Life cycle assessment (LCA) of different fertilizer product types
Hasler, K. ; Broering, S. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Olfs, H.W. - \ 2015
European Journal of Agronomy 69 (2015). - ISSN 1161-0301 - p. 41 - 51.
environmental-impact assessment - greenhouse-gas emissions - crop production - agricultural production - production systems - wheat production - nitrogen - sustainability - methodology - future
Appropriate use of fertilizer in crop production to limit the environmental impact is essential for sustainable agriculture. While much is known about the environmental impact of fertilizer production only a limited amount of data is available covering the whole fertilizer supply chain. Up to now no comparison was done on the environmental impact of different fertilizer types (i.e., complex fertilizer, bulk blend fertilizer and single nutrient fertilizer). A cradle-to-field life cycle assessment (LCA) for the fertilizer supply chain in Germany, from extraction of raw materials, via fertilizer production, transportation and storage until final application in the field was carried out. Two different complex fertilizers were compared with single nutrient fertilizers (containing only one nutrient) and bulk blend fertilizers (containing more than one nutrient as a dry mixture). The five most relevant impact categories (i.e., climate change, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion and resource depletion) were selected to cover different environmental impacts. Additionally, a scenario analysis was carried out focusing on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, as new catalytic reduction techniques for the manufacturing of nitrogen (N) containing fertilizers are available that can lead to drastic reductions of N2O emissions. Production of fertilizers causes high values in the impact categories climate change, fossil fuel depletion and acidification, whereas resource depletion is dominant for production and transportation. For the impact category eutrophication, the application of fertilizer is the most important factor. For a fertilizer strategy with low phosphorus application rate, a bulk blend or single nutrient fertilizer with calcium ammonium nitrate is the most sustainable choice, while for a fertilizer strategy with a balanced nutrient formula, a bulk blend or single nutrient fertilizer with calcium ammonium nitrate or a standard complex fertilizer are sustainable options. Scenario calculations with reduced N2O emission during the production process reveals that this reduction technique is not relevant for urea based fertilizers leading to the conclusion that products containing urea need different emission reduction techniques to keep up with the environmental improvements of other nitrogen fertilizers. With an optimized fertilization strategy the environmental burden can be reduced up to 15%. As nitrogen application rates strongly affect the LCA results it is essential that the right amounts of N are used and that for N fertilizer production the best available technique should be installed. Furthermore, a careful consideration concerning the fertilizer product type should be part of every LCA of food and agricultural products, as this has a great impact on LCA results.
A method to assess social sustainability of capture fisheries: An application to a Norwegian trawler
Veldhuizen, L.J.L. ; Berentsen, P.B.M. ; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2015
Environmental Impact Assessment Review 53 (2015). - ISSN 0195-9255 - p. 31 - 39.
time-temperature integrators - different quality parameters - production systems - egg-production - swot analysis - indicators - fish - farm - appraisal - rapfish
Social sustainability assessment of capture fisheries is, both in terms of method development and measurement, not well developed. The objective of this study, therefore, was to develop a method consisting of indicators and rubrics (i.e. categories that articulate levels of performance) to assess social sustainability of capture fisheries. This method was applied to a Norwegian trawler that targets cod and haddock in the northeast Atlantic. Based on previous research, 13 social sustainability issues were selected. To measure the state of these issues, 17 process and outcome indicators were determined. To interpret indicator values, rubrics were developed for each indicator, using standards set by international conventions or data retrieved from national statistics, industry agreements or scientific publications that explore rubric scales. The indicators and rubrics were subsequently used in a social sustainability assessment of a Norwegian trawler. This assessment indicated that overall, social sustainability of this trawler is relatively high, with high rubric scores, for example, for worker safety, provisions aboard for the crew and companies' salary levels. The assessment also indicated that the trawler could improve on healthy working environment, product freshness and fish welfare during capture. This application demonstrated that our method provides insight into social sustainability at the level of the vessel and can be used to identify potential room for improvement. This method is also promising for social sustainability assessment of other capture fisheries.
Social sustainability of cod and haddock fisheries in the northeast Atlantic: what issues are important?
Veldhuizen, L.J.L. ; Berentsen, P. ; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2015
Journal of Cleaner Production 94 (2015). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 76 - 85.
life-cycle assessment - environmental impacts - production systems - fish - categories - indicators - products - welfare - stress - salmon
Research on the sustainability of capture fisheries has focused more on environmental and economic sustainability than on social sustainability. To assess social sustainability, first relevant and important social sustainability issues need to be identified. The objective of this study was to identify relevant social sustainability issues for cod and haddock fisheries in the northeast Atlantic and to determine the importance of these issues based on stakeholder input. A heterogeneous group of stakeholders was invited to take part in two consecutive surveys on social sustainability issues. The first survey (n=41) resulted in a long list of 27 relevant social sustainability issues, including six issues that were not identified in previous studies and that address aspects of fish welfare, employees' training and education opportunities, and employees' time off from work. The second survey (n=51) resulted in a ranking of the social sustainability issues in order of importance. The most important issues are worker safety, product freshness and companies' salary levels. In general, social sustainability issues concerning working conditions, employees' job fulfilment and fish welfare are seen as more important than other social sustainability issues. A main discussion point concerns the relation between the importance of a social sustainability issue on the one hand and the type of need that the issue relates to and the state of the issue on the other hand. From the study it can be concluded that the relative importance of social sustainability issues differs per stakeholder group depending on the relation between the stakeholder group and each particular issue. This demonstrates the importance of consulting different stakeholder groups in future studies on social sustainability in order to get a balanced view on the importance of social sustainability issues. Results on the relevance and importance of social sustainability issues for cod and haddock fisheries in the northeast Atlantic enable the fishing industry and policy-makers to direct improvement efforts towards the more important issues. ©
Sustainability of milk production in the Netherlands - A comparison between raw organic, pasteurised organic and conventional milk
Asselt, E.D. van; Capuano, E. ; Fels-Klerx, H.J. van der - \ 2015
International Dairy Journal 47 (2015). - ISSN 0958-6946 - p. 19 - 26.
life-cycle assessment - environmental impacts - production systems - dairy farms - tool - metaanalysis - agriculture - consumption - indicators - quality
Consumer preferences are changing, resulting in an increased demand for both organic milk and raw milk due to their perceived higher nutritional value and positive contribution to animal welfare. To compare the advantages and disadvantages of these products with conventional pasteurised milk, a sustainability assessment was performed incorporating social, environmental and economic factors. The assessment showed that raw organic milk gave the highest overall sustainability score. This is due to, for example, a high score for animal welfare and a high score for the environmental factors due to the omission of the pasteurisation step compared with conventional milk. The latter may pose human health risks due to the possible presence of pathogens in raw milk. As the approach followed is transparent, it allows policy makers to discuss the outcome of the sustainability assessment both with stakeholders and the general public, which will facilitate the decision making process.
Intensification of grassland and forage use: driving forces and constraints
Oenema, O. ; Klein, C. de; Alfaro, M. - \ 2014
Crop and Pasture Science 65 (2014)6. - ISSN 1836-0947 - p. 524 - 537.
resource use efficiency - volcanic soil - production ecology - production systems - urea application - southern chile - nitrogen-cycle - food security - losses - management
The increasing demand for safe and nutritional dairy and beef products in a globalising world, together with the needs to increase resource use efficiency and to protect biodiversity, provide strong incentives for intensification of grassland and forage use. This paper addresses the question: 'Does intensification of grassland and forage use lead to efficient, profitable and sustainable ecosystems?' We present some notions about intensification of agricultural production, and then discuss the intensification of grassland-based dairy production in The Netherlands, Chile and New Zealand. Finally, we arrive at some conclusions. External driving forces and the need to economise (the law of the optimum) provide strong incentives for intensification, that is, for increasing the output per unit surface area and labour. The three country cases illustrate that intensification of grassland use is a global phenomenon, with winners and losers. Winners are farmers who are able to achieve a high return on investments. Losers are small farmers who drop out of the business unless they broaden their income base. The relationship between intensification and environmental impact is complex. Within certain ranges, intensification leads to increased emissions of nutrients and greenhouse gases to air and use of water per unit surface area, but to decreased emissions when expressed per unit of product. The sustainability of a grassland-based ecosystem is ultimately defined by the societal appreciation of that system and by biophysical and socioeconomic constraints. In conclusion, intensification may lead to more efficient and profitable and, thereby, more sustainable grassland ecosystems. This holds especially for those systems that are currently not sustainable because they are either underutilised and of low productivity or over-exploited and unregulated, and as long as the adapted systems meet societal and ecological constraints.
From global economic modelling to household level analyses of food security and sustainability: how big is the gap and can we bridge it?
Wijk, M.T. van - \ 2014
Food Policy 49 (2014)2. - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 378 - 388.
agricultural land-use - integrated assessment - climate-change - production systems - farming systems - earth system - cover change - east-africa - challenges - science
Policy and decision makers have to make difficult choices to improve the food security of local people against the background of drastic global and local changes. Ex-ante impact assessment using integrated models can help them with these decisions. This review analyses the state of affairs of the multi-scale modelling of policy interventions, with an emphasis on applications in developing countries and livestock systems. Existing models do not sufficiently capture the complexity of human-environment interactions across different scales, and especially the link between landscape and local market levels, and national and sub-national level policies and markets is missing. The paper suggests a step wise approach with increasing data needs to bridge this gap. Improvements need to be made at the description of effects of the distribution of local markets on price formation and the representation of farm diversity within a landscape. Analyses in contrasting agro-ecological systems are needed to derive generic summary functions that can be used as input for macro level model analyses. This is especially pertinent for macro level descriptions of crop and livestock production in relation to price developments and of the mosaic of different agricultural land use responses in regions with contrasting socio-economic conditions and developments.
Mapping and modelling trade-offs and synergies between grazing intensity and ecosystem services in rangelands using global-scale datasets and models
Petz, K. ; Alkemade, J.R.M. ; Bakkenes, M. ; Schulp, C.J.E. ; Velde, M. van der; Leemans, R. - \ 2014
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 29 (2014). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 223 - 234.
net primary production - land-use - conservation priorities - livestock production - developing-countries - production systems - biodiversity - carbon - challenges - balance
Vast areas of rangelands across the world are grazed with increasing intensity, but interactions between livestock production, biodiversity and other ecosystem services are poorly studied. This study explicitly determines trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem services and livestock grazing intensity on rangelands. Grazing intensity and its effects on forage utilization by livestock, carbon sequestration, erosion prevention and biodiversity are quantified and mapped, using global datasets and models. Results show that on average 4% of the biomass produced annually is consumed by livestock. On average, erosion prevention is 10% lower in areas with a high grazing intensity compared to areas with a low grazing intensity, whereas carbon emissions are more than four times higher under high grazing intensity compared to low grazing intensity. Rangelands with the highest grazing intensity are located in the Sahel, Pakistan, West India, Middle East, North Africa and parts of Brazil. These high grazing intensities result in carbon emissions, low biodiversity values, low capacity for erosion prevention and unsustainable forage utilization. Although the applied models simplify the processes of ecosystem service supply, our study provides a global overview of the consequences of grazing for biodiversity and ecosystem services. The expected increasing future demand for livestock products likely increase pressures on rangelands. Global-scale models can help to identify targets and target areas for international policies aiming at sustainable future use of these rangelands.
Summer-growing perennial grasses are a potential new feed source in the low rainfall environment of southern Australia
Descheemaeker, K.K.E. ; Llewellyn, R. ; Moore, A. ; Whitbread, A. - \ 2014
Crop and Pasture Science 65 (2014)10. - ISSN 1836-0947 - p. 1033 - 1043.
decision-support tool - mixed-farming zone - production systems - victorian mallee - sheep production - field-evaluation - pasture legumes - united-states - crop - model
In the Mallee region of southern Australia, the dry and variable climate results in frequent summer–autumn feed gaps, restricting the profitability of farms that combine livestock and crop enterprises. To assess the suitability of summer-growing perennial grasses to fill such feed gaps, two replicated field experiments comparing the persistence and productivity of several cultivars were conducted at Hopetoun and Karoonda. The data from these experiments also served to validate a C4 grass model, which was then used in a simulation experiment comparing productivity on two different soil types at three locations. Most grass cultivars established well except on sandy, non-wetting soils. At Hopetoun, four of five cultivars persisted over 6 years, demonstrating the tolerance of the selected cultivars to the typical long, dry summers and cold, wet winters of the region. Biomass production showed little difference between cultivars and a strong response to the amount of summer rainfall, ranging from 1500 to 3000 kg ha–1 under average seasonal conditions and peaking at 9000 kg ha–1 in the very wet summer of 2010–2011. Model performance was satisfactory (R2 0.85–0.93, RMSE 476–1673 kg ha–1, depending on the cultivar), in terms of predicting both the magnitude and the timing of biomass production. Simulation outputs indicated that biomass production closely followed seasonal trends in temperature and moisture availability. Grazing potential was highest from early summer to autumn, which coincides with the period of feed shortages and highest marginal value of forage. In areas with warm-season (October–April) rainfall averages of 175 and 225 mm, the grazing of C4 grass pastures on marginal soils would be possible in at least 40% of the years for 2 and 3 months, respectively. It was concluded that summer-growing perennials are a promising option to alleviate feed gaps on mixed crop–livestock farms in areas with at least 150 mm of rainfall from October to April.
A conceptual approach for a quantitative economic analysis of farmers’ decision-making regarding animal welfare
Gocsik, E. ; Saatkamp, H.W. ; Lauwere, C.C. de; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. - \ 2014
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (2014)2. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 287 - 308.
willingness-to-pay - multiattribute utility-theory - conjoint-analysis - production systems - planned behavior - attitudes - values - objectives - management - goals
Decisions related to animal welfare (AW) standards depend on farmer’s multiple goals and values and are constrained by a wide range of external and internal forces. The aim of this paper is twofold, i.e., (1) to develop a theoretical framework for farmers’ AW decisions that incorporates farmers’ goals, use and non-use values and (2) to present an approach to empirically implement the theoretical framework. The farmer as a head of the farm household makes choices regarding production to maximize the utility of the household. The overall utility of the farmer is determined by his multiple objectives. For the analysis of multi-objective problems, the multiple criteria decision-making paradigm provides an appropriate theoretical framework. However, theories from the field of social-psychology are needed to facilitate the identification of all relevant aspects in the decision making (i.e., factors that explain behavior). The practical use of the conceptual framework is demonstrated using a simple numerical application of a multi-objective programming model. Two workshops were devoted to examining the scientific consistency and the practical usefulness of the approach. Implementing this approach will increase knowledge of the main factors and barriers that determine farmers’ decisions with regard to AW standards. This knowledge is relevant during the development of new AW concepts that aims to supply products that comply with above-legal AW standards for middle-market segments.
Of yield gaps and yield ceilings: Making plants grow in particular places
Glover, D. - \ 2014
Geoforum 53 (2014). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 184 - 194.
rice intensification sri - agricultural-research - production systems - empirical record - farming systems - farmers - crops - management - relevance - africa
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and rice genetic improvement are proposed as two approaches to improving and increasing rice production. In recent exchanges, they have been represented by their respective supporters as starkly contrasting, almost mutually incompatible alternatives. However, advocates on both sides of this argument have tended to stress the genetic and physiological characteristics of rice plants and place less emphasis on the spatially and temporally situated knowledge and management skills of farmers, which are the means by which any agricultural technology is locally adapted and integrated into livelihood strategies, and technological potential is translated into real outcomes in specific settings. Taking this proposition seriously would entail a substantial reorganisation of agricultural research and extension, bridging the historical divide between these two wings of professional agronomy. It would require agronomists of both types to work more collaboratively with farmers. It would also require scientists to produce new kinds of outputs, such as analytical frameworks, heuristics and decision-making tools to help farmers apply scientific insights to their own constrained circumstances. This argument is made with reference to the cases of SRI (a cultivation system that is said to boost farm yields without the need for genetically improved germplasm) and C4 rice (a crop-improvement project intending to ‘supercharge’ rice photosynthesis to increase rice yields). The paper uses the agronomic concepts of the ‘yield gap’ and the ‘yield ceiling’ to offer a perspective on strategic questions about the goals and organisation of agricultural research and extension.
Sustainability assessment of salmonid feed using energy, classical exergy and eco-exergy analysis
Draganovic, V. ; Jorgensen, S.E. ; Boom, R.M. ; Jonkers, J. ; Goot, A.J. van der - \ 2013
Ecological Indicators 34 (2013). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 277 - 289.
krill euphausia-superba - life-cycle assessment - environmental impacts - production systems - farmed salmon - ethanol - organisms - products - chains - wheat
Reduction of the environmental impact of feed products is of paramount importance for salmon farming. This article explores the potential to compare three thermodynamically based ecological indicators. The environmental impact of partial replacement of fish meal (FM) and fish oil with alternative ingredients was investigated using energy, classical exergy and eco-exergy analysis. Seven hypothetical feeds were formulated: one with high levels of FM and fish oil, four feeds based on plant ingredients, one containing krill meal, and one based on algae-derived products. Analysis included cultivation of crops and algae, fishing for fish and krill, industrial processing of these ingredients and production of complete fish feed. Because most harvested products are refined in multiple product outputs that have good value to society, two scenarios were compared. In the base case scenario, no allocation of co-products was used and all the environmental costs were ascribed to one specific co-product. Co-product allocation by mass was used in the second scenario; this is considered to be the preferred scenario because it accurately reflects the individual contributions of the co-products to the environmental impact of the feed products. For this scenario, the total energy consumption for a fish-based diet was 14,500 MJ, which was similar to a krill diet (15,600 MJ), about 15–31% higher than plant-based diets, and 9% higher than an algae diet. Substituting FM and fish oil with alternative ingredients resulted in minor changes in total classical exergy degradation (2–16% difference). The calculations based on energy only consider the energy conservation based on the First Law of Thermodynamics, whereas those based on classical exergy also takes the Second Law of Thermodynamics into account; energy that can do work is distinguished from energy that is lost as heat to the environment. The calculations based on eco-exergy consider the total loss of work energy in the environment including the work energy associated with the information embodied in the genomes of organisms. The diet based on fishery-derived ingredients was the highest total work energy consumer compared with plant-based diets (24–30% greater), the diet containing krill meal (25% greater), and the algae diet (four times higher). Thus, reducing FM and fish oil levels in fish feed can contribute significantly to more sustainable aquaculture. In particular, algae-derived products in aquafeeds could drastically decrease environmental costs in the future.
livestock Farming with Care: towards sustainable production of animal-source food
Scholten, M.C.T. ; Boer, I.J.M. de; Gremmen, H.G.J. ; Lokhorst, C. - \ 2013
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 66 (2013). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 3 - 5.
broiler production - production systems
This paper introduces a concept for sustainable production of animal-source food. This concept of “Livestock Farming with Care” is founded on care ethics with an integrated approach based on four principles: One Health (i.e. healthy and safe for animals and humans); Customized Care (i.e. from the individual animal's perspective and integrity); No Nuisance (i.e. from an environmental and societal perspective) and Credible Performance (i.e. from an economic and public prospect). It is acknowledged that the diversity in farming systems ranging from typical smallholder practices to high output production systems requires integrated and customized solutions based on this general concept. Emerging technologies as included in “Precision Livestock Farming” can be beneficial to the implementatio
Simulated selection responses for breeding programs including resistance and resilience to parasites in Creole goats
Gunia, M. ; Phocas, F. ; Gourdine, J.L. ; Bijma, P. ; Mandonnet, N. - \ 2013
Journal of Animal Science 91 (2013)2. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 572 - 581.
meat quality traits - nematode infections - genetic-parameters - production systems - gastrointestinal helminths - small ruminants - dairy sheep - merino ewes - schemes - contamination
The Creole goat is a local breed used for meat production in Guadeloupe (French West Indies). As in other tropical countries, improvement of parasite resistance is needed. In this study, we compared predicted selection responses for alternative breeding programs with or without parasites resistance and resilience traits. The overall breeding goal included traits for production, reproduction and parasite resilience and resistance to ensure a balanced selection outcome. The production traits were body weight (BW) and dressing percentage (DP). The reproduction trait was fertility (FER), which was the number of doe kiddings per mating. The resistance trait was worm fecal egg count (FEC), which is a measurement of the number of gastro-intestinal parasite eggs found in the feces. The resilience trait was the packed cell volume (PCV), which is a measurement of the volume of red blood cells in the blood. DP, BW and FEC were measured at 11 mo of age, which is the mating or selling age. FER and PCV were measured on females at each kidding period. The breeding program accounting for the overall breeding goal and a selection index including all traits gave annual selection responses of 800 g for BW, 3.75% for FER, 0.08% for DP, -0.005 ln(eggs/g) for FEC, and 0.28% for PCV. The expected selection responses for BW and DP in this breeding program were reduced by 2% and 6%, respectively, compared to a breeding program not accounting for FEC and PCV. The overall breeding program, proposed for the Creole breed, offers the best breeding strategy in terms of expected selection responses, making it possible to improve all traits together. It offers a good balance between production and adaptation traits and may present some interest for the selection of other goat breeds in the tropics.
Response to 'Combining sustainable agricultural production with economic and environmental benefits'
Sumberg, J. ; Andersson, J.A. ; Giller, K.E. ; Thompson, J. - \ 2013
Geographical Journal 179 (2013)2. - ISSN 0016-7398 - p. 183 - 185.
rice intensification sri - conservation agriculture - production systems - management - madagascar - yield - opportunities - farmers - africa - india
We suggest that a recent commentary piece in The Geographical Journal on Conservation Agriculture (CA) and the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) (Kassam and Brammer 2012 was misleading because it drew very selectively from the literature, and presented its conclusions as both widely accepted and uncontroversial. Kassam and Brammer's intervention in the continuing debates around CA and SRI can be understood as a manifestation of the new ‘contested agronomy’. While Kassam and Brammer call on geographers to do research that will promote the spread of CA and SRI, we suggest that this misconstrues and devalues the potential contribution of geography and social science more generally to agricultural development.
Reducing damaging behaviour in robust livestock farming
Goede, D.M. de; Gremmen, H.G.J. ; Rodenburg, T.B. ; Bolhuis, J.E. ; Bijma, P. ; Scholten, M.C.T. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2013
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 66 (2013). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 49 - 53.
laying hens - environmental enrichment - production systems - breeding programs - animal-welfare - pigs - traits - stress - sustainability - tuberculosis
This paper focuses on how farmers can reduce damaging behaviour in livestock farming by using robustness strategies. We suggest focusing not only on breeding and improvement of early life, but also on supporting adaptation to the environment by offering a suitable housing environment. First, we describe the theoretical background to robustness. Three different robustness strategies are then related to one external and two internal aspects of system vulnerability, namely, exposure, resistance and resilience. Subsequently, we investigate the extent to which robustness can contribute to the reduction of damaging behaviour.
Meeting heterogeneity in consumer demand for animal welfare: A reflection on existing knowledge and implications for the meat sector
Jonge, J. de; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2013
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (2013)3. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 629 - 661.
corporate social-responsibility - production systems - environmental-impact - livestock production - broiler production - supply chain - food - stakeholder - standards - attitudes
The legitimacy of the dominant intensive meat production system with respect to the issue of animal welfare is increasingly being questioned by stakeholders across the meat supply chain. The current meat supply is highly undifferentiated, catering only for the extremes of morality concerns (i.e., conventional vs. organic meat products). However, a latent need for compromise products has been identified. That is, consumer differences exist regarding the trade-offs they make between different aspects associated with meat consumption. The heterogeneity in consumer demand could function as a starting point for market segmentation, targeting and positioning regarding animal welfare concepts that are differentiated in terms of animal welfare and price levels. Despite this, stakeholders in the meat supply chain seem to be trapped in the dominant business model focused on low cost prices. This paper aims to identify conflicting interests that stakeholders in the meat supply chain experience in order to increase understanding of why heterogeneous consumer preferences are not met by a more differentiated supply of meat products produced at different levels of animal welfare standards. In addition, characteristics of the supply chain that contribute to the existence of high exit barriers and difficulty to shift to more animal-friendly production systems are identified. Following the analysis of conflicting interests among stakeholders and factors that contribute to difficulty to transform the existing dominant regime, different routes are discussed that may help and motivate stakeholders to overcome these barriers and stimulate the creation of new markets.
A functional evaluation of three indicator sets for assessing soil quality
Lima, A.C.R. ; Brussaard, L. ; Totola, M.R. ; Hoogmoed, W.B. ; Goede, R.G.M. de - \ 2013
Applied Soil Ecology 64 (2013). - ISSN 0929-1393 - p. 194 - 200.
production systems - management - tillage - health
Efforts to define and quantify soil quality are not new, but establishing consensus about a set of standardized indicators remains difficult. Also, the view of land managers is usually not taken into account when evaluating various sets of indicators. Our objective was to compare, in functional terms, soil quality assessments based on 29 indicators, a subset with 8 of those indicators, and 4 indicators selected independently by farmers, based on their perceptions of soil quality. The assessments were made for three different rice management systems in Camaquã, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, on soils of four soil textural classes based on clay content (600 g kg-1). The effects of land management practices on soil functions (water infiltration, storage and supply; nutrient storage, supply and cycling; and sustained biological activity) were evaluated. Soil quality was best assessed using the entire set of 29 indicators, but use of smaller indicator sets showed the same trends among management systems, textural classes, and soil functions, thus providing meaningful information on soil quality for land managers.
Exploring global Cryptosporidium emissions to surface water
Hofstra, N. ; Bouwman, A.F. ; Beusen, A.H.W. ; Medema, G.J. - \ 2013
Science of the Total Environment 442 (2013)1. - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 10 - 19.
activated-sludge treatment - parvum oocysts - giardia cysts - dairy calves - waste-water - healthy-adults - river water - production systems - nonpoint sources - climate-change
The protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium is a major cause of diarrhoea worldwide. This paper presents the first model-based inventory with 0.5 by 0.5 degree resolution of global Cryptosporidium emissions for the year 2000 from humans and animals to surface water. The model is based on nutrient distribution modelling, because the sources and transport of oocysts and nutrients to the surface water are comparable. Total emissions consist of point source emissions from wastewater and nonpoint source emissions by runoff of oocysts in manure from agricultural lands. Results indicate a global emission of 3 × 10^17 oocysts per year, with comparable contributions from point and nonpoint sources. Hot-spot areas for point sources are big cities in China, India and Latin America, while the area with the largest nonpoint source emissions is in China. Uncertainties in the model are large. Main areas for further study are (i) excretion rates of oocysts by humans and animals, (ii) emissions of humans not connected to sewage systems, and (iii) retention of oocysts to determine surface water pathogen concentrations rather than emissions. Our results are useful to health organisations to identify priority areas for further study and intervention.
Poultry welfare and management: WPSA Working Group Nine
Elson, H.A. ; Jong, I.C. de; Kjaer, J.B. ; Sossidou, E. ; Tauson, R.K. - \ 2012
Worlds Poultry Science Journal 68 (2012)4. - ISSN 0043-9339 - p. 768 - 775.
range laying hens - production systems - project
The introduction of the UK Protection of Animals Act 1911 demonstrates that animal welfare has been of concern for at least a century. The matter came to the fore about 50 years ago, when the welfare of hens in battery cages became an issue. Since then poultry welfare research and the development of superior management and housing systems for poultry have been stimulated by the lobbying of animal welfare organisations along with subsequent policy decisions and legislation. WPSA WG9 was formed in 1972 to encourage scientific studies to inform the poultry welfare debate; its members have positively influenced research and development of welfare-friendly housing systems and husbandry throughout Europe. They have also been active in EU projects aimed at improving the wellbeing of poultry e.g. LayWel, EFSA Opinions and Welfare Quality®. Information derived from such projects has influenced EU Directives and national legislation on the protection and welfare of laying hens and broilers, in particular.
Social-ecological and regional adaption of agrobiodiversity management across a global set of research regions
Jackson, L.E. ; Pulleman, M.M. ; Brussaard, L. ; Bawa, K. ; Brown, G.G. ; Cardoso, I.M. ; Ruiter, P.C. de; Garcia-Barrios, L.E. ; Hollander, A.D. ; Lavelle, P. ; Ouedraogo, E. ; Pascual, U. ; Setty, S. ; Smukler, S.M. ; Tscharntke, T. ; Noordwijk, M. van - \ 2012
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 22 (2012)3. - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 623 - 639.
atlantic rain-forest - agricultural intensification - biodiversity conservation - ecosystem services - environmental services - commodity production - production systems - central plateau - burkina-faso - landscape
To examine management options for biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, eight research regions were classified into social-ecological domains, using a dataset of indicators of livelihood resources, i.e., capital assets. Potential interventions for biodiversity-based agriculture were then compared among landscapes and domains. The approach combined literature review with expert judgment by researchers working in each landscape. Each landscape was described for land use, rural livelihoods and attitudes of social actors toward biodiversity and intensification of agriculture. Principal components analysis of 40 indicators of natural, human, social, financial and physical capital for the eight landscapes showed a loss of biodiversity associated with high-input agricultural intensification. High levels of natural capital (e.g. indicators of wildland biodiversity conservation and agrobiodiversity for human needs) were positively associated with indicators of human capital, including knowledge of the flora and fauna and knowledge sharing among farmers. Three social-ecological domains were identified across the eight landscapes (Tropical Agriculture-Forest Matrix, Tropical Degrading Agroecosystem, and Temperate High-Input Commodity Agriculture) using hierarchical clustering of the indicator values. Each domain shared a set of interventions for biodiversity-based agriculture and ecological intensification that could also increase food security in the impoverished landscapes. Implementation of interventions differed greatly among the landscapes, e.g. financial capital for new farming practices in the Intensive Agriculture domain vs. developing market value chains in the other domains. This exploratory study suggests that indicators of knowledge systems should receive greater emphasis in the monitoring of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and that inventories of assets at the landscape level can inform adaptive management of agrobiodiversity-based interventions