Davis CA (SPX) May 06, 2011
Transformative changes in markets, policy and science, rather than just incremental changes in farming practices and technology, will be critical if the United States is to achieve long-term sustainability in agriculture, according to a nationwide team of agriculturists that includes a University of California, Davis, animal scientist.
The team's recommendations, first published as a 2010 report by the U.S. National Research Council, appear as a Policy Forum piece in the May 6 issue of the journal Science. Lead author on the paper is John Reganold, Regents Professor of soil science and agroecology at Washington State University, Pullman.
"For decades, the agricultural industry, research community and government, have looked to incremental improvements in agricultural procedures and technologies for achieving advances in productivity," said Deanne Meyer, a Cooperative Extension livestock waste management specialist in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science and a member of the research team.
She noted that such incremental improvements have included adoption of two-year crop rotations, precision agriculture technologies, classically bred and genetically engineered crops, and reduced- or no-tillage management systems.
"While all of these have resulted in important improvements, it's become apparent that as modern agriculture also grapples with important issues such as global climate change, biodiversity, resource conservation and public health problems, a more transformative approach is needed," she said.
Such an approach would balance production goals with long-term sustainability concerns involving the environmental, social and economic impacts of agriculture. It would focus on a "whole-system redesign" that would address policy and market issues, as well as technological issues, the researchers recommend in their report.
The approach would incorporate innovative agricultural systems such as organic farming, grass-fed and other alternative livestock production systems, mixed crop and livestock systems, and perennial grains. And it would require significant changes in market structures, policy incentives and public funding for agricultural science, according to the report.
The research team suggests that with a new version of the U.S. Farm Bill due in 2012, the time is now ripe to begin reforming U.S. agriculture.
The team's 598-page 2010 National Research Council report, "Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century," is available online.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
University of California - Davis
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Chicago IL (SPX) May 06, 2011
As the use of biotechnology increases and more companies move forward with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval to begin full-scale commercialization of seed mixtures in transgenic insecticidal corn, many researchers believe pest monitoring will become even more difficult. "Seed mixtures may make insect resistance management (IRM) risky because of larval behavior and greater ... read more
Internet satellite images available to all|
Esri and DOI Introduce Landsat Data for the World
Satellites Reveal Tornado Tracks in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama
NASA Mission Seeks to Uncover a Rainfall Mystery
'Green' GPS saves fuel, energy
Apple update fixes iPhone tracking "bugs"
Russia, Sweden to boost space cooperation
GPS Operational Control Segment Enters Service With USAF
Russian forest defenders say attacked near Moscow
Forest clearance threatens Sumatran tigers: WWF
Russian police arrest 25 activists in highway protest
First rainforests arose when plants solved plumbing problem
Formidable fungal force counters biofuel plant pathogens
Interjet and Airbus Conduct First Biofuel Flight in the Country
BioJet and Abundant Biofuels Agree to Merge
Food vs fuel: the debate is over
Measurement of hot electrons could have solar energy payoff
American Vision Brings New 'Light' to Solar Energy
Natcore Technology Successfully Uses LPD Process on Textured Solar Cells
Southwest Solar Announces New Collaboration at Research Park
Evolutionary lessons for wind farm efficiency
Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict
Study: Warming won't lessen wind energy
Mortenson Construction to Build its 100th Wind Project
Eight trapped in flooded China mine: state media
Wyoming to expand coal mining
China mine explosion kills 11, two missing
Wyoming coal leases to be auctioned
China archaeologists uncover more Great Wall ruins
Hong Kong comedian spreads cheer at Italy festival
Chinese writer barred from Australia trip: organisers
US says to raise rights in China talks
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|