COPYRIGHT YEAR

2012

AUTHORS

Jens B. Aune

TITLE

Conventional, Organic and Conservation Agriculture: Production and Environmental Impact

ABSTRACT

Agriculture production has to increase by 70% within 2050 in order to keep pace with population growth and changing diets. However, this production increase will have to be achieved in a way that preserves the environment and reduces the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change. Agriculture will furthermore need to minimize the emissions of greenhouse gases, pesticides and plant nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous to the environment. Organic agriculture, conventional agriculture and conservation agriculture can be considered as different approaches for dealing with these production and environmental challenges. This chapter discusses the production and environmental implications of these three diffe­rent approaches for agricultural development. Conventional agriculture is characterised by ploughing and limited recycling of organic materials. Organic agriculture uses no pesticides and mineral fertiliser whereas conservation agriculture is characterized by zero tillage, use of mulch and crop rotations. The studies reviewed show that conventional agriculture and conservation agriculture have similar yield levels, but the yield levels in organic agriculture is in the order of 30–50% lower than in these two systems. One important reason for lower productivity in organic agriculture is limited supply of plant nutrients as organic sources of plant nutrients only supply 30–35% of the nitrogen taken up by crops. Conservation agriculture is furthermore more efficient in building soil organic matter than organic agriculture and conventional agriculture. Conservation agriculture has been found to sequester between 0.1 and 1 t C ha−1 year−1. Building soil organic matter content can be considered as a cornerstone in adaption to climate as this will increase soil water holding capacity and reduce soil temperature. System studies have shown that nitrogen and greenhouse gas emission are less in conservation agriculture as compared to conventional and organic agriculture. The non-use of pesticides is the major environmental advantages of organic agriculture. It appears from this review that conservation agriculture is the approach that can best deliver on the production and environmental objectives of agriculture.

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1 book-chapters:9351c3d883763d91c08d6c03c42a21fc sg:abstract Abstract Agriculture production has to increase by 70% within 2050 in order to keep pace with population growth and changing diets. However, this production increase will have to be achieved in a way that preserves the environment and reduces the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change. Agriculture will furthermore need to minimize the emissions of greenhouse gases, pesticides and plant nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous to the environment. Organic agriculture, conventional agriculture and conservation agriculture can be considered as different approaches for dealing with these production and environmental challenges. This chapter discusses the production and environmental implications of these three diffe­rent approaches for agricultural development. Conventional agriculture is characterised by ploughing and limited recycling of organic materials. Organic agriculture uses no pesticides and mineral fertiliser whereas conservation agriculture is characterized by zero tillage, use of mulch and crop rotations. The studies reviewed show that conventional agriculture and conservation agriculture have similar yield levels, but the yield levels in organic agriculture is in the order of 30–50% lower than in these two systems. One important reason for lower productivity in organic agriculture is limited supply of plant nutrients as organic sources of plant nutrients only supply 30–35% of the nitrogen taken up by crops. Conservation agriculture is furthermore more efficient in building soil organic matter than organic agriculture and conventional agriculture. Conservation agriculture has been found to sequester between 0.1 and 1 t C ha−1 year−1. Building soil organic matter content can be considered as a cornerstone in adaption to climate as this will increase soil water holding capacity and reduce soil temperature. System studies have shown that nitrogen and greenhouse gas emission are less in conservation agriculture as compared to conventional and organic agriculture. The non-use of pesticides is the major environmental advantages of organic agriculture. It appears from this review that conservation agriculture is the approach that can best deliver on the production and environmental objectives of agriculture.
2 sg:copyrightHolder Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
3 sg:copyrightYear 2012
4 sg:ddsId b978-94-007-1905-7_7
5 sg:doi 10.1007/978-94-007-1905-7_7
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9 sg:hasContribution contributions:c6db9491bbb2658a1cacaa850899d03d
10 sg:language En
11 sg:license http://scigraph.springernature.com/explorer/license/
12 sg:pageFirst 149
13 sg:pageLast 165
14 sg:scigraphId 9351c3d883763d91c08d6c03c42a21fc
15 sg:title Conventional, Organic and Conservation Agriculture: Production and Environmental Impact
16 sg:webpage https://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-94-007-1905-7_7
17 rdf:type sg:BookChapter
18 rdfs:label BookChapter: Conventional, Organic and Conservation Agriculture: Production and Environmental Impact
19 owl:sameAs http://lod.springer.com/data/bookchapter/978-94-007-1905-7_7
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