Perspectives for Agronomy
Adopting Ecological Principles and Managing Resource UseEdited by
- M.K. van Ittersum, c/o Wageningen Agricultural University, Department of Theoretical Production Ecology, Wageningen, The Netherlands
- S.C. van de Geijn, c/o Research Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility (AB-DLO), Wageningen, The Netherlands
During the 4th ESA-Congress, held in the Netherlands, 7-11 July 1996, a new perspective for agronomy emerged. Various contributions demonstrate the need for a new role of agronomy and its tools. In recent decades, agriculture has evolved from an activity with mainly productivity aims, into an issue conciliating environmental, agricultural, and economic and social objectives. Placing agriculture in such a broadened perspective requires a different agronomy, with new tools and approaches at a range of aggregration levels. It calls for detailed knowledge concerning the functioning, productivity and ecological relationships of agricultural plants and crops. In addition, it calls for a constant update and synthesis of existing and newly generated knowledge, the design of new ideotypes and genotypes, new production technologies, cropping systems, farming systems and agro-ecological land use systems.
This proceedings book presents a set of case studies illustrating the various agronomic tools that can be used for specific agronomic questions. The case studies are grouped in sections illustrating relevant subquestions in developing an agriculture with broadened objectives. The book starts with an introductory paper on the role of agronomy in research and education in Europe. The second section deals with agricultural land use, food security and environment. This is followed by a set of papers describing experimental research and modeling approaches used to design new ideotypes of crops, including physiological properties in relation to growth factors such as radiation, CO2, temperature and water.
Sustained soil fertility directly links to nutrient cycling and soil organic matter. A selected set of papers addresses the improvements in resource use efficiency and as such their contribution towards economic, environmental and agricultural objectives. The final section addresses the design of integrated and ecological arable farming systems. It highlights the role of prototyping interaction with leading-edge farmers, as promising tools to design, implement and test new farming systems.It is hoped that the activities of the European Society for Agronomy and the Proceedings of its 4th Congress will stimulate to serve the new perspectives of agronomy, i.e. to adopt ecological principles, to optimally manage the use of resources and to meet social and economic objectives.
Developments in Crop Science
- Preface. Acknowledgements. Section 1: Introduction Role of research and education in the development of agriculture in Europe (E. Porceddu, R. Rabbinge). Section 2: Agricultural Land Use, Food Security and Environment Land use transformation in Africa: three determinants for balancing food security with natural resource utilization (P.A. Sanchez, R.R.B. Leakey). Agro-ecological characterisation, food production and security (P. Bullock). The potential benefits of agroforestry in the Sahel and other semi-arid regions (H. Breman, J.J. Kessler). Chemical crop protection research and development in Europe (R. Neumann). Emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O from pasture on drained peat soils in the Netherlands (C.A. Langeveld et al.). Section 3: Crop Physiology and Ideotyping Effects of CO2 and temperature on growth and yield of crops of winter wheat over four seasons (G.R. Batts et al.). Use of in-field measurements of green leaf area and incident radiation to estimate the effects of yellow rust epidemics on the yield of winter wheat (R.J. Bryson et al.). Simulating light regime and intercrop yields in coconut based farming systems (J. Dauzat and M.N. Eroy). Improving wheat simulation capabilities in Australia from a cropping systems perspective: water and nitrogen effects on spring wheat in a semi-arid environment (H. Meinke et al.). Comparison of CropSyst performance for water management in southwestern France using submodels of different levels of complexity (C.O. Stockle et al.). Root growth of three onion cultivars (A.D. Bosch Serra et al.). Interspecific variability of plant water status and leaf morphogenesis in temperate forage grasses under summer water deficit (J.-L. Durand et al.). Evaluation of sunflower (Helianthus annuus,L.) genotypes differing in early vigour using a simulation model (F. Agüra et al.). Options of breeding for greater maize yields in the tropics (A. Elings et al.). Section 4: Managing Resource Use Nitrogen budgets of three experimental and two commercial dairy farms in the Netherlands (J.J. Neetson, J. Hassink). Resource use at the cropping system level (P.C. Struik, F. Bonciarelli). The efficient use of solar radiation, water and nitrogen in arable farming: matching supply and demand of genotypes (A.J. Haverkort et al.). Soil-plant nitrogen dynamics: what concepts are required? (E.A. Stockdale et al.). Modeling crop nitrogen requirements: a critical analysis (C.O. Stockle, P. Debaeke). Maize production in a grass mulch system - seasonal patterns of indicators of the nitrogen status of maize (B. Feil et al.). Nitrogen transformations after the spreading of pig slurry on bare soil and ryegrass 15N-labelled ammonium (T. Morvan et al.). Size and density fractionation of soil organic matter and the physical capacity of soils to protect organic matter (J. Hassink et al.). Characterization of dissolved organic carbon in cleared forest soils converted to maize cultivation (L. Delprat et al.). Analysis of impact of farming practices on dynamics of soil organic matter in northern China (H.S. Yang, B.H. Janssen). Agronomic measures for better utilization of soil and fertilizer phosphates (K. Mengel). Section 5: Designing Farming Systems A methodical way of prototying integrated and ecological arable farming systems (I/EAFS) in interaction with piolot farms (P. Vereijken). The Logården project: development of an ecological and an integrated arable farming system (C.A. Helander). Intergrated crop protection and environment exposure to pesticides: methodes to reduce use and impact of pesticides in arable farming (F.G. Wijnands). Use of agro-ecological indicators for the evaluation of farming systems (C. Bockstaller et al.). Model-based explorations to support development of substainable farming systems: case studies from France and The Netherlands (W.A.H. Rossing et al.). Learning for substainable agriculture (B.M. Somers). Author Index. Subject Index.