Agricultural Systems

Journal Information
ISSN : 0308-521X
Current Publisher: Elsevier BV (10.1016)
Total articles ≅ 4,274
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Latest articles in this journal

, L. Hossard, N. Graveline, P. Dugue, P. Guerra, N. Chirinda
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103092

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, Frederick Cubbage, Jorge Alvarez Giambruno
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103118

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, Gabrielli Martinelli, Felipe Dalzotto Artuzo
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103109

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, Guillaume Martin
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103082

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, K.J. Gaston, I.M.D. Maclean
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103083

Abstract:
Climate change will alter the global distribution of climatically suitable space for many species, including agricultural crops. In some locations, warmer temperatures may offer opportunities to grow novel, high value crops, but non-climatic factors also inform agricultural decision-making. These non-climatic factors can be difficult to quantify and incorporate into suitability assessments, particularly for uncertain futures. To demonstrate how qualitative and quantitative techniques can be combined to assess crop suitability with consideration for climatic and non-climatic factors. We carried out a horizon scanning exercise that used Delphi methodology to identify possible novel crops for a region in south-west England. We show how the results of the expert panel assessment could be combined with a crop suitability model that only considered climate to identify the best crops to grow in the region. Whilst improving climate and crop models will enhance the ability to identify environmental constraints to growing novel crops, we propose horizon scanning as a useful tool to understand constraints on crop suitability that are beyond the parameterisation of these models and that may affect agricultural decisions. A similar combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches to assessing crop suitability could be used to identify potential novel crops in other regions and to support more holistic assessments of crop suitability in a changing world.
, Thierry Hance
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103097

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Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103096

Abstract:
There is growing recognition that food systems must adapt to become more sustainable and equitable. Consequently, in developing country contexts, there is increasing momentum away from traditional producer-facing value chain upgrades towards efforts to increase both the availability and affordability of nutritious foods at the consumer level. However, such goals must navigate the inherent complexities of agricultural value chains, which involve multiple interactions, feedbacks and unintended consequences, including important but often surprising trade-offs between producers and consumers. Based around the 'Loop' horticultural aggregation scheme of Digital Green in Bihar, India, we develop a system dynamics modelling framework to survey the value chain trade-offs emerging from upgrades that aim to improve the availability of fruits and vegetables in small retail-oriented markets. We model the processes of horticultural production, aggregation, marketing, and retailing – searching for futures that are ‘win-win-win’ for: (i) the availability of fruits and vegetables in small retail markets, (ii) the profits of farmers participating in aggregation, and (iii) the sustainability of the initial scheme for Digital Green as an organisation. We simulate two internal upgrades to aggregation and two upgrades to the wider enabling environment through a series of 5000 Monte Carlo trajectories – designed to explore the plausible future dynamics of the three outcome dimensions relative to the baseline. We find that ‘win-win-win’ futures cannot be achieved by internal changes to the aggregation scheme alone, emerging under a narrow range of scenarios that boost supplies to the small retail market whilst simultaneously supporting the financial takeaways of farmers. In contrast, undesirable producer versus consumer trade-offs emerge as unintended consequences of scaling-up aggregation and the introduction of market-based cold storage. This approach furthers ongoing efforts to capture complex value chain processes, outcomes and upgrades within system dynamics modelling frameworks, before scanning the horizon of plausible external scenarios, internal dynamics and unintended trade-offs to identify ‘win-win-win’ futures for all.
, Juan Tur-Cardona, Stijn Speelman, T.S. Amjath-Babu, Anu Susan Sam, Peter Zander
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103090

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Yifan Shi, , Yiwei Zhang, Zufei Xu
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103087

Abstract:
With the growing demand for food and the threat from climate change, increasing grain yields with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is an important target. Yet, the quantitative effects of climate change and management practices on yield and global warming potential (GWP) of rice-winter wheat rotations are still uncertain. To investigate the key factors influencing the tradeoffs between yield and GHG of rice-winter wheat ecosystems in mid-eastern China over the two periods. In this study, the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model was used to examine the spatio-temporal county-scale variations in yields of rice-winter wheat rotations and associated GHG (CH4, N2O) and GHG intensity (GHGI) over two periods (1980–1989, 2010–2019) in mid-eastern China. The DNDC model is driven by a county-scale database, consisting of meteorological data (79 stations), soil properties, management practice, and crop parameters for 213 counties. Eight scenarios were defined to isolate the individual and combined impacts of climate change, new cultivars adoption, and management practices on yields, GWP, and GHGI. Results revealed that the total yield increased by 48.7% over the two periods but stagnated in the 2010s; the average emission rate of CH4 and N2O in the two periods were 250.7, 196, 0.63 and 2.83 kg ha−1, respectively, while GWP and GHGI declined by 12.8% and 38.3%. The individual contributions of climate change, new cultivars adoption, and management practices to the GHGI of the rice-winter wheat rotations were 37%, −42.5%, and 16.4%, respectively. Adoption of new cultivars was a decisive factor for improving yields and mitigating GHG, while climate change and management practices had a minor influence on yields. The negative responses of yield to improved management practices (i.e., high N fertilization, mid-season drainage) were mainly attributed to soil organic carbon (SOC) and bulk density variations and different fertilization patterns. The combination of new cultivars adoption and management practices decreased GHGI by 46.6%. These findings demonstrate the importance of high-yield crop varieties to low carbon agriculture, and that management practices should be adapted to local conditions and specific crop varieties. Given that the crop harvest index is approaching its theoretical upper limit and that promoting new varieties presents many challenges, future innovations should focus on introducing optimal strategies that balance the tradeoffs between yield and GHG emissions to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on agriculture.
, M.A. Keyzer, W.C.M. van Veen, H. Qiu
Published: 1 May 2021
Agricultural Systems, Volume 190; doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103093

Abstract:
Since 1980, China has made impressive progress in increasing agricultural production, improving food security and reducing rural poverty. Increased use of chemical fertilizer has played a vital role in this, but presently fertilizer overuse is posing severe challenges for the environment and human health. In response to this, the Chinese government has announced policies to reduce chemical fertilizer use, while at the same time supporting rural incomes and maintaining food self-sufficiency in major grains. The objective of the paper is to assess the effectiveness of these policies in reducing the nutrient surpluses, maintaining food self-sufficiency and supporting rural incomes throughout China. We use a spatially and socially detailed general equilibrium model of the Chinese economy to simulate the potential impact of these policies on agricultural production, environmental pollution and rural incomes. The scenarios are developed in a step-wise fashion to show the contribution of specific measures included in the policies. Our main results are that nitrate surpluses can be reduced by more than 50% and phosphate surpluses even by more than 75% without significant negative impacts on China's food self-sufficiency, provided that the government adopts appropriate policy combinations. At the same time, the income of the average crop farmer goes up slightly compared to the business-as-usual scenario. However, the spatial variability is large, requiring supplementary targeted income support measures, particularly in poverty-stricken provinces like Shaanxi, Chongqing, Guizhou and Yunnan where also the income gains of the new policies are below average. The results show that appropriate policy combinations should address both the efficiency of chemical fertilizer use and the intensity of organic fertilizer use. Hence, substantial efforts are necessary in mobilizing stakeholder involvement in implementing the policies.
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