understanding that young…

  9. The environmental and public health benefits of achieving high penetrations of solar energy in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Wiser, Ryan; Millstein, Dev; Mai, Trieu; Macknick, Jordan; Carpenter, Alberta; Cohen, Stuart; Cole, Wesley; Frew, Bethany; Heath, Garvin

    2016-10-01

    We estimate the environmental and public health benefits that may be realized if solar energy cost reductions continue until solar power is competitive across the U.S. without subsidies. Specifically, we model, from 2015 to 2050, solar power-induced reductions to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollutant emissions, and water usage. To find the incremental benefits of new solar deployment, we compare the difference between two scenarios, one where solar costs have fallen such that solar supplies 14% of the nation's electricity by 2030 and 27% by 2050, and a baseline scenario in which no solar is added after 2014. We monetize benefits, where credible methods exist to do so. We find that under these scenarios, solar power reduces GHG and air pollutants by ~10%, from 2015 to 2050, providing a discounted present value of $56-$789 billion (central value of ~$250 billion, equivalent to ~2 cents/kWh-solar) in climate benefits and $77-$298 billion (central value of $167 billion, or ~1.4 cents/kWh-solar) in air quality and public health benefits. The ranges reflect uncertainty within the literature about the marginal impact of emissions of GHG and air pollutants. Solar power is also found to reduce water withdrawals and consumption by 4% and 9%, respectively, including in many drought-prone states.

  10. Characterization of endophytic bacteria from cucurbit fruits with potential benefits to agriculture in melons (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Glassner, Hanoch; Zchori-Fein, Einat; Compant, Stéphane; Sessitsch, Angela; Katzir, Nurit; Portnoy, Vitaly; Yaron, Sima

    2015-07-01

    Endophytes are microorganisms that mainly colonize vegetative parts, but are also found in reproductive and disseminating organs, and may have beneficial characteristics. To identify microorganisms associated with the agriculturally important family, Cucurbitaceae, endophytes were initially determined in fruits of Cucumis melo Reticulatus Group 'Dulce' by a cultivation-independent approach based on fluorescence in situ hybridization using double labeling of oligonucleotide probes. Alpha-, Beta-, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were localized inside the fruits. Culturable bacteria were further isolated and identified from fruit tissues of 'Dulce', from fruits of other cultivated and wild-field-grown Cucurbitaceae, and from wild fruits growing under natural conditions. Low densities of culturable bacteria were detected in the investigated fruits, especially in four out of the five wild species, regardless of their growing environment. Substantial differences were observed between the wild and cultivated cucurbit taxa in regard to the number of colonized fruits as well as the type of endophytes. Bacillus was the most dominant genus of endophytes colonizing fruits of Cucurbitaceae. The antagonistic effects of isolated endophytes were assessed against cucurbit disease agents in dual-culture assays. Several bacterial isolates exhibited antagonistic properties against the tested plant pathogens. The identified bacteria may be useful for protecting plants not only in the field, but also for post-harvest.

  11. Mechanisms for flowering plants to benefit arthropod natural enemies of insect pests: prospects for enhanced use in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhong-Xian; Zhu, Ping-Yang; Gurr, Geoff M; Zheng, Xu-Song; Read, Donna M Y; Heong, Kong-Luen; Yang, Ya-Jun; Xu, Hong-Xing

    2014-02-01

    Reduction of noncrop habitats, intensive use of pesticides and high levels of disturbance associated with intensive crop production simplify the farming landscape and bring about a sharp decline of biodiversity. This, in turn, weakens the biological control ecosystem service provided by arthropod natural enemies. Strategic use of flowering plants to enhance plant biodiversity in a well-targeted manner can provide natural enemies with food sources and shelter to improve biological control and reduce dependence on chemical pesticides. This article reviews the nutritional value of various types of plant-derived food for natural enemies, possible adverse effects on pest management, and the practical application of flowering plants in orchards, vegetables and field crops, agricultural systems where most research has taken place. Prospects for more effective use of flowering plants to maximize biological control of insect pests in agroecosystem are good but depend up on selection of optimal plant species based on information on the ecological mechanisms by which natural enemies are selectively favored over pest species.

  12. Willow biomass-bioenergy industry development in New York: Sustainability and environmental benefits

    SciTech Connect

    White, E.H.; Robison, D.J.; Abrahamson, L.P.

    1996-12-31

    Biomass-for-bioenergy cropping and production systems based on willow (and poplar) planted and managed at high densities and short (3 to 4 year) coppice harvest cycles, providing fuel for co-firing with coal (or other types of energy conversion) can be economically, ecologically and environmentally sustainable. All of these areas are crucial to the successful commercialization of this biomass-bioenergy system. Current knowledge and ongoing research and development indicate that the production and utilization systems involved are environmentally and ecologically acceptable. Therefore two of the primary constraints to commercialization have been met. The remaining constraint is economic viability based on cost of production and use, the value of environmental externalities (such as atmospheric emissions), and potential government public policy actions to promote this system of providing a locally produced and renewable farm crop and fuel. Developments needed to overcome the economic constraints are known, and should be bolstered by the environmental and ecological quality of the system.

  13. 75 FR 17763 - National Park Service Benefits-Sharing Final Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-07

    .... This Environmentally Preferred Alternative has three considerations regarding the disclosure of financial information: Always disclose, never disclose, or comply with confidentiality laws regarding... with confidentiality laws regarding disclosure of royalty rate or related information. The Record...

  14. Environmental benefits of advanced oil and gas exploration and production technology

    SciTech Connect

    1999-10-01

    THROUGHOUT THE OIL AND GAS LIFE CYCLE, THE INDUSTRY HAS APPLIED AN ARRAY OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY, PRODUCTIVITY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE. THIS REPORT FOCUSES SPECIFICALLY ON ADVANCES IN EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION (E&P) OPERATIONS.

  15. 78 FR 37568 - Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Strategies To Benefit Native Species by...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-21

    ... addressed in the DEIS include: (1) Biological resources (lake trout, bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout... Species by Reducing the Abundance of Lake Trout in Flathead Lake, Montana AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs... Benefit Native Species by Reducing the Abundance of Lake Trout in Flathead Lake, Montana. This notice...

  16. 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.

  17. Analysis of PM2.5 using the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP).

    PubMed

    Davidson, Kenneth; Hallberg, Aaron; McCubbin, Donald; Hubbell, Bryan

    2007-02-01

    As epidemiological work from around the world continues to tie PM2.5 to serious adverse health effects, including premature mortality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has developed a number of policies to reduce air pollution, including PM2.5. To assist in the benefit-cost analyses of these air pollution control policies, the U.S. EPA has developed the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP). BenMAP is meant to (1) provide a flexible tool for systematically analyzing impacts of changes in environmental quality in a timely fashion, (2) ensure that stakeholders can understand the assumptions underlying the analysis, and (3) adequately address uncertainty and variability. BenMAP uses a "damage-function" approach to estimate the health benefits of a change in air quality. The major components of the damage-function approach are population estimates, population exposure, adverse health effects, and economic costs. To demonstrate BenMAP's ability to analyze PM2.5 pollution control policy scenarios, we assess two sample applications: (1) benefits of a national-level air quality control program, and (2) benefits of attaining two annual PM2.5 standards in California (annual average standards of 15 microg/m3 and 12 microg/m3). In the former, we estimate a scenario where control of PM2.5 emissions results in $100 billion of benefits annually. In the analysis of alternative standards, we estimate that attaining the more stringent standard (12 microg/m3) would result in approximately 2000 fewer premature deaths each year than the 15 microg/m3 achieves. BenMAP has a number of features to help clarify the analysis process. It allows the user to record in a configuration all of the choices made during an analysis. Configurations are especially useful for recreating already existing policy analyses. Also, BenMAP has a number of reporting options, including a set of mapping tools that allows users to visually inspect their inputs and results.

  18. The environmental benefits of cellulosic energy crops at a landscape scale

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, R.L.; Liu, W.; English, B.C.

    1995-12-31

    The objective of this paper is to present a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops--particularly the cellulosic energy crops current under development. For this discussion, the term energy crop refers to a crop grown primarily to create feedstock for either making biofuels such as ethanol or burning in a heat or electricity generation facility. Cellulosic energy crops are designed to be used in cellulose-based ethanol conversion processes (as opposed to starch or sugar-based ethanol conversion processes). As more cellulose can be produced per hectare of land than can sugar or starch, the cellulose-based ethanol conversion process is a more efficient sue of land for ethanol production. Assessing the environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops is complex because the environmental impact of using biomass for energy must be considered in the context of alternative energy options while the environmental impact of producing biomass from energy crops must be considered in the context of alternative land-uses. Using biomass-derived energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase them; growing biomass energy crops can enhance soil fertility or degrade it. Without knowing the context of the biomass energy, one can say little about its specific environmental impacts. The primary focus of this paper is an evaluation of the environmental impacts of growing cellulosic energy crops especially at the landscape or regional scale. However, to set the stage for this discussion, the authors begin by comparing the environmental advantages and disadvantages of biomass-derived energy relative to other energy alternatives such as coal, hydropower, nuclear power, oil/gasoline, natural gas and photovoltaics.

  19. Nitrogen Losses in Runoff from Row-cropped Watersheds: Environmental Benefits of Native Prairie Filter Strips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Helmers, M. J.; Asbjornsen, H.; Kolka, R. K.; Tomer, M. D.

    2011-12-01

    Loss of nitrogen in runoff from agricultural landscapes is a serious problem in the Midwestern United States due to inappropriate/intensive management practices. Among other best management practices, vegetative filter strips have been effectively adopted to reduce pollutant transport with agricultural runoff. In this study, twelve ephemeral watersheds at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Central Iowa were used to evaluate the effectiveness of native prairie filter strips (NPFS) in reducing total nitrogen (TN) and nitrate-N (NO3-N) loss from row-cropped watersheds. Small amounts of NPFS were incorporated at different locations within the watersheds in fall 2006 using a balanced incomplete block design. A no-till 2-yr corn-soybean rotation was adopted in nonperennial areas since spring 2007. Each watershed was instrumented with an H-flume, a flow-monitoring device, and an ISCO water sampler in 2007. Runoff samples during the growing season between 2007 and 2010 were analyzed for TN and NO3-N concentrations for each individual rainfall event. The 4-year mean annual TN loss for watersheds with NPFS was 6.9 kg ha-1, approximately 85% lower than TN loss from 100% row-cropped watersheds (47.7 kg ha-1). Mean annual NO3-N loss during the growing season was 4.2 and 1.3 kg ha-1 for the watersheds with and without NPFS, respectively. The results of this study suggest that incorporation of small amounts of NPFS within annual rowcrop systems could greatly reduce TN and NO3-N loss from agricultural watersheds.

  20. Cost benefit considerations of preventing elderly falls through environmental modifications to homes in Hana, Maui.

    PubMed

    Ling, Christian; Henderson, Stephen; Henderson, Ray; Henderson, Malia; Pedro, Tina; Pang, Lorrin

    2008-03-01

    The community of Hana, Hawai'i began a program of home modifications to help their elderly prevent falls. We estimated the cost benefit of these modifications from construction costs and published reports of effectiveness and cost of treating falls. We interviewed clients to determine risk of falling. The average cost of home modifications was $800. The average annual averted medical cost of falling was $1728.

  1. Exploring the benefits of growing bioenergy crops to activate lead-contaminated agricultural land: a case study on sweet potatoes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shu-Fen; Huang, Chin-Yuan; Chen, Kuo-Lin; Lin, Sheng-Chien; Lin, Yung-Cheng

    2015-03-01

    Phytoremediation is the most environmentally friendly remediation technology for heavy metal contaminated soil. However, the phytoremediation approach requires a long time to yield results, and the plants used must be economically profitable to maintain the sustainability of the process. Because high levels of bioethanol can be produced from sweet potatoes, an experiment was conducted by planting sweet potatoes in a lead-contaminated site to observe their growth and lead-uptake capacity, thereby enabling the evaluation of the phytoremediation efficiency of sweet potatoes. The lead content in the soil was approximately 6000 mg kg(-1), and the phytoavailable Pb content was 1766 mg kg(-1). Three starch-rich sweet potato varieties, Tainung No. 10 (TNG-10), Tainung No. 31 (TNG-31), and Tainung No. 57 (TNG-57), were used in the experiment. The results indicated that TNG-10, TNG-31, and TNG-57 had fresh root tuber yields of 94.5, 133.0, and 47.5 ton ha(-1) year(-1), produced 9450, 13,297, and 4748 L ha(-1) year(-1) of bioethanol, and removed 2.68, 7.73, and 3.22 kg ha(-1) year(-1) of lead, respectively. TNG-31 yielded the highest bioethanol production and the highest lead removal in the lead-contaminated site. Therefore, implementing phytoremediation by planting TNG-31 would decrease lead content and generate income, thereby rendering the sustainable and applicable activation of contaminated soil possible.

  2. Who benefits from environmental policy? An environmental justice analysis of air quality change in Britain, 2001-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Gordon; Norman, Paul; Mullin, Karen

    2015-10-01

    Air quality in Great Britain has improved in recent years, but not enough to prevent the European Commission (EC) taking legal action for non-compliance with limit values. Air quality is a national public health concern, with disease burden associated with current air quality estimated at 29 000 premature deaths per year due to fine particulates, with a further burden due to NO2. National small-area analyses showed that in 2001 poor air quality was much more prevalent in socio-economically deprived areas. We extend this social distribution of air quality analysis to consider how the distribution changed over the following decade (2001-2011), a period when significant efforts to meet EC air quality directive limits have been made, and air quality has improved. We find air quality improvement is greatest in the least deprived areas, whilst the most deprived areas bear a disproportionate and rising share of declining air quality including non-compliance with air quality standards. We discuss the implications for health inequalities, progress towards environmental justice, and compatibility of social justice and environmental sustainability objectives.

  3. Environmental benefits and risks of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI): risk mitigation or trade-off?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieger, K.; Fjordbøge, A.; Hartmann, N.; Eriksson, E.; Baun, A.

    2009-12-01

    The use of nanoscaled particles in environmental remediation is gaining increasing amounts of attention in recent years, including the use of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) for soil and groundwater remediation. The main advantages of its use include high degrees of reactivity towards a wide range of contaminants, enhanced mobility of the often coated particles, and its cost-effective in situ applications. Numerous studies have shown that compared to larger sized iron particles nZVI may have some superior properties, due to high surface areas and small sizes associated with nanoscale dimensions. While the use and further development of nZVI is understandably heralded as an environmentally-beneficial technology, the potentials risks of introducing these nanoparticles into the environment also needs to be considered. To date most research has focused on the potential benefits of nZVI and very little research has investigated its potential health and environmental risks. Nonetheless, some recent studies have documented adverse effects from its exposure including the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative stress, bactericidal effects, DNA damage, and inflammatory responses. Moreover, field site injections often involve the use of large quantities of nZVI (10-50 g/L) which may be directly injected into groundwater flow. Combined with the pursuit of designing more mobile and reactive particles, this may potentially lead to risks related to environmental exposures of substantial concentrations. In this study, we provide a brief synopsis of the expected environmental benefits and potential risks of nZVI, particularly focusing on its environmental fate and behavior and potential role as contaminant carrier. These are some areas of primary concern for risk assessors. Furthermore, we estimate and compare the span between probable environmental concentrations from its use in the field and concentrations which have been shown to cause adverse effects in

  4. Land application of organic residuals: Public health threat or environmental benefit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Waste residuals consist of manure and biosolids produced by concentrated animal feeding operations and municipal waste water treatment plants. All wastes need to be disposed of in a proper manner, protecting public and environmental health, but also in a sustainable fashion to ensure that no system...

  5. Do invasive alien plants benefit more from global environmental change than native plants?

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanjie; Oduor, Ayub M O; Zhang, Zhen; Manea, Anthony; Tooth, Ifeanna M; Leishman, Michelle R; Xu, Xingliang; van Kleunen, Mark

    2016-11-26

    Invasive alien plant species threaten native biodiversity, disrupt ecosystem functions and can cause large economic damage. Plant invasions have been predicted to further increase under ongoing global environmental change. Numerous case studies have compared the performance of invasive and native plant species in response to global environmental change components (i.e. changes in mean levels of precipitation, temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentration or nitrogen deposition). Individually, these studies usually involve low numbers of species and therefore the results cannot be generalized. Therefore, we performed a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis to assess whether there is a general pattern of differences in invasive and native plant performance under each component of global environmental change. We compiled a database of studies that reported performance measures for 74 invasive alien plant species and 117 native plant species in response to one of the above-mentioned global environmental change components. We found that elevated temperature and CO2 enrichment increased the performance of invasive alien plants more strongly than was the case for native plants. Invasive alien plants tended to also have a slightly stronger positive response to increased N deposition and increased precipitation than native plants, but these differences were not significant (N deposition: P = 0.051; increased precipitation: P = 0.679). Invasive alien plants tended to have a slightly stronger negative response to decreased precipitation than native plants, although this difference was also not significant (P = 0.060). So while drought could potentially reduce plant invasion, increases in the four other components of global environmental change considered, particularly global warming and atmospheric CO2 enrichment, may further increase the spread of invasive plants in the future.

  6. Applications of UAV imagery for agricultural and environmental research at the USDA Southeast Watershed Research Lab

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ARS is the USDA's in-house scientific research agency, whose mission is to conduct research to "develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority..." This includes enhancing the natural resource base and the environment, a dimension of particular relevance to the ...

  7. A survey of unmanned ground vehicles with applications to agricultural and environmental sensing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned ground vehicles have been utilized in the last few decades in an effort to increase the efficiency of agriculture, in particular, by reducing labor needs. Unmanned vehicles have been used for a variety of purposes including: soil sampling, irrigation management, precision spraying, mechanic...

  8. SUMMARY OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING RESULTS FROM THE AGRICULTURAL HEALTH STUDY/PESTICIDE EXPOSURE STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) is a prospective epidemiologic study of pesticide applicators and spouses in Iowa and North Carolina. Exposure to 2,4-D or chlorpyrifos was measured for a subset of applicators and their families in the AHS Pesticide Exposure Study to assess...

  9. Nitrogen balance as an indicator of the environmental impact: towards sustainable agricultural production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Economics is a principle driver impacting management decisions in agricultural production systems. While increasing concern has focused on preserving the natural resource base to ensure continued support for future production, little emphasis has been placed on examining how drivers alter management...

  10. Pest Management and Environmental Quality. Course 181. Correspondence Courses in Agriculture, Family Living and Community Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Herbert, Jr.; And Others

    This publication is the course book for a correspondence course in pest control with the Pennsylvania State University. It contains basic information for agricultural producers on pest management and the proper and safe use of pesticides. The course consists of eleven lessons which can be completed at one's leisure. The first nine lessons contain…

  11. ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES CONTROLLING NITRIC OXIDE EMISSIONS FROM AGRICULTURAL SOILS IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fluxes of nitric oxide (NO) were measured during the summer of 1994 (12 July to 11 August) in the Upper Coastal Plain of North Carolina in a continuing effort to characterize NO emissions from intensively managed agricultural soils in the southeastern United States. Previous work...

  12. Toward agricultural sustainability through integrated crop-livestock systems: Environmental outcomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intensification of cropping and animal production as two separately specialized agricultural systems has led to unacceptable deterioration of the environment due to (i) excessive concentration of nutrients and pathogens in livestock production systems and (ii) loss of natural biodiversity and excess...

  13. Agricultural production and nutrient runoff in the Corn Belt: Assessing dynamic environmental performance

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agricultural production in the Corn Belt region of the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB) remains a leading source of nitrogen runoff that contributes to the annual hypoxic 'Dead Zone' in the Gulf of Mexico. The rise of corn production, land conversion, and fertilizer use in re...

  14. Reconstructing a century of agricultural land use and drivers of change from social and environmental records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangster, Heather; Smith, Hugh; Riley, Mark; Sellami, Haykel; Chiverrell, Richard; Boyle, John

    2016-04-01

    Changes to agricultural land use practices and climate represent serious challenges to the future management of rural landscapes. In Britain, the modern rural landscape may seem comparatively stable relative to the long history of human impact. However, there have been important changes linked to the intensification of agricultural practices during the last ca. 100 years and more recently improvements in land management designed to reduce impacts on land and water resources. Few studies attempt high-resolution spatial reconstruction of historic land use change, which is essential for understanding such human-environment interactions in the recent past. Specifically, the absence of detailed spatio-temporal records of agricultural land use/land cover change at the catchment-scale presents a challenge in assessing recent developments in land use policies and management. Here, we generate a high-resolution time-series of historic land use at the catchment-scale for hydrological modelling applications. Our reconstructions focus on three catchments in England ((1) Brotherswater (NE Lake District); (2) Crose Mere (Shropshire); (3) Loweswater (NW Lake District)) spanning a range of agricultural environments subject to different levels of land use change; from intensively-farmed lowlands to upland catchments subject to lower-intensity grazing. Temporal reconstructions of changes in land management practices and vegetation cover are based on historic aerial photography (1940s-2000s) and satellite-derived land cover maps (1990, 2000, and 2007), in combination with annual records of parish-level agricultural census data (1890s-1970s) and farmer interviews, in order to produce an integrated series of digital land cover and land practice maps. The datasets are coupled with composite temperature and precipitation series produced from a number of local stations. Combined, these spatio-temporal datasets allow a comprehensive assessment of land use and management change against the

  15. Environmental and socio-economic vulnerability of agricultural sector in Armenia.

    PubMed

    Melkonyan, Ani

    2014-08-01

    Being a mountainous country, Armenia has undergone different kinds of natural disasters, such as droughts, floods, and storms, which have a direct influence on economy and are expected to occur more frequently in terms of climate change, raising the need to estimate economic vulnerability especially in agricultural sector. Agriculture plays a great role in national economy of Armenia, with 21% share in Gross Domestic Production (GDP). For this reason, the estimation of agricultural resources of the country, their vulnerability towards current and future climate, and assessment of economical loss of the agricultural crop production due to climate change are the main goals of the given study. Crop productivity in dependence on climatic elements - temperature, radiation, precipitation, wind field, etc. has been estimated, further on interpolating these relations for future climate conditions using climate projections in the region for the time period of 2011-2040. Data on air temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, wind speed and direction for the period of 1966-2011 have been taken from 30 stations from the measuring network of Armenian State Hydrometeorological Service. Other climatic parameters like potential and actual evapotranspiration, soil temperature and humidity, field capacity, and wilting point have been calculated with the help of an AMBAV/AMBETTI (agroclimatic) model (German Weather Service). The results showed that temperature increase accompanied with evapotranspiration increase and water availability decrease especially in low and mid-low altitudes (where the main national crop production is centralized) caused a significant shift in the phenological phases of crops, which is very important information for effective farming dates, giving an opportunity to raise efficiency of agricultural production through minimizing the yield loss due to unfavorable climatic conditions. With the help of macroeconomical analysis of the crop market, it was

  16. Biofuels done right: land efficient animal feeds enable large environmental and energy benefits.

    PubMed

    Dale, Bruce E; Bals, Bryan D; Kim, Seungdo; Eranki, Pragnya

    2010-11-15

    There is an intense ongoing debate regarding the potential scale of biofuel production without creating adverse effects on food supply. We explore the possibility of three land-efficient technologies for producing food (actually animal feed), including leaf protein concentrates, pretreated forages, and double crops to increase the total amount of plant biomass available for biofuels. Using less than 30% of total U.S. cropland, pasture, and range, 400 billion liters of ethanol can be produced annually without decreasing domestic food production or agricultural exports. This approach also reduces U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 670 Tg CO₂-equivalent per year, or over 10% of total U.S. annual emissions, while increasing soil fertility and promoting biodiversity. Thus we can replace a large fraction of U.S. petroleum consumption without indirect land use change.

  17. The environmental cost of reducing agricultural fine particulate (PM2.5) dust emissions.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in 2006, reducing acceptable fine particulate (PM2.5) levels; state environmental protection agencies in states with non-attainment areas are required to draft State Implementation Plans (SIP) det...

  18. Environmental mitigation at hydroelectric projects. Volume 2, Benefits and costs of fish passage and protection

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, J.E.; Rinehart, B.N.; Sommers, G.L.; Cada, G.F.; Jones, D.W.; Dauble, D.D.; Hunt, R.T.; Costello, R.J.

    1994-01-01

    This study examines envirorunental mitigation practices that provide upstream and downstream fish passage and protection at hydroelectric projects. The study includes a survey of fish passage and protection mitigation practices at 1,825 hydroelectric plants regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to determine frequencies of occurrence, temporal trends, and regional practices based on FERC regions. The study also describes, in general terms, the fish passage/protection mitigation costs at 50 non-Federal hydroelectric projects. Sixteen case studies are used to examine in detail the benefits and costs of fish passage and protection. The 16 case studies include 15 FERC licensed or exempted hydroelectric projects and one Federally-owned and-operated hydroelectric project. The 16 hydroelectric projects are located in 12 states and range in capacity from 400 kilowatts to 840 megawatts. The fish passage and protection mitigation methods at the case studies include fish ladders and lifts, an Eicher screen, spill flows, airburst-cleaned inclined and cylindrical wedgewire screens, vertical barrier screens, and submerged traveling screens. The costs, benefits, monitoring methods, and operating characteristics of these and other mitigation methods used at the 16 case studies are examined.

  19. Effective environmental regulation to maximise the benefits of integrated wastewater management.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, B; Morris, G

    2002-01-01

    On the 25 November 1999, the Secretary of State for the Environment in England and Wales announced the outcome of the water companies' third Periodic Review. As a result, a major environmental investment programme will be completed during the period 2000/2005. Overall in England and Wales, it is planned that almost 3,600 km of rivers will be protected or improved and 3,800 unsatisfactory CSOs will be improved to allow receiving water objectives to be met. This means that over the next 5-year period an average of nearly 18 discharges will be improved every week. The implementation of the programme will involve a large workload for the Environment Agency in planning and authorising the individual schemes for delivery by the water companies. The paper illustrates how the Urban Pollution Management procedure and associated environmental standards are to be used to underpin the Environment Agency's policy, to encourage the use of integrated wastewater planning and, as a result, ensure that the anticipated environmental improvements will be delivered.

  20. [Characterization and soil environmental safety assessment of super absorbent polymers in agricultural application].

    PubMed

    Li, Xi; Liu, Yu-Rong; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; He, Ji-Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Super absorbent polymers (SAPs) are compounds that can absorb a lot of water which can be several folds of their original size and weight. They can increase soil water content and aggregates, promote fertilizer utilization efficiency, and stimulate crop growth. Therefore, SAPs have been widely regarded as a potential agent for water-saving agriculture. In this paper, we reviewed the advances of SAPs in materials, properties and applications in agriculture and pointed out that the absence of influences of SAPs on soil microbial ecology was the main issue in current studies. In regard to the adverse effects on soil environment caused by misuse of SAPs, we should address the systematic safety assessment of SAPs application in the soil, especially the effects on the soil microorganisms, which should be an important part of chemicals risk assessment in the soil application.

  1. Tiny stowaways: analyzing the economic benefits of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permit regulating ballast water discharges.

    PubMed

    Lovell, Sabrina J; Drake, Lisa A

    2009-03-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed permitting ballast water discharges--a benefit of which would be to reduce the economic damages associated with the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species. Research on ship-borne aquatic invasive species has been conducted in earnest for decades, but determining the economic damages they cause remains troublesome. Furthermore, with the exception of harmful algal blooms, the economic consequences of microscopic invaders have not been studied, despite their potentially great negative effects. In this paper, we show how to estimate the economic benefits of preventing the introduction and spread of harmful bacteria, microalgae, and viruses delivered in U.S. waters. Our calculations of net social welfare show the damages from a localized incident, cholera-causing bacteria found in shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico, to be approximately $706,000 (2006$). On a larger scale, harmful algal species have the potential to be transported in ships' ballast tanks, and their effects in the United States have been to reduce commercial fisheries landings and impair water quality. We examine the economic repercussions of one bloom-forming species. Finally, we consider the possible translocation within the Great Lakes of a virus that has the potential to harm commercial and recreational fisheries. These calculations illustrate an approach to quantifying the benefits of preventing invasive aquatic microorganisms from controls on ballast water discharges.

  2. Tiny Stowaways: Analyzing the Economic Benefits of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Permit Regulating Ballast Water Discharges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovell, Sabrina J.; Drake, Lisa A.

    2009-03-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed permitting ballast water discharges—a benefit of which would be to reduce the economic damages associated with the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species. Research on ship-borne aquatic invasive species has been conducted in earnest for decades, but determining the economic damages they cause remains troublesome. Furthermore, with the exception of harmful algal blooms, the economic consequences of microscopic invaders have not been studied, despite their potentially great negative effects. In this paper, we show how to estimate the economic benefits of preventing the introduction and spread of harmful bacteria, microalgae, and viruses delivered in U.S. waters. Our calculations of net social welfare show the damages from a localized incident, cholera-causing bacteria found in shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico, to be approximately 706,000 (2006). On a larger scale, harmful algal species have the potential to be transported in ships’ ballast tanks, and their effects in the United States have been to reduce commercial fisheries landings and impair water quality. We examine the economic repercussions of one bloom-forming species. Finally, we consider the possible translocation within the Great Lakes of a virus that has the potential to harm commercial and recreational fisheries. These calculations illustrate an approach to quantifying the benefits of preventing invasive aquatic microorganisms from controls on ballast water discharges.

  3. Priming against environmental challenges and proteomics in plants: Update and agricultural perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Tanou, Georgia; Fotopoulos, Vasileios; Molassiotis, Athanassios

    2012-01-01

    Priming is the cellular state in which the harmful effects of abiotic stress factors in plants are hindered by pre-exposure to a stimulus, thus resulting in greater survival. It is becoming increasingly evident that priming techniques (e.g., external application of natural or synthetic compounds in plants) can enhance the tolerance of crops to environmental stresses. Innovative systems biology approaches such as proteomics are currently recognized as essential tools to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying plant responses to environmental stimuli and priming phenomena. The few published proteomic studies on priming in the context of environmental stress identify key protein targets and signaling pathways which are being involved in the alleviation of negative effects of stress factors. Since priming is a very promising strategy in modern crop production management, further research is needed in order to establish the global picture of priming phenomena against environmental challenges as well as to characterize specific priming-related protein indicators in plants. PMID:22973291

  4. Environmental Programs within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vitzthum, Edward F.; Gold, Roger E.

    1987-01-01

    Describes the interdisciplinary activities of the extension unit known as the Office of Environmental Programs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Focuses on the coordination and training involved in programs dealing with pest management and water quality. (TW)

  5. Analysis of energetic and exergetic efficiency, and environmental benefits of biomass integrated gasification combined cycle technology.

    PubMed

    Mínguez, María; Jiménez, Angel; Rodríguez, Javier; González, Celina; López, Ignacio; Nieto, Rafael

    2013-04-01

    The problem of the high carbon dioxide emissions linked to power generation makes necessary active research on the use of biofuels in gas turbine systems as a promising alternative to fossil fuels. Gasification of biomass waste is particularly of interest in obtaining a fuel to be run in gas turbines, as it is an efficient biomass-to-biofuel conversion process, and an integration into a combined cycle power plant leads to a high performance with regard to energetic efficiency. The goal of this study was to carry out an energetic, exergetic and environmental analysis of the behaviour of an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant fuelled with different kinds of biomass waste by means of simulations. A preliminary economic study is also included. Although a technological development in gasification technology is necessary, the results of simulations indicate a high technical and environmental interest in the use of biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BioIGCC) systems for large-scale power generation from biomass waste.

  6. Wastewater garden--a system to treat wastewater with environmental benefits to community.

    PubMed

    Nair, Jaya

    2008-01-01

    Many communities and villages around the world face serious problems with lack of sanitation especially in disposing of the wastewater-black water and grey water from the houses, or wash outs from animal rearing sheds. Across the world diverting wastewater to the surroundings or to the public spaces are not uncommon. This is responsible for contaminating drinking water sources causing health risks and environmental degradation as they become the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and pathogens. Lack of collection and treatment facilities or broken down sewage systems noticed throughout the developing world are associated with this situation. Diverting the wastewater to trees and vegetable gardens was historically a common practice. However the modern world has an array of problems associated with such disposal such as generation of large quantity of wastewater, unavailability of space for onsite disposal or treatment and increase in population. This paper considers the wastewater garden as a means for wastewater treatment and to improve the vegetation and biodiversity of rural areas. This can also be implemented in urban areas in association with parks and open spaces. This also highlights environmental safety in relation to the nutrient, pathogen and heavy metal content of the wastewater. The possibilities of different types of integration and technology that can be adopted for wastewater gardens are also discussed.

  7. The impact of energy, agriculture, macroeconomic and human-induced indicators on environmental pollution: evidence from Ghana.

    PubMed

    Asumadu-Sarkodie, Samuel; Owusu, Phebe Asantewaa

    2017-01-12

    In this study, the impact of energy, agriculture, macroeconomic and human-induced indicators on environmental pollution from 1971 to 2011 is investigated using the statistically inspired modification of partial least squares (SIMPLS) regression model. There was evidence of a linear relationship between energy, agriculture, macroeconomic and human-induced indicators and carbon dioxide emissions. Evidence from the SIMPLS regression shows that a 1% increase in crop production index will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.71%. Economic growth increased by 1% will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.46%, which means that an increase in Ghana's economic growth may lead to a reduction in environmental pollution. The increase in electricity production from hydroelectric sources by 1% will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.30%; thus, increasing renewable energy sources in Ghana's energy portfolio will help mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. Increasing enteric emissions by 1% will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 4.22%, and a 1% increase in the nitrogen content of manure management will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 6.69%. The SIMPLS regression forecasting exhibited a 5% MAPE from the prediction of carbon dioxide emissions.

  8. A novel approach to the use of genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops for environmental benefit.

    PubMed Central

    Dewar, Alan M; May, Mike J; Woiwod, Ian P; Haylock, Lisa A; Champion, Gillian T; Garner, Beulah H; Sands, Richard J N; Qi, Aiming; Pidgeon, John D

    2003-01-01

    The proposed introduction of genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GMHT) crops, with claims of improved weed control, has prompted fears about possible environmental impacts of their widespread adoption, particularly on arable weeds, insects and associated farmland birds. In response to this, we have developed a novel weed-management system for GMHT sugar beet, based on band spraying, which exploits the flexibility offered by the broad-spectrum partner herbicides. Here, we show the results from two series of field experiments which, taken together, demonstrate that, by using this system, crops can be managed for enhanced weed and insect biomass without compromising yield, thus potentially offering food and shelter to farmland birds and other wildlife. These results could be applicable widely to other row crops, and indicate that creative use of GMHT technology could be a powerful tool for developing more sustainable farming systems in the future. PMID:12639311

  9. Reduced grazing pressure delivers production and environmental benefits for the typical steppe of north China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yingjun; Huang, Ding; Badgery, Warwick B.; Kemp, David R.; Chen, Wenqing; Wang, Xiaoya; Liu, Nan

    2015-01-01

    Degradation by overgrazing is common in many areas of the world and optimising grassland functions depends upon finding suitable grazing tactics. This four-year study on the northern China steppe investigated combinations of rest, moderate or heavy grazing pressure early in the summer growing season, then moderate or heavy grazing in the mid and late season. Results showed that moderate grazing pressure (~550 sheep equivalent (SE) grazing days ha−1 year−1) gave the optimal balance between maintaining a productive and diverse grassland, a profitable livestock system, and greenhouse gas mitigation. Further analyses identified that more conservative stocking (~400 SE grazing days ha−1 year−1) maintained a desirable Leymus chinensis composition and achieved a higher live weight gain of sheep. Early summer rest best maintained a desirable grassland composition, but had few other benefits and reduced incomes. These findings demonstrate that reducing grazing pressure to half the current district stocking rates can deliver improved ecosystem services (lower greenhouse gases and improved grassland composition) while sustaining herder incomes. PMID:26553566

  10. Environmental Impacts of the Annual Agricultural Drawdown in Southern Miami-Dade County

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearns, E. J.; Renshaw, A.; Bellmund, S.

    2008-05-01

    Water managers annually manipulate groundwater storage in Southern Miami-Dade County at the end of the wet season to support agricultural interests. The so-called "agricultural drawdown" in Southern Miami-Dade County involves a 0.8 ft (0.24 m) reduction in groundwater stages via the release of large volumes of water each fall to Biscayne Bay. An average of 21.4 billion gallons (65,800 ac-ft or 8.1x107 m3) of freshwater are released each year from the Biscayne Aquifer via the C-103 and C-102 canals during the drawdown in anticipation of the winter growing season. The side-effects of this groundwater drawdown and loss of stored water are felt primarily by the environment in, and adjacent to, southern Biscayne Bay. Without the rapid drainage of freshwater, these large volumes of water would gradually leak into Biscayne Bay and its low-lying coastal wetlands, providing freshwater flows further into the dry season. The rapid and sudden release of water from the Biscayne Aquifer within a few weeks of the end of the wet season brings about an artificially early start to the dry season. The following dry season is thus unnaturally dry, leading to long periods of dry marshes and high salinities along the shoreline. The result threatens productive estuarine fish and shellfish habitat, enhances predation of nearshore species by marine fish, encourages exotic plant species within the coastal wetland zone, and promotes a loss of wading bird foraging habitat during nesting season. The threat of saltwater intrusion into the Biscayne Aquifer is enhanced by this operational practice as well, since sea levels are at their seasonal maximums in October and November. The effects of the agricultural drawdown, the possible enhancements to the coastal ecosystem that could be realized by its elimination, and its future within the context of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan's Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands project will be explored.

  11. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-12-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment.

  12. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-09-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment.

  13. Environmental costs and benefits of growing Miscanthus for bioenergy in the UK.

    PubMed

    McCalmont, Jon P; Hastings, Astley; McNamara, Niall P; Richter, Goetz M; Robson, Paul; Donnison, Iain S; Clifton-Brown, John

    2017-03-01

    Planting the perennial biomass crop Miscanthus in the UK could offset 2-13 Mt oil eq. yr(-1), contributing up to 10% of current energy use. Policymakers need assurance that upscaling Miscanthus production can be performed sustainably without negatively impacting essential food production or the wider environment. This study reviews a large body of Miscanthus relevant literature into concise summary statements. Perennial Miscanthus has energy output/input ratios 10 times higher (47.3 ± 2.2) than annual crops used for energy (4.7 ± 0.2 to 5.5 ± 0.2), and the total carbon cost of energy production (1.12 g CO2-C eq. MJ(-1)) is 20-30 times lower than fossil fuels. Planting on former arable land generally increases soil organic carbon (SOC) with Miscanthus sequestering 0.7-2.2 Mg C4-C ha(-1) yr(-1). Cultivation on grassland can cause a disturbance loss of SOC which is likely to be recovered during the lifetime of the crop and is potentially mitigated by fossil fuel offset. N2O emissions can be five times lower under unfertilized Miscanthus than annual crops and up to 100 times lower than intensive pasture. Nitrogen fertilizer is generally unnecessary except in low fertility soils. Herbicide is essential during the establishment years after which natural weed suppression by shading is sufficient. Pesticides are unnecessary. Water-use efficiency is high (e.g. 5.5-9.2 g aerial DM (kg H2O)(-1), but high biomass productivity means increased water demand compared to cereal crops. The perennial nature and belowground biomass improves soil structure, increases water-holding capacity (up by 100-150 mm), and reduces run-off and erosion. Overwinter ripening increases landscape structural resources for wildlife. Reduced management intensity promotes earthworm diversity and abundance although poor litter palatability may reduce individual biomass. Chemical leaching into field boundaries is lower than comparable agriculture, improving soil and water habitat

  14. Economic and environmental impacts of the corn grain ethanol industry on the United States agricultural sector

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, J.A.; English, B.C.; De La Torre Ugarte, D. G.; Menard, R.J.; Hellwinckel, C.M.; West, Tristram O.

    2010-09-10

    This study evaluated the impacts of increased ethanol production from corn starch on agricultural land use and the environment in the United States. The Policy Analysis System simulation model was used to simulate alternative ethanol production scenarios for 2007 through 2016. Results indicate that increased corn ethanol production had a positive effect on net farm income and economic wellbeing of the US agricultural sector. In addition, government payments to farmers were reduced because of higher commodity prices and enhanced net farm income. Results also indicate that if Conservation Reserve Program land was converted to crop production in response to higher demand for ethanol in the simulation, individual farmers planted more land in crops, including corn. With a larger total US land area in crops due to individual farmer cropping choices, total US crop output rose, which decreased crop prices and aggregate net farm income relative to the scenario where increased ethanol production happened without Conservation Reserve Program land. Substantial shifts in land use occurred with corn area expanding throughout the United States, especially in the traditional corn-growing area of the midcontinent region.

  15. Performance and life cycle environmental benefits of recycling spent ion exchange brines by catalytic treatment of nitrate.

    PubMed

    Choe, Jong Kwon; Bergquist, Allison M; Jeong, Sangjo; Guest, Jeremy S; Werth, Charles J; Strathmann, Timothy J

    2015-09-01

    Salt used to make brines for regeneration of ion exchange (IX) resins is the dominant economic and environmental liability of IX treatment systems for nitrate-contaminated drinking water sources. To reduce salt usage, the applicability and environmental benefits of using a catalytic reduction technology to treat nitrate in spent IX brines and enable their reuse for IX resin regeneration were evaluated. Hybrid IX/catalyst systems were designed and life cycle assessment of process consumables are used to set performance targets for the catalyst reactor. Nitrate reduction was measured in a typical spent brine (i.e., 5000 mg/L NO3(-) and 70,000 mg/L NaCl) using bimetallic Pd-In hydrogenation catalysts with variable Pd (0.2-2.5 wt%) and In (0.0125-0.25 wt%) loadings on pelletized activated carbon support (Pd-In/C). The highest activity of 50 mgNO3(-)/(min - g(Pd)) was obtained with a 0.5 wt%Pd-0.1 wt%In/C catalyst. Catalyst longevity was demonstrated by observing no decrease in catalyst activity over more than 60 days in a packed-bed reactor. Based on catalyst activity measured in batch and packed-bed reactors, environmental impacts of hybrid IX/catalyst systems were evaluated for both sequencing-batch and continuous-flow packed-bed reactor designs and environmental impacts of the sequencing-batch hybrid system were found to be 38-81% of those of conventional IX. Major environmental impact contributors other than salt consumption include Pd metal, hydrogen (electron donor), and carbon dioxide (pH buffer). Sensitivity of environmental impacts of the sequencing-batch hybrid reactor system to sulfate and bicarbonate anions indicate the hybrid system is more sustainable than conventional IX when influent water contains <80 mg/L sulfate (at any bicarbonate level up to 100 mg/L) or <20 mg/L bicarbonate (at any sulfate level up to 100 mg/L) assuming 15 brine reuse cycles. The study showed that hybrid IX/catalyst reactor systems have potential to reduce resource consumption and

  16. The impact of environmental and agricultural pollutants on the prevalence of allergic diseases in people from Qassim, KSA

    PubMed Central

    Elshabrawy, Walaa Othman; Ismail, Hisham Abdel-Sadek; Hassanein, Khaled Mohamed

    2014-01-01

    Background There are multiple environmental factors that influence a sensitized (IgE antibody positive) patient’s predisposition to manifest allergic symptoms following allergen exposure. The majority of allergens are known to induce morbidity with chronic symptoms such as rhinitis, pruritis, dermatitis and urticaria. Aim To study the impact of environmental and agricultural pollutants with different pollens on the immunological, hematological and biochemical markers and to determine the prevalence of sensitization to allergens among exposed individuals as well as to identify the eliciting allergens. Subjects and Methods Ninety six highly exposed individuals to environmental and agricultural pollution in addition to 20 as controls were selected. A solid phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the EUROLINE test kit were used for the quantitative determination of total IgE concentration and semi-quantitative in vitro assay of human IgE antibodies to some of the inhalant, ingestant and contactant allergens in serum samples, respectively. Percentage and absolute eosinophil counts and biochemical parameters were analyzed. Results Thirteen (13.5%) out of the 96 studied highly exposed subjects were manifesting allergic symptoms. Higher significant total serum IgE levels and absolute eosinophil counts in groups 1 and 3 of the highly exposed individuals compared to the control group were found (p1=0.00, p3=0.001 and p1=0.016, p3=0.028, respectively). Higher sensitization with inhalant Timothy grass, Aspergillus fumigatus, Der. Farinae and Olive; ingestant Egg yolk, Mango, Strawberry and Codfish and with contactant Latex/plastic and Crude oil was found in the studied groups compared with the controls. Conclusion The present data suggest that the highly exposed subjects to pollution are at high risk of developing an allergy. For the screening of those with suspected allergen sensitization, the determination of specific IgE antibodies is a suitable marker of type I

  17. Benefits of environmental conditions for growing coriander in Banat Region, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Acimovic, Milica; Oljaca, Snezana; Jacimovic, Goran; Drazic, Slobodan; Tasic, Slavoljub

    2011-10-01

    As one of the oldest multi-purpose plants (spice, aromatic, honey and medicinal), coriander is widespread across Europe. Although in Serbia there are favorable conditions for its growth and development, it is grown on relatively small areas. During both investigated years it took more than 1200 degrees C for transfer from vegetative to generative phase of development and over 2000 degrees C for it to be ready for harvesting. Coriander is a photophilic plant, which requires around 1000 hours of light from sowing to ripening.. As for humidity, coriander grows well, if there are more than 200 mm of rainfall during growing season. In 2009 and 2010, the experiment carried out at the experimental field in Ostojićevo (Banat, Vojvodina province, Serbia) monitored the effect of parameters mentioned above on development of coriander plants, seed yield and essential oil content. The average yields of 1866 kg ha(-1) (2009) and 2470 kg ha(-1) (2010), and relatively high content of essential oil (1.06% in both years) indicate a great potential of this plant species in Serbia, which is, however, greatly dependent on environmental conditions during year.

  18. The benefits of the application of geographical information systems in public and environmental health.

    PubMed

    Scholten, H J; de Lepper, M J

    1991-01-01

    One of the most important issues in public and environmental health today concerns the type of instruments that can be used to devise quick, reliable and scientifically valid methods of rapid assessment which, in turn, can be utilized in health research and in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of health programmes. As the applications of geographical information systems (GIS) relate to the collection, storage, integration, management, retrieval, analysis and display of spatial data, it is not surprising that the potential usefulness of this new technology in the fields of health research and policy is beginning to be realized. This article seeks to demonstrate the opportunities which the use of geographical information systems can offer to research and policy on health issues. The article first describes the principles and objectives of GIS before going on to discuss hardware and software developments as well as the variety of application fields, organizations and users. Some examples of current applications are provided to illustrate the type of work being undertaken. The final sections address issues specifically related to the application of GIS in health research and policies in the European context.

  19. Biochars multifunctional role as a novel technology in the agricultural, environmental, and industrial sectors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biochar is utilized around the globe as an amendment to increase soil health characteristics and improve the environmental quality of water and soils systems. This rapid rise in using biochars is in response to the anticipated need to increase food production for future global nutrition demands. A...

  20. Environmentally Sound Small-Scale Agricultural Projects: Guidelines for Planning. Revised Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altieri, Miguel; Vukasin, Helen L., Ed.

    Environmental planning requires more than finding the right technology and a source of funds. Planning involves consideration of the social, cultural, economic, and natural environments in which the project occurs. The challenge is to develop sustainable food systems that have reasonable production but do not degrade the resource base and upset…

  1. Catchment-scale evaluation of environmental regulations in the agricultural sector in Ireland (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melland, A. R.; Jordan, P.; Mellander, P.; Wall, D. J.; Buckley, C.; Mechan, S.; Shortle, G.

    2010-12-01

    The European Union (EU) Nitrates Directive regulations in Ireland limits the use of agricultural fertilisers to agronomic optima and aims to minimise surplus phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) losses to the aquatic environment. The legislated measures include limits on nutrient application according to soil P status, crop type and livestock intensity and restricts chemical and organic fertiliser spreading and ploughing to periods of the year with typically lower exposure of nutrients to runoff and leaching. These agricultural policies are being evaluated in an Agricultural Catchments Programme in six representative catchments dominated by moderate to high intensity grassland and arable enterprises across Ireland (Fealy et al., 2010). An experimental programme has been established to provide a baseline of farm nutrient management and water body quality during the early years of the measures and to provide estimates of trajectories towards (or otherwise) water quality targets. A ‘nutrient transfer continuum’ from source, through pathways, to delivery and impact in a water body receptor describes the different phases of diffuse pollution and is being used as a framework for evaluation. Compliance with Irish standards at different levels of the continuum is being evaluated and demonstrative studies are being conducted to provide evidence of linkages between source and delivery to validate conceptual models of P and N transfers in time and space in each catchment. Source compliance is being evaluated through census soil testing and a survey of nutrient management practice and farmyard infrastructure. Mobilisation and pathways of nutrient transfers do not have chemical standards except where a groundwater body acts as both a receptor and a pathway. To demonstrate these linkages, however, representative groundwater pathways are being monitored through piezometer, chemical end-member and tracer studies, and surface water pathways are being evaluated through subcatchment

  2. Assessing environmental risks for high intensity agriculture using the material flow analysis method--a case study of the Dongting Lake basin in South Central China.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guanyi; Liu, Liming; Yuan, Chengcheng

    2015-07-01

    This study primarily examined the assessment of environmental risk in high intensity agricultural areas. Dongting Lake basin was taken as a case study, which is one of the major grain producing areas in China. Using data obtained from 1989 to 2012, we applied Material Flow Analysis (MFA) to show the material consumption, pollutant output and production storage in the agricultural-environmental system and assessed the environmental risk index on the basis of the MFA results. The results predicted that the status of the environmental quality of the Dongting Lake area is unsatisfactory for the foreseeable future. The direct material input (DMI) declined by 13.9%, the domestic processed output (DPO) increased by 28.21%, the intensity of material consumption (IMC) decreased by 36.7%, the intensity of material discharge (IMD) increased by 10%, the material productivity (MP) increased by 27 times, the environmental efficiency (EE) increased by 15.31 times, and the material storage (PAS) increased by 0.23%. The DMI and DPO was higher at rural places on the edge of cities, whereas the risk of urban agriculture has arisen due to the higher increasing rate of DMI and DPO in cities compared with the counties. The composite environmental risk index increased from 0.33 to 0.96, indicating that the total environmental risk changed gradually but seriously during the 24 years assessed. The driving factors that affect environmental risk in high intensity agriculture can be divided into five classes: social, economic, human, natural and disruptive incidents. This study discussed a number of effective measures for protecting the environment while ensuring food production yields. Additional research in other areas and certain improvements of this method in future studies may be necessary to develop a more effective method of managing and controlling agricultural-environmental interactions.

  3. Review and analysis of parameters for assessing transport of environmentally released radionuclides through agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Baes, C.F. III; Sharp, R.D.; Sjoreen, A.L.; Shor, R.W.

    1984-09-01

    Most of the default parameters incorporated into the TERRA computer code are documented including a literature review and systematic analysis of element-specific transfer parameters B/sub v/, B/sub r/, F/sub m/, F/sub f/, and K/sub d/. This review and analysis suggests default values which are consistent with the modeling approaches taken in TERRA and may be acceptable for most assessment applications of the computer code. However, particular applications of the code and additional analysis of elemental transport may require alternative default values. Use of the values reported herein in other computer codes simulating terrestrial transport is not advised without careful interpretation of the limitations and scope these analyses. An approach to determination of vegetation-specific interception fractions is also discussed. The limitations of this approach are many, and its use indicates the need for analysis of deposition, interception, and weathering processes. Judgement must be exercised in interpretation of plant surface concentrations generated. Finally, the location-specific agricultural, climatological, and population parameters in the default SITE data base documented. These parameters are intended as alternatives to average values currently used. Indeed, areas in the United States where intensive crop, milk, or beef production occurs will be reflected in the parameter values as will areas where little agricultural activity occurs. However, the original information sources contained some small error and the interpolation and conversion methods used will add more. Parameters used in TERRA not discussed herein are discussed in the companion report to this one - ORNL-5785. In the companion report the models employed in and the coding of TERRA are discussed. These reports together provide documentation of the TERRA code and its use in assessments. 96 references, 78 figures, 21 tables.

  4. The role of network bridging organisations in compensation payments for agri-environmental services under the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

    PubMed

    Dedeurwaerdere, Tom; Polard, Audrey; Melindi-Ghidi, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    Compensation payments to farmers for the provision of agri-environmental services are a well-established policy scheme under the EU Common Agricultural Policy. However, in spite of the success in most EU countries in the uptake of the programme by farmers, the impact of the scheme on the long term commitment of farmers to change their practices remains poorly documented. To explore this issue, this paper presents the results of structured field interviews and a quantitative survey in the Walloon Region of Belgium. The main finding of this study is that farmers who have periodic contacts with network bridging organisations that foster cooperation and social learning in the agri-environmental landscapes show a higher commitment to change. This effect is observed both for farmers with high and low concern for biodiversity depletion. Support for network bridging organisations is foreseen under the EU Leader programme and the EU regulation 1306/2013, which could open-up interesting opportunities for enhancing the effectiveness of the current payment scheme for agri-environmental services.

  5. Water Framework Directive catchment planning: a case study apportioning loads and assessing environmental benefits of programme of measures.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, Bob; Kelly, Sarah; Green, Hannah; Squibbs, Graham; Mitchell, Gordon

    2009-01-01

    Complying with proposed Water Framework Directive (WFD) water quality standards for 'good ecological status' in England and Wales potentially requires a range of Programmes of Measures (PoMs) to control point and diffuse sources of pollution. There is an urgent need to define the benefits and costs of a range of potential PoMs. Water quality modelling can be used to understand where the greatest impact in a catchment can be achieved through 'end of pipe' and diffuse source reductions. This information can be used to guide cost-effective investment by private water companies and those with responsibilities for agricultural, industrial and urban diffuse inputs. In the UK, river water quality modelling with the Environment Agency SIMCAT model is regarded as the best current approach to support decision making for river water quality management and planning. The paper describes how a SIMCAT model has been used to conduct a trial WFD integrated catchment planning study for the River Ribble catchment in the North West of England. The model has been used to assess over 80 catchment planning scenarios. The results are being used support a national assessment of the cost-effectiveness of proposed PoMs.

  6. Environmental and economic evaluation of energy recovery from agricultural and forestry residues

    SciTech Connect

    1980-09-01

    Four conversion methods and five residues are examined in this report, which describes six model systems: hydrolysis of corn residues, pyrolysis of corn residues, combustion of cotton-ginning residues, pyrolysis of wheat residues, fermentation of molasses, and combustion of pulp and papermill wastes. Estimates of material and energy flows for those systems are given per 10/sup 12/ Btu of recovered energy. Regional effects are incorporated by addressing the regionalized production of the residues. A national scope cannot be provided for every residue considered because of the biological and physical constraints of crop production. Thus, regionalization of the model systems to the primary production region for the crop from which the residue is obtained has been undertaken. The associated environmental consequences of residue utilization are then assessed for the production region. In addition, the environmental impacts of operating the model systems are examined by quantifying the residuals generated and the land, water, and material requirements per 10/sup 12/ Btu of energy generated. On the basis of estimates found in the literature, capital, operating, and maintenance cost estimates are given for the model systems. These data are also computed on the basis of 10/sup 12/ Btu of energy recovered. The cost, residual, material, land, and water data were then organized into a format acceptable for input into the SEAS data management program. The study indicates that the most serious environmental impacts arise from residue removal rather than from conversion.

  7. Environmental assessment for Kelley Hot Spring geothermal project: Kelley Hot Spring Agricultural Center

    SciTech Connect

    Neilson, J.A.

    1981-04-01

    The environmental impacts of an integrated swine production unit are analyzed together with necessary ancillary operations deriving its primary energy from a known geothermal reservoir in accordance with policies established by the National Energy Conservation Act. This environmental assessment covers 6 areas designated as potentially feasible project sites, using as the basic criteria for selection ground, surface and geothermal water supplies. The six areas, comprising +- 150 acres each, are within a 2 mile radius of Kelley Hot Springs, a known geothermal resource of many centuries standing, located 16 miles west of Alturas, the county seat of Modoc County, California. The project consists of the construction and operation of a 1360 sow confined pork production complex expandable to 5440 sows. The farrow to finish system for 1360 sows consists of 2 breeding barns, 2 gestation barns, 1 farrowing and 1 nursery barn, 3 growing and 3 finishing barns, a feed mill, a methane generator for waste disposal and water storage ponds. Supporting this are one geothermal well and 1 or 2 cold water wells, all occupying approximately 12 acres. Environmental reconnaissance involving geology, hydrology, soils, vegetation, fauna, air and water quality, socioeconomic, archaelogical and historical, and land use aspects were carefully carried out, impacts assessed and mitigations evaluated.

  8. Celtic field agriculture and Early Anthropogenic Environmental change in the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region, NW Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van der Sanden, Germaine; Kluiving, Sjoerd; Roymans, Nico

    2016-04-01

    The field of Archaeology remains focused on historical issues while underexploring its potential contribution on currently existing societal problems, e.g. climate change. The aim of this paper is to show the relevance of archeological studies for the research of the 'human species as a significant moving agent' in terms of the changing natural environment during a much earlier time frame. This research is based on the study area of the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region in the Netherlands and Belgium and exhibits the period from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Roman period. This period is characterized by the widespread introduction and use of an agricultural system, often referred to as the Celtic Field system that served as one of the most modifying systems in terms of anthropogenic-environmental change during this period. Emphasis in this research is given to results generated by the use of the remote sensing technology, LiDAR. New information is reported considering a correlation between singular field size and the overall surface of the agricultural complexes and secondly, the presentation of newly identified Celtic field systems in the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region are presented. The study of the dynamics of the Celtic Field agricultural system provides evidence for a significant anthropogenic footprint on the natural environment due to land cover dominance, soil degeneration, increased soil acidification and forest clearance. Soil exhaustion forced the inhabitants to re-establish their relationship with the landscape in terms of fundamental changes in the habitation pattern and the agrarian exploitations of the land.

  9. Socio-hydrologic drivers of the Pendulum Swing between agriculture development and environmental health: a case study from Murrumbidgee River Basin, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandasamy, J.; Sounthararajah, D.; Sivabalan, P.; Chanan, A.; Vigneswaran, S.; Sivapalan, M.

    2013-06-01

    This paper presents a case study centered on the Murrumbidgee river basin in eastern Australia that illustrates the dynamics of the balance between water extraction and use for food production and efforts to mitigate and reverse consequent degradation of the riparian environment. In particular the paper traces the history of a pendulum swing between an exclusive focus on agricultural development and food production in the initial stages and its attendant socio-economic benefits, followed by the gradual realization of the adverse environmental impacts, efforts to mitigate these with the use of remedial measures, and ultimately concerted efforts and externally imposed solutions to restore environmental health and ecosystem services. The 100 yr history of development within Murrumbidgee is divided into four eras, each underpinned by the dominance of different norms/goals and turning points characterized by their changes. The various stages of development can be characterized by the dominance, in turn, of infrastructure systems, policy frameworks, economic instruments, and technological solutions. The paper argues that, to avoid these costly pendulum swings, management needs to be underpinned by long-term coupled socio-hydrologic system models that explicitly include the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems, including evolution of human values/norms relating to water and the environment. Such coupled human-water system models can provide insights into dominant controls of the trajectory of their co-evolution in a given system, and can also be used to interpret patterns of co-evolution of such coupled systems in different places across gradients of climatic, socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions, and in this way to help develop generalizable understanding.

  10. Socio-hydrologic drivers of the pendulum swing between agricultural development and environmental health: a case study from Murrumbidgee River basin, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandasamy, J.; Sounthararajah, D.; Sivabalan, P.; Chanan, A.; Vigneswaran, S.; Sivapalan, M.

    2014-03-01

    This paper presents a case study centred on the Murrumbidgee River basin in eastern Australia. It illustrates the dynamics of the balance between water extraction and use for food production, and efforts to mitigate and reverse consequent degradation of the riparian environment. In particular, the paper traces the history of a pendulum swing between an exclusive focus on agricultural development and food production in the initial stages and its attendant socio-economic benefits, followed by the gradual realization of the adverse environmental impacts, subsequent efforts to mitigate these with the use of remedial measures, and ultimately concerted efforts and externally imposed solutions to restore environmental health and ecosystem services. The 100-year history of development within the Murrumbidgee is divided into four eras, each underpinned by the dominance of different values and norms and turning points characterized by their changes. The various stages of development can be characterized by the dominance, in turn, of infrastructure systems, policy frameworks, economic instruments, and technological solutions. The paper argues that, to avoid these costly pendulum swings, management needs to be underpinned by long-term coupled socio-hydrologic system models that explicitly include the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems, including the slow evolution of human values and norms relating to water and the environment. Such coupled human-water system models can provide insights into dominant controls of the trajectory of their co-evolution in a given system, and can also be used to interpret patterns of co-evolution of such coupled systems in different places across gradients of climatic, socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions, and in this way to help develop generalizable understanding.

  11. 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…

  12. Environmental Risk Assessment of Fluctuating Diazinon Concentrations in an Urban and Agricultural Catchment Using Toxicokinetic–Toxicodynamic Modeling

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Temporally resolved environmental risk assessment of fluctuating concentrations of micropollutants is presented. We separated the prediction of toxicity over time from the extrapolation from one to many species and from acute to sublethal effects. A toxicokinetic–toxicodynamic (TKTD) model predicted toxicity caused by fluctuating concentrations of diazinon, measured by time-resolved sampling over 108 days from three locations in a stream network, representing urban, agricultural and mixed land use. We calculated extrapolation factors to quantify variation in toxicity among species and effect types based on available toxicity data, while correcting for different test durations with the TKTD model. Sampling from the distribution of extrapolation factors and prediction of time-resolved toxicity with the TKTD model facilitated subsequent calculation of the risk of undesired toxic events. Approximately one-fifth of aquatic organisms were at risk and fluctuating concentrations were more toxic than their averages. Contribution of urban and agricultural sources of diazinon to the overall risk varied. Thus using fixed concentrations as water quality criteria appears overly simplistic because it ignores the temporal dimension of toxicity. However, the improved prediction of toxicity for fluctuating concentrations may be small compared to uncertainty due to limited diversity of toxicity data to base the extrapolation factors on. PMID:21958042

  13. Bee honey as an environmental bioindicator of pesticides' occurrence in six agricultural areas of Greece.

    PubMed

    Balayiannis, George; Balayiannis, Panos

    2008-10-01

    The pollution of six agricultural areas of Greece (north, central, south) by insecticides used in crop protection has been investigated utilizing, as a bioindicator, bee honey produced in those areas. Honey samples collected randomly from apiaries located in those areas were analyzed for pesticide residues with a multianalytical method, able to determine simultaneously up to 10 organophosphorous insecticides from the same honey extract. Findings concerning the acaricide coumaphos were also included, even though it is not used in crop protection. Coumaphos is used to control the mite Varroa destructor, an external parasite of the honeybee. The above areas are cultivated in large extent with citrus trees or cotton or sunflower crops, which are good forages for honeybees. The main pests of those crops are insects; hence, insecticides are used on a large scale for crop protection. The most contaminated samples originated from citrus groves; 16 out of 19 had pesticide residues: 4 samples had chlorfenvinphos (21.05%), 10 had chlorpyrifos (52.63%) and 2 had phorate (10.53%). Out of 17 samples from cotton fields, residues were found in 8, phorate in 6 (35.29%), chlorfenvinphos in 1 (5.88%), and chlorpyrifos in 1 (5.88%). Out of nine samples from fields of sunflower, four had phorate residues (44.44%). In brief, from the 50 analyzed samples, residues of chlorfenvinphos were detected in 5 samples (10%), residues of chlorpyrifos in 11 samples (22%), and residues of phorate in 12 samples (24%). Their levels ranged between 0.70 and 0.89 microg/kg. Coumaphos residues ranged from 0.10 up to 4.80 microg/kg and were derived exclusively from beehives treated with Perizin (the commercial formulation of coumaphos) for Varroa control. This study indicates that in agricultural areas with developed apiculture, useful information about the occurrence and the distribution of pesticide residues due to crop protection treatments can be derived from the analysis of randomly collected honey

  14. Antibiotic resistance marker genes as environmental pollutants in GMO-pristine agricultural soils in Austria.

    PubMed

    Woegerbauer, Markus; Zeinzinger, Josef; Gottsberger, Richard Alexander; Pascher, Kathrin; Hufnagl, Peter; Indra, Alexander; Fuchs, Reinhard; Hofrichter, Johannes; Kopacka, Ian; Korschineck, Irina; Schleicher, Corina; Schwarz, Michael; Steinwider, Johann; Springer, Burkhard; Allerberger, Franz; Nielsen, Kaare M; Fuchs, Klemens

    2015-11-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes may be considered as environmental pollutants if anthropogenic emission and manipulations increase their prevalence above usually occurring background levels. The prevalence of aph(3')-IIa/nptII and aph(3')-IIIa/nptIII - frequent marker genes in plant biotechnology conferring resistance to certain aminoglycosides - was determined in Austrian soils from 100 maize and potato fields not yet exposed to but eligible for GMO crop cultivation. Total soil DNA extracts were analysed by nptII/nptIII-specific TaqMan real time PCR. Of all fields 6% were positive for nptII (median: 150 copies/g soil; range: 31-856) and 85% for nptIII (1190 copies/g soil; 13-61600). The copy-number deduced prevalence of nptIII carriers was 14-fold higher compared to nptII. Of the cultivable kanamycin-resistant soil bacteria 1.8% (95% confidence interval: 0-3.3%) were positive for nptIII, none for nptII (0-0.8%). The nptII-load of the studied soils was low rendering nptII a typical candidate as environmental pollutant upon anthropogenic release into these ecosystems.

  15. Stimulation of N2 O emission by manure application to agricultural soils may largely offset carbon benefits: a global meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Minghua; Zhu, Bo; Wang, Shijie; Zhu, Xinyu; Vereecken, Harry; Brüggemann, Nicolas

    2017-01-31

    Animal manure application as organic fertilizer does not only sustain agricultural productivity and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, but also affects soil nitrogen cycling and nitrous oxide (N2 O) emissions. However, given that the sign and magnitude of manure effects on soil N2 O emissions is uncertain, the net climatic impact of manure application in arable land is unknown. Here, we performed a global meta-analysis using field experimental data published in peer-reviewed journals prior to December 2015. In this meta-analysis we quantified the responses of N2 O emissions to manure application relative to synthetic N fertilizer application from individual studies and analyzed manure characteristics, experimental duration, climate and soil properties as explanatory factors. Manure application significantly increased N2 O emissions by an average 32.7% (95% confidence interval: 5.1-58.2%) compared to application of synthetic N fertilizer alone. The significant stimulation of N2 O emissions occurred following cattle and poultry manure applications, subsurface manure application and raw manure application. Furthermore, the significant stimulatory effects on N2 O emissions were also observed for warm temperate climate, acid soils (pH < 6.5) and soil texture classes of sandy loam and clay loam. Average direct N2 O emission factors (EFs) of 1.87% and 0.24% were estimated for upland soils and rice paddy soils receiving manure application, respectively. Although manure application increased SOC stocks, our study suggested that the benefit of increasing SOC stocks as GHG sinks could be largely offset by stimulation of soil N2 O emissions and aggravated by CH4 emissions if, particularly for rice paddy soils, the stimulation of CH4 emissions by manure application was taken into account. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  16. A generic bio-economic farm model for environmental and economic assessment of agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Janssen, Sander; Louhichi, Kamel; Kanellopoulos, Argyris; Zander, Peter; Flichman, Guillermo; Hengsdijk, Huib; Meuter, Eelco; Andersen, Erling; Belhouchette, Hatem; Blanco, Maria; Borkowski, Nina; Heckelei, Thomas; Hecker, Martin; Li, Hongtao; Oude Lansink, Alfons; Stokstad, Grete; Thorne, Peter; van Keulen, Herman; van Ittersum, Martin K

    2010-12-01

    Bio-economic farm models are tools to evaluate ex-post or to assess ex-ante the impact of policy and technology change on agriculture, economics and environment. Recently, various BEFMs have been developed, often for one purpose or location, but hardly any of these models are re-used later for other purposes or locations. The Farm System Simulator (FSSIM) provides a generic framework enabling the application of BEFMs under various situations and for different purposes (generating supply response functions and detailed regional or farm type assessments). FSSIM is set up as a component-based framework with components representing farmer objectives, risk, calibration, policies, current activities, alternative activities and different types of activities (e.g., annual and perennial cropping and livestock). The generic nature of FSSIM is evaluated using five criteria by examining its applications. FSSIM has been applied for different climate zones and soil types (criterion 1) and to a range of different farm types (criterion 2) with different specializations, intensities and sizes. In most applications FSSIM has been used to assess the effects of policy changes and in two applications to assess the impact of technological innovations (criterion 3). In the various applications, different data sources, level of detail (e.g., criterion 4) and model configurations have been used. FSSIM has been linked to an economic and several biophysical models (criterion 5). The model is available for applications to other conditions and research issues, and it is open to be further tested and to be extended with new components, indicators or linkages to other models.

  17. A Generic Bio-Economic Farm Model for Environmental and Economic Assessment of Agricultural Systems

    PubMed Central

    Louhichi, Kamel; Kanellopoulos, Argyris; Zander, Peter; Flichman, Guillermo; Hengsdijk, Huib; Meuter, Eelco; Andersen, Erling; Belhouchette, Hatem; Blanco, Maria; Borkowski, Nina; Heckelei, Thomas; Hecker, Martin; Li, Hongtao; Oude Lansink, Alfons; Stokstad, Grete; Thorne, Peter; van Keulen, Herman; van Ittersum, Martin K.

    2010-01-01

    Bio-economic farm models are tools to evaluate ex-post or to assess ex-ante the impact of policy and technology change on agriculture, economics and environment. Recently, various BEFMs have been developed, often for one purpose or location, but hardly any of these models are re-used later for other purposes or locations. The Farm System Simulator (FSSIM) provides a generic framework enabling the application of BEFMs under various situations and for different purposes (generating supply response functions and detailed regional or farm type assessments). FSSIM is set up as a component-based framework with components representing farmer objectives, risk, calibration, policies, current activities, alternative activities and different types of activities (e.g., annual and perennial cropping and livestock). The generic nature of FSSIM is evaluated using five criteria by examining its applications. FSSIM has been applied for different climate zones and soil types (criterion 1) and to a range of different farm types (criterion 2) with different specializations, intensities and sizes. In most applications FSSIM has been used to assess the effects of policy changes and in two applications to assess the impact of technological innovations (criterion 3). In the various applications, different data sources, level of detail (e.g., criterion 4) and model configurations have been used. FSSIM has been linked to an economic and several biophysical models (criterion 5). The model is available for applications to other conditions and research issues, and it is open to be further tested and to be extended with new components, indicators or linkages to other models. PMID:21113782

  18. Environmental and economic evaluation of energy recovery from agricultural and forestry residues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1980-09-01

    An analysis of capital and environmental costs of energy recovery from cotton ginning residues through direct combustion is given. The analysis concentrates on data from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas, which are representative of the country's major cotton producing areas. A model system for seed cotton drying based on current designs is used to evaluate the conversion technology. Use of cotton ginning residues for drying cotton lint would conserve significant quantities of natural gas and other fuels used but excess removal of residues has a deleterious effect on the soil. Maintaining favorable chemical and structural properties of the soil over several crop years is potentially more costly, in terms of energy required for fertilizer, than the amount of energy in the residues.

  19. TERRA: a computer code for simulating the transport of environmentally released radionuclides through agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Baes, C.F. III; Sharp, R.D.; Sjoreen, A.L.; Hermann, O.W.

    1984-11-01

    TERRA is a computer code which calculates concentrations of radionuclides and ingrowing daughters in surface and root-zone soil, produce and feed, beef, and milk from a given deposition rate at any location in the conterminous United States. The code is fully integrated with seven other computer codes which together comprise a Computerized Radiological Risk Investigation System, CRRIS. Output from either the long range (> 100 km) atmospheric dispersion code RETADD-II or the short range (<80 km) atmospheric dispersion code ANEMOS, in the form of radionuclide air concentrations and ground deposition rates by downwind location, serves as input to TERRA. User-defined deposition rates and air concentrations may also be provided as input to TERRA through use of the PRIMUS computer code. The environmental concentrations of radionuclides predicted by TERRA serve as input to the ANDROS computer code which calculates population and individual intakes, exposures, doses, and risks. TERRA incorporates models to calculate uptake from soil and atmospheric deposition on four groups of produce for human consumption and four groups of livestock feeds. During the environmental transport simulation, intermediate calculations of interception fraction for leafy vegetables, produce directly exposed to atmospherically depositing material, pasture, hay, and silage are made based on location-specific estimates of standing crop biomass. Pasture productivity is estimated by a model which considers the number and types of cattle and sheep, pasture area, and annual production of other forages (hay and silage) at a given location. Calculations are made of the fraction of grain imported from outside the assessment area. TERRA output includes the above calculations and estimated radionuclide concentrations in plant produce, milk, and a beef composite by location.

  20. Economic and environmental benefits of reducing standby power lossin DVD/VCD players and copiers in China

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Jiang; Li, Tienan; Li, Aizhen; Zhang, Guoqing

    2004-06-01

    's certification activities. Media events organized by CECP have greatly improved the country's awareness of standby power loss. Reducing standby power loss has been formally incorporated into China's energy efficiency policy portfolio and in China's collaboration with the international community on the subject of energy efficiency (IEA, 2001). In phase II of the program, CECP's main task was to assess the market for DVD/VCD (Digital Versatile/Video Disc and Video Compact Disc) players and copiers to analyze the economic and technical benefits of energy conservation potential, and to develop technical specifications for DVD/VCD players and copiers, with technical assistance from LBNL. Having built on the success of Phase I, CECP paid great attention to the appraisal of market conditions and the economic and environmental benefits of reducing standby power loss in DVD/VCD players and copiers, and solicited inputs from stakeholders before finalizing the product certification requirements. This paper summarizes the expected energy conservation and environmental benefits due to the implementation of certification programs for DVD/VCD players and copiers in China.

  1. Environmental benefits. Fact sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-01

    Acid rain primarily affects sensitive bodies of waters, that is, those that rest atop soil with a limited ability to neutralize acidic compounds (called 'buffering capacity'). Many lakes and streams examined in a National Surface Water Survey (NSWS) suffer from chronic acidity, a condition in which water has a constant low pH level. The NSWS investigated the effects of acidic deposition in over 1,000 lakes larger than 10 acres and in thousands of miles of streams. In some sensitive lakes and streams, acidification has completely eradicated fish species, such as thebrook trout, leaving the bodies of water barren. The Canadian government has estimated that 14,000 lakes in Eastern Canada are acidic. The New Jersey Pine Barrens area endures the highest rate of acidic streams in the nation. The Mid-Atlantic Highlands are acidic primarily due to acidic deposition while streams in the Mid-Appalachians are also undergoing increasing acidification.

  2. Performance and environmental impact of biodegradable polymers as agricultural mulching films.

    PubMed

    Touchaleaume, François; Martin-Closas, Lluís; Angellier-Coussy, Hélène; Chevillard, Anne; Cesar, Guy; Gontard, Nathalie; Gastaldi, Emmanuelle

    2016-02-01

    In the aim of resolving environmental key issues such as irreversible soil pollution by non-biodegradable and non-recoverable polyethylene (PE) fragments, a full-scale field experiment was set up to evaluate the suitability of four biodegradable materials based on poly(butylene adipate-co-terephtalate) (PBAT) to be used as sustainable alternatives to PE for mulching application in vineyard. Initial ultimate tensile properties, functional properties during field ageing (water vapour permeability and radiometric properties), biodegradability and agronomical performance of the mulched vines (wood production and fruiting yield) were studied. In spite of their early loss of physical integrity that occurred only five months after vine planting, the four materials satisfied all the requested functional properties and led to agronomic performance as high as polyethylene. In the light of the obtained results, the mulching material lifespan was questioned in the case of long-term perennial crop such as grapevine. Taking into account their mulching efficiency and biodegradability, the four PBAT-based studied materials are proven to constitute suitable alternatives to the excessively resistant PE material.

  3. High throughput imaging and analysis for biological interpretation of agricultural plants and environmental interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Hyundae; Benac, Jasenka; Riggsbee, Daniel; Koutsky, Keith

    2014-03-01

    High throughput (HT) phenotyping of crops is essential to increase yield in environments deteriorated by climate change. The controlled environment of a greenhouse offers an ideal platform to study the genotype to phenotype linkages for crop screening. Advanced imaging technologies are used to study plants' responses to resource limitations such as water and nutrient deficiency. Advanced imaging technologies coupled with automation make HT phenotyping in the greenhouse not only feasible, but practical. Monsanto has a state of the art automated greenhouse (AGH) facility. Handling of the soil, pots water and nutrients are all completely automated. Images of the plants are acquired by multiple hyperspectral and broadband cameras. The hyperspectral cameras cover wavelengths from visible light through short wave infra-red (SWIR). Inhouse developed software analyzes the images to measure plant morphological and biochemical properties. We measure phenotypic metrics like plant area, height, and width as well as biomass. Hyperspectral imaging allows us to measure biochemcical metrics such as chlorophyll, anthocyanin, and foliar water content. The last 4 years of AGH operations on crops like corn, soybean, and cotton have demonstrated successful application of imaging and analysis technologies for high throughput plant phenotyping. Using HT phenotyping, scientists have been showing strong correlations to environmental conditions, such as water and nutrient deficits, as well as the ability to tease apart distinct differences in the genetic backgrounds of crops.

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

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W; Reganold, John P

    2015-06-16

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

  5. Food biotechnology: benefits and concerns.

    PubMed

    Falk, Michael C; Chassy, Bruce M; Harlander, Susan K; Hoban, Thomas J; McGloughlin, Martina N; Akhlaghi, Amin R

    2002-06-01

    Recent advances in agricultural biotechnology have highlighted the need for experimental evidence and sound scientific judgment to assess the benefits and risks to society. Nutrition scientists and other animal biologists need a balanced understanding of the issues to participate in this assessment. To date most modifications to crop plants have benefited producers. Crops have been engineered to decrease pesticide and herbicide usage, protect against stressors, enhance yields and extend shelf life. Beyond the environmental benefits of decreased pesticide and herbicide application, consumers stand to benefit by development of food crops with increased nutritional value, medicinal properties, enhanced taste and esthetic appeal. There remains concern that these benefits come with a cost to the environment or increased risk to the consumer. Most U.S. consumers are not aware of the extent that genetically modified foods have entered the marketplace. Consumer awareness of biotechnology seems to have increased over the last decade, yet most consumers remain confused over the science. Concern over the impact on the safety of the food supply remains low in the United States, but is substantially elevated in Europe. Before a genetically engineered crop is introduced into commerce it must pass regulatory scrutiny by as many as four different federal regulatory bodies to ensure a safe food supply and minimize the risk to the environment. Key areas for more research are evaluation of the nutritional benefits of new crops, further investigation of the environmental impact, and development of better techniques to identify and track genetically engineered products.

  6. Assessing groundwater pollution hazard changes under different socio-economic and environmental scenarios in an agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Lima, M Lourdes; Romanelli, Asunción; Massone, Héctor E

    2015-10-15

    This paper proposes a modeling approach for assessing changes in groundwater pollution hazard under two different socio-economic and environmental scenarios: The first one considers an exponential growth of agriculture land-use (Relegated Sustainability), while the other deals with regional economic growth, taking into account, the restrictions put on natural resources use (Sustainability Reforms). The recent (2011) and forecasted (2030) groundwater pollution hazard is evaluated based on hydrogeological parameters and, the impact of land-use changes in the groundwater system, coupling together a land-use change model (Dyna-CLUE) with a groundwater flow model (MODFLOW), as inputs to a decision system support (EMDS). The Dulce Stream Watershed (Pampa Plain, Argentina) was chosen to test the usefulness and utility of this proposed method. It includes a high level of agricultural activities, significant local extraction of groundwater resources for drinking water and irrigation and extensive available data regarding aquifer features. The Relegated Sustainability Scenario showed a negative change in the aquifer system, increasing (+20%; high-very high classes) the contribution to groundwater pollution hazard throughout the watershed. On the other hand, the Sustainability Reforms Scenario displayed more balanced land-use changes with a trend towards sustainability, therefore proposing a more acceptable change in the aquifer system for 2030 with a possible 2% increase (high-very high classes) in groundwater pollution hazard. Results in the recent scenario (2011) showed that 54% of Dulce Stream Watershed still shows a moderate to a very low contribution to groundwater pollution hazard (mainly in the lower area). Therefore, from the point of view of natural resource management, this is a positive aspect, offering possibilities for intervention in order to prevent deterioration and protect this aquifer system. However, since it is quite possible that this aquifer status (i

  7. Late Holocene environmental reconstructions and the implications on flood events, typhoon patterns, and agriculture activities in NE Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.-C.; Behling, H.; Lee, T.-Q.; Li, H.-C.; Huh, C.-A.; Shiau, L.-J.; Chang, Y.-P.

    2014-05-01

    In this study, we reconstructed the paleoenvironmental changes from a sediment archive of the floodplain lake in Ilan Plain of NE Taiwan on multi-decadal resolution for the last ca. 1900 years. On the basis of pollen and diatom records, we evaluated the record of past vegetation, floods, typhoons and agriculture activities of this area, which is sensitive to the hydrological conditions of the West Pacific. High sedimentation rates with low microfossil preservations reflected multiple flood events and humid climatic conditions during 100-1400 AD. A shortly interrupted dry phase can be found during 940-1010 AD. The driest phase corresponds to the Little Ice Age phase 1 (LIA1, 1400-1620 AD) with less disturbance by flood events, which enhanced the occurrence of wetlands (Cyperaceae) and diatom depositions. Humid phases with frequent typhoons are inferred by high percentages of Lagerstroemia and high ratios of planktonic/benthic diatoms, respectively, during 500-700 AD and Little Ice Age phase 2 (LIA2, 1630-1850 AD). The occurrences of cultivated Poaceae (Oryza) during 1250-1300 AD and the last ~400 years, reflect agriculture activities, which seems to implicate strongly with the environmental stability. Finally, we found flood events which dominated during the El Niño-like stage, but dry events as well as frequent typhoon events happened during the La Niña-like stage. After comparing our results with the reconstructed proxy for tropical hydrological conditions, we suggested that the local hydrology in coastal East Asia were strongly affected by the typhoon-triggered heavy rainfalls which were influenced by the variation of global temperature, expansion of the Pacific warm pool and intensification of ENSO events.

  8. The evolution of agricultural intensification and environmental degradation in the UK: a data-driven systems dynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong McKay, David I.; Dearing, John A.; Dyke, James G.; Poppy, Guy; Firbank, Les

    2016-04-01

    The world's population continues to grow rapidly, yet the current demand for food is already resulting in environmental degradation in many regions. As a result, an emerging challenge of the 21st century is how agriculture can simultaneously undergo sustainable intensification and be made more resilient to accelerating climate change. Key to this challenge is: a) finding the "safe and just operating space" for the global agri-environment system that both provides sufficient food for humanity and avoids crossing dangerous planetary boundaries, and b) downscaling this framework from a planetary to a regional scale in order to better inform decision making and incorporate regional dynamics within the planetary boundaries framework. Regional safe operating spaces can be defined and explored using a combination of metrics that indicate the changing status of ecosystem services (both provisioning and regulating), statistical techniques that reveal early warning signals and breakpoints, and dynamical system models of the regional agri-environment system. Initial attempts to apply this methodology have been made in developing countries (e.g. China [Dearing et al., 2012, 2014; Zhang et al., 2015]), but have not yet been attempted in more developed countries, for example the UK. In this study we assess the changes in ecosystem services in two contrasting agricultural regions in the UK, arable-dominated East England and pastoral-dominated South-West England, since the middle of the 20th Century. We identify and establish proxies and indices of various provisioning and regulating services in these two regions and analyse how these have changed over this time. We find that significant degradation of regulating services occurred in Eastern England in the early 1980s, reflecting a period of rapid intensification and escalating fertiliser usage, but that regulating services have begun to recover since 2000 mainly as a result of fertiliser usage decoupling from increasing wheat

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Impact of the agricultural research service watershed assessment studies on the conservation effects assessment project cropland national assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    USDA initiated the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) in 2002 to analyze societal and environmental benefits gained from the increased conservation program funding provided in the 2002 Farm Bill. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and...

  12. Environmental economics reality check: a case study of the Abanico Medicinal Plant and Organic Agriculture Microenterprise Project.

    PubMed

    Isla, Ana; Thompson, Shirley

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a case study of the Abanico Medicinal Plant and Organic Agriculture Microenterprise Project in the Arenal Conservation Area, Costa Rica. Microenterprise is the Sustainable Development and the Women in Development model for gender equity and environment of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and large non-government organizations, like the World Wildlife Fund-Canada. The authors of this paper argue that debt-for-nature investment in microenterprise and ecological economic models are not distinct from neoclassical economic and development models that created the environmental, social and cultural crises in the first place. This case study shows that the world market accommodates only one model of development: unsustainable export-oriented production based on flexible labour markets, low wages, indebtedness and low cost production. Working standards in those micro-enterprises are eroded due to many factors,including indebtedness. What happened at a national level in non-industrial countries with the international debt crisis is now mirrored in individual indebtedness through microenterprise. Is current development policy creating a new form of indentured servitude? Medicinal plants, prior to commodification, were a source of women's power and upon commodification in international development projects, are the source of their exploitation.

  13. 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

  14. Researcher and institutional review board perspectives on the benefits and challenges of reporting back biomonitoring and environmental exposure results.

    PubMed

    Ohayon, Jennifer Liss; Cousins, Elicia; Brown, Phil; Morello-Frosch, Rachel; Brody, Julia Green

    2017-02-01

    As the number of personal exposure studies expands and trends favor greater openness and transparency in the health sciences, ethical issues arise around reporting back individual results for contaminants without clear health guidelines. Past research demonstrates that research participants want their results even when the health implications are not known. The experiences of researchers and institutional review boards (IRBs) in studies that have reported personal chemical exposures can provide insights about ethical and practical approaches while also revealing areas of continued uncertainty. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 17 researchers and nine IRB members from seven personal exposure studies across the United States to investigate their experiences and attitudes about the report-back process. Researchers reported multiple benefits of report-back, including increasing retention and recruitment, advancing environmental health literacy, empowering study participants to take actions to reduce exposures, encouraging shifts in government and industry practices, and helping researchers discover sources of exposure through participant consultation. Researchers also reported challenges, including maintaining ongoing contact with participants, adopting protocols for notification of high exposures to chemicals without health guidelines, developing meaningful report-back materials, and resource limitations. IRB members reported concern for potential harm to participants, such as anxiety about personal results and counterproductive behavior changes. In contrast, researchers who have conducted personal report-back in their studies said that participants did not appear overly alarmed and noted that worry can be a positive outcome to motivate action to reduce harmful exposures. While key concerns raised during the early days of report-back have been substantially resolved for scientists with report-back experience, areas of uncertainty remain. These include

  15. Biogeosystem technique as a method to overcome the Biological and Environmental Hazards of modern Agricultural, Irrigational and Technological Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalinitchenko, Valery; Batukaev, Abdulmalik; Zinchenko, Vladimir; Zarmaev, Ali; Magomadov, Ali; Chernenko, Vladimir; Startsev, Viktor; Bakoev, Serojdin; Dikaev, Zaurbek

    2014-05-01

    Modern challenge for humanity is to replace the paradigm of nature use and overcome environmental hazards of agronomy, irrigation, industry, and other human activities in biosphere. It is utterly reasonable to stop dividing biosphere on shares - the human habitat and the environment. In the 21st century it is an outdated anthropocentrism. Contradicting himself to biosphere Humankind has the problems. The new paradigm of biosphere control by methods of Biogeosystem technique is on agenda of Humankind. Key directions of Biogeosystem technique. Tillage. Single rotary milling 20…30-50…60 sm soil layer optimizes the evolution and environment of soil, creates a favorable conditions for the rhizosphere, increases the biological productivity of biosphere by 30-50% compared to the standard agricultural practices for the period up to 40 years. Recycle material. Recycling of mineral and organic substances in soil layer of 20…30-50…60 sm in rotary milling soil processing provides wastes clean return to biosphere. Direct intrasoil substances synthesis. Environmentally friendly robot wasteless nanotechnology provides direct substances synthesis, including fertilizers, inside the soil. It eliminates the prerequisites of the wastes formation under standard industrial technologies. Selective substance's extraction from soil. Electrochemical robotic nanotechnology provides selective substances extraction from soil. The technology provides recovery, collection and subsequent safe industrial use of extracted substances out of landscape. Saving fresh water. An important task is to save fresh water in biosphere. Irrigation spends water 4-5 times more of biological requirements of plants, leads to degradation of soil and landscape. The intrasoil pulse continuous-discrete paradigm of irrigation is proposed. It provides the soil and landscape conservation, increases the biological productivity, save the fresh water up to 10-20 times. The subsurface soil rotary processing and

  16. DO CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM INCREASING CIGARETTE TAXES? ACCOUNTING FOR THE ENDOGENEITY OF LUNG HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    My research investigates the relationship between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and lung function in children. I use detailed individual health data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES III) to measure the effect of environmental tobacco smoke ...

  17. A direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for rapid detection of anilofos residues in agricultural products and environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Gao, Ai H; Liu, Bing; Sheng, Wei; Tan, Chao; Yuan, Meng; Wang, Shuo

    2013-01-01

    A direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dc-ELISA) was developed to measure anilofos levels in agricultural and environmental samples. The ELISA was developed using rabbit polyclonal antibodies against a hapten-protein conjugate of anilofos-bovine serum albumin. The limit of detection was 0.1 μg L(-1), and there was no cross-reactivity with other related pesticides or structurally similar compounds. The matrix effects of rice (aromatic rice, white rice, brown rice), corn, barley, wheat and soil were measured and removed by extraction and dilution with phosphate buffered saline with 0.05% Tween-20. For water samples (tap water and river water), the matrix effects were also removed by dilution with phosphate buffered saline with Tween-20. The detection limits for anilofos in authentic samples (aromatic rice, white rice, brown rice, corn, barley, wheat, soil, tap water and river water) were 2, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, and 2 μg kg(-1), and 0.5 and 1 μg L(-1), respectively . The anilofos recovery ranged from 81.0-116.0% with a coefficient of variation of 1.7-9.0%. The method was validated using GC, and the results showed good correlation with the dc-ELISA data (r(2) = 0.9795). Forty-two cereal samples were randomly collected from different supermarkets and analyzed using the developed dc-ELISA. No anilofos was found in these products. The developed immunoassay is suitable for rapid quantitation of anilofos residues.

  18. From "connecting the dots" to "threading the needle:" The challenges ahead in managing agricultural landscapes for environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non point source pollution from agriculture is one of the most challenging problems facing society. In this book chapter, we briefly review the development of “landscape thinking” in agriculture and how this has been incorporated into the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP). We pre...

  19. Can Schools Offer Solutions to Small-Scale Farmers in Africa? Analysis of the Socioeconomic Benefits of Primary School Agriculture in Uganda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okiror, John James; Oonyu, Joseph; Matsiko, Frank; Kibwika, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Agriculture;This paper discusses the factors influencing application of school gardening knowledge and skills by pupils at school and household level; and whether pupils are effective sources of information to their parents. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare cohorts of 30 pupils randomly selected from eight schools in Kumi and Tororo…

  20. Cost/Benefit Analysis of Mitigation Measures for Minimizing Environmental Impacts of Residential Wood Combustion : Task F, Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, William T.

    1988-06-01

    This task evaluates the costs and benefits associated with effective residential wood smoke control strategies. Annualized costs and benefits for each of the eight effective control strategies identified in Task E are presented. An estimate of annual net benefits is presented for the area covering Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington states. This investigation covers available information for the following cost or benefit categories: air pollution effects on health, soiling, and visibility; safety issues, including creosote effects and effects on frequency of chimney cleaning; equipment costs; regulatory costs; and energy efficiency effects. There are many large uncertainties associated with the estimates presented in this report. The data presented should be considered to be estimates which can be used to aid decision-making, but should not be relied upon as exact or precise. Section 2 reviews the available cost benefit information. Section 3 applies the cost and benefit factors identified to eight specific residential wood smoke control strategies. Section 4 present conclusions and summarizes the cost and benefit findings. 22 refs., 1 fig., 12 tabs.

  1. Environmental and occupational health risks among agricultural workers living in a rural community near petroleum refinery and motorway in Skopje region.

    PubMed

    Karadžinska-Bislimovska, Jovanka; Minov, Jordan; Stoleski, Sašo; Mijakoski, Dragan; Risteska-Kuc, Snežana; Milkovska, Snežana

    2010-12-01

    To assess health risks in agricultural workers associated with environmental exposure to pollutants released from a petroleum refinery and from traffic, we performed a cross-sectional study that included 119 randomly selected subjects divided in two groups. Group 1 included 60 agricultural workers living in a rural community near the petroleum refinery and a motorway overpass, whereas Group 2 consisted of 59 agricultural workers performing similar activities and living in a rural community with no exposure to industrial and traffic pollutants. Risk assessment included a questionnaire, blood pressure measurement, spirometry, laboratory tests, and toxicological analysis. The groups showed a similar prevalence of health problems, with exception of muscle pain in the extremities, headache, and fatigue, which were significantly more common in Group 1. Diastolic blood pressure was higher in Group 1, but not significantly (p=0.057). The same is true for blood carbon monoxide. Significantly higher in Group 1 were blood haemoglobin (p=0.001) and blood lead (p<0.001). Serum cholinesterase activity was similar in both groups. Our findings indicate the need of regular medical exams, ambient monitoring and environmental impact assessment in agricultural population in order to detect individuals at risk and to institute adequate preventive measures.

  2. Co-benefits, trade-offs, barriers and policies for greenhouse gas mitigation in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Mercedes; Robledo-Abad, Carmenza; Harper, Richard; Mbow, Cheikh; Ravindranat, Nijavalli H; Sperling, Frank; Haberl, Helmut; Pinto, Alexandre de Siqueira; Smith, Pete

    2014-10-01

    The agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector is responsible for approximately 25% of anthropogenic GHG emissions mainly from deforestation and agricultural emissions from livestock, soil and nutrient management. Mitigation from the sector is thus extremely important in meeting emission reduction targets. The sector offers a variety of cost-competitive mitigation options with most analyses indicating a decline in emissions largely due to decreasing deforestation rates. Sustainability criteria are needed to guide development and implementation of AFOLU mitigation measures with particular focus on multifunctional systems that allow the delivery of multiple services from land. It is striking that almost all of the positive and negative impacts, opportunities and barriers are context specific, precluding generic statements about which AFOLU mitigation measures have the greatest promise at a global scale. This finding underlines the importance of considering each mitigation strategy on a case-by-case basis, systemic effects when implementing mitigation options on the national scale, and suggests that policies need to be flexible enough to allow such assessments. National and international agricultural and forest (climate) policies have the potential to alter the opportunity costs of specific land uses in ways that increase opportunities or barriers for attaining climate change mitigation goals. Policies governing practices in agriculture and in forest conservation and management need to account for both effective mitigation and adaptation and can help to orient practices in agriculture and in forestry towards global sharing of innovative technologies for the efficient use of land resources. Different policy instruments, especially economic incentives and regulatory approaches, are currently being applied however, for its successful implementation it is critical to understand how land-use decisions are made and how new social, political and economic forces

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

    PubMed

    Adl, S; Iron, D; Kolokolnikov, T

    2011-05-01

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

  4. Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey on sources, transport, and fate of agricultural chemicals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Capel, Paul D.; Hamilton, Pixie A.; Erwin, Martha L.

    2004-01-01

    Information from these studies will help with decision-making related to chemical use, conservation, and other farming practices that are used to reduce runoff of agricultural chemicals and sediment from fields. This information also will benefit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, local and regional water managers, and agricultural chemical manufacturers who are involved in managing chemical use and pesticide registration.

  5. Operational results of an agricultural biogas plant equipped with modern instrumentation and automation.

    PubMed

    Wiese, J; Kujawski, O

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural biogas plants based on energy crops gain more and more importance because of numerous energetic, environmental and agricultural benefits. In contrast to older biogas plants, the newest generation of biogas plants is equipped with modern ICA equipment and reliable machines/engines. In this paper, the authors present technical details and operational results of a modern full-scale agricultural biogas plant using energy crops.

  6. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  7. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  8. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  9. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  10. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  11. Management of agricultural waste for removal of heavy metals from aqueous solution: adsorption behaviors, adsorption mechanisms, environmental protection, and techno-economic analysis.

    PubMed

    Elhafez, S E Abd; Hamad, H A; Zaatout, A A; Malash, G F

    2017-01-01

    In the last decades, Egypt has been suffering from the phenomenon of black cloud resulting from burning rice husk and increasing the demand for water leading to the water crisis. An alternative, low-value and surplus agricultural byproduct (rice husk, RH) has an enormous potential for the removal of Cu(II) ions from water. The present study focuses on the chance of the use of rice husk as a bio-adsorbent without any chemical treatment instead of burning it and soiling the environment. The elemental, structural, morphological, surface functional, thermal, and textural characteristics of RH are determined by XRF, XRD, SEM, FT-IR, TGA, and BET surface area, respectively, and contributed to the understanding of the adsorption mechanism of Cu(II) ions in aqueous solution. Also, the performance analysis, adsorption mechanism, influencing factors, favorable conditions, etc. are discussed in this article. The results obtained from optimization by batch mode are achieved under the following conditions: initial concentration, 150 ppm; amount of rice husk, 1 g; average particle size, 0.25 mm; temperature, 25 °C; pH, 4; agitation rate, 180 rpm; and contact time, 60 min. RH exhibits a high degree of selectivity for Cu(II) adsorption. The adsorption isotherm is fitted well with Langmuir and Freundlich models with R (2) 0.998 and 0.997, respectively. The adsorption is well governed by the pseudo-second-order kinetics. It is observed that the rate of adsorption improves with decreasing temperature, and the process is exothermic and non-spontaneous. Particular attention has being paid to factors as production processes, fixed/operational cost, production cost, and profit. The techno-economical analysis is presented in this study that provides precise demands on capital for a fixed investment, provisions for operational capital, and finally provisions for revenue. The social, economical, and environmental benefits by industrial point of view using low-cost adsorbent are also

  12. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  13. Application of integrated remote sensing and GIS technologies to geological, agricultural, water and environmental issues in far west Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Hongjie

    This study focuses on applying integrated remote sensing and GIS technologies to geological, agricultural, water and environmental studies in the far west Texas area. The primary technical topics that have been investigated and employed include radar image processing, speckle removal, destriping, data fusion, seamless image mosaicking technology, mask and ROI techniques, DEM processing and 3D visualization, image classification techniques, gravity and magnetic data processing, algorithm implementation for automatic image registration, ArcView/ArcInfo GIS techniques, and GIS database building. JPL/NASA's AIRSAR/TOPSAR is a multipolarimetric, multiwavelength, and interferometric airborne synthetic aperture radar capable of imaging in C-, L-, and P-bands (5.7, 24.5, and 68 cm). The study mainly focuses on its preprocessing, despeckling, and destriping. Among statistical adaptive speckle removal algorithms, G-MAP (Gamma Maximum A Posteriori) had the best performance. For banding removal, we derived a new method that we call combined principal components analysis (CPCA) that was very effective with our data. Signature differences were studied and compared at different radar wavelengths and between radar and optical (ETM+) images. Some subsurface objects (like water pipelines) were clearly visible in the radar images, especially for the P-band. Data fusion based on the color transform technique was employed to integrate Landsat 7 (30 m ETM+ data fused with the accompanying 15 m panchromatic data) and TOPSAR data after speckle and banding removal. The resulting fused image brought out new features that were not evident in the original images and helped identify many features whose origin was not clear in the original images. AIRSAR/TOPSAR and TM/ETM+ images have been successfully used for mapping the East Franklin Mountains fault scarp and related small faults within the Hueco bolson as well as the Mayfield fault scarp. Remote sensing analysis of nuclear waste disposal

  14. 7 CFR 15a.56 - Fringe benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Fringe benefits. 15a.56 Section 15a.56 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture EDUCATION PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING OR BENEFITTING FROM... Activities Prohibited § 15a.56 Fringe benefits. (a) “Fringe benefits” defined. For purposes of this...

  15. 7 CFR 15a.56 - Fringe benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Fringe benefits. 15a.56 Section 15a.56 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture EDUCATION PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING OR BENEFITTING FROM... Activities Prohibited § 15a.56 Fringe benefits. (a) “Fringe benefits” defined. For purposes of this...

  16. 7 CFR 15a.56 - Fringe benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Fringe benefits. 15a.56 Section 15a.56 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture EDUCATION PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING OR BENEFITTING FROM... Activities Prohibited § 15a.56 Fringe benefits. (a) “Fringe benefits” defined. For purposes of this...

  17. Biopolymers in controlled release devices for agricultural applications.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of biopolymers such as starch for agricultural applications including controlled release devices is growing due the environmental benefits. Recently, concerns have grown about the worldwide spread of parasitic mites (Varroa destructor) that infect colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). ...

  18. Environmental modelling of use of treated organic waste on agricultural land: a comparison of existing models for life cycle assessment of waste systems.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Trine Lund; Christensen, Thomas Højlund; Schmidt, Sonia

    2006-04-01

    Modelling of environmental impacts from the application of treated organic municipal solid waste (MSW) in agriculture differs widely between different models for environmental assessment of waste systems. In this comparative study five models were examined concerning quantification and impact assessment of environmental effects from land application of treated organic MSW: DST (Decision Support Tool, USA), IWM (Integrated Waste Management, U.K.), THE IFEU PROJECT (Germany), ORWARE (ORganic WAste REsearch, Sweden) and EASEWASTE (Environmental Assessment of Solid Waste Systems and Technologies, Denmark). DST and IWM are life cycle inventory (LCI) models, thus not performing actual impact assessment. The DST model includes only one water emission (biological oxygen demand) from compost leaching in the results and IWM considers only air emissions from avoided production of commercial fertilizers. THE IFEU PROJECT, ORWARE and EASEWASTE are life cycle assessment (LCA) models containing more detailed land application modules. A case study estimating the environmental impacts from land application of 1 ton of composted source sorted organic household waste was performed to compare the results from the different models and investigate the origin of any difference in type or magnitude of the results. The contributions from the LCI models were limited and did not depend on waste composition or local agricultural conditions. The three LCA models use the same overall approach for quantifying the impacts of the system. However, due to slightly different assumptions, quantification methods and environmental impact assessment, the obtained results varied clearly between the models. Furthermore, local conditions (e.g. soil type, farm type, climate and legal regulation) and waste composition strongly influenced the results of the environmental assessment.

  19. Environmental damage costs from airborne pollution of industrial activities in the greater Athens, Greece area and the resulting benefits from the introduction of BAT

    SciTech Connect

    Mirasgedis, S. Hontou, V.; Georgopoulou, E.; Sarafidis, Y.; Gakis, N.; Lalas, D.P.; Loukatos, A.; Gargoulas, N.; Mentzis, A.; Economidis, D.; Triantafilopoulos, T.; Korizi, K.; Mavrotas, G.

    2008-01-15

    Attributing costs to the environmental impacts associated with industrial activities can greatly assist in protecting human health and the natural environment as monetary values are capable of directly influencing technological and policy decisions without changing the rules of the market. This paper attempts to estimate the external cost attributable to the atmospheric pollution from 'medium and high environmental burden' industrial activities located in the greater Athens area and the benefits from Best Available Techniques (BAT) introduction. To this end a number of typical installations were defined to be used in conjunction with the Impact Pathway Approach developed in the context of the ExternE project to model all industrial sectors/sub-sectors located in the area of interest. Total environmental externalities due to air pollutants emitted by these industrial activities were found to reach 211 M Euro per year, associated mainly with human mortality and morbidity due to PM{sub 10} emissions, as well as with climate change impacts due to CO{sub 2} emissions for which non-metallic minerals and oil processing industries are the main sources. The results obtained can be used as the basis for an integrated evaluation of potential BAT, taking into account not only private costs and benefits but also the environmental externalities, thus leading to policy decisions that maximize social welfare in each industrial sector/sub-sector.

  20. Environmental and petroleum resource conflicts: a simulation model to determine the benefits of petroleum production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Goerold, W.T.

    1987-01-01

    The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), located on the Alaska North Slope, is believed to contain high petroleum production potential. This region also has outstanding wildlife and wilderness values. Currently ANWR is closed to oil and gas leasing. However, Congress is considering an Interior Department recommendation to open a portion of ANWR to oil and gas production. Environmentalists maintain that petroleum exploration and development will have severe environmental impacts. A draft study by the Interior Department reports values that are used to generate an expected present value of the net economic benefits of petroleum development in ANWR of $2.98 billion. Alternatively, using updated oil price projections and revised tax and financial assumptions, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Financial Analysis Simulation Model (AFAM) projects the expected present value of net economic benefits of oil production at between $0.32 and $1.39 billion. AFAM results indicate that, within most drilling cost scenarios, oil producers would earn an aftertax profit in 100% of the simulation trials. However, in a high-cost drilling scenario, AFAM projects aftertax losses to oil producers in 45% of the simulation trials. Although the Interior Department does not report a range of net economic benefits from oil development of ANWR, AFAM indicates that the distribution of net economic benefits across all scenarios is positively skewed. Net economic benefits from oil development range from $0 to $4.75 billion with a greater probability of benefits closer to the lower value. Decision makers considering whether or not to open ANWR to petroleum development can use these values to judge if the economic benefits outweigh the projected negative wilderness and wildlife impacts. 10 references, 9 figures, 6 tables.

  1. Comparison of Online Agricultural Information Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reneau, Fred; Patterson, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Outlines major online agricultural information services--agricultural databases, databases with agricultural services, educational databases in agriculture--noting services provided, access to the database, and costs. Benefits of online agricultural database sources (availability of agricultural marketing, weather, commodity prices, management…

  2. Effects of agricultural conservation practices on N loads in the Mississippi-Atchafalya River Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A modeling framework consisting of a farm-scale model, Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX); a watershedscale model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); and databases was used in the Conservation Effects Assessment Project to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practi...

  3. The impacts of inherent soil properties, environmental conditions, and restoration time on ecological benefits during CRP restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has numerous benefits including reduced soil erosion, increased C sequestration, and biodiversity through the conversion of highly erodible cropland to grasslands. The rate and magnitude of these changes varies and the factors that impact these changes are larg...

  4. Agricultural Education and OSHA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Ronald A.

    1974-01-01

    Agriculture teachers should be interested in and become familiar with the implications of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 for their own benefit, for their students, and for their students' future employers. (AG)

  5. Mining Environmental Data from a Coupled Modelling System to Examine the Impact of Agricultural Management Practices on Groundwater and Air Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, V.; Cooter, E. J.; Hayes, B.; Murphy, M. S.; Bash, J. O.

    2014-12-01

    Excess nitrogen (N) resulting from current agricultural management practices can leach into sources of drinking water as nitrate, increasing human health risks of 'blue baby syndrome', hypertension, and some cancers and birth defects. Nitrogen also enters the atmosphere from land surfaces forming air pollution increasing human health risks of pulmonary and cardio-vascular disease. Characterizing and attributing nitrogen from agricultural management practices is difficult due to the complex and inter-related chemical and biological reactions associated with the nitrogen cascade. Coupled physical process-based models, however, present new opportunities to investigate relationships among environmental variables on new scales; particularly because they link emission sources with meteorology and the pollutant concentration ultimately found in the environment. In this study, we applied a coupled meteorology (NOAA-WRF), agricultural (USDA-EPIC) and air quality modelling system (EPA-CMAQ) to examine the impact of nitrogen inputs from corn production on ecosystem and human health and wellbeing. The coupled system accounts for the nitrogen flux between the land surface and air, and the soil surface and groundwater, providing a unique opportunity to examine the effect of management practices such as type and timing of fertilization, tilling and irrigation on both groundwater and air quality across the conterminous US. In conducting the study, we first determined expected relationships based on literature searches and then identified model variables as direct or surrogate variables. We performed extensive and methodical multi-variate regression modelling and variable selection to examine associations between agricultural management practices and environmental condition. We then applied the regression model to predict and contrast pollution levels between two corn production scenarios (Figure 1). Finally, we applied published health functions (e.g., spina bifida and cardio

  6. Comparison of production-phase environmental impact metrics derived at the farm- and national-scale for United States agricultural commodities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costello, Christine; Xue, Xiaobo; Howarth, Robert W.

    2015-11-01

    Agricultural production is critical for human survival and simultaneously contributes to ecosystem degradation. There is a need for transparent, rapid methods for evaluating the environmental impacts of agricultural production at the system-level in order to develop sustainable food supplies. We have developed a method for estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG), land use and reactive nitrogen inputs associated with the agricultural production phase of major crop and livestock commodities produced in the United States (US). Materials flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques were applied to national inventory datasets. The net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs (NANI) toolbox served as the primary accounting tool for LCA and MFA. NANI was updated to create links between nitrogen fertilizer and nitrogen fixation associated with feed crops and animal food commodities. Results for the functional units kilogram (kg) of product and kg of protein for 2002 data fall within ranges of published LCA results from farm-scale studies across most metrics. Exceptions include eutrophication potential for milk and GHGs for chicken and eggs, these exceptions arise due to differing methods and boundary assumptions; suggestions for increasing agreement are identified. Land use for livestock commodities are generally higher than reported by other LCA studies due to the inclusion of all land identified as pasture or grazing land in the US in this study and given that most of the estimates from other LCAs were completed in Europe where land is less abundant. The method provides a view of the entire US agricultural system and could be applied to any year using publically available data. Additionally, utilizing a top-down approach reduces data collection and processing time making it possible to develop environmental inventory metrics rapidly for system-level decision-making.

  7. Benefits of collaborative learning for environmental management: applying the integrated systems for knowledge management approach to support animal pest control.

    PubMed

    Allen, W; Bosch, O; Kilvington, M; Oliver, J; Gilbert, M

    2001-02-01

    Resource management issues continually change over time in response to coevolving social, economic, and ecological systems. Under these conditions adaptive management, or "learning by doing," offers an opportunity for more proactive and collaborative approaches to resolving environmental problems. In turn, this will require the implementation of learning-based extension approaches alongside more traditional linear technology transfer approaches within the area of environmental extension. In this paper the Integrated Systems for Knowledge Management (ISKM) approach is presented to illustrate how such learning-based approaches can be used to help communities develop, apply, and refine technical information within a larger context of shared understanding. To outline how this works in practice, we use a case study involving pest management. Particular attention is paid to the issues that emerge as a result of multiple stakeholder involvement within environmental problem situations. Finally, the potential role of the Internet in supporting and disseminating the experience gained through ongoing adaptive management processes is examined.

  8. Environmental effects of agricultural conservation: A framework for research in two watersheds in Oklahoma's Upper Washita River Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in the Upper Washita River Basin represents mixed crop-livestock systems of the Southern Plains. Research was established in two sub-watersheds, the Little Washita River Experimental Watershed and the Fort Cobb Reservoir Experimental Watershed, to quantify interactive effects of variable...

  9. Investigation of environmental change pattern in Japan. Observation of present state of agricultural land-use by analysing LANDSAT data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maruyasu, T. (Principal Investigator); Hayashi, S.

    1977-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Species and ages of grasses in pastures were identified, and soils were classified into several types using LANDSAT data. This data could be used in a wide area of cultivation, reclamation, or management planning on agricultural land.

  10. Whole-Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas xanthomarina Strain UASWS0955, a Potential Biological Agent for Agricultural and Environmental Uses

    PubMed Central

    Crovadore, Julien; Cochard, Bastien; Calmin, Gautier; Chablais, Romain; Schulz, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    We report here the whole-genome shotgun sequence of the strain UASWS0955 of the species Pseudomonas xanthomarina, isolated from sewage sludge. This genome was obtained with an Illumina MiniSeq and is the second genome registered for this species, which is considered as a promising resource for agriculture and bioremediation of contaminated soils. PMID:27738044

  11. DEMONSTRATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND DEMAND-SIDE MANAGEMENT BENEFITS OF GRID-CONNECTED PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study investigated the pollutant emission reduction and demand-side management potential of 16 photovoltaic (PV) systems installed across the U.S. in 1993 and 1994. The project was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and 11 electric utilities. This ar...

  12. PLANNING CHANGE: CASE STUDIES ILLUSTRATING THE BENEFITS OF GIS AND LAND-USE DATA IN ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING

    EPA Science Inventory

    A well-established protocol for planning environmentally sustainable development has yet to be agreed upon. Experiences from two highly-studied basins in the United States illustrate some early attempts, their successes, and the obstacles that continue to impede widespread adopt...

  13. Demonstrating the Environmental & Economic Cost-Benefits of Reusing DoD’s Pre-World War II Buildings

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-04-01

    Criteria .................................................... I-1 Table II-1: ASHRAE Climate Zone Information...Engineering ASHRAE American Society of Heating Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers BEES Building for Environmental and Economic...building energy consumption reduction below ASHRAE standard 90.1-2004, which would earn a new construction building seven out of ten possible points under

  14. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  15. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M

    2014-05-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.

  16. SPS microwave subsystem potential impacts and benefits. [environmental and societal effects of Solar Power System construction and operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickinson, R. M.

    1978-01-01

    The paper examines the possible environmental and societal effects of the construction, installation, and operation of the space end and earth end of the microwave power transmission subsystem that delivers satellite power system (SPS) energy (at about 5 GW per beam) to the power grid on earth. The intervening propagation medium near the earth is also considered. Separate consideration is given to the spacecraft transmitting array, propagation in the ionosphere, and the ground-based rectenna. Radio frequency interference aspects are also discussed.

  17. Political Benefits as Barriers to Assessment of Environmental Costs in Brazil's Amazonian Development Planning: The Example of the Jatapu Dam in Roraima

    PubMed

    Fearnside; Barbosa

    1996-09-01

    Development projects are rapidly changing the landscape in Brazilian Amazonia. Environmental impact assessments have been required since 1986, and the regulatory system is evolving as precedents are set by each new development project. The Jatapu Dam in Roraima provides an illustration of underlying impediments to assessment of environmental costs and to due consideration being given to these assessments when decisions are made. The high priority placed on the dam by the Roraima state government is unexplainable in terms of economic returns. The place of the dam in a long-term political strategy provides the best of several possible explanations, any one of which is incompatible with a "rational" weighing of economic and environmental costs and benefits. A number of lessons can be drawn from the experience of Jatapu, but some of the problems have no solution. The barriers to rational decision making illustrated by Jatapu apply to development projects in many parts of the world.KEY WORDS: Jatapu Dam; Amazonia; Dams; Hydroelectric development; Brazil; Tropical forest; Environmental impact assessment

  18. Detecting clothianidin residues in environmental and agricultural samples using rapid, sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and gold immunochromatographic assay.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Hua, Xiude; Ma, Ming; Liu, Jisong; Zhou, Liangliang; Wang, Minghua

    2014-11-15

    Two rapid, sensitive immunoassays based on monoclonal antibody for detecting clothianidin were developed and applied in agricultural samples: a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a semiquantitative gold immunochromatographic assay (GICA). Under optimal conditions, the half-maximal inhibition concentration (IC50) and the limit of detection (LOD, IC10) of clothianidin were 25.6 and 3.8 ng mL(-1) for ELISA. GICA using colloidal gold-MAb probe had a visual detection limit of 8 ng mL(-1), and the results can be judged by the naked eye within 10 min. The cross-reactivities of the immunoassays with its analogues were negligible except for that with dinotefuran. For the spiked agricultural samples, recoveries of 78.0 to 114.5% with relative standard deviations (RSDs) of 3.2 to 12.8% were achieved for ELISA and further evaluated by GICA. Furthermore, the results of ELISA and GICA for the authentic samples correlated well with those obtained by HPLC. Overall, the proposed ELISA and GICA are satisfactory for rapid, sensitive, and quantitative/semiquantitative detection of clothianidin residues in agricultural samples.

  19. Measures of the EU Agri-Environmental Protection Scheme (GAEPS) and their impacts on the visual acceptability of Finnish agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Tahvanainen, Liisa; Ihalainen, Marjut; Hietala-Koivu, Reija; Kolehmainen, Osmo; Tyrväinen, Liisa; Nousiainen, Ismo; Helenius, Juha

    2002-11-01

    As a member of the European Union, Finland has committed itself to creating an environmental policy for agriculture. The aims of this study were to evaluate visual impacts of the General Agri-Environmental Protection Scheme (GAEPS) and Supplementary Protection Scheme (SPS) and general attitudes towards some activities in those policies and furthermore to examine the suitability of the method of Alho et al. (2001) for the scenic beauty assessment. The study areas consisted of three original, untreated, and 15 modified rural landscapes representing a variety of different activities. The scenic beauty of the landscapes was evaluated through pairwise comparisons of the responses of 68 people. Furthermore, attitudes towards environmental values, water protection, buffer strips and subsidies to agriculture were obtained. The respondents found the maintained buffer strips more pleasing than unmaintained strips and considered that the quality of watercourses was increased by buffer strips along them. A suitable width for the buffer strip along main ditches, brooks and waterways was regarded, on average, to be wider than the current recommendations. Although the opinions of farmers were basically in line with the existing recommendations, farmers' opininons on the second and third most important effects of buffer strips, an increase in weeds and a decrease in cultivated land, clearly differed from those of the other respondents. Afforestation, lack of building maintenance and abandoned fields were considered to be the most important factors impacting rural landscapes. This study indicates that the Finnish Agri-Environmental Protection Schemes have had positive impacts on the visual quality of landscapes. Attitudes towards other impacts are contradictory. This study also showed the improvement of the Alho et al. (2001) method in these kinds of studies relative to other methods of pairwise comparisons.

  20. Financial competitiveness of organic agriculture on a global scale

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, David W.; Reganold, John P.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Benefits of biochar, compost and biochar-compost for soil quality, maize yield and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Agegnehu, Getachew; Bass, Adrian M; Nelson, Paul N; Bird, Michael I

    2016-02-01

    Soil quality decline represents a significant constraint on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture in the tropics. In this study, the influence of biochar, compost and mixtures of the two on soil fertility, maize yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was investigated in a tropical Ferralsol. The treatments were: 1) control with business as usual fertilizer (F); 2) 10 t ha(-1) biochar (B)+F; 3) 25 t ha(-1) compost (Com)+F; 4) 2.5 t ha(-1) B+25 t ha(-1) Com mixed on site+F; and 5) 25 t ha(-1) co-composted biochar-compost (COMBI)+F. Total aboveground biomass and maize yield were significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in grain yield between 10 and 29%. Some plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Significant differences were observed among treatments for the δ(15)N and δ(13)C contents of kernels. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3(-)N), ammonium-nitrogen (NH4(+)-N), exchangeable cations and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly increased by the organic amendments. Maize grain yield was correlated positively with total biomass, leaf chlorophyll, foliar N and P content, SOC and SWC. Emissions of CO2 and N2O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N2O emissions generally decreased over time for all treatments and emission from the biochar was lower compared to other treatments. Our study concludes that the biochar and biochar-compost-based soil management approaches can improve SOC, soil nutrient status and SWC, and maize yield and may help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in certain systems.

  2. Climate impacts on environmental risks evaluated from space: a contribution to social benefits within the GEOSS Health Area: The case of Rift Valley Fever in Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tourre, Y. M.

    2009-12-01

    Climate and environment vary on many spatio-temporal scales, including climate change, with impacts on ecosystems, vector-borne diseases and public health worldwide. This study is to enable societal benefits from a conceptual approach by mapping climatic and environmental conditions from space and understanding the mechanisms within the Health Social Benefit GEOSS area. The case study is for Rift Valley Fever (RVF) epidemics in Senegal is presented. Ponds contributing to mosquitoes’ thriving, were identified from remote sensing using high-resolution SPOT-5 satellite images. Additional data on ponds’ dynamics and rainfall events (obtained from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) were combined with hydrological in-situ data. Localization of vulnerable hosts such as parked cattle (from QuickBird satellite) are also used. Dynamic spatio-temporal distribution of Aedes vexans density (one of the main RVF vectors) is based on the total rainfall amount and ponds’ dynamics. While Zones Potentially Occupied by Mosquitoes (ZPOM) are mapped, detailed risks areas, i.e. zones where hazards and vulnerability occur, are expressed in percentages of parks where cattle is potentially exposed to mosquitoes’ bites. This new conceptual approach, using remote-sensing techniques belonging to GEOSS, simply relies upon rainfall distribution also evaluated from space. It is meant to contribute to the implementation of integrated operational early warning system within the health application communities since climatic and environmental conditions (both natural and anthropogenic) are changing rapidly.

  3. On the Path to SunShot - The Environmental and Public Health Benefits of Achieving High Penetrations of Solar Energy in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Wiser, Ryan; Mai, Trieu; Millstein, Dev; Macknick, Jordan; Carpenter, Alberta; Cohen, Stuart; Cole, Wesley; Frew, Bethany; Heath, Garvin

    2016-05-01

    Monetizing the environmental health benefits of solar could add ~3.5¢/kWh to the value of solar energy (see Wiser et al. 2016). The monetary impacts due to environmental degradation and public health impacts seem far removed from the apparent “sticker price” of electricity. Yet quantifying these impacts is essential to understanding the true costs and benefits of solar and conventional generating technologies. Compared with fossil fuel generators, PV and CSP produce far lower lifecycle levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and harmful pollutants including fine particular matter (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Achieving the SunShot-level solar deployment targets—14% of U.S. electricity demand met by solar in 2030 and 27% in 2050—could reduce cumulative power-sector GHG emissions by 10% between 2015 and 2050, resulting in savings of $238–$252 billion. This is equivalent to 2.0–2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of solar installed (¢/kWh-solar). Similarly, realizing these levels of solar deployment could reduce cumulative power-sector emissions of PM2.5 by 8%, SO2 by 9%, and NOx by 11% between 2015 and 2050. This could produce $167 billion in savings from lower future health and environmental damages, or 1.4¢/kWh-solar—while also preventing 25,000–59,000 premature deaths. To put this in perspective, the estimated 3.5¢/kWh-solar in benefits due to SunShot-level solar deployment is approximately equal to the additional LCOE reduction needed to make unsubsidized utility-scale solar competitive with conventional generators today. In addition, water savings from achieving the SunShot goals, could result in the 2015–2050 cumulative savings of 4% of total power-sector withdrawals and 9% of total power-sector consumption—a particularly important consideration for arid states where substantial solar will be deployed. Improving public health and the environment is but one aspect of solar’s many costs and benefits. Clearly, however

  4. Evaluation of aquatic biota in relation to environmental characteristics measured at multiple scales in agricultural streams of the Midwest, 1993-2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hambrook Berkman, Julie A.; Scudder, Barbara C.; Lutz, Michelle A.; Harris, Mitchell A.

    2010-01-01

    This study evaluated the relations between algal, invertebrate, and fish assemblages and physical environmental characteristics of streams at the reach, segment, and watershed scale in agricultural settings in the Midwest. The 86 stream sites selected for study were in predominantly agricultural watersheds sampled as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Species abundance and over 130 biological metrics were used to determine which aspects of the assemblages were most sensitive to change at the three spatial scales. Digital orthophotograph-based riparian land use/land cover was used for analyses of riparian conditions at the reach and segment scales. The percentage area of different land-use/land-cover types was also determined for each watershed. Out of over 230 environmental characteristics examined, those that best explained variation in the biotic assemblages at each spatial scale include the following: 1) reach: bank vegetative cover, fine silty substrate, and open canopy angle; 2) segment: woody vegetation and cropland in the 250-m riparian buffer, and average length of undisturbed buffer; and 3) watershed: land use/land cover (both total forested and row crop), low-permeability soils, slope, drainage area, and latitude. All three biological assemblages, especially fish, correlated more with land use/land cover and other physical characteristics at the watershed scale than at the reach or segment scales. This study identifies biotic measures that can be used to evaluate potential improvements resulting from agricultural best-management practices and other conservation efforts, as well as evaluate potential impairment from urban development or other disturbances.

  5. Dynamics of the Linuron Hydrolase libA Gene Pool Size in Response to Linuron Application and Environmental Perturbations in Agricultural Soil and On-Farm Biopurification Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bers, Karolien; Sniegowski, Kristel; De Mot, René

    2012-01-01

    libA, a gene encoding a novel type of linuron hydrolase, was recently identified in the linuron-mineralizing Variovorax sp. strain SRS16. In order to assess the contribution of libA to linuron degradation in environmental settings, libA abundance was monitored in response to the application of linuron and to environmental perturbations in agricultural soil microcosms and microcosms simulating the matrix of on-farm biopurification systems. libA numbers were measured by real-time PCR and linked to reported data of Variovorax community composition and linuron mineralization capacity. In the soil microcosms and one biopurification system setup, libA numbers responded to the application of linuron and environmental changes in congruency with the modulation of linuron mineralization capacity and the occurrence of a particular Variovorax phylotype (phylotype A). However, in another biopurification system setup, no such correlations were found. Our data suggest that in the simulated environmental settings, the occurrence of libA can be linked to the linuron mineralization capacity and that libA is primarily hosted by Variovorax phylotype A strains. However, the results also suggest that, apart from libA, other, as-yet-unknown isofunctional genes play an important role in linuron mineralization in the environment. PMID:22307296

  6. Recycling organic wastes to agricultural land as a way to improve its quality: A field study to evaluate benefits and risks.

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, P; Palma, P; Mourinha, C; Farto, M; Dôres, J; Patanita, M; Cunha-Queda, C; Natal-da-Luz, T; Renaud, M; Sousa, J P

    2017-03-01

    A field study was established to assess the effects of a sewage sludge (SS), a mixed municipal solid waste compost (MMSWC) and a compost produced from agricultural wastes (AWC), in a Vertisol, using Lolium multiflorum L. The amendments were applied for two consecutive years: 6, 12 and 24t dry matter ha(-1) for SS, and the amendment doses for MMSWC and AWC were calculated to deliver the same amount of organic matter (OM) per unit area. The amendments had significant beneficial effects on some soil properties (e.g. soil OM, NKjeldahl, extractable P and K), and on plant productivity parameters (e.g. biomass yield, chlorophyll, foliar area). For instance, soil OM increased from 0.78% to 1.71, 2.48 and 2.51%, after two consecutive years of application of 24t dry matter ha(-1) of SS, MMSWC and AWC, respectively, while the plant biomass obtained increased from 7.75tha(-1) to 152.41, 78.14 and 29.26tha(-1), for the same amendments. On the plant, effects were more pronounced for SS than for both compost applications, a consequence of its higher capacity to provide N to the plant in a readily available form. However, after two years of application, the effects on soil properties were more noticeable for both composts, as their OM is more resistant to mineralization, which endures their beneficial effects on soil. Cadmium, Cr, Ni and Pb pseudo-total concentrations, were not affected significantly by the application of the organic wastes to soil, in all tested doses, neither their extractability by 0.01M CaCl2. On the contrary, Cu and Zn pseudo-total concentrations increased significantly in the second year of the experiment, following the application of the higher rate of MMSWC and AWC, although their extractability remained very low (<0.5% of their pseudo-total fraction). Trace elements concentrations in the aboveground plant material were lower than their maximum tolerable levels for cattle, used as an indicator of risk of their entry into the human food chain. Despite

  7. Evaluating the Life Cycle Environmental Benefits and Trade-Offs of Water Reuse Systems for Net-Zero Buildings.

    PubMed

    Hasik, Vaclav; Anderson, Naomi E; Collinge, William O; Thiel, Cassandra L; Khanna, Vikas; Wirick, Jason; Piacentini, Richard; Landis, Amy E; Bilec, Melissa M

    2017-02-07

    Aging water infrastructure and increased water scarcity have resulted in higher interest in water reuse and decentralization. Rating systems for high-performance buildings implicitly promote the use of building-scale, decentralized water supply and treatment technologies. It is important to recognize the potential benefits and trade-offs of decentralized and centralized water systems in the context of high-performance buildings. For this reason and to fill a gap in the current literature, we completed a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the decentralized water system of a high-performance, net-zero energy, net-zero water building (NZB) that received multiple green building certifications and compared the results with two modeled buildings (conventional and water efficient) using centralized water systems. We investigated the NZB's impacts over varying lifetimes, conducted a break-even analysis, and included Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis. The results show that, although the NZB performs better in most categories than the conventional building, the water efficient building generally outperforms the NZB. The lifetime of the NZB, septic tank aeration, and use of solar energy have been found to be important factors in the NZB's impacts. While these findings are specific to the case study building, location, and treatment technologies, the framework for comparison of water and wastewater impacts of various buildings can be applied during building design to aid decision making. As we design and operate high-performance buildings, the potential trade-offs of advanced decentralized water treatment systems should be considered.

  8. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  9. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  10. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  11. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  12. Mangrove and Freshwater Wetland Conservation Through Carbon Offsets: A Cost-Benefit Analysis for Establishing Environmental Policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vázquez-González, César; Moreno-Casasola, Patricia; Hernández, María Elizabeth; Campos, Adolfo; Espejel, Ileana; Fermán-Almada, José Luis

    2017-02-01

    Mexico has extensive coastal wetlands (4,243,137 ha), and one of its most important sites is the Alvarado Lagoon System, located in the Papaloapan River Basin on the Gulf of Mexico. The land cover dedicated to livestock and sugarcane has increased: by 25 % in 2005 and 50 % in 2010, with a loss of wetland vegetation and the carbon that it stores. We found that the Net Present Value of mangrove carbon offsets profit is equal to 5822.71, that of broad-leaved marshes is 7958.86, cattail marshes 5250.33, and forested wetlands 8369.41 per hectare, during a 30-year-carbonoffset contract. However, the opportunity cost from conserving wetland instead of growing sugarcane is positive according to REDD+ methodology, e.g., broad-leaved marsh conservation ranged from 6.73 to 20 USD/t CO2e, that of cattail marshes from 12.20 to 32.65 USD/t CO2e, and forested wetlands from 7.15 to 20.60 USD/t CO2e, whereas the opportunity cost between conservation and livestock was negative, it means that conservation is more profitable. The cost-benefit analysis for assessing investment projects from a governmental perspective is useful to determine the viability of conserving coastal wetlands through carbon offset credits. It also shows why in some areas it is not possible to conserve ecosystems due to the opportunity cost of changing from one economic activity (livestock and sugarcane) to carbon offsets for protecting wetlands. Furthermore, it allows for a comparison of carbon markets and assessment in terms of REDD+ and its methods for determining the social cost per ton of carbon avoided.

  13. Mangrove and Freshwater Wetland Conservation Through Carbon Offsets: A Cost-Benefit Analysis for Establishing Environmental Policies.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-González, César; Moreno-Casasola, Patricia; Hernández, María Elizabeth; Campos, Adolfo; Espejel, Ileana; Fermán-Almada, José Luis

    2017-02-01

    Mexico has extensive coastal wetlands (4,243,137 ha), and one of its most important sites is the Alvarado Lagoon System, located in the Papaloapan River Basin on the Gulf of Mexico. The land cover dedicated to livestock and sugarcane has increased: by 25 % in 2005 and 50 % in 2010, with a loss of wetland vegetation and the carbon that it stores. We found that the Net Present Value of mangrove carbon offsets profit is equal to $5822.71, that of broad-leaved marshes is $7958.86, cattail marshes $5250.33, and forested wetlands $8369.41 per hectare, during a 30-year-carbonoffset contract. However, the opportunity cost from conserving wetland instead of growing sugarcane is positive according to REDD+ methodology, e.g., broad-leaved marsh conservation ranged from $6.73 to $20 USD/t CO2e, that of cattail marshes from $12.20 to $32.65 USD/t CO2e, and forested wetlands from $7.15 to $20.60 USD/t CO2e, whereas the opportunity cost between conservation and livestock was negative, it means that conservation is more profitable. The cost-benefit analysis for assessing investment projects from a governmental perspective is useful to determine the viability of conserving coastal wetlands through carbon offset credits. It also shows why in some areas it is not possible to conserve ecosystems due to the opportunity cost of changing from one economic activity (livestock and sugarcane) to carbon offsets for protecting wetlands. Furthermore, it allows for a comparison of carbon markets and assessment in terms of REDD+ and its methods for determining the social cost per ton of carbon avoided.

  14. Agriculture: Nurseries and Greenhouses

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Nurseries and Greenhouses. Information about environmental requirements specifically relating to the production of many types of agricultural crops grown in nurseries and greenhouses, such as ornamental plants and specialty fruits and vegetables.

  15. 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...

  16. Agriculture and Water Quality. Issues in Agricultural Policy. Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 548.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crowder, Bradley M.; And Others

    Agriculture generates byproducts that may contribute to the contamination of the United States' water supply. Any effective regulations to ban or restrict agricultural chemical or land use practices in order to improve water quality will affect the farm economy. Some farmers will benefit; some will not. Most agricultural pollutants reach surface…

  17. Joint environmental assessment 1997--2001 of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Curly Top Virus Control Program for Bureau of Land Management and Department of Energy

    SciTech Connect

    1997-03-01

    The DOE, Naval Petroleum reserves in California (NPRC), proposes to sign an Amendment to the Cooperative Agreement and Supplement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to extend the term of the Curly Top Virus Control Program (CTVCP) in California. This program involves Malathion spraying on NPRC lands to control the beet leafhopper, over a five year period from 1997 through 2001. It is expected that approximately 330 acres on Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 1 (NPR-1) and approximately 9,603 acres on Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 2 (NPR-2) will be treated with Malathion annually by CDFA during the course of this program. The actual acreage subject to treatment can vary from year to year. Pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, the potential impacts of the proposed action were analyzed in a Joint Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA-1011) with the US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acting as lead agency, in consultation with the CDFA, and the DOE acting as a cooperating agency. Based on the analysis in the EA, DOE has determined that the conduct of the Curly Top Virus Control Program in California is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, within the meaning of the NEPA. Therefore, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not required and DOE is consequently issuing a FONSI.

  18. Emission projections for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 812 second prospective Clean Air Act cost/benefit analysis.

    PubMed

    Wilson, James H; Mullen, Maureen A; Bollman, Andrew D; Thesing, Kirstin B; Salhotra, Manish; Divita, Frank; Neumann, James E; Price, Jason C; DeMocker, James

    2008-05-01

    Section 812 of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform periodic, comprehensive analyses of the total costs and total benefits of programs implemented pursuant to the CAAA. The first prospective analysis was completed in 1999. The second prospective analysis was initiated during 2005. The first step in the second prospective analysis was the development of base and projection year emission estimates that will be used to generate benefit estimates of CAAA programs. This paper describes the analysis, methods, and results of the recently completed emission projections. There are several unique features of this analysis. One is the use of consistent economic assumptions from the Department of Energy's Annual Energy Outlook 2005 (AEO 2005) projections as the basis for estimating 2010 and 2020 emissions for all sectors. Another is the analysis of the different emissions paths for both with and without CAAA scenarios. Other features of this analysis include being the first EPA analysis that uses the 2002 National Emission Inventory files as the basis for making 48-state emission projections, incorporating control factor files from the Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) that had completed emission projections at the time the analysis was performed, and modeling the emission benefits of the expected adoption of measures to meet the 8-hr ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the Clean Air Visibility Rule, and the PM2.5 NAAQS. This analysis shows that the 1990 CAAA have produced significant reductions in criteria pollutant emissions since 1990 and that these emission reductions are expected to continue through 2020. CAAA provisions have reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by approximately 7 million t/yr by 2000, and are estimated to produce associated VOC emission reductions of 16.7 million t by 2020. Total oxides of nitrogen (NO(x)) emission reductions attributable to the

  19. 7 CFR 1430.204 - Requesting benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Requesting benefits. 1430.204 Section 1430.204 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS DAIRY PRODUCTS Milk Income Loss...

  20. 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

  1. Relations of Water Quality to Agricultural Chemical Use and Environmental Setting at Various Scales - Results from Selected Studies of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2008-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began studies of 51 major river basins and aquifers across the United States as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to provide scientifically sound information for managing the Nation's water resources. The major goals of the NAWQA Program are to assess the status and long-term trends of the Nation's surface- and ground-water quality and to understand the natural and human factors that affect it (Gilliom and others, 1995). In 2001, the NAWQA Program began a second decade of intensive water-quality assessments. The 42 study units for this second decade were selected to represent a wide range of important hydrologic environments and potential contaminant sources. These NAWQA studies continue to address the goals of the first decade of the assessments to determine how water-quality conditions are changing over time. In addition to local- and regional-scale studies, NAWQA began to analyze and synthesize water-quality status and trends at the principal aquifer and major river-basin scales. This fact sheet summarizes results from four NAWQA studies that relate water quality to agricultural chemical use and environmental setting at these various scales: * Comparison of ground-water quality in northern and southern High Plains agricultural settings (principal aquifer scale); * Distribution patterns of pesticides and degradates in rain (local scale); * Occurrence of pesticides in shallow ground water underlying four agricultural areas (local and regional scales); and * Trends in nutrients and sediment over time in the Missouri River and its tributaries (major river-basin scale).

  2. Many shades of gray—The context-dependent performance of organic agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Seufert, Verena; Ramankutty, Navin

    2017-01-01

    Organic agriculture is often proposed as a more sustainable alternative to current conventional agriculture. We assess the current understanding of the costs and benefits of organic agriculture across multiple production, environmental, producer, and consumer dimensions. Organic agriculture shows many potential benefits (including higher biodiversity and improved soil and water quality per unit area, enhanced profitability, and higher nutritional value) as well as many potential costs including lower yields and higher consumer prices. However, numerous important dimensions have high uncertainty, particularly the environmental performance when controlling for lower organic yields, but also yield stability, soil erosion, water use, and labor conditions. We identify conditions that influence the relative performance of organic systems, highlighting areas for increased research and policy support. PMID:28345054

  3. Many shades of gray-The context-dependent performance of organic agriculture.

    PubMed

    Seufert, Verena; Ramankutty, Navin

    2017-03-01

    Organic agriculture is often proposed as a more sustainable alternative to current conventional agriculture. We assess the current understanding of the costs and benefits of organic agriculture across multiple production, environmental, producer, and consumer dimensions. Organic agriculture shows many potential benefits (including higher biodiversity and improved soil and water quality per unit area, enhanced profitability, and higher nutritional value) as well as many potential costs including lower yields and higher consumer prices. However, numerous important dimensions have high uncertainty, particularly the environmental performance when controlling for lower organic yields, but also yield stability, soil erosion, water use, and labor conditions. We identify conditions that influence the relative performance of organic systems, highlighting areas for increased research and policy support.

  4. Economic, Environmental and Moral Acceptance of Renewable Energy: A Case Study-The Agricultural Biogas Plant at Pěčín.

    PubMed

    Vochozka, Marek; Maroušková, Anna; Šuleř, Petr

    2017-03-08

    The production of renewable energy in agricultural biogas plants is being widely criticized because-among other things-most of the feedstock comes from purpose-grown crops like maize. These activities (generously subsidized in the Czech Republic) generate competitive pressure to other crops that are used for feeding or food production, worsening their affordability. Unique pretreatment technology that allows substitution of the purpose-grown crops by farming residues (such as husk or straw) was built 6 years ago on a commercial basis in Pěčín (Czech Republic) under modest funding and without publicity. The design of the concept; financial assessment and moral viewpoint were analyzed based on practical operating data. It showed that the apparatus improves economic, environmental and moral acceptance as well. However, according to the government's view, public funding for this type of processing was shortened, "because waste materials represent a lower cost". The impact of such governance was analyzed as well.

  5. The strategic significance of wastewater sources to pollutant phosphorus levels in English rivers and to environmental management for rural, agricultural and urban catchments.

    PubMed

    Neal, Colin; Jarvie, Helen P; Withers, Paul J A; Whitton, Brian A; Neal, Margaret

    2010-03-01

    The relationship between soluble and particulate phosphorus was examined for 9 major UK rivers including 26 major tributaries and 68 monitoring points, covering wide-ranging rural and agricultural/urban impacted systems with catchment areas varying from 1 to 6000km(2) scales. Phosphorus concentrations in Soluble Reactive (SRP), Total Dissolved (TDP), Total (TP), Dissolved Hydrolysable (DHP) and Particulate (PP) forms correlated with effluent markers (sodium and boron) and SRP was generally dominant signifying the importance of sewage sources. Low flows were particularly enriched in SRP, TDP and TP for average SRP>100microg/l indicating low effluent dilution. At particularly low average concentrations, SRP increased with flow but effluent sources were still implicated as the effluent markers (boron in particular) increased likewise. For rural areas, DHP had proportionately high concentrations and SRP+DHP concentrations could exceed environmental thresholds currently set for SRP. Given DHP has a high bioavailability the environmental implications need further consideration. PP concentrations were generally highest at high flows but PP in the suspended solids was generally at its lowest and in general PP correlated with particulate organic carbon and more so than the suspended sediment in total. Separation of pollutant inputs solely between effluent and diffuse (agriculture) components is misleading, as part of the "diffuse" term comprises effluents flushed from the catchments during high flow. Effluent sources of phosphorus supplied directly or indirectly to the river coupled with within-river interactions between water/sediment/biota largely determine pollutant levels. The study flags the fundamental need of placing direct and indirect effluent sources and contaminated storage with interchange to/from the river at the focus for remediation strategies for UK rivers in relation to eutrophication and the WFD.

  6. A new extraction method to assess the environmental availability of ciprofloxacin in agricultural soils amended with exogenous organic matter.

    PubMed

    Goulas, Anaïs; Haudin, Claire-Sophie; Bergheaud, Valérie; Dumény, Valérie; Ferhi, Sabrina; Nélieu, Sylvie; Bourdat-Deschamps, Marjolaine; Benoit, Pierre

    2016-12-01

    Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin can be found in soils receiving exogenous organic matter (EOM). Their long-term behavior in EOM-amended soils and their level of biodegradability are not well understood partly due to a lack of methods to estimate their environmental availability. We performed different aqueous extractions to quantify the available fraction of (14)C-ciprofloxacin in soils amended with a compost of sewage sludge and green wastes or a farmyard manure contaminated at relevant environmental concentrations. After minimizing (14)C-ciprofloxacin losses by adsorption on laboratory vessel tubes, three out of eleven different aqueous solutions were selected, i.e., Borax, Na2EDTA and 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin. During 28 d of incubation, the non-extractable fractions were very high in all samples, i.e., 57-67% of the initial (14)C-activity, and the availability of the antibiotic was very low, explaining its low biodegradation. A maximum of 6.3% of the initial (14)C-activity was extracted from soil/compost mixtures with the Na2EDTA solution, and 7.2% from soil/manure mixtures with the Borax solution. The available fraction level was stable over the incubation in soil/compost mixtures but slightly varied in soil/manure mixtures following the organic matter decomposition. The choice of different soft extractants highlighted different sorption mechanisms controlling the environmental availability of ciprofloxacin, where the pH and the quality of the applied EOM appeared to be determinant.

  7. Socio-hydrologic modeling to understand and mediate the competition for water between agriculture development and environmental health: Murrumbidgee River Basin, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Emmerik, T. H. M.; Li, Z.; Sivapalan, M.; Pande, S.; Kandasamy, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Chanan, A.; Vigneswaran, S.

    2014-03-01

    Competition for water between humans and ecosystems is set to become a flash point in the coming decades in many parts of the world. An entirely new and comprehensive quantitative framework is needed to establish a holistic understanding of that competition, thereby enabling the development of effective mediation strategies. This paper presents a modeling study centered on the Murrumbidgee River Basin (MRB). The MRB has witnessed a unique system dynamics over the last 100 years as a result of interactions between patterns of water management and climate driven hydrological variability. Data analysis has revealed a pendulum swing between agricultural development and restoration of environmental health and ecosystem services over different stages of basin scale water resource development. A parsimonious, stylized, quasi-distributed coupled socio-hydrologic system model that simulates the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems of the MRB is used to mimic dominant features of the pendulum swing. The model consists of coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations that describe the interaction between five state variables that govern the co-evolution: reservoir storage, irrigated area, human population, ecosystem health, and a measure of environmental awareness. The model simulations track the propagation of the external climatic and socio-economic drivers through this coupled, complex system to the emergence of the pendulum swing. The model results point to a competition between human "productive" and environmental "restorative" forces that underpin the pendulum swing. Both the forces are endogenous, i.e., generated by the system dynamics in response to external drivers and mediated by humans through technology change and environmental awareness, respectively. We propose this as a generalizable modeling framework for coupled human hydrological systems that is potentially transferable to systems in different climatic and socio-economic settings.

  8. Cross-resistance to fluconazole induced by exposure to the agricultural azole tetraconazole: an environmental resistance school?

    PubMed

    Rocha, Marcos Fábio Gadelha; Alencar, L P; Paiva, M A N; Melo, Luciana Magalhães; Bandeira, Silviane Praciano; Ponte, Y B; Sales, Jamille Alencar; Guedes, G M M; Castelo-Branco, D S C M; Bandeira, T J P G; Cordeiro, R A; Pereira-Neto, W A; Brandine, G S; Moreira, José Luciano Bezerra; Sidrim, José Júlio Costa; Brilhante, Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira

    2016-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate the influence of tetraconazole and malathion, both used in agricultural activities, on resistance to fluconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole in Candida parapsilosis ATCC 22019. The susceptibility to tetraconazole, malathion, fluconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole, through broth microdilution. Then, 12 independent replicates, were separated and exposed to four treatment groups, each one containing three replicates: G1: tetraconazole; G2: malathion; G3: fluconazole (positive control); G4: negative control. Replicates from G1, G2 and G3, were exposed to weekly increasing concentrations of tetraconazole, malathion and fluconazole, respectively, ranging from MIC/2 to 32 × MIC, throughout 7 weeks. The exposure to tetraconazole, but not malathion, decreased susceptibility to clinical azoles, especially fluconazole. The tetraconazole-induced fluconazole resistance is partially mediated by the increased activity of ATP-dependent efflux pumps, considering the increase in antifungal susceptibility after the addition of the efflux pump inhibitor, promethazine, and the increase in rhodamine 6G efflux and CDR gene expression in the G1 replicates. Moreover, MDR expression was only detected in G1 and G3 replicates, suggesting that MDR pumps are also involved in tetraconazole-induced fluconazole resistance. It is noteworthy that tetraconazole and fluconazole-treated replicates behaved similarly, therefore, resistance to azoles of clinical use may be a consequence of using azoles in farming activities.

  9. Late Holocene environmental reconstructions and their implications on flood events, typhoon, and agricultural activities in NE Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.-C.; Behling, H.; Lee, T.-Q.; Li, H.-C.; Huh, C.-A.; Shiau, L.-J.; Chang, Y.-P.

    2014-10-01

    We reconstructed paleoenvironmental changes from a sediment archive of a lake in the floodplain of the Ilan Plain of NE Taiwan on multi-decadal resolution for the last ca. 1900 years. On the basis of pollen and diatom records, we evaluated past floods, typhoons, and agricultural activities in this area which are sensitive to the hydrological conditions in the western Pacific. Considering the high sedimentation rates with low microfossil preservations in our sedimentary record, multiple flood events were. identified during the period AD 100-1400. During the Little Ice Age phase 1 (LIA 1 - AD 1400-1620), the abundant occurrences of wetland plant (Cyperaceae) and diatom frustules imply less flood events under stable climate conditions in this period. Between AD 500 and 700 and the Little Ice Age phase 2 (LIA 2 - AD 1630-1850), the frequent typhoons were inferred by coarse sediments and planktonic diatoms, which represented more dynamical climate conditions than in the LIA 1. By comparing our results with the reconstructed changes in tropical hydrological conditions, we suggested that the local hydrology in NE Taiwan is strongly influenced by typhoon-triggered heavy rainfalls, which could be influenced by the variation of global temperature, the expansion of the Pacific warm pool, and the intensification of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events.

  10. Costs and benefits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Two models of cost benefit analysis are illustrated and the application of these models to assessing the economic scope of space applications programs was discussed. Four major areas cited as improvable through space derived information - food supply and distribution, energy sources, mineral reserves, and communication and navigation were - discussed. Specific illustrations are given for agriculture and maritime traffic.

  11. Landfill Gas Energy Benefits Calculator

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This page contains the LFG Energy Benefits Calculator to estimate direct, avoided, and total greenhouse gas reductions, as well as environmental and energy benefits, for a landfill gas energy project.

  12. Impact of FGD gypsum soil amendment applications on soil and environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper will discuss the utilization of FGD gypsum in agriculture for improving soil quality and other environmental benefits. Gypsum (CaSO4 .2H2O) has been used as an agricultural soil amendment for over 250 years. It is a soluble source of calcium and sulfur- for crops and has been shown to i...

  13. EGRINs (Environmental Gene Regulatory Influence Networks) in Rice That Function in the Response to Water Deficit, High Temperature, and Agricultural Environments[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Hafemeister, Christoph; Nicotra, Adrienne B.; Jagadish, S.V. Krishna; Bonneau, Richard; Purugganan, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Environmental gene regulatory influence networks (EGRINs) coordinate the timing and rate of gene expression in response to environmental signals. EGRINs encompass many layers of regulation, which culminate in changes in accumulated transcript levels. Here, we inferred EGRINs for the response of five tropical Asian rice (Oryza sativa) cultivars to high temperatures, water deficit, and agricultural field conditions by systematically integrating time-series transcriptome data, patterns of nucleosome-free chromatin, and the occurrence of known cis-regulatory elements. First, we identified 5447 putative target genes for 445 transcription factors (TFs) by connecting TFs with genes harboring known cis-regulatory motifs in nucleosome-free regions proximal to their transcriptional start sites. We then used network component analysis to estimate the regulatory activity for each TF based on the expression of its putative target genes. Finally, we inferred an EGRIN using the estimated transcription factor activity (TFA) as the regulator. The EGRINs include regulatory interactions between 4052 target genes regulated by 113 TFs. We resolved distinct regulatory roles for members of the heat shock factor family, including a putative regulatory connection between abiotic stress and the circadian clock. TFA estimation using network component analysis is an effective way of incorporating multiple genome-scale measurements into network inference. PMID:27655842

  14. 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…

  15. Skull and limb morphology differentially track population history and environmental factors in the transition to agriculture in Europe.

    PubMed

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Stock, Jay T; Pinhasi, Ron

    2013-09-22

    The Neolithic transition in Europe was a complex mosaic spatio-temporal process, involving both demic diffusion from the Near East and the cultural adoption of farming practices by indigenous hunter-gatherers. Previous analyses of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and Early Neolithic farmers suggest that cranial shape variation preserves the population history signature of the Neolithic transition. However, the extent to which these same demographic processes are discernible in the postcranium is poorly understood. Here, for the first time, crania and postcranial elements from the same 11 prehistoric populations are analysed together in an internally consistent theoretical and methodological framework. Results show that while cranial shape reflects the population history differences between Mesolithic and Neolithic lineages, relative limb dimensions exhibit significant congruence with environmental variables such as latitude and temperature, even after controlling for geography and time. Also, overall limb size is found to be consistently larger in hunter-gatherers than farmers, suggesting a reduction in size related to factors other than thermoregulatory adaptation. Therefore, our results suggest that relative limb dimensions are not tracking the same demographic population history as the cranium, and point to the strong influence of climatic, dietary and behavioural factors in determining limb morphology, irrespective of underlying neutral demographic processes.

  16. Ruminant Grazing of Cover Crops: Effects on Soil Properties and Agricultural Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poffenbarger, Hanna

    2010-01-01

    Integrating livestock into a cropping system by allowing ruminant animals to graze cover crops may yield economic and environmental benefits. The effects of grazing on soil physical properties, soil organic matter, nitrogen cycling and agricultural production are presented in this literature review. The review found that grazing cover crops…

  17. 76 FR 34187 - Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU) Certification Process

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-13

    ..., agricultural, and related environmental and human sciences to benefit people, communities, and the nation. For... science, technology, engineering and mathematics, especially in urban settings. Lehman College of the City... American communities and not on the traditional institutional labels that tend to direct use of...

  18. 7 CFR 274.2 - Providing benefits to participants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 4 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Providing benefits to participants. 274.2 Section 274.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD STAMP AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM ISSUANCE AND USE OF PROGRAM BENEFITS §...

  19. 7 CFR 274.2 - Providing benefits to participants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 4 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Providing benefits to participants. 274.2 Section 274.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD STAMP AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM ISSUANCE AND USE OF PROGRAM BENEFITS §...

  20. 7 CFR 274.2 - Providing benefits to participants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 4 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Providing benefits to participants. 274.2 Section 274.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD STAMP AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM ISSUANCE AND USE OF PROGRAM BENEFITS §...

  1. Mapping intra-field yield variation using high resolution satellite imagery to integrate bioenergy and environmental stewardship in an agricultural watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Hamada, Yuki; Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, Maria Cristina

    2015-07-31

    Biofuels are important alternatives for meeting our future energy needs. Successful bioenergy crop production requires maintaining environmental sustainability and minimum impacts on current net annual food, feed, and fiber production. The objectives of this study were to: (1) determine under-productive areas within an agricultural field in a watershed using a single date; high resolution remote sensing and (2) examine impacts of growing bioenergy crops in the under-productive areas using hydrologic modeling in order to facilitate sustainable landscape design. Normalized difference indices (NDIs) were computed based on the ratio of all possible two-band combinations using the RapidEye and the National Agricultural Imagery Program images collected in summer 2011. A multiple regression analysis was performed using 10 NDIs and five RapidEye spectral bands. The regression analysis suggested that the red and near infrared bands and NDI using red-edge and near infrared that is known as the red-edge normalized difference vegetation index (RENDVI) had the highest correlation (R2 = 0.524) with the reference yield. Although predictive yield map showed striking similarity to the reference yield map, the model had modest correlation; thus, further research is needed to improve predictive capability for absolute yields. Forecasted impact using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool model of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) on under-productive areas based on corn yield thresholds of 3.1, 4.7, and 6.3 Mg·ha-1 showed reduction of tile NO3-N and sediment exports by 15.9%–25.9% and 25%–39%, respectively. Corresponding reductions in water yields ranged from 0.9% to 2.5%. While further research is warranted, the study demonstrated the integration of remote sensing and hydrologic modeling to quantify the multifunctional value of projected future landscape patterns in a context of sustainable bioenergy crop production.

  2. Evaluating Internet for Extension in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gelb, E. M.; Bonati, G.

    1998-01-01

    Participants in an international agriculture extension workshop rated the following as critical subjects to study regarding farmers' use of the Internet: technical problems, user benefits, drawbacks, and accessibility. Ways to improve effective use in agriculture were identified. (SK)

  3. Prioritizing agricultural pesticides used in South Africa based on their environmental mobility and potential human health effects.

    PubMed

    Dabrowski, James Michael; Shadung, Justinus Madimetja; Wepener, Victor

    2014-01-01

    South Africa is the largest user of pesticides in sub-Saharan Africa and many studies have highlighted the occurrence of pesticides in water resources. Poor management of water treatment facilities in combination with a relatively high dependency on untreated water from boreholes and rivers creates the potential for exposure of human communities to pesticides and their associated health effects. Pesticide use, physicochemical and toxicity data was therefore used to prioritize pesticides in terms of their potential risk to human health. After eliminating pesticides used in very low quantities, four indices were used to prioritize active ingredients applied in excess of 1000 kg per annum; the quantity index (QI) which ranked pesticides in terms of the quantity of their use; the toxicity potential index (TP) which ranked pesticides according to scores derived for their potential to cause five health effects (endocrine disruption, carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity and neurotoxicity); hazard potential index (HP) which multiplied the TP by an exposure potential score determined by the GUS index for each pesticide (to provide an indication of environmental hazard); and weighted hazard potential (WHP), which multiplied the HP for a pesticide by the ratio of its use to the total use of all pesticides in the country. The top 25 pesticides occurring in each of these indices were identified as priority pesticides, resulting in a combined total of 69 priority pesticides. A principal component analysis identified the indices that were most important in determining why a specific pesticide was included in the final priority list. As crop specific application pesticide use data was available it was possible to identify crops to which priority pesticides were applied to. Furthermore it was possible to prioritize crops in terms of the specific pesticide applied to the crop (by expressing the WHP as a ratio of the total amount of pesticide applied to the crop to the total

  4. A socio-scientific analysis of the environmental and health benefits as well as potential risks of cassava production and consumption.

    PubMed

    Mombo, S; Dumat, C; Shahid, M; Schreck, E

    2017-02-01

    Due to its high adaptability, cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is one of the world's most cultivated and consumed plants after maize and rice. However, there are relatively few scientific studies on this important crop. The objective of this review was therefore to summarize and discuss the available information on cassava cropping in order to promote sustainable practices in terms of production and consumption. Cassava cultivation has been expanding recently at the global scale and is widely consumed in most regions of South America, Africa, and Asia. However, it is also characterized by the presence in its roots of potentially toxic hydrocyanic acid. Furthermore, cassava can also absorb pollutants as it is currently cultivated near roads or factories and generally without consideration for potential sources of soil, water, or atmospheric pollution. Careful washing, peeling, and adequate preparation before eating are therefore crucial steps for reducing human exposure to both environmental pollutants and natural hydrocyanic acid. At present, there is not enough precise data available on this staple food crop. To improve our knowledge on the nutritive benefits versus health risks associated with cassava consumption, further research is necessary to compare cassava cultivars and precisely study the influence of preparation methods.

  5. Socio-hydrologic modeling to understand and mediate the competition for water between agriculture development and environmental health: Murrumbidgee River basin, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Emmerik, T. H. M.; Li, Z.; Sivapalan, M.; Pande, S.; Kandasamy, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Chanan, A.; Vigneswaran, S.

    2014-10-01

    Competition for water between humans and ecosystems is set to become a flash point in the coming decades in many parts of the world. An entirely new and comprehensive quantitative framework is needed to establish a holistic understanding of that competition, thereby enabling the development of effective mediation strategies. This paper presents a modeling study centered on the Murrumbidgee River basin (MRB). The MRB has witnessed a unique system dynamics over the last 100 years as a result of interactions between patterns of water management and climate driven hydrological variability. Data analysis has revealed a pendulum swing between agricultural development and restoration of environmental health and ecosystem services over different stages of basin-scale water resource development. A parsimonious, stylized, quasi-distributed coupled socio-hydrologic system model that simulates the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems of the MRB is used to mimic and explain dominant features of the pendulum swing. The model consists of coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations that describe the interaction between five state variables that govern the co-evolution: reservoir storage, irrigated area, human population, ecosystem health, and environmental awareness. The model simulations track the propagation of the external climatic and socio-economic drivers through this coupled, complex system to the emergence of the pendulum swing. The model results point to a competition between human "productive" and environmental "restorative" forces that underpin the pendulum swing. Both the forces are endogenous, i.e., generated by the system dynamics in response to external drivers and mediated by humans through technology change and environmental awareness, respectively. Sensitivity analysis carried out with the model further reveals that socio-hydrologic modeling can be used as a tool to explain or gain insight into observed co-evolutionary dynamics of diverse

  6. Environmental Sensitive Areas (ESAs) changes in the Canyoles river watershed in Eastern Spain since the European Common Agriculture Policies (CAP) implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ángel González Peñaloza, Félix; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    The Enviromental Sensitive Areas (ESAs) approach to study the Land Degradation is a methodology developed by professor Costas Kosmas et al., (1999) to map environmental sensitive areas and then the impact of Land Degradation and desertification on Mediterranean Type Ecosystems (Salvati et al., 2013). This methodology has been applied mainly to the Mediterranean Belt (Lavado Contador et al., 2009), but other authors adapted the methodology to other climatic regions (Izzo et al., 2013). The ESAs methodology allows mapping changes in the distribution of the sensitive areas to Desertification as a consequence of biophysical or human chances. In the Mediterranean countries of Europe, especially Spain, suffered a dramatic change due to the application of the European Common Agricultural Policies (CAP) after 1992. The objective of the CAP was to implemented policies to improve the environmental conditions of agricultural land. This target is especially relevant in Mediterranean areas of Spain, mainly the South and the East of the country. An Environmental Sensitive Area (ESAs) model (Kosmas et al., 2009) was implemented using Geographical Information System (GIS) tools, to identify, assess, monitor and map the levels of sensitivity to land degradation in the Canyoles river watershed, which is a representative landscape of the Mediterranean belt in Eastern Spain The results show that it was found that after the implementation of CAP, the most sensitive areas have expanded. This increase in degraded areas is driven by the expansion of commercial and chemically managed crops that increased the soil erosion (Cerdà et al., 2009) and that few soil conservation strategies were applied (Giménez Morera et al., 2010). Another factor that triggered Desertification processes is the increase in the recurrencesof forest fires as a consequence of land abandonment (Cerdà and Lasanta, 2005; Cerdà and Doerr, 2007). This contributed to an increase of scrubland. Our research show an

  7. Perceptions of Iowa Secondary School Principals toward Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalme, Neasa; Dyer, James E.

    2000-01-01

    Iowa secondary principals (n=147) had favorable perceptions of agriculture programs, courses, and teachers. They believed agriculture reinforced other subject learning and thought the programs were important to the community. They felt any student could benefit from agricultural education. (SK)

  8. Would banning atrazine benefit farmers?

    PubMed

    Ackerman, Frank; Whited, Melissa; Knight, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Atrazine, an herbicide used on most of the US corn (maize) crop, is the subject of ongoing controversy, with increasing documentation of its potentially harmful health and environmental impacts. Supporters of atrazine often claim that it is of great value to farmers; most recently, Syngenta, the producer of atrazine, sponsored an "Atrazine Benefits Team" (ABT) of researchers who released a set of five papers in 2011, reporting huge economic benefits from atrazine use in US agriculture. A critical review of the ABT papers shows that they have underestimated the growing problem of atrazine-resistant weeds, offered only a partial review of the effectiveness of alternative herbicides, and ignored the promising option of nonchemical weed management techniques. In addition, the most complete economic analysis in the ABT papers implies that withdrawal of atrazine would lead to a decrease in corn yields of 4.4% and an increase in corn prices of 8.0%. The result would be an increase in corn growers' revenues, equal to US$1.7 billion annually under ABT assumptions. Price impacts on consumers would be minimal: at current levels of ethanol production and use, gasoline prices would rise by no more than US$0.03 per gallon; beef prices would rise by an estimated US$0.01 for a 4-ounce hamburger and US$0.05 for an 8-ounce steak. Thus withdrawal of atrazine would boost farm revenues, while only changing consumer prices by pennies.

  9. Would banning atrazine benefit farmers?

    PubMed Central

    Ackerman, Frank; Whited, Melissa; Knight, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Atrazine, an herbicide used on most of the US corn (maize) crop, is the subject of ongoing controversy, with increasing documentation of its potentially harmful health and environmental impacts. Supporters of atrazine often claim that it is of great value to farmers; most recently, Syngenta, the producer of atrazine, sponsored an “Atrazine Benefits Team” (ABT) of researchers who released a set of five papers in 2011, reporting huge economic benefits from atrazine use in US agriculture. A critical review of the ABT papers shows that they have underestimated the growing problem of atrazine-resistant weeds, offered only a partial review of the effectiveness of alternative herbicides, and ignored the promising option of non-chemical weed management techniques. In addition, the most complete economic analysis in the ABT papers implies that withdrawal of atrazine would lead to a decrease in corn yields of 4.4% and an increase in corn prices of 8.0%. The result would be an increase in corn growers’ revenues, equal to US$1.7 billion annually under ABT assumptions. Price impacts on consumers would be minimal: at current levels of ethanol production and use, gasoline prices would rise by no more than US$0.03 per gallon; beef prices would rise by an estimated US$0.01 for a 4-ounce hamburger and US$0.05 for an 8-ounce steak. Thus withdrawal of atrazine would boost farm revenues, while only changing consumer prices by pennies. PMID:24804340

  10. Theme: Environmental Education Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruening, Thomas H.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Includes "Teaching Agriculture and the Environment" (Bruening); "Zoos Are a Natural Place to Learn" (Wimer); "Responsible Environmental Teaching in a Threatened Community" (Nelson); "Community-Based Curriculum Development" (Rilla, Ponzio); "Agricultural Education and Environmental Education"…

  11. Multilevel analysis of the impact of environmental factors and agricultural practices on the concentration in hay of microorganisms responsible for farmer's lung disease.

    PubMed

    Gbaguidi-Haore, Houssein; Roussel, Sandrine; Reboux, Gabriel; Dalphin, Jean-Charles; Piarroux, Renaud

    2009-01-01

    Farmer's lung disease (FLD) is common in eastern France. It is the main form of occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis, caused by chronic inhalation of microorganisms (antigens) from mouldy hay, straw, or grain. The purpose of this study was to assess, with a panel of data collected between 1997-2003, environmental factors and agricultural practices that independently modify concentrations in hay of microorganisms potentially responsible for FLD. A total of 629 hay samples from 86 farms were included in statistical analyses using linear multilevel regression models allowing to consider the nested structure of the data: individual-level (batch of hay) and group-level (farm). The outcome variable of these models was the concentration in hay (logarithmic value of concentration+1) of microorganisms incriminated in FLD (Absidia corymbifera, Eurotium spp., thermophilic actinomycetes). The simultaneous analysis of batch of hay- and farm-level factors showed that bad climatic conditions of harvest, high-density hay-packing modes, (especially round bales) and altitude (2nd plateau, ]700-900] m) were the main factors associated with high concentrations of these microorganisms in hay. This study allowed clarification of the factors that influence the microbial concentration of hay with etiological agents of FLD.

  12. Organical residue and agriculture like energetic reservoir: Study of economic and environmental effects in electricity production from biomass in Venice county

    SciTech Connect

    Bertoni, G.; Tromboni, S.

    1996-12-31

    The study proposes, through a technical analysis of feasibility, the individulation of a concrete solution that allows an reduction of pollution`s fonts that they burden on the Venice`s basin. This area, for his particular formation and position, contains a strongs intrinsic brittleness that progressively gets worse because of organic nature environmental pollution. This particularly forms of pollution are provoked by the agricultural activity and by other economic activity. This study examine an alternative and integrated system to utilize organic material coming from livestock farming, urban communities and various production activities that gravitates on the Venice`s logoon. This research exploits an innovative context where {open_quotes}waste implementation{close_quotes} by different methodologies is none of the most powerful means to defend the environment and to recuperate their potential energetical resources. In the present study we will try to transform the current concept of {open_quotes}eliminating and destroying{close_quotes} into a more progressive one where organic wastes take the role of raw material to be converted in energy. The loss of a high quantity of the potential energy that they present can be avoided by technologies and know-how, now available, by which we are able to transform such latent energy in alternative forms that can be directly utilized.

  13. Barriers to Uptake of Conservation Agriculture in southern Africa: Multi-level Analyses from Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougill, Andrew; Stringer, Lindsay; Whitfield, Stephen; Wood, Ben; Chinseu, Edna

    2015-04-01

    Conservation agriculture is a key set of actions within the growing body of climate-smart agriculture activities being advocated and rolled out across much of the developing world. Conservation agriculture has purported benefits for environmental quality, food security and the sustained delivery of ecosystem services. In this paper, new multi-level analyses are presented, assessing the current barriers to adoption of conservation agriculture practices in Malawi. Despite significant donor initiatives that have targeted conservation agriculture projects, uptake rates remain low. This paper synthesises studies from across 3 levels in Malawi: i.) national level- drawing on policy analysis, interviews and a multi-stakeholder workshop; ii.) district level - via assessments of development plans and District Office and extension service support, and; iii) local level - through data gained during community / household level studies in Dedza District that have gained significant donor support for conservation agriculture as a component of climate smart agriculture initiatives. The national level multi-stakeholder Conservation Agriculture workshop identified three areas requiring collaborative research and outlined routes for the empowerment of the National Conservation Agriculture Task Force to advance uptake of conservation agriculture and deliver associated benefits in terms of agricultural development, climate adaptation and mitigation. District level analyses highlight that whilst District Development Plans are now checked against climate change adaptation and mitigation criteria, capacity and knowledge limitations exist at the District level, preventing project interventions from being successfully up-scaled. Community level assessments highlight the need for increased community participation at the project-design phase and identify a pressing requirement for conservation agriculture planning processes (in particular those driven by investments in climate

  14. Shifting Patterns of Agricultural Diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although monocultural cropping systems can provide the greatest yield efficiency in the short term, more diverse agricultural landscapes may contribute multiple ecosystem benefits. The USDA's Cropland Data Layer provides a yearly map of the agricultural lands of the continental United States broken ...

  15. A comparison of different regulatory approaches, analysis of the relative benefits of command and control, reflexive law and social licensing in ensuring oil industry compliance with environmentally sustainable practices and obligations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghanaati, Sahar

    This paper explores the relative benefits of command and control, reflexive law and social licensing in ensuring oil industry compliance with environmentally sustainable practices and obligations. Recognizing why oil sands and their development are significant, the background and development are reviewed first, and then the focus is shifted to look at its economics including the benefits, uncertainties and environmental costs of development. This paper examines how lawmakers in Canada have failed to meet their respective obligation. Drawing on environmental provisions, case law and legal scholars’ articles, books and reports, this paper examines the very problematic issue of oil sands regulation. It proposes to provide an in depth analysis of each regulatory forms and their application to the oil sands. It concludes that in order to solve the oil sands regulation challenges, a collaborative stringent enforcement of regulation from both federal and provincial governments, oil industry and public Pressure is required.

  16. 7 CFR 760.1303 - Requesting benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment Program § 760.1303 Requesting benefits. (a) If as a dairy operation or producer, your records are currently...

  17. 7 CFR 760.1303 - Requesting benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment Program § 760.1303 Requesting benefits. (a) If as a dairy operation or producer, your records are currently...

  18. 7 CFR 760.1303 - Requesting benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment Program § 760.1303 Requesting benefits. (a) If as a dairy operation or producer, your records are currently...

  19. 7 CFR 760.1303 - Requesting benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment Program § 760.1303 Requesting benefits. (a) If as a dairy operation or producer, your records are currently...

  20. Water reclamation and intersectoral water transfer between agriculture and cities--a FAO economic wastewater study.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Ingo; Salgot, Miquel; Koo-Oshima, Sasha

    2011-01-01

    Cost-benefit studies on replacing conventional agricultural water resources with reclaimed water in favour of cities are still rare. Some results of a study under auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) are presented. By means of an illustrative example at Lobregat River basin in Spain, it could be proved that reclaimed water reuse and intersectoral water transfer can result in economic and environmental benefits at the watershed level. The agricultural community faces cost savings in water pumping and fertilising, increases in yields and incomes; the municipality benefits from additional water resources released by farmers. Farmers should be encouraged to participate by implementing adequate economic incentives. Charging farmers with the full cost of water reclamation may discourage farmers from joining water exchange projects. Particularly in regions with water scarcity, investments in reclaimed water reuse and water exchange arrangements usually pay back and are profitable in the long term.