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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    Hoe waarderen Nederlanders boerennatuur?
    Runhaar, Hens - \ 2020
    Landschap : tijdschrift voor landschapsecologie en milieukunde 37 (2020)1. - ISSN 0169-6300 - p. 10 - 19.
    natural value - experiential value - nature - Netherlands - landscape - agriculture
    Door intensivering en schaalvergroting in de landbouw is de ruimte voor natuur op het platteland flink afgenomen en is het landschap eentoniger geworden. We weten eigenlijk heel weinig van wat de Nederlandse bevolking daarvan vindt, terwijl maatschappelijke steun cruciaal is voor initiatieven om biodiversiteit te vergroten, zowel publiek als privaat. In dit artikel verken ik hoe belangrijk natuur op het platteland wordt gevonden en hoe de waardering van boerennatuur kan worden versterkt.
    Development of a sweet pepper harvesting robot
    Arad, Boaz ; Balendonck, Jos ; Barth, Ruud ; Ben-Shahar, Ohad ; Edan, Yael ; Hellström, Thomas ; Hemming, Jochen ; Kurtser, Polina ; Ringdahl, Ola ; Tielen, Toon ; Tuijl, Bart van - \ 2020
    Journal of Field Robotics (2020). - ISSN 1556-4959
    agriculture - computer vision - field test - motion control - real-world conditions - robotics

    This paper presents the development, testing and validation of SWEEPER, a robot for harvesting sweet pepper fruit in greenhouses. The robotic system includes a six degrees of freedom industrial arm equipped with a specially designed end effector, RGB-D camera, high-end computer with graphics processing unit, programmable logic controllers, other electronic equipment, and a small container to store harvested fruit. All is mounted on a cart that autonomously drives on pipe rails and concrete floor in the end-user environment. The overall operation of the harvesting robot is described along with details of the algorithms for fruit detection and localization, grasp pose estimation, and motion control. The main contributions of this paper are the integrated system design and its validation and extensive field testing in a commercial greenhouse for different varieties and growing conditions. A total of 262 fruits were involved in a 4-week long testing period. The average cycle time to harvest a fruit was 24 s. Logistics took approximately 50% of this time (7.8 s for discharge of fruit and 4.7 s for platform movements). Laboratory experiments have proven that the cycle time can be reduced to 15 s by running the robot manipulator at a higher speed. The harvest success rates were 61% for the best fit crop conditions and 18% in current crop conditions. This reveals the importance of finding the best fit crop conditions and crop varieties for successful robotic harvesting. The SWEEPER robot is the first sweet pepper harvesting robot to demonstrate this kind of performance in a commercial greenhouse.

    Coverage trajectory planning for a bush trimming robot arm
    Kaljaca, Dejan ; Vroegindeweij, Bastiaan ; Henten, Eldert van - \ 2020
    Journal of Field Robotics 37 (2020)2. - ISSN 1556-4959 - p. 283 - 308.
    agriculture - manipulators - planning

    A novel motion planning algorithm for robotic bush trimming is presented. The algorithm is based on an optimal route search over a graph. Differently from other works in robotic surface coverage, it entails both accuracy in the surface sweeping task and smoothness in the motion of the robot arm. The proposed method requires the selection of a custom objective function in the joint space for optimal node traversal scheduling, as well as a kinematically constrained time interpolation. The algorithm was tested in simulation using a model of the Jaco arm and three target bush shapes. Analysis of the simulated motions showed how, differently from classical coverage techniques, the proposed algorithm is able to ensure high tool positioning accuracy while avoiding excessive arm motion jerkiness. It was reported that forbidding manipulation posture changes during the cutting phase of the motion is a key element for task accuracy, leading to a decrease of the tool positioning error up to 90%. Furthermore, the algorithm was validated in a real-world trimming scenario with boxwood bushes. A target of 20 mm accuracy was proposed for a trimming result to be considered successful. Results showed that on average 82% of the bush surface was affected by trimming, and 51% of the trimmed surface was cut within the desired level of accuracy. Despite the fact that the trimming accuracy turned out to be lower than the stated requirements, it was found out this was mainly a consequence of the inaccurate, early stage vision system employed to compute the target trimming surface. By contrast, the trimming motion planning algorithm generated trajectories that smoothly followed their input target and allowed effective branch cutting.

    Experiences and Drivers of Food Insecurity in Guatemala's Dry Corridor: Insights From the Integration of Ethnographic and Household Survey Data
    Beveridge, Louise ; Whitfield, Stephen ; Fraval, Simon ; Wijk, Mark van; Etten, Jacob van; Mercado, Leida ; Hammond, James ; Davila Cortez, Luz ; Gabriel Suchini, Jose ; Challinor, Andrew - \ 2019
    Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3 (2019). - ISSN 2571-581X
    agriculture - Central America - climate - ethnography - food security - household survey - participatory - underlying drivers

    Eradicating hunger is a complex and multifaceted challenge, requiring evidence bases that can inform wide scale action, but that are also participatory and grounded to have local relevance and effectiveness. The Rural Household Multi-Indicator Surveys (RHoMIS) provides a broad assessment of household capabilities and food security outcomes, while ethnographic approaches evidence how individuals' perceptions, experiences and local socio-political context shape food security experiences and intervention outcomes. However, integrating these research approaches presents methodological and ontological challenges. We combine a quantitative approach with life history interviews to understand the drivers, experiences and outcomes of food insecurity in Guatemala's dry corridor region. We also reflect on the effectiveness and challenges of integrating the two methods for purposes of selective sampling, triangulating evidence, and producing a cohesive analyses of food insecurity in the region. Variables with a statistically significant association with severe food insecurity in the region are: coffee cultivation (when market participation is low), dependence on agricultural labor income, and poverty level. Drivers of food insecurity experiences most commonly identified by participants are: consecutive drought; ill health and displacement of income for medicine; social marginalization; high start-up costs in production; absence or separation of a household head; and a lack of income and education opportunity. Ethnographic approaches identify a broader range of drivers contributing to food insecurity experiences, and add explanatory power to a statistical model of severe food insecurity. This integrated analysis provides a holistic picture of food insecurity in Guatemala's dry corridor region.

    Help feed the world population with the use of drainage | WURcast
    Ritzema, H.P. - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research
    agriculture - drainage - food production - irrigation - salts - water
    Determining Key Research Areas for Healthier Diets and Sustainable Food Systems in Viet Nam
    Raneri, Jessica E. ; Kennedy, Gina ; Nguyen, Trang ; Wertheim-Heck, S.C.O. ; Haan, Stef de; Do, Ha Thi Phuong ; Nguyen, Phuong Hong ; Thi, Huong Le ; Mai, Truong Tuyet ; Duong, Thi Thanh Thuy ; Hung, Nguyen ; Nguyen, Tuan ; Huynh, Tuyen ; Nodari, Gulia Rota ; Spellman, Olga ; Talsma, Elise F. ; Stoian, Dietmar ; Duong, Minh-Cam ; Tran, Lam Nguyen ; Bene, Christophe - \ 2019
    IFPRI (IFPRI Discussion Paper 1872) - 127 p.
    food systems - diet - nutrition - agriculture
    Vietnamese food systems are undergoing rapid transformation, with important implications for human and environmental health and economic development. Poverty has decreased, and diet quality and under-nutrition have improved significantly since the end of the Doi Moi reform period (1986-1993) as a result of Viet Nam opening its economy and increasing its regional and global trade. Yet poor diet quality is still contributing the triple burden of malnutrition, with 25 percent stunting among children under age 5, 26 percent and 29 percent of women and children, respectively, anemic, and 21 percent of adults overweight. Agricultural production systems have shifted from predominantly diverse smallholder systems to larger more commercialized and specialized systems, especially for crops, while the ‘meatification’ of the Vietnamese diet is generating serious trade-offs between improved nutrition and sustainability of the Vietnamese food systems. The food processing industry has developed rapidly, together with food imports, resulting in new and processed food products penetrating the food retail outlets, trending towards an increase in the Westernized consumption patterns that are shifting nutrition-related problems towards overweight and obesity and, with it, an increase of non-communicable disease-related health risks. While regulatory policies exist across the food system, these are not systematically implemented, making food safety a major concern for consumers and policy makers alike. Where data exists, it is not easy to aggregate with data from across food system dimensions, making it difficult for Viet Nam to make an informed analysis of current and potential food system trade-offs. In our research, we reviewed existing literature and data, and applied a food systems framework to develop an initial food systems profile for Viet Nam and to identify a comprehensive set a of research questions to fill current data gaps identified through the review. Insights on these would provide the comprehensive evidence needed to inform policy makers on how to develop new food systems policies for Viet Nam, and further refine and improve existing policies to achieve better quality diets and more sustainable food systems in Viet Nam. Based on these, we then engaged with stakeholders to develop research priorities in the Viet Nam context and identified 25 priority research questions. This paper aims to stimulate such reflections by clearly outlining key areas for research, government policy, and development programs on priority investment to build the evidence base around inclusive food systems interventions that aim to result in healthier diets and more sustainable food systems for Viet Nam.
    Land use change and the migration geography of Greater White-fronted geese in European Russia
    Grishchenko, Mikhail ; Prins, Herbert H.T. ; Ydenberg, Ronald C. ; Schaepman, Michael E. ; Boer, Willem F. de; Knegt, Henrik J. de - \ 2019
    Ecosphere 10 (2019)8. - ISSN 2150-8925
    agriculture - geese migration - land use change - political ecology - Russia - stopover sites

    Large areas of agricultural land have been abandoned in European Russia since 1991, triggering succession toward more wooded landscapes, especially in northern regions where conditions for agriculture are more challenging. We hypothesize that this process has contributed to a southward shift by migratory Atlantic Greater White-fronted geese, as stopover sites in northern Russia became progressively less suitable. To test this hypothesis, we located stopover sites from information contained in 2976 ring recoveries and sightings of neck-collared geese. These records were divided into three time periods, chosen to reflect major changes in the economy and land use of European Russia: 1960–1990, 1991–2000, and 2001–2013. We used a kernel density estimator grid to delineate areas surrounding 300 putative stopover sites, and statistically evaluated the effects of latitude, distance to nearest waterbody, settlement, and period on stopover site usage by geese. Our results show that over the three periods, usage of the stopover sites has shifted southward, indicating that Greater White-fronted geese have shifted their migration pathway, with the greatest shift in the most recent period. This shift was confirmed by a highly significant squared latitude term and significant interaction term between periods. The nearest settlements showed no significant effect on stopover site usage while the nearest waterbody term was negative, suggesting higher waterbody densities contributed to higher densities of stopover sites. We attribute the shift to the successional reforestation of the Russian landscape that has followed widespread land abandonment, especially that following the break-up of the former USSR.

    Cone index and surface soil moisture measurements in selected agricultural fields within the Raam and Twente soil moisture monitoring networks
    Carranza, C.D. - \ 2019
    agriculture - cone index - soil moisture - trafficability
    This dataset covers cone index and surface soil moisture measurements over selected agricultural fields, which are also the sites of a few stations within the Raam and Twente soil moisture monitoring networks. A penetrologger (Eijkelkamp) with 1 cm diameter and 60 degree angle was used to collect cone index over the topsoil (upper 20 cm layer) and a TDR (TRIME-IMKO) was used to collect surface soil moisture (upper 5 cm layer). The data set covers 2016 and 2017 growing seasons.
    Verdienmodellen natuurinclusieve landbouw: kennis in ontwikkeling
    Polman, N.B.P. ; Michels, R. ; Dijkshoorn-Dekker, M.W.C. - \ 2019
    animal welfare - animal production - nature - agriculture
    Gobernanza para la Adaptación basada en Ecosistemas (AbE) para pequeños caficultores de América Central
    Vignola, Raffaele ; Otarola, Marco ; Alpizar, Francisco ; Rivera, Pavel - \ 2019
    Agronomia mesoamericana 30 (2019)1. - ISSN 1021-7444 - p. 19 - 32.
    climate change adaptation - environmental policies - network analysis - agriculture
    Introduction. Agricultural practices based on good management of ecosystems are promoted as a good adaptation strategy for the productive activities of coffee smallholder farmers in the Central American region. The dissemination of information on innovations, techniques, instruments, etc. between organizations and producers is key to expand and consolidate the use of these practices. Objective. The objective of this study was to identify the structure of information-dissemination governance that can help expand and consolidate the use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) practices in agriculture. Materials and methods. Three productive landscapes distributed in three countries
    (Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica) were analysed, characterized by predominantly small-scale coffee growing farmers. For each of these landscapes, the actors that exchange information between the national scale and the level
    of the producers were identified. Interviews were conducted to characterize the information flows and their possible relevance to promote EbA in the productive systems of coffee producers. Results. It was identified both key actors and gaps in the network of organizations that inhibit the transmission of information between scales and sectors. In Costa Rica, the capacity for intermediation of information across sectors and scales is spread between State entities and
    competitive producer organizations. In Honduras, intermediation capacities are distributed among some civil society organizations that work at local levels closely with producers and governmental organizations that work at the national
    level. In Guatemala, the intermediation capacities are mainly distributed among governmental, civil society and private organizations, mainly at the national level. Conclusion.The analysis of networks in these coffee landscapes suggests
    that although all three countries have a similar institutionalization of the coffee sector, in two the dissemination of information to promote EbA would benefit at intermediate and local scales to promote learning among producers.
    Corrigendum: How Can We Define “Optimal Microbiota?”: A Comparative Review of Structure and Functions of Microbiota of Animals, Fish, and Plants in Agriculture (Frontiers in Nutrition
    Ikeda-Ohtsubo, Wakako ; Brugman, Sylvia ; Warden, Craig H. ; Rebel, Johanna M.J. ; Folkerts, Gert ; Pieterse, Corné M.J. - \ 2018
    Frontiers in Nutrition 5 (2018). - ISSN 2296-861X
    agricultural immunology - agriculture - animal husbandry - aquaculture - microbiota - phyllosphere - rhizosphere

    In the original article, we regret that the following Funding statement was missing: This work was financially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through JSPS Core-to-Core Program (Advanced Research Networks) entitled Establishment of international agricultural immunology research-core for a quantum improvement in food safety. The authors apologize for this error and state that this does not change the scientific conclusions of the article in any way. The original article has been updated.

    Circular agriculture has already started
    Zanten, H.H.E. van; Boer, I.J.M. de; Oenema, O. ; Brussaard, L. ; Sukkel, W. ; Verhoeven, Frank ; Poppe, K.J. ; Zanders, R. ; Scholten, M.C.T. - \ 2018
    agriculture - cycling - biobased economy - agricultural wastes - biomass - sustainability
    De kringlooplandbouw is al begonnen
    Zanten, H.H.E. van; Scholten, M.C.T. ; Boer, I.J.M. de; Oenema, O. ; Brussaard, L. ; Sukkel, W. ; Poppe, K.J. - \ 2018
    biobased economy - agriculture - cycling - farmers - biomass - agricultural wastes
    Circular agriculture, a good idea?
    Boer, Imke de - \ 2018
    biobased economy - animal production - biomass - waste management - agriculture
    Public lecture in Dutch with English subs. Imke de boer speaking also on behalf of Martin van Ittersum.
    Limiting the high impacts of Amazon forest dieback with no-regrets science and policy action
    Lapola, David M. ; Pinho, Patricia ; Quesada, Carlos A. ; Strassburg, Bernardo B.N. ; Rammig, Anja ; Kruijt, Bart ; Brown, Foster ; Ometto, Jean P.H.B. ; Premebida, Adriano ; Marengo, José A. ; Vergara, Walter ; Nobre, Carlos A. - \ 2018
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (2018)46. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 11671 - 11679.
    adaptation - agriculture - ecosystem services - hydroelectricity generation - migration

    Large uncertainties still dominate the hypothesis of an abrupt large-scale shift of the Amazon forest caused by climate change [Amazonian forest dieback (AFD)] even though observational evidence shows the forest and regional climate changing. Here, we assess whether mitigation or adaptation action should be taken now, later, or not at all in light of such uncertainties. No action/later action would result in major social impacts that may influence migration to large Amazonian cities through a causal chain of climate change and forest degradation leading to lower river-water levels that affect transportation, food security, and health. Net-present value socioeconomic damage over a 30-year period after AFD is estimated between US dollar (USD) $957 billion (×109) and $3,589 billion (compared with Gross Brazilian Amazon Product of USD $150 billion per year), arising primarily from changes in the provision of ecosystem services. Costs of acting now would be one to two orders of magnitude lower than economic damages. However, while AFD mitigation alternatives-e.g., curbing deforestation-are attainable (USD $64 billion), their efficacy in achieving a forest resilience that prevents AFD is uncertain. Concurrently, a proposed set of 20 adaptation measures is also attainable (USD $122 billion) and could bring benefits even if AFD never occurs. An interdisciplinary research agenda to fill lingering knowledge gaps and constrain the risk of AFD should focus on developing sound experimental and modeling evidence regarding its likelihood, integrated with socioeconomic assessments to anticipate its impacts and evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of mitigation/adaptation options.

    How does agriculture contribute to food security?
    Duncan, J.A.B. - \ 2018
    Wageningen : WURcast
    food security - agriculture
    In this video we explain how agriculture contributes to our food security. And how it should be viewed: agriculture vs. food as the main viewpoint?
    Groene dagbesteding in de stad: een levendige plek voor mensen met dementie : Factsheet
    Buist, Y. ; Bruin, S. de; Vaandrager, L. ; Hassink, J. - \ 2018
    Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research - 17 p.
    health - well-being - nature - agriculture - participation
    Framing and integration in the global forest, agriculture and climate change nexus
    Soto Golcher, Cinthia ; Visseren-Hamakers, Ingrid - \ 2018
    Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 36 (2018)8. - ISSN 2399-6544 - p. 1415 - 1436.
    agriculture - climate change - climate smart agriculture - framing - integration - Integrative Governance - Interplay management - REDD+

    This article contributes to the debate on Integrative Governance by studying integration in the global forest–agriculture–climate change nexus. Since the 1990s, the role of the land-use sector, in particular forests and agriculture, has become increasingly prominent in climate change debates due to its vulnerability and its contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing agriculture, climate change and forest policies in an integrated way could therefore create important synergies and reduce trade-offs. This article aims to analyse the extent of integration in current global governance in the nexus of agriculture, forests and climate change, and to explain this extent of integration. Based on the analysis of secondary data, participation in key events and semi-structured interviews, this article concludes that efforts to enhance integration have taken different forms for the different pairs of domains (climate change–agriculture, agriculture–forest, forest–climate change) as well as for the nexus of the three. Integration has been mainly enhanced through soft law, programmes and integrative approaches (e.g. landscape approach, climate smart agriculture, agroforestry). The analysis also shows that the extent of integration among the governance systems has differed. Interplay management efforts on forests and climate change have been relatively successful. Agriculture and forest, and agriculture and climate have low and modest levels of integration respectively, except adaptation in agriculture, which enjoys higher integration levels. Differences in integration can be explained by the medium to high degrees of legalization and the (in)compatibility of the dominant frames present in the different governance systems. Furthermore, our results show that integration in a governance system with a high degree of legalisation, and dominated by one regime, as is the case in climate change, presents important challenges. In such cases, integration might have greater potential outside the intergovernmental regime through soft law approaches.

    Comparing impacts of climate change and mitigation on global agriculture by 2050
    Meijl, Hans van; Havlik, Petr ; Lotze-Campen, Hermann ; Stehfest, Elke ; Witzke, Peter ; Domínguez, Ignacio P. ; Bodirsky, Benjamin L. ; Dijk, Michiel van; Doelman, Jonathan ; Fellmann, Thomas ; Humpenöder, Florian ; Koopman, Jason F.L. ; Müller, Christoph ; Popp, Alexander ; Tabeau, Andrzej ; Valin, Hugo ; Zeist, Willem J. van - \ 2018
    Environmental Research Letters 13 (2018)6. - ISSN 1748-9318
    adaptation - agriculture - climate change - economic models - mitigation - shared socioeconomic pathways

    Systematic model inter-comparison helps to narrow discrepancies in the analysis of the future impact of climate change on agricultural production. This paper presents a set of alternative scenarios by five global climate and agro-economic models. Covering integrated assessment (IMAGE), partial equilibrium (CAPRI, GLOBIOM, MAgPIE) and computable general equilibrium (MAGNET) models ensures a good coverage of biophysical and economic agricultural features. These models are harmonized with respect to basic model drivers, to assess the range of potential impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector by 2050. Moreover, they quantify the economic consequences of stringent global emission mitigation efforts, such as non-CO2 emission taxes and land-based mitigation options, to stabilize global warming at 2 °C by the end of the century under different Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. A key contribution of the paper is a vis-à-vis comparison of climate change impacts relative to the impact of mitigation measures. In addition, our scenario design allows assessing the impact of the residual climate change on the mitigation challenge. From a global perspective, the impact of climate change on agricultural production by mid-century is negative but small. A larger negative effect on agricultural production, most pronounced for ruminant meat production, is observed when emission mitigation measures compliant with a 2 °C target are put in place. Our results indicate that a mitigation strategy that embeds residual climate change effects (RCP2.6) has a negative impact on global agricultural production relative to a no-mitigation strategy with stronger climate impacts (RCP6.0). However, this is partially due to the limited impact of the climate change scenarios by 2050. The magnitude of price changes is different amongst models due to methodological differences. Further research to achieve a better harmonization is needed, especially regarding endogenous food and feed demand, including substitution across individual commodities, and endogenous technological change.

    Regional soil moisture monitoring network in the Raam catchment in the Netherlands - 2016-04 / 2017-04 (corrected)
    Benninga, H.F. ; Carranza, C.D. ; Pezij, M. ; Ploeg, M.J. van der; Augustijn, D.C.M. ; Velde, R. van der - \ 2018
    agriculture - hydrology - soil moisture - soil temperature - unsaturated zone - water management
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