Organic Farming Manual

Miracle Farm Blueprint

Miracle Farm Blueprint is a step by step guide for the small-scale farming whose major aim of facilitating individuals in their attempts to have sufficient water supply and pure organic foods. It is a product of Michael, a guy only known by one name. The author teaches the best way of structuring a mini-farm though efficient. The farm will be self-sufficient, something that can help individuals along with their families to manage unforeseen circumstances such as disasters or any kind of emergency. Following this guide will help save thousands of dollars that would otherwise be incurred on groceries. Additionally, it will help you come up with a survival mechanism. The author is of the opinion that the blueprint the program is kind of a miracle and probably the best than any other one in the market. The program is easy and applicable to all individuals. Besides, you will only be required to have simple tools, apart from a reduced total expenditure. Thousands of individuals reap maximum benefits every day. All you need to do is to give it a try and be among them. Read more...

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Allelopathy and Organic Farming

Abstract Allelopathy is a biological process including interactions between two plants through the production of chemical compounds (allelochemicals) that are released by leaching, volatilization, decomposition, or root exudation. Hence, allelopathy together with competition is a promising environment-friendly tool for weed management. However, detailed knowledge of this phenomenon is necessary for its successful application due to still limited available knowledge. Suitable use of allelopathic crops in agriculture could reduce the pesticide application and thereby reduce the environmental and food pollution, decrease costs in agriculture, improve food security in poor regions and soil productivity, and increase biodiversity and sustainability in the agro-ecosystem. Weed management in organic agriculture is one of the most difficult aspects of organic farming and uses especially preventive methods that include ways such as cover crops, mulches, green manure, intercropping in which...

Importance of Indigenous Soil Knowledge in Developing Sustainable Agriculture

Weelia Cylindrica

The farming system is a foundation in agriculture. A sustainable farming system is recognized as a system that maintains the resource base upon which it depends, relies on minimum of synthetic inputs, manages pests and diseases through internal regulating processes, and can recover from the human disturbance caused by agricultural practices, i.e., cultivation and harvest (Edwards et al. 1990 Altieri 1995). Sustainable agriculture is farming systems that are maintaining their productivity and benefit to society indefinitely (Appleby 2005 Lichtfouse et al. 2009). Gleissman (2001) describes that the components of sustainable agriculture begin with two types of existing systems natural ecosystems and traditional farming systems (Table 11.1). Both have a test of time to maintain land productivity and provide a different kind of knowledge. Natural ecosystems offer a reference point for better understanding of the ecological process of sustainability while traditional farming systems provide...

Sustainable Agriculture to Reduce Environmental Impact Soil Organic Matter as a Source and Key Factor of Greenhouse

The main concern of the altered global C cycle is the large imbalance between carbon release to the atmosphere and carbon uptake by other compartments, that leads to a continued increase in atmospheric CO2 to a rate of 4.1 x 109 tons of carbon per year (IPCC 2007a, b). CO2 is considered the main GHG, affecting the phenomenon for more than 50 (IPCC 1996). The terrestrial carbon cycle is supposedly a sink of about 25 of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions (Running 2008). On the other end, over the past few 100 years, the expansion of agricultural land has released substantial carbon to the atmosphere, due to soil carbon depletion by agriculture through removal of photosynthate carbon toward the market system and conventional tillage (CT) practices, which increase SOM mineralization rate (Schlesinger 1984). Thus, it is raising a new concern of industrialized agriculture toward a more environmentally sustainable system. Literature in sustainable agriculture identifies two core aspects (1) the...

Definition and Global Situation of Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture has a long history with guidelines developed in 1924 to formalize an alternative to conventional production systems (Hovi et al. 2003). This was associated with Rudolf Steiner and the development of biodynamic farming and agriculture, which has unique features in addition to those of organic farming in general, and a certification scheme established in 1928. This still operates today and is identified by the Demeter and Biodyn labels on foods (Lampkin 1999). Organic farming can be defined as a method of production, which places the highest emphasis on protecting and enhancing the environment and minimizing pollution (Liebhardt 2003). Organic farming systems focus on soil fertility as the key to successful production and reduction of external inputs by refraining from the use of chemosynthetic fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Instead, natural resources and processes are relied upon to manage soil nutrient status and pests, diseases and weeds and hence to...

Sociology of Sustainable Agriculture

Abstract Sustainability is the core element of government policies, university research projects, and extension organizations worldwide. Yet, the results of several decades of attempt to achieve sustainable agriculture have not been satisfactory. Despite some improvement conventional agriculture is still the dominant paradigm. Pollution of water, soil, and air, degradation of environmental resources, and loss of biodiversity are still the by-product of agricultural systems. In light of these crises, based on review of current literature, it is argued that in promoting sustainable agriculture our perception should shift from a technocratic approach to a social negotiation process that reflects the social circumstances and the power conditions. Agriculture should be regarded as an activity of human therefore, it is social as much as it is agronomic and ecological. Therefore, here we explore the contribution of sociology toward achieving agricultural sustainability. The review reveals...

Attitudes Behaviors and Sustainable Agriculture

Trying to achieve good practice on their farms, balance environmental, physical, and commercial factors in their decisions about their farming system. Clark (1989) suggested that farmers' decisions about whether to take advice about conservation were affected by three distinct dimensions the policy environment facing farmers, the advisory structures in place, and the personality of the farmer. There is consistent evidence in the literature indicating a relationship between farmers' attitudes toward environment and their farming practices (Fairweather and Fig. 2.1 Theoretical framework of factors influencing farmers' sustainable agricultural attitudes and behaviors (From Karami and Mansoorabadi 2008). According to this theoretical framework, farmers' action is guided by two kinds of considerations attitude toward sustainable agriculture and presence of factors that may further or hinder performance of the behavior Attitude toward sustainable agriculture Religious and spiritual values,...

Organic Agriculture and Food Production Ecological Environmental Food Safety and Nutritional Quality Issues

Abstract Conventional agricultural systems should not only produce much greater amounts of food, feed, fibre and energy to meet the global needs, but also challenge problems to improve health and social well-being of man, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, adapt to climate change and extreme weather, reduce environmental degradation and decline in the quality of soil, water, air and land resources throughout the world as well. The present one-dimensional physical and chemical production systems should be replaced by an agricultural paradigm that rely more on biology, ecology and sociology, and meet global food needs based on the soil, water, land and fertility resources without compromising the capacity of future generations in meeting their environmental, food and resource needs. Organic agriculture as an alternative to conventional systems of food production should contain features of agricultural systems that promote the environmentally, socially and economically sound production...

Indigenous Soil Knowledge for Sustainable Agriculture

Abstract Indigenous soil knowledge, a foundation of traditional farming systems, plays an important role in developing agricultural and environmental sustainability, especially in developing countries where most farmers have limited access to soil analysis and extension services. Recently, indigenous soil knowledge has been recognized as a vital source for most scientists to be used to change and improve natural resource management without neglecting the social and cultural values of the local environment. However, the transfer of the knowledge from generation to generation, farmer to farmer, farmers to scientists, and scientists to farmers is critical for a better understanding of soil processes, which is a major part in developing sustainable agriculture. This chapter reviews indigenous soil knowledge and its application and how scientists respond to the value of indigenous soil knowledge and integrating it into agricultural activities. Case studies from various countries in Africa,...

Agricultural Sciences Use of Mathematical Models

The science of agriculture depends on research activities for (i) the acquisition of knowledge (ii) the ordering of knowledge and the development of understanding on that knowledge, and (iii) the application of the knowledge and or understanding to the solution of practical problems (Rimmington and Charles-Edwards 1987). The mathematical models can be used in different ways within each one of these three activities. Basically a simplified description of a system, a mathematical model can help us to better understand the operation of a real system and the interactions of its main components. Thus, they are excellent forecast mechanisms. The important uses of mathematical models in agricultural sciences can be (i) analysis of observed responses in plant growth as a function of certain factors, to increase our understanding of the crop growth and to provide direction in our research (ii) simulation of plant growth by models consisting of many interacting components and levels, as an aid...

Future themes of sustainable agriculture in relation to N2O emissions

In Japan, the focus of sustainable agriculture is on crop production practices, such as low input of chemical fertilizer for carrot to conserve groundwater quality (Kagamihara City Groundwater Study, 1989). Japanese laws on the agroenvironment and sustainability refer to livestock husbandry only in terms of manure application for soil fertility and soil health and livestock excreta management. The primary aim of these regulations is to preserve water quality in the environment and to reduce the direct effects on people (e.g., preventing excreta odors). However, the contribution of agricultural practices to global warming is a

Striving for a Sustainable Agriculture

The discussion above leads to the following considerations (1) today's agriculture has achieved the scientific and technical ability to provide food for a steadily increasing world population, but the price paid to achieve this success, in terms of environmental decay and quality of life, cannot be accepted and there is ample reason to fear an irreversible decay of agro-ecosystems in the future (2) strategies for a sustainable agriculture are urgently needed and an arsenal of sometimes contrasting ways to achieve sustainability is available, but sustainability is an elusive concept widely varying with the various farms and agricultural systems (3) progress towards sustainability can be achieved provided that prejudice-free, flexible system approaches are adopted, apt to the diverse circumstances and objectively supported by appropriate indicators. In the following part a necessarily incomplete review will be exposed of the possible impacts of the principal farming practices that must...

Change in cultural practices or improved farming practices

Ttis coping measure consists of changes in farming practices to increase adaptive capacity through improved soil, crop and environmental quality. It includes adjustments in agricultural inputs such as the use of hybrids, flexible calendar of farming activities such as changes in timing of operations to address changes in temperature moisture conditions, integrating crops with trees in a given production area to halt decline of land productivity and the use of farming systems such as organic and precision farming.

Achieving Sustainable Agriculture Role of Sociology

Sociologists and other social scientists have played a significant role in the emergence, institutionalization, and design of sustainable agriculture. Sociologists and other social scientists have done particularly significant research on the adoption of resource-conserving practices. They have also made major contributions through their research into identifying user needs and implementation strategies relating to sustainable agriculture technology (Buttel 1993). For many scholars, sustainable agriculture lies at the heart of a new social contract between agriculture and society (Gafsi et al. 2006). Despite the diversity in conceptualizing sustainable agriculture, there is a consensus on three basic features of sustainable agriculture (i) maintenance of environmental quality, (ii) stable plant and animal productivity, and (iii) social acceptability. Consistent with this, Yunlong and Smith (1994) have also suggested that agricultural sustainability should be assessed from ecological...

Main Characteristics Of Farming Systems In Drylands

Drylands have particular characteristics that will affect their capacity to sequester carbon. Drylands often experience high temperatures, low and erratic rainfall, minimal cloud cover, and small amounts of plant residues to act as surface cover to minimize radiation impact. As a result, soils in the drylands are, generally, both inherently low in organic matter and nutrients and rapidly lose large proportions of those small quantities as CO2 when exposed by tillage and other conventional practices. Exposed and loosened soils are also highly prone to soil erosion, particularly rainfall patterns that include intense, storm precipitation after long dry periods. The key issue in drylands is therefore to maximize the capture, infiltration, and storage of rainfall water into soils by promoting conditions that accumulate organic matter and increase soil biodiversity. Drylands are particularly prone to soil degradation and desertification, with 70 of the agricultural land degraded. This...

National Agricultural Research System

The National Agricultural Research System of India is one of the largest in the world, with over 30,000 highly qualified scientists. The Central and State Governments provide most of the funds. The private sector in recent years has started to invest in agricultural research, mainly in seed improvement and production. Its share is expected to increase further with the existing and emerging congenial public policies, including appreciation for Intellectual Property Protection. Although the history of agricultural research in India goes back to the early years of the century, much of the present growth of the system has taken place in the past four decades. A significant part of it can be traced to the reorganization of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 1966 when, as the main executive agency, it was given responsibility and considerable autonomy to plan and coordinate research and to be the main funding body. ICAR has been described as the research arm of the Ministry of...

Past Changes In Agricultural Land Use And Production

Data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, 2003) indicate that the agricultural area of Europe (EU-15 member countries) declined by about 14 between 1961 and 2000 (Figure 3.1a). During the same period, population increased by nearly 20 and the economic power expressed in GDP per capita almost tripled (World Bank, 2002). Thus, agricultural production from a decreasing area of agricultural land had to satisfy the growing demand for food that resulted from increasing population and economic wealth. At the beginning of the 1960s productivity of important crops in Europe increased significantly mainly due to advances in agricultural technology, known as the Green Revolution. For instance, yields of cereals in the EU 15 countries increased by about 150 in the last four decades (Figure 3.1b). Rates of yield increase were higher than increases in demand and production exceeded demand in the mid eighties (Figure 3.1c). Further, increases in crop productivity resulted in substantial...

Society Issues Painkiller Solutions Dependence and Sustainable Agriculture

Abstract Here I tackle three major issues, climate change, financial crisis and national security, to disclose the weak points of current remedies and propose sustainable solutions. Global warming and the unexpected 2008 financial crisis will undoubtedly impact all nations. Treating those two critical issues solely by painkiller solutions will fail because only adverse consequences are healed, not their causes. Therefore, all sources of issues must be treated at the same time by enhancing collaboration between politicians and scientists. Furthermore, the adverse consequences of globalisation of markets for energy, food and other goods have been overlooked, thus deeply weakening the security of society structures in the event of major breakdowns. Therefore, dependence among people, organisations and nations must be redesigned and adapted to take into account ecological, social and security impacts. Solving climate, financial and security issues can be done by using tools and principles...

Sustainable Versus Organic Agriculture

Abstract Awareness and concern for problems related to environmental quality are growing at a steady pace climate change, biodiversity, soil fertility decay and above all food quality and pollution are everyday subjects for debates and discussions. The complexity of the problems and the uncertainty about many basic data quite often make discussions inconclusive even indications issued by scientific authorities are sometimes misleading, and the problems are exacerbated by the frequent influence of ideological positions. In an endeavour to contribute to clarify agriculture-related environmental issues, a review is made here of the principles of sustainable agriculture and of the ways to deal with them. The need is emphasized for a system approach which is able to reconcile economic-productive, environmental and social aspects, the three 'pillars' of sustainability, permitting to consider simultaneously the numerous factors concurring to determine the most appropriate production...

Soil Functions and Diversity in Organic and Conventional Farming

Abstract Intensification of modern agriculture is one of the greatest threats worldwide and it has led to growing concern about conserving biodiversity and its role in maintaining functional biosphere. It is now clear that agricultural intensification can have negative local consequences, such as increased erosion, lower soil fertility, and reduced biodiversity negative regional consequences, such as pollution of ground water and eutrophication of rivers and lakes and negative global consequences, including impacts on atmospheric constituents and climate. Concerns about the ability to maintain long-term intensive agriculture are also growing. Organic farming is now seen by many as a potential solution to this continued loss of biodiversity due to recycling of natural resources and no negative impact of synthetics. Though almost all soil processes are regulated by soil microbes, the link between micro-bial diversity and soil function is not well understood. This review article assesses...

Social Impact Assessment and Sustainable Agriculture

In line with the triple bottom-line approach from sustainable development (Vanclay 2004), the social impact assessment is of particular importance in considering the social sustainability of agriculture. There is no doubt that the social impact assessment is as important, in some cases even more important than the assessments of biophysical and economic dimensions of sustainable agriculture (Pisani and Sandham 2006). There have been many agricultural development projects in developing countries focusing on rural area in arid and semiarid lands in the past 3 decades. These have faced numerous social challenges such as a growing sense of rural households' dissatisfaction, negative attitudes, and conflicts with the project and as a result unsustainability (Ahmadvand and Karami 2009). The three main goals of sustainable agriculture are economic efficiency, environmental quality, and social responsibility (Fairweather and Campbell 2003). Certainly, social sustainability is a core dimension...

Indigenous Soil Knowledge and Sustainable Agriculture 1121 What Is Indigenous Soil Knowledge

The World Conservation Union (IUCN 1986) recognizes that indigenous soil knowledge gives benefits to the environmental applications, new biological insights, environmental assessment, commodity development, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, development and planning, and environmental education. It also plays an important role in monitoring ecological changes by providing early warning signs of change. The collection of it will bring wisdom to sustainable development (Handayani et al. 2006 Handayani and Prawito 2008 Williams and Baines 1993).

Gender and Sustainable Agriculture

Women have learned to manage these resources in order to preserve them for future generations (Atmis et al. 2007). Although, the impact of attitude and behavior of rural men on sustainability of agriculture is often acknowledged, the importance of women's attitude in shaping agriculture is ignored (Karami and Mansoorabadi 2008). Because women's different and important contributions to the farm and family are not institutionally recognized and addressed by the sustainable agriculture movement, the movement's goals, vision, and activities are gender-specific, dominated by men's participation and contributions (Meares 1997 Karami and Mansoorabadi 2008). Government and institutional policies often fail to recognize the importance of women's access to natural resources. While research has shown that agricultural productivity increases significantly when female farmers have access to land and Some of the issues that have been addressed by sociologists with regard to women's impact on...

Setting Priorities for Agricultural Research Theory and Experience

The close of the 20th century has brought new and daunting challenges to the agricultural and biological sciences. Confronted with population growth and the continual emergence of new diseases, pests, and environmental problems, researchers face pressure to develop improved technologies at an ever-increasing rate. Agricultural researchers are charged with the responsibility of producing more food and fiber, lowering the costs of production, and protecting the natural environment. They are urged to design plant varieties that benefit the poor and remedy social injustice they are encouraged to create technologies that meet the needs of women and they are asked to target marginal environments in which producers use few inputs. For those who manage research organizations or allocate funding for agricultural research, this portfolio of responsibilities can be overwhelming. An increase in funding levels would always help, but the allocation problems remain. Should resources be spread across...

Effects of Organic Matter Amendments

A long-term experimental platform exists at the TO site in close proximity of the MESCOSAGR experiment, where organic fertilizers are tested. This platform was intended to evaluate management options of livestock farming in terms of crop production, soil quality, and environment impact. Different maize-based cropping systems are fertilized with bovine farmyard manure or slurry, in comparison to urea. It was therein found that tested organic fertilizers made N available to crops to the same extent as urea and were better retained in the soil leading to minor losses (Zavattaro et al. 2011). Grignani et al. (2007) showed a lower N efficiency of farmyard manure than that of slurry when supplied at low rates, probably because the available N in farmyard manure was not sufficient at early growth stages. On the contrary, farmyard manure was utilized as well as slurry or even more efficiently (depending on cropping systems) when applied at high rates. An investigation on chemical and...

Agriculture Economic Policy Change And Food Security

These farmers enter the 21st century at a considerable disadvantage. They tend to have been subject to considerable past state intervention and protectionism. In many countries, smallholders were also unable to benefit directly from the technological advances of the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and since that period have often been ignored in national agricultural research and development programs in favor of more modern farming subsectors. However, to be adaptive a system needs to be flexible, and in order to respond proactively, it also needs to have a certain amount of stability. Instability and volatility tend to inhibit capacities for future planning. Perhaps most important, adaptation depends on having access to resources financial, human, social, physical, natural in order to accommodate changing demands on land's productive capacity. Although many smallholders are capable of finding niches in today's more open markets, they do not have access to investments in...

Sources of Diversity in Genepools

An important feature of genetic diversity within traditional farming systems is that it allows for geneflow between crops and their wild relatives. One way of conceptualizing the geneflow within a crop genepool is as a plant genetic resources (PGR) system with interactions and flows between the three sources of genetic variation. Each of the three sources of diversity, wild relatives, landraces and formal breeding, are characterized by an increasing degree of human control over the process of exchange of genes, and by the reduction of complex environmental factors in the selection process.

Proposed Changes of Gene Flow and Institutional Relationship

Reliance on high yielding varieties of improved crops reduces their options for coping with variable environmental conditions and exploiting niches and micro-environments in their farming systems. New varieties of crops able to meet the challenge of marginal areas must come from the use of the genetic resources conserved from these areas. We need to conserve not only the genes themselves but also the farming systems and agroecosystems that produce and maintain genetic diversity. This requires strong positive feedback in the germplasm improvement and conservation system directed to traditional farming systems which use and maintain landraces. Those inputs need to be in a form that farmers can use as part of their own system with its particular practices of selection, breeding and management of crops. In this way they can continue to use and develop genetic diversity in crops as an integral part of their own social and economic development.14

Optimization offarm technologies and crop resources

Crop and whole farm system modeling can help farmers significantly in decisionmaking for crop management options and related farm technologies, provided it is used properly and infrastructural support of the standard in developed countries is available. An example is presented by Keating et al., (2003) applying the APSIM model for farming system simulation in Australia. Examples have also been presented for tropical regions such as Asia, where related user-friendly software has been developed (Aggarwal et al. 2006a,b). Crop response to environmental conditions is a complex problem. Beside the seasonal weather, crop characteristics and management, crop yield is influenced by soil and terrain properties, fertilization (especially nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), pests and diseases pressure as well as soil cultivation. All these factors can alter with time and changing production systems and interact with farm technologies. For example, in the emerging farming systems with lower than...

Understanding Traditional Knowledge and Management Systems

The traditional farming systems which sustain the conservation of this genetic raw material are the result of generations of experience with landraces and their native ecosystems. The cultures of which these systems are part are as important to conserve as the genetic resources themselves. Formal institutions dealing with agricultural research and plant breeding must ensure that the agrobiodiversity of the traditional farming system remains within the cultural context in which it developed and which continues to sustain it. Agrobiodiversity developed in tandem with man, the farmer, and must be regarded as a whole with all its elements environmental, genetic and cultural.

Biotech Based Germplasm Development

Biotechnology is making vast progress in many areas, and perhaps genetic engineering is the most obvious area of advance and in which the largest investment has been made by both the public and private sectors. Biotechnology-based germplasm improvement is producing genetic materials which are different from those of traditional breeding methods in terms of genetic nature and deployment strategy. Agricultural research will now need to also look in greater depth into the following areas. New crop cultivars have already been produced using genetic engineering, and large areas of genetically modified plants are now being grown in many countries. Agricultural research in the future will address concerns that these techniques and resultant products may have a negative impact on biodiversity (e.g., gene flow to related wild or weedy species) and on the amount and nature of diversity in crops under production.

Results Of The Global Bioenergy Potential Assessment

A large number of variables for which scenarios and ranges are given are included in calculations of the technical potential. Consequently, a large number of outcomes are possible. For the global assessment of bioenergy, the results are presented for four scenarios that vary with respect to the management level and the animal production system. These four scenarios are selected because in all four the global consumption of food in 2050 can be met without increasing the area of agricultural land and in order to keep the amount of results manageable and to limit the scenarios to plausible cases. E.g. the combination of a high level of technology for the production of food crops and a low level of technology used in the animal production system (low feed conversion efficiencies) is considered illogical. The production systems are shown in Table 9.4. The regions with the highest bioenergy production potentials are in the developing regions of sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean & Latin...

Future Considerations

The USDA UVMRP is constantly reviewing its research goals and evaluating the needs expressed by the stakeholders in USDA research. Although fiscal years 2007, 2008 and 2009 saw budget reductions, the activities at UVMRP are ongoing in a manner as to consistently respond to the needs of the agricultural research community in the best possible manner.

Information demands of different income levels in poor areas of China

For technological and market information in agriculture, farmers and extension services are the basic receivers or target groups. Two bodies of the Ministry of Agriculture of China, the Department of Market Information and the Center for Agricultural and Rural Research, launched a sample survey by using their established long-term rural observation stations (Ministry of Agriculture of China 2000). tte survey focused on the current situation of farmers' markets and the technological information they receive and use. It involved 31 provinces (including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, the four cities under the direct jurisdiction of the central governance) and autonomous regions, tte results from this survey showed that farmers are mostly concerned with two kinds of information, i.e. (i) information on practical technology with low investment and instant profits and (ii) information on market demands for agricultural products. In 2001, the Institute for Technological...

Dealing with Potential Flooding

In general, the UK Environment Agency defines four major focal points in adapting the country to climate change (Environment Agency, 2007a). The first point is to increase the investments in flood defences. Secondly, a more strategic approach to manage the coastline is required. Organisations that are involved along the coast need to work together to take sensible, long-term decisions about the way the coasts are used. The protection of the coast from future flooding and the risk of storm surge, as well as realignment, and possibly relocating people and homes or abandoning agricultural land needs to be reconsidered. The third objective is to use water more efficiently, because due to climate change it is expected that the amount of available water will decrease. Finally, conservations and habitats need to be protected. Existing nature conservations are to be made resilient to climate change and the movement of species needs to be encouraged by managing habitats at a landscape scale.

Life Cycle Assessment Methods4

LCA of corn-based ethanol and other liquid fuels derived from plant materials (e.g., Davis et al., 2009 Kim et al., 2009 Robertson et al., 2008 Tilman et al., 2009) illustrate both the value of the method and some of the complexities in applying it. Because corn ethanol is produced from sugars created by photosynthesis, which removes CO2 from ambient air, it might be assumed that substituting corn ethanol for gasoline produced from petroleum would substantially reduce net GHG emissions. However, LCA shows that these emissions reductions are much smaller (and in some cases may even result in higher GHG emissions) when the emissions associated with growing the corn, processing it into ethanol, and transporting it are accounted for. A substantial shift to corn-based ethanol (or other biofuels) could also lead to significant land use changes and changes in food prices. LCA also points out the importance of farming practices in shaping agricultural GHG emissions and to the potential for...

Sources of further information and advice

Group of Professor Ruihong Zhang, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, California. Advice on the recovery of valuable products from food processing wastes can be obtained from the research group of Drs Tara H. McHugh and Zhongli Pan, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Western Regional Research Center (WRRC), Albany, California).

Figure 53 Fertilization and observed and simulated N2O emission rates from fertilized and unfertilized maize cropping

We present here the N cycle in both livestock and crop production systems, because their interrelations are crucial for N input and N2O emissions from agricultural land. Livestock production takes place in two production systems (1) pastoral systems and (2) mixed and landless systems (Ser and Steinfeld, 1996 Bouwman et al, 2005). Mixed systems comprise both crop and livestock production, linked by animal feed and fodder, manure, etc. Landless ruminant production systems are included in mixed and landless systems, because they have the same interrelationships between crop and livestock production. Extensive grazing by ruminants is dominant in the vast areas of grassland in pastoral systems, where crop production is only a minor activity. Pork, poultry and eggs are only produced in mixed and landless systems. However, ruminant meat and milk can be produced in pastoral as well as in mixed and landless systems.

Valuing NTFPs in Rural Development

Quantifying in economic terms the value of NTFPs and the income they can provide rural families is an important step forward for understanding the prevalent role of forest resources in rural subsistence. If NTFPs were appropriately valued, this could provide a powerful argument to governments and the private sector to alter or reverse wrong spatial planning decisions in forest landscapes of outstanding biodiversity. When planning the conversion of forests into agricultural land for subsistence reasons, it is necessary to estimate the real eco

In Situ Conservation

The project uses the complementary strengths of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), with experience in genetic resources activities, especially in ex situ conservation, the Ministry of Forestry (MOF), which has experience in land management, and the Ministry of Environment (MOE), which has a strategic outlook on resource management. MARA and MOF are the implementing ministries of the In situ Conservation Project. The lead institute of MARA, the Aegean Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) coordinates activities for in situ conservation projects and collaborates with other related research institutes. The pilot areas have been selected, and designated as The Kaz Dag Area of the northwestern Aegean Region Ceylanpinar in southeastern Turkey the mountains of southern Anatolia on the southern part of the Anatolian diagonal.

Agricultural intensification

These later stages of agricultural development are therefore made possible by linkage with markets, and have often been accompanied by substantial subsidy from other sectors of the national or regional economy. This tends to obfuscate the second claim of modern agriculture, that it is economically more profitable than natural resource-based systems. Compound Farms Traditional farming systems in the humid tropics often comprise a mixture of land-use systems under the control of the same household. The subsystems may range from home gardens through rotational fallow fields to fully sedentary and relatively specialised fields (see below). Such compound farms have been described for West Africa (Okigbo and Greenland 1976) as well as Asia (Ramakrishnan 1992). These systems possess both spatial complexity and high total biodiversity. Specialised cash-crop systems A common outcome of intensification is the increase in the proportion of specialised fields, some of them devoted to high value...

Contributions of Fixed N by Legumes

The ability of legumes to progressively improve the N status of soils has been utilized for thousands of years in crop rotations and traditional farming systems. The 163 million ha of legume crops grown each year, legume components of the 200 million ha under temporary pastures or forage crops, the 10-12 million ha of perennial legume cover-crops in rubber and oil-palm plantations, and the legume trees and shrubs in agroforestry systems all contribute fixed N to agriculture. Collectively experimental and on-farm data both suggest potential inputs of several hundreds of kg of fixed N ha per year (Table 1), often with maximum rates of N2 fixation of 3-4 kg shoot N ha per day (Unkovich, Pate 2000). The amounts of N2 fixed with most legumes are regulated by environmental or management constraints to plant growth associated with soil nutrients, water supply, diseases and pests. Legumes commonly fix around 20-25 kg of shoot N for every tonne of shoot dry matter accumulated across a range of...

The Role of Fuelwood in Forest Loss and Degradation in Developing Countries

Forests in many developing countries are under heavy pressure to provide subsistence goods. The product that has received most attention is fuelwood, as it is often the major source of energy for cooking and heating. However, in many situations, particularly in parts of South Asia, forest products also provide the mineral nutrients that are essential for the maintenance of farming systems. In some cases the harvest of fodder (both grass and tree leaf material) can greatly exceed the biomass harvest of fuel-wood. A common estimate of the average fuel-wood requirement per family is about 200 kg per person per year, while the average off-take of fodder can be about 5000 kg per family per year.284 Unrestricted biomass harvest has been blamed for much of the deforestation and forest degradation that has occurred in developing countries during recent decades. Whilst the role of fuelwood collection has sometimes been exaggerated, it has certainly contributed to forest degradation in some...

Sustainable Production

Many of the means to increased productivity and profitability are now perceived by society as carrying too high a cost in social disruption, human inequity, and environmental degradation. The problem in trying to address this is how to define and quantify sustainability. Izac and Swift (1994) developed an operational framework to assess sustainability based on the premise that a cropping system is sustainable if it has an acceptable level of production of harvestable yield which shows a non-declining trend from cropping cycle to cropping cycle over the long term. Their framework is based on the assessment of key ecological and economic parameters at the field, farming system, and village catchment scales and the concept that a sustainable system never reaches threshold levels of irreversibility and that it achieves a sufficient level of economic efficiency and social welfare. One of the

Program Activities and Specific Outcomes

Conservation of the Mexican potato germ-plasm by the national potato program. Module 3 deals with support of basic research on the etiology of P. infestans, with special emphasis on the A2 mating type as well as studies on genetic structure of populations, epidemiology and biological control of P. infestans. Module 4 distributes new potato cultivars with durable resistance and studies their impact on sustainable agriculture via small subsistence farming. And, Module 5 focuses on establishment of standardized international field trials to facilitate evaluation and accelerate worldwide introduction of new potato cultivars with durable resistance.

Changes During Conversion

Few studies were reported with regards to conversion from conventional to organic farming (Werner 1997 Tu et al. 2006 Melero et al. 2007 Gopinath et al. 2008). Yield reduction in organic farming due to nutrient limitation and pest incidence in the early stages of transition from conventional to organic systems is a major concern for organic farmers, and is thus a barrier to implementing the practice of organic farming. Therefore, study related to transition strategies is important for facilitating the implementation of organic practices. Microbial biomass and respiration rate were more sensitive to changes in soil management practices than total C and N. In the first 2 years, the organic management was most effective in enhancing soil microbial biomass C and N among the transition strategies, but was accompanied with high yield losses. By the third year, soil microbial biomass C and N in the reduced-input transition strategies were statistically significantly greater than those in the...

Overview on Agriculture and Climate Interaction

How much its five main GHG sources contribute to the total of modern agriculture emissions through CH4 and N2O in the global mean as well as in a highly developed agriculture (in the case of the USA) is given in table 11.1 in relative numbers. For the USA the percentage is based on a national total of about 540 Mio t CO2-eq. in 2005 (EPA, 2007b).

Agricultural production

Further internationalization of the agricultural sector is expected in the nearby future. The application of new technologies (information and communications technologies in particular) will affect the logistical and distribution-related aspects of the agricultural sector. The Netherlands is expected to further develop itself into a logistical centre for international trade in agrofood products. An increase of production is expected in particular in greenhouse horticulture (especially ornamental plant cultivation) and open air vegetable cultivation. The current milk quota may stabilise dairy farming. The increase of organic farming has been promoted to a large extent by market developments, as well as by government-funded transition payments. The recent food scares (such as animal diseases) are an influential factor, potentially resulting in a reduction in meat consumption. Transport of agricultural products currently has a share of 40 of all domestic road transport, and a similar...

The layout of green space

Developments like emancipation, individualization, multicultural society and the ageing of the population bring about changes in spatial use and the different interests involved in the layout of green space. The area covered by forest and natural environments in the Netherlands is once again on the increase, while agricultural land use is under pressure due to the demand for land for other purposes. The land based character of dairy farming is coming under pressure as a result of demands made on behalf of the abovementioned other land-use purposes. The establishment of agro-production in industrial zones is being considered as a possibility in order to be able to reduce the amount of space taken up by agriculture. This could also limit transport flows. Water management may take up more and more space during the coming years, potentially resulting in a considerable area of land being used for water storage, coupled with extensive operational management. The aim of this is to combine...

Conclusions implications for sustainable development

The fraction of total plant growth or the net primary production appropriated by humans (HANPP) is a measure widely used to assess the 'human domination of Earth's ecosystems' (Haberl et al., 2002). Currently, HANPP in western Europe (WE) amounts to 2.86 tonnes carbon capita yr, which is 72.2 of its terrestrial net primary production. This exceeds, by far, the global average of 20 (Imhoff et al., 2004). The 'ecological footprint' (EF) is an estimate of the territory required to provide resources consumed by a given population (Wackernagel et al., 2002). In 2001, the EF of central and eastern Europe (CEE) was 3.8 ha capita, and of WE 5.1 ha capita (WWF, 2004). These values also far exceed the global average of 2.2 ha capita (WWF, 2004). WE is one of the largest 'importers' of land, an expression of the net trade balance for agricultural products (van Vuuren and Bouwman, 2005). Globally, by 2050 the total EF is very likely to increase by between 70 (B2 scenario) and 300 (A1B scenario),...

Effects on food supply

During the past 10 000 years - which have been relatively stable in climatic terms - farming methods have evolved and improved, enabling more food to be produced. Local climatic limitations on crop growth have been overcome through irrigation, fertilization, mechanization and the breeding of varieties adapted to local conditions. During the past five decades, the food requirements of a rapidly expanding population, combined with a worldwide shortage of new tracts of arable land, have led to an unprecedented reliance on yield improvement.

Using Traditional Methods And Indigenous Technologies For Coping With Climate Variability

In agrometeorology and management of meteorology related natural resources, many traditional methods and indigenous technologies are still in use or being revived for managing low external inputs sustainable agriculture (LEISA) under conditions of climate variability. This paper starts with the introduction of an end-to-end climate information build up and transfer system in agrometeorology, in which the use of such methods and technologies must be seen to operate. It then reviews the options that LEISA farmers have in risk management of agrometeorological and agro-climatological calamities. This is based on the role that the pertinent meteorological climatological parameters and phenomena play as limiting factors in agricultural production and the expectations on their variability. Subsequently, local case studies are given as examples of preparedness strategies to cope with i). variable water moisture flows, including mechanical impacts of rain and or hail, ii). variable...

Archaeal and bacterial strains

12337, Bacillus licheniformis IAM 13417, Citrobacter freundii IAM 12471, and Clostridium butyricum IAM 19240. M. arboriphilicus SA and M. mazei strain TMA were isolated from paddy soil in Kumamoto, Japan by Asakawa et al 9,10 . Cells of M. wolfei DSM 2970, M. thermoformicicum FORI, and M. thermoacetophila DSM 4774 were supplied by Drs. Y. Kamagata and K. Nakamura, National Institute of Bioscience and Human-Technology, Tsukuba, Japan, M. smithii DSM 861 and M. arboriphilicus DSM 1125 from Dr. G. Endo, Tohoku Gakuin University, Tagajyoshi, Miyagi, Japan, and M. arboriphilicus SA and M. mazei TMA from Dr. S. Asakawa, Kyushu National Agricultural Experiment Station, Nishigoshi, Kumamoto, Japan.

Additional Considerations for Improving Leisa Farming

Are bound to be more successful for services to decision making in the prevailing farming systems (Marsh, 2001). An analysis of soil and water conservation projects in Africa concluded that indigenous techniques should be a starting point to obtain success (Reij, 1993). More recent experience confirms this (Stigter and Ng'ang'a, 2001). Examples from Sri Lanka illustrate the role women's indigenous knowledge can play in conserving sustainability aspects (Ulluwishewa, 1994). Science can play an appreciable role in increasing understanding and choosing between options for agrometeorological services (Figure 1, also e.g. MacLeod, 1997 Gadgil et al., 2000), but differences in concepts and interests between farmers and scientists should be explicitly recognized (e.g. Cartier van Dissel and de Graaff, 1998). Finally, it should be observed that experiments with traditional aspects of sustainable agriculture as exemplified in this paper provide important information, evidence and morale...

Potato Processing Wastes as Soil Conditioner

Potato processing solid wastes are often applied to agricultural land as a disposal medium. Research supports this method 68 . Solid potato processing wastes containing nitrogen are obtained by filtering or centrifuging the settled solids from the primary clarifiers. Wastes are applied to land and used for crops, which utilize the applied nitrogen. The soil does not accumulate the nitrogen or other organic waste and becomes increasingly fertile with continued wastewater application. Additionally, potato processing wastewater was found to be effective in promoting corn growth as effectively as commercial ammonium nitrate fertilizers, when applied at optimum nitrogen levels 69 . Applying wastewater and solid wastes from potato processing provides an effective method of applying reusable nutrients that would be otherwise wasted, and thus reduces pollution levels in municipal waterways.

Natural Systems Agriculture

INTRODUCTION ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH MODERN AGRICULTURE One Kansas Farmer Feeds 101 People and You, proclaims a billboard alongside Interstate 135, near Salina, KS. Modern agriculture has been overwhelmingly successful in terms of output per farmer, acre, or hour worked. Agricultural productivity has steadily increased as a result of technological advances in machinery, fertilizer, and pesticides coupled with the intensive use of plant genetic diversity to improve yield through plant breeding. For example, yields of corn and sorghum increased severalfold in the U.S. between the 1930s and the 1980s (Jordan et al., 1986). With the publication of Silent Spring 35 years ago (Carson, 1962), the public began to become aware of unforeseen environmental consequences of modern agriculture and to question or not whether increasing agricultural production alone was a worthy goal. Three of the most obvious environmental consequences of high-production agriculture are fossil fuel...

The Effects of Global Warming and Climate Change

There are some beneficial effects of global warming such as the extension toward the poles of the area of agricultural land in Canada and Northern Europe, and possibly New Zealand. Most of the effects however range from inconvenience to disaster. They include extreme weather conditions, melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers, and disruption or extinction of flora and fauna.

Acquisition of a Comprehensive Data Set 511 Experimental Site

An experimental study has been conducted in agricultural fields at the National Agricultural Research Center (Tsukuba, Japan 36 010N, 140 070E, 25 m above sea level) from 1995 to 2002. Two flat and uniform 4-ha fields were used, which were surrounded by the similar type of cropped fields under different management conditions. The soil was a humic volcanic ash soil Andisol, which belongs to the Hydric Hapludands and is the major cultivated soil for upland crops in Japan. The field capacity and wilting point for the top 20-cm layer were estimated to be 0.44 m3 m 3 (-6kPa) and 0.275 m3m 3 ( 1.5 MPa), respectively. The mean carbon and nitrogen contents of the top-soil (0-5 cm) were estimated to be 3.7 and 0.31 , respectively. Each field has been used with the cropping pattern (soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.)-rapeseed (Brassica napus L.)-forage corn (Zea mays L.)-wheat (Triticum spp.)) for every 2 year. We mainly used the data set from 1996 to 1998 for this particular analysis. The annual...

Impact Of Climate Change

Nebraska's substantial agricultural resources are sensitive to changes in climate. Increased heat could push temperatures above the tolerance level for crops like corn, causing a decline in yields. Strained water systems could pose a significant problem for state agriculture. Most run

Short Introduction to Agroforestry

Which woody species to promote in restoration efforts is also important from a biodiversity standpoint. There may be natural forest species that provide sustenance for key threatened fauna in the landscape. Ideally, it would be preferable to encourage species that fill this niche while at the same time providing goods and services that are valuable for the local farming systems. Efforts to master propagation of these natural forest species so that they can be planted in densely populated landscapes may be a key ingredient to successful restoration. This is the first step in the domestication process whereby valuable, local native species are planted and incorporated into the farming system.

New Mexico climate center

ESTABLISHED DuRING THE 1980s, the New Mexico Climate Center is located on the campus of New Mexico State University and is in charge of collecting and disseminating data on the state's weather. The center is the home of the state climatologist, Ted Sammis. It collects its data through electronic data-logger machines, both from its own network of 27 weather stations at its Agricultural Science centers and from station networks from other agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resource and Conservation Service, and NOAA. In total, the New Mexico Climate Center collects daily climate data from 138 automated climate stations around the state, including irrigation districts and NAPI (Navajo Agricultural Products Industry). These stations monitor air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature and moisture, precipitation, solar radiation, and wind speed and direction. These data are then disseminated for the benefit of policymakers, administrators and the public....

Case Study 4 Argentina

Adopting zero tillage will halt the decline in soil carbon. However, to induce CS, organic inputs are needed (green and farmyard manures), and can be used to replace the inorganic fertilizer applications. The two cases studied in Argentina showed that carbon stocks were reduced considerably after cultivation. At all locations, sharp falls in carbon stocks occurred of about 15 metric tons ha-1. The adoption of no-tillage practices has halted this decline and even led to a small increase in carbon levels on the order of 0.02 metric tons ha-1 year-1. Rotations with significant periods for return to grasslands (4 years in 11) resulted in further carbon increases. The highest rates of CS occurred when zero tillage includes cultivation with green manures and addition of farmyard manures.

Policy instruments for mitigation

Among the 70 of the poor living in rural areas, environmental services) and for climate change adaptation (improving agro-ecosystem resilience). Tubiello et al. (2009) highlight that significantly larger financial flows than are possible under the current carbon market could be created by adding a range of land-based activities within post-2012 climate mitigation and adaptation mechanisms. They point specifically to reduced deforestation and degradation, agricultural land restoration and soil carbon sequestration, agro-forestry, and many land-conservation practices.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the consumer side

The production side data were obtained from environmental statistics. Estimation of emissions related to consumption requires quite different methodologies. Life cycle analysis (LCA) methodologies (Rebitzer et al., 2004) are the most suitable tools. Initially LCA was developed to assess the environmental impacts of industrial processes recently the method is also applied to agriculture (Audsley et al., 1997). It determines the environmental impacts of a product from cradle to grave, accounting for all the processes involved in manufacturing, transport and consumption of the product, this includes the extraction of the raw materials to possible waste treatments. Conducting an LCA involves a lot of information and a lot of work. To give an example to calculate the environmental impacts associated with consumption of a litre of milk it is necessary to determine all the impacts required to get a litre of milk on the table of the consumer. This includes consideration of the impacts of...

Integrating mitigation and adaptation

Oleson and Porter (2009) summarise the effects of a range of mitigation measures on six main factors relevant to adaptation in agriculture (with a particular focus on arable systems), as part of the PICCMAT1 project. Some of these are shown in Table 6.1, which is not exhaustive but shows instead some examples of where mitigation measures can have positive (or negative) implications on the adaptive capacity of a system. Mitigation measures generally aim to reduce nutrient losses in the system. This is mainly achieved through increasing the nutrient and water retention in the systems and preventing soil degradation, which also helps to make the system more resilient to droughts and flooding. Similarly, adaptation actions can affect mitigation efforts, particularly those that reduce soil erosion, leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus those that conserve soil moisture those that increase the diversity of crop rotations those that modify the microclimate to reduce temperature extremes and...

Cultural And Historical Perspectives Of The Present Agrolandscape

Various ideologies resulting from this second nature, especially how nature should be managed or controlled, have contributed to the present fragmented landscape. The evolutionary significance of the mature (model) system, including how natural selection has resulted in the evolution of efficient mechanisms for insect pest control, nutrient recycling, and mutualistic behavior, is often poorly understood. A hallmark of these mature and sustainable ecological systems is also maximum biological diversity (Moffat, 1996 Tilman et al., 1996 Tilman, 1997). Environmental literacy must increase if societies are to develop sustainable agriculture and sustainable agrolandscapes (Barrett, 1992 Orr, 1992). For example, natural processes and concepts such as pulsing, carrying capacity, natural pest control, nutrient cycling, positive and negative feedback (cybernetics), and net primary productivity must be understood by ecologically literate societies in order to provide a quality environment for...

Reforestation in an Extensively Cleared Landscape

Large areas of Vietnam have been deforested. Extensive reforestation using mostly exotic species of genera such as Eucalyptus and Acacia has been carried out in recent years. Land is now being allocated to farmers and many are interested in reforestation. Very few of these farmers are interested in restoration because they cannot afford to be. This is despite Vietnam being a biodiversity-rich country. What is more likely to occur is that the landscape will evolve as a mosaic of agricultural land and small plantations. Many of these plantations will be composed of native species and some will contain simple mixtures of two or three species. The identity of these will vary from site to site. This means site diversity will remain modest, although landscape diversity will be enhanced. Opportunities for more species-rich plantations and more complex

Options to reduce CH4 emissions

Another reduction route involves feed composition. More digestible feed and addition of extra fats to the feed are potential options to reduce the CH4 emissions due to enteric fermentation (Veen, 2001). However, for a proper functioning digestive system about 20 of the feed should consist of roughage (Veen, 2001, CVB, 2003). In the intensive dairy farming systems in the Netherlands, the percentage of roughage is very near to this percentage, so that not much room for improvement can be found here. The addition of extra fats to the feed also shows some complications. Since the BSE-crisis, animal fats are no longer allowed in feed and the addition of vegetable fats to the feed has been found to have negative effects on milk quality (protein and fat concentrations). This implies that not De Boer (2003) did a comparative analysis of the environmental impacts associated with conventional versus organic milk production systems. She showed that the impacts on acidification and eutrophication...

Sustainable Agro Urban Development

The present challenge for agrolandscape management is to minimize the infringement of urbanization on agricultural land, to restore biological diversity (genetic niche, species, and landscape) at greater temporal and spatial scales, to establish linkages (ecological and economic) between urban and rural (heterotrophic and autotrophic) patch elements, and to achieve sustainable productivity (P R 1) at agro-urban (regional) scales. Goals for achieving sustainable agrolandscape management should focus on (1) achieving stability regarding P R ratios among het-erotrophic and autotrophic systems at these scales (2) creating both natural corridor and human transport linkages between rural and urban systems (3) protecting the integrity of ecosystem watershed processes, such as nutrient recycling and primary productivity and (4) establishing management policies for optimal land use within transition suburban areas that ecologically and economically form an interface between urban and...

Better Market Information for Farmers

Isolated traditional farming communities develop agricultural and silvicultural systems appropriate for their particular circumstances. But the arrival of roads and a cash economy usually means a major change is needed in the way they manage their crops and land. In many cases they become beholden to middlemen or timber buyers so that farming activities are carried out to suit these players rather than the farming community itself. As the areas of natural forests decline, better information is needed on the real value of certain tree crops and, potentially, the emerging market for ecological services.

Penn state university

The concept of the Penn State Institutes of the Environment arose from intense interactions between Penn State's administration and faculty and remains a novel partnership between the two. It is organized under the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and is designed to position the environmental faculty to compete vigorously in this new interdisciplinary environmental science and engineering prototype. It facilitates environmental research, teaching, and outreach across eight colleges, including the University Park colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, Health and Human Development, and the Liberal Arts, plus the Hershey College of Medicine and Harrisburg Capital College. The PSIEE promotes Penn State's interdisciplinary environmental enterprise through a wide variety of activities.

Conservation Agriculture

Techniques used to apply the principles of CA will be very different in different situations, and will vary with biophysical and system management conditions and farmer circumstances. Therefore, there are various forms of CA. Specific and compatible management components (pest and weed control tactics, nutrient management strategies, rotation crops, appropriately scaled implements, etc.) will need to be identified through adaptive research with active farmer involvement. Applying CA essentially means altering literally generations of traditional farming practices and implement use. As such, the movement towards CA-based technologies normally comprises a sequence of step-wise changes in cropping system management to improve productivity and sustainability.

Summary and concluding remarks

In summarizing all these findings, we can say that any particular type of land-use or management change does not always lead to the same result in terms of N2O emissions and that the result may change with the time horizon. Also, it strongly depends on the specific soil conditions, in particular on the balance between factors limiting and factors promoting N2O emission, and how this balance is shifted by the land-use or management change. Motivations for changing land use or farming practices are diverse, involving decisions by settlers, farmers, regulators, institutions and others, often with contrasting interests. As a consequence, arguments are plentiful. One of them should be about the effect on parameters affecting N2O emissions, especially where land-use or management change is promoted as a way of mitigating climate change by increasing CO2 sequestration.

SK Datta Introduction

Rice is one of the most important food crops of the world, feeding nearly 2.5 billion people. By the year 2020, the number of rice consumers will be almost double. It is estimated that 60 more rice needs to be produced with less land, less water, and less labor. Attacks by insect pests, sheath blight and bacterial blight, and abiotic stresses can cause yield losses in rice equivalent to 200 million tons (Table 22.1).1,2 Crop protection plays a vital and integral role in sustainable rice production. Pesticide applications worldwide are now estimated to cost approximately US 8.1 billion per annum and Japan tops the list of pesticide users (Tables 22.2 and 22.3).3 This tremendous use of pesticides has reduced the effective life span of some compounds. It has also led to serious environmental consequences and concerns for human health.4 In addition to integrated pest management (IPM), crop rotation and resistant crops through genetically engineered rice varieties would appear to be the...

Building Rural Livelihoods That Are More Resilient

As climate change has an impact on ecosystems, the livelihoods and well-being of those reliant on the functioning of those systems is clearly threatened. This vulnerability is particularly worrying because 75 percent of the 1.2 billion people who survive on less than 1 per day live and work in rural areas of developing countries. They lack the institutional and financial capacity to cope with the impacts of climate change, and they already suffer problems associated with subsistence production, such as isolated location, small farm size, informal land tenure, low levels of technology, and narrow employment options, in addition to unpredictable and uneven exposure to world markets.15 Many autonomous adaptations to climate change are already occurring in rural areas, where livelihood systems experience a number of interlocking stressors other than climate change and where the most appropriate strategies will incorporate local knowledge and take a livelihoods-first approach. These...

Major developments in agriculture

The next plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU (in March 1965) confirmed the new course and adopted the resolution On urgent measures for the development of agriculture, which called for the comprehensive intensification of Soviet agriculture. It was declared that the main emphasis should be on creating stable economic conditions in order to stimulate incentives for farmers. Fixed (for several years) plan targets for farm grain deliveries were promised. The resolution proposed the introduction of a bonus system for deliveries of agricultural products over the plan figures, as well as other stimuli.

Year United States Soviet Union

Secondly, a new method of soil cultivation was introduced in the steppe zone. In previous decades, many enterprises had ploughed up not only fertile tracts of land but extensive areas which yielded readily to the plough because of its mechanical properties, but then quickly became eroded. This was the result of being ploughed too deeply, as had been done for a long time in the traditional farm districts located in forest steppes and forest zones. The Canadian wheat-farming methods used in the prairies were studied and tested in field trials for several years by the USSR at the Grain Research Institute in Shortandy, Tseli-nogradskaya region. It was shown that stable harvests of grain crops, and of spring wheat in particular, could be achieved in the virgin lands, but the system of deep ploughing had to be replaced by one in which the soil retained its stability, thus preventing erosion and facilitating snow retention. When the snow blanket is thick, the soil does not freeze deeply, it...

Integrated Soil Nutrient Management

Traditional farming systems have generally resulted in substantial losses of soil fertility through the loss of SOC, due mainly to organic matter degradation by soil biota (Metting, 1993), and also due to the loss of micro and macro nutrients. With improved land use management and INM, soil biota in Zambian soils can be a sink for atmospheric C (Lal, 2000b). Traditional practices, akin to mining of soil C and N reserves, are major causes for the loss of SOC and SOM from agricultural ecosystems. Thus, balanced nutrient management through sustainable land husbandry practices can play a regulatory role of sequestering C (Franzluebbers et al., 1998).

Temperate Rain Forests Valdivian Ecoregion Chile

The temperate forests of southern Chile account for more than half of the total area of temperate forests in the Southern Hemisphere, extending to a total of 13.4 million hectares.The forests are home to over 900 plant species, over 90 percent of which are endemic.396 Clearance for agriculture, human-set fires, browsing, and logging have reduced the original forest cover of Chile by more than 50 percent. The temperate rain forests of the Valdivian ecoregion have been identified as a priority for conservation action by WWF. Although there is growing recognition of the importance of native forests within Chile, attempts at native forest restoration have only recently been initiated, primarily by collaborative partnerships between academic researchers and nongovernmental conservation organisations. A first attempt has been made to restore populations of alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides), a threatened conifer that produces a highly valued timber. This was achieved by first carrying out an...

Meaning and Interpretation of HANPP

HANPP has been developed in the context of the debate on global ecological changes caused by humans and their activities (Vitousek et al. 1986, 1997), and it has been linked to the issue of human influence on biodiversity (Wright 1990). It has been used in ecological economics as a biophysical indicator of strong sustainability (Mar-tinez-Alier 1998 Sagoff 1995), although the initial idea that HANPP was a straightforward indicator for ecological limits (Costanza et al. 1998 Meadows et al. 1992) was proven wrong because biomass harvest can be increased without increasing HANPP (Davidson 2000 Krausmann 2001), and neither GDP nor population size is directly constrained by HANPP (Haberl and Krausmann 2001). Such decoupling of HANPP and biomass harvest requires fossil energy input into agroecosystems (Krausmann et al. 2003 Pimentel et al. 1990) and may be associated with environmentally detrimental impacts (e.g., pesticides, nitrogen leaching, and soil deterioration). Economic growth,...

Management of terrestrial biomass

Maintaining ecosystem integrity is gaining new importance as a basis for sustainable agriculture. At the same time, agricultural pricinples can be applied to forestry and soil ecosystem services, when they are regarded as potential carbon sinks that can be enhanced through conscientious management practices. Such sustainable management practices aim for long-term sequestration capacities while maintaining ecosystem service cycles on the shorter term for supporting local communities and their interactions in a globalized economy. Sustainable forest practices can maximize carbon sequestration rates and then provide harvests as carbon accumulation dwindles for exploitation as low GHG fuel through

Plant Growth and UV Irradiation

Soybean seeds (Glycine max L., cultivars Clark and Clark-magenta) were planted in plots (4.5 m x 2.5 m) at the USDA Agricultural Research Center (ARS), South Farm, Beltsville, MD, with a spacing between rows of 0.4 m, and a density of 35 seeds m-1. One row (4.5 m) of Clark seed was planted next to one row of Clark-magenta seed, and bordered by additional rows of soybeans to simulate field-crowding conditions and to create even sunlight exposure and shading. After germination, plants were thinned to 25 plants m-1 (see (Teramura et al., 1990) for additional information regarding the field sites). In order to reduce water or nutrient stress that can mask the response to UV-B radiation, the plants were watered daily when natural precipitation did not occur, and the plots were fertilized before planting according to recommendations from the Maryland Soil Testing Laboratory.

Implications For Conservation Of Agricultural Diversity

20 It is not clear, however, why individual farmers would not choose to free ride, in other words, to rely on others to maintain the (unproductive) stocks of traditional varieties. Given that other farmers are continuing to grow traditional varieties, an individual farmer has an interest in not growing them. Instead, we might expect him or her to grow only modern varieties, secure in the knowledge that the varieties will not disappear from existence. If all farmers behaved this way, of course, the traditional varieties might in fact be threatened. Wright and Gollin31 suggest, however, that systems of farmers' rights may in fact provide little net compensation to farmers in developing countries. Many farmers in developing countries are net borrowers of varieties from other parts of the world and hence would lose rather than gain from a system of international compensation. Moreover, the difficulties of implementing compensation systems are formidable. For the purposes of on-farm...

Choice of emissionremoval factors

Dead wood and litter carbon stocks in lands converted to Settlements are assumed all lost during the conversion and there is assumed to be no subsequent accumulation of new DOM in the settlements after conversion. Default values for forest litter prior to conversion are provided in Table 2.2 in Chapter 2 but there are no default values available for dead wood or litter in most systems. Countries should seek estimates and use local data from forestry and agricultural research institutes to provide best estimates of the dead wood and litter in the initial system prior to conversion, or use the defaults in Table 2.2 in the absence of other information. Carbon stocks in litter and dead wood pools in all non-forest land categories are assumed to be zero. Countries experiencing significant conversions of other ecosystems to settlements are encouraged to develop domestic data to quantify this impact and report it under Tier 2 or 3 methodologies.

Assessment of response strategies to avoid key vulnerabilities

In agriculture, for example, previous IPCC assessments have generally concluded that, in the near to medium term, aggregate world food production is not threatened (IPCC, 1996, 2001a). However, considerable regional variation in impacts and adaptive capacity suggests that severe impacts and food scarcity could occur in some regions, especially at low latitudes, where large numbers of poorer people are already engaged in agriculture that is not currently viable (see Section 5.4.2). In global terms, agriculture has been extremely resilient and world food production has expanded rapidly to keep pace with world population growth. Of course, there is debate on the sustainability of these trends, as they depend in part on the growing demand for meat and meat products as well as potential competition between agricultural resources for producing food versus those used for producing energy. Nevertheless, even where shortages have occurred, the reasons are rarely to be found in an absolute lack...

Some Considerations When Breeding Crops Other than Wheat

Plant breeders working in the world's rainfed environments have made steady incremental gains in yield under stress. Over the past 10 years the research investment in plant response to drought and heat has increased significantly, largely driven by improvements in technology, and an increasing awareness of the impending impacts of climate change and reduced water availability on agriculture. Much of this investment has been driven by the private sector in high value crops such as maize (Braun and Brettell 2009). Nevertheless, the investment in wheat and rice, while considerably smaller, has also increased. Improved understanding of the molecular basis of the plant stress response has gone hand-in-hand with improved understanding of the physiological response. International centers such as CIMMYT, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Drier Areas (ICARDA) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have extensive breeding and research programs targeting...

Some Properties And Effectiveness Of Nitrogenfixing Rhizobacteria Isolated From Rice Roots

2National Yeongnam Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box 6, Milyang 627-130, Korea Concern about possible health and environmental consequences of using increasing amounts of mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides have led to strong interest in alternative strategies to ensure competitive yields and protection of crops. This new approach to farming, often referred as sustainable agriculture, seeks to introduce agricultural practices that are more friendly to the environment and that maintain the long-term ecological balance of the soil ecosystem. The main objective of our study was to isolate strains with high root colonization activity possessing beneficial properties biological nitrogen fixation, biocontrol activity and plant growth promotion. An original method for isolation of rhizobacteria inhabiting roots of rice grown in South Korea and Russia has been used. Among 256 isolated strains, 8 promising strains with high root colonization activity possessing beneficial...

Linking Conservation And Plant Breeding

May be located and successfully used by employing molecular analyses (Tanksley and McCouch, 1997). Genetic erosion of these reservoirs continues, in some cases at alarming rates and for various reasons, and it is imperative that efforts to conserve them be strengthened. Ex situ gene banks alone are not sufficient, and it is in the best interests of both the formal system as well as the traditional farming communities themselves that the dynamic cauldron of genetic diversity be maintained in situ, and be allowed to continue to evolve.

Explanation of the Issue

A plot of abandoned agricultural land in a Mediterranean landscape that was actively revege-tated with Quercus ilex 12 years ago. (Photo Jose M. Rey Benayas.) Figure 51.1. A plot of abandoned agricultural land in a Mediterranean landscape that was actively revege-tated with Quercus ilex 12 years ago. (Photo Jose M. Rey Benayas.)

Land Use Climate Change And Biomass

Figure 15.4 Change in agricultural land area 1990-92 to 1991-2001 Source FAO database. Figure 15.4 Change in agricultural land area 1990-92 to 1991-2001 Source FAO database. Where did the retired agricultural land go Figure 15.5 shows the uses to which it was put in selected OECD countries. Forests, wetlands and built-land accounted for major uses of converted agricultural land, but the shares vary considerably among the OECD countries shown. 1990s (as of total agricultural land converted) Source OECD, Agri-Environmental Indicator database. 1990s (as of total agricultural land converted) Source OECD, Agri-Environmental Indicator database. With regard to biomass, there is increasing interest in OECD countries to find alternative, sustainable forms of energy as well as alternative and diverse sources of income for farmers. Projections to 2030 (by the Paris-based International Energy Agency) show that growth rates in bioenergy and materials from agriculture have been higher than for...

Informative Model Of Biological Process Of Soybean Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation

The research of the efficiency of the symbiotic nitrogen fixation was conducted on the crops of the soybean of the Crimean Scientific Industrial Society Elite, Selection and Genetics Institute of the Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and of some farms in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Odesa region. These soybean seeds were processed with rhizotorfin produced on the basis of tuberous bacteria cultures 629a, 634b, 646. While studying the issues of influence of climatic factors and soybean genotype on nitrogen fixation efficiency, 122 collection soybean sorts both from home collection and produced in the USA, Canada, China and countries of Eastern and Western Europe, were taken. The study of the efficiency of the pre-sowing processing of soybeans was conducted on the harvests of the primary crops as well as post hay crops and reaping crops.

Agricultural Practices For Food And Environmental Security

Other policies would encourage sequestering carbon in agricultural soils. Farming practices that sequester carbon in soils also reduce atmospheric carbon. When carbon is sequestered as organic matter, it is kept out of the atmosphere where it causes global warming. Organic matter holds water and nutrients such as phosphate, potash, and nitrogen for slow release to growing plants. Organic matter improves soil structure to diminish soil compaction and erosion. High-yield agriculture in general helps to confine cropping to environmentally safe areas, thereby enhancing soil conservation, wildlife, and biodiversity.

Logged Over Forests and Logging Impacts

Cient number of trees to reach maturity, and then to remove these alone. Compared with monocyclic logging, fewer trees and a lower volume of timber is harvested, but the intervals between harvests are shorter. In some polycyclic systems, such as the CELOS (Centre for Agricultural Research in Surinam) system developed for Surinam, or the Tebang Pilih system advocated in Indonesia, this interval may be as short as 20 to 25 years. Volumes of wood removed are typically 20 to 30m3 hectare per coupe.

Global Results Versus Regional Projections

From Tables 12.4 and 12.5 it can be concluded that total production generally exceeds the increase in yields. This means that more land will be harvested (either due to expansion of agricultural land or due to an increase in cropping intensity). Only in the case of the Rhine Basin, the yield increase is higher than the increase in production, which implies that agricultural land will be taken out of production. This is not surprising, since the pressure of other sectors on agriculture in this part of the world is very high and the population is practically not growing anymore.

Role and Applications of GIS

Globally, GIS is applied to disciplines ranging from managing utility networks to health, archaeology and ecology. Increasingly, it is a common component of climate change assessments. The geographic aspect of GIS makes it an interesting option for application to agricultural problems and priority setting because so many of the environmental and socio-economic factors that impact agriculture or agricultural research vary greatly over regions (e.g. Benson, 1996). Typical examples would include rainfall patterns, soil variability, disease and pest distribution, market locations, crop distributions, land-use patterns and human demographics (Table 13.1).

Earlier IGsEarlier IGs

But this assumption that land use and population are linked in a close relationship is not supported by results from several field-oriented disciplines. Anthropological studies across a range of contemporary cultures that still practice forms of shifting cultivation, such as slash-and-burn farming, provide insights into farming practices used millennia ago, when all agriculture was likely of this form. Studies in land-use archeology, paleoecology, paleobotany, and sedimentology provide constraints on past changes in type and extent of agriculture, in gradual replacement of natural vegetation by domesticated crops, and in enhanced erosion of slopes bared by deforestation and tilling of fields. The common message from these field disciplines is that per-capita land use during the last 7,000 years has not remained constant (that is, tied to population in a linear way), but instead has decreased by a large amount.

The Socioeconomics of REDD and the Costs of Avoiding Deforestation

A key parameter in the models of forestry supply responses to prices for sequestered carbon in developing countries is the level of income that will be forgone by landowners in switching to forest conservation. The supply of land for forestry will depend on the costs and benefits of conserving forest as opposed to clearing it for agriculture. A payment to the government for REDD credits needs to be translated to payments to the communities that are using the land. Funds may be redirected at programs to improve the productivity of agricultural land so that deforestation is suppressed by addressing its underlying causes (Schlamadinger et al., 2005).

Societal Impacts Of Sealevel Rise

Each of the five countries sharing the coasts of the Caspian Sea has suffered losses, and those losses increased until the mid-1990s. They suffer from the different impacts of sea-level rise because the territory along its coastline is neither uniformly settled nor uniformly developed economically. Economic losses in the big cities and villages have been higher than in the rural areas. More specifically, in Astrakhan Oblast (equivalent to an American state), about 10 of its agricultural land was out of production by 1995 because of sea-level rise. The coastline of the Republic of Dagestan (also part of Russia) was affected by the flooding of at least 40 factories in its cities of Makhachkala, Kaspiysk, Derbent, and Sulak. Nearly 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) of land have been inundated, with a loss of livestock production and breeding facilities. Much of the 650-km (390-mile) Caspian coastline of Turkmenistan is made up of low-lying sandy beaches and dunes that are vulnerable to...

Methods for Estimating Climatic Impacts on Agriculture

The spatial analogue approach uses cross-section data. It relates an agricultural performance measure, such as observed yields, production, revenue, profits or the value of agricultural land, to climatic conditions that vary regionally. The simplest application of this approach is to map shifts in cropping boundaries as a function of temperature or precipitation changes. More elaborate versions of this approach use statistical analyses of data across geographical areas. Such statistical analyses allow researchers to separate the effects of various climatic factors (temperature, precipitation, temperature extremes, variation in precipitation, etc.) from factors other than climate, such as soil type, that may also explain production differences across regions. An advantage of the spatial analogue approach is that it provides direct evidence on how farmers operating under commercial conditions have responded to different climatic conditions. An inherent assumption is that the adjustments...

Individual Indicators

The concept of environmental space has been promoted by Friends of the Earth in Europe as a way of measuring sustainability and quantifying the inequity in environmental impact between the North and the South. In practical terms, environmental space is the total amount of energy, nonrenewable resources, agricultural land, and forests that each person in a given population can use without causing irreversible environmental damage or depriving future generations of the resources they will need. The total amount of environmental space therefore is limited by the carrying capacity of the earth. The concept of a fair share in environmental space is based on the premise that all people have a right to an equitable share in the earth's resources and therefore is used to highlight the discrepancy in consumption patterns between different countries, communities, and lifestyle choices (Spangenberg 1995). The Natural Capital Index (NCI) was developed as an assessment tool for the Convention on...

Communication Education and Training

There is also a requirement to form a network for filling the gap between state-of-art development and operational use in agrometeorological services. This can be done by the establishment of a Regional Meteorological Training Centre (RMTC) where agrometeorologists can enhance their information technology skills because of increasing demands on climate and agronomic data for climate analysis at the regional scale, the inevitable use of computer technologies such as simulation models and GIS, and the need for agrometeorological information sharing among countries for sustainable agriculture.

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