Perspectives for Agronomy: Adopting Ecological Principles and Managing Resource Use

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M.K. van Ittersum, S.C. van de Geijn
Elsevier, 1997 M12 11 - 363 pages
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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.

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Page 8 - Research (CGIAR) states that sustainable agriculture "should involve the successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment and conserving natural resources
Page 168 - Seligman NG (1987) Simulation of water use, nitrogen nutrition and growth of a spring wheat crop.
Page 167 - Eight cycles of selection for drought tolerance in lowland tropical maize. I. Responses in grain yield, biomass, and radiation utilization. Field Crops Res.
Page 212 - Matching measurable soil organic matter fractions with conceptual pools in simulation models of carbon turnover: revision of model structure. In: DS Powlson, P. Smith and JU Smith (Editors), Evaluation of Soil Organic Matter Models Using Existing Long-Term Datasets.
Page 75 - Gifford, RM 1977. Growth Pattern, Carbon Dioxide Exchange, and Dry Weight Distribution in Wheat Growing under Differing Photosynthetic Environments.
Page 86 - Estimating absorbed photosynthetic radiation and leaf area index from spectral reflectance in wheat.
Page 26 - N and Dowswell CR 1994. Feeding a human population that increasingly crowds a fragile planet...
Page 243 - International Symposium on Livestock Waste. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, St. Joseph, MI, pp. 217-20. Beauchamp, EG, GE Kidd, and G. Thurtell. (1982). "Ammonia volatilization from liquid dairy cattle manure in the field,
Page 76 - CO2 on crop photosynthesis and productivity: a review of field studies. Plant, Cell & Environment, 14, 807-18.
Page 57 - Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN) PO Box 1 1755 ZG PETTEN The Netherlands Telephone: (0) 2246-6262 Telex: 57211 reacp nl NEW ZEALAND Mrs.

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