Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Parasite control in organic cattle farming: Management and farmers' perspectives from six European countries
    Takeuchi-Storm, Nao ; Moakes, Simon ; Thüer, Susann ; Grovermann, Christian ; Verwer, Cynthia ; Verkaik, Jan ; Knubben-Schweizer, Gabriela ; Höglund, Johan ; Petkevičius, Saulius ; Thamsborg, Stig ; Werne, Steffen - \ 2019
    Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 18 (2019). - ISSN 2405-9390
    Anthelmintic use - Cattle - Europe - Fasciola hepatica - Gastrointestinal nematodes - Organic farming

    Organic ruminant production is expanding in the EU, but parasite management remains a constant challenge. Mandatory outdoor access for all age groups can increase exposure to pasture borne parasites, whilst restrictions in the prophylactic use of anthelmintics can limit parasite control. The scientific community has been working to deliver effective parasite control strategies and alternative approaches in order to slow down the development of anthelmintic resistance (AR). However, the current parasite control practices and overall awareness with regards to AR and alternative approaches on farms are largely unknown and may be causing a knowledge gap between the scientific and farming communities. Therefore, a structured survey was conducted in six European countries (Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Lithuania, Sweden) to provide basic data on practices, management and farmers' perspectives for grazing and parasite control (gastrointestinal worms and liver flukes) on organic cattle farms. Overall, 375 surveys were collected (282 dairy and 93 beef farms) in 2015–2016, and analysed descriptively. Additionally, surveys from the 228 dairy farms were assessed using a double-hurdle adoption model to identify the factors involved in the decision to drench against gastrointestinal parasites. Generally, there are prominent differences between countries, with monitoring methods differing especially, which has important implications in terms of knowledge transfer. For example, media warning was the most common method in DE, while antibody testing in bulk tank milk was the common method in NL. In other countries, clinical signs (diarrhoea, hair coat quality, and reduced weight or yield) and liver condemnation data were used frequently. In general, organic farmers from the six participating countries indicated that they would accept alternative approaches despite greater cost and labour. The likelihood of drenching were higher on farms with smaller farm areas, higher number of young stock and total livestock units and farms where faecal egg counts were used to monitor the parasites. In conclusion, it was evident that grazing and parasite management varied between the countries even though they operate under the same basic principles. Parasite management strategies must therefore be country specific and disseminated with appropriate methods.

    Ecological intensification by integrating biogas production into nutrient cycling : Modeling the case of Agroecological Symbiosis
    Koppelmäki, Kari ; Parviainen, Tuure ; Virkkunen, Elina ; Winquist, Erika ; Schulte, Rogier P.O. ; Helenius, Juha - \ 2019
    Agricultural Systems 170 (2019). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 39 - 48.
    Biological nitrogen fixation - Localized agrifood system - Nutrient losses - Organic farming - Renewable energy - Sustainable intensification

    There is growing demand to produce both food and renewable energy in a sustainable manner, while avoiding competition between food and energy production. In our study, we investigated the potential of harnessing biogas production into nutrient recycling in an integrated system of organic food production and food processing. We used the case of Agroecological Symbiosis (AES) at Palopuro, which is a combination of three farms, a biogas plant, and a bakery, as a case to explore how biogas production using feedstocks from the farms can be used to improve nutrient cycling, and to calculate how much energy could be produced from the within-system feedstocks. The current system (CS) used in organic farms, and the integrated farm and food processing AES system, were analyzed using Substance Flow analysis. In the AES, annual nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) surpluses were projected to be reduced from 95 kg ha−1 to 36 kg ha−1 and from 3.4 kg ha−1 to −0.5 kg ha−1 respectively, compared to the CS. Biogas produced from green manure leys as the major feedstock, produced 2809 MWh a−1. This was 70% more than the energy consumed (1650 MWh a−1) in the systemand thus the AES system turned out to be a net energy producer. Results demonstrated the potential of biogas production to enhance the transition to bioenergy, nutrient recycling, and crop productivity in renewable localized farming and food systems.

    Thirteen decades of antimicrobial copper compounds applied in agriculture. A review
    Lamichhane, Jay Ram ; Osdaghi, Ebrahim ; Behlau, Franklin ; Köhl, Jürgen ; Jones, Jeffrey B. ; Aubertot, Jean Noël - \ 2018
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development 38 (2018)3. - ISSN 1774-0746
    Chemical control - Copper compounds - Crop protection - Organic farming - Pathogen resistance development - Phytotoxicity - Soil accumulation - Sustainable agriculture

    Since the initial use of Bordeaux mixture in 1885 for plant disease control, a large number of copper-based antimicrobial compounds (CBACs) have been developed and applied for crop protection. While these compounds have revolutionized crop protection in the twentieth century, their continuous and frequent use has also raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of copper (Cu)-based crop protection system. Here, we review CBACs used in crop protection and highlight their benefits and risks, and potential for their improvement and opportunities for further research to develop alternatives to CBACs. The major findings are (i) the relatively high toxicity to plant pathogens, low cost, low mammalian toxicity of the fixed Cu compounds, and their chemical stability and prolonged residual effects are major benefits of these compounds; (ii) phytotoxicity, development of copper-resistant strains, soil accumulation, and negative effects on soil biota as well as on food quality parameters are key disadvantages of CBACs; (iii) regulatory pressure in agriculture worldwide to limit the use of CBACs has led to several restrictions, including that imposed by the regulation 473/2002 in the European Union; and (iv) mitigation strategies to limit the negative effects of CBACs include their optimized use, soil remediation, and development and application of alternatives to CBACs for a sustainable crop protection. We conclude that recent research and policy efforts have led to the development of a number of alternatives to CBACs, which should be further intensified to ensure that growers have sufficient tools for the implementation of sustainable crop protection strategies.

    Comparison between proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and near infrared spectroscopy for the authentication of Brazilian coffee : A preliminary chemometric study
    Monteiro, Pablo Inocêncio ; Santos, Jânio Sousa ; Alvarenga Brizola, Vitor Rafael ; Pasini Deolindo, Carolina Turnes ; Koot, Alex ; Boerrigter-Eenling, Rita ; Ruth, Saskia van; Georgouli, Konstantia ; Koidis, Anastasios ; Granato, Daniel - \ 2018
    Food Control 91 (2018). - ISSN 0956-7135 - p. 276 - 283.
    Authenticity - Chemometrics - Organic farming - PTR-MS - Specialty coffee - Spectroscopic methods - Volatile organic compounds

    In this study, proton-transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) were compared for the authentication of geographical and farming system origins of Brazilian coffees. For this purpose, n = 19 organic (ORG) and n = 26 conventional (CONV) coffees from distinct producing regions were analyzed. Overall, differences (p ≤ 0.05) in 44 and 71 ion intensities were observed between the main producing regions and farming systems, respectively. Principal component analysis was not effective in illustrating differences between the coffees according to the farming system or geographical origin using neither PTR-MS nor NIRS data. However, when the PLS-DA was applied, which produced the best performing models compared to several other chemometric techniques, the farming system was adroitly differentiated. The fact that the classification performance (>80%) was independent of the data acquisition method used gives NIRS an edge over PTR-MS in the differentiation of the farming system because of its rapid analysis and cost. Differentiating geographic location of coffee was rather complex. The PTR-MS calibration models showed slightly better PLS-DA classification rates compared to the NIRS models (69% vs. 61%, respectively), which is even more evident when the alternative classifier is used (LDA-kNN, 69% vs. 39%, respectively). Coffee samples from either Minas Gerais (MG) or Sao Paulo (SP) were differentiated from the other regions. In conclusion, our study provides information on alternative rapid analysis coupled with chemometric techniques to differentiate the farming system and trace the geographical provenance of Brazilian specialty coffee.

    Bedding additives reduce ammonia emission and improve crop N uptake after soil application of solid cattle manure
    Shah, Ghulam Abbas ; Shah, Ghulam Mustafa ; Rashid, Muhammad Imtiaz ; Groot, Jeroen C.J. ; Traore, Bouba ; Lantinga, Egbert A. - \ 2018
    Journal of Environmental Management 209 (2018). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 195 - 204.
    Bedding additives - Lava meal - Organic farming - Solid cattle manure - Waste recycling - Zeolite
    This study examined the influences of three potential additives, i.e., lava meal, sandy soil top-layer and zeolite (used in animal bedding) amended solid cattle manures on (i) ammonia (NH3), dinitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions and (ii) maize crop or grassland apparent N recovery (ANR). Diffusion samplers were installed at 20 cm height on grassland surface to measure the concentrations of NH3 from the manures. A photoacoustic gas monitor was used to quantitate the fluxes of N2O, CH4 and CO2 after manures’ incorporation into the maize-field. Herbage ANR was calculated from dry matter yield and N uptake of three successive harvests, while maize crop ANR was determined at cusp of juvenile stage, outset of grain filling as well as physiological maturity stages. Use of additives decreased the NH3 emission rates by about two-third from the manures applied on grassland surface than control untreated-manure. Total herbage ANR was more than doubled in treated manures and was 25% from manure amended with farm soil, 26% and 28% from zeolite and lava meal, respectively compared to 11% from control manure. In maize experiment, mean N2O and CO2 emission rates were the highest from the latter treatment but these rates were not differed from zero control in case of manures amended with farm soil or zeolite. However, mean CH4 emissions was not differed among all treatments during the whole measuring period. The highest maize crop ANR was obtained at the beginning of grain filling stage (11–40%), however ample lower crop recoveries (8–14%) were achieved at the final physiological maturity stage. This phenomenon was occurred due to leaf senescence N losses from maize crop during the period of grains filling. The lowest losses were observed from control manure at this stage. Hence, all additives decreased the N losses from animal manure and enhanced crop N uptake thus improved the agro-environmental worth of animal manure.
    Determinants of the acceptance of sustainable production strategies among dairy farmers: Development and testing of a modified technology acceptance model
    Naspetti, Simona ; Mandolesi, Serena ; Buysse, Jeroen ; Latvala, Terhi ; Nicholas, Philippa ; Padel, Susanne ; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Zanoli, Raffaele - \ 2017
    Sustainability 9 (2017)10. - ISSN 2071-1050
    Dairy farming - Organic farming - Structural equation modeling - Sustainability - Technology acceptance model

    An extended version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was applied by means of Structural Equation Modelling to testing various hypotheses on attitudes and intentions of dairy farmers towards three novel sustainable production strategies, as well as the influence of organic practices and collaborative behaviours, such as information sharing with supply-chain partners. Data on the acceptance of three sustainable production strategies, namely 'Agro-forestry', 'Alternative protein source', and 'Prolonged maternal feeding' were collected by a survey of dairy farmers in six European Union (EU) countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, United Kingdom). We found that perceived usefulness is the key determinant of acceptance, while the intention to adopt a sustainable production strategy may derive from the influence of opinions (and behaviours) of relevant others (e.g., leading dairy farmers, family members, advisors) showing the role of interactions among farmers and other stakeholders in the adoption of innovations. Finally, the perceived usefulness of all of the investigated strategies is higher for organic farmers, while collaborative patterns reduce the impact of subjective norm on usefulness and overall acceptance. Our findings should encourage policy makers to consider the important role of supply chain management practices, including collaboration, to enhance the sustainability of dairy farming systems.

    A global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity within fields and across agricultural landscapes
    Lichtenberg, Elinor M. ; Kennedy, Christina M. ; Kremen, Claire ; Batáry, Péter ; Berendse, Frank ; Bommarco, Riccardo ; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A. ; Carvalheiro, Luísa G. ; Snyder, William E. ; Williams, Neal M. ; Winfree, Rachael ; Klatt, Björn K. ; Åström, Sandra ; Benjamin, Faye ; Brittain, Claire ; Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca ; Clough, Yann ; Danforth, Bryan ; Diekötter, Tim ; Eigenbrode, Sanford D. ; Ekroos, Johan ; Elle, Elizabeth ; Freitas, Breno M. ; Fukuda, Yuki ; Gaines-Day, Hannah R. ; Grab, Heather ; Gratton, Claudio ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Isaacs, Rufus ; Isaia, Marco ; Jha, Shalene ; Jonason, Dennis ; Jones, Vincent P. ; Klein, Alexandra Maria ; Krauss, Jochen ; Letourneau, Deborah K. ; Macfadyen, Sarina ; Mallinger, Rachel E. ; Martin, Emily A. ; Martinez, Eliana ; Memmott, Jane ; Morandin, Lora ; Neame, Lisa ; Otieno, Mark ; Park, Mia G. ; Pfiffner, Lukas ; Pocock, Michael J.O. ; Ponce, Carlos ; Potts, Simon G. ; Poveda, Katja ; Ramos, Mariangie ; Rosenheim, Jay A. ; Rundlöf, Maj ; Sardiñas, Hillary ; Saunders, Manu E. ; Schon, Nicole L. ; Sciligo, Amber R. ; Sidhu, C.S. ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Veselý, Milan ; Weisser, Wolfgang W. ; Wilson, Julianna K. ; Crowder, David W. - \ 2017
    Global Change Biology 23 (2017)11. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 4946 - 4957.
    Agricultural management schemes - Arthropod diversity - Biodiversity - Evenness - Functional groups - Landscape complexity - Meta-analysis - Organic farming - Plant diversity
    Agricultural intensification is a leading cause of global biodiversity loss, which can reduce the provisioning of ecosystem services in managed ecosystems. Organic farming and plant diversification are farm management schemes that may mitigate potential ecological harm by increasing species richness and boosting related ecosystem services to agroecosystems. What remains unclear is the extent to which farm management schemes affect biodiversity components other than species richness, and whether impacts differ across spatial scales and landscape contexts. Using a global metadataset, we quantified the effects of organic farming and plant diversification on abundance, local diversity (communities within fields), and regional diversity (communities across fields) of arthropod pollinators, predators, herbivores, and detritivores. Both organic farming and higher in-field plant diversity enhanced arthropod abundance, particularly for rare taxa. This resulted in increased richness but decreased evenness. While these responses were stronger at local relative to regional scales, richness and abundance increased at both scales, and richness on farms embedded in complex relative to simple landscapes. Overall, both organic farming and in-field plant diversification exerted the strongest effects on pollinators and predators, suggesting these management schemes can facilitate ecosystem service providers without augmenting herbivore (pest) populations. Our results suggest that organic farming and plant diversification promote diverse arthropod metacommunities that may provide temporal and spatial stability of ecosystem service provisioning. Conserving diverse plant and arthropod communities in farming systems therefore requires sustainable practices that operate both within fields and across landscapes.
    Organic farming : Does acquisition of the farming information influence Chinese apple farmers' willingness to adopt?
    Ma, Wanglin ; Ma, Chunbo ; Su, Ye ; Nie, Zihan - \ 2017
    China Agricultural Economic Review 9 (2017)2. - ISSN 1756-137X - p. 211 - 224.
    Apple farmers - Information acquisition - Organic farming - Selection bias - Willingness to adopt

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that influence Chinese apple farmers' willingness to adopt organic farming, paying a special attention to the role of information acquisition. Design/methodology/approach: Given that the selection bias may occur when farmers themselves decide whether or not to acquire the information to understand the essence of organic farming, this study employs a recursive bivariate probit model to address the issue of the selection bias. Findings: The empirical results indicate that farmers' decision to acquire information is positively affected by farmers' environmental awareness, access to credit and access to information. In particular, information acquisition appears to increase the likelihood of farmers' willingness to adopt organic farming by 35.9 percentage points on average. Practical implications: The findings suggest that measures increasing farmers' information exposure can be promising policy interventions to induce adoption of organic farming. Originality/value: While considerable evidence indicates that organic farming provides more benefits than conventional production practice, little is known about farmers' willingness to adopt in China. This paper provides a first attempt by examining the role of information acquisition in determining Chinese apple farmers' willingness to adopt.

    Concepts and strategies of organic plant breeding in light of novel breeding techniques
    Nuijten, Edwin ; Messmer, Monika M. ; Lammerts van Bueren, Edith - \ 2017
    Sustainability 9 (2017)1. - ISSN 2071-1050
    Alternative techniques - Future perspectives - Guiding principles - Organic farming - Plant breeding

    In this paper, we describe the development of a set of guiding principles for the evaluation of breeding techniques by the organic sector over time. The worldwide standards of organic agriculture (OA) do not allow genetic engineering (GE) or any products derived from genetic engineering. The standards in OA are an expression of the underlying principles of health, ecology, fairness and care. The derived norms are process and not product oriented. As breeding is considered part of the process in agriculture, GE is not a neutral tool for the organic sector. The incompatibility between OA and GE is analyzed, including the "novel breeding techniques". Instead, alternative breeding approaches are pursued based on the norms and values of organic agriculture not only on the technical level but also on the social and organizational level by including other value chain players and consumers. The status and future perspectives of the alternative directions for organic breeding are described and discussed.

    An empirical analysis of risk in conventional and organic arable farming in The Netherlands
    Berentsen, P.B.M. ; Asseldonk, M.A.P.M. van - \ 2016
    European Journal of Agronomy 79 (2016). - ISSN 1161-0301 - p. 100 - 106.
    Arable farming - Error component implicit detrending method - Organic farming - Risk assessment

    This paper assesses and compares risk in conventional and organic arable farming in The Netherlands with respect to family farm income and underlying price and production variables. To investigate the risk factors the farm accountancy data network was used containing unbalanced panel data from 196 conventional and 29 organic representative Dutch arable farms (for the period 2002 up to and including 2011). Variables with regard to price and production risk were identified using a family farm income analysis scheme. Price risk variables are input and output prices, while yield volatility of different crops is the main production risk variable. To assess risk, an error components implicit detrending method was applied and the resulting detrended standard deviations were compared between conventional and organic farms. Results indicate that the risk at the level of family farm income is higher in organic farming. The underlying variables show higher risk for organic farms in crop yields, crop prices and variable input costs per crop.

    Shallow non-inversion tillage in organic farming maintains crop yields and increases soil C stocks : a meta-analysis
    Cooper, Julia ; Baranski, Marcin ; Stewart, Gavin ; Nobel-de Lange, Majimcha ; Bàrberi, Paolo ; Fließbach, Andreas ; Peigné, Josephine ; Berner, Alfred ; Brock, Christopher ; Casagrande, Marion ; Crowley, Oliver ; David, Christophe ; Vliegher, Alex De; Döring, Thomas F. ; Dupont, Aurélien ; Entz, Martin ; Grosse, Meike ; Haase, Thorsten ; Halde, Caroline ; Hammerl, Verena ; Huiting, Hilfred ; Leithold, Günter ; Messmer, Monika ; Schloter, Michael ; Sukkel, Wijnand ; Heijden, Marcel G.A. van der; Willekens, Koen ; Wittwer, Raphaël ; Mäder, Paul - \ 2016
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development 36 (2016)1. - ISSN 1774-0746
    Conservation agriculture - Conservation tillage - Crop yield - Meta-analysis - Minimum tillage - No-till - Organic farming - Reduced tillage - Soil C - Weeds

    Reduced tillage is increasingly promoted to improve sustainability and productivity of agricultural systems. Nonetheless, adoption of reduced tillage by organic farmers has been slow due to concerns about nutrient supply, soil structure, and weeds that may limit yields. Here, we compiled the results from both published and unpublished research comparing deep or shallow inversion tillage, with various categories of reduced tillage under organic management. Shallow refers to less than 25 cm. We found that (1) division of reduced tillage practices into different classes with varying degrees of intensity allowed us to assess the trade-offs between reductions in tillage intensity, crop yields, weed incidence, and soil C stocks. (2) Reducing tillage intensity in organic systems reduced crop yields by an average of 7.6 % relative to deep inversion tillage with no significant reduction in yield relative to shallow inversion tillage. (3) Among the different classes of reduced tillage practice, shallow non-inversion tillage resulted in non-significant reductions in yield relative to deep inversion; whereas deep non-inversion tillage resulted in the largest yield reduction, of 11.6 %. (4) Using inversion tillage to only a shallow depth resulted in minimal reductions in yield, of 5.5 %, but significantly higher soil C stocks and better weed control. This finding suggests that this is a good option for organic farmers wanting to improve soil quality while minimizing impacts on yields. (5) Weeds were consistently higher, by about 50 %, when tillage intensity was reduced, although this did not always result in reduced yields.

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